1486: Truth Decay

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 12m
September 15th, 2022
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Executive Producers: Dame Ginger of the Bush, Sir Christopher of the Trademark, Sir Little John the Cereal Killer, Kyle McQueston, The Barberista, Sir Chancey of the Netherworld, John Selle

Associate Executive Producers: Doug Nixon, Grand Old Dame Beth, Baroness of Baja Arizona, Sir Tommyhawk of the Heartlander, Erik Crawford, Baron Anonymous Cop

Cover Artist: Niko Syme

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TODAY
RMHC Tesla Apple etc.
Great Reset
Rail strike “boots on the ground
Adam,
Thought I would give you a quick boots on the ground report about the impending rail strike. It’s pretty much already started even though the deadline is Friday.
I have been driving local intermodal trucking for J.B. Hunt, one of the largest intermodal carriers in the US, in the Chicago region for about 5 years now.
The four Norfolk Southern rail yards in Chicago stopped accepting all loads on Wednesday at midnight. We can only clear out remaining trailers. This affects about 1500-2000 containers a day.
The rest of the Rails (BNSF, CSX, Canadian National, and Union Pacific) stopped accepting refrigerated loads, which means local harvests are going to sit and the frozen food to most restaurants are at a stand still.
Also none of the rail yards are accepting hazardous loads. So If a Walmart or Target load has a box of cigarette lighters, it’s not moving via rail.
When I have seen disruptions before due to weather related causes, a one day stop is about 3 1/2 days of catch up on our end, not including the ripple effect for our customers. So before the strike officially starts, the supply chain is going to be backed up 2 weeks.
One of these days I’ll donate when I don’t have 7 Human Resources to feed, until then, thank you for your courage
James
Atlas Shrugged Time
Queen Ursula SOTU
Ukraine
Zalenska honored
Blue / Yellow
Climate change in French
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U.S. Treasury traders switch strategies as liquidity problems worsen
They said dealers could buy more bonds if the Fed scrapped a rule introduced following the 2008 financial crisis requiring they hold capital against Treasuries. The Fed temporarily suspended that rule in 2020.
Explainer: Why the U.S. SEC is looking to reform the Treasury market | Reuters
While the issues are complex, there is one chief problem that regulators broadly agree on: the rapid growth of the Treasury market in recent years has outstripped the capacity of dealers, the traditional suppliers of liquidity, to meet liquidity demands during times of market stress.
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Professor ted quote
ISAIF.114 “It is true that some restrictions on our freedom could be eliminated, but generally speaking the regulation of our lives by large organizations is necessary for the functioning of industrial-technological society. The result is a sense of powerlessness on the part of the average person. It may be, however, that formal regulations will tend increasingly to be replaced by psychological tools that make us _want_ to do what the system requires of us. Propaganda, educational techniques, "mental health" programs, etc.)”
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Heat pumps faded in the 1970s—now the tech is in 40% of new US homes | Fortune
Heat pump systems, which comprise connected devices outside and inside the buildings they serve, may not be much to look at: Air-source heat pumps, which are the most common type, resemble large air-conditioning units—but they are remarkably efficient.
While a gas-furnace–based heating system is at best 95% efficient—that is, it delivers 95 units of energy for every 100 units it burns—modern heat pumps are upwards of 450% efficient. Put one unit of electrical energy in, to power the system, and you will typically get at least 4.5 units of thermal energy out. And the heat that emerges from the system was already in the atmosphere to start with, unlike the energy you get from fossil fuels.
Energy & Inflation
Time Of Use scam
If you participate in time-of-use (TOU) rates, we must measure your energy use at different times during the day that coincides with on-peak and off-peak periods. New smart meter technology will create the opportunity for customers to have new pricing options like TOU rates or programs designed specifically for appliances or equipment that use significant amounts of electricity, such as space heaters and air conditioning units.
Effectively creating yet *another* market the consumer has to deal with, after selecting a 'provider'
Mandates & Boosters
OTG
BLM LGBBTQQIAAPK+ Noodle Boy
Cerebral selling gender hormones too
Big Pharma
"Bivalent Biden Vax' maybe reason for White-house push
Cerebral selling gender hormones too
EUA vs BLA vaccines insider
They need the EUA until they receive BLA.
There is an effort by the CDC to stop distributing doses to providers. Doses will then become available for providers to purchase and offer to people for a charge. This could happen by the end of the year but the HHS secretary (link a) would have to give the CDC 90 days notice before formally ending the public heath emergency. We should know, no later than 10/23/22. If there is no notification made then they’ll renew the public health emergency, probably for a shorter time period.
Big Tech
FCC BGP
Very odd that the fcc would be looking at bgp I'm guessing they are going to try to regulate. There's been a big push to somewhat nationalized bgp routing.... So I see this as a first step to regulation then potentially nationalization meaning all BGP would be controlled by the government... IE Great fire Wall of China
Ukraine & Russia
Willow on Italian elections
Putin under attack, CIA taking out his oligarchs, "talk" of unrest in the ranks
RAND Corp on Ukraine & Russian strategy to destroy Germany / EU
This is a paper from RAND
It's from Jan. 2022 - just before the war started.
What I find most amazing how openly they say how they are using the German green party members as useful idiots to achieve their goals.
Is it real? I don't know, but I trust my source. If not, it still is an excellent analysis of the situation.
All I got a German translation, and since I don't know how good your German is, I did a machine translation back to English, so keep that in mind - in case something sounds a bit strange. Also interesting: it's not going to the GOP
all the best from Germany, Frank
Research Report
January 25. 2022
Confidential
Distribution: WHCS, ANSA, Dept. of State, CIA, NSA, DNC
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Weakening Germany, strengthening the USA
The current state of the U.S. economy does not suggest that it can function without outside financial and material support. The quantitative easing policies that the Fed has regularly resorted to in recent years, as well as the uncontrolled issuance of cash during the 2020 and 2021 Covid lockdowns, have led to a sharp increase in external debt and an increase in the supply of dollars.
The continued deterioration of the economy will most likely result in a loss of the Democratic Party's position in Congress and the Senate in the upcoming November 2022 elections. Impeachment proceedings against the President cannot be ruled out under these circumstances and must be avoided at all costs.
There is an urgent need for resources to flow into the national economy, especially the banking system. Only European countries bound by EU and NATO commitments will be able to provide these without significant military and political costs to us.
The main obstacle to this is Germany's growing independence. Although it is still a country with limited sovereignty, it has been moving consistently for decades toward lifting these restrictions and becoming a fully independent state. This movement has been slow and cautious, but steady. Extrapolation shows that the ultimate goal may not be reached for several decades. However, if social and economic problems in the United States escalate, the pace could accelerate significantly.
Another factor contributing to Germany's economic independence is Brexit. With the United Kingdom's exit from EU structures, we have lost an important opportunity to influence the negotiation of cross-governmental decisions.
It is the fear of our negative reaction that, by and large, determines the relatively slow pace of these changes. If we leave Europe one day, there is a good chance for Germany and France to reach full political consensus. Then Italy and other countries of old Europe - especially the former ECSC members - could join it under certain conditions. Great Britain, which is not currently a member of the European Union, will not be able to withstand the pressure of the Franco-German duo alone. If this scenario occurs, Europe will become not only an economic but also a political competitor of the United States.
Moreover, if the United States is beset by domestic problems for some time, Old Europe will be able to resist more effectively the influence of the American-oriented Eastern European countries.
Weaknesses in the German and EU economies.
An increase in the flow of resources from Europe to the U.S. can be expected if Germany enters a controlled economic crisis. The pace of economic development in the EU depends almost alternatively on the state of the German economy. It is Germany that bears the brunt of spending on the poorer EU members.
The current German economic model rests on two pillars. These are unlimited access to cheap Russian energy resources and to cheap French electricity, thanks to the operation of nuclear power plants. The importance of the first factor is much higher. An interruption in Russian supplies may well trigger a systemic crisis that would be devastating for the German economy and, indirectly, for the entire European Union.
The French energy sector could also soon run into major problems. The foreseeable cessation of Russian-controlled nuclear fuel supplies, combined with the unstable situation in the Sahel, would place the French energy sector in a critical dependence on Australian and Canadian fuels. In the context of the creation of AUKUS, new opportunities arise to exert pressure. However, this issue is beyond the scope of this report.
A controlled crisis
Due to coalition constraints, the German leadership is not fully in control of the situation in the country. Thanks to our precise actions, it was possible to prevent the commissioning of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline despite the resistance of lobbyists from the steel and chemical industries. However, the dramatic deterioration of living standards could make the German leadership rethink its policy and return to the idea of European sovereignty and strategic autonomy.
The only viable way to guarantee Germany's rejection of Russian energy supplies is to engage both sides in the military conflict in Ukraine. Our continued actions in that country will inevitably lead to a Russian military response. The Russians, of course, will not be able to leave unanswered the massive pressure of the Ukrainian army on the unrecognized Donbass republics. This would make it possible to declare Russia the aggressor and apply the whole package of previously prepared sanctions against it.
Putin, for his part, could decide to impose limited counter-sanctions - especially against Russian energy supplies to Europe. So the damage to EU countries will be quite comparable to that to the Russians, and in some countries - especially Germany - it will be higher.
The precondition for Germany to fall into this trap is the leading role of the Green parties and ideology in Europe. The German Greens are a strongly dogmatic, if not zealous, movement, which makes it quite easy to get them to ignore economic arguments. In this respect, the German Greens outperform their counterparts in the rest of Europe. Personal characteristics and the lack of professionalism of their leaders - most notably Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck - suggest that it is almost impossible for them to admit their own mistakes in time.
Thus, it will be enough to quickly shape the media image of Putin's aggressive war to turn the Greens into ardent and hard-line advocates of sanctions, a "party of war." In this way, the sanctions regime can be introduced without obstacles. The lack of professionalism of the current leaders will not allow any pushback in the future, even if the negative effects of the chosen policy become clear enough. The partners in the German governing coalition will simply have to follow their allies - at least until the burden of economic problems is greater than the fear of provoking a government crisis.
But even if the SPD and FDP are willing to stand up to the Greens, the next government's ability to normalize relations with Russia quickly enough will be noticeably limited. Germany's involvement in large-scale arms and weapons deliveries to the Ukrainian army will inevitably create a strong sense of mistrust in Russia, which will make the negotiation process rather protracted.
If war crimes and Russian aggression against Ukraine are confirmed, the German political leadership will not be able to overcome the veto of its EU partners against aid to Ukraine and tightened sanctions packages. This will ensure a sufficiently long gap in cooperation between Germany and Russia that will render major German economic enterprises uncompetitive.
Expected consequences
A reduction in Russian energy supplies - ideally a complete halt to these supplies - would have catastrophic consequences for German industry. The need to divert significant volumes of Russian gas to heat homes and public facilities in winter will further exacerbate shortages. Shutdowns of industrial companies will lead to bottlenecks in components and spare parts for production, the collapse of logistics chains and ultimately to a domino effect. In the largest plants in the chemical, metallurgical and mechanical engineering industries, a complete shutdown is likely, as they have virtually no spare capacity to reduce energy consumption. This could lead to the closure of continuous cycle companies, which would mean their destruction.
The cumulative losses to the German economy can only be estimated approximately. Even if the restriction of Russian supplies is limited to 2022, the consequences will last for several years, and the total losses could reach 200 to 300 billion euros. This will not only deal a devastating blow to the German economy, but the entire EU economy will inevitably collapse. We are not talking about a decline in economic growth here, but a prolonged recession and a decline in GDP in material production alone of three to four percent per year over the next five to six years. Such a decline will inevitably lead to panic in the financial markets and possibly cause them to collapse.
The euro will inevitably and most likely fall irrevocably below the dollar. Consequently, a sharp decline in the euro will result in its global sale. It will become a toxic currency and all countries of the world will rapidly reduce its share in their foreign exchange reserves. This gap will be filled primarily with dollars and yuan.
Another inevitable consequence of a prolonged economic recession will be a sharp decline in living standards and rising unemployment (up to 200,000 to 400,000 in Germany alone), resulting in an exodus of skilled workers and well-educated young people. There are literally no destinations for such migration today other than the United States. A somewhat smaller, but also not insignificant, flow of migrants can be expected from other EU countries.
Thus, the scenario under study will contribute both indirectly and quite directly to the strengthening of the national financial position. In the short term, it will reverse the trend of the looming economic recession and, moreover, consolidate American society by distracting it from immediate economic concerns. This, in turn, will reduce electoral risk.
Over the medium term (4-5 years), the cumulative benefits of capital flight, realigned logistical flows, and reduced competition in key industries could total seven to nine trillion dollars.
Unfortunately, China is also likely to benefit from this evolving scenario in the medium term. At the same time, Europe's strong political dependence on the U.S. allows us to effectively neutralize possible attempts by individual European countries to move closer to China.
Climate Change
Greta was just predictive programming
Space Force (Race)
Prime Time Purge
STORIES
U.S. Treasury traders switch strategies as liquidity problems worsen
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 16:58
NEW YORK - Investors in the $23 trillion U.S. Treasury market are slicing up orders and switching to more easily traded issues, adapting to navigate periodic illiquidity that looks to get worse as the U.S. Federal Reserve reduces the size of its bond portfolio.
The Fed kicked off "quantitative tightening" (QT) in June, letting its bonds reach maturity without buying more. The exit of the Treasury market's largest buyer and uncertainty over future rate hikes to fight soaring inflation have led to wild price swings. Many investors have changed trading patterns, while others stay on the sidelines, according to more than half a dozen traders and investors interviewed by Reuters.
"If you're trying to move larger sizes, even $50 million or more, you're probably going to have to do it in smaller bite sizes," said Calvin Norris, Portfolio Manager & US Rates Strategist at Aegon Asset Management.
He said investors increasingly prefer to trade recently issued "on-the-run" Treasuries which are more liquid than older "off-the-run" ones. Liquidity is also poor for more niche products such as Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities.
The Treasuries market is the world's largest bond market and serves as a global benchmark for a swathe of other asset classes, making its price gyrations especially worrying. Measuring liquidity by looking at the size and persistence of unexploited arbitrage opportunities in the Treasury market, investment bank Piper Sandler estimated last month the market to be "the most illiquid it has been over the past 20 years, except of course for the Great Financial Crisis." The following graphic is reproduced from Piper Sandler's research.
Trading volume has held up this year, averaging at about $630 billion per month in total. But investors said liquidity - the ability to trade an asset without significantly moving its price - has worsened.
Andrew Brenner, head of international fixed income at National Alliance Securities, said that transactions of, for instance, $100 million, need to be broken down into either $25 or $50 million to be able to trade without moving prices.
"You have to break it down or you move markets against you," he said.
When trying to trade less liquid products, some investors said they had struggled to find dealers willing to offer quotes.
Michael Kushma, chief investment officer of Global Fixed Income at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, said at some points this year his firm had to switch out the bonds they were trying to sell, as the bid discounts dealers were offering were too steep.
So far the Fed has allowed about $70 billion of Treasuries to mature and roll off its nearly $9 trillion balance sheet, which it plans to reduce at nearly twice the pace it did from 2017 to 2019.
When the pandemic hit, the Fed bought up to $80 billion Treasuries a month to pump up the economy, but now it will ramp-up Treasury roll-offs to as much as $60 billion each month.
'LESS CAPITAL'
Market volatility and recession fears have made market makers less willing to take large positions.
"When liquidity dries up dealers don't know where the price is .. So they're reluctant to buy and to make a market in it because they don't know where they're going to sell," said Kushma.
Some investors noted that dealers have struggled for years to keep up with the ballooning Treasury market and said regulators could do more to free up liquidity after promising to address structural issues in the market.
They said dealers could buy more bonds if the Fed scrapped a rule introduced following the 2008 financial crisis requiring they hold capital against Treasuries. The Fed temporarily suspended that rule in 2020.
"There's less capital from market makers ready to step in and push yields back toward fair value," said Steven Abrahams, senior managing director at Amherst Pierpont Securities.
Some pointed to 20-year Treasuries as an example of how poor liquidity is hurting trading. That tenor has seen little demand since it was reintroduced in 2020. This makes it harder to execute arbitrage trades, for instance swapping exposure to a longer-dated bond with the 20-year one.
Liquidity has declined even more in recent weeks, investors said, citing thin summer trading and renewed uncertainty over how aggressive the Fed will be on rate hikes.
"The lack of certainty about the direction of the Fed ... has just put the liquidity and typical liquidity providers in a holding pattern," said John Luke Tyner, fixed income analyst at Aptus Capital Advisors.
The ICE BofA MOVE Index - a measure of expected volatility in U.S. Treasuries - hit 156 in early July, just shy of its 163 peak in March 2020, when pandemic fears gripped investors and liquidity quickly dropped to 2008 crisis levels. That prompted the Fed to buy $1.6 trillion of Treasuries.
Some investors said mounting fears of a recession could convince the Fed to slow or stall quantitative tightening. If it keeps tightening, many see no immediate end to the liquidity problems.
"It just feels like this is going to be the new normal," said John Madziyire, a senior portfolio manager at Vanguard.
(Reporting by Davide Barbuscia; Editing by Michelle Price, Megan Davies and David Gregorio)
Swiss Social Media Abuzz Over 'Rat Out Your Neighbor' Energy Use Posters | ZeroHedge
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 16:57
As Switzerland takes drastic measures to reduce its gas use this winter - including fines and up to three years in prison for citizens who violate new regulations, a viral poster circulating on Swiss social media telling citizens to rat out neighbors heating their homes above 19C (66.2F) has raised eyebrows.
"Does the neighbor heat the apartment to over 19 degrees? Please inform us," reads the poster currently circulating on messaging services such as Signal and Telegram, according to Swiss media.
This poster is currently causing confusion and indignation among the population. Except, it's fake.
According to Energy Department official, Simone Hug, the federal government has nothing to do with the poster.
"There are no such federal posters, nor do we call for people to be exposed," said Hug, who added that the government is investigating who created the hoax.
Outlet '20 Minuten' says it's easy to conduct a google reverse image of the alleged poster, where it can be found on 'freepik,' which hosts over 25 million images, and lists the template as "blank billboard mockup."
That said, the fact that so many people believed that the post was real comes as no surprise given the government's extreme measures to save energy - including the prohibition on home temperatures above 66.2F, as well as a maximum hot water temperature of 60 degrees, and to turn off saunas and swimming pools. 'Willful' violators risk three years in prison, while negligent violators face a daily penalty between 30 francs (US$31) and 3,000 francs (US$3130) and up to 180 days in prison.
In short: if you accidentally set your thermostat incorrectly, you will be better off than your neighbor who deliberately heated his pool to 25 degrees. The penalty should be even heavier for a company that deliberately exceeds gas consumption limits. The quota order is also subject to penal provisions. -Blick
What's more, according to Economic Minister Guy Parmelin, there may be spot checks to ensure compliance.
And while the poster above may be fake, a DEF spokesperson told Blick that "if the infringement was reported and checked and could then be proven," they may take action against violators.
Precisely, checks are not excluded, especially if one is denounced by a disgruntled neighbor or a neighborhood vigilante who is a little too zealous. In these cases, whoever heats up to 20 degrees instead of 19 can expect a fine. -Blick
"If a complaint is filed in this direction, the police must act," added the director of the Swiss police.
Podcast brand-safety tools are trying to demystify the space for wary advertisers
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 16:57
Podcast ad revenue grew twice as fast as total online ad revenue in the US last year, but it still represents just a small segment of the country's advertising spend. Perhaps that's because, for some marketers, podcasts just seem too risky.
Advertising in the burgeoning space where many podcasters are known for putting their own spin on ad copy could seem like asking for trouble.
''Certain categories, like banking, for example, are very conservative with their messaging,'' podcast company Acast's global head of ad operations, Kevin McCaul, told Marketing Brew. ''We have seen brands sit on the sidelines because they thought that podcasting was just the Wild West and there wasn't control.''
That's not good news for companies like Acast that generate revenue by selling podcast ads or anyone else trying to make money by podcasting. To address this hesitance, stakeholders from across the industry have been joining forces to develop brand-safety solutions for buying podcast ads.
Early network partnerships
Podcast ad buyers and sellers told Marketing Brew that clients in the space started seriously asking about brand safety as far back as two years ago. That's no surprise given the pandemic and the political and social unrest that dominated the news cycle in 2020.
''More recently, over the last six, nine months, we've seen this idea of brand safety really, really become more of a challenge vocalized by our clients,'' said Jennifer Laine, head of marketing, innovation, and special projects at audio ad agency Oxford Road.
Major podcast companies, of course, have large sales teams of people who are hyper-familiar with all the shows they sell ads for, but for more risk-averse advertisers, network sellers were looking for something additional ''in our back pocket,'' McCaul said.
To help achieve that, podcast companies have been inking deals with brand-safety partners in droves.
Last summer, Acast tapped Comscore as its brand-safety provider, leveraging its ''natural language processing, machine learning, and AI'' capabilities to enable advertisers to choose podcast episodes ''that align with their brand preferences,'' the company said in a press release announcing the partnership.
Break it down: Acast forwards podcast transcripts to Comscore, McCaul said, which in turn helps analyze them for keywords and tags them based on risk level in each of the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM) brand-safety content categories.
These 12 categories, which include ''terrorism,'' ''debated sensitive social issue,'' and ''misinformation,'' are used across digital platforms to help advertisers avoid the ''monetization of harmful content online.''For instance, an episode that is specifically about gun violence or a shooting would be tagged as ''high-risk'' in the ''arms and ammunition'' category, McCaul explained, while a low-risk episode might just mention missiles in passing as part of a broader conversation about the space race.However, since GARM classifies ''news features on the subject'' as low risk, Acast would use AI to ''also evaluate the context of the language and the frequency of the usage of the word,'' added Elli Dimitroulakos, global head of ad innovation at Acast. For example, ''if the episode refers to guns multiple times in a context around mass shootings, then it is considered high-risk,'' she said in an email.Acast primarily uses this option for pre-produced ads to make sure they're ''inserted to the best-suited content,'' McCaul said, providing that extra layer of AI-endorsed safety on top of the ad sales team's knowledge of the content. For host-read campaigns, the company tends to rely more on its staff than technology to familiarize brands with the shows they're working with'--if buyers haven't already vetted those pods themselves.Earlier this year, iHeartMedia invested in audio intelligence platform Sounder, at the same time announcing intentions to tap into its AI and machine learning solution ''to ensure advertisers can confidently invest'' in its shows.
SXM Media'--the advertising revenue org for SiriusXM, Pandora, and Stitcher'--started working with Comscore via its AdsWizz arm in 2019 in a similar manner to Acast, according to Maria Breza, SXM Media's VP of audience data operations and ad quality measurement.
Comscore can be leveraged ''at the moment the ad is inserted,'' Breza explained. She said that shows with host-read ads are usually handpicked by advertisers ahead of time, so while that does require brand-safety analysis, it's not the focus for Comscore podcast partnerships.
''We see the most value for advertisers who have produced spots or who are buying announcer-read spots that will run across a wide selection of shows and episodes,'' Breza said.
But Breza noted that SXM Media's brand-safety approach is also not all about tech; its sales team works closely with buyers to help them understand the nuances of podcasts compared to the other kinds of content they buy.
Take the true-crime category, one of the most popular in podcasting: ''It probably isn't a brand-safety infraction for a brand to be next to 'death and injury' in that case,'' Breza told us. ''If you're a brand and historically you have a low tolerance for death and injury, if you put that kind of anti-target against your podcasting buy and you're trying to buy true crime, that's going to be something that just doesn't work.''
Emerging partnerships
Despite these types of partnerships becoming increasingly commonplace, brand-safety solutions for podcasting remain more nascent than for other mediums.
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''Advertisers aren't yet entirely confident that their podcast ads will run in brand-safe environments because the development of brand-safety technology in the podcast space is still in its infancy,'' said Eric John, VP of IAB's Media Center, over email. ''AI solutions that could provide brand safety at scale are available, but there is a lack of uniformly accessible and standardized podcast transcription data which has hampered widespread rollout of these solutions.''
For instance, IAB's December 2020 guide to ''brand safety and suitability in a contemporary media landscape'' doesn't include any mention of podcasts.
IAB's Tech Lab and Media Center are facilitating conversations with podcast industry leaders to address this hurdle, according to John. The Tech Lab put together a ''podcast-transcript clearinghouse working group'' in Q2 of this year that discusses topics like how to create a more scalable solution for creating, hosting, and analyzing episode transcripts, John said.
The trade org isn't the only party working on advancing podcast brand-safety tech. As recently as June, Spotify teamed up with digital ad-verification firm Integral Ad Science to create what the two companies called a ''third-party brand-safety solution for podcast advertisers,'' in a statement. This development came on top of Spotify's existing brand-safety membership in GARM.
This summer, Lee Brown, Spotify's VP and global head of advertising, told Marketing Brew that it's working with advertisers to ''adjust how they think about applying their legacy models of brand safety to a medium like podcasting, where there's some nuances.''
Outside the networks
Others in the industry are finding uses for brand-safety tech outside of pre-produced ad campaigns, which still account for a smaller share of podcast ad revenue than host reads, according to IAB. For the 55% of podcast ads that are host-read, brands can be left with the question of how to vet hosts and their shows more holistically without spending countless hours listening to podcasts.
For those on the buy-side who might want to conduct their own analysis of content across multiple networks, agency land has also been developing podcast brand-safety tech tools of its own.
Podcast media-planning platform Magellan AI has developed a tool to ''empower advertisers and agencies to review the content in shows based on their own criteria'' instead of using the GARM categories for both host-read and pre-produced ads, co-founder Cameron Hendrix told us.
Clients can create what Magellan AI calls ''keyword buckets,'' then choose podcasts on its platform to analyze for those words. The Magellan AI tool then produces a report that shows when and where those keywords appear, which clients can analyze for additional context, according to Hendrix.
Magellan AI Airchecks screenshot
More recently, Magellan AI added an additional option to use the tool for ''post-buy verification,'' also referred to as ''error checks,'' Hendrix said. Advertisers can now also use their custom keyword lists to trigger alerts if any of their ads do end up running against content that could potentially cause concern.
Additionally, Oxford Road's Laine said that the agency has been working with Barometer, a tech company focused on using AI to provide podcast content ratings to advertisers, on a brand-safety tool based on the GARM framework.
''It's an AI-powered tool that contextualizes audio for sentiment or sentiment analysis and provides what we're calling a 'nutrition label,''' Laine said.
Barometer screenshot
One of the use cases for this tool is the potential to discover new inventory that could align with a brand's ''current risk profile,'' Barometer CEO Tamara Zubatiy told us.
If a brand is advertising on 100 pods, a buyer could input them into the platform to run an analysis that might find, for instance, that 80 of those shows are classified as ''low'' or ''no risk'' of profanity.
''So it helps you discover what your risk profile is, and then you can make sure that the shows that you're currently buying continue to reflect that,'' Zubatiy said. ''You can also then use that as an input set to filter inventory for discovery purposes,'' or for post-campaign validation to ensure episodes where ads ran were compatible with the risk profile.
The Barometer tool sorts episodes into the GARM categories based on risk, but can also rate ''tolerance'' for certain topics, Laine explained. For instance, if a host shares an opinion on a sensitive social issue but does it in a way that's respectful and acknowledges an opposing view, Barometer would rate the episode as ''high tolerance.''
The tool highlights these instances in the time-stamped transcripts of the episodes so advertisers can fast forward to them, listen, and then decide for themselves if the content aligns with their brand.
This could allow podcast advertisers to potentially avoid some of the issues other brands have faced in trying to avoid risky content, like shifting ad revenue away from legitimate news outlets in an attempt to avoid certain topics.
''Some brands just want the absolute assurance that they'll never be involved in controversy at all, which nobody could actually confirm,'' Laine said. ''You never know what's going to happen.''
But ultimately, she added, these brand-safety tools could help the podcast industry demonstrate to major advertisers that podcasting is a safe and legitimate medium, giving them a reason to test it out.
Gen Z's worship of the Unabomber - UnHerd
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 16:56
''The industrial revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race.'' Writing those words as the introduction to his 1995 anti-technology manifesto Industrial Society and its Future, Ted Kaczynski couldn't have known that they would someday spawn an entire genre of memes. But so they have.
Eighty years old and serving eight consecutive life sentences in federal prison for his career as the Unabomber, Kaczynski has been revived as an online folk hero. Spend enough time online and you'll stumble across the 'Ted-pilled' community, where ''Uncle Ted'' is a prophet who predicted the Silicon Valley-created dystopia we live in.
Kaczynski's online popularity has coincided with a flurry of Unabomber-related content in recent years, including three separate TV or film projects: a four-part Netflix documentary, a dramatised Manhunt series on the FBI's investigation, and Ted K, a feature-length biopic set on location near the infamous Lincoln, Montana cabin where Kaczynski built the bombs he used to kill three people and injure 23 more.
This spring saw the publication of a book by Kaczynski's neighbour in Montana, and this summer Apple TV released a podcast on the case. He's also been name-checked by Right-wing influencers clearly trying to keep up with the zeitgeist, like Fox News host Tucker Carlson and Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters. Carlson last year praised Kaczynski's ''smart analysis'' of systems and large organisations, while Masters recommended Kaczynski's manifesto in a podcast interview in March, saying ''there's a lot of insight there.'' Over 25 years after he was arrested, there is no end to our interest in the Unabomber. Why do we still find him so compelling? And why is Kaczynski cool now with very online types, from Right-wingers on 4chan to ''anti-woke'' leftists on Reddit?
While the recent Unabomber retrospectives mostly rehash his life and the facts of his case, the current zeitgeist revolves more around his ideology. Kaczynski's manifesto argued that technological progress '-- the ''Industrial Revolution and its consequences'' '-- posed an existential threat to humankind by turning people into ''engineered products and mere cogs in the social machine''. Stripped of their autonomy by a faceless, unaccountable system, humans endured psychological suffering as they were forced into ''over-socialization'', Kaczynski's term for a state of being in which the industrial society's codes and mores have replaced a person's innate selfhood.
Zombified in this way, people blindly applauded technological advances which spelt societal and environmental doom. There was no hope of fixing the current system. The only option remaining, in Kaczynski's view, was to overthrow it completely through revolution '-- by any means necessary. Though Kaczynski repeatedly emphasises the non-political nature of his revolution, he has a lot to say about political movements, particularly Leftist ones, which he saw as cadres of over-socialised do-gooders preoccupied with irrelevant identity concerns. Conservatives weren't much better: they were ''fools'' who failed to understand that technology was destroying the traditionalism they prized.
Gen Z and younger millennials see the truth in Kaczynski's central critique of technology, and its deleterious effects on society. Surrounded by screens from early childhood, addicted to near-constant media consumption, often lacking basic in-person social skills, many sense a broader problem in their own individual capture by the tech borg. They've grown up in an era marked by mounting terror about climate change, and in which conventional politics seems woefully insufficient to solve any problems. So Kaczynski's manifesto resonates.
Though he could never have imagined such horrors as TikTok in the Nineties, the society he describes '-- atomised and materialistic, one that has forfeited freedom in favour of technological progress we've been tricked into wanting '-- chillingly resembles our own. Sure, he cribbed a lot from French philosopher Jacques Ellul, whose book The Technological Society deeply influenced Kaczynski. But there's a disquieting reason why Kaczynski is a household name and Ellul, outside of academic circles, is not. Fans tend to either be defiant about the terrorism itself '-- what better way to offend normies? '-- or they view it as an unfortunate side plot, perhaps not realising it's the only reason Kaczynski's ideas ever attracted notice. ''I honestly wish Uncle Teddy wasn't a terrorist and instead just published the manifesto and let it get popular decades later,'' wrote Reddit poster ''nabberstonguemyanus'' earlier this year. ''Then we could openly endorse it and not be called incel psychos.''
Kaczynski's recent popularity also corresponds with an epidemic of isolated, socially unskilled young men, many of whom appear to be living mostly online. The term ''NEET'' '-- not in education, employment or training '-- has spilled out from the realm of economics research into common usage. The proportion of NEETs who are young men has been increasing in both the US and the UK. Despite sterling credentials and a promising academic career, Kaczynski chose the lifestyle of what would now be called a ''NEET''. In doing so, he became free to enact his revenge on a system he hated and from which he'd felt alienated even as a child. Few of today's NEETs could, or would want to, deploy Kaczynski's methods. But they admire his refusal to be judged by society's standards and relate to his inability to fit in. Few have the wherewithal to leave society entirely, but many may dream of it.
Kaczynski grew up in a working-class Chicago suburb, one of two boys. He was a gifted student and enrolled at Harvard at age 16. Lonely, awkward Ted struggled socially and participated in a cruel series of experiments run by a psychology professor with ties to the CIA. Kaczynski and the other participants were subjected to degrading interrogations disguised as intellectual debates and aimed at breaking their confidence. Kaczynski later called it the worst experience he'd ever had. Traumatised and increasingly paranoid, Kaczynski went on to obtain his Ph.D from the University of Michigan, then to a prestigious professorship at the University of California-Berkeley. Kaczynski's disillusionment with society hardened at Berkeley, where he decided he could no longer countenance studying or teaching mathematics since it contributed to scientific and technological progress. He left Berkeley in 1969 and floated around for much of the Seventies, sometimes living with his parents and holding down temporary blue-collar jobs, before moving permanently into his 10—12 cabin in Montana.
Beginning in 1978, he planted or mailed 16 bombs mostly to universities and airlines, killing three people and injuring 23. He sent his manifesto to the New York Times and the Washington Post (and Penthouse, though that always seems to get left out) promising to end the violence if they published it. With encouragement from the government, who thought publishing the document could help crack the case, the Post did so. Kaczynski's brother David and his wife Linda recognised Ted's writing and alerted the FBI, who arrested him at his cabin in April 1996. Cue the iconic mugshot: Kaczynski in an orange jumpsuit, bearded and grizzled, a far cry from the handsome, clean-cut young professor photographed on the Berkeley campus. He spent 25 years in ADX Florence, a federal supermax prison in Colorado known for housing high-profile or particularly dangerous inmates, before being moved to a medical facility late last year.
There's a strange thrill to the story. How many of us believe so deeply in our philosophical principles that we would give up all our modern comforts? American culture is strongly influenced by the myth of the frontier loner, fiercely independent and living on his own terms. We fear this type, but we also respect him. What makes Kaczynski unique is that he had it both ways, finding freedom in seclusion while also fulfilling that other very American compulsion: to be noticed. Unlike other wilderness hermits such as Christopher McCandless, the subject of Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild, Kaczynski influenced society even more by dropping out of it than he would have otherwise. McCandless' Kerouackian journey ended grimly in a broken down bus in the Alaskan woods where he died of malnutrition. Kaczynski made himself world-famous and forced the public to reckon with his ideas. He hasn't even seemed to mind prison, from where he has exchanged letters with supporters and even fallen in love with a female pen pal. He's continued to influence politics; a 2018 story in New York Magazine described his dealings with a faction of radical environmentalists.
That view '-- of the Unabomber as a John Brown-esque maverick driven by a higher ideal '-- is one way to look at it. Another way is to consider Kaczynski as a deeply lonely man driven to violence as much by personal grievance as by principle. He was unable to form relationships with women, an incel in other words. Kaczynski's bonds with his family were strained and he eventually cut his parents out of his life entirely, blaming them for pushing him to attend Harvard before he was mature enough to handle it. His brother David's 2015 memoir is an often gut-wrenching read.
It's hard not to feel for young Ted, so unprepared and unformed. ''His confidence in his intellect was not matched by any visceral confidence in his worth as a person, and over time the divide would only grow larger,'' David writes, describing Ted on his way off to Harvard. ''His self-confidence became infected with doubt, recoiled, and then redoubled toward arrogance and grandiosity.'' It's poignant to read, in a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation Kaczynski underwent in 1998, that as late as age 45 he still held out hope of meeting a partner and even contacted a local psychologist in Montana to help him learn to build a relationship. Apparently the bombing campaign wasn't enough to fill a deep emotional vacuum.
Knowing this history gives a new dimension to the Ted trend. In valorising him, fans get to feel edgy and subversive for portraying him as a freedom fighter. But they can also relate to the bitter, friendless individual Kaczynski really was. Some are aware of this. ''Ted Kaczynski AKA The Unabomber was one of our brethren,'' wrote poster ''Redpill Robert'' on a large incel forum in 2020.
It's difficult to empathise with Kaczynski as a person, even if one were willing to set aside his murders to do so. David Kaczynski writes of Ted's cruelty towards their parents, of hateful letters written over a period of years as he minimised contact. He didn't attend his father's funeral after the elder Kaczynski killed himself. Wanda Kaczynski coped by concluding that Ted had been warped by trauma stemming from a hospitalisation as an infant. Ted refused to reconcile with her even as she lay on her deathbed. His resentment towards his parents is an obvious subtext to his manifesto, in sections where he deplores modern child-rearing and schooling. ''It isn't natural for an adolescent human being to spend the bulk of his time sitting at a desk absorbed in study,'' Kaczynski complains.
Even in his journals, Kaczynski acknowledged the personal nature of his plans. ''My motive for doing what I am going to do is simply personal revenge,'' he wrote in 1971. '' I do not expect to accomplish anything by it.'' He considered the possibility that his crimes would ''stimulate public interest in the technology question'', but equally mused that they would ''repel'' most people and cause a backlash. In the end, of course, they did both. Kaczynski came across as morally repugnant and arrogant, but he succeeded in forcing his ideas into the mainstream.
There's a mini-Ted inside all of us. Fumbling at an automated self-checkout kiosk while a computerised voice chirps at you; clicking impotently to make a YouTube ad go away; receiving an email about one's information being compromised in a widespread data breach; being served a targeted Instagram ad moments after googling something related: we all know the kind of helpless rage these moments inspire. For members of the younger generations, whose development and social lives have been shaped to a degree unprecedented in human history by technology, Kaczynski represents a lost alternative. Most of them will never commit a violent act; Tedposting will have to do for now.
More and more, it's becoming conventional wisdom that our constant exposure to screens and digital stimuli is bad. Efforts to do something about it crop here and there: some Silicon Valley parents forbid their children from using the very same devices that industry sells to others, and the Chinese government announced last year that it would limit children to three hours of online gaming per week. Among adults, phone addiction is so commonplace that people have begun to lock their phones in boxes to get even a small respite from them '-- the necessity of this an example of the kind of technological servitude Kaczynski feared. There's an increasing sense of having lost touch with nature, a sense of the world and its societies being diseased. The Unabomber nostalgia wave is a symptom.
How mRNA Vaccines Might Help Treat Cancer - NCI
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 16:55
January 20, 2022, by NCI Staff
A technician working on mRNA vaccine production.
Credit: Image used with permission from BioNTech
The coronavirus pandemic has thrown a spotlight on messenger RNA (mRNA)'--the molecule that carries a cell's instructions for making proteins. Hundreds of millions of people worldwide have received mRNA vaccines that provide powerful protection against severe COVID-19 caused by infection with SARS-CoV-2.
As stunningly successful as the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines have been, researchers have long hoped to use mRNA vaccines for a very different purpose'--to treat cancer. mRNA-based cancer treatment vaccines have been tested in small trials for nearly a decade, with some promising early results. In fact, scientists at both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna drew on their experience developing mRNA cancer vaccines to create their coronavirus vaccines. Now, some investigators believe the success of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines could help accelerate clinical research on mRNA vaccines to treat cancer. ''There's a lot of enthusiasm around mRNA right now,'' said Patrick Ott, M.D., Ph.D., who directs the Center for Personal Cancer Vaccines at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. ''The funding and resources that are flowing into mRNA vaccine research will help the cancer vaccine field.''
Dozens of clinical trials are testing mRNA treatment vaccines in people with various types of cancer, including pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer, and melanoma. Some vaccines are being evaluated in combination with drugs that enhance the body's immune response to tumors.
But no mRNA cancer vaccine has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for use either alone or with other cancer treatments.
''mRNA vaccine technology is extremely promising for infectious diseases and may lead to new kinds of vaccines,'' said Elad Sharon, M.D., M.P.H., of NCI's Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis. ''For other applications, such as the treatment of cancer, research on mRNA vaccines also appears promising, but these approaches have not yet proven themselves.''
With findings starting to emerge from ongoing clinical trials of mRNA cancer vaccines, researchers could soon learn more about the safety and effectiveness of these treatments, Dr. Sharon added.
How do mRNA vaccines work? Over the past 30 years, researchers have learned how to engineer stable forms of mRNA and deliver these molecules to the body through vaccines. Once in the body, the mRNA instructs cells that take up the vaccine to produce proteins that may stimulate an immune response against these same proteins when they are present in intact viruses or tumor cells.
Among the cells likely to take up mRNA from a vaccine are dendritic cells, which are the sentinels of the immune system. After taking up and translating the mRNA, dendritic cells present the resulting proteins, or antigens, to immune cells such as T cells, starting the immune response.
''Dendritic cells act as teachers, educating T cells so that they can search for and kill cancer cells or virus-infected cells,'' depending on the antigen, said Karine Breckpot, Ph.D., of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium, who studies mRNA vaccines.
The mRNA included in the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna coronavirus vaccines instructs cells to produce a version of the ''spike'' protein that studs the surface of SARS-CoV-2.
The immune system sees the spike protein presented by the dendritic cells as foreign and mobilizes some immune cells to produce antibodies and other immune cells to fight off the apparent infection. Having been exposed to the spike protein free of the virus, the immune system is now prepared, or primed, to react strongly to a subsequent infection with the actual SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Cancer research led to speedy development of mRNA vaccinesWhen the pandemic struck, mRNA vaccine technology had an unexpected opportunity to demonstrate its promise, said Norbert Pardi, Ph.D., of the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, whose research focuses on mRNA-based vaccines.
''The production of mRNA vaccines today is easy, fast, and can be scaled up as needed,'' Dr. Pardi continued. The same manufacturing procedure can be applied to any mRNA sequence, he added.
Historically, the process of developing vaccines has taken 10 to 15 years. But both the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines'--the latter of which was developed in collaboration with NIH'--were designed, manufactured, and shown to be safe and effective in people in less than a year.
''To develop an infectious disease vaccine during a pandemic, you need to be fast,'' said Lena Kranz, Ph.D., co-director of Cancer Vaccines at BioNTech. ''The current pandemic has confirmed our hypothesis that mRNA technology is well suited for fast vaccine development and rapid manufacturing on a global scale.''
The groundwork for the speedy design, manufacturing, and testing of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines was established through decades of work on cancer vaccines. During this period, immunotherapy, including drugs such as immune checkpoint inhibitors, emerged as a new approach to treating cancer, leading, in some people, to dramatic and long-lasting responses.
''There's a lot of synergy between research on immunotherapy and mRNA cancer vaccines,'' said Robert Meehan, M.D., senior director of clinical development at Moderna. ''Vaccines are building on the success of immune checkpoint inhibitors and expanding our knowledge of the underlying biology.''
Modifying and protecting the cargo of mRNA vaccines Technologies that can deliver mRNA to the body are essential for the success of these vaccines. If an mRNA sequence were injected into the body without some form of protection, the sequence would be recognized by the immune system as a foreign substance and destroyed.
A solution employed by some investigational cancer vaccines is to encase the mRNA in lipid nanoparticles, which are tiny spheres that protect the mRNA molecules. Other delivery vehicles include liposomes, which are also a type of vesicle, or bubble.
''The most advanced mRNA-based vaccine platform uses mRNA encapsulated in lipid
Structure of an mRNA lipid nanoparticle, with the mRNA inside (red ribbon''like structure) and a surrounding layer of fat molecules called PEG-lipids.
Credit: Adapted from Vaccines. January 2021. https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9010065. CC BY 4.0.
nanoparticles,'' said Dr. Pardi. Now that the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna coronavirus vaccine trials have demonstrated the effectiveness of lipid nanoparticles, the technology could certainly be used in future cancer vaccine trials, he added.
Another key feature of the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna coronavirus vaccines is the use of modified forms of mRNA, according to Jordan Meier, Ph.D., of NCI's Center for Cancer Research, who studies mRNA modifications.
The mRNA in these vaccines incorporates pseudouridine, which is a modification of a naturally occurring nucleoside. Nucleosides are the building blocks of mRNA, and the order of specific nucleosides determines the instructions that mRNA gives to the protein-making machinery in cells.
''The [pseudouridine] modification seems to make the mRNA itself almost invisible to the immune system,'' said Dr. Meier. The modification does not alter the function of the mRNA but may enhance the effectiveness of the vaccines, he added.
Cancer researchers have been testing both modified and unmodified forms of mRNA in their investigational treatment vaccines. More research is needed to better understand the relative advantages of each approach for the development of cancer vaccines, Dr. Meier said.
Developing and testing personalized mRNA cancer vaccinesFor more than a decade, cancer researchers have been developing a type of treatment known as a personalized cancer vaccine using various technologies, including mRNA and protein fragments, or peptides.
The investigational mRNA vaccines are manufactured for individuals based on the specific molecular features of their tumors. It takes 1 to 2 months to produce a personalized mRNA cancer vaccine after tissue samples have been collected from a patient.
''Speed is especially important for individualized cancer vaccination,'' said Mathias Vormehr, Ph.D., codirector of Cancer Vaccines at BioNTech. ''A highly individualized vaccine combination must be designed and produced within weeks of taking a tumor biopsy.''
With this approach, researchers try to elicit an immune response against abnormal proteins, or neoantigens, produced by cancer cells. Because these proteins are not found on normal cells, they are promising targets for vaccine-induced immune responses.
''Personalized cancer vaccines may teach the immune system how cancer cells are different from the rest of the body,'' said Julie Bauman, M.D., deputy director of the University of Arizona Cancer Center.
Dr. Bauman is co-leading a clinical trial testing a personalized mRNA vaccine in combination with an immune checkpoint inhibitor in patients with advanced head and neck cancer. The study initially included patients with colorectal cancer, but this group did not appear to benefit from the therapy.
For patients with head and neck cancer, however, the early results were positive. Among the first 10 participants, 2 patients had all signs of their tumors disappear following treatment, known as a complete response, and another 5 had their tumors shrink.
''We were surprised to see two complete and enduring responses in our first group of patients with head and neck cancers,'' said Dr. Bauman, noting that the study has been expanded to include 40 patients with the disease.
''The number of patients treated is small, but we are cautiously optimistic,'' she added. The study is sponsored by Moderna, which makes each personalized vaccine in about 6 weeks.
The manufacturing process starts with the identification of genetic mutations in a patient's tumor cells that could give rise to neoantigens. Computer algorithms then predict which neoantigens are most likely to bind to receptors on T cells and stimulate an immune response. The vaccine can include genetic sequences for up to 34 different neoantigens.
The promise of personalized immunotherapy with mRNA vaccines is ''being able to activate T cells that will specifically recognize individual cancer cells based on their abnormal molecular features,'' said Dr. Bauman.
Advancing the science of mRNA cancer vaccines''A lot of immunotherapies stimulate the immune response in a nonspecific way'--that is, not directly against the cancer,'' said Dr. Ott. ''Personalized cancer vaccines can direct the immune response to exactly where it needs to be.''
Some companies are also investigating mRNA cancer vaccines that are based on collections of a few dozen neoantigens that have been linked with certain types of cancer, including prostate cancer, gastrointestinal cancers, and melanoma.
In addition to clinical trials, fundamental research on mRNA cancer vaccines continues. Some investigators are trying to enhance the responses of immune cells to neoantigens in mRNA vaccines. One study, for example, aims to improve the responses of T cells that become exhausted while attacking tumors.
A challenge for the field is learning how best to identify neoantigens for personalized mRNA cancer vaccines, several researchers said.
''There's still a lot we need to learn and many questions to answer,'' Dr. Ott said. It's not yet clear, for example, how personalized cancer vaccines should be best combined with other treatments, such as immune checkpoint inhibitors, he added.
As cancer researchers pursue these questions, other investigators will be developing knowledge from the growing number of people around the world who are receiving mRNA coronavirus vaccines.
Insights about the composition of mRNA or the way mRNA is packaged that emerge from studies of viruses could potentially inform work on cancer vaccines, said Dr. Breckpot.
''Unfortunately, it took a pandemic for there to be broad acceptance of mRNA vaccines among the scientific community,'' she added. ''But the global use of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines has demonstrated the safety of this approach and will open doors for cancer vaccines.''
DARPA Forward | Dr. Renee Wegrzyn
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 16:55
Dr. Renee Wegrzyn Vice President Ginkgo Bioworks
Dr. Renee Wegrzyn is Vice President of Business Development at Ginkgo Bioworks and Head of Innovation at Concentric by Ginkgo where she is currently focused on applying synthetic biology to outpace infectious disease '' including COVID-19 - through biomanufacturing, vaccine, and diagnostic/biosurveillance innovation. Prior to Ginkgo, she was Program Manager in the Biological Technologies Office (BTO) of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), where she leveraged the tools of synthetic biology and gene editing to enhance biosecurity, support the domestic bioeconomy, and thwart biothreats. Her DARPA portfolio included the Living Foundries: 1000 Molecules, Safe Genes, Preemptive Expression of Protective Alleles and Response Elements (PREPARE), and Detect it with Gene Editing Technologies (DIGET) programs. Renee currently serves on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Standing Committee on Biotechnology for National Security, Scientific Advisory Boards for Revive & Restore, Air Force Research Labs, Nuclear Threat Initiative, and the Innovative Genomics Institute. Renee holds a PhD and BS in Applied Biology from the Georgia Institute of Technology, was a Fellow in the Center for Health Security Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Initiative (ELBI), and completed her postdoctoral training as an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow in Heidelberg, Germany.
Presenting at:
All times are presented in the host university's local time zone.
Wednesday, October 26, 2022
Preparing for Pandemic Threats in a Rapidly Changing World(8:25am - 9:10am)
Scientists finally discover how air pollution can cause lung cancer in non-smokers | Euronews
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 16:54
UK scientists say they have finally identified how air pollution can trigger lung cancer in non-smokers, unveiling new research that could bolster cancer prevention and early detection.
Their findings expose how tiny particles produced by combustion engine vehicles promote the growth of lung cells that harbour cancer-causing mutations.
The research helps explain why so many non-smokers develop lung cancer - and it could provide clues to prevent them from developing such tumours.
The findings, which have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal, were presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology's annual conference in Paris on Saturday.
''Cells with cancer-causing mutations accumulate naturally as we age, but they are normally inactive. We've demonstrated that air pollution wakes these cells up in the lungs, encouraging them to grow and potentially form tumours,'' said Professor Charles Swanton, who led the study at the Francis Crick Institute and University College London (UCL).
''The mechanism we've identified could ultimately help us to find better ways to prevent and treat lung cancer in never smokers. If we can stop cells from growing in response to air pollution, we can reduce the risk of lung cancer''.
The scientists also found higher rates of other types of cancer in areas with high levels of fine particles.
They speculate that air pollution could promote the growth of cells carrying cancer-causing mutations elsewhere in the body - and thus trigger the early stages of many different types of cancer.
The research was funded by Cancer Research UK as part of broader efforts to understand how lung cancer starts and evolves, in the hope of finding new treatments for the disease.
A 'trigger' for dormant cellsSmoking remains the main cause of lung cancer, but in 2019, some 300,000 lung cancer deaths worldwide were attributed to exposure to PM2.5 - tiny particles found in car fumes.
Air pollution has been linked to a variety of other health problems, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease and dementia. How it causes cancer in people who have never smoked has long been a mystery.
The UK scientists sought to test a theory: that PM2.5 particles cause inflammation in the lungs and ''wake up'' normally dormant cells that carry cancer-causing mutations, causing them to grow out of control and form tumours.
The team looked at a specific type of lung cancer called epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutant lung cancer. Mutations in the EGFR gene are commonly found in lung cancer in people who have never smoked.
The researchers examined data from over 400,000 people in England, South Korea and Taiwan, comparing rates of EGFR mutant lung cancer in areas with different levels of PM2.5 pollution.
Sure enough, they found higher rates of EGFR mutant lung cancer - as well as higher rates of other types of cancer - in people living in areas with higher levels of air pollution.
In a lab, the team then exposed mice with lung cells carrying EGFR mutations to air pollution at levels normally found in cities.
They found cancers were more likely to start in these mice than in those not exposed to air pollution.
Preventing cancerInterestingly, the researchers found that blocking a molecule called IL-1β (interleukin-1β) - which normally causes inflammation and is released in response to PM2.5 exposure - prevents cancers from forming in these mice.
''Finding ways to block or reduce inflammation caused by air pollution would go a long way to reducing the risk of lung cancer in people who have never smoked,'' said Dr William Hill, a postdoctoral researcher at the Francis Crick Institute who is the study's co-first author.
Tony Mok, a professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong who was not involved in the research, called the findings ''intriguing and exciting''.
''It means that we can ask whether, in the future, it will be possible to use lung scans to look for pre-cancerous lesions in the lungs and try to reverse them with medicines such as interleukin-1β inhibitors,'' he said in a statement.
The future will tell whether using EGFR profiling could help identify non-smokers who may be predisposed to lung cancer, he added.
For now, the team behind the new research say it's urgent to reduce people's overall exposure to air pollution.
''The risk of lung cancer from air pollution is lower than from smoking, but we have no control over what we all breathe,'' said Swanton.
Russian official linked to energy sector 'falls overboard' to his death from a boat | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 16:54
Ivan Pechorin, point man for Vladimir Putin's development of the Arctic, died after 'falling overboard' into the sea from a boat near Vladivostok
Vladimir Putin's point man for developing Russia's vast Arctic resources has died after 'falling overboard' while sailing off the country's Pacific coast.
Ivan Pechorin, 39, was managing director of Putin's Far East and Arctic Development Corporation and had recently attended a major conference hosted by the Kremlin warmonger in Vladivostok.
He is the latest in a long line of senior officials linked to Russia's energy sector and the Kremlin to die in suspicious circumstances in recent months.
Pechorin fell off the side of a boat in the waters close to Russky Island near Cape Ignatiev, said Russian daily Komsomolskaya Pravda.
His body was found after a search lasting more than a day.
'Ivan's death is an irreparable loss for friends and colleagues, a great loss for the corporation,' an official statement from the corporation read.
'We offer our sincere condolences to the family and friends.'
The corporation's former CEO Igor Nosov, 43, also died suddenly in February, reportedly from a stroke.
Ivan Pechorin, 39, was managing director of Putin's Far East and Arctic Development Corporation, responsible for the development of Russia's resources in the Arctic and the air industry in eastern Russia
Igor Nosov, CEO of the Corporation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic, also died earlier this year in his early 40s, reportedly from a 'stroke'
Development of the Arctic - a rich source of oil and gas for Russia - is seen as essential amid sanctions and unprecedented economic problems facing Putin's economy due to his war in Ukraine.
Pechorin was also responsible for the development of the air industry across the vast east of Russia, a sector under particular strain from Western economic curbs.
He recently addressed the Eastern Economic Forum led by Putin in a session aimed at beating sanctions called 'Everyone has their Own Route: The Logistics of a Changed World'.
But his death is merely the most recent in a series of unexplained incidents from just before and during the war with Ukraine which have seen a slew of Russian powerbrokers meet a sticky end.
Every death has been passed off as an accident or suicide by authorities, but many believe that officials who are seen as a threat to Putin's power, most likely due to the sensitive information to which they are privy, are simply being removed from the playing field.
On September 1, oil tycoon Ravil Maganov, 67, fell to his death from the sixth floor window of a Moscow hospital.
One report said the chairman of Lukoil - Russia's second largest oil company - was 'beaten' before he was 'thrown out of a window', though this has not been independently confirmed.
Lukoil had previously voiced opposition to the war in Ukraine.
Maganov's death came shortly before Putin arrived at the elite Central Clinical Hospital to pay his last respects to final Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who had died at the hospital just days earlier.
Ravil Maganov, chairman of Russian oil giant Lukoil, died after falling from a window at Central Clinical Hospital, Moscow (pictured with Vladimir Putin in 2019)
Yuri Voronov, 61, was found dead in August
Two more deaths of Gazprom-linked executives were reported in elite homes near St Petersburg, stoking suspicions that the deaths may well have been murders
In July, Yuri Voronov, 61, head of a transport and logistics company for a Gazprom-linked company, was found dead in his swimming pool amid reports of foul play.
Two more deaths of Gazprom-linked executives were reported in elite homes near St Petersburg, stoking suspicions that the deaths may well have been murders.
Alexander Tyulakov, 61, a senior Gazprom financial and security official at deputy general director level, was discovered by his lover the day after war started in Ukraine in February.
His neck was in a noose in his £500,000 home in the elite Leninsky gated housing development, yet multiple reports claim his body had been badly beaten, leading to speculation he was under intense pressure from bad actors.
That came just three weeks after Leonid Shulman, 60, head of transport at Gazprom Invest, was found dead with multiple stab wounds in a pool of blood on his bathroom floor in the same gated housing community.
Billionaire Alexander Subbotin, 43 former top executive with energy giant Lukoil, died in May
Former Kremlin official and Gazprombank vice-president Vladislav Avayev, 51, appeared to have taken his own life after killing his wife and one of his daughters in April
Billionaire Alexander Subbotin, 43, also linked to Kremlin-friendly energy giant Lukoil where he was a top manager, was found dead in May.
One theory is that Subbotin - who also owned a shipping company - was poisoned by toad venom triggering a heart attack.
And in April, wealthy Vladislav Avayev, 51, a former Kremlin official closely linked to Russian financial institution Gazprombank, appeared to have taken his own life after killing his wife Yelena, 47, and daughter, 13.
Friends have disputed reports that he was jealous after his wife admitted she was pregnant by their driver, and there are claims he had access to the financial secrets of the Kremlin elite.
Russian gas tycoon Sergey Protosenya (pictured), his wife Natalya, 53, and their teenage daughter Maria were found dead in their Spanish mansion, in Lloret de Mar, on April 19
Ukrainian born multi-millionaire Yevgeny Palant, 47, and his wife Olga Palant, 50, were found stabbed to death in their family house in Moscow region last week
Several days later multimillionaire Sergey Protosenya, 55, was found hanged in Spain, after evidently killing with an axe his wife Natalia, 53, and their teenage daughter, Maria.
He was a former deputy chairman of Novatek, a company also closely linked to the Kremlin.
As with Avayev, it is suggested this may have been an assassination made to appear as a murder-suicide.
Last week a mobile phone multi-millionaire and his wife were found stabbed to death in yet another case which raised suspicions further.
Yevgeny Palant, 47, and his wife Olga, 50, both Ukrainian-born, were found by their daughter Polina, 20, having suffered multiple stab wounds.
An official briefing to the media claimed the woman took her own life in a jealous rage after Palant said he was leaving her - claims which were strongly disputed by the couple's best friend.
Instagram Stumbles in Push to Mimic TikTok, Internal Documents Show - WSJ
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 16:53
Reels faces formidable competition from the leading short-video platform; creators follow the views
Sept. 12, 2022 10:17 am ETMeta Platforms Inc. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg is betting the social-media giant's near-term future on Instagram Reels, the short-video feature he is touting as the company's answer to TikTok.
The company's internal research shows that Meta has a lot of catching up to do.
Instagram users cumulatively are spending 17.6 million hours a...
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Meta Platforms Inc. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg is betting the social-media giant's near-term future on Instagram Reels, the short-video feature he is touting as the company's answer to TikTok.
The company's internal research shows that Meta has a lot of catching up to do.
Instagram users cumulatively are spending 17.6 million hours a day watching Reels, less than one-tenth of the 197.8 million hours TikTok users spend each day on that platform, according to a document reviewed by The Wall Street Journal that summarizes internal Meta research.
The document, titled ''Creators x Reels State of the Union 2022,'' was published internally in August. It said that Reels engagement had been falling'--down 13.6% over the previous four weeks'--and that ''most Reels users have no engagement whatsoever.''
One reason is that Instagram has struggled to recruit people to make content. Roughly 11 million creators are on the platform in the U.S., but only about 2.3 million of them, or 20.7%, post on that platform each month, the document said.
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Meta spokeswoman Devi Narasimhan characterized the data about viewing hours as outdated and not global in scope, but declined to disclose other numbers. She said Reels engagement currently is up, on a month-to-month basis.
''We still have work to do,'' she said. ''But creators and businesses are seeing promising results, and our monetization growth is faster than we expected as more people are watching, creating and connecting through Reels than ever before.''
The shift to Reels has taken on urgency following a tough year for the social-media company. In July, Meta reported its first ever decline in revenue, in part because changes made by Apple Inc. to the iPhone's operating system put a major dent in Meta's ability to deliver personalized ads. The company also has had trouble retaining teenage users attracted to competitors such as TikTok. As of Friday, Meta's market value had declined by more than $620 billion since peaking more than a year ago.
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Meta has said that Reels, which was launched in the U.S. in August 2020, accounts for a fifth of the time people spend on Instagram, and that the time users spent engaging with Reels on Instagram and Facebook had risen more than 30% during the second quarter.
''We're seeing good promise in the rollout of Reels, good adoption,'' Instagram Chief Operating Officer Justin Osofsky said in an interview. ''But with that said, we know we also have work to do.''
He said Reels make up more than half of the content that Instagram users share with each other in private messages. The ease with which users can share Reels with friends differentiates the service from others, he said.
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The internal document showed that nearly one-third of Reels videos are created on another platform, usually TikTok, and include a watermark or border identifying them as such. Meta said it ''downranks'' these videos, meaning it shows them to smaller audiences to reduce the incentives for those that post them, but they continue to proliferate. For Reels users, the result is that often they are shown videos recycled from another, more popular platform.
''People have told us they want original high-quality content,'' Mr. Osofsky said.
Landen Purifoy, a 22-year-old creator in Plano, Texas, makes videos for TikTok and other platforms, mostly of him using a device called a talk box to make funny sounds and music. Many of his posts get more than a million views on TikTok.
This spring, Mr. Purifoy posted the same video across TikTok, YouTube Shorts, Snapchat 's
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Spotlight and Instagram Reels. The video received millions of views on every platform except Instagram. There, it got less than 100,000.
''Nobody's going to make original content for Instagram,'' Mr. Purifoy said. ''It just doesn't make any sense.''
To encourage users like Mr. Purifoy to post more, Meta announced last year that it was launching a fund to pay creators a total of $1 billion by the end of this year. The internal document said that Instagram Reels thus far has paid out $120 million.
''Meta's suite of monetization product offerings is largely in-line with competitive offerings, though limited product scale results in fewer paid creators / low % of payouts,'' the document said.
The Meta spokeswoman said this payout number is outdated and doesn't include separate payments to Facebook creators that the fund also covers.
TikTok announced its own creators fund in August 2020 that it said would pay out $1 billion over the next three years.
Meta's ad business is still a behemoth, generating far more revenue per user than TikTok. In 2021, Facebook and Instagram generated revenue in the U.S. market of $32 billion and more than $21 billion, respectively, compared with $3 billion for TikTok, according to estimates in an August report by Bernstein Research.
But Meta's advertising operation faces headwinds, notably from the privacy-related changes from Apple rolled out last year. The company previously said it anticipated a $10 billion hit to revenue this year due to the changes.
Meta also continues to battle negative perceptions among users, documents show. Meta has long surveyed users about their perceptions of its business, converting their answers into percentage scores. The portion of Instagram users who think the company ''cares about'' them fell from nearly 70% in 2019 to roughly 20% earlier this summer. On the question of whether the product was ''good for the world,'' the score fell from more than 60% in 2019 to slightly over 45%.
The Meta spokeswoman said that didn't reflect the company's internal data, but declined to elaborate.
The company has also been polling users on a separate question that in many ways gets to the heart of the tech giant's current predicament: ''Would you say that Meta's best days are ahead of it or behind it?'' The company declined to disclose how users responded to that question.
At least some of the issues affecting Meta reflect shifting views about social media more broadly. TikTok and other platforms also have sparked concerns about their unhealthy aspects and effects on young users.
Other social-media companies have had their business models upended, too. Snap Inc., maker of the popular Snapchat app, said late last month it was laying off 20% of its staff, halting work on several projects and reorganizing its operations.
Meta, which essentially pioneered social media when Mr. Zuckerberg launched Facebook out of his Harvard dorm in 2004, has long been the industry's 800-pound gorilla.
Over the years, the company has been resilient, executing several strategy shifts to address changes in the competitive landscape. In 2012, Mr. Zuckerberg made mobile-first products a priority for Facebook, which was founded for desktop users. Several years later, the company launched disappearing-posts features, starting with Instagram Stories, leading to criticism that it essentially copied one of Snapchat's features.
While it took some time for Stories to catch on, both moves ultimately proved prescient, helping the company maintain a dominant position in social media for almost two decades and briefly reach a market value of more than $1 trillion.
TikTok's explosion in popularity presents a big challenge. The app, owned by Beijing-based ByteDance Ltd., launched in the U.S. less than five years ago. It has drawn scrutiny and criticism related to its Chinese ownership, but that has done little to stem its popularity.
Tiktok posted an average annual gain of 67% in daily hours spent per user in the U.S. from 2018 to 2021, far exceeding that of its rivals, according to Bernstein's August report. Facebook and Instagram posted average annual gains of 9% and 11%, respectively, during that period.
As TikTok has grown, so too has the popularity of short-form video as a format, leading Bernstein Research analysts to write: ''The 2020s are the SFV decade.''
After TikTok soared in popularity amid Covid-19 lockdowns in early 2020, both Meta and YouTube, which is owned by Google, launched short-form video products of their own. Mr. Zuckerberg has touted Reels as the company's fastest-growing content format, but TikTok has maintained its lead.
''Creators still think of TikTok as being synonymous with SFV and prioritize it for the broad discoverability it brings them,'' said the internal Meta document.
Meta's challenges with Reels are significant because the service is central to an effort to reinvent the way the company operates.
Meta's products'--first the main Facebook app, then Instagram'--succeeded by showing users content from their friends, family and others they know and choose to follow. TikTok succeeded by doing the opposite, showing users content from accounts recommended by an algorithm that figures out what kind of videos users want based on what they spend time watching. It pushes a feed of content personalized to people's interests, helping them discover new things they never knew they wanted or would enjoy.
This summer, Instagram accelerated a push to be more like TikTok by launching a service it internally called Panavision. Like TikTok, it served content, including a hefty dose of Reels, to users from accounts they don't follow.
There was a swift backlash from users, including from celebrities Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner. Ms. Jenner reposted a card to her Instagram story that said ''Make Instagram Instagram again (stop trying to be tiktok i just want to see cute photos of my friends.) Sincerely, everyone.''
Within days, Instagram said it would reduce the amount of content shown to users from accounts that they don't already follow, at least for now. But Mr. Zuckerberg and Instagram head Adam Mosseri have made clear that is the direction the company is moving.
''We've leaned too far into video over the last couple months,'' Mr. Mosseri said in a video posted to Instagram in late August. ''But we still believe video is a long-term important trend.''
A big question is whether Instagram users, especially creators, will come along for the ride.
Danny Freeman, a 36-year-old creator in New York, goes by the handle @DannyLovesPasta and makes cooking content for his one million TikTok followers. He said TikTok is his main platform, but he also posts to Instagram Reels, and he thinks the two can be complementary.
He said he has noticed that more visually appealing content does better on Instagram Reels, while videos where he is talking to the camera about a certain topic might do well on TikTok.
''I do feel like different content does well on Instagram,'' he said, explaining that he reposts about 30% of his TikToks to Instagram Reels, but sometimes re-edits and tweaks them slightly before he does.
In July, he posted a recipe video on TikTok that got about 440,000 views. He posted the same video on Instagram Reels, and it got one million views.
''I think it's because that was more of a recipe video, more visual, so maybe that's better for Instagram or for the audience,'' he said.
More than 70% of Instagram's audience is 25 or older, compared with 56% for TikTok, according to research firm Insider Intelligence. That suggests Instagram users generally have more disposable income, making them more attractive to advertisers.
Bernstein analyst Mark Shmulik said Meta charges higher rates partly because its ads spur many users to take action, such as clicking on a link and buying something. TikTok's ads are more akin to YouTube's, which typically merely promote the brand. Those advertisers are paying simply to reach as many people as possible, like a TV ad.
Alexis Bittar, a Brooklyn-based jewelry company, has been advertising its necklaces, bracelets and earrings on Instagram for years. The company's chief revenue officer, Naowna Simon, said she knows the ads bring in new customers and build a lasting relationship with them.
''Beyond just the actual sales revenue return, what we also see with paid revenue advertising is they sign up for our email list, or even if they don't actually hit follow, they're more likely to continue interacting with us informally,'' she said.
She said the effectiveness of the company's posts with still images has declined as Instagram emphasizes Reels.
The jewelry company doesn't advertise on TikTok, but does have an account on the app.
''We're still baby stepping into TikTok because we're not really sure it's where our resources are best focused,'' she said. ''It's just a fun platform to be on.''
Write to Salvador Rodriguez at salvador.rodriguez@wsj.com, Meghan Bobrowsky at Meghan.Bobrowsky@wsj.com and Jeff Horwitz at Jeff.Horwitz@wsj.com
Prescription Drug Price Reforms Won't Happen for Years - The American Prospect
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 16:53
Presidential polling in recent weeks offers some credence to my rather obvious theory that delivering for the American people matters in American politics. The low point for Joe Biden's approval ratings was just before the day that Chuck Schumer and Joe Manchin announced a deal on a climate, health care, and tax policy bill, which cleared Congress last Friday. Biden (who wasn't particularly involved in the negotiating process but who as the party's standard-bearer gets credit for its successes) has regained three points in the polls since then, ending a yearlong downward slide.
Similarly, the generic ballot test really only started to narrow for Democrats in recent weeks, not with the Supreme Court's ruling overturning Roe v. Wade but with the spate of congressional victories. Voters are rewarding action after a long period of inaction, and while the abortion issue is playing a role, in a broader sense the Democratic strength in getting things done for the American people is resonating.
However, that benefit is fragile, especially if what's being touted as progress doesn't pan out or isn't immediately visible to the public. That's what's so confounding about the Inflation Reduction Act's prescription drug reforms. The two major pieces that offer the most impact to seniors not only don't take effect before this national election, but not even before the next one. There doesn't seem to be any credible reason for this delay, other than as a favor to the pharmaceutical lobby. But it's potentially debilitating to Democrats' political fortunes, as they are overpromising relief for seniors that won't materialize for years and years.
More from David Dayen
The two biggest benefits for seniors in the IRA are the Medicare negotiation of certain high-cost prescription drugs, and the $2,000 out-of-pocket cap. But while price negotiations technically start next year, no consumer will see the benefit until the new prices begin in 2026, and even then on only 10 drugs (another 15 are added in 2027 and 2028, rising to 20 by 2029 and subsequent years).
You could squint and maybe understand the need for a little delay in setting up a negotiation regime. There are some parameters to set up, like the benchmarks for prices and the penalties if drug companies refuse to deal. Maybe you have to train negotiators. But none of that can possibly explain the three-year delay between the beginning of negotiation and the realization of price discounts for seniors. To be crass, it means that substantial numbers of seniors living now will not be alive when the reduction in certain prescription drug prices is realized.
The $2,000 out-of-pocket cap, which is across the board for all seniors, not just on certain drugs, is even worse. That cap doesn't go into effect until 2025, although out-of-pocket costs get capped at $4,000 in 2024. If there is kind of an explanation for delays in setting up Medicare drug price negotiation, for the out-of-pocket cap there is not. You literally tally up patient out-of-pocket costs, which are fully transparent, until they hit $2,000, and then stop them. Why does this take more than two years to pull off? Medicare itself, the entire program, took only a year to implement.
The two major pieces that offer the most impact to seniors not only don't take effect before this national election, but not even before the next one.
''We're claiming that we're reducing drug prices but the average American is not going to see that,'' said Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, in an interview. ''That's the part of the bill that gives me the most heartburn.''
Usually, the reason that major programs are delayed in this day and age is that they cost money once enacted, and dealing with the vagaries of budget scoring means that one way to reduce those costs is to slow down the implementation timeline, so inside the ten-year budget window the programs look cheaper. This is probably why the out-of-pocket cap was delayed'--though the cost of the cap isn't that extensive, and the other limits on drug price growth in the bill make the cap even cheaper.
But the Medicare price negotiation saves money. You would want that to happen as soon as possible, especially if you want to offset spending in the bill. At the very least, there's no reason to delay negotiation to game the budget reconciliation score.
The only plausible explanation for this is that drug companies asked for more time before the negotiations kicked in, and got just that. Drug industry lobbyists are the biggest spenders on Capitol Hill, and they successfully got their most loyal congressional Democrats to significantly weaken the reform measure. The delay on price negotiation fits with that weakening.
Other parts of the bill do come online more quickly. The insulin price cap of $35 a month for Medicare recipients starts in 2023, as does free vaccine coverage in Medicare and the rebates on Medicare drugs with price increases above inflation. But the inflation rebate is benchmarked to 2021 prices, locking in those high costs, and just would mute price growth. The real benefits here are Medicare negotiations that lower drug prices, and the cap on all prescription drug costs for seniors. Those are delayed.
The problem here, of course, is that Democrats are going all out in selling this bill as a historic reform to lower drug costs for seniors. They are affirmatively running on it in this midterm election to draw contrast with Republicans. Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), in a tough race in the Virginia suburbs, told The Washington Post that with this bill, she would be able to ''look a retiree in the face and say we are capping your out-of-pocket costs.''
But she can't, at least not for this election, or the next one. ''I think [it] is understood that is not fast,'' Spanberger said to the Post. That is absolutely incorrect; seniors will find out their drugs aren't capped when they keep paying and paying for them, and the nuance of the messaging in the midst of those piled-up fees will be completely lost, in all likelihood.
It is absolutely insane for a political party to boast that it lowered prices for seniors when the price reductions are years and years down the road. That kind of de facto bait and switch leads to distrust and anger. You'd have thought Democrats would have learned this lesson in the Affordable Care Act, whose major benefits didn't kick in for four years after passage, a time lag that helped lead to two midterm wipeouts. But here we are again, as Democratic officials tout a drug price reform that isn't visible to anyone.
That's to say nothing of the fact that only seniors will benefit, a function of the annoying budget reconciliation rules that limit changes to federal budgetary programs. There were 63.9 million people on Medicare as of 2021. Another way of saying that is that there are 270 million or so people not on Medicare, and they're all hearing about how Democrats are lowering drug prices, though they won't see any change.
In fact, it could get worse for them, thanks to the Senate parliamentarian, who took out the inflation rebate provision for private insurance payers, claiming that wasn't a budgetary cost. Of course, the drug industry is an interconnected system: If drug companies have to give a rebate on Medicare drugs because they raise prices too high, they can easily make up for it by raising prices higher off Medicare. So the impact for the majority of Americans of this drug price reform could be higher drug prices.
That's not necessarily Democrats' fault (although they could have ignored the parliamentarian, of course). What is their fault is the failure to immediately make evident the benefits of the policy. Democrats have had a tendency to break faith with their base, to make promises and fail to deliver. Here's a policy they've been promising for nearly two decades, they pass the policy, and they're going to spend years explaining how the implementation is just around the corner. It comes off as double-talk and toxifies a political brand. And in this case, it was unnecessary.
David DayenDavid Dayen is the Prospect's executive editor. His work has appeared in The Intercept, The New Republic, HuffPost, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and more. His most recent book is 'Monopolized: Life in the Age of Corporate Power.'
Read more by David DayenAugust 15, 2022
5:15 AM
Leo Hohmann: Biden's Executive Order Designed to Release Transhumanist Hell on America
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 16:52
If anyone needed proof that the powers pushing the levers behind the mindless moron who sits in the Oval Office are fully on board with the World Economic Forum/United Nations agenda of biomedical tyranny and transhumanism, look no further than the executive order that Joe Biden signed on Monday, September 12.
By quietly getting Biden's signature on this document, his handlers may have given us the most ominous sign yet that we stand on the threshold of a technocratic one-world beast system. Prepare to make your stand because it's about to get much more intense.
This document's Orwellian title, Executive Order on Advancing Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Innovation for a Sustainable, Safe, and Secure American Bioeconomy, will assure that its significance will fly right over the heads of 99 percent of the media, even the conservative media.
They will read it and yawn. I plead with everyone reading this article to please not make that same mistake.
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Because of the arcane scientific language in which this document is written, even most of those who take the time to read and study it (I assure you Biden did not) will not fully grasp what is being ordered by the White House.
That's where we strive to help.
Karen Kingston, a former Pfizer employee and current analyst for the pharmaceutical and medical-device industries, helps us decipher what's going on in this executive order.
Kingston stated in a Twitter post:
''Let me read between the lines for the America. Biden's Sept. 12, 2022, executive order declares that Americans must surrender all human rights that stand in the way of transhumanism. Clinical trial safety standards and informed consent will be eradicated as they stand in the way of universally unleashing gene-editing technologies needed to merge humans with A.I. In order to achieve the societal goals of the New World Order, crimes against humanity are not only legal, but mandatory.''
We're ðŸ--(C)'ed.https://t.co/qjuf8MUXIO pic.twitter.com/3irdwjuEnx
'-- NEWSî¨NANCY (@NewsNancy9) September 13, 2022
Patrick Wood, an economist and author of several books on technocracy, has been following the transhumanist and global technocracy movements for four decades. He told me that Kingston is not overstating the issue.
He said this E.O. is proof that the executive branch is now owned lock, stock and barrel by the biomedical/pharmaceutical industry. It will be Katy bar the door from here on out.
''The transhumanists within Big Pharma have completely taken over government policy and taxpayer funds to promote their own anti-human agenda of hacking the software of life,'' Wood told me. ''It also clearly demonstrates who has the power, and who sets the policies in America.''
The mRNA injections that have already gone into the bodies of at least 70 percent of adults in the U.S. mark the gateway to transhumanism. We have been told this by Kingston as well as by the late Dr. Zev Zelenko and Dr. Robert Malone, a co-inventor of the mRNA platform.
LeoHohmann.com was one of the first sites to blow the whistle on Moderna's former chief medical officer, Tal Zaks, who told the world straight up in December 2017 that ''We have hacked the software of life,'' and that this mRNA gene-editing biotechnology would be incorporated into vaccines to treat and prevent all manner of illnesses. We've seen how well they work, with millions getting sick and even dying after getting two or more doses of the Covid injections offered up by Moderna and Pfizer. With the FDA and CDC now totally on board, this mRNA technology is being included in scores of other vaccines, including flu shots.
The September 12 executive order was no doubt put in place as back up for the continued experimentation on the human population, and I expect the vaccine industry will exploit it to the max. Soon we will see the return of vax mandates, this time more ferociously policed and enforced than before.
This E.O. may also have been timed at least partly in anticipation of the new pandemic treaty that the Biden administration is hoping to get passed through the United Nations World Health Organization next year. This treaty will transfer sovereignty over matters of ''health emergencies'' from the national level to the WHO.
Wood said the E.O.'s intended consequences is to push the frontier of genetic modification of all living things and especially humans. He believes this will ultimately spark the biggest public backlash in modern history.
''Biden pledges not only funding but an all-of-government transformation to support this anti-human scheme from top to bottom,'' Wood writes. ''It also automatically blocks any agency or department from dissent.''
Below are just a few of the highlights quoted directly from the document:
The term ''biotechnology'' means technology that applies to or is enabled by life sciences innovation or product development.The term ''biomanufacturing'' means the use of biological systems to develop products, tools, and processes at commercial scale.The term ''bioeconomy'' means economic activity derived from the life sciences, particularly in the areas of biotechnology and biomanufacturing, and includes industries, products, services, and the workforce.The term ''biological data'' means the information, including associated descriptors, derived from the structure, function, or process of a biological system(s) that is measured, collected, or aggregated for analysis.The term ''key R&D areas'' includes fundamental R&D of emerging biotechnologies, including engineering biology; predictive engineering of complex biological systems, including the designing, building, testing, and modeling of entire living cells, cell components, or cellular systems; quantitative and theory-driven multi-disciplinary research to maximize convergence with other enabling technologies; and regulatory science, including the development of new information, criteria, tools, models, and approaches to inform and assist regulatory decision-making. These R&D priorities should be coupled with advances in predictive modeling, data analytics, artificial intelligence, bioinformatics, high-performance and other advanced computing systems, metrology and data-driven standards, and other non-life science enabling technologies.The term ''life sciences'' means all sciences that study or use living organisms, viruses, or their products, including all disciplines of biology and all applications of the biological sciences (including biotechnology, genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics, and pharmaceutical and biomedical research and techniques), but excluding scientific studies associated with radioactive materials or toxic chemicals that are not of biological origin or synthetic analogues of toxins.What this means is that human beings will be data mined for their most personal possession, their DNA and genomic properties, and the government will offer no protection.
It will actually be encouraged and seen as a green light for biomedical practitioners worldwide. It is the goal of the technocratic proprietors of Agenda 2030 to catalogue, map out, and monitor every living thing on earth.
This was spelled out in the early 2000s by the late researcher Rosa Koire and put into book form in 2011 with ''Behind the Green Mask: U.N. Agenda 21.'' Koire was a Democrat, but she understood that the takedown of America and indeed every nation of the formerly free world, would not be accomplished by the left or the right but by supranational globalists with an allegiance to no nation. In fact, these globalists detest the nation-state model that has dominated the world for thousands of years. Their goal is a ''global governance'' and they say it out loud in their own documents.
Have no fear.
Do not be intimidated.
Truth will not be defeated.
Humanity will prevail against these anti-human eugenicist monsters because we have living souls and are created in the image of a Holy God with individual free wills.
Because of that, we humans are capable of having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the one and only triune God of the Bible. Those who take the bait of the globalists and submit to the world system will in essence be handing over their humanity in exchange for empty promises of safety and security. They will become transhumans, thus foregoing, at some point, their ability to connect with God. That's a very big step and a decision that will face every human being sooner or later as this technology ramps up. Your very soul will depend on the choice you make. Will you follow God or will you follow man?
Above all, this is a spiritual battle.
Expose the sinister transhumanist agenda that these globalist predators did their best to keep hidden within a scientific vernacular that they know will wow and mystify the average person. We have decoded it for you in this article from two of the best Christian experts on the topic available in the world today '' Karen Kingston and Patrick Wood.
Share this article far and wide.
LeoHohmann.com is 100 percent reader supported. We survive on contributions from you, no matter how small, and do not accept any of the hush money offered by corporate America or Big Pharma. You may send donations c/o Leo Hohmann, PO Box 291, Newnan, GA 30264, or via credit card below.
Durham shocker: Danchenko was a paid FBI informant
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 16:52
Today, Special Counsel John Durham moved to unseal this motion in limine in the false statements case against Igor Danchenko.
This motion provides new information on the details of Danchenko's lies to the FBI, further information on how Special Counsel Mueller ignored Danchenko's false statements, expected testimony from Clinton-connected executive Charles Dolan, and one crazy development. But we'll start with the the most damning development: Danchenko was on the FBI payroll as a confidential human source (CHS) from March 2017 through October 2020.
The purposes of making Danchenko a CHS should be quite clear. The Crossfire Hurricane investigation was plagued with problems from the outset. The reasons for opening the investigation were bunk. Those problems continued as the investigation went on, with claims of Trump/Russia collusion proven unverified or outright false. (Thus the targeting of Flynn for a Logan Act violation.)
That developed into the Carter Page FISA applications, first submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) in October 2016, and which relied substantially on the Steele Dossiers (aka Steele Reports). The FISA applications were renewed three times - more on that later. Each application had its own problems, from FBI lawyers lying about Carter Page to the Court being generally misled.
Realizing its own misconduct, the FBI made Danchenko a paid CHS in March 2017 - just before the third FISA warrant was submitted in April 2017. This would allow Comey's FBI to work directly with Danchenko in support of its counter-intelligence investigation against President Trump.
Danchenko being a CHS also served another purpose: it protected the Bureau and the Mueller Special Counsel from revealing their ''sources and methods.'' How do you hide misconduct? Bury the witness.
(Read again Inspector General Horowitz's report concerning the Carter Page FISA warrants. Did Horowitz know that Danchenko was a CHS?)
Context helps - here's a brief timeline of the Danchenko interviews and other important events:
October 2016: The first Carter Page FISA warrant is submitted to the FISC.
January 12, 2017: The application for the second FISA warrant is submitted to the FISC.
January 24-25, 2017: Danchenko is first interviewed by the FBI. At those meetings, he made false statements that he spoke to Sergei Millian by phone and that Millian agreed to meet him in New York. Both those claims were false.
March 2017: Danchenko is hired by the FBI as a CHS.
March 16, 2017: Danchenko lies to FBI agents that ''he received a late July 2016 telephone call from an individual who Danchenko believed was 'probably' [Millian"], when in truth and in fact, and as the defendant well knew, [Millian] never called Danchenko.''
April 7, 2017: The application for the third FISA warrant is submitted to the FISC.
May 9, 2017: President Trump fires FBI Director James Comey.
May 17, 2017: Robert Mueller is appointed Special Counsel.
May 18, 2017: Danchenko falsely states to FBI agents that he '''was under the impression' that a late July 2016 telephone call he received was from [Millian']'' when in fact Millian never called Danchenko.
June 15, 2017: Danchenko lies to FBI agents that he had never ''spoken with PR Executive-1'' (Dolan) about the dossier allegations.
June 29, 2017: The application for the fourth FISA warrant is submitted to the FISC.
October 24, 2017: Danchenko lies to FBI agents, stating that he had spoken to Millian ''on the telephone on more than one occasion.''
November 16, 2017: Danchenko lies to the FBI against, stating ''he had spoken to [Millian] on the telephone'' when he knew he never did.
December 9, 2019: The Horowitz report is released, detailing the DOJ/FBI/Mueller FISA abuse.
October 19, 2020: John Durham is appointed Special Counsel.
October 2020: Danchenko is terminated as a CHS.
For background purposes, here's our discussion on the Danchenko indictment and what the FBI knew about Danchenko's Clinton connections . Recall that Danchenko was indicted for multiple false statements given to federal officials during the Trump/Russia investigation. Anyways, back to today's motion.
The Motion in Limine
When the Steele Reports were released, the media picked-up on the most salacious rumors, one that was utterly unbelievable: that Russian intelligence had a video of Trump involved with prostitutes at the Moscow Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Also known as the ''pee tape.''
The allegation came from Danchenko, who attributed it to his sources - one from the Ritz-Carlton, and another being Sergei Millian. Durham will refute it, as it expects to call at trial ''Bernd Kuhlen,'' the then-general manager of the Ritz-Carlton, who will deny speaking with or ever meeting Danchenko ''in June 20165, or at any time.''
As to Sergei Millian (more on him later), Durham will show that Danchenko falsely stated to the FBI that this information from Millian ''came from a single ten, or fifteen minute anonymous phone call that allegedly took place in late-July 2016.'' That timing is of particular importance, as explained by Durham:
Then there are Danchenko's false statements about Charles Dolan, an influential Democrat executive with ties to the Clintons. Interestingly, it was Dolan who was given a tour of the Ritz-Carlton Presidential Suite, which was the supposed location of ''Trump's alleged lurid sexual activities.''
In fact, Dolan is expected to testify at trial. According to Durham:
the Government anticipates that Mr. Dolan will testify that (1) it was he and Mr. Kupka who attended a lunch with the Ritz-Carlton general manager and other hotel staff during the June 2016 Moscow trip and that [Danchenko] was not present, and (2) neither Donald Trump nor his purported sexual practices were ever discussed at that lunch. Further, the Government also anticipates that Mr. Dolan will testify that Ritz-Carlton hotel staff did, in fact, provide the aforementioned tour of the presidential suite as part of the June 2016 trip and that, again, Donald Trump and his purported sexual practices were not discussed during that tour.
What is Durham's theory on Danchenko's motive for lying about the Ritz-Carlton allegations? Because it reflects ''a deliberate effort to conceal from the FBI Charles Dolan's role as a source for the Steele Reports and to deceive the FBI regarding Millian's role (or lack thereof).''
In support of the theory that Danchenko engaged in an ''over-arching 'plan' to deceive the FBI'' about his work for Orbis (the company who collected the information contained in the Steele Reports), Durham also plans to introduce:
Evidence that Danchenko ''on multiple occasions communicated and emailed with, among others, Charles Dolan regarding his work for Steele and Orbis.''
''Evidence that proves Dolan was aware of [Danchenko's] reporting was part of a 'related project against Trump' and that this work was being done on behalf of Steele and Orbis.''
There's more. Back in February 2016, nearly a year before his FBI interview and months before he started collecting information for Christopher Steele, Danchenko told a former employer how to fabricate sources:
The relevance of that e-mail? Danchenko's advice to ''attach multiple sources to information and obscure one's own role as a source for information is consistent with [Danchenko's] alleged false statements in which he denied or fabricated the roles of these individuals.''
The E-Mails and Steele's Representations to the FBI
Also expected at trial, if allowed by the judge, are e-mails to/from Danchenko where he discusses his unsuccessful efforts to reach Millian.
Additionally, there's an email where Christopher Steele informed the FBI that Danchenko ''had met with Sergei Millian on two or three occasions - at least once in New York and once in Charleston, South Carolina.''
We brought up Mueller back at the introduction, and here's why. Steele relayed information to the Mueller Special Counsel about the Millian/Danchenko meetings that they knew was false . Similarly, Danchenko revealed information that Steele's reporting was false. What did Team Mueller do with that information? They hid it from the FISA Court and from the public. Danchenko continued as a CHS throughout Mueller's service as Special Counsel. Danchenko couldn't be touched because of his status as CHS, thus protecting Mueller and the FBI.
Sergei Millian Will Not Testify at Trial.
Sergei Millian, a key witness for Durham, will not testify at trial. Millian is currently abroad. He has voiced his concerns for his safety, stating he does not trust the FBI. Can't really blame him at this point. At this point, Durham can't compel Millian's attendance.
Certainly Millian is a key witness. But key doesn't mean necessarily mean essential. The Danchenko e-mails and inconsistent claims are damning enough, and he can be convicted in Millian's absence. It hurts - but isn't fatal to - Durham's case.
The FBI's prior counterintelligence investigation of Danchenko.
When reports surfaced of Danchenko's imminent indictment, we made an educated guess that he would be charged for giving false statements relating to his prior contacts with Russian intelligence.
Back in 2008, while Danchenko was employed with the Brookings Institute, he had approached ''two fellow employees about whether one of the employees might be willing or able in the future to provide classified information in exchange for money.'' The conducted a full investigation into Danchenko after learning he ''had been identified as an associate of two FBI counterintelligence subjects and (2) had previous contact with the Russian Embassy and known Russian intelligence officers.''
While we were perhaps too optimistic about those false statement charges (not without good reason - Durham points out Dancheno's denials about contacts with Russian intelligence), Durham is seeking to introduce evidence of those lies to establish that Danchenko's lies were material .
The rationale? That the question of whether Danchenko conducted work on behalf of Russian intelligence (not the allegation, just the question) could be important to investigators. Even if the Comey/Mueller investigators didn't want to dig that deep.
Other FBI Investigations.
We also note that Durham expects Danchenko's defense to ''introduce evidence of FBI investigations into other individuals who the Government anticipates will feature prominently at trial.'' What other individuals? Millian and Dolan and Steele, for starters.
Ukraine war: Putin treason move was about piercing 'bubble of propaganda' in Russia | Euronews
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 16:48
By Mihhail Salenkov ' Updated: 14/09/2022 - 17:02
Russia's president Vladimir Putin -
Copyright
Credit: APA move to have Vladimir Putin sacked as president is part of a bid to show that not all Russians support the war in Ukraine.
That's according to Nikita Yuferev, part of a group of St Petersburg politicians behind the unusual attempt.
They want Russia's parliament to strip Putin of his powers and charge him with treason.
Yuferev, who faces a fine for his actions and the dissolution of his district council, said it was about highlighting that some opposed Russia's invasion, which Putin and authorities in Russia insist on referring to as a "special military operation".
"It is important to address the general public," Yuferev told Euronews in an interview. "We are not so much appealing to Putin and the deputies of the State Duma, it is clear that they will not shed a tear and will not finish what is happening in Ukraine, since the political field in the State Duma has been 'cleansed'.
"We appeal primarily to those people who are in Russia, who are surrounded by this bubble of propaganda, which says that all of Russia is for Putin and supports a special military operation. We show that this is not the case. We show that they are not alone, that there are people in Russia who do not agree with Putin, do not agree with the special military operation, who are against it."
While posing no current threat to Putin's grip on power, the moves mark rare expressions of dissent by elected representatives at a time when Russians risk heavy prison sentences for "discrediting" the armed forces or spreading "deliberately false information" about them.
Yuferev said he had received lots of support for his actions from constituents.
"People stop [to say thank you] on the street in our district, at the dacha. One of the neighbours, a man whom I did not suspect of anti-Putin sentiments at all, came up to me and shook my hand.
"I receive a huge number of letters [...] with words of support. And not only me, all the other deputies too. We share such motivational messages as they come to us.
"And these are not just words, many offer money to pay for a lawyer, money to pay fines. One person even offered to pay for tickets to Mexico for me, my family and my cats so that we could feel safe. Of course, we did not agree to this proposal, because we remain in Russia. But this just shows the level of support our solution has."
Russian political analyst Tatiana Stanovaya said the greater risk to the Kremlin lay not in the councillors' protest itself but in the danger of responding too harshly to it.
"The reaction, or overreaction, may cause more political damage to the regime than this petition. But I have no doubts that all those who signed the petition will (come) under political pressure," said Stanovaya, founder of the independent analysis project R.Politik.
Thousands of legal cases have been launched against people accused of discrediting the army, usually leading to fines for first-time offences, but a Moscow district councillor was jailed for seven years in July after being convicted of spreading false information. Several other journalists and opposition figures have been charged and face potential prison terms.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday that critical points of view were tolerated, within the limits of the law. "As long as they remain within the law, this is pluralism, but the line is very, very thin, one must be very careful here," he said.
Patreon: Child Porn Allegations & Security Team Firing
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 16:46
Patreon have recently gotten flack for dismissing their entire cybersecurity team, but now social media is alive with allegations of Patreon knowingly enabling child sexual abuse material (CSAM) creators to proliferate on their platform for over a decade, and that the firing of the security team is somehow directly connected to it.
** This is a developing story and this article will be updated regularly, we have expanded on the original article since it was first published.
If you have any information about this story, please contact us.SourceOn January 8th Emily Metcalfe, a Senior Security Engineer at Patreon, posted on Linkedin, alerting the infosec space to the fact that Patreon had seemingly, and somewhat surprisingly, just dismissed its entire cybersecurity team. Patreon later confirmed that they had laid off the team to Zack Whittaker of Techcrunch.
''As part of a strategic shift of a portion of our security program, we have parted ways with five employees,'' said Patreon in an emailed statement attributed to the company's U.S. policy head, Ellen Satterwhite.This of course prompted a lot of debate within the information security community, especially when it became clear that Patreon had surprised the security team with this move, according to insiders, Patreon has no plan in place to replace the security team, despite Patreon insisting it was part of a bigger strategy.
Patreon CEO Jack ConteBut then even more sinister allegations began to emerge that the security team had been dismissed because they had pushed back against Patreons alleged internal policy to not remove illegal child porn activity unless they received a court order or law enforcement request (this allegation came from an anonymous source).
Worth noting that these employee reviews allegedly come from former members of the Trust & Safety Team at Patreon, not their security team.
The Glassdoor AllegationsThis allegation on the Glassdoor platform suggests that the firing of the security team is connected to illegal activity at Patreon, this posting was allegedly made by a former member of the Patreon Trust & Safety Team. It is worth noting that Glassdoor does not verify employees who post reviews about their former employers.
SourceThis second review from a former employee, allegedly another member of the Trust & Safety team, confirms that the team knows all about the allegations.
If half the unanswered allegations of child porn for sale on the website are true, we're going to be in a lot of trouble.SourcePatreon has denied that these reviews from former employees are legitimate and called them fake, they have also told journalists that they are working to have them removed from Glassdoor. They will however have a much harder time cleaning up their Trustpilot review page as you can see below.
Patreon Trustpilot Child Porn AllegationsOn Trustpilot, hundreds of users have been complaining that they reported child porn they found on Patreon, but were ignored and many had their accounts suspended. If you scroll down through Patreon's Trustpilot reviews page, it is littered with complaints about child porn reports going ignored and those who report them having their accounts suspended, this seems to have been going on for years.
SourceSourceSourceSourceSourceSourceSourcePatreon Child Porn (CSAM) TikTok AllegationThe video below was posted on TikTok by a user called TizzyEnt in which he drew attention to the disturbing nature of child porn complaints he had been investigating, and how Patreon had been dealing with them by ignoring them.
@tizzyentTHE PATREON PROBLEM VOL 2 Thansk again to @mom.uncharted and also @Ben Hughes ðŸ"¸'ðŸŒ for calling this out as well.
'¬ original sound - TizzyEnt One of the Instagram accounts focused on minors he is talking about in the video is this one which is 'supervised by her mother' and which advertises 'never published pics' to its 175 thousand followers, pointing them to a Patreon page that very recently seems to have deleted lots of its content. We reached out to Tizzy for comment and had a long conversation with him, he thinks the term "Managed By Mom" is both a dog whistle for paedophiles and a way for creators to skirt around Patreon's 18+ rule.
The Mom Uncharted Child Abuse Image AllegationsTizzy was actually trying to draw attention to another TokTok user called Mom Uncharted who had been trying to raise the alarm for a while, in a series of TikTok videos she explains how she has been reporting these accounts trading in child porn for some time, and Patreon has reviewed them and told her that there isn't a problem because the accounts are managed by adults, despite them containing underage content and warning subscribers that they must be over 18 to view that content.
@mom.uncharted@patreon Please explain how this content is available on your platform #protectthechildren #socialmedia #onlinesafety #parentsoftiktok #fyp #patreon
'¬ Say So (Instrumental Version) [Originally Performed by Doja Cat] - Elliot Van Coup Patreon Has A Troubled History With CSAM Creators This isn't the first time that Patreon has been in the news because of creators on their platform monetizing extremely disturbing content, there have also been persistent allegations that Patreon has systematically failed to deal with this issue for years.
A simple google search reveals articles as early as 2017 discussing how Patreon and their CEO knew that creators were monetizing rape content, paedophilic animations, and other CSAM content that has somehow been allowed to remain on the platform.
SourceOn the Patreon Developers platform, you can find developers talking about how they have reported illegal content and child sexual abuse material but their reports had been ignored. This has clearly been an ongoing issue, as I have delved deeper into this, I keep seeing this same complaint repeatedly from multiple people.
I found child pornography being sold on Patreon and I reported it to their staff ; however, every single report and e-mail that I sent them has gone ignored. SourceMass Petitions To Stop Patreon Monetizing CSAMThere have been petitions signed by tens of thousands of people to try and persuade Patreon to top creators producing pornographic child rape animations, and there have been multiple attempts in the creator's community to draw attention to this festering sore on Patreon, but we still see CSAM creators being allowed to continue leveraging Patreon as a way of attracting customers to their wares while Patreon has allegedly ignored the reports and complaints about this activity over a decade.
SourceSomehow the story does not seem to have made it through to the mainstream media. I have spoken to multiple people who have been telling journalists about what is going on at Patreon for years, and they have been ignored, so coverage of this scandal so far has primarily been limited to social media and people's blogs.
SourceIn my view, Patreon has had a long time to get to grips with the issue of CSAM content that technically doesn't break the law and has failed to challenge creator's building businesses around CSAM content and attracting large, male, patron followings.
Patreon Child Porn (CSAM) CreatorsThere is something very wrong with these Instagram and Patreon pages, the people behind them are obviously organized. They immediately rebrand when they are sometimes taken down on social media and have new accounts set up and ready to go for when this happens, indicating the operators are organized when it comes to mitigating the risks involved in monetizing Child Sex Abuse Material (CSAM) online.
They pose as 'family' pages, managed by moms with most of their content focused on one child in highly suggestive poses while wearing skimpy clothing, or they produce graphic sexual animations featuring children engaged in sexual acts. The nature of the content is deeply disturbing and is clearly designed to attract paedophiles, yet this lewd content somehow remains within the bounds of acceptability on Patreon.
In our opinion, these creators are using their Patreon pages as a 'shop front' to attract potential customers who can be 'qualified' before being moved onto a more private platform to conduct transactions with more illegal materials. The creators sail close to the wind when it comes to questionable content on Patreon, but stop just short of showing outright illegal content that would cause them to be banned, enabling their shopfronts to remain open and continue attracting subscribers.
We don't know why Patreon tolerates creators focused on content involving minors on their platform, the obvious answer is because they generate revenue for the company.
Patreon's Statement About CSAM/Child Porn AllegationsAn unnamed member of the Patreon team posted this blog post a few hours ago in response to the allegations swirling around social media, below is a screenshot of the main body of their post addressing "dangerous and conspiratorial disinformation". The gall of these people is incredible, they obviously have a major problem on their hands with both legal and illegal CSAM content, and they choose to double down on their line that they forbid it, while ignoring the actual allegations.
They say that they forbid creators from monetizing content focused on illegal sex themes, despite hundreds of allegations on social media and websites to the contrary saying that they allow this to happen and that they ignore reports on this activity.
I also think that there is a much wider problem than the obviously illegal child porn content that has been found on the platform, lots of these creators are using content featuring minors which doesn't break Patreon rules in order to attract their patrons. Mix these groups together on one platform, the dubiously legal creators and the creators selling illegal child sex abuse images, and you have a problem over at Patreon.
SourceTheir second statement is a little muddled and rushed, it seems to be saying that the recent firing of the security team is "completely unrelated" to the work undertaken by the Trust & Safety team, completely ignoring the fact that security teams and trust and safety teams talk all the time in the real world. If the security team did not know about the CSAM issue, it would be surprising to say the least. Let's wait to hear from them.
But that is neither here nor there really, the real issue is the CSAM content, and Patreon has known that creators were monetizing this content for years.
My View On The MatterTheir statement isn't good enough, it does not address the allegations, and this needs to be properly investigated by members of the law enforcement community.
In my opinion, Patreon has completely failed to confront and address these persistent CSAM problems, instead, they have cloaked themselves in associations with child protection groups while knowingly enabling these creators to monetize CSAM content.
I have discovered hundreds of allegations going back a decade, different glassdoor posts from former employees talking about child porn, and hundreds of Trustpilot reviews from Patreon users saying that they have reported CP and been ignored, in many cases those reporting CP had their accounts suspended. I have spoken to a number of people who have told me that they have repeatedly tried to report what looks like organised CP rings on Patreon, only to be ignored time and time again, I even found a grassroots petition signed by 95k people who were desperately trying to persuade Patreon to stop monetising CSAM content on their platform.
The allegations all point toward an internal policy of not moving against CSAM creators unless the police became involved, despite the complaints and reports. It is only a matter of time before a whistleblower steps forward and blows the story wide open.
Creators & Patrons Cancelling Their AccountsIt is clear that creators with a presence on the platform, and their patrons, are not happy about the allegations or the subsequent statement from Patreon. Some of them have deleted their creator profiles in protest, in fact, my own non-profit is one of them.
SourcePatrons are beginning to cancel their subscriptions, giving the allegations and the news about their security team as a reason. I was chatting to Jack Rhysider and he shared with me the screenshot you see below and gave me permission to share it, patrons of the Darknet Diaries are cancelling their subscriptions over the affair, you can read the reasons they are giving for cancelling below, this is costing infosec creators who have nothing to do with this affair real money in cancelled subscriptions.
Courtesy of the Darknet DiariesThis is a developing story, real facts are still thin on the ground, but wild allegations of illegal activity and child porn are everywhere, we will update this story as and when they emerge, with links to the original sources. Worth noting that some journalists are advising that reporting on this story is irresponsible, but I would argue that we have a right to know what is being said about what is happening at Patreon.
What do you think?
Original Image by Dick Sweeny.
Temperature impacts on hate speech online: evidence from 4 billion geolocated tweets from the USA - The Lancet Planetary Health
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 16:46
Summary BackgroundA link between weather and aggression in the offline world has been established across a variety of societal settings. Simultaneously, the rapid digitalisation of nearly every aspect of everyday life has led to a high frequency of interpersonal conflicts online. Hate speech online has become a prevalent problem that has been shown to aggravate mental health conditions, especially among young people and marginalised groups. We examine the effect of temperature on the occurrence of hate speech on the social media platform Twitter and interpret the results in the context of the interlinkage between climate change, human behaviour, and mental health.
MethodsIn this quantitative empirical study, we used a supervised machine learning approach to identify hate speech in a dataset containing around 4 billion geolocated tweets from 773 cities across the USA between May 1, 2014 and May 1, 2020. We statistically evaluated the changes in daily hate tweets against changes in local temperature, isolating the temperature influence from confounding factors using binned panel-regression models.
FindingsThe prevalence of hate tweets was lowest at moderate temperatures (12 to 21°C) and marked increases in the number of hate tweets were observed at hotter and colder temperatures, reaching up to 12·5% (95% CI 8·0''16·5) for cold temperature extremes (''6 to ''3°C) and up to 22·0% (95% CI 20·5''23·5) for hot temperature extremes (42 to 45°C). Outside of the moderate temperature range, the hate tweets also increased as a proportion of total tweeting activity. The quasi-quadratic shape of the temperature''hate tweet curve was robust across varying climate zones, income quartiles, religious and political beliefs, and both city-level and state-level aggregations. However, temperature ranges with the lowest prevalence of hate tweets were centred around the local temperature mean and the magnitude of the increases in hate tweets for hot and cold temperatures varied across the climate zones.
InterpretationOur results highlight hate speech online as a potential channel through which temperature alters interpersonal conflict and societal aggression. We provide empirical evidence that hot and cold temperatures can aggravate aggressive tendencies online. The prevalence of the results across climatic and socioeconomic subgroups points to limitations in the ability of humans to adapt to temperature extremes.
FundingVolkswagen Foundation.
Introduction In the context of rapid anthropogenic climate change,
1 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate ChangeClimate change 2013: the physical science.
the question of how the climate influences human aggression, which dates back to the ancient world,
2Hopkins D Martindale C Vance N et al. is more prominent than ever. Previous research on the link between climate change and aggression has identified three main pathways of influence.
3Miles-Novelo A Anderson CA Climate change and psychology: effects of rapid global warming on violence and aggression.
, 4Plante C Allen JJ Anderson CA Effects of rapid climate change on violence and conflict.
First, the direct physical discomfort from hot temperatures causes violence and aggression, which has been shown by theoretical and experimental studies and summarised in several key reviews.
5Anderson CA Temperature and aggression: effects on quarterly, yearly, and city rates of violent and nonviolent crime.
, 6Anderson CA Temperature and aggression: ubiquitous effects of heat on occurrence of human violence.
, , 8Anderson CA Anderson KB Dorr N DeNeve KM Flanagan M Temperature and aggression.
Second, climate change worsens socioeconomic conditions that have been found to be indicators for aggression-prone behaviour among adults, such as economic deprivation, food insecurity during childhood, and low educational attainment.
9 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate ChangeClimate change 2022: impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability.
, 10Carleton TA Hsiang SM Social and economic impacts of climate.
, 11Kotz M Wenz L Stechemesser A Kalkuhl M Levermann A Day-to-day temperature variability reduces economic growth.
, 12Kalkuhl M Wenz L The impact of climate conditions on economic production. Evidence from a global panel of regions.
Third, changing climatic conditions and increasing extreme weather events enforce group-level aggressions'--eg, through more frequent ecomigration events.
3Miles-Novelo A Anderson CA Climate change and psychology: effects of rapid global warming on violence and aggression.
, 4Plante C Allen JJ Anderson CA Effects of rapid climate change on violence and conflict.
Empirical studies have found that temperature anomalies are associated with a higher risk for armed conflict in ethically fractionalised countries,
13Schleussner C-F Donges JF Donner RV Schellnhuber HJ Armed-conflict risks enhanced by climate-related disasters in ethnically fractionalized countries.
higher incidence of civil war in Africa,
14Burke MB Miguel E Satyanath S Dykema JA Lobell DB Warming increases the risk of civil war in Africa.
and intergroup and interpersonal conflicts in Africa and the Middle East.
15Helman D Zaitchik BF Temperature anomalies affect violent conflicts in African and Middle Eastern warm regions.
, 16O'Loughlin J Witmer FDW Linke AM Laing A Gettelman A Dudhia J Climate variability and conflict risk in east Africa, 1990''2009.
, 17Burke M Hsiang SM Miguel E , 18Ash K Obradovich N Climatic stress, internal migration, and Syrian civil war onset.
, 19Gleick PH Water, drought, climate change, and conflict in Syria.
However, with more than 60% of the world population using the internet,
20 Internet World StatsInternet usage statistics.
aggression and violence can also spread in the digital environment. Online hate is a prevalent problem, with four of ten Americans having personally experienced online harassment,
21 Pew Research CenterOnline harassment 2017.
and disproportionally affects groups that already have an increased risk of marginalisation. As of 2015, almost three of four women globally had been exposed to or had experienced some form of online violence.
22 UN WomenUrgent action needed to combat online violence against women and girls, says new UN report. Sept 24, 2015.
25% of African Americans and 10% of Hispanic Americans report being affected by online harassment due to race or ethnicity compared with 3% of White Americans.
23 Pew Research Center1 in 4 black Americans have faced online harassment because of their race, ethnicity.
Compared with their peers, LGBTQ teenagers are four times more likely to report online sexual harassment.
24 GLSENOut online: the experiences of LGBT youth on the internet.
Within the last 5 years, online harassment has become more severe while simultaneously becoming more normalised within society,
25 Pew Research CenterWhat we learned about online harassment in 2020 and how it has changed.
urging the UN to publish an official call for action to stop online hate speech, especially against minority groups.
26 Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human RightsHate speech: UN experts make joint call for action by states and social media firms.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, an increase in online Sinophobia was observed.
27Stechemesser A Wenz L Levermann A Corona crisis fuels racially profiled hate in social media networks.
Research in contextEvidence before this study
Multidisciplinary studies have found an effect of temperature on aggression with empirical analyses suggesting that deviations from mild temperatures increase aggressive tendencies and conflict risk worldwide. However, conflict is nowadays not limited to the physical space alone, but is also prevalent online in the form of hate speech. People affected by hate speech have been shown to be more likely to have mental health problems or to experience an aggravation of pre-existing conditions. We analysed the effect of temperature on the occurrence of hate speech on the social media platform Twitter in the USA between 2014 and 2020.
Added value of this study
To our knowledge, this is the first empirical study assessing the impact of temperature on online hate speech in the USA. The use of datasets from Twitter enabled the analysis of unprompted aggressions since Twitter users express their opinions online without external encouragement. Furthermore, users can tweet from any location, reducing the barrier to expressing aggression in response to temporal discomfort. In a sample of around 4 billion geolocated tweets, more than 75 million hate tweets were identified using a supervised machine learning classifier. The statistical analysis revealed a quasi-quadratic dependence of hate speech on temperature with low prevalence of hate speech observed in moderate temperatures and sharp increases in hate speech in warmer and colder temperatures. This quasi-quadratic relationship was preserved in separate analyses of temperature and hate speech in different climate zones and in the context of socioeconomic differences (income, religious adherence, and electoral outcomes). The lowest prevalence of hate speech was observed at temperatures centred around the local mean temperature and the magnitude of the increases in hate speech in hot and cold temperatures varied across climate zones.
Implications of all the available evidence
The quasi-quadratic relationship identified in this study shows that extreme temperatures lead to more aggression online. In contrast to the majority of quantitative studies assessing physical violence, this conclusion was the same for hot temperatures and cold temperatures. Daily maximum temperatures of more than 30°C were consistently associated with substantial increases in hate speech across all climate zones and across all socioeconomic subgroups. This persistent association suggests limits to the capacity for temperature adaptation since the increases in aggression persisted even in regions where hot temperatures are common and across socioeconomic groups that have economic means to mitigate uncomfortable temperatures. Overall, the results presented in this study highlight the importance of climate change mitigation and adaptation against temperature extremes and the need to effectively combat hate speech online.
Targeted aggressions on social media have been shown to have mental health impacts,
28McCready AM Rowan-Kenyon HT Barone NI Alemn AMM Students of color, mental health, and racialized aggressions on social media.
, 29Stewart-Tufescu A Salmon S Taillieu T Fortier J Afifi TO Victimization experiences and mental health outcomes among grades 7 to 12 students in Manitoba, Canada.
such as heightened anxiety, depression, and self-harm.
30Skilbred-Fjeld S Reme SE Mossige S Cyberbullying involvement and mental health problems among late adolescents.
Psychological research regarding the effects of online harassment suggests that individuals becoming victims of hate speech feel unsafe using online services in general, excluding them from online services and opportunities.
21 Pew Research CenterOnline harassment 2017.
Teenagers who experience aggression online are more likely to have problems at school and to exhibit delinquent behaviour offline.
31Hinduja S Patchin JW Offline consequences of online victimization.
In addition to the direct adverse effects for the individual, hate speech online is also predictive of hate crimes in the offline environm
ent.
32Williams ML Burnap P Javed A Liu H Ozalp S Corrigendum to: Hate in the machine: anti-black and anti-Muslim social media posts as predictors of offline racially and religiously aggravated crime.
Substantial evidence indicates that online hate speech, aggression, and harassment undermine the public good of equal dignity for all,
highlighting the need to identify potential drivers of hate speech to develop optimal strategies to combat it. The links between temperature and aggression and temperature and physical conflicts indicate that temperature might also be a potential driver for hate speech.
In this study, we statistically analysed the effect of temperature on hate speech, using a dataset including more than 4 billion tweets posted on the social media platform Twitter between 2014 and 2020 with distinct geolocation at the US city level. In 2019, a fifth of the US population used Twitter,
34 Pew Research Center10 facts about Americans and Twitter.
making it suitable for an analysis of US online discourse. This is also reflected by a growing body of literature that uses social media data for a variety of quantitative research in the context of climate change to which our study contributes.
35Moore FC Obradovich N Lehner F Baylis P Rapidly declining remarkability of temperature anomalies may obscure public perception of climate change.
, 36Wang J Obradovich N Zheng SA 43-million-person investigation into weather and expressed sentiment in a changing climate.
, 37Baylis P Temperature and temperament: evidence from Twitter.
, 38Moore FC Obradovich N Using remarkability to define coastal flooding thresholds.
Using a supervised machine learning approach, we identified more than 75 million hate tweets within the dataset, corresponding to around 2% of the total tweet volume. They were aggregated to the daily level and city level as this roughly corresponds to the life span of tweets and resolves the local climate experienced by users. We then evaluated within-city changes in hate tweets against local changes in daily maximum temperature using fixed-effects panel regression models to control for unobserved confounders.
Methods Data sources All climate data used in this analysis were obtained from the ERA5, the fifth generation European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts global climate and weather reanalysis dataset.
39Dee DP Uppala SM Simmons AJ et al.The ERA-Interim reanalysis: configuration and performance of the data assimilation system.
Our main climate variable of interest was daily maximum temperature since it reflects the hottest temperature reached on a specific day. The usage of daily mean temperature could mask temperature extremes experienced by Twitter users. Furthermore, daily maximum temperatures typically occur between noon and the late afternoon, which is a popular time for Twitter use (
appendix p 9). We further included total precipitation (m), cloud cover (%), and wind speed on a daily level (m/s) between May 1, 2014 and May 1, 2020 as control variables. The data were used on a 0·25°'—'0·25° grid. Cities were interpreted as latitude''longitude points since in most cases, they were contained entirely in one grid cell. The daily city time series for each climate variable corresponded to the time series associated with the cell that the city was located in.
The raw data consisted of more than 4 billion tweets, spanning a timeframe from May 1, 2014 to May 1, 2020. Tweets were sampled from the 1% Twitter stream using a bounding box around the USA to extract geolocated tweets in the country. Around 1''2% of all tweets are geolocated; thus, although the stream contained all of the geolocated tweets in this period, the data only represent a small proportion of total tweet volume. For simplicity, we refer to this dataset as US1420 hereafter.
To examine the persistence of the relationship between temperature and online hate speech, we did separate analyses for different climate zones, income quartiles, forms of religious adherence, and 2016 election results. The US Department of Energy
40 US Department of EnergyBuilding America best practices series: volume 7.3. Guide to determining climate regions by county.
distinguishes eight climate zones, five of which were included in this analysis; data coverage for the subarctic, mixed-dry, and very cold zones was too sparse to enable meaningful analysis. Per-capita income data at the county level were provided by the US Bureau of Economic Analysis.
41 US Bureau of Economic AnalysisPersonal income by county, metro, and other areas.
Each city per-capita income was approximated by the average county per-capita income. We classified income into quartiles, ranging from low income (US$26'400 to '‰¤45'300), medium-low ($45'301 to '‰¤52'100), medium-high ($52'101 to '‰¤62'200), to high income ($62'201 to '‰¤194'000). The data on religious beliefs were obtained from the 2010 US census.
42 The Association of Religion Data ArchivesU.S. religion census: religious congregations and membership study, 2010 (county file).
In this study, we only differentiated between Catholic and Evangelical beliefs since the data density was too sparse to conduct a meaningful assessment for other religious beliefs at the city level. Data on the 2016 election outcome on county level were obtained from Harvard University.
43Pettigrew S November 2016 general election results (county-level).
Machine learning approach for the detection of hate tweets The definition of what is considered as hateful is often unclear.
44 UNUnited Nations strategy and plan of action on hate speech.
For this analysis, we adopted the UN Strategy and Plan of Action definition of hate speech: ''any kind of communication in speech, writing or behaviour, that attacks or uses pejorative or discriminatory language with reference to a person or a group on the basis of who they are, in other words, based on their religion, ethnicity, nationality, race, colour, descent, gender or other identity factor''.
44 UNUnited Nations strategy and plan of action on hate speech.
To identify tweets containing hate speech in the raw dataset, we used a machine learning approach (
appendix pp 3''8). We followed a standard Natural Language Processing pipeline (
appendix p 4).
45Hastie T Tibshirani R Friedman J , 46Shalev-Shwartz S Ben-David S Based on three previously published datasets containing labelled hate tweets (HAR and HATE datasets),
47Golbeck J Ashktorab Z Banjo RO et al.A large labeled corpus for online harassment research. Proceedings of the 2017 ACM on Web Science Conference. June 25, 2017.
, 48Waseem Z Hovy D Hateful symbols or hateful people? Predictive features for hate speech detection on Twitter.
, 49Davidson T Warmsley D Macy M Weber I Automated hate speech detection and the problem of offensive language.
we assembled a dataset for training and testing that was separate from the US1420 dataset. The training and testing data contained examples of hate tweets and non-hate tweets. The training dataset was used to teach a classifier to assign tweets to so-called hate and no hate classes on the basis of attributed values of the tweets. This classifier was then applied to the testing dataset. Since the tweets in the testing dataset were also labelled, we could assess the performance of the classifier by checking how many labels were correct. The classifier was then applied to the distinct US1420 dataset and assigned each tweet in the US1420 data to hate and no hate classes, detecting around 75 million hate tweets, corresponding to around 2% of the sample. A full list of the different classifiers and performances is included in the
appendix (p 6).
Hate speech data All hate tweets in the sample were temporally aggregated at the daily level because this roughly corresponds to both the time span at which users consume social media and experience weather considering the circadian rhythm of body temperature.
50Refinetti R Menaker M The circadian rhythm of body temperature.
For example, hot temperatures experienced in the day might have effects on hate speech occurrence in the evening since users might have more time for social media usage later in the day. Similarly, the discomfort of a hot night with little sleep has been identified as a factor that promotes irritability and aggression.
51Kamphuis J Meerlo P Koolhaas JM Lancel M Poor sleep as a potential causal factor in aggression and violence.
Thus, hot temperatures could plausibly lead to an increase in hateful content during the morning or over the course of the following day.
To enable a precise match to local temperature data, tweets were aggregated at the city level using TIGER/Line shapefiles (2020) provided by the US Census Bureau.
52 United Stated Census BureauTIGER/line shapefiles.
To ensure sufficient data coverage, only cities with more than 50'000 inhabitants were included. On the basis of this criteria, 773 cities were included, and their distribution across the USA covered different climate zones and socioeconomic compositions (
appendix p 9). Additionally, tweets were also aggregated at the state level, which was subsequently used as a robustness control. Details on the state-level analysis are included in the
appendix (pp 23''26).
The US1420 dataset encompasses 6 years (May, 2014 to the end of April, 2020), two of which were leap years (2016, 2020). Considering that daily data were available for 773 cities, this yielded a total of 1'694'416 possible observations. We counted 1'694'416 observations in the US hate speech Twitter data; therefore our data were complete and we have no concerns about data sparsity in our analysis.
Statistical analysis We applied a binned fixed-effects panel-regression model to estimate the relationship between temperature and online hate speech. This approach used exogenous variation in local weather to identify the effect of daily maximum temperature on the amount of daily hate on Twitter, assuming that variation in temperature is random conditional on a set of fixed effects.
53Auffhammer M Quantifying economic damages from climate change.
, , Specifically, we included city:year fixed effects (μ
c,y), to exploit the temperature variation within one city within 1 year (ie, Los Angeles in 2015) to estimate the effect of temperature on hate speech. These city-year indicator variables flexibly control for local differences (eg, in administration) and larger time trends across the sample period, thus limiting omitted variable bias that is inherent to inter-city comparisons and enhancing the confidence of the causal inference of the results.
, 56Kolstad CD Moore FC Estimating the economic impacts of climate change using weather observations.
We purposefully did not statistically control for month of year because this has been shown to lead to misspecifications of the temperature-aggression relationship.
, 57Bushman BJ Wang MC Anderson CA Is the curve relating temperature to aggression linear or curvilinear? Assaults and temperature in Minneapolis reexamined.
, 58Bushman BJ Wang MC Anderson CA Is the curve relating temperature to aggression linear or curvilinear? A response to Bell (2005) and to Cohn and Rotton (2005).
Since the temperature variation within one city in 1 month is small, the temperature signal would be stunted. The main result is robust against the inclusion of city:month:year fixed effects as an alternative to city:year fixed effects with smaller effect sizes (
appendix p 16). Instead, we added a dummy variable controlling for holidays (
Fd) to limit the bias from temperature-independent seasonal influences. Holidays were approximated using the closing days of the New York Stock Exchange, which captures major US holidays.
59 NYSEHolidays and trading hours.
The independent variable, daily maximum temperature, was discretised into 3
°C bins covering ''30°C to 55°C. This semi-parametric approach allows for non-linearities without specifying a fixed functional form or making other assumptions about the data.
60Deschªnes O Greenstone M Climate change, mortality, and adaptation: evidence from annual fluctuations in weather in the US.
, , 62Zhang J Jiang H Liu G Zeng W A study on the contribution of industrial restructuring to reduction of carbon emissions in China during the five Five-Year Plan periods.
A dummy variable
Bi was introduced for each bin where:
Bi(Tc,d){1ifTc,d'Bi0else.
Tc,d describes the daily maximum temperature for city
c. To assess robustness, we considered bin widths of 1°C and 5°C (
appendix pp 18''19).
We applied the natural logarithm to the dependent variable,
Hc,d, corresponding to the daily number of hate tweets per city. The regression coefficients were subsequently converted into percentages. In the main model, we dealt with zeros by regressing
log(
Hc,d'+'1) because this enables better interpretability. As a robustness check, we used an inverse hyperbolic sine transformation on the data, which is approximately equal to the natural logarithm but well defined at zero (
appendix p 17); the results of this robustness check were consistent with the main analysis.
To further isolate the temperature response of the occurrence of hate tweets, other climate variables that might impact human behaviour were included. Specifically, we controlled for daily total precipitation (Pc,d), cloud cover (Cc,d), and wind speed (Sc,d).
We also included controls for weekdays (
Wd) since previous literature suggests that Twitter usage differs especially between weekdays and weekends.
63Longley PA Adnan M Lansley G The geotemporal demographics of Twitter usage.
The overall model thus reads as:
log(Hc,d+1)='‘i=0bαiBi(Tc,d)+βPc,d+Î"Cc,d+δSc,d+ςFd+ηWd+μc,y+ɛc,d.
The regression coefficients αi, corresponding to the respective bins i, can be interpreted as the percentage change in hate speech in that bin. Percentage changes are in relation to the omitted bin, which corresponds to the minimum bin in all analyses (15''18°C for the main panel regression). In the principle figures, only coefficients whose corresponding 3°C temperature bins contained at least 1·5% of the data are shown. We used errors clustered at the state level in our analyses.
To assess the change in hate as a proportion of the total tweet volume, we computed the hate share as follows:
where ATc,d denotes all tweets in the sample on day d in city c. The hate share was used to analyse the relationship between temperature and hate tweets while considering the general potential influences of weather on the tweet volume.
Role of the funding source The funder had no role in study design, data collection, data analysis, data interpretation, or writing of the report.
Results A strong non-linear relationship was identified between daily maximum temperature and the percentage change in hate tweets (
figure 1). Fewest hate tweets occurred between temperatures of 15°C and 18°C. The number of hate tweets remained comparably low for the directly adjacent temperature bins, but sharply increased for temperatures warmer than 27°C and colder than 6°C. On cold days with maximum temperatures between ''6°C and ''3°C, the number of hate tweets was approximately 12·5% (95% CI 8·0''16·5) higher than on days in the 15 to 18°C temperature range, and on hot days (42 to 45°C), the number of hate tweets was more than 22·0% (20·5''23·5) higher than days in the 15 to 18°C temperature range. On average, a city's temperature varied across 12·6 bins per year. The changes for all bins and the effects of the control variables are shown in the
appendix (p 15). For temperatures higher than 27°C and lower than 9°C, all respective regression coefficients were statistically significant at the highest level (p'‰¤0·001). The only bin that was not significant at any significance level (p>0
·1) was the 18 to 21°C bin, suggesting that the variation was below our detection level of uncertainty.
Figure 1 Binned panel-regression model of the relationship between daily maximum temperature and the percentage change in number of hate tweets
Show full caption The percentage change in hate tweets shown is relative to the 15''18°C bin. Purple dots show the regression coefficient for each 3°C bin. Purple shaded areas denote 95% CIs. Errors were clustered at the state level. The marginal distributions show the mean percentage of days per bin for each city and year for five major climate zones across the USA. In the bottom panel, the numbers in parentheses on the x-axis indicate the number of cities included in each climate zone.
View Large Image Figure ViewerDownload Hi-res image Download (PPT)In addition to the number of hate tweets, we also used the follower-weighted number of hate tweets as the dependent variable to approximate the daily reach of hate speech. We weighed each hate tweet by the number of followers of its author. The shape of the curve was preserved, but the heat responses increased by up to 26·5% (95% CI 23·0''30·0) at high temperatures (42''45°C;
appendix p 22).
Results of additional analyses using varying bin widths (1°C or 5°C) were consistent with the main findings (
appendix pp 18''19).
In addition to the analysis for 773 US cities, we aggregated tweets to the state level and applied the same binned panel-regression approach. At this level of granularity, we identified a non-linear temperature''hate tweet relationship with the lowest prevalence of hate tweets observed at moderate temperatures and increases observed at temperatures lower than 9°C or higher than 18°C (
appendix pp 23''26). Furthermore, since the COVID-19 pandemic triggered an increase in hate speech,
27Stechemesser A Wenz L Levermann A Corona crisis fuels racially profiled hate in social media networks.
we also did a robustness check excluding tweets after the outbreak; we found the same non-linear shape and comparable increases in hate tweet occurrence for extreme temperatures as in the main analysis (
appendix p 14).
To further examine the temperature''hate tweet relationship against the potential influence of weather on the overall tweet volume, we considered hate tweets as a proportion of all geolocated tweets in the sample. If the overall tweet volume is temperature-dependent such that warmer and colder temperatures result in a general increase in the number of tweets, it is possible that the proportion of hate tweets is almost constant. We tested for this by computing the proportion of geolocated hate tweets at the city level as a proportion of all US geolocated tweets in the respective city for each day. The binned panel-regression model used throughout the analysis was then applied with the daily hate tweet proportion as the dependent variable and daily maximum temperature and other weather controls as the independent variables; the resulting temperature''hate tweet response function (
figure 2) had the same non-linear shape as observed in
figure 1. An increase in tweets of around 0·13 percentage points (95% CI 0·07''0·19) was observed for cold temperatures and an increase of around 0·18 percentage points (0·12''0·25) for warm temperatures. The mean proportion of hate tweets on all days that fell within the omitted bin (15''18°C) amounted to around 1·5%. Thus, the percentage point increases observed translated to approximately 8·6% more hate tweets in cold temperatures and around 12·1% more hate tweets in warm temperatures. This result is evidence that not only the volume of hate speech on Twitter increases in more extreme temperatures, but also that the proportion of hate in all tweets rises. Analysis of state-level aggregation confirmed these results (
appendix p 26). The remaining analyses were conducted for both the number of hate tweets (figures 3, 4) and the proportion of hate tweets (
appendix pp 20''21) as the dependent variable.
Figure 2 Relationship between daily maximum temperature and the percentage point change in geolocated hate tweets as a proportion of all geolocated tweets at the city level
Show full caption In the omitted bin (15''18°C), the mean proportion of hate tweets at the city level amounted to around 1·5% of all tweets. A percentage point change of up to 0·13 percentage points for cold temperatures and up to 0·18 percentage points for hot temperatures therefore corresponds to increases of around 8·6% and 12·1% in number of hate tweets, respectively. This indicates that the hate response to extreme temperatures is not just a reflection of a general effect of temperature on tweet volume.
View Large Image Figure ViewerDownload Hi-res image Download (PPT)Our dataset comprised cities with diverse climatic conditions. These differences in mean temperature and temperature variability mean that the panel analysis was to a larger extent informed by cities with higher temperature variability. The local temperature extremes might differ from the temperature extremes in the panel analysis. To investigate the potential impact of these local differences in climate on the overall temperature''hate speech relationship, we did separate analyses for five distinct climate zones (
figure 3). The general quasi-quadratic shape of the US-wide response curve (
figure 1) was preserved across all climate zones for which there was sufficient data coverage (
figure 3A). The temperature-dependent minimum number of hate tweets and the strength of the increase in hate tweets for warm and cold temperatures differed in accordance with the individual temperature distribution of the climate zone. In the cold climate zone, which spans most of the north of the contiguous USA, a broad range of temperatures were observed annually. Accordingly, the percentage change in hate tweets was low between 6°C and 24°C. The maximum increase in hate tweets of 17·5% (95% CI 5·5 to 29·0) compared with the omitted bin (15 to 18°C) was observed between temperatures of 39°C and 42°C, which only occur rarely in this climate zone. This is likely to explain the large confidence interval. Temperatures between 24°C and 33°C were more common in this climate zone. For the 30°C to 33°C temperature bin, hate tweets increased by around 7·0% (4·5 to 9·5). At cold temperatures (''6 to ''3°C), hate tweets increased by more than 12·0% (7·5 to 17·0). A similar pattern was observed in the hot-dry and mixed-humid zones across a smaller temperature range. For the mixed-humid climate zone, the maximum increase amounted to more than 11·0% (8·0 to 14·0) on cold days (0 to 3°C) and around 9·0% (6·5 to 11·0) on warm days (33 to 36°C) relative to the omitted bin (21 to 24°C). 3°C temperature bins outside this range contained less than 1·5% of days. For the hot-dry climate zone, the increase in hate tweets in hot temperatures (42°C to 45°C) was most pronounced (almost a 24% increase [22·5 to 25·5])
. In cold temperatures (0 to 3°C), the number of hate tweets increased by 10·0% (''0·5 to 20·0) relative to the omitted bin (18 to 21°C); however, temperatures lower than 9°C were fairly uncommon in this zone and tweets only increased by 8·0% (7·0 to 8·5) in the 9 to 12°C bin. For the marine climate zone, the increase in tweets in response to hot temperatures was stronger than the increase in response to cold temperatures, reaching up to 11·0% (7·5 to 15·0) at temperatures higher than 33°C. For the hot-humid climate zone, the curve had a V-shape with sharp increases on both sides of the omitted bin (24 to 27°C), with a 10·5% increase (4·5 to 16·5) in hate tweets in cold temperatures (6 to 9°C) and a 15·0% (13·0 to 17·0) increase in hot temperatures (36 to 39°C).
Figure 3 Relationship between temperature and hate tweets across five climatic zones in the USA
Show full caption (A) Relationship between daily maximum temperature (x-axis) and the percentage change in hate tweets relative to the minimum bin (y-axis) for 773 US cities distributed across five climate zones as assessed with a binned panel-regression approach. Dots represent the respective regression coefficients for each bin and the shaded areas denote 95% CIs. Errors were clustered at the state level. For all climate zones, a similar U-shape can be observed where there is enough data with low values for moderate temperatures and high values for cold and warm temperatures. Dotted vertical lines indicate the mean daily maximum temperature across the sample period. The marginal distributions (x-axes) show the mean percentage of days per bin for each city and year for the respective climate zone. The numbers in parentheses show the number of cities included in each climate zone. (B) Geospatial distribution of climate zones across the USA (with the exception of Alaska and Hawaii); black dots show the 773 cities included in the analysis.
View Large Image Figure ViewerDownload Hi-res image Download (PPT)For all climate zones, we observed that the lowest incidence of hate tweets (omitted bin) coincided with the mean temperature across the time period (
figure 3A). This could suggest that the hate tweet increases are dependent on temperatures we are used to. However, independent of the local mean temperature and distributions, hot temperatures of more than 30°C led to significant increases in hate tweets of at least 7%, pointing to potential limits in adaptation to hot temperatures.
When using the proportion of hate tweets as the dependent variable, the shape of the curves were largely preserved (
appendix p 20).
Previous research suggests that economic factors influence the occurrence of hate speech.
64Denti D Faggian A Where do angry birds tweet? Income inequality and online hate in Italy.
Other studies point to partisan differences in acceptance of hate speech and its usage by politicians
65Zannettou S Elsherief M Belding E Nilizadeh S Stringhini G Measuring and characterizing hate speech on news websites.
, 66Armstrong GM Wronski J Framing hate: moral foundations, party cues, and (in)tolerance of offensive speech.
or discuss religion not only as a target but also as a source for different types of hate speech.
Therefore, it is possible that these characteristics affect the here identified temperature''hate speech relationship. To address this, we did separate analyses for different income quartiles, religious beliefs, and across 2016 voting patterns.
Across all socioeconomic subgroups considered, the relationship between daily maximum temperature and hate tweets had a distinct and robust non-linear shape, which is in its general form independent of economic, religious, and political differences. Independent of income quartiles, increases in the number of hate tweets at cold and warm temperature extremes fell generally between 10% and 15%. The only exception was that the medium''low income group experienced higher maximum temperatures than the other groups and and increases in hate tweets of up to 22·0% (95% CI 20·5''23·5) were observed in this temperature range (42 to 45°C;
figure 4). For all income quartiles, the mean temperature coincided approximately with the minimum bin. The non-linear shape of the temperature''hate speech relationship was also preserved when data were categorised into cities with predominantly Catholic or Evangelical religious beliefs (
figure 4) with similar responses observed for extreme temperatures. The observed relationship also holds independently of the 2016 election results (
figure 4). The increase in hate tweets in colder temperatures was slightly more pronounced in cities belonging to counties that had a Democratic majority in the 2016 election, reaching up to 13·5% (7·0''20·5) at temperatures between ''6°C and ''3°C and only around 10·0% (7·0''13·0) in cities belonging to counties that had a Republican majority in the 2016 election. By contrast, the maximum increase in hate tweets in hot temperatures amounted to around 16·0% (12·5''19·5) in cities with a Democratic majority (at temperatures of 36 to 39°C) and 20·5% (18·5''22·5) in cities with a Republican majority (at temperatures of 42 to 45°C). Although the mean temperatures were within 1°C of each other, Republican majority cities had more extremely hot days, which is likely to explain the differing heat response. The analysis using the proportion of hate tweets as the dependent variable is included in the
appendix (p 21). Overall, the results were preserved for the hate-share analysis.
Figure 4 The relationship between daily maximum temperature and hate tweets by socioeconomic factors
Show full caption Dots show regression coefficients for each 3°C bin. Shaded areas show 95% CIs. Errors were clustered at state level. The marginal distributions (x-axes) show the mean percentage of days per bin for each city and year for the respective climate zone. Dotted vertical lines indicate the mean daily maximum temperature across the sample period. A similar U-shape can be observed for all socioeconomic subgroups with low values for daily maximum temperatures in the range of 15''27°C and high values for temperatures outside of this range. *The data on religious beliefs were obtained from the 2010 US census.
42 The Association of Religion Data ArchivesU.S. religion census: religious congregations and membership study, 2010 (county file).
' Data on the 2016 election outcome at the county level were obtained from Harvard University.
43Pettigrew S November 2016 general election results (county-level).
View Large Image Figure ViewerDownload Hi-res image Download (PPT)In addition to the analysis of socioeconomic differences, we analysed the temperature''hate tweet response by administrative unit of US census divisions, which are frequently used for data collection and analysis (
appendix pp 27''28). All temperature''hate tweet response curves at the census division level had the non-linear shape observed across all analyses with increases for cold days falling between 5% and 30% and increases for hot days reaching between 6% and 30%, depending on the census division.
Discussion In this study, we found that hate speech increased in absolute volume, and also as a proportion of total tweeting activity, at temperature extremes. The quasi-quadratic shape of the temperature''hate tweet curve was robust across varying climate zones, income quartiles, and religious and political beliefs.
We restricted our analysis to geolocated tweets, since geographical information is necessary to match the tweets with climate and socioeconomic data for further analysis. Geolocation is an opt-in feature for the user, meaning that users have to specifically enable location services and choose to geolocate their individual tweet. We cannot assume that geolocated users necessarily represent all Twitter users,
68Karami A Kadari RR Panati L Nooli SP Bheemreddy H Bozorgi P Analysis of geotagging behavior: do geotagged users represent the Twitter population?.
which could be a limitation of this study. Studies have shown that female users are more likely to enable geolocation than males,
69Sloan L Morgan J Who tweets with their location? Understanding the relationship between demographic characteristics and the use of geoservices and geotagging on Twitter.
, 70Wood-Doughty Z Smith M Broniatowski DA Dredze M How does Twitter user behavior vary across demographic groups?.
individuals of Asian or Latino ethnicity are more likely to enable geotagging than other ethnic groups,
70Wood-Doughty Z Smith M Broniatowski DA Dredze M How does Twitter user behavior vary across demographic groups?.
the average user enabling location services is 0·55 years older than users opting out,
69Sloan L Morgan J Who tweets with their location? Understanding the relationship between demographic characteristics and the use of geoservices and geotagging on Twitter.
and iPhone users are slightly more likely to geotag than Android users.
71Huang B Carley KM A large-scale empirical study of geotagging behavior on Twitter.
However, there is no indication that these biases are significantly correlated with temperature and geolocated Twitter data have successfully been used in combination with climate variables in a number of studies.
35Moore FC Obradovich N Lehner F Baylis P Rapidly declining remarkability of temperature anomalies may obscure public perception of climate change.
, 37Baylis P Temperature and temperament: evidence from Twitter.
, 72Baylis P Obradovich N Kryvasheyeu Y et al.Weather impacts expressed sentiment.
, 73Burke M Gonzlez F Baylis P et al.Higher temperatures increase suicide rates in the United States and Mexico.
We only conducted the analysis for English tweets, which could present a further limitation considering the linguistic plurality of the USA. Assessing the language composition of the raw US1420 data, we found that 93% of tweets were in the English language (
appendix pp 12''13) with the remainder of tweets distributed across a number of languages. The data density was therefore too low in other languages to conduct a separate analysis. Additionally, data from the American Community survey
74 United States Census BureauAmerican Community Survey.
showed that in each US state, at least 90% of the people questioned speak English only or English to a high standard.
Although in general it is impossible to accurately classify all hate speech due to its many incarnations, subtlety,
75Nielsen LB Subtle, pervasive, harmful: racist and sexist remarks in public as hate speech.
sarcasm, and context dependence, the robustness checks we conducted on the quality of the dataset suggest that the data present a representative sample of hateful discourse on Twitter. However, some of the expressions included in tweets have a different connotation based on the cultural context in which they are used. Specifically, some proportion of the tweets classified as hate contain the N-word with the spelling variant ending in ''a'' which has, in contrast to the spelling with ''er'', according to some sources been reappropriated as a type of endearment in some communities.
76Smith HL Has nigga been reappropriated as a term of endearment?.
However, the use of the word and its variants remains highly controversial. In the examples observed in our data (
appendix p 7), the context is typically aggressive and derogatory. However, we cannot be sure that all instances in the dataset containing this particular slur are genuinely hateful. Furthermore, bot accounts, which have been estimated to contribute up to 10% of hateful content in some datasets comprising hate tweets,
77Ziems C He B Soni S Kumar S Racism is a virus: anti-Asian hate and counterhate in social media during the COVID-19 crisis.
might further bias our data. However, bot accounts are likely to only cause random errors rather than systematic errors in data since their activity is not temperature dependent, which suggests that while bot accounts introduce noise in the dataset, the bias is likely to be small.
Daily maximum temperature might not always match the temperature experienced by the Twitter user due to residential heating or cooling. This potential measurement error in the independent variables is, however, more likely to attenuate than to increase the magnitude of our estimates.
The results of this study provide evidence that extreme temperatures are associated with more hate speech on the social media platform Twitter. The quasi-quadratic relationship identified empirically confirms the hypothesis formulated by Anderson and colleagues,
8Anderson CA Anderson KB Dorr N DeNeve KM Flanagan M Temperature and aggression.
which stated that uncomfortably hot and cold temperatures increase aggressive tendencies. Furthermore, the findings are supported by the general aggression model formulated by Anderson and Bushman in 2002.
Instead of using violent behaviour to assess temperature effects, the usage of hate speech allows the assessment of verbal aggressions. The results are also consistent with the relationship found between temperature and cyber racism in Europe.
78Stechemesser A Wenz L Kotz M Levermann A Strong increase of racist tweets outside of climate comfort zone in Europe.
The analysis of different climate zones shows that the general relationship between temperature and hate speech was maintained across different climates although the temperature range with the lowest occurrence of hate speech in each climate zone shifted slightly in accordance with local temperature conditions. This could indicate that the response is dependent on the temperatures individuals are used to. However, since daily maximum temperatures of more than 30°C were consistently associated with substantial increases in hate speech, there are likely to be limits to the capacity for temperature adaptation. Additionally, the observation of similar effects and effect sizes across income quartiles could indicate further limits in adaptation: even among individuals in the highest income quartile, who are likely to be able to spend money on heat mitigation strategies such as air conditioning or more comfortable transportation, an increase in hate speech was observed on hot days. The similar responses observed across religious beliefs and political preference indicate that increased aggressive tendencies in hot and cold weather are not a question of mindset but subject to a more universal temperature influence. However, a limitation of our analysis was that the groupings based on income, religion, and partisan were not perfect since cities are never perfectly homogeneous. For example, in a city with predominantly Democratic voters as of 2016, all racist tweets could originate from a Republican minority or vice versa. To ameliorate potential inferential issues, individual-level measures of socioeconomic categories would be needed. In addition to the subgroups considered in the analysis, analyses of the differences between city and rural regions could provide further insights; however, this was not possible in this study due to sparsity of data in rural areas. With the progression of rapid, anthropogenic climate change, extreme weather such as heatwaves and cold spells will become more frequent.
79 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate ChangeClimate change 2021: the physical science basis.
In the USA, population-weighted heat exposure in metropolitan regions is projected to rise by 12''30 times by the end of the century under a high emissions scenario compared with population-weighted heat exposure at the start of the century.
80Broadbent AM Krayenhoff ES Georgescu M The motley drivers of heat and cold exposure in 21st century US cities.
Population-weighted cold exposure is projected to be 1·3''2·2 times larger than that at the start of the century. Assuming little adaptation and similar communication patterns, this would mean that hate expressed online could increase under future global warming. Calculations for temperature shifts and cyber racism in Europe show that the number of days hotter than a locally comfortable climate, weighted by the strength of the relationship between temperature and cyber racism, increases by around 50% in some parts of Europe.
78Stechemesser A Wenz L Kotz M Levermann A Strong increase of racist tweets outside of climate comfort zone in Europe.
Both aggression and climate change have been found to have negative impacts on mental health. Climate change-induced risks for mental health
81Obradovich N Migliorini R Paulus MP Rahwan I Empirical evidence of mental health risks posed by climate change.
include increased climate anxiety,
82Ingle HE Mikulewicz M Mental health and climate change: tackling invisible injustice.
a greater risk for depression especially in young people,
83Wu J Snell G Samji H Climate anxiety in young people: a call to action.
, 84Majeed H Lee J The impact of climate change on youth depression and mental health.
and increased suicide risks.
73Burke M Gonzlez F Baylis P et al.Higher temperatures increase suicide rates in the United States and Mexico.
, 85Carleton TA Crop-damaging temperatures increase suicide rates in India.
Hate speech has been shown to cause heightened anxiety, depression, and self-harm and a feeling of unsafety in online spaces.
28McCready AM Rowan-Kenyon HT Barone NI Alemn AMM Students of color, mental health, and racialized aggressions on social media.
, 29Stewart-Tufescu A Salmon S Taillieu T Fortier J Afifi TO Victimization experiences and mental health outcomes among grades 7 to 12 students in Manitoba, Canada.
, 30Skilbred-Fjeld S Reme SE Mossige S Cyberbullying involvement and mental health problems among late adolescents.
Our results contribute to this literature by identifying the effect of temperature on hate speech as a new impact channel through which climate change could affect aggression and mental health.
Overall, the results presented in this study highlight not only the importance of climate change mitigation and adaptation against temperature extremes, but also the need to effectively combat hate speech online and to provide resources for people who are affected. Further work is needed to understand the nature of online abuse, to analyse the most prevalent types of hate, which topics it relates to, who is targeted, and who authors it.
Contributors
AS and LW designed the study. AS processed the climate and Twitter data. All authors contributed to the interpretation and presentation of the results. AS wrote the manuscript with contributions from LW. AS and LW revised the manuscript.
Data sharing In compliance with Twitter terms of service restrictions and due to privacy concerns, the US1420 dataset will not be shared in a public repository. The HAR dataset used to train the classifier is available on request to the corresponding author. The HATE dataset is available
online. The tweet IDs of the dataset are also available
online. All climate data used in this analysis originated from the ERA-5 re-analysis dataset, which can be downloaded from the
Climate Data Store. The
mapping of US climate zones is available from the US Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The data underlying the socioeconomic subgroups are publicly available and sources are included in the Methods section. Scripts will be made publicly available immediately after publication.
Declaration of interestsWe declare no competing interests.
Acknowledgments
This study was funded by the Volkswagen Foundation. We thank Kelsey Barton-Henry for fruitful discussion.
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114 : 8746-8751 Article InfoPublication HistoryPublished: September 2022
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Heat pumps faded in the 1970s'--now the tech is in 40% of new US homes | Fortune
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 16:43
A widespread energy crisis? Rampant inflation? If history rhymes, 2022 is crammed with callbacks to the 1970s. Back then, the double whammy of 1973's Arab-Israeli war and 1979's Iranian revolution caused major interruptions to the Middle East's oil exports, with the ensuing energy crisis feeding Western recessions and alerting many to the need for alternative energy sources.
The crisis marked the coming-of-age for a technology first developed in the mid-19th century: the heat pump, which transfers heat from the ground, water, and air into buildings. Companies raced to invest in these large, nondescript boxes, but then the crisis ended, fossil fuels became cheap again, and the humble heat pump was largely cast aside.
Now, with Russian natural-gas machinations forcing Europe to shutter factories and stare down the barrel of a cold winter, the heat pump is back. And this time around, the cascading climate crisis'--which demands rapid adoption of renewable energy sources'--means it's likely to stay.
''The solutions are available,'' said Max Viessmann, CEO of the German heating and cooling giant Viessmann. ''[Heat pumps] are actually much more advanced than people realize, and they now need to be scaled.''
450% efficiencyHeat pump systems, which comprise connected devices outside and inside the buildings they serve, may not be much to look at: Air-source heat pumps, which are the most common type, resemble large air-conditioning units'--but they are remarkably efficient.
Getty Images
While a gas-furnace''based heating system is at best 95% efficient'--that is, it delivers 95 units of energy for every 100 units it burns'--modern heat pumps are upwards of 450% efficient. Put one unit of electrical energy in, to power the system, and you will typically get at least 4.5 units of thermal energy out. And the heat that emerges from the system was already in the atmosphere to start with, unlike the energy you get from fossil fuels.
So it's not hard to see why nearly half of new multifamily buildings in the U.S. and more than 40% of new single-family homes, are being built with heat pumps, according to a November International Energy Agency (IEA) report. Older buildings can also be retrofitted with heat pumps, though this means knocking a hole in the wall and installing new electrical connections, making it a relatively small part of the market for now. Heat pumps are certainly more expensive to buy than their dirtier counterparts'--depending on the property size, they can easily run into the tens of thousands of dollars'--but they're a lot cheaper to operate.
Many heat pumps resemble large air-conditioning units.Getty Images
Heat pumps have an added bonus: Most can act as cooling systems as well. Like refrigerators and air conditioners, heat pumps use fluids called refrigerants to transfer heat'--they just do it from outside in, rather than inside out. Reverse the system, as is possible with most air- and water-source heat pumps, and you can lop as much as 5°C off indoor temperatures. That won't replace proper air-conditioning in warmer climes, but it's a big selling point in a relatively temperate region like Europe, where AC is rare but heat waves are becoming more common and extreme.
Cue a fresh flood of investment.
Heat pump investmentsViessmann, a 105-year-old business, recently announced a $1 billion investment into heat pumps and other green products over the next three years.
The firm is a classic example of a Mittelstand midsize family business, a category that forms the backbone of the economy in Germany'--a country that's racing to respond to both rapid climate change and an existential energy crisis. Max represents the fourth generation of his clan to lead the $3.4 billion company. Viessmann introduced its first heat pump in 1979, only to mothball the technology after that energy crisis faded. But it got back into the heat pump business a couple decades ago, and last year it held around 15% of the German market.
Now Viessmann needs to defend its position as one of the country's market leaders as its rivals sink more money into heat pump technology.
Stiebel Eltron, a 98-year-old heating firm, got into the heat pump business in the 1970s and stuck with it despite the technology becoming a big money loser until relatively recently. The company boosted heat pump production by 60% over the past year to meet demand. It's now one of Europe's top five heat pump manufacturers and last month announced a fresh $600 million investment in heat pump production and R&D over the next five years.
''In a world where no one thought twice about using gas and emitting loads of CO2, it's difficult to sell something that's more expensive, where the benefit is emitting less CO2,'' said managing director Kai Schiefelbein. ''We are in the situation today where the heat pump market in Europe is growing rapidly, mainly due to climate protection.''
Indeed, while the Ukraine crisis has prompted a sudden spike in demand for heat pumps this year'--leaving many buyers waiting months for their new heat pumps'--German demand had already been rising sharply since 2019, when the government boosted subsidies as it scrambled to meet its climate goals.
Globally, the heating, cooling, and powering of buildings account for over a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions. And according to the government-backed organization Climate Transparency, Germany's per capita building-related carbon emissions were 56% above the G20 average in 2020, largely thanks to the widespread use of gas and oil for heating buildings. That made heating, along with transportation, a top priority for lawmakers.
With the new subsidies in place, German heat pump sales leapt 40% between 2019 and 2020, then another 28% the year after, reaching 154,000 units in 2021, out of roughly 900,000 heating units sold in Germany that year. (Globally, according to the IEA, 177 million heat pumps were installed by 2020, with increases of around 10% per year in the preceding five years.)
Last month, Germany's environmentally focused new government reformed the subsidy scheme, reducing the maximum subsidy available for heat pump installations from 50% to 40% of the sticker price.
That wasn't a big blow to the heat pump sector, because the government also ended subsidies for gas-fired boilers'--still the most popular means of heating buildings'--and oil-based heating systems. It promised to introduce a law that will demand all new heating system installations take at least 65% of their energy from renewable sources.
''For the industry to be able to plan and have security in their planning, it's very important that this is specified in law,'' said Katja Weinhold, communications chief at the German Heat Pump Association. ''This would send out an important signal that the standard case in Germany would no longer be the installation of a gas boiler but the electric heat pump.''
The 65% rule isn't yet set in stone, and it's just one of several uncertainties worrying the heat pump industry right now.
Chips, skills, and F-gasesOne immediate problem, especially given the sharp rise in demand for heat pumps, is the ongoing global chip shortage. ''Microchips and especially processors are very difficult to get at the moment,'' said Stiebel Eltron's Schiefelbein. ''Chips are primarily being allocated to the automotive industry,'' said Max Viessmann. ''Do we need more cars, or do we need more heat pumps to make our households and industrial processes become independent [of fossil fuels]?''
Lars Ivar Nitter Havro, a senior analyst at Rystad Energy'--who expects to see a global sevenfold increase in demand for heat pumps by 2050'--said chip supply chains were still ''feeling some of the aftermath'' of COVID lockdowns. But he also warned of possible future problems, owing to deteriorating relations between China and Taiwan (the former supplies the latter's chip industry with crucial materials) and Russia's war in Ukraine pausing Ukrainian production of noble gases (also crucial to chip production).
Another major source of uncertainty concerns the refrigerants that make heat pumps work. Currently, these tend to be so-called F-gases such as hydrofluorocarbons, which somewhat ironically have a global-warming potential as much as 1,700 times that of CO2'--if they leak out of the system.
Europe will likely order a phaseout of these substances later this year, putting the heat pump industry in a bind. Some companies have already started turning to natural, more climate-friendly alternatives'--some of Viessmann's products use propane, for example'--but many fear that a too-quick transition could lead to strangling the heat pump market at a time when it is most needed.
''The influence of the refrigerant on the climate is very small compared to the energy efficiency gains,'' argued Schiefelbein. ''Of course, everyone wants to have natural refrigerants in the heat pumps like propane, but if we phase out hydrofluorocarbons too quickly we will just reduce the speed of the growth of the whole heat pump market'...A lot of products cannot be done with natural refrigerants today. I personally propose that if someone develops a new heat pump and puts it into the market for the first time, then [the rules can say] it must have a natural refrigerant.''
There are other issues around finding enough skilled workers to install heat pumps and, crucially, ensuring homes are well-enough insulated to reap the full benefits of having them installed. The question of how strongly people should be compelled to install them also remains open. Max Viessmann warned that an excessively heavy-handed approach in Germany could lead to ''a yellow vest movement like we've seen in France'''--a reference to a popular uprising that was sparked by high energy prices.
But the green benefits of heat pumps are clear, and policymakers across the world are embracing the technology. For example, the U.S., which already accounts for half the market, is further incentivizing the installation of heat pumps through subsidies featured in the Inflation Reduction Act.
As with electric cars, heat pumps show that much of the technology the world need to fight the climate crisis is already here'--it's just a matter of making it the default.
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Fake RAND Report on 'Weakening Germany' | RAND
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 14:34
For Release
WednesdaySeptember 14, 2022
A supposedly leaked RAND report about a bizarre U.S. conspiracy to ''weaken Germany'' is fake.
Genuine RAND research, analysis, and commentary on the war in Ukraine may be found at this page.
Given the potential origins of this fake document, we encourage you to explore this resource on the ''firehose of falsehood'' approach to propaganda and RAND's extensive research on ''Truth Decay,'' a phenomenon driven in part by the spread of disinformation.
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White children are especially likely to be overdiagnosed and overtreated for ADHD, according to a new study
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 14:27
The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work.
The big ideaWhite children are especially likely to be overdiagnosed and overtreated for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder during elementary school. That is the key finding from our recent peer-reviewed study.
We analyzed data from 1,070 U.S. elementary school children who had displayed above-average behavioral, academic or executive functioning the year before their initial ADHD diagnoses. We considered these children as unlikely to have ADHD. Children diagnosed and treated for ADHD should display chronically inattentive, hyperactive or impulsive behaviors that impair their functioning and result in below-average academic or social development.
Among elementary school children who had shown above-average academic achievement, 27% of white children versus 19% of nonwhite children were later diagnosed with ADHD. About 20% of white children versus 14% of nonwhite children were using ADHD medication. Among children who had previously been well-behaved in classrooms, 13% of white children versus 8% of nonwhite children were later diagnosed with ADHD. Families' socioeconomic status or children's age did not explain these disparities.
We did find that ADHD diagnosis and treatment is very uncommon among elementary school children displaying above-average behavioral, academic or executive functioning. We observed ADHD diagnosis and treatment to occur in less than 5% of this group. Our findings are consistent with prior work examining racial and ethnic disparities among children unlikely to have ADHD.
Why it mattersAmong U.S. children and adolescents, ADHD prevalence has increased significantly, from 6% to 10% over the past 20 years. Overdiagnosis may be contributing to this trend. Increases in ADHD prevalence in children are occurring among those displaying mild impairments.
Overdiagnosis stretches already limited mental health resources and allocates them away from children who need them most. Overdiagnosis may also contribute to stigma and skepticism toward those experiencing significant or moderate impairments.
ADHD diagnosis and treatment has been shown to be beneficial for the larger group of children with significant ADHD symptoms and impairments. However, for the smaller group of children with no or only mild symptoms, ADHD diagnosis may result in lower academic achievement and behavior during elementary school.
Children with mild ADHD may be more likely to compare themselves with children without disabilities, and so adopt negative ability beliefs that interfere with their learning and behavior. Overtreatment also unnecessarily exposes children to medication's negative side effects, such as sleep problems or depressed appetites.
What still isn't knownWe don't know why white children in elementary school are especially likely to be overdiagnosed and overtreated for ADHD. One possibility is that white parents are more likely to seek diagnoses and treatments because they are more accepting of ADHD as a health condition. Limited research suggests that some parents may be attempting to obtain ADHD diagnoses and medications as a way to increase their children's academic achievement.
We couldn't investigate whether white children are more likely to be overdiagnosed and overtreated for ADHD during middle or high school because our study's data collection ended at the end of elementary school.
What's nextResearchers are repeatedly calling for investigations of ADHD overdiagnosis and overtreatment. We are extending our research by examining whether disparities in ADHD diagnosis and treatment vary for boys and girls by race and ethnicity.
This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.
Exposed: The '97% of scientists agree with manmade global warming' lie - The Conservative Woman
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 14:08
OUR government is imposing draconian limitations on our lifestyles, our economy and our finances to save the planet from supposed catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW), now renamed 'climate change'. Probably one of the most repeated arguments you'll hear in support of the need to achieve 'net zero' is that '97 per cent of scientists agree CAGW is happening'.
President Obama is just one of many who have made this claim: 'Ninety-seven per cent of scientists agree: climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.'
So did President Biden's Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, when he warned of the 'crippling consequences' of climate change and said: 'Ninety-seven per cent of the world's scientists tell us this is urgent.'
Yet, in spite of the damaging effects reaching 'net zero' will have on Western economies, not a single politician or mainstream journalist seems to have made the effort to find out where this '97 per cent' figure came from and how accurate it is.
The main author of the paper which came up with the figure was John Cook, an Australian former web programmer and blogger who later gained a PhD in philosophy at the University of Western Australia and founded what could be seen as a climate alarmist website.
He assembled a group of volunteers recruited via the website as part of a 'citizen science' project and tasked them with examining the abstracts of 11,944 climate papers from 1991-2011 matching the topics 'global climate change' or 'global warming'. Note that the volunteers didn't speak to any scientists and didn't read the scientific papers. They just looked at the abstracts '' a summary paragraph or two. The volunteers classified the abstracts into one of seven categories according to their opinions of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW):
1. Explicit endorsement of AGW with quantification
2. Explicit endorsement of AGW without quantification
3. Implicit endorsement of AGW
4. No position or Uncertain
5. Implicit rejection of AGW
6. Explicit rejection of AGW without quantification
7. Explicit rejection of AGW with quantification
The reviewers then 'simplified' results into four main categories as follows:
Endorse AGW 3,896 32.6 per cent of abstracts
No AGW position 7,930 66.4 per cent of abstracts
Reject AGW 78 0.7 per cent of abstracts
Uncertain on AGW 40 0.3 per cent of abstracts
This gave 32.6 per cent of abstracts which the reviewers concluded endorsed AGW.
Now comes the clever bit. Instead of admitting that just 32.6 per cent of papers (actually just abstracts of papers) endorsed AGW, the group removed the 7,930 abstracts which didn't take a position on AGW. That left just 4,014 abstracts of which 3,896 (97 per cent) supposedly 'endorsed' AGW.
This is like doing a survey of the voting intentions of 1,000 people. You find that 90 say they'll vote Labour, 10 say they'll vote Conservative and the remaining 900 are undecided. You eliminate the 900 undecideds and claim that 90 per cent of voters support Labour and just 10 per cent of voters will vote Conservative. This is, of course, complete statistical nonsense as the real percentage of the sampled 1,000 voters who have said they will vote Labour is 9 per cent, not 90 per cent.
That's not the end of the magic employed to reach that wondrous 97 per cent. The reviewers lumped together three categories of abstracts '' 'explicit endorsement with quantification', 'explicit endorsement without quantification' and 'implicit endorsement'. (Implicit endorsement means that the reviewer felt that the paper endorsed the AGW theory even though the paper didn't do so explicitly).
In the paper claiming 97 per cent support for AGW, the reviewers don't tell us how many papers fitted into each of these three categories, but the survey's own database shows that of the 3,896 abstracts which supposedly 'endorsed' AGW, just 64 were in the 'explicit endorsement with quantification' category; 922 were in the 'explicit endorsement without quantification' and the vast majority '' 2,910 out of 3,896 '' were in the 'implicit endorsement of AGW' category.
Thus only 986 of 11,944 '' that's just 8.2 per cent '' of abstracts explicitly said they agreed with the theory of man-made global warming.
To summarise, this '97 per cent of scientists' claim was based on the work of 11 to 12 volunteers, whose scientific credentials have not (as far as I know) been released and all of whom were probably firm AGW believers. Each looked at around 1,000, often quite obscure, scientific abstracts and from these documents decided whether the scientific papers (which they hadn't read) supported the AGW theory. To claim such an approach is statistically valid is beyond farcical. To call the '97 per cent of scientists endorse AGW' result 'garbage' could be seen as insulting to garbage.
Given the damage 'net zero' will do to our economies and our lives, it is incredible that not a single politician, mainstream journalist or editor seems to have had the ability or the inclination to expose the dubious origins of the ubiquitous '97 per cent of scientists endorse AGW' claim.
China Plans Three Moon Missions After Discovering New Lunar Mineral
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 14:07
China aims to launch three moon missions over the next decade as part of its Chang'e lunar program. China's National Space Administration won approval for the missions after it found a new mineral. The mineral, Changesite-(Y), could be a future source of energy and was found in lunar samples. Loading Something is loading.
China is aiming to launch three unmanned missions to the moon after discovering a new lunar mineral that could be an energy source in the future.
The space race between China and the US is accelerating after Beijing's National Space Administration got the go-ahead to launch three orbiters to the moon over the next 10 years, it announced on Saturday. The news was first reported by Bloomberg. It comes a day after China became the third country to discover a new lunar mineral, which it called Changesite-(Y), according to Chinese state-controlled newspaper the Global Times.
China's Chang'e-5 mission retrieved samples from the moon in 2020 and it has been described by Global Times as a "phosphate mineral in columnar crystal" found in lunar rock particles. The mineral contains helium-3, which could be a future source of energy.
The discovery may put more pressure on the US to ramp up its efforts after its Artemis I moon mission was postponed for a second time.
Moon mining could be the next source of tension between the countries as NASA is also probing the moon's south pole where China plans to build a research station in conjunction with Russia.
China has accelerated its efforts in space exploration of late by building a space station, launching a number of missions to collect moon samples and putting a rover called Zhurong on Mars earlier this year to rival NASA. The US remains the only country to put astronauts on the moon, with the last landing almost 50 years ago in the Apollo 17 mission, according to NASA's website.
The US Apollo 11 mission was the first to bring samples from the moon back to Earth in July 1969, with about 49 pounds (22 kilograms) of material from the moon's surface.
China's National Space Administration was contacted for comment.
What is the soft life and why are more young people embracing it? | Fortune
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 13:58
There are some people who live to work. They relish being a hustler, grinding it out. They chortle at your nine-to-five regimen, and they can't understand why anyone would be attracted to ''quiet quitting.''
Then there are those who work only to live the life Instagram fabricates. They collect their paycheck and take it to Lisbon or Paris or Madrid, where they flood social media with images of all the experiences their hard-earned cash bought them.
But Dar LaBeach is part of a new ilk, who are out here just living to live.
Life has changed a lot in the last two years, and many people are embracing a so-called soft life'--a rejection of the struggle, stress, and anxiety that come with working a traditional nine-to-five career and spinning away your days on life's hamster wheel. Instead, living the soft life is about throwing yourself into joy, and prioritizing the richness of experiences.
In the midst of the pandemic, LaBeach was at a crossroads and decided it was time to make a dramatic change. After being laid off from his marketing job in New York City in spring 2021, he went to Mexico. He had been earning between $100,000 and $150,000 a year but was stressed, disenchanted, and tired of living for something other than himself.
''It was very much, 'F- all this,''' LaBeach tells Fortune.
He lost his job on a Tuesday, booked a flight on Wednesday, and by the end of the week he was sitting on a beach in Oaxaca, Mexico. He needed a break, to breathe.
''It was while I was there that I realized I can really do this in a sustainable way,'' LaBeach says. Do what? Be on a beach, frolic, just live. ''I realized, 'Wow, I don't need to be in New York.' I really leaned into the idea that if I need it, I'll figure it out.''
LaBeach, 31, splits his time between New York and Mexico nowadays. He's able to do so without spending more than $1,000 a month for rent in either city. When in Mexico he primarily rents places via Airbnb, and he shares an apartment with a roommate in Brooklyn.
He had some savings set aside when he opted to shift his focus away from work, and he received a severance package when he lost his job, though he says it was pretty insignificant. LaBeach says he doesn't worry about money, and he admits that he's only fortunate enough to live this way now because he opted in to capitalism for so long.
''Money comes and money goes, and when I need money, I'm able to book projects, work, et cetera, so I don't let it stress me,'' LaBeach says. Since losing his job in 2021, he's developed a sort of work-at-will freelance career doing marketing and strategy consulting. ''There are plenty of ways to make money, and I give myself credit for developing a diverse enough set of skills over the years in business, strategy, entertainment, service, travel, and more to make that happen.''
A shift away from traditional successIt takes having ''an existential conversation'' with yourself before reaching the point of pursuing a soft life, says New York University sociology professor Deirdre Royster. The pandemic fast-tracked a lot of those conversations, but life and what people value was shifting even before everything shut down.
The script for a ''good American life,'' for ''the American Dream,'' has been completely flipped, Royster says. No longer is it simply a family of four settling down in the suburbs with the tidy home and a white picket fence. Royster herself, a tenured professor at NYU, found herself pursuing a whim during the pandemic to follow her passion for interior design. She applied to the Pratt Institute and was granted a partial scholarship.
''In the '80s people asked 'How do we maximize?' But now people are asking, 'What's the minimal amount I need to live a sustainable life?' I love that idea,'' Royster says.
LeBeach's experience in those first months in Mexico, while he recovered from burnout and a life in service to his career, made a few things very clear to him: ''Never again would I not take the trip, book the flight, eat the thing, because of money'...Needing money is not going to interrupt my need to live life,'' he says.
He's like many Americans who used the pandemic as an opportunity to disrupt their lives. The collective trauma of this worldwide tragedy allowed some to pump the brakes, turn into the skid, and realize that perhaps there was something more important in their lives than the stressing over whether they were living for their job hard enough.
''Quiet quitting'''--the internet's favorite workforce term of the moment'--its distant cousin, ''lying flat,'' and ''soft life'' have all popped up as symptoms of a shift away from the traditional expectations of what it looks like to be successful in America. Living a soft life doesn't necessarily mean you don't have a job, it just means your job is not your whole world.
For LaBeach, embracing the soft life has meant becoming a staunch anticapitalist, he says. When he moved to Mexico City, he got involved in local mutual aid. He says in connecting with his community there, he's come to understand that ''a lot of Black people are moving to Mexico City without realizing we're gentrifiers.''
As the world initiates the pandemic's soft closing, and people are finding new ways to return to life, Mexico City has become a haven for some Americans looking for a change while they take full advantage of the work-from-anywhere era. The Mexican government recorded more than 5.3 million Americans flying into Mexican airports from January to May 2022, CNN recently reported. That's nearly a million more than the same period in 2019.
LaBeach looked around at all the people coming to Mexico from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Brazil, and so on, and set out to form a new community of like-minded people. He and his friend and roommate Raven Rodriguez hosted dinners for Black and brown expats and immigrants. He helped to amplify protests and the voices of local activists advocating for women's rights. Even if it was just his small community, he wanted to be sure they were getting involved.
The rise of the soft lifeThe term ''soft life'' really picked up some steam among Black women earlier this year. The cottage industry of advice, lifestyle hacks, and femininity within the YouTube vlogosphere is littered with videos like ''How to live your best soft life,'' ''How I created a softer life for myself,'' and ''The truth about the 'soft' life.'' All are geared toward Black women.
''I feel like I've stepped into my era of living a soft life,'' creator Courtney Daniella Boateng says in a video about the hard work that goes into living a soft life. ''I've really invested in slowing down and detaching my self-worth or my productivity from these ideas of high levels of stress and just struggle.''
But many of these creators are painting a very opulent picture of the #softlife: more a Sofia Coppola Marie Antoinette-era version.
''Soft life, in the way that it's portrayed online, can often look like luxury and true levels of enjoyment,'' says Boateng in the video. ''However, there is a reality to living a soft life, which everyone in the real world needs to be exposed to, such as, you need to work, you need to make money. Life is not always roses.''
Friends and family often ask LaBeach how he affords to live the way he is. It's not like he has a nest egg funding his life. He's taken a ''$10 in; $20 out'' approach, he says, and it works for him. He's booked commercials while living in Mexico'--last year he appeared in a commercial FanDuel run during NFL games, and he even has a line'--and that provides some extra income doing work he enjoys. He does his freelance while chilling on the beach, or even sitting in the stands at the U.S. Open.
''I have zero regrets,'' he says. ''Maybe I'll go back [to a full-time job], and the only way I could at this point is because I know what it means to me to be in that space. I know I'm not there because I have to be'... There are now stipulations and boundaries in place that allow me to live the life I want to live.''
Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that LaBeach lost his job and moved to Mexico in 2021.
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FCC Launches Inquiry into Internet Routing Vulnerabilities | Federal Communications Commission
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 13:53
Full Title: Secure Internet Routing Document Type(s): Notice of Inquiry Bureau(s): Public Safety and Homeland Security Description:The Notice of Inquiry seeks comment on steps that the Commission should take to protect the nation's communications network from vulnerabilities posed by the Border Gateway Protocol
DA/FCC #: FCC-22-18 Docket/RM: 22-90 Document Dates Released On: Feb 28, 2022 Adopted On: Feb 28, 2022 Issued On: Feb 28, 2022
Women Are Disproportionately Hurting Our Country
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 13:26
When I was in college, I read a book by George Gilder, one of the wisest thinkers of the last half-century, titled ''Naked Nomads,'' which had a deep impact on me. It was about single men and all the pathologies associated with them. For example, Gilder drove home the point that the biggest factor concerning violent crime was that it is overwhelmingly committed by single men.
While there was no danger'--I would say no chance'--that I would commit a violent crime (though I was, at the time, single), this fact along with others in the book made me a lifelong advocate of marriage.
I also came to realize that raising good men was the most important thing society could do. If it doesn't, the male propensity to physical aggression and predatory sexual behavior will wreak havoc. Therefore, raising boys to control their natures is fundamental to society avoiding chaos.
Over the course of a lifetime, however, I have come to realize that while society was right about males, it was wrong about females. Whether spoken or unspoken, most people thought that girls just didn't need to be raised to control their natures nearly as much as boys did.
But they do.
It's true that females are not inclined to violence or predatory sexual behavior as men are. But this hardly means that girls and women don't have to learn to control their natures. On the contrary, as I have been telling parents for many years now, they need to teach their daughters to control their natures just as much as they teach their sons to do so.
Specifically, girls have to learn to control their emotions.
Just as the male sexual drive and violent impulses can overwhelm their conscience and their ability to think and act rationally, emotions can do the same thing in girls and women: overwhelm their conscience and their ability to think and act rationally.
However, it should be obvious that at least two generations of parents'--especially among the well-educated'--did not teach many of their daughters to control their emotions and think rationally.
The result is that women are disproportionately active in doing damage to our society.
The most obvious example is education. American schools teach less and indoctrinate more than ever before. Big-city public (and most private) schools are damaging young Americans to an extent and in ways no one imagined just a few years ago. Young children are prematurely sexualized'--they are, for example, exposed to ''Drag Queen Story Hour'' in class and in local libraries from the age of 5. These feature a man dressed as a woman reading and dancing for them.
And who is facilitating all of this? In virtually every case, a woman. Ninety-two percent of kindergarten teachers are women, 75% of all teachers are women and 85% of librarians are women.
And they are teaching young people to despise their country (the creator of the poisonous ''1619 Project'' is a woman), to feel guilty about their ''white privilege'' or to think of themselves as victims if they are black. Even worse, they are indoctrinating them in ''nonbinary'' thinking regarding sex and gender.
As City Journal reports, ''Los Angeles Unified School District has adopted a radical gender-theory curriculum encouraging teachers to work toward the 'breakdown of the gender binary,' to experiment with gender pronouns such as 'they,' 'ze,' and 'tree,' and to adopt 'trans-affirming' programming to make their classrooms 'queer all school year.'''
The same is happening in school districts around the country.
These ideas originated in university gender studies and women's studies departments, nearly all of whose professors are female.
Teachers and their unions did great damage to young people during COVID-19. They demanded'--because of their hypochondria and an apparent inability to apply reason to COVID-19 risk'--that schools be closed for nearly two years. Teachers unions in big cities threatened to go on strike if schools opened.
In general, teachers unions are just radical arms of the Democratic Party and the progressive movement. They are overwhelmingly composed of women members and women leaders. The head of the National Education Association is a woman, as are the heads of the Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City teachers unions.
Women physicians and health care workers are at the vanguard of ruining young people's lives at children's hospitals that push giving young people puberty-blocking hormones and opposite-gender hormones, performing hysterectomies and mastectomies on healthy girls who say they are boys, and chemically or physically castrating healthy boys who say they are girls.
Women are at the vanguard of perverting the medical profession by advocating the teaching of woke ideologies in medical schools, placing these ideologies on an equal footing with medical education.
Last week an organization called Physicians for Reproductive Health published an open letter to the nation's reporters and news editors, demanding they censor anti-abortion activists: ''We are asking for a commitment from the community of media outlets reporting on abortion to keep in mind the true danger that you present when interviewing anti-abortion extremists. You are giving the opportunity for dangerous lies to spread.''
As regards the demand that news outlets censor pro-life individuals and groups, the open letter was signed by more than 600 medical doctors and other health care professionals. Nearly every signatory was a woman. And all four of the listed leaders of Physicians for Reproductive Health are women.
Women clergy have been at the vanguard of pushing Christianity and Judaism to the left, leaving mainstream churches and synagogues increasingly empty. Of course, the increasingly feminized male clergy go along with their female colleagues.
And women are disproportionately supportive of cancel culture, the greatest threat to free speech in American history.
It should go without saying, but it's undoubtedly necessary to note that there are many women doing great, even heroic, things for our society, and that many men are working to wreck it. But for those who associate women with instinctively protecting children or with being supportive of a traditionally religious life, this era in American history has provided something of a shock.
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Biden Withdraws Record Amount Of Crude From 'Strategic Midterm Reserve' | ZeroHedge
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 13:16
It would appear that President Biden's administration is getting more and more desperate as the Midterms loom as the pace at which they are draining the nation's so-called 'strategic' reserve of crude oil just went to '11'.
Last week saw almost 8.54 million barrels withdrawn from the SPR - the biggest weekly drain in history.
This unprecedented collapse of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to its lowest since September 1984 has helped lower oil prices (from their record highs)...
...and send gas prices down 89 days in a row (erasing all of the Putin Price Hike), well ahead of the pace of decline in raw crude oil and wholesale gasoline (as gasoline demand remains weak)...
There's just one thing, the price of gas at the pump is still up 76% since Biden was elected...
But 'average joe' doesn't care about 'president joe' actions to weaken the nation's "strategic" reserve to save his party from a bloodbath in the Midterms and that is clear as President Biden's approval rating has soared back from crisis lows almost tick-for-tick with the drop in the price of gas (down 89 days in a row)...
Who could have seen that coming?
*US TO MAKE UP TO 20M BARRELS AVAILABLE FROM SEPT. TO OCTOBERThe scramble to empty the Strategic Midterm Reserve to win a few extra votes
'-- zerohedge (@zerohedge) July 26, 2022But, do not launch the "Mission Accomplished" campaign quote yet as even Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is warning that oil prices may increase in the winter as tougher sanctions will be imposed on Russian oil.
"This winter, the European Union will cease, for the most part, buying Russian oil," Yellen said.
"In addition, they will ban the provision of services that enable Russia to ship oil by tanker. And it is possible that that could cause a spike in oil prices."
And if oil goes up... so will gas prices.
Of course, what few want publicly discussed is the need to refill the SPR at some point soon... and the natural marginal bid that will place under the price of crude (but hey, that will be Republicans' problem should they win in November).
Who Are the Four Horsemen?
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 13:06
The four horsemen may seem mysterious and terrifying, but that does not have to be the case. Why not? Because the Bible and the events of modern history help us to identify clearly what each horseman pictures. And although their ride has signaled calamity on earth, it can also mean good news for you and your family. How so? First, let us determine the identity of each horseman.
THE RIDER OF THE WHITE HORSEThe vision begins this way: ''I saw, and look! a white horse, and the one seated on it had a bow; and a crown was given him, and he went out conquering and to complete his conquest.'''‹'--Revelation 6:2.
Who is the rider of the white horse? The key to his identity is found in the same Bible book, Revelation, which later identifies this heavenly rider as ''The Word of God.'' (Revelation 19:11-13) That title, The Word, belongs to Jesus Christ, for he acts as God's spokesman. (John 1:1, 14) In addition, he is called ''King of kings and Lord of lords'' and is described as ''Faithful and True.'' (Revelation 19:16) Clearly, he has authority to act as a warrior-king, and he does not wield his power in any corrupt or abusive way. Yet, some questions arise.
Who gives Jesus the authority to conquer? (Revelation 6:2) The prophet Daniel saw a vision in which the Messiah, likened to ''a son of man,'' was given ''rulership, honor, and a kingdom'' by none other than ''the Ancient of Days,'' Jehovah God. * (Daniel 7:13, 14) Thus, it is Almighty God who grants Jesus the power and right to rule and execute judgment. The white horse is an appropriate symbol for warfare justly carried out by God's Son, for the Scriptures often use the color white to symbolize righteousness.'‹'--Revelation 3:4; 7:9, 13, 14.
When did the horsemen begin their ride? Note that the first rider, Jesus, begins his ride when he receives a crown. (Revelation 6:2) When was Jesus crowned as King in heaven? It was not when he returned to heaven after his death. The Bible shows that a period of waiting began back then. (Hebrews 10:12, 13) Jesus gave his followers a means of recognizing the end of that waiting period and the beginning of his reign in heaven. He said that at the beginning of his rule, world conditions would take a decisive turn for the worse. There would be warfare, food shortages, and pestilences. (Matthew 24:3, 7; Luke 21:10, 11) Soon after World War I broke out in 1914, it became apparent that mankind had entered that era, a troubled time on earth that the Bible calls ''the last days.'''‹'--2 Timothy 3:1-5.
But why have we seen conditions that are worse, not better, since Jesus received his crown in 1914? Because at that time, Jesus began ruling in heaven, not on earth. War then broke out in heaven, and the newly installed King, Jesus, referred to as Michael, cast Satan and his demons to the earth. (Revelation 12:7-9, 12) Confined here, Satan has been full of rage ever since, knowing that his days are numbered. Indeed, it will not be long before God will carry out his will against Satan here on the earth. (Matthew 6:10) Now, let us see how the other three horsemen help to confirm that we are, in fact, living during the troubled ''last days.'' Unlike the first horseman, who clearly pictures a specific individual, the three that follow represent global conditions that have swept across human society.
THE RIDER OF THE RED HORSE''Another came out, a fiery-colored horse, and it was granted to the one seated on it to take peace away from the earth so that they should slaughter one another, and he was given a great sword.'''‹'--Revelation 6:4.
This rider represents warfare. Notice that he takes peace away from not just a few nations but the whole earth. In 1914, for the first time in history, a global war erupted. It was followed by a second world war, which was even more destructive. Some estimates place the total number of deaths due to wars and armed conflicts since 1914 at more than 100 million! In addition, vast numbers of other individuals suffered debilitating injuries.
To what extent does warfare characterize the present time? For the first time in history, mankind appears to have the ability to extinguish all human life. Even so-called peacekeeping organizations, such as the United Nations, have not been able to stop the rider of the red horse.
THE RIDER OF THE BLACK HORSE''I saw, and look! a black horse, and the one seated on it had a pair of scales in his hand. I heard what sounded like a voice in the midst of the four living creatures say: 'A quart of wheat for a denarius and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the olive oil and the wine.''''‹'--Revelation 6:5, 6.
This rider represents famine. We find here a picture of food rationing so severe that a quart (1.08 L) of wheat would cost one denarius, a whole day's wage in the first century! (Matthew 20:2) The same coin could purchase three quarts (3.24 L) of barley, a grain viewed as inferior to wheat. How far would that go to feed a large family? People are then warned to be frugal even with daily foodstuffs, aptly pictured by such basic staples of that time and culture as olive oil and wine.
Since 1914, have we seen evidence that this rider of the black horse has been on the move? Yes! About 70 million people died in famines during the 20th century. One authority estimated that ''805 million people'‹'--about one in nine of the world's population'--'‹were chronically undernourished in 2012-14.'' Another report states: ''Hunger kills more people every year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.'' In spite of many earnest efforts to feed the hungry, the rider of the black horse continues to ride.
THE RIDER OF THE PALE HORSE''I saw, and look! a pale horse, and the one seated on it had the name Death. And the Grave was closely following him. And authority was given them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with a long sword and with food shortage and with deadly plague and by the wild beasts of the earth.'''‹'--Revelation 6:8.
The fourth rider represents death due to plague and other causes. Soon after 1914, the Spanish flu killed tens of millions. Possibly some 500 million people were infected, about 1 out of every 3 humans then alive!
But the Spanish flu was just the beginning. Experts estimate that hundreds of millions died of smallpox during the 20th century. To this day, the lives of millions are cut short by AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, despite intensive medical research.
The result is the same, death'‹'--whether due to war, famine, or plague. The Grave relentlessly gathers up the victims, offering no hope.
BETTER TIMES ARE AHEAD!The present times of trouble will soon end. Remember this: Jesus ''went out conquering'' in 1914, confining Satan to the earth, but Jesus did not then complete his conquest. (Revelation 6:2; 12:9, 12) Soon, during Armageddon, Jesus will remove Satan's influence and will destroy the Devil's human supporters. (Revelation 20:1-3) Jesus will not only terminate the ride of the other three horsemen but even reverse the effects of their destructive ride. How so? Consider what the Bible promises.
Instead of war, peace will reign. Jehovah ''is bringing an end to wars throughout the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear.'' (Psalm 46:9) As for peace-loving people, ''they will find exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.'''‹'--Psalm 37:11.
Instead of famine, there will be plenty of food. ''There will be an abundance of grain on the earth; on the top of the mountains it will overflow.'''‹'--Psalm 72:16.
Jesus will soon reverse the effects of the other three horsemen
Instead of plague and death, there will be perfect health and eternal life for all. God ''will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore.'''‹'--Revelation 21:4.
When Jesus lived on earth, he provided a heartwarming preview of future conditions under his rulership. He promoted peace, miraculously fed thousands, cured the sick, and even raised the dead to life again.'‹'--Matthew 12:15; 14:19-21; 26:52; John 11:43, 44.
Jehovah's Witnesses would be delighted to show you in your Bible how you can be ready when the ride of those horsemen ends. Will you accept an invitation to learn more?
Russell Brand Launches Exclusive Daily Live Show on Rumble | Rumble
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 13:03
09/12/2022
Comedian and actor Russell Brand has moved to Rumble as his primary video platform; joinsjournalist Glenn Greenwald to challenge corporate media with a daily livestream.
TORONTO, Canada, September 12, 2022'--Rumble, the video-sharing platform, has announcedthat Russell Brand, the influential comedian, actor, and podcaster, will launch a new daily live show.
Stay Free with Russell Brand will stream exclusively on Rumble at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Timeweekdays from September 28th. The channel will provide an alternative news source that is bothinclusive and progressive, exploring global events and providing unique perspectives on culture,news, and politics.
''We are here to serve our community'--which includes everyone,'' said Russell Brand. ''We are hereto question everything, we are here to have a laugh, to Build Back Better and Make News GreatAgain. Stay Free.''
''We are excited to empower Russell to grow his audience on Rumble and Locals,'' said RumbleCEO Chris Pavlovski. ''Russell is known for his unfiltered opinions, and we are proud to serve as thetechnology platform where he can grow his audience.''
Following the livestream, Brand will continue with a Q&A session exclusively for subscribers onRumble's community platform, Locals, which will be the new home of Brand's full-length videopodcast conversations and premium content including his live comedy tour.
Stay Free with Russell Brand will launch on Rumble on September 28, 2022.
You can find Russell's Rumble channel here: https://rumble.com/RussellBrandYou can find Russell's Locals community here: https://russellbrand.locals.com/
ABOUT RUMBLERumble is a high-growth neutral video platform that is creating the rails and independentinfrastructure designed to be immune to cancel culture. Rumble's mission is to restore the Internet toits roots by making it free and open once again. In December 2021, the company announced theexecution of a definitive business combination agreement with CF Acquisition Corp. VI (NASDAQ:CFVI). See the announcement here: https://corp.rumble.com
Online Art Communities Begin Banning AI-Generated Images - Waxy.org
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 12:58
As AI-generated art platforms like DALL-E 2, Midjourney, and Stable Diffusion explode in popularity, online communities devoted to sharing human-generated art are forced to make a decision: should AI art be allowed?
Collage of dozens of images made with Stable Diffusion, indexed by LexicaOn Sunday, popular furry art community Fur Affinity announced that AI-generated art was not allowed because it ''lacked artistic merit.'' (In July, one AI furry porn generator was uploading one image every 40 seconds before it was banned.) Their new guidelines are very clear:
Content created by artificial intelligence is not allowed on Fur Affinity.
AI and machine learning applications (DALL-E, Craiyon) sample other artists' work to create content. That content generated can reference hundreds, even thousands of pieces of work from other artists to create derivative images.
Our goal is to support artists and their content. We don't believe it's in our community's best interests to allow AI generated content on the site.
Last year, the 27-year-old art/animation portal Newgrounds banned images made with Artbreeder, a tool for ''breeding'' GAN-generated art. Late last month, Newgrounds rewrote their guidelines to explicitly disallow images generated by new generation of AI art platforms:
AI-generated art is not allowed in the Art Portal. This includes using tools such as Midjourney, Dall-E, and Craiyon, in addition fractal generators and websites like ArtBreeder, where the user selects two images and they are combined into a new image via machine learning.
There are cases where some use of AI is ok, for example if you are primarily showcasing your character art but use an AI-generated background. In these cases, please note any elements where AI was used so that it is clear to users and moderators.
Tracing and coloring over AI-generated art is something best shared on your blog, as it is much like tracing over someone else's art.
Bottom line: We want to keep the focus on art made by people and not have the Art Portal flooded with computer-generated art.
It's not just long-running online communities: InkBlot is a budding art platform funded on Kickstarter in 2021 that went into open beta just this week. They've already taken a ''no tolerance'' policy against AI art, and updating their terms of service to exclude it.
Hi, we mentioned a few days ago that we have a no tolerance for AI art & working on updating our ToS in coming day for this which you can see in tweet here: https://t.co/5NCCKDYVWv
'-- ðŸ...‹InkBlot @ MEMBERSHIP DRIVE (@inkblot_art) September 9, 2022Platforms that haven't taken a stand are now facing public pressure to clarify their policies.
DeviantArt is one of the most popular online art communities, and increasingly, members are complaining that their feeds are getting flooded with AI-generated art. One of the most popular threads in their forums right now asks the staff to ''combat AI art'' by limiting daily uploads, either by segregating it under a special category or to ban it entirely.
@DeviantArt You were kind of the last art site dedicated to art, but everyday I check the site now more and more its Ai. 10 out of 25 on your front page is Ai gen images. I guess this actually might be the end of a lot of art sites? I hope someone steps in and makes a new site pic.twitter.com/1Kez5FFQQF
'-- Zakuga Art (@ZakugaMignon) September 6, 2022ArtStation has also been quiet as AI-generated images grow in popularity there. ''Trending on ArtStation'' is one of the most popular prompts for AI art because of the particular aesthetic and quality of work found there, which nudges the AI to generate work scraped from it, leading to a future ouroboros where AI models will be trained on AI-generated art found there.
Every time I go to DA or Artstation these days the front pages are flooded with unmodified AI generated slop. Its ugly and makes the sites feel lesser. I go to these places to be inspired, not demoralized.
'-- RJ Palmer (@arvalis) September 9, 2022However you feel about the ethics of AI art, online art communities are facing a very real problem of scale: AI art can be created orders of magnitude faster than traditional human-made art. A powerful GPU can generate thousands of images an hour, even while you sleep.
Lexica, a search engine that solely indexed images from Stable Diffusion's beta tests in Discord, has over 10 million images in it. It would take a lifetime to explore everything in it, a corpus made by a relatively small group of beta testers in a few weeks.
Left unchecked, it's not hard to imagine AI art crowding out illustrations that took days or weeks for someone to make.
To keep their communities active, community admins and moderators will have to decide what to do with AI art: allow it, segregate it, or ban it entirely.
Biden signs executive order designed to unleash transhumanist hell on America and the world '' LeoHohmann.com
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 12:53
If anyone needed proof that the powers pushing the levers behind the mindless moron who sits in the Oval Office are fully on board with the World Economic Forum/United Nations agenda of biomedical tyranny and transhumanism, look no further than the executive order that Joe Biden signed on Monday, September 12.
By quietly getting Biden's signature on this document, his handlers may have given us the most ominous sign yet that we stand on the threshold of a technocratic one-world beast system. Prepare to make your stand because it's about to get much more intense.
This document's Orwellian title, Executive Order on Advancing Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Innovation for a Sustainable, Safe, and Secure American Bioeconomy, will assure that its significance will fly right over the heads of 99 percent of the media, even the conservative media.
They will read it and yawn. I plead with everyone reading this article to please not make that same mistake.
Because of the arcane scientific language in which this document is written, even most of those who take the time to read and study it (I assure you Biden did not) will not fully grasp what is being ordered by the White House.
That's where we strive to help.
Karen Kingston, a former Pfizer employee and current analyst for the pharmaceutical and medical-device industries, helps us decipher what's going on in this executive order.
Kingston stated in a Twitter post:
''Let me read between the lines for America. Biden's Sept. 12, 2022, executive order declares that Americans must surrender all human rights that stand in the way of transhumanism. Clinical trial safety standards and informed consent will be eradicated as they stand in the way of universally unleashing gene-editing technologies needed to merge humans with A.I. In order to achieve the societal goals of the New World Order, crimes against humanity are not only legal, but mandatory.''
Here is one of the most disturbing excerpts from Biden's executive order:
''We need to develop genetic engineering technologies and techniques to be able to write circuitry for cells and predictably program biology in the same way in which we write software and program computers'...including through computing tools and artificial intelligence'...''
Patrick Wood, an economist and author of several books on technocracy, has been following the transhumanist and global technocracy movements for four decades. He told me that Kingston is not overstating the issue.
He said this E.O. is proof that the executive branch is now owned lock, stock and barrel by the biomedical/pharmaceutical industry. It will be Katy bar the door from here on out.
''The transhumanists within Big Pharma have completely taken over government policy and taxpayer funds to promote their own anti-human agenda of hacking the software of life,'' Wood told me. ''It also clearly demonstrates who has the power, and who sets the policies in America.''
The mRNA injections that have already gone into the bodies of at least 70 percent of adults in the U.S. (and a smaller percentage of its children) mark the ''gateway to transhumanism.'' We have been told this by Kingston as well as by the late Dr. Zev Zelenko and Dr. Robert Malone, a co-inventor of the mRNA platform.
LeoHohmann.com was one of the first sites to blow the whistle on Moderna's former chief medical officer, Tal Zaks, who told the world straight up in December 2017 that ''We have hacked the software of life,'' and that this mRNA gene-editing biotechnology would be incorporated into vaccines to treat and prevent all manner of illnesses. We've seen how well they work, with millions getting sick and tens of thousands dying after getting two or more doses of the Covid injections offered up by Moderna and Pfizer. With the FDA and CDC now totally on board, this mRNA technology is being included in scores of other vaccines, including flu shots.
The September 12 executive order was no doubt put in place as back up for the continued experimentation on the human population, and I expect the vaccine industry will exploit it to the max. Soon we will see the return of vax mandates, this time more ferociously policed and enforced than before.
This E.O. may also have been timed at least partly in anticipation of the new pandemic treaty that the Biden administration is hoping to get passed through the United Nations World Health Organization next year. This treaty will transfer sovereignty over matters of ''health emergencies'' from the national level to the WHO.
Wood said the E.O.'s intended consequences is to push the frontier of genetic modification of all living things and especially humans. He believes this will ultimately spark the biggest public backlash in modern history.
''Biden pledges not only funding but an all-of-government transformation to support this anti-human scheme from top to bottom,'' Wood writes. ''It also automatically blocks any agency or department from dissent.''
Below are just a few of the highlights quoted directly from the document:
The term ''biotechnology'' means technology that applies to or is enabled by life sciences innovation or product development.The term ''biomanufacturing'' means the use of biological systems to develop products, tools, and processes at commercial scale.The term ''bioeconomy'' means economic activity derived from the life sciences, particularly in the areas of biotechnology and biomanufacturing, and includes industries, products, services, and the workforce.The term ''biological data'' means the information, including associated descriptors, derived from the structure, function, or process of a biological system(s) that is measured, collected, or aggregated for analysis.The term ''key R&D areas'' includes fundamental R&D of emerging biotechnologies, including engineering biology; predictive engineering of complex biological systems, including the designing, building, testing, and modeling of entire living cells, cell components, or cellular systems; quantitative and theory-driven multi-disciplinary research to maximize convergence with other enabling technologies; and regulatory science, including the development of new information, criteria, tools, models, and approaches to inform and assist regulatory decision-making. These R&D priorities should be coupled with advances in predictive modeling, data analytics, artificial intelligence, bioinformatics, high-performance and other advanced computing systems, metrology and data-driven standards, and other non-life science enabling technologies.The term ''life sciences'' means all sciences that study or use living organisms, viruses, or their products, including all disciplines of biology and all applications of the biological sciences (including biotechnology, genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics, and pharmaceutical and biomedical research and techniques), but excluding scientific studies associated with radioactive materials or toxic chemicals that are not of biological origin or synthetic analogues of toxins.What this means is that human beings will be data mined for their most personal possession, their DNA and genomic properties, and the government will offer no protection.
It will actually be encouraged and seen as a green light for biomedical practitioners worldwide. It is the goal of the technocratic proprietors of Agenda 2030 to catalogue, map out, and monitor every living thing on earth.
This was spelled out in the early 2000s by the late researcher Rosa Koire and put into book form in 2011 with ''Behind the Green Mask: U.N. Agenda 21.'' Koire was a Democrat, but she understood that the takedown of America and indeed every nation of the formerly free world, would not be accomplished by the left or the right but by supranational globalists with an allegiance to no particular nation. In fact, these globalists detest the nation-state model that has dominated the world for thousands of years. Their goal is ''global governance'' and they say it out loud in their own documents.
Have no fear.
Do not be intimidated.
Truth will not be defeated.
Humanity will prevail against these anti-human eugenicist monsters because we have living souls and are created in the image of a Holy God with individual free wills.
Because of that, we humans are capable of having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the one and only triune God of the Bible. Those who take the bait of the globalists and submit to the world system will in essence be handing over their humanity in exchange for empty promises of safety and security. They will become transhumans, thus foregoing, at some point, their ability to connect with God. That's a very big step and a decision that will face every human being sooner or later as this technology ramps up. Your very soul will depend on the choice you make. Will you follow God or will you follow man?
Above all, this is a spiritual battle.
We must continue to expose the sinister transhumanist agenda that these globalist predators did their best to keep hidden within a scientific vernacular that they know will wow and mystify the average person. We have decoded it for you in this article from two of the best Christian experts on the topic available in the world today '' Karen Kingston and Patrick Wood.
Share this article far and wide.
LeoHohmann.com is 100 percent reader supported. We survive on contributions from you, no matter how small, and do not accept any of the hush money offered by corporate America or Big Pharma. You may send donations c/o Leo Hohmann, PO Box 291, Newnan, GA 30264, or via credit card below.
France: Air traffic controllers' strike planned nationwide, Sept 16 | Crisis24
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 12:50
13 Sep 2022 | 10:14 AM UTCAir traffic controllers across France to strike Sept. 16; flight disruptions likely. Reconfirm all flights.security
transportation
FRA
EventUnionized workers represented by the National Union of Air Traffic Control workers plan to strike nationwide Sept. 16. The union demands increased pay in line with inflation. In response, France's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC) has requested that airlines cancel 50 percent of flights arriving and departing France on that day. The DGAC is also negotiating with the European air travel regulator Eurocontrol to manage flights around France's airspace.
Unless averted, the action will likely lead to flight delays and cancellations. Further information regarding the level of disruptions will likely be announced once the degree of staff participation in the strike becomes clear.
AdviceContact airlines to confirm flight status if booked to fly via airports in France Sept. 16. Do not check out of accommodations until onward travel is confirmed. Arrive at the airport early to prevent your seat from being allocated to a standby passenger.
Microneedle patch tattoos: iScience
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 12:03
Highlights 'Microneedle patches tattoo skin in a simple, rapid, painless, and bloodless way
'Microneedle patches facilitate medical, veterinary, and cosmetic tattooing
'Medical tattoos communicate health status and store information in a patient's skin
Summary Medical tattoos provide medical information, guide radiotherapy, and improve cosmetic outcomes of medical interventions. These tattoos are administered by repeated needle injection that causes pain, bleeding, and risk of infection, which limit more widespread use. Here, we developed single-use microneedle (MN) patches to deposit tattoos in the skin in a simple, rapid, painless, and bloodless way without biohazardous sharps waste. MN patch tattoos were designed with numbers, letters, symbols, environmentally responsive inks, and QR codes. Colored tattoos, and tattoos only visible with ultraviolet illumination for increased privacy, were developed and retained in the skin for at least one year. These MN patch tattoos recorded medical conditions such as diabetic medical alerts and vaccination status, responded to biophysical cues for possible physiological monitoring, and encoded complex personal health information. MN patches may increase safety and access to medical tattoos for improved fiducial marking, medical information storage, physiological monitoring, and cosmetic outcomes.
Graphical abstract Subject areas Medical deviceMedical biotechnologyBiomaterials Introduction Tattoos have been used in human societies and cultures around the world for millennia as a form of body modification that provides art, information, spiritual meaning, or other attributes (
Krutak, 2015Krutak L. The cultural heritage of tattooing: a brief history.
). From very early human history, tattoos have not only been associated with cultural or religious signs (
Kosut, 2000Kosut M. Tattoo Narratives: the intersection of the body, self-identity and society.
) but also have had intended medical uses (
Krutak, 2013Krutak L. The power to cure: a brief history of therapeutic tattooing.
). The oldest known tattoos are believed to be those found on mummies from up to 5,000 years ago (
). These tattoos are believed to have had therapeutic purpose, such as marking acupuncture sites or alleviating pain or other ailments (
Krutak, 2013Krutak L. The power to cure: a brief history of therapeutic tattooing.
).
Nowadays, tattoos are in widespread use, both for medical or veterinary applications as well as for ornamental or cosmetic purposes (
Kluger and De Cuyper, 2018Kluger N. De Cuyper C. A practical guide about tattooing in patients with chronic skin disorders and other medical conditions.
;
). For example, medical tattoos are used to communicate chronic or life-threatening medical conditions such as diabetes to emergency personnel (
), to identify body locations for repeated therapeutic treatment such as radiotherapy (
Landeg et al., 2016Landeg S.J. Kirby A.M. Lee S.F. Bartlett F. Titmarsh K. Donovan E. Griffin C.L. Gothard L. Locke I. McNair H.A. A randomized control trial evaluating fluorescent ink versus dark ink tattoos for breast radiotherapy.
) or to treat cosmetic outcomes of medical conditions such as dermatographic color correction of vitiligo (
) and simulating areola in nipple-areola reconstruction therapy (
Vandeweyer, 2003Vandeweyer E. Simultaneous nipple and areola reconstruction: a review of 50 cases.
). Animals are tattooed to indicate sterilization status (
Griffin et al., 2016Griffin B. Bushby P.A. White S.C. Appel L.D. Wilford C.L. Eddlestone S.M. Ferguson N. Howe L.M. Levy J.K. Moyer M.R. et al.The association of shelter veterinarians' 2016 veterinary medical care guidelines for spay-neuter programs.
,
Griffin et al., 2020Griffin B. Bohling M.W. Brestle K. Tattoo and ear-tipping techniques for identification of surgically sterilized dogs and cats.
) or for individual identification and/or population monitoring of free-roaming animals (
ICAM, 2017 ICAMIdentification methods for dogs and cats.
). Outside of medicine, tattoos are also in widespread use for cosmetic decoration or self-expression, with 10%''20% of the population in countries around the world having tattoos (
Heywood et al., 2012Heywood W. Patrick K. Smith A.M.A. Simpson J.M. Pitts M.K. Richters J. Shelley J.M. Who gets tattoos? Demographic and behavioral correlates of ever being tattooed in a representative sample of men and women.
;
Kluger, 2015Kluger N. Epidemiology of tattoos in industrialized countries.
;
). Incidence is increasing over time and is higher among those under age 40 years.
Tattoos are typically made by injecting pigments or inks into the skin using needles or lancets. Modern tattoo machines use electromagnetic force to move the needles in and out of the skin repeatedly at high frequency up to several thousand times per minute to deposit material in the skin (
Oyarte Glvez et al., 2019Oyarte Glvez L. Bri" P(C)rez M. Fernndez Rivas D. High speed imaging of solid needle and liquid micro-jet injections.
;
), and the needles can penetrate the skin to a depth from several hundred micrometers up to around 2 mm (
Barua, 2015Barua S. Laser-tissue interaction in tattoo removal by Q-switched lasers.
;
). The liquid tattoo ink is guided via the needle and deposited in the skin. Although many different tattooing methods have been developed throughout human history, the basic principle of introducing colored particles into the skin by needle puncture is largely unchanged.
Adverse effects of tattooing have been reported, with incidence as high as 31% (
Antoszewski et al., 2006Antoszewski B. Sitek A. Jedrzejczak M. Kasielska A. Kruk-Jeromin J. Are body piercing and tattooing safe fashions?.
) and 68% (
Kl¼gl et al., 2010Kl¼gl I. Hiller K.A. Landthaler M. B¤umler W. Incidence of health problems associated with tattooed skin: a nation-wide survey in German-speaking countries.
) describing skin complications after receiving a tattoo, most commonly pruritus and/or bleeding (
Paola et al., 2016Paola P. Sazan P. Laura C. Ivana B. Chiara S. Safety of Tattoos and Permanent Make-Up: Final Report.
). There is also a risk of infection, which is primarily bacterial and localized to the skin, with an incidence of up to 5% of tattoo recipients (
Kl¼gl et al., 2010Kl¼gl I. Hiller K.A. Landthaler M. B¤umler W. Incidence of health problems associated with tattooed skin: a nation-wide survey in German-speaking countries.
;
Laux et al., 2016Laux P. Tralau T. Tentschert J. Blume A. Dahouk S.A. B¤umler W. Bernstein E. Bocca B. Alimonti A. Colebrook H. et al.A medical-toxicological view of tattooing.
). Infection is believed to be due largely to contaminated ink or needles due to poor manufacturing or unsafe practices during tattoo application (e.g., use of saliva as a needle lubricant or tap water as an ink diluent) (
Laux et al., 2016Laux P. Tralau T. Tentschert J. Blume A. Dahouk S.A. B¤umler W. Bernstein E. Bocca B. Alimonti A. Colebrook H. et al.A medical-toxicological view of tattooing.
;
Paola et al., 2016Paola P. Sazan P. Laura C. Ivana B. Chiara S. Safety of Tattoos and Permanent Make-Up: Final Report.
).
Tattooing has technical similarities to hypodermic injection in medicine, and tattoo tools have been adapted for drug delivery applications (
Pokorna et al., 2008Pokorna D. Rubio I. M¼ller M. DNA-vaccination via tattooing induces stronger humoral and cellular immune responses than intramuscular delivery supported by molecular adjuvants.
;
Shio et al., 2014Shio M.T. Paquet M. Martel C. Bosschaerts T. Stienstra S. Olivier M. Fortin A. Drug delivery by tattooing to treat cutaneous leishmaniasis.
). Likewise, advances in drug delivery may be used to improve tattoo administration. In the biomedical field, microneedle (MN) patches have been developed as an alternative to injections that enable simplified administration for targeted delivery to the skin using a skin patch (
Ingrole et al., 2021Ingrole R.S.J. Azizoglu E. Dul M. Birchall J.C. Gill H.S. Prausnitz M.R. Trends of microneedle technology in the scientific literature, patents, clinical trials and internet activity.
;
Prausnitz, 2017Prausnitz M.R. Engineering microneedle patches for vaccination and drug delivery to skin.
). When these patches are pressed to the skin, microscopic needles penetrate below the skin surface to release coated or encapsulated drug into the skin for local effects or systemic uptake via dermal vasculature.
MN patches have been widely studied for minimally invasive drug delivery that causes little or no pain or bleeding, generates no biohazardous sharps waste, and can be administered after only brief training (
Duarah et al., 2019Duarah S. Sharma M. Wen J. Recent advances in microneedle-based drug delivery: special emphasis on its use in paediatric population.
;
Ingrole et al., 2021Ingrole R.S.J. Azizoglu E. Dul M. Birchall J.C. Gill H.S. Prausnitz M.R. Trends of microneedle technology in the scientific literature, patents, clinical trials and internet activity.
;
Ita, 2017Ita K. Dissolving microneedles for transdermal drug delivery: advances and challenges.
;
Norman et al., 2014Norman J.J. Arya J.M. McClain M.A. Frew P.M. Meltzer M.I. Prausnitz M.R. Microneedle patches: usability and acceptability for self-vaccination against influenza.
;
Prausnitz, 2017Prausnitz M.R. Engineering microneedle patches for vaccination and drug delivery to skin.
). MN patches can be manufactured at low cost as single-use, sterile devices. The MNs on these patches are generally hundreds of micrometers long, which can effectively penetrate the skin to release payloads in the dermis, suggesting that MN patches may be able to simplify tattoo administration to increase access, increase safety, and decrease cost.
In this study, we designed MN patches and fabrication techniques to produce skin tattoos, in which each MN represents a dot or pixel of the tattoo image. Using single-color, multi-color, changing-color, and ultraviolet (UV)-visible tattoo inks, we made MN patches with tattoo symbols, numbers, letters, and other medical/decorative images applied to the skin.
Results and discussion Symbol tattoos by MN patches Conventional MN patches for drug delivery are typically arranged as a square or circular array of MNs. To create MN patches with other shapes that can communicate visual information, we used a CO2 laser cutter to drill conical cavities in polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) sheets to form molds with any desired pattern. In this way, we made MN patches in which each MN behaved like a pixel or dot that together created the tattoo shape or image. Each MN was made of a mixture of tattoo ink particles and a biocompatible, water-soluble polymer (i.e., poly(acrylic acid), PAA).
To demonstrate this approach, we prepared molds in the shape of a heart and a hexagon star symbol (
Figure 1A(i) ) that were used to make MN patches containing tattoo ink in the same pattern (
Figure 1A(ii)). When pressed to the skin, the tattoo ink was deposited by the MNs in the skin to transfer the heart and star patterns as skin tattoos (
Figure 1A(iii)). Ink deposition in the skin was accompanied by dissolution of the water-soluble MN, which left behind a used patch backing with no biohazardous sharps (
Figure S1 in
supplemental information).
Figure 1 Symbol tattoos by MN patches
Show full caption (A) Representative microscopy images of red-heart and blue-star MN patch tattoos: (i) top view of the PDMS molds with the tattoo patterns; (ii) MN patches loaded with red or blue tattoo ink; (iii) porcine skin tattooed by the MN patches ex vivo. Scale bars: 5 mm.
(B) Representative photographic images of red-heart and blue-star tattoos administered to rats by MN patches imaged over time for up to one year.
(C) Representative microscopy images of UV-visible heart and star MN patch tattoos: (i) UV-MN patches loaded with UV-visible tattoo ink, seen in bright field; (ii) UV-MN patches illuminated by UV light, showing blue fluorescence of the UV tattoo ink; (iii) porcine skin tattooed by the UV-MN patches ex vivo, seen with illumination by a UV flashlight. Scale bars: 5 mm.
View Large Image Figure ViewerDownload Hi-res image Download (PPT)The red-heart and blue-star MN patches were applied to rats to assess MN patch tattooing
in vivo (
Figure 1B). These tattoo images were transferred to the skin and remained visible for at least one year, maintaining both their shape and color. The procedure was well tolerated, with no adverse reactions seen in the skin. The red-heart image exhibited some distortion after one year, which may have been caused by body shape change or skin aging, which is known to affect tattoos in humans (
Hudson, 2009Hudson K. Living Canvas: Your Total Guide to Tattoos, Piercings, and Body Modification.
). In addition, the quick metabolism and growth of rats may play a role, because one year is a large fraction of a rat's total lifespan (
Sengupta, 2013Sengupta P. The laboratory rat: relating its age with human's.
). Overall, these findings demonstrate the feasibility of tattooing by MN patches.
Similarly, heart and star tattoo MN patches were made by loading UV fluorescent tattoo ink that could not be seen in ambient light (
Figure 1C(i)) but fluorescent blue when illuminated with UV light (
Figure 1C(ii)). Upon application to the skin, the UV tattoos were visible with UV illumination by a handheld UV flashlight, thereby helping to keep the tattoo private (
Figure 1C(iii)).
Medical tattoos by MN patches We next sought to develop the MN technology in a way that could benefit medical and veterinary tattoos to contain information that can guide treatment. In some cases, this would require using letters and/or numbers to record medical information. As an example, we made MN patches to tattoo the number ''4'' and applied it to skin (
Figure 2A ). Note that the mold (
Figure 2A(i)) and skin tattoo (
Figure 2A(iii)) show the number ''4'' in the correct orientation, but the MN patch when viewed with the MNs pointing up shows the mirror image (
Figure 2A(ii)).
Figure 2 Number tattoos by MN patches
Show full caption (A) Representative microscopy images of a MN patch tattoo with the number ''4'': (i) top view of the PDMS mold with a ''4'' pattern; (ii) MN patch mold loaded with red tattoo ink; (iii) porcine skin tattooed by the MN patch ex vivo.
(B) Representative photographic images of porcine skin tattooed with numbers from ''0'' to ''9'' by UV-MN patches, showing that the tattoos were invisible in daylight (i). The tattoos became visible when illuminated with UV light in darkness (ii) and in daylight (iii).
View Large Image Figure ViewerDownload Hi-res image Download (PPT)Building off the single-digit tattoo, we next made MN patch tattoos for all 10 digits from 0 to 9 in the skin, this time using UV-fluorescent ink (
Figure 2B). These UV tattoos were invisible in the skin in daylight (
Figure 2B(i)) but became visible when illuminated with UV light either in darkness (
Figure 2B(ii)) or in daylight (
Figure 2B(iii)). Such numerical tattoos could be used to record the date or year of a medical intervention or other quantitative information needed for treatment or monitoring.
Medical tattoos might also benefit from other symbols besides numbers. As an example, we made MN patches to tattoo skin with the eight different blood-type codes (
Figures 3A and 3B ). As another example, a diabetes alert tattoo consisting of a blue ''T1D'' label (i.e., type-1 diabetes) and a red-cross symbol was also enabled by MN patches (
Figure 3C). We incorporated two different colors in this tattoo by filling different tattoo inks into the MN patches.
Figure 3 Medical tattoos by MN patches
Show full caption (A) Representative microscopy images of a MN patch tattoo with an ''A+'' label indicating blood type: (i) top view of the PDMS mold with an ''A+'' pattern; (ii) MN patch loaded with red tattoo ink; (iii) porcine skin tattooed by the MN patch ex vivo.
(B) Representative photographic images of porcine skin ex vivo tattooed with eight different blood-type labels by MN patches.
(C) Representative microscopy images of MN patch tattoos with ''T1D'' (type-1 diabetes) and red-cross medical alert symbols: (i) top view of the PDMS molds with medical alert patterns; (ii) MN patches loaded with blue or red tattoo ink; (iii) porcine skin tattooed with type-1 diabetes medical alert symbols by MN patches ex vivo.
View Large Image Figure ViewerDownload Hi-res image Download (PPT)These medical tattoos demonstrate the feasibility of developing MN patches to provide information using different numbers, letters, symbols, colors, and their combinations. Because these medical tattoo patches can be easily administered and read, they can enable patients to provide valuable medical information to health care personnel, such as first responders in an emergency involving, for example, extensive blood loss or a severe hypoglycemic event where the patient may not be responsive or fully coherent, as is done today, for example, using medical alert bracelets (
).
Two-component MN patches for vaccination and medical recording The conventional use of MN patches to administer drugs and vaccines presents a dual-use scenario, where a MN patch can be used for both drug delivery and medical recording (
McHugh et al., 2019McHugh K.J. Jing L. Severt S.Y. Cruz M. Sarmadi M. Jayawardena H.S.N. Perkinson C.F. Larusson F. Rose S. Tomasic S. et al.Biocompatible near-infrared quantum dots delivered to the skin by microneedle patches record vaccination.
). To demonstrate this concept, we developed a MN patch to administer inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) and tattoo ink in the shape of the number ''20'' (
Figure 4A ). In this way, a single MN patch could be used to vaccinate as well as leave a small marking on the skin indicating the vaccination year (i.e., 2020). This could be especially valuable in low-resource settings with limited infrastructure for health care records.
Figure 4 Two-component MN patches for vaccination and medical recording
Show full caption (A) Representative photographic image of a two-component MN patch loaded with IPV vaccine (left) and blue tattoo ink (right). Scale bar: 1 cm.
(B) Representative microscopic image of porcine skin after applying a two-component MN patch ex vivo, showing the blue number ''20'' tattoo and an adjacent array of micropores stained by Gentian violet to facilitate imaging of puncture sites by the MNs containing vaccine.
(C) Neutralizing antibody titers measured after IPV vaccination by two-component MN patch or IM injection of the same dose (8 DU) of the same vaccine (IPV type 2) in Wistar rats (Data was shown as mean ± S.D. N = 5''6 independent replicates per group).
(D) Representative photographic images of blue and UV number ''20'' tattoos on rats administered by two-component MN patches were recognizable after one year to record the vaccination year 2020. Imaging was performed close ('¼20 cm from skin) and distant ('¼1 m from skin) with ambient lighting or with UV illumination.
View Large Image Figure ViewerDownload Hi-res image Download (PPT)In our approach, the vaccine and tattoo ink were loaded into separate sections of the MN patch, which avoided possible negative interactions between the vaccine and ink. This simplified the MN patch design and fabrication process, but in other case the vaccine and tattoo ink could be combined in the same MNs by developing a MN patch formulation to stabilize both the vaccine and tattoo ink. MNs in this two-component MN patch effectively penetrated the skin, as indicated by the blue ''20'' tattoo on one side of the skin and an array of purple dots formed on the other side of the skin by a dye that selectively stains sites of skin penetration, indicating successful puncture by the IPV-containing MNs (i.e., this dye was added only for imaging purposes and would not be used during a conventional vaccination [
Figure 4B]).
Immunogenicity of the IPV vaccination was assessed in Wistar rats by vaccination using either two-component MN patches or intramuscular (IM) injection of the same dose of IPV type 2. The immune response following vaccination revealed that the neutralizing antibody response to vaccination was not significantly different in the MN patch and IM vaccination groups over the course of the six-week study (two-tailed Student's t test, p > 0.05,
Figure 4C).
We also assessed the companion tattoo administered to the rats with either light-visible or UV-visible ink. The tattooed number ''20'' remained visible in the skin for at least one year after vaccination, i.e., the blue ink tattoo was always visible and the UV ink tattoo remained visible with UV light illumination but was invisible just in daylight (
Figure 4D). No adverse effects were seen in the skin, and the procedure was overall well tolerated by the rats. The UV ink allowed the tattoo to be discreet, only to be seen with UV illumination. Still greater privacy could be enabled by using dye that is only visible in the infrared or other parts of the electromagnetic spectrum and would require specialized equipment to detect (
McHugh et al., 2019McHugh K.J. Jing L. Severt S.Y. Cruz M. Sarmadi M. Jayawardena H.S.N. Perkinson C.F. Larusson F. Rose S. Tomasic S. et al.Biocompatible near-infrared quantum dots delivered to the skin by microneedle patches record vaccination.
).
Responsive tattoos by light-sensitive MN patches and thermosensitive MN patches In some cases, it may be useful to have tattoos that are responsive to environmental changes and thereby provide different information in different settings. As an example, we combined light-visible and UV-visible tattoo inks in MN patches to create a tattoo with differential information based on lighting conditions (
Figure 5). In daylight, a red ''STOP'' label was evident on the skin (
Figure 5C(i)), whereas a blue ''GO'' label was seen in darkness with UV illumination (
Figure 5C(ii)). Both labels were evident during UV illumination in daylight (
Figure 5C(iii)).
Figure 5 Responsive tattoos by light-sensitive and thermosensitive MN patches
Show full caption Representative microscopic and photographic images showing (A) a top view of PDMS molds with (i) ''STOP'' and (ii) ''GO'' patterns; (B) MN patches with a (i) ''STOP'' pattern loaded with red tattoo ink imaged in bright field and (ii) ''GO'' pattern loaded with UV-visible tattoo ink seen with UV illumination; and (C) porcine skin with responsive tattoos ex vivo showing (i) a red ''STOP'' label visible under daylight, (ii) a fluorescent ''GO'' label visible under UV illumination, and (iii) both ''STOP'' and ''GO'' labels visible under daylight with UV illumination.
(D) Representative microscopic images of (i) a MN patch loaded with thermochromic pigments showing a red cross at room temperature that reversibly turned yellow upon heating to 40 °C, while the outer circle loaded with non-responsive red ink did not change color, and (ii) porcine skin tattooed ex vivo showing the red cross label reversibly turned from red at room temperature to yellow when heated to 40°C.
View Large Image Figure ViewerDownload Hi-res image Download (PPT)In another example, two different inks were used to form a red-cross pattern (
Figure 5D). The inner cross was made using thermochromic ink that changed color in response to a temperature change, and the outer circle was made using conventional red tattoo ink. In this way, the inner cross could change color between red and yellow reversibly upon heating across a threshold of 40°C both in the MN patch (
Figure 5D(i)) and in the skin tattoo (
Figure 5D(ii)). In the skin, the yellow color was almost invisible because of the skin tone. This type of tattoo may be used to monitor the temperature in the skin, such as during fever or during a treatment involving exposure to elevated temperature. Other thermochromic inks can change to different colors (
Figure S2 in
supplemental information) or at different temperatures, which could enable more color-change options for thermosensitive-MN patch tattoos.
Although light and thermal stimuli serve as examples in this study, prior research has demonstrated novel chemistries and technologies for materials that respond to a broad range of different stimuli of interest in medicine and other applications, including glucose, enzymes, and pH (
Deirram et al., 2019Deirram N. Zhang C. Kermaniyan S.S. Johnston A.P.R. Such G.K. pH-responsive polymer nanoparticles for drug delivery.
;
Kowalski et al., 2018Kowalski P.S. Bhattacharya C. Afewerki S. Langer R. Smart biomaterials: recent advances and future directions.
;
Linsley and Wu, 2017Linsley C.S. Wu B.M. Recent advances in light-responsive on-demand drug-delivery systems.
;
Mu et al., 2018Mu J. Lin J. Huang P. Chen X. Development of endogenous enzyme-responsive nanomaterials for theranostics.
;
Municoy et al., 2020Municoy S. lvarez Echazº M.I. Antezana P.E. Galdop"rpora J.M. Olivetti C. Mebert A.M. Foglia M.L. Tuttolomondo M.V. Alvarez G.S. Hardy J.G. Desimone M.F. Stimuli-responsive materials for tissue engineering and drug delivery.
;
;
Wu et al., 2011Wu Q. Wang L. Yu H. Wang J. Chen Z. Organization of glucose-responsive systems and their properties.
). These functional materials and particles may be loaded into MN patches and delivered into the skin to monitor a variety of different physiological parameters (
Babity et al., 2022Babity S. Couture F. Campos E.V.R. Hedtrich S. Hagen R. Fehr D. Bonmarin M. Brambilla D. A naked eye-invisible ratiometric fluorescent microneedle tattoo for real-time monitoring of inflammatory skin conditions.
;
He et al., 2021He R. Liu H. Fang T. Niu Y. Zhang H. Han F. Gao B. Li F. Xu F. A colorimetric dermal tattoo biosensor fabricated by microneedle patch for multiplexed detection of health-related biomarkers.
).
QR code tattoos by MN patch We further increased the complexity of the tattoo pattern on MN patches by including more MNs per patch and designing the position of each MN to assemble a QR code pattern. A typical QR code consists of dark-color squares (called modules) on a white background. Its grid pattern stores digitized data, which can be text (e.g., with medical information) or internet links (e.g., to databases) and can be read by imaging devices such as smart phone cameras.
Our target QR code had 29 — 29 modules that encoded the URL address of the home page of our laboratory (
Figure 6A ). Like the other tattoo MN patches, we cast blue tattoo ink onto a PDMS mold with the QR code pattern to make an MN patch (
Figure 6B) that, when applied to skin, transferred a tattooed pattern that matched the matrix of the target QR code (
Figure 6C).
Figure 6 QR code tattoos by MN patches
Show full caption (B) The QR code pattern was (i) transferred to a PDMS mold, which was used to make a MN patch with a mirror image of the QR code: (ii) full patch, (iii) magnified view.
(C) Representative photographic image of porcine skin with a QR code tattoo administered by MN patch ex vivo. The tattooed code was readable by QR code reader applications.
View Large Image Figure ViewerDownload Hi-res image Download (PPT)The tattooed dots were not square and were not immediately adjacent to each other, like standard QR code modules. Despite these differences, as well as visual and morphological features of the skin, the tattooed QR code was successfully read by various well-known applications, including ''WeChat'' (ver. 8.0.15, Tencent, Shenzhen, China) and ''Tik Tok'' (ver. 22.8.4, TikTok Pte., Singapore), as well as other widely installed code readers (>10,000,000 installs) from Google Play Store, such as ''QR Code & Barcode Scanner'' (ver. 2.5.2, QR Easy, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam), ''QR & Barcode Scanner'' (ver. 2.2.18, Gamma Play, Hong Kong, China), and ''QR Scanner: Barcode Scanner & QR Code Scanner'' (ver. 2.4.5.GP, Simple Design, British Virgin Islands); all readings tracked to our home page as expected.
Compared with simpler tattoo patterns, creating a QR code by MN patch has the advantage of storing much more information or providing a link to essentially unlimited information on the cloud. Disadvantages of QR code tattoos include their greater complexity requiring correct application of a larger patch to skin with high fidelity, although QR codes have built-in redundancy that enables correct reading even when part of the code image is obscured or lost. Interestingly, reading a QR code tattoo with UV illumination in the dark produces an inverted QR code with bright modules on a dark background, which may require (or enable) specialized code scanners.
Applications of microneedle patch tattoos Tattoos are in widespread use around the world for cosmetic, medical/veterinary, and other purposes. In current practice, administering a tattoo requires a person with specific technical, and in some cases artistic, skill. The process of administering a tattoo is time-consuming, painful, and risks causing infection (
Kl¼gl et al., 2010Kl¼gl I. Hiller K.A. Landthaler M. B¤umler W. Incidence of health problems associated with tattooed skin: a nation-wide survey in German-speaking countries.
;
Laux et al., 2016Laux P. Tralau T. Tentschert J. Blume A. Dahouk S.A. B¤umler W. Bernstein E. Bocca B. Alimonti A. Colebrook H. et al.A medical-toxicological view of tattooing.
;
Liszewski et al., 2015Liszewski W. Kream E. Helland S. Cavigli A. Lavin B.C. Murina A. The demographics and rates of tattoo complications, regret, and unsafe tattooing practices: a cross-sectional study.
;
Paola et al., 2016Paola P. Sazan P. Laura C. Ivana B. Chiara S. Safety of Tattoos and Permanent Make-Up: Final Report.
). As an alternative to current tattooing practice, MN patch tattoos could for some applications facilitate increased access to tattoos, reduce their cost, and increase their safety.
Cosmetic tattoos often cover large areas of skin and require customized artistry, but small tattoos with simple designs could be given quickly and painlessly by MN patch. Self-administration may also be possible, and use of temporary tattoo ink (which we did not explore in this study) may be especially suitable in these situations (
Shah and Pierre, 2021Shah V.K. Pierre B. Particles containing coloring agents and methods of using the same.
). MN patches could also increase the safety of tattooing, because they can be manufactured sterile, are single-use, and generate no biohazardous waste (because the MNs dissolve in the skin) (
Duarah et al., 2019Duarah S. Sharma M. Wen J. Recent advances in microneedle-based drug delivery: special emphasis on its use in paediatric population.
;
Ita, 2017Ita K. Dissolving microneedles for transdermal drug delivery: advances and challenges.
;
Prausnitz, 2017Prausnitz M.R. Engineering microneedle patches for vaccination and drug delivery to skin.
). MNs have been used in dozens of clinical trials for drug delivery and other applications with an excellent safety record (
) and have been sold for cosmetic purposes like anti-aging for decades (
Iriarte et al., 2017Iriarte C. Awosika O. Rengifo-Pardo M. Ehrlich A. Review of applications of microneedling in dermatology.
). MN patches are strongly preferred over hypodermic injections (
Arya et al., 2017Arya J. Henry S. Kalluri H. McAllister D.V. Pewin W.P. Prausnitz M.R. Tolerability, usability and acceptability of dissolving microneedle patch administration in human subjects.
;
Gill et al., 2008Gill H.S. Denson D.D. Burris B.A. Prausnitz M.R. Effect of microneedle design on pain in human subjects.
;
Haq et al., 2009Haq M.I. Smith E. John D.N. Kalavala M. Edwards C. Anstey A. Morrissey A. Birchall J.C. Clinical administration of microneedles: skin puncture, pain and sensation.
), which are in turn much less painful than getting a tattoo that involves repeated needle injections. MN patch tattoos could reduce the cost of tattoos, because the patches are expected to cost less than USD $1 each, and there is no need for expert and time-consuming tattoo application using complicated tattooing devices typically available only at specific tattooing facilities, all of which may enable self-administration (
Duarah et al., 2019Duarah S. Sharma M. Wen J. Recent advances in microneedle-based drug delivery: special emphasis on its use in paediatric population.
;
Ita, 2017Ita K. Dissolving microneedles for transdermal drug delivery: advances and challenges.
;
Prausnitz, 2017Prausnitz M.R. Engineering microneedle patches for vaccination and drug delivery to skin.
). These features of MN patch technology suggest that MN patch tattoos would be better accepted by the general population compared with conventional tattooing.
Medical tattoos can be very small and simple, such as those used to identify body sites for repeated treatments like radiotherapy (
Landeg et al., 2016Landeg S.J. Kirby A.M. Lee S.F. Bartlett F. Titmarsh K. Donovan E. Griffin C.L. Gothard L. Locke I. McNair H.A. A randomized control trial evaluating fluorescent ink versus dark ink tattoos for breast radiotherapy.
) or for veterinary tattoos identifying sterilization status of animals (
Griffin et al., 2020Griffin B. Bohling M.W. Brestle K. Tattoo and ear-tipping techniques for identification of surgically sterilized dogs and cats.
). A MN patch tattoo may be ideally suited in such scenarios. More complex but relatively standardized designs like nipple-areola reconstruction therapy (
Vandeweyer, 2003Vandeweyer E. Simultaneous nipple and areola reconstruction: a review of 50 cases.
) or dermatographic color correction of vitiligo (
) could also be amenable to MN patch tattooing, applied over a larger area with multiple patches and with customized coloring based on the patient's skin tone.
Many patients with chronic conditions wear medical alert bracelets, which in some cases could be replaced with tattoos (
). In this study, we evaluated MN patch tattoos to provide information on blood type or diabetes status, but many other health care scenarios could be addressed, including medical conditions (asthma, epilepsy), medications (blood thinner, allergies), medical devices (pacemaker), do-not-resuscitate orders, and contact information.
MN patch tattoos could be useful in public health, especially in settings where health care resources and medical recordkeeping are limited. Information about an important medical intervention could be recorded by a small, discreet tattoo. We presented an example of a MN patch tattoo used to indicate the year of IPV vaccination, and this tattoo was combined into a two-component patch with a second MN array used to administer the vaccine. This approach is reminiscent of the small scars left in the skin by smallpox vaccination, which served as evidence of vaccination status to identify unvaccinated people during vaccination campaigns for smallpox eradication (
Fenner et al., 1988Fenner F. Henderson D.A. Arita I. Jezek Z. Ladnyi I.D. Smallpox and its Eradication.
).
MN patch tattoos could also provide dynamic information in response to environmental changes. Here, we showed tattoos that responded to light and heat, but there is a large body of literature on materials with properties that respond to a broad variety of physical and molecular inputs. Probably the best-known examples are glucose-responsive materials that change color or appearance to report glucose levels of interest to people with diabetes (
Wu et al., 2011Wu Q. Wang L. Yu H. Wang J. Chen Z. Organization of glucose-responsive systems and their properties.
). However, there are many other materials that respond to change of pH, enzymes, binding reactions, redox state, ionic strength, mechanical stress, or other stimuli (
Deirram et al., 2019Deirram N. Zhang C. Kermaniyan S.S. Johnston A.P.R. Such G.K. pH-responsive polymer nanoparticles for drug delivery.
;
Kowalski et al., 2018Kowalski P.S. Bhattacharya C. Afewerki S. Langer R. Smart biomaterials: recent advances and future directions.
;
Linsley and Wu, 2017Linsley C.S. Wu B.M. Recent advances in light-responsive on-demand drug-delivery systems.
;
Mu et al., 2018Mu J. Lin J. Huang P. Chen X. Development of endogenous enzyme-responsive nanomaterials for theranostics.
;
Municoy et al., 2020Municoy S. lvarez Echazº M.I. Antezana P.E. Galdop"rpora J.M. Olivetti C. Mebert A.M. Foglia M.L. Tuttolomondo M.V. Alvarez G.S. Hardy J.G. Desimone M.F. Stimuli-responsive materials for tissue engineering and drug delivery.
;
;
Wu et al., 2011Wu Q. Wang L. Yu H. Wang J. Chen Z. Organization of glucose-responsive systems and their properties.
) that could be formulated in particle form and administered to the skin as a MN patch tattoo. Such an environmentally responsive tattoo could be a convenient, discreet method for patients to continuously monitor their health status.
Larger MN patch tattoos can contain more information, either for direct readout of words, numbers, or symbols or for electronic readout, such as using a QR code that contains digitized information including a possible Internet site link. Although QR codes are standardized, other scanning codes could be used as well when combined with a suitable electronic reader.
In conclusion, this study developed MN patches to administer tattoos to the skin and demonstrated their feasibility for a variety of medical and other applications. The MN patches were designed to simplify the tattooing process by reducing the need for technical and artistic skill to administer tattoos and to increase acceptability of the process by tattoo recipients by reducing time and eliminating pain to improve tolerability. MN patch tattoos can also increase safety, as single-use, sterile, skin patches that generate no biohazardous sharps waste. The tattoos created in this way were used to record medical information, such as medical conditions and vaccination status, on the skin for use by emergency response and other health care personnel, using both light-visible and UV-visible inks. The MN patch tattoos were also capable of being responsive to environmental cues, such as light or temperature, which could be used to monitor physiological processes in situ in the body for medical, research, or other purposes. MN patch administration of complex tattoo patterns like QR codes further showed the breadth of possible applications. We conclude that MN patch tattoos can simplify tattoo administration, thereby increasing safety and access to tattoos for medical, cosmetic, research, and other uses.
Limitations of the study The potential use of MN patches for tattooing has limitations, considering both medical and cosmetic applications. Image resolution is constrained by MN density, which in this study was '¼100 MNs/cm
2, but other patches have been developed with densities greater than 20,000 MNs/cm
2 (
Chen et al., 2010Chen X. Kask A.S. Crichton M.L. McNeilly C. Yukiko S. Dong L. Marshak J.O. Jarrahian C. Fernando G.J.P. Chen D. et al.Improved DNA vaccination by skin-targeted delivery using dry-coated densely-packed microprojection arrays.
). Typical MN patch fabrication methods fill or coat all MNs with the same materials, which generates single-color tattoos, but novel approaches are under development to allow each MN to deliver different cargo (
Allen et al., 2016Allen E.A. O'Mahony C. Cronin M. O'Mahony T. Moore A.C. Crean A.M. Dissolvable microneedle fabrication using piezoelectric dispensing technology.
;
Li et al., 2018Li S. Li W. Prausnitz M. Individually coated microneedles for co-delivery of multiple compounds with different properties.
), which will enable multi-color tattoos. Tattoo size is limited by MN patch size, which currently is usually '¼1 cm
2, limited largely by reliable insertion of the MNs into the skin, but there are examples of larger patches (
Li et al., 2021Li W. Li S. Fan X. Prausnitz M.R. Microneedle patch designs to increase dose administered to human subjects.
;
Ripolin et al., 2017Ripolin A. Quinn J. Larra±eta E. Vicente-Perez E.M. Barry J. Donnelly R.F. Successful application of large microneedle patches by human volunteers.
). Even larger tattoos may require the use of multiple patches. Some of these limitations may be more critical to cosmetics, where aesthetic appeal of the tattoo is often most important, as opposed to medical tattoos, where functionality is the main goal. Another consideration is that skin texture and thickness at different body locations and on humans versus various animals might influence MN patch penetration and overall performance, thereby affecting the quality of tattoo images.
In some cases, MN patch tattoos could be administered by health care personnel or other professionals. However, MN patches currently used for cosmetics and drug delivery are self-administered by users with little or no training (
;
Huang et al., 2022Huang Y. Yu H. Wang L. Shen D. Ni Z. Ren S. Lu Y. Chen X. Yang J. Hong Y. Research progress on cosmetic microneedle systems: preparation, property and application.
), which suggests that MN patch tattoos could likewise be self-administered or at least applied by people without specialized training. Because conventional tattoo inks are designed to be permanent, application of MN patch tattoos by people without training could lead to mistakes with lasting cosmetic consequences. Although tattoo removal is possible (
B¤umler and WeiŸ, 2019B¤umler W. WeiŸ K.T. Laser assisted tattoo removal - state of the art and new developments.
), temporary tattoos (
Shah and Pierre, 2021Shah V.K. Pierre B. Particles containing coloring agents and methods of using the same.
) may be a useful option for self-administration.
The ease of administration by MN patches facilitates new and more-widespread application of medical tattoos, which may raise privacy concerns when sensitive personal medical information is associated with a tattoo. On the one hand, storing private information in one's own skin provides the ultimate personal control and security that no hacker can access over the internet. On the other hand, tattoos may be seen by unintended viewers, depending on body location. Tattoos can be made more discreet by covering with clothing or using inks that require UV, infrared, or other specialized optics. However, such barriers to access may limit the utility of tattoos used, for example, as medical alerts that emergency personnel need to easily find and read.
Future studies should further explore the range of MN patch tattoos in terms of image resolution, colors, size, and information content. MN patch tattoos should also be applied to humans to confirm their expected painlessness and acceptability, as well as their safety and longevity in the skin. The possibility of administering temporary or reversible tattoos by MN patch should be considered too. Issues related to privacy need to be evaluated, which will depend on the population, purpose, and other factors associated with the specific application.
STAR'…Methods Key resources table Resource availability Lead contact Further information and requests for resources and reagents should be directed to and will be fulfilled by the lead contact, Mark R. Prausnitz (
[email protected] ).
Materials availability This study did not generate new or unique reagents.
Experimental model and subject details The rat study reported here was approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) of the Georgia Institute of Technology. Wistar rats (8''10 weeks old, female, Charles River Laboratories, Wilmington, MA) were used. Rats were housed at 22''25°C on a circadian cycle of 12-h light and 12-h dark with free access to food and water.
Method details Fabrication of MN patch molds PDMS molds in the inverse shape of MN patches were made by laser cutting. PDMS sheets were prepared by mixing the two precursors of Sylgard 184 (Dow Corning, Midland, MI) at a ratio of 10:1. The mixture was degassed, poured into a flat-bottom container to a thickness of '¼2.5 mm, and cured at room temperature (20''25 °C) for 2 d and at 37°C for another day. A solid PDMS sheet was drilled by a CO2 laser cutter in vector mode in the VersaLaser engraver VLS 3.50 (Universal Laser Systems, Scottsdale, AZ) to generate an array of cone-like cavities to form the MNs in the PDMS mold. The MN dimensions and position were controlled by drawing in AutoCAD software (Autodesk, San Rafael, CA) so that each MN had a '¼550 μm base diameter, '¼1.1 mm length and tapered to a tip of '¼10 μm radius of curvature.
To clean the mold, a 20% (w/v) polyvinyl alcohol (PVA, 4''88, Millipore Sigma, Burlington, MA) solution in deionized water was applied on the drilled mold under vacuum and allowed to dry to form a PVA film at 40°C overnight. Peeling off the PVA film removed burnt debris on the PDMS mold which had been generated during laser drilling. The PDMS molds were stored at room temperature until use.
Fabrication of tattoo MN patches Tattoo MN patches were fabricated using a two-step molding process in PDMS molds based on established methods (
Edens et al., 2015aEdens C. Collins M.L. Goodson J.L. Rota P.A. Prausnitz M.R. A microneedle patch containing measles vaccine is immunogenic in non-human primates.
;
Mistilis et al., 2015Mistilis M.J. Bommarius A.S. Prausnitz M.R. Development of a thermostable microneedle patch for influenza vaccination.
). Briefly, tattoo ink dry powder was dispersed at a concentration of 5% (w/v) in aqueous solution containing 10% (w/v) PAA (Polysciences, Warrington, PA) with the help of bath sonication. This dispersion was used as the first-cast solution to fill into the PDMS mold cavities under vacuum for 20 min at room temperature to form the ink-loaded MNs. Excess liquid was removed from the mold surface after this step.
The second casting solution, consisting of 18% (w/v) PVA and 18% (w/v) sucrose (Sigma, St. Louis, MO), was then applied on the molds and dried under vacuum at room temperature for 3 h to form the backing layer of MN patches. The filled molds were further dried at 40°C overnight before demolding the MN patches using adhesive tape (Scotch, 3M, St. Paul, MN). All MN patches were stored with desiccant at room temperature until further use.
Different types of tattoo inks or pigments were loaded into the MN patches to enable different tattoo appearance and function. The inks included (1) visible-colored dry tattoo powers (Navy blue TN15, Chinese red TN31 and Indigo black TN1, National Tattoo Supply, Allentown, PA), (2) UV-visible tattoo ink (Blacklight Invisible, Bloodline, Carson City, NV) and (3) thermochromic ink that changes color when heated above 31°C (UniGlow, Tampa, FL). These inks were loaded in MN patches to get solid-color MN patches, UV-MN patches, and thermo-MN patches, respectively. To fabricate MN patches, dry ink powders were added directly and suspended in casting solutions. For the liquid UV ink, the ink was centrifuged at '¼5000 — g for 3 min to separate the ink particles. The ink particles were then washed with an equal volume of DI water and dried at 37°C for 2 days to yield dry ink powder.
Application of MN patches to tattoo skin The feasibility of tattooing skin by MN patches was examined by applying tattoo MN patches to excised porcine skin ex vivo and to shaved rats in vivo. Briefly, MN patches were pressed by thumb against the skin for '¼10 s and left in place for 15 min prior to peeling off. After application, the skin was gently cleaned by tissue paper (Kimwipe, Kimberly-Clark Professional, Roswell, GA) to wipe off residual ink and MN patch dissolution products from the skin surface. Photographs of the tattooed skin were taken by digital camera (Canon EOS 60D, Tokyo, Japan) from 20 cm or 1 m away.
When applying tattoo MN patches in vivo, Wistar rats (8''10 weeks old, female, Charles River Laboratories, Wilmington, MA) were anesthetized by isoflurane and shaved to exposure at least an 8 cm — 5 cm hairless area for MN patch application and photographing afterwards. The tattoos were imaged by camera photography immediately after applying the MN patches and every month after that. All procedures in this study involving animals were approved by the IACUC at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
To visualize and photograph UV tattoos made by MN patches, a portable UV flashlight (TT-FL002, TaoTronics, Shenzhen, China) was used to illuminate the tattooed skin area from '¼0.5 m away.
Fabrication of tattoo MN patches for vaccination Two-component MN patches were designed to deliver IPV vaccine and to make tattoo markers at the same time. Monovalent bulk IPV type 2 (Middle East Forces (MEF) strain) was kindly provided by Bilthoven Biologicals (Bilthoven, Netherlands). The antigen concentration in the bulk vaccine was measured to be 834 D-antigen units per milliliter (DU/mL). The stock IPV solution was concentrated with Amicon ultracentrifuge spin filters with 100 kDa molecular weight cutoff (Millipore Sigma). The final antigen concentration was determined to be 3.6 kDU/mL.
All DU values were measured with sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using an established method (
Edens et al., 2015bEdens C. Dybdahl-Sissoko N.C. Weldon W.C. Oberste M.S. Prausnitz M.R. Inactivated polio vaccination using a microneedle patch is immunogenic in the rhesus macaque.
). Briefly, 50 μL of diluted antibody (poliovirus type 2 monoclonal antibody, ThermoFisher, Waltham, MA) were dispensed into Nunc MaxiSorp high protein-binding capacity 96-well plates (ThermoFisher) and incubated at 4°C for 1 day to coat plates. The coated plates were washed four times with wash buffer (0.01 M PBS, pH 7.2 with 0.05% Tween 20) and blocked with blocking buffer (0.01 M PBS, pH 7.2 with 0.25% Tween-20 and 0.5% gelatin) at 37°C for 1 h. The blocked plates were washed four times and then received 50 μL of antigen for incubation at 37°C for 1 h. After washing plates four times, 50 μL of diluted horseradish peroxidase (HRP) labelled antibody was added and incubated at 37°C for 1 h. After washing plates, 50 μL of SureBlue Reserve TMB Microwell Peroxidase Substrate (1-Component) (KPL, Gaithersburg, MD) was added and incubated at 37°C for 15 min, and the reaction was stopped by adding 50 μL of TMB BlueSTOP Solution (KPL). Absorbance at 620 nm was evaluated on a spectrophotometer to analyze plates.
The IPV vaccine and tattoo ink were loaded separately into different sections of the MN patch to obtain two-component MN patches. The tattoo ink was loaded into one side of the MN patch as described above. The IPV was similarly loaded into the other side of the MN patch but with a different first-cast solution containing 3.6 kDU/mL IPV, 7.5% (w/v) maltodextrin (Sigma) and 2.5% (w/v) xylitol (Sigma), and a different second-cast solution containing 36% (w/v) maltodextrin, 12% (w/v) xylitol and 1% (w/v) PVA. The two second-cast solutions contacted each other on the mold surface and were dried into a single patch.
Application of MN patches to vaccinate and tattoo skin Wistar rats (9 weeks old, female, Charles River Laboratories) were anesthetized via isoflurane inhalation during MN patch applications. Five rats were immunized against IPV type 2 with the two-component MN patch that administered 8 DU IPV vaccine to the skin. MN patches were pressed against shaved rat skin for '¼10 s and removed after 15 min. For the control group, 6 rats were immunized against IPV type 2 by intramuscular (IM) injection in the thigh muscle of the hind limb. IM injection solutions were prepared by reconstituting and diluting the vaccine portion of a MN patch to deliver the same dose in a 100 μL IM injection.
Blood samples from the animals were collected over a six-week period to determine polio-specific neutralizing antibody titers. All blood samples were collected via tail-vein bleeding in collection tubes containing clot activators (BD Diagnostics, Franklin Lakes, NJ). Serum from the blood samples was separated via centrifugation at 6000 — g for 1.5 min. Serum samples were stored in Eppendorf tubes at ''20°C until antibody titer analysis. All procedures in this study involving animals were approved by the IACUC at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Polio-specific neutralizing antibody titers in serum samples were determined by the Division of Viral Diseases, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Atlanta, GA) using an established method (
WHO, 1996 WHOCombined immunization of infants with oral and inactivated poliovirus vaccines: results of a randomized trial in the Gambia, Oman, and Thailand. WHO Collaborative Study Group on Oral and Inactivated Poliovirus Vaccines.
). Briefly, 80''100 cell culture infectious dose 50% (CCID
50) of poliovirus type 2 and serially diluted serum samples were mixed and incubated at 35°C for 3 h, followed by the addition of Hep-2 cells. After 5 days of incubation at 35°C and 5% CO
2, the plates were stained with crystal violet, and the cell viability was determined by optical density measurements in a spectrophotometer. Then, the neutralization titer was calculated via the Spearman-Karber method (
K¤rber, 1931K¤rber G. Beitrag zur kollektiven Behandlung pharmakologischer Reihenversuche.
). The limit of detection for the assay was a 2.5 log
2 titer, and the precision of detection was ±0.5 log
2 titer.
Quantification and statistical analysis We report the average values of neutralizing antibody titers after IPV vaccination, and standard deviations of the results based on the measurements from 5''6 animals. An F-test was performed to examine the standard deviations between data sets prior to using a two-tailed Student's t test to compare between groups. The difference was considered significant if p < 0.05.
Data and code availability 'Data: All data reported in the paper are available from the
lead contact upon request.
'Code: This paper does not report original code.
'Any additional information related to this study is available from the
lead contact upon request.
Acknowledgments We appreciate administrative support from Ms. Donna Bondy and Ms. Margaret McMurry. We also thank Drs. Bernardo Mainou and Steven Oberste for performing serological analysis for the IPV vaccination study and Dr. Laura O'Farrell for her guidance on animal studies. This work was supported in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation ( INV-003561 ). This work was also supported in part by the Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs (ACC&D) for purposes of identifying sterilized or vaccinated animals. This support was limited to in vitro research ; no ACC&D funds were used for in vivo studies.
Author contributionsConceptualization: S.L., M.R.P.
Methodology: S.L., Y.K., J.W.L.
Investigation: S.L., Y.K., J.W.L.
Visualization: S.L.
Supervision: M.R.P.
Writing'--Original Draft: S.L., M.R.P.
Writing'--Review & Editing: Y.K., J.W.L.
Declaration of interestsM.R.P. is an inventor of patents licensed, a paid advisor, and a founder/shareholder of companies developing microneedle-based products (Micron Biomedical). This potential conflict of interest has been disclosed and is managed by Georgia Tech. S.L. is an employee of Micron Biomedical. All other authors declare they have no competing interests.
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Accepted: August 19, 2022
Received in revised form: July 24, 2022
Received: June 3, 2022
Publication stageIn Press, Corrected ProofIdentificationDOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2022.105014
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'Clerical Error' Wipes Out Thousands of Comments on New Biden Gender-Identity Discrimination Rule| National Catholic Register
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 11:56
Today marks the end of the public-comment period after hundreds of thousands of comments disappeared from the record this weekend.
Today marks the end of the public-comment period for the Biden administration's updated Title IX rule after hundreds of thousands of comments disappeared from the record this weekend in a move the Education Department is calling a ''clerical error.''
The rule has been the subject of outcry from concerned parents and religious groups who will be impacted by it since its proposal in June, when the administration reinterpreted Title IX's federal ban on sex discrimination to include ''sexual orientation or gender identity.''
Religious freedom and free-speech advocates warn that the proposed rule change could be used to enforce mandates on hiring, bathrooms, using preferred pronouns, and dress codes.
First reported by Politico in a weekly education newsletter, public comments on the rule numbered more than 349,000 in the Federal Register last Tuesday. On Friday, however, more than 160,000 comments vanished from the website, reducing the total to 184,009 entries.
The department told Politico reporter Bianca Quilantan it had found a ''clerical error'' that ''boosted'' the number of comments on the rule.
Regulations.gov states that the number of posted comments may be lower than the number it receives because agencies can choose ''to redact or withhold certain submissions,'' such as those including private information, inappropriate language or duplications.
However, Sarah Parshall Perry, a senior legal fellow for the Heritage Foundation's Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, told CNA in an email the disappearance is troubling.
''The jaw-dropping disparity in the Federal Register's number of total comments received on the proposed Title IX rule from one day to the next, without explanation or disclaimer, should raise alarm bells for American parents whose children at federally funded schools will receive the direct impact of any finalized rule,'' Perry said.
''Whether the sudden loss of nearly 200,000 citizen comments stems from incompetence or obfuscation, the Department of Education has some explaining to do,'' Perry stated.
''One wonders whether if Politico hadn't prompted the department for a response, the agency would have clarified the disparity at all,'' she added.
Regardless of the disparity, the record number of comments reflects vehement concerns from parents who fear the rule will affect their children's safety in schools or the ability of girls to play on all-girls' sports teams.
''Allowing male[s'] entry into girls' locker rooms, showers, and sports under the nebulous concept of 'gender identity' is discrimination against girls,'' one commenter wrote, ''a violation of [a] girl's privacy, safety, and equal opportunity.''
''I [am] concerned that this rule also may be used by the department to further their political interests by promoting LGBT curriculum in public schools across the country,'' another said. ''America's girls deserve better. I urge you to rescind this rule.''
''If this hits my kids' school, we will file a lawsuit,'' a parent commented.
The Education Department did not respond to a request for comment.
No private jets, no helicopters, and a bus to Westminster Abbey: VIP guidance for queen's funeral revealed '' POLITICO
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 11:53
Press play to listen to this article
LONDON '-- Foreign heads of state and their spouses heading to London for the state funeral for Queen Elizabeth II have been asked to arrive in the U.K. on commercial flights and banned from using helicopters to get around.
World leaders have also been told they cannot use their own state cars to attend the funeral at Westminster Abbey on September 19 '-- and will instead be bussed in en masse from a site in west London.
''Can you imagine Joe Biden on the bus?'' one foreign ambassador based in London complained via WhatsApp message early Sunday.
Official documents obtained by POLITICO also confirm that only the heads of state and their spouses or partners from each country have been invited to attend the funeral, which is shaping up to be one of the most significant international events hosted by the U.K. in recent times.
Westminster Abbey will be so packed for the event that it will be impossible for more than a single, senior representative per country and their other half to attend, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) lamented in the official protocol message regarding the event.
In the document, sent to overseas embassies late Saturday night, the department said it ''regrets that, because of limited space at the state funeral service and associated events, no other members of the principal guest's family, staff or entourage may be admitted.''
Heads of state unable to attend may choose someone else as their official representative, such as a head of government or senior minister.
According to the same document, King Charles III will host a reception for all the overseas leaders at Buckingham Palace on the evening before the funeral service.
Visiting heads of state will be able to attend the lying-in-state of the queen's body, and sign the condolence book at Lancaster House immediately afterward. While at Lancaster House, foreign leaders will be able to deliver a tribute to the late queen lasting up to three minutes, which will be recorded for the media.
On the day of the funeral, the heads of state and their partners will arrive at Westminster Abbey in escorted coaches from a location in west London, where ''because of tight security and road restrictions'' they will be required to leave their own cars.
''Multiple and comprehensive layers of security will be in place across London and at all the official venues used for the state funeral and associated events,'' a second FCDO document detailing the logistical arrangements for those traveling from overseas states.
Security at Buckingham Palace and across London has been high since the Queen's death September 8 | Loic Venance/AFP via Getty ImagesIn line with the rules of the government's mourning period, and ''because of the extensive ceremonial programme related to the state funeral and the logistical challenges, requests for bilaterals will not be considered on this occasion,'' the FCDO warned in the note.
After the funeral service, foreign leaders will be escorted on foot to Dean's Yard, still within the grounds of the abbey, to attend a reception hosted by Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, after which they will return by coach to west London to collect their cars.
No private jets, please ''Where possible,'' the FCDO advised, foreign leaders should arrive in the U.K. on commercial flights, warning that London Heathrow airport will not be available for private flight arrangements or aircraft parking. Those leaders insisting on traveling by private jet should head for ''less busy airports'' around London, the FCDO added.
The use of helicopter transfers between airports and venues has been banned ''due to the number of flights operating at this time,'' the department said.
And in a message all-too-familiar to weary passengers using U.K. airports this year, the FCDO also warned that ''unforeseen events may require commercial and private flights to divert from the intended airport of arrival.''
Discover the London Playbook newsletterWhat's driving the day in Westminster. Politics and policymaking in the UK capital.
Huge chess world upset of grandmaster Magnus Carlsen sparks wild claims of cheating '-- with vibrating sex toy
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 11:46
A cheating scandal is buzzing in the chess world with wild allegations of using technology '-- including vibrating ''anal beads'' '-- to signal winning moves after a teenage newcomer beat a world champion at a high-stakes tournament.
Hans Niemann, 19, of San Francisco, Calif., caused a major upset when he defeated Norwegian grandmaster Magnus Carlsen, 31, at the Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis, Missouri, on Sept. 4, according to VICE news.
In the wake of the stunning result, the chess world exploded into such an uproar that Niemann faced allegations of cheating, was banned from chess.com '-- and even billionaire Elon Musk weighed in with a tweet mocking online rumors that a rectally inserted device was used in the possible scam.
''Talent hits a target no one else can hit, genius hits a target no one can see (cause it's in ur butt),'' the Tesla CEO tweeted on Sept. 8.
Carlsen is the reigning five-time World Chess Champion while Niemann was the lowest-rated player in the tournament, according to chess.com.
His loss to the newbie ended his 53-game winning streak '-- and he quickly withdrew from the tournament, which features a $350,000 cash prize.
Hans Niemann (right) caused a major upset when he defeated the Norwegian grandmaster Magnus Carlsen (left) at the Sinquefield Cup on Sept. 4. Grand Chess Tour''I've always enjoyed playing in the @STLChessClub, and hope to be back in the future,'' he tweeted on Sept. 5.
He added a cryptic video of a speech by soccer manager Jose Mourinho.
''I prefer not to speak,'' Mourinho said in the 2020 video. ''If I speak I am in big trouble'...and I don't want to be in big trouble.''
Hans Niemann faced allegations of cheating and was banned from chess.com. Grand Chess TourObservers online were quick to accuse Niemann of using technology to cheat, despite no evidence of foul play.
Players could use vibration-based buttons placed in their shoes to communicate with a chess engine hidden somewhere in their clothing to gain outside advice on what moves to play, VICE reported. The computer systems predict game outcomes and provide recommendations on how to win.
The vibrating shoes theory sparked the unfounded allegations that Niemann was tapping into a computer using a ''prostate massager'' or ''wireless anal beads'' '-- though the logistics of how that would work were unclear, according to Riverfront Times.
Magnus Carlsen's loss ended his 53-game winning streak. Grand Chess Tour''Currently obsessed with the notion that Hans Niemann has been cheating at the Sinquefield Cup chess tournament using wireless anal beads that vibrate him the correct moves,'' one professional gamer tweeted.
Niemann was frisked before the game against Carlsen and security found nothing, according to the Guardian.
Theories suggested Niemann used vibration-based technology to communicate with a chess engine to gain outside advice on what moves to play. Grand Chess TourNiemann was then banned from chess.com and uninvited from its Global Championship, a $1 million event with online qualifiers in Toronto, according to the Guardian.
''We have invited Neimann to provide an explanation and response with the hope of finding a resolution where Neimann can again participate on Chess.com.''
''I'm not going to let Chess.com, I'm not going to let Magnus Carlsen, I'm not going to let Hikaru Nakamura, the three arguably biggest entities in chess, simply slander my reputation because the question is '-- why are they going to remove me from Chess.com right after I beat Magnus?'' Neimann said, according to the Guardian.
A rep from Chess.com told The Post Niemann was booted for cheating on the site.
''We have reached out to Niemann to explain our decision to privately remove him from Chess.com and our events. We have shared detailed evidence with him concerning our decision, including the information that contradicts his statements [about] the amount and seriousness of his cheating on Chess.com,'' the rep emailed in a statement.
Niemann alleged Carlsen must have withdrawn from the tournament because he was ashamed. TwitterThe game played between Niemann and Carlsen shows both making mistakes '-- one sign that Niemann did not use a computer to cheat, the outlet reported.
Asked about Carlsen bowing out of the tournament, Niemann alleged the champ must have withdrawn because he was ashamed.
''I think [he] was just so demoralized because he's losing to an idiot like me. It must be embarrassing for the world champion to lose to me. I feel bad for him,'' he said in an interview posted to the St. Louis Chess Club's YouTube channel.
Niemann had already beaten the world champion in August in an online tournament in Miami, Fla. ''Chess speaks for itself,'' he said after winning.
He didn't return The Post's request for comment Wednesday.
''A player's decision to withdraw from a tournament is a personal decision, and we respect Magnus' choice,'" Tony Rich, executive director of Saint Louis Chess Club, said in a statement. ''We look forward to hosting Magnus at a future event in Saint Louis.''
Denmark ends COVID jab for people under 50 - The Counter Signal
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 11:37
Denmark ends COVID jab for people under 50
Rachel EmmanuelSeptember 14, 2022
Denmark has ended the COVID-19 vaccine for most people under 50, the Danish Health Authority said yesterday.
Denmark ends COVID jab for most people under 50.Denmark already discontinued COVID-19 shots for nearly everyone under 18.
According to health officials, the purpose of vaccines is to prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death.
''Therefore, people at the highest risk of of becoming severely ill will be offered booster vaccination,'' the Danish Health Authority says.
''The purpose of vaccination is not to prevent infection with covid-19, and people under 50 are therefore currently not being offered booster vaccination.''
The statement goes on to say that people under 50 are generally not at high risk of becoming severely ill from COVID.
''In addition, younger people aged under 50 are well protected against becoming severely ill from covid-19, as a very large number of them have already been vaccinated and have previously been infected with covid-19, and there is consequently good immunity among this
Under the new regulations, Danes under 50 will only be inoculated if they at high risk of becoming severely ill from COVID-19. This includes those with an impaired immune system, people working in healthcare and those working with seniors.
The ban comes even while Denmark expects ''a large wave of [Covid] infection'' in the next few months, according to independent journalist Alex Berenson.
Berenson reports that Denmark did not explicitly say the risks of mRNA jabs now outweigh their benefits for healthy people under 50, but that view ''is implicit in the announcement.''
''In other words, the health authority is not stopping shots because Covid has ended. It now believes most people are better off getting the coronavirus than taking more mRNA,'' he wrote.
The announcement comes as other countries make similar steps to limit COVID-19 vaccine access.
The UK has banned doctors from giving the COVID-19 vaccine to children under 12, saying kids don't need it and they likely already have natural immunity.
The UK government also released a report stating that pregnant and breastfeeding women should under no circumstance get the Pfizer COVID vaccine due to a lack of trial data on the vaccine's effect on reproductive health.
In Canada, health authorities continue to encourage parents to vaccinate their babies and kids, even while the former Chair of National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) admitted last month that COVID is less deadly to kids than the flu.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently said he might impose more COVID restrictions this winter unless 80-90% of the population gets ''up-to-date'' vaccinations.
To be fully vaccinated in Canada previously meant having two doses of a Health Canada-approved vaccine. The Canadian federal government is now applying pressure for citizens to get regular COVID-19 boosters.
In September, NACI announced that Canadians might consider getting a vaccine every 90 days.
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The federal Conservative Party will finally announce its new leader on Saturday night, following the months-long leadership campaign.
TCS WireSeptember 9, 2022
The UK has banned the COVID-19 vaccine for children under 12, saying kids don't need it and they likely already have natural immunity.
Mike CampbellSeptember 9, 2022
Despite his massive unpopularity, Prime minister Justin Trudeau plans to stay on as leader of the Liberal Party for the next federal election.
Rachel EmmanuelSeptember 8, 2022
Months after Health Canada said it's ''disinformation'' to use ivermectin, America's health agency is considering the ''possible treatment.''
Mike CampbellSeptember 8, 2022
China gave billions in secret 'emergency loans' to vulnerable nations | Fortune
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 11:31
In recent years, China has shelled out tens of billions in opaque ''emergency loans'' for at-risk nations, indicating a shift to providing short-term emergency lending rather than longer-term infrastructure loans.
It's a (largely) unforeseen development from Beijing's $900 billion Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), launched in 2013.
Since 2017, Beijing has given a collective $32.8 billion in emergency loans to Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Argentina, according to AidData, a research lab at William & Mary University that focuses on China's global financing activities.
China has also offered emergency loans to Eastern European nations Ukraine and Belarus; South American countries Venezuela and Ecuador; African nations Kenya and Angola; alongside Laos, Egypt, and Mongolia. Chinese overseas lending and credit relationships remain ''exceptionally opaque,'' according to World Bank researchers. ''Chinese lenders require strict confidentiality from their debtors and do not release a granular breakdown of their lending,'' they wrote.
But researchers have found that the bulk of China's overseas lending'--around 60%'--is now to low-income countries that are currently mired in debt distress, or at high risk of it. Beijing's pivot to short-term rescue lending highlights its growing role as an emergency lender of last resort, rendering it an alternative to the Western-backed International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Experts are concerned about what comes next, as many of the nations that took loans from China are facing an extraordinary debt crunch amid an era of inflation and climate change. For instance, a Pakistani official said just last week that the epic flooding that covered most of the South Asian country will cost upwards of $10 billion.
Secret loans Beijing's emergency lending for at-risk nations has been aimed at averting defaults on infrastructure loans it gave through the BRI, according to a Financial Times report.
''Beijing has tried to keep these countries afloat by providing emergency loan after emergency loan without asking its borrowers to restore economic policy discipline or pursue debt relief through a coordinated restructuring process with all major creditors,'' Bradley Parks, AidData executive director, told the FT.
Emerging economies across Asia, Africa, and the Middle East have struggled with repaying their BRI loans. The COVID-19 pandemic and Russia's war on Ukraine exacerbated these nations' food and fuel shortages and their balance of payments crises. Nearly 70% of the world's poorest countries will dole out $52.8 billion this year to repay debts, with more than a quarter of that amount flowing to China.
This means that China has become the most important official player in global sovereign debt renegotiations, World Bank researchers say. But as Chinese lenders require strict confidentiality from their debtors and do not release a granular breakdown of their lending, there's a yawning knowledge gap on what happens to Chinese claims in the event of debt distress and default, they wrote.
IMF alternativeGabriel Sterne, a former IMF economist and current head of global emerging markets and strategy research at Oxford Economics, told the FT that China's emergency lending merely ''postpones the day of reckoning'' for debt-distressed nations that may be seeking out Chinese loans and avoiding the IMF, the latter of which ''demands painful reform.''
In the past couple of weeks, both China and the IMF have inked, or moved closer to, bailout agreements for Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and other nations. Beijing, meanwhile, has pledged to forgive 23 interest-free loans to 17 African nations, and will redirect $10 billion of its IMF reserves to the continent.
There are now signs that the IMF is pushing for full transparency from vulnerable nations in order to receive funding. AidData's Parks told the South China Morning Post last month that the IMF is pressuring borrowers to disclose their BRI loan contract details.
The IMF has ''zeroed in on cash collateral clauses in BRI loan contracts that give China a first priority claim on foreign exchange in borrower countries,'' Parks said.
Some countries are already abiding by the tougher loan conditions. Pakistan, for instance, has ''shared details with the IMF'...in consultation with the Chinese side,'' Muhammad Faisal, a research fellow at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad, told the SCMP.
Still, World Bank researchers predict that China's appetite for overseas financing, lending, and debt relief is set to decline as Chinese lenders face pressure at home and abroad. Emerging economies are at risk of a ''sudden stop'' in Chinese lending, which could have ''substantial'' ripple effects worldwide.
[This report was updated to include a final paragraph on World Bank researchers' predictions.]
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The Beef Initiative
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 00:24
The Beef Initiative Food Intelligence Summit will be in GEORGIA with fourth-generation cattleman Will Harris & historic White Oak Pastures.
SpeakersThe Beef Initiative #FoodIntelligence Summit will take place at White Oak Pastures, where - Will Harris, fourth-generation cattleman, will lay the foundation for our summit and explain how the historic farm went away from regenerative agriculture...and back again.
"Podfather" Adam Curry of the No Agenda Show will co-host the event. He has been an advisor and supporter of the Beef Initiative since our launch. Adam will discuss the Value-For-Value concept and how it is driving an international lifestyle.
Heritage Woman Panel - Ann Warren, BTC_Coco, and Tye Jackson.The group will discuss being a strong enough woman to bring back natural health and clean eating into our homes and families. Coco will discuss home birth and the history of demonizing the All-Natural birth, homeopathic doctors of the past, and the rise of indoctrinated medical schools and big pharma. Tye will cover the medial and scientifically proven toll the Covid mandates have taken on our children and families, and the big government overreach - and how to successfully navigate around that while truly "leaving no child behind." Ann will also share her experience with homeschooling and the realistic practicality of managing a home while successfully educating children. Bonus: they will cover a few eye-opening facts about childhood diseases that should never have appeared in children.
Charles MayfieldCharles Mayfield owns and operates Mayfield Pastures and Farrow Skincare. A former personal trainer, he researched nutrition to help his clients reach fitness goals, a step that led him to study regenerative farming and growing food in a way that could heal both the body and the planet.
Bradley M. DavisBrad Davis is a Shareholder with the law firm Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, P.C. in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he advises clients on business and regulatory issues. He has been involved in the launch and expansion of the Beef Initiative, and he also works with Farrow Skincare and Mayfield Pastures. Brad and Texas Slim will talk about some of the legal challenges and solutions facing ranchers, processors, and startup businesses operating in and around the space of decentralized, regenerative agriculture.
Ann & Weldon Warren - Holy Cow BeefAnn & Weldon Warren are the owners of Holy Cow Beef in Texas, where they raise American Grassfed Association-certified Grassfed Angus beef. Their journey from professional careers into ranching included and eye-opening transition to healthful eating that positively impacted Weldon's recovery from stroke, much to the amazement of his doctors.
Micah Jackson, MPAS, PA. - Worldview WellnessMicah's career began in conventional medicine - that led him to observe its limitations - and develop a more nuanced understanding of the root causes of disease in the conventional setting. Micah transitioned to a career in Integrative/Functional medicine and began focusing on a personalized model of clinical practice utilizing informed consent, education, and disease prevention. Later, he enrolled in the Metabolic Approach to Cancer masterclass through Dr. Nasha Winters, ND, FABNO and the Metabolic Terrain Institute of Health where he was trained in this terrain-centric approach to cancer and general wellness. In 2022, he founded Worldview Wellness with his wife Tye, where he serves as a terrain-based health consultant.
EconoalchemistEcono generates content focused on bitcoin self-custody, censorship-resistance, and home mining. His is a Bitcoin Magazine contributor, Upstream Data affiliate, and contributes to the Braiins Systems Mining Insights blog. He will address security, privacy, and mining.
Drew Armstrong''btc_buddhist'' '' Drew is President and COO of Cathedra Bitcoin, a world-class bitcoin mining company that believes sound money and abundant energy are the keys to human flourishing. Prior to Cathedra, Drew was a founding member of Galaxy's bitcoin mining team after starting his career in investment banking.
Carni Clemenza and Mr. SollozzoCarni Clemenza and Mr. Sollozzo teamed up to form the popular ''Meat Mafia,'' where they dispense insights on health, fitness, and protein based from their own practical experiences. They aim to help people gain health and feel better.
Texas SlimTexas Slim is the founder of the Beef Initiative and podcast host of Texas Slim's Vision; operator of @modernTman and founder of beefinitiative.com and texasslim.substack.com. Slim will discuss and provide an overview of the organization, goals, how farmers and ranchers can obtain market access, and how consumers can increase access to healthy, locally-raised beef, and the importance of #FoodIntelligence in our daily lives.
ScheduleFRIDAY:
3:00 - Arrival/check-in [from 3:00-9:00PM]
6:30 - Dinner, Welcome by Mr. Will Harris
SATURDAY:
8:00 - Breakfast
8:15 - Will Harris - Reviving and running a regenerative farm and business.
9:30 - FARM TOUR 2 / Break
10:15 - Adam Curry - The Value 4 Value concept that is changing podcasting, communications, and becoming an international lifestyle.
11:05 - Econoalchemist - Econo will share the experience of a Rancher and his battle with government scrutiny - and how that relates to privacy and sovereign individuals.
11:40 - Heritage Women Panel - Ann Warren, BTC Coco, and Tye Jackson discuss home schooling, home birthing, and practices that support a sovereign family and home.
12:30 - FARM TOUR 3 / Lunch
2:00 - Charles Mayfield - Charles will share his journey into regenerative with Mayfield Farms, and then into an alternative business with Farrow Skincare.
2:40 - Brad Davis - Brad and Texas Slim will talk about some of the legal challenges and solutions facing ranchers, processors, and startup businesses operating in and around the space of decentralized, regenerative agriculture.
3:15 - Micah Jackson MPAS, PA - Health and disease prevention. As a leader among a team of integrative medical providers focused on the root causes of disease, Micah will discuss disease prevention and avoidance.
3:50 - The Meat Mafia - Carni Clemenza and Mr. Sollozzo as the Meat Mafia will discuss their first-hand experience moving from unhealth to health - and the essential foods and practices involved.
4:30 - FARM TOUR 4 / Break
6:00 - Dinner
SUNDAY:
9:30 - FARM TOUR 5 / Possible Cattle move
10:00 - Weldon & Ann Warren - The owners of Holy Cow Beef tell their story: from the rat-race to ranching - and back to health.
10:40 - Econoalchemist & Drew Armstrong - Essentials of mining, self-custody, and censorship resistance - outline of home mining and how a ranch/farm can take advantage of bitcoin mining, self-custody (be your own bank), and more.
11:30 - Brunch
LodgingWhite Oak Pastures farm has RV parking and offers a pasture for primitive camping. Call them via email to: tera.martin@whiteoakpastures.com to reserve an RV spot, be sure to mention you are attending the Beef Initiative Summit.
A Days Inn, Budget Inn , and Econolodge motel are a short distance from the farm. See this Google map for lodging at hotels and nearby B&Bs.
Save 15% when purchasing your ticket with Bitcoin through the Oshi App. Get started here!
White Oak Pastures Since 1866, Grassfed Beef and Pastured Poultry
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 00:24
Farm-To-Table Preserves, Tallow Skincare, Zero-Waste Leather & More!
Regenerative & Handmade Goods
Reduces Carbon, Recharges Waterways & Revives Communities
You have an open invitation to visit our farm
Established 1866White Oak Pastures is a six generation, 156-year-old family farm in Bluffton, Georgia. We take pride in farming practices that focus on regenerative land management, humane animal husbandry, and revitalizing our rural community. We know radically traditional farming creates products that are better for our land, our livestock and our village. We are fiercely proud of our zero-waste production system that utilizes each part of the animals we pasture-raise and hand-butcher on our farm.
Around the Farm
For the latest news about our farm, our products, or our practices, please register here.
U.S. SEC proposes clearing reforms to boost resilience of $24 trillion Treasury market | Reuters
Wed, 14 Sep 2022 19:01
The seal of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is seen at their headquarters in Washington, D.C., U.S., May 12, 2021. Picture taken May 12, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo/File Photo
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WASHINGTON, Sept 14 (Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday proposed draft rules to boost the use of central clearing in the $24 trillion Treasury market in a bid to boost its resilience.
The proposals, which would apply to cash Treasury and repurchase agreements traded by a range of firms including broker dealers and hedge funds, follow liquidity crunches in recent years which have raised regulatory concerns about the Treasury market's ability to function during times of stress.
Most notably, Treasury market liquidity all but evaporated in March 2020 as COVID-19 pandemic fears gripped investors, prompting the Federal Reserve to prop up the market. Traders say they continue to see liquidity problems with some securities, Reuters reported last month. read more
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The SEC and other U.S. regulators have been exploring reforms to boost the market's resilience. If finalized, the SEC's reforms would mark the most significant changes to the Treasury market, the world's largest bond market which is used to benchmark assets globally, in decades.
The proposal stops short, however, of imposing a general clearing mandate. Instead, it imposes new rules on clearing houses that would require their members - typically big banks and trading firms - to push their clients' trades, such as those of other dealers, hedge funds and principal trading firms through the clearing house.[L4N30K3DW]
Principal trading firms and hedge funds have accounted for an increasing proportion of trading in the Treasury market over the past decade, but do not typically clear their trades.
Central clearers sit in the middle of the market as the buyer to every seller and the seller to every buyer. Central clearers net positions across the market and then require counterparties to put up margin, such as cash or stocks, to guarantee the trade's execution in the event either defaults.
The proposal would also change the rules around how clearing house members treat their clients' margin, requiring them to pass on margin they gather from clients to the clearing house.
SEC Chair Gary Gensler has advocated expanding central clearing on the basis it increases resilience by bringing additional capital into the market during times of stress.
"These rules would reduce risk across a vital part of our capital markets, both in normal and stress times," Gensler said in a statement during an SEC open meeting to vote on the rule on Wednesday.
Overall, just 13% of Treasury cash transactions are centrally cleared, while 68% are cleared bilaterally, firm-to-firm, according to estimates in a 2021 Treasury Department report.
In a statement, Bryan Corbett, CEO of the Managed Funds Association which represents hedge funds, said the group supported measures to boost market integrity, but was concerned about "arbitrarily singling out hedge funds" for clearing "which could impact market competition and lead to increased costs borne by institutional investors."
While the changes would apply to any clearing house that clears Treasuries, they effectively target the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC) whose Fixed Income Clearing Corp. subsidiary is currently the chief clearer of Treasuries.
"While the risk mitigation and transparency benefits of central clearing are well documented, we recognize the impact the proposal will have on a market structure where bilateral activity has been the ongoing practice for various market participants," a DTCC spokesman said in a statement.
All five of the SEC's commissioners voted to propose the rule change, which is now subject to industry feedback.
The SEC is also working on rules to boost the resilience of platforms where Treasuries are traded and to ensure proprietary trading firms are registered as dealers and subject to capital requirements and other checks. But the clearing rules changes are the "core resiliency piece" Gensler told reporters on Wednesday.
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Reporting by Michelle Price; Editing by Jonathan Oatis, Andrea Ricci and Diane Craft
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Patron Lays Off 17% of Workforce - Podcast Business Journal
Wed, 14 Sep 2022 15:01
Patreon CEO Jack Conte made the announcement in a blog post Tuesday. 17% of the workforce amounts to 80 people. Conte said over the past 9 months the tech industry and the whole economy have changed considerably.
The cuts are coming from four Patreon divisions. Conte said he's been asked by employees about layoffs during meetings over the past year and told them they would only be a last resort. He apologized to the ''kind, talented, creator-first people who will be leaving Patreon.''
Here's what Conte wrote about the changing environment. ''Patreon needs to change the way we operate. Here's what that means for us: First, we're going to continue increasing our investments in our product, engineering, and design teams, so that we can deliver the updates to our product that our creators and patrons need. We'll also maintain our commitment to outstanding service and support for creators. We will restructure our marketing efforts under a smaller, consolidated team in the near-term, focused on updating our brand, developing creator resources, and launching new products. We will restructure our Creator Partnerships efforts to take a more scaled approach with a smaller, consolidated team in the US. We will reduce the size of our operations, recruiting, and other internal support functions to align with the new scale and priorities of the rest of the company.''
The company will also be closing its Dublin and Berlin offices.
Patreon's subscription model is used by many podcasters who get their followers to pay a monthly fee for their content. While it's very popular there have been other similar platforms that have come into the market providing a similar platform including GLOW, Supercast and Red Circle.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Patreon has over 250,000 creators (not all of them are podcasters). The Journal also reports that after Patreon raised $155 million last year the valuation of the company was $4 Billion.
Read Conte's entire blog post HERE.
Explainer: Why the U.S. SEC is looking to reform the Treasury market | Reuters
Mon, 12 Sep 2022 11:37
The seal of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is seen at their headquarters in Washington, D.C., U.S., May 12, 2021. Picture taken May 12, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo/File Photo
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WASHINGTON, Sept 12 (Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is scheduled on Wednesday to propose draft rules to boost the resilience of the $23 trillion Treasury market, the world's largest bond market which serves as a benchmark for dollar assets globally.
Here's why the SEC is looking to make changes:
WHAT'S UP WITH THE TREASURY MARKET?Over the past decade, the Treasury market has suffered gyrations which have put regulators on edge. In 2014, for example, it experienced wild swings known as a "flash crash," followed in 2019 by disruptions in the Treasury repurchase agreement market.
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Then as COVID-19 pandemic fears gripped investors in early March 2020, Treasury market liquidity deteriorated to 2008 crisis levels, prompting the U.S. Federal Reserve to start buying up Treasury securities.
With the Fed kicking off "quantitative tightening" in June, allowing Treasuries to reach maturity without buying more, the market has experienced more price swings, Reuters reported last month. Regulatory experts have warned the market remains vulnerable to further dysfunction. read more
WHAT'S THE PROBLEM?While the issues are complex, there is one chief problem that regulators broadly agree on: the rapid growth of the Treasury market in recent years has outstripped the capacity of dealers, the traditional suppliers of liquidity, to meet liquidity demands during times of market stress.
Since 2010, the value of Treasury securities outstanding has more than doubled. At the same time, however, capital reforms introduced following the 2008 crisis have reduced dealers' capacity to buy and sell bonds. Dealers' positions of Treasuries as a share of all Treasury securities outstanding declined from 10% in 2008 to 3.1% in 2019, according to a 2020 research paper led by now-Treasury Department Under Secretary Nellie Liang.
In addition, the market has seen increased participation by high-frequency trading firms which are subject to less oversight than dealers and do not report their Treasury trades, SEC Chair Gary Gensler has noted.
WHAT CHANGES IS THE SEC PLANNING?The agency has three major work streams underway.
Next week it is scheduled to propose rules that aim to increase central clearing of the Treasury market.
Central clearing involves sending trades to a clearing house, which demands both counterparties put up cash to guarantee the trade's execution in the event either defaults.
Overall, just 13% of cash transactions are centrally cleared, according to estimates in a 2021 Treasury report.
Gensler has advocated for expanding centralized clearing of Treasuries on the basis it increases resilience by bringing additional capital into the market during times of stress.
The SEC is also working on rules to boost the resilience of platforms where Treasuries are traded and to ensure high frequency trading firms are registered as dealers and subject to capital requirements and other checks, Gensler said in July.
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Reporting by Michelle PriceEditing by Alistair Bell
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
ALL VIDEOS
VIDEO - Goldman's (GS) Apple Card business has a surprising subprime problem
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 17:00
The weakest American borrowers are starting to miss payments and default on their loans, and that is showing up at a surprising place: Goldman Sachs.
While competitors like Bank of America enjoy repayment rates at or near record levels, Goldman's loss rate on credit card loans hit 2.93% in the second quarter. That's the worst among big U.S. card issuers and "well above subprime lenders," according to a Sept. 6 note from JPMorgan.
The profile of Goldman's card customers actually resembles that of issuers known for their subprime offerings. More than a quarter of Goldman's card loans have gone to customers with FICO scores below 660, according to filings. That could expose the bank to higher losses if the economy experiences a downturn, as is expected by many forecasters.
"People are losing their jobs and you had inflation at 40-year highs; that will impact the subprime cohort more because they are living paycheck to paycheck," Michael Taiano, a senior director at Fitch Ratings, said in an interview. "With Goldman the question will be, were they growing too fast into a late-cycle period?"
The dynamic comes at a sensitive time for CEO David Solomon. Under pressure to improve the bank's stock price, Goldman's money-losing consumer operations have drawn headlines and the ire of some investors and insiders. The investment bank began its foray into consumer finance in 2016 to diversify from its traditional strengths of Wall Street trading and advisory activities.
But the journey has been a bumpy one, marked by leadership turnover and staff departures, missed product deadlines, confusion over branding, a regulatory probe and mounting losses.
Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon performs at Schimanski night club in Brooklyn, New York.
Trevor Hunnicutt | Reuters
Solomon will likely face questions from directors about the consumer business at a board meeting later this week, according to people with knowledge of the matter. There is internal dissent about who Solomon has picked to lead key businesses, and insiders hope he puts stronger managers in place, the people said. Some feel as though Solomon, who moonlights as a DJ on the international festival circuit, has been too extroverted, putting his own personal brand ahead of the bank's, the people said.
Goldman declined to comment for this article, and Apple didn't immediately return a request for comment.
A viral hitGoldman's credit card business, anchored by the Apple Card since 2019, has arguably been the company's biggest success yet in terms of gaining retail lending scale. It's the largest contributor to the division's 14 million customers and $16 billion in loan balances, a figure that Goldman said would nearly double to $30 billion by 2024.
But rising losses threaten to mar that picture. Lenders deem bad loans "charge-offs" after a customer misses payments for six months; Goldman's 2.93% net charge-off rate is double the 1.47% rate at JPMorgan's card business and higher than Bank of America's 1.60%, despite being a fraction of those issuers' size.
Goldman's losses are also higher than that of Capital One, the largest subprime player among big banks, which had a 2.26% charge-off rate.
"If there's one thing Goldman is supposed to be good at, its risk management," said Jason Mikula, a former Goldman employee who now consults for the industry. "So how do they have charge-off rates comparable to a subprime portfolio?"
Apple CardThe biggest reason is because Goldman's customers have been with the bank for less than two years on average, according to people with knowledge of the business who weren't authorized to speak to the press.
Charge-off rates tend to be highest during the first few years a user has a card; as Goldman's pool of customers ages and struggling users drop out, those losses should calm down, the people said. The bank leans on third-party data providers to compare metrics with similar cards of the same vintage and is comfortable with its performance, the people said.
Other banks also tend to be more aggressive in seeking to recover debt, which improves competitors' net charge-off figures, the people said.
But another factor is that Goldman's biggest credit product, the Apple Card, is aimed at a broad swath of the country, including those with lower credit scores. Early in its rollout, some users were stunned to learn they had been approved for the card despite checkered credit histories.
"Goldman has to play in a broader credit spectrum than other banks, that's part of the issue," said a person who once worked at the New York-based bank, who asked for anonymity to speak candidly about his former employer. "They have no direct-to-consumer offering yet, and when you have the Apple Card and the GM card, you are looking at Americana."
Spitting distanceAfter the 2008 financial crisis caused by undisciplined lending, most banks shifted to serving the well-off, and competitors including JPMorgan and Bank of America tend to focus on higher-end borrowers. The exception among big banks was Capital One, which focuses more on subprime offerings after buying HSBC's U.S. card business in 2011.
Capital One says 30% of its loans were to customers with FICO scores below 660, a band that contains near-prime and subprime users. That's within spitting distance of Goldman's proportion of sub-660 customers, which was 28% as of June.
Meanwhile, JPMorgan said 12% of its loans were to users with below-660 scores, and Bank of America said that 3.7% of loans were tied to FICO scores under 620.
After a period in which borrowers fortified by Covid pandemic stimulus checks repaid their debts like never before, it is the industry's "newer entrants" that are "showing much faster weakening" in credit metrics, JPMorgan analyst Vivek Juneja wrote last week.
"Goldman's credit card net change-off ratio has risen sharply in the past 3 quarters," he wrote. That is happening "despite unemployment remaining very low at 3.7% in August, similar to 2019 levels."
Mounting lossesThat has forced the bank to set aside more reserves for potential future credit losses. The consumer business is on track to lose $1.2 billion this year according to internal projections, Bloomberg reported in June. The "vast majority" of the consumer investments this year are tied to building loan reserves, thanks in part to new regulations that force banks to front-load their loss reserves, Solomon told analysts in July.
That figure could get worse if a recession forces them to set aside more money for soured loans, executives have acknowledged.
The difficulties seem to confirm some of the skepticism Goldman faced when it beat out established card players to win the Apple Card account in 2019. Rivals said the bank could struggle to reach profitability on the no-fee card.
"Credit cards are a hard business to break into," said Taiano, the Fitch Ratings director. "Goldman already faces higher losses because their book of business is young. But when you layer on worse unemployment, you are exacerbating that trend."
VIDEO - (19) Breaking911 on Twitter: "BREAKING: GOP to introduce legislation that would ban abortion nationally after 15 weeks https://t.co/AvCF3dl8FG" / Twitter
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 16:49
Breaking911 : BREAKING: GOP to introduce legislation that would ban abortion nationally after 15 weeks https://t.co/AvCF3dl8FG
Tue Sep 13 17:11:18 +0000 2022
VIDEO - CNN cuts away from Biden inflation reduction party as stocks plunge: 'Hard to be celebratory'
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 16:45
CNN anchors called out President Biden on Tuesday while the network aired a jarring image that showed the commander-in-chief celebrating passage of the Inflation Reduction Act even as the stock market tanked.
Republicans pounced on the Biden administration for throwing a party on the White House's South Lawn, complete with performance by folk rocker James Taylor, on the same day that federal data showed inflation ran at a hotter-than-expected 8.3% in August.
CNN aired a snippet of Biden's speech before cutting away, with both anchors Alisyn Camerota and Victor Blackwell questioning the timing of the event.
''There is this unfortunate split screen right now with the Dow taking a total beating, down more than 1,200 points, so it feels like it's hard to be celebratory for some people in the crowd,'' Camerota said over footage of Biden speaking at the White House's widely panned event.
Stocks posted their worst day since June 2020 as investors reacted to the dismal inflation data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell nearly 1,300 points, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped more than 5% and the S&P 500 sank more than 4%.
''This is the day in which the White House celebrates the Inflation Reduction Act, when we get a new report that shows inflation is still especially high,'' Blackwell added. ''And what we're seeing on Wall Street is a reaction to that anticipating what's coming from the Fed.''
Mediaite earlier covered the CNN segment.
Investors are pricing in a 68% probability that the Fed will raise its benchmark rate by three-quarters of a percentage point at next week's meeting. Additionally, they see a 32% probability of a full-point hike, after seeing a 0% chance of such an aggressive move just one day earlier.
The August Consumer Price Index showed a higher-than-expected 6.3% increase in core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy costs. The CPI's food index increased 11.4%, posting its largest year-over-year spike since May 1979.
Biden downplayed the latest inflation data, arguing that the results showed ''progress'' and that prices ''have been essentially flat'' over the last two months.
President Biden downplayed the data from the August Consumer Price Index. Getty Images President Biden faced criticism from Republicans over the timing of his party. Getty ImagesSpeaking at the White House, Biden touted the Inflation Reduction Act as a transformational piece of legislation '-- though independent analyses by the University of Pennsylvania's Penn Wharton Budget Model and others showed the law isn't expected to lower prices.
''Today offers proof that the soul of America is vibrant. The future of America is bright and the promise of America is real,'' Biden said.
VIDEO - (19) BlazeTV on Twitter: "Chuck Todd: ''We're now as a nation battling a threat from within. Is the threat equal or greater than what we faced after 9/11?'' VP Kamala Harris: '''...there is an oath that we always take which is to defend and up
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 16:33
BlazeTV : Chuck Todd: ''We're now as a nation battling a threat from within. Is the threat equal or greater than what we faced'... https://t.co/yzKA2Urq4t
Sun Sep 11 15:53:23 +0000 2022
VIDEO - Portland area Target employee shares frustrations, dangers of working in crime-ridden store
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 16:31
PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - For the past five months, FOX 12 has sought to interview leaders of some big box stores overwhelmed with theft and crime in the Portland area, but one after one, they all turned down interviews.
The corporations also declined to let their loss-prevention mangers address burgeoning shoplifting and organized retail crime, something that employees and retail associations consider to be an overwhelming problem.
But FOX 12 met a woman who works at a local Target who was willing to share her experience on the job. FOX 12 is not revealing her name or identity because she's not allowed to speak of behalf of Target. Nonetheless, she offered valuable insight at what big-box employees are up against and why it's so hard to stop thieves.
''We will have people who will fill up backpacks, suitcases, wagons, and just walk out the door,'' the employee said. ''Some guests will do a smash and grab. They take a hammer, or sledgehammer of some sort and smash the glass doors that are protecting the electronics and grab what they can and walk out.''
RELATED: Retail crimes soar in Portland, businesses unhappy with local governments
Since the pandemic, the woman said theft has exploded and becomes particularly bad during closing time.
''I know if we touch a cart that someone's walking out with, we are automatically on final warning and so next time we do it, we lose our job,'' she said. ''No matter what, Target is there to protect us and they don't want anything to happen to us.''
The woman told FOX 12 she understands Target's safety policy, but she says so do thieves who in turn, feel invincible.
''It's frustrating,'' the employee said. ''As a whole, I've talked to a lot of people, especially in my department, about how frustrating it is -- how upsetting it is -- we are working so hard to make everyone's experience there enjoyable and then we have people walk out and we have guests who are shocked that we can't do anything.''
Frustrating on one front '' but the employees said what's truly scary is the increasing boldness of the crimes.
''We've had some people come in with weapons and that's when it feels dangerous,'' the Target employee said.
''We had a guy a couple weeks ago, he showed up after we'd closed the doors and he had a big knife, looked like about a 12-inch knife and I don't know where he went, if he was waiting out there,'' she added.
The employee said safety is something she is constantly weighing against everything she loves about working at Target: her co-workers and the otherwise fun atmosphere.
FOX 12 asked her if her family worries about the employee working at Target.
''Yes, absolutely,'' she said. ''My step-mother has flat out told me she worries and that she wishes I didn't have to work there, because of everything that goes on.''
FOX 12 reached out to Target for comment on this story. Spokesman Brian Harper-Tibaldo sent along the following statement:
''Safety is Target's highest priority, and in response to elevated incidents of theft in the Portland area, we've taken a number of steps to ensure the safety of our team and guests. This includes hiring more security team members, installing more security cameras and using a third party to provide additional security in select stores. We invest time and resources in our store leaders and security team members so they can protect themselves and de-escalate potential safety issues. We also work directly with law enforcement on an ongoing basis to address organized retail crime.''
Target's Portland store off of NE Halsey Street is one of the retailers top loss locations in the country.
Copyright 2022 KPTV-KPDX. All rights reserved.
VIDEO - (19) Disclose.tv on Twitter: "NOW - 4,000 Twitter employees can access personal user data, and could potentially dox individuals. https://t.co/OIiM4yvCMt" / Twitter
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 16:27
Disclose.tv : NOW - 4,000 Twitter employees can access personal user data, and could potentially dox individuals. https://t.co/OIiM4yvCMt
Tue Sep 13 16:24:33 +0000 2022
VIDEO - (20) James Melville on Twitter: "Meanwhile, in New Zealand ðŸ‡"🇠^Backlash''. 👠https://t.co/lyt7bcWLH7" / Twitter
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 16:11
James Melville : Meanwhile, in New Zealand ðŸ‡"ðŸ‡^Backlash''. ðŸ‘https://t.co/lyt7bcWLH7
Wed Sep 14 08:13:01 +0000 2022
VIDEO - (21) Migrants dropped of at VP Harris residence | Morning in America - YouTube
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 16:01
VIDEO - Watch back: Von der Leyen delivers annual state of EU speech | Euronews
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 15:15
By
Alice Tidey ' Updated: 14/09/2022 - 12:17 Olena Zelenska, the first lady of Ukraine, left, is welcomed by European Parliament President Roberta Metsola, centre, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. -
Copyright
AP Photo/Jean-Francois BadiasEuropean Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has delivered her annual State of the EU speech.
During her address in the parliament in Strasbourg, von der Leyen outlined her thoughts and priorities on how Europe has responded to the war in Ukraine and how it must shield European households and businesses from crippling energy costs and record inflation.
She also spoke about European enlargement and efforts to address the climate crisis. She said that young people's aspirations should be at the heart of the European Union's actions.
Olena Zelenska, wife of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, was present as von der Leyen's guest of honour.
Look back at our blog updates during the speech, and subsequent MEP debate below.
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The State of the Union speech is expected to last 40 minutes to one hour and is followed by debate by MEPs.
VIDEO - Magdalena Andersson: Sweden's PM will resign today, after conceding election to right-wing | Euronews
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 12:50
By Euronews with Reuters, AP ' Updated: 15/09/2022 - 09:39
Sweden's Social Democrat Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson will officially resign from her post on Thursday, after she accepted defeat in a close-fought election, handing victory to the four-party right-wing opposition bloc, and giving them the first go at forming a new government.
With 99% of the vote counted, only a handful of ballots remain unassigned, but Andersson, who became Sweden's first woman PM only last year, said the results showed her opponents have won.
"I will therefore... ask the speaker to be relieved of my post," Andersson told journalists at a press conference on Wednesday.
Although Andersson's Social Democrats emerged as the biggest single party after Sunday's vote, the other parties on the left didn't have a majority of seats overall.
The far-right anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats won the second biggest share of the vote, and will now seek to form a government with the conservative Moderates, Christian Democrats and Liberals, who between them have secured a slender three-seat majority in the Riksdag, the Swedish Parliament, with 176 seats to 173.
The result still has to be officially confirmed.
The election marks a watershed in Swedish politics with the Sweden Democrats, shunned by all the major parties when they first entered parliament in 2010, on the threshold of gaining influence over government policy.
Sweden's next prime minister is likely to be Ulf Kristersson, the leader of the Moderates. Although his party only finished in third place - which would normally be considered an embarrassment for the traditional biggest conservative party - Kristersson will most probably become PM as the other parties in their new coalition do not want to see Sweden Democrats leader Jimmie …kesson in the top job.
…kesson said on Wednesday night his party would be "a constructive and driving force in this work'' of rebuilding safety in Sweden, adding it was ''time to put Sweden first''.
VIDEO - CNN Cuts Away From WH Inflation Reduction Act Celebration
Wed, 14 Sep 2022 12:43
CNN cut away from President Joe Biden's Inflation Reduction Act party Tuesday as anchor Alisyn Camerota commented it is ''hard to be celebratory'' with inflation hurting Americans financially.
Biden hosted a celebration of the passage of the bill mere hours after August's Consumer Price Index report showed inflation rose to 8.3% last month compared to last year. The number was much higher than expected.
The report sparked a selloff on Wall Street that likely resulted in retirement accounts everywhere being ravaged. The Dow Jones Industrial Average took a more than 1,200-point beating to lose around four percent.
CNBC reported:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 1,276.37 points, or 3.94%, to close at 31,104.97. The S&P 500 dropped 4.32% to 3,932.69, and the Nasdaq Composite sank 5.16% to end the day at 11,633.57.
Just five stocks in the S&P 500 finished in positive territory. Tech stocks were hit particularly hard, with Facebook-parent Meta skidding 9.4% and chip giant Nvidia shedding 9.5%.
The Dow had its worst day since 2020.
In spite of the news of the report and a panicked day of selling stocks for many Americans, the White House celebrated with music from James Taylor followed by a speech from Biden.
A few moments into the president's remarks, which were being carried by CNN Newsroom, the network cut away.
Camerota noted:
Okay. Listening there to President Biden at the White House. He's celebrating the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. He says that he's been fighting big pharma for decades, but there is the unfortunate split screen right now with the Dow taking a total beating, down 1,200 and so it feels like it's hard to be celebratory for some people.
Victor Blackwell noted the Federal Reserve will likely raise interest rates in response to the CPI report.
Watch above, via CNN.
Have a tip we should know? tips@mediaite.com
VIDEO - Biden screams like unhinged lunatic at WH Garden Party'... '' CITIZEN FREE PRESS
Wed, 14 Sep 2022 12:40
Posted by Kane on September 14, 2022 3:24 amNEWS JUNKIES -- CHECK OUT OUR HOMEPAGE
The DOW is down 1300 points and Biden is screaming like an unhinged lunatic pic.twitter.com/o0KZU01p1g
'-- Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) September 13, 2022
Biden screams, James Taylor performs and Nancy calls for applause.
WATCH: President Biden celebrates his 'Inflation Reduction Act' as the stock market tanks.
"There is this unfortunate split screen right now with the Dow taking a total beating," CNN anchor says. "It feels like it's hard to be celebratory for some people'..." pic.twitter.com/Cf59T6uon6
'-- Breaking911 (@Breaking911) September 13, 2022
James Taylor performs for the event'...
Biden's White House event celebrating the "Inflation Reduction Act" is beginning with a performance by James Taylor of "Fire and Rain" pic.twitter.com/CeVECkldOR
'-- Greg Price (@greg_price11) September 13, 2022
Pelosi: "Mr. President '... Your extraordinary leadership has made this glorious day possible. I'--That's an applause line."
Audience: *applauds* pic.twitter.com/D2EOK7u7ic
'-- The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) September 13, 2022

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Audio Clips

CBS Evening - anchor Norah ODonnell - biden cancer moonshot (33sec).mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Rhiannon Ally - twitter whistleblower (1min3sec).mp3
Sen hawley with twitter whistleblower - security issues with data.mp3
crypto_merge_1.mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Andrew Dymburt - human smuggling ring (16sec).mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Rhiannon Ally - migrants flown to marthas vineyard (1min47sec).mp3
Migrants dropped of at VP Harris residence.mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Derricke Dennis - new jitters on wall-street (1min32sec).mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Rhiannon Ally - paris turning off lights (20sec).mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Rhiannon Ally - yellen gas prices spike (12sec).mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Rhiannon Ally (1) rail worker strike (17sec).mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Rhiannon Ally (2) rail worker strike (15sec).mp3
CBS Evening - anchor Nancy Cordes - Yellen (1) inflation (50sec).mp3
CBS Evening - anchor Nancy Cordes - Yellen (2) rail worker strike (35sec).mp3
CBS Evening - anchor Nancy Cordes - Yellen (3) european recession (36sec).mp3
Pelosi please clap.mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Rhiannon Ally - no inheritance tax for king charles (1min21sec).mp3
CBS Evening - anchor Jeff Pegues - college bomb scare -hoax (1min8sec).mp3
CBS Evening - anchor Norah ODonnell - minnesota nurse strike (15sec).mp3
CNN cuts away from Biden inflation reduction party as stocks plunge.mp3
Goldman’s Apple Card business has a surprising subprime problem.mp3
Portland area Target employee from crime-ridden store.mp3
Sweden's PM resigns after conceding election to right-wing.mp3
Ursula SOTU -1- French climate change pandering.mp3
Ursula SOTU -2- Digital net zero and fiscal rules.mp3
Ursula SOTU -3- social market economy.mp3
Ursula SOTU -4- In German No workers - MIGRANTS.mp3
Ursula SOTU -5- Still German The new mineral and processing supply countries.mp3
Ursula SOTU -6- mRNA factories in Africa and Latin America - Leaders meeting.mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Andrew Dymburt - delivery bot rolls thru crime scene (19sec).mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Ines De La Cuetara - queen -world leaders share buses (28sec).mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Justin Finch (3) rail worker strike deal reached (40sec).mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Rhiannon Ally - british commonwealth (1min55sec).mp3
anti-Republican republicans ROE 3.mp3
CA sues amazon NPR.mp3
Google vs EU.mp3
Hail to the chief ARCHIVE.mp3
iranian hackers.mp3
ISO moment.mp3
IsO Thanks.mp3
ISO waning.mp3
Mark Miley undeer the gun cnbc.mp3
MPX report Kqed.mp3
queen rundown cnbc.mp3
Rail strike 1 cnbc.mp3
Rail strike 2 crux short.mp3
Rail strike 3 wrap.mp3
Rail strike 4 bernie do.mp3
Rail strike 5 bernie do 2.mp3
RAIL STRIKE NPR Short.mp3
Seesaw hacked npr.mp3
TOCK porn literacy IHWD zoom.mp3
TOCK white peoploe made me fat.mp3
UKRAINE Nuke plant 1.mp3
UKRAINE Nuke plant 2.mp3
UKRAINE offensive 1 npr.mp3
UKRAINE offensive 2 npr.mp3
UKRAINE offensive 3 kicker.mp3
Anti Metaverse bomb.mp3
anti-Republican republicans ROE 1.mp3
anti-Republican republicans ROE 2.mp3
Jacinda drops all covid restrictions - Backlash LOL.mp3
CBS Evening - anchor Norah ODonnell - blue origin grounded (21sec).mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Andrew Dymburt - FBI seize my pillow guys phone (23sec).mp3
alex_wagner is old enough.mp3
CBS Evening - anchor Scott Macfarlane - trump subpoenas (38sec).mp3
Chuck Todd & VP Kamala - We’re now as a nation battling a threat from within.mp3
Lindsay Graham introduces 15 week abortion 'pain' bill - Eu equivalent.mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Andrew Dymburt - zelensky in car crash (24sec).mp3
  • 0:00
    madness in New Zealand Stop the presses.
  • 0:03
    Adam curry Jhansi Devora Thursday, September
  • 0:06
    15 2022. This is your award winning gizmo nation media
  • 0:09
    assassination episode 1486. This
  • 0:12
    is no agenda, knocking on
  • 0:15
    the door and broadcasting live from the heart of the Texas hill
  • 0:18
    country. Here in FEMA Region number six in the morning,
  • 0:21
    everybody. I'm Adam curry.
  • 0:23
    And from Northern Silicon Valley where the train strikes gonna do
  • 0:27
    us a lot of good. I'm John C. Dvorak
  • 0:31
    skills. Just a programming note. I have among the backup system
  • 0:41
    today. So there may be like a tad more delay than normal. But
  • 0:46
    backup system? Well, one of the several ones I have this is the
  • 0:51
    this is the MiFi.
  • 0:54
    The internet is not up to
  • 0:57
    par. Yeah, it's going in and out. And then the next step will
  • 1:00
    be to go to Starlink. But Starling definitely has a delay.
  • 1:03
    Oh,
  • 1:03
    that's no good.
  • 1:04
    No, no, it's great for porn.
  • 1:06
    This is borderline. Okay. I'll tell you what the problem is.
  • 1:10
    Yeah. It's you. What do you mean? You don't sound your
  • 1:15
    normal self?
  • 1:16
    Oh, that's because it's probably getting squeezed coming down the
  • 1:19
    line to you. The codec is making him Yeah, something like that.
  • 1:22
    Yeah. Yeah. Well, I'm sorry. Everyone else will hear me just
  • 1:26
    fine. But you sound great. That's all that counts. Hey,
  • 1:30
    John. We before we before we do anything we have breaking news
  • 1:33
    this morning. I know that we have to talk about the train
  • 1:35
    strike. But I woke up to the news that our governor here
  • 1:38
    Greg, what do you call them? Glenn Abbott? Glen Abbott, and
  • 1:42
    have it not too bad. Not to be outdone by Ron DeSanto. They're
  • 1:48
    in Florida, you know, sending migrants to Martha's Vineyard
  • 1:52
    via charter airplane? No, no, he's taking it one step further.
  • 1:56
    Breaking news for you. This has been a busy morning already. We
  • 1:58
    are going live to pictures from Washington DC. And the latest
  • 2:03
    report is that there have been immigrants by bus dropped off at
  • 2:08
    VICE PRESIDENT Kamala Harris's. This is just outside her home.
  • 2:15
    You can see from these pictures of dozens, I would say more than
  • 2:20
    100. I don't know if there are multiple hundreds of people
  • 2:23
    outside on the lawn there. But not a small number of people
  • 2:26
    outside, not the White House. But vice president Harris's home
  • 2:32
    address,
  • 2:33
    which is the Naval Academy. And there's all these people just
  • 2:37
    hanging around like, you know, masks on half of them on cell
  • 2:41
    phones, trying to get free Wi Fi.
  • 2:45
    You know, this guy, I have to say I get he's got a sense of
  • 2:48
    humor,
  • 2:49
    he gets points, he gets points for that. And it's kind of the
  • 2:52
    whole thing is disturbing, obviously, because we're using,
  • 2:55
    we're using people as political peons, which of course, is you
  • 3:01
    know, anyone who comes in through this manner is being
  • 3:04
    used that way. But holy crap, this is this is next level.
  • 3:09
    Hey, you know, they're all asked What do you mean, they don't
  • 3:13
    just force them into a bus and ship them off wherever they want
  • 3:16
    to go? No, all supposedly they're all asked you want to go
  • 3:20
    to Chicago? Do you want to go to New York? And I guess the
  • 3:23
    question is, you want to go to Washington, DC, we'll drop you
  • 3:26
    off right in front of the Vice President of the United States,
  • 3:29
    you will take your right there. How about it? And I mean, I
  • 3:34
    should probably say yes, the
  • 3:35
    sad thing is, it should be we're not going to ask you, we're
  • 3:38
    gonna send you back. That's what it should be.
  • 3:42
    Well, that's what it would be under normal circumstances. But
  • 3:45
    since they refuse to do that, that's just and they're going to
  • 3:48
    distribute them anyway. I mean, the government has been doing
  • 3:52
    that with with secret airplane flights and buses themselves and
  • 3:56
    shipping them all over the place. Let the states do it. And
  • 3:59
    they will designate where they're gonna go. I hope so.
  • 4:03
    After asking them of course. I hope that you like to meet the
  • 4:07
    Vice President of the United States where I would do we'd
  • 4:10
    like to meet the Vice President of the United States. Oh, see?
  • 4:17
    Okay, we'll put you this drop you right out of it or out
  • 4:21
    nice one, John. Oh, see great. Yeah. So then it's gonna say
  • 4:27
    after after this hilarious moment because I do see the
  • 4:31
    humor of it and I like I like the American political humor
  • 4:35
    creeping back into the lexicon that's fun it felt like Atlas
  • 4:44
    Shrugged. Like finally they did it they did something to the
  • 4:48
    trains and this is you know, the
  • 4:52
    train thing coming up. Oh, yeah. This you know, this train was
  • 4:55
    transit clips on this. This train strike. which is going to
  • 5:00
    be tomorrow night? I believe or tonight maybe it's tonight
  • 5:07
    Friday they they say that they they have some tentative
  • 5:10
    agreement as of 5am This morning I don't know see exactly
  • 5:20
    I have a bunch of clips I know we're gonna play them all but
  • 5:24
    they tend to be all they're all about one thing I mean the
  • 5:30
    strikers are there would be strikers they are not being
  • 5:34
    treated right because it none of none of these guys were
  • 5:38
    mentioned they real elephant in the room which is the fact that
  • 5:41
    their rail companies forced a vaccine on a bunch of people a
  • 5:45
    lot of them quits I got 20 years and screw you I'm out of here.
  • 5:48
    Right well,
  • 5:48
    this is the problem with all with the health sector with with
  • 5:51
    the airports. This is this is the same Yeah, and
  • 5:53
    it's never mentioned I've got a report here from CNBC, which I
  • 5:58
    think has the best material because it's about the what's
  • 6:02
    going to happen to the economy. And there's also a rail strike
  • 6:05
    at NPR short 31 second clip, which kind of kind of summarizes
  • 6:10
    it but again, never mentions the forced vaccinations.
  • 6:14
    Well, let's do the NPR short first just to get into the mood.
  • 6:17
    Unions representing us freight rail workers are on track. To
  • 6:22
    strike as early as midnight Friday morning and as Frank
  • 6:25
    Morris of member station case you are reports pressure to
  • 6:28
    avert a strike is building
  • 6:30
    Americans are coming to grips with the implications of a
  • 6:32
    freight rail strike missed deliveries of chemicals, fuel
  • 6:36
    and raw material. hobbling water, plants, power plants and
  • 6:39
    factories produce rotting new cars gathering dust and
  • 6:43
    passenger rail service shut down across parts of the country.
  • 6:47
    Work rules are the sticking point.
  • 6:49
    I understand this is supposed to be about 30% of all goods
  • 6:52
    transported across the country is done by rail.
  • 6:56
    I think more than net but I don't know the number. But I
  • 6:59
    will say I had to stop that clip after that pun at the beginning.
  • 7:05
    I am not putting up with this. I
  • 7:06
    agree. Well done. Just screw those guys. All right, CNBC.