Cover for No Agenda Show 1499: Wack 'o Wibs
October 30th, 2022 • 4h 7m

1499: Wack 'o Wibs


Every new episode of No Agenda is accompanied by a comprehensive list of shownotes curated by Adam while preparing for the show. Clips played by the hosts during the show can also be found here.

TODAY forward from justin cody
October Surprise
Pelosi - drunk - do you take visa?
Big Pharma
Biogen Fines
Here is an article from the New England Journal of Medicine, 2022.10.29.
Three pages explaining the settlement by the federal prosecutors and Biogen Idec for their bribes and kickback schemes, i.e., "marketing" strategies.
Some highlights:
(A) "The settlement amount, $900 million, is equal to nearly 60% of the company’s 2021 net income."
(B) "two marketing strategies, using physician experts, have become common. First, pharmaceutical firms can pay physicians to consult about a product and its marketing. According to industry standards, ... the company must be receiving cogent information in return for payment.
"The Biogen suit claimed that the company held dozens of such consulting meetings, some with more than 100 attendees. Some meetings involved travel; consultants had their expenses paid and earned an hourly fee. [Prosecutors said] it was unclear whether Biogen was actually gathering feedback from these meetings; and how it was using any information obtain[ed]. In addition ... nearly half the doctors, who wrote more than 1000 prescriptions per year, for MS medications, received consulting payments from
Bat vs Lab
Mandates & Boosters
Great Reset
Elon / Twitter
Energy & Inflation
Seth Rich FBI Assange Et Al
Ukraine & Russia
Ye & They
Build the Wall
Big Tech
Prime Time Purge
Column: U.S. diesel shortage increasingly likely until economy slows | Reuters
Sun, 30 Oct 2022 16:32
[1/2] Storage tanks for crude oil, gasoline, diesel, and other refined petroleum products are seen at the Kinder Morgan Terminal, viewed from the Phillips 66 Company's Los Angeles Refinery in Carson, California, U.S., March 11, 2022. REUTERS/Bing Guan
LONDON, Oct 27 (Reuters) - U.S. diesel supplies are becoming critically low with shortages and price spikes likely to occur in the next six months unless and until the economy and fuel consumption slow.
Stocks of diesel and other distillate fuel oils were just 106 million barrels on Oct. 21, the lowest for the time of year since the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) started collecting weekly data in 1982.
Distillate inventories were a massive 26 million barrels (-20% or -1.94 standard deviations) below the seasonal average for the previous ten years (''Weekly petroleum status report'', EIA, Oct. 26).
The deficit has been worsening steadily since the start of the year when stocks were 15 million barrels (-11% or -1.18 standard deviations) below the ten-year average.
By the end of July, stocks had already fallen to 113 million barrels, the lowest since 1996 and before that 1954, based on the most recent data available from the EIA's more comprehensive monthly surveys.
In terms of consumption, however, inventories at the end of July were equivalent to just 30 days of demand, the lowest seasonal level in monthly records going back to 1945.
Since then, the inventory position has tightened even further, with stocks estimated to have fallen to a record seasonal low of fewer than 27 days of demand in October.
Chartbook: U.S. distillate fuel oil inventories
Reflecting the intensifying fuel shortage, futures prices for ultra-low sulphur diesel (ULSD) delivered in New York Harbor in December are trading at a premium of $60 per barrel over Brent.
The twelve-month calendar spread for ultra-low sulphur diesel futures has flared out to a backwardation of $50 per barrel from less than $10 this time last year, as traders anticipate physical shortages.
As a result, retail diesel prices including applicable taxes are now $1.45 per gallon higher than for gasoline, a record premium, up from just 24 cents per gallon a year ago.
Distillate fuel oil is primarily used in freight transport, manufacturing, farming, mining and the oil and gas industry itself, so consumption is strongly influenced by the economic cycle.
Growth in distillate consumption has been closely correlated with changes in industrial production estimated by the U.S. Federal Reserve and manufacturing activity in surveys by the Institute for Supply Management.
Stabilising then rebuilding inventories to more comfortable levels will require a significant slowdown in freight movements and manufacturing activity.
There are early indications manufacturing and freight activity peaked in the third quarter of 2022. If confirmed that would take some of the pressure of distillate inventories.
But a deeper and more prolonged slowdown in the United States and/or in Europe and Asia will be needed to boost inventories significantly.
Rebalancing diesel supply will likely require a further rise in interest rates and tighter financial conditions in the United States and other major economies to reduce fuel consumption to more sustainable levels.
Related columns:
- Diesel's gloomy message for the global economy (Reuters, Oct. 14)
- Recession will be necessary to rebalance the oil market (Reuters, Sept. 22)
John Kemp is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own
Editing by Kirsten Donovan
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Opinions expressed are those of the author. They do not reflect the views of Reuters News, which, under the Trust Principles, is committed to integrity, independence, and freedom from bias.
John KempThomson Reuters
John Kemp is a senior market analyst specializing in oil and energy systems. Before joining Reuters in 2008, he was a trading analyst at Sempra Commodities, now part of JPMorgan, and an economic analyst at Oxford Analytica. His interests include all aspects of energy technology, history, diplomacy, derivative markets, risk management, policy and transitions.
The Dark Origins of the Davos Great Reset
Sun, 30 Oct 2022 16:30
Attribution:Dr. Ernst Klett, Dr. Aurelio Peccei, Prof. Dr. Eduard Pestel (beide Mitgl. d. Exekutiv-Komitees d. "Club of Rome" - Bundesarchiv, B 145 Bild-F041173-0013 / Reineke, Engelbert / CC-BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE, via Wikimedia Commons By F. William Engdahl 22 October 2022Important to understand is that there is not one single new or original idea in Klaus Schwab's so-called Great Reset agenda for the world. Nor is his Fourth Industrial Revolution agenda his or his claim to having invented the notion of Stakeholder Capitalism a product of Schwab. Klaus Schwab is little more than a slick PR agent for a global technocratic agenda, a corporatist unity of corporate power with government, including the UN, an agenda whose origins go back to the beginning of the 1970s, and even earlier. The Davos Great reset is merely an updated blueprint for a global dystopian dictatorship under UN control that has been decades in development. The key actors were David Rockefeller and his prot(C)g(C), Maurice Strong.
In the beginning of the 1970s, there was arguably no one person more influential in world politics than the late David Rockefeller, then largely known as chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank.
Creating the new paradigm
At the end of the 1960s and into the early 1970s, the international circles directly tied to David Rockefeller launched a dazzling array of elite organizations and think tanks. These included The Club of Rome; the 1001: A Nature Trust, tied to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF); the Stockholm United Nations Earth Day conference; the MIT-authored study, Limits to Growth; and David Rockefeller's Trilateral Commission.
Club of Rome
In 1968 David Rockefeller founded a neo-Malthusian think tank, The Club of Rome, along with Aurelio Peccei and Alexander King. Aurelio Peccei, was a senior manager of the Fiat car company, owned by the powerful Italian Agnelli family. Fiat's Gianni Agnelli was an intimate friend of David Rockefeller and a member of the International Advisory Committee of Rockefeller's Chase Manhattan Bank. Agnelli and David Rockefeller had been close friends since 1957. Agnelli became a founding member of David Rockefeller's Trilateral Commission in 1973. Alexander King, head of the OECD Science Program was also a consultant to NATO. That was the beginning of what would become the neo-Malthusian ''people pollute'' movement.
In 1971 the Club of Rome published a deeply-flawed report, Limits to Growth, which predicted an end to civilization as we knew it because of rapid population growth, combined with fixed resources such as oil. The report concluded that without substantial changes in resource consumption, "the most probable result will be a rather sudden and uncontrollable decline in both population and industrial capacity." It was based on bogus computer simulations by a group of MIT computer scientists. It stated the bold prediction, ''If the present growth trends in world population, industrialization, pollution, food production, and resource depletion continue unchanged, the limits to growth on this planet will be reached sometime within the next one hundred years.'' That was 1971. In 1973 Klaus Schwab in his third annual Davos business leader meeting invited Peccei to Davos to present Limits to Growth to assembled corporate CEOs.
In 1974, the Club of Rome declared boldly, "The Earth has cancer and the cancer is Man." Then: ''the world is facing an unprecedented set of interlocking global problems, such as, over-population, food shortages, non-renewable resource [oil-w.e.] depletion, environmental degradation and poor governance.'' They argued that,
'horizontal' restructuring of the world system is needed'...drastic changes in the norm stratum - that is, in the value system and the goals of man - are necessary in order to solve energy, food, and other crises, i.e., social changes and changes in individual attitudes are needed if the transition to organic growth is to take place.
In their 1974 report, Mankind at the Turning Point, The Club of Rome further argued:
Increasing interdependence between nations and regions must then translate as a decrease in independence. Nations cannot be interdependent without each of them giving up some of, or at least acknowledging limits to, its own independence. Now is the time to draw up a master plan for organic sustainable growth and world development based on global allocation of all finite resources and a new global economic system.
That was the early formulation of the UN Agenda 21, Agenda2030 and the 2020 Davos Great Reset.
David Rockefeller and Maurice Strong
By far the most influential organizer of Rockefeller's 'zero growth' agenda in the early 1970s was David Rockefeller's longtime friend, a billionaire oilman named Maurice Strong. Canadian Maurice Strong was one of the key early propagators of the scientifically fraudulent theory that man-made CO2 emissions from transportation vehicles, coal plants and agriculture caused a dramatic and accelerating global temperature rise which threatens ''the planet'', so-called Global Warming.
As chairman of the 1972 Earth Day UN Stockholm Conference, Strong promoted an agenda of population reduction and lowering of living standards around the world to "save the environment." Strong stated his radical ecologist agenda: "Isn't the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn't it our responsibility to bring that about?'' This is what is now taking place under cover of a hyped global pandemic.
Strong was a curious choice to head a major UN initiative to mobilize action on the environment, as his career and his considerable fortune had been built on exploitation of oil, like an unusual number of the new advocates of 'ecological purity,' such as David Rockefeller or Robert O. Anderson of Aspen Institute or Shell's John Loudon.
Strong had met David Rockefeller in 1947 as a young Canadian high school dropout of eighteen and from that point, his career became tied to the network of the Rockefeller family. Through his new friendship with David Rockefeller, Strong, at age 18, was given a key UN position under UN Treasurer, Noah Monod. The UN's funds were conveniently enough handled by Rockefeller's Chase Bank. This was typical of the model of ''public-private partnership'' to be deployed by Strong'--private gain from public government.
In the 1960s Strong had become president of the huge Montreal energy conglomerate and oil company known as Power Corporation, then owned by the influential Paul Desmarais. Power Corporation was reportedly also used as a political slush fund to finance campaigns of select Canadian politicians such as Pierre Trudeau, father of Davos prot(C)g(C) Justin Trudeau, according to Canadian investigative researcher, Elaine Dewar (Elaine Dewar, op cit. p. 269-271. )
Earth Summit I and Rio Earth Summit
By 1971 Strong was named Undersecretary of the United Nations in New York and Secretary General of the upcoming Earth Day conference, United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (Earth Summit I) in Stockholm, Sweden. He was also named that year as a trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation '' who financed his launch of the Stockholm Earth Day project (Elaine Dewar, op cit. p.277). In Stockholm the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) was created with Strong as its head.
By 1989 Strong was named by the UN Secretary General to head the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development or UNCED (''Rio Earth Summit II''). He oversaw the drafting of the UN ''Sustainable Environment'' goals there, the Agenda 21 for Sustainable Development that forms the basis of Klaus Schwab's Great Reset, as well as creation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the UN. Strong, who was also a board member of Davos WEF, had arranged for Schwab to serve as a key adviser to the Rio Earth Summit.
As Secretary General of the UN Rio Conference, Strong also commissioned a report from the Club of Rome, The First Global Revolution, authored by Alexander King which admitted that the CO2 global warming claim was merely an invented ruse to force change:
''The common enemy of humanity is man. In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy then, is humanity itself.''
President Clinton's delegate to Rio, Tim Wirth, admitted the same, stating, ''We have got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic policy and environmental policy." (Elaine Dewar, Cloak of Green: The Links between key environmental groups, government and big business, Toronto, James Lorimer & Co., 1995, pp. 259-265. )
At Rio Strong first introduced the manipulative idea of ''sustainable society'' defined in relation this arbitrary goal of eliminating CO2 and other so-called Greenhouse Gases. Agenda 21 became Agenda 2030 in Sept 2015 in Rome, with the Pope's blessing, with 17 ''sustainable'' goals. It declared among other items,
''Land, because of its unique nature and the crucial role it plays in human settlement, cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership also is a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice'...Social justice, urban renewal, and development, the provision of decent dwellings and healthy conditions for the people can only 'be achieved if land is used in the interests of society as a whole."
In short private land ownership must become socialized for ''society as a whole,'' an idea well-known in Soviet Union days, and a key part of the Davos Great Reset.
At Rio in 1992 where he was chairman and General Secretary, Strong declared:
''It is clear that current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class'-- involving high meat intake, consumption of large amounts frozen and convenience foods, use of fossil fuels, appliances, home and work place air-conditioning, and suburban housing '-- are not sustainable.'' (emphasis added)
Strong did not heed his own call. What Strong did not tell his environmentalist allies at Rio was that he had also made a huge purchase of the Colorado Land and Cattle Company, from Saudi arms dealer and CIA asset, Adnan Khashoggi.
By that time Strong was at the very center of the transformation of the UN into the vehicle for imposing a new global technocratic fascism by stealth, using dire warnings of planet extinction and global warming, merging government agencies with corporate power in an unelected control of pretty much everything, under the fraudulent cover of ''sustainability.'' In 1997 Strong oversaw creation of the action plan following the Earth Summit, The Global Diversity Assessment, a blueprint for the roll out of a Fourth Industrial Revolution, an inventory of every resource on the planet, how it would be controlled , and how this revolution would be achieved.
At this time Strong was co-chairman of Klaus Schwab's Davos World Economic Forum. In 2015 on Strong's death, Davos founder Klaus Schwab wrote, ''He was my mentor since the creation of the Forum: a great friend; an indispensable advisor; and, for many years, a member of our Foundation Board.''
Before he was forced to leave the UN in disgrace over an Iraq Food-for-Oil corruption scandal, Strong was member of the Club of Rome, Trustee of the Aspen Institute, Trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation and Rothschild Foundation. Strong was also a director of the occult Temple of Understanding of the Lucifer Trust (aka Lucis Trust) housed at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, ''where pagan rituals include escorting sheep and cattle to the alter for blessing. Here, Vice President Al Gore delivered a sermon, as worshippers marched to the altar with bowls of compost and worms'...'' xvi
This is the dark origin of Schwab's Great Reset agenda where we should eat worms and have no private property in order to ''save the planet.'' The agenda is dark, dystopian and meant to eliminate billions of us ''ordinary humans.''
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazineGlobal Research Centre for Research on Globalization
Repsol: Parts Of Europe Are Running Out Of Diesel |
Sun, 30 Oct 2022 16:29
By Julianne Geiger - Oct 27, 2022, 11:30 AM CDT Repsol CEO Josu Jon Imaz: parts of Europe are running out of middle distillates.Repsol CEO: high diesel prices could be on the horizon.Diesel shortages are also spreading across the United States.The diesel crisis in Europe is heating up, with parts of Europe starting to run out of diesel, Repsol Chief Executive Officer Josu Jon Imaz said on Thursday's earnings call.
''We are running out of middle distillates in some European countries,'' Imaz explained, adding that high diesel prices could be on the horizon.
Europe'--a net importer of diesel, jet fuel, and heating oil'--has struggled to maintain adequate inventories this year as high natural gas prices caused some users to switch to diesel, boosting demand, while some buyers have shunned Russian diesel--the source of half of Europe's diesel imports'--as the block prepares itself for a ban on oil products at the end of this year.
For Europe's heavy industry, which relies on diesel, the situation is dire.
Diesel shortages are also spreading across the United States, with at least one energy company so far triggering an emergency protocol asking clients for a 72-hour advanced notice to be able to make good on diesel deliveries.
U.S. diesel fuel stocks have been on a steady decline for months, reaching the lowest level since 2008 as of October. The United States currently has just 25 days of diesel supply in reserve. In the United States, a lack of refining capacity and years and years of underinvestment in new capacity, combined with refinery closures and maintenance, have contributed to the current low supply situation.
Goldman Sachs has warned that the diesel shortage in Europe and the United States could increase fuel prices this winter.
The supply situation in the United States has caused traders to divert diesel and jet fuel shipments that were destined to service the European market back to the East Coast of the United States, ship tracking services cited by Reuters showed earlier this month, in what could shape up to be a global battle for middle distillates.
By Julianne Geiger for
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RIP Twitter, 2006-2022: Dead at the hands of Elon Musk | The Independent
Sun, 30 Oct 2022 16:29
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I opened my Twitter account in January of 2013, at the urging of a friend. Only a few days before, I had published my first national article in The New York Times, and feedback was coming in tidal waves: emails from strangers, messages on Facebook, countless shares. I didn't know anything about Twitter, the now-ubiquitous social media platform that had launched seven years earlier (this is the downside to being firmly entrenched in Generation X). I opened an account, and the rest was history.
In the intervening decade, I have cultivated my own little Twitter world, now verified with a coveted blue check. At its best, Twitter was a place where people like me, a journalist, could commiserate with the like-minded. It was a place to share ideas and work, a place to be funny and sarcastic, and even a place to seek solace from people who shared my outlook in life.
At its worst, Twitter was the enemy of the people. It was not an accident that former president Donald J. Trump took to Twitter, and not Instagram, when he wanted to rile up his base. Twitter, with its character cap (280 characters '-- although, when the platform launched, it was half as much) allows for half-thoughts and quick missives, for impulsive ideas that can hang without context. The platform was designed for verbal dynamite. Fire off a tweet and watch it explode. The best tweets were punchy and cute, full of rhythm and technique. The worst ones reduced human nature to a few base keyboard swipes.
That was where Twitter went wrong, of course, and, somewhere in the fulcrum of bad ideas emerged a red-hot right-wing movement. In the past few years, we '' I'm not sure who ''we'' really is, apart from those of us who wish for a more functional society '' tried to correct the worst impulses set loose on this part of the internet. Trump was booted from the platform, along with so many others (most recently: the artist formerly known as Kanye).
But now, as Elon Musk takes the helm '' for real this time '' and starts off with a series of firings, it is time to say our goodbyes to the social media platform that once was. It's not as if our better angels ever really overcame the truly despicable parts of the Twitterverse (I challenge anyone who is not Jewish to spend a day mired in the responses to just one viral tweet about Kanye West's antisemitic tweets for a sense of how disgusting Twitter is and has always been).
Still, it was a comfort to some of us that some were excluded from participating. It was a comfort that ''free speech'' and ''hate speech'' were not disingenuously cross-referenced, as if saying something destructive and terrible deserved equal protection under one company's private bylaws.
Elon Musk, of course, is a right-wing radical himself, and has made no bones about his intentions. ''I did it to help humanity,'' Musk said in a tweet on Thursday of his Twitter acquisition. ''It is important to the future of civilization to have a virtual town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence.'' I guess Musk doesn't seem to understand the correlative between language and violence '-- the necessary link between what people say and what they do. I guess he doesn't understand that if some kinds of language and beliefs are reined in, violence will not stem from them.
Twitter did have some great moments. Alyssa Milano popularized the term #MeToo on Twitter, in 2017. In 2016, Hillary Clinton went viral by telling Donald Trump to delete his account. Caitlyn Jenner reintroduced herself to the world on Twitter. Barack Obama posted a photo of himself and the former first lady: ''four more years'', the 2012 caption read. We had fun on Twitter. We watched crazy videos. We had to decide if a dress was blue and black or white and gold? I'm still really not sure about that one.
Twitter was toxic, too. We had to put up with a president who alienated people. For over four years, many of us held our breath to see what stream of nonsense came next. In writing this obituary, it's hard to find a tweet that is, at once, completely offensive and also indicative of what Twitter was. Perhaps this one is it: ''He only won in the eyes of the FAKE NEWS MEDIA,'' Trump tweeted following the 2020 election. Trump went on to compel his followers to storm the Capitol. It was not the healthy debate. It was, however, a lot of violence.
Goodbye, old friend. When you were good, you were fun. When you were bad, you were a wormhole of trolls. As you leave this good world, we expect that your passing will bring nothing but the demise of democracy.
COVID-19 and celiac disease: A pathogenetic hypothesis for a celiac outbreak - PubMed
Sun, 30 Oct 2022 16:29
doi: 10.1111/ijcp.14452. Epub 2021 Jun 17. Affiliations
Affiliations 1 Pediatric Gastroenterology and Liver Unit, Maternal and Child Health Department, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy. 2 Hepatology Gastroenterology and Nutrition Unit, "Bambino Ges¹" Children Hospital, Rome, Italy. PMID: 34145702 PMCID: PMC8420168 DOI: 10.1111/ijcp.14452 Free PMC article Item in Clipboard
Chiara Maria Trovato et al. Int J Clin Pract . 2021 Sep .
Free PMC article
doi: 10.1111/ijcp.14452. Epub 2021 Jun 17. Affiliations 1 Pediatric Gastroenterology and Liver Unit, Maternal and Child Health Department, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy. 2 Hepatology Gastroenterology and Nutrition Unit, "Bambino Ges¹" Children Hospital, Rome, Italy. PMID: 34145702 PMCID: PMC8420168 DOI: 10.1111/ijcp.14452 Item in Clipboard
Abstract Background: A growing body of evidence supports the intestinal trophism of SARS-CoV-2, with ciliated cells and intestinal enterocytes being target cells because of the high expression of ACE2 and TMPRSS2. Indeed, COVID-19 promotes a "cytokine storm" in the intestinal mucosa: the resulting epithelial damage leads to increased barrier permeability, allowing the passage of gliadin in the intestinal lamina.
Methods: Based on current literature, we hypothesize the role of COVID-19 as a potential trigger factor for celiac disease in predisposed patients.
Conclusions: Genetically predisposed patients could be more likely to develop celiac disease following SARS-CoV-2 infection, making COVID-19 a candidate culprit for a potential outbreak of celiac disease in the forthcoming future.
(C) 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Conflict of interest statement The authors declare no conflicts of interest for the present study.
Similar articles Gliadin induces an increase in intestinal permeability and zonulin release by binding to the chemokine receptor CXCR3. Lammers KM, Lu R, Brownley J, Lu B, Gerard C, Thomas K, Rallabhandi P, Shea-Donohue T, Tamiz A, Alkan S, Netzel-Arnett S, Antalis T, Vogel SN, Fasano A. Lammers KM, et al. Gastroenterology. 2008 Jul;135(1):194-204.e3. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2008.03.023. Epub 2008 Mar 21. Gastroenterology. 2008. PMID: 18485912 Free PMC article.
Effect of gliadin on permeability of intestinal biopsy explants from celiac disease patients and patients with non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Hollon J, Puppa EL, Greenwald B, Goldberg E, Guerrerio A, Fasano A. Hollon J, et al. Nutrients. 2015 Feb 27;7(3):1565-76. doi: 10.3390/nu7031565. Nutrients. 2015. PMID: 25734566 Free PMC article. Clinical Trial.
Relevance of SARS-CoV-2 related factors ACE2 and TMPRSS2 expressions in gastrointestinal tissue with pathogenesis of digestive symptoms, diabetes-associated mortality, and disease recurrence in COVID-19 patients. Kumar A, Faiq MA, Pareek V, Raza K, Narayan RK, Prasoon P, Kumar P, Kulandhasamy M, Kumari C, Kant K, Singh HN, Qadri R, Pandey SN, Kumar S. Kumar A, et al. Med Hypotheses. 2020 Nov;144:110271. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2020.110271. Epub 2020 Sep 13. Med Hypotheses. 2020. PMID: 33254575 Free PMC article.
Age and gender differences in ACE2 and TMPRSS2 expressions in oral epithelial cells. Peng J, Sun J, Zhao J, Deng X, Guo F, Chen L. Peng J, et al. J Transl Med. 2021 Aug 19;19(1):358. doi: 10.1186/s12967-021-03037-4. J Transl Med. 2021. PMID: 34412632 Free PMC article.
Targeting the intestinal TMPRSS2 protease to prevent SARS-CoV-2 entry into enterocytes-prospects and challenges. Mahmoud IS, Jarrar YB. Mahmoud IS, et al. Mol Biol Rep. 2021 May;48(5):4667-4675. doi: 10.1007/s11033-021-06390-1. Epub 2021 May 22. Mol Biol Rep. 2021. PMID: 34023987 Free PMC article. Review.
Cited by Celiac Disease and Targeting the Molecular Mechanisms of Autoimmunity in COVID Pandemic. Ailioaie LM, Ailioaie C, Litscher G, Chiran DA. Ailioaie LM, et al. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Jul 13;23(14):7719. doi: 10.3390/ijms23147719. Int J Mol Sci. 2022. PMID: 35887067 Free PMC article. Review.
New-onset celiac disease in children during COVID-19 pandemic. Cakir M, Guven B, Issi F, Ozkaya E. Cakir M, et al. Acta Paediatr. 2022 Feb;111(2):383-388. doi: 10.1111/apa.16173. Epub 2021 Nov 11. Acta Paediatr. 2022. PMID: 34738264 Free PMC article.
References Hussman JP. Cellular and molecular pathways of COVID'19 and potential points of therapeutic intervention. Front Pharmacol. 2020;11:1169. - PMC - PubMed Camargo SMR, Vuille'Dit'Bille RN, Meier CF, Verrey F. ACE2 and gut amino acid transport. Clin Sci (Lond). 2020;134:2823'2833. - PubMed Zang R, Gomez Castro MF, McCune BT, et al. TMPRSS2 and TMPRSS4 promote SARS'CoV'2 infection of human small intestinal enterocytes. Sci Immunol. 2020;5:eabc3582. - PMC - PubMed Uzzan M, Corcos O, Martin JC, Treton X, Bouhnik Y. Why is SARS'CoV'2 infection more severe in obese men? The gut lymphatics ' lung axis hypothesis. Med Hypotheses. 2020;144:110023. - PMC - PubMed Wu D, Yang XO. TH17 responses in cytokine storm of COVID'19: an emerging target of JAK2 inhibitor Fedratinib. J Microbiol Immunol Infect. 2020;53:368'370. - PMC - PubMed
mRNA Vaccines Injure the Heart of ALL Vaccine Recipients and Cause Myocarditis in Up to 1 in 27, Study Finds '' The Daily Sceptic
Sun, 30 Oct 2022 16:28
New evidence has emerged that the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are routinely injuring the heart of all vaccine recipients, raising further questions about their safety and their role in the recent elevated levels of heart-related deaths.
The latest evidence comes in a study from Switzerland, which found elevated troponin levels '' indicating heart injury '' across all vaccinated people, with 2.8% showing levels associated with subclinical myocarditis.
The official line on elevated heart injuries and deaths, where they are acknowledged, is that they are most likely caused by the virus as a post-Covid condition rather than the vaccines.
However, expert group HART (Health Advisory and Recovery Team) has pointed to Australia as a ''control group'' on this question. HART notes that even though Australia had not had significant Covid (only 30,000 reported infections and 910 deaths) prior to mid-2021, it still saw a trend in excess non-Covid deaths beginning in June 2021 (see below). HART notes that Australia ''did not have prior Covid as a reason for seeing this rise in mortality and hospital pressure from spring 2021''. Instead, ''the results from this control group indicate that the cause of this rise in deaths, particularly in young people, must be something in common with Australia, Europe and the USA''.
Australian Government graph of mortality including Covid mortality. Note the Government chose to plot Covid infections rather than Covid deaths on this chart.In New Zealand, economist John Gibson found a temporal association between boosters and excess deaths, estimating ''16 excess deaths per 100,000 booster doses'' (see below). He noted that the age distribution of the deaths corroborated the hypothesis: ''The age groups most likely to use boosters show large rises in excess mortality after boosters are rolled out.''
In Japan, Guy Gin reports that Professor Seiji Kojima of Nagoya University found the same correlation during the booster rollout in January to March 2022 (see below) '' a time when most excess deaths were not with Covid.
Japan. Blue line/left axis: Cumulative excess deaths. Orange line/right axis: Booster rateIn Israel, a study in Nature observed a similar trend for 16-39 year-olds, with cardiac arrest emergency calls rising and falling with the first and second doses and then rising and falling again after doses for recovered individuals.
Dr. Eyal Shahar looked at the Israeli deaths data for all ages and estimated ''a plausible range of the booster fatality rate in Israel in August 2021'' of eight to 17 deaths per 100,000 vaccinees. In the Netherlands, vaccinologist Dr. Theo Schetters estimated a booster fatality rate in the over-60s as high as 125 per 100,000 vaccinees.
As to cause, Dr. Michael Palmer and Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi at Doctors for Covid Ethics have set out what they deem ''irrefutable proof of causality'' that mRNA vaccines are causing vascular and organ damage. From studies and autopsy evidence the medical experts show:
mRNA vaccines don't stay at the injection site but instead travel throughout the body and accumulate in various organs;mRNA-based Covid vaccines induce long-lasting expression of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in many organs;Vaccine-induced expression of the spike protein induces autoimmune-like inflammation;Vaccine-induced inflammation can cause grave organ damage, especially in vessels, sometimes with deadly outcome.They explain that autopsy evidence shows that ''the strong expression of spike protein in heart muscle after vaccination correlates with significant inflammation and tissue destruction''. They add that ''vaccine-induced vascular damage will promote blood clotting, and clotting-related diseases such as heart attack, stroke, lung embolism are very common in the adverse events databases''.
A recent case report in Vaccines of an autopsy conducted on a 76-year-old man who died three weeks after receiving his third COVID-19 vaccination confirms the role of the vaccine. It found the presence of spike protein but not the nucleocapsid protein in the deceased man's brain and heart, proving that the vaccine (which unlike the virus only produces the spike protein) was the cause of the deadly inflammation.
In the heart, signs of chronic cardiomyopathy as well as mild acute lympho-histiocytic myocarditis and vasculitis were present. Although there was no history of COVID-19 for this patient, immunohistochemistry for SARS-CoV-2 antigens (spike and nucleocapsid proteins) was performed. Surprisingly, only spike protein but no nucleocapsid protein could be detected within the foci of inflammation in both the brain and the heart, particularly in the endothelial cells of small blood vessels. Since no nucleocapsid protein could be detected, the presence of spike protein must be ascribed to vaccination rather than to viral infection. The findings corroborate previous reports of encephalitis and myocarditis caused by gene-based COVID-19 vaccines.
A case report of the autopsy of a 55-year-old patient who died four months after receiving a Pfizer jab as a second dose (his first dose was AstraZeneca) made similar findings.
SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein, but not nucleocapsid protein was sporadically detected in vessel walls by immunohistochemical assay. The cause of death was determined to be acute myocardial infarction and lymphocytic myocarditis. These findings indicate that myocarditis, as well as thrombo-embolic events following injection of spike-inducing gene-based vaccines, are causally associated with a injurious immunological response to the encoded agent.
A recent meta-analysis claimed to find that the risk of myocarditis is ''more than seven fold higher in persons who were infected with the SARS-CoV-2 than in those who received the vaccine''. It claims this supports ''the continued use of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines among all eligible persons per CDC and WHO recommendations''.
However, critics have pointed out the numerous flaws in this meta-analysis and highlighted that it is at odds with a major Nordic study of 23 million people that found the risk of hospitalisation post-vaccination in 16-24 year old males was up to 28 times higher than the risk post-Covid. At the Daily Sceptic we have written about this Nordic study as well as a number of other studies with similar findings, including ones from France, England and the U.S. (alongside critiques of studies that purport to show otherwise). A study from Israel confirms the elevated risk from vaccination and states: ''We did not observe an increased incidence of neither pericarditis nor myocarditis in adult patients recovering from COVID-19 infection.'' A study from Italy found a similar absence of elevated myocarditis during the pre-vaccination pandemic period.
We should also note that vaccination does not prevent Covid infection so the risks are additive and the comparison between vaccination risk and infection risk is false. Cardiovascular injury also is not the only serious adverse event associated with these vaccines. A recent study by researchers from Harvard, Oxford and Johns Hopkins University (among others) found that the mRNA vaccines are up to nearly 100 times more likely to cause a person of student age serious injury than prevent him or her from being hospitalised with COVID-19.
Most of these studies only look at clinical adverse events, i.e., events serious enough to warrant medical assistance. Studies are now emerging which show these clinical events to be just the tip of the iceberg of a far larger number of subclinical injuries. A study in Thailand found cardiovascular adverse effects in around a third of teenagers (29.2%) following Pfizer vaccination and subclinical heart inflammation in one in 43 (2.3%).
The Swiss study mentioned above was recently highlighted by Dr. Vinay Prasad and comes from the European Society of Cardiology. It confirms the Thai result, finding at least 2.8% with subclinical myocarditis (possibly more as the researchers excluded half the cases as possibly from another cause). Dr. Prasad observes that this means subclinical myocarditis is hundreds of times (''two orders of magnitude'') more common than clinical myocarditis. The rates were highest in women at 3.7%, which is one in 27 vaccinated. (Dr. Prasad notes this is different to the Thai study, which found the usual higher rates in males; he suggests this may be related to how the researchers excluded cases.)
Crucially, the study found elevated troponin levels '' indicating heart injury '' across all vaccinated people (see chart above, where the dark lines being shifted to the right of the fainter control group lines implies elevated levels throughout the vaccinated population). This indicates the vaccine is routinely injuring the heart (an organ which does not heal well) and that the known injuries are just the more severe instances of a far larger number occurring right across the board.
These injuries are not necessarily short and over with quickly. Studies have shown that spike protein is still being found in the blood of many vaccinated people at least four months after vaccination, suggesting it is still being produced in some way. The mechanism of this long-term production of spike protein by the body has not been identified (is the genetic code being incorporated into the cell's DNA?). But if cells in the cardiovascular system and elsewhere are still producing this pathogenic and inflammatory protein for months on end, the risk of auto-immune injury as identified in the autopsies above greatly increases. Such an auto-immune injury may be triggered by re-challenge by the virus ramping up the immune response to the spike protein, which may explain why excess non-Covid deaths often accompany Covid waves.
There is now considerable evidence that mRNA vaccines are routinely injuring the heart, with raised troponin levels across the board and subclinical myocarditis in up to one in 27 cases or more. These are not rare events, as is often claimed by medical authorities and in the media. They are alarmingly common.
Covid 'more likely than not' the result of a laboratory incident, says US Senate
Sun, 30 Oct 2022 16:28
The Covid-19 pandemic was 'more likely than not' the result of a laboratory accident, a US Senate Committee has concluded.
Since the start of the pandemic, there has been speculation that the virus emerged as the result of a lab leak from The Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in China, which had been collecting and manipulating bat viruses.
Many eminent scientists have continued to dispute the lab leak theory, claiming that a natural spillover event is a more likely explanation.
But the new report said there was "a number of anomalies" in the emergence of Covid-19 naturally compared with other spillover diseases, such as Sars and Mers.
Within six months of the Sars epidemic in 2002, scientists had discovered the species behind the outbreak, yet despite widespread searching, a candidate for Covid-19 has never been found.
''Nearly three years after the Covid-19 pandemic began, critical evidence that would prove the emergence of Sars-CoV-2, and resulting Covid-19 pandemic was caused by a natural zoonotic spillover is missing,'' the report said.
The committee also said that it was unusual that Covid-19 had spilt over into humans just once or twice over a two-week period, and had only occurred in Wuhan or closely surrounding areas.
Unclear how the virus travelledIn other spillover events, the jump between species happened multiple times and in different locations.
The bats which carry the closest virus to Covid-19 live in Southern China or Southeast Asia so it is unclear how the virus travelled more than 1,000 miles to reach Wuhan, the report said.
However, WIV had collected more than 220 Sars-related coronaviruses, at least 100 of which were never made public. Staff were photographed wearing inadequate levels of personal protective equipment (PPE) while handing bats.
There is also evidence that WIV scientists were engaging in advanced coronavirus research that was designed to predict and prevent future pandemics by collecting, characterising, and experimenting on ''high-risk'' coronavirus.
WIV also submitted a proposal in 2018 seeking funding to engineer coronaviruses to increase their ability to infect human cells.
The committee also said it was "noteworthy" that the earliest variants of Covid-19 were already well adapted for human-to-human transmission.
Senior coronavirus researcher Shi Zhengli from WIV has admitted that the team infected humanised mice with chimeric Sars-related coronavirus, but has never published the results.
The report authors said that the theory that the virus emerged naturally "no longer deserves the benefit of the doubt" and said a lab leak was more plausible.
'The result of a research-related incident'They said: ''A research-related incident is consistent with the early epidemiology showing rapid spread of the virus in Wuhan, with the earliest calls for assistance being located near the WIV's original campus in central Wuhan.
''In short, human errors, mechanical failure, animal bites, animal escapes, inadequate training, insufficient funding, and pressure for results can lead to an escape of virulent pathogens, which could, in turn, infect animals and humans and lead to a release of a virus from a lab.
''Based on... publicly available information, it appears reasonable to conclude that the Covid-19 pandemic was, more likely than not, the result of a research-related incident... the hypothesis of a natural zoonotic origin no longer deserves the benefit of the doubt.''
The new report comes just a week after scientists claimed to have found evidence that Covid-19 was had been engineered in a lab.
Prof Francois Balloux, the director of the UCL Genetics Institute, said it was 'the strongest piece of evidence to date against a simple scenario of strict zoonotic origin for Sars-CoV-2'.
A DOJ Official Hyped the Jussie Smollett Hoax. Now She's Holding a Seminar on Identifying Hate Crimes.
Sun, 30 Oct 2022 16:28
A Justice Department official who pushed the Jussie Smollett hoax will hold a forum next month on how to identify hate crimes.
Kristen Clarke, the head of the Justice Department's civil rights division, will kick off a Fordham University symposium on Nov. 9 called "United Against Hate: Identifying, Reporting and Preventing Hate Crimes." She will speak alongside two United States attorneys on "how to identify, report, and prevent crimes/incidents and discrimination," according to a Justice Department announcement of the event.
But Clarke may not be the best choice for the forum. In 2019, she touted Smollett's false claim that two white Trump supporters attacked him in Chicago while shouting homophobic and racist slurs at him. The actor, who is black and gay, claimed the men shouted "this is MAGA country" as they wrapped a noose around his neck and doused him in bleach. Smollett was later convicted for fabricating the incident. Two of Smollett's friends, both black, said the actor paid them $3,500 to stage the attack.
Clarke defended Smollett on social media after he reported the incident to police on Jan. 28, 2019.
She asserted on Jan. 29, 2019, that Smollett was "subjected to a racist and homophobic attack." She wrote that "2 white men wearing ski masks attacked [Smollett], put a rope around his neck, and poured bleach on him and as they yelled slurs."
Days later, she accused the Chicago police department of "demonizing survivors" by seeking Smollett's cell phone as part of its investigation.
"This is NOT how you treat survivors of a hate crime. Stop demonizing survivors and casting doubt on their claims if you want communities to trust that you will take #HateCrime seriously," she tweeted on Feb. 1, 2019.
Clarke suggested that race played a role in an Illinois state judge's appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate Chicago district attorney Kim Foxx's decision to drop charges against Smollett. Foxx, who is black, dropped the charges after private conversations with a representative for Smollett's family.
"Prosecutors use their discretion every day. But when a duly elected Black prosecutor, Kim Foxx, uses her discretion to move on from the Jussie Smollett matter, it's a different story," Clarke said on Feb. 23, 2020. "A special prosecutor is brought in to undermine her power."
Clarke has made inflammatory comments before.
In April 2020, she said protesters who wanted to fire coronavirus czar Anthony Fauci "should be publicly identified and named, barred from treatment at any public hospital." She said they should be "denied coverage under their insurance" if they became sick from coronavirus.
Clarke said during her Senate confirmation hearing last year she regretted her statements about the Smollett hoax. Republicans grilled Clarke about her criticism of Chicago police and her role in the Smollett hoax during her confirmation hearing, noting that Clarke oversees investigations into hate crimes and police misconduct as head of the civil rights division.
"Like many others, I fell for Mr. Smollett's hoax and in retrospect I regret having made that statement," she said in a questionnaire for her confirmation. "Hoaxes distract attention away from the real incidents of hate crimes which are a growing threat in our country."
The Justice Department did not respond to a request for comment.
Published under: Department of Justice , Hate Crime , Jussie Smollett , Kristen Clarke
Italy's fascist takeover: 100 years on, is the ideology still alive? | Euronews
Sun, 30 Oct 2022 16:27
Today marks 100 years since the start of the March on Rome, Benito Mussolini's coup d'(C)tat that led to the creation of a 21-year-long fascist regime.
Widely acknowledged as one of the darkest moments in the country's history, it is upheld by historians and commentators as a prime example of how democracy can be eroded.
As Italy remembers the uprising's centennial, many wonder: does fascism still remain a threat to the country's democracy?
What was the March on Rome?Italy entered the 1920s without having managed to free itself from the shackles of World War One. The country '-- unhappy with the results of the post-war peace treaties '-- was ravaged by riots, strikes and political fighting which a weak government was unable to curtail.
Among the newly emerging post-WWI political forces were the fascists, led by a journalist and former socialist, Benito Mussolini.
While fascism's definition remains debated and controversial, the movement's early adherents were largely united by an ultra-nationalist ideology rejecting democratic principles and calling for an authoritarian central government.
The movement had grown in size quickly, exploiting Italy's socioeconomic challenges and the middle-class fear of socialists. Come October 1922, Mussolini realised it was time to seize power.
On the 27th of October, a band of Blackshirts -- the fascist's paramilitary wing -- encroached Rome. Italy's then-PM, Luigi Facta, tried to declare a state of siege, but the king refused to sign the order, leading to the government's surrender in the face of Mussolini's forces.
By the end of the month, the transfer of power was complete: Mussolini was officially appointed Italy's new prime minister.
Despite certain hiccups that almost brought his rule to an end, Mussolini consolidated his power in the 1920s through intimidation tactics and electoral reform. He gradually eroded democracy, set up a totalitarian regime, invaded parts of North and East Africa, and eventually allied himself with his ideological pupil who would come to surpass him - Nazi Germany's Adolf Hitler.
A century later, is fascism still a threat in Italy?At World War Two's close in 1945, Mussolini was killed and the Fascist Party disbanded. The monarchy was overthrown the following year, and the country's first post-war government was led by partisans and anti-fascists. By 1952, a law was introduced banning any fascist propaganda.
This, however, did not kill off fascist ideas.
Thousands of Italians had been part of the fascist regime's institutional and bureaucratic machine, had harboured open or hidden sympathies for Mussolini himself, or had gone to war on Italy's behalf.
While some of the more prominent fascists were publicly disgraced or even killed, many former party members or sympathisers re-entered the political establishment.
Among these was one of Italy's most important post-war prime ministers: Amintore Fanfani. Leader of the moderate Christian Democratic party for parts of the 1950s, 1960s and 1980s, he had been a member of the fascist party and a signatory of the anti-semitic racial laws (leggi razziali) introduced in 1938.
Certain fascists, on the other hand, refused to join the political mainstream and rather coalesced to form their own party - the Italian Social Movement (Movimento Sociale Italiano, MSI), which revived the main tenets of the Fascist Party in all but name.
The MSI enjoyed a fair amount of support in the centre and south of Italy -- and even ended up courting the Christian Democrats themselves -- until it disbanded in 1995 following the collapse of Italy's major parties.
Among the MSI's former members? Giorgia Meloni, Italy's newly-elected prime minister.
A teenage Meloni was a youth activist in Rome, and formerly expressed her admiration for Mussolini himself.
''I believe [he] was a good politician,'' she told French TV in 1996. ''He did what he did for Italy.''
Meloni would later rise through the ranks of Italian politics, becoming a youth minister under Berlusconi's centre-right government from 2008 to 2011, and later the President of Brothers of Italy (Fratelli d'Italia) - a national-conservative party that is seen as the 'heir' of the MSI.
While Brothers of Italy was a minor force at first, its popularity grew rapidly during the COVID-19 pandemic, and come the September 2022 general election, it emerged as Italy's biggest party.
So does fascism remain an enduring problem in Italy?Some critics point to the election of the country's most far-right government since the end of the war and its own cabinet ministers' backgrounds as an example of the threat the ideology continues to pose.
Ignazio La Russa, Italy's upper house speaker, has a controversial political history, especially after it emerged he collected fascist memorabilia at home.
Other members of Meloni's cabinet also have similar backgrounds. Daniela Santanch¨, the new tourism minister, formerly told a rally that ''I'll proudly call myself a fascist, if being a fascist means kicking out all the illegal immigrants.''
Three of Mussolini's own descendants, who proudly carry his surname, are also active members of Italian politics.
The most famous, Alessandra Mussolini, has been elected to the European Parliament and sparked a major furore in 2006 after she said ''better a fascist than a f*ggot'' on national television.
To make matters worse, the more radical neo-fascist movements -- CasaPound the most prominent of these -- still engage in public, often violent, demonstrations.
A common myth of the ''good Italian'' -- whereby Italians were innocent bystanders dragged into the war -- has permeated Italian popular culture and led to significant historical revisionism and whitewashing of the country's fascist past.
Liliana Segre, a Jewish-Italian senator for life and Holocaust survivor, has frequently warned of the risk of fascism in Italy, and lamented the lack of a strong anti-fascist movement in the country.
Nevertheless, certain commentators maintain that the risk of an actual fascist power grab and dictatorship remains highly remote, especially given Italy's post-war constitutional framework and electoral system.
It is worth noting that Meloni has publicly distanced herself from Fascism, explicitly denouncing the ideology in her maiden speech to parliament this Tuesday.
"I have never felt any affinity for anti-democratic regimes... including fascism," she said, calling Mussolini's racial laws ''the lowest point in Italy's history'' and a ''disgrace that will mark Italian people forever".
Many members of Meloni's right-wing coalition, including the Northern League movement's leader and Deputy PM Matteo Salvini, have rejected the notion that fascists still exert any noticeable power in Italy, describing them as a ''thing of the past''.
But how far can their claims be said to be true?
To assess whether fascism poses a genuine threat to Italy's democracy, Euronews has spoken to two academics who are experts in the field.
The 'March on Rome never ended'Journalist Rula Jebreal is among those who see fascism as an enduring threat in Italy, pointing to the new Meloni-led far-right government as a prime example of this.
''The threat [of fascism] is real, and the highest that Italy's constitutional democracy has known since World War Two,'' she told Euronews.
A Palestinian-born award-winning journalist and academic specialising in the correlation between propaganda and genocide, Jebreal moved to Italy for her studies and ended up becoming one of the country's most recognisable commentators, landing a coveted spot as co-presenter of Italy's Sanremo televised singing contest in 2020.
Jebreal's position as one of the few women of colour in the Italian spotlight and a victim of targeted harassment campaigns from far-right trolls and politicians - including from the Brothers of Italy party itself - has informed her view.
''Every genocide starts with words, with propaganda and the weaponisation of disinformation, and the criminalisation and demonisation of otherness,'' Jebreal remarked.
Most recently, Jebreal received a torrent of criticism after a social media post in which she highlighted Meloni's father's criminal past '-- which she claims was intended to highlight the far-right's hypocrisy in scapegoating and judging people, such as migrants, from their background.
''I represent everything they're fighting against,'' she stated. ''I'm a woman of colour, I'm a Muslim and a vocal critic of their policies.''
''Meloni herself has promoted the great replacement theory'' -- a false conspiracy which suggests there is a deliberate effort by ''leftist elites'' and ''globalists'' to replace white Europeans with non-white immigrants -- Jebreal stated.
''Meloni's language may have softened, but the facts speak louder than the rhetoric,'' Jebreal claimed, pointing to the appointment of hardline ministers in Meloni's cabinet.
For Jebreal, however, it is not just the rise of the far-right that is concerning, but the complacency of moderates too. Much like in the March on Rome, where Italy's democratically-elected PM surrendered to fascist troops, Jebreal feels there is a ''crisis'' among liberal journalists, who have not done enough to address the issue, thus allowing extremism to advance.
''Centrist politicians and media figures are aiding and abetting Meloni, [they] have invested more energy into criticising my tweet about [her] than her own past,'' Jebreal lamented.
Commenting on Meloni's success, Jebreal felt that -- as happened in the 1920s -- far-right forces manage to use socioeconomic challenges to their advantage.
''Meloni exploited all the flaws in the system, but especially the radicalisation of Italian citizens against democracy [and] the delegitimisation of democratic institutions,'' she summarised. ''There's never been real accountability in Italy for being Fascists. The march on Rome never ended - they're still marching.
'We are experiencing historical revisionism legitimising fascism'Another keen observer of political developments in Italy is Andrea Mammone, a Professor of Contemporary History at Rome's Sapienza University.
One of Italy's pre-eminent experts in the history of Fascism and far-right politics, he has authored numerous books and papers on the subject.
Unlike Jebreal, Mammone does not see an imminent threat to Italy's democracy.
''At least not in the short run,'' he told Euronews. ''Political institutions are strong. A drift towards fascism would need years.''
''I see more problems in the US, where the Republicans are not accepting the result of a genuinely democratic election,'' he added, pointing to the storming of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob on 6 January 2021.
Mammone did believe that a Meloni-led government would have negative repercussions for Italy, but not in terms of direct attacks on the country's democratic framework.
''[The threat] is more in terms of xenophobia against minorities,'' he said.
Where Mammone and Jebreal agree, however, is in the way fascist rhetoric and symbolism have been normalised in Italian society.
''Italy has developed the idea of 'italiani brava gente' ['good Italians'],'' he stated, referencing the common myth of Italian innocence during the Holocaust. ''In the last two decades, since Berlusconi joined politics, criticism of anti-fascism prevailed,'' he stated. One example: Brothers of Italy's longstanding opposition and hostility towards celebrating Italy's Liberation Day, which commemorates the Resistance.
''We are experiencing historical revisionism legitimising fascism,'' he said. ''[Meloni] will lead to a further rehabilitation of fascism.''
Facebook, Meta, Tiktok helping Stop the Steal election denial in Brazil - The Washington Post
Sun, 30 Oct 2022 16:24
In the days leading into Brazil's most consequential presidential election in decades, Meta and TikTok have steered millions of Brazilians toward baseless accusations, false claims of election fraud, and extremist content, according to a left-leaning advocacy group that researches disinformation.
Portuguese-language searches for basic election-related terms such as ''fraud,'' ''intervention'' and ''ballots'' on Facebook and Instagram, which are owned by Meta, have overwhelmingly directed people toward groups pushing claims questioning the integrity of the vote or openly agitating for a military coup, researchers from the advocacy group SumOfUs found. On TikTok, five out of eight top search results for the keyword ''ballots'' were for terms such as ''rigged ballots'' and ''ballots being manipulated.''
The research is the latest in a growing body of evidence that social platforms are failing to prevent a flood of disinformation '-- some of it tinged with violence '-- on their services ahead of the runoff election Sunday between President Jair Bolsonaro and former president Luiz Incio Lula da Silva. Brazilian lawmakers last week granted the nation's elections chief unilateral power to force tech companies to remove misinformation within two hours of the content being posted '-- one of the most aggressive legal measures against social media giants that any country has taken.
Advocates have expressed fears that some posts could lead to violence or to a broader questioning of the results. Adding to the worries is the new ownership of Twitter by billionaire Elon Musk, a free speech advocate. During his first day as Twitter's new owner on Friday, Musk tweeted that he would pause all ''major content decisions'' and reinstatements of accounts until he convened a new content moderation council. The announcement effectively disbands aspects of Twitter's tool kits for penalizing accounts '-- from those of presidents to foreign trolls '-- that break the company's rules against hate speech, bullying and spreading misinformation around elections.
The right-wing Bolsonaro has repeatedly alleged without evidence that voting machines used for a quarter century in Brazil are prone to fraud. The rhetoric of Bolsonaro supporters has often appeared to echo that of President Donald Trump supporters during the 2020 U.S. election, who questioned election results under the banner Stop the Steal.
Bolsonaro vs. Lula: A referendum on Brazil's young democracy
Some of the top narratives that circulated in Brazil before the first-round vote on Oct. 2 included specific allegations of fraud, messages attacking the Supreme Electoral Court, and false calls for ''inspectors'' at the polls, according to Brazilian researchers and the left-leaning human rights group Avaaz. Viral audio and video on Telegram, WhatsApp, Facebook and TikTok alleged that ballot boxes were being pre-filled with votes for former president Luiz Incio Lula da Silva.
Misinformation has also been spread by the left. The messages include false allegations that Bolsonaro has confessed to cannibalism and pedophilia.
Major social media companies allowed Stop the Steal content to spread virtually unchecked until the violent consequences of the rhetoric became clear on Jan. 6, 2021. Groups on Facebook in particular have been found by researchers to be major vectors for organizing ahead of the Stop the Steal rally at the Capitol, and that Facebook's own software algorithms played a significant role in helping such groups gain members.
Since then, companies including Meta and to a lesser extent TikTok have promised to do better, and in particular to clamp down on election-related content that could lead to violence. But the latest evidence shows that the companies are failing to keep their promises '-- particularly outside of the United States.
''What we are seeing is Meta and Google taking the protection of Brazilian voters less seriously than [that] of their American counterparts,'' said Nell Greenberg, deputy director of Avaaz. Ahead of the U.S. midterm elections next month, she noted, the companies have been labeling, downgrading and removing content that incites violence and spreads false information about the election.
''There are still crucial actions they can take to help ensure a safe Election Day, and prevent a potential Brazilian 'January 6th,' '' she wrote in an email. ''The question is, will they do any of them?''
Meta spokesman Tom Reynolds said the company has updated its search tools in recent weeks in preparation for the election. He said that since Oct. 2, top search results for election-related terms have directed users to factual information from Brazilian authorities.
''We've worked to remove several keyword recommendations that may lead to misinformation and applied labels on election-related posts on both apps,'' he said. ''Around 30 million people in Brazil have clicked on those electoral labels on Facebook and were directed to the Electoral Justice's website.''
Out of prison and leading in polls, Lula nears full political comeback
TikTok spokeswoman Jamie Favazza said the company has invested in protecting the site ahead of Brazil's elections.
''We take our responsibility to protect the integrity of our platform and elections with utmost seriousness and appreciate feedback from NGOs, academics and other experts,'' she said in an email. ''We continue to invest in our policy, safety, and security teams to counter election misinformation as we also provide access to authoritative information through our Election Guide.''
The Brazilian research institute NetLab found that both Meta and Google allowed political candidates to run advertisements on their platforms during the first round of voting on Oct. 2, even though such advertising is prohibited by Brazilian law during this period. The group also found evidence of paid advertising encouraging military interventions in the election as voters went to the polls.
A test of Meta and YouTube's ad systems by the human rights group Global Witness revealed that the companies approved large numbers of misleading ads, including spots that encouraged people not to vote or gave false dates for when ballots could be posted. YouTube said it ''reviewed the ads in question and removed those that violated our policies,'' although the Global Witness report showed all the ads submitted were approved by the Google-owned site.
Bolsonaro's hometown is as divided over him as the rest of Brazil
To study how platforms pushed people toward misinformation, the SumOfUs researchers created dummy accounts on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. They then typed in the terms ''ballot,'' ''interventions'' and ''fraud'' into the search bars of these social media services and counted up the results.
They found that five out of seven of the groups recommended by Facebook under searches for the term ''intervention'' were pushing for a military intervention in Brazil's election, while five out of seven of the groups recommended under the search term ''fraud'' encouraged people to join groups that questioned the election's integrity. The groups have names such ''Intervention to Save Brazil'' and ''Military intervention already.''
Overall, the group found, 60 percent of all content recommended by Facebook and Instagram pushed misinformation about the electoral process.
Twitter outcasts seek reinstatement and test free speech boundaries after Musk takeover | Euronews
Sun, 30 Oct 2022 16:21
Mark Armstrong with
AFP, AP, Reuters ' Updated: 29/10/2022 - 17:00 The hours since Elon Musk took over Twitter have seen banned account holders seek to be reinstated, while others have been testing Twitter's policies on misinformation.
The billionaire has announced that he will convene a "content moderation council" for his newly acquired social media platform despite his earlier pledge to "let the bird fly". It's being seen in some circles as backpedalling.
Musk's original intention was to make it about free speech and release banned users from what he called the Twitter jail, meaning the likes of Donald Trump could be allowed back on the platform.
But on Friday he said that no decisions on content or reinstatements will be made until a ''content moderation council'' is put in place. The council, he wrote, would have ''diverse viewpoints," but he gave no further details.
General Motors said late on Friday that it had temporarily halted paid advertising on Twitter after Elon Musk completed his takeover.
The largest US carmaker said it was "engaging with Twitter to understand the direction of the platform under their new ownership". Musk is also chief executive of GM rival Tesla.
Hours after his takeover at Twitter was confirmed, the billionaire owner was deluged with pleas and demands from banned account holders and world leaders.
The flood of requests underscore the challenge Musk faces, balancing a promise to restore free speech while preventing the platform from descending into a "hellscape," as he had vowed in an open letter to advertisers on Thursday.
Donald Trump, permanently banned from Twitter over accusations of inciting violence after the Capitol riots of 6 January, 2021, welcomed the takeover, but said little about a return to Twitter.
"I am very happy that Twitter is now in sane hands, and will no longer be run by Radical Left Lunatics and Maniacs who truly hate our country," said the former US president who was defeated in the 2020 presidential election.
Some conservative personalities wasted no time to jump on the platform and recirculate long-debunked conspiracy theories in a tongue-in-cheek attempt to ''test'' whether Twitter's policies on misinformation were still being enforced.
Others asked Musk to reverse penalties inflicted by the social media platform. In response to @catturd2, an anonymous account with 852,000 followers '-- known for being a big supporter of Trump's baseless election fraud claims '-- and who said it was "shadowbanned," Musk tweeted "I will be digging in more today."
There were diverging views among people around Twitter's offices in San Francisco on Friday.
"There have been some problems at Twitter and we all know about it," said one woman, "so I'm just hoping that he brings the changes and makes it all about free speech."
"If he doesn't allow the control of the conversations to limit hate speech and things like that, then I think it could be worse for people and create more of an antagonistic, political environment," a man argued.
Elon Musk arrived on his first day at Twitter HQ carrying a sink. He admitted the $44 billion he paid for the social media giant was overpriced. "Let that sink in," he quipped, hence the prop.
"The bird is freed," he tweeted as the deal was confirmed, prompting the European Commission's digital chief to respond, also on Twitter, by saying that if the bird is to fly in Europe it will fly by European rules.
Big Tech falters on Q3 2022 results as Meta has worst week ever
Sun, 30 Oct 2022 15:32
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Marlene Awaad | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Other than Apple , it was a brutal earnings week for Big Tech.
Alphabet , Amazon , Meta and Microsoft combined lost over $350 billion in market cap after offering concerning commentary for the third quarter and the remainder of the year. Between slowing revenue growth '-- or declines in Meta's case '-- and efforts to control costs, the tech giants have found themselves in an unfamiliar position after unbridled growth in the past decade.
Third-quarter results this week came against the backdrop of soaring inflation, rising interest rates and a looming recession. Apple bucked the trend after beating expectations for revenue and profit. The stock on Friday had its best day in over two years.
On the opposite end of the spectrum was Meta, which has seen its stock price collapse in 2022. Facebook's parent came up short on earnings, recorded its lowest average revenue per user in two years and said sales in the fourth quarter will likely decline for a third straight period.
"There are a lot of things going on right now in the business and in the world, and so it's hard to have a simple 'We're going to do this one thing, and that's going to solve all the issues,'" Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on the company's earnings call on Wednesday.
Meta's stock had its worst week since the company's IPO in 2012, plunging 24% over the past five days. Microsoft fell 2.6% for the week, due to a 7.7% decline on Wednesday after the company gave weak guidance for the year-end period and missed estimates for cloud revenue.
Things were also bleak at Amazon, which dropped 13%. A gloomy fourth-quarter forecast along with a dramatic slowdown in its cloud-computing unit were largely to blame for the sell-off.
While Amazon Web Services saw expansion slow to 27.5% from 33% in the prior period, Google's cloud group, which is significantly smaller, sped up to almost 38% growth from around 36%. Google plans to keep spending in cloud even as it intends to rein in headcount overall growth in the next few quarters.
"We are excited about the opportunity, given that businesses and governments are still in the early days of public cloud adoption, and we continue to invest accordingly," Ruth Porat, Alphabet CFO, said on a conference call with analysts on Tuesday. "We remain focused on the longer-term path to profitability."
However, results from the rest of Google parent Alphabet were less impressive. The company's core advertising business grew just slightly, and YouTube's ad revenue dropped from the prior year. The reverse was true for Amazon, which is playing catchup to Google and Facebook in digital advertising. In Amazon's ad business, revenue growth accelerated to 30% from 21%, topping analysts' estimates.
"Advertisers are looking for effective advertising, and our advertising is at the point where consumers are ready to spend," said Brian Olsavsky, the company's finance chief. "We have a lot of advantages that we feel that will help both consumers and also our partners like sellers and advertisers."
Analyst Aaron Kessler at Raymond James lowered his price target on Amazon stock to $130 from $164 after the results. But he maintained his equivalent of a buy rating on the stock and said the company's "robust advertising growth" has the potential to help Amazon fatten up its margin.
As investors continue to rotate away from tech, they're finding money-making opportunities in other parts of the market that had previously lagged behind software and internet names. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 3% this week, the fourth weekly gain in a row for the index. Prior to 2021, the Dow had underperformed the Nasdaq for five straight years.
WATCH: Wall Street set to open in the red as investors digest disappointing tech earnings
Italy Reinstates Health Care Workers Unvaccinated For Covid - Travis Cook
Sun, 30 Oct 2022 15:11
Italians protested endlessly for months through the height of the Covid madness'...
It seemed dire in Italy in some parts where old ladies were being refused public transport unless they had the green pass and could prove vaccination and compliance with the Covid narrative.
However the new government over there is actually making steps in the right direction, could the new PM of Italy actually be a force for good?
Well with the unvaccinated health care works in Italy being reemployed it seems the trend is heading in the right direction.
The brave freedom fighters of Italy deserve some credit for the huge amount of resistance they put up to the Covid tyranny.
I have posted countless videos and photos on the Open One Instagram of what has been going on over there so big ups to the Italian freedom fighters for this victory!
Also big ups to all of the brave healthcare workers who stood up for what they believe to be the right thing to do, resisting the huge societal pressure to get the vaccine.
Italian doctors and nurses suspended from work because they are not vaccinated against Covid-19 will soon be reinstated, new Health Minister Orazio Schillaci said on Friday.
So now the critical mass point seems to be reaching human consciousness on the Covid scam, perhaps we can steer the ship towards the next big agenda, The Climate Con!
This next agenda has been in the works for quite some time and will take a great deal of effort to deprogram people. We continue on.
Also it's important we look after our own well being throughout this. We are surely in for a marathon of a fight, self care is how we maintain our well being, state of mind and overall energy levels to continue to be a beacon of freedom.
This is why now I continually advocate for the benefits of meditation, exercise, positive programming and so on.
So freedom fighters like you can be in the best possible shape to resist the enemies agenda.
Stay strong, stay free.
US seizes items thought to be made from hair of Muslims in Chinese labor camps | Uyghurs | The Guardian
Sun, 30 Oct 2022 14:40
US federal authorities have seized a shipment of products made from human hair believed to have been taken from Muslims in labor camps in China's western Xinjiang province.
Customs and Border Protection officials said that 13 tons (11.8 metric tonnes) of weaves and other hair products worth an estimated $800,000 were in the shipment.
''The production of these goods constitutes a very serious human rights violation, and the detention order is intended to send a clear and direct message to all entities seeking to do business with the United States that illicit and inhumane practices will not be tolerated in US supply chains,'' said Brenda Smith, executive assistant commissioner of CBP's office of trade.
This is the second time this year that CBP has slapped a rare detention order on shipments of hair products from China, based on suspicions that people making them face human rights abuses.
Rushan Abbas, a Uighur American activist whose sister went missing in China almost two years ago and is believed to be locked in a detention camp, said women who use hair weaves should think about who might be making them.
''This is so heartbreaking for us,'' she said. ''I want people to think about the slavery people are experiencing today. My sister is sitting somewhere being forced to make what, hair pieces?''
Wednesday's shipment was made by Lop County Meixin Hair Product Co Ltd. In May, a similar detention was placed on Hetian Haolin Hair Accessories Co Ltd, although those weaves were synthetic, not human, the agency said.
Both of the exporters are in China's far west Xinjiang region, where, over the past four years, the government has detained an estimated 1 million or more ethnic Turkic minorities.
Detainees are held in internment camps and prisons where they are subjected to ideological discipline, forced to denounce their religion and language and physically abused. China has long suspected the Uighurs, who are mostly Muslim, of harboring separatist tendencies because of their distinct culture, language and religion.
Reports by the AP and other news organizations have repeatedly found that people inside the internment camps and prisons, which activists call ''black factories'', are making sportswear and other clothing for popular US brands.
The Chinese ministry of affairs has said there is no forced labor, nor detention of ethnic minorities.
Xinjiang authorities announced in December that the camps had closed and all the detainees had ''graduated'', a claim difficult to corroborate independently given tight surveillance and restrictions on reporting in the region.
Some Uighurs and Kazakhs have told the AP that their relatives have been released, but many others say their loved ones remain in detention, were sentenced to prison or were transferred to forced labor in factories.
US citizens were given secret Covid "decree violation" scores
Sun, 30 Oct 2022 14:39
Voter analytics firm PredictWise harvested location data from tens of millions of US cellphones during the initial Covid lockdown months and used this data to assign a ''Covid-19 decree violation'' score to the people associated with the phones.
These Covid-19 decree violation scores were calculated by analyzing nearly two billion global positioning system (GPS) pings to get ''real-time, ultra-granular locations patterns.'' People who were ''on the go more often than their neighbors'' were given a high Covid-19 decree violation score while those who mostly or always stayed at home were given a low Covid-19 decree violation score.
Not only did PredictWise use this highly sensitive location data to monitor millions of Americans’ compliance with Covid lockdown decrees but it also combined this data with follow-up surveys to assign ''Covid concern'' scores to the people who were being surveilled. PredictWise then used this data to help Democrats in several swing states to target more than 350,000 ''Covid concerned'' Republicans with Covid-related campaign ads.
In its white paper, PredictWise claims that Democrats were able to ''deploy this real-time location model to open up just over 40,000 persuasion targets that normally would have fallen off'' for Mark Kelly who was running for Senate at the time and has now been elected.
''PredictWise understood that there were potential pockets of voters to target with Covid-19 messaging and turned high-dimensional data covering over 100 million Americans into measures of adherence to Covid-19 restrictions during deep lockdown,'' the company states in the white paper.
PredictWise doesn’t provide the exact dates when this location data was collected but its white paper does note that the data was collected during Covid lockdowns and used during Senator Kelly’s 2020 election campaign. State-level US lockdowns began on March 15, 2020 and Kelly was elected on November 4, 2020 so the data appears to have been collected during the first few months of this 11 month period.
Location data and survey data are just two of the many types of data PredictWise claims to have access to. According to its white paper, PredictWise also tracks ''telemetry data'' (which is ''passively sourced cell-phone data''), media consumption data, and unregistered voter data (which contains verified data on over 50 million unregistered voters that’s updated daily and sourced from credit files and portal registration data). Additionally, PredictWise claims that ''Crate&Barrel'' (which seems to be a reference to the online furniture and home decor shopping portal Crate & Barrel) is one of the portal registration data sources it has access to.
In total, PredictWise says its data ''tracks the opinions, attitudes, and behaviors'' of over 260 million Americans '' a figure that represents 78% of the entire US population of 333 million.
PredictWise uses the data it collects to create scores on 13 issue preference clusters and 7 value-frame, or psychometric clusters. These clusters use more than 30 million behavioral data points. PredictWise also claims to be able to use this data to predict the party of unregistered voters.
Related: 🛠Many apps on your phone have pivoted to selling your location data to coronavirus researchers and others
This mass surveillance of location data and lockdown compliance is just one of the many examples of the large-scale data harvesting that occurred during the pandemic. Private companies tracked the everyday activities of citizens, pushed remote learning surveillance technologies, increased surveillance in the workplace, and more. Meanwhile, governments ushered in numerous forms of surveillance such as forcing citizens to wear ankle bracelet trackers, secretly surveilling vaccine recipients via their phones, and combining vaccine passports with digital IDs.
Two Bombings in One Night? That's Normal Now in Sweden.
Sun, 30 Oct 2022 14:25
The aftermath of a bombing at a multi-family home in Stockholm. (Barbro Bergfeldt via Alamy) Yesterday morning, Swedes woke up to news of a kind that has become all-too familiar: During the night, powerful bombs exploded at apartment buildings in two different towns in southern Sweden.
One person was severely injured in …storp, where a witness told the press: ''People screamed and cried. It felt so unreal.'' A resident told Radio Sweden that his 7-year-old had come running into his bedroom screaming, as the blast made their apartment shake.
In Helsingborg, the explosion was so powerful that, according to the police, cars parked nearby were destroyed. It is still unclear if the bombings are connected to each other, or who is behind them.
Since 2018, there have been almost 500 bombings '--yes, bombings'--in what is known as one of the most stable societies in the world.
There's not just a bombing problem. There are shootings, too.
Sweden, which has a population of around 10 million, has the highest per-capita number of deadly shootings of 22 European countries . Forty-seven people have been shot dead so far this year, which, while far from American levels of gun homicide, is extreme for Europe. Other European countries have come to look at Sweden with horror .
It may be shocking for Americans to learn that in Sweden'--the land of IKEA, Spotify and Greta Thunberg'--all of this is going on. Perhaps the reason you don't know about it is because of the uncomfortable reality of how we got here.
Among shooting suspects, 85 percent are first- or second-generation immigrants, according to the newspaper Dagens Nyheter , as immigrant neighborhoods have become hotbeds for gang crime. National Police Commissioner Anders Thornberg has described the violence as ''an entirely different kind of brutality than we've seen before'' and his deputy, Mats L¶fving, says that 40 criminal clans now operate throughout the country. Spreading fear are ''humiliation robberies,'' targeting children and youth, in which victims are subjected to degrading treatment by assailants, such as being urinated upon. Just this week, four men were sentenced for robbing, beating and urinating on an 18-year-old, who was also filmed by his tormentors.
All of which is why, for the first time ever, crime emerged as a top priority among voters ahead of this past weekend's general election. Swedes made their concerns plain on Sunday, when they awarded the country's most strident anti-immigration party more than 20 percent of the vote.
The Sweden Democrats, or SD, is now the second-biggest party in parliament, and the biggest party of the right-wing bloc'--gaining more votes than the more traditional center-right Moderate party. (It remains to be seen whether Ulf Kristersson, leader of the Moderates, can form a government with the support of SD, while sticking to his promise not to allow the party into the government coalition.)
So how did Sweden's famously liberal electorate usher in a party with roots on the extreme right ? In a word: denial.
In response to Sweden's increasing problems with gang violence and social unrest in immigrant suburbs, the government's strategy for many years was to deny how serious the situation had become. '‹'‹In the meantime, those people who noticed the problem'--many of whom were working class'--and spoke out about their diminished safety were accused of racism by leading politicians, the mainstream press, and the cultural elites. Only one political party did not: the SD. And in election after election, they gained more and more popular support.
This is a story of what happens when the people who run things want to avoid confronting the consequences of their actions.
Sweden Democrats party leader Jimmie Akesson gives a speech as he campaigns in Landskrona. (Johan Nilsson via Getty Images)Too Dangerous for the Ice Cream Truck
Sweden's foreign-born population has doubled to 20 percent since 2000. No other country took in more immigrants per capita during the 2015 migration wave'--from countries like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Nearly 23 percent of Swedish adults were born abroad. (At the height of American immigration, in 1890 that statistic was slightly less than 15 percent.) And most asylum seekers have been men. In 2015, for example, 70 percent of those seeking refuge in Sweden were male.
Many immigrants have integrated well into Swedish society, but too many have ended up in segregated suburbs, where unemployment is high and crime is rampant. In an area like Malm¶'s Roseng¥rd, for instance, labor force participation among adults is less than 50 percent, and 21 percent of households rely on social welfare.
Sweden is one of the most generous welfare states in the world: Although these neighborhoods are marked by high unemployment, there is no American-level material deprivation. Health care comes only at a token cost. Dental care is free for anyone under 19, as are schools and universities. Social service coverage is universal.
Yet police are struggling to maintain control of some 60 immigrant-majority neighborhoods'--officially labeled '' vulnerable areas '''--where gangs and clans compete with the state for local authority. In some of these neighborhoods, like Gottsunda in the university town of Uppsala, the postal service has had to cancel deliveries for security reasons. UPS temporarily stopped delivering parcels to Roseng¥rd in 2019.
In January of this year, Swedish public television, SVT, visited the neighborhood of Tj¤rna ngar in Borl¤nge, Sweden's northernmost vulnerable area. They were targeted with rock throwing on their first night and met with this demand: ''Don't badmouth Tj¤rna ngar.'' That was two years after the ice cream truck canceled its stop in Tj¤rna ngar for security reasons. Early-morning newspaper deliveries were canceled for the same reason. Such cancellations are usually temporary, but can nevertheless have significant effects on vulnerable neighborhoods: In parts of the vulnerable suburb of Tensta in Stockholm, for instance, parking was chaos for nine months between 2016 and 2017, because the area was deemed unsafe for traffic wardens.
For years now, ambulance drivers and firefighters have had to await police escort before entering certain neighborhoods . ''I know it's sensitive and controversial,'' Gordon Grattidge, head of the ambulance drivers' union told me in an interview in 2017. ''But for us it's really a no go because we have directives not to go into dangerous situations.'' Another paramedic told the press last year: ''Since we work in vulnerable areas we know how some people have zero respect for other people's lives. They don't give a damn that we're paramedics.''
Then, there are the bombings . A few years ago, hand grenades began appearing among criminal gangs in Sweden. Now, bombs are often home-made IEDs.
In the fall of 2019, a group of New Jersey police travelled to Stockholm to learn about the bombings first-hand. ''I was shocked by the use of grenades in Sweden,'' Rick Fuentes, former superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, told Svenska Dagbladet . ''I've worked within the police for 40 years, and I've never heard or seen anything like it.''
By that time, the use of explosives among Sweden's criminal gangs had reached levels that the police described as unique, not only for Sweden or Europe, but for any country in the world that was not at war.
After a particularly powerful bomb exploded at a residential building on –stermalm, an affluent part of the Stockholm city-center, in January 2020, a victim told the press how he had been watching Netflix when the explosion sent him flying to the floor. Half his left ear was blown off; months later he still suffered from reduced hearing. His two children were so frightened by the attack that ever since they refuse to sleep by the window.
''It's awful. I've lived in Sweden for 35 years and I have never experienced such a situation. For two, three hours, I was deaf, I couldn't hear anything,'' said a resident of a building that was targeted in Husby just over a week later. About 50 people had to be evacuated from the building, and they described what looked like a '' war scene '''--a very common choice of word used by those who have experienced bombings in Sweden first-hand.
Because most bombings never make it to court''''evidence is literally blown up, and a strong code of silence marks the Swedish gang scene''''it has been difficult to tell the motives behind each attack. But when journalists reviewed legal verdicts in such cases between January 2018 and January 2020'-- 20 detonations involving 32 perpetrators'--they found motives ranging from attempted murder, extortion, and revenge for infidelity. They also noted that not every single explosion is related to the gang scene, although most are.
The bombings have mainly been directed at objects'--such as cars and buildings'--rather than individuals, which explains why there haven't been more deaths. Still, fatalities have included a 4-year-old girl who was killed in a car bombing in Gothenburg (2015); an 8-year-old boy who was asleep when a hand grenade was thrown into the apartment where he was staying in Gothenburg (2016); and a 63-year-old man who picked up a hand grenade lying in the street in a Stockholm suburb, thinking that it was a toy (2018). In 2019, a 23-year-old student in the university town of Lund suffered severe facial injuries when she happened to pass by a shop when a bomb exploded in a trash can outside. Her eyesight was reduced to 2 percent. She told the press in an interview that she still does not dare to walk by trash cans.
The Swedish criminologist Amir Rostami has described Sweden's bomb epidemic as part of a cycle of violence among criminal gangs, going back some 15 years: ''First they shot at legs and behinds, then they started shooting each other, then there were more shots, pure executions, and humiliation of the victims. Now we have extreme amounts of explosions,'' he told the newspaper DN in 2019.
As this development picked up speed, it was considered bad taste to suggest that immigration and failed integration had led to severe problems with crime'--or even that crime was a growing problem at all. This changed in the fall of 2020, when then Prime Minister Stefan L¶fven of the Social Democrats, the left-wing party that has been the dominant force in Swedish politics for the last century, admitted what everybody knew: That immigration had affected crime in a negative way. His successor, Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson echoed this in her recent election campaign. ''We don't recognize our Sweden,'' she said, and stressed that her government had limited migration flows to the country.
Many voters evidently thought that it was a bit of a late awakening.
Prime Minister Stefan L¶fven during an interview. (Nils Petter Nilsson via Getty Images)'Sweden Is Safer Than Ever'
When stories started appearing about gang-rule and attacks on people going into immigrant neighborhoods, sometimes referred to as ''no-go zones,'' a government agency started a PR campaign to rename them ''go-go zones.'' The government had help from left-leaning Swedish media. In 2015, the editorial page of Dagens Nyheter, for instance, said that people expressing alarm about crime were ''safety-deniers,'' and compared them to climate deniers. The Social Democratic publication Aftonbladet said in 2017 that the idea that Sweden needed to recruit more police officers was ''populism at its worst,'' given that ''crime is declining''.
Meanwhile, the link between immigration and crime was turned into a taboo topic.
Aftonbladet, for instance, argued that there was no need for authorities to publish statistics on immigrants and crime because the very idea was inherently racist . Then-Prime Minister Stefan L¶fven reiterated the same notion when he was asked whether immigration had affected crime levels. ''We should act against what is wrong and criminal no matter the background and the cause. I don't want to link crime to ethnicity,'' he said in 2020''''as if there were no legitimate questions about how his government's immigration policy had affected crime.
Because consequences of failed integration''''such as gang crime and social unrest''''have been more acute in less affluent areas, it effectively made it possible for elites to ignore the problems for longer than large parts of the electorate could. Among progressives, such as the opera singer Malena Ernman''''now perhaps mainly known as Greta Thunberg's mother''''the idea that ''Sweden is safer than ever'' became a slogan and an emblem of political belonging.
In the meantime, those elites dismissed any criticism of large-scale immigration as ''racism.'' The political editor of the Aftonbladet editorial page Karin Pettersson, for instance, claimed in 2014 that she could not even imagine an argument in favor of decreased immigration that was not racist . Even in 2021, as Sweden's problems had become all-too evident, the Aftonbladet columnist Jan Guillou claimed that warnings of gang violence were a matter of racism: ''For the Swedish public, slippery bathtubs thus constitute a considerably larger threat than armed teenage gangs with the ambition of shooting each other.'' In 2020, one person died in a bathtub in Sweden, while 48 were victims of gun homicide, according to official statistics.
Police officers point to a board showing images of seized weapons in Rinkeby police station. (Jonathan Nackstrand via Getty Images)'All I Want Is for My Kid Not to Get Kidnapped and Peed on'
Right now, the usual people are condemning Swedish voters'--or at least the 20 percent who went for the right-wing Sweden Democrats'--as racists. The SD, founded in 1988, does have roots in extreme-right circles. According to a white paper published by the party by an ''independent'' historian (he turned out to have been a member), a significant number of SD's founders had ties to Nazi or fascist movements. And scandals keep rocking the party as individual candidates are exposed to have racist views.
But the party has been reformed since its early days as a fringe movement on the extreme right. SD has systematically thrown out members who have expressed racist views, including cutting off its entire youth wing. Today's party program is that of a typical Scandinavian national populist party'--and such parties have already been part of governments, and supported governments, in other Scandinavian countries.
To dismiss the party's voters as ''racists'' is also to fundamentally misunderstand Sweden and what Swedes have been asked to normalize.
Friends with children in their teens and twenties tell me that the fear of crime shapes the lives of their kids and their friends. Indeed, mock elections at schools this month showed that teenagers now lean to the right, with the majority voting for parties in the right-wing bloc, including 21 percent for SD.
This is not a problem that is confined to the stereotype of the discontented ''losers of globalization.'' The crime wave has moved Swedish voters'--rich and poor'--to worry about the most elemental of needs: the safety of their loved ones, in ways that we simply didn't use to.
As an acquaintance told me the other day, when we were talking about the election: ''All I want is for my kid not to get kidnapped and peed on.''
Ulf Kristersson, leader of the Moderate Party, and Ebba Busch, leader of the Christian Democrats''''the two parties at the heart of the right-wing bloc''''observed in a recent op-ed that Sweden has met the threat to its global security with an historic bid to join NATO. But, they asked: ''What will it take for Sweden to seriously address the great inner threats that we face today?'' They also warned that ''crime is nearing levels that threaten the [democratic] system''.
They are right.
Sweden's ''vulnerable'' areas have turned into enclaves that threaten the ideals, values, and even the ability of the Swedish state to keep order. The gang control also threatens the safety and limits the freedom of other immigrants, making life difficult for all those who seek to integrate into Swedish society.
This is nothing less than a threat to Swedish democracy. It is about time that Sweden's opposition steps up to deal with that threat'--even if it is with the support of the Sweden Democrats.
Hundred Flowers Campaign - Wikipedia
Sun, 30 Oct 2022 13:47
1956''1957 liberal movement in China under Mao Zedong
The Hundred Flowers Campaign, also termed the Hundred Flowers Movement (Chinese: ç¾èŠ±é½æ--¾ ), was a period from 1956 to 1957 in the People's Republic of China during which the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) encouraged citizens to openly express their opinions of the Communist Party.[1][2] Following the failure of the campaign, CCP Chairman Mao Zedong conducted an ideological crackdown on those who criticized the party, which continued through 1959.[citation needed ]
During the campaign, differing views and solutions to national policy were encouraged based on the famous expression by Mao: "The policy of letting a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools of thought contend is designed to promote the flourishing of the arts and the progress of science."[3] The movement was in part a response to the demoralization of intellectuals, who felt estranged from the Communist Party.[4] After this brief period of liberalization, the crackdown continued through 1957 and 1959 as an Anti-Rightist campaign against those who were critical of the regime and its ideology. Citizens were rounded up in waves by the hundreds of thousands, publicly criticized, and condemned to prison camps for re-education through labor, or even execution.[5] The ideological crackdown re-imposed Maoist orthodoxy in public expression, and catalyzed the Anti-Rightist Movement.
The campaign [ edit ] Naming [ edit ] The name of the movement originated in a poem:
ç¾èŠ±é½Šæ--¾¼Œç¾å®¶ç­é"´ (Bǎihuā q­f ng, bǎijiā zhÄ'ngm­ng )
Let a hundred flowers bloom; let a hundred schools of thought contend.
Mao had used this to signal what he had wanted from the intellectuals of the country, for different and competing ideologies to voice their opinions about the issues of the day. He alluded to the Warring States period when numerous schools of thought competed for ideological, not military, supremacy. Historically, Confucianism and Chinese Mahayana Buddhism and Taoism had gained prominence, and socialism would now face its test.
Launch (late 1956''early 1957) [ edit ] The campaign publicly began in late 1956. In the opening stage of the movement, issues discussed were relatively minor and unimportant in the grand scheme. The Central Government did not receive much criticism, although there was a significant rise in letters of conservative advice. Premier Zhou Enlai received some of these letters, and once again realized that, although the campaign had gained notable publicity, it was not progressing as had been hoped. Zhou approached Mao about the situation, stating that more encouragement was needed from the central bureaucracy to lead the intellectuals into further discussion.
Mao Zedong found the concept interesting and had superseded Zhou to take control. The idea was to have intellectuals discuss the country's problems in order to promote new forms of arts and new cultural institutions. Mao also saw this as the chance to promote socialism, believing that after discussion it would be apparent that socialist ideology was the dominant ideology over capitalism, even amongst non-communist Chinese, and would thus propel the development and spread of the goals of socialism.
The beginning of the Hundred Flowers Movement was marked by a speech titled On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People, published on 27 February 1957, in which Mao displayed open support for the campaign. The speech encouraged people to vent their criticisms as long as they were "constructive" (i.e., "among the people") rather than "hateful and destructive" (i.e., "between the enemy and ourselves").[6]
Our society cannot back down, it could only progress...criticism of the bureaucracy is pushing the government towards the better.[6]
Spring (1957) [ edit ] By the spring of 1957, Mao had announced that criticism was "preferred" and had begun to mount pressure on those who did not turn in healthy criticism on policy to the Central Government. The reception was immediate with intellectuals, who began voicing concerns without any taboo. In the period from 1 May to 7 June that year, millions of letters were pouring into the Premier's Office and other authorities.
People spoke out by putting up posters around campuses, rallying in the streets, holding meetings for CPC members, and publishing magazine articles. For example, students at Peking University created a "Democratic Wall" on which they criticized the CPC with posters and letters.[7]
They protested CPC control over intellectuals, the harshness of previous mass campaigns such as that against counter-revolutionaries, the slavish following of Soviet models, the low standards of living in China, the proscription of foreign literature, economic corruption among party cadres, and the fact that 'Party members [enjoyed] many privileges which make them a race apart'.[7]
Effects of the campaign [ edit ] In July 1957, Mao ordered a halt to the campaign. By that time, he had witnessed Nikita Khrushchev denouncing Joseph Stalin and the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, events which he felt threatening. Mao's earlier speech, On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People, was significantly changed and appeared later on as an Anti-Rightist piece in itself.
The campaign made a lasting impact on Mao's ideological perception. Mao, who is known historically to be more ideological and theoretical, less pragmatic and practical, continued to attempt to solidify socialist ideals in future movements, and in the case of the Cultural Revolution, employed more violent means. Another consequence of the Hundred Flowers Campaign was that it discouraged dissent and made intellectuals reluctant to criticize Mao and his party in the future. The Anti-Rightist Movement that shortly followed, and was possibly caused by the Hundred Flowers Campaign, resulted in the persecution of intellectuals, officials, students, artists, and dissidents labeled "rightists."[8] The campaign led to a loss of individual rights, especially for any Chinese intellectuals educated in Western centers of learning.
The Hundred Flowers Movement was the first of its kind in the history of the People's Republic of China in that the government opened up to ideological criticisms from the general public. Although its true nature has always been questioned by historians, it can be generally concluded that the events that took place alarmed the central communist leadership. The movement also represented a pattern that has emerged from Chinese history wherein free thought is promoted by the government, and then suppressed by it. A similar surge in ideological thought would not occur again until the late 1980s, leading up to the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. The latter surge, however, did not receive the same amount of government backing and encouragement.
Another important issue of the campaign was the tension that surfaced between the political center and national minorities. With criticism allowed, some of the minorities' activists made public their protest against "Han chauvinism" which they saw the informal approach of party officials toward the local specifics.[9]
Debated intention of the campaign [ edit ] Historians debate whether Mao's motivations for launching the campaign were genuine. Some find it possible that Mao originally had pure intentions, but later decided to utilize the opportunity to destroy criticism. Historian Jonathan Spence suggests that the campaign was the culmination of a muddled and convoluted dispute within the Party regarding how to address dissent.[10]
Authors Clive James and Jung Chang posit that the campaign was, from the start, a ruse intended to expose rightists and counter-revolutionaries, and that Mao Zedong persecuted those whose views were different from those of the Party. The first part of the phrase from which the campaign takes its name is often remembered as "let a hundred flowers bloom." This is used to refer to an orchestrated campaign to flush out dissidents by encouraging them to show themselves as critical of the regime, and then subsequently imprison them, according to Chang and James.
In Mao: The Unknown Story by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday, Chang asserts that "Mao was setting a trap, and...was inviting people to speak out so that he could use what they said as an excuse to victimise them."[11] Prominent critic Harry Wu, who as a teenager was a victim, later wrote that he "could only assume that Mao never meant what he said, that he was setting a trap for millions."[12]
Mao's personal physician, Li Zhisui, suggested that:[13]
[The campaign was] a gamble, based on a calculation that genuine counterrevolutionaries were few, that rebels like Hu Feng had been permanently intimidated into silence, and that other intellectuals would follow Mao's lead, speaking out only against the people and practices Mao himself most wanted to subject to reform.
See also [ edit ] References [ edit ] ^ MacFarquhar, Roderick. 1960. The Hundred Flowers. pp. 3 ^ "Hundred Flowers Campaign." Encyclop...dia Britannica. Retrieved 24 July 2020. ^ "Definition of Hundred Flowers". Oxford Dictionaries . Retrieved 2012-05-17 . [dead link ] ^ "Double-Hundred Policy (1956-1957)". Archived from the original on 2017-02-12 . Retrieved 2017-02-11 . ^ Short, Philip (2000). Mao: A Life. Macmillan. pp. 457''471. ISBN 978-0-8050-6638-8. ^ a b On the Correct Handling of the Contradictions Among the People ^ a b Spence, Jonathan D. 1990. The Search For Modern China (2nd ed.) New York: W.W. Norton Company. pp. 539''43. ^ Link, Perry. 23 July 2007. "Legacy of a Maoist Injustice." The Washington Post. p. A19. ^ Teiwes, cited in MacFarquhar, ed. The Politics of China, 1949-1989, p. 53. ^ Spence, Jonathan D. 2013. The Search for Modern China. New York: Norton. ISBN 9780393934519. pp. 508''13. ^ Jung Chang; Jon Halliday. Mao: The Unknown Story. Jonathan Cape. p. 435. ^ Harry Wu; Hongda Harry Wu; George Vecsey (2002). Troublemaker: One Man's Crusade Against China's Cruelty. NewsMax Media, Inc. p. 49. ISBN 978-0-9704029-9-8. Archived from the original on 2014-07-22 . Retrieved 2016-09-20 . ^ Zhisui Li (1996). "1957-1965". The Private Life of Chairman Mao. Chatto & Windus, Ltd. pp. 198''199. ISBN 978-0679764434 . Retrieved 4 June 2012 . Works cited [ edit ] MacFarquhar, Roderick. 1960. The Hundred Flowers, Paris: The Congress for Cultural Freedom.1973. The Origins of the Cultural Revolution: Contradictions Among the People, 1956-1957. Columbia University Press.Spence, Jonathan D. 2013. The Search for Modern China. New York: Norton. ISBN 9780393934519.Meisner, Maurice. 1986. Mao's China and After: A History of the People's Republic. New York: Macmillan. pp. 177''80.Zheng, Zhu. 1998. 1957 nian de xiaji: Cong bai jia zhengming dao liang jia zhengming. Zhengzhou: Henan renmin chubanshe.External links [ edit ]
BREAKING: Marxist Medical Boards Strip Top Dr. Peter McCullough's Medical Credentials for Speaking the Truth About COVID Vaccine
Sun, 30 Oct 2022 13:13
One of the most respected doctors in the world and top cardiologists and epidemiologist in the country had his license revoked for speaking the truth about the danger of COVID vaccines.
Dr. McCullough is an Internist, Cardiologist, and Epidemiologist who testified to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs in November 2020.
Dr. McCullough is a cardiologist and was vice chief of internal medicine at Baylor University Medical Center and a professor at Texas A&M University. McCullough is editor-in-chief of the journals Reviews in Cardiovascular Medicine and Cardiorenal Medicine. He was and is an advocate for early COVID-19 treatment that included hydroxychloroquine.
He's been right about everything throughout the pandemic.
TRENDING: EXCLUSIVE: Two Far-Right Websites Attributed to David DePape to Smear Conservatives Were FABRICATED - They Were Created Friday and Deleted Saturday
He is one of the first doctors who sounded the alarm on the Covid-19 vaccines and explained how they all make the dangerous Wuhan spike protein.
''It's alarming right now '' we have had over 4400 deaths and 14,000 hospitalizations'....That is probably only the tip of the iceberg,'' Dr. McCullough said in an interview with Rose Unplugged on 1320 AM WJAS.
He said pregnant women, women of child-bearing years, children or healthy people under 50 should not get the Covid jab.
Dr. McCullough explained how all Covid-19 vaccines produce the dangerous Wuhan spike protein and what that does to a person's body.
He added that Covid-19 vaccines have become a social menace and explained how it has been ''socially weaponized.''
According to McCullough, the Covid-19 pandemic was premeditated by public health officials working in tandem with medical elites, and the evidence for this had been made clear well before the first reports of a Covid outbreak in late 2019, during an interview with Joe Rogan.
In order to promote mass adoption of the experimental vaccine, McCullough says health officials purposefully suppressed treatments and refrained from compiling a treatment protocol to combat the virus, in hopes that people would be so afraid that they would just take the jab.
McCullough, who's also an epidemiologist, isn't just spouting off wild baseless claims. He explained his reasoning behind his shocking conclusion by walking through the ''Bradford Hill Tenets of Causality,'' in order to demonstrate the link between the vaccines and the current wave of excess deaths.
The Bradford Hill Tenets are widely considered to be the standard when evaluating cause and effect. It is regularly used in public health research and is defined as ''a group of nine principles that can be useful in establishing epidemiologic evidence of a causal relationship between a presumed cause and an observed effect, according to Wikipedia.
On Saturday, Dr. McCullough informed Steve Kirsch that he was terminated as the Editor-In-Chief of Cardiorenal Medicine and Reviews in Cardiovascular Medicine. His medical credentials was also stripped by the medical boards.
From Steve Kirsch Substack:
I was terminated as the Editor-In-Chief of Cardiorenal Medicine and Reviews in Cardiovascular Medicine after years of service and rising impact factors. There was no phone call, no board meeting, no due process. Just e-mails or certified letters. Powerful dark forces are working in academic medicine to expunge any resistance to the vax.
Yesterday I was stripped of my board certifications in Internal Medicine and Cardiology after decades of perfect clinical performance, board scores, and hundreds of peer reviewed publications.
None of this will stop until there is a ''needle in every arm.''
To support Dr. McCullough and benefit Gateway Pundit, check out Dr. McCullough's ''Healthy Heart & Muscle Formula'' supplement at Liberty Tree Health.
Russia says it will suspend UN-brokered Ukraine export deal
Sun, 30 Oct 2022 13:12
The Russian Defense Ministry said Saturday that Moscow has moved to suspend its implementation of a UN-brokered grain export deal which has seen more than 9 million tons of grain exported from Ukraine and brought down global food prices. The ministry cited an alleged Ukrainian drone attack against Russia's Black Sea Fleet ships moored off the coast of occupied Crimea, which Russia says took place in early Saturday, as the reason for the move. Ukraine has denied the attack.
The Russian declaration came one day after U.N. chief Antonio Guterres urged Russia and Ukraine to renew the deal. Guterres also urged other countries, mainly in the West, to expedite the removal of obstacles blocking Russian grain and fertilizer exports.
The U.N. chief underlined the urgency of renewing the deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey in July, which expires on Nov. 19, ''to contribute to food security across the world, and to cushion the suffering that this global cost-of-living crisis is inflicting on billions of people,'' his spokesman said.
Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said before Moscow discusses a renewal ''Russia needs to see the export of its grain and fertilisers in the world market, which has never happened since the beginning of the deal.''
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
South Korea mourns, wants answers after Halloween crush kills 153
Sun, 30 Oct 2022 13:09
(C) Reuters/KIM HONG-JI Reactions after Halloween festival stampede, in Seoul By Soo-hyang Choi, Daewoung Kim and Hongji Kim
SEOUL (Reuters) - Shocked family members collected bodies, parents searched for children and a country sought answers on Sunday after at least 153 people were crushed to death when a crowd in South Korea surged in an alleyway during Halloween festivities.
President Yoon Suk-yeol declared a period of national mourning and designated Seoul's popular Itaewon district a disaster zone after the Saturday night disaster.
"This news came like a bolt from the blue sky," said a father who burst into tears as he collected his daughter's body from a morgue in the nation's capital.
A huge crowd celebrating in Itaewon surged into an alley, killing at least 153 people, most of them in their 20s, emergency officials said, adding the death toll could rise.
The partiers, some still in their teens and many in Halloween costumes, were ready to enjoy the bars, nightclubs and restaurants where the revelry routinely spills over into narrow and often steep side streets.
(C) Reuters/KIM HONG-JI Stampede during Halloween festival in Seoul Instead, the street became filled with people crying for help, while emergency workers desperately sought to free trapped bodies and perform CPR on people splayed across the debris-littered ground.
Choi Sung-beom, head of the Yongsan Fire Station, told a briefing at the scene 82 people were injured, 19 of them seriously. The deaths included 22 foreigners, he said.
Families and friends desperately sought word of loved ones at community centres turned into facilities for missing people.
(C) Reuters/YONHAP Stampede during Halloween festival in Seoul At least 90% of the victims had been identified by midday, with delays affecting some foreign nationals and teenagers who did not yet have identification cards, the Interior Ministry said.
Makeshift memorials began appearing near the site, with onlookers leaving flowers and notes.
President Yoon expressed condolences to the victims and his wishes for a speedy recovery to the many injured in one of the South Korea's worst disasters and the world's worst stampedes in decades.
(C) Reuters/HEO RAN South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol walks at the scene where many people died and were injured in a stampede during a Halloween festival in Seoul "This is truly tragic," he said in a statement, vowing an investigation into the cause of the disaster. "A tragedy and disaster that should not have happened took place in the heart of Seoul last night."
GRAPHIC: Over 150 killed in Seoul Halloween stampede (
South Korean tech and mobile game firms including Kakao and NCSOFT pulled their Halloween promotions after the tragedy, while amusement park Everland cancelled Halloween-themed events. Many regional governments and organisations have cancelled or reduced festivals and other celebrations.
(C) Reuters/KIM HONG-JI Stampede during Halloween festival in Seoul The crush of partygoers came as Itaewon, a symbol of freewheeling nightlife in the South Korean capital for decades that was just starting to thrive after more than two years of COVID-19 restrictions, with trendy restaurants and shops replacing seedy establishments.
(C) Reuters/KIM HONG-JI Stampede during Halloween festival in Seoul It was the first Halloween event in Seoul in three years to be virtually free of COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing. Many of the partygoers were wearing masks and Halloween costumes.
(C) Reuters/KIM HONG-JI Stampede during Halloween festival in Seoul Twenty-four hours before, there were already warning signs that the festivities were attracting dangerous numbers of people, and victims and their relatives questioned an apparent lack of crowd control.
Early on Sunday costumes and personal belongings mingled with blood spots in the narrow street. Survivors huddled under emergency blankets amid throngs of emergency workers, police, and media.
(C) Reuters/YONHAP Stampede during Halloween festival in Seoul Many of those killed were near a nightclub, Choi said. The foreigners killed included people from China, Iran, Uzbekistan and Norway, he said.
(C) Reuters/KIM HONG-JI Stampede during Halloween festival in Seoul Witnesses described the crowd becoming increasingly unruly and agitated as the evening deepened. Chaos erupted just before the 10:20 p.m. (1320 GMT) stampede, with police on hand for the event at times struggling to control the crowds, witnesses said.
Moon Ju-young, 21, said there were clear signs of trouble in the alley before the incident. He told Reuters it was more than 10 times as crowded as usual.
Social media footage showed hundreds of people packed in the narrow, sloped alley crushed and immobile as emergency officials and police tried to pull them free.
Choi, the Yongsan district fire chief, said all the deaths were likely from the crush in the alley.
Fire officials and witnesses said people continued to pour into the alley after it was already packed wall-to-wall, when those at the top of the slope fell, sending people below them toppling over others.
One woman said her daughter, pulled from the crush of people, survived after being trapped for more than an hour.
A makeshift morgue was set up in a building next to the scene. About four dozen bodies were wheeled out on wheeled stretchers and moved to a government facility to identify the victims, according to a Reuters witness.
The Itaewon district is popular with young South Koreans and expatriates alike, its dozens of bars and restaurants packed on Saturday for Halloween after businesses had suffered a sharp decline over three years of the pandemic.
(C) Reuters/KIM HONG-JI Stampede during Halloween festival in Seoul "You would see big crowds at Christmas and fireworks ... but this was several ten-folds bigger than any of that," Park Jung-hoon, 21, told Reuters from the scene.
International leaders offered condolences, including U.S. President Joe Biden and China's Xi Jinping, who noted that Chinese were among the dead and injured.
With the easing of the COVID pandemic, curfews on bars and restaurants and a limit of 10 people for private gatherings were lifted in April. An outdoor mask mandate was dropped in May.
President Yoon held an emergency meeting with senior aides and ordered a task force be set up to secure resources to treat the injured and launch a thorough investigation into the cause of the disaster.
The disaster is the country's deadliest since a 2014 ferry sinking that killed 304 people, mainly high school students.
The sinking of the Sewol, and criticism of the official response, sent shockwaves across South Korea, prompting widespread soul-searching over safety measures in the country that are likely to be renewed in the wake of Saturday's crush.
(Reporting by Soo-hyang Choi, Heekyong Yang, Hyonhee Shin, Choonsik Yoo, Ju-min Park, Daewoung Kim, Hong-ji Kim, and Josh Smith; Writing by Josh Smith and Jack Kim; Editing by William Mallard)
FBI Asks Court for 66 Years to Release Information From Seth Rich's Computer
Sun, 30 Oct 2022 12:38
The FBI is asking a U.S. court to reverse its order that it produce information from Seth Rich's laptop computer.
If the court does not, the bureau wants 66 years to produce the information.
Rich was a Democratic National Committee staffer when he was killed on a street in Washington in mid-2016. No person has ever been arrested in connection to the murder.
U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant, an Obama appointee, ruled in September that the bureau must hand over information from the computer to Brian Huddleston, a Texas man who filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the info.
The FBI's assertion that the privacy interest Rich's family members hold outweighed the public interest was rejected by Mazzant, who noted the bureau cited no relevant case law supporting the argument.
But the ruling was erroneous, U.S. lawyers said in a new filing.
The bureau shouldn't have to produce the information because of FOIA exemptions for information that are compiled for law enforcement purposes and ''could reasonably be expected to disclose the identity of a confidential source,'' the lawyers said in a motion for reconsideration. Another exemption, which enables agencies to withhold information that would disclose law enforcement techniques also applies, they said.
''Given the Court's findings that except for the information related to Seth Rich's laptop withheld pursuant to Exemptions 6 and 7(C) based on privacy interests, the FBI properly withheld or redacted all other information responsive to Huddleston's requests, the production order seems inconsistent with the rest of the order,'' the motion stated.
The FBI, after claiming it never possessed Rich's laptop or any information from it, acknowledged in 2020 that it had thousands of files from the computer.
The bureau ''is currently working on getting the files from Seth Rich's personal laptop into a format to be reviewed,'' the government said at the time.
Seth Rich, the voter expansion data director for the Democratic National Committee, in a file photograph. (LinkedIn)Information and material extracted from the computer were provided by a source to an FBI agent during a meeting on March 15, 2018, FBI records officer Michael Seidel said in a declaration. He said the files included photographs and documents, among other material.
In the new filing, government lawyers said the FBI never extracted the data, which it revealed as originating with a law enforcement agency. They said the information is on a compact disc containing images of the laptop.
''The FBI did not open an investigation into the murder of Seth Rich, nor did it provide investigative or technical assistance to any investigation into the murder of Seth Rich. As a result, the FBI has never extracted the data from the compact disc and never processed the information contained on the disc,'' they said.
To produce the information, the FBI would have to convert information on the disc into pages and then review the pages to redact information per FOIA, according to the government.
If Mazzant upholds his order, the FBI wants a lengthy period of time to perform the work'--66 years, or 500 pages a month.
''If the court overrules the FBI's motion, the FBI wants to produce records at a rate of 500 pages per month. At that rate, it will take almost 67 years just to produce the documents, never mind the images and other files,'' Ty Clevenger, a lawyer representing Huddleston, told The Epoch Times in an email.
''After dealing with the FBI for five years, I now assume that the FBI is lying to me unless and until it proves otherwise. The FBI is desperately trying to hide records about Seth Rich, and that begs the question of why.''
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has suggested Rich leaked Democratic National Committee (DNC) files to WikiLeaks, but special counsel Robert Mueller said the real source was Russian hackers. Still, Mueller's finding conflicts with statements from CrowdStrike, the firm hired to investigate how the DNC files were released.
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news for The Epoch Times. He is based in Maryland.
Pelosi Attack Suspect Was A Psychotic Homeless Addict Estranged From His Pedophile Lover & Their Children
Sat, 29 Oct 2022 20:33
David DePape, the prime suspect in the attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband, Paul. (Photo Credit,: Associated Press) Leading politicians yesterday blamed the political Right for the brutal attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband Paul. ''This is despicable,'' said President Biden. He noted that the alleged attacker, David DePape, 42, shouted the same line, ''Where's Nancy?'' as the supporters of Donald Trump, who stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. ''And what makes us think that one party can talk about stolen elections?'' said Biden. ''COVID being a hoax? It's all a bunch of lies.''
California political leaders agreed. ''This heinous assault is yet another example of the dangerous consequences of the divisive and hateful rhetoric that is putting lives at risk and undermining our very democracy and Democratic institutions,'' said California Governor Gavin Newsom. ''This attack,'' said San Francisco's state Senator, Scott Weiner, ''is terrifying and the direct result of toxic right-wing rhetoric.''
Journalists, en masse , agreed with their assessment. DePape ''appears to have made racist and often rambling posts online,'' noted AP , in a report this morning that encapsulated the media narrative, ''including some that questioned the results of the 2020 election, defended former President Donald Trump and echoed QAnon conspiracy theories.''
But DePape's politics have little rhyme or reason. In past years DePape shared a post about Stephen Colbert's 2006 roast of President George W. Bush at the White House Correspondents dinner; linked to videos of Disney films altered to make it look like the characters were swearing; and claimed , ''Jesus is the anti-Christ'' '-- not exactly a litany of right-wing tropes.
The camper van parked in the driveway of the home belonging to David DePape's ex-wife. The ''Natural addiction treatment'' that it's advertising is of the psychedelic ibogaine, which neighbors say the DePape family has been bringing back to the United States from Mexico. The bumper stickers on the back of the camper are left-wing and conspiratorial.And, as I discovered yesterday, DePape lived with a notorious local nudist in a Berkeley home, complete with a Black Lives Matter sign in the window and an LGBT rainbow flag, emblazoned with a marijuana symbol, hanging from a tree. A closer look reveals the characteristics of a homeless encampment, or what Europeans call ''an open drug scene.'' In the driveway, there is a broken-down camper van. On the street is a yellow school bus, which neighbors said DePape occasionally stayed in. Both are filled with garbage typical of such structures in homeless encampments. People come and go from the house and the vehicles, neighbors say, in part to partake in the use of a potent psychedelic drug, ibogaine.
Neighbors described DePape as a homeless addict with a politics that was, until recently, left-wing, but of secondary importance to his psychotic and paranoid behavior. ''What I know about the family is that they're very radical activists,'' said one of DePape's neighbors, a woman who only gave her first name, Trish. ''They seem very left. They are all about the Black Lives Matter movement. Gay pride. But they're very detached from reality. They have called the cops on several of the neighbors, including us, claiming that we are plotting against them. It's really weird to see that they are willing to be so aggressive toward somebody else who is also a lefty.''
Not all of the news media missed DePape's history of drug use, psychosis, and homelessness. CNN reported that a woman named Laura Hayes, who said she worked with DePape 10 years ago making hemp bracelets, said he had been living in a storage shed. ''He talks to angels,'' she said, and told her that ''there will be a hard time coming.''
Another woman, Linda Schneider, told CNN and Bay Area NBC TV affiliate, KRON4, that she got to know DePape around 2014 and that he was still homeless, living in a storage unit, and using hard drugs. ''He (was) likely a mindless follower of something he saw on social media because I don't think he had the courage to be part of any political or terrorist group,'' said Schneider. ''His drug use began again and he went off his rocker.''
But much of the rest of the news media, particularly local journalists who could have interviewed DePape's neighbors, were swept up in the narrative that DePape was more like John Wilkes Booth, the fanatical but sane assassin of Abraham Lincoln, than John Hinkley, Jr., the mentally ill man who shot Ronald Reagan. DePape is much more like one of the hundreds of psychotic homeless people I've interviewed in recent years than the fanatical climate ideologues who I've been writing about in recent weeks.
Wrapped up in their own obsession with Trump Republicans, most journalists have missed the real story. David DePape is not a microcosm of the political psychosis gripping America in general. Rather, he's a microcosm of the drug-induced psychosis gripping the West Coast in particular.
DePape's former house at 1526 Woolsey is a combination of a typical left-wing Berkeley home and a homeless encampment. (Author photos) Yesterday afternoon I visited the Berkeley house where DePape had lived with his former lover, Oxane ''Gypsy'' Taub, 53, a charismatic Russian immigrant 11 years David's senior. DePape appears to have fallen under the spell of Taub around 2003, when DePape was a quiet, video game-obsessed 21-year-old in Powell River, a town of 14,000 people that is a four-hour drive up the coast of British Columbia from Vancouver.
A November 27, 2008 article in the Oakland Tribune said Taub and DePape were married with three children. But DePape's stepfather, Gene, told AP yesterday that Taub was his stepson's girlfriend, not wife; that David and Taub had two, not three, children together; and that David's third child was with another woman.
The article, which carried the headline, ''Need is great on Thanksgiving Day in the East Bay,'' described Taub, Pape, and their three children eating Thanksgiving dinner with the homeless. Taub told the reporter that they were there for the community, not because they couldn't afford to eat at home.
Taub was in the news again five years later when she, then 44, married a 20-year-old man, Jamyz Smith, naked, at City Hall in San Francisco. A photo in the December 16, 2013 edition of The San Francisco Chronicle shows DePape, Taub, Smith, and the three children huddled under a blanket watching television together. The caption describes DePape as ''a family friend.'' As in The Oakland Tribune article, the focus was on Taub, with no quotes from DePape.
Ryan La Coste, who lives in an apartment directly behind the Taub-DePape house, said that the day after Taub's wedding to Smith, ''There was a huge fight. The guy [Smith] that she married got locked up. And so Taub married somebody else. My understanding was that David [DePape] was the best man to her husband at the wedding.''
The episode was typical of the chaos that swirled around DePape during the years leading up to his alleged attack on Paul Pelosi.
Clippers Owner Donald Sterling Banned for Life from NBA for Racist Remarks | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors | Bleacher Report
Sat, 29 Oct 2022 17:48
Danny Moloshok/AP ImagesUpdates from Monday, May 19
Howard Beck of Bleacher Report broke down the latest developments in the NBA's efforts to remove Donald Sterling as owners of the Clippers:
Original Text
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been banned for life from the NBA and fined $2.5 million following an investigation into alleged racist comments he made over the phone to his ex-girlfriend, V. Stiviano.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced the penalties at a press conference on Tuesday, via Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:
The fine levied against Silver is the maximum allowed under the league's constitution, via Ken Berger of CBS Sports:
Silver said he will urge the NBA Board of Governors to force a sale of the Clippers, which would require a 75 percent approval vote, via Berger :
Robert Baum of the Associated Press indicates there is already an owner who has announced which way he'll vote:
Silver announced that the NBA concluded its investigation with the belief that it was Sterling's voice on the audiotape, via Berger:
Sterling confirmed it was his voice on the tape, via ABC news:
Silver made it clear the league stood together in its opposition of the owner:
Finally, Silver expressed the hope that no long-term damage would come to the league or the Clippers organization, via Adam Zagoria of and Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders:
Following the announcement, messages of support came in from around the league:
NBPA Vice President Roger Mason said that players were prepared to boycott playoff games had Silver not levied the punishments that he did, via Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports:
While Mason is happy with today's decision, just removing Donald Sterling won't be enough, according to Spears:
Chris Paul briefly spoke about Silver's decision, via Markazi:
The Clippers changed their team website following the news, issuing a statement of unity before Game 5 vs. Golden State, via ESPN's SportsCenter :
The organization also refused to issue a statement, via Markazi:
On April 25, TMZ Sports reported that it had Sterling on tape chastising Stiviano for "associating with black people" in public and through social media. He sounded particularly upset that she would invite Magic Johnson to attend Clippers games.
Johnson reacted swiftly to Sterling's comments:
Harriet Ryan of the LA Times provided Stiviano's reaction:
V. Stiviano, the woman at the center of the Donald Sterling scandal, said she was ''very saddened'' by the NBA's decision to ban him from the sport for life, her attorney said Tuesday.
V. Stiviano ''never wanted any harm to Donald,'' Calabasas lawyer Mac Nehoray of Calabasas told The Times.
He said the 31-year-old is still reeling from the release of the recordings in which Sterling chastises her for associating with African Americans, including Magic Johnson. He said that ''someone released it for money'' but it wasn't Stiviano.
''My client is devastated that this got out,'' he said.
The league opened an investigation on April 27, per At the time, NBA spokesman Mike Bass said:
We are in the process of conducting a full investigation into the audio recording obtained by TMZ. The remarks heard on the recording are disturbing and offensive, but at this time we have no further information.
Since then, multiple companies have cut ties with the organization, including Red Bull, Kia, Virgin America and Adidas, per various sources:
Sterling's remarks have been met with universal scorn, especially considering this isn't the first time his insular and outdated beliefs have come to light. Deadspin's Timothy Burke compiled the racist comments the Clippers owner has made in the years leading up to this incident.
Former Clippers general manager Elgin Baylor said that he had to endure over two decades of Sterling's racism, via ESPN's Max Bretos:
On Monday, head coach Doc Rivers admitted that he declined to speak with Sterling about the situation, per ESPN's Arash Markazi:
Earlier on, Rivers also voiced how upset he was with Sterling and indicated that some of the players discussed'--albeit briefly'--boycotting games, per Yahoo Sports' Marc J. Spears:
Chris Paul, who is the president of the National Basketball Players Association, released a statement on the NBPA's official website shortly after the audio was leaked:
On behalf of the National Basketball Players Association, this is a very serious issue which we will address aggressively. We have asked Mayor Kevin Johnson to expand his responsibilities with the NBPA, to determine our response and our next steps. As players, we owe it to our teams and our fans to keep our focus on our game, the playoffs, and a drive to the Finals.'s Ray Ratto was among many who compared this situation to what former Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott faced back in 1996:
In an interview on ESPN, via the Chicago Tribune, Schott said of Adolf Hitler, "Everybody knows he was good at the beginning but he just went too far." That was four years after a similar incident in which she admitted to having a swastika armband at her home.
Political analyst Jeff Greenfield pointed out that Major League Baseball didn't take the Reds from Schott outright, but it made her position so untenable that she had no other recourse but to relinquish control, which she did in 1999:
Nate Jones of Goodwin Sports wondered if the NBA will ultimately try the same tactic with Sterling:
Zach Lowe of Grantland had more on how the sale of the Clippers might work:
Silver was presented with a monumental decision barely three months into his tenure as NBA commissioner. His disciplinary action against Sterling sets the tone for the rest of his time at the helm and will undoubtedly be a part of his eventual legacy.
Clippers fans, and sports fans in general, will be pleased to move on from this ugly incident. All things considered, it's likely just a matter of time before Sterling is forced to relinquish ownership of the Clippers.
Who Owns Conservative Media Company and Website The Daily Wire?
Sat, 29 Oct 2022 17:42
The Daily Wire, a conservative media company that launched in 2015, has a clear conservative bias and no wish to hide it. Ben Shapiro hosts one of its most popular programs, and in Feb. 2022, CEO and co-founder Jeremy Boreing stated the company was earning $100 million per year. So, who owns The Daily Wire?
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The company is owned entirely by Bentkey Ventures, LLC. In 2015, Boreing, Shapiro, Caleb Robinson, and Farris Wilks started The Daily Wire with an initial investment by Wilks. According to the company's site, Shapiro and Boreing came up with the idea after Boreing was fired from his job and Shapiro then quit the same company.
Bentkey Ventures, LLC, owns The Daily Wire
Wilks, who put up an initial investment to launch The Daily Wire, owns it along with co-founders Boreing, Shapiro, and Robinson, who together own Bentkey. That company was previously named Forward Publishing, LLC.
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Source: Getty ImagesBen Shapiro speaking at Politicon 2018.
People in leadership at The Daily Wire include Boreing and Robinson, co-CEOs. COO is Jon Lewis, editor-in-chief is John Bickley, editor emeritus is Shapiro, and director of marketing is Emily Butler.
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Jeremy Boreing says the company makes $100 million per year
In Feb. 2022, Boreing stated that The Daily Wire had surpassed $100 million in annual revenue for the first time in January. The company produces conservative podcasts but has also begun venturing into film production, book publishing, and video apps. Most of its films and video are accessible through a paid subscription.
The Ben Shapiro Show is a top podcast produced by the company. It also offers The Michael Knowles Show, The Matt Walsh Show, Morning Wire, and Candace, which features Trump supporter Candace Owens (who's married to Parler CEO George Farmer).
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The Daily Wire also recently launched its first original movie to be available for free at one viewing time only on YouTube. Shut In, a thriller, was available only on Feb. 10, 2022.
Source: The Daily Wire FacebookThe Daily Wire's teaser about its protest of Harry's.
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Shapiro and Boreing launched ''Jeremy's Razors'' against Harry's
This week, Boreing, CEO of The Daily Wire, announced his new razor line, Jeremy's Razors, in a dramatic commercial. Why are the conservative media founders protesting Harry's, a razor company that donates 1 percent of sales to nonprofits helping men access mental health support?
In March 2021, Harry's ended its advertising agreement with The Michael Knowles Show, a program of The Daily Wire. The decision stemmed from a Twitter complaint about show guest Joseph Nicolosi, Jr., for ''spreading homophobic and transphobic content.'' Harry's co-CEO Jeff Raider said, ''We believe deeply in free speech but draw the line at hate. We'll continue to support our customers and community with kindness and compassion.''
In the video, Boreing is seen wearing a crown and seated on a throne, complaining the nation is ''in trouble.'' He goes on to say that ''conservatives are being canceled by Hollywood, the media, universities, and now Harry's Razors.'' He concludes by offering Jeremy's Razors as an alternative so that people can avoid giving money to ''woke corporations.''
Billionaire Wilks family bankrolls one of its own in run for Texas House | The Texas Tribune
Sat, 29 Oct 2022 16:14
On the sparse flatlands between Fort Worth and Abilene lies Cisco, home to a billionaire family of staunch conservatives that has thrown its weight around in Texas Republican politics for years.
From this small Texas town, the Wilkses '-- brothers Farris and Dan and their extensive families '-- have doled out millions supporting candidates and causes that reflect their hardline political ideology anchored in faith, freedom and guns.
This year there is a new wrinkle: One of the family's own is running for office.
Jon Francis, 51, son-in-law of Farris and JoAnn Wilks, is one of four Republicans jockeying for the Texas House District 60 seat being vacated by state Rep. Mike Lang, a past beneficiary of the Wilks' funding who opted not to run for reelection and has not endorsed a preferred successor.
The largely rural seat is solidly Republican, and the battle lines emerging are not unusual. Francis and Glenn Rogers are seen as front-runners in the four-way race. The former brands himself as the staunch conservative choice; the latter casts himself as the less hardline candidate.
Francis married JoAnn and Farris Wilks' daughter roughly 25 years ago and works at Wilks Development, a real estate development and investment company. Although Francis has never held office, he has worked behind the scenes in the family's political efforts. Rogers, 64, a rancher and veterinarian, has served as president of the Palo Pinto County Farm Bureau and as a school board member.
Rogers entered the race in September after Lang initially announced his retirement to run for county commissioner. Lang reversed course days later '-- only to decide in December he would not run for reelection to the House after all. Lang's 11th-hour decision triggered a candidate filing extension, and Francis jumped into the race.
''I want to make sure that our district has an actual solid conservative that's willing to go and fight for our values," Francis said at a candidate forum at the end of January. "That is the reason I decided to make this run. ... Our values are worth fighting for."
The race has not gone without its dramatic moments. And the question looming over it all is whether Rogers can overcome the Wilks family's network '-- and checkbook.
''I guess they don't have a better way to spend that money''Farris Wilks, a pastor in Eastland County, and his younger brother, Dan, who have 17 children between them, hit it big in the 2000s during the state's fracking boom. Overnight, it seemed, the families went from living in double-wide trailers to having billions.
They started cutting checks, pumping millions into certain Texas Republican circles, and backing various hardline conservative candidates and causes that fit their political ideology. The family, along with fellow conservative mega-donor Tim Dunn of Midland, has given generously to groups like Empower Texans and Texas Right to Life, organizations that issue scorecards ranking elected officials on their ''fiscal responsibility'' or ''pro-life'' records. The groups also often wade into GOP primaries to support candidates they deem sufficiently conservative.
This year, the Wilkses and Dunn are focusing heavily on contributing directly to their favored candidates. Farris Wilks, for example, has spent big in the race to replace retiring state Rep. Jonathan Stickland, a Bedford Republican closely linked to the family. He has also contributed tens of thousands of dollars to a primary challenger to state Rep. Dan Flynn, a Canton Republican who has often received flack from his right for being too moderate.
One House member, state Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, has fended off challenges from candidates with Wilks and Empower Texans funding before and thinks the family is ''determined to buy a seat'' at the Legislature.
''I guess they don't have a better way to spend that money,'' Geren told The Texas Tribune. ''If I were that wealthy, I'd sure be finding something better to do with my money.''
''Votes are not for sale in this district''Since joining the race in mid-December, Francis has raised more than $600,000, mostly from JoAnn and Farris Wilks, who each contributed $250,000. A sizable chunk of his other contributions came from donors with the last name Wilks, donors who work at a company named Wilks or both, according to a Texas Tribune analysis of campaign finance reports.
The generosity of the Wilks political machine has drawn criticism, particularly from Rogers, who calls it troubling that there is a ''lack of transparency to the average voter of the source of Francis' money.''
''Francis and the Wilks [family] are willing to spend and say anything to win, even though they may not say it directly,'' Rogers told the Tribune last week, referring to the Wilkses' connections with groups like Empower Texans. ''I entered this campaign with no illusions of the financial capabilities of the Wilks [family]. Votes are not for sale in this district.''
But Francis, in interviews and at candidate forums, has waved away suggestions that his family is attempting to buy an election, casting himself as the ''outsider'' who has received more than 500 individual contributions.
''I made a decision early on at the very beginning of the campaign that I'm not accepting a penny from [political action committees], professional interests and lobbyists '-- I refuse to have my hands tied,'' Francis told the Tribune in an interview last week. ''Unfortunately, the Austin lobby has made their choice, and it is not me.''
Rogers, for his part, has raised more than $160,000 since entering the race. His largest contribution to date was a fraction of the Wilks' half-million '-- $30,000 from the Texas Farm Bureau Friends of Agriculture Fund.
The other two candidates in the race '-- Christopher Perricone, who was ousted as Mineral Wells mayor last week, and Granbury attorney Kellye SoRelle '-- have raised considerably smaller amounts; SoRelle told the Tribune that, money aside, she is the candidate ''with experience, who is merely trying to serve the people.'' And Perricone said he thinks voters should cast a ballot for the "candidate that shares your ideals and ... that can best persuade others in Austin to join them in the fight to keep our freedoms!"
''I don't own a white flag''While both Francis and Rogers say they are running as conservatives, a healthy amount of daylight exists between the two. Francis has dubbed himself as an unwavering, uncompromising conservative who wants to represent voters in the district and fight for their values. Rogers has suggested he would be willing to give a little to get a little '-- if it would help rural Texans.
At a recent candidate forum, Francis dismissed the idea that lawmakers need merely have a seat at the table to impact the legislative process by negotiating and compromising.
''I have a strong belief that one man can make a huge difference,'' he said. ''I want to let you know that I don't have a white flag, I don't own a white flag and I won't raise a white flag.''
Rogers countered that "incremental, positive change is much better than no change" at all.
''We've seen issues where extremists have a position that is so far to the right or to the left that there is no chance that it is going to get passed,'' Rogers said. ''You hold to your values '-- no question about that '-- but you also have to govern.''
The different approaches have elicited backing from different crowds. Francis touts endorsements from figures like U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz '-- who has benefited heavily from the Wilks family's wallet '-- while Rogers has announced support from Republicans like former Texas Gov. Rick Perry. (Rogers' path first crossed with Perry's, the candidate said, in 1984 when Perry was running for state representative in the district. ''We've kept up with one another over the years,'' Rogers told the Tribune, ''and we share that Aggie bond.'')
''Disrespect for the process''The race has not been without theatrics. At the end of January, Rogers stumbled on a conservative hardline when he declared he was against a ban on ''taxpayer-funded lobbying.''
The practice of local entities like cities and counties using taxpayer funds to send lobbyists to the Legislature to plead their cases on legislation is a target of Republicans, who tried unsuccessfully to ban it in 2019 and will all but certainly try again in 2021 when state lawmakers reconvene at the Capitol.
An edited video of Rogers stating his position '-- ''I want you to know that I am against the ban on taxpayer-funded lobbying. You heard that right'' '-- made the rounds and ruffled feathers among the Empower Texans crowd.
A few days later, Rogers issued a statement saying he had ''spent a lot of time listening to people talk about'' the issue and seemed to shift his position slightly, noting that ''strict parameters and limitations on tax dollars being used for lobbying'' should be in place.
In an interview last week, Rogers acknowledged that his position has come full circle, and he now would support a ban on taxpayer-funded lobbying.
''Everything that I look at will be put under the lens of: How does it affect the small, rural communities in my district?'' Rogers said. ''If I get additional information after talking to people like Rick Perry who explain their concerns, then I'm OK modifying my position if I think that's what my district wants.''
Rogers has also faced criticism from SoRelle, another candidate in the race, over what she describes as his ''disrespect for the process, as well as his lack of decency to show up at the forums to answer to the citizens, [which] truly makes me question his integrity.''
One forum caused a larger than usual dust-up after Rogers dropped out just hours before it was set to start, arguing that the moderator's ties to the Wilks crowd appeared biased and were unfair to his candidacy.
A couple of hours before the event began, Rogers called Robin Hayes, the chair of the Eastland County GOP, which organized the forum. Hayes told the Tribune that Rogers ''raised his voice'' at her during that phone call and eventually calmed down after she explained that questions had been collected from voters via email, text and Facebook '-- not written by the moderator.
Hayes said the tense exchange that day crystallized her decision on whom she plans to vote for, though she declined to say. Asked about the phone call, Rogers told the Tribune his interaction with Hayes was ''stern but cordial'' before questioning whether Hayes was loyal to Francis all along since she attends a church pastored by a member of the Wilks family.
But Rogers' decision to drop out of an event he felt was rigged against him underscored how just the perception of the Wilks family's political reach has influenced the race.
SoRelle said she has little sympathy for Rogers' complaints about the Wilks influence.
''I knew entering this race that the Wilks family money would be in play,'' she said. ''Anyone complaining about that at this point either didn't do their homework or is merely posturing.''
Carla Astudillo contributed to this report.
Disclosure: The Texas Farm Bureau has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here.
VIDEO - (22) Bernie's Tweets on Twitter: "RISHI 'TRUDEAU' - at COP 26. 'We want to rewire the entire global financial system for net zero' Read that again. Don't say you weren't warned!" / Twitter
Sun, 30 Oct 2022 16:32
Bernie's Tweets : RISHI 'TRUDEAU' - at COP 26.'We want to rewire the entire global financial system for net zero'Read that again'...
Thu Oct 27 10:17:39 +0000 2022
VIDEO - (21) RNC Research on Twitter: "Kamala Harris: ''I love Venn diagrams, I really do, I love Venn diagrams, it's just something about those three circles and the analysis about where there is the intersection''" / Twitter
Sun, 30 Oct 2022 16:25
RNC Research : Kamala Harris: ''I love Venn diagrams, I really do, I love Venn diagrams, it's just something about those three circ'...
Fri Oct 28 20:13:32 +0000 2022
VIDEO - (21) UNCLE HOTEP ðŸ¤ðŸŒ on Twitter: "Uh oh" / Twitter
Sun, 30 Oct 2022 16:23
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VIDEO - (21) Gary on Twitter: "@adamcurry Globalists don't want you to be allowed to call them globalists." / Twitter
Sun, 30 Oct 2022 16:16
Gary : @adamcurry Globalists don't want you to be allowed to call them globalists.
Thu Oct 27 23:32:45 +0000 2022
VIDEO - Leaked Hospital Email Reports Increase in Stillbirths
Sun, 30 Oct 2022 16:14
Leaked Hospital Email Reports Increase in Stillbirths
A leaked hospital email from central California revealed they have seen an increase in stillbirths. The staff member who leaked the email says the uptick happened after people started taking the COVID-19 vaccine.
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At Least 151 Dead in South Korea's Capital After Crowd Surge at Halloween Event: OfficialsArizona GOP Gubernatorial Nominee Thanks Liz Cheney for 'Biggest Fundraiser Yet'8-Year-Old Colorado Boy Is Over Halfway to Becoming Youngest to Climb Towering El CapitanSinger Jerry Lee Lewis Dies at 87Midterm Elections Updates (Oct. 28): Hand Vote Count Stops, but Nevada County Vows to Try AgainWolves Shot in Wyoming May Be From a Colorado Pack TOP NEWS MORE + US New Information Emerges About Suspect's Background After Attack on Paul Pelosi US Powerball Grand Prize Climbs to $1B Without a Jackpot Winner 2022 Midterm Elections Over 20 Million Have Voted So Far Ahead of 2022 Midterms 2022 Midterm Elections McCarthy Says GOP Recruiting Class 'Best We've Ever Seen,' Hopes to Make History 2022 Midterm Elections New York Will Become a 'Law-and-Order State' Under Zeldin: DeSantis Africa Somalia's President Says at Least 100 Killed in Car Bombings 2022 Midterm Elections Pennsylvania's Department of State Has Sent Out 249,000 Ballots to Unverified Voters in 2022 Election Election Integrity Texas Election Integrity Inspectors Sent to Harris County to Monitor Vote Russia''Ukraine War Americans Split on Ukraine Funding
Senate majority could take weeks after Election Day to determine | Fox News
Sun, 30 Oct 2022 16:10
Voters hoping to immediately know who will control the U.S. Senate in the next Congress may be in for a shock on election night as it could take days or weeks to tabulate results in key states.
Some election officials are already warning about delays.
"We will not have final results on election night," a spokesperson for Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske told Fox News Digital.
"Voters, candidates and the public should not expect complete results on election night," Pennsylvania Acting Secretary of State Leigh Chapman said in a recent media briefing.
"We understand that voters, candidates and the media want election results as soon as possible," Chapman said. "But counting all the eligible votes and reporting the results take time."
Pennsylvania Acting Secretary of State Leigh Chapman speaks with reporters about Pennsylvania's 2022 elections, warning that it will take days or more for election results to become clear. (Pennsylvania Department of State)
Chapman's office said the delay is related to rules in Pennsylvania that do not allow its mail-in ballots to pre-processed until 7 a.m. on Election Day. This means the process of removing the ballots from envelopes and scanning them will likely last well past election night.
With the Senate race between Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz and Democrat Lt. Gov. John Fetterman expected to be very close, R Street Institute resident elections fellow Matt Germer told Fox News Digital that the suspense could drag on for days at least.
"It's possible that Pennsylvania takes a good while," Germer said. "They had a problem in 2020 where so many more people were sending in their ballot by mail. But they, the election administrators, weren't allowed to pre-process those ballots. '... What that meant was they just had this giant glut of mail-in ballots and a ton of administrative work to do."
"I'm expecting that it will once again make for a slow night for election results in Pennsylvania," he said.
In Nevada, mail ballots can be postmarked as late as Election Day. That means valid votes could continue coming into election officials for several days after Election Day. If the race between Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto, D-Nev., and Republican Adam Laxalt is close, Germer said, "we won't have necessarily a clear result in Nevada either for perhaps a week."
Pennsylvania Senate candidates John Fetterman, left, and Mehmet Oz participate in a debate on Oct. 25, 2022, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. (NewsNation)
"Counties started processing and counting on Oct. 24th. They have until Nov. 12th to receive all mail ballots, Nov. 14 to cure signatures and Nov. 18 to certify results," said the spokesperson for the Nevada secretary of state.
Unlike Pennsylvania, Arizona does allow processing of mail-in ballots before Election Day, something Germer said will likely speed up that state's ability to deliver a result. However, Cochise County will count all of its ballots by hand, which could delay a final projection.
But the state that may cause the biggest delay in knowing the Senate majority is one that could very well have a result on election night: Georgia.
That's because Georgia law requires its U.S. Senate candidates to win at least 50% of the statewide vote to win a general election. In a very close race between Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., and GOP challenger Herschel Walker, a few percentage points of the vote going to libertarian Chase Oliver could hold both under 50% and rigger a runoff.
"Once again, the balance of power in the Senate may come down to a Georgia runoff," Germer said.
Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., shakes hands with libertarian challenger Chase Oliver at a Georgia U.S. Senate debate. If Oliver garners just a few percent of the general election vote, he could hold both Warnock and GOP candidate Herschel Walker under 50%, triggering a runoff. (Ben Gray/Associated Press)
This year, the general election runoff in Georgia will be held on Dec. 6, as compared to its Jan. 5 date in the 2020 cycle.
In Georgia, a recently-passed election law will mandate that all precincts report how many uncounted votes they have by election night. A spokesperson for Georgia's Secretary of State office told Fox News Digital that means observers will have a "clear understanding of how many votes exactly [are outstanding] and in what counties."
Georgia's will also likely report early and absentee votes first, the spokesperson said.
Elsewhere, Alaska could take some time to tabulate its Senate results due to its size and its ranked-choice voting system. It took more than two weeks to calculate the winner in a recent House of Representatives special election using that same system.
But Alaska's top Senate candidates are Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Republican Kelly Tshibaka, who is challenging the incumbent from the right. Therefore, that race won't impact the balance of power in D.C.
Other battlegrounds, including Ohio, Wisconsin and New Hampshire, have a record of delivering results on election night. It's not expected they'll have issues doing the same this year.
Even if some states do take time to figure out who the winner is due to inefficient systems, Germer said, voters shouldn't assume there's fraud.
"It can be frustrating as a voter to not have resolution immediately, especially in our culture now," he said. "We can rest assured that the processes that we have across the country will give an accurate result."
Tyler Olson is a reporter covering the Senate for Fox News Digital.
VIDEO - (109) Von der Leyen notes acceleration of tensions with China and sends EU money to Ukraine for the basics - YouTube
Sun, 30 Oct 2022 15:57
VIDEO - One-on-one with former director of the CIA, David Petraeus - YouTube
Sun, 30 Oct 2022 15:50
VIDEO - "Come On!" Heckler Interrupts Barack Obama and Leaves Him Stuttering at Michigan Rally (VIDEO)
Sun, 30 Oct 2022 15:47
Barack Obama on Saturday campaigned in Detroit, Michigan for Democrat Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
The Democrats are so desperate that they dragged out Obama (not Biden) to campaign for Whitmer with less than two weeks to go until Election Day.
Whitmer is in hot water for closing schools down for a prolonged period of time during the Covid pandemic.
She's so desperate that she invited Barack Obama to stump for her at the last minute.
A heckler interrupted Obama and left him stuttering.
''Yes! So, so, sir, wa-wa-wait, come on! But, this is, this is what I mean,'' Obama said to the heckler. ''We've got a process that we set up in our democracy.''
Thin-skinned Obama lashed out at the heckler and lectured him on 'basic civility.'
''Right now, I'm talking. You'll have a chance to talk sometime later. You wouldn't do that in a workplace,'' Obama said.
Obama began shouting, ''Hold up! Hold up! Hold up!''
VIDEO - (20) RNC Research on Twitter: "BIDEN: "We went to 54 states" in 2018." / Twitter
Sun, 30 Oct 2022 15:44
RNC Research : BIDEN: "We went to 54 states" in 2018.
Sat Oct 29 00:25:37 +0000 2022
VIDEO - (109) Live: Russia suspends participation in Ukraine grain export deal ' FRANCE 24 English - YouTube
Sun, 30 Oct 2022 15:43
VIDEO - 'Massive' drone attack on Black Sea Fleet, Russia says '' BBC News - YouTube
Sun, 30 Oct 2022 15:40
VIDEO - (109) Peter Zeihan Reveals China's Unstoppable Population Collapse - YouTube
Sun, 30 Oct 2022 15:35

Clips & Documents

Audio Clips
'Massive' drone attack on Black Sea Fleet, Russia says – BBC News.mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Rhiannon Ally - NY bus highjacking (24sec).mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Rhiannon Ally - shortage of diesel (17sec).mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Rhiannon Ally - shortage of diesel (17sec).mp3
ABC GMA3 - anchor Elizabeth Shulze - paul pelosi assaulted (21sec).mp3
ABC WNT - anchor David Muir - CDC flu (32sec).mp3
ABC WNT - anchor David Muir - war in ukraine (16sec).mp3
ABC WNT - anchor Jon Karl (1) voter intimidation complaint (1min50sec).mp3
ABC WNT - anchor Jon Karl (2) arizona vote by mail (32sec).mp3
ABC WNT - anchor Jon Karl (3) schumer debate didnt hurt us (1min3sec).mp3
ABC WNT - anchor Pierre Thomas (1) pelosi suspect (43sec).mp3
ABC WNT - anchor Pierre Thomas (2) dangerous chatter (33sec).mp3
ABC WNT - anchor Rebecca Jarvis (1) elon twitter (1min18sec).mp3
ABC WNT - anchor Rebecca Jarvis (2) content moderation council (22sec).mp3
BIDEN - We went to 54 states in 2018.mp3
Biden at PDPID addressing attack on paul pelosi (1min23sec).mp3
CBS Evening - anchor Jeff Pegues (1) law enforcment new warning (42sec).mp3
CBS Evening - anchor Jeff Pegues (2) security for lawmakers families (28sec).mp3
Charlamagne The God 9 years ago - they run it all.mp3
fired twitter employee.mp3
Goetz laptop FBI clip.mp3
ISO Vote.mp3
Jeanne Pierre says very clear supercut.mp3
JRE Tulsi Gabbard #1880 - No Viable Possibility Third Party Candidate Electoral College.mp3
Kamala Harris - I love Venn diagrams.mp3
Leaked Hospital Email Reports Increase in Stillbirths - NTD.mp3
Musk takes over 2 PBS.mp3
Musk takes over PBS.mp3
NBC Sunday Today - anchor Chuck Todd - pelosi attack trumps fault (1min33sec).mp3
NBC Sunday Today - anchor Willie Geist - russia halts grain (22sec).mp3
NBC Today - anchor Joe Fryer - king charles coin (24sec).mp3
NH Analysis Capehart Judy 1.mp3
NH Analysis Capehart Judy 2.mp3
NH Analysis Capehart Judy 3 WTF.mp3
NH Analysis Capehart Judy 4 wrap.mp3
NH Elections CH 2.mp3
NH Elections CH 3 wtf.mp3
NH Elections CH 4 hetterman.mp3
NH Elections CH one.mp3
NH Fetterman 2.mp3
NH Fetterman One.mp3
Obama heckled during Detroit stump for Witmer.mp3
Pelosi PBD.mp3
Peter Zeihan Reveals China's Unstoppable Population Collapse.mp3
PPelosi 2 PBS.mp3
ppelosi 3.mp3
ppelosi 4.mp3
Russia suspends participation in Ukraine grain export deal KICKER F24.mp3
steamer horn.mp3
Swisher on Cuomo.mp3
TRT-World - Patreus (Oct 21) predicts the future in Ukraine Russian war.mp3
UKRAINE update pbs.mp3
Von der Leyen -1- Ukraine Assistance 3-4 billion per month for basics.mp3
Von der Leyen -2- Ukraine Assistance reconstruction.mp3
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