Cover for No Agenda Show 1527: Grip & Grin
February 5th, 2023 • 2h 50m

1527: Grip & Grin


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.

China & Ballons
No more Hunter Laptop, Joe Documents or Memphis Jump Out Boys
China US vs China BOTG
Having been in charge of over 13 of countries in West Africa for USAID-OIG for about five years, I have enough awareness to say that all this Africa stuff in the news is same-old same-old. China makes the "shiny stuff now" play, while the US and Europe do the "sustainable development" thing.
When I lived in Dakar, there was an FM station that was split English and French. It did music and advertising to discourage immigration to Europe. Ounce in a while, there was a message sponsored by the German Embassy. I think a lot of the German presence is to keep Africa in Africa.
The French have a totally different relationship... Oil, minerals, etc.
Don't discount the language barrier; French is king in much of west Africa. The language and the customs seal deals... Germans do business differently.
Balloons for GOP politicians
Also, with all this Chinese balloon stuff in the news, I hope you'll bear in mind that there's a lot of negative propaganda aimed at China right now. One way to think about it is, Democrats are mobilized to hate Russia, and Republicans are being equally mobilized against China, both doing this keeps America distracted from their declining standard of living being mainly the fault of THEIR leaders, not these other countries.
War on Chicken
mRNA in Chickens?
Chicken Feed BOTG
Hey Adam - long time listener and producer here. At first I thought the chicken feed thing was just another bullshit conspiracy theory. But just for kicks, I ditched the corporate farm store feed and picked up some locally sourced (organic, small batch, artisanal) feed. After 6 months of no eggs, the chickens started laying again the same day. Not sure what’s going on, but there’s something wrong with the feed.
SANE Egg Story
In the morning Adam,
I've been "homesteading" for a couple years now, so I have a little insight on the lastest conspiracy about the laying hens. I love a good conspiracy as much as the next guy but this one I think is total bullcrap. Here's why...
1) Egg production goes way down in the winter months... As the daylight hours go down, chickens naturally stop laying eggs. Winter conditions are exactly ideal for eggs or hatching chicks as you can imagine, both eggs and chicks need a near constant 100 degrees to survive from when the egg starts to develop up until the chicks get their adult feathers. That's not easy to maintain in the winter so the chickens naturally stop laying eggs, the few months break gives the hens body time to recoup from the last several months of egg production. Most good egg breeds lay about an egg a day, and as you can imagine that takes a toll on their health. So it's best for the hens to have that time off. You can keep this from happening if you add artificial light to the mix. However your hens won't last long as they never get a rest. Also, first year hens tend to produce more eggs their first winter.
2) There are a hell of a lot of inexperienced chicken people new to the game the past couple years. Since the "pandemic" The amount of new people to the game has skyrocketed. When we started homesteading, we were the only ones we knew taking steps to become more self sufficient and less reliant on the grocery store. Now everyone is talking about it, which is great, but... they're new and inexperience. I'm pretty sure this is what's driving this conspiracy...
A) If you're only a year or less into chicken keeping you might not have experienced real winter egg production yet. Remember, first year hens produce more eggs over winter. It isn't until the 2nd year that you really notice it.
B) People are starting to see egg production go up after they switch the chickens diet... There's a couple of things going on here I think. First, when you completely switch up their diet, you're shocking thier system, this could possibly be triggering some egg production. More importantly though, what really happening right now? The daylight hours are coming back. Daylight is the key factor in this. People switching diets on their hens over the last couple weeks are of course going to see more egg production because as the light comes, so do the eggs.
C) Where are people getting their chickens? Facebag and Craigslist. I'm in several facebag groups for chickens and livestock buy/sell/ trade and homesteading. With the price of eggs going up, everyone seems to have some crazy idea that having laying hens is somehow cheaper than buying eggs. If you're considering getting chickens for this purpose, It's not. Even at $10 a dozen it's going to be cheaper for you to buy eggs than keep chickens. That being said people are buying "laying hens" as fast as you can post them. Are most of these people selling their prime first year hens to these chicken noobs? No. They're selling them their older birds they want to get rid of, and why not? Someone who is inexperienced in chickens isn't going to know any better anyway. So you might as well sell them a 4 year old chicken you were just going to have to cull, and at that age isn't worth eating. Might as well make 30 bucks and save you the trouble of killing it.
3) A lot of these new chicken people only have a few birds... So we have more chickens than I like. We have about 30 laying hens at the moment. We were getting maybe 2 or 3 eggs a day over winter, until my first year hens hit egg laying age, then production picked up a little. Now as the the daylight is coming back, so are the eggs. We getting 8 or 10 a day now, and as the days get longer the egg production will go up, I expect be spring I'll be getting 24 to 30 eggs a day. This is just how it is. Imagine if you have only 2 or 3 hens. You likely won't see an eggs all winter.
4) Why poison the feed? I mean, seriously... why go through the trouble of getting the feed producers in on the scam? Realistically only a tiny subset of the population have laying hens. It'll will never be mainstream for several reasons. As I mentioned earlier, it's cheaper to buy eggs at the store anyway, chickens aren't cheap, they're work (you have to maintain your chickens), people are lazy, most people dont have room for them, hell the though of getting chickens will never even cross most peoples mind. We live in a time where the younger generations can't even cook basic meals for themselves. everything is delivered or eaten out. Can you imagine these kids raising livestock? Little lone processing these animal. The idea that "they" would be poisoning the chicken feed is absurd. Besides we already know if they want to go after your chickens they'll just use the bird flu and PCR test method like they did last year.
anyway, that's my thought on the topic. I have at least a little standing in it.
Dame Jamie on Animals dying
Before it hit the news: I mentioned I had lost *another* of my show rabbits.
The only factor that doe 6 had with does 1-5 is that they had been bred 10-18 days previous to death.
So the loss isn’t just a rabbit, it was potentially a mom and her litter.
The Alabama state vet said he had the report from the first doe that was brought in for necropsy (March 2022). He has doe 3 (frozen from October), doe 5 and doe 6.
Only 2 rabbits were related. One was recently transported in from Oregon. All does were in prime show condition.
Preliminary findings from the state are that the does appear in good health. No signs of infection. Tissue samples were collected to see if there is a vitamin deficiency or mineral imbalance. I should have more answers in ~2 weeks.
Hens are laying FAR less than they used to be. The few 2022 pullets I kept that should have started laying in the fall or at least by December haven’t started (abnormal to be this late).
Yes! There are other factors: sunlight hours, parasites, overall health, stress levels, and 🛎 🛎 🛎 nutrition aka diet.
Between my rabbits not able to reproduce, my chickens not laying, and hearing that human male sperm counts are low, my hypothesis would be that it’s something being sprayed on all the crops (or air) and not necessarily the crops or food themselves. Could it be the fertilizer? Is it a pesticide or herbicide??
Wasn’t there another producer who wrote in about fertilizer comes from China and it’s tripled in cost?
My rabbit feed is $5-10 more a bag since covid. Chicken food isn’t comparable now because I was forced to change brands due to price. But I’m not the only person noticing pricing going up and mediocre quality impacting my ability to produce more livestock.
So while they ‘eggs layer facilities not producing eggs’ story may be a toss-away for you and other producers, this is very concerning to some of us. Personally, I’m on the cusp of not being able to chalk it up as a coincidence. 6 bred does, NONE of the bucks and NONE of the other does, only pregnant ones?
That’s a 35% loss of my female stock.
Side-note, and not to toot my own horn, but I have enough experience with animals (as all small-farm livestock farmers out there) that I can nail down when an animal may expire within a few hours. Ideally, I dispatch the minute I know it’s suffering and won’t pull out of their ailment.
Dame Jamie
Big Pharma
Med Students BOTG
Hey Adam,
Longtime douchebag here (I’ll remedy it soon) that thought you might appreciate some insight on the medical school experience and the little expertise I have to offer now that I’m about halfway through that medical degree.
Medical school is scary man. I had an 8 year career in construction management before deciding to transition into medicine and I feel like a boomer here. The even scarier thing is that the monothink really does extend to the faculty - about as much as it was in the very liberal school I attended for undergrad. I have heard endocrinologists tell me that they believe people can be “healthy at any weight”, cardiologists/nephrologists try their damndest to explain why some equations that incorporate race/sex into their calculations are bad, and have had entire sessions that could be boiled down to “Republican bad Democrat good… look at which states didn’t expand medicare”.
The student body is about as whiny as you would expect early 20 something’s to be. Very woke. Very disrespectful regarding any alternative view points. Very ageist against older faculty. The majority also have really poor social skills, struggling with the standardized patient interviews that are supposed to teach us how to talk to people. I would be terrified to have most of my classmates be my doctor in the future. None of this is to say I’m a savant… but I do pride myself on being able to carry on a conversation and talk to another person and I haven’t flunked out yet!
Now, for the actual value and insight. You guys had a long discussion about the news lady that had peri and myocarditis. I’m going to make this as digestible as possible.
Pericarditis and Myocarditis post viral infection is about a 5% occurrence in younger populations (sub 40). Some bacterial infections like Group B Strep can actually lead to endocarditis very consistently in young kids which is why we are taught to treat it so aggressively with antibiotics.
Effectively all of the “why” associated with the immune system is hand wavy - it’s truly a wonder we all don’t burst into flames. Many times it comes down to molecular mimicry - a part of a bacteria/virus is close enough to our natural tissue that the antibodies formed to fight it can react with that similar tissue. This is also the cause of things like Giuliani-Barre syndrome. There’s other mechanisms that exist, but that’s one of the big ones.
Regarding her being diagnosed with heart burn… it’s actually a valid differential to have for chest pain in a youngish person… but there’s plenty of things that could rule it out by asking. Remember how I said I would be terrified to have the majority of my class mates as doctors? A good history would have picked up on the “common cold” caused by a virus and a cautious individual would have done a quick ECG to rule anything weird out. There should also be positional differences in discomfort if you have pericarditis. Assuming she had a pericardial effusion, it would have been pretty apparent on the ECG.
The cardiologist said he had seen more of this happening this year. What caused that? Who knows. The immune system is a mystery and it can self implode when exposed to the common cold or at random. I’m not a doctor yet, but based on everything they taught us, I wouldn’t be surprised if other things might make it more likely to self implode.
As a bonus, your talk about the S U P E R C L A P or Waka Flokka Flame:
John had it mostly right. It’s a numbers game - you treat the worst infections with the strongest antibiotics. Every once in a while a few of those bugs develop a mutation that lets them survive and you get a resistant strain.
Where do some of the worst antibiotic resistant strains live? The hospital. We’re taught about them as nosocomial infections, basically the stuff that will kill you if you ever have to go to the hospital if you’re dying.
What I found the weirdest about that entire report about Gonnorhea is that FIRST LINE TREATMENT OF GONNORHEA IS HOSPITAL GRADE ANTIBIOTICS. You treat it with Ceftriaxone… which comes in a shot or in IV form (depending on how bad the infection is). Assuming they’re talking about a disseminated infection, you always treat that with IV antibiotics.
Overall it feels like a report meant to tug on our Amygdala or the blind leading the blind.
Appreciate all the work you guys put in. My fiancée and l love you guys and you have both been instrumental in shaping our thinking. You teach people to think by exposing how little the M5M wants you to. I won’t say I hope you don’t find an eggxit strategy because you both definitely deserve one… but I hope it’s much delayed.
Hope this was helpful in any capacity.
Pfizer Marketing
Ukraine vs Russia
Israel Russians BOTG
Adam - In Tel Aviv for CyberTech this week and met A LOT of Russians/Ukrainians fleeing the war. 6ft gorgeous blondes everywhere here in bars and hospitality barely able to speak Hebrew let alone English. We spoke to one girl who is from Moscow, fled due to "You know..the mess" she described. She's in university 5 hours a day / 5 days a week learning just Hebrew living with her dad.
I've never seen the amount of high-rise cranes towering over Tel Aviv & Jerusalem. It is UNREAL the development taking place here. The IDF is everywhere but don't stand out too much and many people are "carrying" side-arms. These IDF look so young carrying M4's. They were posing for pics with people - real or false presence? The "fear" is limited to none at all outside the random loner. Sounds like the US.
While in Jerusalem, we did witness a take down by IDF for some rando defacing a Jesus item. Made some good contacts here and spoke to a few former 8200 commanders with their unhappiness with BB. They didn't elaborate.
Anyhow, ITM, TYFYC
Joe aka Sir Walkman Duke of Buckeye
Zelenskyy government purge theory
In the morning Adam,
I heard you discuss the purge of various officials in Zelenskyy's government on the last show, and wanted to provide some thoughts on the issue.
Some believe that Zelenskyy was not actually behind this gov. overhaul, but rather that this was done by outside actors (US/UK backed) in order to get a better grip on the Ukrainian government, as it is currently badly failing.
The fact that some of the people let go were seemingly in Zelenskyy's inner circle is one reason behind this theory. Also, why would he all of a sudden perform a major "anti-corruption" purge, in the middle of the war heating up, when this could have been anytime before.
It's awful timing and something is definitely fishy. There are three possibly related "coincidences". Firstly, CIA Director Burns was in Kiev about a week before this purge happened. Secondly, Boris Johnson (a close Western contact/ally of Zelenskyy's) was then also in Kiev. And thirdly, a number of top Ukrainian interior ministry people died in a helicopter "accident" days before all of this (It could have really just been an accident, we don't know).
I'm not saying these are NECESSARILY all connected but there is definitely more to this purge than initially meets the eye.
Thanks for all of your hard work.
All the best from Amsterdam,
Jump Out Boys BOTG
I am a criminal defense attorney in the Houston area and I can confirm “they” are called the jump-out boys. I hear the term more in Galveston, where they seem to be much more prevalent. They travel in unmarked vans and jump out and swarm their target. Often drug dealers, but not exclusively.
Kind regards,
Khalil Saman
Great Reset
Big Tech
Elon / Twitter
Climate Change
5-day regional public transport strike in the Netherlands starting on Monday
Sun, 05 Feb 2023 16:10
Dutch trade unions have announced that regional public transport workers in the Netherlands will be staging another five days of strikes, starting on Monday, February 6.
Dutch unions announce another 5 days of strike for public transportNegotiations between public transport operators and trade unions so far remain unsuccessful, with the two sides knocking heads over salaries, work contracts, and employee workloads. This week, after the unions' ultimatum was rejected by employers, the Christian National Trade Union (CNV) and the Netherlands Trade Union Confederation (FNV) announced that workers would be striking again in February.
''Once again employers are leaving their employees out in the cold,'' FNV's Marijn van der Gaag said in a statement. ''They continue to block a good collective labour agreement that ensures a good income and low work pressure.'' Employers, on the other hand, argue that the agreement on the table is already ''better than average.''
Next week's strikes mark the fourth period of industrial action for regional workers since September, and the second since the start of 2023.
Up to 13.000 public transport workers striking in the Netherlands The national five-day strike action will kick off on Monday morning (February 6), with up to 13.000 workers expected to take part. It is not yet clear exactly how many and which public transport services will be affected by the strikes, but passengers have been warned to prepare for delays and cancellations, and have been advised to adjust their travel plans when possible.
Once again, the strike won't affect Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) rail services, or the majority of city-wide operators, for example, the GVB in Amsterdam, RET in Rotterdam and HTM in The Hague. This is due to the fact that workers at these companies fall under different labour agreements.
Thumb: robert coolen via
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Pregnancy complications could increase a woman's stroke risk at an earlier age | American Heart Association
Sun, 05 Feb 2023 16:09
Published: February 2, 2023
By Laura Williamson, American Heart Association News
(Gorica Poturak/iStock via Getty Images)Lea en espa±ol
Women who have pregnancy-related health problems face an increased risk for having a stroke much earlier in life than their peers with uncomplicated pregnancies, a risk that climbs with each complicated pregnancy, new research suggests.
The findings, which will be presented Feb. 8 at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference in Dallas, show women with two or more complicated pregnancies had double the risk for stroke before age 45, compared to women without serious complications.
"That's really young," said lead study author Dr. Eliza Miller, an assistant professor of neurology at Columbia University in New York City. "These women are still in their prime working years. They may be taking care of their parents as well as children. Having even a small stroke is going to have a major impact on their lives."
The findings are considered preliminary until full results are published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Miller was inspired to do the study after seeing women in her practice who were having strokes in their 40s and 50s. Many of the women had a history of poor pregnancy outcomes and issues with high blood pressure. "I thought they were too young to be having these types of strokes," Miller said. She wondered if there was something about hypertension-related pregnancy outcomes that was accelerating the women's stroke risk.
Prior research has established a link between adverse pregnancy outcomes, or APOs, such as preeclampsia, and a woman's future heart disease and stroke risk. But there was little data showing how preeclampsia and other pregnancy-related complications might affect when a woman had a first stroke.
In the study, researchers used data from the Finnish nationwide health registry for 130,764 women who gave birth after 1969, when the birth registry was established. The analysis included 285,545 births. Researchers defined APOs as any pregnancy affected by gestational hypertension, preeclampsia, eclampsia, having the placenta separate from the wall of the uterus or if babies were born before reaching full term or at low birthweights.
Overall, nearly 15% of the women (19,442) had one adverse pregnancy outcome and nearly 3% (3,639) had multiple APOs. Compared to women whose pregnancies were free of complications, women who had APOs had a higher proportion of obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol, heart disease and migraines.
Strokes occurred in 5.4% (7,006) of the women in the study. Strokes were counted if they occurred more than a year after the baby was born. The study included larger strokes caused by blood clots and bleeding in the brain as well as smaller strokes known as transient ischemic attacks, or TIAs.
Among women with no history of APOs, the median age for a first stroke was 59 years. Those with one APO had a first stroke at a median age of 55. Women who had multiple complicated pregnancies had strokes at a median age of 51. Those with multiple poor-outcome pregnancies had twice the risk of having a stroke before age 45, compared to women with no APOs.
Miller said health care professionals who oversee a woman's pregnancy should immediately refer those who have complications '' especially recurrent complications '' for stroke prevention.
"We can actually change this," she said. "We can identify people who had recurrent adverse pregnancy outcomes as a group of very high-risk people. That group of people falls into a group that should be given aggressive primary prevention."
Ideally, stroke prevention should begin even earlier '' before a woman becomes pregnant, said Dr. Nisha Parikh, an associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.
"We're starting to recognize that doing cardiovascular prevention in the context of a woman's life course is important further and further upstream," she said. "Doing the prevention as early as possible is important."
Parikh, who was not involved in the study, chaired the writing committee for a 2021 American Heart Association scientific statement on adverse pregnancy outcomes and cardiovascular disease. The statement highlighted the need for greater prevention efforts, such as adopting a heart-healthy diet and increasing physical activity, for women with a history of APOs, and it encouraged addressing these risks during routine pre-pregnancy care.
She called the new study powerful because it looked at the added risk of having multiple pregnancies with poor outcomes. "Most women have recurrent pregnancies," Parikh said. "And if you've had one adverse pregnancy outcome, you're at high risk for having another."
For women known to be high risk, there are steps to reduce those risks, Miller said. For example, taking low-dose aspirin can help prevent preeclampsia, a hypertension-related complication that also increases a woman's risk for dying during pregnancy.
Health care professionals can also encourage women who have had APOs to take other measures, she said, such as taking statins to lower cholesterol levels, quitting smoking or improving their sleep habits. "There's a lot people can do to reduce stroke risk on an individual level."
Parikh said health care professionals need to routinely ask women about their pregnancy histories to identify those who might benefit from earlier stroke prevention efforts.
"It is easy enough to ask about adverse pregnancy outcomes, but as clinicians we tend not to ask these questions," Parikh said. "Everyone should be asking. This is history taking. It costs nothing. It just takes careful attention."
If you have questions or comments about this American Heart Association News story, please email [email protected] .
TikTok is trying to prove that it doesn't need major label music '' and the eyes of the industry are upon it. - Music Business Worldwide
Sun, 05 Feb 2023 16:01
A major story is brewing in Australia that could have far-reaching implications for the global music industry's relationship with video giant TikTok.
As first reported by Bloomberg, and confirmed to MBW by multiple sources, a number of TikTok users in Australia no longer have the choice to use some major label-licensed music in their videos.
In other words: TikTok has removed major record company music from its service for a subset of users in Oz.
Why? Our sources suggest TikTok is aiming to use the results of the experiment in their next round of record company licensing negotiations.
TikTok's hope, we're told, is that the removal of major label music won't have a profound effect on the engagement of users on the service. This then opens up a conversation about the true monetary value of music licensing from major record labels.
Senior TikTok music figures have been spotted in Los Angeles this Grammy Week entering the offices of major record companies, as negotiations between the two parties for future use of music on the platform continue.
In a statement issued to MBW, a TikTok spokesperson confirmed that ''some of our community in Australia will not be able to access our full TikTok Sounds Library at the moment''.
The spokesperson added that ''this will only affect certain music'', with the move arriving as TikTok, ''analyse[s] how sounds are accessed and added to videos''.
TikTok also confirmed that certain 'sounds' whose use has now been restricted in Australia, will also be ''muted'' on videos that have previously been uploaded to the platform.
This news arrives three months after a previous Bloomberg report said that Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group, had been negotiating with TikTok ''all year'' in 2022 for a share of its advertising revenues.
Such deals could secure the majors a guaranteed proportion of revenue generated on music-led TikTok videos.
As covered by MBW in July 2022, the majors have to date struck so-called 'buy-out' agreements with TikTok, which see the platform pay a lump sum to use licensed music across its service from a major's catalog for two-year periods.
Some in the music industry argue that rightsholders are only licensing TikTok for sub-30-second videos that act as promotion for properly monetized music on the likes of Spotify or Apple Music.
Others in the industry argue that the popularity of music on TikTok has been a crucial reason for the platform's growth to over 1 billion global monthly active users.
Bloomberg's story back in November said that the majors were ''trying to reach a deal before their contracts expire in the coming months''.
TikTok's current licensing deal with Universal Music Group was signed in February 2021, with Warner Music Group in January 2021 and with Sony Music in November 2020.
''We appreciate it's disappointing if a certain track is unavailable or if a sound is muted on a previous video.''
TikTok spokesperson
Here's TikTok's statement in full:
''Some of our community in Australia will not be able to access our full TikTok Sounds Library at the moment.
''This will only affect certain music and is scheduled work while we analyse how sounds are accessed and added to videos, as well as looking to improve and enhance the wider Sounds Library.
''We appreciate it's disappointing if a certain track is unavailable or if a sound is muted on a previous video. This change will not be in place for long and not all music is affected. We look forward to restoring our full catalogue soon.'' Music Business Worldwide
The man in charge of how the US spends $400bn to shift away from fossil fuels | US news | The Guardian
Sun, 05 Feb 2023 16:01
D eep in the confines of the hulking, brutalist headquarters of the US Department of Energy, down one of its long, starkly lit corridors, sits a small, unheralded office that is poised to play a pivotal role in America's shift away from fossil fuels and help the world stave off disastrous global heating.
The department's loan programs office (LPO) was ''essentially dormant'' under Donald Trump, according to its head, Jigar Shah, but has now come roaring back with a huge war chest to bankroll emerging clean energy projects and technology.
Last year's vast Inflation Reduction Act grew the previously moribund office's loan authority to $140bn, while adding a new program worth another $250bn in loan guarantees to retool projects that help cut planet-heating emissions. Which means that Shah, a debonair former clean energy entrepreneur and podcast host who matches his suits with pristine Stan Smiths, oversees resources comparable to the GDP of Norway: all to help turbocharge solar, wind, batteries and a host of other climate technologies in the US.
With a newly divided Congress stymieing any new climate legislation in the foreseeable future, Shah has emerged as one of Washington's most powerful figures in the effort to confront global heating. Shah says such focus on him is ''hyperbolic'' but the White House is pinning much of its climate agenda on an office that barely had a dozen people when Shah joined in March 2021. It now has more than 200 staffers as it scrambles to distribute billions in loans to projects across the US.
Bar chart of Department of Energy loans from the second Obama term to Trump, and the first year of Biden's presidency.John Podesta, senior adviser to Joe Biden on clean energy, said that the loans office is ''essential to the effective implementation'' of the administration's goal to eliminate planet-heating emissions by 2050. ''Jigar is laser-focused on working with all levels of government, project sponsors and affected communities to deliver on that mission and realize results for the American people,'' Podesta said.
''There's a lot of responsibility that's been put on to this office, clearly Congress gave us those additional resources,'' said Shah, who has been busy connecting the newly enriched loans office with all corners of the emerging clean energy economy, not just wind farms and solar operators.
Shah said there was ''some rust on the gears'' among those tasked with reanimating the office following the tenure of Trump, a president so wary of even the most lo-fi environmental technology that he complained energy efficient lightbulbs made him look orange and became fixated upon the weak flushing ability of water-saving toilets.
But the clean energy loans now appear to be gaining momentum, with 125 current applications seeking $119bn worth of loans to act as the ''bridge to bankability'', as Shah puts it. About $2.5bn has been given to Ultium Cells to manufacture lithium-ion batteries for electric cars in three states, $700m has gone to a project that will mine lithium in Nevada '' despite concerns this will negatively affect a rare flower in the region '' and more than $500m for the world's largest facility creating ''green'' hydrogen, to be used to fuel trucks and industry, in Utah.
''We've left no stone unturned,'' said Shah, who says he understands the mindset of entrepreneurs, having previously founded the renewable energy companies SunEdison and Generate Capital, as well as being the co-host of The Energy Gang podcast.
''We've called every one of those companies that have been labeled climate tech, whether it's green chemicals, green cement, green steel,'' he said. ''It doesn't matter who it is, we've called them and said, 'Hey, let me introduce you to the loan programs office, so now we can help.'''
Bar chart of the amount of money requested in Department of Energy loans increasing almost 100% in 2022.This new prominence is set to provoke a stinging Republican backlash, however. To conservatives, the loans office, which was founded in 2005, is forever tarred by the much-criticized decision during Barack Obama's administration to loan $535m to Solyndra, the California solar firm, only for the company to file for bankruptcy two years later, in 2011.
The huge new financial arsenal at the office's disposal risks ''Solyndra on steroids'', according to Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the incoming Republican chair of the House energy committee. A group of Republicans led by Rodgers have said the new loan authorities ''raise questions about increased risks of waste, fraud and abuse, especially if the administration uses the program for its rush-to-green agenda''.
Shah, who could well be hauled in front of Rodgers' committee this year, said GOP scrutiny is ''totally ordinary and expected'' and that the loans office is a more rounded and mature entity than during the Obama years when it still, a year before Solyndra collapsed, notably backed an upstart car company called Tesla with a $465m loan. The failure rate of 3.3% for its loans is about that you'd expect from a prudent bank lender rather than a profligate waster of taxpayer money, Shah points out.
Jigar Shah. Photograph: Greg Kahn/The GuardianSome level of risk taking will be required if the US is to quickly scale up the sort of clean energy technologies that are regularly devised by Americans but can struggle to get support from investors, Biden's allies argue. ''Shah will pick some winners and some losers, that's how it works,'' said Paul Bledsoe, a former Clinton White House climate change adviser, now with the Progressive Policy Institute.
''If you don't pick any losers you haven't taken on enough risk of picking a big winner. They key is a to pick a few really big winners and with this office there have been more Teslas than Solyndras, by a long shot.''
Bledsoe said that the US has traditionally not funneled large amounts of public money into commercializing clean energy technology and ''right about now we are wishing we did'', due to the emergence of China as the global leader in solar panel, wind turbine and battery production.
The US, after years of happily offshoring such activities, is looking to kickstart domestic manufacturing via the Inflation Reduction Act incentives. ''We have to harden our domestic supply chains because we can't replace oil-based transportation with critical minerals-based transportation and be dependent on foreign nations when we can process those minerals ourselves,'' said Bledsoe.
While the cost of wind and solar power has fallen dramatically over the past decade '' to the point new renewable projects are often cheaper than continuing with existing fossil fuel plants '' and electric vehicle sales boomed globally last year, there remains a knot of different causes of the climate crisis still awaiting solutions that are at the tipping point of mass adoption.
Heavy trucking, shipping and aviation that can't run yet on batteries require a new fuel source, perhaps hydrogen (the Department of Energy is actively looking to fund clean-running aircraft) that isn't as polluting as oil. Industrial processes such as steel and cement manufacturing are nowhere near to being emissions free.
Even if the US entirely cleans up its electricity grid, it will need thousands of miles of new transmission lines and integrated large-scale batteries to store and distribute the renewable energy to where it's needed. The Department of Energy, meanwhile, is putting billions of dollars into efforts to remove carbon directly from the atmosphere or capture it at source and bury it underground, although this barely scratches the surface '' a recent report estimates that 1,300 times more CO2 removal from new technologies is needed globally by 2050 to avoid breaching a 2C rise above pre-industrial temperatures.
The key to much of this is, as John Kerry, the US climate envoy, put it recently, ''money, money, money, money, money, money, money''. Jessica Jewell, an expert in clean energy at Chalmers University, said that even though the cost of solar and wind ''has fallen tremendously over the last couple of decades, growth of low-carbon technologies is still not fast enough to reach our climate goals and has yet to make a significant dent in hard-to-abate sectors like industry and transportation''.
''There are many clean energy technologies which are still 'pre-commercial' which means they cannot compete without significant support,'' Jewell added. ''Without these technologies, even the growth of wind and solar power may stall or don't have the required effect on bringing emissions down.''
Shah said he is confident major strides are being made on hydrogen fuels and that that it is a ''foregone conclusion'' that 100m tons of CO2 will be captured and buried by US industry due to carbon management investments.
Vapor rises from a geothermal power station near Calipatria, California. Photograph: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty ImagesBut he thinks much more needs to be done in nuclear, such as the development of small modular reactors, as well as advanced geothermal, where steam from reservoirs of underground hot water is harnessed to run power plants. He frets that the US is short of a million tradespeople to engineer the mass electrification of everything that currently runs on fossil fuels, and that the transmission lines aren't being built quickly enough.
''I think there's a lot of work to be done in some of those areas,'' Shah said. ''When you think about the enormity of the challenges that we're faced with, that are all prerequisite ingredients to a successful climate deployment, there's a lot of work to do.''
Shah, who is 48, was born in Gujarat, India, and moved to the US when be was one. He now has a seven-year-old son of his own who adds a certain urgency to his father's work. ''He is asking me tougher questions every month '' he says, 'Hey, are you doing enough on these issues? Hey, why is there exhaust coming out of the car in front of me? Why don't they have an electric car?' I'm like, 'We're working on that,''' Shah said.
Aside from the pressure exerted by Republicans '' and his son '' Shah also has to grapple with the existential imperative of a ticking climate timebomb. The last eight years were the hottest ever reliably recorded on Earth but they will appear almost frigid in the future if the US, the world's biggest ever carbon emitter, doesn't give up its fossil fuel habit.
''You feel that pressure,'' Shah said. ''I hold myself to outcomes. I don't hold myself to best efforts. I feel like there's a lot of people who are like, 'Well, I gave it my best.' And I was like, 'Well, I mean, that's not enough. You either have reduced climate emissions or you haven't.'
''And it does weigh on you. I mean, I sleep well at night, I recognize that good sleep is a good thing. But I do put a lot of pressure on myself and my team, because I think we are up to the challenge. And I think that if not us, then who?''
Air Force's Secret "Gorgon Stare" Program Leaves Terrorists Nowhere To Hide
Sun, 05 Feb 2023 15:51
Dec 5, 2022, 04:00am EST
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Is Fixed Wireless Ready To Take On Cable? It's Early, But The Initial Data Seem Promising","scope":{"topStory":{"index":2,"title":"Is Fixed Wireless Ready To Take On Cable? It's Early, But The Initial Data Seem Promising","image":"","isHappeningNowArticle":false,"date":{"monthDayYear":"Jul 25, 2022","hourMinute":"09:02","amPm":"pm","isEDT":true,"unformattedDate":1658797325672},"uri":""}},"id":"4gjjlo5h8oe000"},{"textContent":"
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Congress Needs To Find More SpectrumDec 1, 2021, 12:38pm EST
Intellectual Property Protection Is Why We Even Have A Chance To Defeat The Pandemic","scope":{"topStory":{"index":4,"title":"Intellectual Property Protection Is Why We Even Have A Chance To Defeat The Pandemic","image":"","isHappeningNowArticle":false,"date":{"monthDayYear":"Dec 1, 2021","hourMinute":"12:38","amPm":"pm","isEDT":false,"unformattedDate":1638380300130},"uri":""}},"id":"84b34rh28o6800"},{"textContent":"
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Let's Have That Much Needed Debate About The World Trade OrganizationMay 6, 2020, 02:23pm EDT
Senator Hawley's Case For Nationalism: Strong On Propaganda, Weak On The Facts","scope":{"topStory":{"index":8,"title":"Senator Hawley's Case For Nationalism: Strong On Propaganda, Weak On The Facts","image":"","isHappeningNowArticle":false,"date":{"monthDayYear":"May 6, 2020","hourMinute":"02:23","amPm":"pm","isEDT":true,"unformattedDate":1588789404697},"uri":""}},"id":"1gpphaan3coq00"}],"breakpoints":[{"breakpoint":"@media all and (max-width: 767px)","config":{"enabled":false}},{"breakpoint":"@media all and (max-width: 768px)","config":{"inView":2,"slidesToScroll":1}},{"breakpoint":"@media all and (min-width: 1681px)","config":{"inView":6}}]};
VaccinVrij: Thaise prinses ligt in coma '' en Pfizer heeft een probleem? '' Het Andere Nieuws
Sun, 05 Feb 2023 15:03
Door Frankema, Stichting Vaccinvrij | 4 februari 2023
De Thaise prinses Bajrakitiyabha, de oudste dochter van de Thaise koning, ligt al enkele weken in coma nadat zij is ingestort kort nadat zij een boosterprik had gekregen. In de media werd gesproken over een hartaandoening.1 De officile verklaring die aan de Thaise koninklijke familie werd gegeven was dat zij een bacterile infectie zou hebben.2
Prinses Bajrakitiyabha MahidolKoning Vajiralongkorn heeft nog geen troonopvolger aangewezen, maar prinses Bajrakitiyabha wordt algemeen beschouwd als de meest geschikte opvolgster.1 Zij is 44 jaar oud en in goede conditie voordat zij plotseling instortte.
Een professor van de universiteit van Bangkok heeft de koninklijke familie kunnen bereiken en laten weten dat de vermeende diagnose van een bacterile infectie ''belachelijk'' is, en dat de prinses hoogstwaarschijnlijk het slachtoffer is van de Covid-injectie. De professor in Bangkok staat in contact met professor Sucharit Bhakdi een emeritus-hoogleraar van Thais-Duitse komaf die al vanaf het eerste uur waarschuwt voor de gevaren van de Covid-injectie.2
De beide professoren zijn op dit moment bezig om de Thaise koninklijke familie te voorzien van wetenschappelijke informatie om hun vermoeden dat de prinses vaccinatieschade heeft opgelopen te staven.
Recentelijk werd dr. Sucharit Bhakdi, die in Duitsland woonachtig is, zelfs uitgenodigd om naar de Thailand te gaan, om te spreken met de hoogste adviseurs van de regering. Bakdhi heeft verschillende wetenschappelijke papers geschreven waarin hij uitlegt hoe de Covid-injecties bloedklonters veroorzaken. Tot nog toe is hij zeer gerespecteerd bij de waarheidszoekers, maar hebben de autoriteiten van geen enkel land naar hem willen luisteren.
Nu heeft hij voor het eerst een serieus gesprek gehad met de allerhoogste rangen waarin hij heeft kunnen uitleggen dat de hele Covid-agenda een hoax is en waarom. Hij heeft gezegd dat de Covid-prikken gebaseerd zijn op fraude. De Covid-injecties zouden NOOIT zijn goedgekeurd en op de markt gebracht als er geen sprake zou zijn geweest van een noodtoestand. En we weten nu dat de ''noodtoestand'' door de media is gecreerd.
Naar verluidt hebben de Thaise adviseurs als reactie op het gesprek met dr. Sucharit Bakdhi gezegd dat zij erop zouden toezien dat Thailand het eerste land zal zijn dat het contract met Pfizer annuleert '' wat mogelijk is als er in een contract is gelogen.
Als dit zou gebeuren, dan zou Pfizer de miljarden dollars terug moeten betalen en daarmee zouden de slachtoffers van vaccinatieschade een financile compensatie kunnen ontvangen.3 En het zou ook het begin kunnen zijn van andere landen die hun contract annuleren.
Ervan uitgaande dat de prinses inderdaad het zoveelste slachtoffer is van de ''cloth-shot'' is dit de vraag: Houdt de koning genoeg van zijn dochter om zich niet te laten omkopen door Pfizer? En houdt hij genoeg van zijn volk om een einde te maken aan de prikken-tirannie?
We gaan het zien.
Lees andere artikelen over het Covid-19 vaccin op de site van Vaccinvrij: Stichting Vaccinvrij
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China plans rapid expansion of 'weather modification' efforts | China | The Guardian
Sun, 05 Feb 2023 14:43
China is planning a rapid expansion of its weather modification programme to cover an area more than one and a half times the size of India, in a move likely to raise concerns among the country's neighbours.
The decision, announced by the cabinet on Wednesday night, would increase fivefold the world's biggest cloud-seeding operation, which already employs an estimated 35,000 people.
For six decades, the communist nation has deployed military aircraft and anti-aircraft guns to lace clouds with silver iodide or liquid nitrogen to thicken water droplets to the point where they fall as snow or rain. The technology has mostly been used at a local level to alleviate droughts or clear skies ahead of major events, such as the 2008 Olympics or last October's 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China.
But the proposed enlargement is on a scale that could affect regional weather patterns. The cabinet said it wanted to extend the artificial rain and snow programme to cover at least 2.1m sq miles (5.5m sq km) of land by 2025. The long-term plan envisages that by 2035, the country's weather modification capabilities would reach an ''advanced'' level and focus on revitalising rural regions, restoring ecosystems and minimising losses from natural disasters.
It follows a rapid buildup of capacity in recent years. A 2017 plan earmarked $168m (1.15bn yuan) for four new planes, eight upgraded craft, 897 rocket launchers and 1,856 digital control devices to cover 370,000 miles (960,000 sq km), about 10% of China's territory.
Part of that is a new weather modification system in the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, Asia's biggest freshwater reserve. Chinese scientists are working on the ambitious Tianhe (''sky river'') plan to divert water vapour northwards from the Yangtze River basin to the Yellow River basin, where it would become rainfall.
They say they have found potential channels near the boundary of the troposphere that could carry 5bn cubic metres of water annually. The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation has reportedly constructed hundreds of chambers in the mountain region '' known as Asia's water tower '' to feed silver iodide into the atmosphere in large volumes.
This attempt to hydro-engineer the sky could ease shortages in the dry north of China but may exacerbate problems in south-east Asia and India if it affected the flow of the Mekong, Salween or Brahmaputra rivers '' all of which have their sources on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau.
Even before the latest announcement, Indian websites have speculated that China is weaponising the weather and may already be disrupting rainfall patterns. There is little credible evidence, but China would not be alone in trying to alter the weather for strategic purposes.
The US journalist Seymour Hersh revealed in 1972 that the US attempted to manipulate seasonal rains during the Vietnam war. Operation Popeye, as it was known, aimed to flood the communist supply route along the Ho Chi Minh trail. The US company General Electric conducted the first cloud-seeding experiments in 1946. The technology was later adopted and upgraded by the Soviet Union and then applied with fervour by China during the Great Leap Forward, when Mao Zedong said ''manmade rain is very important. I hope the meteorological experts do their utmost to make it work.''
But its use has been peaceful and domestic. In the north, it is coordinated by the Beijing weather modification office, which claims it has increased precipitation in the capital by more than 10%. In 2009 it was credited for a snowfall that helped to relieve a protracted drought. Ahead of the Olympics in 2008, more than 1,000 silver iodide shells were fired into the sky over eight hours to keep rain from disrupting the opening ceremony. The technology was also reportedly deployed to clear smog in time for the 2014 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) meeting. Locals still jokingly refer to the colour of clear skies as ''Apec blue''.
But there are concerns about the lengths to which the Communist government is willing to go to in tampering with the elements. In the 1970s, Chinese generals proposed using nuclear weapons to blast a channel through the Himalayas so that warm humid air from the Indian subcontinent could be diverted to green the deserts of central and northern China. The country is also in the midst of the world's biggest water diversion scheme, which aims to achieve a similar goal. However, many scientists, even within China, are doubtful about the effectiveness of cloud seeding, particularly on a large scale.
In China, weather modification is institutionalised and widely deployed, and current narratives around the legitimacy to intervene in the local climate may provide a rationale for interventions such as solar radiation management.
Recent science papers say the artificial rain programme takes these ideas to a new technological and political level. Shiuh-Shen Chien and colleagues from National Taiwan University said China's cloud water governance presents a new human-weather ideology of ''taming the weather''. Bettina Bluemling from the University of Queensland and others argue that this scale of intervention could set a precedent for Beijing to take the first steps in climatic geoengineering.
Can Cracking Your Neck Really Cause A Stroke?
Sun, 05 Feb 2023 14:39
A recent tweet about a woman who developed stroke symptoms after a chiropractor cracked her neck has drawn attention to a relatively rare but real cause of stroke in some people: chiropractic neck manipulation.
The tweet went viral with 33,000 likes and 3 million views.
Medical literature has documented several such cases, and there have been a few widely reported cases in the media. Earlier this year, a woman in New Mexico said she had a stroke after a chiropractor cracked her neck in an attempt to alleviate stiffness; in 2016, a 34-year-old model died from a stroke after a neck adjustment.
''It is a known risk factor for stroke,'' said Dr. Joe Whittington, a California-based emergency medicine physician with Kaiser Permanente who has posted about this on TikTok. Whittington said he had personally seen three cases.
In fact, any sudden movement of the cervical spine '-- which includes the seven bones in the neck '-- can cause this type of injury to the neck arteries.
That includes auto accidents, cracking your own neck, and even though it's rare, coughing very hard, said Dr. Raymond Bertino, senior author of an article on the relationship between chiropractic treatment and having a stroke.
Adjustments, or when the chiropractor applies pressure or performs a sharp movement on joints in an effort to reduce pain and restore function, are a key component of chiropractic treatments.
How common are these strokes?The woman whose case was reported on Twitter wrote, ''The reason [the hospital] got me in so fast is strokes happen from neck cracking all the time.''
''All the time'' is an overstatement. Estimates of the actual incidence vary dramatically, said Dr. Andrew Rogove, medical director of stroke service at South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore, New York.
Some have posited that it's 1 in 100,000 and others say 1 in 1 million, although the truth is probably somewhere in between, said Dr. Steven Levine, vice chair of neurology and distinguished professor at SUNY Downstate in New York.
The study coauthored by Bertino found that 12 of 141 patients with cervical arterial dissection (a tear in one of the arteries in the neck) at one institution had recently undergone chiropractic neck adjustments. Cervical artery dissections in general are relatively rare, occurring in about 3 in 100,000 people each year, according to Harvard Medical School.
How the strokes happenMost people have four blood vessels (the cervical arteries) that supply blood to the brain through the neck '-- two carotid arteries and two vertebral arteries, Bertino said.
Strokes that are caused by some kind of neck manipulation typically (though not always) involve the vertebral arteries, called a vertebral artery dissection. These two arteries are located in the back of the neck and supply blood to the back parts of the brain, namely the brain stem and the cerebellum, Bertino said.
Blood vessels in this area often are fragile and prone to tearing. When a vessel tears, blood clots form to stop the bleeding, which can lead to a stroke, said Dr. Mohammad Hirzallah, assistant professor of neurology and neurosurgery at Baylor College of Medicine. Hirzallah has personally seen only three patients with this serious condition in his 10 years of practice.
Stroke in younger peopleWhether or not they result from chiropractic treatment, cervical artery dissections are the most common cause of stroke in people younger than 50.
That said, strokes are still relatively rare in people under 45. About 10% to 15% of the 795,000 strokes that happen each year in the US are in adults 18 to 45, or about 80,000 people.
Younger people may have different recovery outcomes than older people. ''As we get older, our brains atrophy so there's more room to swell after stroke,'' Hirzallah said. ''Younger patients don't have as much room to swell, so there may be more complications.''
Can a chiropractor aggravate an existing problem?The common early symptoms of an artery dissection are headache and neck pain before the condition progresses to neurological symptoms like weakness, slurred speech, and clumsiness, Levine said.
Of course, this is the very reason many people seek help from a chiropractor, which raises the question of whether neck manipulation is making an existing problem worse.
"Some reports have associated high-velocity upper neck manipulation with a certain rare kind of stroke, or vertebral artery dissection. However, evidence suggests that this type of arterial injury often takes place spontaneously in patients who have pre-existing arterial disease," according to the American Chiropractic Association. "These dissections have been associated with everyday activities such as turning the head while driving, swimming, or having a shampoo in a hair salon."
What to know about getting treatment at the chiropractorThe ACA says that cervical manipulation, or a neck adjustment, can help relieve muscle spasms, pressure, and tension in the neck. "Neck manipulation, when performed by a skilled and well-educated professional such as a doctor of chiropractic, is a remarkably safe procedure," they said.
While many people find chiropractors to be helpful for a variety of ailments, Bertino cautions against seeing one for neck trouble.
''It doesn't bother me for somebody to see a chiropractor for low back pain if they're having trouble getting relief from typical medical work,'' he said. ''But I would never recommend anyone go to a chiropractor for anything in the neck. It's too risky.''
Is it really a bad idea to crack your own neck?Chances are, you won't be able to muster up enough strength to give yourself a stroke if you crack your own neck.
''I've heard of it probably about six or seven times,'' Whittington said. ''I think the force is much greater when somebody else is doing it.''
Similarly, while Whittington has heard about artery dissections during a roller coaster ride, that, too, is less likely just because the force is less.
How to recognize a strokeIf you have symptoms of a stroke, call 911 right away. It's a medical emergency and doctors say 'time equals brain,' meaning the faster you get treatment for a stroke, the less likely you are to have permanent brain damage.
''You don't wait a little bit to see if the symptoms go away. You don't go in a car,'' Rogove said.
The best way to remember the symptoms of a stroke is with the acronym BE FAST, he said:
Balance: being off balanceEyes: double vision, loss of vision on one side of the visual fieldFace: facial droop, particularly on one side, or an uneven smileArms: one arm is weak or droops when you try to lift itSpeech: slurred speech, other problems in trying to express yourself verballyTime: time to call 9-1-1 ''Many people get some pain relief from chiropractic treatment. I tell friends to get chiropractic treatment only from the neck down,'' Hirzallah said. ''Don't let anyone touch your neck.''
Promising universal flu vaccine could protect against 20 strains | New Scientist
Sun, 05 Feb 2023 13:46
An mRNA vaccine has been found to induce antibody responses against all 20 known subtypes of influenza A and B in mice and ferrets
Health 24 November 2022 By Carissa Wong
Human cells infected with influenza virus, viewed with an electron microscope
An experimental vaccine has generated antibody responses against all 20 known strains of influenza A and B in animal tests, raising hopes for developing a universal flu vaccine.
Influenza viruses are constantly evolving, making them a moving target for vaccine developers. The annual flu vaccines available now are tailored to give immunity against specific strains predicted to circulate each year. However, researchers sometimes get the prediction wrong, meaning the vaccine is less effective than it could be in those years.
Some researchers think annual flu jabs could be replaced by a universal flu vaccine that is effective against all flu strains. Researchers have tried to achieve this by making vaccines containing protein fragments that are common to several influenza strains, but no universal vaccine has yet gained approval for wider use.
Now, Scott Hensley at the University of Pennsylvania and his colleagues have created a vaccine based on mRNA molecules '' the same approach that was pioneered by the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna covid-19 vaccines.
mRNA contains genetic codes for making proteins, just like DNA. The vaccine contains mRNA molecules encoding fragments of proteins found in all 20 known strains of influenza A and B '' the viruses that cause seasonal outbreaks each year.
The strains have different versions of two proteins on their surface, haemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N), which are targeted by immune responses. But even within one strain, such as H1N1, there can be slight variations in these proteins, so the version in the universal vaccine will not exactly match every possible variant.
In tests in mice, the team found that the animals generated antibodies specific to all 20 strains of the flu virus, and these antibodies remained at a stable level for up to four months.
In another test, the team gave mice the universal flu vaccine or a dummy vaccine containing code for a non-flu protein. A month later, they infected them with either one of two variants of the H1N1 flu virus, one with an H1 protein that was very similar to the version of the protein in the vaccine, and one with a more distinct version.
All the mice given the flu vaccine survived exposure to the virus with the more similar protein and 80 per cent survived being infected with the more distinct variant. All of the mice given the dummy vaccine died around a week after infection with either variant.
Another group of mice were given an mRNA vaccine targeted only to the precise flu strain they were exposed to, and all of this group survived over the same time period. This suggests the universal flu vaccine would offer less protection against new variants of the 20 flu strains than an annual vaccine matched to new forms of the virus, says Albert Osterhaus at the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover in Germany, who wasn't involved in the study.
The researchers also tested the universal vaccine in ferrets with similar results.
''The mouse and ferret models for influenza are as good as animal models get. The animal data are promising and thus a good indication of what will happen in humans,'' says Peter Palese at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.
A key benefit of mRNA vaccines is that they can easily be scaled up compared with other approaches which rely on growing influenza viruses in chicken eggs or in the lab, says Palese.
''For generating a basic immunity against epidemic or pandemic influenza virus strains in the future, this strategy could offer an option if longevity [of immunity] in humans is confirmed,'' says Osterhaus.
''Definitely these animal data are promising and merit further exploration in clinical studies. Given previous studies with candidate universal flu vaccines in human trials, it is hard to predict what the clinical data will bring,'' says Osterhaus.
''This 20-HA mRNA vaccine was tested in ferret animals, which is highly significant and may hold promise for protecting against future emerging flu strains against severe disease in humans,'' says Sang-Moo Kang at Georgia State University.
Journal reference: Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.abm0271
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94% of Claims to the Government's Vaccine Injury Payment Scheme Are Rejected, Many Because They Are Not ''60% Disabled''. Mark Kerry is One of Them '' David Icke
Sun, 05 Feb 2023 13:43
Mark Kerry was a healthy 48 year-old from Worcestershire, a father of three, grandfather of two and a loving husband to his wife Melanie. Together with Melanie, Mark loved life and lived it to the full, they socialised with friends every weekend, loved to travel and loved holidays.
Mark and Melanie run mobile home parks and were heavily impacted in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. With the mobile home business being a mixture of residential and holidays, the holiday side was halted when lockdown and heavy restrictions were enforced. As with millions of people worldwide, they found themselves spending most of their time at home.
Like most of us, Mark was eager to get life back to some form of normality and, knowing the business was suffering and being self-employed, the quicker the better.
In late 2020, nine months into the COVID-19 pandemic, it was announced that a Covid vaccine had been approved and was being rolled out to stop the spread of the virus and save lives, ready for use in December 2020.
This was exciting news for Mark and Melanie. Their lives and their business had been placed on hold for far too long and they were ready and eager to resume their lives as they were pre-pandemic; the vaccine was the way out. Mark waited patiently for his turn to have his first jab. While waiting, the media was full of stories of how wonderful these vaccines were and that everyone absolutely must get this vaccine. It was suggested if you don't get the vaccine you are being selfish. The Prime Minister and Cabinet ministers were telling the public daily on TV that everyone must have it, as well as every news channel and road signs everywhere saying the same. GPs were sending letters, flyers were coming through the door, doctors were all over the TV, with some doctors even suggesting the AstraZeneca vaccine was 100% safe and effective. This of course was what we were all hoping for and most of the population believed.
Finally it was Marks turn to have his vaccine. On March 2nd 2021 Mark had his first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Initially everything was fine and Mark seemed to escape the mild flu-like side-effects and aching arm that people were talking about. That was until the evening of March 15th 2021 when Mark had a headache and noticed blood in his urine. Melanie called 111 and they sent them to Worcester hospital. When the doctor examined Mark he noticed that Mark had a rash on his legs and admitted him straight away. Over the next day Mark's headache got worse and, following some blood tests, it was revealed that Mark's platelet count was at a very low rate of 14; normal levels would read between 150 and 450, so this in itself was alarming. On top of that results from a brain scan revealed a blood clot on Marks brain known as Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis (CVST).
CVST is a type of rare blood clot that forms in the venous sinuses in your brain. This is a system of veins found between the layers of the dura mater '' the tough outer layer of your brain that lies directly under your skull.
The clot can block the blood in your brain from draining out toward your heart. When this happens, blood cells may break from the pressure, cross the blood-brain barrier and seep into nearby brain tissue. This can cause a haemorrhage, a type of stroke that stems from internal bleeding. CVST can be life-threatening. You need immediate medical attention.
Read More: 94% of Claims to the Government's Vaccine Injury Payment Scheme Are Rejected, Many Because They Are Not ''60% Disabled''. Mark Kerry is One of Them
Britain's ammo would 'run out in a day' in war against Russia | Metro News
Sun, 05 Feb 2023 13:38
A former British general has warned the country would run out of ammo if war was declared against Russia because of years of government cutbacks.
General Sir Richard Barrons issued the dire warning just days after defence secretary Ben Wallace said the country's military had been 'hollowed out'.
He warned the Army needs £3 billion more a year to rejoin Nato's top tier.
But the Ministry of Defence (MoD) pledged it was spending an extra £560 million to boost ammo stockpiles.
In a column for The Sun, General Barrons wrote: 'This is truly shocking. But it is true. And we must fix it.
'The UK spends more on defence than any EU ally and our brave Armed Forces have long been one of Britain's most influential levers around the world.
'Yet for decades they have been hollowed out by spending cuts.'
Mr Wallace warned military spending may have to rise for two decades because of global threats.
Former prime minister Boris Johnson has urged the government to send fighter jets to Ukraine's frontline.
But Mr Wallace warned even if he decided to send jets, the process takes 'months' and there is 'no magic wand'.
In better news, Ukrainian soldiers will begin training and using Challenger 2 tanks which the UK has sent over to the country.
They will arrive in Ukraine by the end of next month and could prove to be a turning point in the war.
Germany also confirmed it would send Leopard 2 tanks to the battlefield, with the US set to send 31 Abrams tanks.
It is the first time German tanks will be used on a European battlefield since World War Two.
But tanks from Germany and the US could take months even years to reach Ukraine.
More: NewsVladimir Putin is also set to unleash new hypersonic missiles '' capable of reaching speeds of over 6,600mph.
The 'unstoppable' Zircon missiles will be test-fired from a frigate during naval exercises off the coast of Africa.
They will be aimed at a surface target at a distance of more than 310 miles and is the latest show of strength from the Russian dictator.
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First published at 22:33 UTC on January 27th, 2023.
An underreported story of great significance as a top Australian medical society has just given notice to its doctors that they aren't covered for damages from the Covid shots.
#AMPS #InformedConsent #VaccinateAustralia
POSTED: January 27, 2023
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12ft | New Form of Ice Discovered '' May Shake Up Our Understanding of Water
Sun, 05 Feb 2023 13:31
Removing Paywall
Public health experts ramp up avian flu surveillance in UK | Bird flu | The Guardian
Sun, 05 Feb 2023 04:24
Avian flu surveillance is being ramped up in the UK after the detection of at least 200 cases of infection in mammals.
Public health experts say the risk of a jump to humans is still very low, but that this risk would be monitored through increased genomic surveillance and targeted testing of people who had been exposed to the virus. Concern was also sparked by a recent outbreak of avian flu at a mink farm in Spain and a mass mortality of seals in the Caspian sea that is possibly linked to the infection.
''The virus is absolutely on the march,'' Prof Ian Brown, the director of scientific services at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (Apha), told the BBC.
He added that experts were ''acutely aware of the risks'' of avian flu becoming a pandemic like Covid. ''This global spread is a concern,'' he said. ''We do need globally to look at new strategies, those international partnerships, to get on top of this disease.''
Over the last two years, the UK has faced its largest outbreak of avian influenza, with more than 300 cases confirmed since October 2021 and with poultry farms all currently required to house birds indoors.
Figures reported by the BBC show the virus has led to the deaths of about 208 million birds around the world and at least 200 recorded cases in mammals. In the UK, Apha has tested 66 mammals, including seals, and found nine otters and foxes were positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1.
Such cases have been found in Durham, Cheshire and Cornwall in England; Powys in Wales; Shetland, the Inner Hebrides and Fife, Scotland. It is believed the animals had fed on dead or sick wild birds infected with the virus.
''The species affected '' foxes and otters '' are known to scavenge,'' said Dr Alastair Ward, of the University of Leeds. ''In all likelihood, the affected individuals will have scavenged infected wild bird carcasses, which may have had very high viral loads. Such high exposure is likely to have overwhelmed the mammal's immune system, resulting in infection.''
There is currently no reason to suspect that the jump is due to a change in the virus's genetic makeup or that the risk to humans is greater from infected foxes or otters than from birds. However, scientists believe close monitoring is required to detect any mutations that could make a leap between species more likely. And reports of the apparent spread of the virus between mammals on a mink farm and the possibility of an outbreak in the wild seal population have heightened concern.
Prof Ian Jones, a virologist at the University of Reading, said: ''While these constant incursions of the virus into mammalian species does provide an opportunity for the virus to adapt to mammalian transmission, the natural barriers to this occurring are quite high and there is no indication of spread within these species. The risk to people right now therefore appears no more than it is for direct spread from infected birds.''
In a recent report, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) warned that the ''rapid and consistent acquisition of the mutation in mammals may imply this virus has a propensity to cause zoonotic infections'', meaning it could jump to humans.
The agency also raised concerns about limited wild bird and mammal surveillance and genomic data collection in England, and warned that there was not enough testing of people who had been contact with infected birds.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) there have been almost 870 cases of human infection in the past 20 years and of these, 457 cases were fatal.
Merck COVID drug linked to new virus mutations, study says | News |
Sun, 05 Feb 2023 04:16
(TNS) Merck & Co.'s COVID-19 pill is giving rise to new mutations of the virus in some patients, according to a study that underscores the risk of trying to intentionally alter the pathogen's genetic code.
Some researchers worry the drug may create more contagious or health-threatening variations of COVID, which has killed more than 6.8 million people globally over the past three years.
Mutations linked to the use of Merck's pill, Lagevrio, have been identified in viral samples taken from dozens of patients, according to a preprint study from researchers in the U.S. and at the Francis Crick Institute, Imperial College London and other U.K. institutions.
The drug-linked mutations of the virus haven't been shown to be more immune-evasive or lethal yet, according to the study published Friday without peer review on the medRxiv website. But their very existence highlights what some scientists say are potential risks in wider use of the drug, which was recently cleared in China.
Lagevrio works by creating mutations in the COVID genome that prevent the virus from replicating in the body, reducing the chances it will cause severe illness. Some scientists had warned before it was authorized in late 2021 that by virtue of how it works, the drug could give rise to mutations that could turn out to be problematic. The preprint paper has reawakened those worries about the Merck drug.
''There's always been this underlying concern that it could contribute to a problem generating new variants,'' said Jonathan Li, a virologist at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. ''This has largely been hypothetical, but this preprint validates a lot of those concerns.''
Merck disputes the view that its drug is causing problematic variants.
''There is no evidence to indicate that any antiviral agent has contributed to the emergence of circulating variants,'' Merck spokesman Robert Josephson said in an email in response to questions about the study. ''Based on available data we do not believe that Lagevrio (molnupiravir) is likely to contribute to the development of new meaningful coronavirus variants.''
New mutations have emerged over the course of the pandemic due to the virus spreading uncontrollably, and Lagevrio can form an important part of the solution, he said. Merck pointed to research done in animals that showed its drug didn't cause mutations.
The study authors assume the mutations were associated with molnupiravir treatment, but don't have direct proof that the mutations arose in patients who took their drug, Josephson said in a follow-up email. Instead, the researchers drew their conclusions from ''circumstantial associations between viral sequence origin and timeframe of sequence collection in countries where molnupiravir is available,'' Josephson said.
Merck fell as much as 1.2% on Wall Street Wednesday, recovering some losses to close down 0.4%.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which authorized Lagevrio in late 2021, said it doesn't comment on third-party research and works with COVID drugmakers to assess their products' activity against variants.
Major scientific journals don't publish studies until the completion of a ''peer review'' process in which the research is scrutinized by outside experts. During the pandemic, scientists increasingly started publishing their research on what are known as ''preprint servers'' prior to exhaustive reviews, in attempt to advance the science more quickly and share urgent findings.
Researchers found Lagevrio-induced mutations in small patient clusters, indicating the new versions were spreading among them. While the biggest group they found with similar mutations was 21 people, that may not fully represent the true scope of the problem as viral samples of many patients aren't analyzed, according to Ryan Hisner, an independent researcher from Indiana who helped write the paper.
The researchers looked at some 13 million viral genomes in databases around the world. The drug-linked mutations were proportionally more common in countries and groups where Lagevrio was likely to be used, especially the US and Australia, where it was introduced early. The signature mutations are less frequent in Canada, France, and other countries where the drug isn't used.
''These effects are visible in these databases,'' said Theo Sanderson, a Crick Institute geneticist who led the study. ''It appears that people are being treated, some of them aren't clearing their infections, and some are passing them on.''
The risk of drug-linked mutations is too great to continue using Merck's drug, Hisner said. The US should explore authorizing drugs used in other countries to control Covid, like Xocova from Japan-based Shionogi & Co., and discontinue use of Lagevrio, said Michael Lin, a Stanford University antiviral drug researcher who said he consulted with the authors but wasn't involved in the study. China cleared Lagevrio late last year and Shionogi said it's in the final stages of discussions with the country's regulators over its Covid drug.
''It's a very distressing situation,'' said Lin. ''There's no evidence that any of these mutants is worse in any way '-- not yet '-- but it's well agreed that you're playing with fire if you're creating random mutations and hoping nothing bad will come of it.''
Sanderson declined to comment on whether doctors should continue using Merck's drug, saying the study doesn't address the issue.
Concerns about Lagevrio's safety and effectiveness are longstanding. Health officials recommend against its use in pregnant women. In general, the drug shouldn't be used when alternatives are available, according to the US National Institutes of Health.
Merck was encouraged by former Warp Speed science czar Moncef Slaoui to team up with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics LP to get the much-needed oral COVID pill ready for widespread use. Early results showed it cut the risk of hospitalization and death by about 50% in non-immunized people.
Subsequent studies have indicated it's actually less effective than those early trials indicated. A study released in December showed that adding Lagevrio to standard care didn't reduce hospitalizations or deaths in high-risk adults, although the time to recovery from symptoms was shortened by several days.
However, COVID treatment options are dwindling. Variants have mutated to evade COVID antibodies made by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc., Eli Lilly & Co. and Vir Biotechnology Inc. The last one to retain effectiveness, AstraZeneca Plc's Evusheld, was just removed from the U.S. market. That leaves few alternatives for Americans: just Paxlovid and Gilead Sciences Inc.'s remdesivir, which must be infused in three daily sessions as soon as someone is diagnosed.
Some patients aren't eligible to take Paxlovid because it contains a component, called ritonavir, that has adverse interactions with therapies for other conditions like heart disease, that are common in people vulnerable to severe COVID.
Raymond Schinazi, an Emory University researcher, raised concerns about Merck's drug early on in its development. He'd done his own research into it years ago before abandoning it.
He called for more monitoring to investigate whether the viruses with drug-linked mutations are having any impact after learning about the new study.
The preprint study is ''an orange flag, not a red flag yet,'' Schinazi said. ''Proceed with caution.''
(By John Lauerman, Bloomberg News, with assistance from Robert Langreth and Nacha Cattan.)
EXCLUSIVE: The Federal Government Is Tracking Unvaccinated People Who Go To The Doctor And To The Hospital Due to CDC-Designed Surveillance Program - National File
Sun, 05 Feb 2023 03:56
Last Updated on February 2, 2023
The U.S. federal government is tracking people who decided not to get the COVID-19 vaccine injection, according to bombshell federal government records and video exclusively obtained by NATIONAL FILE. According to the shocking video, unvaccinated people are quietly tracked when they go to the doctor's office or to the hospital due to a quiet new program proposed and implemented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Government meeting materials make clear that the new program is designed to ''track people who are not immunized or only partially immunized.''A bombshell piece of information was revealed at the September 14-15, 2021 virtual Zoom meeting of the federal government's ICD-10 Coordination and Maintenance Committee (which includes representatives from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, known as CMS, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics). At the meeting, the Committee discussed new categories of ''ICD-10'' codes that the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) wanted to create to mark people as ''Unvaccinated for COVID-19,'' ''Partially Vaccinated for COVID-19'' and ''Other underimmunization status.''
The ICD-10 coding system was created by the World Health Organization (WHO) and doctors are required to use it to categorize different kinds of patients. The ICD-10 codes are preserved in a patient's electronic health record and used by insurance companies for billing purposes. The CDC's National Center for Health Statistics maintains the ICD-10 codes. Within ICD-10 codes, there is a category known as ''ICD-10-CM'' codes (which are reportedly used by the CDC for tracking purposes), and this ''CM'' category includes the new ''Unvaccinated for COVID-19'' category and also the ''Partially Vaccinated For COVID-19'' category and the ''other underimmunization status'' category.
The Committee made it clear that the new codes would be used to ''track'' unvaccinated people. At the time of the meeting, people who had adverse reactions to a past vaccine would still be categorized as unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, even if they are physically unable to get more vaccines or boosters.
The CDC implemented the new codes to track unvaccinated people in April 2022, according to a document published on a CMS federal government website.
ICD-10 Coordination and Maintenance Commitee staffer David Berglund, M.D. read from page 194 of a CDC Topic Packet that was prepared for the meeting (READ THE CDC TOPIC PACKET HERE).
The Topic Packet states (emphasis added): ''During the current time of the COVID-19 pandemic, immunizations have provided protection for many people, but there is interest in being able to track people who are not immunized or only partially immunized. At the current time, this is a significant modifiable risk factor for morbidity and mortality, and of interest for clinical reasons, as well as of value for public health. NCHS is proposing creation of codes for unvaccinated for COVID-19, and for partially vaccinated for COVID-19.''
''NCHS'' stands for the National Center for Health Statistics, which is a U.S. federal government division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Here is footage from the meeting in which David Berglund discusses the new codes. NATIONAL FILE obtained this video from a password-protected government website.
CDC Plot To Track The Unvaccinated Revealed At September 2021 ICD-10 Coordination and Maintenance Committee Meeting
'-- National File (@NationalFile) February 1, 2023
Berglund stated, ''Those are their proposed changes,'' referring to the CDC's NCHS division.
Here is page 194 of the Topic Packet for the meeting, which refers to ''interest in being able to track people who are not immunized or only partially immunized.''
screenshot from the virtual meeting showing the meeting packet
A commenter from Premier asked about patients who ''may have had their first shot, had a really bad adverse reaction, and can't get the second shot. Should there maybe be a code that indicates incomplete vaccination or unvaccinated due to contraindication?''
David Berglund replied, ''Hmm. So that would essentially be, that could be ''partially vaccinated,'' or, well, in some cases people might be completely unvaccinated if they've had some history of a reaction to some types of vaccines. But essentially the thought would be that there would be a history of other reaction type code that would explain it. I'd have to look at how that might be done. We have not, at this point, proposed to have a separate way of coding that type of situation here. But there certainly could be interest in that. We can certainly look at that further.''
An NIH government website states: ''ICD-10-CM diagnosis codes will tell the story of each patient encounter, describe etiologies of the disease process, explain the complications of care, provide a basis for medical necessity, support coverage for payment purposes, identify incidence of disease, and support statistical tracking for healthcare practices, as well as provide disease state information on medical practices across the continuum of care.''
RELATED: Twitter Files: Pfizer Board Member Flagged Tweets Questioning COVID Vaccine RELATED: Leaked Emails Suggest CDC Coordinated With Twitter, Facebook And Google To Censor Social Media Users
Jury finds Elon Musk did not defraud Tesla investors with infamous 'funding secured' claim
Sun, 05 Feb 2023 03:15
A jury found Elon Musk not liable for costing investors millions of dollars when he issued a series of tweets saying he had "secured" funding to take the electric car maker private.
The Friday verdict, issued by a nine-person Northern California jury, represents a legal victory for the 51-year-old billionaire, who has seen the value of his Tesla holdings decline some 44% over the past year.
During the trial, Musk personally took the witness stand to defend the tweets, testifying he believed he had a handshake agreement in 2018 with Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund to convert Tesla, which is a publicly traded company, into a private one. It was the Saudis, he said, who subsequently reneged on the deal.
Elon Musk and shareholder attorney Nicholas Porritt in federal court as U.S. District Judge Edward Chen, right, looks on in San Francisco on Jan. 24, 2023. Vicki Behringer / AP''I had no ill motive,'' Musk said during nearly eight hours of testimony last month. ''My intent was to do the right thing for all shareholders.''
Nicholas Porritt, an attorney representing Tesla shareholders in the case, countered that no formal agreement was ever in place, and that Musk's tweet had served his own interests rather than those of investors, costing them millions and potentially billions of dollars as Tesla's share price fluctuated during the ordeal.
Even before the trial, California District Court Judge Edward Chen had ruled that the tweets were false and reckless. Separately, Musk and Tesla had reached a $40 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission just one month after the tweets were posted, though Chen instructed the jury not to consider that development in their deliberations.
Just three weeks after his online musings, Musk decided to scrap the take-private proposal after consulting with shareholders. But Musk, as well as several colleagues, testified that they had no doubt Musk could have raised the funds to take the company private if necessary, mostly through tapping shares in SpaceX, his rocket company.
By one measure, the decision to keep Tesla public has paid off: Tesla's shares are worth more than eight times what they were at the time of Musk's buyout tweet, after adjusting for two stock splits that have occurred since then.
Rob Wile Rob Wile is a breaking business news reporter for NBC News Digital.
Associated Press contributed.
A Massachusetts bill could allow prisoners to swap their organs for their freedom | MIT Technology Review
Sun, 05 Feb 2023 03:15
This article is from The Checkup, MIT Technology Review's weekly biotech newsletter. To receive it in your inbox every Thursday, sign up here.
What is the value of a human organ? It's a question that's been on my mind since I heard about a disturbing proposed change to the law in Massachusetts that would allow incarcerated people to swap their body parts for reduced prison sentences.
That's right. Prisoners who donate one of their organs or their bone marrow could be rewarded with anywhere between 60 and 365 days off their sentence if this bill were to pass.
One benefit of the bill, according to one of its cosponsors, is that it will broaden the pool of potential organ donors. It's true that there is a dire shortage of organs. In the US alone, more than 100,000 people are waiting for a transplant, and 17 people per day die on the waiting list.
But laws like this one are not the right way of going about increasing organ donation. Let's take a look at the many problems with this bill.
Undergoing surgery or other painful procedures to give a kidney, liver lobe, or bone marrow to save another person's life is probably one of the most generous and selfless things any of us can do.
But these procedures aren't without risks. Surgery of any kind has the potential to damage other organs or result in infections, for example. People who donate kidneys are more likely to end up needing dialysis or a donated kidney themselves in the future.
It is vitally important that living donors understand and accept these risks so their decision to donate is fully informed and free. Can someone who is suffering in prison, and desperate to get out, really give free and informed consent?
''This is being framed as an incentive,'' says Jennifer Bell, a bioethicist at the University of Toronto. But would there be some degree of coercion involved? By definition, coercion would imply there's some threat of harm influencing the person's decision. There is no mention of that in the bill. But spending an extra year in prison might be harmful for some people, especially if there is a risk of violence, disease outbreak, or dangerously hot conditions.
People who are incarcerated might also not feel able to give a full and frank medical history, which plays an important part in helping to determine whether they might be suitable donors, says Peter Reese, a nephrologist at the University of Pennsylvania who evaluates potential kidney donors, and who has experience of working in a women's prison.
Doctors routinely ask would-be donors about their health, well-being, and ability to look after themselves and whether they smoke or take recreational drugs. These factors will affect not only whether their organs are suitable for donation but how likely they are to recover well from the procedure.
''I would be worried that someone who is incarcerated might not feel comfortable giving me a full, transparent history,'' says Reese. ''It is difficult to assess someone's lifestyle when they're incarcerated and they can't actually make decisions freely.''
There are other problems with the bill. Its apparent goal is to increase living organ donation from people who are in prison. We know full well that these people are a vulnerable group, much more likely to have been born into poverty or subjected to childhood abuse, for example. We also know that ethnic and racial minorities are overrepresented in prison populations. Just over 30% of US inmates are Hispanic, for example, and 38% are Black.
''It could be perceived '... as harvesting organs from Black [people] to give to others,'' says Bell. ''There could be a question of exploitation.''
State Representative Carlos Gonzlez, who is one of the bill's cosponsors, sent me a statement arguing that ''broadening the pool of potential donors is an effective way to increase the likelihood of Black and Latino family members and friends receiving life-saving treatment.''
It is true that people from racial and ethnic minority groups have an even harder time getting the organs they need. In 2020, for example, the number of transplants performed on white people was 47.6% of the number currently waiting. The figure was only 27.7% for Black people. But there are other ways to inform minority communities about organ donation and encourage informed decisions about it. And they shouldn't involve trading organs for freedom.
Which brings us back to the first point. How much are our organs worth, and how is that decision made? Is a kidney worth a year of freedom? Is bone marrow worth less? ''How do they decide the calculus here?'' Bell wonders. ''Is it really a fair exchange?''
Thankfully, even if the bill were to pass, it wouldn't mean that such trades would ever take place. Every organ donation has to be approved by a medical and ethics team, which includes a person whose sole function is to advocate for the donor. It's unlikely that everyone would be comfortable with this type of exchange, says Reese. I think that's probably for the best.
Read more from Tech Review's archiveMaybe organs could be harvested from synthetic embryos. That's the outlandish goal of Renewal Bio, as Antonio Regalado wrote last year.
Several companies are working on ways to make use of organs from animals, or even to engineer organs using 3D-printed scaffolds. Such ''organs on demand'' were included in Tech Review's 2023 list of Breakthrough Technologies.
There is also plenty of work underway to make better use of the donated organs we already have. Researchers have developed a machine to store livers for longer, for example, as Rhiannon Williams wrote last year.
That machine kept livers warm. Other researchers have tried to prolong the life span of donated livers by supercooling them. Antonio covered their attempts in 2019.
It's not just vital organs that can be transplanted. One veteran told Andrew Zaleski how, in 2018, he became the fourth person ever to receive a penis transplant.
From around the webGavi, a vaccination organization focused on supporting efforts in lower-income countries, is trying to recoup millions of dollars' worth of paid-for, but canceled, covid vaccine doses. Drug companies have so far declined to refund $1.4 billion in advance payments. (The New York Times)
A de-extinction company is trying to resurrect the dodo. Colossal Biosciences had already publicized plans to bring back woolly mammoths. (MIT Technology Review)
Junk science has spread through forensics. Bloodstain-pattern analysis and 911 call analysis are just two of the disciplines that are not backed by scientific evidence. (ProPublica)
Updated, broadly protective, nasal, self-amplifying'--here's what the next generation of covid vaccines will look like. (Nature)
Bryan Johnson, a 45-year-old multimillionaire, is spending $2 million a year in an attempt to make his body 18 again. We don't know if it's working. (Bloomberg)
CNET pushed reporters to be more favorable to advertisers, staffers say - The Verge
Sun, 05 Feb 2023 03:06
Last October, CNET's parent company, Red Ventures, held a cross-department meeting to discuss the AI writing software it had been building for months. The tool had been in testing internally ahead of public use on CNET, and Red Ventures' early results revealed several potential issues.
The AI system was always faster than human writers at generating stories, the company found, but editing its work took much longer than editing a real staffer's copy. The tool also had a tendency to write sentences that sounded plausible but were incorrect, and it was known to plagiarize language from the sources it was trained on.
Red Ventures executives laid out all of these issues at the meeting and then made a fateful decision: CNET began publishing AI-generated stories anyway.
''They were well aware of the fact that the AI plagiarized and hallucinated,'' a person who attended the meeting recalls. (Artificial intelligence tools have a tendency to insert false information into responses, which are sometimes called ''hallucinations.'') ''One of the things they were focused on when they developed the program was reducing plagiarism. I suppose that didn't work out so well.''
Of the 77 articles published on CNET using the AI tool since it launched, more than half have had corrections appended to them, some lengthy and substantial, after use of the tool was revealed by Futurism. CNET editor-in-chief Connie Guglielmo, EVP of content and audience Lindsey Turrentine, and Red Ventures vice president of content Lance Davis defended the tool in an internal meeting with staff in January but said the company would pause the use of the tool ''for now.'' In a follow-up blog post, Guglielmo said publishing using the AI software was on hold until CNET was confident it could ''prevent both human and AI errors,'' but she was clear that this wasn't the end of AI tools in the newsroom.
''Expect CNET to continue exploring and testing how AI can be used to help our teams as they go about their work testing, researching and crafting the unbiased advice and fact-based reporting we're known for,'' Guglielmo wrote.
''Everyone at CNET is more afraid of Red Ventures than they are of AI.''
But the controversial use of an AI system to generate stories even in the face of known issues with plagiarism and accuracy is merely the most visible outcome of Red Ventures' ownership of CNET. Under the ownership of Red Ventures, a private equity-backed marketing firm that's bought up more than a dozen digital publishers since the mid-2010s, staff at the storied tech news outlet say they have been fighting to protect CNET's editorial independence and rigor amid a push toward sponsored content and affiliate marketing by its new corporate owners. As one staffer told The Verge for a previous piece, ''Everyone at CNET is more afraid of Red Ventures than they are of AI.''
Multiple former employees told The Verge of instances where CNET staff felt pressured to change stories and reviews due to Red Ventures' business dealings with advertisers. The forceful pivot toward Red Ventures' affiliate marketing-driven business model '-- which generates revenue when readers click links to sign up for credit cards or buy products '-- began clearly influencing editorial strategy, with former employees saying that revenue objectives have begun creeping into editorial conversations.
Reporters, including on-camera video hosts, have been asked to create sponsored content, making staff uncomfortable with the increasingly blurry lines between editorial and sales. One person told The Verge that they were made aware of Red Ventures' business relationship with a company whose product they were covering and that they felt pressured to change a review to be more favorable.
''I understood a supervisor to imply in conversation that how I proceeded with my review could impact my chances of promotion in the future,'' they say.
Red Ventures ignored an emailed list of questions from The Verge about its AI tool as well as CNET's editorial independence and ethics, advertising, and staffing. The company instead offered to send a short statement about CNET's editorial integrity but refused to provide it on the record attributable to anyone.
This apparent breakdown of the traditional barriers between editorial and advertising content is worlds away from CNET's history, according to former staffers. Now more than 25 years old, the site has long been known for its thorough news coverage and comprehensive reviews program, which examines everything from laptops and phones to bookshelf speakers and home projectors.
''[The reason I came to CNET] was the opportunity to be able to tell the truth no matter what,'' a former staffer says. To them, working at CNET was different from other journalism jobs, where journalists can be honest but may need to self-edit. ''You get to tell the truth [at other jobs], but a lot of times, you're not allowed to say things that you really feel.''
Are you a former or current CNET / Red Ventures employee? I'd love to hear from you. Contact me at, and I'll share my Signal.
But the CNET operated by Red Ventures is a very different place than the CNET it acquired in 2020. CNET, along with other Red Ventures-owned publications, is loading up on cheap SEO-driven articles to game Google's search algorithm and fill search results with content designed to deliver affiliate links to readers. As a result, CNET's independent journalism and the people who produce it '-- the thing that once made CNET valuable and rank highly in search to begin with '-- feel that they are being pushed out in favor of whatever and whomever else makes Red Ventures the most money, according to multiple former employees.
''When you're [covering] products and not people, it's really easy to be like, 'This new Apple thing sucks.' I just thought that was a refreshing change of pace to be able to say things as they are,'' the former staffer says. ''And that continued all the way until Red Ventures took over.''
After Red Ventures scooped up CNET for $500 million in 2020, CEO Ric Elias promised the outlet would be able to continue to be an independent publication known for its robust offering of reviews and in-the-weeds tech news coverage. CNET staff had nothing to worry about, Elias told The New York Times. There was a ''nonnegotiable line'' separating the journalism from the money, and CNET's staff of tech journalists could call him on his personal cellphone if there were ever a problem.
''I told them, 'There's a red line,' and they're like, 'OK, we'll see,''' Elias said.
That skepticism now appears prescient. Former CNET staff say the guardrails that keep editorial content independent, like a divide between revenue teams and journalists, or a clear chain of command among leadership, were repeatedly breached after the Red Ventures acquisition. ''Most of the time, [Guglielmo] seemed to just be relaying orders'' from Red Ventures, a former staffer says. In turn, journalists were placed in difficult positions as they tried to fend off the encroaching influence of the business side.
Former CNET staffers describe being asked to work on ads for companies that the outlet covers, including Volvo and home security company Arlo and having to push back against such requests from executives at the company. Three people told The Verge that they believe resistance to Red Ventures initiatives caused various CNET staffers to lose their jobs, with one saying that the pressure to be a ''yes man'' was a ''collective experience'' for some teams.
Multiple former CNET staffers point to the demise of the CNET Smart Home as an example of Red Ventures' overreach. The Smart Home '-- a four-bedroom, five-bathroom home in Louisville, Kentucky, that the outlet had purchased in 2015 to test and produce videos on home products like robot vacuums and thermostats '-- had become something of a brand in and of itself. Since Red Ventures' takeover, Smart Home staff repeatedly refused to work on sponsored content, saying it went against the integrity of their work. Readers look to tech reviewers for honest, unbiased assessments of companies' products and services, and working on content that is paid for by these same companies can cast doubt on a reviewer's ability to be independent.
''It's a culture that if you disagree with them, they're going to get rid of you and replace you with a zealot.''
In 2022, a Red Ventures executive named Marc McCollum stopped by the Smart Home for a short walk-through. McCollum, according to his LinkedIn profile, led the acquisition of CNET Media Group. A former staffer says he played a key role in the transition, with a focus on increasing profits.
Shortly after McCollum's visit, teams working out of the Smart Home learned that the company was planning on selling the house, and people working at the house believed their jobs would be at risk if the space were sold. But McCollum indicated that the company may be able to keep the house if it secured a lucrative advertising deal with GE Appliances, which had expressed interest in using the Smart Home for a commercial, multiple former employees say.
Hoping to avoid layoffs, some CNET staff pitched in on the GE Appliances deal in early talks and planning, and Red Ventures inked a deal. But CNET editorial staffers refused to shoot the ad itself, and contractors were ultimately used to work on the commercial, a former staffer says.
The GE Appliances shoot was ultimately moved from the Smart Home to an off-site location due to space limitations at the house, says Whitney Welch, senior manager of brand and product communications at GE Appliances. GE Appliances was not aware of Red Ventures' plans to sell the house, Welch added.
But by the time the GE Appliances ad was released in September, many staff on the Smart Home team had already left the company. Seeing the ''writing on the wall'' '-- that the house would soon be put up for sale '-- some people were able to land new roles, a former staffer says; others were laid off that summer. The house was put up for sale shortly after the GE Appliances ad anyway, eventually selling in December for $1.275 million, according to Zillow.
''It's a culture that if you disagree with them, they're going to get rid of you and replace you with a zealot,'' a former employee, who was laid off, says of Red Ventures. ''Somebody that's absolutely a true believer, [that] drinks the Kool-Aid.''
Former CNET staffers say their colleagues have also been pressured into appearing in ads for companies the outlet covers despite the murky ethics of using reporters in sponsored content. On-camera video hosts were uncomfortable with the idea of being in ads and pushed back against it, according to several former staffers. Using recognizable journalists for video content that's paid for by advertisers can blur the lines and make it hard for viewers to tell what is and isn't an ad.
In one recent video, titled ''Moen Unveils Innovative Smart Sprinkler Product at CES,'' a CNET host takes viewers through the company's booth at January's Consumer Electronics Show, interviewing company representatives and testing products. The video is an ad, but the host doesn't say that, and neither the video description nor title included a disclosure until recently. The only disclaimer was a small pop-up that YouTube inserts when an uploader has indicated there's a paid promotion in a video, though CNET doesn't actually specify what in the video is promoted. Moen did not respond to multiple requests for comment about the nature of the sponsorship or its labeling. After The Verge asked Red Ventures about the ad, a disclosure was silently added to the video's description.
One of the key priorities for Red Ventures seems to be the company's focus on affiliate links, which pepper its portfolio of sites like The Points Guy, Bankrate, and Over time, a focus on affiliate revenue has crept into CNET's editorial decisions, causing frustration among staff.
In one meeting after the Red Ventures acquisition, a former employee says editorial staff were shown how much the company earned through affiliate categories like home furnishings with the suggestion they keep it in mind when producing future content. CNET staffers were also told that a separate commerce team would begin writing video descriptions that included affiliate links, which many people worried would suggest on-camera hosts were endorsing specific products.
''Red Ventures' big mantra is that they help people make life's most important decisions,'' a former staffer says. ''And yet all of their influence has been to get people to make decisions that are going to be the most profitable to Red Ventures.''
CNET staff say that the proximity to revenue made it harder to maintain the editorial standards
''It's very demoralizing. It's actually soul-crushing. All you want to do is your job and you're being told, 'Don't cover this,' because the revenue potential is not there,'' another former staff member says.
Advertising is what keeps most digital media companies afloat, and affiliate marketing is common across the industry. (The Verge earns a commission from affiliate links, as do other Vox Media-owned outlets, like The Strategist.) But in many newsrooms, there is a strict separation between the people dealing with advertisers and the people producing the news. At The Verge, for example, editorial staff never work on ads, and reviews writers don't know how much parent company Vox Media earns through specific affiliate marketing links.
But under Red Ventures, former CNET staff say that the proximity to revenue made it harder and harder to maintain the editorial standards promised to audiences.
''I do believe that the journalists who are doing the work at CNET are extremely ethical. I think that they have a lot of integrity, I think they work really hard,'' they say. ''But I think that they are under a great deal of pressure to make money for Red Ventures. And that's just never a good situation for journalists.''
Though the AI tool generating stories for CNET, Bankrate, and was formally announced just weeks ago, Red Ventures' ''experiment'' with enlisting artificial intelligence has been underway much longer. Like other publishers who've incorporated automated tools into their work, the Red Ventures proprietary AI software was sold to the newsroom as a way to more efficiently produce ''the boring stuff'' so writers could use their time instead to work on bigger projects. In actuality, enlisting artificial intelligence to write SEO bait accelerates the speed at which Red Ventures-owned websites can churn out search-optimized content loaded with affiliate links, cutting down the need for human writers '-- and the reporting they produce.
For Sarah Szczypinski, a former journalist on the CNET Money team who left the outlet in early 2022, the association with CNET in light of the AI-writing saga has been frustrating. Though Szczypinski quit many months before the AI-generated articles began appearing, people have started contacting her after the news broke, wondering if she, too, had used AI tools for her stories. Szczypinski maintains she wrote her stories on her own, without automation tools.
''The leadership team gave no thought to what these unilateral decisions would do to the people working there, especially the people who are journalists and need their readers to trust them,'' Szczypinski told The Verge. ''We still have lives to live and careers to forge. And we can't do that with something as damaging as this hanging over our heads.''
In late January, Szczypinski contacted Red Ventures and CNET, asking to have her author page and bylines pulled. Her name has been scrubbed from dozens of articles, now replaced simply by ''CNET Staff.''
Throughout the time Red Ventures has owned CNET, the outlet's leadership has promised readers time and again that its journalism is as strong as ever. Even as Guglielmo, Turrentine, and Red Ventures executives dodged questions from readers, staff, and reporters about the AI system, they pointed to CNET's track record built over decades as evidence of trustworthiness. Audiences trust CNET for tech news, reviews, and recommendations, they reasoned, so they can trust CNET for how to move forward with artificial intelligence.
But even the more public ways CNET has tried to elicit trust from its audience have been hollowed out by a relentless drive toward optimization and gaming the search algorithm at the expense of the very work that had made CNET valuable.
CNET's public ethics policy has not been meaningfully updated in years '-- it still lists CBS as its parent company '-- but last year, the publication added nearly a dozen links detailing exactly how it tests and vets products to a hyper-specific degree, with separate posts for how CNET reviews everything from credit cards and TVs to vacuums and more. One way of looking at these posts is to provide readers '-- and potential customers '-- with as much detail as possible about CNET's methodology.
But for Red Ventures, these articles are just more fodder to boost its bottom line: Google likes when publishers demonstrate ''experience, expertise, authority, and trustworthiness,'' and the search algorithm factors in articles like these when it ranks search results. Articles packed with words like ''unbiased,'' ''credible,'' and ''thoroughly vetted'' are great for Red Ventures' SEO-heavy strategy.
After all, Google can't tell if it's true.
Correction February 2nd, 2023 11:41AM ET: This story originally stated that CNET and Red Ventures had an advertising deal with GE. The deal was with GE Appliances, which GE sold to Haier in 2016. We regret the error.
Update February 3rd, 2023 10:50AM ET: Updated to include the name and title of a GE Appliances spokesperson, who originally identified themselves only as ''Whitney'' in emails to The Verge.
Excess deaths in 2022 among worst in 50 years - BBC News
Sun, 05 Feb 2023 02:33
Image source, Getty ImagesBy Robert Cuffe & Rachel Schraer
BBC News
More than 650,000 deaths were registered in the UK in 2022 - 9% more than 2019.
This represents one of the largest excess death levels outside the pandemic in 50 years.
Though far below peak pandemic levels, it has prompted questions about why more people are still dying than normal.
Data indicates pandemic effects on health and NHS pressures are among the leading explanations.
Is it Covid?
Covid is still killing people, but is involved in fewer deaths now than at the start of the pandemic. Roughly 38,000 deaths involved Covid in 2022 compared with more than 95,000 in 2020.
We are still seeing more deaths overall than would be expected based on recent history. The difference in 2022 - compared with 2020 and 2021 - is that Covid deaths were one of several factors, rather than the main explanation for this excess.
So what else might be going on?
The crisis in healthcare
A number of doctors are blaming the wider crisis in the NHS.
At the start of 2022, death rates were looking like they'd returned to pre-pandemic levels. It wasn't until June that excess deaths really started to rise - just as the number of people waiting for hours on trolleys in English hospitals hit levels normally seen in winter.
On 1 January 2023, the president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine suggested the crisis in urgent care could be causing "300-500 deaths a week".
It is not a figure recognised by NHS England, but it's roughly what you get if you multiply the number of people waiting long periods in A&E with the extra risk of dying estimated to come with those long waits (of between five and 12 hours).
It is possible to debate the precise numbers, but it's not controversial to say that your chances are worse if you wait longer for treatment, be that waiting for an ambulance to get to you, being stuck in an ambulance outside a hospital or in A&E.
And we are seeing record waits in each of those areas.
In November, for example, it took 48 minutes on average for an ambulance in England to respond to a suspected heart attack or stroke, compared to a target of 18 minutes.
Lasting effect of pandemic
Some of the excess may be people whose deaths were hastened by the after-effects of a Covid infection.
A number of studies have found people are more likely to have heart problems and strokes in the weeks and months after catching Covid, and some of these may not end up being linked to the virus when the death is registered.
As well as the impact on the heart of the virus itself, some of this may be contributed to by the fact many people didn't come in for screenings and non-urgent treatment during the peak of the pandemic, storing up trouble for the future.
We can see that the number of people starting treatment for blood pressure or with statins - which can help prevent future heart attacks - plunged during the pandemic and, a year later still hadn't recovered.
No evidence of vaccine effect
The rise in cardiac problems has been pointed to by some online as evidence that Covid vaccines are driving the rise in deaths, but this conclusion is not supported by the data.
One type of Covid vaccine has been linked to a small rise in cases of heart inflammation and scarring (pericarditis and myocarditis). But this particular vaccine side-effect was mainly seen in boys and young men, while the excess deaths are highest in older men - aged 50 or more.
And these cases are too rare - and mostly not fatal - to account for the excess in deaths.
Finally, figures up to June 2022 looking at deaths from all causes show unvaccinated people were more likely to die than vaccinated people.
While this data on its own can't tell us it's the vaccine protecting people from dying - there are too many complicating factors - if vaccines were driving excess deaths we would expect this to be the other way around.
F-22 Shoots Down Chinese Balloon Off Coast of South Carolina - Defense One
Sun, 05 Feb 2023 00:17
By Marcus Weisgerber
Global Business Editor
February 4, 2023 05:10 PM ET
Air Force Pentagon China The Pentagon says it shot down a Chinese surveillance balloon that was flying high above the United States for the past four days.
A U.S. Air Force fighter jet fired a single missile into the balloon six miles off the coast of South Carolina, when it was over the Atlantic Ocean in U.S. territorial waters, officials said Saturday. There were no reports of injuries.
''President Biden gave his authorization to take down the surveillance balloon as soon as the mission could be accomplished without undue risk to American lives under the balloon's path,'' Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in an emailed statement. ''After careful analysis, U.S. military commanders had determined downing the balloon while over land posed an undue risk to people across a wide area, due to the size and altitude of the balloon and its surveillance payload.''
As of 3:45 p.m. Saturday, U.S. vessels were searching for debris in the water, a senior military official said. The debris landed in relatively shallow water, giving officials confidence that parts could be recovered.
''Shooting the balloon down could enable the U.S. to recover sensitive [Chinese] equipment,'' the senior defense official said.
A senior defense official declined to say what types of surveillance equipment were hanging underneath the balloon, describing them only as a ''broad array of capabilities.''
''While we took all necessary steps to protect against the [Chinese] surveillance balloon collection of sensitive information, the surveillance balloon's overflight of U.S. territory was of intelligence value to us,'' the official said. ''I can't go into more detail, but we were able to study and scrutinize a balloon and its equipment, which has been valuable.''
U.S. officials stressed that the balloon never posed a threat to the public and that the government ''took immediate steps to protect against the balloon's collection of sensitive information, mitigating its intelligence value.'' When it was publicly spotted Wednesday, the balloon was near Air Force intercontinental ballistic missile fields in Montana.
Similar Chinese spy balloons flew over the U.S. at least three times during the Trump administration and at least once previously during the Biden administration, a senior U.S. defense official said. The balloon shot down Saturday spent at least four days over the continental United States, far longer than the prior four balloon flights, the official said.
F-22 jets from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia and F-15 fighters from Barnes Air National Guard Base in Massachusetts were among the military aircraft dispatched to shoot down the balloon, officials said.
The Raptor was at 58,000 feet when it fired an AIM-9X Sidewinder missile, a senior military official said. At the time, the balloon was higher than the jet, flying between 60,000 and 65,000 feet.
The F-22 used the call sign ''FRANK,'' according to open-source aircraft spotters, in an apparent nod to Frank Luke Jr. The World War I fighter ace shot down 14 German surveillance balloons and was known as the ''Arizona Balloon Buster.''. Luke Air Force Base in his home state is named after him.
The Chinese balloon is believed to be the first air-to-air kill for the F-22, a twin-engine stealth fighter that was originally built to battle Russian warplanes.
DEN OF THIEVES - The Day Christ Lost His S**T 'š¸
Sat, 04 Feb 2023 07:42
If you are like me, most of your perceptions of Christ are derived from that which is commonly conferred to us through mainstream Christianity and its iconography which is itself inspired by Christ's exploits, stories of which present to us a Christ who appears as harbinger of peace and serenity.
Indeed this one of the Sage's primary functions, to come forth as a healer '-- The Prince of Peace being mostly associated with this function.
'' Even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many'' '-- Mark 10:41-45
We must remember however the function of the sage is not singular nor unilateral, but is faceted by its other balancing function, that is the sage as Warrior.
The sage is both Warrior and Healer. The warrior is the '''yang'' or generative aspect, and the healer is the ''yin'' or receptive aspect '-- action & repose. Moreover, it is in the harmonising of these two aspects that one attains perfect leadership of which Christ is a living embodiment.
We see Christ as Warrior in his fulness when he cast out the money lenders from his father's temple. What was the transgression so severe that it warranted his wrath?
The two fundamental reasons for Christ's rampage is owed to the exploitation of the vulnerable and sacrilege of the sacred .
The money changers who had occupied his father's temple were exchanging currency for a fee and charging exorbitant prices for sacrificial animals, making it difficult for people who were coming to worship to participate in the offerings and sacrifices.
''Make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.'' '-- John 2:16
This desecration of the sacred, fostered and encouraged by the desire for financial gain, had profaned the profound. They had turned a place of worship and devotion into a place of commerce and greed.
The audacity of such behaviour so infuriated his lordship that upon his own divine authority, he asserts himself as Master and it is here we learn of one of his lesser known exploits.
This is the first time that we see Christ employ force! Here we see Christ in his most potent form, he comes forth as vindicator of the pious and chastiser of the wicked.
He thunders into the temple, resembling the mythological deities of Thor and Zeus, here we see Christ the King, the Eternal Sovereign, affirm his divine authority. He fashions a whip of cords, flips tables and casts them out of the temple, expelling the rotting corruption which had seeped into the temple walls.
This a far cry from most his most parroted maxims of ''love thy enemy'' and ''turn the other cheek'' which are most commonly associated with Christ's teachings and proclamations. Here he is possessed by a very different spirit and demeanour, one which contrasts the orthodox view of a man with an unassailable sense of inner calm and tranquility.
Just as the money changers in the temple were taking advantage of people's religious beliefs for their own gain, today there are still people who seek to profit from others' beliefs and values. This goes far deeper than a singular event, but rather it is the morality behind the message which should remain with us.
We have become a society which worships the profane over the profound, driven and encouraged by special interest groups who being spurred on by the desire for financial gain endeavour to manipulate the minds of individuals into becoming consumers by agitating their cravings and desires.
Institutions have been subverted in order to further atomise the individual, the principle and most ancient of these institutions being the family '-- The driving force behind these persistent attempts at its deconstruction being the desire for the acquisition of more capital.
The availability and accessibility to pornography, unjust family law courts, media which promotes conformist behaviour and perpetuates a narrative which is intended to throughly deracinate the individual from his ancestral roots by adopting depraved behaviour and to abide by the inverse of natural order are just some examples of the debasement of family and thus humanity, being a clear affront to the very foundation, that is the core tradition, of civilisation.
We live in a time where money has mutated into a tool employed by a select few to enslave the multitudes. This was made possible through the successful subversion and manipulation of money itself, which was successfully achieved through methods employed by this small clique to extract the resources and life force from productive members of a society '-- this method, is called taxation .
The etymology of the word 'taxation' itself points to a Latin word as its origin, from the word 'taxare' which means to 'to censor, charge' '-- Censorship, which is synonymous with suppression, then points to the suppression of people by means of forceful imposition of a mandatory tithe or tribute, whose consequence of non-payment results in prosecution.
A key component of this extortion which further compounds the gross assault on property rights and life force is the debasement of the very currency which the market uses to transact. This siphons value from productive members by diluting the purchasing power of the money in circulation which consequently, over a protracted period of time, slowly corrodes the integrity of the economy, distorts incentives and ultimately tears apart the fabric which ties a society together.
We could argue about the morality of taxation but there is no question that monetary policy influences behaviour. Fair weights and measures are an essential prerequisite for a well functioning society. How could we ever see anything through to completion if we didn't have a collective agreement in how much 1km, 1cm, 1ml, etc'... meant?
The debasement of money has a catastrophic effects on a society. Dilution not only debases the value of a currency but it also debases the human soul. If our money keeps losing its purchasing power, then it buys us less and less which means that it takes more time working to secure basic material needs which means less time doing what we find truly meaningful '-- it keeps us in survival mode and therefore keeps you in a more animalistic state of being.
This is not solely a historical phenomenon which should be relegated to the pages of history and is confined to the time of Christ. Most of the systemic problems we are confronted with today are a direct result of the inflation of the money supply.
Those who issue the supply of money '-- which today are central banks and government print more of said money in order to service their debts. To generate revenues, they can either tax more (unpopular), raise rates (painful) or inflate the currency (stealth).
So they choose the covert option because its consequences cannot be immediately felt, but they burden the society with debt which cannot be repaid, ultimately driving individuals further into debauchery and hedonism out of despair and lack of prosperity enjoyed by predecessors.
The question which we must contemplate and ask ourselves in response to this transgression is what and where is our 'Father's house' ?
We might instinctively identify the temple or the church as the source or anchoring point, which acts as the primordial '' centre of sanctity '' for its adherents in physical form, allowing us to orient ourselves and align ourselves with the doctrine which emanates from this centre.
If we look once more to etymology, now of the word 'Church' we find that it comes to us from the greek ''ekklÄ'sia'' which means ''assembly or gathering''. It is the congregation which makes the church just as much as the church makes the congregation, the unity of subject and object, because it is in their worshipping of this source of sanctity, which is upheld by the belief in the idea itself, it is their allegiance and devotion to doctrine, it is their discipleship which unites them in kinship.
So what is the belief which we hold sacred? And where do we witness transgressions against our primordial principles, where does our duty begin and end in regard to its preservation and protection from infiltration? Each will have to look within to find their own answers.
As such, we now see Christ in a different light, as intolerant to the incursions and insults of the money lenders and merchants who had occupied such a holy place.
It gives us a broader view and more thorough insight into the nature Christ, a view which is often neglected or discounted leaving room for receiving an impression of a Christ who lacks potency and vigour. because most of our portrayals of Christ are of him laying prostrate upon the cross, which to the un-learned layman he intuitively perceives Christ as victim and we collectively have no regular conception of Christ as anything other than as redeemer of our sins.
The story of Jesus casting out the money changers serves to remind us of Christ also as arbitrator, as regent and rectifier'--
''Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword'' '-- Matthew 10:34
This highlights the importance of speaking out against injustice and making a stand for what is right. Just as Jesus was willing to take bold and decisive action against those who were exploiting the vulnerable, we too must be willing to speak out and act against those who seek to profit from others' beliefs and values.
Perhaps we should ask ourselves if we have a duty to follow in the example of our Lord? The acts of Christ at least grant us permission to enquire into the validity of employing violence in service of the preservation of the sacred '-- where does offence begin and defence end?
Perhaps it is time that we strive to emulate the example set by Jesus, to reach for the lash and expel the wicked once more.
Rogan Talks to a New Christian | Doug Wilson - YouTube
Sat, 04 Feb 2023 07:12
U.S. military's newest weapon against China and Russia: Hot air - POLITICO
Sat, 04 Feb 2023 02:02
''High or very high-altitude platforms have a lot of benefit for their endurance on station, maneuverability and also flexibility for multiple payloads,'' said Tom Karako, senior fellow for the International Security Program and Missile Defense Project director at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
The Pentagon continues to invest in these projects because the military could use the balloons for various missions.
Over the past two years, the Pentagon has spent about $3.8 million on balloon projects, and plans to spend $27.1 million in fiscal year 2023 to continue work on multiple efforts, according to budget documents.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon is working on its own hypersonic weapons program, despite Wednesday's failure of the latest test.
A bright spot for the U.S. is the balloons may help track and deter hypersonic weapons being developed by China and Russia.
China surprised the Pentagon in August by testing a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile, which narrowly missed its target by roughly two dozen miles.
Russia began ramping up hypersonic weapons development in response to the U.S. withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002. The Russian government claimed to fire a hypersonic missile in an attack on Ukraine in March, marking its first use in combat.
That's one way the balloons could be useful '-- augmenting expensive satellites in tracking the missiles. The teardrop-shaped balloons harvest complex data and navigate using AI algorithms.
Hiding in plain sightFor years, DoD has conducted tests using high-altitude balloons and solar-powered drones to collect data, provide ground forces with communication and mitigate satellite problems. The Pentagon is quietly transitioning the balloon projects to the military services to collect data and transmit information to aircraft, POLITICO discovered in DoD budget justification documents.
The Covert Long-Dwell Stratospheric Architecture (COLD STAR), a project designed to locate drug traffickers, was widely reported in 2019. At the time, the Pentagon launched 25 surveillance balloons from South Dakota as part of a demonstration.
The Pentagon confirmed to POLITICO that the COLD STAR program has transitioned to the services. DoD would not disclose details about the effort because it is classified.
Another initiative aims to tie all the technology together. The Pentagon is conducting demonstrations to evaluate how to incorporate high-altitude balloons and commercial satellites in an attack, known as the ''kill chain.''
''They can be trucks for any number of platforms, whether it be communication and datalink nodes, ISR, tracking air and missile threats, or even various weapons '-- and without the predictable orbits of satellites,'' Karako said.
DoD is also working to use drones equipped with ''stratospheric payloads'' along with balloons to track moving ground targets, provide communications and intercept electronic signals. The idea is for the technology to transition to the Army and U.S. Special Operations Command, according to budget documents.
Finding other ways to track ground targets is a priority for the Pentagon as the Air Force retires airborne surveillance aircraft.
Not your average balloonRaven Aerostar, a division of Raven Industries, produces the balloons. Raven said they consist of a flight control unit, powered by batteries that are charged using renewable solar panels. They also have a payload electronics package that controls flight safety, navigation and communications, Russell Van Der Werff, engineering director at Raven Aerostar, said in an interview.
Wind currents allow the balloon to float along a desired flight path, and the company takes advantage of different wind speeds and directions to move the balloon to the target area.
But that's not all. Raven Aerostar uses a proprietary machine-learning algorithm that predicts wind directions and fuses incoming sensor data in real time, Van Der Werff said. The company also employs a software program to pilot and monitor its balloon fleet and has a mission operations center manned with trained flight engineers 24 hours a day, seven days a week, he added.
The balloons can supplement work performed by traditional aircraft and satellites, and stratospheric balloons can be built and launched at a fraction of the cost and time. For example, the cost to launch and operate balloons for weeks or months is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, versus millions '-- or tens of millions '-- needed to launch and operate aircraft or satellites.
Not the first timeNASA was flying helium-filled stratospheric balloons as early as the 1950s, and the Army in recent years has experimented with these systems at lower altitudes.
The private sector is also investing in the balloon market. Alphabet deployed balloons in 2017 to provide mobile communications in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.
In the mid-2010s, the Army was investing in a spy blimp program that it ultimately canceled in 2017. The effort is known as the Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Elevated Netted Sensor System, or JLENS.
The blimp was tethered, unlike the high-altitude balloons, and designed to track boats, ground vehicles, drones and cruise missiles. The balloons DoD is using now are smaller, lighter and can fly considerably higher than the spy blimp.
Starting in 2015, the Army conducted a three-year exercise to determine whether to keep buying JLENS blimps from Raytheon. But the blimp broke free from its mooring station near Baltimore, flying for three hours and eventually landing near Moreland Township, Penn.
The Army decided to drop the program. JLENS cost nearly $2 billion to develop and was designed to deploy in U.S. Central Command.
''If we can just grow up and get over our hang-ups about the JLENS event, the future can be bright for dirigibles, balloons and aerostats,'' Karako said.
How Google's balloons surprised their creator - BBC Future
Sat, 04 Feb 2023 02:01
(Image credit: Loon)
Algorithms using artificial intelligence are discovering unexpected tricks to solve problems that astonish their developers. But it is also raising concerns about our ability to control them.
The gaggle of Google employees peered at their computer screens in bewilderment. They had spent many months honing an algorithm designed to steer an unmanned helium balloon all the way from Puerto Rico to Peru. But something was wrong. The balloon, controlled by its machine mind, kept veering off course.
Salvatore Candido of Google's now-defunct Project Loon venture, which aimed to bring internet access to remote areas via the balloons, couldn't explain the craft's trajectory. His colleagues manually took control of the system and put it back on track.
It was only later that they realised what was happening. Unexpectedly, the artificial intelligence (AI) on board the balloon had learned to recreate an ancient sailing technique first developed by humans centuries, if not thousands of years, ago. "Tacking" involves steering a vessel into the wind and then angling outward again so that progress in a zig-zag, roughly in the desired direction, can still be made.
Under unfavourable weather conditions, the self-flying balloons had learned to tack all by themselves. The fact they had done this, unprompted, surprised everyone, not least the researchers working on the project.
"We quickly realised we'd been outsmarted when the first balloon allowed to fully execute this technique set a flight time record from Puerto Rico to Peru," wrote Candido in a blog post about the project. "I had never simultaneously felt smarter and dumber at the same time."
This is just the sort of thing that can happen when AI is left to its own devices. Unlike traditional computer programs, AIs are designed to explore and develop novel approaches to tasks that their human engineers have not explicitly told them about.
But while learning how to do these tasks, sometimes AIs come up with an approach so inventive that it can astonish even the people who work with such systems all the time. That can be a good thing, but it could also make things controlled by AIs dangerously unpredictable '' robots and self-driving cars could end up making decisions that put humans in harm's way.
The artificial intelligence that controlled the gas-filled balloons of Project Loon learned a sailing technique to tack into the wind (Credit: Loon)
How is it possible for an AI system to "outsmart" its human masters? And might we restrain machine minds in some way, to ensure that some unforeseen disaster does not occur?
In the AI community, there's one example of AI creativity that seems to get cited more than any other. The moment that really got people excited about what AI can do, says Mark Riedl at the Georgia Institute of Technology, is when DeepMind showed how a machine learning system had mastered the ancient game Go '' and then beat one of the world's best human players at it.
"It ended up demonstrating that there were new strategies or tactics for countering a player that no one had really ever used before '' or at least a lot of people did not know about," explains Riedl.
And yet even this, an innocent game of Go, provokes different feelings among people. On the one hand, DeepMind has proudly described the ways in which its system, AlphaGo, was able to "innovate" and reveal new approaches to a game that humans have been playing for millennia. On the other hand, some questioned whether such an inventive AI could one day pose a serious risk to humans.
"It's farcical to think that we will be able to predict or manage the worst-case behaviour of AIs when we can't actually imagine their probable behaviour," wrote Jonathan Tapson at Western Sydney University after AlphaGo's historic victory.
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The detectives who never restHow robots are coming for your voteThe signs of disease no-one can seeThe important thing to remember, says Riedl, is that AIs don't really think like humans. Their neural networks are indeed loosely inspired by animal brains but they might be better described as "exploration devices". When they attempt to solve a task or problem, they don't bring many, if any, preconceptions about the wider world with them. They simply try '' sometimes millions of times '' to find a solution.
"We humans bring in a lot of mental baggage with us, we think about the rules," says Riedl. "AI systems don't even understand the rules so they poke at things very randomly."
One algorithm discovered that it could jump off a cliff in a game and take an opponent with it to its doomIn this way, AIs could be described as the silicon equivalent of people with savant syndrome, adds Riedl, citing a condition where a person has a serious mental disability but also possesses an extraordinary skill, usually related to memory.
One way that AIs can surprise us involves their ability to tackle radically different problems but using the same basic system. Recently, a machine learning tool designed to generate paragraphs of text one word at a time was asked to perform a very different function: play a game of chess.
The system in question is called GPT-2 and was created by OpenAI. Trained on millions of online news articles and web pages, GPT-2 can predict the next word in a sentence based on the preceding words. Since chess moves can be represented in alphanumeric characters, "Be5" to move a bishop for example, developer Shawn Presser thought that if he trained the algorithm on records of chess matches instead, the tool could learn how to play the game by figuring out desirable sequences of moves.
Presser trained the system on 2.4 million chess games. "It was really cool to see the chess engine come to life," he says. "I wasn't sure it would work at all." But it did. It's not as good as specially designed chess computers '' but it's capable of playing tough matches successfully.
Presser says his experiment shows that the GPT-2 system has many unexplored capabilities. A savant with a gift for chess.
A later version of the same software astounded web designers when a developer briefly trained it to spit out code for displaying items on a web page, such as text and buttons. The AI generated appropriate code even though all it had to go on was simple descriptions like "red text that says 'I love you' and a button with 'ok' on it". Clearly, it had got the basic gist of web design but only after surprisingly little training.
With artificial intelligence starting to be used in the real world, it is important to know if it is going to do anything unexpected (Credit: Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images)
One arena where AIs have long impressed is video games. There are countless anecdotes in the AI community about surprising things algorithms have done in virtual environments. Video game-like spaces are often where algorithms are tested and honed, to see just how capable they really are.
In 2019, OpenAI made headlines with a video about a hide-and-seek game played by machine learning-controlled characters. To the researchers' surprise, seekers in the game eventually learned that they could jump on top of items and "surf" them to get access to the enclosures where the hiders were cowering. In other words, the seekers learned to bend the rules of the game to their advantage.
A strategy of trial-and-error can result in all kinds of interesting behaviours. But they do not always lead to success. Two years ago, DeepMind researcher Victoria Krakovna asked readers of her blog to share stories about times when AIs have solved tricky problems '' but in unpredictably unacceptable ways.
The long list of examples she collated is fascinating. Among them is a game-playing algorithm that learned to kill itself at the end of level one '' to avoid dying in level two. The objective of not dying in level two was achieved, just not in a particularly impressive way. Another algorithm discovered that it could jump off a cliff in a game and take an opponent with it to its doom. That gave the AI enough points to gain an extra life so that it could keep repeating this suicidal tactic in an infinite loop.
Video game AI researcher Julian Togelius at the New York University Tandon School of Engineering can explain what's going on here. He says these are classic examples of "reward allocation" errors. When an AI is asked to accomplish something, it may uncover strange and unexpected methods of achieving its goal, where end always justifies the means. We humans rarely take such a stance. The means, and the rules that govern how we ought to play, matter.
The algorithm learned to associate running to the corner with a financial reward, even though there was no relationship between its movement and how much was paid outTogelius and his colleagues have found that this goal-oriented bias can be exposed in AI systems when they are put to the test under special conditions. In recent experiments, his team found that a game-playing AI asked to invest money at a bank would run to a nearby corner of the virtual bank lobby and wait to receive a return on the investment. Togelius says the algorithm had learned to associate running to the corner with getting a financial reward, even though there was no actual relationship between its movement and how much was paid out.
This, says Togelius, is a bit like an AI developing a superstition: "You got a reward or a punishment for something '' but why did you get it?"
This is one of the pitfalls of "reinforcement learning", in which an AI ends up devising a wrong-headed strategy based on what it encounters in its environment. The AI doesn't know why it succeeded, it can only base its actions on learned associations. A bit like early human cultures that began to associate rituals with changes in the weather, for example.
Or, pigeons. In 1948, an American psychologist published a paper describing an unusual experiment in which he placed pigeons in enclosures and gave food rewards to them intermittently. The pigeons began to associate the food with whatever they happened to be doing at the time '' be it wing-flapping or performing a dance-like motion. They then repeated these behaviours, seemingly expectant that a reward would follow.
There is a big difference between the in-game AIs tested by Togelius and the live animals used by the psychologist, but Togelius hints that the same basic phenomenon appears to be at work: the reward becomes mistakenly associated with a particular behaviour.
While AI researchers may be surprised at the paths taken by machine learning systems, that doesn't necessarily mean they are in awe of them. "I never have any feeling that these agents have minds of their own," says Raia Hadsell at DeepMind.
Pigeons can learn to associate food with certain behaviors and AI's can display similar types of entrainment (Credit: Binnur Ege Gurun Kocak/Getty Images)
Hadsell has experimented with many AIs that have found interesting and novel solutions to problems not predicted by her or her colleagues. She points out that this is exactly why researchers seek to sharpen AIs in the first place '' so that they may achieve things humans can't on our own.
And she argues that products using AI, such as self-driving cars, can be rigorously tested to ensure that any unpredictability is within certain acceptable limits.
"You can give reasonable guarantees on behaviour that are based on empirical evidence," she says.
Time will tell if all companies that sell products built with artificial intelligence are scrupulous on this point. But in the meantime, it is worth noting that AIs demonstrating unexpected behaviours are by no means simply confined to research environments. They are already working their way into commercial products.
Last year, a robot arm working at a factory in Berlin developed by the US firm Covariant came up with unexpected ways of sorting items as they pass by on a conveyor belt. Despite not being specially programmed to do so, the AI controlling the arm learned to aim for the centre of items in transparent packaging to help guarantee that it would pick them up successfully each time. Because such objects can muddle together when they overlap, due to that see-through material, aiming less precisely meant the robot might fail to pick the item up.
"It avoids overlapping corners of objects, and instead aims for easiest pickable surface," says Covariant co-founder and chief executive Peter Chen. "It really surprised us."
As we're scaling up these AI systems, what we're seeing is that the things they are doing that are creative and impressive are no longer academic curiosities '' Jeff CluneSeparately, Hadsell says her team has recently experimented with a robot arm that passes different blocks through shape-sorting holes. The gripping hand on the robot was rather clumsy so the AI controlling it learned that, by repeatedly picking up and dropping the block, it could get it into the right position to then seize it and pass it easily through the appropriate hole '' rather than trying to fiddle with it using the gripper.
All of this illustrates a point made by Jeff Clune at OpenAI, who recently collaborated with colleagues around the world to collect examples of AIs that have developed clever solutions to problems. Clune says that the exploratory nature of AI is fundamental to its future success.
"As we're scaling up these AI systems, what we're seeing is that the things they are doing that are creative and impressive are no longer academic curiosities," he says.
As AIs find better ways to diagnose disease or deliver emergency supplies to people, they'll even save lives thanks to their ability to find new ways to solve old problems, adds Clune. But he thinks those who develop such systems need to be open and honest about their unpredictable nature, to help the public understand how AI works.
It is, after all, a double-edged sword '' the very promise and threat of AI all wrapped up in one. Whatever will they think of next?
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New England braces for arctic blast, possible record low wind chills - The Washington Post
Fri, 03 Feb 2023 16:10
Wind chill warnings are in effect for most of New England and New York ahead of what the National Weather Service is describing as an ''epic, generational arctic outbreak.''
''Life-threatening'' cold, according to the Weather Service, will pour into the Northeast Thursday night into Friday '-- with the most extreme conditions expected Friday night into Saturday morning.
Wind chills will plunge to minus-30 to minus-45 by early Saturday throughout much of New England, while northern and western Maine could see wind chills down to minus-60 and even as low as minus-80 to minus-90 at high elevations.
''The dangerously cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 5 minutes,'' cautioned the Weather Service office in Caribou, serving northern and western Maine.
Punxsutawney Phil is wrong: Spring is arriving early in some places
While the most severe cold is expected in northern and western New England, wind chill advisories also cover much of the northern Plains, Upper Midwest and the remainder of the Northeast (south of New York).
Cold is not the only extreme winter hazard of concern.
As the Arctic air arrives Thursday night into Friday, snow squalls may race across New England. Brief but blinding squalls may cause whiteouts, dropping an inch or two of snow in less than an hour, while creating dangerous conditions for motorists. Northern Maine, which is under a winter storm watch, appears to be at greatest risk.
The Weather Service in Caribou warned of ''[b]lizzard conditions in blowing snow across open areas'' in a tweet.
An Arctic cold front will push into the forecast area late this evening into the the first part of tonight. This front will bring the threat of snow squalls across the north around midnight with some squalls pushing south of the mountains in NH between 1 AM and 4 AM.
'-- NWS Gray (@NWSGray) February 2, 2023Wind chill records are in jeopardy
Wind chill warnings were last issued for New England in early 2022 and are issued every few years on average. Although short-lived, this ''fierce'' Arctic blast will be extreme, the Weather Service said.
''The unusual combination of very cold temperatures in the teens to 20s below zero and strong winds will create wind chills rarely seen in northern and eastern Maine as low as 45 to 65 below zero,'' wrote the Weather Service office in Caribou. ''Most stations are forecast to see their lowest wind chills in decades or, in some cases, the lowest ever recorded.''
This fake metropolis shows how extreme cold can wreck cities
Forecasts from the Weather Service indicate modern wind chill records of minus-59 degrees in Caribou (1951) and minus-41 degrees in Portland (1971) could be threatened. The average minimum wind chill in these cities each year is near minus-36 and minus-22 degrees, respectively.
On the summit of New Hampshire's Mount Washington at 6,288 feet, the wind chill is forecast to fall to minus-100 degrees Friday night as the air temperature tanks to minus-42 degrees amid wind speeds around 85 mph. Its record wind chill of minus-102.6 degrees could be challenged.
Bitter cold wind chills are also forecast for Boston and New York.
Boston is forecast to see a wind chill of minus-30 degrees Saturday morning, the lowest since 2016, when the wind chill plummeted to minus-36 degrees. The Big Apple should see wind chills approaching minus-10 degrees.
Even as far south as Washington, wind chills could dip to near zero Saturday morning.
Actual air temperatures are forecast to be cold, too
Actual temperatures are forecast to fall below zero from northern New York to interior portions of northern New England Friday while freezing highs extend to the Interstate 95 corridor Friday. High temperatures are predicted to about 30 to 35 degrees below normal in western New England.
Saranac Lake in the Adirondacks of Upstate New York may only make it to minus-9 Friday, which would be a record low maximum for the date.
Burlington, Vt., is forecast to reach minus-1 Friday, which would also be a record temperature. It's predicted to be cold enough, if winds align, to generate some lake-effect snow off Lake Champlain, which is a relatively unusual occurrence.
Low temperatures on Saturday are forecast to be about 20 to 30 degrees below normal throughout much of New England, and about 15 degrees below normal into the Mid-Atlantic region.
Most of New York and New England should fall near or below zero Friday night into Saturday morning. Readings drop as low as minus-25 to minus-35 in northern New England. These values will be above record lows in many areas, in part because of high winds (which prevent limited heat from escaping to space) and also long-term warming from human-caused climate change.
Boston is forecast to reach minus-5 degrees Saturday morning, which would be a record for the date, surpassing minus-2 degree low from 1886, and the coldest on any day since 2016. Worcester, Mass., could reach a record minus-9 degrees, while the Connecticut coast at Bridgeport dips to a record 3 degrees. Even around New York City records could be tested, as lows fall to near 10 degrees.
Lows in the teens are set to extend southward along Interstate 95 to Philadelphia, Washington, Richmond and northern North Carolina. Many of these same locations just experienced a record-warm January, so this chill will undoubtedly come as a shock.
January's warmth was unprecedented in much of the Northeast
As brutal as the Arctic onslaught will be, it will shuffle in and out of the Northeast quickly. By Monday and into midweek, temperatures are forecast to rapidly warm to readings as much as 15 to 25 degrees above normal.
Explaining the cold air outbreak
The cold will spill into the Northeast because of a lobe of the polar vortex in the troposphere (not to be confused with the stratospheric polar vortex) '-- spinning near the Hudson Bay region of Canada '-- set to plunge southeastward.
Two weather systems will work in tandem to drive this frigid air southward: a rapidly intensifying storm '-- or bomb cyclone '-- over the Labrador Sea and a very strong zone of high pressure over Ontario and Quebec. The counterclockwise circulation around the storm and clockwise circulation around the high pressure zone will direct cold into New England like interlocking gears.
Temperatures about 5,000 feet off the ground are expected to dip to at least minus-40 Celsius (same in Fahrenheit), which meteorological researchers have called the ''creme-de-la-creme'' of cold air.
By Friday night into Saturday morning, the air over New England will be about as cold as anywhere in the world outside northern Siberia.
Jason Samenow contributed to this report.
Hoe links mij tot zondebok maakte als klokkenluider van woke extremisme '' Laurens Buijs
Fri, 03 Feb 2023 16:06
Met mijn opiniestuk in universiteitskrant Folia dat op 18 januari verscheen, blijk ik een heuse storm te hebben aangeblazen op de UvA en daarbuiten. In het stuk kom ik uit de kast als klokkenluider op de UvA, omdat de academische vrijheid bij sociale wetenschappen door politiek correct, ''woke'' gedachtengoed in mijn ogen op het punt van omvallen staat. De kritiek op woke kwam dit keer niet van conservatief-rechts, maar van binnenuit: ik ben mijn leven lang al links-progressief, en bekritiseerde woke ook vanuit die positie. Dit ontaardde vervolgens in een landelijke mediastorm, waar de strijd om de waarheid en de framing keihard werd gespeeld. In dit blog wil ik graag reconstrueren hoe ik in deze machtsstrijd werd gezondebokt. In de mainstream pers trok een kwaadaardig frame over mij aan het langste eind: ik zou een ontspoorde wetenschapper zijn die heult met extreemrechts gedachtengoed om een onschuldig links bolwerk te slopen.
Inhoudsopgave van dit blog:1. Publicatie van het opiniestuk: Folia & Radio 12. Links opent de aanval3. Reactie van de UvA4. Het wappie-frame5. Mijn verweer op Twitter en in alternatieve media6. Reddingsboeien van rechts7. Aanvallen in de mainstream media, hulp van de Telegraaf8. Conclusie: de zondebok van links
1. Publicatie van het opiniestuk: Folia & Radio 1In mijn opiniestuk op de site van Folia beschrijf ik drie thema's waarvan ik merk dat ik mij daar niet meer vrijelijk over kan uiten op de UvA zonder dat dat tot allerlei heftige vormen van uitsluiting en stigmatisering ('canceling') leidt. Ik leg uit hoe mijn kritiek op het fenomeen 'non-binaire gender', op de rol van de islam in homofoob geweld, en op de coronamaatregelen (inclusief de mRNA-vaccinaties) hebben geleid tot ondermijning van mijn werk als wetenschapper.
De academische vrijheid staat in mijn ogen inmiddels zo ernstig onder druk bij sociale wetenschappen op de UvA, en het gesprek daarover is intern inmiddels zo onmogelijk geworden, dat ik al in november 2022 besloot om gebruik te maken van de officile klokkenluidersprocedure die wordt beschermd door nationale wetgeving. Ik heb toen bij het College van Bestuur een rapport ingeleverd van 30 pagina's met gedetailleerd beschreven misstanden bij sociale wetenschappen.
In dat rapport verdedig ik mijn stelling: het diversiteitsbeleid van de UvA zet de academische vrijheid steeds meer onder druk. Ik heb beschreven en onderbouwd dat de situatie inmiddels zo ernstig is, dat er sprake is van overtreding van Artikel 13 van het EU-Handvest van Grondrechten. Ik heb in dat rapport ook uiteengezet welk ernstig institutioneel falen in mijn ogen achter de woke ontsporingen schuil gaat.
In dit rapport, maar ook in alle gesprekken die ik hierover heb gevoerd met bestuur en directie van de UvA, heb ik altijd benadrukt dat ik een groot voorstander ben van diversiteitsbeleid, en dat de UvA ook trots mag zijn dat zij het beleidsproject zo omvangrijk hebben willen neerzetten. Ik ben namelijk al vanaf 2016 ondernemer op het gebied van Diversiteit & Inclusie, en al meer dan 20 jaar activist voor de LHBTI- en zwarte beweging. Ik ben bovendien een van de oprichters en jarenlange voorzitter van UvA Pride, het LHBTI-netwerk van de UvA. Juist daarom weet ik hoe belangrijk het is om diversiteitsbeleid te beschermen tegen ontsporingen, zoals fatsoenspolitie, inperking van het vrije woord en onderdrukking van het pluriforme debat.
Een paar dagen voor de publicatie van het opiniestuk, kreeg ik van het College van Bestuur zowel per mail als in een gesprek de bevestiging dat er naar aanleiding van mijn klokkenluidersmelding een onafhankelijk onderzoek zou starten. Klokkenluiders van misstanden binnen organisaties worden tijdens de loop van zo'n onderzoek beschermd tegen schorsing en ontslag door de Wet Huis Voor Klokkenluiders. En dat is maar goed ook, want ik was door mijn ''controversile'' inhoudelijke standpunten inmiddels zo ge¯soleerd komen te staan binnen de UvA, en met zoveel vijanden die in mijn werk als academicus en mijn strijd tegen politieke correctheid bewijs zagen voor discriminatie en sociale onveiligheid, dat mijn ontslag haast onvermijdelijk leek.
Het opiniestuk ging later die dag viral op Twitter, en een dag later zwol de discussie steeds verder aan. Ik werd die dag uitgenodigd bij het radioprogramma Dit is de dag op NPO Radio 1. Mijn gesprek met presentator Thijs van de Brink begon om kwart voor zeven, net toen half Nederland door sneeuwval in de file naar huis stond en de luistercijfers dus erg hoog waren.
2. Links opent de aanvalNa het radio-interview barstte de bom pas echt open. Toen ik een uur na de uitzending weer thuis aankwam en ik mijn mailbox opende, was die overspoeld met steunbetuigingen. Collega's van universiteiten en hogescholen uit het hele land, en veel andere Nederlanders meldden zich in mijn mail om mij een hart onder de riem te steken. Ik vond het hartverwarmend, en een grote geruststelling dat zoveel Nederlanders waakzaam zijn, en bewust zijn van het grote gevaar van woke. De mails met steun en support blijven tot op de dag van vandaag binnenstromen.
Ik word overladen met steunbetuigingen, na mijn opiniestuk en na mijn optreden net op Radio 1 bij Dit is de dag. Heel erg bedankt; het ontroert me. Ik heb de afgelopen tijd ervaren als een nachtmerrie. Woke is levensgevaarlijk, we kunnen het weerwoord niet aan rechts overlaten!
'-- Laurens Buijs (@laurensbuijs) January 19, 2023In de dagen na het optreden blijkt dat mijn rol als klokkenluider ook een akelige donkere kant heeft. Veel mensen binnen de UvA, en eigenlijk veel mensen binnen gevestigd links, blijken absoluut niet op de spiegel te zitten te wachten die ik woke heb voorgehouden. De reactie van de UvA en het landelijke linkse establishment heb ik als zeer pijnlijk ervaren: alsof een hele machtige machine aan het werk werd gezet om mij zwart te maken en tot zondebok te maken, vanuit het motto: ''als we hem zwart maken, hoeven we ook niet naar zijn boodschap te luisteren''.
Dat begon met aanvallen van Sylvana Simons en Tim Hofman op Twitter. Deze twee linkse voorvechters voor een meer rechtvaardige samenleving zijn er altijd als de kippen bij als er sprake is van machtsmisbruik, maar nu hun eigen ideologie zich agressief tegen mij keert, staan ze opeens aan de kant van de macht. Simons kan 'alleen maar lachen' om mijn opiniestuk in Folia, en zet mij weg als iemand die wanhopig vasthoudt aan tijden waarin minderheden nog 'teveel pikten'.
Intussen kan ik echt alleen maar lachen om dit soort uitspraken van dit soort mensen.Maar het is natuurlijk diep treurig, dit wanhopige vasthouden aan tijden waarin we (te) veel pikten.
'-- Sylvana Simons (@SylvanaBIJ1) January 18, 2023Tim Hofman pakt een andere veelgebruikte drogreden die links tegen mij gebruikt uit de schap: ik zou in een overdreven slachtofferrol zitten en onterecht claimen dat ik als criticus op woke op de UvA word vermangeld. Dat kan volgens hem niet kloppen, want ik krijg bij NPO Radio 1 en in de Folia toch juist een podium? Dat ik al enige tijd op de rand van ontslag sta op de UvA na een langdurige heksenjacht op mij vanwege mijn ideen en dat mijn stap naar de media als klokkenluider veel moed vroeg, daar kijkt hij voor weg.
was dat mond snoeren voor of na dit optreden op nationale radio bij de policor NPO?
'-- Tim Hofman (@debroervanroos) January 19, 20233. Reactie van de UvADe UvA distantieert zich direct na mijn radio-interview van mijn met wetenschap onderbouwde kritiek op non-binaire gender met een beroep op het diversiteitsbeleid. ISW-directeur Michala Hordijk stuurt een bericht rond waarin wordt gezegd dat ''de opleiding '' docenten, management en ondersteunend team '' nadrukkelijk afstand neemt van de oordelen en kwetsende uitingen over non-binariteit van de heer Buijs''. De studenten die zich gekwetst voelen krijgen bescherming, en mijn wetenschappelijk werk wordt veroordeeld. Dat bericht gaat eerst rond onder al mijn collega's en studenten, en verschijnt later die dag ook in Het Parool.
Ook vanuit de decaan FMG, het CvB en de Central Diversity Officer van de UvA worden dreigende en lasterlijke berichten rondgestuurd op de universiteit, waarbij wordt gekozen voor de persoonlijke aanval en waarmee studenten en docenten tegen mij worden opgezet (zie kopje 5 in het Twitterdraadje over overtredingen van de klokkenluiderswetgeving door de UvA).
En dat heeft effect. Collega's met wie ik samenwerk aan publicaties en die mij steunen, nemen opeens de telefoon niet meer op. ISW-student Raisa Mulder (zelf non-binair) post op Instagram als reactie op mijn Folia-stuk bovendien een 'Trigger Warning' over mij. Er wordt daarin opgeroepen tot mijn schorsing en ontslag. Ook word ik nota bene beschuldigd van 'homofobie' en 'transfobie'. Het feit dat ik mij mijn hele leven heb ingezet voor de emancipatiestrijd van LHBTI en daar een uitgesproken voorstander en voorvechter van ben, is Mulder kennelijk ontgaan.
Raisa Mulder wordt een paar dagen later ook uitgenodigd door NPO Radio 1, en krijgt daar een podium om nog meer laster over mij te verspreiden. Deze student (aan wie ik nooit les heb gegeven) verwijt mij op Radio 1 dat ik het debat over non-binair op de UvA onmogelijk maak, terwijl ik al lange tijd juist de enige ben die dit debat wil voeren. Maar daar krijg ik simpelweg de kans niet toe, omdat ik dan van discriminatie beschuldigd word. Mulder claimt op de radio een voorstander te zijn van debat op de UvA, maar roept in werkelijkheid juist op tot mijn schorsing en ontslag. In het interview komt Mulder weg met deze omdraaiing van de wereld.
UvA-docent Buijs zegt dat 'de woke cultuur' de academische vrijheid bedreigt. UvA-student Raisa Mulder hoopt dat de universiteit studenten betrekt in het debat en gesprek. 'Op dit moment worden we erbuiten gehouden terwijl het gaat om onze leeromgeving', zegt ze in @denieuwsbv.
'-- NPO Radio 1 (@NPORadio1) January 25, 2023Een paar dagen later volgt een opiniestuk in de Folia van de Central Diversity Officer van de UvA: Machiel Keestra. Ook hij neemt stelling tegen mij. Ook hij kiest niet voor argumenten maar voor de persoonlijke aanval: hij trekt zinnen uit blogs uit context en verlegt de aandacht van de inhoud naar de vorm van mijn uitingen. Keestra maakt mij in zijn stuk een''toonverwijt''; dit is een ad hominem-drogreden. Hij zegt dat ik mij zou diskwalificeren in het debat door mijn toon en stijl. Maar de werkelijkheid is dat op de UvA het standpunt dat non-binair een gevaarlijke vorm van links-extremisme is gewoon niet ingenomen kan worden zonder gecanceld te worden, hoe je dat ook formuleert of onderbouwt.
Natuurlijk mogen mensen zich als non-binair identificeren. Maar ik mag daar ook tegen zijn en dat als een extremistisch gevaar zien. Anderen mogen mij dan weer als extremistisch zien. Vanaf daar het gesprek aan met argumenten, ''brave space''! Emoties horen daarbij, canceling niet.
'-- Laurens Buijs (@laurensbuijs) January 29, 2023Langzaamaan ontstaat zo het beeld van mij alsof ik een Nederlandse Jordan Peterson of Andrew Tate ben: iemand die zijn kont tegen de krib van de liberale orde heeft gegooid, en die met de populistische onderbuik van de samenleving is gaan rennen. En dat was nog maar het begin van de ongekende laster die ik over mij heen heb gekregen: inmiddels stonden ook de 'fact checkers' op social media klaar om mij te kielhalen.
4. Het wappie-frameVia mijn blogs en mijn social media-geschiedenis komen mijn critici erachter dat ik me met veel thema's bezighoud die zij associren met 'wappies'. Zo ben ik vanuit mijn expertise in Science & Technology Studies (STS) kritisch op de totalitaire en neoliberale surveillance-agenda achter de coronamaatregelen en de mRNA-vaccinatie. Maar ook verzet ik me al langere tijd tegen het stigmatiseren van complotbewegingen, probeer ik het punt te maken dat zelfs de ogenschijnlijk absurde 'Reptilian'-theorie van David Icke zo gek nog niet is, heb ik een interesse in astrologie en alchemie, en vind ik dat Viruswaarheid en FVD niet voldoende credits krijgen voor wat zij allemaal goed hebben gedaan in hun verzet tegen de coronamaatregelen.
Toen ik de framing zag ontstaan om mij als wappie weg te zetten was ik niet onder de indruk, want ik heb niets te verbergen en schaam mij niet voor mijn standpunten en overtuigingen. Integendeel, mijn blogs en social media-posts met mijn beschouwingen en analyses over van alles en nog wat zijn mijn grote trots. Ik ben bovendien als expert in het gedachtengoed van de baanbrekende Franse filosoof Bruno Latour beter thuis in de laatste opvattingen over wetenschap en technologie dan de meeste van mijn critici, en kan aanvallen op mijn wetenschappelijke werk, expertise en integriteit dus prima pareren. Ik besluit daarom om de vlucht naar voren te nemen en op Twitter zelf een uitgebreide introductie te geven tot mijn denkbeelden over wetenschap en spiritualiteit.
Natuurlijk is ook hier een hele lastercampagne tegen mij op gang gekomen om me weg te zetten als een Slecht Persoon. Want dat is handig, dan hoef je mijn boodschap niet meer serieus te nemen! Ik zou wappie zijn, extreemrechts, antivax, etc. Een draadje voor wie meer wilt weten:
'-- Laurens Buijs (@laurensbuijs) January 20, 2023Voor dit soort genuanceerde standpunten is in de huidige gepolariseerde media natuurlijk geen plek meer. Hoewel mijn denkbeelden en de blogs die ik erover heb geschreven op Twitter in algemene zin tot fascinatie, verwondering en complimenten leiden, gebruiken mijn tegenstanders deze vondsten om mijn karaktermoord te vervolmaken. Ik word onterecht weggezet als anti-wetenschap, anti-vax en extreemrechts. Er zou volgens hen definitief bewijs zijn geleverd voor het feit dat ik een doorgeslagen malloot ben, die op een universiteit niet thuis hoort.
De intolerantie voor persoonlijke spirituele overtuigingen blijkt onder seculier Nederland enorm, en de bereidheid om zich te verplaatsen in andere denkbeelden en perspectieven erg laag. Onderwerpen waar ik op mijn persoonlijke blog over schrijf, worden op (C)(C)n hoop gegooid met mijn wetenschappelijke werk. Zo ontstaat van mij een beeld als iemand die het persoonlijke niet kan scheiden van het professionele, en die college zou geven over tarot, UFO's en complottheorien.
Al snel worden ook journalisten op Twitter door een grote groep trollen bestookt met tweets, waarin zij opgeroepen worden om zoiemand als ik geen podium te geven. Op die manier zouden zij namelijk bijdragen aan het verspreiden van 'fake news', 'extreemrechtse haat' en 'complottheorien'. Iemand die de storm over mij niet heel gedetailleerd volgt, kan zo op een afstandje makkelijk het beeld krijgen dat er op de UvA een combinatie van David Icke en Andrew Tate is opgestaan, een extremistisch monster dat de tent aan het slopen is met abject gedachtengoed.
5. Mijn verweer op Twitter en in alternatieve mediaIntussen probeer ik voor mijn groeiende following op Twitter te redden wat er te redden valt door zo goed mogelijk weerwoord te geven op alle karaktermoord. Ik probeer de aandacht te verschuiven van alle aanvallen op mijn persoon, naar de inhoud van waar ik voor sta: academische vrijheid op de UvA.
Ik probeer als eerste af te rekenen met een hardnekkig beeld dat van mij wordt neergezet alsof ik mezelf ben verloren. Dat ik door mentale gezondheidsproblemen mezelf niet meer ben. Dat ik me de laatste jaren heb laten opjutten door populistische sentimenten in de samenleving. En dat ik zo ook een tegenstander van non-binair ben geworden. In een draadje probeer ik uit te leggen dat dit niet klopt, en dat mijn kritiek op non-binair uit gedegen en interdisciplinair wetenschappelijk onderzoek naar 'androgynie' voortkomt, waar ik al drie jaar mee bezig ben.
Door mijn stellingname tegen non-binaire gender krijg ik het verwijt dat ik me heb laten opjutten door populistische sentimenten tegen LHBTI. Dit is niet waar! Een draadje met meer context over mijn kritiek op non-binair: '¬‡¸
'-- Laurens Buijs (@laurensbuijs) January 23, 2023Ook neem ik hier en daar deel aan discussies die op mijn tijdlijn zijn ontstaan. Die gaan allang niet meer alleen over woke en gender. Ze gaan over vaccinaties, complottheorien, klimaatverandering, de autoriteit van de wetenschap, de zin en onzin van het verschil tussen links en rechts, de vraag of het World Economic Forum nou wel of niet te vertrouwen is, de zin en onzin van zaken als astrologie en tarot, en ga zo maar door. Ik vind dit soort discussies geweldig, en zie vooral een grote groep mensen die open en vrij discussieert. Maar tegelijk geldt natuurlijk altijd de Wet van Twitter: een kleine groep radicale schreeuwlelijkerds die de hardste persoonlijke aanvallen uitvoeren, krijgt toch de meeste aandacht.
Daarnaast probeer ik het punt te maken dat de problemen met woke op de UvA zich in mijn ogen niet alleen beperken tot de verstikkende normen die ik in het eerste opiniestuk benoemde, maar dat daar een grote institutionele machine achter schuil gaat die in mijn ogen aan het ontsporen is. Het rapport hou ik al die tijd vertrouwelijk omdat dat natuurlijk de correcte houding is, maar aan incidenten waarover al eerder is bericht in de media kan natuurlijk wel aandacht gegeven worden. Zo geef ik opnieuw aandacht aan het merkwaardige ontslag van UvA-hoogleraar antropologie Niko Besier, slechts een paar maanden geleden.
UvA-hoogleraar antropologie Niko Besnier werd recent ontslagen wegens grensoverschrijdend gedrag. Rechter oordeelde dat onderzoek naar hem ''bevooroordeeld'' was & verweet UvA ''ernstig verwijtbaar handelen''. Besnier kreeg nooit eerlijke kans op weerwoord & overwoog zelfmoord! (1/2)
'-- Laurens Buijs (@laurensbuijs) January 25, 2023Ook breng ik mijn following via Twitter op de hoogte van de manier waarop de UvA met mij is omgegaan sinds mijn klokkenluidersmelding. In mijn ogen zijn daar zaken gebeurd die absoluut niet hadden mogen gebeuren, en is er zelfs sprake van overtreding van de nationale klokkenluiderswetgeving.
De UvA gaat niet goed om met mij als klokkenluider en dit gaat niet goed aflopen tenzij ik SNEL publiekelijke & georganiseerde hulp & steun krijg van UvA-gemeenschap! Een draadje: '¬‡¸
'-- Laurens Buijs (@laurensbuijs) January 26, 2023Ten slotte grijp ik ook mijn kans om op alternatieve online mediaplatforms te verschijnen, waar voldoende ruimte is om mijn verhaal met nuance en diepgang te vertellen. Zo ga ik bij de Nieuwe Wereld in gesprek met Durk Kooistra, waar wij meer dan een uur praten over de situatie op de UvA en de context waarin we die moeten begrijpen: institutionele problemen op universiteiten wereldwijd, en het oprukkende high-tech surveillancekapitalisme.
De volgende dag komt het team van Follow The Science bij mij op bezoek op de UvA, een platform opgezet door prof. Micha(C)la Schippers van de Erasmus Universiteit. Dit platform volgt de laatste ontwikkelingen in de wetenschap nauwgezet via gesprekken met spraakmakende gasten. De uitstekende interviewer Rico Brouwer voert met mij het gesprek in het Engels, wat mij in staat stelt om ook mijn vele niet-Nederlandstalige collega's te bereiken op de UvA, en natuurlijk in de internationale academische gemeenschap.
De reacties op beide interviews zijn zeer positief. Ik krijg van alle kanten steun en support. Collega's van universiteiten en hogescholen blijven naar me uitreiken, uit binnen- en buitenland. Er blijken over de hele wereld zorgen te leven over de staat van de academische vrijheid. Mijn interview met Follow The Science bereikt zelfs Jordan Peterson, die het via Twitter verspreidt.
Via mijn Twitter blijf ik intussen af en toe een app¨l doen op de UvA-gemeenschap om zich uit te spreken als ze zich in mijn zorgen herkennen. En ik probeer collega's uit het hele land die hun hulp aanbieden te inspireren om het debat over academische vrijheid ook in hun organisaties te starten.
Ik krijg vaak de vraag van mensen hoe ze mij kunnen helpen. Het antwoord: kom om mij heen staan! Niet alleen op de UvA maar ook daarbuiten, een front vormen voor het vrije woord. Neem in discussies met vrienden, collega's, familie, sportmaatjes etc duidelijk stelling in (1/5)
'-- Laurens Buijs (@laurensbuijs) January 28, 20236. Reddingsboeien van rechtsDe aanvallen van links op mij blijven intussen onverminderd doorgaan. Wel komt er steeds meer hulp van rechts. De eerste die aan mijn kant komt staan is Paul Cliteur, emeritus-hoogleraar Recht van de Universiteit Leiden die verbonden is aan Forum voor Democratie. Hij komt niet alleen bij me op bezoek bij de Universiteit van Amsterdam om mij een hart onder de riem te steken, maar schrijft ook een prachtig opiniestuk over mijn situatie voor de Dagelijkse Standaard.
Tot mijn verbazing blijft de support van rechts daar niet bij. Ook Thierry Baudet belt mij op om mij een hart onder de riem te steken. Daarnaast dienen Harm Beertema (PVV) en Ralf Dekker (FVD) vlijmscherpe Kamervragen in over mijn penibele situatie als klokkenluider aan de UvA. De PVV nodigt mij zelfs uit om langs te komen in de Tweede Kamer. En Johan Derksen spreekt zijn steun voor mij uit in het laatste staartje van het SBS-programma Vandaag Inside.
Op Twitter deel ik mijn verbijstering over het feit dat waar links mij laat vallen, er allerlei rechtse mensen klaar staan om mij te helpen en te steunen, die ik vanuit mijn linkse activisme altijd heb bestreden.
Ik werd gebeld door Thierry Baudet die me hart onder de riem stak. Zo onwerkelijk! Ik krijg hartverwarmende steun van PVV, FvD, Paul Cliteur en Johan Derksen. En mijn eigen UvA, maar ook Sylvana Simons en Tim Hofman vallen me persoonlijk aan (1/3)
'-- Laurens Buijs (@laurensbuijs) January 25, 2023De hoon die ik vanuit linkse kant krijg als ik deze reddingsboeien vervolgens aanneem, pareer ik door te zeggen dat ook ik moet overleven, en dat zij eerst eens naar hun eigen zwijgen over ernstige radicalisering in eigen gelederen moeten kijken voordat ze mij en de rechtse partijen veroordelen.
Al die linkse mensen met hun oordelen over dat ik reddingsboeien van rechts heb gegrepen, wat een hypocrisie! Ze wijzen de vinger naar mij & rechts terwijl het probleem is dat links zwijgt!
'-- Laurens Buijs (@laurensbuijs) January 28, 20237. Aanvallen in de mainstream media, hulp van de TelegraafIntussen begint het mij op te vallen dat de discussie die inmiddels levendig woedt op sociale media en via allerlei andere kanalen, niet goed doordringt op de grote landelijke mediapatforms. Er zijn wat grote mediaplatforms die naar me uitreiken en met me in gesprek gaan, maar tot uitnodigingen voor programma's en stukken in kranten leidt het vooralsnog niet. Wel komen in de media steeds meer stukken van mijn critici.
Zo schrijft UvA-collega Jaap Kooijman al vlug een reactie voor OneWorld, waarin het gevaar van woke ontkend en gebagatelliseerd wordt. Han van der Horst haalt op naar me uit door mijn wetenschappelijke integriteit en expertise te bagatelliseren. In de Volkskrant schrijft Emma Curvers een venijnig stuk, waarin ze mij onterecht beschuldigt van ongenuanceerde kritiek op woke (terwijl ik altijd heb aangegeven me enkel te verzetten tegen de excessen en juist ook veel geleerd te hebben van woke cultuur), en waarin ze me met extreemrechtse politiek associeert.
In Het Parool, die eerder al uitgebreid aandacht gaf aan de beschuldigingen van de UvA dat ik respectloos zou zijn naar non-binaire studenten (zonder bij mij om wederhoor te vragen), verschijnen nog twee andere venijnige stukken. In een opiniestuk zet de hoofdredacteur van de Gay Krant, Rick van der Made, mij weg als iemand die onnodig hard en kwetsend is naar non-binaire personen. Hij vindt dat alle identiteiten die bedacht worden gewoon geaccepteerd moeten worden, en dat de wetenschap zich daar niet mee mag bemoeien. Columnist Lale G¼l grijpt daarna nog eens terug naar het wappie-frame om mij als een pseudowetenschapper weg te zetten die geen positie op de UvA verdient, en haalt naar me uit in keiharde en ronduit lasterlijke taal.
Ook op het mediatoneel komt rechts mij uiteindelijk uit mijn isolement bevrijden. De rechtse pers geeft mij een eerlijke kans om een weerwoord te bieden op alle heftige zondebokdynamiek, karaktermoord en zwartmakerij. Zo reiken SBS6, GeenStijl en Ongehoord Nederland pro-actief naar me uit, en publiceert De Telegraaf een interview met mij.
Alleen @wierdduk van de Telegraaf heeft geschreven over de schandalige wijze waarop links mij tot zondebok heeft gemaakt. Andere kranten zwijgen in alle toonaarden, maar publiceren wel stukken waarin woke wordt verdedigd en ik word zwartgemaakt!
'-- Laurens Buijs (@laurensbuijs) January 29, 20238. Conclusie: de zondebok van linksBijna twee weken na de publicatie van het opiniestuk begint er een patroon zichtbaar te worden: gevestigd links zet me weg als zondebok, en nieuw rechts neemt het juist voor me op en reikt actief naar me uit.
Ik heb de afgelopen anderhalve week als heel intens ervaren. Om door je eigen groep zo tot zondebok te worden gemaakt is een ontzettend akelig gevoel, en heeft mij vaak angstig, boos en verdrietig doen voelen. Aan de andere kant zie ik het ook als een geluk bij een ongeluk dat het nu 'out in the open' gebeurde: wat mij de afgelopen weken is gebeurd, gebeurt mij al veel langer binnen de muren van de UvA. Het voordeel is dat nu heel Nederland kon meekijken hoe cancelcultuur werkt.
De steun van rechts heeft me verward. Het geeft me een onwerkelijk gevoel, dat ik nu door rechts word beschermd: partijen en personen die ik als linkse activist altijd heb bevochten. Toch voel ik van binnen dat ik deze hulp zonder schaamte of schuld kan accepteren. Dat betekent niet dat ik nu opeens rechts ben geworden, of aan het ''heulen ben met rechts'', zoals woedend links het probeert te framen. Maar ik heb van hen wel oprechte betrokkenheid gevoeld bij mijn zaak.
De wereld zit niet zo simpel in elkaar dat links goed is, en rechts slecht. Dat werd ook tijdens de coronapandemie weer goed duidelijk. Het zijn de rechtse partijen geweest die de afgelopen tijd dapper verzet hebben gevoerd tegen de autoritaire en totalitaire wind die door Nederland waait. En het zijn de linkse partijen die juist kritiekloos zijn meegewaaid. Dat betekent niet dat ik nu rechts ben geworden, of dat ik dat ooit zal worden. Natuurlijk niet. Deze wereld is en blijft door en door neoliberaal, en het enige juiste antwoord daarop kan door links worden gegeven.
Aan de andere kant moet ik ook constateren dat links mij nu in de steek heeft gelaten. Ik vind de verwijten aan mij dat ik naar reddingsboeien van rechts grijp ronduit hypocriet. Als linkse mensen dat graag anders willen zien, zullen ze eerst naar zichzelf moeten kijken. Waarom is de capaciteit en de bereidheid van links om naar zichzelf te kijken, en onderzoek te doen naar de eigen schaduwzijde en het eigen extremisme, zo ontzettend laag? Zolang dat niet verandert, zal de eigen agressie geprojecteerd worden op klokkenluiders als ik in de vorm van zondebokdynamiek. Hoe dat voelt, is in onderstaand plaatje uitstekend uitgedrukt.
Ik voel me door alles wat er gebeurd is, meer dan ooit gemotiveerd om zelf in elk geval definitief te stoppen met mensen en organisaties in kampen indelen, en om te stoppen met alles en iedereen a priori wegzetten als goed of slecht. Het is juist dit soort ongenuanceerde moraliteit dat de woke cultuur heeft doen ontsporen.
Het is duidelijk dat ik uit mijn oude nest ben gegooid, en dat ik daar in elk geval op dit moment geen medestanders meer heb. Het is ook duidelijk dat mijn linkse idealen niet veilig zijn bij de mensen die om mij heen zijn gaan staan toen ik bescherming zocht als klokkenluider in nood. Ik wil de komende tijd gaan verkennen of het misschien mogelijk is om de beide werelden bij elkaar te brengen.
Het valt me al langer op dat het bewustzijn in rechtse en alternatieve netwerken over het zorgelijke oprukken van de neoliberale surveillancestaat een stuk groter is dan onder links-intellectuele netwerken. Zie bijvoorbeeld de uitstekende videocolumn van Sietske Bergsma bij Blckbx, waarin het gevaar van woke met een indrukwekkende precisie wordt ontleed en in een bredere context wordt gezet.
Ik merk in dit soort netwerken tegelijkertijd vaak snel een ongenuanceerde afkeer naar alles wat met woke en diversiteitsbeleid te maken heeft. Ik wil de komende tijd graag proberen om het bewustzijn over de prachtige en noodzakelijke kanten van diversiteitsdenken in die kringen te vergroten, en om de angst weg te nemen dat alle uitingen van woke leiden tot een top-down autoritaire fatsoenspolitie.
Wat me ten slotte opvalt is hoeveel mensen op dit moment helemaal niet meer in rechts of links denken. Ik heb de afgelopen twee weken veel steun ontvangen van mensen die vroeger altijd links waren, maar zich nu niet meer kunnen herkennen in de politiek van de gevestigde partijen. En geef ze eens ongelijk, want wat heeft gevestigd links zitten prutsen! Een hoop voormalig linkse mensen hebben de labels links en rechts daardoor overboord gegooid, en willen zich nu over alle partijkleuren heen verbinden met elkaar om samen een vuist te maken tegen de totalitaire wind die waait.
Zolang het neoliberalisme bestaat, zal ik mijn linkse identiteit niet loslaten. Ik geloof in het dualisme tussen links en rechts, net als ik geloof in het dualisme tussen man en vrouw. Het probleem van de huidige politiek is niet dat we onderscheid maken tussen links en rechts, maar dat de gehele gevestigde politiek van links tot rechts zich heeft laten corrumperen door het neoliberalisme. Ik ben en blijf links, en wil links eindelijk weer echt links maken. Het links van vroeger, toen het nog echt ging om het leven van de gewone mensen '' inclusief minderheidsgroepen '' beter maken in een strijd tegen de kapitalistische elite.
Als aanhanger van de astrologie zeg ik: het Watermantijdperk is begonnen, we zullen op allerlei ongebruikelijke wijzen tegenstellingen moeten overbruggen. Als we het corrupte en autoritaire neoliberalisme willen verslaan, zullen we ons als volk niet meer uit elkaar moeten laten spelen. We zullen radicaal moeten verbinden met elkaar over grote verschillen heen, van 'wappie' tot 'wokie'.
Ik zal iedereen die om mij als klokkenluider is gaan staan met open blik tegemoet treden, ongeacht politieke kleur. Hoe hard de confrontaties soms ook zullen zijn en hoe onoverbrugbaar de tegenstellingen ook zullen voelen, woke heeft mij geleerd dat alles beter is dan 'canceling'.
Who Is Timothy Thibault, Former FBI Agent Under Fire by GOP? | Time
Fri, 03 Feb 2023 14:04
FBI agent Timothy Thibault'--who was embroiled in criticism from Republican lawmakers accusing him of political bias'--voluntarily retired on August 26th, his legal counsel confirmed to TIME, and was not in a supervisory role in the Hunter Biden investigation at the center of the controversy.
Thibault has faced GOP criticism since earlier this summer, when Senator Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, accused him of political partisanship in his work, in particular in the ongoing probe into the business dealings of President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden.
In a statement provided to TIME, Thibault's legal counsel Morrison & Foerster LLP said that he ''did not supervise the investigation of Hunter Biden,'' said Thibault was ''not involved in any decisions related to any laptop that may be at issue in that investigation,'' and said Thibault ''did not seek to close the investigation.'' The statement denies Thibault displayed any political partisanship in his work.
In a July letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland, Grassley had alleged that whistleblowers reported Thibault had sought to close ''an avenue of additional derogatory Hunter Biden reporting'' and sought to prevent it from being reopened.
In comment to TIME, Grassley said that ''Mr. Thibault's statement fails to address the allegations brought forth by whistleblowers who provided specific and credible allegations of political bias and his failure to comply with Department and FBI guidelines and standards.''
''Political bias should have no place at the FBI. We need accountability, which is why Congress must continue investigating and the inspector general must fully investigate as I've requested,'' Grassley continued.
The FBI declined to comment on ''personnel matters.''
Here's what to know about former FBI agent Timothy Thibault and why he's being criticized by Republicans.
Who is Timothy Thibault?Timothy Thibault was an Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Washington Field Office, which covers Washington, D.C. and northern Virginia. A statement from Thibault's legal counsel stated that he was ''eligible for retirement'' and had informed his supervisors roughly a month ago about his intentions to retire.
Thibault was ''not fired, not forced to retire, and not asked to retire,'' the statement said.
His legal team said Thibault had spent over 30 years ''devoting himself to the protection of the American people and to upholding the Constitution of the United States in a nonpartisan fashion.'' His legal counsel said Thibault's tenure at the FBI included nearly 20 years of investigations into public corruption on both sides of the aisle'--including investigations that resulted in the convictions of Congressmen William Jefferson and Jesse Jackson.
The controversy over Thibault began in May, when Grassley sent a letter to Wray and Garland accusing Thibault of violating ''several federal regulations'' and FBI guidelines meant to ''prevent political bias from infecting FBI matters.''
How does this connect to Hunter Biden? Hunter Biden, 52, is under ongoing investigation by the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) for his business activities. CNN reported in March that the investigation began ''as early as 2018'' and concerned multiple of Hunter Biden's financial and business dealings in foreign countries spanning back to the Obama Administration, when his father served as Vice President. In 2020, Hunter Biden issued a statement that strongly denied any wrongdoing in his tax affairs and said he was confident a review would show he handled the matters ''legally and appropriately.''
In follow-up letters to Wray and Garland in July, Grassley alleged that Thibault had displayed ''a pattern of active public partisanship'' on social media and said that ''highly credible whistleblowers'' had told him about ''a pattern of clear political partisanship'' in Thibault's work, particularly in regards to Hunter Biden.
Thibault's legal team confirmed that allegations that his social media posts potentially violated the Hatch Act'--which limits certain political activities of federal employees'--are under investigation by the Office of Special Counsel. The statement added Thibault is cooperating and ''expects to be fully exonerated.''
Grassley alleged that Thibault had sought to portray verifiable evidence related to the Hunter Biden investigation as disinformation, and alleged that Thibault had reportedly ordered to close ''a stream of information related to Hunter Biden'' and mark it in a way within internal systems that would prevent it from being reopened. In a May 31 letter, Grassley also alleged that Thibault had likely violated ''federal law, regulations, and Department guidelines.''
In a statement to TIME, Thibault's legal team said that he ''did not supervise the investigation of Hunter Biden.'' During an August 4 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Wray had suggested something similar, repeatedly telling lawmakers that the investigation was run out of the FBI's Baltimore Field Office in coordination with the Delaware U.S. Attorney's office'-- not the Washington Field Office, where Thibault worked. Thibault's legal team also said he did not seek to close the investigation into Biden and was ''not involved in any decisions related to any laptop that may be at issue in that investigation.'' (The FBI reportedly took possession of a laptop belonging to Hunter Biden in 2019.)
The FBI did not respond to TIME's request for comment on Grassley's allegations.
Why is he coming under fire from Republicans?Republican lawmakers have expressed alarm at Grassley's allegations that Thibault displayed political partisanship on social media and in his handling of cases.
On August 4, Senator John Kennedy, a Republican from Louisiana, asked Wray if he was aware of numerous social media posts that Thibault allegedly made that criticized the Trump Administration. Wray said he had seen ''descriptions to that effect.'' Wray added that when he read letters describing Thibault's alleged social media posts, he found it ''deeply troubling.''
''What you're describing is not representative of the FBI that I see up close every day in this country,'' Wray continued. ''I feel very strongly, and I have communicated consistently since I started as director, that our folks need to make sure that they're not just doing the right thing, that they're doing it in the right way and that they avoid even the appearance of bias or lack of objectivity.''
Former President Donald Trump also appeared to take aim at Thibault, posting on his social media website TRUTH Social on Tuesday about ''the fired agent,'' seemingly referring to Thibault, and accusing him without evidence of being involved in the FBI's search of the former President's home in Mar-a-Lago.
Thibault's legal team said he was ''not involved in the search at Mar-a-Lago, either in its planning or its execution.''
''He firmly believes that any investigation will conclude that his supervision, leadership and decision making were not impacted by political bias or partisanship of any kind,'' Thibault's legal team said. ''He is confident that all of his decisions were consistent with the FBI's highest standards for ethics and integrity.''
Write to Madeleine Carlisle at
Canada's groundhog was found dead hours before making his weather prediction 🭠| Not the Bee
Fri, 03 Feb 2023 14:02
If seeing his shadow means 6 more weeks of winter, what does dying mean?
It was a somber Groundhog Day in Canada, as Fred la marmotte '' the beloved groundhog who predicted weather '' was found dead hours before he could take part in his annual tradition.
The Groundhog Day event in Val-d'Espoir, Quebec in eastern Canada began Thursday morning with music and dancing, but as it came closer for Fred to make his weather prediction, event organizers told the crowd of the groundhog's death.
"In life, the only thing that's certain is that nothing is certain," said event organizer Roberto Blondin. "Well, this year it's true. It's true and it's unfortunate. I announce to you the death of Fred."
So how did Canada make this year's prediction?
In Fred's place, a child with a groundhog hat was called up on the stage and was handed a toy groundhog. The child declared the shadow could be seen, so this year will have a delayed spring.
Yeah, I'm not sure that counts.
Fred was nine years old '' much older than the expected three years a groundhog normally survives. It's likely the old man died as he went into hibernation late last fall.
It probably means nothing.
Still, with the way things are headed in Canada...Anyway, here in the States it's also 6 more weeks of winter!
Here's the rest of what you missed on Groundhog's Day:
Here's the rest of what you missed on Groundhog's Day:
Here's the rest of what you missed on Groundhog's Day:
Here's the rest of what you missed on Groundhog's Day:
Here's the rest of what you missed on Groundhog's Day:
Here's the rest of what you missed on Groundhog's Day:
Here's the rest of what you missed on Groundhog's Day:
Here's the rest of what you missed on Groundhog's Day:
Here's the rest of what you missed on Groundhog's Day:
Here's the rest of what you missed on Groundhog's Day:
Traffic Acquisition Cost (TAC) Definition
Fri, 03 Feb 2023 00:34
What Is Traffic Acquisition Cost (TAC)? Traffic acquisition cost (TAC) consists of payments made by internet search companies to affiliates and online firms that direct consumer and business traffic to their websites.
Key TakeawaysTraffic acquisition costs are payments that internet search companies make to affiliates and online companies for directing traffic to their websites.TAC is a big source of expenditures for online search firms like Google and Yahoo. Investors watch the TAC of companies to gauge their financial and performance strength.If TAC increases year over year for a company, it negatively impacts profit margins. Understanding Traffic Acquisition Cost (TAC) Traffic acquisition costs (TAC) are a critical cost of revenue for internet search firms such as Google. TAC for these firms is watched by investors and analysts to ascertain whether the cost of traffic acquisition is rising or declining. Rising TAC has a detrimental effect on profit margins.
Many Internet companies report revenues both on a gross basis and on a net basis that excludes traffic acquisition costs. One key metric for these companies is TAC as a percentage of advertising revenues, with a rising percentage indicating cost pressures on profitability. Sometimes companies will mention payments excluding traffic acquisition costs using ex-TAC.
Google highlights increasing TAC in the "Risk Factors" section of its 2018 annual report filing, SEC form 10-K. An excerpt: ''... our expectation that our traffic acquisition costs (TAC) and the associated TAC rates will increase in the future.''
In 2018, TAC as a percentage of advertising revenues was 23% for Google. In 2017, Google also allocated 23% of all its advertising revenues for this purpose, which earmarked billions of dollars for traffic acquisition. As with other companies that thrive online, Google will have to continue paying close attention to the trend of its TAC because it can greatly affect its overall profit margin.
TAC can also be used as an abbreviation for total active cannabinoids and, as can be surmised, this is related to marijuana. TAC is calculated through testing to give consumers an idea of how much cannabinoid is present in a strain of marijuana. TAC calculates more than just tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and lays out the other chemicals present in marijuana.
Two factors affecting Google's traffic acquisition costs include new regulatory moves and mobile fees.
Benefits of Traffic Acquisition Cost (TAC) With companies shelling out so much money for TAC, it can be hard for the general public to fathom why a company might choose to part with so much of its revenues. TAC is a necessary part of doing business for many companies. Those expenses can increase the traffic to a website quickly, putting much more money in the company's pockets than it takes out.
By spending money to drive up the traffic on its pages, websites are able to increase those sites' monetization. For every website visitor a monetized website has, there is the possibility the visitor might convert into a source of revenue for the company. Quite simply, a company often must spend money to make money, and that is the case with traffic acquisition costs and driving up a website's number of visitors.
To make money online, companies' sites must generate traffic. When that website is a search engine, if traffic is not visiting the website, there will be no way to make money. However, if a company spends more than it makes on TAC while trying to drive up traffic, the business won't be sustainable for long. It will be losing money, which makes company heads and investors nervous. Therefore, there is a fine line for companies to walk when considering how much money to throw toward traffic acquisition.
Alphabet (GOOGL) earnings Q4 2022
Fri, 03 Feb 2023 00:28
Alphabet missed on both top and bottom lines when it reported fourth quarter earnings after the bell Thursday. The company's stock dropped nearly 4% after hours, erasing some of the 7.28% it gained in normal trading hours. Here's how the numbers stacked up:
Earnings per share (EPS): $1.05 vs $1.18 per share expected, according to Refinitiv Revenue: $76.05 billion vs. $76.53 billion expected, according to RefinitivYouTube advertising revenue: $7.96 billion vs. $8.25 billion expected, according to StreetAccount estimates.Google Cloud revenue: $7.32 billion vs. $7.43 billion expected, according to StreetAccount estimatesTraffic acquisition costs (TAC): $12.93 billion vs. $13.32 billion expected, according to StreetAccount estimatesThe company said it would take a charge of between $1.9 billion and $2.3 billion, mostly in the first quarter of 2023, related to the layoffs of 12,000 employees it announced in January. It also expects to incur costs of about $500 million related to reduced office space in Q1, and warned that other real-estate charges are possible going forward.
CFO Ruth Porat said during the company's earnings call that Alphabet added 3,455 people during the quarter, the majority of which were technical roles.
Porat told CNBC's Deirdre Bosa that the company is meaningfully slowing the pace of hiring in an effort to deliver long-term profitable growth, and blamed the YouTube slowdown on a pullback in both planned and direct response advertising in a challenging economic climate.
YouTube advertising revenue fell short of analyst expectations to $7.96 billion '-- down 8% from $8.63 billion the year prior. In December, the National Football League announced YouTube will pay roughly $2 billion a year for the residential rights of the ''Sunday Ticket." The deal runs for seven years.
In addition to the overall pullback in ad spending, YouTube is also facing heightened competition from TikTok in short-form videos. YouTube shorts now has 50 billion daily views, CEO Sundar Pichai said in a call with investors Thursday.
Google Cloud brought in $7.32 billion '-- less than analysts expected, although it was a 32% increase from the year prior. It also cut its losses dramatically, from $890 million a year ago to $480 million in Q4.
Google's Search and Other revenue came in at $42.60 billion, down 2% from the year prior, the report showed. Executives said it saw further pullback in spend by some advertisers in Q4 over Q3.
Google's Other Revenues, which includes hardware and non-advertising YouTube revenue, came in at $8.8 billion, up 8% from the year prior.
Operating expenses shot up 10% to $22.50 billion, driven by headcount growth, charges for legal matters and lower ad spend, executives said Thursday. The company also said it lost $1.49 billion on equity securities during the quarter.
Revenue in Alphabet's Other Bets segment, which includes self-driving car unit Waymo as well as some health-tech projects and the company's venture arms, rose to $226 million '-- up from $181 million from a year earlier. The unit lost $1.63 billion during the quarter, that's up from a year prior at $1.45 billion.
Executives said starting in the first quarter, artificial intelligence subsidiary DeepMind will no longer be reported in Other Bets, but will be reported as part of Alphabet's corporate costs.
Executives on the call reiterated the company is focused on AI. CEO Sundar Pichai said "Very soon, people will be able to interact directly with our newest, most powerful language models as a companion to Search, in experimental and innovative ways."
CNBC previously reported that Google is internally experimenting with several potential products that could influence its search business. The company is feeling pressure from the popularity of AI-based chatbot ChatGPT, launched late last year by Microsoft-backed OpenAI. Executives previously teased that the company may introduce a similar product to the public at some point this year.
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Suspected Chinese spy balloon shot down The Chinese surveillance balloon has been shot down in U.S. airspace and is expected to land in U.S. territorial waters, according to officials.February 4, 2023
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Dr. Simon Goddek : This is probably the wildest conspiracy theory from the 90s, and everything @davidicke said came true.
Tue Jan 24 17:45:00 +0000 2023

Clips & Documents

All Clips
ABC ATM - anchor Andrew Dymburt - fred the quebec groundhog died (23sec).mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Robert Cosgrin - frost quakes (26sec).mp3
ABC GMA - anchor Matt Gutman - mass shooting averted (1min14sec).mp3
ABC GMA3 - anchor Dr Jen Ashton - coronary heart disease (1min37sec).mp3
ABC WNT - anchor Aaron Katersky - councilwoman shot dead (1min22sec).mp3
ABC WNT - anchor David Muir - putin veiled nuclear threat (20sec).mp3
ABC WNT - anchor Linsey Davis - $2.2B ukraine aid (16sec).mp3
ABC WNT - anchor Linsey Davis - california drops student covid vaccines (17sec).mp3
ABC WNT - anchor Linsey Davis - DNC changes primary rules (21sec).mp3
ABC WNT - anchor Victor Oquendo - wind chill -108 record (18sec).mp3
AI 3 short note.mp3
AI 4 breakpoint.mp3
AI Demo of AC & JCD Wy7USA.mp3
AI Teaser 2 pbs.mp3
AI Teaser pbs.mp3
Balloon 2 NHK.mp3
balloon finale NHK.mp3
Balloon NHK.mp3
Biden Comments on Chinese Spy Balloon Shot Down Over Atlantic Ocean.mp3
BIDEN half are women.mp3
Biden on inflation LOL.mp3
CBS Evening - anchor Lilia Luciano - frost quakes (11sec).mp3
CBS Evening - anchor Nikole Killion - illhan omar off committees (2min).mp3
Chinese Spy Balloon -super cut (1min28sec).mp3
CIA - Bill Burns - China Preparing to Invade Taiwan by 2027-NHK.mp3
Clinical trials set to begin for fentanyl vaccine - LocalFoxStation.mp3
cold weather AJ.mp3
Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky - on removing ilhan omar.mp3
CSPAN - Antony Blinken - a violation of united states sovereignty.mp3
CSPAN - the vote to oust omar - all in favor x2 + no.mp3
David Icke in 1998 predicting everything.mp3
Former UK Defense Minister Sir Gerald Howarth Says NATO May Need To Send Ground Forces To Ukraine.mp3
Germany's support for sending tanks to Ukraine falls - AlJaz.mp3
Haiti Mess 2.mp3
Haiti Mess One PBS.mp3
ISO future.mp3
ISO like that.mp3
KAUS ATC FedEx and SW controller fuckup.mp3
Kevin McCarthy - Asli Babbit, murdered or Cop doing his job.mp3
Medical Software - Could COVID vaccine technology cure cancer - DW.mp3
MSNBC - anchor Nicolle Wallace (1) hunter biden fighting back (1min58sec).mp3
MSNBC - anchor Nicolle Wallace (2) presidents kids not in the arena (1min51sec).mp3
MSNBC - anchor Nicolle Wallace (3) is it too risky (1min27sec).mp3
MSNBC - anchor Nicolle Wallace (4) what is the end game (1min44sec).mp3
NBC - Dr John Torres - hospitals using artificial intelligence to treat patients [1].mp3
NBC - Dr John Torres - hospitals using artificial intelligence to treat patients [2].mp3
NBC - Frances Rivera - top air force general fears war with china 2025.mp3
NBC - Kristen Dahlgren - telehealth patients now billed for emails.mp3
NBC - Ryan Nobles - chinese spy balloon shot down.mp3
NBC - Willie Geist - united states military in nine locations inside the philippines.mp3
nukes blinken 2 NHK.mp3
nukes who SK US NHK.mp3
Pedophile pop star Gary Glitter freed from prison - BBC News.mp3
Queen Ursula with Zalensky on reconstruction starting now for GREEN ENERGY.mp3
Science Moms - Potential Energy Coalition - Lippincott agency.mp3
Stoltenberg promotes Japan arming.mp3
The 5th Dimension - Up, Up and Away.mp3
UKRAINE Bomb rockets 2 nhk.mp3
UKRAINE Bomb rockets nhk.mp3
US Gets Keys to More Philippine Bases-NHK.mp3
USA in Asia 1 VOA.mp3
USA in Asia 2 VOA.mp3
USA in Asia 3 VOA.mp3
WSJ Climate Tech - Lab-Grown Meat - How Much Can It Help Save Our Climate.mp3
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