George Santos" attack on Colombian Botox is "completely false," Medical Tourism Association CEO says

"It is sad to see such an attack on Colombia," the association's CEO tells Insider after a recording of Santos disparaging the country's Botox surfaced. New York Congressman-Elect George Santos speaks during the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) annual leadership meeting.David Becker for the Washington Post/via Getty Images A leaked audio recording of George Santos revealed him disparaging Colombian Botox treatments as "diluted." The Medical Tourism Association CEO rejects that premise, calling it "completely false." "Colombia has some amazing high quality healthcare," Jonathan Edelheit told Insider.  A leaked audio recording of Rep. George Santos revealed he has strong opinions on where to get Botox that are apparently deeply offensive to the medical tourism industry."Stop going to Colombia for your diluted Botox," the New York Republican told his former office volunteer, Derek Myers, according to the recording obtained by Talking Points Memo.The comment riled the CEO of the Medical Tourism Association, who called it yet another "absurd" statement from the embattled Santos."That comment is completely false," Jonathan Edelheit told Insider.  "Colombia has some amazing high quality healthcare. If you go to the right physicians, clinics or hospitals you are not going to be receiving diluted Botox." Myers, in a text with Insider, concurred."It is not diluted, and the place I go to is world renowned," Myers said of his Colombian Botox treatments. "In fact, they show you everything from opening the bottle, to the labels. It is more superb, and the best treatment I've ever received in any medical setting. Medical tourism is a big deal."Santos, at the center of scandals about lies on his resume and investigations of his finances, was recorded in his Capitol Hill office by Myers, who was ultimately asked to leave, according to the TPM story. During their conversation, the topic of Botox came up when Myers said he received cheaper treatments in Colombia.Santos responded, "I spend a lot more than that on Botox, but I trust the people." Santos' staff did not respond to a request for comment.Edelheit said he helped launch Colombia's medical tourism initiative 10 years ago, they have "amazing" doctors and hospitals, and they've worked hard on building their brand."I was upset and sad to see that someone could just, you know, try to take a swipe at them to distract from other issues, you know, and to attack a whole country's national healthcare system," he said.Bad doctors or attorneys can be found around the world and patients need to choose wisely, he said, flagging a a story about the sale of fake Botox at a clinic in Miami."You could receive diluted botox here in the US or receive Botox that isn't even real, or by a doctor here who actually isn't a doctor," he said. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytFeb 3rd, 2023

"Damn You To Hell, You Will Not Destroy America" - Here Is The "Spartacus COVID Letter" That"s Gone Viral

"Damn You To Hell, You Will Not Destroy America" - Here Is The 'Spartacus COVID Letter' That's Gone Viral Via The Automatic Earth blog, This is an anonymously posted document by someone who calls themselves Spartacus. Because it’s anonymous, I can’t contact them to ask for permission to publish. So I hesitated for a while, but it’s simply the best document I’ve seen on Covid, vaccines, etc. Whoever Spartacus is, they have a very elaborate knowledge in “the field”. If you want to know a lot more about the no. 1 issue in the world today, read it. And don’t worry if you don’t understand every single word, neither do I. But I learned a lot. The original PDF doc is here: Covid19 – The Spartacus Letter Hello, My name is Spartacus, and I’ve had enough. We have been forced to watch America and the Free World spin into inexorable decline due to a biowarfare attack. We, along with countless others, have been victimized and gaslit by propaganda and psychological warfare operations being conducted by an unelected, unaccountable Elite against the American people and our allies. Our mental and physical health have suffered immensely over the course of the past year and a half. We have felt the sting of isolation, lockdown, masking, quarantines, and other completely nonsensical acts of healthcare theater that have done absolutely nothing to protect the health or wellbeing of the public from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Now, we are watching the medical establishment inject literal poison into millions of our fellow Americans without so much as a fight. We have been told that we will be fired and denied our livelihoods if we refuse to vaccinate. This was the last straw. We have spent thousands of hours analyzing leaked footage from Wuhan, scientific papers from primary sources, as well as the paper trails left by the medical establishment. What we have discovered would shock anyone to their core. First, we will summarize our findings, and then, we will explain them in detail. References will be placed at the end. Summary: COVID-19 is a blood and blood vessel disease. SARS-CoV-2 infects the lining of human blood vessels, causing them to leak into the lungs. Current treatment protocols (e.g. invasive ventilation) are actively harmful to patients, accelerating oxidative stress and causing severe VILI (ventilator-induced lung injuries). The continued use of ventilators in the absence of any proven medical benefit constitutes mass murder. Existing countermeasures are inadequate to slow the spread of what is an aerosolized and potentially wastewater-borne virus, and constitute a form of medical theater. Various non-vaccine interventions have been suppressed by both the media and the medical establishment in favor of vaccines and expensive patented drugs. The authorities have denied the usefulness of natural immunity against COVID-19, despite the fact that natural immunity confers protection against all of the virus’s proteins, and not just one. Vaccines will do more harm than good. The antigen that these vaccines are based on, SARS-CoV- 2 Spike, is a toxic protein. SARS-CoV-2 may have ADE, or antibody-dependent enhancement; current antibodies may not neutralize future strains, but instead help them infect immune cells. Also, vaccinating during a pandemic with a leaky vaccine removes the evolutionary pressure for a virus to become less lethal. There is a vast and appalling criminal conspiracy that directly links both Anthony Fauci and Moderna to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. COVID-19 vaccine researchers are directly linked to scientists involved in brain-computer interface (“neural lace”) tech, one of whom was indicted for taking grant money from China. Independent researchers have discovered mysterious nanoparticles inside the vaccines that are not supposed to be present. The entire pandemic is being used as an excuse for a vast political and economic transformation of Western society that will enrich the already rich and turn the rest of us into serfs and untouchables. COVID-19 Pathophysiology and Treatments: COVID-19 is not a viral pneumonia. It is a viral vascular endotheliitis and attacks the lining of blood vessels, particularly the small pulmonary alveolar capillaries, leading to endothelial cell activation and sloughing, coagulopathy, sepsis, pulmonary edema, and ARDS-like symptoms. This is a disease of the blood and blood vessels. The circulatory system. Any pneumonia that it causes is secondary to that. In severe cases, this leads to sepsis, blood clots, and multiple organ failure, including hypoxic and inflammatory damage to various vital organs, such as the brain, heart, liver, pancreas, kidneys, and intestines. Some of the most common laboratory findings in COVID-19 are elevated D-dimer, elevated prothrombin time, elevated C-reactive protein, neutrophilia, lymphopenia, hypocalcemia, and hyperferritinemia, essentially matching a profile of coagulopathy and immune system hyperactivation/immune cell exhaustion. COVID-19 can present as almost anything, due to the wide tropism of SARS-CoV-2 for various tissues in the body’s vital organs. While its most common initial presentation is respiratory illness and flu-like symptoms, it can present as brain inflammation, gastrointestinal disease, or even heart attack or pulmonary embolism. COVID-19 is more severe in those with specific comorbidities, such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. This is because these conditions involve endothelial dysfunction, which renders the circulatory system more susceptible to infection and injury by this particular virus. The vast majority of COVID-19 cases are mild and do not cause significant disease. In known cases, there is something known as the 80/20 rule, where 80% of cases are mild and 20% are severe or critical. However, this ratio is only correct for known cases, not all infections. The number of actual infections is much, much higher. Consequently, the mortality and morbidity rate is lower. However, COVID-19 spreads very quickly, meaning that there are a significant number of severely-ill and critically-ill patients appearing in a short time frame. In those who have critical COVID-19-induced sepsis, hypoxia, coagulopathy, and ARDS, the most common treatments are intubation, injected corticosteroids, and blood thinners. This is not the correct treatment for COVID-19. In severe hypoxia, cellular metabolic shifts cause ATP to break down into hypoxanthine, which, upon the reintroduction of oxygen, causes xanthine oxidase to produce tons of highly damaging radicals that attack tissue. This is called ischemia-reperfusion injury, and it’s why the majority of people who go on a ventilator are dying. In the mitochondria, succinate buildup due to sepsis does the same exact thing; when oxygen is reintroduced, it makes superoxide radicals. Make no mistake, intubation will kill people who have COVID-19. The end-stage of COVID-19 is severe lipid peroxidation, where fats in the body start to “rust” due to damage by oxidative stress. This drives autoimmunity. Oxidized lipids appear as foreign objects to the immune system, which recognizes and forms antibodies against OSEs, or oxidation-specific epitopes. Also, oxidized lipids feed directly into pattern recognition receptors, triggering even more inflammation and summoning even more cells of the innate immune system that release even more destructive enzymes. This is similar to the pathophysiology of Lupus. COVID-19’s pathology is dominated by extreme oxidative stress and neutrophil respiratory burst, to the point where hemoglobin becomes incapable of carrying oxygen due to heme iron being stripped out of heme by hypochlorous acid. No amount of supplemental oxygen can oxygenate blood that chemically refuses to bind O2. The breakdown of the pathology is as follows: SARS-CoV-2 Spike binds to ACE2. Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2 is an enzyme that is part of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, or RAAS. The RAAS is a hormone control system that moderates fluid volume in the body and in the bloodstream (i.e. osmolarity) by controlling salt retention and excretion. This protein, ACE2, is ubiquitous in every part of the body that interfaces with the circulatory system, particularly in vascular endothelial cells and pericytes, brain astrocytes, renal tubules and podocytes, pancreatic islet cells, bile duct and intestinal epithelial cells, and the seminiferous ducts of the testis, all of which SARS-CoV-2 can infect, not just the lungs. SARS-CoV-2 infects a cell as follows: SARS-CoV-2 Spike undergoes a conformational change where the S1 trimers flip up and extend, locking onto ACE2 bound to the surface of a cell. TMPRSS2, or transmembrane protease serine 2, comes along and cuts off the heads of the Spike, exposing the S2 stalk-shaped subunit inside. The remainder of the Spike undergoes a conformational change that causes it to unfold like an extension ladder, embedding itself in the cell membrane. Then, it folds back upon itself, pulling the viral membrane and the cell membrane together. The two membranes fuse, with the virus’s proteins migrating out onto the surface of the cell. The SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid enters the cell, disgorging its genetic material and beginning the viral replication process, hijacking the cell’s own structures to produce more virus. SARS-CoV-2 Spike proteins embedded in a cell can actually cause human cells to fuse together, forming syncytia/MGCs (multinuclear giant cells). They also have other pathogenic, harmful effects. SARS-CoV- 2’s viroporins, such as its Envelope protein, act as calcium ion channels, introducing calcium into infected cells. The virus suppresses the natural interferon response, resulting in delayed inflammation. SARS-CoV-2 N protein can also directly activate the NLRP3 inflammasome. Also, it suppresses the Nrf2 antioxidant pathway. The suppression of ACE2 by binding with Spike causes a buildup of bradykinin that would otherwise be broken down by ACE2. This constant calcium influx into the cells results in (or is accompanied by) noticeable hypocalcemia, or low blood calcium, especially in people with Vitamin D deficiencies and pre-existing endothelial dysfunction. Bradykinin upregulates cAMP, cGMP, COX, and Phospholipase C activity. This results in prostaglandin release and vastly increased intracellular calcium signaling, which promotes highly aggressive ROS release and ATP depletion. NADPH oxidase releases superoxide into the extracellular space. Superoxide radicals react with nitric oxide to form peroxynitrite. Peroxynitrite reacts with the tetrahydrobiopterin cofactor needed by endothelial nitric oxide synthase, destroying it and “uncoupling” the enzymes, causing nitric oxide synthase to synthesize more superoxide instead. This proceeds in a positive feedback loop until nitric oxide bioavailability in the circulatory system is depleted. Dissolved nitric oxide gas produced constantly by eNOS serves many important functions, but it is also antiviral against SARS-like coronaviruses, preventing the palmitoylation of the viral Spike protein and making it harder for it to bind to host receptors. The loss of NO allows the virus to begin replicating with impunity in the body. Those with endothelial dysfunction (i.e. hypertension, diabetes, obesity, old age, African-American race) have redox equilibrium issues to begin with, giving the virus an advantage. Due to the extreme cytokine release triggered by these processes, the body summons a great deal of neutrophils and monocyte-derived alveolar macrophages to the lungs. Cells of the innate immune system are the first-line defenders against pathogens. They work by engulfing invaders and trying to attack them with enzymes that produce powerful oxidants, like SOD and MPO. Superoxide dismutase takes superoxide and makes hydrogen peroxide, and myeloperoxidase takes hydrogen peroxide and chlorine ions and makes hypochlorous acid, which is many, many times more reactive than sodium hypochlorite bleach. Neutrophils have a nasty trick. They can also eject these enzymes into the extracellular space, where they will continuously spit out peroxide and bleach into the bloodstream. This is called neutrophil extracellular trap formation, or, when it becomes pathogenic and counterproductive, NETosis. In severe and critical COVID-19, there is actually rather severe NETosis. Hypochlorous acid building up in the bloodstream begins to bleach the iron out of heme and compete for O2 binding sites. Red blood cells lose the ability to transport oxygen, causing the sufferer to turn blue in the face. Unliganded iron, hydrogen peroxide, and superoxide in the bloodstream undergo the Haber- Weiss and Fenton reactions, producing extremely reactive hydroxyl radicals that violently strip electrons from surrounding fats and DNA, oxidizing them severely. This condition is not unknown to medical science. The actual name for all of this is acute sepsis. We know this is happening in COVID-19 because people who have died of the disease have noticeable ferroptosis signatures in their tissues, as well as various other oxidative stress markers such as nitrotyrosine, 4-HNE, and malondialdehyde. When you intubate someone with this condition, you are setting off a free radical bomb by supplying the cells with O2. It’s a catch-22, because we need oxygen to make Adenosine Triphosphate (that is, to live), but O2 is also the precursor of all these damaging radicals that lead to lipid peroxidation. The correct treatment for severe COVID-19 related sepsis is non-invasive ventilation, steroids, and antioxidant infusions. Most of the drugs repurposed for COVID-19 that show any benefit whatsoever in rescuing critically-ill COVID-19 patients are antioxidants. N-acetylcysteine, melatonin, fluvoxamine, budesonide, famotidine, cimetidine, and ranitidine are all antioxidants. Indomethacin prevents iron- driven oxidation of arachidonic acid to isoprostanes. There are powerful antioxidants such as apocynin that have not even been tested on COVID-19 patients yet which could defang neutrophils, prevent lipid peroxidation, restore endothelial health, and restore oxygenation to the tissues. Scientists who know anything about pulmonary neutrophilia, ARDS, and redox biology have known or surmised much of this since March 2020. In April 2020, Swiss scientists confirmed that COVID-19 was a vascular endotheliitis. By late 2020, experts had already concluded that COVID-19 causes a form of viral sepsis. They also know that sepsis can be effectively treated with antioxidants. None of this information is particularly new, and yet, for the most part, it has not been acted upon. Doctors continue to use damaging intubation techniques with high PEEP settings despite high lung compliance and poor oxygenation, killing an untold number of critically ill patients with medical malpractice. Because of the way they are constructed, Randomized Control Trials will never show any benefit for any antiviral against COVID-19. Not Remdesivir, not Kaletra, not HCQ, and not Ivermectin. The reason for this is simple; for the patients that they have recruited for these studies, such as Oxford’s ludicrous RECOVERY study, the intervention is too late to have any positive effect. The clinical course of COVID-19 is such that by the time most people seek medical attention for hypoxia, their viral load has already tapered off to almost nothing. If someone is about 10 days post-exposure and has already been symptomatic for five days, there is hardly any virus left in their bodies, only cellular damage and derangement that has initiated a hyperinflammatory response. It is from this group that the clinical trials for antivirals have recruited, pretty much exclusively. In these trials, they give antivirals to severely ill patients who have no virus in their bodies, only a delayed hyperinflammatory response, and then absurdly claim that antivirals have no utility in treating or preventing COVID-19. These clinical trials do not recruit people who are pre-symptomatic. They do not test pre-exposure or post-exposure prophylaxis. This is like using a defibrillator to shock only flatline, and then absurdly claiming that defibrillators have no medical utility whatsoever when the patients refuse to rise from the dead. The intervention is too late. These trials for antivirals show systematic, egregious selection bias. They are providing a treatment that is futile to the specific cohort they are enrolling. India went against the instructions of the WHO and mandated the prophylactic usage of Ivermectin. They have almost completely eradicated COVID-19. The Indian Bar Association of Mumbai has brought criminal charges against WHO Chief Scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan for recommending against the use of Ivermectin. Ivermectin is not “horse dewormer”. Yes, it is sold in veterinary paste form as a dewormer for animals. It has also been available in pill form for humans for decades, as an antiparasitic drug. The media have disingenuously claimed that because Ivermectin is an antiparasitic drug, it has no utility as an antivirus. This is incorrect. Ivermectin has utility as an antiviral. It blocks importin, preventing nuclear import, effectively inhibiting viral access to cell nuclei. Many drugs currently on the market have multiple modes of action. Ivermectin is one such drug. It is both antiparasitic and antiviral. In Bangladesh, Ivermectin costs $1.80 for an entire 5-day course. Remdesivir, which is toxic to the liver, costs $3,120 for a 5-day course of the drug. Billions of dollars of utterly useless Remdesivir were sold to our governments on the taxpayer’s dime, and it ended up being totally useless for treating hyperinflammatory COVID-19. The media has hardly even covered this at all. The opposition to the use of generic Ivermectin is not based in science. It is purely financially and politically-motivated. An effective non-vaccine intervention would jeopardize the rushed FDA approval of patented vaccines and medicines for which the pharmaceutical industry stands to rake in billions upon billions of dollars in sales on an ongoing basis. The majority of the public are scientifically illiterate and cannot grasp what any of this even means, thanks to a pathetic educational system that has miseducated them. You would be lucky to find 1 in 100 people who have even the faintest clue what any of this actually means. COVID-19 Transmission: COVID-19 is airborne. The WHO carried water for China by claiming that the virus was only droplet- borne. Our own CDC absurdly claimed that it was mostly transmitted by fomite-to-face contact, which, given its rapid spread from Wuhan to the rest of the world, would have been physically impossible. The ridiculous belief in fomite-to-face being a primary mode of transmission led to the use of surface disinfection protocols that wasted time, energy, productivity, and disinfectant. The 6-foot guidelines are absolutely useless. The minimum safe distance to protect oneself from an aerosolized virus is to be 15+ feet away from an infected person, no closer. Realistically, no public transit is safe. Surgical masks do not protect you from aerosols. The virus is too small and the filter media has too large of gaps to filter it out. They may catch respiratory droplets and keep the virus from being expelled by someone who is sick, but they do not filter a cloud of infectious aerosols if someone were to walk into said cloud. The minimum level of protection against this virus is quite literally a P100 respirator, a PAPR/CAPR, or a 40mm NATO CBRN respirator, ideally paired with a full-body tyvek or tychem suit, gloves, and booties, with all the holes and gaps taped. Live SARS-CoV-2 may potentially be detected in sewage outflows, and there may be oral-fecal transmission. During the SARS outbreak in 2003, in the Amoy Gardens incident, hundreds of people were infected by aerosolized fecal matter rising from floor drains in their apartments. COVID-19 Vaccine Dangers: The vaccines for COVID-19 are not sterilizing and do not prevent infection or transmission. They are “leaky” vaccines. This means they remove the evolutionary pressure on the virus to become less lethal. It also means that the vaccinated are perfect carriers. In other words, those who are vaccinated are a threat to the unvaccinated, not the other way around. All of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in use have undergone minimal testing, with highly accelerated clinical trials. Though they appear to limit severe illness, the long-term safety profile of these vaccines remains unknown. Some of these so-called “vaccines” utilize an untested new technology that has never been used in vaccines before. Traditional vaccines use weakened or killed virus to stimulate an immune response. The Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines do not. They are purported to consist of an intramuscular shot containing a suspension of lipid nanoparticles filled with messenger RNA. The way they generate an immune response is by fusing with cells in a vaccine recipient’s shoulder, undergoing endocytosis, releasing their mRNA cargo into those cells, and then utilizing the ribosomes in those cells to synthesize modified SARS-CoV-2 Spike proteins in-situ. These modified Spike proteins then migrate to the surface of the cell, where they are anchored in place by a transmembrane domain. The adaptive immune system detects the non-human viral protein being expressed by these cells, and then forms antibodies against that protein. This is purported to confer protection against the virus, by training the adaptive immune system to recognize and produce antibodies against the Spike on the actual virus. The J&J and AstraZeneca vaccines do something similar, but use an adenovirus vector for genetic material delivery instead of a lipid nanoparticle. These vaccines were produced or validated with the aid of fetal cell lines HEK-293 and PER.C6, which people with certain religious convictions may object strongly to. SARS-CoV-2 Spike is a highly pathogenic protein on its own. It is impossible to overstate the danger presented by introducing this protein into the human body. It is claimed by vaccine manufacturers that the vaccine remains in cells in the shoulder, and that SARS- CoV-2 Spike produced and expressed by these cells from the vaccine’s genetic material is harmless and inert, thanks to the insertion of prolines in the Spike sequence to stabilize it in the prefusion conformation, preventing the Spike from becoming active and fusing with other cells. However, a pharmacokinetic study from Japan showed that the lipid nanoparticles and mRNA from the Pfizer vaccine did not stay in the shoulder, and in fact bioaccumulated in many different organs, including the reproductive organs and adrenal glands, meaning that modified Spike is being expressed quite literally all over the place. These lipid nanoparticles may trigger anaphylaxis in an unlucky few, but far more concerning is the unregulated expression of Spike in various somatic cell lines far from the injection site and the unknown consequences of that. Messenger RNA is normally consumed right after it is produced in the body, being translated into a protein by a ribosome. COVID-19 vaccine mRNA is produced outside the body, long before a ribosome translates it. In the meantime, it could accumulate damage if inadequately preserved. When a ribosome attempts to translate a damaged strand of mRNA, it can become stalled. When this happens, the ribosome becomes useless for translating proteins because it now has a piece of mRNA stuck in it, like a lace card in an old punch card reader. The whole thing has to be cleaned up and new ribosomes synthesized to replace it. In cells with low ribosome turnover, like nerve cells, this can lead to reduced protein synthesis, cytopathic effects, and neuropathies. Certain proteins, including SARS-CoV-2 Spike, have proteolytic cleavage sites that are basically like little dotted lines that say “cut here”, which attract a living organism’s own proteases (essentially, molecular scissors) to cut them. There is a possibility that S1 may be proteolytically cleaved from S2, causing active S1 to float away into the bloodstream while leaving the S2 “stalk” embedded in the membrane of the cell that expressed the protein. SARS-CoV-2 Spike has a Superantigenic region (SAg), which may promote extreme inflammation. Anti-Spike antibodies were found in one study to function as autoantibodies and attack the body’s own cells. Those who have been immunized with COVID-19 vaccines have developed blood clots, myocarditis, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Bell’s Palsy, and multiple sclerosis flares, indicating that the vaccine promotes autoimmune reactions against healthy tissue. SARS-CoV-2 Spike does not only bind to ACE2. It was suspected to have regions that bind to basigin, integrins, neuropilin-1, and bacterial lipopolysaccharides as well. SARS-CoV-2 Spike, on its own, can potentially bind any of these things and act as a ligand for them, triggering unspecified and likely highly inflammatory cellular activity. SARS-CoV-2 Spike contains an unusual PRRA insert that forms a furin cleavage site. Furin is a ubiquitous human protease, making this an ideal property for the Spike to have, giving it a high degree of cell tropism. No wild-type SARS-like coronaviruses related to SARS-CoV-2 possess this feature, making it highly suspicious, and perhaps a sign of human tampering. SARS-CoV-2 Spike has a prion-like domain that enhances its infectiousness. The Spike S1 RBD may bind to heparin-binding proteins and promote amyloid aggregation. In humans, this could lead to Parkinson’s, Lewy Body Dementia, premature Alzheimer’s, or various other neurodegenerative diseases. This is very concerning because SARS-CoV-2 S1 is capable of injuring and penetrating the blood-brain barrier and entering the brain. It is also capable of increasing the permeability of the blood-brain barrier to other molecules. SARS-CoV-2, like other betacoronaviruses, may have Dengue-like ADE, or antibody-dependent enhancement of disease. For those who aren’t aware, some viruses, including betacoronaviruses, have a feature called ADE. There is also something called Original Antigenic Sin, which is the observation that the body prefers to produce antibodies based on previously-encountered strains of a virus over newly- encountered ones. In ADE, antibodies from a previous infection become non-neutralizing due to mutations in the virus’s proteins. These non-neutralizing antibodies then act as trojan horses, allowing live, active virus to be pulled into macrophages through their Fc receptor pathways, allowing the virus to infect immune cells that it would not have been able to infect before. This has been known to happen with Dengue Fever; when someone gets sick with Dengue, recovers, and then contracts a different strain, they can get very, very ill. If someone is vaccinated with mRNA based on the Spike from the initial Wuhan strain of SARS-CoV-2, and then they become infected with a future, mutated strain of the virus, they may become severely ill. In other words, it is possible for vaccines to sensitize someone to disease. There is a precedent for this in recent history. Sanofi’s Dengvaxia vaccine for Dengue failed because it caused immune sensitization in people whose immune systems were Dengue-naive. In mice immunized against SARS-CoV and challenged with the virus, a close relative of SARS-CoV-2, they developed immune sensitization, Th2 immunopathology, and eosinophil infiltration in their lungs. We have been told that SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines cannot be integrated into the human genome, because messenger RNA cannot be turned back into DNA. This is false. There are elements in human cells called LINE-1 retrotransposons, which can indeed integrate mRNA into a human genome by endogenous reverse transcription. Because the mRNA used in the vaccines is stabilized, it hangs around in cells longer, increasing the chances for this to happen. If the gene for SARS-CoV-2 Spike is integrated into a portion of the genome that is not silent and actually expresses a protein, it is possible that people who take this vaccine may continuously express SARS-CoV-2 Spike from their somatic cells for the rest of their lives. By inoculating people with a vaccine that causes their bodies to produce Spike in-situ, they are being inoculated with a pathogenic protein. A toxin that may cause long-term inflammation, heart problems, and a raised risk of cancers. In the long-term, it may also potentially lead to premature neurodegenerative disease. Absolutely nobody should be compelled to take this vaccine under any circumstances, and in actual fact, the vaccination campaign must be stopped immediately. COVID-19 Criminal Conspiracy: The vaccine and the virus were made by the same people. In 2014, there was a moratorium on SARS gain-of-function research that lasted until 2017. This research was not halted. Instead, it was outsourced, with the federal grants being laundered through NGOs. Ralph Baric is a virologist and SARS expert at UNC Chapel Hill in North Carolina. This is who Anthony Fauci was referring to when he insisted, before Congress, that if any gain-of-function research was being conducted, it was being conducted in North Carolina. This was a lie. Anthony Fauci lied before Congress. A felony. Ralph Baric and Shi Zhengli are colleagues and have co-written papers together. Ralph Baric mentored Shi Zhengli in his gain-of-function manipulation techniques, particularly serial passage, which results in a virus that appears as if it originated naturally. In other words, deniable bioweapons. Serial passage in humanized hACE2 mice may have produced something like SARS-CoV-2. The funding for the gain-of-function research being conducted at the Wuhan Institute of Virology came from Peter Daszak. Peter Daszak runs an NGO called EcoHealth Alliance. EcoHealth Alliance received millions of dollars in grant money from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (that is, Anthony Fauci), the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (part of the US Department of Defense), and the United States Agency for International Development. NIH/NIAID contributed a few million dollars, and DTRA and USAID each contributed tens of millions of dollars towards this research. Altogether, it was over a hundred million dollars. EcoHealth Alliance subcontracted these grants to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a lab in China with a very questionable safety record and poorly trained staff, so that they could conduct gain-of-function research, not in their fancy P4 lab, but in a level-2 lab where technicians wore nothing more sophisticated than perhaps a hairnet, latex gloves, and a surgical mask, instead of the bubble suits used when working with dangerous viruses. Chinese scientists in Wuhan reported being routinely bitten and urinated on by laboratory animals. Why anyone would outsource this dangerous and delicate work to the People’s Republic of China, a country infamous for industrial accidents and massive explosions that have claimed hundreds of lives, is completely beyond me, unless the aim was to start a pandemic on purpose. In November of 2019, three technicians at the Wuhan Institute of Virology developed symptoms consistent with a flu-like illness. Anthony Fauci, Peter Daszak, and Ralph Baric knew at once what had happened, because back channels exist between this laboratory and our scientists and officials. December 12th, 2019, Ralph Baric signed a Material Transfer Agreement (essentially, an NDA) to receive Coronavirus mRNA vaccine-related materials co-owned by Moderna and NIH. It wasn’t until a whole month later, on January 11th, 2020, that China allegedly sent us the sequence to what would become known as SARS-CoV-2. Moderna claims, rather absurdly, that they developed a working vaccine from this sequence in under 48 hours. Stephane Bancel, the current CEO of Moderna, was formerly the CEO of bioMerieux, a French multinational corporation specializing in medical diagnostic tech, founded by one Alain Merieux. Alain Merieux was one of the individuals who was instrumental in the construction of the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s P4 lab. The sequence given as the closest relative to SARS-CoV-2, RaTG13, is not a real virus. It is a forgery. It was made by entering a gene sequence by hand into a database, to create a cover story for the existence of SARS-CoV-2, which is very likely a gain-of-function chimera produced at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and was either leaked by accident or intentionally released. The animal reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 has never been found. This is not a conspiracy “theory”. It is an actual criminal conspiracy, in which people connected to the development of Moderna’s mRNA-1273 are directly connected to the Wuhan Institute of Virology and their gain-of-function research by very few degrees of separation, if any. The paper trail is well- established. The lab-leak theory has been suppressed because pulling that thread leads one to inevitably conclude that there is enough circumstantial evidence to link Moderna, the NIH, the WIV, and both the vaccine and the virus’s creation together. In a sane country, this would have immediately led to the world’s biggest RICO and mass murder case. Anthony Fauci, Peter Daszak, Ralph Baric, Shi Zhengli, and Stephane Bancel, and their accomplices, would have been indicted and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Instead, billions of our tax dollars were awarded to the perpetrators. The FBI raided Allure Medical in Shelby Township north of Detroit for billing insurance for “fraudulent COVID-19 cures”. The treatment they were using? Intravenous Vitamin C. An antioxidant. Which, as described above, is an entirely valid treatment for COVID-19-induced sepsis, and indeed, is now part of the MATH+ protocol advanced by Dr. Paul E. Marik. The FDA banned ranitidine (Zantac) due to supposed NDMA (N-nitrosodimethylamine) contamination. Ranitidine is not only an H2 blocker used as antacid, but also has a powerful antioxidant effect, scavenging hydroxyl radicals. This gives it utility in treating COVID-19. The FDA also attempted to take N-acetylcysteine, a harmless amino acid supplement and antioxidant, off the shelves, compelling Amazon to remove it from their online storefront. This leaves us with a chilling question: did the FDA knowingly suppress antioxidants useful for treating COVID-19 sepsis as part of a criminal conspiracy against the American public? The establishment is cooperating with, and facilitating, the worst criminals in human history, and are actively suppressing non-vaccine treatments and therapies in order to compel us to inject these criminals’ products into our bodies. This is absolutely unacceptable. COVID-19 Vaccine Development and Links to Transhumanism: This section deals with some more speculative aspects of the pandemic and the medical and scientific establishment’s reaction to it, as well as the disturbing links between scientists involved in vaccine research and scientists whose work involved merging nanotechnology with living cells. On June 9th, 2020, Charles Lieber, a Harvard nanotechnology researcher with decades of experience, was indicted by the DOJ for fraud. Charles Lieber received millions of dollars in grant money from the US Department of Defense, specifically the military think tanks DARPA, AFOSR, and ONR, as well as NIH and MITRE. His specialty is the use of silicon nanowires in lieu of patch clamp electrodes to monitor and modulate intracellular activity, something he has been working on at Harvard for the past twenty years. He was claimed to have been working on silicon nanowire batteries in China, but none of his colleagues can recall him ever having worked on battery technology in his life; all of his research deals with bionanotechnology, or the blending of nanotech with living cells. The indictment was over his collaboration with the Wuhan University of Technology. He had double- dipped, against the terms of his DOD grants, and taken money from the PRC’s Thousand Talents plan, a program which the Chinese government uses to bribe Western scientists into sharing proprietary R&D information that can be exploited by the PLA for strategic advantage. Charles Lieber’s own papers describe the use of silicon nanowires for brain-computer interfaces, or “neural lace” technology. His papers describe how neurons can endocytose whole silicon nanowires or parts of them, monitoring and even modulating neuronal activity. Charles Lieber was a colleague of Robert Langer. Together, along with Daniel S. Kohane, they worked on a paper describing artificial tissue scaffolds that could be implanted in a human heart to monitor its activity remotely. Robert Langer, an MIT alumnus and expert in nanotech drug delivery, is one of the co-founders of Moderna. His net worth is now $5.1 billion USD thanks to Moderna’s mRNA-1273 vaccine sales. Both Charles Lieber and Robert Langer’s bibliographies describe, essentially, techniques for human enhancement, i.e. transhumanism. Klaus Schwab, the founder of the World Economic Forum and the architect behind the so-called “Great Reset”, has long spoken of the “blending of biology and machinery” in his books. Since these revelations, it has come to the attention of independent researchers that the COVID-19 vaccines may contain reduced graphene oxide nanoparticles. Japanese researchers have also found unexplained contaminants in COVID-19 vaccines. Graphene oxide is an anxiolytic. It has been shown to reduce the anxiety of laboratory mice when injected into their brains. Indeed, given SARS-CoV-2 Spike’s propensity to compromise the blood-brain barrier and increase its permeability, it is the perfect protein for preparing brain tissue for extravasation of nanoparticles from the bloodstream and into the brain. Graphene is also highly conductive and, in some circumstances, paramagnetic. In 2013, under the Obama administration, DARPA launched the BRAIN Initiative; BRAIN is an acronym for Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies®. This program involves the development of brain-computer interface technologies for the military, particularly non-invasive, injectable systems that cause minimal damage to brain tissue when removed. Supposedly, this technology would be used for healing wounded soldiers with traumatic brain injuries, the direct brain control of prosthetic limbs, and even new abilities such as controlling drones with one’s mind. Various methods have been proposed for achieving this, including optogenetics, magnetogenetics, ultrasound, implanted electrodes, and transcranial electromagnetic stimulation. In all instances, the goal is to obtain read or read-write capability over neurons, either by stimulating and probing them, or by rendering them especially sensitive to stimulation and probing. However, the notion of the widespread use of BCI technology, such as Elon Musk’s Neuralink device, raises many concerns over privacy and personal autonomy. Reading from neurons is problematic enough on its own. Wireless brain-computer interfaces may interact with current or future wireless GSM infrastructure, creating neurological data security concerns. A hacker or other malicious actor may compromise such networks to obtain people’s brain data, and then exploit it for nefarious purposes. However, a device capable of writing to human neurons, not just reading from them, presents another, even more serious set of ethical concerns. A BCI that is capable of altering the contents of one’s mind for innocuous purposes, such as projecting a heads-up display onto their brain’s visual center or sending audio into one’s auditory cortex, would also theoretically be capable of altering mood and personality, or perhaps even subjugating someone’s very will, rendering them utterly obedient to authority. This technology would be a tyrant’s wet dream. Imagine soldiers who would shoot their own countrymen without hesitation, or helpless serfs who are satisfied to live in literal dog kennels. BCIs could be used to unscrupulously alter perceptions of basic things such as emotions and values, changing people’s thresholds of satiety, happiness, anger, disgust, and so forth. This is not inconsequential. Someone’s entire regime of behaviors could be altered by a BCI, including such things as suppressing their appetite or desire for virtually anything on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Anything is possible when you have direct access to someone’s brain and its contents. Someone who is obese could be made to feel disgust at the sight of food. Someone who is involuntarily celibate could have their libido disabled so they don’t even desire sex to begin with. Someone who is racist could be forced to feel delight over cohabiting with people of other races. Someone who is violent could be forced to be meek and submissive. These things might sound good to you if you are a tyrant, but to normal people, the idea of personal autonomy being overridden to such a degree is appalling. For the wealthy, neural laces would be an unequaled boon, giving them the opportunity to enhance their intelligence with neuroprosthetics (i.e. an “exocortex”), and to deliver irresistible commands directly into the minds of their BCI-augmented servants, even physically or sexually abusive commands that they would normally refuse. If the vaccine is a method to surreptitiously introduce an injectable BCI into millions of people without their knowledge or consent, then what we are witnessing is the rise of a tyrannical regime unlike anything ever seen before on the face of this planet, one that fully intends to strip every man, woman, and child of our free will. Our flaws are what make us human. A utopia arrived at by removing people’s free will is not a utopia at all. It is a monomaniacal nightmare. Furthermore, the people who rule over us are Dark Triad types who cannot be trusted with such power. Imagine being beaten and sexually assaulted by a wealthy and powerful psychopath and being forced to smile and laugh over it because your neural lace gives you no choice but to obey your master. The Elites are forging ahead with this technology without giving people any room to question the social or ethical ramifications, or to establish regulatory frameworks that ensure that our personal agency and autonomy will not be overridden by these devices. They do this because they secretly dream of a future where they can treat you worse than an animal and you cannot even fight back. If this evil plan is allowed to continue, it will spell the end of humanity as we know it. Conclusions: The current pandemic was produced and perpetuated by the establishment, through the use of a virus engineered in a PLA-connected Chinese biowarfare laboratory, with the aid of American taxpayer dollars and French expertise. This research was conducted under the absolutely ridiculous euphemism of “gain-of-function” research, which is supposedly carried out in order to determine which viruses have the highest potential for zoonotic spillover and preemptively vaccinate or guard against them. Gain-of-function/gain-of-threat research, a.k.a. “Dual-Use Research of Concern”, or DURC, is bioweapon research by another, friendlier-sounding name, simply to avoid the taboo of calling it what it actually is. It has always been bioweapon research. The people who are conducting this research fully understand that they are taking wild pathogens that are not infectious in humans and making them more infectious, often taking grants from military think tanks encouraging them to do so. These virologists conducting this type of research are enemies of their fellow man, like pyromaniac firefighters. GOF research has never protected anyone from any pandemic. In fact, it has now started one, meaning its utility for preventing pandemics is actually negative. It should have been banned globally, and the lunatics performing it should have been put in straitjackets long ago. Either through a leak or an intentional release from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a deadly SARS strain is now endemic across the globe, after the WHO and CDC and public officials first downplayed the risks, and then intentionally incited a panic and lockdowns that jeopardized people’s health and their livelihoods. This was then used by the utterly depraved and psychopathic aristocratic class who rule over us as an excuse to coerce people into accepting an injected poison which may be a depopulation agent, a mind control/pacification agent in the form of injectable “smart dust”, or both in one. They believe they can get away with this by weaponizing the social stigma of vaccine refusal. They are incorrect. Their motives are clear and obvious to anyone who has been paying attention. These megalomaniacs have raided the pension funds of the free world. Wall Street is insolvent and has had an ongoing liquidity crisis since the end of 2019. The aim now is to exert total, full-spectrum physical, mental, and financial control over humanity before we realize just how badly we’ve been extorted by these maniacs. The pandemic and its response served multiple purposes for the Elite: Concealing a depression brought on by the usurious plunder of our economies conducted by rentier-capitalists and absentee owners who produce absolutely nothing of any value to society whatsoever. Instead of us having a very predictable Occupy Wall Street Part II, the Elites and their stooges got to stand up on television and paint themselves as wise and all-powerful saviors instead of the marauding cabal of despicable land pirates that they are. Destroying small businesses and eroding the middle class. Transferring trillions of dollars of wealth from the American public and into the pockets of billionaires and special interests. Engaging in insider trading, buying stock in biotech companies and shorting brick-and-mortar businesses and travel companies, with the aim of collapsing face-to-face commerce and tourism and replacing it with e-commerce and servitization. Creating a casus belli for war with China, encouraging us to attack them, wasting American lives and treasure and driving us to the brink of nuclear armageddon. Establishing technological and biosecurity frameworks for population control and technocratic- socialist “smart cities” where everyone’s movements are despotically tracked, all in anticipation of widespread automation, joblessness, and food shortages, by using the false guise of a vaccine to compel cooperation. Any one of these things would constitute a vicious rape of Western society. Taken together, they beggar belief; they are a complete inversion of our most treasured values. What is the purpose of all of this? One can only speculate as to the perpetrators’ motives, however, we have some theories. The Elites are trying to pull up the ladder, erase upward mobility for large segments of the population, cull political opponents and other “undesirables”, and put the remainder of humanity on a tight leash, rationing our access to certain goods and services that they have deemed “high-impact”, such as automobile use, tourism, meat consumption, and so on. Naturally, they will continue to have their own luxuries, as part of a strict caste system akin to feudalism. Why are they doing this? Simple. The Elites are Neo-Malthusians and believe that we are overpopulated and that resource depletion will collapse civilization in a matter of a few short decades. They are not necessarily incorrect in this belief. We are overpopulated, and we are consuming too many resources. However, orchestrating such a gruesome and murderous power grab in response to a looming crisis demonstrates that they have nothing but the utmost contempt for their fellow man. To those who are participating in this disgusting farce without any understanding of what they are doing, we have one word for you. Stop. You are causing irreparable harm to your country and to your fellow citizens. To those who may be reading this warning and have full knowledge and understanding of what they are doing and how it will unjustly harm millions of innocent people, we have a few more words. Damn you to hell. You will not destroy America and the Free World, and you will not have your New World Order. We will make certain of that. *  *  * This PDF document contains 14 pages, followed by another 17 pages of references. For those, please visit the original PDF file at Covid19 – The Spartacus Letter. *  *  * We try to run the Automatic Earth on donations. Since ad revenue has collapsed, you are now not just a reader, but an integral part of the process that builds this site. Thank you for your support. Support the Automatic Earth in virustime. Donate with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon. Tyler Durden Mon, 09/27/2021 - 00:00.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytSep 27th, 2021

Quinn: We Are Trapped In "A Truman Show" Directed By Psychopaths

Quinn: We Are Trapped In 'A Truman Show' Directed By Psychopaths Authored by Jim Quinn via The Burning Platform blog, “Whether in actual fact the policy of the boot-on-the-face can go on indefinitely seems doubtful. My own belief is that the ruling oligarchy will find less arduous and wasteful ways of governing and of satisfying its lust for power, and these ways will resemble those which I described in Brave New World. Within the next generation I believe that the world’s rulers will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience.” – Aldous Huxley – Letter to George Orwell about 1984 in 1949 “There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution” ― Aldous Huxley When I step back from the day-to-day minutia and trivialities flooding my senses from all directions and media devices, it almost appears as if I’m living in a highly scripted reality TV program where the characters and plots are designed to create passions and reactions to support whatever narrative is being weaved by those directing the show. Huxley really did foresee the future as clearly and concisely as anyone could, decades before his dystopian vision came to fruition. Orwell’s boot on the face vision is only now being initiated because a few too many critical thinkers have awoken from their pharmaceutically induced stupor and begun to question the plotline of this spectacle masquerading as our reality. The mass formation psychosis infecting the weak-minded masses; relentless mass propaganda designed to mislead, misinform, and brainwash a dumbed down and government indoctrinated populace; and complete control of the story line through media manipulation, regulation, and censorship of the truth; has run its course. As Charles Mackay stated 180 years ago, the masses go mad as a herd, but only regain their senses slowly, and one by one. My recognition that the world seems to be scripted and directed by Machiavellian managers, working behind a dark shroud, representing an invisible governing authority, molding our minds, suggesting our ideas, dictating our tastes, and creating fear, triggered a recollection of the 1998 Jim Carrey movie – The Truman Show. The movie, directed by Peter Weir (Gallipoli, Witness, Dead Poet’s Society), had the surreal feel of Forest Gump, while beckoning the horrendous introduction of reality TV (Big Brother, Survivor), which poisons our shallow unserious society to this day. The plot of the movie focuses on individuality versus conformity, consumerism, voyeurism, reality versus manipulation, false narratives, the truth about the American Dream, and the dangers of surveillance in a technologically advanced society. Truman Burbank is the unsuspecting star of The Truman Show, a reality television program filmed 24/7 through thousands of hidden cameras and broadcast to a worldwide audience. Christof, the show’s creator seeks to capture Truman’s authentic emotions and give audiences a relatable everyman. Truman has been the unsuspecting star of the show since he was born 30 years prior. Truman’s hometown of Seahaven Island is a complete set built within an enormous dome, populated by crew members and actors who highlight the product placements that generate revenue for the show. The elaborate set allows Christof to control almost every aspect of Truman’s life, including the weather. The picture-perfect home, with picket fence and plastic people, is an attempt to convince Truman he is living the American Dream rather than in an inescapable dystopian techno-prison. To prevent Truman from discovering his false reality, Christof manufactures scenarios that dissuade Truman’s desire for exploration, such as the “death” of his father in a sea storm to instill aquaphobia, and by constantly broadcasting and printing messages of the dangers of traveling and the virtues of staying home. One cannot but acknowledge the plotline to keep Truman under control, obedient, and locked down in his controlled environment, with no escape hatch visible, as exactly the plotline used by our overlords during the Covid scam. Using fear to regulate your subjects is a familiar theme used by those controlling the narrative and pulling the strings behind the scenes of our glorious democracy of dystopia. The first task was to instill fear into the masses through fake videos, fake medical experts spewing fake “facts”, denying the reality masks, social distancing, and locking down the world did not stop a microscopic virus, while suppressing treatments which were clearly safe and effective (ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine) and forcing Fauci’s remdesivir and ventilators on patients – insuring their deaths. Truman’s life was built upon lies, deception, and fake narratives, controlled by a tyrannical director putting on a show to please his bosses and maximize profits. We are experiencing the same reality today. Since March 2020 we have been trapped in a dystopian reality show based on lies, deception, and fake narratives about a weaponized virus created in a lab funded by Anthony Fauci and utilized to further the totalitarian Great Reset agenda of Schwab, Gates and their ilk, while maximizing the profits of Pfizer, TV networks and filling the pockets of politicians, shills, and apparatchiks willing to sellout the people of our country for thirty pieces of silver. As the Truman Show approached its 30th anniversary, Truman began discovering unusual elements, such as a spotlight falling out of the sky in front of his house and a radio channel that precisely described his movements. He began to awaken to the fact he was nothing but a peculiarity trapped in a cage and constantly deterred from escaping at every turn, for the good of the show. He lived in a scripted world of conformity, where questioning the plot was not allowed, and the masses just played their parts. This is exactly how a dictatorship without tears uses technology, pharmaceuticals, and psychological manipulation to convince the masses to love their servitude. This is the reality show we have been living in during this 21st Century dictatorship dystopia of dunces. But this psychological phenomenon is not new to mankind, as Plato described an ancient Truman Show analog in the 6th Century with his Allegory of the Cave. The nature of human beings has not changed across the trials and tribulations of history. In the allegory, Plato describes a group of people who have lived chained in a cave all their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall from objects passing in front of a fire behind them and give names to these shadows. The shadows are the prisoners’ reality but are not an accurate representation of the real world. An enlightened man is like a prisoner who is freed from the cave and comes to understand the shadows on the wall are not reality. The ignorant inmates do not desire to leave their prison/cave, for it is the only life they know, and they fear reality. The fire and the puppets, used to create shadows, are controlled by artists. Plato indicates the fire is also the political doctrine taught by a nation state. The artists use light and shadows to indoctrinate the masses with the dominant doctrines of the times. Few humans ever escape the cave. Most humans will remain at the bottom of the cave, with a small few elevated as major artists, to project the shadows keeping the masses disoriented, confused and fearful. “Whereas the truth is that the State in which the rulers are most reluctant to govern is always the best and most quietly governed, and the State in which they are most eager, the worst.” ― Plato, The Allegory of the Cave “Most people are not just comfortable in their ignorance, but hostile to anyone who points it out.” ― Plato, The Allegory of the Cave The State is run by an eager group of psychopaths who are hell bent on destroying our civil society and common culture on behalf of globalists attempting to implement their Great Reset agenda, and enforcing it through technological surveillance, mind control through propaganda messaging, and strict management of the daily plot via mainstream media and social media censorship of the truth. As Plato contemplated fifteen centuries ago, most men will remain in their cave, believing shadows presented by their overlords is reality, never questioning their servitude or seeking the truth. Never has this fact been truer than during this covid pandemic reality show directed by our Christof – mass murderer Anthony Fauci. The willful ignorance of the masses was assumed by the covid controllers who cast shadows of fear and death on the cave walls of the locked down extras in this well-orchestrated reality show. Using a purposefully misleading PCR test to vastly overestimate “cases”, paying hospitals to classify all deaths as covid, and having the propaganda professionals at CNN, MSNBC and Fox showing Covid Death Counters on their screens 24/7 to terrify the masses into compliance was the Covid Show. Once the fear level was ramped to eleven on the control dial, the producers of this show introduced the miraculous Big Pharma vaccine antidote to save the day. Their script was so believable they were able to convince over 5 billion members of their captive audience to inject themselves with an untested, unproven genetic therapy, that didn’t prevent you from catching, transmitting, getting sick, being hospitalized, or dying from the Fauci funded Wuhan lab produced virus. But, as a dramatic twist to the tale, it seems the “vaccine” causes myocarditis, blood clots, infertility, miscarriages, heart attacks, cancer, and sudden death. Despite the obvious dangers and failures of these “vaccines”, those bullied into getting jabbed became so comfortable in their ignorance, they were easily persuaded to hate the unjabbed and wish for their deaths. Orwell’s “Two Minutes of Hate” was extended for over a year and continues to this day. Rather than think critically and question why annual flu cases averaged 35 million per year prior to 2020 but dropped to near ZERO during the covid “emergency”, the cave dwellers lashed out in anger at anyone questioning the plot, because to admit they were duped would destroy their self-esteem and decrease their virtue signal credits. The annual flu didn’t disappear. Covid was the annual flu, with a multi-billion-dollar marketing campaign. This wasn’t a pandemic, but an IQ test, and most people failed miserably. But the critical thinking unvaxxed are still considered the enemy of the state, especially since they have been proven right. Whether we are trapped in an artificial world produced in a dome, cave, or our current technologically advanced surveillance propaganda state, the goal of those controlling our false reality is to take away our freedoms, crush dissent, keep us ignorant of the truth, and treat us as plebs to be taxed and molded. Christof, whose name is supposed to invoke him being a god-like figure ruling over Truman’s world, declares Truman could discover the truth and leave at any time, while using every diabolical trick to keep that from ever happening, because his show generated revenues exceeding the GDP of a small country. Truman and ourselves are essentially prisoners in a vast production, and our overlords believe it is their duty to convince us to love our servitude and prefer our cells, because it is financially beneficial to the overlords and their crew. Our world is not fake, but it is tightly controlled by those running the show. Seemingly random events, plots, and subplots are manipulated to generate specific emotions and reactions by the public in order to achieve the objectives of those benefitting from the various storylines. They are molding our minds and forming our tastes through psychological and technological manipulation of our daily existence. Christof explained why most rarely discover the truth or question the world they live in – “We accept the reality of the world with which we’re presented. It’s as simple as that.” We have allowed men we have never seen to dictate how we live our lives, the choices we make, and which politicians and “experts” to believe, without ever putting in the effort to understand why we are being prodded to do so. We are locked in a self-imposed prison of desires, emotions, and needs through mass media messaging and a constant barrage of advertisements. Conformity and obedience are the desired traits sought by the ruling class, while individuality and skepticism are frowned upon and punished through social ostracism. We are conditioned from birth to believe what they tell us to believe. Government school indoctrination and mass media misinformation does the trick. Distracted by our techno-gadgets and ignorant of truth is how the globalist oligarchs methodically implement their Great Reset agenda. They are so convinced of the ignorance of the masses they openly proclaim their depopulation and techno-prison schemes with no fear of push back or retribution. The ending of the Truman Show is a lesson in resistance, persistence, and the strength of the individual, even in the face of a technologically advanced Big Brother state. It offers a message of hope, no matter how powerful our overlords appear to be. Refusing to obey or conform by one individual can inspire others to do likewise. Once Truman ‘awoke’ to his plight as a lab rat in a scripted show, he began to plot his escape. Using a makeshift tunnel in his basement, out of view of Christof’s cameras, he disappeared and forced the suspension of the broadcast for the first time in thirty years. Christof discovers Truman sailing away from Seahaven in a small boat, as he has overcome the fake conditioning of fear instilled in him by the man who supposedly loves him but traumatized him about the sea by faking his father’s death while at sea. Christof chooses to almost drown Truman by creating a violent storm to deter him from discovering the truth. Ultimately the storm ceases and his boat strikes the wall of the dome. This is exactly how our controllers treat the ignorant masses. They feed us stories designed to make us fearful and compliant to the exhortations of their paid experts. Paid to lie. Paid to misinform. Paid to persuade people a dangerous concoction is “safe and effective”. The evilness of using Sesame Street characters to convince four-year-old children they need this Big Pharma gene altering toxic brew, even though essentially ZERO children on earth died from covid, is a testament to the greed and malevolent impulses of those in power. Vast amounts of ever-increasing advertising revenue are what kept The Truman Show on the air for thirty years. The covid advertising campaign will never be topped, as Hollywood stars, top athletes, famous writers, rock legends, supposedly impartial journalists, and all the major networks said SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!! Everyone was for sale, and all they had to do was lie and say the jabs were “safe and effective”. Product placement was the money-making formula for the Truman Show, while hard selling a Big Pharma phony cure over the airwaves 24/7 using the tax dollars of the victims was the final solution of the Great Reset Cabal. The grand finale is a clash of the philosophies of reality versus false reality, as Truman discovers a staircase leading to an exit door. Christof speaks to Truman, claiming there was no more truth in the real world than in his artificial world, and he would be safe, with nothing to fear, in a world controlled by men invisible to him assuring him they have his best interests at heart. Truman chooses individuality, truth, risk, living a real meaningful life, and seeking honest relationships over a safe existence in a bubble where all decisions were made by others. Truman bows to the audience and exits, leaving Chistof to mourn the loss of his star and the revenue he generated. The ignorant masses watching the show cheer his escape and then ask, “what’s on next?” Plato captured the uncertainty and bewilderment Truman must have felt as he walked into the light. “Anyone who has common sense will remember that the bewilderments of the eyes are of two kinds, and arise from two causes, either from coming out of the light or from going into the light” ― Plato, The Allegory of the Cave This world of manufactured dystopian pleasure harkens more towards Huxley’s Brave New World, where pharmaceuticals and conditioning would keep the public seeking pleasure, pre-occupied with trivialities, distracted by materialism, unable to think critically, and reduced to passivity and egoism through the control of messaging by their controllers. Our efficient totalitarian state has gained complete control by convincing the masses to love their servitude and beg for more rules, restrictions, and reduction of liberties in the name of safety and security. Smart phones, smart cities, and smart streets are nothing more than code for spying on you and controlling you. Truman finally understood his liberty was his to choose and not Christof’s to give. There is a small minority of Americans who are realizing the same thing after two years of totalitarian measures designed to take away our freedoms and liberty. The question is whether enough will exit this tyrannical government produced show to make a difference. The future of mankind literally depends on the answer to this question. “Liberties aren’t given, they are taken.” ― Aldous Huxley “A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.” ― Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Just as those controlling the Truman Show were not doing it for Truman’s benefit, but for their enrichment, those controlling the puppet strings of our society today had no interest in our health over the last two years, our financial well-being, our psychological well-being, or the peaceful rational functioning of our civilization. They have no interest in securing our border, reducing crime, holding fair elections, promoting peaceful solutions to global conflict, or allowing the truth to reach the masses. Their agenda has been and continues to be, the destruction of our civilized society, obliteration of our core standards and norms, depopulation of the planet, confiscation of our wealth, and ultimately our enslavement through technological shackles and chains. As Huxley noted decades ago, technology has just provided our civilization with a more efficient means of going backwards. Technology is being used by our controllers to monitor our movements, communications, and to surveil, distract, and amuse us to death. It is no longer a force for good, but a means to control us. They plan to use technology to disarm their citizens through increasingly authoritarian regulations, sold as keeping us safe from mass shooters. Their climate agenda isn’t about the climate, but about complete control of the masses. When government and their social media attack dogs monitor the citizens for “hate speech and misinformation”, and dole out retribution at their whim, our system is profoundly broken and extremely warped. They are supposed to answer to us. But these megalomaniacs have much bigger agenda. We’ve lost all sense of reality, reason, and truth in a profoundly abnormal world, created by those we allowed to ascend to power through the control and influence of shadowy globalist billionaires operating as an invisible government, with Deep State apparatchiks doing the dirty work. Schwab, Gates, Soros, the World Economic Forum, and whoever hides in the shadows behind these psychopaths, intend to control the entire world and steal all the wealth because they believe they are smarter, more ruthless, and know what’s best for the lowly peasants polluting their satanic playground planet. They know facts can be ignored when they’ve conditioned the masses to be willfully ignorant. They know they can lie without implications, but even more powerful, they can stay silent about the truth through censorship, suppression, and cancellation of truth tellers. The adaptation of the masses to this abnormal society, created by evil power-seeking men, is a form of mental illness – or as documented by Mattias Desmet in his book The Psychology of Totalitarianism – Mass Formation Psychosis.  “The real hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does. They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted.” ― Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited I know I will never adapt or adjust to this abnormal society. We certainly can’t change a system, so thoroughly rigged and controlled (e.g., 2022 Arizona election and the 2020 presidential election), through traditional means. Those in control can easily buy-off our politicians, scientists, doctors, academics, TV personalities, and journalists to spin whatever web they choose, enabling their despicable anti-human agenda of deviancy. The only viable solution is the individual solution of walking away from this phony world like Truman. Armed revolution is a non-starter, as the oligarchs have far more firepower, and the dissenters are unorganized and scattered. A form of ‘Irish Democracy’ where a silent dogged resistance, marked by the withdrawal from society, belligerence to authority and non-compliance with government dictates by millions of ordinary people would accomplish far more than rioting and armed revolution. Millions have already practiced a form of Irish Democracy by not masking, not social distancing, not getting jabbed, and taking control of their own health decisions. They have almost sealed the escape hatch in this dystopian paradise of pleasure and pain. They know their techniques of control through fear work like a charm. Their final task to achieve total control is central bank digital currencies (CBDC), where everything we buy and sell is tracked digitally, so taxes can be levied, your life tracked, and if you choose to dissent from government directives, your ability to utilize CBDCs will be turned off. Micro-chipping us is next on the agenda. We need to reduce our tax and digital footprint now. It might seem hopeless in going to battle against these vile, vindictive vermin, but the solution is to not play. Many have already walked away from the modern world, taking to the country – farming, homesteading, bartering, and only giving to Caesar the bare minimum. They’ve chosen a hard, but a far more fulfilling life. The more people who disassociate from their fake world, the weaker they get. As their hold on our lives weakens, they will lash out. This is why it is important to be armed. Direct armed confrontation with the establishment’s forces is foolish, but guerrilla tactics on land you know would start to eat away at the morale of the paid police thugs sent to enforce their dictates. The beast isn’t as strong as it portrays. It’s broke and its empire of debt is crumbling. If millions walk out the exit door, the beast will begin to starve and eventually die. Maybe a new, less complex, smaller, more community-oriented society could be born from the ashes. Tribe up with like-minded individuals with different skills, if possible. There is hope if enough patriots decide to regain their senses and walk away from this abnormal society, leaving our totalitarian Christofs to wallow in their failure to control the truly awoken. “Do not let the hero in your soul parish, in lonely frustration, for the life you deserved but never have been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won. It exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours.” ― Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged *  *  *It is my sincere desire to provide readers of The Burning Platform with the best unbiased information available, and a forum where it can be discussed openly, as our Founders intended. But it is not easy nor inexpensive to do so, especially when those who wish to prevent us from making the truth known, attack us without mercy on all fronts on a daily basis. So each time you visit the site, I would ask that you consider the value that you receive and have received from The Burning Platform and the community of which you are a vital part. I can't do it all alone, and I need your help and support to keep it alive. Please consider contributing an amount commensurate to the value that you receive from this site and community, or even by becoming a sustaining supporter through periodic contributions. Tyler Durden Fri, 12/02/2022 - 16:25.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytDec 2nd, 2022

Why Joe Biden thinks he"s never too old to be your president

At 79, President Joe Biden isn't focused on his age. Allies say he's motivated by his agenda — and doing "everything possible to stop Trump's return." Dirck Halstead/Getty Images; Howard L. Sachs/CNP/Getty Images; Nathan Howard/Getty Images; Rebecca Zisser/Insider If Biden wins a second term, he would be 86 when he leaves the White House in 2025. As the oldest sitting president, he's raising concerns about how long he can continue governing. But allies say he's motivated by his agenda, patriotism and stopping Trump's return. Read more from Insider's "Red, White, and Gray" series. REHOBOTH BEACH, Delaware — About six years ago, Joe Biden and an old friend were talking about what they planned to do with the rest of their lives.Biden, then in his early 70s, was finishing his second term as vice president. He had already decided against running for president in 2016 after losing his son Beau to brain cancer. Political retirement seemed imminent.But his friend says he'll never forget Biden quoting a line from a Dylan Thomas poem about defying death: "Do not go gentle into that good night.""It was a window into how he views his role," said his friend, a former staffer who was granted anonymity in order to speak candidly about the president. "As long as he feels like he's healthy and capable of contributing, he's going to do that, and he's not going to go quietly." Biden, of course, would run for and win the presidency in 2020. And as he approaches his 80th birthday, he's become a Rorschach test for the effects of aging on a world leader.Republicans have questioned Biden's cognition, even if he's just three years older than former President Donald Trump, who himself is angling for another White House bid in 2024."Nobody believes that Biden's going to run again," Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas told Insider in late spring. "He's obviously diminished and not able to do the job." But allies insist Biden is still the guy he's always been, capable as ever and the right leader for the moment, regardless of his age.Across a half-century in federal politics — a 36-year Senate career representing Delaware, two terms as vice president, and three bids for the presidency — Biden has outlasted many of those he leaned on and grew up with in private and public life. He's tragically lost a wife and two children. Only two other men from his freshman Senate class are still living, and they're both in their early 90s, having long ago left politics. His longtime chief of staff, who succeeded him in the Senate, has literally written a book on retirement.Yet Biden heeds Thomas' poetic words: "Rage, rage against the dying of the light."He has said he expects to run again in 2024, as long as he's in good health. If he wins, he would be 82 on Inauguration Day — becoming the oldest sitting president and breaking the record he set in 2021 — and 86 upon leaving office."If Joe believes that he can continue to contribute and move this country forward, he'll do it again. And he should," said South Carolina state Sen. Dick Harpootlian, a Biden donor and former state party chairman whose wife, Jamie Lindler Harpootlian, is the Biden-appointed US ambassador to Slovenia.Biden's allies say he's motivated by advancing his agenda, by his sense of obligation to the country, and by fighting the same forces that got him in the 2020 race. "He sees himself as wanting to do everything possible to stop Trump's return," Rep. Ro Khanna, a California Democrat, told Insider.Biden has already cheated death by surviving brain aneurysms at 45. "It just makes you think about ... every single day, you don't know. You'd better take advantage of the day," he told me in 2008 when he was running for vice president. If Biden is thinking about age now, he doesn't seem focused on it as a barrier.He loves to tell the story of Satchel Paige, a longtime Negro Leagues pitcher who debuted in the American League at 42 and once threw three scoreless innings at 59. Last year, Biden visited the Vatican and shared the story with Pope Francis, who at the time was nearly 85 and six years older than Biden."How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were?" the president said, quoting Paige. Biden added with a smile, "You're 65, I'm 60."Then-Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware addresses Drexel University Alumni in 1974. Biden was the youngest US senator at that time.Bettmann Archive/Getty Images'Watch me'Age has been a part of Biden's story for decades, ever since Delaware voters first elected him to the US Senate in 1972, days before his 30th birthday. He is the sixth-youngest person elected to the chamber. As Biden wrote in his 2007 memoir, "Promises to Keep," he looked so youthful that the secretary of state at the time, Henry Kissinger, once mistook him for a staffer.Biden used his age to his advantage to win that race. He ran ads that pitted his generation's ideas against those of an opponent more than 30 years older. One ad boasted that Biden "understands what's happening today" — a not-so-oblique suggestion that his Republican rival, incumbent Sen. J. Caleb Boggs, did not.Decades later, in 2020, Biden said on ABC that it's "a legitimate question to ask anybody over 70 years old" whether they're fit and ready to be president. Responding to Trump's attacks on his mental acuity, Biden said, "Mr. President, watch me."As evidence of Biden's command, allies point to his recent legislative achievements. He signed a bipartisan infrastructure law, huge climate and healthcare legislation, a law to bolster the US semiconductor-manufacturing industry, an expansion of healthcare for veterans exposed to burn pits, and significant bipartisan gun-safety legislation. US drones took out Al Qaeda's leader under his watch.Sen. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat who's emerged as a leader on gun-control measures, said Biden's experience matters, adding there are people in their 40s "who couldn't pull off anything close to what he's done." Murphy described Biden as "nimble" and credited him with knowing when his team should step back from day-to-day negotiating with Congress.Murphy said that after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, Biden was part of the White House's "very hands-on role." "He learned from that experience that obviously did not result in a bill and recalibrated," Murphy said.But Biden's accomplishments have often been overshadowed by the ongoing legal drama and related defiance of the man he defeated to win the White House. Republicans — including Trump — have gleefully seized on Biden's verbal misadventures, such as when he called his vice president "President Harris."They mocked him for falling off his bike in June in Delaware — even though Biden got back up, talked about gun control, and then rode away. They blame him for inflation and crime. They say he's "hiding" from journalists because of his infrequent news conferences and one-on-one interviews, though he's had more than 200 impromptu exchanges with reporters. "The person in the Oval Office is not the Joe Biden we knew in the Senate," Cruz, who ran for president in 2016, told Insider. Biden's gait is undoubtedly stiffer and his hair whiter than during his Senate days, which ended in January 2009 when he resigned to become Barack Obama's vice president. When an Associated Press reporter talked about getting gray hair, Biden jokingly replied: "At least you're keeping it. I'd settle for orange if I had more hair."But Biden notably fielded questions from reporters for more than two hours in January on legislative priorities, inflation, foreign policy, and COVID-19."I just don't buy that Joe Biden is, you know, a doddering old man," said Jeff Weaver, a senior advisor to Sen. Bernie Sanders, who ran against Biden in the 2020 Democratic primary. "If that's the message of the Republicans, I mean, it's false. Whether they can sell it to the American people is another question."President Joe Biden drives the Ford's new all-electric F-150 Lightning in Dearborn, Michigan.Nicholas Kamm / AFP via Getty Images'He's engaged'People around Biden take pains to show he's fully capable of doing the job the presidency entails.Cedric Richmond, a former senior White House advisor, told Insider that Biden is "handling a grueling schedule," sometimes requiring 10- and 14-hour days, and reading a fat briefing book each night to prepare for the next day. "In meetings, he's asking detailed questions, thorough questions, because he's already read the briefing material," said Richmond, who's now a Democratic National Committee senior advisor. "You have to be prepared when you meet with him. And he's going to quiz you on what's there: How does it affect the American people? The average person? How does it move the agenda forward? Are there any consequences? What kind of studies have been done?"On domestic and international trips, a White House senior aide said, staffers often give Biden scheduling options, and he takes on the heaviest load. "We'll say, 'This piece isn't necessary, and you don't have to do this event, and you could probably skip that,' and he'll say, 'No, absolutely not,' and wind up putting it all back," said the aide, who was granted anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record. Khanna said he isn't concerned about Biden's age. "He'll call if he watches you on a good television appearance or will remember things that you've said to him about priorities," the congressman said. "He's engaged."Joe Biden and his son, Beau, in 2008.PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty ImagesA promiseStaying engaged is an implicit part of a promise Biden says he made when Beau was coming to terms with dying. Beau, who died in May 2015, asked for his father's word that he would be OK, Biden wrote in "Promise Me, Dad." "It didn't mean I had to run for president," Biden said on "Morning Joe" in 2020, "but he was worried I'd walk away from what I'd worked on my whole life, since I've been 24 years old."Biden, especially of late, appears particularly engaged in efforts to stamp out the possibility of a nation again led by Trump. In a recent primetime speech from Philadelphia's Independence Hall, Biden targeted Trump and declared that MAGA Republican "extremism" threatened the country. The president made the comments shortly after Trump told a radio-show host that he was "financially supporting" people accused of crimes related to the Capitol riot, adding that he would look "very favorably" at pardons for them if he were to run and be reelected in 2024."He sees Trump and Trumpism as an existential threat," said Biden's friend, who defined "Trumpism" as "mindless craziness." "He sees Putin and Putinism as an existential threat," the friend added. "And he thinks — and I think he's right — he's the best person to deal with both of those issues." Then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden (L) and then-President Donald Trump speaking during the first presidential debate at the Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 29, 2020.Jim Watson, Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty ImagesBiden has said he was persuaded to run in 2020 when he heard Trump say there were "very fine people on both sides" of a violent clash in 2017 between white supremacists and counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left one woman dead.Khanna said the possibility of Trump running again is "weighing" on Biden. "It's not just the next generation of Republicans," Khanna said. "It's someone who literally has done so much destruction, damage to our democracy." Doug Brinkley, a presidential historian, said that as Biden enters the second half of his first term, he likely has a "messianic streak, a feeling that 'the country needs me.'" Democrats are united in their opposition to Trump, Brinkley said, and "Biden's the one that can say, 'I already slayed that dragon, and I'll slay him again.'"But Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado, who challenged Biden in the 2020 Democratic primary, said that running for president is "a rigorous thing — it's a hard thing."Biden "turned out to be the one person out of 330 million people that could beat Donald Trump, and he has my gratitude for that," Bennet said.Asked whether he wants Biden to do it again, the senator demurred."That's for him to decide."Fountain of youthIf Biden has a fountain of youth, it would be found in Delaware, his Joe-asis.He's traveled there about 50 times during his presidency, according to Mark Knoller, a former CBS News reporter who has long been tracking presidential data. It's where he sees friends and family and goes to church. It's where buildings and sandwiches are named for him, where he's still getting takeout from the Charcoal Pit in Wilmington, where people know him as just Joe. "Every time I get a chance, I go home to Delaware. You think I'm joking. I'm not," Biden said in February.Biden sightings have long been a regular part of life in the tiny First State. On a recent visit to Rehoboth Beach, I was greeted — and searched — by Secret Service agents outside a bookstore. The first lady, Jill Biden, was inside shopping."I'm on vacation," she said when I asked if we could talk. "I'm not even me."First lady Jill Biden shops at a Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, bookstore on July 30, 2022.Nicole Gaudiano/InsiderRhett Ruggerio, a Delaware lobbyist and former national committeeman for the state Democratic Party, last saw Joe Biden in May at the graduation ceremony at the University of Delaware, where Ruggerio is a consultant. Biden was there doing what he does: greeting people for a couple of hours, asking things like "how's aunt so-and-so" as his staff was telling him to move on, said Ruggerio, who was a friend of Beau Biden's and helped him win his attorney-general race in 2006. Ruggerio described the idea that Joe Biden is diminished or can't remember things as "bull crap." "He was just in his glory talking to people that he has some association with," Ruggerio said. "I was observing it and thinking, holy crap, he is still the way he's always been, where he's super interested in a person, he wants to know the details, and he wants to make a personal connection, and it's real."It's a BFD when Biden's in town. Sen. Tom Carper, a Delaware Democrat who has been working alongside Biden for nearly half a century, once missed his train to Washington, DC, and had to Zoom into a Senate hearing because Biden's presidential motorcade had snarled traffic in Wilmington. At Rehoboth Beach, where Biden keeps a vacation house, a banner airplane that wasn't supposed to be flying recently caused a stir, Ruggerio said, and a military jet like "something out of Top Gun" flew over his house, spooked his dog, and "scared the shit out of everybody."As we spoke, Ruggerio noticed Secret Service agents peering through the window of the Robin Hood restaurant where we were eating. We later learned the first lady was heading to the bookstore across the street. We agreed that the White House bubble must be killing Biden."He lives off of that, the interaction with people," Ruggerio said. At the Delaware State Fair in Harrington, Darlene Cox, a retired state employee, showed me a 2019 picture of herself with Biden. She said Biden won her over decades ago when, about a year after their first meeting, when she was pregnant with her youngest son, Biden remembered to ask whether she'd had a boy or a girl. "That's amazing to be able to have that rapport with people," she said.Cox said people are painting Biden as "an older man that's senile" and it's not true. "If he's willing to run I'd support him," she said, "because I truly believe in Joe."But one of her sons, D.J., a tractor-trailer driver who's running for Kent County recorder of deeds as a Democrat, feels differently. Strolling the fairgrounds in his campaign T-shirt, he said he was feeling the effect of Biden's low approval ratings on his own campaign. "It's made it harder, yes," he said.D.J. Cox said that while he thinks Biden is "still Joe" and still capable, he worries that Biden's age is a problem."How can a politician represent me and my family when they're that old?" Cox said. "You can't be as sharp as you were at 50 and 40." Laura Najemy, an attorney from Wilmington who supports Biden, said the president could get beyond questions about his age by showing at the end of four years that people are living better, are safer, and have a better chance to save money.But she also said Biden should hold more live press conferences to show that he can handle scrutiny."It's very hard to argue that your opponent is not able to handle the pressure of being president when he's very clearly handling a press conference well, with grace and humor and very knowledgeable insight about the issues," Najemy told me during an interview at the state fair.In Newark, Delaware, at the Biden Welcome Center off I-95, some travelers expressed sympathy for Biden. Patricia Mantoan, 51, said she was glad to see his name on the center "because he's getting, I think, a tough rap." She added that age doesn't matter and that "of course" she would vote for Biden again.Andrew Beyea, of Odenton, Maryland, said Biden has good goals but is a victim of a polarized political environment.He voted for Biden in 2020, but would he again?Beyea sighed deeply. "He's really old," he said. "I don't know how much left he's got in the tank."'Healthy' and 'vigorous'Biden's latest publicly released medical report, from November, described him as "healthy" and "vigorous" and said he was "fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency." Kevin O'Connor, the presidential physician, also said Biden was being treated for atrial fibrillation and gastroesophageal reflux that causes him to clear his throat more often. He said that Biden's gait appeared "perceptibly stiffer and less fluid" than in the past and that Biden experienced spinal arthritis."Old age should burn and rave at close of day," the poet said. But for how long? The average life expectancy for a 65-year-old American man in 2020 was 82. A YouGov survey in January found that, as presidents and senators serve into their late 70s and 80s, 58% of Americans said they'd support an age maximum for elected officials; 39% of those respondents said that age should be 70 and 24% said it should be 60.Young voters — who once helped propel Biden to his Senate seat — are now a problem for Biden. In a New York Times/Siena College poll in July, 94% of Democrats under 30 said they'd want a different presidential nominee. And nearly two in three voters who indicated they were planning to participate in the 2024 Democratic presidential primary said they wouldn't want Biden to be the nominee.Age and job performance were part of the problem."With this disappearing middle class that we've got going on, I don't think he and a lot of the other politicians in his age range really understand what that looks like as a young person with that being your future," Winchester Kelly, 29, a Democrat from Richmond, Virginia, visiting the Delaware State Fair this summer, said of Biden.Many politicians in Biden's age group are "out of touch with what young people need financially," she said, and Biden would get a "resigned sort of 'this is what we got'" level of support if he runs again. Biden, who declined through the White House to be interviewed for this story, bristled when a reporter asked about the Times poll in July."Read the polls, Jack. You guys are all the same," he said, approaching the camera. "That poll showed that 92% of Democrats, if I ran, would vote for me." (The poll suggested he would get 92% of Democrats' support in a matchup with Trump.) People in Biden's close circle are "absolutely not" telling him to take it easy, a senior White House aide told Insider."I would pity the person who would say to him, 'You should think about slowing down,'" the aide said. "He is as aggressive as ever."But outside of his close circle, people around Biden's age are increasingly concerned about a second term.David Gergen, 80, a former presidential advisor, questioned whether it's "appropriate for the country's sake" to have a president in his 80s. He told Insider that Biden and Trump should both sit out 2024 and let a younger generation step up. "What if we're going to be in a fight over Taiwan?" said Gergen, who served under Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton. "Do we really want somebody in their 80s who's making those calls about what to do? I don't think so."Gergen said he is also worried about Biden's physical health at that age."What happens if Joe Biden has a heart attack? What happens if he has a stroke?" he saidRobert Reich, who served as the labor secretary during the Clinton administration, wrote for The Guardian in July: "It's not death that's the worrying thing about a second Biden term. It's the dwindling capacities that go with aging." At 76, Reich said he was "feeling more and more out of it." He blamed his generation of leaders for having "f*cked it up royally." He concluded: "Joe, please don't run."In 1995, another towering figure, South African President Nelson Mandela, faced a similar decision: run for a second term, or retire.Mandela chose the latter."I don't think an octogenarian should be meddling with political affairs," Mandela said. "I would like to give over to a younger man. I will be available for advice if they want me, but to occupy a position as a head of state, definitely, I won't take that risk."'I ain't dead yet'Presidents tend to "cling" to power, Brinkley said. Lyndon B. Johnson, the last president to opt out of running for a second term, in 1968, was in a "disastrous situation" during the Vietnam War."Being president is in Biden's DNA," Brinkley said, adding that roles such as as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee or even as vice president were "stepping stones to the ultimate achievement." "The idea of relinquishing power by Joe Biden over the age issue is extremely remote," Brinkley said. In 1988 and again in 2008, Biden tried but failed to win his party's nomination, and he didn't abandon the idea of running in 2016 until close to the end of his vice presidency. Johanna Maska, an Obama White House aide, remembers Biden as vice president "just going around and chatting with people" — and talking for hours with political donors about running for president."Everybody knew he wanted to run, and a lot of people didn't think he was the right person" because of his performance in Iowa, said Maska, now the CEO of the Global Situation Room, a public-affairs agency.Biden concluded after his son died that he had run out of time to launch a winning 2016 campaign — a decision he said months later that he regretted. By the time he ran in 2020, journalists were asking about his exercise routine and the possibility of a maximum age for candidates."What the hell concerns, man? You wanna wrestle?" he told a reporter in 2019 who'd asked whether Biden would release his medical records "to address concerns.""I think you guys are engaging in ageism here," he said in January 2020 during an interview with The Times' editorial board. "Now look, all kidding aside, I don't think they're — the voters will be able to make a judgment."During that interview, he complained that he was being declared dead politically despite leading in the polls. "Guess what?" he said. "I ain't dead. And I'm not going to die."—New York Times Opinion (@nytopinion) January 20, 2020 Unauthorized T-shirts and hoodies with this quote — as well as a picture of Biden in his signature aviators licking an ice-cream cone — are available on Amazon. While campaigning in 2020, Biden called himself a "bridge" to a new generation of Democratic leaders. But he never defined how long that bridge would be. He told ABC that he didn't mean he was running for only one term, just that he was committed to building the Democratic bench.To run for office and be elected so many times shows that "you're very competitive," said Jim Manley, who was a longtime aide to Harry Reid, the late Senate majority leader."And it's going to take a lot for you to, you know, take a step back and/or step down," Manley said.Maska, the former Obama aide, said that while Biden was a "good solution to Trump," it's time for new Democratic leaders."He's been a political leader longer than I've been alive. And I have a son who's now 10," she said.But Ruggerio, who has known Biden for more than two decades, said he doesn't see the president passing the torch in 2024."I just think it's ingrained in him at this point," he said. "He's been elected since 1972, when he was 29, and now he's going to give it up?"I don't see it happening," Ruggerio added. "Why should he?"Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytSep 13th, 2022

Are Putin And Xi "Gray Champions"? Part 1

Are Putin And Xi 'Gray Champions'? Part 1 Authored by Jim Quinn via The Burning Platform blog, “Long, long may it be, ere he comes again! His hour is one of darkness, and adversity, and peril. But should domestic tyranny oppress us, or the invader’s step pollute our soil, still may the Gray Champion come”  - Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Gray Champion “Who is this gray patriarch? That stately form, combining the leader and the saint…could only belong to some old champion of the righteous cause, whom the oppressor’s drum had summoned from his grave.”  - Nathaniel Hawthorne There is a misunderstanding regarding the Gray Champion of this Fourth Turning. The misunderstanding revolves around thinking there is only one Gray Champion, they are hugely popular, always do the right thing, and are universally admired for their leadership traits. Nothing could be further from the truth. In previous Fourth Turnings, there have always been multiple Gray Champions, often at war with each other, who were not popular or necessarily good men. What they always are is single-minded, tenacious, ruthless, and intent on winning at any cost. Their followers are inspired, and their enemies despise them. There is no middle ground when it comes to opinions about Gray Champions. They generally don’t fight the battles, but shape the strategy, inspire the troops, or mobilize the citizenry to action. The Awakening Prophet Generation firebrands during the American Revolution included Sam Adams and Ben Franklin. Adams organized and led the Boston Tea Party, lighting the fuse of revolution. Franklin provided the wisdom and guidance for the younger firebrands like John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. These Prophet Generation leaders were the inspirational lightning rods for a revolution where failure meant the gallows for them and their fellow rebels. This nation wouldn’t exist without the leadership of Adams and Franklin. Gray Champions during the Civil War Fourth Turning included Abraham Lincoln, William Tecumseh Sherman, Jefferson Davis, and Robert E. Lee. These four Transcendental Prophet Generation men were the driving force during the four-years of slaughter, where 700,000 men (10% of male population between the ages of 18 and 60) were killed in a brutal war of brother versus brother. The War Between the States certainly marked an hour of darkness, adversity, and peril. Lincoln rose from obscurity to lead the northern states in a scorched earth effort to suppress the Confederate states, greatly expanding the reach of the Federal government, instituting a mandatory draft, introducing an income tax, suspending the right to habeas corpus, and flaunting the Constitution when he deemed necessary. He did this without a mandate from the people, as he won the presidency in 1860 with only 39.8% of the popular vote, in a four-man race. He was determined to win the war at any cost. And his personal cost was bullet to the head and death before victory. Sherman was a take no prisoners general who implemented a new and far more violent form of war. He conducted war against soldiers and civilians alike, believing he could destroy the will of the enemy by using his terrible swift sword and wreaking destruction upon every city he passed through during his march to the sea. Ultimately, Grant and Sherman’s strategy of wearing down their opponents through superior manpower and armaments worked. Sherman is despised to this day by Southerners. Jefferson Davis had been a U.S. Senator prior to becoming president of the Confederate States of America. Just as the founding fathers would have been hung for treason if they had failed, Davis risked the same fate and ultimately spent a couple years in a federal prison after his defeat. His personality deficiencies and inability to convince Britain to support the Confederate cause, were a major factor in the South’s defeat. Meanwhile, the inspirational leadership of Robert E. Lee is probably the single biggest factor in the Confederacy lasting as long as it did. His daring, strategic brilliance, inspiring presence on the battlefield and tenaciousness won many improbable victories and even in defeat he escaped annihilation by his sheer guile and determination. It takes a certain type of man to give an order that will surely result in the deaths of thousands as he did on the 3rd day at Gettysburg, and Pickett made his fateful charge. At Antietam and Gettysburg his opponents could have destroyed his army and ended the war, but they were psychologically unable to do so, fearing Lee was setting a trap for them. His honorable surrender at Appomattox set a tone of reconciliation that helped bring the country back together as well as it could be done at that time. Lee is still considered an icon in the South, and the destruction of his statues by the low IQ ignorant BLM terrorists and their corrupt Democrat politician cucks is a disgrace to a great man and our rich history. The Great Depression/World War II Fourth Turning saw the Missionary Prophet Generation produce another four historical figures who will never be forgotten: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Douglas MacArthur, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin. It is reasonable to say these men had immense egos, were ruthless in achieving their objectives, were more hated then loved, fought against all odds, committed criminal acts, and ultimately cooperated enough to attain victory in World War II. Roosevelt changed the country from rural to urban, implemented his New Deal that began the social welfare state, tried to stack the Supreme Court, and imprisoned Japanese citizens for being Japanese. FDR accumulated such dictatorial power during his four terms in office, Congress implemented a two-term limit on all future presidents. MacArthur disobeyed orders from his superiors when he decided his path was better. But his strategy in the Pacific proved effective and his humane reign while overseeing the occupation of Japan from 1945 until 1951 paved the way for democracy and stability in Asia. Churchill had many more failures than successes during his life in the military, government office and politics, before ascending to prime minister at a point of maximum peril for the UK. A lesser man probably would have sued for peace, as his troops were cornered at Dunkirk and bombs obliterated London on a nightly basis. His inspirational speeches kept the spirits of his people up, and once Hitler turned his attention towards Russia, Churchill was able to focus on prodding FDR for help and angling to get the U.S. into the war. Churchill was cruel and ruthless when it came to fighting the war. He, along with FDR, decided firebombing Dresden and other German cities was a valid tactic in winning the war. Lying to allies in order to achieve his aims was a common occurrence by Churchill, but he also saw Stalin for who he really was, and immediately realized the Soviets would not be allies after the war was won. His own people booted him out of office at the war’s end, showing he wasn’t loved. Essentially, Churchill oversaw the last days of the British Empire. Despite being a psychopath who murdered and starved in excess of 1 million of his citizens during the 1930s, Joseph Stalin was a Gray Champion during the last Fourth Turning. He was a dictator who bore the brunt of Hitler’s armed forces and ultimately repelled the Germans and had his armies take Berlin. Generals who failed were executed. His sheer willpower and unwillingness to admit defeat were essential to achieving victory in World War II. He bullied and prodded his allies – FDR and Churchill – to open a second front and provide him with tanks and arms to defeat the Germans. He never considered himself a friend of the UK or US. They were useful pawns to help him achieve victory. He was an evil man running a despotic regime who became an immediate enemy upon victory in 1945. He is the ultimate example of a Gray Champion not being a noble, moral, well-liked person. Anyone with a true grasp of history would acknowledge all these men had monumental personality defects, huge egos, a determination to win by any means necessary (including breaking the law and flaunting the Constitution), and ability to mobilize forces to accomplish their goals. Their names and deeds are in the history books. Hundreds of biographies have been written about each, trying to capture their true essence. But one thing is certain. They fought for what they believed, shaped the future of their countries, didn’t back down from taking responsibility and making tough decisions, and sent millions to their deaths by their actions. Gray Champions are not wallflowers, quiet, or unassuming. They lead. They are willing to act, make decisions and fail or succeed on their own merits. When the Prophet archetype arrives at old age, it heralds a new constellation of generations, which happens every 80 years – marking the arrival of another Fourth Turning. As we are propelled through the fourteenth year of this Fourth Turning, Gray Champions have arrived on the scene and are propelling us towards a frightful climax, which will happen within the next several years. The intensification is being driven by these figures, who will ultimately be judged in history books based upon their success or failure in leading their nations through this Crisis period. Anyone who can’t see the world being pushed towards the brink of world war and on the verge of economic collapse, is either willfully ignorant, too dumbed down and distracted by their electronic bread and circuses, or just focused on profiting from war, chaos, and destruction. Neil Howe, one of the authors of The Fourth Turning, made a statement in January 2021 which clarified for me those who currently fit the mold of a Gray Champion. “Gray champions are made, not born. The persona of a gray champion is to focus on one big thing, not 17 little things.” As this Fourth Turning was ignited by the 2008 financial collapse, brought about by Wall Street bankers, Ben Bernanke and his central banker co-conspirators, corrupt politicians, and feckless government apparatchiks, I was trying to seek out the Gray Champion who would lead the country through this Crisis. I realize now, my view was too narrow. There seems to be multiple Gray Champions with differing agendas, often at conflict with the agendas of other Gray Champions and leading the world into a global conflict. Their one commonality is they are all Boomer Generation Prophets, with a single-minded ambition to lead their followers down the path they are sure will attain success for themselves and their followers. But we know for sure, some will lose and possibly all will lose if one or more is reckless enough to initiate nuclear Armageddon. With his improbable 2016 election I thought Trump might be the single Gray Champion, acting as a lightning rod for the conflict which always arises during a Fourth Turning. I now realize there are several Prophet Generation leaders who are leading competing factions both domestically and internationally. Even though Trump was removed from office in an ultimately successful Deep State coup in 2020, he continues to have a huge following, drawing massive crowds at rallies, and giving every indication he intends to run for president again in 2024. There is a major segment of the population which will follow him anywhere he leads. He most certainly is a Gray Champion, whose Deep State sanctioned adversary Hillary Clinton, also fits the mold of Gray Champion – albeit an evil she-devil Gray Champion intent on destroying what remains of civil society in America while instigating Russia into a world war. As a main figure in the plot to overthrow the man who defeated her in 2016, she continues to throw bombs and insinuate she might run again in 2024, as the dementia ridden pathetic shell of a corrupt politician Biden will be lucky to live until 2024 and the low IQ cackling hyena of a vice president will be cast aside by the Deep State as unelectable. Clinton has ratcheted up the war rhetoric and will always have the left-wing pussy hat wearing lunatic fringe as her base. She is a dangerous, vile human being, but so was Stalin. Being a malevolent hateful shrew does not disqualify you from being a Gray Champion during a Fourth Turning. She will attempt to rally her malicious forces of wickedness, with the full support of her Deep State puppet-masters and lapdog compliant corporate legacy media, to accelerate our downward spiral into a techno-communist, globally controlled, dystopian hellscape. This Fourth Turning will not end well if she and her globalist billionaire cronies emerge victorious. Another globalist billionaire, who cavorted with and did business with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, did not appear on my radar as a Gray Champion until he, Klaus Schwab, Fauci, Big Pharma, and the bought off medical industrial complex, created a worldwide pandemic using a Wuhan lab produced flu with a 99.7% survival rate. Bill Gates, a software geek who fancies himself a medical expert, used his immense wealth to push for the mandatory injection of an untested, unproven, dangerous, DNA altering gene therapy created by criminal pharmaceutical firms, into the bodies of everyone on earth. Gates has funded the vaccine propaganda campaign and funnels millions to the mainstream media to push falsehoods about the safety and effectiveness of these toxic concoctions. He has inexplicably bought up farmland, while promoting bugs as a future food source for the unwashed masses. He is a major player in the Great Reset Build Back Better WEF demonic plan to enslave the masses in poverty in a techno-gulag where we will own nothing and told to be happy, or else. He and his fellow pedophile satanic billionaire cultists will own everything and be really happy. His investments in vaccines, farmland, and the media most certainly makes his motivations suspect. His immediate negative reaction to Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter reveals his authoritarian censorship principles and belief he and his small cohort of wealthy totalitarian oligarchs should be the arbiters of truth and gatekeepers of what the plebs can say on social media. Suppression of those voicing dissent from the approved State narrative is essential for Gates and his ilk in propagandizing the ignorant masses. The first amendment and the Constitution are nothing more than annoyances to men like Gates who can buy and sell the world to implement their warped agenda. Like Clinton, if this Gray Champion succeeds, the people of this world will never recover their liberties and freedoms. This brings us to two men who weren’t in my thought process during the first thirteen years of this Crisis as potential Gray Champions. I suffer the same myopia as many others, viewing the world through the lens of living within the American Empire. Of course, America is no longer the shining city on the hill, if it ever was. We have been an empire since 1945, forged in war and sustained through currency dominance, intimidation, and bribing others to do as they are told. It seems both Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping are from the Boomer Prophet Generation and may be playing the dominant roles in the denouement of this increasingly violent Fourth Turning. As I’ve stated previously, there are no unequivocal good guys who can be counted upon to do what is in your best interest. These Gray Champions have immense egos, grand visions of worldly achievements and often a lack of self-awareness. They all believe their actions are morally right and guided by a higher authority. Living within the echo chamber of a declining empire drowning in debt and flailing about wildly as its last vestiges of military and economic domination crumble, makes it difficult to understand how the rest of the world views the big bully on the block getting his comeuppance. Those pulling the strings behind the scenes, who installed a doddering, decrepit gaffe machine in the oval office as their Trojan horse, anticipated using this pliable dupe to initiate the final destruction of a nation originally built on agreed upon community standards, a strong work ethic, thrift, religious freedom, self-reliance, and a spirit of independence and freedom. I don’t think they anticipated the pathetic weakness displayed by this ancient fossil, which has empowered Putin and Xi to take advantage of his frailty and intellectual decline. The question must be asked. Would Putin have invaded Ukraine if Trump was still president? Putin, as the evil Hitler demagogue character, portrayed by the Deep State controlled mass media mouthpieces, is entirely false. The characterization of Putin’s Operation Z as unprovoked and initiated as part of his plan to take over Eastern Europe is a canard, and the U.S. military and political operatives know it. Putin didn’t invade on a whim. His intelligence agency showed him proof the Ukraine was going to launch a NATO backed offensive against the Russian backed rebels in Donbas. Putin called their bluff and derailed their plans. This entire Ukrainian charade, where Pelosi, Schiff, Boris Johnson, Trudeau, Bono and now Jill Biden drop into a “dangerous hot war zone” for photo ops and a virtue signaling meetings with the U.S. puppet president B level actor/comedian Zelensky is a propaganda farce. I’m waiting for a “We Are the World” concert to break out at any moment. The entire narrative surrounding the conflict in the Ukraine, pushed by Biden, Soros, NATO, and their obedient media lackeys, is knowingly fabricated and built upon misinformation. The CIA Soros funded coup against the democratically elected president in 2014 set this entire farce in motion. No Ukrainians were being killed before the U.S. coup. Now we are using the Ukrainian people as cannon fodder in our proxy war against Russia. Putin has also uncovered the secret biological weapons labs the U.S. has been funding in the Ukraine. No wonder the extreme reaction by Biden, Nuland, and the rest of his neo-con lackeys. It has been U.S. and NATO provocation which has forced Putin’s hand since the 2014 coup. His annexation of Crimea and military support for Russian friendly rebels in Donbas were reactions to the blatant U.S. incitement in their sphere of influence. NATO, completely under the control of the U.S. Empire, has steadily pushed eastward towards Russia since agreeing in 1990 to not do so. The U.S. purposely told Zelensky to act as if the Ukraine was going to seek NATO membership. Zelensky and his Ukraine Nazi forces have been bombing Russian speaking civilians since 2014 and were planning a major offensive in Donbas which Putin pre-empted with his attack. It has been the U.S. led NATO and Ukraine instigating Putin. They continue to do so, with Finland and Sweden being incentivized to join NATO by the U.S.  “Not an inch of NATO’s present military jurisdiction will spread in an eastern direction.”  - Memorandum of conversation between Mikhail Gorbachev and James Baker in Moscow, Feb 9, 1990 Vladimir Putin, a serious man, rising to the highest levels of the KGB, tenacious in accomplishing his agenda, and a nationalist at heart, cannot be intimidated by the likes of a feeble-minded pervert like Biden or any of the EU lackeys taking their orders from the U.S. Empire. Do you think he will be cowed by empty threats from a babbling Biden, cackling Kamala, effeminate Blinken, or gay pride promoting Austin? The U.S. propaganda machine continuously flogs the narrative of Ukraine winning, while Russians commit atrocities. Both are blatant falsities. As a Gray Champion, Putin understands victory goes to the one who refuses to back down or admit defeat when facing adversity. In Part 2 of this article, I will examine the traits of Putin and Xi which will make them the dominant Gray Champions during the final years of this Fourth Turning, and possibly the final years of modern life on this planet. *  *  * The corrupt establishment will do anything to suppress sites like the Burning Platform from revealing the truth. The corporate media does this by demonetizing sites like mine by blackballing the site from advertising revenue. If you get value from this site, please keep it running with a donation. Tyler Durden Mon, 05/16/2022 - 16:25.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMay 16th, 2022

Ferguson: The Fates Of Ukraine And Putin Turn On 7 Forces Of History

Ferguson: The Fates Of Ukraine And Putin Turn On 7 Forces Of History Authored by Niall Ferguson, op-ed via, Does Russia grind out victory? Can sanctions stop that? Might Putin go nuclear? Is China for war or peace? The past offers clues, but no certain answers. What makes history so hard to predict - the reason there is no neat “cycle” of history enabling us to prophesy the future - is that most disasters come out of left field. Unlike hurricanes and auto accidents, to which we can at least attach probabilities, the biggest disasters (pandemics and wars) follow power-law or random distributions. They belong in the realm of uncertainty, or what Nassim Nicholas Taleb, in his book “The Black Swan,” calls  “Extremistan.” They are like tsunamis, not tides. What’s more, as I argued in my book “Doom,” disasters don’t come in any predictable sequence. The most I can say is that we tend not to get the same disaster twice in succession. This time we’ve gone from plague to war. In 1918, it was from war to plague. The Hundred Years’ War began eight years before the Black Death struck England. Not everything in history is random, of course. The Russian invasion of Ukraine was not difficult to foresee at the beginning of this year. You just had to take Russian President Vladimir Putin both literally and seriously when he asserted that the Russian and Ukrainian peoples were one and that the possibility of Ukraine becoming a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization or the European Union was a red line; and to realize that Western threats of economic sanctions would not deter him. Now that the war is well into its second week, however, there are much more difficult predictions to make. It seems there are seven distinct historical processes at work and it’s not clear which is going fastest. All I can do is to apply history, as there is no model from political science or economics that can really help us here. 1. Do the Russians manage to take Kyiv in a matter of two, three, four weeks or never? I heard it argued the other day that the Russian invasion of Ukraine could become a “frozen conflict.” I think it looks a lot more like the opening hot conflict of Cold War II, and one that will be decided quite swiftly. There’s reason to think this is turning into Putin’s version of Stalin’s Winter War against Finland in November 1939, when the Red Army ran into much stiffer resistance than it had expected from the Finns. (It was the Finns who invented the Molotov Cocktail, named after Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov.) The difference is that Stalin was able to order in a second, larger wave of Soviet troops in February 1940, forcing the Finns to accept his punitive terms, including the cession of 9% of Finland’s prewar territory. Putin does not have as much manpower and hardware at his disposal. At least one military analyst I respect said late last week that the Russian invasion force has around two weeks left before serious logistical and supply problems force Putin seriously to the negotiating table. I hope that is true. The now famous 40-mile-long stalled convoy between Prybisk and Kyiv is Exhibit A that the war has not proved to be the Blitzkrieg that Putin apparently expected. On the other hand, Western media seem over-eager to cover news of Russian reverses, and insufficiently attentive to the harsh fact that the invaders continue to advance on more than one front. Nor is there sufficient recognition that the Russian generals quickly realized their Plan A had failed, switching to a Plan B of massive bombardment of key cities, a playbook familiar from earlier Russian wars in Chechnya and Syria. A week may be a long time in politics, as British Prime Minister Harold Wilson said. It is a short time in war. A better analogy than the Winter War with Finland may be the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan that began in December 1979. The reason that developed into such a protracted disaster for the Red Army was that the Afghan mujahideen were so well supplied with American arms. Today, too, the Ukrainians are receiving significant amounts of hardware (Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, Javelin antitank weapons, Turkish TB2 drones), much of it now coming across the border from Poland. Ukraine is also receiving vital private-sector assistance, notably the delivery of Starlink internet terminals, which are helping maintain communications despite Russian attacks on television towers (not to mention morale-boosting support from Starlink Inc. founder Elon Musk himself). What I cannot tell is whether or not these weapons and other equipment will suffice to sustain Ukrainian resistance over the coming weeks. Clearly, the Ukrainians are doing real damage to Russian infantry and armor and shooting down an impressive number of low-flying helicopters and planes. They will certainly be able to make any Russian advance into central Kyiv very costly to the invaders. But the Ukrainians have no real answers to higher-altitude bombardment and missile attacks. The fate of an independent Ukraine will be decided in the coming weeks or days. If cities continue to fall to the Russians, as Kherson has and Mariupol may, we may look back and say that Western arms shipments to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s government were too little, too late. 2. Do the sanctions precipitate such a severe economic contraction in Russia that Putin cannot achieve victory? I have heard it said that the breadth and depth of the sanctions imposed on Russia make them unprecedented. I disagree. The way in which the U.S. and the European Union have severed financial ties with Russia, even seizing those parts of the reserves of the Russian central bank that are held abroad, recalls but does not quite match the sanctions that Britain and its allies imposed on Germany at the outbreak of World War I. We should remember that those measures did not defeat Germany, however, because — like Russia today — it had the resources to be self-sufficient, though the sanctions may have made a German victory less likely by increasing the hardships of the war at home. Then, as now, it was possible for an increasingly authoritarian government to impose economic controls and divert resources away from civilian consumption to the war effort, while blaming the resulting deprivation on the enemy. The Allied “hunger blockade” was a potent theme for German wartime propaganda. Economic warfare between 1914 and 1918 was not a substitute for sending British armies to fight on the European continent, just as it had not been in the Napoleonic Wars against France. It is especially hard to wage purely economic warfare on a vast and resource-rich country such as Russia. After 1928, Stalin imposed autarky on the Soviet Union. Putin has had it imposed on him by the West. But no one should forget that self-sufficiency is possible for Russia, albeit at the price of severe austerity, whether it is a choice or a consequence of war. It seems clear that Western sanctions will get tougher with every passing week of destruction of Ukrainian cities and killing of Ukrainian civilians. We are already heading for sanctions on Russian energy exports, beginning with a ban on importing Russian oil by the U.S. and U.K. (the Europeans are hesitating). On the other hand, China is able to help Russia in ways that could mitigate the economic shock, just as for years it has helped Iran to circumvent U.S. sanctions by buying its oil. To my eyes, the most striking feature of the sanctions against Russia is the way that Western corporations have gone well beyond the letter of government requirements. No one ordered the big U.S. technology companies to turn off or restrict most of their services in Russia, but they did so. Unlike Soviet citizens, who were accustomed to a state monopoly on communications, today’s Russians have come to rely as much as we do on Big Tech. Being cut off from the metaverse may prove a more psychologically painful deprivation than shortages of imported foods. Russia’s economy now faces as severe a blow as it suffered in the early 1990s, when the Soviet Union fell apart and the planned economy collapsed. It is teetering on the brink of a financial crisis that will see bank runs, soaring inflation and default on at least some sovereign debt. But even a 35% quarterly decline in gross domestic product does not condemn a country to military defeat if its planes can still fly and its tanks still fire rounds. 3. Does the combination of military and economic crisis precipitate a palace coup against Putin? Modern Russia has seen three popular revolutions (1905, 1917 and 1991). There have been assassinations — for example, Tsar Alexander II in 1881 and Lenin, whose life was shortened by an attempt in 1918 — and palace coups, such as the ones that put Nikita Khrushchev in power in 1953 and removed him in 1964. But most Russian rulers die of natural causes — even Stalin, though there was no great rush to get him medical assistance when he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage. President Boris Yeltsin surprised everyone by resigning on New Year’s Eve, 1999, without duress. Could Putin fall from power, a victim of his own hubris in underestimating Ukrainian courage and Western economic might? It is possible. But I would not bet the fate of Ukraine on Russian internal politics. For one thing, the repressive apparatus of Russian state security seems to be in full working order. Those in Russia who courageously protest the war are being arrested and harassed in the usual fashion. For another, I can imagine few riskier actions for a member of the Russian economic elite than to intimate to one of his peers even the faintest interest in overthrowing Putin. On the other hand, it was obvious even during the somewhat farcical broadcast of the Russian Security Council meeting two weeks ago that not everyone inside the Kremlin was wholly comfortable with Putin’s invasion plan. More plausible than a popular revolt or an oligarchs’ mutiny is a palace coup led by one or more of Russia’s security service chiefs. The people with the power to arrest Putin are the people he counts on to execute his arrest orders: Nikolai Patrushev, the head of the Security Council and, like Putin, a long-serving KGB officer; Sergei Naryshkin, the head of foreign intelligence; and Alexander Bortnikov, who heads the Federal Security Service, the successor to the KGB. 4. Does the risk of downfall lead Putin to desperate measures (carrying out his nuclear threat)?  The most dangerous aspect of the war in Ukraine is obvious: Russia, though in many ways diminished, is still the heir of the Soviet Union as a nuclear-armed power — unlike Ukraine, which gave up its Soviet nukes in return for a security guarantee (the Budapest Memorandum of 1994) that proved worthless. Putin has understood from the outset that his ace is to threaten to use nuclear weapons. Even before launching his invasion, he warned that “anyone who tries to interfere with us … must know that Russia’s response will be immediate and will lead you to such consequences as you have never before experienced in your history.” Russia, he added, remains “one of the most powerful nuclear powers” with “certain advantages in a number of the latest types of weapons” and that “no one should have any doubt that a direct attack on Russia will lead to defeat and dire consequences for a potential aggressor.” After the war was underway, he put Russian nuclear forces on a “special regime of combat duty” — in other words, high alert. If Putin’s goal was to deter members of NATO from offering direct military assistance to Ukraine, it seemed to have some effect. An idea for Poland and others to lend fighter jets to Kyiv was briefly floated by the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, Josep Borrell, and then melted away, although U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is trying to revive it, and the Poles appear to think they are swapping their Soviet-era MiG-29 jets for U.S. planes, presumably so the MiGs can go to Ukraine. There has also been media discussion of a NATO “no-fly zone” over Ukraine, which the Ukrainian government keeps asking for, but which would surely be seized on by Putin as an act of war. Fortunately, no one in a position of responsibility has endorsed the idea. Yet it cannot be right that a threat to use nuclear weapons goes unanswered. In the Cold War, both sides used nuclear alerts to intimidate one another. The reason no nuclear war occurred — though it came close on more than one occasion, notably in the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 and the Able Archer false alarm of 1983 — was that each side believed the other capable of going nuclear and no one could be sure that a limited nuclear war, of the sort envisaged by Henry Kissinger in 1957, would not escalate into Armageddon. At 11:41 p.m. on October 24, 1973, at the height of the Yom Kippur War, Kissinger and the other key members of President Richard Nixon’s national security team agreed to raise the U.S. alert level to Defcon 3 — the highest level of peacetime readiness for war — to ensure that the Soviet Union did not send troops to support the Arab states that had attacked Israel but were now losing badly. At the same time, they ordered major movements of U.S. military assets, to ensure the Soviets got the message. The Soviet documents reveal a Politburo wrong-footed, just as Kissinger had intended. None of the Soviet leaders, not even the drug-addled Leonid Brezhnev — who, like Nixon, was asleep during the hours of maximum danger — was ready to blow up the world to save Egypt and Syria from defeat. As the future Soviet leader (then KGB chief) Yuri Andropov put it: “We shall not unleash the Third World War.” Today, however, the boot is on the other foot. Not only is Putin intimidating NATO; he may have achieved something more, namely a tacit admission by the Biden administration that it would not necessarily retaliate with nuclear weapons if Russia used them. The failure of the administration to signal that it would retaliate is of a piece with last year’s reports that Biden’s national security team was considering ruling out first use of nuclear weapons in its new national military strategy. Nuclear missiles cease to be a deterrent if one side is unwilling to use them. Putin is probably bluffing. What would he strike with a tactical nuclear weapon? If it’s a Ukrainian city, particularly Kyiv, he surely destroys his own spurious claim that he is fighting to preserve the historic unity of the Russian and Ukrainian peoples. Russian casualties are being caused by Ukrainians using arms supplied by multiple NATO countries, including the U.S. and Turkey, but they are mostly crossing into Ukraine from Poland. Might Putin therefore strike a target in eastern Poland — Lublin, say, or Przemysl? It cannot be completely ruled out. And he is surely more likely to do so if believes the U.S. would not immediately retaliate in kind against a Russian target. A key lesson of this entire crisis has been that indications of weakness on the U.S. side, which I discussed here last week, have emboldened Putin. 5. Do the Chinese keep Putin afloat but on the condition that he agrees to a compromise peace that they offer to broker? Let no one have any illusions. Putin’s war would not have gone ahead without a green light from the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, who was able to specify that the Russians wait until the Beijing Winter Olympics were over. The Chinese now have the option to assist Russia economically. The question is whether this leverage would give Xi the role of intermediary played by Theodore Roosevelt in 1905, when it was Japan that Russia was fighting. We know from a number of reports that Chinese peace-making is a possibility. On Tuesday it was reported that China, France and Germany were “coordinating to end the conflict.” We can assume that the messiness of the war is not pleasing the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, who have their hands full with Covid (remember that?), a slowing economy and their upcoming Party Congress, and wanted a quiet world in 2022. On the other hand, we should not underestimate the closeness of the Xi-Putin relationship and the extent to which Xi’s preference must be for a Russian victory, given his own ambitions to bring Taiwan under Beijing’s control. My guess is that the Chinese make no serious diplomatic move until they are convinced Putin’s invasion is thoroughly bogged down in Ukraine’s spring mud. 6. Does the West’s attention deficit disorder kick in before any of this? All over the democratic world, people are learning the words “Slava Ukraini!” — Glory to Ukraine! — donning blue-and-yellow garments, participating in pro-Ukrainian demonstrations. True, the U.S. public generally has about three weeks of attention for any overseas calamity (see the temporary wave of outrage that followed the abandonment of Afghanistan last year). Yet the response to the invasion of Ukraine seems bigger and more likely to endure. Remarkably, one U.S. legislator told me last week that he “couldn’t recall an issue more obsessively followed and more unifying among” his constituents. We may speculate as to why this is, but a significant part of the explanation is surely the skillful way in which Zelenskiy has used television and social media to win the world’s sympathies. Most Americans also recognize a war of independence when they see one. I am reminded of the way the British public in the 19th century would periodically embrace an ethnic group fighting for its freedom. The Greeks in the 1820s, the Poles in the 1830s, the Germans and Italians in the 1840s, the Bulgarians in the 1870s — all these causes aroused passionate support in Britain, and equally passionate condemnation of the despotic empires of the Ottomans, Romanovs and Habsburgs.   However, spasms of moral outrage tend to contribute very little of practical use to those intent on building nation-states. That was Prussian Prime Minister Otto von Bismarck’s point in 1862, when he declared: “Not through speeches and majority decisions will the great questions of the day be decided … but by iron and blood.” The only real significance of Western public outrage at Putin’s actions is the political pressure it exerts on Biden and other leaders to take a tougher line with Russia. 7. What is the collateral damage? The problem for Biden — and it will soon be a problem for his European counterparts, too — is the economic damage this war will cause. Inflation expectations had already shifted upward sharply as a result of the excessive fiscal and monetary stimulus administered early last year in the form of the American Rescue Plan and the Federal Reserve’s continued asset purchases. History shows that wars (much more than pandemics) are the most common cause of jumps in inflation. The best-known recent illustration is the way wars in 1973 (Yom Kippur) and 1979 (Iran-Iraq) contributed to the great inflation of the Seventies, but there are many other examples. True, the price of oil is a much smaller component of economic activity and consumer inflation indices today than 50 years ago. But it would be naive to imagine that, with inflation already at its highest level since 1982, the additional shock of war and rapidly escalating sanctions won’t pour kerosene on the barbecue. Even if the Russians fail to scupper the scramble to resuscitate the Iran nuclear agreement, the return of Iranian oil to the world market is unlikely to offset the shock of Western sanctions on Russia. What’s more, these price spikes are not confined to oil and gas but involve a host of other commodities. The prospect of this year’s Ukrainian grain harvest being disrupted means a significant surge in food prices, with all kinds of consequences, especially in developing countries. Nor can we ignore the risks that may be lurking within the international financial system. A great many institutions blithely ignored the approach of war and have been left holding large quantities of Russian assets that have plunged in value. Losses on this scale — and with more to come if the Russian state defaults on some of its debt — almost always have repercussions. The Russian default on local-currency bonds in 1998 was an important element in the Long-Term Capital Management blowup that year. Add these seven imponderables together and you see how profoundly important the next few weeks will be. This is the first big crisis of Cold War II, which is in many ways like a mirror image of Cold War I, with China the senior partner, Russia the junior, and a hot war in Eastern Europe rather than East Asia (it was Korea’s turn in 1950). I do not know how the crisis will turn out, but I do know it will have profound consequences for the course of the superpower contest. If the invasion of Ukraine ends in disaster for the heroic defenders of Kyiv and their comrades, another disaster may well follow — and it could occur as far away as Taiwan. Conversely, if there is justice in the world and the disaster befalls the architect of this war, that too will give birth to some fresh and unforeseeable event. For any victory for democracy in Ukraine is likely to prove ephemeral if its consequence is a new Time of Troubles in Russia, echoing the 17th-century fight over the tsar’s crown. A tsunami of war has struck Ukraine. Whether the Russian tide flows or ebbs in the coming weeks will do much to determine the course of world history for the rest of our lives. Tyler Durden Fri, 03/11/2022 - 16:20.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytMar 11th, 2022

Smith: Leftists Support Tyranny, Conservatives Do Not; It"s Time To Separate

Smith: Leftists Support Tyranny, Conservatives Do Not; It's Time To Separate Authored by Brandon Smith via, One of the great semantic debates of the past decade has been the ongoing attempt to muddle the definition of “Left vs Right” in the American political sphere. For example, a lot of people who are new to the liberty movement (people who became active during or after the Trump campaign in 2016) have heard of the “false left/right paradigm”, but they have no clue what it actually means. If you think it means there are no legitimate political sides in this fight and that the entire conflict is theatrical or manipulated, then you are misinformed. The false left/right paradigm specifically refers to the fake division at the VERY TOP of the political pyramid among elitists in government. There are certainly Republicans that are conservative in their rhetoric but not conservative in their actions or policies, and they tend to support or side with politicians on the left regularly when it comes to big government spending and big government power (just look to the Republicans that voted in favor of Joe Biden’s recent infrastructure bill). Democrats and leftists don’t have to pretend. They base their entire platform on collectivism and centralization. This is no secret. The only theater is in their motives. Top Democrats claim they are fighting for the “greater good” of the masses when they are actually elevating and benefiting a tiny minority of wealthy elites. They do not care at all about the lives of their constituents. Things change dramatically when we start talking about the bottom of the pyramid among regular people. The political spectrum is not as broad and nuanced as some people would have us believe and the sides are much easier to discern. There are exceptions to every rule and to every group, but to say the groups do not exist is an act of denial. There are also people who call themselves “moderates” because they think this makes them more impartial and more open-minded. They don’t want to appear as if they are moving to one “extreme” end of the spectrum or the other. But, ultimately, there are only two sides in this fight: Either you are in favor of intensive government dominance of people’s lives, or you are not. And, the vast majority of people in favor of government tyranny herald from the left side of the political spectrum. They revel in the totalitarianism, even when they don’t necessarily benefit from it. Yes, it’s time to stop pretending as if there is a “gray area” here and call the situation as it really is. The political left is obsessed with control over how people live, act and even how they think. Issues like Critical Race Theory, BLM, big tech censorship, the covid lockdowns and vax mandates have really clarified things to the point that if you can’t see the enormous difference between leftists and conservatives then you are being willfully ignorant. In my latest articles I have been exploring the theme of the political left and their habit of wearing masks to hide their true natures. Many of them will support socialist, collectivist and globalist policies while also claiming they support freedom at the same time. Yet, when they are actually faced with real world decisions in terms of unilateral authoritarianism, the true character of the average leftist is revealed and it’s an ugly thing to behold. Lets just use the covid and vaccines mandates as one litmus test for a moment – Poll after poll after poll indicates that an overwhelming number of Democrats (around 80%) applaud the mandates and continue to defend them even after almost 2 years of failures and a lack of scientific honesty. For these people the covid controls are purely political and they often argue in their favor as a vehicle to attack conservatives rather than “saving lives”. The fact is, without their enthusiastic support the draconian mandates would not exist in the US. Now, some people will point out that polls also show that around a quarter of Republicans support some form of vax mandates, but here’s the difference: Republicans and conservatives are actually willing to engage in honest debate over the scientific and social merits of the mandates. The vast majority of Democrats and leftists are absolutely not interested. They view any opposition as an act of treason, and any debate as thought crime committed by “cranks” and “conspiracy theorists”. This is a rather convenient tactic to take because leftists will never actually have to defend their own assumptions and beliefs in a public forum on fair ground; they can simply say that all evidence that is being presented is “meaningless” because it is being presented by treasonous enemies. Everything they do no matter how destructive or oppressive is thus justified by the assertion that conservatives represent an insurgency against “democracy” rather than honest Americans with honest concerns. It should also be noted that the minimal republican support for the mandates has been steadily dropping as new information is released which contradicts the mainstream narrative on vaccine effectiveness, and as Joe Biden continues to use the vaccines as a means to gain power over private businesses. Yet, support among democrats is as high as ever. In the past few years I have seen leftists en masse defend the indoctrination of American children with CRT, which teaches white kids that they are all inherently evil oppressors and black and brown kids that they are all perpetual victims that cannot help themselves. When they get called out, leftists then claim that CRT “doesn’t exist” or does not represent what conservatives say it represents. All you have to do is read their own books to see that this is a lie. If you are willing to slog through the insanity of the book ‘Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings That Formed The Movement’, you will see that everything conservatives warn about when it comes to CRT is true. It is edited by Kimberle Crenshaw, widely viewed as a co-founder of critical race theory and “intersectionality.” It is also a book that you will find used as a teaching aid in most social science classes in most colleges. I have seen leftists support BLM riots and the destruction of private property across the nation while calling them “peaceful protests”. I have also seen BLM take hundreds of millions of dollars from the very corporations and globalist institutions they claim they hate. I have seen leftists defend Big Tech censorship of any person or group that disagrees with the woke narrative, to the point that conservatives now have to constantly self-edit key words and phrases just so algorithms do not automatically derail their accounts, and so that leftists cannot false flag their commentaries as “hate speech” or “medical misinformation.” I have seen leftists avidly support covid lockdowns and the arbitrary destruction of hundreds of thousands of businesses as “non-essential”. I have seen them aggressively defend mask mandates despite the fact that red states which removed mask mandates had the same infection rates or even lower rates. Now I am witnessing their fevered joy as they help push forced experimental vaccination through federal and state mandates, using the threat of joblessness to intimidate those who do not comply. In the meantime, we have seen conservatives become the overwhelming majority of people in direct opposition to all of these totalitarian activities. And still today I continue to see people try to argue that there are no sides, and that conservatives are “just as bad” as leftists. These people either do not understand what a conservative is, or they are deliberately misrepresenting reality because they have an agenda. The bottom line is that proof is seen in action: Red states are free, blue states are enslaved. There’s no way around that. The debate is over, at least in terms of left vs. right. The differences are stark and painfully obvious. Places with majority conservative populations are still fighting the mandates while places with a majority of leftists are perpetuating tyranny. It cannot be denied. It cannot be argued. This is reality. In this day and age if you want to be free you make sure you are surrounded by conservatives, or you become a conservative. There is not a single blue state in the country that is not on the war path to enforce Biden’s vax mandates. There is not a single blue city in the country that is not trying to subversively teach CRT in schools. And, there is not a single blue region in the country that is not obsessed with wokism and globalism. The truth is, America has split into two completely different cultures with two completely different social objectives. To be sure, there are some nuances in terms of geography. Blue states, for example, are often checkered with red counties that do not like the policies of the state government, but this does not change the reality of the overall political divide. I have also noted that most Europeans and people in the UK and Australia have no concept at all of what a conservative actually is. They think a conservative is a corporatist. They have been indoctrinated by their predominantly socialist and leftist systems to treat “conservative” as a four letter word. The people in these nations that oppose the leftist agenda will commonly refer to themselves as “traditional liberals”, but really, they are just conservatives that are afraid to call themselves conservatives. I am speaking specifically on the American dynamic, however, and in this country the two sides are sharply defined. I think that there is also a subsection of the population that does not want to admit a separation of the US is in progress even though it is a fact. They want to believe the false left/right paradigm applies to the regular population because they don’t want to accept the inevitability of the breakup of our country. They want to believe that if we just deal with the elites at the top of the pyramid that the division at the bottom will simply disappear. This is naive. There are principles and ideals which are mutually exclusive; they cannot exist within the same society at the same time. There are moments in history when tribes form and cults rise, and generally these groups grow from either a desire to control others or a desire to remain free. We are living in such times. The political left, according to every metric and statistic, is an antithesis to conservative principles of small government, decentralization, personal liberty, free markets, family values, etc. This does not mean all conservatives agree on every aspect of society. We don’t all share the same religious fervor, or adherence to the same denomination. We don’t all have the same ideas on what constitutes “merit”, and the things we value in terms of character traits and life choices vary. We definitely don’t all agree on solutions to the problems and enemies we face everyday, which is why organizing resistance to the mandates has taken so much time and energy. That said, we ALL agree that the leftist agenda is poison and that it is not something we can continue to live with. I have heard it argued that if the US is broken into two parts that this will weaken us to threats from the outside. Many conservatives don’t like to accept notions of secession or the left/right paradigm because they fear foreign aggression from places like China, for instance. I would point out that this thinking lacks a sense of priority. We have to deal with the leftists/socialists/communists in our own house first before we can deal with communist on the other side of the world. Keeping this defunct marriage between leftist culture and conservative culture going just for the sake of appearances is the most destructive policy we can have in the long run. My thinking is this: If we break up there are two possible results – We go our own separate ways peacefully and the conservative states will continue to succeed economically and socially because we will have freedom, while leftist states will continue to sink into debt and will continue to bleed citizens due to oppression. Or, we separate and the leftists try to stop us using force, and we go to war. And make no mistake, they will ultimately lose such a war. The latter is not the most pleasant option but in either case freedom remains in the world. It is time to stop treating separation and division as integrally bad. Sometimes it is healthy and necessary. The old phrase “divide and conquer” is a misnomer for our particular situation. Often, nations and cultures are conquered from within because they refuse to separate from the riff-raff and define their moral boundaries. The right to divide is actually one of the most powerful forms of liberty there is, and it is one of the greatest protections against the leftist authoritarian movements in our midst. *  *  * If you would like to support the work that Alt-Market does while also receiving content on advanced tactics for defeating the globalist agenda, subscribe to our exclusive newsletter The Wild Bunch Dispatch.  Learn more about it HERE. Tyler Durden Sat, 11/13/2021 - 23:30.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 14th, 2021

Quinn: Living In A Potemkin World

Quinn: Living In A Potemkin World Authored by Jim Quinn via The Burning Platform blog, “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.” ― George Orwell, 1984 “Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.” ― George Orwell, 1984 I never thought I would experience the dystopian “fictional” nightmare Orwell laid out in his 1949 novel. Seventy-two years later and his warning about a totalitarian society, where mass surveillance, repressive measures against dissenters, mind control through government indoctrination and propaganda designed to convince the masses lies are truth, fake is real and the narrative can be manipulated to achieve the desired outcome of those in power, have come to fruition. Everything is fake. I don’t believe anything I’m told by the government, the media, medical “experts”, politicians, military leadership, bankers, corporate executives, religious leaders, financial professionals, and anyone selling themselves as an authority on any subject matter. We are truly living in times of mass deception, mass delusion, and mass willful ignorance. The term Potemkin Village comes from stories of a phony movable village built by Grigory Potemkin in the late 1700’s to impress his former lover, Catherine II, during her journey to Crimea in 1787. He supposedly erected fake villages along the banks of the Dnieper River, as her vessel sailed by, to impress her with the progress he was making on her behalf. After she passed, he would have the village disassembled and then reassembled further along downstream. I guess this was an early version of fake news, though I am sure there were also plenty of falsities and propaganda in the newspapers of the time. But, in our current day, oppressors have taken lies, falsities, miss-truths, and propaganda to heights never conceived by Edward Bernays, George Orwell or Joseph Stalin. Any semblance of a Constitutional Republic given to us by Franklin and his courageous fellow revolutionaries has dissipated, as decades of delusion, debt, decadence, and degeneracy have sapped any trace of revolutionary spirit, desire for freedom, love of liberty, or aspirations of self-reliance and self-responsibility among the masses. When you step back and observe how we got to this point in history, you realize it wasn’t a mistake, but a plan by those who control the levers of power, with a goal of accumulating immense riches and total dominion over those they consider nothing more than disposable chess pieces in their game of building a new world order. We are nothing more than parasites to these tyrannical power-hungry satanical fiends. They have proven they will use any means necessary to achieve their evil ends. The last two years have pulled back the curtain to reveal the oligarch globalist bloodsuckers who have been draining the lifeblood from our nation. The enemies have been exposed by their lies and misdeeds. For most of the past century the ruling class has been able to implement their methodical pillaging operation utilizing Huxley’s “soft” dystopian methods versus Orwell’s “hard” dystopian techniques. Huxley, who at one time was Orwell’s French teacher in high school, wrote a letter to Orwell shortly after the publication of 1984 where he put forth his vision of the future: “Within the next generation I believe that the world’s rulers will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience.” As contemporaries, Huxley (Brave New World – 1931), Bernays (Propaganda – 1928), and Orwell (1984 – 1949) all agreed those wielding the power of government, whether seen or unseen, use propaganda techniques to mold the minds of the masses in ways conducive to keeping them in power. Huxley and Bernays believed people could be controlled through mind manipulation, materialism, entertainment, and pharmaceuticals. Orwell, in the wake of 65 million deaths in the space of seven years, and the Soviet totalitarianism in Russia, foresaw a future with a boot stomping on a human face forever. From 1950 until 2000, Huxley and Bernays’ view held sway, as Americans were enthralled by consumption, sports, movies, technology, and the miracle of living far above their means through plentiful debt provided by Wall Street bankers and their Federal Reserve lackeys. We were so distracted by amusing ourselves, we allowed oligarchs and their highly compensated apparatchiks in government, the media, the military, and the corporate world to hijack and ransack our country for their enrichment. Neil Postman in his 1985 book Amusing Ourselves to Death compares and contrasts Orwell and Huxley’s views of dystopian tyranny: “What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny “failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.” In 1984, Huxley added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.” Since 9/11 the tables have turned. The implementation of the pre-written Patriot Act and initiation of the surveillance state, as revealed by Snowden and Greenwald, has ushered in a new Orwellian era where a truncheon to the skull and boot on the face supplements the endless technological distractions and incessant propaganda spewed by the legacy media networks and rising social media censorship cabal. There has clearly been a coalescing of the government, Surveillance state, media, military, Big Tech, Big Pharma, and Big Business to seize the power, control and wealth of the planet and put it in the hands of the few. The Build Back Better marketing campaign, with the goal of a new world order, controlled by oligarchs like Gates, Soros, Bezos, Schwab, Zuckerberg, and Bloomberg, is not a wild-eyed conspiracy theory. It is a work in progress. The level of brazen dishonesty and blatant criminality among those who portray themselves as leaders and experts in our debauched society has reached astronomical levels over the last two years. There are no trustworthy politicians. No trustworthy corporate executives. No trustworthy military leaders. No trustworthy scientists or academics. They have all been captured and are financially beholden to those controlling the purse strings. It’s always about the money and power that comes from having money. If you are paid handsomely to lie, you will lie. The truth is meaningless to those who seek power and control. Suppression of the truth is more financially rewarding to those seeking world domination. This entire engineered pandemic scheme has exposed this fact. A virus, released accidentally or purposely from a Chinese bio-weapon lab, funded by Anthony Fauci, was weaponized and marketed as the greatest threat to mankind in world history, as a means to cover-up a financial system ready to implode, unseat a president through fraudulent mail-in ballots, enrich the wealthiest men on the planet, test how far totalitarian measures could be pushed, and roll out of an experimental gene altering therapy that may or may not be part of a bigger population culling operation promoted by Gates, Schwab and the rest of the Davos crowd. What we do know is this virus only kills very old, very sick, and very obese people. It’s a virus with the largest marketing campaign in world history, paid for with your tax dollars. With a 99.7% survival rate, there should have never been lockdowns, school closures, mandatory masking, vaccine mandates, or elevating criminal mass murderers like Fauci to sainthood status. The elderly in nursing homes and hospitals should have been protected. Instead, they were slaughtered by Democrat governors putting infected patients into their midst. Safe and effective early treatment with ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine would have saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but the corrupt medical “experts” were bribed by Big Pharma to push these untested, ineffective, dangerous vaccines on a fearful public with promises of a cure. More lies. The “vaccines” do not keep you from catching covid, spreading covid, being hospitalized with covid, or dying from covid. In other words, it is a complete and utter failure. When you then see Fauci, Biden, Walensky and their Hollywood marketing machine demanding vaccine mandates and vaccine passports to entitle you to basic human rights, you realize this has never been about your health or the good of society. This dementia ridden joke, play acting as president, is doing the bidding of the invisible government, as documented by Bernays, in implementing a social credit system styled after the communist China totalitarians they admire. The un-vaxxed will soon be treated like the Uyghurs in China, placed in internment camps until we see the light, unless we start to fight back NOW. The WEF cadre of captured politicians positioned in countries across the planet have been activated to implement the Build Back Better plot to achieve their goal of a new world order controlled by tyrannical oligarchs and their highly compensated bureaucrat servants. They have been testing their totalitarian methods in countries with smaller populations (New Zealand, Australia) to see how far they can push their citizens before they push back. When the protests begin to get violent, they back off and pretend to reduce restrictions, then re-institute the lockdowns and restraints on freedom after hyping some new variant. As Bernays claimed, those in control of society know how to psychologically manipulate and mold the minds of the masses through the use of fear, greed, rewards, pain, threats and lies. We have entered one of the most dangerous periods in world history, as this engineered crisis is being commandeered by sociopathic totalitarians to implement their warped demented plans to destroy the existing societal structures and economic systems in order to build back better under a centralized communistic authoritarian techno-gulag configuration designed to benefit the few at the top, while keeping a boot on the face of humanity forever. When you understand their end goal, much of the seemingly incomprehensible decisions being made by Biden and his handlers come into clearer focus. It is difficult to step back and try to observe the current state of affairs in an impartial manner when those manipulating the narrative are intent on creating conflict, emotional reactions, anger, and outrage. Pitting us against each other and distracted by daily concocted outrage porn spewed by the completely captured corporate media outlets, allows the oligarchy (billionaires, bankers, politicians, mega-corps, Deep State) to continue their plunder and pillage crusade unhindered and undetected. They are counting on their decades long social indoctrination program, known as the public school system, to keep the masses from thinking, questioning, or recognizing they are being screwed over the people they believe are looking out for their best interests. Not only are the dark forces currently ruling the earth not telling the truth, but they have a far greater power in keeping silent about the truth and suppressing it when it rears its ugly head. The truth would set us free, so it is vital for the totalitarian propagandists to keep it from being heard or seen by the masses. Huxley realized during the last Fourth Turning that if you controlled the narrative and suppressed the truth, you could influence opinion much more effectively. “Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth. By simply not mentioning certain subjects… totalitarian propagandists have influenced opinion much more effectively than they could have by the most eloquent denunciations.” – Aldous Huxley The current batch of autocratic techno-propagandists have tools which make this truth suppression far easier than it was in the 1930’s and 1940’s. With six mega-corporations dominating the mainstream media outlets, they easily coordinate their messaging and can jointly ignore anything which undermines their predetermined narrative. The examples of ignoring, silencing, or censoring the truth over the last two years could fill hundreds of pages, but a few examples will suffice to make the point. In September 2019, the financial system began to shudder and quake, with overnight repo rates of 10% indicating tremendous strain. The MSM kept silent as the Fed reversed their tightening and resumed QE to infinity. The press has never questioned the trillions created out of thin air by the Fed to prop up this debt bloated carcass, even as the economy surpassed the GDP before this engineered scamdemic. Why doesn’t 60 Minutes do an expose on why the Fed continues to keep interest rates at 0% when inflation is raging in excess of 10%? Complete silence on issues which hurt the average person the most. The entire Russiagate Deep State coup against Trump was built on lies, misinformation and suppression of facts by the compliant co-conspirators in the media. Obama, Hillary, Comey, Biden, Brennan, Clapper and a myriad of other traitorous filth conspired against a sitting president and the media kept silent about the facts. The most blatant example of a complete cover-up of the truth by the MSM and the Silicon Valley social media censorship police was, and still is, crackhead Hunter Biden’s laptop during the final days of the presidential campaign. There is unequivocal proof Hunter Biden and the Big Guy were shaking down foreign governments for cash, influence peddling, and threatening foreign leaders who dared to look into their slimy traitorous dealings. All of the left-wing media outlets either ignored the story or called it Russian disinformation, because they had to get Biden elected. Twitter and Facebook censored and banned anyone putting forth the facts of this story. Then issued fake apologies afterward. But that was just the beginning. The halt to vote tabulations in the middle of the night in all the swing states, with Trump significantly ahead, was not reported by the press. Fake stories about burst pipes were promulgated. Vote counting irregularities and truckloads of missing ballots didn’t happen if the media didn’t say they happened. Video surveillance of fake ballots being added to the counts was not shown by the media outlets. The Washington Post and NY Times just applied the same language about conspiracy theories and the most secure election ever to override the substantial factual evidence showing massive voter fraud in the key swing states. Whenever evidence was presented on social media platforms, the person was banned, and their evidence disappeared. Zuckerberg needed to make sure the $420,000 he spent to swing the election to Biden was not wasted. By not reporting on the Arizona audit results, the huge irregularities found never happened. Right? Since the installation of Trojan Horse Joe, the level of silence, suppression and censorship of the truth has reached new heights. Of course, the worst attack on democracy since Pearl Harbor, and far worse than 9/11, was the armed selfie insurrection of January 6, during which no one was armed except the black cop who murdered an unarmed white woman. The media, who gleefully exposes every detail of a cop’s life when they immobilize a drug addled black criminal resisting arrest who died of an overdose, seemed completely uninterested in even trying to identify the cop who murdered Ashli Babbitt. Silence benefited Biden as they spun the false narrative about the Capitol being attacked and Capitol police being murdered. Pelosi and her sidekicks “Shit My Pants” Nadler, “Crying” Chuck Schumer, “Fartman” “Fang Fang Banging” Swallwell, and “Bug Eyes” Schiff tried their darndest to elevate this milling about by idiots dressed in buffalo regale, FBI plants, and ANTIFA CNN correspondents to an insurrection, but were laughed at and ridiculed by anyone with eyes. Only the couple thousand people in the country, who still watch MSNBC and CNN, believed them. These boobs, along with their FBI “undercover” domestic terrorists, were further discredited and ridiculed when they attempted to lure normal Americans into another trap at the J6 rally but failed miserably. These are the same people trying to make you believe the border is secure, and hundreds of thousands of third world parasites are not being shipped into swing states across the country. Just pretend it isn’t happening, don’t report on the invasion, and in the minds of the ignorant masses, it isn’t happening. In Part Two of this article, I will document the never-ending blizzard of lies used to create enough fear and panic in the world from this pandemic of ignorance to initiate the globalist Great Reset agenda and how we need to fight back now before it is too late. *  *  * The corrupt establishment will do anything to suppress sites like the Burning Platform from revealing the truth. The corporate media does this by demonetizing sites like mine by blackballing the site from advertising revenue. If you get value from this site, please keep it running with a donation. Tyler Durden Mon, 10/18/2021 - 16:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 18th, 2021

In A Civil War The Authoritarian Left Would Be Easily Beaten – But It Won"t End There

In A Civil War The Authoritarian Left Would Be Easily Beaten – But It Won't End There Authored by Brandon Smith via, There are a lot of assumptions and misconceptions when it comes to the notion of a second civil war within the US. What I see most often is the argument that the political left has “already won” the war without firing a shot and that a rebellion would be crushed under the heel of a newly a-wokened military industrial complex and a leftist controlled federal government. The problem is, this argument is extremely naive and ignores the bigger picture. I think there are a couple of reasons why certain people press the leftist supremacy theory: First, they greatly fear the idea of a kinetic war breaking out and find the idea of combat repellent. So, they act as if a shooting war cannot ever be won. They hide their fear behind a veil of “rationalism” and thin hopes of a completely passive resistance. They figure that if they can’t fight and win, then no one else can fight and win. Second, the motives of some of these people are more nefarious than fearful. One of the primary functions of 4th Generation (psychological) warfare is to convince a target population that “resistance is futile.” If you can make them believe that winning is impossible then they may not fight at all, and thus the prophecy is self fulfilling. Luckily this method of propaganda does not seem to be working on a large number of Americans. That said, there are many layers to the scenario of civil war. While the extreme cultism of leftists is relegated to a small percentage of the population, they are supported by almost every major institution in our nation. The federal government supports and protects them. Some state and local governments support and protect them. The mainstream media avidly sings their praises. Most corporations and Big Tech platforms support them and spread social justice doctrine along with them. And, all globalist foundations support, organize and even fund them. All the people that the political left used to consider evil are now on their side. This gives their small cult unprecedented social power and a number of political weapons to use when they desire to threaten or harm people who disagree with them. For now, most of this power is actually used to terrify other people on the left. There are many moderate democrats that have a distaste for the lunacy of social justice warriors, but they are so afraid of being labeled heretics, racists, fascists, etc. that they keep their mouths shut or support draconian policies because they think they have to in order to defend their political team. Limp-wristed moderates and old school democrats that go along to get along are almost as big a problem as hardcore leftists because they don’t have the guts to stand up to the bullies in their own political circles. This is how we end up with around half the country in support of vaccine passport mandates, a totalitarian agenda which would give government complete control over the health decisions of individual Americans, complete control over how businesses operate and who they are allowed to hire, not to mention complete control over the economic participation of the average citizen. Vaccine passports are the ULTIMATE POWER in the hands of government to decide the life and death of individuals and their families. And, not surprisingly, the political left and democrats are by far the biggest group backing the government and the globalists on this agenda. This places our nation in a difficult position; the political left desperately wants to control the lives of others while conservatives and some moderates just want to be left alone. We are at an impasse. We cannot share the same spaces, we cannot share the same government and we may not even be able to share the same land mass. Our ideals are mutually exclusive. We believe in freedom and individual responsibility and they simply do not. Make no mistake, an outright conflict is coming in the US and the people in alternative media circles that fear it need to come to terms with that fear and accept the inevitability of war. The sooner they do this the sooner they can take action to mitigate the damage to their families and communities. There will come a day very soon when you will have to defend your freedoms and the freedoms of future generations with your life. Embrace the suck and move on. In recent articles I have outlined peaceful steps that can be taken by conservative states and counties to combat the establishment’s tyrannical medical mandates as well as Critical Race Theory propaganda and other trespasses against free thinking people. These steps include offering sanctuary to people and businesses that are under attack by the federal government for non-compliance, as well as the steps states need to take to pursue soft secession (Read my article ‘How States And Communities Can Fight Back Against Biden’s Covid Tyranny’). Breaking away from the political left and starting fresh is socially and economically possible. It’s not as far fetched as some people believe. But then again, authoritarians usually can't stand the idea of letting people just walk away and separate. They have a desperate need to micromanage and dominate EVERYONE. I hold out very little hope that leftists or globalists will allow us to live in peace; they will try to force their ideology on us at the barrel of a gun. When it comes down to average leftists, their movement is a paper tiger, a mirage. In the event of civil war the political left in the US would be easily annihilated. There are some that argue otherwise, and these are the standard claims they usually make: A Woke Military? Let’s Not Get Ahead Of Ourselves… The primary paranoia over confrontation with leftists is the new woke propaganda being spread by the Department of Defense in the form of military recruitment ads. Firstly, as I outlined in detail in my article ‘There Will Never Be A Woke US Military – Here Are The Reasons Why’, polling of military personnel shows around 30% identify as Republican and 40% identify as Independent, with the majority of the independents being Libertarians and Constitutionalists. In other words 70% of the US military leans conservative in their principles. The military brass going woke is meaningless if the majority of soldiers are not going to follow them into battle to oppress their own people. We are seeing this already in terms of the current serving that are refusing to take the experimental covid vaccines. Polling in the summer suggested that at least 50% of soldiers would refuse to take the mRNA vax. The DoD claims that at least 70% of soldiers are now vaccinated but this is unconfirmed and probably an exaggeration designed to manufacture a false consensus. We will soon know the real stats because the Biden Administration is threatening “dishonorable discharges” for soldiers that refuse to comply. The assertion here is that with freedom minded people leaving the services in droves, this opens the door to a fully woke military of the far left. This presupposes that woke leftists actually want to join the military or that they are capable of meeting the bare minimum standards. They are not. Over 75% of Americans ages 18-24 are ineligible for the US military because of lack of education, obesity, physical problems, psychological problems and criminal history. This negates 24 million people from the 34 million in this age range for recruitment. Since 70% of the military is conservative/libertarian, this means that either more young conservatives are healthy enough to pass the recruitment phase, or, far more conservatives are interested in volunteering; or it could be both factors combined. Sure, the DoD could drastically lower their recruitment standards, but then they would have a woke gaggle of weaklings as a fighting force. This only works in our favor. In any case, just because 30%-50% of soldiers leave in the face of the vaccine mandates, this does not mean that the void will be filled by leftists. In fact, it is likely that the void will not be filled at all and the military will be left to stagnate as recruitment collapses. The pool of talent is already small and the DoD just shrank their options by at least 30% more. To summarize, there will never be a woke US military. The institution would collapse before it ever reached such a “lofty” goal. Biden’s vaccine mandates are in a way highly beneficial for conservatives and freedom advocates, because they are forcing the current serving off the fence. Soldiers will now need to consider what liberties they are willing to violate just to stay in the military, because it’s not going to stop with a couple forced vaccinations, it’s going to escalate. We may see a massive influx of discharged soldiers joining the liberty movement in the near future because of Biden’s totalitarian behaviors. But lets say that Biden is hypothetically able to muster a combined force of alphabet agencies and portions of the military into an army of jackboots to suppress the population, what about all the technology and weaponry they would have at their disposal? Well, superior technology didn’t help the military much in the war in Afghanistan, and American civilians have access to far superior training and equipment compared to the Taliban. Conventional armies are notoriously weak against asymmetric warfare tactics. In the end wars are won by people and tactics, not weaponry. Conservatives Own The Gun Culture And Firearms Training Beyond the military, US gun culture is dominated by civilian conservatives. Leftists are slowly beginning to realize that being anti-gun is sabotaging their own agendas, and many started buying firearms in the past 18 months. But owning guns is not the same thing as knowing how to use them. It would take leftist many years, perhaps decades to catch up to the pure knowledge base that conservatives have when it comes to firearms and tactical training. These things have been passed down through conservative families for generations. And, again, most combat veterans are also conservative. This is not to say that there are no leftists out there that are firearms proficient. I’m sure there are a few. But most of the time when leftists get together with guns the results are either painfully embarrassing or dangerous. Just check out THIS VIDEO from Angry Cops on the BLM inspired “Not F$%king Around Coalition” (NFAC) group. Not only do they end up shooting each other, but their representatives don’t even understand the basics of how their own rifles function when they argue that the negligent discharge was the “gun’s fault.” And let’s not forget the good old ‘John Brown Gun Club’ and their rocken’ recruitment videos that made us choke on our own tears of laughter a few years ago. The leftists are shockingly inept when it comes to guns and combat skills. They are a minimal threat to conservatives if civil war is the issue. You Can’t Win If You’re Not Willing To Die For What You Believe In Leftists are adamant about their ideologies and they are keenly interested in demanding OTHER people die for the cause. But, when they are forced to face personal risk to achieve their directives, they will usually run. You can see this in the mob confrontation with Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha; a horde of leftists were perfectly willing to chase him down with the intention of killing him, but when he turned to fight and a few of them got shot (including Joseph Rosenbaum, a convicted pedophile), the mob’s enthusiasm suddenly evaporated. Why do they run? Because their religious fervor for Marxism is an act. It’s not real. Deep down, they don’t even believe in what they are doing, and this is what separates freedom fighters from all other armed forces. We accept the possibility of death and fight in the face of overwhelming odds because the goal of freedom is worth it. Most authoritarians and useful idiots, when faced with dying for their ideology, will abandon the cause. They have entered the fight with a built-in disadvantage. The Real Fight Will Not Be With Average Marxist Leftists Half the states in the US now have some form of anti-mandate laws or executive orders in place. Half the country is vehemently against the vaccine passports. If Biden continues on his current path, a soft secession of red states will begin and the mandates will be ignored. This will leave Biden with a handful of options. He will invariably seek to punish red states using economic pressure and cutting off federal funds, and when that doesn’t work he will have to put boots on the ground and use Orwellian methods to attack dissidents. Should civil war erupt (and I’m positive at this point that this is unavoidable), leftists will not last long. The majority of veterans and a large portion of the military are not going to fight against their own people, and they may even step in to assist. A large number of police and sheriff’s are also conservative and are unlikely to intervene. So, the question is, who is willing to die for leftists and their cult? I suspect not many. But, the people behind the leftist movement, the globalist foundations that fund them, have a vested interest in eliminating conservative ideals and heritage. Globalist institutions working with the Biden Administration will surely seek to intervene. They will call us “white supremacists” even though many conservatives are black and brown. They will call us evil nationalists, even though there is nothing wrong with a national identity that values freedom. They will say we are “insurrectionists” even though we will be acting in self defense against an authoritarian regime. They will call us terrorists while using terrorist tactics and false flags against us. And, they will claim that we are far too dangerous to be allowed to maintain our own nation or our own states. Their main rationale will probably fall to the US nuclear arsenal. They will claim that a nation of terrorists cannot be allowed to possess nuclear weapons, and at the first sign that Biden (or Kamala) is losing control, there will be a call for UN intervention. Count on it. An international force would be organized to try to stop us from existing. This is where the REAL fight would begin. The political left is a footnote, and while we should continue to remain vigilant as they push their agenda it is important to remember that there are much bigger fish to fry and we need to plan for the next dozen battles, not just the first. How we conduct ourselves from here on may determine whether or not freedom survives for many decades to come. *  *  * If you would like to support the work that Alt-Market does while also receiving content on advanced tactics for defeating the globalist agenda, subscribe to our exclusive newsletter The Wild Bunch Dispatch.  Learn more about it HERE. Tyler Durden Sat, 10/02/2021 - 23:30.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytOct 3rd, 2021

"Immunity As A Service" - The Snake-Oil Salesmen & The COVID-Zero Con

"Immunity As A Service" - The Snake-Oil Salesmen & The COVID-Zero Con Authored by Julius Ruechel via Julius, The Snake-Oil Salesmen and the COVID-Zero Con: A Classic Bait-And-Switch for a Lifetime of Booster Shots (Immunity as a Service) If a plumber with a lifetime of experience were to tell you that water runs uphill, you would know he is lying and that the lie is not accidental. It is a lie with a purpose. If you can also demonstrate that the plumber knows in advance that the product he is promoting with that lie is snake oil, you have evidence for a deliberate con. And once you understand what's really inside that bottle of snake oil, you will begin to understand the purpose of the con. One of the most common reasons given for mass COVID vaccinations is the idea that if we reach herd immunity through vaccination, we can starve the virus out of existence and get our lives back. It's the COVID-Zero strategy or some variant of it. By now it is abundantly clear from the epidemiological data that the vaccinated are able to both catch and spread the disease. Clearly vaccination isn't going to make this virus disappear. Only a mind that has lost its grasp on reality can fail to see how ridiculous all this has become.  But a tour through pre-COVID science demonstrates that, from day one, long before you and I had even heard of this virus, it was 100% inevitable and 100% predictable that these vaccines would never be capable of eradicating this coronavirus and would never lead to any kind of lasting herd immunity. Even worse, lockdowns and mass vaccination have created a dangerous set of circumstances that interferes with our immune system's ability to protect us against other respiratory viruses. They also risk driving the evolution of this virus towards mutations that are more dangerous to both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated alike. Lockdowns, mass vaccinations, and mass booster shots were never capable of delivering on any of the promises that were made to the public.  And yet, vaccination has been successfully used to control measles and even to eradicate smallpox. So, why not COVID? Immunity is immunity, and a virus is a virus is a virus, right? Wrong! Reality is far more complicated... and more interesting. This Deep Dive exposes why, from day one, the promise of COVID-Zero can only ever have been a deliberately dishonest shell game designed to prey on a lack of public understanding of how our immune systems work and on how most respiratory viruses differ from other viruses that we routinely vaccinate against. We have been sold a fantasy designed to rope us into a pharmaceutical dependency as a deceitful trade-off for access to our lives. Variant by variant. For as long as the public is willing to go along for the ride.  Exposing this story does not require incriminating emails or whistleblower testimony. The story tells itself by diving into the long-established science that every single virologist, immunologist, evolutionary biologist, vaccine developer, and public health official had access to long before COVID began. As is so often the case, the devil is hidden in the details. As this story unfolds it will become clear that the one-two punch of lockdowns and the promise of vaccines as an exit strategy began as a cynical marketing ploy to coerce us into a never-ending regimen of annual booster shots intentionally designed to replace the natural "antivirus security updates" against respiratory viruses that come from hugs and handshakes and from children laughing together at school. We are being played for fools.  This is not to say that there aren't plenty of other opportunists taking advantage of this crisis to pursue other agendas and to tip society into a full-blown police state. One thing quickly morphs into another. But this essay demonstrates that never-ending boosters were the initial motive for this global social-engineering shell game ― the subscription-based business model, adapted for the pharmaceutical industry. "Immunity as a service".  So, let's dive into the fascinating world of immune systems, viruses, and vaccines, layer by layer, to dispel the myths and false expectations that have been created by deceitful public health officials, pharmaceutical lobbyists, and media manipulators. What emerges as the lies are peeled apart is both surprising and more than a little alarming. “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” - Sherlock Homes”  - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Table of Contents:     Viral Reservoirs: The Fantasy of Eradication     SARS: The Exception to the Rule?     Fast Mutations: The Fantasy of Control through Herd Immunity     Blind Faith in Central Planning: The Fantasy of Timely Doses     Spiked: The Fantasy of Preventing Infection     Antibodies, B-Cells, and T-Cells: Why Immunity to Respiratory Viruses Fades So Quickly     Manufacturing Dangerous Variants: Virus Mutations Under Lockdown Conditions — Lessons from the 1918 Spanish Flu     Leaky Vaccines, Antibody-Dependent Enhancement, and the Marek Effect     Anti-Virus Security Updates: Cross-Reactive Immunity Through Repeated Exposure     The Not-So-Novel Novel Virus: The Diamond Princess Cruise Ship Outbreak Proved We Have Cross-Reactive Immunity     Mother Knows Best: Vitamin D, Playing in Puddles, and Sweaters     The Paradox: Why COVID-Zero Makes People More Vulnerable to Other Viruses     Introducing Immunity as a Service - A Subscription-Based Business Model for the Pharmaceutical Industry (It was always about the money!)     The Path Forward: Neutralizing the Threat and Bullet-Proofing Society to Prevent This Ever Happening Again. *  *  * Viral Reservoirs: The Fantasy of Eradication Eradication of a killer virus sounds like a noble goal. In some cases it is, such as in the case of the smallpox virus. By 1980 we stopped vaccinating against smallpox because, thanks to widespread immunization, we starved the virus of available hosts for so long that it died out. No-one will need to risk their life on the side effects of a smallpox vaccination ever again because the virus is gone. It is a public health success story. Polio will hopefully be next ― we're getting close.  But smallpox is one of only two viruses (along with rinderpest) that have been eradicated thanks to vaccination. Very few diseases meet the necessary criteria. Eradication is hard and only appropriate for very specific families of viruses. Smallpox made sense for eradication because it was a uniquely human virus ― there was no animal reservoir. By contrast, most respiratory viruses including SARS-CoV-2 (a.k.a. COVID) come from animal reservoirs: swine, birds, bats, etc. As long as there are bats in caves, birds in ponds, pigs in mud baths, and deer living in forests, respiratory viruses are only controllable through individual immunity, but it is not possible to eradicate them. There will always be a near-identical cousin brewing in the wings. Even the current strain of COVID is already cheerfully jumping onwards across species boundaries. According to both National Geographic and Nature magazine, 40% of wild deer tested positive for COVID antibodies in a study conducted in Michigan, Illinois, New York, and Pennsylvania. It has also been documented in wild mink and has already made the species jump to other captive animals including dogs, cats, otters, leopards, tigers, and gorillas. A lot of viruses are not fussy. They happily adapt to new opportunities. Specialists, like smallpox, eventually go extinct. Generalists, like most respiratory viruses, never run out of hosts to keep the infection cycle going, forever. As long as we share this planet with other animals, it is extremely deceitful to give anyone the impression that we can pursue any scorched earth policy that can put this genie back in the bottle. With an outbreak on this global scale, it was clear that we were always going to have to live with this virus. There are over 200 other endemic respiratory viruses that cause colds and flus, many of which circulate freely between humans and other animals. Now there are 201. They will be with us forever, whether we like it or not. SARS: The Exception to the Rule? This all sounds well and good, but the original SARS virus did disappear, with public health measures like contact tracing and strict quarantine measures taking the credit. However, SARS was the exception to the rule. When it made the species jump to humans, it was so poorly adapted to its new human hosts that it had terrible difficulty spreading. This very poor level of adaptation gave SARS a rather unique combination of properties: SARS was extremely difficult to catch (it was never very contagious) SARS made people extremely sick. SARS did not have pre-symptomatic spread. These three conditions made the SARS outbreak easy to control through contact tracing and through the quarantine of symptomatic individuals. SARS therefore never reached the point where it circulated widely among asymptomatic community members.  By contrast, by January/February of 2020 it was clear from experiences in China, Italy, and the outbreak on the Diamond Princess cruise ship (more on that story later) that the unique combination of conditions that made SARS controllable were not going to be the case with COVID. COVID was quite contagious (its rapid spread showed that COVID was already well adapted to spreading easily among its new human hosts), most people would have mild or no symptoms from COVID (making containment impossible), and that it was spreading by aerosols produced by both symptomatic and pre-symptomatic people (making contact tracing a joke). In other words, it was clear by January/February 2020 that this pandemic would follow the normal rules of a readily transmissible respiratory epidemic, which cannot be reined in the way SARS was. Thus, by January/February of 2020, giving the public the impression that the SARS experience could be replicated for COVID was a deliberate lie - this genie was never going back inside the bottle. Fast Mutations: The Fantasy of Control through Herd Immunity Once a reasonably contagious respiratory virus begins circulating widely in a community, herd immunity can never be maintained for very long. RNA respiratory viruses (such as influenza viruses, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), rhinoviruses, and coronaviruses) all mutate extremely fast compared to viruses like smallpox, measles, or polio. Understanding the difference between something like measles and a virus like COVID is key to understanding the con that is being perpetrated by our health institutions. Bear with me here, I promise not to get too technical. All viruses survive by creating copies of themselves. And there are always a lot of "imperfect copies" — mutations — produced by the copying process itself. Among RNA respiratory viruses these mutations stack up so quickly that there is rapid genetic drift, which continually produces new strains. Variants are normal. Variants are expected. Variants make it virtually impossible to build the impenetrable wall of long-lasting herd immunity required to starve these respiratory viruses out of existence. That's one of several reasons why flu vaccines don't provide long-lasting immunity and have to be repeated annually ― our immune system constantly needs to be updated to keep pace with the inevitable evolution of countless unnamed "variants."  This never-ending conveyor belt of mutations means that everyone's immunity to COVID was always only going to be temporary and only offer partial cross-reactive protection against future re-infections. Thus, from day one, COVID vaccination was always doomed to the same fate as the flu vaccine ― a lifelong regimen of annual booster shots to try to keep pace with "variants" for those unwilling to expose themselves to the risk of a natural infection. And the hope that by the time the vaccines (and their booster shots) roll off the production line, they won't already be out of date when confronted by the current generation of virus mutations.  Genetic drift caused by mutations is much slower in viruses like measles, polio, or smallpox, which is why herd immunity can be used to control these other viruses (or even eradicate them as in the case of smallpox or polio). The reason the common respiratory viruses have such rapid genetic drift compared to these other viruses has much less to do with how many errors are produced during the copying process and much more to do with how many of those "imperfect" copies are actually able to survive and produce more copies.  A simple virus with an uncomplicated attack strategy for taking over host cells can tolerate a lot more mutations than a complex virus with a complicated attack strategy. Complexity and specialization put limits on how many of those imperfect copies have a chance at becoming successful mutations. Simple machinery doesn't break down as easily if there is an imperfection in the mechanical parts. Complicated high-tech machinery will simply not work if there are even minor flaws in precision parts. For example, before a virus can hijack the DNA of a host cell to begin making copies of itself, the virus needs to unlock the cell wall to gain entry. Cellular walls are made of proteins and are coated by sugars; viruses need to find a way to create a doorway through that protein wall. A virus like influenza uses a very simple strategy to get inside ― it locks onto one of the sugars on the outside of the cell wall in order to piggyback a ride as the sugar is absorbed into the cell (cells use sugar as their energy source). It's such a simple strategy that it allows the influenza virus to go through lots of mutations without losing its ability to gain entry to the cell. Influenza's simplicity makes it very adaptable and allows many different types of mutations to thrive as long as they all use the same piggyback entry strategy to get inside host cells. By contrast, something like the measles virus uses a highly specialized and very complicated strategy to gain entry to a host cell. It relies on very specialized surface proteins to break open a doorway into the host cell. It's a very rigid and complex system that doesn't leave a lot of room for errors in the copying process. Even minor mutations to the measles virus will cause changes to its surface proteins, leaving it unable to gain access to a host cell to make more copies of itself. Thus, even if there are lots of mutations, those mutations are almost all evolutionary dead ends, thus preventing genetic drift. That's one of several reasons why both a natural infection and vaccination against measles creates lifetime immunity ― immunity lasts because new variations don't change much over time.  Most RNA respiratory viruses have a high rate of genetic drift because they all rely on relatively simple attack strategies to gain entry to host cells. This allows mutations to stack up quickly without becoming evolutionary dead ends because they avoid the evolutionary trap of complexity.  Coronaviruses use a different strategy than influenza to gain access to host cells. They have proteins on the virus surface (the infamous S-spike protein, the same one that is mimicked by the vaccine injection), which latches onto a receptor on the cell surface (the ACE2 receptor) ― a kind of key to unlock the door. This attack strategy is a little bit more complicated than the system used by influenza, which is probably why genetic drift in coronaviruses is slightly slower than in influenza, but it is still a much much simpler and much less specialized system than the one used by measles. Coronaviruses, like other respiratory viruses, are therefore constantly producing a never-ending conveyor belt of "variants" that make long-lasting herd immunity impossible. Variants are normal. The alarm raised by our public health authorities about "variants" and the feigned compassion of pharmaceutical companies as they rush to develop fresh boosters capable of fighting variants is a charade, much like expressing surprise about the sun rising in the East. Once you got immunity to smallpox, measles, or polio, you had full protection for a few decades and were protected against severe illness or death for the rest of your life. But for fast-mutating respiratory viruses, including coronaviruses, within a few months they are sufficiently different that your previously acquired immunity will only ever offer partial protection against your next exposure. The fast rate of mutation ensures that you never catch the exact same cold or flu twice, just their closely related constantly evolving cousins. What keeps you from feeling the full brunt of each new infection is cross-reactive immunity, which is another part of the story of how you are being conned, which I will come back to shortly.  Blind Faith in Central Planning: The Fantasy of Timely Doses But let's pretend for a moment that a miraculous vaccine could be developed that could give us all 100% sterilizing immunity today. The length of time it takes to manufacture and ship 8 billion doses (and then make vaccination appointments for 8 billion people) ensures that by the time the last person gets their last dose, the never-ending conveyor belt of mutations will have already rendered the vaccine partially ineffective. True sterilizing immunity simply won't ever happen with coronaviruses. The logistics of rolling out vaccines to 8 billion people meant that none of our vaccine makers or public health authorities ever could have genuinely believed that vaccines would create lasting herd immunity against COVID. So, for a multitude of reasons, it was a deliberate lie to give the public the impression that if enough people take the vaccine, it would create lasting herd immunity. It was 100% certain, from day one, that by the time the last dose is administered, the rapid evolution of the virus would ensure that it would already be time to start thinking about booster shots. Exactly like the flu shot. Exactly the opposite of a measles vaccine. Vaccines against respiratory viruses can never provide anything more than a temporary cross-reactive immunity "update" ― they are merely a synthetic replacement for your annual natural exposure to the smorgasbord of cold and flu viruses. Immunity as a service, imposed on society by trickery. The only question was always, how long between booster shots? Weeks, months, years?  Feeling conned yet? Spiked: The Fantasy of Preventing Infection The current crop of COVID vaccines was never designed to provide sterilizing immunity - that's not how they work. They are merely a tool designed to teach the immune system to attack the S-spike protein, thereby priming the immune system to reduce the severity of infection in preparation for your inevitable future encounter with the real virus. They were never capable of preventing infection, nor of preventing spread. They were merely designed to reduce your chance of being hospitalized or dying if you are infected. As former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who is on Pfizer’s board, said: "the original premise behind these vaccines were [sic] that they would substantially reduce the risk of death and severe disease and hospitalization. And that was the data that came out of the initial clinical trials.” Every first-year medical student knows that you cannot get herd immunity from a vaccine that does not stop infection.  In other words, by their design, these vaccines can neither stop you from catching an infection nor stop you from transmitting the infection to someone else. They were never capable of creating herd immunity. They were designed to protect individuals against severe outcomes if they choose to take them - a tool to provide temporary focused protection for the vulnerable, just like the flu vaccine. Pushing for mass vaccination was a con from day one. And the idea of using vaccine passports to separate the vaccinated from the unvaccinated was also a con from day one. The only impact these vaccine passports have on the pandemic is as a coercive tool to get you to roll up your sleeve. Nothing more. Antibodies, B-Cells, and T-Cells: Why Immunity to Respiratory Viruses Fades So Quickly There are multiple interconnected parts to why immunity to COVID, or any other respiratory virus, is always only temporary. Not only is the virus constantly mutating but immunity itself fades over time, not unlike the way our brains start forgetting how to do complicated math problems unless they keep practicing. This is true for both immunity acquired through natural infection and immunity acquired through vaccination. Our immune systems have a kind of immunological memory ― basically, how long does your immune system remember how to launch an attack against a specific kind of threat. That memory fades over time. For some vaccines, like diphtheria and tetanus, that immunological memory fades very slowly. The measles vaccine protects for life. But for others, like the flu vaccine, that immunological memory fades very quickly. On average, the flu vaccine is only about 40% effective to begin with. And it begins to fade almost immediately after vaccination. By about 150 days (5 months), it reaches zero. Fading immunity after flu shot (Science, April 18th, 2019) The solution to this strange phenomenon lies in the different types of immune system responses that are triggered by a vaccine (or by exposure to the real thing through a natural infection). This has big implications for coronavirus vaccines, but I'll get to that in a moment. First a little background information... A good analogy is to think of our immune system like a medieval army. The first layer of protection began with generalists - guys armed with clubs that would take a swing at everything - they were good for keeping robbers and brigands at bay and for conducting small skirmishes. But if the attack was bigger, then these generalists were quickly overwhelmed, serving as arrow fodder to blunt the attack on the more specialized troops coming up behind them. Spearmen, swordsmen, archers, cavalry, catapult operators, siege tower engineers, and so on. Each additional layer of defense has a more expensive kit and takes ever greater amounts of time to train (an English longbowman took years to build up the necessary skill and strength to become effective). The more specialized a troop is, the more you want to hold them back from the fight unless it's absolutely necessary because they are expensive to train, expensive to deploy, and make a bigger mess when they fight that needs to be cleaned up afterwards. Always keep your powder dry. Send in the arrow fodder first and slowly ramp up your efforts from there. Our immune system relies on a similar kind of layered system of defense. In addition to various non-specific rapid response layers that take out the brigands, like natural killer cells, macrophages, mast cells, and so on, we also have many adaptive (specialized) layers of antibodies (i.e. IgA, IgG, IgM immunoglobulin) and various types of highly specialized white blood cells, like B-cells and T-cells. Some antibodies are released by regular B-cells. Others are released by blood plasma. Then there are memory B-cells, which are capable of remembering previous threats and creating new antibodies long after the original antibodies fade away. And there are various types of T-cells (again with various degrees of immunological memory), like natural killer T-cells, killer T-cells, and helper T-cells, all of which play various roles in detecting and neutralizing invaders. In short, the greater the threat, the more troops are called into the fight. This is clearly a gross oversimplification of all the different interconnected parts of our immune system, but the point is that a mild infection doesn't trigger as many layers whereas a severe infection enlists the help of deeper layers, which are slower to respond but are much more specialized in their attack capabilities. And if those deeper adaptive layers get involved, they are capable of retaining a memory of the threat in order to be able to mount a quicker attack if a repeat attack is recognized in the future. That's why someone who was infected by the dangerous Spanish Flu in 1918 might still have measurable T-cell immunity a century later but the mild bout of winter flu you had a couple of years ago might not have triggered T-cell immunity, even though both may have been caused by versions of the same H1N1 influenza virus. As a rule of thumb, the broader the immune response, the longer immunological memory will last. Antibodies fade in a matter of months, whereas B-cell and T-cell immunity can last a lifetime. Another rule of thumb is that a higher viral load puts more strain on your immune defenses, thus overwhelming the rapid response layers and forcing the immune system to enlist the deeper adaptive layers. That's why nursing homes and hospitals are more dangerous places for vulnerable people than backyard barbeques. That's why feedlot cattle are more vulnerable to viral diseases than cattle on pasture. Viral load matters a lot to how easily the generalist layers are overwhelmed and how much effort your immune system has to make to neutralize a threat. Where the infection happens in the body also matters. For example, an infection in the upper respiratory tract triggers much less involvement from your adaptive immune system than when it reaches your lungs. Part of this is because your upper respiratory tract is already heavily preloaded with large numbers of generalist immunological cells that are designed to attack germs as they enter, which is why most colds and flus never make it deeper into the lungs. The guys with the clubs are capable of handling most of the threats that try to make through the gate. Most of the specialized troops hold back unless they are needed. Catching a dangerous disease like measles produces lifetime immunity because an infection triggers all the deep layers that will retain a memory of how to fight off future encounters with the virus. So does the measles vaccine. Catching a cold or mild flu generally does not.  From an evolutionary point of view, this actually makes a lot of sense. Why waste valuable resources developing long-lasting immunity (i.e. training archers and building catapults) to defend against a virus that did not put you in mortal danger. A far better evolutionary strategy is to evolve a narrower generalist immune response to mild infections (i.e. most cold and flu viruses), which fades quickly once the threat is conquered, but invest in deep long-term broad-based immunity to dangerous infections, which lasts a very long time in case that threat is ever spotted on the horizon again. Considering the huge number of threats our immune systems face, this strategy avoids the trap of spreading immunological memory too thin. Our immunological memory resources are not limitless - long-term survival requires prioritizing our immunological resources. The take-home lesson is that vaccines will, at best, only last as long as immunity acquired through natural infection and will often fade much faster because the vaccine is often only able to trigger a partial immune response compared to the actual infection. So, if the disease itself doesn't produce a broad-based immune response leading to long-lasting immunity, neither will the vaccine. And in most cases, immunity acquired through vaccination will begin to fade much sooner than immunity acquired through a natural infection. Every vaccine maker and public health official knows this despite bizarrely claiming that the COVID vaccines (based on re-creating the S-protein spike instead of using a whole virus) would somehow become the exception to the rule. That was a lie, and they knew it from day one. That should set your alarm bells ringing at full throttle. So, with this little bit of background knowledge under our belts, let's look at what our public health officials and vaccine makers would have known in advance about coronaviruses and coronavirus vaccines when they told us back in the early Spring of 2020 that COVID vaccines were the path back to normality. From a 2003 study [my emphasis]: "Until SARS appeared, human coronaviruses were known as the cause of 15–30% of colds... Colds are generally mild, self-limited infections, and significant increases in neutralizing antibody titer are found in nasal secretions and serum after infection. Nevertheless, some unlucky individuals can be reinfected with the same coronavirus soon after recovery and get symptoms again." In other words, the coronaviruses involved in colds (there were four human coronaviruses before SARS, MERS, and COVID) all trigger such a weak immune response that they do not lead to any long-lasting immunity whatsoever. And why would they if, for most of us, the threat is so minimal that the generalists are perfectly capable of neutralizing the attack. We also know that immunity against coronaviruses is not durable in other animals either. As any farmer knows well, cycles of reinfection with coronaviruses are the rule rather than the exception among their livestock (for example, coronaviruses are a common cause of pneumonia and various types of diarrheal diseases like scours, shipping fever, and winter dysentery in cattle). Annual farm vaccination schedules are therefore designed accordingly. The lack of long-term immunity to coronaviruses is well documented in veterinary research among cattle, poultry, deer, water buffalo, etc. Furthermore, although animal coronavirus vaccines have been on the market for many years, it is well known that "none are completely efficacious in animals". So, like the fading flu vaccine profile I showed you earlier, none of the animal coronavirus vaccines are capable of providing sterilizing immunity (none were capable of stopping 100% of infections, without which you can never achieve herd immunity) and the partial immunity they offered is well known to fade rather quickly. What about immunity to COVID's close cousin, the deadly SARS coronavirus, which had an 11% case fatality rate during the 2003 outbreak? From a 2007 study: "SARS-specific antibodies were maintained for an average of 2 years... SARS patients might be susceptible to reinfection >3 years after initial exposure."  (Bear in mind that, as with all diseases, re-infection does not mean you are necessarily going to get full-blown SARS; fading immunity after a natural infection tends to offer at least some level of partial protection against severe outcomes for a considerable amount of time after you can already be reinfected and spread it to others - more on that later.) And what about MERS, the deadliest coronavirus to date, which made the jump from camels in 2012 and had a fatality rate of around 35%? It triggered the broadest immune response (due to its severity) and also appears to trigger the longest lasting immunity as a result (> 6yrs) Thus, to pretend that there was any chance that herd immunity to COVID would be anything but short-lived was dishonest at best. For most people, immunity was always going to fade quickly. Just like what happens after most other respiratory virus infections. By February 2020, the epidemiological data showed clearly that for most people COVID was a mild coronavirus (nowhere near as severe than SARS or MERS), so it was virtually a certainty that even the immunity from a natural infection would fade within months, not years. It was also a certainty that vaccination was therefore, at best, only ever going to provide partial protection and that this protection would be temporary, lasting on the order of months. This is a case of false and misleading advertising if there ever was one. If I can allow my farming roots to shine through for a moment, I'd like to explain the implications of what was known about animal coronaviruses vaccines. Baby calves are often vaccinated against bovine coronaviral diarrhea shortly after birth if they are born in the spring mud and slush season, but not if they are born in midsummer on lush pastures where the risk of infection is lower. Likewise, bovine coronavirus vaccines are used to protect cattle before they face stressful conditions during shipping, in a feedlot, or in winter feed pens. Animal coronavirus vaccines are thus used as tools to provide a temporary boost in immunity, in very specific conditions, and only for very specific vulnerable categories of animals. After everything I've laid out so far in this text, the targeted use of bovine coronavirus vaccines should surprise no-one. Pretending that our human coronavirus vaccines would be different was nonsense.  The only rational reason why the WHO and public health officials would withhold all that contextual information from the public as they rolled out lockdowns and held forth vaccines as an exit strategy was to whip the public into irrational fear in order to be able to make a dishonest case for mass vaccination when they should have, at most, been focused on providing focused vaccination of the most vulnerable only. That deception was the Trojan Horse to introduce endless mass booster shots as immunity inevitably fades and as new variants replace old ones.  Now, as all the inevitable limitations and problems with these vaccines become apparent (i.e. fading of vaccine-induced immunity, vaccines proving to only be partially effective, the rise of new variants, and the vaccinated population demonstrably catching and spreading the virus ― a.k.a. the leaky vaccine phenomenon), the surprise that our health authorities are showing simply isn't credible. As I have shown you, all this was 100% to be expected. They intentionally weaponized fear and false expectations to unleash a fraudulent bait-and-switch racket of global proportions. Immunity on demand, forever. Manufacturing Dangerous Variants: Virus Mutations Under Lockdown Conditions — Lessons from the 1918 Spanish Flu At this point you may be wondering, if there is no lasting immunity from infection or vaccination, then are public health officials right to roll out booster shots to protect us from severe outcomes even if their dishonest methods to get us to accept them were unethical? Do we need a lifetime regimen of booster shots to keep us safe from a beast to which we cannot develop durable long-term immunity? The short answer is no.  Contrary to what you might think, the rapid evolution of RNA respiratory viruses actually has several important benefits for us as their involuntary hosts, which protects us without the benefit of broad lifelong immunity. One of those benefits has to do with the natural evolution of the virus towards less dangerous variants. The other is the cross-reactive immunity that comes from frequent re-exposure to closely related "cousins". I'm going to peel apart both of these topics in order to show you the remarkable system that nature designed to keep us safe... and to show you how the policies being forced on us by our public health authorities are knowingly interfering with this system. They are creating a dangerous situation that increases our risk to other respiratory viruses (not just to COVID) and may even push the COVID virus to evolve to become more dangerous to both the unvaccinated and the vaccinated. There are growing signs that this nightmare scenario has already begun.  “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem."  - President Ronald Reagan in 1981. Let's start with the evolutionary pressures that normally drive viruses towards becoming less dangerous over time. A virus depends on its host to spread it. A lively host is more useful than a bedridden or dead one because a lively host can spread the virus further and will still be around to catch future mutations. Viruses risk becoming evolutionary dead ends if they kill or immobilize their hosts. Plagues came, killed, and then were starved out of existence because their surviving hosts had all acquired herd immunity. Colds come and go every year because their hosts are lively, easily spread the viruses around, and never acquire long-lasting immunity so that last year's hosts can also serve as next year's hosts ― only those who have weak immune systems have much to worry about. In other words, under normal conditions, mutations that are more contagious but less deadly have a survival advantage over less contagious and more deadly variations. From the virus' point of view, the evolutionary golden mean is reached when it can easily infect as many hosts as possible without reducing their mobility and without triggering long-term immunity in most of their hosts. That's the ticket to setting up a sustainable cycle of reinfection, forever. Viruses with slow genetic drift and highly specialized reproductive strategies, like polio or measles, can take centuries or longer to become less deadly and more contagious; some may never reach the relatively harmless status of a cold or mild flu virus (by harmless I mean harmless to the majority of the population despite being extremely dangerous to those with weak or compromised immune systems). But for viruses with fast genetic drift, like respiratory viruses, even a few months can make a dramatic difference. Rapid genetic drift is one of the reasons why the Spanish Flu stopped being a monster disease, but polio and measles haven't. And anyone with training in virology or immunology understands this!  We often speak of evolutionary pressure as though it forces an organism to adapt. In reality, a simple organism like a virus is utterly blind to its environment — all it does is blindly produce genetic copies of itself. "Evolutionary pressure" is actually just a fancy way of saying that environmental conditions will determine which of those millions of copies survives long enough to produce even more copies of itself.  A human adapts to its environment by altering its behaviour (that's one type of adaptation). But the behaviour of a single viral particle never changes. A virus "adapts" over time because some genetic copies with one set of mutations survive and spread faster than other copies with a different set of mutations. Adaptation in viruses has to be seen exclusively through the lens of changes from one generation of virus to the next based on which mutations have a competitive edge over others. And that competitive edge will vary depending on the kinds of environmental conditions a virus encounters. So, fear mongering about the Delta variant being even more contagious leaves out the fact that this is exactly what you would expect as a respiratory virus adapts to its new host species. We would expect new variants to be more contagious but less deadly as the virus fades to become just like the other 200+ respiratory viruses that cause common colds and flus.  That's also why the decision to lock down the healthy population is so sinister. Lockdowns, border closures, and social distancing rules reduced spread among the healthy population, thus creating a situation where mutations produced among the healthy would become sufficiently rare that they might be outnumbered by mutations circulating among the bedridden. Mutations circulating among the healthy are, by definition, going to be the least dangerous mutations since they did not make their hosts s.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 25th, 2021

Victor Davis Hanson: The Afghanistization Of America

Victor Davis Hanson: The Afghanistization Of America Authored by Victor Davis Hanson via, The United States should be at its pinnacle of strength. It still produces more goods and services than any other nation—China included, which has a population over four times as large. Its fuel and food industries are globally preeminent, as are its graduate science, computer, engineering, medical, and technology university programs. Its constitution is the oldest of current free nations. And the U.S. military is by far the best funded in the world. And yet something has gone terribly wrong within America, from the southern border to Afghanistan.  The inexplicable in Afghanistan—surrendering Bagram Air Base in the middle of the night, abandoning tens of billions of dollars of military equipment to the Taliban, and forsaking both trapped Americans and loyalist Afghans—has now become the new Biden model of inattention and incompetence.  Or to put it another way, when we seek to implant our culture abroad, do we instead come to emulate what we are trying to change? COVID Chaos Take COVID-19. Joe Biden in 2020 (along with Kamala Harris) trashed Trump’s impending Operation Warp Speed vaccinations. Then, after inauguration, Biden falsely claimed no one had been vaccinated until his ascension (in fact, 1million a day were being vaccinated before he assumed office). Then again, Biden claimed ad nauseam that he didn’t believe in mandates to force the new and largely experimental vaccinations on the public. Then, once more, he promised that they were so effective and so many Americans had received vaccines that by July 4 the country would return to a virtual pre-COVID normality.  Then came the delta variant and his self-created disaster in Afghanistan.  To divert his attention away from the Afghan morass, Biden weirdly focused on an equally confused new presidential COVID-19 mandate, seeking to subject federal employees, soldiers, and employees of larger firms to mandatory vaccinations—right as the contagious delta variant seemed to be slowly tapering off, given the millions who have either been vaxxed, have developed natural immunity, or both. Consider other paradoxes. American citizens must be vaccinated, but not the forecasted 2 million noncitizens expected to cross the southern border illegally into the United States over the current fiscal year. Soldiers who bravely helped more than 100,000 Afghan refugees escape must be vaccinated, but not the unvetted foreign nationals from a premodern country? Scientists now are convinced naturally acquired COVID-19 immunity from a previous infection likely provides longer and better protection than does any of the current vaccinations.  Yet those who suffered COVID-19, and now have antibodies and other natural defenses, must likewise be vaccinated. That anomaly raises the obvious logical absurdities: will those with vaccinations—in reciprocal fashion—be forced to be exposed to the virus to obtain additional and superior natural immunity, given the Biden logic of the need for both acquired and vaccinated immunity?  Tribal Lands  We have Afghanistanized the border as well, turning the United States into a pre-state whose badlands borders are absolutely porous and fluid. There is no audit of newcomers, no vaccinations required, no COVID-19 tests—none of the requirements that millions of citizens must meet either entering the United States or working at their jobs. Our Bagram abandonment is matched by abruptly abandoning the border wall in mid-course.  Yet where the barrier exists, there is some order; where Joe Biden abandoned the wall, there is a veritable stampede of illegal migration.  October 7, 2019. Mark Wilson/Getty Images Coups, Juntas and Such Third-World countries suffer military coups when unelected top brass and caudillos often insidiously take control of the country’s governance in slow-motion fashion. The latest Bob Woodward “I heard,” “they say,” and “sources reveal” mythography now claims that General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, discussed separating an elected commander-in-chief from control of the military. Woodward and co-author Robert Costa also assert that Milley promised his Chinese Communist military counterpart that he would tip off the People’s Liberation Army of any planned U.S. aggressive action—an odd paranoia when Donald Trump, of the last five presidents, has proved the most reluctant to send U.S. troops into harm’s way.  If that bizarre assertion is true, Milley himself might have essentially risked starting a war by eroding U.S. deterrence in apprising an enemy of perceived internal instability inside the executive branch, and the lack of a unified command. (So, Woodward wrote: “‘General Li, I want to assure you that the American government is stable, and everything is going to be okay,’ Milley said. ‘We are not going to attack or conduct any kinetic operations against you.’ Milley then added, ‘If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise.’”) More germanely, when Milley called in senior officers and laid down his own operational directives concerning nuclear weapons, he was clearly violating the law as established and strengthened in 1947, 1953, and 1986 that clearly states the Joint Chiefs are advisors to the president and are not in the chain of command and are to be bypassed, at least operationally, by the president. The commander in chief sets policy. And if it requires the use of force, he directs the secretary of defense to relay presidential orders to the relevant theater commanders. Milley had no authority to discuss changing nuclear procedures, much less to convey a smear to an enemy that his commander in chief was non compos mentis. Milley has been reduced to a caricature of a caricature right out of “Dr. Strangelove”—and is himself a danger to national security. After Milley’s summer 2020 virtue-signaling “apology” for alleged presidential photo-op misbehavior (found to be completely false by the interior department’s inspector general); after leaked news reports that Milley considered resignation (promises, promises) to signal his anger at Trump in summer 2020; after his dismissal of the 120 days of rioting, 28 deaths, 14,000 arrests, and $2 billion in damage as mere “penny packet protests”; after his “white rage” blathering before Congress; after the collapse of the U.S. military command in Kabul; and after his premature and hasty assessment of a U.S. drone strike that killed 10 innocent civilians as “righteous,” Woodward’s sensationalism may not sound as impossible as his usual fare.  Milley should either deny the Woodward charges and demand a real apology or resign immediately. He has violated the law governing the chain of command, misused his office of chairman of the Joint Chiefs, politicized the military, proved inept in his military judgment and advice, and may well have committed a felony in revealing to a hostile military leader that the United States was, in his opinion, in a crisis mode.  Yet, Milley did not act in isolation. Where did this low-bar Pentagon coup talk originate? And who are those responsible for creating a culture in which unelected current and retired military officers, sworn to uphold the constitutional order and the law of civilian control of the military, believe that they can arbitrarily declare an elected president either incompetent or criminal—and thus subject to their own renegade sort of freelancing justice? As a footnote, remember that after little more than a week of the Trump presidency, Rosa Brooks, an Obama-era Pentagon appointee, published in Foreign Policy various ways to remove the newly inaugurated president. Among those mentioned was a military coup, in which top officers were to collude to obstruct a presidential order, on the basis of their own perceptions of a lack of presidential rectitude or competence.  We note additionally that over a dozen high-ranking retired generals and admirals have serially violated the uniform code of military justice in demonizing publicly their commander in chief with the worst sort of smears and slanders. And they have done so with complete exemption and in mockery of the very code they have sworn to abide.  Two retired army officers, colonels John Nagl and Paul Yingling, on the eve of the 2020 election, urged Milley to order U.S. army forces to remove Trump from office if in their opinion he obstructed the results of the election—superseding in effect a president’s elected powers as well as those constitutional checks and balances of the legislative and judicial branches upon him.  We know that these were all partisan and not principled concerns about an alleged non compos mentis president, because none of these same outspoken “Seven Days in May” generals have similarly violated the military code by negatively commenting publicly on the current dangerous cognitive decline of Joe Biden and the real national security dangers of his impairment, as evidenced by the disastrous skedaddle from Afghanistan and often inability to speak coherently or remember key names and places. In short, is our new freelancing and partisan military also in the process of becoming Afghanized—too many of its leadership electively appealing to pseudo-higher principles to contextualize violating the Constitution of the United States and, sadly, too many trying to reflect the general woke landscape of the corporate board to which so many have retired? Like tribal warlords, our top brass simply do as they please, and then message to us “so what are you going to do about it?” Achin, Afghanistan, 2011. John Moore/Getty Images The Constitution as Construct How paradoxical that the United States has sent teams of constitutional specialists to Iraq and Afghanistan to help tribal societies to draft legal, ordered, and sustainable Western consensual government charters that are not subject to the whims of particular tribes and parties. Yet America itself is descending in the exact opposite direction.  Suddenly in 2021 America, if ancient consensual rules, customs, and constitutional mandates do not facilitate and advance the progressive project, then by all means they must end—by a mere one vote in the Senate. It is as if the centuries of our history, the Constitution, and the logic of the founders were analogous to a shouting match among a squabbling Taliban tribal council of elders. Junk the 233-year-old Electoral College and the constitutional directive to the states to assume primary responsibilities in establishing voting procedures in national elections. End the 180-year-old Senate filibuster. Do away with the now bothersome 150-year nine-justice Supreme Court. And scrap the 60-year-old tradition of a 50-state union.   Impeachment was intended by the founders as a rare reset of the executive branch in extremis. Now it is to be a pro formaattack on the president in his first term by the opposite party as soon as it gains control of the House—without a special counsel, without witnesses and cross-examinations, without any specific high crimes and misdemeanors or bribery and treason charges. And why not from now on impeach a president twice within a year—or try him in the Senate when he is out of office as a private citizen?  When private citizen Joe Biden is retired from the presidency, will his political enemies dig up his sketchy IRS records alleging that he never paid income taxes on the “big guy’s” “10 percent” of the income from the Hunter Biden money machine? American Tribes  We may think virtue-signaling pride flags, gender studies, and George Floyd murals in Kabul remind the world of our postmodern sophistication. Yet, in truth, we are becoming far more like Afghanistan in the current tribalization of America—where tribal, racial, and ethnic loyalties are now essential to an American’s primary identity and loyalty—than we were ever able to make Afghanistan like us. When we read leftist heartthrob Ibram X. Kendi’s endorsement of overt racial discrimination or academic and media obsessions with a supposed near-satanic “whiteness,” or the current fixations on skin color and first loyalties to those who share superficial racial affinities, then we are not much different from the Afghan tribalists. We in America apparently have decided the warring badlands of the Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, and Uzbeks have their advantages over a racially blind, consensual republic. They are the model to us, not us of the now-discredited melting pot to them. How sad in our blinkered arrogance that we go across the globe to the tribal Third World to teach the impoverished a supposedly preferrable culture and politics, while at home we are doing our best to become a Third-World country of incompetency, constitutional erosion, a fractious and politicized military elite, and racially and ethnically obsessed warring tribes.  Tyler Durden Mon, 09/20/2021 - 23:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 21st, 2021

A US veteran joined Ukraine"s International Legion, then made a shock defection to Russia. Ex-comrades say he was incompetent and left behind a trail of chaos.

Two fighters who directly worked with John McIntyre told Insider he was erratic and unstable and wreaked havoc in Ukraine. An American man is the first known International Legionnaire to defect to RussiaPoca Wander / Getty Images; Arif Qazi / Insider A US veteran went to fight in Ukraine but has defected to Russia. Those who fought with him in Ukraine told Insider he was unstable and erratic on the battlefield. His time in Ukraine calls into question the vetting processes of the country's International Legion. When Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year, scores of foreign fighters flocked to help defend the country.Among them was John McIntyre, a 25-year-old American veteran nicknamed Johnny Alabama, or Bama, by his fellow fighters who took up arms and joined the International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine.Videos show the American among the uniformed fighters on the ground calling out, "God bless Ukraine," and, "Fuck you, Russia."Then he switched sides.In February 2022, McIntyre was sitting in a restaurant in Moscow and talking to a journalist from the Russian state-controlled network RT about his decision to defect from Ukraine to Russia.McIntyre is the first known foreign fighter to have crossed enemy lines to join Russia. In the RT interview, he claimed that he went to Ukraine with the intention to defect all along.But two legionnaires who directly worked with McIntyre told Insider he was an erratic and unstable person who wreaked havoc in Ukraine and was pushed out of the legion before he decided to defect.—Gonzalo Lira (@GonzaloLira1968) March 1, 2023They painted a picture of a troubled man who at least once excessively drank alcohol whilst fighting and urinated in an army vehicle, defaced Ukrainian guard posts, and was eventually barred from handling weapons because he was deemed a danger to himself and others.Malcolm Nance, a former US Navy officer and counterterrorism expert who joined Ukraine's International Legion in the early days of the war and has since become a recognizable face of foreign fighters in Ukraine, said McIntyre caused issues from the beginning."Bama is a highly unstable character," Nance told Insider. "Bama was known to be a professional fuckup and mentally ill."He added: "We used to say crazy with a capital K."While the fighters who spoke with Insider cited McIntyre's mental state while talking about his actions, mental illness alone does not necessarily indicate combat-readiness, and the legionnaires are not professionally qualified to assess a person's psychological status.Malcolm Nance, a former United States Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer and intelligence and foreign policy analyst. He is currently in the 3rd Battalion International Legion in Ukraine.Malcolm NanceLittle is known about McIntyre's background, but he's originally from Mobile, Alabama, attended Lincoln County High School in Lafayette, Tennessee, and then went into military training at Fort Bliss, Texas.He served in the US Army as an indirect-fire infantryman from June 2015 to August 2017 but was never deployed and left the service as a private first class, Madison Bonzo, a US Army spokesperson, told Insider.The US military was unable to confirm which type of discharge he received, or any information about medical or personnel actions related to him because of federal privacy laws. Insider was unable to reach McIntyre.The retired Marine Elliot Smith — not his real name, as he was granted anonymity so he could speak freely — was second in command of McIntyre's platoon and met him in April, soon after they both joined the war.McIntyre "initially gave a good impression," Smith said, but cracks started to show as they got closer to the battlefield and began to face the threat of death."One night, he confided in me that he saw the ghost of a dog that he had killed," Smith said. "So I thought, 'OK, maybe he's not all there.'"The warning signs continued, as McIntyre told Smith that he was wanted by the FBI for threatening to kill personnel at the White House, Smith. Insider has been unable to verify the validity of this claim."As time went on, he confided to me that he had converted to Islam and that he was planning to do a jihad," Smith told Insider.Nance, who worked as the chief of intelligence of the battalion, said that he was brought many reports of similar outlandish claims made by McIntyre."I think he was a mentally disturbed man who was looking for a place of notoriety to fit in," Nance said.Smith offered a similar assessment of McIntyre."What I got from Johnny, and this is reflected in his behavior in our unit all the way to him leaving for Russia, was that he was just looking for people to pay attention to him," he said.McIntyre and Smith's unit was fighting in Molodova, a village near Kharkiv, after Ukraine recaptured it in May. With the Russians furious that they had lost hold of the village, the fighters often found themselves under attack.A destroyed market seen in Saltivka, near Molodova in Kharkiv, on April 29, 2022.Alex Chan Tsz Yuk/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty ImagesThat, Smith said, is when the real cracks in McIntyre's abilities started to show.Smith said McIntyre loaded his machine gun upside down and that while he was running through the forest dodging artillery fire, he "physically showed that he was not capable of combat."When on the retreat, Smith said he and another fighter had to stay back in the forest because McIntyre couldn't continue with the rest of the unit. They spent an hour waiting for him until additional help arrived.As the pressure of war continued to mount, Smith said he was told that McIntyre had started excessively drinking in secret, which brought him to a "breaking point."Smith said that one day, McIntyre was given permission to go to Kharkiv with leadership and came back drunk, having found alcohol in the city."His rights had been read, and he had to be detained because he had caused a struggle with officers and leadership," Smith said. "He had urinated in the vehicle being brought back to our combat point and then made a scene in the middle of the village, half naked, and threatened the leadership and all the legionnaires present in the area."The platoon commander chose to be lenient and said that McIntyre should just sleep it off. As McIntyre slept, the platoon was warned of an incoming artillery attack.McIntyre took advantage of the chaos. He escaped from the watch he was under and ran off, still intoxicated and half naked, into the forest."We spent about maybe an hour or two looking for this man, in the dead of night until the morning came up," Smith said.Eventually, McIntyre turned himself in and was sent to the main command, where Smith said everyone hoped he'd be sent home.But McIntyre was given a second chance — but this time away from the action, on logistical duty.Once back to battalion, McIntyre's erratic behavior continuedMcIntyre was sent in June to the battalion headquarters in Kharkiv, where he met Nance."When you screw up, a company gets rid of you, pulls you off the line, and sends you back to the battalion," Nance told Insider. "And now you're our problem. What we're doing is we're filling out the paperwork to kick you out of Ukraine."From the beginning, McIntyre would talk about crossing the river in Kharkiv to go to the Russian side "out of sheer boredom," Nance said, which raised a red flag.Once he was back at the battalion, McIntyre's erratic behavior continued. On one occasion, Nance said a nearby Russian strike had caused large windows at the HQ building to shatter, leaving 1-foot-high piles of broken glass.With an artillery barrage outside, he said he spotted McIntyre sitting amid the shattered glass.McIntyre was smoking a cigarette in his uniform pants, a white tank top, and flip-flops and appeared to be "mesmerized" while "watching the pretty lights" of the artillery barrage, Nance said."So I have to go out on the roof — glass is crunching everywhere — and I said, 'What the fuck are you doing out here?' and he says, 'I'm just having a smoke.' This is when I realize he is out of his mind," Nance said.To keep him out of trouble and away from the front line, Nance said, McIntyre was not allowed to handle weapons and given menial tasks, including moving supplies and cleaning the kitchen.At one point, he was put on guard duty, operating a makeshift checkpoint built from white sandbags.When Nance went away for two days in July, he returned to be told that McIntyre had spray-painted more than 200 sandbags with the words, "Fuck you," and incomprehensible phrases.The makeshift checkpoint spray painted by McIntyreMalcolm Nance"It's mind-boggling as to the intensity and dedication that it took," Nance, who inspected the defaced checkpoint, said. "It was just insane. And then, boom, he was gone out of the legion that day."Fleeing across enemy lines to RussiaMcIntyre said in the RT interview that he went and joined the Carpathian Sich, a unit of Ukrainians and foreign nationals that Nance described as an "authorized militia."After some time, he tried to rejoin the International Legion, but the leadership refused, Nance said. Several months later, he appeared on TV in Moscow claiming that this was his plan all along.—GraphicW (@GraphicW5) March 1, 2023 McIntyre said in the interview that he went to Moscow via Istanbul and claimed that he did so to pass along valuable information he gathered while acting as a "spy" in Ukraine."It's the reason I came to Ukraine in the first place, you know. I'm a communist. I'm an anti-fascist," he said in the interview, while repeating the false Russian propaganda line that Ukraine is full of Nazis.Nance said he categorically rejected the idea that McIntyre had any strong ideological bent or that he could have gathered any useful information to take over to Russia."He's an idiot who was mentally ill," Nance said. "And at the last minute, when he couldn't get back into the legion, he just decided he would go to Moscow."McIntyre made various other dramatic claims in his interview. He said that he was under threat of execution as a whistleblower, that the Ukrainian army had snipers set up to shoot defectors and used civilians as human shields, and that many fighters had Nazi tattoos.Nance said all these claims were fabricated and an example of him "using the Russian political line to further an agenda."His behavior calls the Intentional Legion's vetting process into questionWhen McIntyre went to Ukraine in the early weeks of the war, following Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's public appeal for foreign volunteers, the vetting process did not appear rigorous.Smith, the retired Marine, said that when he joined the legion in March 2022, he realized "all you had to do was shoot a gun and breathe."The apparently lax process meant that people like McIntyre who may be ill-suited to warfare were able to slip through the cracks. The process has changed, Smith said, and is now more robust.The International Legion did not respond to a request for comment.While McIntyre is an example of someone who may have gone to Ukraine with the wrong intentions, Nance said this was not typical of the volunteer fighters he'd worked with."Eighty percent of the people that come into the legion are fine," Nance said. "They're ideologically driven. They don't like what Russia has done. They feel in their hearts that they have to come help."But every once in a while, there's a class of what I call 'the criminals, crazies, and con artists' — the people who are there to reinvent themselves."Smith affords McIntyre some sympathy. "He legitimately needed institutional help. He was going through psychological issues," he said."There is pity to be had for him, but this is a war," Smith said. "There are people here who have legitimately died, who have bled out, and this guy just took it as a PR stunt."Johnny Alabama is literally self-destructing and just trying to undermine this personnel group who have given all that they got."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMar 18th, 2023

The Fed Just Hijacked American Democracy

The Fed Just Hijacked American Democracy Authored by Simon Black via, You know the old joke – “Predictions are hard… especially about the future.” And it’s true, nobody has a crystal ball. But it’s astonishing to see just how horribly wrong the people in charge can be in their predictions, especially about the very near future. You probably remember Joe Biden famously insisted in the summer of 2021 that the Taliban was “highly unlikely” to take over Afghanistan. Boy did he turn out to be wrong. Only a few weeks later, the Taliban was in control of the entire country… and the world watched in utter astonishment as US military helicopters evacuated embassy personnel from Kabul in one of the most shameful episodes in modern American history. Not to be outdone, it appears that the Federal Reserve has just had its own Afghanistan moment. It was only Tuesday of last week that the Fed Chairman testified before a committee of concerned senators who thought the Fed may be tightening monetary policy (i.e. raising interest rates) too quickly. This was a valid concern; rapid interest rate hikes DO create a LOT of risks. And one of those risks is that asset prices– especially bond prices– plummet in value. This risk is particularly problematic for banks because they tend to invest their customer deposits in bonds. In fact, now that the Fed has tightened its monetary policy so quickly, banks across the US have more than $600 billion in unrealized losses on their bond portfolios. This is a pretty major problem… because that $600 billion is ultimately YOUR money. And it’s not like the Fed doesn’t have access to this information; after all, the Fed supervises nearly EVERY bank in the US financial system. And yet last week the Fed Chairman completely rejected this risk, telling worried senators flat out that “nothing about the data suggests to me that we’ve tightened too much. . .” In other words, he believed the Fed’s rapid interest rate hikes posed ZERO risk. Talk about a terrible prediction; just THREE DAYS LATER, one of the largest banks in the US imploded, multiple bank runs unfolded across the country, the bond market fell into turmoil, and the Fed had to essentially guarantee the entire US banking system in order to restore confidence. (More on that in a moment.) The mental image of bank runs in America, just days after the Chairman dismissed any risk, is the Fed’s equivalent of the Afghanistan debacle. It’s shameful. But what’s REALLY concerning is the Fed’s response to this panic– their de facto guarantee of the entire US banking system. Because ultimately they just put YOU on the hook for the potential bond losses of every bank in America. I’ll explain– After Silicon Valley Bank went bust, the FDIC announced that they will guarantee ALL deposits at the bank. This is a departure from the FDIC’s normal pledge to guarantee deposits of up to $250,000, and their decision drew a lot of ire from pundits and politicians across the ideological spectrum. Many people concluded that the FDIC’s pledge was tantamount to a “taxpayer-funded bailout.” But that assessment is wrong. Anyone who is intellectually honest and well-informed will easily understand that the FDIC is not funded by taxpayers. The FDIC is funded by charging fees to its member banks. So when the FDIC decided to guarantee every depositor at Silicon Valley Bank, including those with balances exceeding $250,000, it means they’re bailing out SVB’s wealthy customers at the expense of big Wall Street banks. But most people seem to have missed the real story… because the ACTUAL bailout is coming from the Fed, not the FDIC. Despite the Chairman’s terrible prediction in front of the Senate Banking Committee last week, the Fed now seems keenly aware of the risks in the US banking system. They realize that there are LOTS of other banks that are sitting on massive unrealized losses, just like SVB. So in order to prevent these banks from going under, the Fed invented a new facility they’re calling the “Bank Term Funding Program”, or BTFP. But the BTFP is really just an extraordinary lie designed to make you think that the banking system is safe. They might as well have called it, “Believe This Fiction, People”, and I’ll show you why. Whenever people borrow money from banks, we normally have to provide some sort of collateral. Banks make home equity loans using real estate as collateral. They make car loans where the car is collateral. Manufacturing businesses borrow money using factory equipment as collateral. Well, banks do the same thing when they borrow money. And sometimes banks will even borrow money from the Federal Reserve. This is actually one of the reasons why the central bank exists– to act as a “lender of last resort” if banks need an emergency loan. And when banks borrow money from the Fed, they have to post collateral too. Instead of automobiles and houses, though, banks use their financial assets as collateral– specifically their bonds. This is actually codified by law (12 CFR 201.108) whereby Congress lists specific assets that the Fed can accept as collateral when making loans to banks. The list is basically different types of bonds. But this is the root of the problem. Banks are in financial trouble because their bond portfolios have lost so much value. Some banks (like SVB) are even insolvent because of this. So now, through the BTFP, the Fed will now accept banks’ sagging bond portfolios as collateral, but loan the bank MORE money than the bond portfolios are worth. Let’s say you’re an insolvent bank that invested, say, $100 billion in bonds. Those bonds are now worth $85 billion, and your bank is about to go under. “NO PROBLEMO!” says the Fed. The bank simply posts their bond portfolio (which is only worth $85 billion) as collateral, and the Fed will loan the bank the full $100 billion… as if those losses never occurred. It’s a complete lie. Everyone is pretending that the banks haven’t lost any money to give you a false sense of confidence in the financial system. “Believe the Fiction, People.” Remember that banks in the US have more than $600 billion in unrealized bond losses right now. And that number will keep increasing if interest rates continue to rise. So this means that the Fed has essentially guaranteed that entire $600+ billion. Commercial banks won’t lose a penny— they can now pass their financial risks down to the Federal Reserve. This isn’t a bailout… it’s a time bomb. We can keep our fingers crossed and hope that this time bomb never explodes. But if it does, the Federal Reserve is going to be looking at hundreds of billions in losses… which would trigger devastating consequences for the US dollar. This means that everyone who uses US dollars… including every man, woman, and child in America, is ultimately on the hook for the potential consequences of the BTFP. And that’s what is so remarkable about this: the Fed just made this decision all on its own. Congress didn’t pass a law. There were no hearings, no judicial oversight, no votes. Instead, several unelected bureaucrats who have been consistently wrong got together in a room and decided to guarantee $600+ billion in bank losses… and stick the American people with the consequences. This is the same organization that said in February 2021 that there was no inflation. The same organization that said in July 2021 that inflation was transitory and would pass in a few months. The same organization that said in June 2022 that they finally understand “how little we understand about inflation.” The same organization that said THREE DAYS before SVB’s collapse that “nothing about the data” suggested any risks with their policy actions. The Fed has been wrong at every critical point over the past few years. And they’ve now unilaterally signed up every single person in America to a $600+ billion bank bailout without so much as a courtesy phone call to Congress. This is apparently what Democracy means in America today. We’ve all been subjected to endless vitriol over the past few years with people on all sides howling that “Democracy is under attack.” Well, we just watched an unelected committee of central bankers hijack democracy and stick the American people with a potential $600+ billion bank bailout. *  *  * Worried about your savings? Wondering if your bank is next after SVB? You’re not alone. For over a decade, Sovereign Man has seen the writing on the banking wall, and has been warning people about looming crises. The good news? There’s still time to safeguard your savings. Download our brand-new 20-page report entitled "The SVB Collapse: How To Tell If YOUR Bank Is Safe" to discover how you can keep your money safe in a time of sudden banking collapses. Tyler Durden Fri, 03/17/2023 - 18:10.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMar 17th, 2023

The Urbanity Of Evil: 20 Years After The US Invasion Of Iraq

The Urbanity Of Evil: 20 Years After The US Invasion Of Iraq Authored by Norman Solomon via Common Dreams, Vast quantities of lies from top U.S. government officials led up to the Iraq invasion. Now, marking its 20th anniversary, the same media outlets that eagerly boosted those lies are offering retrospectives. Don't expect them to shed light on the most difficult truths, including their own complicity in pushing for war. What propelled the United States to start the war on Iraq in March 2003 were dynamics of media and politics that are still very much with us today. Soon after 9/11, one of the rhetorical whips brandished by President George W. Bush was an unequivocal assertion while speaking to a joint session of Congress on Sept. 20, 2001: "Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists." Thrown down, that gauntlet received adulation and scant criticism in the United States. Mainstream media and members of Congress were almost all enthralled with a Manichean worldview that has evolved and persisted. AFP via Getty Images Our current era is filled with echoes of such oratory from the current president. A few months before fist-bumping Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman—who's been in charge of a tyrannical regime making war on Yemen, causing several hundred thousand deaths since 2015 with U.S. government help—Joe Biden mounted a pulpit of supreme virtue during his 2022 State of the Union address. Biden proclaimed "an unwavering resolve that freedom will always triumph over tyranny." And he added that "in the battle between democracy and autocracies, democracies are rising to the moment." Of course, there was no mention of his support for Saudi autocracy and war. In that State of the Union speech, Biden devoted much emphasis to condemning Russia's war on Ukraine, as he has many times since. Biden's presidential hypocrisies do not in any way justify the horrors that Russian forces are inflicting in Ukraine. Nor does that war justify the deadly hypocrisies that pervade U.S. foreign policy. This week, don't hold your breath for media retrospectives about the Iraq invasion to include basic facts about the key roles of Biden and the man who is now secretary of state, Antony Blinken. When they each denounce Russia while solemnly insisting that it is absolutely unacceptable for one country to invade another, the Orwellian efforts are brazen and shameless. Last month, speaking to the UN Security Council, Blinken invoked "the principles and rules that make all countries safer and more secure"—such as "no seizing land by force" and "no wars of aggression." But Biden and Blinken were crucial accessories to the massive war of aggression that was the invasion of Iraq. On the very rare occasions when Biden has been put on the spot for how he helped make the invasion politically possible, his response has been to dissemble and tell outright lies. "Biden has a long history of inaccurate claims" regarding Iraq, scholar Stephen Zunes pointed out four years ago. "For example, in the lead-up to the critical Senate vote authorizing the invasion, Biden used his role as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to insist that Iraq somehow reconstituted a vast arsenal of chemical and biological weapons, a nuclear weapons program and sophisticated delivery systems that had long since been eliminated." The false claim of supposed weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was the main pretext for the invasion. That falsehood was challenged in real time, many months before the invasion, by numerous experts. But then-Senator Biden, wielding the gavel of the Foreign Relations Committee, excluded them all from two days of high-impact sham hearings in mid-summer 2002. And who was the chief of staff of the committee at that time? The current secretary of state, Antony Blinken. We're apt to put Biden and Blinken in a completely different category than someone like Tariq Aziz, who was Iraq's deputy prime minister under despot Saddam Hussein. But, thinking back to the three meetings with Aziz that I attended in Baghdad during the months before the invasion, I have some doubts. Aziz wore nicely tailored business suits. Speaking excellent English in measured tones and well-crafted sentences, he had an erudite air with no lack of politesse as he greeted our four-member delegation (which I had organized with colleagues at the Institute for Public Accuracy). Our group included Congressman Nick Rahall of West Virginia, former South Dakota senator James Abourezk and Conscience International president James Jennings. As it turned out, the meeting occurred six months before the invasion. At the time of that meeting in mid-September 2002, Aziz was able to concisely sum up a reality that few U.S. media outlets were acknowledging. "It's doomed if you do, doomed if you don't," Aziz said, referring to the Iraqi government's choice of whether to let UN weapons inspectors back into the country. After meetings with Aziz and other Iraqi officials, I told the Washington Post: "If it was strictly a matter of the inspections and they felt there was a light at the end of the tunnel, this would be a totally fixable problem." But it was far from being strictly a matter of the inspections. The Bush administration was determined to make war on Iraq. A couple of days after the Aziz meeting, Iraq's regime—which was accurately stating that it had no weapons of mass destruction—announced that it would allow UN inspectors back into the country. (They had been withdrawn four years earlier for their safety on the eve of an anticipated U.S. bombing attack that took place for four days.) But compliance with the United Nations was to no avail. The U.S. government leaders wanted to launch an invasion of Iraq, no matter what. During two later meetings with Aziz, in December 2002 and January 2003, I was repeatedly struck by his capacity to seem cultured and refined. While the main spokesperson for a vicious dictator, he exuded sophistication. I thought of the words "the urbanity of evil." Bush's "shock and awe" over Baghdad, file image. A well-informed source told me that Saddam Hussein maintained some kind of leverage over Aziz by keeping his son in jeopardy of imprisonment or worse, lest Aziz become a defector. Whether or not that was the case, Deputy Prime Minister Aziz remained loyal to the end. As someone in Jean Renoir's film The Rules of the Game says, "The awful thing about life is this: Everybody has their reasons." Tariq Aziz had good reasons to fear for his life—and the lives of loved ones—if he ran afoul of Saddam. In contrast, many politicians and officials in Washington have gone along with murderous policies when dissenting might cost them only re-election, prestige, money or power. I last saw Aziz in January 2003, while accompanying a former UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq to meet with him. Talking to the two of us in his Baghdad office, Aziz seemed to know an invasion was virtually certain. It began two months later. The Pentagon was pleased to brand its horrific air attacks on the city "shock and awe." On July 1, 2004, appearing before an Iraqi judge in a courtroom located on a U.S. military base near Baghdad airport, Aziz said: "What I want to know is, are these charges personal? Is it Tariq Aziz carrying out these killings? If I am a member of a government that makes the mistake of killing someone, then there can't justifiably be an accusation against me personally. Where there is a crime committed by the leadership, the moral responsibility rests there, and there shouldn't be a personal case just because somebody belongs to the leadership." And, Aziz went on to say, "I never killed anybody, by the acts of my own hand." The invasion that Joe Biden helped to inflict on Iraq resulted in a war that directly killed several hundred thousand civilians. If he were ever really called to account for his role, Biden's words might resemble those of Tariq Aziz. Tyler Durden Tue, 03/14/2023 - 23:50.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMar 15th, 2023

A rash of proposed Florida laws use "genocidal rhetoric" to attack trans people, legal experts say

New bills take aim at doctors providing trans health care and change custody law to classify providing gender-affirming care as abuse. Protesters lay on the ground holding cardboard signs shaped like tombstones in front of the Marriott Fort Lauderdale Airport as the Florida Board of Medicine met inside on Aug 5, 2022.Jose A. Iglesias/El Nuevo Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images A slate of anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced in Florida this month. If passed, the bills would restrict access to gender-affirming care and classify it as child abuse. Experts told Insider the bills are posturing ahead of the 2024 presidential race. A series of new bills in Florida taking aim at health care providers offering gender-affirming care and parents who support their trans kids are part of a targeted attack against gender nonconforming people in the state, legal and mental health experts told Insider, with the aim to "erase them from public life entirely."In addition to a proposed Florida House bill that would prohibit a person's sex from being changed on their birth certificate and make gender-affirming care for minors illegal, GOP legislators in the state of Florida also proposed bills this month that would:Allow the state to modify child custody agreements if a parent supports their trans child in transitioning and classify providing gender-affirming care as child abuseMakes it a misdemeanor for a trans person to enter a bathroom that does not align with their sex assigned at birthExpand the state's controversial "Don't Say Gay" bill to include charter schools and prohibit instruction on gender identity and sexuality through the 8th grade"Florida Republicans are methodically pushing policies that encourage transgender people and their families to flee the state or erase them from public life," Carlos Guillermo Smith, a special project manager for Equality Florida and a former representative in the Florida House, told Insider. "It's government-imposed gender conformity, and if it isn't stopped, it will not end here."Smith, the first openly LGBTQ Latino lawmaker in the state, said the anti-trans legislation in Florida has escalated quickly in recent years after a bill was introduced in 2021 that banned trans kids from participating in school sports, which lawmakers claimed was over concern about fairness."That has quickly escalated to now, where we have this frightening plan to criminalize and imprison parents who help their own children access gender-affirming care, which is to tell you that it was never about women's sports," Smith told Insider. "This is Republicans, empowered by Ron DeSantis, methodically pushing policies to push trans people out of the state of Florida or erase them from public life entirely."Representatives for DeSantis did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.New legislation 'short circuits existing law'The proposed new bills go further to expand anti-trans legislation than others across the nation, disrupting established custody and health care precedent, legal experts told Insider.Brett Ward, co-chair of the top 100 law firm Blank Rome's Matrimonial and Family Law Practice Group, told Insider that Florida state Senator Clay Yarborough's proposed bill, SB 254, which would allow disapproving parents to take "emergency jurisdiction" over their children if the minor receives or is "at risk of" receiving gender-affirming care, is unprecedented in how it interferes with parental rights."It's really concerning not just from a moral perspective, which is not my area of expertise, but from a family law perspective," Ward said. "Other than the anti-trans messaging that goes along with this bill, you have the state interfering with the fundamental right of parents to make decisions concerning the care of their children, which is a Supreme Court-recognized due process right. This is an absolute trampling on that right and also, in my opinion, a trampling on the sovereignty of other states."Alejandra Caraballo, a clinical instructor at Harvard Law School's Cyberlaw Clinic and former staff attorney at the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, told Insider that Yarborough's bill "short circuits existing law and completely blows it up" by incentivizing state-sponsored kidnapping.Representatives for Yarborough told Insider the bill was proposed to protect Florida youth from "life-altering gender dysphoria therapies" and gender-affirming surgeries that are "mutilating young children."After Insider's initial reporting on SB 254, Yarborough amended the bill language to include a provision that the court is authorized to act "only to the extent necessary."A Reuters investigation found that, as of 2021, fewer than 1,500 youth in the United States under the age of 17 were taking physician-prescribed puberty blockers, and fewer than 4,500 on hormone therapies. Less than 300 received mastectomies or "top surgery," and only 56 youth under the age of 17 have received gender-affirming "bottom" or genital surgery.Representatives for Florida state Rep. Randy Fine, who proposed HB 1421, a bill that would restrict gender-affirming health care in the state, did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment."I think that's important, just to note how brazen the language has become — it's genocidal rhetoric," Caraballo told Insider. "I mean, when you're talking about eradicating something like that, that's genocidal."She added: "For a long time trans people have been called alarmist because we've been seeing this bubble up from the swamps of the internet, but it's becoming more and more vocal, and it's being backed by legislation. And I think that's one other aspect to this, just how much of this is being driven by a pure drive to eliminate trans people from public life."Driven by political aspirationsAdvocates, legal scholars, and mental health professionals each told Insider the push for the latest anti-trans measures in the state of Florida appears to be driven by Gov. Ron DeSantis's apparent White House aspirations. "This is all about politics, and this is all about bolstering DeSantis is run for the presidency," Caraballo told Insider. "I think what you're seeing is essentially a race to the bottom in terms of the sheer level of depravity and animus and hatred that they can exhibit and just plain cruelty that they can exhibit towards trans people. And DeSantis has every incentive to participate and demonstrate in that cruelty."As part of that "race to the bottom," proving a track record of legislating transgender issues has become a galvanizing issue among Republican lawmakers, which both Caraballo and Ward said can be used to score easy "points" among voters who are critical of transgender people."It's a popular opinion, unfortunately, that people who get gender-affirming health care are wrong, the children who get it are wrong," Ward told Insider. "It is the state, the government, coming into the privacy of the home and invading it — which is very, very inconsistent with their positions on other issues, such as if someone has a gun in the home. That attack is extremely unfortunate, and discriminatory, and in my opinion morally wrong, and they're attacking it from every angle."As a result of the widespread attempts to legislate gender issues, Ward said, industries from health care to academia are navigating new legal territory, facing potential liability issues if they run afoul of the new laws."So there's a chilling effect on the medical community, there's a chilling effect on the educational community, about openly talking about it," Ward said. "And now they're trying to tell parents 'don't you dare go in this direction and support your children's actual identity because the legal community and the government will come down on you.' It's a comprehensive attack on the trans community."An untold impact on Florida's trans youthCaught in the middle of the attempts to legislate health care, custody agreements, and education related to trans people, are gender non-conforming youth in the state, advocates told Insider."Research has consistently found that when transgender young people feel supported by their parents and families, their odds of suicide risk can lower significantly," Casey Pick, director of law and policy at The Trevor Project, said in a statement to Insider. "This call to take trans youth away from vital parental support — especially as 54% of trans and nonbinary youth in Florida seriously considered suicide in the past year — is the latest in a series of egregious efforts by anti-trans politicians to marginalize trans young people even further."Christian Jorbal, a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in LGBTQ health told Insider that, in addition to the practical realities of these proposed bills making life more challenging for trans youth, watching the political process where individual rights are under attack can be particularly troubling for kids in the state."Ultimately, this legislation is particularly difficult and challenging for children and adolescents," Jorbal told Insider. "And I say that because as adults, who may be sort of transgender or specifically gender diverse, on one level, we have more resources, more money, more physical access to resources, for example, to be able to connect with others who may identify with or to even participate, for example, in political protests — there are ways in which we can we can exercise our sense of agency."In adolescence, Jorbal said, it's much more difficult to feel a sense of control over one's future, and for a trans kid watching their rights get legislated away without being able to vote or participate in the political process, that can be particularly disheartening."They don't have money. They don't necessarily have the ability to access resources unless their parents are specifically supporting them and really sort of directing them through the process," Jorbal said. "They don't necessarily have the resources to be able to connect with others with whom they can identify, and they don't have the ability to engage in things that help them to feel a sense of agency. There's a lot of powerlessness in childhood and adolescence, and so it makes them pretty vulnerable."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMar 13th, 2023

A rash of proposed Florida laws are part of a targeted "genocide" against trans people, legal experts say

New bills take aim at doctors providing trans health care and change custody law to classify providing gender-affirming care as abuse. Protesters lay on the ground holding cardboard signs shaped like tombstones in front of the Marriott Fort Lauderdale Airport as the Florida Board of Medicine met inside on Aug 5, 2022.Jose A. Iglesias/El Nuevo Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images A slate of anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced in Florida this month. If passed, the bills would restrict access to gender-affirming care and classify it as child abuse. Experts told Insider the bills are posturing ahead of the 2024 presidential race. A series of new bills in Florida taking aim at health care providers offering gender-affirming care and parents who support their trans kids are part of a targeted attack against gender nonconforming people in the state, legal and mental health experts told Insider, with the aim to "erase them from public life entirely."In addition to a proposed Florida House bill that would prohibit a person's sex from being changed on their birth certificate and make gender-affirming care for minors illegal, GOP legislators in the state of Florida also proposed bills this month that would:Allow the state to modify child custody agreements if a parent supports their trans child in transitioning and classify providing gender-affirming care as child abuseMakes it a misdemeanor for a trans person to enter a bathroom that does not align with their sex assigned at birthExpand the state's controversial "Don't Say Gay" bill to include charter schools and prohibit instruction on gender identity and sexuality through the 8th grade"Florida Republicans are methodically pushing policies that encourage transgender people and their families to flee the state or erase them from public life," Carlos Guillermo Smith, a special project manager for Equality Florida and a former representative in the Florida House, told Insider. "It's government-imposed gender conformity, and if it isn't stopped, it will not end here."Smith, the first openly LGBTQ Latino lawmaker in the state, said the anti-trans legislation in Florida has escalated quickly in recent years after a bill was introduced in 2021 that banned trans kids from participating in school sports, which lawmakers claimed was over concern about fairness."That has quickly escalated to now, where we have this frightening plan to criminalize and imprison parents who help their own children access gender-affirming care, which is to tell you that it was never about women's sports," Smith told Insider. "This is Republicans, empowered by Ron DeSantis, methodically pushing policies to push trans people out of the state of Florida or erase them from public life entirely."Representatives for DeSantis did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.New legislation 'short circuits existing law'The proposed new bills go further to expand anti-trans legislation than others across the nation, disrupting established custody and health care precedent, legal experts told Insider.Brett Ward, co-chair of the top 100 law firm Blank Rome's Matrimonial and Family Law Practice Group, told Insider that Florida State Senator Clay Yarborough's proposed bill, SB 254, which would allow disapproving parents to take "emergency jurisdiction" over their children if the minor receives or is "at risk of" receiving gender-affirming care, is unprecedented in how it interferes with parental rights."It's really concerning not just from a moral perspective, which is not my area of expertise, but from a family law perspective," Ward said. "Other than the anti-trans messaging that goes along with this bill, you have the state interfering with the fundamental right of parents to make decisions concerning the care of their children, which is a Supreme Court-recognized due process right. This is an absolute trampling on that right and also, in my opinion, a trampling on the sovereignty of other states."Alejandra Caraballo, a clinical instructor at Harvard Law School's Cyberlaw Clinic and former staff attorney at the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, told Insider that Yarborough's bill "short circuits existing law and completely blows it up" by incentivizing state-sponsored kidnapping.Representatives for Yarborough told Insider the bill was proposed to protect Florida youth from "life-altering gender dysphoria therapies" and gender-affirming surgeries that are "mutilating young children."After Insider's initial reporting on SB 254, Yarborough amended the bill language to include a provision that the court is authorized to act "only to the extent necessary."A Reuters investigation found that, as of 2021, fewer than 1,500 youth in the United States under the age of 17 were taking physician-prescribed puberty blockers, and fewer than 4,500 on hormone therapies. Less than 300 received mastectomies or "top surgery," and only 56 youth under the age of 17 have received gender-affirming "bottom" or genital surgery.Representatives for Rep. Randy Fine, who proposed HB1421, a bill that would restrict gender-affirming health care in the state, did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment."I think that's important, just to note how brazen the language has become — it's genocidal rhetoric," Caraballo told Insider. "I mean, when you're talking about eradicating something like that, that's genocidal."She added: "For a long time trans people have been called alarmist because we've been seeing this bubble up from the swamps of the internet, but it's becoming more and more vocal, and it's being backed by legislation. And I think that's one other aspect to this, just how much of this is being driven by a pure drive to eliminate trans people from public life."Driven by political aspirationsAdvocates, legal scholars, and mental health professionals each told Insider the push for the latest anti-trans measures in the state of Florida appears to be driven by Gov. Ron DeSantis's apparent White House aspirations. "This is all about politics, and this is all about bolstering DeSantis is run for the presidency," Caraballo told Insider. "I think what you're seeing is essentially a race to the bottom in terms of the sheer level of depravity and animus and hatred that they can exhibit and just plain cruelty that they can exhibit towards trans people. And DeSantis has every incentive to participate and demonstrate in that cruelty."As part of that "race to the bottom," proving a track record of legislating transgender issues has become a galvanizing issue among Republican lawmakers, which both Caraballo and Ward said can be used to score easy "points" among voters who are critical of transgender people."It's a popular opinion, unfortunately, that people who get gender-affirming health care are wrong, the children who get it are wrong," Ward told Insider. "It is the state, the government, coming into the privacy of the home and invading it — which is very, very inconsistent with their positions on other issues, such as if someone has a gun in the home. That attack is extremely unfortunate, and discriminatory, and in my opinion morally wrong, and they're attacking it from every angle."As a result of the widespread attempts to legislate gender issues, Ward said, industries from health care to academia are navigating new legal territory, facing potential liability issues if they run afoul of the new laws."So there's a chilling effect on the medical community, there's a chilling effect on the educational community, about openly talking about it," Ward said. "And now they're trying to tell parents 'don't you dare go in this direction and support your children's actual identity because the legal community and the government will come down on you.' It's a comprehensive attack on the trans community."An untold impact on Florida's trans youthCaught in the middle of the attempts to legislate health care, custody agreements, and education related to trans people, are gender non-conforming youth in the state, advocates told Insider."Research has consistently found that when transgender young people feel supported by their parents and families, their odds of suicide risk can lower significantly," Casey Pick, director of law and policy at The Trevor Project, said in a statement to Insider. "This call to take trans youth away from vital parental support — especially as 54% of trans and nonbinary youth in Florida seriously considered suicide in the past year — is the latest in a series of egregious efforts by anti-trans politicians to marginalize trans young people even further."Christian Jorbal, a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in LGBTQ health told Insider that, in addition to the practical realities of these proposed bills making life more challenging for trans youth, watching the political process where individual rights are under attack can be particularly troubling for kids in the state."Ultimately, this legislation is particularly difficult and challenging for children and adolescents," Jorbal told Insider. "And I say that because as adults, who may be sort of transgender or specifically gender diverse, on one level, we have more resources, more money, more physical access to resources, for example, to be able to connect with others who may identify with or to even participate, for example, in political protests — there are ways in which we can we can exercise our sense of agency."In adolescence, Jorbal said, it's much more difficult to feel a sense of control over one's future, and for a trans kid watching their rights get legislated away without being able to vote or participate in the political process, that can be particularly disheartening."They don't have money. They don't necessarily have the ability to access resources unless their parents are specifically supporting them and really sort of directing them through the process," Jorbal said. "They don't necessarily have the resources to be able to connect with others with whom they can identify, and they don't have the ability to engage in things that help them to feel a sense of agency. There's a lot of powerlessness in childhood and adolescence, and so it makes them pretty vulnerable."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMar 13th, 2023

An anti-abortion judge overseeing a Texas lawsuit that could ban an abortion pill wanted to delay announcing the hearing date, The Washington Post reported

Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk's decision in the suit could reverse a 23-year-old FDA approval of mifepristone, a medication abortion. Matthew Kacsmaryk at the Senate Judiciary Committee's nomination hearing on December 13, 2017.U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk is overseeing a lawsuit that challenges the FDA approval of mifepristone. A ruling could have nationwide implications for the drug's availability. A hearing was scheduled for Wednesday, but the judge hoped to delay publicizing the date, per WaPo. A hearing for a lawsuit that could have significant outcomes for a government-approved abortion pill, mifepristone, has been scheduled for Wednesday.But the Texas judge overseeing the case — who is known for his conservative politics and anti-abortion stance — hoped to hide the date of the hearing until right before the scheduled date, The Washington Post reported.In a call with attorneys on Friday, Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk said he wanted to delay putting the hearing on the public docket until late Tuesday, people familiar with the call told the Post. The sources requested anonymity because they were not allowed to discuss the call, according to the publication.The lawsuit was filed by an anti-abortion group that calls itself the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine and hopes to reverse a nearly three-decade-old approval of mifepristone by the Food and Drug Administration.Kacsmaryck reasoned that he wanted to reduce possible disruptions and protests for the hearing. In addition, he told attorneys on the call that members of the courthouse have received threats due to the lawsuit, the Post reported.The courthouse, which is located in Amarillo, Texas, is closed on the weekends and could not immediately return a request for comment.Publicizing the date of a court hearing ahead of time is common practice in the US. According to the report, the Post had attempted to seek information about the date of the hearing before the Friday call but received no response.Attorneys for medical organizations including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have said the lawsuit relies on false claims that mischaracterize an otherwise safe drug.The Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine has described mifepristone in their suit as an "endocrine disrupter" — referencing how the drug temporarily blocks progesterone receptors in the uterus —  and could disrupt an adolescent's development.But attorneys for the medical groups have called the claims "completely unfounded.""There is no reason to think, nor is there evidence to show, that preventing the absorption of progesterone for a brief window would have any effects on adolescent development," the attorneys wrote in a brief, responding to the suit."Medication abortion including mifepristone is safe and effective. This is not an opinion — it is a fact based on hundreds of medical studies and vast amounts of data amassed over the course of two decades," the attorneys said."Reversing the FDA's approval of mifepristone, in whole or in any part, would cause profound and irreparable harm to patients across the country."The brief noted that the drug is not just used for abortions but also to treat people who have suffered a miscarriage. Viagra, which is associated with 4.9 deaths for every 100,000 prescriptions, and childbirth are more likely to result in death than mifepristone, the lawyers argued.Attorneys for the plaintiffs and defendants did not immediately respond to a request for comment.More than 150 abortion rights supporters gathered in front of the Amarillo courthouse in early February to express support for the pill, according to the Post.Kacsmaryk's hand in the case in particular has caused concern about the fate of the drug's approval, considering the judge's outspoken views on abortion. In his undergraduate years at Abilene Christian University,  Kacsmaryk called Deomcrat's support for abortion an indication of "moral ambivalence" in the party. Years later, he wrote an editorial for the National Catholic Register about how the right to abortion was one way "sexual revolutionaries" removed the "three pillars of marriage law."A ruling in the case could impact mifepristone's nationwide availability. Any ruling by the federal judge could lead to an appeal on the case and eventually send the lawsuit to a conservative-majority Supreme Court.When a draft ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked in May, protestors descended to the Capitol to condemn what would become one of the rare instances the Supreme Court reversed a landmark decision.Texas is now one of 13 states that have banned most abortions in the aftermath of the Court's ruling.Earlier this month, The Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit against the state on behalf of four women who say that they have gone through a near-fatal experience or illness during their pregnancy because doctors did not want to perform abortions out of concern for breaking the law.One of the women, Amanda Zurawaski, nearly died because doctors in Texas denied treatment for her even after she was told her pregnancy was not viable, the lawsuit claimed.Texas provides limited exceptions for abortions in the case of medical emergencies but the suit argues that the law provides little clarity on what those cases can be.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytMar 12th, 2023

Why Are They Afraid? Is The Release Of Suppressed J6 Footage Really A "Threat To Our Democracy"?

Why Are They Afraid? Is The Release Of Suppressed J6 Footage Really A "Threat To Our Democracy"? The release of over 40,000 hours of January 6th security footage by Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy to Tucker Carlson of Fox News has sparked an immediate backlash from Democrats who claim Carlson is exploiting the footage to misrepresent the event.  Say what you want about Fox News, but Carlson as an individual has shown consistency in his reporting and an effort to get beyond the mere surface of events.  The assertion that Carlson is misrepresenting J6 footage remains unfounded.   Leftists were not able to describe how, exactly, surveillance footage from the capitol is rigged to depict events that did not happen, but their reactionary behavior indicates a number of inconvenient truths: First, leftists went on the attack before the footage was ever received by Tucker Carlson.  They didn't want him to have it.  The Democrats at least believed that unreleased footage might show evidence contrary to their carefully crafted narrative of an “insurrection.”  Or, they knew that it would debunk their narrative.   Either way, they preemptively accused Carlson of mishandling the footage as it was made available to him.  If the public can be convinced that certain information is a lie before they ever see the information, then the release of those facts becomes irrelevant.  The populace has been strategically infected with bias, so they will not see what is right in front of their eyes. Second, Democrats and some GOP NeoCons have shown once again that they think the public should not be allowed to determine the meaning of data and evidence for themselves.  In fact, one might suspect that establishment elites have something to hide as they rage indignantly about the mere release of video surveillance.  Why are they so opposed to the public viewing the information unless that information threatens to expose establishment lies?   Third, much like the release of the Twitter Files, it is actually a majority of the corporate media that is seeking to misrepresent the evidence being revealed as rigged, incomplete or not important.  Their goal is to suppress new information, and if they can't do that they will try to undermine it by sowing false seeds of doubt.  Numerous Democrat leaders and some NeoCon politicians, without taking time to acknowledge the implications of the surveillance being presented by Tucker Carlson, have immediately denounced the footage as “lies” and “sleight of hand.”  Senator Chuck Schumer was quick to go on the attack, calling Carlson's recent segment on J6 a “perversion” of the truth.  Not only that, but Schumer openly called for Rupert Murdoch to stop Carlson and remove him.   Why?  Because “our democracy depends on” the censorship of such materials.   Watch Schumer again: "Rupert Murdoch has a special obligation to stop Tucker Carlson from going on tonight…from letting him go on again and again…our democracy depends on it." They’re going to try and take Tucker off the chessboard “because democracy”What is in those tapes?— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) March 8, 2023 NeoCon Mitch McConnell went even further, stating: "It was a mistake, in my view, for Fox News to depict this in a way that's completely at variance with what our chief law enforcement official here at the Capitol thinks.” In other words, the mainstream news should be taking its cues from government officials and repeating exactly what THEY say, rather than reporting on the evidence as it exists.  In their view, the narrative of the government supersedes the determinations of the public. This is the exact sentiment that was expressed by U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger, who argued that Carlson's conclusions were “offensive and misleading.”  Manger claimed that: "TV commentary will not record the truth for our history books...The justice system will. The truth and justice are on our side." Again, they believe that they write the truth.  They write history, and history is whatever they say it is.  The J6 Committee had one job, which was to perpetuate the historical narrative of an insurrection by conservatives on the steps of the Capitol Building.  They were not interested in the truth, which is why over 40,000 hours of surveillance footage was never released to the public.  They showed us what they wanted us to see, not the full reality.   Beyond the numerous videos showing police opening the doors and inviting protesters inside (which the media continues to lie about), there is also the question of intent which the J6 Committee was never able to prove. The FBI found no evidence that the Trump Administration had anything to do with the Capitol protesters and scant evidence of any form of organization or coordination that would be required for an insurrection.  Where were the plans for takeover?  Who intended to run the government after the supposed coup?  Where was the army that was going to secure the capitol after the insurrection's success?  None of these things existed.    In fact, none of the protesters on J6 were even armed and the only person killed when the protests turned violent was Ashli Babbitt, a protester.  It's pretty difficult to pull off an insurrection without weapons, without organization and without a plan.  In other words, there was no insurrection.  The claim is an erroneous lie, and always has been.  The establishment has tried to reinvent a protest that turned aggressive into an act of war against “democracy” itself. Tucker Carlson's footage shows what most of us already knew – That the media and elements of the government have completely overblown the events of January 6th for political gain  The footage also reconfirms that no police were killed by protesters, and yet the media continue to perpetuate that disinformation.  It is likely that Carlson will be releasing new footage for many months to come which runs contrary to the official version of events, which is why Democrats are calling for him to be taken off the air.         There is far more proven organization during the BLM and Antifa riots across the US for the past few years.  Just this week Antifa engaged in a highly organized direct attack on a police training center site near Atlanta, Georgia.  But the media doesn't want to talk about that, or how leftist groups represent a danger to our constitutional freedoms.  And it is this double standard that is only making half the country more inclined to not care about such notions.  If our system is so corrupt that the release of hard video evidence “threatens our democracy,” then maybe our democracy isn't worth saving.  Tyler Durden Thu, 03/09/2023 - 18:00.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMar 9th, 2023

Futures Rebound After Powell-Inspired Rout

Futures Rebound After Powell-Inspired Rout US stock futures were muted on Wednesday, swinging between modest gains and losses, one day after a market rout was sparked by yesterday’s warning from Fed Chair Jerome Powell that the pace of interest-rate increases may need to re-accelerate. S&P 500 futures down up 0.1% by 7:45 a.m. ET while Nasdaq futures were modestly in the green, showing marginal improvements in investor sentiment after Tuesday’s selloff, when the S&P 500 suffered the biggest decline in two weeks. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed near the highest in more than two months, as treasury yields climbed across the curve, pulling global bond markets along with them. Oil was flat while gold and Bitcoin fell extended their fall. In US premarket movers, Crowdstrike rose after the cybersecurity software company reported results and a forecast that beat expectations. WeWork shares also gained after Bloomberg News reported that the workspace rental company is in talks to raise hundreds of millions in capital to support the business. Meanwhile, Tesla dropped after Berenberg downgraded the electric vehicle maker to hold from buy, saying the shares now have less upside potential and more limited room for disappointment; also impacting Tesla was an AP report that the NHTSA had opened a probe for steering wheels that can fall off. Here are other notable premarket movers: Edwards Lifesciences slides 2% after Wells Fargo cut the recommendation on the medical technology stock to equal-weight from overweight. Maxeon Solar jumps 14.7% after the renewable energy equipment provider delivered 4Q results and a bullish first quarter forecast that beat estimates. Morgan Stanley analysts say margin and order improvements are happening quicker than expected. Rigel Pharmaceuticals surges 32% after the biotech’s earnings per share and total revenue for the fourth quarter beat analyst estimates. While analysts said that Rigel’s update was in line with January’s pre-announcement, they were positive on the prospects for the company’s two lead commercial treatments, a leukemia drug and a treatment of thrombocytopenia. Shoals Technologies Group falls 8% after an offering of 24.5m class A shares by holders priced at $24.70 via Morgan Stanley. SoundHound AI shares fell 11% after the artificial intelligence company reported wider net losses for the fourth quarter. WeWork shares gain 7% after the workspace rental company was said to be in talks to raise hundreds of millions in capital to support the business. Zymeworks jumps 9% after the biotech company’s revenue for the fourth quarter beat estimates, with Stifel highlighting that net income was better than expected and that the development of the company’s esophagus cancer drug is on track. US stocks dropped on Tuesday after Powell said the ultimate level of interest rates is likely to be higher than previously anticipated after economic data came in stronger than expected. Powell speaks to Congress again later in the day, and for the March 21-22 Fed meeting futures trading suggests a 50 basis-point rate increase is more likely than 25 — the magnitude of the Fed’s last move, although JPMorgan’s Bob Michele says a Fed reversion to 50 bp hikes would be "pretty confusing." Meanwhile, money markets are now pricing US interest rates to rise above 5.6% later this year. “We would be foolhardy to expect we can’t reach 6% on Fed rates, and clearly that has an impact on asset markets across the globe,” Rabobank strategist Jane Foley told Bloomberg Television. If the Fed has to work harder to get inflation down, “that certainly does imply recession,” she added. “The market now seems fairly convinced that there will be some sort of recession, but the employment data is still very strong,” said Roger Lee, head of UK equities at Investec Bank PLC. “There is this dilemma in the market; clearly recession risk is going up, because interest rate expectations are going up, but cyclicals have performed well this year, and that’s inconsistent with the yield inversion. There’s a tension there in the market causing a lot of uncertainty.”   Following the Tuesday selloff, the S&P 500 fell below 4,000, and a break below the 3,900 level can lead to an increase in selling pressure as this level has been a significant turning point for the US benchmark since May 2022, according to JPMorgan traders. It will all depend on the data, however: with US housing and employment data coming later today, and jobs data on Friday, investors will likely look to these as the next gage of probability for the path of interest rates. Meanwhile, rising US treasury yields are also putting further pressure on equities markets, with yield on the 2-year treasury note reaching 5% on Tuesday for the first time since 2007. “In the US, bond yields versus S&P 500 yield are virtually the same, so equities look unattractive,” said Joachim Klement, strategist at Liberum Capital Ltd. “In the US, the risk premium for holding stocks has declined to levels seen around 2008, very low. Whereas in Europe, it is at levels pretty similar to 2015-16. That’s simply a reflection of the fact that Europe and UK haven’t hiked as aggressively as the US.” European stocks were on course for a third consecutive decline following Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s hawkish message. The Stoxx 600 is down 0.3% with real estate, chemicals and utilities the worst-performing sectors. Here are the most notable European movers: Adidas shares drop as much as 2.4% after the sportswear maker slashed its dividend, missing analyst estimates, with analysts also disappointed by the lack of firm medium-term targets Darktrace shares fall 7.1% at London open after the UK cybersecurity firm, under attack by short seller Quintessential Capital Management, reduced forecast for free cash flow Thales shares drop as much as 3.7% after the French defense company’s fourth-quarter earnings, with strong free cash flow offset by weaker guidance for cash in 2023 London Stock Exchange Group falls as much as 2.6% after Blackstone, Thomson Reuters and other investors sold about $2 billion of shares at a discount Geberit shares fall as much as 4.5% after it reported a 4Q Ebitda that Morgan Stanley called “a touch light,” saying that destocking challenges at wholesalers are reduced but ongoing Admiral drops as much as 9.4%, reaching its lowest in four months, after delivering results which analysts say show headwinds in motor insurance similar to its peers Restaurant Group slumps as much as 14% after results from the Wagamama parent that analysts said were largely in line with expectations Legal & General shares fall as much 2.2% as Morgan Stanley highlighted frailty in the UK financial services firm’s underlying full-year earnings, even as solvency looks robust Fincantieri plunges as much as 9.3%, the most intraday since July 27, after the Italian shipbuilder released full-year results and an outlook for 2023 that came in below expectations Continental shares gain as much as 7.4% after the German auto-parts maker projected an adjusted Ebit margin of about 5.5% to 6.5% for this year, an improvement from the 5% it reported in 2022 TeamViewer rises 3.4% after Kepler Cheuvreux upgrades, citing improving free cash flow outlook as the software company is set to end sponsorship for Manchester United football club Quilter shares jump as much as 6.7%, the most in more than three months, after the wealth management firm reported full-year results that analysts said were stronger than anticipated Sanford C. Bernstein strategists led by Sarah McCarthy said that while the equity risk premium has fallen in recent years, European stocks are still more attractive relative to bonds but that’s no longer the case in the US. BlackRock Inc. and Schroders Plc are among those who are weighing in on the debate of what will happen if US rates peak at 6%. Earlier in the session, Asian equities also fell as hawkish comments from the Federal Reserve hurt appetite for risk assets, with China’s technology shares bearing the brunt of the selloff. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined as much as 1.5%, the most in three weeks, dragged by Tencent, Alibaba and Meituan. Fed Chair Jerome Powell told the Senate Banking Committee that the ultimate level of interest rates is likely to be higher than previously anticipated. Traders have since hiked their estimates on the terminal rate, with expectations for it to peak at about 5.6% in September. Stock gauges in Hong Kong and South Korea led losses in the region, while Japanese benchmarks were in positive territory.  Still, regional emerging markets should get some buffer from lower inflation and close-to-peak interest rates. Developed market “tightening will lead to slower growth and, ultimately, to cyclical recessions in the US, Europe and the UK later this year or next year,” said Matthew Quaife, head of multi asset investment management for Asia at Fidelity International. Emerging Asia, on the other hand, has the advantages of “falling inflation, peak monetary tightening, and attractive valuations,” he wrote in a note. The MSCI Asia gauge has been falling for two days, with sentiment shaky after a selloff in February stalled its rebound. The measure is struggling to cross its 50-day moving average amid concerns over the Fed’s policy path and a lack of major catalysts from the National People’s Congress in China. Japanese stocks climbed after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s hawkish remarks on interest rates weakened the yen to its lowest in more than two months.  The Topix Index rose 0.3% to 2,051.21 as of the market close in Tokyo, while the Nikkei advanced 0.5% to 28,444.19. Sony Group Corp. contributed the most to the Topix Index gain, increasing 0.6%. Out of 2,160 stocks in the index, 1,436 rose and 615 fell, while 109 were unchanged.  In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.8% to close at 7,307.80, weighed by declines in mining and energy shares.  The broad-based selloff comes after hawkish rhetoric from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell hurt appetite for risk taking. Meanwhile, the RBA has a “completely open mind” about its April policy meeting and will be guided by key economic data on whether to raise interest rates further or pause tightening, Governor Philip Lowe said at a conference in Sydney. Read: RBA’s Lowe Has ‘Open Mind’ on April Rate Pause, Says Data Is Key In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.5% to 11,855.54. Stocks in India were among few gainers in Asia as the benchmark Sensex advanced for a third consecutive session, helped by gains in index-heavy ITC and Larsen & Toubro. All of 10 companies controlled by the Adani Group advanced after prepayment of $902 million worth of borrowings by the founding family.  The S&P BSE Sensex erased a loss of as much as 0.6% to close 0.2% higher at 60,348.09 in Mumbai. The NSE Nifty 50 Index advanced by a similar measure. Thirteen of the 20 sector sub-gauges rose, led by utilities and power companies. Realty stocks were the worst performers. Tobacco and consume goods makers ITC contributed the most to the Sensex’s gain, increasing 1.1%. Out of 30 shares in the Sensex index, 17 rose, while 13 fell. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed as the greenback traded mixed against its Group-of-10 peers. Rabobank’s Jane Foley predicted that dollar strength would filter through to emerging economies, which could find themselves having to tighten policy further. “That leads to the impression global growth will also be slowing,” she said. The euro was little changed at $1.0542 after earlier falling to $1.0525, the weakest level in two months and close to year-to-date lows. Still, options traders don’t expect another big move over the next five trading days. Scandinavian and Antipodean currencies were the best G-10 performers, reversing earlier losses The yen was the worst G-10 performer and fell for a third day ahead of the BOJ’s monetary policy meeting later this week. Options traders trimmed hedges against gains in the yen, with 1-week risk reversals rebounding from near the lowest levels in almost nine months; 1- week implied volatility reached its highest level since mid- January. Super-long government bonds declined following weaker- than-expected auction results of 30-year debt yesterday A decline in China’s yuan saw the central bank signal its intention to support the currency. In rates, treasury yields were slightly higher, erasing a bigger spike earlier in the session which briefly pushed the 10Y back over 4.0%, with losses led by front-end as two-year yields rise another 3bps at 5.04% after Tuesday’s aggressive flattening move was extended during Asia session and European morning. 2-year yields cheaper by 3.4bp, deepening inversion of 2s10s by 3bp to -107bps with 5s30s flatter by 1.6bp; 10-year yields around 3.97% slightly cheaper vs Tuesday’s close with bunds and gilts outperforming by 2bp and 3bp in the sector. 2s10s spread reached -107.9bp, a new four-decade lows, while 5s30s breached last year’s low reaching -47.4bp, deepest inversion since 2000. UK and German two-year yields are both higher by 3bps; in UK, money markets price in a 5% BOE peak rate for the first time since October, while core European front-end trades cheaper tied to Treasuries repricing. Bunds and Italian bonds saw minor yield upticks in the front end of the curves while they were little changed further out. In the US, the Treasury auction cycle continues with $32b 10-year note reopening at 1pm, concludes with $18b 30-year reopening Thursday. WI 10-year at 3.975% is above auction stops since November and ~36bp cheaper than February’s result. In commodities, oil held onto its losses following Powell's hawkish coments; WTI hovered around $77.50.  Diversey Holdings and Permian Resources are among the most active resources stocks in early premarket trading, gaining 39% and falling 4.1% respectively. Gas markets are mixed with TTF firmer while Henry Hub is softer but remains above the USD 2.50/MMBtu mark. Spot gold is flat near $1,1814 Looking to the day ahead now, we’ll hear from Fed Chair Powell again, who’s appearing before the House Financial Services Committee. Otherwise, we’ll hear from the Fed’s Barkin, ECB President Lagarde, the ECB’s Panetta and the BoE’s Dhingra. There’s also a policy decision from the Bank of Canada. On the data side, at 7 a.m., we got mortgage applications data which showed a 7.4% bounce after last week's 5.7% drop, followed by the ADP employment report at 8:15 a.m. and JOLTs job openings figures are 10 a.m. The US will sell $32 billion of 10-year notes at 1 p.m. In Canada, the central bank is due to deliver a rate decision at 10 a.m. New York time. Over in Europe, we got German industrial production (which beat) and retail sales (which missed) for January. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures little changed at 3,990.50 MXAP down 1.1% to 159.95 MXAPJ down 1.4% to 516.16 Nikkei up 0.5% to 28,444.19 Topix up 0.3% to 2,051.21 Hang Seng Index down 2.4% to 20,051.25 Shanghai Composite little changed at 3,283.25 Sensex up 0.1% to 60,295.62 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.8% to 7,307.77 Kospi down 1.3% to 2,431.91 STOXX Europe 600 down 0.2% to 459.59 German 10Y yield little changed at 2.71% Euro little changed at $1.0540 Brent Futures down 0.2% to $83.09/bbl Gold spot up 0.0% to $1,814.19 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.11% to 105.73 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg BOE policy maker Swati Dhingra cautioned against raising interest rates further, saying that doing so could damage an already weak UK economy Ignazio Visco openly criticized ECB colleagues for making statements about future increases in borrowing costs when officials had agreed not to give such guidance Riksbank’s First Deputy Governor Anna Breman said there’s a risk that it will take longer to get Swedish inflation back to target than earlier expected and there needs to be a broader fall in inflation pressures for the central bank to stop tightening UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s deal to solve the bitter dispute with the EU over Northern Ireland’s trading arrangements has sparked hope in the City of London that the two sides could finally formalize a pledge to work together on setting rules for banks and financial markets Hungary’s headline inflation, the EU’s fastest, slowed for the first time in 19 months, to 25.4% in February from 25.7% the month before. The data matched the estimate in a Bloomberg survey Japan’s bond market dysfunction has only worsened since the central bank doubled its cap on benchmark yields in December, keeping speculation alive that Governor Haruhiko Kuroda may surprise investors one last time on Friday Japanese investors became net buyers of US sovereign bonds for the first time in five months in January, according to the Asian nation’s latest balance-of- payments data released Wednesday The surge in government bond yields over the past year is boosting the potential allure of debt for investors, even as it heightens the risk that governments will get overwhelmed by the soaring cost of servicing what they owe Australia’s central bank has a “completely open mind” about its April policy meeting and will be guided by key economic data on whether to raise interest rates further or pause tightening, Governor Philip Lowe said A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks were mostly lower amid headwinds from Wall St where risk assets suffered after Powell's hawkish testimony in which he put a 50bps hike for March in play and flagged higher terminal rate projections. ASX 200 was negative with the declines led by underperformance in the commodity-related sectors, in particular, energy after a slump in underlying oil prices, while comments from RBA Governor Lowe failed to appease investors despite opening the door for a pause at the next meeting as he also noted that it will depend on the data and that further tightening is likely to be required to return inflation to the target. Nikkei 225 bucked the trend with the index kept afloat on currency effects and as record current account and trade deficits in Japan add to the case for a slow exit from the BoJ’s ultra-easy policy. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp. conformed to the downbeat mood with Hong Kong heavily pressured by weakness in property stocks and tech amid the higher global yield environment and considering that the HKMA would have to move in lockstep should the Fed turn more aggressive. Foxconn (2317 TT) is reportedly in discussions with the Indian gov't about setting up a plant on its own, without any gov't assistance, via Economic Times. Top Asian News US House Speaker McCarthy confirmed plans to meet with Taiwanese President Tsai in the US this year but stressed the meeting doesn't preclude a trip to Taiwan later, according to Bloomberg. Taiwan's Presidential Office also said authorities are making plans and preparations for President Tsai's foreign visit this year and will announce when decisions are made, according to Reuters. US CDC is to lift COVID-19 testing travel restrictions from China on Friday, according to a Reuters source. South Korea is also to lift the pre-departure COVID-19 test requirements for travellers from China starting on March 11th, according to health authorities. Chinese Embassy in Germany commented on the report that Germany could ban Huawei and ZTE from parts of 5G networks in which it stated that China is very puzzled and strongly dissatisfied with the rash decision by Germany with no factual basis if the report is true, according to Reuters. Japanese Ministry of Finance said the January trade deficit was the largest on record and that the trade deficit tends to swing during the export-slowing month of January due in part to the Lunar Year Holidays in China, according to Reuters. RBA Governor Lowe said they are closer to the point where it will be appropriate to pause and the timing of the pause will be determined by data and assessment of the outlook, while he added further tightening is likely to be required to return inflation to the target. Lowe also stated there will be several data releases before the next board meeting and if the data suggests a pause, they will do that but if the data suggests to keep going, then that is what they will do and will have a completely open mind at board meetings. European bourses are mixed within very narrow parameters with sentiment generally tentative post-Powell and ahead of US ADP and numerous Central Bank speakers. Stateside, futures are in-fitting with their European peers, ES +0.1%, with Powell due to testify to the House in which he is likely to repeat Tuesday's hawkish Senate testimony. China PCA Retail Passenger Vehicle Sales (Feb): 10.4% Y/Y (vs prelim 9.0% Y/Y; vs -37.9% Y/Y in January); CPCA says Tesla (TSLA) exported 40.5k China-made vehicles in February (prev. 39.2k MM) Top European News BoE's Dhingra says overtightening poses a more material risk at this point, through potential negative impacts from increased borrowing costs and reduced supply capacity going forwards. A prudent strategy would hold policy steady amidst growing signs external price pressures are easing, and be prepared to respond to developments in price evolution. "My conclusion is that, given little evidence of further cost-push inflation, further tightening is a bigger risk to output and the medium-term inflation target." Adds, the FX rate is less concerning than other factors. UK Chancellor Hunt is considering providing British firms with additional tax relief on investment spending in an attempt to boost economic growth, according to Bloomberg sources. Ireland Central Bank said significant uncertainty remains for inflation and it cut its 2023 HICP forecast to 5.0% from 6.3% but raised its 2024 forecast to 3.2% from 2.8%. ECB's Visco says monetary policy will need to remain prudent and should be guided by data as it comes available; adds, he does not appreciate colleagues statements on future and prolonged increases in interest rates. ECB insider says slowing hikes to 25bps, but hiking for longer could be a compromise, Econostream reports. Traffic on the French part of the Rhine River is at a standstill due to strikes, and international traffic has been disrupted, according to a union. FX The DXY continues to pick up and has made a fresh YTD peak of 105.88 (prev. 105.63, from Jan. 6th) post-Powell; amidst this, and as the index pauses off highs, G10 peers are mixed overall. JPY is the standout laggard given yield action and pre-BoJ where Kuroda is expected to maintain the ultra-accommodative stance at his last meeting, USD/JPY at the mid-point of 137.09-137.91 parameters and above the 137.44 200-DMA. Outperforming is the AUD, though the upside comes in the context of the magnitude of downside experienced earlier in the week post-RBA and exacerbated by Powell; AUD/USD inching above 0.66, NZD around 0.61. CAD is essentially unchanged pre-BoC (newsquawk preview available) with an unconditional pause expected though options imply 60pips of break-even for the event. GBP was unfazed by BoE's Dhingra, who largely reiterated her stance from the February meeting by saying a prudent strategy would be to hold policy steady, remarks which are less-dovish than peer Tenreyro who has said a reduction is a possibility, though hasn't specified when. PBoC set USD/CNY mid-point at 6.9525 vs exp. 6.9551 (prev. 6.9156) Fixed Income Benchmarks are attempting to tick higher, though are within a handful of ticks of the unchanged mark, in what is more an attempted consolidation than any concerted upside given the magnitude of Tuesday's action. Currently, Bunds are at the top-end of 130.77-131.39 parameters with Gilts attempting to mount 100.00 as Dhingra makes the case, once again, for no further tightening. Stateside, Treasuries are similarly attempting to grind higher ahead of Powell part 2, data and 10yr supply; yields mixed and inverting further with the short-end firmer and long-end slightly softer. Commodities WTI and Brent front-month futures remain subdued around yesterday’s worst levels after both contracts settled lower by almost USD 3.00/bbl following the Powell-induced selloff. Gas markets are mixed with TTF firmer while Henry Hub is softer but remains above the USD 2.50/MMBtu mark. US Energy Inventory Data (bbls): Crude -3.8mln (exp. +0.4mln), Cushing unchanged, Gasoline +1.8mln (exp. -1.9mln), Distillate +1.9mln (exp. -1mln). Strikes are continuing at Exxon's (XOM) Port Jerome (270k BPD) and Fos Sur Mer (140k BPD) French refineries, via Union; action which is blocking fuel deliveries. Spot gold is essentially unchanged after Tuesday's marked selloff with the yellow metal above late-February lows and the 100-DMA of USD 1806/oz; base metals mixed, overall. Geopolitics Russian embassy to the US said US media leaks on sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines are intended to confuse. Furthermore, Kremlin spokesperson Peskov said the Kremlin is wondering how US officials can suggest anything regarding the 'terrorist' attack on Nord Stream without an investigation, while he suggested it is strange and smells of a 'monstrous crime', according to RIA. US Event Calendar 07:00: March MBA Mortgage Applications, prior -5.7% 08:15: Feb. ADP Employment Change, est. 200,000, prior 106,000 08:30: Jan. Trade Balance, est. -$68.7b, prior -$67.4b 10:00: Jan. JOLTs Job Openings, est. 10.5m, prior 11m 14:00: Fed Releases Beige Book Central Banks 08:00: Fed’s Barkin Speaks in Columbia, South Carolina 10:00: Powell Appears Before House Financial Service Committee 14:00: Fed Releases Beige Book DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Morning from a surprisingly snowy Surrey this morning. My commute into London is going to be interesting as soon as I send this. Even rarer than snow in Southern England in March, it was another landmark day in markets yesterday, especially for the yield curve, as the US front end hawkishness revved up yet another gear after Powell's first testimony of the week. US terminal has now gone past our street leading 5.6% forecast and closed at 5.624% (+14.8bps) last night (5.66% this morning). With US 2yr yields up +12.2bps and 10yr yields +0.06bp we saw a significant further inversion and the curve closed below -100bps (-104.9bps) for the first time since 1981. 2 and 10yr yields are up another +5.5bps and +3bps overnight with the curve breaking through -107bps. Bear in mind that on all the previous occasions that the 2s10s has been more than -100bps inverted since data is available from the early 1940s (1969, 1979, 1980 and 1981) a recession has either been underway, or has occurred within a maximum of 8 months. To highlight the rarity of such an occurrence, there have only been 7-month end closes lower than -100bps in 80 years of available data. So we are in rarefied air. In terms of the specifics of Powell's comments, the biggest takeaway was his openness to larger hikes again, saying that “we would be prepared to increase the pace of rate hikes” if the data indicated. And he also pointed to a higher terminal rate as well, saying that “the ultimate level of interest rates is likely to be higher than previously anticipated.” Those remarks from Powell mark a significant pivot for the Fed. Last year they signalled and then delivered a slowdown in rate hikes, moving away from four consecutive 75bp moves to 50bps in December, and then 25bps at the last meeting. Up to that point, all the indications had been that they wanted to move cautiously and assess the cumulative impact of what they’d delivered so far. In essence, the signal was that any further hikes would be at a 25bps pace until they stopped. But yesterday’s testimony explicitly opened the door to a more hawkish reaction function, which throws open several tail outcomes that had previously been closed off. See our economists' review of his comments yesterday, and what it might mean for Fed policy here. Powell speaks again today at the House Finance Committee but it's hard to see much new news coming after yesterday's remarks. The JOLTS data today might be the most important event for monetary policy. With a larger hike now in play for the next meeting, futures adjusted accordingly and a +40.7bps move is now priced in for March. That’s closer to 50 than 25, so it implies that investors view a 50bps move as the more likely outcome now. However, remember that before the next meeting in two weeks time, we’ve still got another jobs report on Friday as well as the CPI print next week, so there’s still plenty of evidence that could easily tip the 25 vs 50 debate one way or the other. With more Fed hikes being priced in, as already briefly mentioned, Treasuries experienced a significant selloff, with the 2yr yield (+12.2bps) hitting 5.0% for the first time since June 2007 and closing at 5.01%. That said, for 10yr Treasuries, yields were basically flat on the day (+0.06bps) with the dramatic flattening likely pricing in the higher risk of a policy error and hard landing. The increase in fed futures pricing also saw inflation expectations reprice lower with the US 2y breakevens falling -10.4bps to 3.28%. That was the first meaningful drop since the first week of February when it was at 2.3%. The prospect of more rate hikes took the steam out of the recent equity rally, with the S&P 500 (-1.53%) ending its run of three consecutive advances with its largest daily loss in two weeks. The declines were incredibly broad-based, with just 30 companies in the entire index moving higher on the day. Similarly to the day before, non-cyclical industries outperformed with consumer staples (-1.0%) the “best” performing sector while cyclicals such as banks (-3.6%), autos (-2.8%), and materials (-2.0%) declined. There were similar losses for both the NASDAQ (-1.25%) and the Dow Jones (-1.72%) as well. In Europe the STOXX 600 fell -0.77% and missed the last 0.5pp of the US equity sell-off. Unlike in the US however, European sovereign bonds actually put in a fairly strong performance. For instance, yields on 10yr bunds (-5.7bps), OATs (-4.7bps) and BTPs (-4.8bps) all saw a substantial decline on the day. That was driven in part by very good news on inflation expectations, with the ECB’s latest Survey of Consumer Expectations showing a decline in January. In particular, median expectations at the 3yr horizon came down to 2.5%, having been at 3.0% in December. That’s their lowest level since May 2022, although there are still big questions as to whether this will prove to be sustained, since the 1yr expectation only fell a tenth to 4.9% (vs. 5.0% in December). Overnight in Asia, Japanese equity markets are the only bright spot with most of the region otherwise selling off amid the overnight advances in US rates. The Nikkei 225 (+0.44%) is posting solid gains just as the Hang Seng (-2.53%), the Shanghai Composite (-0.48%) and the Kospi (-1.26%) are sliding. US equity futures are steady, with S&P 500 contracts (+0.03%) almost unchanged. There wasn’t much in the way of data yesterday, but German factory orders unexpectedly grew by +1.0% in January (vs. -0.7% expected). That was driven by a rise in foreign orders of +5.5%, whereas domestic orders fell by -5.3%. To the day ahead now, and we’ll hear from Fed Chair Powell again, who’s appearing before the House Financial Services Committee. Otherwise, we’ll hear from the Fed’s Barkin, ECB President Lagarde, the ECB’s Panetta and the BoE’s Dhingra. There’s also a policy decision from the Bank of Canada. On the data side, releases from the US include the ADP’s report of private payrolls for February, the JOLTS job openings for January, and the trade balance for January. Over in Europe, there’s also German industrial production and retail sales for January. Tyler Durden Wed, 03/08/2023 - 08:06.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytMar 8th, 2023

Scott Atlas: America"s COVID Response Was Based On Lies

Scott Atlas: America's COVID Response Was Based On Lies Authored by Scott Atlas, op-ed via, Almost all of America's leaders have gradually pulled back their COVID mandates, requirements, and closures - even in states like California, which had imposed the most stringent and longest-lasting restrictions on the public. At the same time, the media has been gradually acknowledging the ongoing release of studies that totally refute the purported reasons behind those restrictions. This overt reversal is falsely portrayed as "learned" or "new evidence." Little acknowledgement of error is to be found. We have seen no public apology for promulgating false information, or for the vilification and delegitimization of policy experts and medical scientists like myself who spoke out correctly about data, standard knowledge about viral infections and pandemics, and fundamental biology. The historical record is critical. We have seen a macabre Orwellian attempt to rewrite history and to blame the failure of widespread lockdowns on the lockdowns' critics, alongside absurd denials of officials' own incessant demands for them. In the Trump administration, Dr. Deborah Birx was formally in charge of the medical side of the White House's coronavirus task force during the pandemic's first year. In that capacity, she authored all written federal policy recommendations to governors and states and personally advised each state's public health officials during official visits, often with Vice President Mike Pence, who oversaw the entire task force. Upon the inauguration of President Joe Biden, Dr. Anthony Fauci became chief medical advisor and ran the Biden pandemic response. We must acknowledge the abject failure of the Birx-Fauci policies. They were enacted, but they failed to stop the dying, failed to stop the infection from spreading, and inflicted massive damage and destruction particularly on lower-income families and on America's children. More than 1 million American deaths have been attributed to that virus. Even after draconian measures, including school closures, stoppage of non-COVID medical care, business shutdowns, personal restrictions, and then the continuation of many restrictions and mandates in the presence of a vaccine, there was an undeniable failure—over two presidential administrations—to stop cases from rapidly escalating. Numerous experts - including John Ioannidis, David Katz, and myself - called for targeted protection, a safer alternative to widespread lockdowns, in national media beginning in March of 2020. That proposal was rejected. History's biggest public health policy failure came at the hands of those who recommended the lockdowns and those who implemented them, not those who advised otherwise. WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 09: White House coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx speaks as (L-R) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia listen during the daily coronavirus briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on April 09, 2020 in Washington, DC. U.S. unemployment claims have approached 17 million over the past three weeks amid the COVID-19 pandemic.ALEX WONG/GETTY IMAGES The tragic failure of reckless, unprecedented lockdowns that were contrary to established pandemic science, and the added massive harms of those policies on children, the elderly, and lower-income families, are indisputable and well-documented in numerous studies. This was the biggest, the most tragic, and the most unethical breakdown of public health leadership in modern history. In a democracy, indeed in any ethical and free society, the truth is essential. The American people need to hear the truth—the facts, free from the political distortions, misrepresentations, and censorship. The first step is to clearly state the harsh truth in the starkest possible terms. Lies were told. Those lies harmed the public. Those lies were directly contrary to the evidence, to decades of knowledge on viral pandemics, and to long-established fundamental biology. Here are the 10 biggest falsehoods - known for years to be false, not recently learned or proven to be so—promoted by America's public health leaders, elected and unelected officials, and now-discredited academics: 1. SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has a far higher fatality rate than the flu by several orders of magnitude. 2. Everyone is at significant risk to die from this virus. 3. No one has any immunological protection, because this virus is completely new. 4. Asymptomatic people are major drivers of the spread. 5. Locking down—closing schools and businesses, confining people to their homes, stopping non-COVID medical care, and eliminating travel—will stop or eliminate the virus. 6. Masks will protect everyone and stop the spread. 7. The virus is known to be naturally occurring, and claiming it originated in a lab is a conspiracy theory. 8. Teachers are at especially high risk. 9. COVID vaccines stop the spread of the infection. 10. Immune protection only comes from a vaccine. None of us are so naïve as to expect a direct apology from critics at my employer, Stanford University, or in government, academic public health, and the media. But to ensure that this never happens again, government leaders, power-driven officials, and influential academics and advisors often harboring conflicts of interest must be held accountable. Personally, I remain highly skeptical that any government investigation or commission can avoid politicization. Regardless of their intention, all such government-run inquiries will at least be perceived as politically motivated and their conclusions will be rejected outright by many. Those investigations must proceed, though, if only to seek the truth, to teach our children that truth matters, and to remember G.K. Chesterton's critical lesson that "Right is right, even if nobody does it. Wrong is wrong, even if everybody is wrong about it." *  *  * Scott W. Atlas, MD is the Robert Wesson Senior Fellow in health policy at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, Co-Director of the Global Liberty Institute, Founding Fellow of Hillsdale's Academy for Science & Freedom, and author of A Plague Upon Our House: My Fight at the Trump White House to Stop COVID from Destroying America (Bombardier Press, 2022). Tyler Durden Tue, 03/07/2023 - 16:20.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytMar 7th, 2023

Rickards: One Of The Biggest Propaganda Campaigns Ever...

Rickards: One Of The Biggest Propaganda Campaigns Ever... Authored by James Rickards via, It’s extremely difficult to find the truth about the war in Ukraine. The first reason for this is because… it’s a war. Wars are always difficult to gauge in real-time. The phrase “fog of war” was invented to convey the uncertainty and imprecision about the progress of any particular war. Still, there’s another reason the war in Ukraine is confusing for so many. It’s because the Ukrainian propaganda effort is one of the most astonishingly effective concoctions of lies ever seen. From the “Ghost of Kyiv” fighter ace to the “Heroes of Snake Island” to wildly exaggerated claims of Russian casualties to the suppression of any news that reflects badly on Ukraine, the Ukrainian propaganda machine has been firing on all cylinders. This might be expected given that President Zelenskyy is a former actor and comedian. He’s used to the media stage and making up scenes for the audience. Zelenskyy is backed up by a small army of media advisers and amplified by sympathizers including President Biden, U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and outlets like The New York Times. Courage Under (Phony) Fire The latest propaganda stunt was Joe Biden’s trip to Kyiv a few days before the first anniversary of the Russian invasion. Biden made a canned speech, authorized another $500 million in weapons and hopped back onto a train to Poland. The propaganda pièce de résistance was when Biden and Zelenskyy walked into an open courtyard and the Kyiv air raid sirens began blaring. The Russians had been advised in advance that Biden would be there, and they agreed not to stage any raids during Biden’s visit. In fact, there had been no raids for some time. No one saw any planes, drones or missiles. The sirens were just a stage effect intended to create a false sense of danger to be picked up as a soundtrack by global media. Ukraine is losing the war badly but you can’t blame Westerners for believing otherwise. They’re all victims of the Zelenskyy-Ukraine propaganda machine. What about the sanctions? How are they working out? Sorry, but I Was Right U.S. and EU sanctions on Russia because of Ukraine have been worse than a complete failure. They have failed to change Russia’s behavior, have failed to hurt Russia’s economy in a material way and have boomeranged to hurt the U.S., Europe and many Western financial institutions. I wrote about this last year in March and April not long after the war began. My comments were greeted with skepticism (at best) and extreme criticism (at worse). No matter. I was right then and the evidence since has been overwhelming. The Russian ruble is stronger today than before the war began. Russian oil and gas revenue is higher than it was before the war. Russian oil is being sold at a discount to India and China, but Russia is making up the discount in increased volume. The Russian economy was only down about 3% in 2022 (earlier estimates expected it to fall around 20% or more), and the Russian economy is expected to show modest growth this year versus likely recessions in the U.S. and Europe. Russia and China are far along in developing an interoperative payments and settlement system for international transactions that will replace the SWIFT system that Russia was ejected from. Actually damaging Russian institutions is extremely difficult because Russia has spent years preparing for just such a financial attack from the United States. Its banks are robust with good liquidity and access to interbank facilities, even without the benefit of SWIFT or Western correspondents. Meanwhile, Russia continues to destroy the Ukrainian army with missiles from North Korea, drones from Iran and its own massive industrial capacity. The Only Card the U.S. Can Play So Ukraine is losing on the battlefield and the U.S.-led sanctions regime against Russia has failed. The only U.S. response is to escalate the conflict. The escalation of U.S. weaponry provided to Ukraine is stunning. We started with Stinger surface-to-air missiles to shoot down Russian aircraft, and Javelin missiles, which are potent anti-tank weapons (although the British NLAW system being used in Ukraine is apparently better). Next, we provided the HIMARS, which is a long-range heavy artillery piece with precision-guided shells. Ukraine has used it to good effect, although it seems the Russians have developed means to counter it. Contrary to what the propaganda machine says, the Russians aren’t idiots. In fact, the very head of Ukraine’s military has said that “all military science is located in Russia.” Anyway, since the delivery of HIMARS, the U.S., the U.K. and Germany have pledged to provide top-of-the-line tanks including the U.S. Abrams tank, the U.K. Challenger 2 and the German Leopard 2. Incidentally, there are unconfirmed reports that some Leopards are now appearing on the battlefield. Then, without skipping a beat, Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy demanded F-16 fighter jets. Biden said no, but he also said no to tanks at first. It’s likely just a matter of time before he approves the F-16s. All of this has been backed up with billions of dollars of intelligence, surveillance and communications systems designed to spot Russian targets and direct the application of U.S. weapons. That’s to say nothing about the actual presence of NATO forces on the ground in Ukraine. Some sources indicate that as many as 20,000 Polish troops are on the front lines dressed in Ukrainian uniforms, making them foreign mercenaries. U.S. and U.K. forces are also on the ground there not in uniform, which is a violation of the Geneva Conventions. Of course, this is no secret to the Russians. They recently warned us to withdraw all NATO personnel and equipment from Ukraine. If we don’t, the Russians renewed the warning that they could become legitimate targets. Ukraine Is Losing Still, none of this assistance has been particularly effective. Ukraine is losing the war badly as Russia slowly and methodically wears down Ukrainian forces along a broad front. Russia nearly has the strategically important city of Bakhmut encircled and will probably have it completely cut off before long, trapping 20,000–30,000 Ukrainian soldiers. The loss of Bakhmut will be a significant defeat for Ukraine, as it will significantly weaken their defense line in the Donbas. They really only have one defense line to fall back to, and it’s notably weaker than the line they’re currently fighting to hold. If Russia eventually manages to break through that last line, there’s very little between that line and the Dnieper River to stop them. None of this is an indictment of the Ukrainian military, by the way. They’ve fought hard and bravely, and continue to do so. It’s just that they’re facing a superior force that significantly outnumbers them in tanks, aircraft, artillery and, importantly, ammunition. They’re simply outgunned. Where’s the Cavalry? Meanwhile, many of the weapons pledged (including the tanks) have not actually arrived and may not be ready for six months or more. Ukraine could sure use them now! The F-16s in particular are a pipe dream because Ukrainian pilots don’t know how to fly them, and training can take almost a year. It’s possible that NATO pilots could secretly pilot them, but just think of the Russian propaganda victory if they shoot down and capture NATO pilots who aren’t supposed to be flying over Ukraine. Still, apart from their effectiveness, another question arises. Can the U.S., the U.K. and Germany actually afford to provide these weapons without damaging their own readiness in the event of wars elsewhere? The fact is Western arsenals have been badly depleted because of the weapons and ammunition provided to Ukraine. The European arsenals were not large to begin with, but even the U.S. supplies dropped into the danger zone. The situation is worse than that because the shortages cannot be made up quickly. The U.S. has shut down many ammunition factories since the Cold War ended. These can be restarted but full wartime mobilization takes years, not weeks. World War II is a good example. By 1943, the U.S. was producing wartime aircraft at a rate of almost 100,000 planes per year. But in 1941, that number was only 18,000. The Ford Motor Co. basically stopped automobile production and converted its huge River Rouge factory to aircraft production for the duration. That fivefold increase in fighters and bombers took two years to achieve. It was not done in months. It’s fair to ask if this war is worth it in broad terms. It’s even more pointed to ask if it’s worth jeopardizing U.S. national security by running down vital inventories of weapons to prop up a corrupt oligarchy in Eastern Europe. The American people may discover the hard way that the answer to both questions is no. Tyler Durden Fri, 03/03/2023 - 14:09.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytMar 3rd, 2023