1320: Quarantine Dodgers

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 5m
February 11th, 2021
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Executive Producers: Dave Fugazzotto Duke of America's Heartland and the Arabian Peninsula, Duke Walkman, Jason Bybel, Jeff Phelps, Sir David Wilson, Matt Litke

Associate Executive Producers: Sir Brian Loe, Sir Ever of the What, Kelly Burney, Charlie Henry, HANS JAQUEZ, Joshua Reed, Karla Rinehart, Dame Nurse Kaytlyn, Nikki and the Luckydogs

Cover Artist: Tante Neel

Chapters

0:00
Start of Show
Woodstock
12:02
Victor Davis Hanson, Hoover Institution: We are under CCP rule
KanadaDay
19:40
Alan Dershowitz - M5M omitting key piece of Trump Speech
salyer
50:05
*boodledeedoop!* BALLS.
Guest producer
1:20:00
Start of first donation segment
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1:37:13
No More Rat'z Nesting
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1:52:41
Shut up Slave
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2:05:38
anti "free speech podcasting" journalists
No Agenda Shop
2:18:43
Cops
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2:19:47
Contra Zinn. Dvorak and Mary Grabar Clips.
Sweejak
2:50:11
Start of 3rd Segment
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2:55:20
end of meetups pitch
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3:01:31
End of Show mixes
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Let Us Out!
Angela Merkle uses variants
She also warned that the new mutations, which are already present in Germany, "may destroy any success" already achieved by the monthslong lockdown.
"I really support the fact that when it comes to further openings and reopenings we've decided on the basis of these new mutations, not to give dates, but to give infection rates," she said.
The government is now also aiming for an infection rate of 35 new infections per 100,000 people in the past seven days. This number is lower than the previous rate of 50 that was considered necessary to allow contact tracing to function.
Testing rule changes
The health department has been using a calculation known as the "people over people" method for calculating the seven-day average positive test rate for COVID-19. This method is calculated by dividing the number of people who have tested positive for the disease by the total number of people tested and is reported at 15.4% for Monday.
However, since the "people over people" method is only counting unique people who have tested positive for the disease and the unique number of tests, it doesn't account for people who have had repeat positive or negative tests in the past 90 days, according to the health department.
Monday, the health department introduced a new method for calculating this statistic, known as the "test over test" method. This method is calculated by dividing the total number of positive tests by the total number of tests administered, and is reported at 7.3% Monday.
Since the "test over test" method includes duplicate tests, it biases the seven-day positivity average lower, according to the health department. However, it also better reflects Utah's increased COVID-19 testing capacity since it accounts for duplicate positive and negative tests. The "people over people" method skews the positivity rate higher, since duplicate negative tests aren't counted.
Schools balance safety in the bitter cold with COVID safety
Mon, 08 Feb 2021 12:44
MT. HOREB (WKOW) -- Frigid weather can be tough for young students waiting for school buses early in the morning, but some pandemic protocols may make the bus ride colder, as well.
When kids K-5 return to class Monday in Mt. Horeb, those who are taking the bus will do so with the windows down.
"This is a protocol that we put into practice," said superintendent Dr. Steve Salerno.
He says they've been cracking the windows open on buses as part of their COVID protocol, since it's a space where kids have to be close together. Salerno says the idea came from guidance from both the CDC and local health officials.
The pandemic doesn't stop when the weather gets cold, so he says the windows will still have to go down.
"Certainly, we'll have the heaters going on the bus, and not every window is down to the fullest extent," he said.
Salerno wrote a Facebook post Friday explaining the protocol, and also explaining how the district decides when to cancel in-person class outright due to the weather.
"We want people to make informed decisions for their little ones," he said.
Cracking the windows does improve airflow, but it also makes the bus quite a bit colder -- an example of COVID protocols butting heads with this frigid winter weather.
Another example -- recess.
"Our kids also need some time where they're just taking a break from masks," Salerno said.
That has been during recess, but it's hard to keep kids outside for long in this bitter cold.
Inside the building, they have new technology to keep the air flowing. It cycles in outside air more often, but it has a few drawbacks.
"We have notified families that they should have their kids dress in layers, because when you do introduce that much fresh air of course, it does get a little chillier inside," Salerno said.
Salerno says he talks frequently with both public health officials and other superintendents about ways to stay safe from both COVID and the cold -- meeting several times a week over Zoom.
In the meetings, they brainstorm ideas for creative solutions -- such as when a quick pivot to virtual is necessary due to the weather.
"Staff members who live out in the country on a day like today might not necessarily have good internet," Salerno said. "So as much as I can cue our teachers that (a switch to virtual) might be a possibility, they can record their lesson at school and upload it."
For months, school districts have been trying to stay one step ahead of the coronavirus. Now, they've got to work to stay one step ahead of the cold, as well.
As alcohol abuse rises, hospitals see wave of deadly liver disease...
Mon, 08 Feb 2021 15:15
Alcohol abuse, a problem before the pandemic, has worsened the last year, causing an increase hospitalizations for liver disease. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)As the pandemic sends thousands of recovering alcoholics into relapse, hospitals across the country have reported dramatic increases in alcohol-related admissions for critical diseases such as alcoholic hepatitis and liver failure.
Alcoholism-related liver disease was a growing problem even before the pandemic, with 15 million people diagnosed with the condition around the country, and with hospitalizations doubling over the last decade.
But the pandemic has dramatically added to the toll. Although national figures are not available, admissions for alcoholic liver disease at Keck Hospital of USC were up 30% in 2020 compared with 2019, said Dr. Brian Lee, a transplant hepatologist who treats the condition in alcoholics.
Specialists at hospitals affiliated with the University of Michigan, Northwestern University, Harvard University and Mount Sinai Health System in New York City said rates of admissions for alcoholic liver disease have leapt by up to 50% since March.
High levels of alcohol ingestion lead to a constellation of liver diseases due to toxic byproducts associated with the metabolism of ethanol. In the short term, these byproducts can trigger extensive inflammation that leads to hepatitis. In the long term, they can lead to the accumulation of fatty tissue, as well as the scarring characteristic of cirrhosis '-- which can, in turn, cause liver cancer.
Since the metabolism of alcohol varies among individuals, these diseases can show up after only a few months of heavy drinking. Some people can drink heavily without experiencing side effects for a long time; others can suffer severe immune reactions that rapidly send them to the hospital.
Leading liver disease specialists and psychiatrists believe the isolation, unemployment and hopelessness associated with COVID-19 are driving the explosion in cases.
''There's been a tremendous influx,'' said Dr. Haripriya Maddur, a hepatologist at Northwestern Medicine. Many of her patients ''were doing just fine'' before the pandemic, having avoided relapse for years. But subject to the stress of the pandemic, ''all of the sudden, [they] were in the hospital again,'' she said.
Across these institutions, the age of patients hospitalized for alcoholic liver disease has dropped. A trend toward increased disease in people younger than 40 ''has been alarming for years,'' said Dr. Raymond Chung, a hepatologist at Harvard University and president of the American Assn. for the Study of Liver Disease. ''But what we're seeing now is truly dramatic.''
Maddur has also treated young adults hospitalized with the jaundice and abdominal distension emblematic of the disease '-- a pattern she attributes to the pandemic-era intensification of economic struggles faced by the demographic.
At the same time that these young adults may be entering the housing market or starting a family, entry-level employment, particularly in the vast, crippled hospitality industry, is increasingly hard to come by.
''They have mouths to feed and bills to pay, but no job,'' she said, ''so they turn to booze as the last coping mechanism remaining.''
Women may be suffering disproportionately from alcoholic liver disease during the pandemic because they metabolize alcohol at slower rates than men. Lower levels of the enzyme responsible for degrading ethanol leads to higher levels of the toxin in the blood and, in turn, more extensive organ damage in women compared with men who drink the same amount. (The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that women have one drink or fewer per day, compared with two or fewer for men.)
Socially, the ''stress of the pandemic has, in some ways, particularly targeted women,'' said Dr. Jessica Mellinger, a hepatologist at the University of Michigan. Lower wages, lower job stability and the burdens of parenting tend to fall more heavily on women's shoulders, she said.
''If you have all of these additional stressors, with all of your forms of support gone '-- and all you have left is the bottle '-- that's what you'll resort to,'' Mellinger said. ''But a woman who drinks like a man gets sicker faster.''
Nationwide, more adults are turning to the bottle during the pandemic: One study found rates of alcohol consumption in the spring of 2020 were up 14% compared with the same period in 2019; another found drinkers consumed nearly 30% more than in pre-pandemic months. Unemployment, isolation, lack of daily structure and boredom all have increased the risk of heightened alcohol use.
''The pandemic has brought out our uneasy relationship with alcohol,'' said Dr. Timothy Fong, an addiction psychiatrist at UCLA. ''We've welcomed it into our homes as our crutch and our best friend.''
These relapses, and the hospitalizations they cause, can be life-threatening. More than 1 in 20 patients with alcohol-related liver failure die before leaving the hospital, and alcohol-related liver disease is the leading cause for transplantation.
The disease also makes people more susceptible to COVID-19: Patients with liver disease die of COVID-19 at rates three times higher than those without it, and alcohol-associated liver disease has been found to increase the risk of death from COVID-19.
Some physicians, like Maddur, are concerned the stressors leading to increased alcohol consumption and liver disease may stretch well into the future '-- even after lockdowns lift.
''I think we're only on the cusp of this,'' she said. ''Quarantine is one thing, but the downturn of the economy, that's not going away anytime soon.''
Others, like Lee, are more optimistic '-- albeit cautiously.
''The vaccine is coming to a pharmacy near you, COVID-19 will end, and things will begin to get back to normal,'' he said. ''But the real question is whether public health authorities decide to act in ways that combat [alcoholic liver disease].
''Because people are just fighting to cope day to day right now.''
This story was produced by KHN (Kaiser Health News), which publishes California Healthline, an editorially independent service of the California Health Care Foundation. KHN is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.
Britain's Covid apartheid: 10 years in jail for quarantine dodgers from developing countries is draconian and utterly unjust
Wed, 10 Feb 2021 15:39
Damian Wilson
is a UK journalist, ex-Fleet Street editor, financial industry consultant and political communications special advisor in the UK and EU.
The UK government's ridiculous new authoritarian penalty for arrivals from 'red list' countries who skip the mandatory hotel quarantine exposes a shameful 'them and us' outlook at the heart of public health policy.
Ten years in prison is a tough sentence and usually reserved as punishment for crimes at the serious end of the scale '' child grooming, sexual assault, fraud, various firearms offences, and failing to disclose the travel destination you've just returned home from.
Thanks to Health Secretary Matt Hancock's announcement of quarantine restrictions for incoming travellers, anyone who attempts to hide that they are returning from one of 33 countries currently on the UK's 'red list' of banned destinations, with the intention of skirting around the latest authoritarian restrictions, risks not just a £10,000 fine, but a 10-year jail stretch as well.
Of course, we all understand the public health rationale behind the new hotel quarantine rules. But to punish those who infringe them with penalties usually reserved for crimes such as indecent assault, fraud, burglary, threats to kill, rioting, and possession of an unlicensed shotgun seems somewhat heavy-handed.
Also on rt.com UK government announces hotel quarantine for 'red-list' arrivals in effort to stem spread of Covid variants Arrivals from anywhere on the red list '' which includes plenty of countries in Africa and South America, plus the United Arab Emirates and Portugal '' have to spend 10 days in one of 16 government-designated hotels, where they will be charged £1,750 for their stay.
And in case they get any funny ideas about doing a midnight flit, the government has promised there will be ''visible security'' making sure they follow the rules.
Welcome to the United Kingdom. Now get inside that hotel room and shut the door. Or else!
It's an appalling way to treat people, particularly when populations around the globe have already faced unprecedented and lengthy restrictions on their freedom of movement and personal liberties. Now here, in our own highly evolved Western democracy, we are locking human beings up like animals in quarantine under threat of serious punishment.
Anyone browsing the red list won't help but notice the 'developing world' flavour of the nations that make up the destinations. Not only have these countries also faced their individual struggles with the coronavirus pandemic, many are also facing continuing problems in securing vaccines at anywhere near the volume needed or at the speed of the UK, the USA or '' while hard to believe '' even the EU.
Also on rt.com Dumping people in quarantine hotels to stop the spread of potential mutant Covid strains shows that paranoia now rules UK policy I can't be the only one to think there's a bit a coronavirus apartheid here. If the UK, which has been incredibly slow in tackling the issue of border closures, wants to prevent Covid variants arriving on our shores, then surely the shutters should be pulled down for all arrivals from all overseas destinations, and not just those from a very particular list of 33?
After all, it's that 'no exceptions' strategy which has proven so effective in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Taiwan. If the UK is serious about preventing imported variants, then there is no point taking half measures. They just don't work.
And this half-baked approach, first mooted a fortnight ago, won't even come into effect until next week, so it could well be a case of shutting the stable door three weeks after the Covid-19 horse bolted.
Does that really scream 'Urgent!' to anyone?
Whatever the truth, there is no denying this seems clumsy, over the top and most likely to prove ineffectual. It is hard not to notice that while the vaccine purchase and rollout has unquestionably been handled effectively and with remarkable foresight, this has not been organised by the usual suspects '' PM Boris Johnson et al '' but by the NHS.
Also on rt.com 'Like being in prison': The grim reality of what you can expect from a stay in hotel quarantine The threat of 10-year prison sentences for UK arrivals without the financial means or the emotional will to endure 10 days' quarantine in an airport hotel exposes a government reverting to type. It's from the same playbook that gave us the language of the ''world-beating'' track and trace system, the ''moonshot'' vaccination programme, and the promise that normal life would resume by Christmas last year.
It's gung-ho boosterism exploiting a shift in the public mood, buoyed by the roll-out of a vaccine programme, to tighten the screws on freedom just a little bit more in the hope that people will show tolerance in light of the belief that an end to this crisis is near.
Meanwhile, those caught in this most recently laid bear trap when it snaps shut next week face the prospect of three hotel meals a day, the monotony of daytime television and a selection of pillows. And if that's too much for them, it's a lumpy mattress, plastic cutlery, and laps around the prison yard. Some choice.
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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.
Dutch Speedskaters Waited 24 Years for Canals to Freeze. Then the Pandemic Froze Their Dream Race. - WSJ
Thu, 11 Feb 2021 13:42
The Netherlands have been waiting 24 winters for a cold snap like this one. Not too windy, not too snowy, and temperatures sinking like a bike in a canal. That's because these are the precise conditions required for the ultimate Dutch sporting event: a 200-kilometer speedskating race on frozen waterways through 11 cities in Friesland.
It's known as the Elfstedentocht. And it's pronounced'...don't worry about it.
Because it depends so heavily on climate, the race has been held only 15 times since 1909, most recently in 1997. There has never been a drought this long. Dutch people worried that climate change meant they would never have a winter cold enough or long enough again'--until they stepped outside last weekend and found the weather starting to cooperate with temperatures in the teens.
There is only one problem now: the Elfstedentocht stars are aligning in the middle of a pandemic. Under current Covid-19 restrictions in the Netherlands, the race would not be allowed to happen, even if the ice grows thick enough.
That hasn't stopped Dutch speed skaters from watching the weather and their government, and praying for a way to make it possible. The most famous people in the country right now are meteorologists.
''I'm looking every day, sometimes 10 times a day, at the weather models,'' said 53-year-old Henk Angenent, the 1997 Elfstedentocht champion and one of three living winners of the men's race. ''I think the winter is coming back at the end of next week. It's what I feel.''
The hype has snowballed so fast that Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is being forced to treat ice skating as a matter of state. While it would be permissible to head onto the ice with one other person, he said, any mass event simply couldn't fit with the country's rules on physical distancing. Organizers say an Elfstedentocht would attract between 1 and 2 million fans to the edge of the canals.
But the clamor for a few allowances is growing. Dutch speedskating legend Erben Wennemars laid out the case for more cold and fewer restrictions in his newspaper column.
''We have been at home for months and have no idea how long this situation will continue,'' he wrote in the Algemeen Dagblad. ''Many people need a ray of hope. A dot on the horizon. Maybe a small miracle, a fairy tale that gives us hope again.''
In any other year, an Elfstedentocht could be announced with just 48 hours notice. Organizers formally known as Royal Association of the Eleven Frisian Cities, put together a plan every winter and wait for a deep freeze. It takes two weeks of temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit and ice at least 6 inches thick to support some 30,000 skaters. More often than not, the local ''ice masters'' have to nix the whole thing.
So when organizers declared last November that there would be no Elfstedentocht this winter, it was a safe bet that the whole exercise would be academic again. Then the first signs of ice this month made skaters start to dream.
''We've never been closer, if you look at the weather,'' said Immie Jonkman, a member of the Elfstedentocht's board. But, she added, much of the hype has come from the rest of the country. Frieslanders more in tune with how their canals behave have been a little more measured. ''It's great to have something to think about besides corona. I think that's why people are getting so excited about ice.''
Whether or not Elfstedentocht happens'--and Jonkman insists that it won't'--the Netherlands are still giddy at the prospect of what they call ''natural ice.'' Having a chance to skate on canals again is seen as a chance to reconnect with Dutchness in a way that knocking back a Heineken or picking a bunch of tulips just can't match.
''It's a cultural heritage for us,'' said Richard Plugge, the director of the Jumbo-Visma cycling team who has been advising national speedskating authorities on potential Covid protocols. ''The natural ice defrosts the Dutch. It makes us a warm, happy family.''
Even that has become a rarity in recent years due to climate change, according to Sytse Kroes, an Ice Master who remembers skating 5 miles to school during his childhood winters. A small band of devotees in recent years have cobbled together an alternative Elfstedentocht on the Weissensee in Austria. Others make regular trips to Sweden to get their natural ice fix.
''But it's terrible,'' Kroes said. ''In Sweden, you have to skate on lakes. Here you can skate from city to city.''
Kroes talks about icy winters in Friesland like they're vintages of fine wine: 1968 was a great year. So was 1987. One subzero spell in 2012 seemed like it might produce a Grand Cru season only for the Elfstedentocht to be called off at the last moment. Ten days of freezing hadn't been enough.
One small consolation could be the running of the marathon speedskating championships for elite athletes, which haven't been held in nearly a decade. The government has expressed cautious support for the idea and the sport's governing body is studying how to create a restricted environment around a lake'--or, in Dutch, a ''Natuurijs Bubbel.''
All of this hinges, of course, on the Netherlands staying cold. A few extra degrees or a couple of days of snow (Kroes points out that snow ice is the enemy) could punt the entire conversation into 2022. The coming days will be crucial to determine whether any skating is possible at all. For the Elfstedentocht, however, the wait is set to continue, 24 years and counting.
''We're only at the start of an ice period,'' Kroes said. ''But people have no patience anymore.''
Write to Joshua Robinson at Joshua.Robinson@wsj.com
514 more COVID-19 cases, 2 deaths reported Monday in Utah | KSL.com
Thu, 11 Feb 2021 14:56
SALT LAKE CITY '-- Utah's number of COVID-19 cases increased by 514 on Monday, with two more deaths reported, according to the Utah Department of Health.
There are now an estimated 30,559 active cases of the disease in Utah. The rolling seven-day average number of positive cases per day is now at 1,133, according to the health department. The positive test rate per day for that time period is now 15.4%.
There are 308 COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized in Utah, including 112 in intensive care, state data shows. About 73% of Utah's intensive care unit hospital beds are now filled, including about 79% of ICU beds in the state's 16 referral hospitals, state data shows. About 50% of Utah's non-ICU hospital beds are occupied Monday.
A total of 417,024 vaccines have been administered in the state, up from 413,937 Sunday. Of those, 103,806 are second doses of the vaccine, according to state data.
The new numbers indicate a 0.1% increase in positive cases since Sunday. Of the 2,079,688 people tested for COVID-19 in Utah so far, 17.1% have tested positive for the disease. The state has conducted 3,480,503 total tests since the beginning of the pandemic, up 7,216 since Sunday. Of those, 3,653 were tests of people who had not previously been tested for COVID-19, according to the health department.
The health department has been using a calculation known as the "people over people" method for calculating the seven-day average positive test rate for COVID-19. This method is calculated by dividing the number of people who have tested positive for the disease by the total number of people tested and is reported at 15.4% for Monday.
However, since the "people over people" method is only counting unique people who have tested positive for the disease and the unique number of tests, it doesn't account for people who have had repeat positive or negative tests in the past 90 days, according to the health department.
Monday, the health department introduced a new method for calculating this statistic, known as the "test over test" method. This method is calculated by dividing the total number of positive tests by the total number of tests administered, and is reported at 7.3% Monday.
Since the "test over test" method includes duplicate tests, it biases the seven-day positivity average lower, according to the health department. However, it also better reflects Utah's increased COVID-19 testing capacity since it accounts for duplicate positive and negative tests. The "people over people" method skews the positivity rate higher, since duplicate negative tests aren't counted.
The true average is somewhere in the middle of the average reported by both methods, health department state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn said. While the numbers are different, the trends for both methods are fairly similar, she added. The health department will continue to report both methods for calculating the average.
At least 37 other states are using the "test over test" method, so using it for Utah's cases will allow for a better comparison of Utah's pandemic to that of other states, the health department said.
The World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that a positivity rate of 3-5% is needed to indicate that a state or other jurisdiction has the pandemic under control, and that benchmark is based on the test over test method, according to Dunn.
One of the deaths reported Monday was a Washington County man who was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was hospitalized when he died. The other death was a Utah County woman who was between the ages of 45 and 64 and was hospitalized when she died.
Monday's totals give Utah 355,122 total confirmed cases, with 13,889 total hospitalizations and 1,738 total deaths from the disease. An estimated 322,825 Utah COVID-19 cases are now considered to be recovered, the health department reported.
There is not a COVID-19 news conference scheduled for Monday. Utah officials typically provide updates at news conferences once a week on Wednesdays or Thursdays.
Methodology:Test results now include data from PCR tests and antigen tests. Positive COVID-19 test results are reported to the health department immediately after they are confirmed, but negative test results may not be reported for 24 to 72 hours.
The total number of cases reported by the Utah Department of Health each day includes all cases of COVID-19 since Utah's outbreak began, including those who are currently infected, those who have recovered from the disease, and those who have died.
Recovered cases are defined as anyone who was diagnosed with COVID-19 three or more weeks ago and has not died.
Referral hospitals are the 16 Utah hospitals with the capability to provide the best COVID-19 health care.
Deaths reported by the state typically occurred two to seven days prior to when they are reported, according to the health department. Some deaths may be from even further back, especially if the person is from Utah but has died in another state.
The health department reports both confirmed and probable COVID-19 case deaths per the case definition outlined by the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists. The death counts are subject to change as case investigations are completed.
For deaths that are reported as COVID-19 deaths, the person would not have died if they did not have COVID-19, according to the health department.
Data included in this story primarily reflects the state of Utah as a whole. For more localized data, visit your local health district's website.
More information about Utah's health guidance levels is available at coronavirus.utah.gov/utah-health-guidance-levels.
Information is from the Utah Department of Health and coronavirus.utah.gov/case-counts. For more information on how the Utah Department of Health compiles and reports COVID-19 data, visit coronavirus.utah.gov/case-counts and scroll down to the "Data Notes" section at the bottom of the page.
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Vaccines and such
Iran cleric: People who are vaccinated for COVID have 'become homosexuals - The Jerusalem Post
Sun, 07 Feb 2021 21:21
An Iranian policeman takes out his gun ahead of a hanging.
(photo credit: REUTERS/RAHEB HOMAVANDI)
Iran's regime has executed 4,000-6,000 gays and lesbians since its 1979 Islamic revolution. An Iranian regime cleric in the holy city of Qom on Tuesday issued a homophobic rant against people vaccinated for COVID-19, claiming that they become gay after receiving the vaccine.
Ayatollah Abbas Tabrizian wrote on his Telegram social media platform: ''Don't go near those who have had the COVID vaccine. They have become homosexuals.''
The radical Islamist has nearly 210,000 followers on his Telegram account.
Tabrizian has a history of anti-Western medicine views. Last year, a video showed him burning Harrison's Manual of Medicine, in which he argued that "Islamic medicine" has made such books "irrelevant,'' according to an article on the US government Radio Farda website.
Sheina Vojoudi, an Iranian dissident who fled the Islamic Republic of Iran due to repression, told
The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that ''Like other clerics in the regime, also Tabrizian relates all the shortages to sexuality. The clerics in Iran are suffering from lack of knowledge and humanity. Actually, his goal of spreading nonsense is to try to scare people [out] of getting vaccinated while the leader of the regime and other officials got Pfizer and they don't provide it for the people with the excuse that they don't trust the West.''
Peter Tatchell, the LGBTQ+ and human rights campaigner, told
the Post that "Ayatollah Tabrizian combines scientific ignorance with a crude appeal to homophobia. He's demonising both the vaccination programme and LGBT+ people, without a shred of evidence. By seeking to scare the public into not getting vaccinated against Covid-19 he is fueling the pandemic and putting lives at risk. Typical of many Iranian religious and political leaders, his bizarre, irrational claims scapegoat LGBTs and put theological prejudice before scientific knowledge."
The foreign minister of the Islamic Republic, Mohammed Javid Zarif, justified his regime's executions of gays in 2019. When questioned why Iran's regime executes homosexuals, Zarif said, "Our society has moral principles, and according to these principles we live,'' adding, "These are moral principles regarding the behavior of people in general. And that's because the law is upheld and you abide by laws."
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South Africa Halts AstraZeneca Vaccine Rollout Amidst New Trial Data | The Daily Wire
Mon, 08 Feb 2021 11:57
Officials in South Africa said Sunday that they will pause plans to distribute the AstraZeneca vaccine after preliminary trial data suggested it was ineffective against mild and moderate cases of COVID-19 caused by the dominant strain circulating in the country.
According to the Associated Press , South Africa received 1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine last week, and the country's health care workers were scheduled to start receiving vaccinations by mid-February. But officials have now decided to put the vaccination plans on hold in light of preliminary data specific to the South Africa strain.
''The AstraZeneca vaccine appeared effective against the original strain, but not against the variant,'' said Zweli Mkhize, minister of health for South Africa. ''We have decided to put a temporary hold on the rollout of the vaccine '... more work needs to be done.''
The study, which has not been peer-reviewed, analyzed participants between the ages of 18 and 64, half of whom received a placebo, reports The Washington Post. Twenty people who received the placebo were infected with the South Africa-dominant coronavirus strain, and nineteen people who received the vaccine candidate were infected with it.
Dr. Shabir Mahdi, the principal investigator in the trial, said the data pointed to a 10% efficacy rate against mild to moderate COVID-19 caused by the strain, but noted the data was not statistically significant, reports The Wall Street Journal. While there were no reported cases of severe COVID-19 in recipients of the vaccine candidate, researchers said it was too early to tell whether the vaccine played a role in preventing such cases.
''Protection against moderate-severe disease, hospitalization or death could not be assessed in this study as the target population were at such low risk,'' said Oxford University and the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg in a joint statement on Sunday, reports the Associated Press.
Researchers for the AstraZeneca vaccine said they expect to have a vaccine that can work against the South Africa strain, which researchers believe may spread up to 50% more easily than the original strain, by fall of 2021.
As The Wall Street Journal notes, two companies developing COVID-19 vaccines '-- Johnson & Johnson and Novavax '-- have said their vaccine candidates are still effective against the South Africa strain, albeit less so than against the original strain. Johnson & Johnson is currently seeking FDA emergency authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine in the United States.
As The Daily Wire previously reported:
The company's COVID-19 vaccine candidate was 66% effective at preventing moderate to severe COVID-19 28 days after recipients received the first and only dose, according to a summary released by the company. Johnson & Johnson also said the vaccine candidate was 85% effective at preventing severe disease, and no one was hospitalized for COVID-19 beginning a month after receiving the shot. The trial data was based on 43,783 participants.
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Biden's solid economic blueprint is tied to vaccines, stimulus - Axios
Mon, 08 Feb 2021 12:16
Joe Biden assumed office with more economic upside than any other president in recent history.
Between the lines: Presidencies are creatures of circumstance. For Biden, it's a smoldering economy atop a solid foundation, with a rebuild plan whose primary materials (vaccines and stimulus) are in unusually high supply. If economic arrows turn red, it likely means Biden botched the blueprint.
Joe Biden assumed office with more economic upside than any other president in recent history.
Between the lines: Presidencies are creatures of circumstance. For Biden, it's a smoldering economy atop a solid foundation, with a rebuild plan whose primary materials (vaccines and stimulus) are in unusually high supply. If economic arrows turn red, it likely means Biden botched the blueprint.
Donald Trump inherited a long-standing recovery, which meant he could help accelerate growth but had no recession to reverse.Barack Obama was faced with a financial crisis born of deep, systemic design flaws. There was no vaccine to cure what ailed America's economy.George W. Bush campaigned in the last days of the dotcom bubble, which already had begun bursting when he entered the White House.Bill Clinton inherited a recession, but only a relatively mild one. A big difference between 2020 and past recessions is that 2020 was caused by an event exogenous to the economy. The economy was the victim, not the culprit.
The Trump economy certainly didn't work for everyone, but many of its macro strengths could remain beneath the ash, including pre-pandemic wage growth and decreases in poverty rates. Biden can dig a lot of them up, just by succeeding on vaccine distribution. He then can leverage Democratic control of Congress '-- and America's desensitization to big numbers '-- to throw money at short-term economic problems. It's all basic blocking and tackling.But, but, but: Tailwinds don't necessarily result in a smooth flight. In fact, Biden's biggest risk could be the fact that American business, investors and most voters expect success. Anything short of the Roaring 20's (Part 2) would be viewed as an economic embarrassment.
The bottom line: Never before has a bad economy looked so good for a presidential legacy.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has been banned from Instagram - CNN
Thu, 11 Feb 2021 11:10
(CNN Business)Instagram on Wednesday took down the account of controversial anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
"We removed this account for repeatedly sharing debunked claims about the coronavirus or vaccines," a spokesperson for Facebook, which owns Instagram, said in a statement.
Kennedy, the son of late former US Attorney General, US Senator and presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, has
repeatedly spoken out against vaccines. He has lobbied Congress to give parents exemptions from state requirements that mandate they vaccinate their children. The lifelong Democrat downplays his anti-vaccine views, though, by saying that he is actually in favor of safe vaccines and noting that all of his children have been vaccinated.
Kennedy's
Facebook page, with more than 300,000 followers, was still active at the time of publication. The company spokesperson said there were no plans to take down that page "at this time."
Children's Health Defense, the nonprofit group Kennedy chairs that expresses skepticism about the health benefits of vaccines, said it could not immediately comment on Instagram's actions.
Facebook has struggled for years to crack down on vaccine misinformation, and announced yet another effort to do so earlier this week.
On Monday, the company
announced several ways it plans to better combat vaccine misinformation, including making it harder to find accounts through searches on Facebook-owned Instagram that discourage people from getting vaccinated.
The announcement comes a day after
CNN Business reported that Instagram continued to prominently feature anti-vaxxer accounts in its search results, while Facebook groups railing against vaccines remained easy to find. The findings raised concerns among public health experts, given the United States is in the midst of its largest vaccine rollout ever to address the coronavirus pandemic.
Has Israel just found the cure for Covid? - ISRAEL21c
Thu, 11 Feb 2021 11:53
Even with Israel's world-leading rollout of Covid-19 vaccinations, drugs to treat Covid patients are in desperate need across the world.
Two such drugs developed in Israel show great promise in clinical trials: EXO-CD24 and Allocetra.
EXO-CD24, an experimental inhaled medication developed at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, cured all 30 moderate-to-severe cases in a Phase I clinical trial.
Developed over the past six months at the hospital, EXOCD24 stops the ''cytokine storm'' '' where the immune system goes out of control and starts attacking healthy cells '' that occurs in the lungs of 5-7% of Covid-19 patients.
''To date, the preparation has been tried with great success on 30 severe patients, in 29 of whom the medical condition improved within two to three days and most of them were discharged home within three to five days. The 30th patient also recovered but after a longer time,'' the hospital reports.
''The drug is based on exosomes, [vesicles] that are released from the cell membrane and used for intercellular communication. We enrich the exosomes with 24CD protein. This protein is expressed on the surface of the cell and has a known and important role in regulating the immune system,'' explained Dr. Shiran Shapira, director of the laboratory of Prof. Nadir Arber, who has been researching the CD24 protein for over two decades.
''The preparation is given by inhalation, once a day, for only a few minutes, for five days,'' Shapira said.
She said the experimental treatment has two unique characteristics. The first is that it inhibits the over-secretion of cytokines. The second is that it is delivered directly to the lungs and therefore has no systemic side effects that injected or oral drugs can cause.
''Even if the vaccines perform their function, and even if no new mutations are produced then still in one way or another the corona will remain with us,'' said Arber, director of the medical center's Integrated Cancer Prevention Center. ''To this end, we have developed a unique drug, EXO-CD24.''
Arber added that this advanced preparation ''can be produced quickly and efficiently and at a very low cost in every pharmaceutical facility in the country, and in a short time globally.''
Prof. Ronni Gamzu, CEO of the medical center, said, ''Prof. Arber's results for first-phase research were excellent and gave us all confidence in the method he has been researching [here] for many years. I personally assisted him in further obtaining the approvals from the Ministry of Health for further research.''
Allocetra
Meanwhile, Enlivex Therapeutics last week reported positive results from a multi-center Phase II clinical trial of its experimental Covid-19 immunotherapy drug Allocetra in severe and critical Covid-19 patients.
We reported in October that five Covid-19 intensive care patients were discharged from Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem after treatment withAllocetra.
Nine severe and seven critical Covid-19 patients were treated with Allocetra in the Phase II clinical trial. Fourteen of them recovered and were discharged from the hospital after an average of 5.3 days.
The Phase II trial originally was expected to enroll 24 patients but was ''completed early in support of anticipated accelerated regulatory filings of the trial's positive safety and efficacy data,'' Enlivex reported.
Altogether, 19 out of 21 Phase II and Phase Ib Allocetra trial patients recovered and were discharged from the hospital after an average of 5.6 days. Most of the patients in both studies had pre-existing risk factors such as male gender, obesity and hypertension.
''The results we have seen from the 12 Covid-19 patients treated to date with Allocetra are exciting,'' said Prof. Vernon van Heerden, head of the General Intensive Care Unit at Hadassah and the lead investigator of both clinical trials.
''The Phase II patients who have been discharged from the hospital are currently healthy. We believe that these compelling results have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of Allocetra in these complicated patients, highlighting the potential of Enlivex's product candidate to benefit severe and critical Covid-19 patients as well as others suffering from cytokine storms and organ dysfunctions across various clinical indications.''
Allocetra is based on the research of Enlivex chief scientific and medical officer Dr. Dror Mevorach, head of internal medicine and of one of Hadassah's coronavirus wards. It works by restoring balance to the immune system.
Mevorach said Allocetra ''may have utility as a safe and efficacious treatment '... regardless of the specific coronavirus mutation that afflicted the patients, and across different life-threatening, high mortality clinical indications with high unmet medical needs.''
You Must Not 'Do Your Own Research' When It Comes To Science
Thu, 11 Feb 2021 12:18
A pharmacy tech counts out pills of Hydroxychloroquine at Rock Canyon Pharmacy in Provo, Utah. ... [+] Despite the number of physicians and politicians that have touted this drug as a treatment for the novel coronavirus, many scientific studies have failed to show a substantial benefit. (GEORGE FREY/AFP via Getty Images)
AFP via Getty Images''Research both sides and make up your own mind.'' It's simple, straightforward, common sense advice. And when it comes to issues like vaccinations, climate change, and the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, it can be dangerous, destructive, and even deadly. The techniques that most of us use to navigate most of our decisions in life '-- gathering information, evaluating it based on what we know, and choosing a course of action '-- can lead to spectacular failures when it comes to a scientific matter.
The reason is simple: most of us, even those of us who are scientists ourselves, lack the relevant scientific expertise needed to adequately evaluate that research on our own. In our own fields, we are aware of the full suite of data, of how those puzzle pieces fit together, and what the frontiers of our knowledge is. When laypersons espouse opinions on those matters, it's immediately clear to us where the gaps in their understanding are and where they've misled themselves in their reasoning. When they take up the arguments of a contrarian scientist, we recognize what they're overlooking, misinterpreting, or omitting. Unless we start valuing the actual expertise that legitimate experts have spent lifetimes developing, ''doing our own research'' could lead to immeasurable, unnecessary suffering.
Tap water is seen in this photo illustration in Washington, DC, on August 19, 2019. A recent, but ... [+] dubious, study links exposure to fluoridated tap water during pregnancy to lower IQ scores in infants. Several outside experts expressed concern over its methodology and questioned its findings. Fluoride has been added to community water supplies in industrial countries to prevent tooth decay since the 1950s. Very high levels of the mineral have been found to be toxic to the brain, though the concentrations seen in fluoridated tap water are generally deemed safe. (ALASTAIR PIKE/AFP via Getty Images)
AFP via Getty ImagesLet's start with a simple, low-stakes example: fluoridated drinking water. On the one hand, fluoride is a simple ion that shows up in various concentrations, including naturally through calcium fluoride, in bodies of water all across the world. When humans ingest too little of it, particularly at a young age, it leads to weakened tooth enamel and greater rates of cavities; when humans ingest too much of it, it leads to tooth discoloration and various severities of dental fluorosis. In extreme cases, significantly too much or too little fluoride can also lead to other problems, such as osteoporosis (with too little) or skeletal fluorosis (with too much).
In most places in the United States and Canada, our drinking water is fluoridated at a specific level that's safe and effective for humans of all ages. In places like Colorado Springs, CO, significant amounts of fluoride are removed from the water, bringing the levels down to acceptable values; in other places, like New York City, NY, fluoride is added to bring the levels up to acceptable values. Controlling the fluoride levels of water is a safe and effective public health intervention, reducing dental caries in children by 40% where it is implemented versus places where it isn't implemented.
There is a large anti-fluoride movement with international reach, but the science behind it is ... [+] extraordinarily dubious and not backed up by rigorous scientific research. This particular sign urges a no vote on a referendum asking residents in seven towns served by the Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Wells Water District if they want to continue adding fluoride to drinking water in Maine. (Gregory Rec/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
Portland Press Herald via Getty ImagesAnd yet, there are major cities in the world, like Portland, OR or Calgary, Alberta, where the public or city council, respectively, has voted (in the case of Portland, repeatedly) to not add fluoride to their drinking water. As expected, the typical cavity rates in children '-- when controlled for socioeconomic demographics '-- are about 40% higher than in places where the water is fluoridated, hitting those of lower economic demographics the hardest. The idea that ''our water is natural'' and ''adding fluoride isn't'' has proven more powerful in swaying public opinion in these locations than the science supporting fluoride's safety and effectiveness. To the voting public, a fear of chemicals and an affinity for what feels natural was more compelling than the dental health of poor children, despite near-universal support from dental health professionals.
There's an old saying that I've grown quite fond of recently: you can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into. When most of us ''research'' an issue, what we are actually doing is:
formulating an initial opinion the first time we hear about something, evaluating everything we encounter after that through that lens of our gut instinct, finding reasons to think positively about the portions of the narrative that support or justify our initial opinion, and finding reasons to discount or otherwise dismiss the portions that detract from it. With over 7 inches of global sea level rise since 1900 (and today's rise occurring even faster than ... [+] last century's rates), the potential for storm surges and flooding is higher than ever. Shown here is Bayside Picnic Area, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Even the staunchest climate change denier isn't making speculative real estate purchases in at-risk regions that are likely to be submerged in the next few years, such as much of southern Louisiana.
NPS Climate Change ResponseOf course, that's not what we think we're doing. We think of ourselves as the heroes of our stories: cutting through misinformation and digging up the real truth on the matter. We think that, just by applying our brainpower and our critical reasoning skills, we can discern whose expert opinions are trustworthy and responsible. We think that we can see through who's a charlatan and a fraud, and we can tell what's safe and effective from what's dangerous and ineffective.
Except, for almost all of us, we can't. Even those of us with excellent critical thinking skills and lots of experience trying to dig up the truth behind a variety of claims are lacking one important asset: the scientific expertise necessary to understand any finds or claims in the context of the full state of knowledge of your field. It's part of why scientific consensus is so remarkably valuable: it only exists when the overwhelming majority of qualified professionals all hold the same consistent professional opinion. It truly is one of the most important and valuable types of expertise that humanity has ever developed.
Planet Earth, as viewed by NASA's Messenger spacecraft as it departed from our location, clearly ... [+] shows the spheroidal nature of our planet. This is an observation that cannot be made from a single vantage point on our surface, but is supported by a wide variety of scientific measurements and observations. There is consensus that the Earth is round, not flat.
NASA / Messenger missionBut only if we listen to it. It's absolutely foolish to think that you, a non-expert who lacks the very scientific expertise necessary to evaluate the claims of experts, are going to do a better job than the actual, bona fide experts of separating truth from fiction or fraud. When we ''do the research for ourselves,'' we almost always wind up digging in deeper to our own knee-jerk positions, rather than deferring to the professional opinions of the consensus of experts.
When it comes to fluoridated drinking water, the consequences may only be mild: cosmetic, barely visible markings on your teeth in the case of over-fluoridation or a slight weakening of your tooth enamel in the case of under-fluoridation. But in the cases of a number of public policy measures '-- vaccinations, climate change, or the science of the novel coronavirus and the disease it causes in humans, COVID-19 '-- the stakes are much higher. The consequences of getting it wrong can lead to permanent consequences and may even be a life-or-death matter for many.
This map shows a county-by-county breakdown of opt-out vaccination rates in the states that allow ... [+] non-medical vaccine exemptions. Once the opt-out rate rises above about 5%, the likelihood of an outbreak for a disease like measles explodes. The recent measles outbreaks in the United States can be attributed solely to the unvaccinated rate in many regions rising above that critical 5% value.
J. K. Olive, P. J. Hotez, A. Damania, M. S. Nolan (2018) PLOS MedicineWhen left to their own devices, a substantial fraction of people will choose not to fully vaccinate themselves or their children. In some schools, up to 60% of children can be unvaccinated against preventable diseases such as measles, leading to a resurgence of diseases that should be eradicated. Many parents have a greater fear of adverse consequences from vaccines, despite the fact that '-- other than skin irritation at the injection sites '-- medical complications are extraordinarily rare (occurring in far less than 0.01% of patients) and occur no more frequently than random chance would indicate.
The science overwhelmingly indicates that vaccines are one of the safest public health interventions ever undertaken by humanity. But if you ''do your own research,'' you can find a small percentage of online activists, and even a few medical professionals, who rail against the overwhelming science, pushing discredited claims, fear, and often unproven cures or supplements as well. This fraud-driven controversy created an enormous public health disaster that's still ongoing today.
At an average warming rate of 0.07º C per decade for as long as temperature records exist, the ... [+] Earth's temperature has not only increased, but continues to increase without any relief in sight. Unless we significantly and rapidly curtail our emissions of greenhouse gases, we may be forced to adopt geoengineering solutions to climate change.
NOAA National Centers for Environmental information, Climate at a Glance: Global Time SeriesSimilarly, in the field of climate science, it's overwhelmingly well-understood that:
the Earth is warming, and local climate patterns are changing, caused by changes in the concentration of gases in our atmosphere, driven by human-caused emission of greenhouse gases from fossil fuels, and that this is having a number of adverse consequences: causing changes in food supplies, water availability, and land use all across the world. This has been scientifically known and accepted by the consensus of active climate scientists for more than 30 years, and yet a sustained misinformation campaign '-- as well as a few contrarian scientists '-- has sown sufficient doubt that anyone who is determined to ''do their own research'' can find boatloads of websites and documents confirming whatever conspiratorial line of thought they prefer. It doesn't change the scientific truth, but it has led to unprecedented inaction in the face of a problem with long-term, negative, planet-wide consequences.
Maintaining a sufficient physical distance of 2 meters or more is a highly recommended intervention ... [+] in reducing our exposure to one another's viral loads, but it is far less effective when it isn't combined with mask wearing. (Marijan Murat/picture alliance via Getty Images)
dpa/picture alliance via Getty ImagesRight now, as we enter the month of August during the year 2020, it's a critical time for the United States and the world. We're in the midst of a global pandemic, as the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it causes in humans, COVID-19, has claimed the lives of more than two-thirds of a million people. In the United States alone, more than 150,000 have died, with each new day adding an average of over 1,000 new deaths at present.
Although there's still much to learn about the science of this, from how it spreads to who is most likely to spread it to what the best treatments are to the true infection rate and so on, there's a lot that the scientific experts have achieved a consensus about. In particular:
the disease is airborne and easily spread from person-to-person contact, it's more easily spread in indoor settings, older people are more likely to get critically ill and die from it, staying home except for essential errands, and the interventions of wearing masks when you go out, not touching your mask once its on, and remaining physically distant (2 meters/6 feet minimum) from others not in your household are all effective. An unmasked individual doing something as simple as exhaling (top) can send droplet particles large ... [+] distances, with a high potential for spreading the novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Wearing a mask (bottom) significantly reduces the distance that droplets travel, offering some measure of protection to others as well as, to a lesser extent, the wearer.
MATTHEW E. STAYMATES / NISTBut even those basic messages '-- for which there's virtually no scientific doubt surrounding them '-- have sparked enormous amounts of controversy. Despite the safety and efficacy of masks, many are refusing to wear them, leading to spikes in new infections. Despite the importance of avoiding close contact with others not a part of your household, many people continue to visit friends and relatives, accelerating the spread of the disease. Despite the fact that over 150,000 Americans have already died from it, many continue to claim ''it's just like the flu,'' even though the last time 150,000 or more Americans died from the flu was 1918: the year of the infamous Spanish flu.
If you ''do your own research,'' you can no doubt find innumerable websites, social media accounts, and even a handful of medical professionals who are sharing opinions that confirm whatever your preconceived notions about COVID-19 are. However, do not fool yourself: you are not doing research. You are seeking information to confirm your own biases and discredit any contrary opinions. Each time you do this, you exemplify the problem of anti-science bias that Dr. Fauci warned about in June:
''If you go by the evidence and by the data, you're speaking the truth and it's amazing sometimes, the denial there is. It's the same thing that gets people who are anti-vaxxers - who don't want people to get vaccinated, even though the data clearly indicate the safety of vaccines. That's really a problem.''
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of NIAID, testifies before the US Senate Health, Education, Labor, and ... [+] Pensions Committee hearing to examine COVID-19. Fauci has not wavered in decrying the anti-science sentiment in the United States that seems to be driving the continued spread of this disease. (KEVIN DIETSCH / POOL / AFP via Getty Images)
POOL/AFP via Getty ImagesThere is no excuse, with all the wonderful scientists and science communicators telling the truth about a whole slew of issues in our world, for people to seek out only the opinions that confirm their own biases. The best scientists in the world '-- even the ones who hold contrarian beliefs of their own '-- all agree that we should base our policies on the scientific consensus that we've achieved. When that consensus changes, evolves, or moves forward because we've learned more than we previously knew, we should correct course to follow that novel path instead.
But that requires a kind of transformation within yourself. It means that you need to be humble, and admit that you, yourself, lack the necessary expertise to evaluate the science before you. It means that you need to be brave enough to turn to the consensus of scientific experts and ask, legitimately, what we know at the present stage. And it means you need to be open-minded enough to understand that your preconceptions are quite likely to be wrong in some, many, or possibly even all ways. If we listen to the science, we can attempt to take the best path possible forward through the greatest challenges facing modern society. We can choose to ignore it, but if we do, the consequences will only increase in severity.
Anti-vaxxers jeopardize plans to protect U.S. against Covid
Thu, 11 Feb 2021 14:07
Demonstrator holding an anti-vaccine placard in east London on in central December 5, 2020.
JUSTIN TALLIS | AFP | Getty Images
Wendy Borger tested positive for Covid-19 at an urgent care center in Palmerton, Pennsylvania, on Dec. 28. She said she was fatigued, short of breath, and had a headache, heart palpitations and a fever of 103 degrees Fahrenheit. Her oxygen level dipped to 94%.
Borger, who is 50 and suffers from chronic bronchitis, said her lungs felt like a "weapon" when she walked down the stairs or even had a shower. It took almost two weeks before it didn't hurt to breathe, she said. It's been more than a month since her diagnosis, and she still isn't fully recovered.
Despite her suffering, she still won't get a Covid-19 vaccine shot.
"I'm not a believer in the flu shot, either. I just think that our body needs to fight off things naturally," Borger, a self-described anti-vaxxer, told CNBC. "I mean, like me, you know, luckily I survived. It was bad, but I survived."
As President Joe Biden works to ramp up the supply of Covid-19 vaccines in the United States, public health officials and infectious disease experts warn of another big challenge for the new administration: A significant portion of the U.S. population will likely refuse to get vaccinated.
Even though clinical trial data shows Pfizer's and Moderna's vaccines are safe and highly effective, just under half of adults in the U.S. surveyed in December said they were very likely to get vaccinated, according to a new study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's up from 39.4% of adults surveyed in September but still below the 70% to 85% scientists say needs to be vaccinated to suppress the virus.
That could potentially jeopardize U.S. vaccination efforts to control the pandemic, which has overwhelmed hospitals and taken more than 466,000 American lives in about a year. Without so-called herd immunity, the virus will continue to spread from person to person and place to place for years to come, scientists have said.
Herd immunityRoughly 33 million out of some 331 million Americans have received at least their first dose of Pfizer's or Moderna's two-dose Covid-19 vaccines, according to data compiled by the CDC. And 9.8 million of those people have already gotten their second shot.
The goal, according to Biden's chief medical advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, is to vaccinate between 70% and 85% of the U.S. population '-- or roughly 232 million to 281 million people '-- to achieve herd immunity and suppress the pandemic.
"The concern I have, and something we're working on, is getting people who have vaccine hesitancy, who don't want to get vaccinated," he said at a White House press briefing last month.
To be sure, the rollout has been slow going. County websites have been overloaded by people who desperately want to be immunized, and manufacturing isn't yet fully ramped up. But the one thing that time and money can't as easily solve is persuading people to take the vaccine.
Some of the vaccines are still sitting on shelves "because of very real vaccine hesitancy that does exist in certain communities," Loyce Pace, a member of Biden's now-disbanded transition Covid-19 advisory board, said during a webcast Jan. 14. The Biden administration has to work to get "people to line up for these vaccines when their time comes because we know that will be a critical component to getting on the other side of this crisis," she added.
Nationally, about 60% of employees at long-term care facilities who were offered the shots through a federal program run by Walgreens and CVS Health declined to get them, according to Rick Gates, the head of pharmacy and health care at Walgreens. Just 20% of the residents turned down the doses, he said Tuesday.
Ina Siler, a patient at Crown Heights Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, a nursing home facility, receives the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine from Walgreens pharmacist Annette Marshall, in Brooklyn, New York, December 22, 2020.
Yuki Iwamura | Reuters
In New York City, some 30% of the health-care workers eligible for the vaccine refuse to get it, Mayor Bill de Blasio recently said. "We were expecting a lot of people (would) want to get vaccinated. We were getting 30% or 40% or 50% of those eligible who were passing on it," de Blasio said at a press conference last week.
Out of the roughly 7 million New Yorkers who are currently eligible across the state '-- health-care workers and people 65 and older '-- just 1.7 million people have received their first shots and about 500,000 have gotten their second one, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday. He said he'd give hospitals another week to get all of their workers immunized before he expands eligibility to people under 65 with underlying health conditions.
"Hesitancy is a major obstacle in our path. Hesitancy is a new term for people who don't want to receive the vaccine," he said. "They're skeptical. They're cynical about the vaccine, and they're not willing to take it."
'We're in a tough spot'The reluctance or refusal to be vaccinated has been a growing problem in the U.S. long before the pandemic started. Medical experts point to a long-debunked study published by British researchers in 1998 linking measles vaccines to autism in children. That only emboldened anti-vaxxers, a group of activists known for their opposition to vaccinations and for spreading misinformation about vaccines, physicians and scientists say.
Former President Barack Obama has said the Tuskegee study still lingers as a painful memory that's led to vaccine skepticism in Black and Brown communities. Researchers who conducted the infamous study from 1932 to 1972 gave Black men with syphilis placebos instead of penicillin so government researchers could study the long-term effects of the disease.
A healthcare worker administers a shot of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine to a woman at a pop-up vaccination site operated by SOMOS Community Care during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in New York, January 29, 2021.
Mike Segar | Reuters
A recent poll of New Yorkers shows significant hesitancy in minority communities, Cuomo said. The poll, conducted by the Association for a Better New York, found that 78% of White residents would take the vaccine as soon as they could compared with 39% of Black residents, 54% of Hispanics and 54% of Asians.
Fear due to the pandemic and misinformation last year from then-President Donald Trump and others about the virus has exacerbated the situation and could hinder the government's plan to vaccinate the U.S. population, medical experts told CNBC.
"We're in a tough spot," said Daniel Salmon, director of the Institute for Vaccine Safety at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. "A substantial proportion of the population thinks that Covid isn't really a big deal and it's kind of a hoax and the numbers are being, you know, overblown and doctors are making money by diagnosing Covid and calling deaths."
"I mean, that's obviously ridiculous. It is not true," said Salmon, who oversaw the federal vaccine safety monitoring program during H1N1. "But that's what maybe a third of the population thinks."
People 'in the middle'To gain the public's trust and boost turnout, some states and cities have been launching outreach campaigns on vaccines. In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the state was rolling out a public awareness campaign in more than a dozen languages. Health-care workers are also trying to build public confidence, often posting photos of themselves getting shots on social media.
Gov. Gavin Newsom watches as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is prepared by Director of Inpatient Pharmacy David Cheng at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, U.S. December 14, 2020.
Jae C. Hong | Reuters
Federal and state health agencies need a concerted effort to educate communities, particularly those who are hesitant but can still be persuaded to take the vaccine, Salmon said.
"Roughly half the people want to take the vaccine, and about 10% don't want it," Salmon said. "That 10% is going to be really hard to change their mind. And what you're left with is 40% that are somewhere in the middle."
John Ou, a former Wall Street bond trader who now owns a food truck in Los Angeles, is one of those people.
Ou said he has some concerns about the vaccine but probably would still get a shot if a physician offered him one on the street. He said his main concern is the speed with which the vaccines were developed.
Pfizer announced its plans to develop a coronavirus vaccine with BioNTech in March. They submitted their application to the Food and Drug Administration in November and were granted emergency authorization a few weeks later. It was a record-breaking time frame for a process that normally takes years. The fastest-ever vaccine development, for mumps, took more than four years and was licensed in 1967.
"Like everyone else, I'd like to see a few people take it first before I get in line to get it," Ou, 51, told CNBC in a phone interview. "I've never been a first adopter. Like when Apple comes out with a new iOS or iPhone, I'm always going to wait a few months to see what the problems are, because there are always problems."
'I'm not in a rush'Victor Aponte, a contractor in his 50s who lives in New York City, is also on the fence.
Like Ou, he has concerns about how quickly the vaccines were developed. He also said he's skeptical whether the vaccines will work, considering scientists are discovering new variants of the virus that may make the vaccines less potent.
Moderna announced on Jan. 25 that it is accelerating work on a Covid-19 booster shot to guard against the recently discovered variant in South Africa. Later that same week, Pfizer said that it was also developing a booster to protect against Covid-19 variants.
Aponte said he's not in a rush to get the vaccine.
"I really want to see where this goes, because as fast as they push these vaccines out and there are millions of shipments is right when they let us know this thing is mutating," he said. "I have to be protected. But I don't want to take something that's going to be useless and potentially causes me harm."
Even with the vaccine, he thinks the pandemic will get worse before it gets better.
"In this country alone, we won't be fully vaccinated for another two years," he said. "We're not out of the woods because people think the vaccine is some kind of superhero. No, we still have a lot who think this is a hoax."
Rebuild trust in vaccinesAs part of Biden's sweeping plan to end the pandemic, the administration has said it plans to launch a public information campaign to rebuild trust in the vaccines. "We'll help people understand what science tells us. That the vaccines help reduce the risk of Covid infections and can better safeguard our health and the health of our families and our communities," Biden said in a speech before he was sworn into office in January.
President Joe Biden visits a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination site during a visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, Jan. 29, 2021.
Kevin Lemarque | Reuters
Many medical experts had criticized the Trump administration's messaging on vaccine development, including calling its coronavirus vaccine project "Operation Warp Speed." The language, they said, doesn't make it clear that officials are not cutting corners but rather are accelerating the development of vaccine candidates by investing in multiple stages of research at once.
The language the Trump administration used has been "awful," said Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, who is also a member of the FDA's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee.
"Operation Warp Speed, race, finalists. I mean it sounds like the Miss America pageant or something. It's frightening. The language is frightening," he said. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the name of the program under Trump will be retired.
Black and Brown communitiesJonathan Jackson, director of the Massachusetts General Hospital's CARE Research Center, which works with communities to improve representation in clinical trials, said the government efforts should include focusing on Black, Latino and Indigenous people as well as people in rural areas who may lack access to health care.
"It just seems like yet another case where vulnerable folks are being left behind. And I think that is really what is driving vaccine hesitancy this time around rather than some long-debunked science," he said, adding that it wasn't a priority during the Trump administration. "So that means our playbook has changed and we need to have a different approach."
While there are people in the community who are fiercely opposed to the vaccine, there are others who are "on the margins" and could be persuaded, he said.
"We're not talking to suburban, stay-at-home moms. We're talking to folks who know folks who have been infected or ignored or abused by these same systems. We have to address that before we can expect widespread adoption of vaccines," Jackson said.
Protesters demanding Florida businesses and government reopen, march in downtown Orlando, Fla., Friday, April 17, 2020. Small-government groups, supporters of President Donald Trump, anti-vaccine advocates, gun rights backers and supporters of right-wing causes have united behind a deep suspicion of efforts to shut down daily life to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
John Raoux | AP
Conspiracy theoriesSome people will never be convinced the vaccine is safe, no matter what the new administration does, Offit said.
Those are the "conspiracy theorists," he said. "That is a person who is not going to believe the data no matter what you tell them. They think pharmaceutical companies have the government in their pocket ... they are not going to believe anything you tell them."
Conspiracy theories run amok and are getting big audiences on Twitter and Facebook. One of them postulates that billionaire tech mogul and philanthropist Bill Gates wants to use coronavirus vaccines to implant tracking devices in billions of people. Another conspiracy theory says the Covid-19 vaccines change people's DNA. Neither theory is true, leading scientists say.
On Oct. 13, Facebook said it was launching a new global policy that bans ads that discourage people from getting vaccines, though it will still allow ads that advocate for or against legislation of government policies around vaccines, including a Covid-19 vaccine.
Offit said most people aren't conspiracy theorists. It will be up to public health officials and drugmakers to be transparent about what they know about the vaccine, including what they don't know and any long-term effects, he said.
Elites
Another California Democrat is accused of breaking coronavirus orders | Fox News
Mon, 08 Feb 2021 12:49
Diana Becton, the district attorney of California's Contra Costa County charged with enforcing state and local coronavirus regulations, allegedly violated those rules over the summer to host a wedding reception in her Bay Area backyard, according to local reports.
She left notes for her neighbors warning that there would be "20 to 30" extra cars parked in the area during the Aug. 1 celebration, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. It happened while the county was being monitored for a high risk of COVID-19 transmission.
She told the paper she'd held a "small, outdoor wedding and adhered to state and county restrictions" '' although those rules did not permit wedding receptions. Although witnesses reportedly saw guests wearing masks and socially distancing, food and alcohol were served, and music allegedly played well into the evening.
SANTA ANA, CA - AUGUST 21: Contra Costa District Attorney Diana Becton during a press conference about the Golden State Killer in Santa Ana, CA, on Tuesday, August 21, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen/Orange County Register via Getty Images)
CALIFORNIA REPUBLICANS RIP NEWSOM'S 'HYPOCRISY' FOR HIGHBROW DINING EXCURSION
"She would have to be deaf, dumb and blind to not know that our governor and our state health officials have strongly discouraged, and at times banned, gatherings of any size," Harmeet Dhillon, CEO of the Center for American Liberty, told Fox News on Sunday.
Especially since Becton's office last year became part of a task force to crack down on violators of state and county coronavirus guidelines.
"We do take these complaints very seriously," she told county officials in mid-November, according to local news site Danville San Ramon, as her office was "noticing an uptick" in complaints about people flouting mask and social distancing rules.
Becton told the Chronicle that she did not knowingly violate rules at the time and that no one at her event contracted the virus.
"I had a wedding in my yard that was really based upon the lave that we shared," she told the paper. "I hope that I did not do anything that was inviolation of any rules. If I did, it certainly was not my intent."
A spokesman for her office said her comments to the Chronicle spoke for themselves and noted that the DA's office was part of a county-wide task force on coronavirus regulations, but did not create or control it.
"Her tone deaf, crass remark about how 'we don't just get married in my community, we have a celebration,' that's literally every community in the world," Dhillon said. "Literally every civilization celebrates marriage with a gathering. It's human nature."
HOW MANY OF HIS OWN CORONAVIRUS RECOMMENDATIONS DID GAVIN NEWSOM VIOLATE?
"It blows my mind," Dhillon said. "I just celebrated my 10th wedding anniversary this weekend. It did not occur to me, as a person who respects the law, though I disagree with it, to have a celebration -- notwithstanding the fact that it's very clear that some celebrations are barred by law right now."
The Contra Costa DA is not the only prominent California Democrat to draw criticism for alleged hypocrisy in breaking the party's coronavirus guidelines.
Gov. Gavin Newsom, currently the target of a recall effort amid backlash over his handling of state affairs, ignited uproar in November for attending a maskless lunch party at the pricey French Laundry restaurant in California wine country, where meals can cost thousands of dollars even before alcoholic drinks are factored in. The CEO of the California Medical Association was among the guests.
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Newsom's office did not immediately respond to questions about the Becton incident, although he did issue an apology after his own incident, saying he needed to "preach and practice, not just preach."
San Francisco Mayor London Breed went to a similar meal there, likewise prompting criticism, and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo may have violated his own COVID restrictions after traveling for Thanksgiving dinner with his parents while publicly urging city residents not to do that.
Rihanna was paid $2.5 milion by PR firm for farmer protest tweet
Mon, 08 Feb 2021 12:53
Poetic Justice Foundation (PJF), an organization based in Canada, played a ''vital role'' in ''starting a global campaign'', reported The Print. According to The Print, they were told by sources from the security establishment that the campaign had the backing of ''political leaders and activists based out of Canada''.
The Print report also said that sources believe Skyrocket, a PR firm where Khalistani Mo Dhaliwal is a director, paid $2.5 million to pop star Rihanna to tweet in favour of the farmer protests. In Indian currency, that is well over Rs.18 crores.
The sources also believe that the toolkit shared by climate activist Greta Thunberg was ''fed to her'' as part of a ''larger conspiracy to create disharmony'' in India. Individuals such as Mo Dhaliwal, Marina Patterson, who worked as a relationship manager in PR firms, Anita Lal, director of World Sikh Organisation in Canada, and Canadian MP Jagmeet Singh.
Anita Lal is also a co-founder of the Poetic Justice Foundation, an organisation that features prominently in the toolkit shared by Greta Thunberg. The current episode began after Rihanna tweeted in favour of the farmer protests wondering why people were not talking about it.
Soon, Greta Thunberg and porn star Mia Khalifa jumped on the bandwagon as well. The entire game fell apart when the school drop out activist inadvertently revealed the sinister designs when she shared the toolkit to spread more awareness regarding how to support the protests.
The toolkit revealed that the campaign has been underway since at least November 2020 and there were plans to peddle propaganda on the 23rd of January and Republic Day, both very significant days for the country.
Since the sinister designs were revealed, Indian stalwarts from the sports community and entertainment industry have come forward to emphasize unity in the backdrop of attempts to incite disharmony from abroad.
Related Articles
Biden throws weight behind Newsom as campaign to recall California governor says it nears 1.5mn signatures needed to trigger vote
Thu, 11 Feb 2021 03:50
(C) Reuters / Patrick T. Fallon; Reuters / Joshua Roberts
US President Joe Biden is "clearly" opposed to the drive to oust California Governor Gavin Newsom from office, the White House said, as more than 1.4 million people have reportedly signed a petition to recall the governor.
Biden's spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, took to Twitter on Tuesday to voice support for the embattled governor, stating that the president considers him an ally in many areas and does not endorse the fast-growing recall campaign.
"In addition to sharing a commitment to a range of issues with Gavin Newsom from addressing the climate crisis to getting the pandemic under control, [President Biden] clearly opposes any effort to recall Gavin Newsom," Psaki tweeted.
The statement appears to have been prompted by a reporter's question on the recall campaign at a press conference earlier in the afternoon, where Psaki
said she had not spoken to Biden about the issue, but that the president's team remains
"closely engaged" with Newsom.
The effort to force Newsom from office coincides with plummeting approval ratings for the Democrat governor. A Berkeley IGS poll conducted earlier this month showed a sizable 48-percent disapproval figure, 31 percent of whom said they opposed Newsom "strongly." Driving that decline is an increasingly critical assessment of the state government's response to the coronavirus pandemic , with just 22 percent of those surveyed offering a positive review of California's vaccine roll-out, and a mere 31 percent rating Newsom as doing a good job in handling the virus overall.
Though Newsom took office in a landslide victory in 2018 and isn't up for reelection until 2022, a growing number of dissatisfied Californians are demanding he end his term early. The California Patriot Coalition, led by retired Yolo County Deputy Sheriff Orrin Heatlie, is spearheading the recall campaign, already fundraising over
$2.5 million and garnering some
1.4 million signatures on its petition.
"Governor Newsom has implemented laws which are detrimental to the citizens of this state and our way of life," the petition charges, adding "People in this state suffer the highest taxes in the nation, the highest homelessness rates, and the lowest quality of life as a result."
Recall organizers have until mid-March to gather 1.5 million signatures on the petition in order to trigger a special election, in which state residents would be asked to vote on whether to remove Newsom and to choose from a series of potential replacements. If successful, the governor's recall would be only the second in California's history, the first being Democratic Governor Gary Davis, who was replaced by Republican action film star Arnold Schwarzenegger after a recall vote in 2003. Since 2019, there have been no less than five separate attempts to recall Newsom, all of which have failed so far.
The Patriot Coalition's efforts have drawn support from prominent figures in Republican politics, such as ex-House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, as well as GOP upstarts like House hopeful Joe Collins, who's embarked on a "Recall Road Trip" to 16 California cities to gin up support - and signatures - for the project.
The governor has condemned the recall campaign, issuing an all-caps statement in June warning that the initiative was being "pushed by political extremists" supporting then-president Donald Trump and alleging the special election would "cost California taxpayers 81 million dollars." The California Democratic Party, meanwhile, dubbed the effort a "coup," with party chair Rusty Hicks stating the drive is being led by "right-wing conspiracy theorists, white nationalists, anti-vaxxers" and "groups who encourage violence on our democratic institutions."
The Biden administration's vocal support for Newsom on Tuesday follows other cooperation between the governor and the new president, who has even drawn personnel from Newsom's own team. Biden has tapped California Attorney General Xavier Becerry to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, and has poached University of California professor Eric Goosby from Newsom's coronavirus task force. Further underscoring his affinity with the president, the governor joked that he would be "working hard" to convince his key staff not to jump ship to the Biden administration soon after the November 3 election, noting he was only speaking "slightly tongue in cheek."
Stop the Steal
MAGA Blood Libel: Why Are They Hiding The Medical Report? - Revolver
Wed, 10 Feb 2021 16:13
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Last week, CNN was tactically baffled by a simple question that grows stranger by the day: Why are investigators struggling to build a murder case in the death of US Capitol Police Officer Sicknick?
The stakes are high: Officer Sicknick's death is the only purported death by a largely tourist crowd that was let into the building by police , stayed inside the velvet ropes , seemed at least partly there out of confusion , for social media clout , or just for the memes , and that even the New York Times conceded caused limited property damage.
That's a far cry from murder. Yet MAGA is being blood libeled with a felony murder charge in the court of public opinion and at Donald Trump's impeachment, while potentially exculpatory evidence is silenced or sealed. As the Washington Uniparty mulls domestic terror laws over a MAGA Bloodbath, it increasingly looks like MAGA may have been Bloodbathed. Time is of the essence for the Feds to release all evidence, damn the guilty, or the clear the MAGA movement of these serious allegations.
So why are the Feds hiding the medical report?
Narrative 1:0: The Brazen Lie
The day after Sicknick's reported death, depraved toilet paper company and full-time libel factory known as The New York Times jumbo-tronned a massive, howler headline , later confirmed to be a Judith Miller-level damn dirty lie.
Narrative 1.0 absolutely saturated the airwaves, editorials, and social media. Every MSM outlet from USAToday to the NY Post to the Daily Dot repeated that Sicknick was ''bludgeoned by a fire extinguisher.'' Not ''sources say.'' Not ''many believe'' '-- just a totally unqualified, unequivocal statement of fact.
In an unforgivable shocker, the House Trial Memorandum itself , which sets forth the very impeachment charges for which the 45th President stands accused, names Trump liable for ''insurrectionists'' that ''killed a Capitol police officer by striking him in the head with a fire extinguisher.'' Their source? The New York Times.
But the toilet paper Times left a real stinker inside this one. Because every claim they made, every detail conveyed, was a lie.
Law enforcement officials now tell CNN that there was no fire extinguisher blow, no bloody gash, and no blunt force trauma to Sicknick's body when he died.
Not only that, but it is increasingly unclear when, where and if Sicknick was even rushed to the hospital .
As it turns out, multiple hours after the protest had already concluded , Sicknick texted his own brother Ken that very night he was basically fine, other than being '' pepper sprayed twice ,'' confirming he was safe and '' in good shape .''
Then, an odd thing happened. The next afternoon, the Sicknick family began getting phone calls that Officer Brian Sicknick had been declared dead. The phone calls didn't come from the hospital. They didn't come from the treating physicians. They didn't come from the US Capitol Police, or the FBI, or the DOJ.
They came from media reporters.
Certain privileged media personnel were evidently the first to receive sensitive information circulating among ''law enforcement officials'' that Brian Sicknick was dead.
But then the story got stranger. In a dark, twisted echo of Monty Python's '' bring out your dead '' scene, it turned out Sicknick was not dead yet .
The US Capitol Police responded in a public statement late that Thursday evening that swirling media reports were untrue. Sicknick was still alive .
One hour later, as Sicknick's family rushed to the hospital to see what they believed was their beloved Brian still fighting for his life, the US Capitol Police issued a further statement: now Sicknick was dead.
But even that statement contained a curious detail: Ken Sicknick had been told his brother collapsed inside the Capitol building , then was rushed to the hospital. Wikipedia's entry on Sicknick still has this as the official story .
But the US Capitol Police's statement that night told a different story: he had returned to his office at the police division first .
Sometime between Sicknick being fine, healthy, and back in his office on Wednesday night, and dead or effectively dead on early Thursday evening, Sicknick apparently suffered a stroke. The sequence of when and how that happened should be the easiest part of this story to put to bed. And yet we are being told to take this faith '-- or as the media likes to say: ''without evidence.''
Then the story gets even odder:
Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen says the DOJ will '' spare no resources '' in getting to the bottom of what happened to Sicknick. Yet well over a month after his death, precisely zero information has been disclosed by the DOJ, the FBI, the US Capitol Police, the DC medical examiner, the hospital that cared for him, or the treating physicians.
One full month after Sicknick's death, no autopsy has been released . For reference , autopsies take just 2-4 hours to perform, and preliminary results are typically available within 24 hours.
Investigators are '' vexed by a lack of evidence that could prove someone caused his death.'' Authorities have ''reviewed video and photographs that show Sicknick engaging with rioters amid the siege but have yet to identify a moment in which he suffered his fatal injuries .''
Ominously, no findings from the DC medical examiner have been released .
No announcements have been made by authorities about the ongoing process.
The US Capitol building is one of the most video surveilled buildings on Planet Earth. And yet no internal video footage has been released by Federal authorities, or has been promised to be made available.
Unannounced to anyone except incidentally in that Sicknick's memorial remains turned up in an urn instead of a coffin , Sicknick's body has been cremated. That means no further forensic analysis can be done to establish the cause or time of Sicknick's death . Why, one must wonder, would a family still searching for answers, who has no autopsy results, no death certificate, and no medical report, authorize a cremation? Did they ?
Narrative 2.0: Strategic Ambiguity and Rhetorical Conflation
With Narrative 1.0 turning into a total mainstream media hoax , a bald-face lie the size and phrenology of Brian Stelter's head, the Globalist American Empire (GAE) media is transitioning to Narrative 2.0: strategic ambiguity and rhetorical conflation .
Sicknick wasn't killed by a MAGA mob.
Sicknick died after sustaining injuries while physically engaging with protesters, per the Capitol police.
They've silently removed the ''by,'' and added a ''while'' and a ''with.'' Then reframed the entire clause in the passive tense so 90% of readers conflate what happened and move on.
But ''Injured while physically engaging'' is like ''dying with Covid.'' Even if you died in a motorcycle crash , they count it. It's a trick.
But using this framing device, the memetic energy of Narrative 1.0 (the Brazen Lie) is preserved, without readers hard forking to a more accurate narrative that describes what investigators really believe happened that day:
'' Officials Killed 5 People. ''
But how exactly, did they die? We explore this disturbing question in part two of this explosive investigative series. Stay tuned, it's about to get weird.
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QAnon conspiracy theories point followers to March 4, second inauguration
Thu, 11 Feb 2021 14:17
Those who believe in the baseless conspiracy theories of the QAnon movement are looking ahead to March 4, according to several reports.
The QAnon community falsely believes that former President Donald Trump is a savior who will stay in power, and he is waging a war against a cabal of satanic pedophiles. They also believe a ''storm'' is coming, where Democrats and others are rounded up and tried or killed.
In 2019, the FBI warned the conspiracy theory movement was ''domestic terrorism'' and a ''growing threat.''
They follow the internet posts of an anonymous poster called ''Q''. This person, or persons, has not posted since December, but this has not stopped conspiracies from energizing those who believe the discredited ideology. Including one about March 4.
"The belief systems and the conspiracy theories that sustain the movement don't come from Trump or Q or any specific leader '-- it's sort of crowdsourced and self-generated," Travis View told NPR. View hosts a podcast that tracks and debunks online conspiracy theories.
"It really is about the community and the feeling that they have some sort of inside information about what's going to happen, so there's really no head of the snake. There's not one thing you can take out that will make the entire movement fizzle."
After President Joe Biden was sworn in on Jan. 20, there were online conversations among QAnon followers about Trump being sworn into office for a second presidential term on March 4.
The theory is a little convoluted, and hearkens back to historic conspiracies about secret laws in 1871 and later in the 20th Century when our money became untethered to the gold standard. What is true, is that before 1937 presidents were sworn into office in early March.
12/ They believe that March 4, 2021is the start for the new Republic. March 4 was the start date of the new President until it was changed in 1933. Why do they believe all of this? Well at the end of his Jan 7 speech Trump said ''Our incredible journey is only just beginning.''
'-- Marc-Andr(C) Argentino (@_MAArgentino) January 13, 2021While the basis for the March 4 date and reasoning for a second inauguration is a little unclear, it is getting more attention after it was reported that Trump's own Washington D.C. hotel had increased their prices for a room on March 4, according to Forbes. The outlet reports Trump International Hotel also increased their rates on Jan. 5 and 6.
Copyright 2021 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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Man charged in US Capitol riot worked for FBI, lawyer says | WGN-TV
Thu, 11 Feb 2021 14:19
FILE '' In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo violent insurrectionists loyal to President Donald Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington. A month ago, the U.S. Capitol was besieged by Trump supporters angry about the former president's loss. While lawmakers inside voted to affirm President Joe Biden's win, they marched to the building and broke inside. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
WASHINGTON (AP) '-- A man who authorities say is a leader of the far-right Oath Keepers militia group and helped to organize a ring of other extremists and led them in the attack last month at the U.S. Capitol has held a top-secret security clearance for decades and previously worked for the FBI, his attorney said Monday.
Thomas Caldwell, who authorities believe holds a leadership role in the extremist group, worked as a section chief for the FBI from 2009 to 2010 after retiring from the Navy, his lawyer, Thomas Plofchan, wrote in a motion urging the judge to release him from jail while he awaits trial.
The defense said Caldwell, who has denied being part of the Oath Keepers, has held a top-secret security clearance since 1979, which required multiple special background investigations, according to Plofchan. Caldwell also ran a consulting firm that did classified work for the U.S. government, the lawyer said.
''He has been vetted and found numerous times as a person worthy of the trust and confidence of the United States government, as indicated by granting him Top Secret clearances,'' Plofchan wrote.
Most section chiefs within the FBI rise through the ranks of the bureau and it is unclear whether Caldwell would've been directly hired for that position or whether he held any other positions with the bureau. The FBI did not immediately comment Monday evening and Caldwell's lawyer didn't immediately answer questions about his client's work.
Caldwell is one of three people authorities have described as Oath Keepers who were charged last month with conspiracy and accused of plotting the attack on the Capitol in advance. He has been locked up since his arrest at his home in Berryville, Virginia, on Jan. 19.
Caldwell's lawyer said he denies ever going into the Capitol and has ''physical limitations'' that would prevent the 66-year-old from forcing his way into any building.
Caldwell's lawyer said his client retired as a lieutenant commander with the Navy and that he was a ''100% disabled veteran.'' Caldwell suffered from complications related to a ''service-connected injury,'' including shoulder, back and knee issues, the attorney said. In 2010, Caldwell had spinal surgery, which later failed and led to chronic spinal issues and a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the court filing.
Charging documents show messages between Caldwell and the others about arranging hotel rooms in the Washington area in the days before the siege. In one Facebook message from to Caldwell, one the others says: ''Will probably call you tomorrow '... mainly because '... I like to know wtf plan is. You are the man COMMANDER.''
Authorities say the Oath Keepers communicated during the attack about where lawmakers were. At one point during the siege, Caldwell received a message that said ''all members are in the tunnels under the capital,'' according to court documents. ''Seal them in turn on gas,'' it said.
Other messages read: ''Tom all legislators are down in the Tunnels 3floors down'' and ''go through back house chamber doors facing N left down hallway down steps,'' according to court documents.
Caldwell is among roughly 200 people charged so far in the siege for federal crimes such as disrupting Congress, disorderly conduct and assault. A special group of prosecutors is weighing whether to bring sedition charges, officials have said.
Several members of the Proud Boys, a far-right, male-chauvinist extremist group that seized on the Trump administration's policies, have also been charged with conspiracy and accused of working together during the siege.
Build Back Better
New bill allows state to ignore Joe Biden's executive orders
Mon, 08 Feb 2021 15:17
President Joe Biden delivers his inaugural address on Jan. 20, 2021. (Video screenshot)
Lawmakers in North Dakota -- where consumers can sue Big Tech and a judge recently exempted religious physicians from doing Obamacare "sex change" operations -- are proposing a law allowing the state to ignore presidential executive orders if they don't meet constitutional muster.
House Bill 1164, introduced for the 2021 session, says the "legislative management may review any executive order issued by the president of the United States which has not been affirmed by a vote of the Congress of the United States and signed into law as prescribed by the Constitution of the United States and recommend to the attorney general and the governor that the executive order be further reviewed."
It also allows for a review of an executive order by the attorney general "to determine the constitutionality of the order and whether the state should seek an exemption from the application of the order or seek to have the order declared to be an unconstitutional exercise of legislative authority by the president."
It states that "political subdivision" can implement such an order "that restricts a person's rights or that the attorney general determines to be unconstitutional under subsection 1 and which relates to: a. pandemics or other health emergencies; b. the regulation of natural resources, including coal and oil; c. the regulation of the agriculture industry; d. the use of land; 3. The regulation of the financial sector'... or; f. the regulation of the constitutional right to keep and bear arms."
TRENDING: Question of election fraud will not go away
National File reported Republican state Rep. Sebastian Ertelt has introduced a separate bill that would affect the same fate to unconstitutional legislation by Congress.
His Committee on Neutralization of Federal Laws, comprised of state legislative leadership and appointees, would advise whether a given federal law or regulation is unconstitutional.
"Should the committee find that a law or regulation is unconstitutional, the North Dakota Legislature would pass a concurrent resolution on whether to nullify the transgressing law or edict," the report said.
In North Dakota, Republicans are the majority in the Senate, 40-7, and in the House, 80-14.
Do you like this strategy to ignore unconstitutional executive orders?
99% (1493 Votes)
1% (18 Votes)
South Dakota bill seeks power to reject presidential executive orders https://t.co/krkDMXAJSP
'-- Samantha Sullivan (@SamSullivan) February 1, 2021
South Dakota lawmakers are working on a similar plan.
Another bill would enable people who have been censored by Twitter and Facebook to sue the tech monopolies.
House Bill 1144 would "permit civil actions against social media sites for censoring speech."
"If an interactive computer service provider restricts, censors or suppresses information that does not pertain to obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable subject matter, the interactive computer service provider is liable in a civil action for damages to the person whose speech is restricted, censored, or suppressed, and to any person who reasonably otherwise would have received the writing, speech, or publication," the bill states.
It requires that the defendant be immune from civil liability under federal law, not be considered a publisher and have over 1 million users.
In North Dakota in January a federal judge issued a ruling that protects some doctors from an Obamacare requirement to perform gender "change" surgeries.
In a case brought by the Religious Sisters of Mercy, Catholic Benefits Association and others, U.S. District Judge Peter Welte in North Dakota granted a request to prevent the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from enforcing the Obamacare requirement.
It forces health care providers to perform gender-reassignment surgeries.
"The court declares that HHS's interpretation of Section 1557 that requires the Catholic plaintiffs to perform and provide insurance coverage for gender-transition procedures violates their sincerely held religious beliefs without satisfying strict scrutiny under the [Religious Freedom Restoration Act]," the judge said.
"Accordingly, the court permanently enjoins and restrains HHS, Secretary Azar, their divisions, bureaus, agents, officers, commissioners, employees, and anyone acting in concert or participation with them, including their successors in office, from interpreting or enforcing Section 1557 '... or any implementing regulations thereto against the Catholic plaintiffs in a manner that would require them to perform or provide insurance coverage for gender-transition procedures, including by denying federal financial assistance because of their failure to perform or provide insurance coverage for such procedures or by otherwise pursuing, charging, or assessing any penalties, fines, assessments, investigations, or other enforcement actions."
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CDC Extends Eviction Moratorium For Tenants Who Can't Pay Rent To The End Of 2020 - Gothamist
Thu, 11 Feb 2021 11:00
Renters nationwide have a new chance for reprieve from evictions until the end of 2020.
A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention order bans evictions across the country for those making under $99,000 a year or who received a coronavirus stimulus check -- a move tenant advocates cautioned still doesn't protect all tenants.
The nationwide eviction moratorium goes beyond the federal protections under the CARES Act, which expired in late July and only applied to housing with federally-related financing or assistance. The moratorium could help out the country's some 43 million renters, the CDC estimates.
"[H]ousing stability helps protect public health because homelessness increases the likelihood of individuals moving into congregate settings, such as homeless shelters, which then puts individuals at higher risk to COVID-19," the CDC order reads, detailing how the coronavirus spread would be exacerbated across state lines if tenants are forced to move out, whether to the streets, crowded shelters, or with family and friends.
Under the order, tenants still owe the rent, eventually.
Renters must meet one of three requirements to qualify: make less than $99,000 this year, did not have to pay income taxes last year, or received a federal stimulus check. Those seeking relief will have to sign a declaration they're unable to pay rent due to lost income or "extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses," and that they've tried to pay some rent or seek government assistance. They must certify an eviction would force them into homelessness or shared living conditions. Renters would also have to sign a statement acknowledging their landlord could require the rental payments in full as soon as the moratorium expires'--January 1st.
The order adds to a layer continuously changing protections (or lack thereof) for tenants'--like the New York State Tenant Safe Harbor Act that protects renters who suffered financial hardship during the pandemic, or the current moratorium for tenants facing eviction due to court cases before the pandemic, which ends October 1st.
"Confusion is a big concern, but beyond that, I think our main concerns are [that] it's asking tenants to potentially sign away some rights," Cea Weaver, a campaign coordinator for Housing Justice for All, told Gothamist. "We're really afraid that someone might sign that to buy a few months rent."
"We're concerned about what unintended consequences [await] people who might sign this letter," she said.
The new measure is something the courts can consider to keep tenants housed, though it remains to be seen how it would be used in courts.
New York courts system spokesperson Lucian Chalfen says, "New York courts will be able to apply these requirements to both pending and newly filed eviction cases" under an order outlined in the Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks's order from mid-August, which extended the ban on evictions until October 1st, but allows cases to go before a judge once more in the interim for renters facing evictions before the pandemic. In-person cases filed before the pandemic in which both parties have attorneys have begun with socially distanced protocols, though most have opted for virtual trials.
Mitchell Posilkin, general counsel of the Rent Stabilization Association, which represents landlords, called the CDC order "just another nail in the coffin for property owners in New York City."
"The fact that there is no COVID connection is really rather alarming," he said of the CDC's order language, which does not require tenants to show their lost income is because of the coronavirus. "What's being created here, slowly but surely, is a system in which neighbors are looking at their neighbors who are not paying their rent and they realize that they too don't have to pay because there's no consequences'--or there's certainly no consequences for the foreseeable future.''
Property owners have property taxes, mortgages, utilities, and insurance to pay, so they need the rent, he added.
Ellen Davidson, a staff attorney with the Civil Law Reform Unit at the Legal Aid Society, called the Trump administration's move "shocking but also a welcome surprise."
"Unfortunately, this regulation will not extend relief to tenants in unregulated apartments where the landlord can avoid the moratorium by bringing a case based on non-renewal of the tenant's lease," she said in a statement. That means tenants whose lease ends or who violate some type of provision could still be evicted through a case called a "holdover."
The legal aid group called on Governor Andrew Cuomo and the legislature to enact a more encompassing moratorium to help all tenants "before it is too late."
It is also recommending renters seek legal advice before applying.
Live on @BrianLehrer: Q: How would a renter qualify for the CDC eviction moratorium?A: We are advising everyone to consult with an attorney before applying. Free legal advice is available by calling 311 or Legal Aid's A2B hotline: https://t.co/iPjwOuv3Ks
'-- The Legal Aid Society (@LegalAidNYC) September 2, 2020Landlords who violate the CDC's order would face hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines or jail time, and the fines are higher if the violation results in someone dying, according to the language of the agency's order.
Despite all the caveats to the measure, President Donald Trump said in a statement on Tuesday: "I want to make it unmistakably clear that I'm protecting people from evictions."
Housing advocates are still pushing for State Senator Zellnor Myrie's and Assemblymember Karines Reyes's legislation'--which would prohibit evictions of all residential and commercial tenants as well as foreclosures on the properties during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It's common sense to keep people housed, right now," said Weaver.
"It pushes the cost up the ladder to the lender to also prevent foreclosures" in what she called a "comprehensive approach" to the issue.
The Right to Counsel Coalition said in a statement the proposed measure is "the real eviction moratorium that NYers need."
Governor Cuomo's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Spokespersons for New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and the Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie did not immediately respond to questions either. We'll update if we hear back.
States of Budget Surplus - WSJ
Thu, 11 Feb 2021 13:21
The Biden spending bill will have governors swimming in cash.
Governors'--especially from Democratic states'--have been pleading revenue poverty since the pandemic began. But as we approach the anniversary of Covid-19 in America, that tall tale is becoming more difficult to sell.
Even the left-tilting media are beginning to figure out what we've been reporting for some time. One of our sources is Dan Clifton, of Strategas Research Partners, who has been tracking state revenue trends and Covid relief from the beginning. His latest analysis shows that state revenues have been doing far better...
Governors'--especially from Democratic states'--have been pleading revenue poverty since the pandemic began. But as we approach the anniversary of Covid-19 in America, that tall tale is becoming more difficult to sell.
Even the left-tilting media are beginning to figure out what we've been reporting for some time. One of our sources is Dan Clifton, of Strategas Research Partners, who has been tracking state revenue trends and Covid relief from the beginning. His latest analysis shows that state revenues have been doing far better than advertised, especially states that have kept their economies largely open.
He estimates that a majority of the 50 states are seeing revenues arrive above their pre-Covid levels despite the 2020 economic damage. The big exceptions are states that had the most restrictive business lockdowns (New York), those that rely on sales taxes and have no income tax (Florida and Texas), and those that depend on travel and tourism (Nevada).
Add the $350 billion windfall that will soon flow to state and local governments from the $1.9 trillion Biden relief bill, and the states will be swimming in cash. Mr. Clifton projects that the states overall will have a combined budget surplus. The federal aid formula would provide an average of 20% of all state tax revenue.
California already has tax revenue coming in above its pre-pandemic level, thanks to a buoyant stock market and capital gains. But it will receive another $27 billion from federal taxpayers, or 17% of the state's entire general fund revenue. Pennsylvania will receive $7.1 billion, or 20% of its tax revenue.
You won't hear this from most governors, who still want a handout from the feds. But the telltale sign is that many of the most spendthrift politicians are making no effort to cut spending or reform their governments.
The data support those who argue that state and local governments don't need the Biden windfall, and certainly not $350 billion.
China
Reddit Raises $250M After WallStreetBets' GameStop Pump - CoinDesk
Tue, 09 Feb 2021 05:28
The site plans to double its headcount to 1,400 by the end of 2021.
Feb 9, 2021 at 2:05 a.m. UTC Updated Feb 9, 2021 at 2:07 a.m. UTC
Investors Pump $250M Into Reddit Following Social Media Site's Role in GameStop ManiaReddit has raised $250 million in a Series E fundraising round, the company announced Monday night.
The social media site, which said both new and existing investors participated but did not disclose their names, plans to double its headcount with the funds, as well as build out its ''video, advertising, consumer products'' and international efforts, according to a blog post.
According to the Wall Street Journal, this means Reddit plans to have a total of 1,400 employees by the end of 2021 and now enjoys a $6 billion valuation.
The company has made headlines over the past few weeks, most notably when its r/WallStreetBets community helped pump GameStop's share price and other securities to triple-digit growth, triggering Securities and Exchange Commission investigations and Congressional hearings. This mania later spread to Dogecoin and XRP, both of which saw massive price run-ups.
''Time and again, we have seen the power of community and connection alongside the growth and evolution of those communities and the humans behind them,'' Monday's announcement said.
The blog post didn't mention the GameStop pump, though a Super Bowl ad purchased by the company for Sunday night's game obliquely referenced it, saying ''one thing we learned from our communities last week is that underdogs can accomplish just about anything when they come together around a common idea.''
Reddit did not discuss its current financial situation but noted in Monday's announcement that it sees over 50 million daily users and said its direct advertising revenue increased 90% over the past quarter, compared to the last quarter of 2019.
''We continue to invest in building and improving the ways people on Reddit connect '' whether that's traditionally through text-based discussions or through video or live streaming,'' the blog post said.
While Monday's announcement did not mention its recent crypto forays, it comes just under two weeks after the company expanded its partnership with the Ethereum Foundation in the hopes of ''bringing Ethereum to Reddit-scale production.''
WHO Panel Says COVID Lab Leak Theory 'Extremely Unlikely,' Not Worth Exploring Further | The Daily Caller
Wed, 10 Feb 2021 16:06
A joint Chinese and World Health Organization panel investigating the origins of COVID-19 said it's highly unlikely that the virus could have accidentally leaked from a laboratory. While it didn't completely rule out the possibility of a lab leak, the panel said it would not spend any more time investigating the theory. The panel also reported that it found no cases of COVID-19 in Wuhan prior to December 2019. The claim contradicts a January State Department report that said the U.S. government has reason to believe researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology came down with COVID-19 symptoms prior to the first known cases of the outbreak. A joint Chinese and World Health Organization panel investigating COVID-19's origins said Tuesday it's highly unlikely that the virus accidentally leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan.
The panel also said there were no known COVID-19 infections in Wuhan prior to December 2019, a claim that contradicts a State Department report issued in January that said the U.S. government ''has reason to believe that researchers inside the [Wuhan Institute of Virology] became sick with autumn 2019, before the first identified case of the outbreak, with symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and common seasonal illnesses.''
The team leaders for the panel's Chinese and WHO delegations did not completely rule out the possibility that a lab leak could have occurred but said there is not enough evidence to justify further studies into the theory.
''A laboratory incident hypothesis is extremely unlikely to explain the introduction of the virus into the human population and therefore is not a hypothesis that would suggest future studies into our future work into understanding the origin of the virus,'' WHO team lead Dr. Peter Embarek said during a press conference Tuesday.
The WHO investigation began approximately a year after the first coronavirus case was reported.
Chinese Health Commission spokesman Mi Feng said during the press conference that the head of his commission has been engaged in ''abundant communication'' with WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus during the panel's investigation.
Embarek acknowledged that lab accidents have happened in the past, but said there were no reports of any laboratories in the region surrounding Wuhan studying the SARS-COV-2 virus prior to its outbreak in December 2019.
''There was no publication, no reports of this virus or another virus closely linked to this being worked with in any other laboratory in the world,'' Embarek said.
But a top Wuhan Institute of Virology researcher, Shi Zhengli, contributed to a February 2020 study that reported that SARS-COV-2 was 96.2% identical to a viral strain that was detected in horseshoe bats from the Yunnan Province. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Coronavirus Expert Says Virus Could Have Leaked From Wuhan Lab)
A joint Chinese-WHO panel hold a news conference in Wuhan. (screenshot/YouTube)
Shi, known in China as the ''bat lady,'' told the Scientific American in March that she lost sleep worrying that the virus could have leaked from her lab in Wuhan after she first learned of the outbreak in December 2019.
Embarek also said the panel interviewed researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and came to the conclusion that it is ''very unlikely that anything could escape from such a place.''
Instead of pursuing the lab leak theory, the panel said it will focus its future research efforts into three other theories that could explain how the virus entered the human population, including whether frozen food products imported into Wuhan contained the virus, whether there was a direct zoonotic spillover from bats to humans or whether an intermediary species was involved in the process.
Embarek placed emphasis on the possibility that the virus could have arrived at Wuhan wet markets via the importation of frozen food products, despite previously deriding the theory as ''not the most likely scenario'' during an interview less than two weeks ago.
''It seems to be extremely rare, and that being the source of the infection seems to be extremely rare, and that's happening in a world where you're having half a million cases now every day,'' Embarek said on Jan. 31, according to The Wall Street Journal. ''Transposing that onto last year in Wuhan when the virus is not widely circulating in the world and thinking that could be the introduction is not the most likely scenario.''
The theory that SARS-COV-2 could have been imported into China from another country is a favorite of the Chinese government, according to the Associated Press.
Dutch virologist Marion Koopmans, a member of the WHO team, suggested Tuesday that there may have been COVID-19 cases in Italy in late November.
''We should really go and search for evidence of earlier circulation wherever that is indicated,'' Koopmans said.
The WHO team that has been investigating the origins of COVID-19 in China since mid-January includes experts from 10 countries. The Chinese government has placed limits on research into the virus, according to the Associated Press.
One of the scientists in the WHO delegation, Dr. Peter Daszak, has previously worked closely with the Wuhan Institute of Virology and recently admitted through a spokesman that he was behind an effort to stymie debate surrounding the lab leak theory in order to protect Chinese scientists from online criticism.
Daszak discussed how easy it was to manipulate bat-based coronaviruses in labs during a podcast interview just weeks before the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan.
''You can manipulate them in the lab pretty easily,'' Daszak said. ''Spike protein drives a lot of what happens with the coronavirus. Zoonotic risk. So you can get the sequence, you can build the protein '-- and we work with Ralph Baric at [the University of North Carolina] to do this '-- and insert the backbone of another virus and do some work in the lab.''
Daszak said in the interview that manipulating coronaviruses in labs is a useful tool in developing treatments and vaccines for future potential outbreaks, but some virologists say such research is playing with fire.
Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.
Fact Check: Did Biden Revoke a Trump Ban on Chinese Communist Propaganda in Schools?
Wed, 10 Feb 2021 16:30
Supporters of a policy signed by President Donald Trump at the 11th hour of his term are denouncing President Joe Biden for withdrawing the order, a move they claimed will allow the Chinese Communist Party to disseminate propaganda in U.S. schools.
The Claim On Monday, the conservative newspaper The National Pulse published an article with the headline "Biden Quietly Revokes Trump's Ban On Chinese Communist Propaganda In Schools."
Right-wing news outlets, pundits, Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and others quickly chastised Biden for "rewarding China by allowing their propaganda to infiltrate our college campuses."
Conservatives, including McCarthy, submitted their commentary on Twitter, echoing the article's claim that the withdrawal of a Trump order, pushed through before Biden's inauguration on January 20, will allow the Chinese Communist Party to disseminate misinformation in American schools.
It has been a year since the Chinese Communist Party let a pandemic spread around the world.Instead of holding them accountable for hiding the truth, the Biden Admin is rewarding China by allowing their propaganda to infiltrate our college campuses. https://t.co/ASzmkDGIcX
'-- Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) February 9, 2021 The Facts In August 2020, the Trump administration declared the Confucius Institute (CI) U.S. Center a foreign mission of the Chinese Community Party, accusing the controversial educational partnership of being a propaganda operation on U.S. college and K-12 campuses.
The Associated Press (AP) reported that Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said the institute, which is considered a cultural organization and teaches Mandarin and Chinese culture to U.S. students, is designed for "spreading communist propaganda and spying on Chinese students studying in the free world."
"Beijing's public diplomacy relies on these communist outposts so they should be forced to register as foreign missions," Sasse said, according to AP. "Teaching Mandarin at campus institutes is mainly a cover story for Chinese Communist Party spying."
The BBC reported that the schools are a joint venture between a host school, a partner school in China and a controversial agency known as Hanban, which falls under the Chinese education ministry. The CI receives partial funding and other support from Hanban. While there is little direct evidence to support Sasse's assertions, he is not alone in his disdain for the globally established CI.
Some educators, as well as the American Association of University Professors, have said topics that conflict with the CI's "mission," such as Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet and democracy, are repressed in classrooms. In a BBC interview, CI Chief Executive Madam Xu Lin suggested that the program's teachers should tell inquiring students that "Taiwan belongs to China."
At least 45 K-12 schools and universities in the U.S. have closed their CI programs in recent years, citing the same concerns about academic freedom and pro-China propaganda.
But the Trump administration's foreign mission designation and last-minute executive order on the CI never actually banned the education programs altogether, nor did they issue guidelines on what the programs can and can't teach.
The policy, officially "Establishing Requirement for Student and Exchange Visitor Program Certified Schools to Disclose Agreements with Confucius Institutes and Classrooms," only required colleges and K-12 schools certified to host foreign exchange programs to disclose contracts, partnerships or financial transactions from Confucius Institutes or Confuscius Classrooms, the CI's K-12 component.
It also would have applied to other Chinese cultural institutes or groups funded directly or indirectly by China. Consequences for failure to report such information would have resulted in a school's Student and Exchange Visitor Program certification being revoked.
The Ruling False.
Biden did revoke a Trump-era policy regarding Chinese-sponsored education programs, but it only required K-12 schools and universities to disclose their ties to such institutions. There never was a ban on "Chinese Communist propaganda" in schools.
U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the national economy and the need for his administration's proposed $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief legislation in the State Dining Room at the White House on February 5, 2021, in Washington, D.C. Stefani Reynolds-Pool/Getty
Agora, the technology provider behind hit audio app Clubhouse, says it does not store user data | South China Morning Post
Thu, 11 Feb 2021 11:36
With operations in China and the US, Agora has come under the spotlight as the provider of critical back-end, real-time communication services to ClubhouseIn the past five years, Agora has seen a hundredfold growth in usage among its audio service partnersTopic |
Apps E3B1C256-BFCB-4CEF-88A6-1DCCD7666635
Published: 9:00pm, 4 Feb, 2021
Updated: 6:12am, 5 Feb, 2021
SJW BLM
Publisher's letter of intent to Trump books
THIS IS A LETTER OF INTENT FROM PUBLISHING PROFESSIONALS OF THE UNITED STATES.
We all love book publishing, but we have to be honest — our country is where it is in part because publishing has chased the money and notoriety of some pretty sketchy people, and has granted those same people both the imprimatur of respectability and a lot of money through sweetheart book deals.
As members of the writing and publishing community of the United States, we affirm that participation in the administration of Donald Trump must be considered a uniquely mitigating criterion for publishing houses when considering book deals.
Consequently, we believe: No participant in an administration that caged children, performed involuntary surgeries on captive women, and scoffed at science as millions were infected with a deadly virus should be enriched by the almost rote largesse of a big book deal. And no one who incited, suborned, instigated, or otherwise supported the January 6, 2021 coup attempt should have their philosophies remunerated and disseminated through our beloved publishing houses.
“Son of Sam” laws exist to prevent criminals from benefiting financially from writing about their crimes. In that spirit, those who enabled, promulgated, and covered up crimes against the American people should not be enriched through the coffers of publishing.
We are writers, editors, journalists, agents, and professionals in multiple forms of publishing. We believe in the power of words and we are tired of the industry we love enriching the monsters among us, and we will do whatever is in our power to stop it.
[Authors, editors, agents, and all other publishing professionals in the US may sign the letter here.]
[Count as of 2/9/21: 593]
Signed:
Barry Lyga (Author)
Chris Abouzeid (Co-owner, Belmont Books)
Alex Acks (Author)
Kaylan Adair (Executive Editor, Candlewick Press)
Vikas Adam (Audiobook Narrator (PRH, Macmillan, Audible, Simon & Schuster))
Alyssa Adamovich (Brilliance Publishing)
Mari Adkins (writer / editor)
Dahlia Adler (Author )
Wajahat Ali (Writer)
Jenny Allen (Author)
Adi Alsaid (Writer)
Suzie Althens (Audiobook narrator)
Elissa Alves (Literary and Operations Associate, Folio Literary Management)
Charlie Jane Anders (author, Victories Greater Than Death)
Kathleen Anderson (President, ANDERSON LITERARY MANAGEMENT LLC)
Sarah M. Anderson (Author)
Jill Anderson (Author Love Song Graphics)
Nicole Aronis (Author)
Holly Atkinson (Editor)
Tanya Avakian (Author)
Pauline avendano (Author)
J. Averre (Author)
Jessica Awad (Media Assistant Editor, W. W. Norton & Company)
Kim Baccellia-Rapier (Author)
Morgan Baden (Author)
Elizabeth Baldwin (ERB Publishing, w/a Elizabeth Essex)
Dr. Martha Baldwin (Scholar and Author)
Tracey Baptiste (Author)
Frank Bardessono (Author)
Kelly Barnhill (Author)
Rachel Kempster Barry (Author/Consultant)
Phoebe Barton (Writer)
Sophie Bartow (Author)
Hallie Bateman (Author)
Emi Battaglia (President Emi Battaglia Public Relations)
Jessica LeTourneur Bax (Freelance university press & trade copyeditor)
Melinda Beatty (Author, PRH)
Mark Richard Beaulieu (Author)
Rebecca Bednarz (Editor)
Hayley Behal (Production editor, The History Press)
Jolanta Benal (freelance copyeditor)
Karen E. Bender (Author)
Daphne Benedis-Grab (author, Scholastic)
Andrew Benge (Author)
Kat Bennett (Senior Cartographer, Hachette Book Group)
Kendall Berdinsky (Editorial Assistant)
Kathi Inman Berens (Associate Professor of Book Publishing, Portland State University)
Lauren Beukes (Author)
Bob Bianchini (Senior Designer - Penguin Random House, Author/Illustrator)
Diana Biller (Writer)
Jeanne Birdsall (Author)
Lauren Bittrich (Editorial Assistant, Flatiron Books)
Jason Black (Developmental Editor)
Holly Black (Author)
Stephen Blackmoore (Author)
Rachel Blaifeder (Editor, Cambridge University Press)
Alison Block (Marketing Coordinator, Oxford University Press)
Lesiie Bockol (Author and Editor)
Sheena Boekweg (Author)
Gwenda Bond (Author)
Karyn Bosnak (Author)
Joanna Bourne (Author)
Lisa Brackmann (Author)
Robin Brande (Author)
Gayle Brandeis (Author)
Loryn Brantz (Author)
Scott Brick (Audiobook narrator)
Daniel Brigman (Author)
Suzanne Brockmann (Author)
Megan Broderick (Assistant Editor, Harlequin)
Sam Brody (Editorial Assistant at Hachette Book Group)
Aimee Brown (Author)
Barron Brown (Author)
Joseph Bruchac (Professional writer and editor)
Polly Bruno (Author)
Geri Buckley (Writer)
Alafair Burke (Author)
Penelope Burns (Associate Literary Agent, Gelfman Schneider/ICM Partners)
Aimee Burpee (Associate Registrar, Special Projects)
Michelle Cacho-Negrete (Author)
Chelsea M. Cameron (Author)
Emma Mieko Candon (Editor, Seven Seas; Author)
Janet Cannon (Author)
Juliette Capra (Editorial Assistant, Chronicle Books)
Courtney Carbone (Author/Editor)
Dee Carney (Author)
Megan Carr (Senior Sales Support Associate, HarperCollins Publishers)
Natalie J Case (Author)
Sona Charaipotra (Author)
Maxine Charles (editorial assistant, Flatiron Books)
Mike Chen (Author)
Alison Cherry (Author, editor)
Amanda R Cherry (Author)
Preeti Chhibber (Author)
Danielle Chiotti (Agent, Upstart Crow Literary)
Henna Cho (Digital Sales Associate (SImon & Schuster))
Angelica Chong (Editorial Assistant, Macmillan)
Cassandra Clare (Writer)
William Clark (Wm Clark Associates)
Peter Clines (author)
Adriana Cloud (Editor)
Erin Clyburn (The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency)
Elizabeth Coale (Bookseller)
Matthew Cody (Author)
SueLynn Cole (Author)
Manda Collins (Author)
Andrea Colvin(Editorial Director, Hachette Book Group)
Melanie Conklin (author)
J Patrick Conlon (Oddity Prodigy Productions)
D. Robert Cooley (Associate Professor)
M Cooper (None)
David Cooper (Writer and book critic)
Melinda R. Cordell (Author, Rosefiend Publishing.)
Tom Corson-Knowles (CEO of TCK Publishing)
Tricia Crawford Coscia (Author)
David Hyde Costello (Author/illustrator )
Mia Council (Assistant editor, Penguin Random House)
Jessica Craig (Founder, Craig Literary LLC)
Sylvan Creekmore (Associate Editor, St. Martin's Publishing Group)
David Crews Ph.D. (Author)
Lily Cronig (Editorial Assistant, St. Martin's Press)
Jesse Vilinsky Crowley (CEO - Jesse Vilinsky VO)
Alison A Curtin (Baker & Taylor)
Melissa Cynova (Author)
Sara Danver (Associate National Account Manager, PRH)
Kelly Danver (HarperCollins )
Erica Davis Secor (Editor)
Anna Daviscourt (Illustrator)
Stephen Dedman (Author)
Anya Johanna DeNiro (Writer)
Shira Dentz (Author)
Navdeep Singh Dhillon (author)
Lucienne Diver (Agent, The Knight Agency)
Trish Doller (author)
Michella Domenici (Springer Nature)
K.A. Doore (Author)
Lauren S Dopkin (Sales mgr)
Wendy Dopkin (Copy editor )
Jen J. Danna/Sara Driscoll (Author)
Ann Vanderlaan writing as Sara Driscoll (Author)
Imogene Drummond (Artist and Filmmaker)
Denise J. Dubé (Journalist/writer/Member of ASJA, SPJ.)
Kaylee Duff (Writer, grad student, aspiring editor)
Turney Duff (Author)
Rachel Dugan (Publicity Assistant, Penguin Random House)
C.J. Dugas (Writer)
Claudia Dunn (DunnDeal VO)
Doranna Durgin (Author)
Geoffrey Dutton (author)
Peter Echevers (Author)
Jen Edwards (Author)
Kimberly Ehart (Editor, Hachette Book Group)
Daniel Ehrenhaft (Author, editor )
Patricia Eimer (Author)
Michael Elias (Author)
Robin Eller (Audiobook Narrator)
Courtney Ellis (Marketing Assistant)
Zabé Ellor (Associate Literary Agent, JDLA)
Patricia Elzie-Tuttle (Book Riot)
M. K. England (Author (HarperTeen & PRH))
Carl Engle-Laird (Editor, Macmillan)
Karina Evans (Author)
Micaiah Evans (Author and Editor)
Kimberly Farr (Audiobook narrator)
Mary Cronk Farrell (Author)
Brian Farrey-Latz (Editor)
Rachel Feinberg (Content Writer)
Kait Feldmann (Editor)
Jenny Ferguson (Writer)
Clay S. Fernald (VP content - LeaguePodcast)
Joan Fernandez (Writer)
Nettie Finn (Assistant Editor)
Tessa Fisher (Writer)
David Fitzgerald (Author)
AJ Fitzwater (Author)
Rose Fox (former senior reviews editor, Publishers Weekly)
Hester Fox (Author (Harlequin))
Graylin Fox (Author / Self Published)
Dana Fredsti (Author with Titan Books)
Deborah Freedman (Author & Illustrator)
Rebecca Friedman (Rebecca Friedman Literary)
Esther Friesner (Author)
Adriana Funke (Rights Manager, Scholastic Inc.)
Arthur G Insana (InsanaMedia.com)
Ed Gaffney (Author)
Jason T. Gaffney (Author)
Sarah Gailey (Author)
Tanya Gandolfo (Author / Ingram Spark)
Mary Ganster (Content developer and editor (freelance))
Zack Geoffroy (Author)
Allyn Gibson (Head Writer, Diamond Comic Distributors)
Erin Gibson (Book reviewer)
Tara Gilbert (The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency)
Lamar Giles (Author)
Thomas Gilmore (Sales Manager, Macmillan)
Amy Giuffrida (Associate Literary Agent at The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency)
Joy Givens (Author)
Sue Godbee (Book buyer)
Bryant Golden (Editor-in-Chief, The Cavern Press)
Emily Goldman (editorial assistant, Macmillan)
Nikki Goldstein (Author)
Leah Gordon (Senior editor, Avalon Travel, an imprint of Hachette Book Group)
Benjamin Gorman (Co-Publisher, Not a Pipe Publishing)
Rob Gorski (Author)
Jasmine Gower (Author)
Jimmy Gownley (Cartoonist )
James Graham (Author)
Gavin Grant (Publisher, Small Beer Press)
Libbie Grant (Author)
Scott Fitzgerald Gray (Insane Angel Studios)
John Patrick Green (Writer/Illustrator)
Bryn Greenwood (Writer)
Kayla Griffin (Production Edition, Brill Academic Publishing)
Sarah Grill (Associate Editor, Macmillan)
Michael A. Grimm (Retired Educator)
Andrew Grondin (Owner, S-15 Studios)
Stephanie Guerdan (Assistant Editor, HarperCollins)
Cassie Gutman (Production Editor)
Cassie Gutman (Production Editor)
Jane G Haigh (Searching for Fannie Quigley, author)
Shannon Hale (writer)
Michelle Halket (Central Avenue Publishing)
Karen Hall (Author)
Karen Lee Hallam (Author)
Sadie Haller (Author)
Alwyn Hamilton (Author)
Jordan Hanley (Marketing Manager, Tor Nightfire)
Jonette D. Hardy (Engineer)
Leigh Harlen (Author)
Leigh Harlen (Author)
Jess Harold (Assistant Editor (Scholastic))
Mark Harrison (Publisher, Argyll Productions)
Hilary Harwell (KT Literary, LLC)
Morgan Hawk (Editor)
Libbie Hawker (Author)
Patrick Nielsen Hayden (VP, Editor in Chief, Tor Books)
Tyler Hayes (Author)
Tyler Hayes (Author)
Lindsey Heale (Media Editorial Assistant, W.W. Norton & Co.)
Erica Heller (Author)
Joe Hempel (Narrator)
Chelsea Hensley (Associate Agent)
Ashley Herring Blake (Agent with Rees Literary Agency; author with Little Brown BYFR and Berkley Romance)
Mickey Hess (author)
Danuta Hinc (Author)
Sarah Hollowell (Author)
Tim Holm (Poet / Dialoguiste)
Kathryn Holmes (Author)
Sarah Homer (Assistant Editor, HarperCollins Publishers)
Amanda Hosch (Author)
Lauren Hough (Author)
Madeline Houpt (Editorial Assistant, Macmillan)
Katey Howes (Author (Sterling, Lerner, Chronicle, The Innovation Press))
Lisa Huang (Trade Sales Assistant, Macmillan Publishers)
Crystal M. Huff (Author/Editor)
Hope Hughes (Ethereal Visions Publishing, LLC)
S. A. Hunt (Author)
Daniele Hunter (Children's Department Assistant, McIntosh & Otis Literary Agency)
Jennifer Iacopelli (Author)
Eric Jacobsen (creator, http://bookcoverarchive.com)
Zareen Jaffery (Executive Editor, Penguin Random House)
Angélique Jamail (author)
Zakiya Jamal (Scholastic)
Tania James (Writer and Professor, George Mason University)
Bettye Jensen (Individual)
Sydney Jeon (Editorial Assistant (Flatiron Books))
Maureen Johnson (author)
Lynn B. Johnson (Author)
Varian Johnson (Author)
Stephanie Jones (Marketing Assistant)
Judy Jones (Author)
Katina Z. Jones (Author)
Tanara L Jones (Author (Bantam, Samhain, micro and indi presses))
Siva Jonnada (Author)
James Journalist (Novelist)
Chet JSmith (Writer)
Richard Kadrey (writer)
Rachel Kambury (Assistant Editor, Twelve Books)
Rachel Kapelke-Dale (Writer)
Jonathan Karmel (Author)
Keffy Kehrli (Writer & Editor (GlitterShip magazine))
Kenneth D. Keith (Author)
Mikki Kendall (Writer)
Fiona Kenshole (Transatlantic Agency)
Erum Khan (Editor (Callisto Media, Inc.))
Cassandra Khaw (Senior Scriptwriter)
Megan Kiddoo (associate managing editor, Macmillan)
Andrew King (Tom Doherty Associates)
Tyler King (Author)
Robert Kingett (Author)
Benjamin Kissell (Author)
Cheryl Klein (Editorial director, Lee & Low Books)
Deidre Knight (President, The Knight Agency)
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Ministers accuse Historic England of 'putting down Britain's past' after 'slavery audit' | Daily Mail Online
Mon, 08 Feb 2021 11:35
Ministers have accused Historic England of 'putting down' Britain's past after the public body linked villages, halls, churches and pubs to slavery in a sweeping 157-page report.
An audit of pre-existing work by Historic England, an arm of the Department for Culture which is given £88.5million to preserve buildings and monuments, tied rural communities to 'money made in transatlantic slavery'.
The body cited the patronage of figures including Edward Colston, William Gladstone and Francis Drake as part of the 'money trail' linking buildings to the wealth generated from slavery.
Its report also notes that less well-known families invested this wealth to improve infrastructure - causing villages to be included in the audit for funding for church repairs and road works in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Historic England say the information will be used to 'enrich' its records and provide topics for more in depth research in the future.
However MailOnline can reveal the project - which even audited chapels where slave profiteers and their relatives were buried - has been slammed by ministers who are 'frustrated' at the way public bodies focus on 'divisive parts of Britain's history rather than celebrating our shared heritage'.
A source in the Department for Culture told MailOnline: 'Ministers are increasingly frustrated with public bodies focusing on divisive parts of Britain's history rather than celebrating our shared heritage.
St Nicholas's Church in Deptford was listed due to its memorials of those involved in slavery, including the slave trader Edward Fenton and John Julius Angerstein, who co-owned plantations in Grenada and established Lloyds of London
Among the many sites which have been linked to the transatlantic slave trade include a school in Nunnington, North Yorkshire built by William Rutson, grandson of the cotton merchant and slave trader William Rutson of Liverpool
The statue of 17th-century slave trader Edward Colston being dumped in Bristol Harbour during a Black Lives Matter protest rally last summer
Why is the Government 'frustrated' with Historic England?Ministers are 'frustrated' with public bodies including Historic England because they believe that they are taking partisan positions in a live debate on culture and history.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden wrote to the department's 'Arm's Length Bodies' - including Historic England - outlining how they are not allowed to engage in 'activism'.
In a letter sent on September 22, 2020, he wrote that as 'publicly funded bodies' the likes of Historic England should not 'erase' contentious parts of British history but instead 'seek to contextualise or reinterpret them in a way that enables the public to learn about them in their entirety'.
Mr Dowden called on Historic England to remain 'impartial' in the debate, largely fuelled by the sudden global Black Lives Matter protests.
He wrote: 'History is ridden with moral complexity. Statues and other historical objects were created by generations with different perspectives and understandings of right and wrong.
'Some represent figures who have said or done things which we may find deeply offensive and would not defend today. But though we may now disagree with those who created them or who they represent, they play an important role in teaching us about our past, with all its faults.'
The Culture Secretary continued: 'Historic England, as the Government's adviser on the historic environment, have said that removing difficult and contentious parts of it risks harming our understanding of our collective past. Rather than erasing these objects, we should seek to contextualise or reinterpret them in a way that enables the public to learn about them in their entirety, however challenging this may be.
'Our aim should be to use them to educate people about all aspects of Britain's complex past, both good and bad.
'As set out in your Management Agreements, I would expect Arm's Length Bodies' approach to issues of contested heritage to be consistent with the Government's position.
'Further, as publicly funded bodies, you should not be taking actions motivated by activism or politics. The significant support that you receive from the taxpayer is an acknowledgement of the important cultural role you play for the entire country.
'It is imperative that you continue to act impartially, in line with your publicly funded status, and not in a way that brings this into question.'
'We should face up to the challenging parts, but this needs to be done in a balanced way rather than constantly putting down our past.'
The audit was completed last summer, shortly after the toppling of Colston's statue and its dumping in Bristol Harbour by Black Lives Matter protesters.
The report, which is available online, states: 'The transatlantic slavery economy was invested in the built environment of the local area in housing, civic society organisations, churches, village halls, farms, shooting lodges, hotels.'
Among the many sites which have been linked to the transatlantic slave trade include a school in Nunnington, North Yorkshire built by William Rutson, grandson of the cotton merchant and slave trader William Rutson of Liverpool.
Rutson also funded a school, refurbishments to a church and for the rebuilding of houses in the quaint village, as well as buying Nunnington Hall in 1839 as a shooting lodge.
A small pub in Brockenhurst, Hampshire called the Morant Arms made the audit due to its connections to the Morant family, which owned extensive sugar plantations in Jamaica and invested in the village.
The report says Edward Morant moved to England from Jamaica and bought Brockenhurst House and estate in 1770, subsequently rebuilding the house as a large Georgian mansion with extensive grounds.
His son John Morant purchased the Manor of Ringwood in 1794. Brockenhurst House was greatly extended in 1865. Later demolished, a new house was built in 1960.
Historic England noted in its report, completed last year, that 'many English churches are the burial sites of local families with slavery connections' and sites of internment including rural places of worship and London chapels are included.
A gravestone in Dorset's Holnest has been reviewed because it commemorates slaver John Samuel Wanley Sawbridge, who married Jane Frances Grosvenor, a member of the slave-owning Drax family of Barbados.
The report states Sawbridge took possession of Charborough House and also owned an estate at Holnest, where he built an elaborate mausoleum besides the parish church. This was demolished in 1935 and replaced by a flat memorial stone.
And St Nicholas's Church in Deptford was listed due to its memorials of those involved in slavery, including the slave trader Edward Fenton and John Julius Angerstein, who co-owned plantations in Grenada and established Lloyds of London.
The report is more comprehensive than the National Trust review, which was limited to stately homes.
However, it does not address all 'tombs, monuments and memorials of individuals and families made wealthy from associations with the Atlantic slave economy'.
Historic England said the audit would: 'Identify significant gaps in knowledge that can be targeted through new collaborative research in order to produce a more complete picture of the impact of Atlantic slavery on the built environment in England.
'This new knowledge will over time facilitate Enriching the List entries and enhancements to the National Heritage List for England as well as providing a vehicle for greater engagement with heritage among under-represented audiences.'
Historic England told MailOnline that the audit 'will absolutely not be used to delist structures' in its drive to diversify.
BROCKENHURST: A small pub in Brockenhurst, Hampshire called the Morant Arms made the audit due to its connections to the Morant family, which owned extensive sugar plantations in Jamaica and invested in the village
HOLNEST: A gravestone in Dorset's Holnest has been reviewed because it commemorates slaver John Samuel Wanley Sawbridge, who married Jane Frances Grosvenor, a member of the slave-owning Drax family of Barbados
In a statement, a spokesperson said: 'In early 2020, we commissioned an audit which brings together previous research into the tangible traces of the transatlantic slave trade in England's built environment, mostly carried out over the last thirty years by universities and community groups.
'The audit has also identified gaps in knowledge and makes suggestions for future research.
'This knowledge will absolutely not be used to delist structures, but it will be used to enhance the National Heritage List for England and tell a fuller story of England's rich and complex history.
'As a separate piece of work in November we published our Inclusion, Diversity and Equality Strategy following two years of development and consultation.
'It reaffirms our commitment to delivering our work in a way that benefits a broader range of people, places and communities which better represent the diversity of England and our rich heritage.
'Heritage is for everyone and we want our work to ensure that a diverse range of people are able to connect with, participate in and enjoy the historic environment.'
What is Listing? | Historic England
Mon, 08 Feb 2021 11:38
Listing is the term given to the practice of listing buildings, scheduling monuments, registering parks, gardens and battlefields, and protecting wreck sites.
Listing allows us to highlight what is significant about a building or site, and helps to make sure that any future changes to it do not result in the loss of its significance.
Two House Republicans Introduce Bill Named After Ilhan Omar, Whose Campaign Paid Millions To Her Husband's Firm | The Daily Caller
Mon, 08 Feb 2021 11:55
Two House Republicans introduced a bill Friday to prevent members of Congress from using campaign funds to pay their spouses, a measure they named after Rep. Ilhan Omar.
Wisconsin Reps. Tom Tiffany and Mike Gallagher introduced the Oversight for Members And Relatives Act, or the OMAR Act, in response to reports that Omar's campaign paid $2.8 million to a consulting firm owned by her husband, a political consultant named Tim Mynett.
The payments accounted for 70% of the Minnesota Democrat's campaign spending, according to Fox News report that the Republicans cited.
''For too long, lawmakers of both political parties have engaged in the ethically dubious practice of pocketing campaign funds by 'hiring' their spouses and laundering the money as campaign related expenses,'' Tiffany said in a press release. (RELATED: Washington D.C. Mom Says Her Husband Had An Affair With Ilhan Omar)
Today, I introduced the Oversight for Members And Relatives (OMAR) Act with @RepGallagher.
For too long, lawmakers of both parties have engaged in the ethically dubious practice of pocketing campaign funds by hiring spouses and laundering the money as campaign related expenses.
'-- Rep. Tom Tiffany (@RepTiffany) February 5, 2021
''Loopholes that allow members of Congress to funnel campaign funds to their spouses are despicable and erode trust in our government,'' Gallagher said in a statement.
Tiffany and Gallagher said the proposal is based on one that Rep. Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, introduced in 2007 to prohibit elected officials and candidates from employing their spouses on their campaigns.
The Republicans quoted Schiff saying at the time that his bill was ''an important step forward in restoring the public's confidence that elected officials are working in the public's interest and not their own.''
They also quoted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who said Schiff's bill would ''increase transparency in election campaigns and [prevent] the misuse of funds.''
The Republican proposal goes further than Schiff's, which passed the House on July 23, 2007, given that it would prohibit payments to candidates' spouses who serve as consultants to their campaigns.
Mynett's firm, E Street Group Consulting LLC., provides digital and cable advertising consulting to progressive candidates.
Omar announced in November that she was cutting ties with E Street Group, though she remains married to Mynett.
Omar's office did not respond to a request for comment about the bill.
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New York Times Reporter Claims Billionaire Tech Investor Used The R-Word, Gets Corrected, Blames Everyone Else | The Daily Wire
Mon, 08 Feb 2021 12:01
New York Times tech reporter Taylor Lorenz on Saturday evening accused Marc Andreessen, a billionaire tech entrepreneur and investor, of saying the ''r-word'' while using the social media network Clubhouse.
Clubhouse is a social media network that allows users to actually speak to each other using their own voices. It was during one of these drop-in audio conversations that Lorenz claimed she heard Andreessen use the slur.
''[Marc Andreessen] just openly using the r-slur on Clubhouse tonight and not one other person in the room called him on it or saying anything,'' Lorenz claimed in a since-deleted tweet.
Nait Jones, a partner at Andreessen's venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, responded to Lorenz's tweet by saying he was the moderator for the Clubhouse chat and that Andreessen never used the slur. The word was mentioned because some of the redditors who participated in the GameStop stock market spree called themselves the ''R***** Revolution.''
''I modded that room,'' Jones wrote on Twitter. ''Here's what actually happened. Felicia explained that the Redditors call themselves ''R-word revolution'' but Marc never used that word, ever, he referenced ''DeepF***ingValue'' '' that's all '' and this is why people block because of this horse s*** dishonesty.''
''Felicia'' referred to Felicia Horowitz, wife of Ben Horowitz who is the co-founder of the venture capital firm with Andreessen. ''DeepF***ingValue'' refers to the Reddit investor Keith Gill who made millions from the GameStop stock surge.
Lorenz deleted her tweet soon after Jones corrected the record. Instead of apologizing for falsely smearing Andreessen, Lorenz pivoted to criticizing the entire group who were on Clubhouse for using the word even though they were referring to a group of redditors.
''Thanks for clarifying that it was Felicia saying that word, rather than Marc as many in the room heard it. I hope you can understand how some people in the room felt hearing it,'' Lorenz tweeted in response to Jones. Perhaps other people in the room thought Marc said the word, but it was Lorenz who make the false accusation on Twitter to her more than 200,000 followers.
About 20 minutes after the deflection tweet, Lorenz wrote: ''Many heard Marc's voice saying the r word b/c it was male. 4:05 in you can hear Ben say ''Alex, maybe you could take us through the r****d revolution.'' I hope everyone who used this word can think more carefully about why people in the audience were upset.''
Lorenz's false accusation comes just a day after Times reporter Donald McNeil Jr. resigned for his use of the ''n-word'' during an educational trip to Peru with high school students. The trip occurred in 2019 and McNeil was disciplined for his actions, the Times said, but when the allegations became public, he resigned. The Times regularly publishes articles seeking to cancel people who use offensive words, regardless of age, context, or intent. As The Daily Wire reported in December, the Times reported the story of a high school student who saw one of his classmates post a Snapchat video in which she celebrates her learner's permit by saying ''I can drive, [n-word].'' The allegedly offended student held onto the video and sent it to the university that had accepted the female student who made the video, costing her an acceptance, even though the video was made four years earlier when the girl was just 15.
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Jesse Singal on Twitter: "1/ Here's the full letter 150 New York Times staffers sent to A.G. Sulzberger asking for a re-investigation of Don McNeil Jr. https://t.co/WoHoMa7tUX" / Twitter
Mon, 08 Feb 2021 12:28
Jesse Singal : 1/ Here's the full letter 150 New York Times staffers sent to A.G. Sulzberger asking for a re-investigation of Don'... https://t.co/8syXT0JckG
Sat Feb 06 22:38:04 +0000 2021
'We want our riches back' '' the African activist taking treasures from Europe's museums
Mon, 08 Feb 2021 15:06
M wazulu Diyabanza makes no secret of why he is in France. If coronavirus had not closed most of Europe's museums, the Congolese activist would probably be inside one right now, wresting African objects from their displays to highlight what he sees as the mass pillaging of the continent by European colonialists.
And it's not just the mighty museums. Diyabanza and his supporters also plan to include smaller galleries, private collections and auction houses in their campaign. ''Wherever the riches of our heritage and culture have been stolen,'' says the 42-year-old, ''we will intervene.'' As the leader of a pan-African movement called Yanka Nku (Unity, Dignity and Courage), Diyabanza is on a mission is to recover all works of art and culture taken from Africa to Europe. He calls his method ''active diplomacy''.
We will be looking at Spain, Germany, Portugal, the Vatican and '' yes '' the UKLast June, in between French lockdowns, Diyabanza and several others entered the Quai Branly museum in Paris, which has around 70,000 objects from sub-Saharan Africa. Shouting ''We're taking it home!'', they wrenched from its setting a 19th-century African funeral post that belonged to the Bari people of Chad. Police recovered the object and held Diyabanza in custody for three days. A judge fined him '‚¬1,000 for ''attempted theft''.
A month later, in Marseille, Diyabanza attempted to remove an ivory spear from the Museum of African, Oceanian and Native American Art. He was let off in court. Then, come autumn, he was in the Netherlands attempting to remove a Congolese statue from the Afrika Museum at Berg en Dal. He was given a two-month suspended sentence and a '‚¬250 fine.
''The prosecutor had wanted me convicted to discourage others,'' says Diyabanza over the phone. ''But the judge recognised that I was not guilty of 'theft' but of a political act. He opened the door to discussions with the museum authorities. So I'm going back to the Netherlands with the idea of discussing this.''
Although further actions were planned this month in Brussels, they have been thwarted by Covid-19 closures. But more are in the diary. ''We will be looking at Spain, Germany, Portugal, the Vatican and '' yes '' the UK,'' he says. ''We will be visiting the British Museum once it reopens. It contains some chef d'oeuvres that are very symbolic.''
On its website, the British Museum admits that some objects in its Africa collections have ''difficult histories, including the contested means by which some collections have been acquired, such as through military action''. It adds: ''The British Museum is actively engaged in re-examining the acquisition histories of such collections and caring for them with appropriate respect, in close dialogue with African partners.''
The 900 objects from the Kingdom of Benin, now southern Nigeria, are particularly problematic. They include exhibits that were looted from Benin City by a British military force in 1897, most famous among them the mesmerising Benin bronzes, created from the 16th century onwards by specialist guilds. ''The Royal Palace was burned and destroyed,'' the museum's website explains. ''Its shrines and associated compounds were looted by British forces, and thousands of objects of ceremonial and ritual value were taken to the UK as official 'spoils of war', or distributed among members of the expedition according to their rank.''
Looted '... the Benin bronzes at London's British Museum. Photograph: SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty ImagesDiyabanza, who was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo and now spends his time in France and Togo, says talk is fine '' but action is needed. He estimates that in France alone there are 116,000 African objects that should be returned. In November 2017, during a speech in Mauritania, French president Emmanuel Macron promised to return African works housed in French national museums. Since then, only 27 restitutions have been announced and only one object repatriated: a sword that had belonged to Omar Saidou Tall, a West African political leader, Islamic scholar and warlord.
Diyabanza has now widened his campaign with the creation of the FMAS, the Front Multiculturel Anti Spoliation, or the Multicultural Front against Pillaging. This aims to reunite people across the globe with what he calls their robbed heritage. These include artefacts belonging to Native American tribes, aborigines and indigenous peoples of the Philippines, Indonesia, Peru and elsewhere.
''We have to give a voice to these people,'' he says, ''and push them to join our action so we can pressure western governments to return everything. This restitution must be immediate and unconditional and carried out with dignity and respect '' and it must happen everywhere in Europe. The museums and institutions of these countries must understand that we are determined.
Senegal president Macky Sall, right, receiving the sword that belonged to Omar Saidou Tall from French prime minister ‰douard Philippe in 2019. Photograph: Seyllou/AFP/AFP via Getty Images''For the moment, we are concentrating on museums. We are optimistic governments will eventually cooperate. Then we will ask people who have objects in private collections to act with goodwill and return the things that have been stolen from us. But, eventually, it's not just our artefacts but our land and our riches: the minerals, diamonds and gold; the animals, flora and fauna. And reparations '' but that is another campaign.''
Diyabanza is not concerned if his movement leaves many European museums practically empty. He has described the removal of art and cultural objects from Africa between 1880 and 1960 as a ''vast operation of theft and pillaging that came just after Africa suffered one of the greatest crimes against humanity: slavery''. He is not opposed to African and other objects being displayed in Europe. But he wants to see them returned first and then they can be lent on their owners' terms.
''These museums are guilty of receiving stolen goods,'' he says. ''Perhaps they can be decolonised and give birth to something new.The current health restrictions mean our popular actions are restricted. But we have to continue so we can rebuild our own cultural heritage. These are our objects and we want them back.''
Jeep Pulls Bruce Springsteen Super Bowl Ad Following DWI Revelation - Rolling Stone
Thu, 11 Feb 2021 11:26
Three days after Jeep's ad featuring Bruce Springsteen became one of the most buzzed-about Super Bowl commercials, the automotive company has pulled the spot after it was revealed Wednesday that Springsteen had been arrested for driving while under the influence last fall.
''It would be inappropriate for us to comment on the details of a matter we have only read about and we cannot substantiate,'' a spokesperson for Jeep tells Rolling Stone. ''But it's also right that we pause our Big Game commercial until the actual facts can be established. Its message of community and unity is as relevant as ever. As is the message that drinking and driving can never be condoned.''
A National Parks Service rep tells Rolling Stone that Springsteen was arrested in Gateway National Recreation Area on the New Jersey Coast on November 14th. He was charged with DWI, reckless driving, and consuming alcohol in a closed area. ''Springsteen was cooperative throughout the process,'' the spokesperson says. A rep for Springsteen declined to comment.
The New York Times reports that since the arrest occurred in a national park, federal prosecutors will pursue the case. The singer will make his first court appearance virtually later this month. According to the Asbury Park Press, Springsteen's blood alcohol content was 0.02 '' one-fourth of New Jersey's legal limit and the equivalent of one drink.
The Super Bowl ad featured Springsteen driving in Kansas, Colorado, and Nebraska and speaking about how Americans with different backgrounds and beliefs should try to come together. ''Fear has never been the best of who we are,'' he said. ''We just have to remember the very soil we stand on is common ground. So we can get there. We can make it to the mountaintop, through the desert '...and we will cross this divide.''
Jeep had spent more than a decade trying to convince Springsteen to do a spot, according to the Times. When he did, he used his own team to produce it. The ad is no longer viewable on YouTube.
Additional reporting by Jonathan Bernstein
Is This Beverly Hills Cop Playing Sublime's 'Santeria' to Avoid Being Live-Streamed?
Thu, 11 Feb 2021 11:38
Screengrab: @alwaysfilmthepolice
Last Friday, a man entered the Beverly Hills police department, only to be treated to a mini DJ set that could potentially get his Instagram account banned.
Sennett Devermont was at the department to file a form to obtain body camera footage from an incident in which he received a ticket he felt was unfair. Devermont also happens to be a well-known LA area activist, who regularly live-streams protests and interactions with the police to his more than 300,000 followers on Instagram.
So, he streamed this visit as well'--and that's when things got weird.
In a video posted on his Instagram account, we see a mostly cordial conversation between Devermont and BHPD Sgt. Billy Fair turn a corner when Fair becomes upset that Devermont is live-streaming the interaction, including showing work contact information for another officer. Fair asks how many people are watching, to which Devermont replies, ''Enough.''
Fair then stops answering questions, pulls out his phone, and starts silently swiping around'--and that's when the ska music starts playing.
Fair boosts the volume, and continues staring at his phone. For nearly a full minute, Fair is silent, and only starts speaking after we're a good way through Sublime's ''Santeria.''
Assuming that Fair wasn't just trying to share his love of '90s stoner music with the citizens of Beverly Hills, this seems to be an intentional (if misguided) tactic to use social media companies' copyright protection policies to prevent himself from being filmed.
Instagram in particular has been increasingly strict on posting copyrighted material. Any video that contains music, even if it's playing in the background, is potentially subject to removal by Instagram.
Most people complain about these rules. Beverly Hills law enforcement, however, seems to be a fan.
Based on what's visible in the video, Fair seems to be banking on Instagram's copyright algorithm detecting the music, and either ending the live stream outright or muting it.
Or, even if the algorithm does not detect the song immediately, someone '-- for example, a disgruntled police officer'--could simply wait until a user posts an archive of the live video on their page, then file a complaint with Instagram that it contains copyrighted material.
Fair doesn't seem to be up-to-date on his social media copyright policies, however.
In May of last year, Instagram clarified its policies on including music in livestreams, and began to advise people to only use short clips of music, and to ensure that there is a "visual component" to videos'--"recorded audio should not be the primary purpose of the video," the company said. Instagram declined to comment on this specific video, however, a spokesperson told VICE News that "our restrictions take the following into consideration: how much of the total video contains recorded music, the total number of songs in the video, and the length of individual song(s) included in the video." Under that rubric, Devermont's video should be fine, since it's just one song, and is purely incidental.
Also, for anyone who is familiar with Sublime's back catalogue, it seems unlikely that the band's rights holders would do Fair a solid and complain to Instagram.
But then again, Instagram's enforcement of their own policy seems to be unpredictable and inconsistent, and it's hard to tell what the algorithm will catch during a livestream. There have also been plenty of high-profile of incidents of DJs and artists being penalized for playing their own songs (fans of the Verzuz series may remember Swizz Beats warning Beenie Man and Bounty Killer not to perform their own songs for more than 90 seconds).
And for prominent activist accounts like Devermont's, the stakes are particularly high: too many violations can risk getting your entire account banned.
Under most circumstances, civilians are legally permitted to openly film on-duty police officers under the First Amendment. And while the interaction between Devermont and Fair is pretty benign, BHPD's recent behavior suggests that at least some cops believe they can prevent themselves from being filmed or livestreamed by playing copyrighted music, which would have serious implications for more serious incidents of police misconduct.
That is: if this had only happened once, an officer coming up with an off-the-cuff, if slightly dodgy, plan to ''hack'' Instagram's policy in order to skirt someone's First Amendment rights would be eyebrow-raising for its ingenuity, if nothing else.
But the BHPD's non-consensual Sublime listening party was not an isolated incident. There seems to be a pattern here.
In a separate part of the video, which Devermont says was filmed later that same afternoon, Devermont approaches Fair outside. The interaction plays out almost exactly like it did in the department '-- when Devermont starts asking questions, Fair turns on the music.
Devermont backs away, and asks him to stop playing music. Fair says ''I can't hear you'' '-- again, despite holding a phone that is blasting tunes.
Later, Fair starts berating Devermont's livestreaming account, saying ''I read the comments [on your account], they talk about how fake you are.'' He then holds out his phone, which is still on full blast, and walks toward Devermont, saying ''Listen to the music''.
In a statement emailed to VICE News, Beverly Hills PD said that ''the playing of music while accepting a complaint or answering questions is not a procedure that has been recommended by Beverly Hills Police command staff,'' and that the videos of Fair were ''currently under review.''
However, this is not the first time that a Beverly Hills police officer has done this, nor is Fair the only one.
In an archived clip from a livestream shared privately to VICE Media that Devermont has not publicly reposted but he says was taken weeks ago, another officer can be seen quickly swiping through his phone as Devermont approaches. By the time Devermont is close enough to speak to him, the officer's phone is already blasting ''In My Life'' by the Beatles '-- a group whose rightsholders have notoriously sued Apple numerous times. If you want to get someone in trouble for copyright infringement, the Beatles are quite possibly your best bet.
As Devermont asks about the music, the officer points the phone at him, asking, ''Do you like it?''
This would seem to suggest that playing copyrighted music as a deterrent to the First Amendment-guaranteed right to openly film police is, if not BHPD official protocol, at least a technique that has been deployed by more than one officer.
If Fair's intent was to inhibit the ability to share video of inconvenient police interactions, it seems to have been unsuccessful thus far. Devermont has posted another, longer clip of the first interaction, music intact.
And for now, both videos of the impromptu Sublime listening session remain online.
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Nurses advised to swap words such as 'breast milk' for the more inclusive 'human milk'
Thu, 11 Feb 2021 12:02
| February 10, 2021 10:03 AM
Midwives at a hospital in England were directed to no longer use words such as ''breastfeeding'' and ''breast milk'' in order to be more inclusive to trans parents.
"Human milk,'' "breast/chest milk," or "milk from the feeding mother or parent" are the more acceptable terms for midwives to use at the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust in lieu of using the traditional ''breast milk.''
The hospital is the first in the country to use the trans-friendly language within its maternity ward, which will now be known as the "perinatal services'' department.
''Gender identity can be a source of oppression and health inequality. We are consciously using the words 'women' and 'people' together to make it clear that we are committed to working on addressing health inequalities for all those who use our services,'' the BSUH said in a statement.
"As midwives and birth workers, we focus on improving access and health outcomes for marginalised and disadvantaged groups. Women are frequently disadvantaged in healthcare, as are trans and nonbinary people," the BSUH said. "By continuing to use the term 'woman' we commit to working on addressing health inequalities for all who use our services."
The word ''mothers'' on its own will also be avoided, with midwives told to use "mothers or birthing parents" instead. "Woman" will also be swapped with "people'' or other inclusive language.
''We are consciously using the words 'women' and 'people' together to make it clear that we are committed to working on addressing health inequalities for all those who use our services,'' the document said.
About 1% of adults in England identify as transgender or nonbinary, though more people reportedly identify as such in the Brighton and Hove area.
You Must Not 'Do Your Own Research' When It Comes To Science
Thu, 11 Feb 2021 12:18
A pharmacy tech counts out pills of Hydroxychloroquine at Rock Canyon Pharmacy in Provo, Utah. ... [+] Despite the number of physicians and politicians that have touted this drug as a treatment for the novel coronavirus, many scientific studies have failed to show a substantial benefit. (GEORGE FREY/AFP via Getty Images)
AFP via Getty Images''Research both sides and make up your own mind.'' It's simple, straightforward, common sense advice. And when it comes to issues like vaccinations, climate change, and the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, it can be dangerous, destructive, and even deadly. The techniques that most of us use to navigate most of our decisions in life '-- gathering information, evaluating it based on what we know, and choosing a course of action '-- can lead to spectacular failures when it comes to a scientific matter.
The reason is simple: most of us, even those of us who are scientists ourselves, lack the relevant scientific expertise needed to adequately evaluate that research on our own. In our own fields, we are aware of the full suite of data, of how those puzzle pieces fit together, and what the frontiers of our knowledge is. When laypersons espouse opinions on those matters, it's immediately clear to us where the gaps in their understanding are and where they've misled themselves in their reasoning. When they take up the arguments of a contrarian scientist, we recognize what they're overlooking, misinterpreting, or omitting. Unless we start valuing the actual expertise that legitimate experts have spent lifetimes developing, ''doing our own research'' could lead to immeasurable, unnecessary suffering.
Tap water is seen in this photo illustration in Washington, DC, on August 19, 2019. A recent, but ... [+] dubious, study links exposure to fluoridated tap water during pregnancy to lower IQ scores in infants. Several outside experts expressed concern over its methodology and questioned its findings. Fluoride has been added to community water supplies in industrial countries to prevent tooth decay since the 1950s. Very high levels of the mineral have been found to be toxic to the brain, though the concentrations seen in fluoridated tap water are generally deemed safe. (ALASTAIR PIKE/AFP via Getty Images)
AFP via Getty ImagesLet's start with a simple, low-stakes example: fluoridated drinking water. On the one hand, fluoride is a simple ion that shows up in various concentrations, including naturally through calcium fluoride, in bodies of water all across the world. When humans ingest too little of it, particularly at a young age, it leads to weakened tooth enamel and greater rates of cavities; when humans ingest too much of it, it leads to tooth discoloration and various severities of dental fluorosis. In extreme cases, significantly too much or too little fluoride can also lead to other problems, such as osteoporosis (with too little) or skeletal fluorosis (with too much).
In most places in the United States and Canada, our drinking water is fluoridated at a specific level that's safe and effective for humans of all ages. In places like Colorado Springs, CO, significant amounts of fluoride are removed from the water, bringing the levels down to acceptable values; in other places, like New York City, NY, fluoride is added to bring the levels up to acceptable values. Controlling the fluoride levels of water is a safe and effective public health intervention, reducing dental caries in children by 40% where it is implemented versus places where it isn't implemented.
There is a large anti-fluoride movement with international reach, but the science behind it is ... [+] extraordinarily dubious and not backed up by rigorous scientific research. This particular sign urges a no vote on a referendum asking residents in seven towns served by the Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Wells Water District if they want to continue adding fluoride to drinking water in Maine. (Gregory Rec/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
Portland Press Herald via Getty ImagesAnd yet, there are major cities in the world, like Portland, OR or Calgary, Alberta, where the public or city council, respectively, has voted (in the case of Portland, repeatedly) to not add fluoride to their drinking water. As expected, the typical cavity rates in children '-- when controlled for socioeconomic demographics '-- are about 40% higher than in places where the water is fluoridated, hitting those of lower economic demographics the hardest. The idea that ''our water is natural'' and ''adding fluoride isn't'' has proven more powerful in swaying public opinion in these locations than the science supporting fluoride's safety and effectiveness. To the voting public, a fear of chemicals and an affinity for what feels natural was more compelling than the dental health of poor children, despite near-universal support from dental health professionals.
There's an old saying that I've grown quite fond of recently: you can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into. When most of us ''research'' an issue, what we are actually doing is:
formulating an initial opinion the first time we hear about something, evaluating everything we encounter after that through that lens of our gut instinct, finding reasons to think positively about the portions of the narrative that support or justify our initial opinion, and finding reasons to discount or otherwise dismiss the portions that detract from it. With over 7 inches of global sea level rise since 1900 (and today's rise occurring even faster than ... [+] last century's rates), the potential for storm surges and flooding is higher than ever. Shown here is Bayside Picnic Area, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Even the staunchest climate change denier isn't making speculative real estate purchases in at-risk regions that are likely to be submerged in the next few years, such as much of southern Louisiana.
NPS Climate Change ResponseOf course, that's not what we think we're doing. We think of ourselves as the heroes of our stories: cutting through misinformation and digging up the real truth on the matter. We think that, just by applying our brainpower and our critical reasoning skills, we can discern whose expert opinions are trustworthy and responsible. We think that we can see through who's a charlatan and a fraud, and we can tell what's safe and effective from what's dangerous and ineffective.
Except, for almost all of us, we can't. Even those of us with excellent critical thinking skills and lots of experience trying to dig up the truth behind a variety of claims are lacking one important asset: the scientific expertise necessary to understand any finds or claims in the context of the full state of knowledge of your field. It's part of why scientific consensus is so remarkably valuable: it only exists when the overwhelming majority of qualified professionals all hold the same consistent professional opinion. It truly is one of the most important and valuable types of expertise that humanity has ever developed.
Planet Earth, as viewed by NASA's Messenger spacecraft as it departed from our location, clearly ... [+] shows the spheroidal nature of our planet. This is an observation that cannot be made from a single vantage point on our surface, but is supported by a wide variety of scientific measurements and observations. There is consensus that the Earth is round, not flat.
NASA / Messenger missionBut only if we listen to it. It's absolutely foolish to think that you, a non-expert who lacks the very scientific expertise necessary to evaluate the claims of experts, are going to do a better job than the actual, bona fide experts of separating truth from fiction or fraud. When we ''do the research for ourselves,'' we almost always wind up digging in deeper to our own knee-jerk positions, rather than deferring to the professional opinions of the consensus of experts.
When it comes to fluoridated drinking water, the consequences may only be mild: cosmetic, barely visible markings on your teeth in the case of over-fluoridation or a slight weakening of your tooth enamel in the case of under-fluoridation. But in the cases of a number of public policy measures '-- vaccinations, climate change, or the science of the novel coronavirus and the disease it causes in humans, COVID-19 '-- the stakes are much higher. The consequences of getting it wrong can lead to permanent consequences and may even be a life-or-death matter for many.
This map shows a county-by-county breakdown of opt-out vaccination rates in the states that allow ... [+] non-medical vaccine exemptions. Once the opt-out rate rises above about 5%, the likelihood of an outbreak for a disease like measles explodes. The recent measles outbreaks in the United States can be attributed solely to the unvaccinated rate in many regions rising above that critical 5% value.
J. K. Olive, P. J. Hotez, A. Damania, M. S. Nolan (2018) PLOS MedicineWhen left to their own devices, a substantial fraction of people will choose not to fully vaccinate themselves or their children. In some schools, up to 60% of children can be unvaccinated against preventable diseases such as measles, leading to a resurgence of diseases that should be eradicated. Many parents have a greater fear of adverse consequences from vaccines, despite the fact that '-- other than skin irritation at the injection sites '-- medical complications are extraordinarily rare (occurring in far less than 0.01% of patients) and occur no more frequently than random chance would indicate.
The science overwhelmingly indicates that vaccines are one of the safest public health interventions ever undertaken by humanity. But if you ''do your own research,'' you can find a small percentage of online activists, and even a few medical professionals, who rail against the overwhelming science, pushing discredited claims, fear, and often unproven cures or supplements as well. This fraud-driven controversy created an enormous public health disaster that's still ongoing today.
At an average warming rate of 0.07º C per decade for as long as temperature records exist, the ... [+] Earth's temperature has not only increased, but continues to increase without any relief in sight. Unless we significantly and rapidly curtail our emissions of greenhouse gases, we may be forced to adopt geoengineering solutions to climate change.
NOAA National Centers for Environmental information, Climate at a Glance: Global Time SeriesSimilarly, in the field of climate science, it's overwhelmingly well-understood that:
the Earth is warming, and local climate patterns are changing, caused by changes in the concentration of gases in our atmosphere, driven by human-caused emission of greenhouse gases from fossil fuels, and that this is having a number of adverse consequences: causing changes in food supplies, water availability, and land use all across the world. This has been scientifically known and accepted by the consensus of active climate scientists for more than 30 years, and yet a sustained misinformation campaign '-- as well as a few contrarian scientists '-- has sown sufficient doubt that anyone who is determined to ''do their own research'' can find boatloads of websites and documents confirming whatever conspiratorial line of thought they prefer. It doesn't change the scientific truth, but it has led to unprecedented inaction in the face of a problem with long-term, negative, planet-wide consequences.
Maintaining a sufficient physical distance of 2 meters or more is a highly recommended intervention ... [+] in reducing our exposure to one another's viral loads, but it is far less effective when it isn't combined with mask wearing. (Marijan Murat/picture alliance via Getty Images)
dpa/picture alliance via Getty ImagesRight now, as we enter the month of August during the year 2020, it's a critical time for the United States and the world. We're in the midst of a global pandemic, as the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it causes in humans, COVID-19, has claimed the lives of more than two-thirds of a million people. In the United States alone, more than 150,000 have died, with each new day adding an average of over 1,000 new deaths at present.
Although there's still much to learn about the science of this, from how it spreads to who is most likely to spread it to what the best treatments are to the true infection rate and so on, there's a lot that the scientific experts have achieved a consensus about. In particular:
the disease is airborne and easily spread from person-to-person contact, it's more easily spread in indoor settings, older people are more likely to get critically ill and die from it, staying home except for essential errands, and the interventions of wearing masks when you go out, not touching your mask once its on, and remaining physically distant (2 meters/6 feet minimum) from others not in your household are all effective. An unmasked individual doing something as simple as exhaling (top) can send droplet particles large ... [+] distances, with a high potential for spreading the novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Wearing a mask (bottom) significantly reduces the distance that droplets travel, offering some measure of protection to others as well as, to a lesser extent, the wearer.
MATTHEW E. STAYMATES / NISTBut even those basic messages '-- for which there's virtually no scientific doubt surrounding them '-- have sparked enormous amounts of controversy. Despite the safety and efficacy of masks, many are refusing to wear them, leading to spikes in new infections. Despite the importance of avoiding close contact with others not a part of your household, many people continue to visit friends and relatives, accelerating the spread of the disease. Despite the fact that over 150,000 Americans have already died from it, many continue to claim ''it's just like the flu,'' even though the last time 150,000 or more Americans died from the flu was 1918: the year of the infamous Spanish flu.
If you ''do your own research,'' you can no doubt find innumerable websites, social media accounts, and even a handful of medical professionals who are sharing opinions that confirm whatever your preconceived notions about COVID-19 are. However, do not fool yourself: you are not doing research. You are seeking information to confirm your own biases and discredit any contrary opinions. Each time you do this, you exemplify the problem of anti-science bias that Dr. Fauci warned about in June:
''If you go by the evidence and by the data, you're speaking the truth and it's amazing sometimes, the denial there is. It's the same thing that gets people who are anti-vaxxers - who don't want people to get vaccinated, even though the data clearly indicate the safety of vaccines. That's really a problem.''
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of NIAID, testifies before the US Senate Health, Education, Labor, and ... [+] Pensions Committee hearing to examine COVID-19. Fauci has not wavered in decrying the anti-science sentiment in the United States that seems to be driving the continued spread of this disease. (KEVIN DIETSCH / POOL / AFP via Getty Images)
POOL/AFP via Getty ImagesThere is no excuse, with all the wonderful scientists and science communicators telling the truth about a whole slew of issues in our world, for people to seek out only the opinions that confirm their own biases. The best scientists in the world '-- even the ones who hold contrarian beliefs of their own '-- all agree that we should base our policies on the scientific consensus that we've achieved. When that consensus changes, evolves, or moves forward because we've learned more than we previously knew, we should correct course to follow that novel path instead.
But that requires a kind of transformation within yourself. It means that you need to be humble, and admit that you, yourself, lack the necessary expertise to evaluate the science before you. It means that you need to be brave enough to turn to the consensus of scientific experts and ask, legitimately, what we know at the present stage. And it means you need to be open-minded enough to understand that your preconceptions are quite likely to be wrong in some, many, or possibly even all ways. If we listen to the science, we can attempt to take the best path possible forward through the greatest challenges facing modern society. We can choose to ignore it, but if we do, the consequences will only increase in severity.
'Out-of-control woke leftism and cancel culture' in US is a threat to FRANCE, French politicians say | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 11 Feb 2021 12:52
Politicians, prominent intellectuals, and academics in France have voiced concern that 'out-of-control leftism and cancel culture' from the United States is threatening French identity.
They are arguing that American ideas on race, gender, post-colonialism '' especially those coming from U.S. universities '' are undermining French society and are an attack on French heritage.
The collection of intellectuals arguing that France is being contaminated by the leftism of America was buoyed on last year after French President Emmanuel Macron appeared to side with them.
In a speech in October on the 'Fight against Separatism', Macron warned against leaving 'the intellectual debate to others' as he cautioned of the 'certain social science theories entirely imported from the United States'.
His education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer also warned in October that there is a 'battle to wage against an intellectual matrix from American universities'.
French President Emmanuel Macron, pictured above, warned against leaving 'the intellectual debate to others' as he cautioned of the 'certain social science theories entirely imported from the United States' during a speech on the 'Fight against Separatism' in October
People demonstrate in support of the George Floyd protests in Paris in June
The debate came to a head this week after the new director of the Paris Opera, Alexander Neef, released a 66-page report on diversity at the company in which he vowed to diversify staff and to ban blackface.
It came after five black members of the ballet company circulated an open letter among the Paris Opera's 1,800 employees last summer, calling for greater diversity.
Neef was targeted for the decision by far-right leader Marine le Pen and by French newspaper Le Monde which said he 'soaked up American culture for 10 years' while he worked in Toronto.
This month also saw the publication of a book by social scientists St(C)phane Beaud and G(C)rard Noiriel in which they claimed that race is a 'bulldozer' that destroys other subjects.
They added to the New York Times that they did not believe race should not be studied as an academic subject in France, as the secular government does not recognize it.
It follows tension over protests against police violence last summer in France, sparked as they were in the U.S. by the death in police custody of George Floyd.
The wave of protests sparked further backlash in universities, as students began to put pressure on institutions to disinvite well-known speakers.
Activists also targeted a play at Sorbonne University where white actors were to wear masks and dark make up.
French Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer, pictured, accused the universities, under the influence of America, of being complicit in Islamist terror attacks
'There was the idea that we're talking too much about racial questions in France,' Pap Ndiaye, a historian, told the Times of the summer's protests. 'That's enough.'
Some French intellects have also argued that American universities are to blame for giving justification to acts of terrorism carried out by Muslims.
After three Islamist terror attacks last fall, Education minister Blanquer accused the universities of being complicit.
He was supported in an open letter from 100 prominent scholars that blasted social theories 'transferred from North American campuses'.
One of the signatories, Gilles Kepel, argued that American influence led to 'a sort of prohibition in universities to think about the phenomenon of political Islam in the name of a leftist ideology that considers it the religion of the underprivileged.'
Historian Pierre-Andr(C) Taguieff argued in the same way that the 'American-style black question' was a 'totally artificial importation' to France.
He said that it was all driven by 'hatred of the West, as a white civilization'.
'The common agenda of these enemies of European civilization can be summed up in three words: decolonize, demasculate, de-Europeanize,' Taguieff said.
'Straight white male '-- that's the culprit to condemn and the enemy to eliminate.'
A Black Lives Mattter protest in Paris in June after the death of George Floyd
Protesters are carrying signs during a demonstration against racism and police brutality at Republique Square in Paris in June. Academics have criticized the protests in France
Macron had previously mostly remained silent on the matter, with the official government line being dismissive of race and systemic racism.
It is illegal in France to collect data based on race and for many, the country's national identify rejects diversity and multiculturalism, instead focusing on fundamental rights and core values like equality and liberty.
Yet according to the New York Times, Marcron is also courting the right ahead of the election next year, which led him to eventually comment last year after center-right lawmakers pressed for a parliamentary investigation into 'ideological excesses' at universities.
They also called out 'guilty' scholars on Twitter.
Head of far-right party National Rally Marine Le Pen recently criticized attempts to diversify the Paris Opera
In Macron's comments, made two weeks into the protests on June 14, he blamed universities for encouraging the 'ethnicization of the social question' '-- amounting to 'breaking the republic in two'.
Macron's intervention was welcomed by academics including sociologist Nathalie Heinich.
'I was pleasantly astonished,' she told the Times.
Last month she established an organization that fights against 'decolonialism and identity politics'.
The group has written warnings against 'American-inspired social theories' in many major French publications and has spoken out against 'cancel culture' at French universities.
'It was a series of incidents that was extremely traumatic to our community and that all fell under what is called cancel culture,' Heinich said.
Others have argued that it shows an inability in France to adapt to a changing world.
'It's the sign of a small, frightened republic, declining, provincializing, but which in the past and to this day believes in its universal mission and which thus seeks those responsible for its decline,' Fran§ois Cusset, an expert on American civilization at Paris Nanterre University told the Times.
Anne Garr(C)ta, a French writer who teaches in universities in France and the U.S., has also argued that many of the leading thinkers on the subject have come from France, not from the U.S., as claimed.
'It's an entire global world of ideas that circulates,' she said.
'It just happens that campuses that are the most cosmopolitan and most globalized at this point in history are the American ones.'
Green New Dill
AOC, Bernie Sanders Push Joe Biden to Declare Climate Emergency
Tue, 09 Feb 2021 16:06
Getting the gang back together in the name of declaring a climate emergency.Photo: Joe Raedle (Getty Images) Between fires , heat waves , droughts and storms , the climate crisis is an emergency. A new bill demands that the U.S. start acting like it.
The legislation, introduced by Senators Bernie Sanders and Jeff Merkley and Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Earl Blumenauer on Thursday, would require President Joe Biden to declare a national emergency on climate change . That would give the administration more power to take on the existential threat, including deploying the necessary resources to do so.
''The massive scope and scale of action necessary to stabilize the climate will require unprecedented levels of public awareness, engagement, and deliberation to develop and implement effective, just, and equitable policies to address the climate crisis,'' the act says.
The bill would compel the Biden administration to invoke the National Emergencies Act. Doing so would unlock the power to draw on nearly 140 statutes , according to research by the Brennan Center for Justice. Policies that currently get tied up in Congressional votes or funding battles would suddenly become immediately possible, including reinstituting the nation's ban on crude oil exports, sending emergency environmental aid packages to states by using the Stafford Act , or reallocating billions of dollars from the U.S. military budget toward renewable energy construction.
G/O Media may get a commission
As the bill notes, the U.S. has a history of mobilizing huge swaths of resources to ''solve great challenges'' of all kinds, from the the post-civil war Reconstruction to the Apollo 11 Moon landing. And like the 2019 Green New Deal resolution , which each of the new act's four co-sponsors signed onto, the legislation draws a comparison between necessary climate policies and the action needed to address World War II.
The legislation's introduction follows a statement on MSNBC last month from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer calling for Biden to declare a climate emergency to afford himself more flexibility on climate policy, and a similar call from Sen. Jeff Merkley in a December Washington Post op-ed. Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez also introduced a similar resolution in 2019 pushing Congress to make climate change an official national emergency.
Actually racking up the 60 votes needed to pass it and shield the new legislation from the filibuster would still be a super long shot. After all, naysayers like Republican Sen. John Barrasso claim that declaring a climate emergency is an undemocratic way to ''muzzle Congress.'' And even if it passed, it's sure to face legal challenges, just as the Trump administration's declaration of a national emergency to fund a border wall did.
There are also valid questions about the efficacy of climate emergency declarations, because though they open up the possibility of implementing urgent policies, they don't necessitate it. Globally, more than 1,870 governments '--albeit, mostly local and state ones, but also nearly 40 national ones '--have raised climate change to the level of an emergency. But despite making flashy declarations of this kind, countries like Canada and Norway have still approved fossil fuel infrastructure expansion. But since the Biden administration has promised to make climate policy a major priority , that shouldn't be a problem here, right ?
OTG
Twitter and YouTube Banned Steve Bannon. Apple Still Gives Him Millions of Listeners. '-- ProPublica
Mon, 08 Feb 2021 04:16
ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they're published.
Late at night on Jan. 5, the day before President Donald Trump was scheduled to deliver a defiant speech before thousands of his most dedicated supporters, his former adviser Steve Bannon was podcasting from his studio near Capitol Hill. He had been on the air several times a day for weeks, hyping the narrative that this was the moment that patriots could stand up and pull out a Trump win.
''It's all converging, and now we're on the point of attack tomorrow. It's going to kick off, it's going to be very dramatic,'' Bannon said in his fluent patter, on a day that would see four of his ''War Room'' shows posted online, up from his usual two or three. ''It's going to be quite extraordinarily different. And all I can say is strap in. You have made this happen and tomorrow it's game day.''
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The next morning Bannon was back. ''We're right on the cusp of victory,'' Bannon said, as protesters massed at the Ellipse to hear from Trump.
''This is not a day for fantasy, this is a day for maniacal focus. Focus, focus, focus,'' Bannon went on. ''It's them against us. Who can impose their will on the other side.''
To the protesters massing in Washington, Bannon's message was clear: They could force the outcome by pressuring Vice President Mike Pence and Congress not to certify the electoral vote.
Ultimately, the day resulted in a bloody brawl that took the lives of both police and protesters, in a security breach unlike any America has seen in decades. It was planned in explicit detail across websites that were taken offline, like Parler, or censored, as Twitter did with thousands of QAnon-affiliated accounts and even the president's.
But Bannon, who himself was banned from YouTube and Twitter after saying in November that Dr. Anthony Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray should be beheaded, continues to reach an enormous audience via Apple's podcast app, which is installed by default on every iPhone. Although the app doesn't show the number of times the show has been streamed, Bannon gives updates every few days on its popularity. As of last week, he claimed total downloads of 29 million.
Bannon did not respond to a request for comment.
It's not just Bannon. Several podcasts that spread baseless claims of election fraud, including shows by former Trump strategist Sebastian Gorka and Judicial Watch's Tom Fitton, continue to be broadly available on major platforms. The fact that such beliefs were the battle cry of a violent mob that threatened congressional leaders has brought podcasting platforms face to face with a difficult question: What are their responsibilities when it comes to stifling what otherwise could be seen as protected speech?
In the weeks since Nov. 3, Bannon has spent several hours a day exploring the minutiae of baselessly disputed elections in several states, giving ample airtime to Trump defenders like Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell and presidential adviser Peter Navarro. Using a mix of football, military and religious analogies, Bannon speaks often in apocalyptic terms about the risk of losing.
''It's the children of light and the children of darkness,'' he said on Jan. 3, after interviewing the right-wing Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigan², whom Pope Francis fired as the Vatican's ambassador to the United States after he sided with anti-gay culture warriors. ''One side's going to win and one side's going to lose. Everything that the Judeo-Christian West represents is at stake. That's what this battle is about. That's what Wednesday is about.''
While social media companies have become more willing over the past few months to censor accounts that engage in hate speech, podcasts are still largely unmoderated. Part of that has to do with the industry's structure: The main podcast portals merely index the shows, like Google indexes websites. Despite canceling Bannon's YouTube channel, Google Podcasts still indexes ''War Room.'' (Apple accounts for more than half of the number of podcast streams, with Spotify a distant second.)
''Online platforms know that rhetoric promoting violence and disinformation absolutely matters. That is why most of them ban such activities in their own terms of service,'' said Megan Squire, a computer science professor at Elon University who has studied the right-wing podcasting ecosystem.
''However, in the case of podcasts, Apple usually explains that they are just cataloging the show and not actually distributing it,'' Squire said. ''For example when they banned Alex Jones, they just stopped listing him, but what guidelines they used were a bit unclear. Contrast this to their app store guidelines, which are very clear.''
Apple declined to comment on how it evaluates whether to de-list a podcast. Its terms of service prohibit ''content that is illegal or promotes illegal activity, self-harm, violence, or illegal drugs, or content depicting graphic sex, gore, or is otherwise considered obscene, objectionable, or in poor taste.''
Audio files themselves are supported by a much more fragmented network of hosting services '-- which costs money, unlike simply being catalogued by a portal like Apple's. ''War Room'' is hosted by Podbean, which did not return a request for comment. Its terms of service forbid content that is ''malicious, false, or inaccurate.''
To be clear: Since his ''heads on pikes'' episode, Bannon has shied away from advocating violence. He sometimes caveats his calls to arms by cautioning that he's talking about political protest or ''coloring inside the lines.'' He has downplayed allegations against Dominion Voting Systems, which threatened to sue other Trump allies and news outlets for spreading baseless claims of fraud. In the wake of Jan. 6, like many in the right-wing media ecosphere, he has praised peaceful protest and claimed the riot was instigated by liberal agents provocateurs rather than Trump supporters.
However, extremism experts say the rhetoric still feeds into an alternative reality that breeds anger and cynicism, which may ultimately lead to violence. Julia DeCook, an assistant professor at Loyola University Chicago's school of communications, notes that listeners who are convinced about one conspiracy theory are more likely to accept others, which is what makes more mainstream commentators like Bannon ''dangerous.''
''It's not like they hit you with the crazy stuff all at once. It's the little things that sow distrust and skepticism,'' DeCook said. ''Steve Bannon goes right up to the line of what is acceptable and what is hate speech. But platforms are really bad at understanding borderline content.''
Bannon seems to understand very well how the information he's putting out in the world influences his audience. On the eve of the Capitol riot, one of his co-hosts interviewed a young man at a pregame rally in downtown Washington who said his whole family had been dejected after the election. After discovering ''War Room,'' they were increasingly encouraged and listened to every episode, resulting in his presence at Freedom Plaza that night. The ''War Room'' crew celebrated this exchange as evidence of its impact.
''As soon as you're able to create the structure or the context, and let them come to their own conclusions, they're going to be able to have their own mental map, they can then start making their own decisions, and then become disciples or force multipliers,'' Bannon said. ''We've helped provide the information to people who are jacked up.''
(Of course, Bannon also has an interest in helping Trump, who could still use his pardon powers to dismiss a federal charge concerning Bannon's alleged misuse of funds donated to a charity that said it was helping to build a wall on the border with Mexico.)
De-platforming Bannon, however, would be tricky.
Podcast directories and hosting services are loath to open the Pandora's box of content moderation. Todd Cochrane runs one of the largest, called Blubrry, which hosts 85,000 shows and indexes 1.3 million of them. Since Jan. 6, he said that many of his customers '-- especially Christian shows '-- are worried about being de-listed from other podcast directories. As long as they aren't using hate speech or inciting violence, which Blubrry's terms of service forbid, he said they're safe on his platform.
''This is a fine line for us,'' Cochrane said. Blubrry has a formal process for submitting complaints about shows with objectionable content and has only ever removed a handful. ''Let's say I respond to a social justice campaign saying this show is ultimately resulting in violence. It's an internal decision of whether or not we want to host that content, but I wouldn't want to be in Podbean's position today.''
Even if ''War Room'' were kicked out of Apple's directory or dumped by Podbean, that might fuel the argument '-- which Bannon has already exploited after being booted by Twitter and YouTube '-- that Big Tech has it out for conservatives. Plenty of liberal-leaning shows aren't paragons of truth either, but they haven't been banned.
''The inconsistency is a huge catalyst for these folks, because it gives them an endless supply of pretty accurate grievances to raise about 'why are we being shut down in this way,''' said Peter Simi, an associate professor of sociology at Chapman University. ''It amplifies their sense that there's this left-wing conspiracy that's hell-bent on preventing them from even expressing their views.''
Though Apple offers access to an enormous audience, it may only be a matter of time before Bannon and others are able to build up an alternative streaming universe that doesn't depend on the grace of Silicon Valley tech giants. On Jan. 13, Bannon talked on his show with Andrew Torba, the founder of Gab.com, which has become a haven for conspiracy theorists. Torba boasted of having built up enough of his own data-center capacity to support all of the traffic from people leaving Twitter and Facebook, but service is still groaning under the weight of new traffic. In emails to Gab members, Torba has been soliciting donations to support the expansion. ''No one is coming to save us,'' he wrote on Jan. 8. ''We must save ourselves.''
''It's a conundrum, because now you have the right wing moving into their own silos,'' said Adele Stan, the editor of Right Wing Watch, a project of the left-leaning People for the American Way. ''The thing we know about the right is that they're good at building infrastructure, in the way that the left has never gotten their act together on. We're just at this moment of chaos where it's hard to know if there's a base that's radicalized enough to be there for the long haul, when things start to not look very good for their side.''
In the meantime, Bannon seems to know exactly how far he can go before his remaining platforms have an excuse to yank his access.
Read More Also on Jan. 13, having just been booted off YouTube after the site banned videos that spread false election fraud statements, Bannon again had Giuliani as a guest. The leader of Trump's legal team said he had acquired videos showing ''Antifa'' agitators leading the Capitol violence, and at one point he suggested that one of them had actually shot Ashli Babbitt, the Air Force veteran who was, in fact, killed by a Capitol Police officer.
Bannon tried to rein in Giuliani and finally cut him off. ''I don't mind being shut down for my craziness, but I'm not going to be shut down for yours,'' he told the former New York City mayor, who seemed offended. ''I don't say crazy things,'' Giuliani responded, after Bannon had directed listeners to Giuliani's website to view the videos.
''I know, I'm teasing you,'' Bannon said.
Twitter's Jack Dorsey imagines an app store for social media algorithms - The Verge
Wed, 10 Feb 2021 15:50
Dorsey expands on Twitter's vision for a decentralized network
By Jacob Kastrenakes on February 9, 2021 7:45 pm Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey imagines a future where you get to choose what you see on social media by picking out your favorite recommendation algorithm, rather than relying on a single controlling company to get it exactly right.
On a call with investors today, Dorsey expanded on his vision of how a decentralized social network might work '-- and why Twitter would want to create a network that's beyond the control of itself or any other company. Dorsey said Twitter would benefit by having access to ''a much larger corpus of conversation'' from which it can surface relevant content to users. ''That's where we will be competitive,'' he said.
''That is something that not only we can host but we can participate in.''Dorsey said Twitter is ''excited to build'' features that will give people more choice over what they see. ''You can imagine an app-store-like view of ranking algorithms that give people ultimate flexibility in terms of'' what posts are put in front of them, Dorsey said on the call.
Twitter could both create its own ranking algorithms for people to choose from and offer a ''marketplace'' where people select different options. ''That is something that not only we can host but we can participate in,'' he said. Giving people more choice would ''not only help out business, but drive more people into participating in social media in the first place,'' he said.
Dorsey also sees decentralization as a way to ''address some of the problems'' around Section 230, the law that gives platforms protection from user-created content. The law has recently been a popular target for some legislators, and a decentralized network might offer Twitter a way to avoid issues if stricter rules were to be put in place, whether those rules require more moderation or for Twitter to apply a more neutral approach to what content is surfaced.
Twitter has slowly been working on developing a decentralized social network for more than a year. Dorsey announced the project, named Bluesky, in December 2019, but the company is just now trying to hire a project manager '-- so things are clearly a ways off. TechCrunch published a deep dive last month on where the project is headed, and it described Bluesky as ''firmly in the research phase.''
Decentralized social networks exist already, though none have had great success (remember Mastodon?). Twitter said the Bluesky team may choose to work with an existing decentralized system, or they may end up building a new one if the team thinks that's the best approach.
Mercury Insurance on Twitter: "Distracted walking led to 6,000 pedestrian fatalities involving vehicles last year. Let's keep our heads UP! https://t.co/H6K7ho1Oyx" / Twitter
Thu, 11 Feb 2021 13:05
Mercury Insurance : Distracted walking led to 6,000 pedestrian fatalities involving vehicles last year. Let's keep our heads UP! https://t.co/H6K7ho1Oyx
Tue Jul 10 20:31:41 +0000 2018
JFK
Oliver Stone Claims New JFK Assassination Documentary Is Being Blocked In America | The Daily Wire
Wed, 10 Feb 2021 23:21
Filmmaker Oliver Stone, who heavily promoted the JFK assassination conspiracy theory with his 1991 Oscar-winning movie ''JFK,'' now claims that his four-hour documentary on the same subject is being blocked from release in America due to fact-checks.
Speaking with filmmaker Spike Lee for Variety's ''Directors on Directors'' series, the Academy Award-winning director said he ''can't find a home'' for his documentary in America.
''What's the the status of JFK documentary?'' Lee asked.
Later, when Spike Lee asked if perhaps Netflix would pick it up, Stone said that fact-checkers kept it from finding it a home on various platforms.
''Netflix said no?'' asked Lee.
''Yeah. Today I just got the word that National Geographic said no,'' replied Stone.
''They said they did their fact check. Yeah. Where are you going to find this information except in this film? If they do a fact check, according to conventional sources, of course it'll come out like this is not true. How can you go and prove that it's true? It's very, it's very tough. You have to have some imagination here,'' he added.
In September of last year, Stone alleged that Hollywood censors films that are critical of U.S. foreign policy, which was a strange charge from him, considering that he made a career for himself with movies such as ''Platoon,'' ''Born on the Fourth of July,'' ''JFK,'' ''Nixon,'' ''W,'' and ''Snowden.''
''In my own personal experience, I would say Hollywood tends to economically censor subjects that are critical of America's foreign policy, and critical of the military adventures abroad that we've been engaged in for so many years,'' Stone told Jesse Watters of Fox News. ''I know also that I had a hell of a hard time getting 'Platoon' made, as well as several other films.''
During the same interview, Stone alleged that the U.S. intelligence complex essentially misleads the American people into armed conflict.
''The intelligence agencies mislead us in many affairs, going back'--in wars, especially'--to Vietnam, to Iraq twice, Afghanistan, Syria,'' he said. ''It's years of misinformation, particularly in Vietnam where I experienced, where'--I was a small fry there, but certainly at the bottom of the chain, we felt the devastating effect of the continual lying about the fact that we were winning the war, winning the war. It was never true.''
In that same month, Oliver Stone emphatically denounced cancel culture, arguing that his career would never have been allowed to begin if it were in place back in the 1980s.
''I mean, it's just impossible. I would have had to step on so many sensitivities. You have to have some freedom to make a movie, unfortunately,'' said Stone.
''You have to be rude, and you can be bad, and you [can] have to do these things like step on toes,'' he continued. ''Holy cow. Do you think I could have made any one of those films? I can tell you that if I made any of my films, I don't think I'd last. I'd be vilified. I'd be attacked, shamed, whatever you want to call that, culture, cancel f***ing culture.''
Related: Oliver Stone: Hollywood Censors 'Subjects That Are Critical Of America's Foreign Policy'
The Daily Wire is one of America's fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member .
War on Weed
Jamaica May Have A Marijuana Shortage, Report Says | The Daily Wire
Mon, 08 Feb 2021 11:58
Jamaica, the Caribbean country home to more than 2 million people, may be facing a marijuana shortage due to a confluence of factors, including bad weather, fewer overall farmers, and even COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, according to The Associated Press.
''It's a cultural embarrassment,'' Tristan Thompson, an executive associated with the country's legal cannabis industry, told AP. Thompson said that last year ''was the worst'' in terms of marijuana loss, and called it ''laughable'' that the country could be short on it.
Although the Cannabis Licensing Authority, which regulates marijuana in Jamaica, has denied there is a shortage of the drug on the market, others point out that many still buy it outside of regulated shops, where it can be up to 10 times more expensive, reports AP. According to Reuters, figures from the U.S. State Department show that Jamaican farmers, historically, cultivate about 37,000 acres of marijuana each year.
No single factor can account for the apparent shortage of marijuana, or ganja, as it's called in Jamaica. For example, the country's marijuana farmers have been dealing with poor weather, including a plant-destroying heavy rain season last year, and a drought that followed it.
The Associated Press reports, however, that other factors have also been contributing, including the now-higher costs of participating in the growing legal market. Activists have also pointed to higher demand from users, prompting theories that decriminalization and the ongoing pandemic made people more willing to use it, reports AP.
Back in 2015, Jamaica amended the Dangerous Drugs Act, decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana possession and cultivation for personal use. While fines still exist for marijuana possession, there is no criminal sentence attached like in the law's previous version. (According to The Independent , the country's Dangerous Drugs Act was amended on what would have been the 70th birthday of Bob Marley, the Jamaican-born singer and songwriter who once called the drug ''the healing of a nation.'')
Now, many farmers who previously cultivated the drug illegally have decided against growing it due to the costs of compliance. Other farmers have pointed to decreased production due to pandemic restrictions, such as curfews that prohibited people from going out after 6pm, a challenge in an industry in which many farmers cultivate at night.
One farmer who tends to crops at night told the AP that his fields only yielded 300 pounds of marijuana, and said that he can normally harvest twice as much. He estimated that he had lost more than $18,000 as a result of the smaller harvest.
Back in 2019, one Rastafarian marijuana activist, Ras Iyah V., told Reuters that simply applying for an individual grower's license can cost $300, and business licenses can cost anywhere from $500 to $10,000 annually, on top of renovations needed to bring a farm up to code with legal requirements.
The Daily Wire is one of America's fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member .
BTC
Tesla to accept bitcoin as payment in 'near future' after $1.5 billion investment - The Verge
Mon, 08 Feb 2021 13:40
Elon Musk has been a fan of bitcoin recently
By Tom Warren on February 8, 2021 8:06 am Tesla says it has invested $1.5 billion in the bitcoin cryptocurrency. The electric car manufacturer filed its annual 10-K report with the SEC this morning, and revealed the new bitcoin investment. Tesla says it will also ''begin accepting bitcoin as a form of payment for our products in the near future.''
Tesla customers have been calling on founder and CEO Elon Musk to accept bitcoin for vehicle purchases recently. Musk has been vocal about backing the cryptocurrency on Twitter, even adding #bitcoin to his profile recently. Musk has also been backing Dogecoin on Twitter over the past week, sending its value up just moments after his tweets.
In January 2021, we updated our investment policy to provide us with more flexibility to further diversify and maximize returns on our cash that is not required to maintain adequate operating liquidity. As part of the policy, we may invest a portion of such cash in certain specified alternative reserve assets.
Thereafter, we invested an aggregate $1.50 billion in bitcoin under this policy. Moreover, we expect to begin accepting bitcoin as a form of payment for our products in the near future, subject to applicable laws and initially on a limited basis, which we may or may not liquidate upon receipt.
Bitcoin price on Monday morning.
Image: Coindesk
News of the Tesla investment has sent the price of bitcoin up to more than $43,000 this morning, breaking its all-time high. The price of the cryptocurrency has been gradually increasing throughout 2021, as demand from both institutional and retail buyers has increased. It still remains a volatile cryptocurrency, though, with the price dipping below $30,000 in January alone.
The bitcoin investment also follows news of Tesla's updated Model S. Tesla just announced its first major redesign of the Model S since it launched the electric sedan in 2012. The updated car will be available in March, and includes a refreshed design, new interior, and a 520-mile range option. Tesla's Model X is also getting some improvements on the outside and a new interior update.
Clips
VIDEO-Here is Kamala Harris joking about killing Trump and Mike Pence https://t.co/gvJH4EGpVr" / Twitter
Thu, 11 Feb 2021 11:58
Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 : Here is Kamala Harris joking about killing Trump and Mike Pence https://t.co/gvJH4EGpVr
Wed Feb 10 20:25:37 +0000 2021
VIDEO-'A Personalized Power Like We Haven't Seen': ABC Reporter Says Trump Is A 'Caesar' And 'Fuhrer' To The Republican Party | The Daily Caller
Thu, 11 Feb 2021 11:29
ABC reporter Terry Moran said Wednesday that former President Donald Trump ''has the Republican Party as a personalized power'' and that it's as if he is a ''caesar'' or ''fuhrer'' to the party.
Moran joined ABC's special coverage of Trump's impeachment trial and was introduced by host George Stephanopoulos to give his analysis on the House impeachment managers' Wednesday arguments. (RELATED: 'Trump Will Be Acquitted': Former Impeachment Attorney Says 'There Is A Substantial Defense' To Be Presented)
''Whatever you think of this case, they've risen to the moment. This is an atrocity in our history, an atrocity against our democracy, and the care with which the Democratic House managers of this impeachment trial have come prepared, their argument is organized,'' Moran said. ''They're ringing the notes of patriotism and the emotion of the attack itself, and surrounding that with what they hope is an evidentiary trail from Donald Trump to that attack. That is their challenge here.''
Trump's impeachment trial began Tuesday and the House impeachment managers were first to begin their 16 hours of arguments Wednesday. In their presentation, they've sought to tie together the timeline of events at the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol with corresponding video evidence from various points of the riot.
Moran said that arguing against the constitutionality of the trial based on Trump no longer being in office is like ''arguing with Brown v. Board of Education,'' referencing a Supreme Court decision that has been in place for decades.
''One more thing, which is the way that Republicans just aren't going to budge, whatever the nature of this argument, whatever the nature of the facts,'' he continued. ''Fight for Trump. Fight for Trump. Fight for Trump. Not fight for America.''
''He has the Republican party as a personalized power like we haven't seen. It's a cut deal, it's a Caesar, it's a Fuhrer. We don't see that in this country. We do now,'' Moran concluded, using titles of past authoritarian leaders of the Roman Empire and Nazi Germany.
VIDEO-Fully vaccinated people can skip Covid quarantines, CDC says - CNN
Thu, 11 Feb 2021 11:11
(CNN) People who have been fully vaccinated against coronavirus -- right now that means with two doses of either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine -- can skip quarantine if they are exposed to someone infected with the virus, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.
That doesn't mean they should stop taking precautions, the CDC noted in updated guidance. It's just not necessary for them to quarantine.
"Fully vaccinated persons who meet criteria will no longer be required to quarantine following an exposure to someone with COVID-19," the CDC said in updates to its web page with guidance on vaccination.
"Vaccinated persons with an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria," the CDC added.
The criteria: They must be fully vaccinated -- having had both shots with at least two weeks having passed since the second shot. That's because it takes two weeks to build full immunity after the second dose of vaccine.
But the CDC says it's not known how long protection lasts, so people who had their last shot three months ago or more should still quarantine if they are exposed. They also should quarantine if they show symptoms, the CDC said.
"This recommendation to waive quarantine for people with vaccine-derived immunity aligns with quarantine recommendations for those with natural immunity, which eases implementation," the CDC said. The agency will update guidance as more is learned.
People who have been vaccinated should still watch for symptoms for 14 days after they have been exposed to someone who is infected, the CDC said.
And everyone, vaccinated or not, needs to follow all other precautions to prevent the spread of the virus, the CDC said. This is not least because it's possible even vaccinated people could harbor the virus in their noses and throats, and pass it to others.
"At this time, vaccinated persons should continue to follow current guidance to protect themselves and others, including wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet away from others, avoiding crowds, avoiding poorly ventilated spaces, covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands often, following CDC travel guidance, and following any applicable workplace or school guidance, including guidance related to personal protective equipment use or SARS-CoV-2 testing," the agency said.
Vaccines prevent symptomatic illness but they have not yet been shown to prevent asymptomatic illness, the CDC noted. While people with no symptoms can spread coronavirus, the CDC said, "symptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission is thought to have a greater role in transmission than purely asymptomatic transmission."
Plus, the benefits of not unnecessarily forcing people into lockdown for two weeks may outweigh the risks of transmission in these cases, the CDC said.
"These criteria could also be applied when considering work restrictions for fully vaccinated healthcare personnel with higher-risk exposures, as a strategy to alleviate staffing shortages. Of note, exposed healthcare personnel would not be required to quarantine outside of work, the CDC said.
"As an exception to the above guidance no longer requiring quarantine for fully vaccinated persons, vaccinated inpatients and residents in healthcare settings should continue to quarantine following an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19; outpatients should be cared for using appropriate Transmission-Based Precautions," the CDC added.
That's because it's not clear how effective the vaccine is in people who are hospitalized.
"Although not preferred, healthcare facilities could consider waiving quarantine for vaccinated patients and residents as a strategy to mitigate critical issues (e.g., lack of space, staff, or PPE to safely care for exposed patients or residents) when other options are unsuccessful or unavailable. These decisions could be made in consultation with public health officials and infection control experts."
VIDEO-Aaron Rupar on Twitter: "Here's Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy going in on the performance of Trump's legal team https://t.co/BT0EiPMW1U" / Twitter
Wed, 10 Feb 2021 16:31
Aaron Rupar : Here's Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy going in on the performance of Trump's legal team https://t.co/BT0EiPMW1U
Wed Feb 10 00:06:16 +0000 2021
VIDEO-Trump impeachment trial's six most interesting first-day moments | Fox News
Wed, 10 Feb 2021 15:59
Day one of the Trump impeachment trial drew to a close in the Senate after four hours of emotional testimony and bitter debate -- and the proceedings will pick up again Wednesday afternoon.
As observers debate the performance of both sides the day after the trial kicked off, here's a recap of six key moments from Tuesday's session:
Senate votes trial is constitutional
The Senate voted to move ahead with the historic impeachment trial, despite some Republican concerns that impeaching a president already out of office would be unconstitutional.
The vote was 56-44.
The six Republicans who joined with the Democrats on voting to continue the trial were Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.
TRUMP'S IMPEACHMENT TRIAL: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
Cassidy had switched his vote from a previous point of order brought up last week by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. He said he did not view the 55-to-45 vote on Paul's resolution as revealing how senators would vote when it comes to whether or not to convict Trump.
DEMOCRATS IN TRUMP IMPEACHMENT TRIAL RESORT TO GRAPHIC VIDEO OF POLICE UNDER ATTACK
"It was a vote in a moment of time. And so, based upon what senators knew at that point and felt at that point, they then voted. But we will now have, hopefully, presentations from both sides, and we will consider the evidence as impartial jurors," he said on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday.
Senate approves impeachment timeline
The trial is slated to continue through the weekend with no days off, under a resolution authored by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and GOP Leader Mitch McConnell.
The eight-page bipartisan resolution set out the rules and timeline for Trump's second impeachment trial in an effort to complete the unprecedented proceedings in a fair and speedy fashion.
WHO ARE THE DEMOCRATIC TRUMP IMPEACHMENT MANAGERS?
Trump's defense team got two hours to explain why the Senate trial shouldn't go forward, and the House impeachment managers, led by Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., gott two hours to explain why the trial is warranted even for a departed president.
"Unlike the previous impeachment, Leader McConnell and I are introducing the resolution together. No one can claim it's not fair," Schumer, D-N.Y., said Tuesday. The resolution passed 89-11.
The trial will begin again Wednesday at noon in a similar fashion.
Democrats pull up graphic video of Capitol riot
As could be expected, lead impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., immediately cued up a graphic video of the Jan. 6 attack.
The Democratic video mashup of Trump's own words encouraging his supporters to "fight like hell" was followed by graphic images of rioters then breaking down barricades at the Capitol and yelling profanities at officers, such as "f**k D.C. police."
THESE ATTORNEYS ARE DEFENDING TRUMP IN THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL
In one clip, rioters were seen berating and beating up Capitol police as they force their way into the Capitol. One officer died directly from his injuries, while another 140 officers were injured in the siege.
The gripping 13-minute video included clips from Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaking on the Senate floor calling out Trump's conspiracy theories on widespread election fraud on Jan. 6 in contrast to the "Stop the Steal" chants of rioters taking hold of the Capitol.
Rep. Jamie Raskin gets personal
Raskin told the story of his own family's terror during the riot, which was only one day after he buried his son Tommy.
WHO IS SENATE PRO TEMPORE PATRICK LEAHY AND WHY IS HE PRESIDING OVER TRUMP IMPEACHMENT TRIAL?
The Maryland Democrat noted that his daughter, Tabitha, and son-in-law, Hank, accompanied him to the Capitol on Jan. 6 to provide emotional support as lawmakers met to confirm President Biden's election victory.
Raskin's family members were later trapped inside House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer's office as pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol complex. The congressman noted that it was "too late" for him to reach his family.
"All around me, people were calling their wives and their husbands, their loved ones, to say goodbye," Raskin said. "Then there was a sound I'll never forget '' the sound of pounding on the door like a battering ram, the most haunting sound I've ever heard and I will never forget it."
Lawyer Bruce Castor says Dems are just afraid of running against Trump again
"We are really here because the majority in the House of Representatives does not want to face Donald Trump as a political rival in the future. That's the real reason we're here," Castor said.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Castor warned that "the floodgates will open" if the Senate impeaches his client. "The political pendulum will shift one day -- this chamber and the chamber across the way will change one day and partisan impeachments will become commonplace," he said.
But sources told Fox News Trump was "furious" and "beyond angry" over his defense team's showing.
TRUMP JR SAYS SENATE SHOULD LOOK FOR SOMETHING 'BETTER TO DO' THAN SIT THROUGH ANOTHER TRIAL
The sources, who spent time with Trump, said he was particularly incensed with the effort thus far by Castor. Trump believes Castor gave a rambling opening argument, they said. Castor's 45-minute opening remarks were widely panned on social media after he praised the House impeachment managers for a job "well done."
Fox News' Kristin Fisher, Marisa Schultz and Adam Shaw contributed to this report.
VIDEO-President Biden's pre-Super Bowl interview - CBS News
Tue, 09 Feb 2021 16:04
President Joe Biden sits down with "CBS Evening News" anchor and managing editor Norah O'Donnell ahead of Super Bowl LV for his first network interview since taking office.
VIDEO-CNN's Van Jones felt 'ambushed' by hosts of 'The View'
Tue, 09 Feb 2021 15:58
February 8, 2021 | 7:58pm
CNN pundit Van Jones did not get the warm welcome he was expecting when he appeared on ABC's ''The View'' last Friday.
''He felt like they were rude, and he was completely blindsided by how they questioned him. He was not happy about how the interview went. It was unprofessional,'' a TV source told Page Six.
Jones appeared on the show to promote his new documentary, ''The Reunited States,'' produced with ''The View'' co-host Meghan McCain. But the interview took an unexpected turn when the show's Sunny Hostin, and part-time co-host Ana Navarro, took Jones to task for his past association with the Trump administration.
''There are those who really accuse you of being an opportunist, a chameleon, so to speak, who provided a racial cover for former disgraced, twice-impeached, President Trump '... People in the black community don't trust you anymore. What is your response?'' Hostin asked him.
Van Jones felt ''ambushed'' during his appearance on ''The View'' in February. CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagNavarro followed up by saying: ''You've lost a lot of people who trusted you, and who saw you as a voice, because of the positions you took during Trump.''
We're told that McCain was also blindsided by her co-hosts' confrontational approach.
''[Van] expected a friendly environment, and I don't think Meghan even knew there was anything controversial about him. It was how they asked the questions that was off-putting. It was shocking how intolerant they were,'' the source explained.
Another source told us that Jones was livid, and that he confronted producers after the segment. ''He told them, 'I didn't expect to be ambushed,''' our source said.
Jones was still tweeting about the incident Monday morning. ''I was there to promote a film '... about people listening across the lines of difference,'' he wrote. ''Ironically, the need for the film was made more apparent by some of the co-hosts.''
But another insider familiar with the incident insisted that the guest knew about the questions beforehand, and blasted Jones for attacking Hostin and Navarro on social media.
''Producers told him they would question him about his flip-flopping. Sunny and Ana, like many other influential voices, gave Van the chance to not only address his conflicting political positions but also his cozy relationship with [Trump],'' they said.
''It's unfortunate that instead of addressing the very real distrust of him within the black community, Van chooses to attack two women of color via social media, hiding behind the guise of 'unity,''' they continued. ''Van is taking a page from Donald Trump's playbook, whom he called the 'uniter-in-chief' in 2018. His exposure as a persona non grata in the black community is clearly jeopardizing his grift.''
A spokesperson for ''The View'' said Jones did not complain about his appearance. ''This is nonsense. None of the producers heard from Van after his appearance. He more than held his own, and clearly you have to be ready for anything when you come to 'The View,''' they said.
VIDEO-Fauci Says Masks Can Come Off When Virus 'Is Not A Threat At All' | The Daily Caller
Tue, 09 Feb 2021 15:57
Dr. Anthony Fauci suggested that Americans will need to keep wearing face masks until COVID-19 ''is not a threat at all'' during a Monday afternoon appearance on Fox News' ''Special Report.''
''Is there going to be a time when we are going to be, no masks?'' anchor Bret Baier asked during the interview. ''When is that time? If you had to guess, going to a sports game, going to a theater, going to a concert without a mask?''
WATCH:
''That will really be dependent upon how we get the level of virus in the community down,'' Fauci responded. ''If we can get '-- and I have used this as an estimate, it's not definitive '-- but if we can get 70 to 85 percent of the population vaccinated, and get to what we would hope would be to a degree of herd immunity which really is an umbrella or a veil of protection against the community, where the level of virus is so low it's not a threat at all, then at that point, you can start thinking in terms of not having to have uniform wearing of masks.''
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director predicted that the U.S. is ''not near'' a time when this could happen.
''If everything falls into the right place and we get this under control, it is conceivable that you might be able to pull back a bit on some of the public health measures as we get into the late fall of this year,'' he continued. ''But there's no guarantee of that, because if we don't get the overwhelming majority of the population vaccinated, there's still gonna be a considerable amount of virus in the community, and as long as that's the case, people are gonna have to wear masks.'' (RELATED: Dr. Anthony Fauci Says Two Masks Are Better Than One)
In mid-December, Fauci suggested a June timeline for a vaccine-induced herd immunity that could allow the removal of masks, but the vaccine rollouts have been slower than initial predictions. Just over 32 million people have received their first dose from Pfizer or Moderna, but less than 10 million have received the necessary second dose.
VIDEO-Buttigieg: We're In 'Active Conversation' With CDC About Requiring COVID Test Before Domestic Flights | The Daily Wire
Tue, 09 Feb 2021 15:54
Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said during an interview on Sunday that the Biden administration is in active conversations with the CDC about whether it will require American citizens to have a negative coronavirus test before they are allowed to fly to another U.S. state.
Buttigieg made the remark when asked during an Axios interview what he thought ''of requiring a COVID test before someone flies even domestically?''
''Well, there's an active conversation with the CDC right now, what I can tell you is this going to be guided by data, by science, by medicine, and by the input of the people are actually going to have to carry this out,'' Buttigieg responded. ''But here's the thing, the safer we can make air travel in terms of perception as well as reality, the more people are going to be ready to get back in the air.''
Buttigieg also said that he thought that the traditional American's work schedule would be permanently changed to some extent as a result of the pandemic. Buttigieg said that he wanted to start paying more attention to ''bikes, scooters, wheelchairs'' because ''roads aren't only for vehicles.''
Buttigieg defended President Joe Biden's decision to kill the Keystone XL Pipeline during his Senate confirmation hearing last month.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) asked Buttigieg: ''So for those workers, the answer is somebody else will get a job?''
''The answer is we are very eager to see those workers continue to be employed in good-paying union jobs, even if they might be different ones,'' Buttigieg responded.
WATCH:
Full transcript of the exchange:
MIKE ALLEN, AXIOS: What's the biggest way that transportation has been permanently changed by the pandemic?
PETE BUTTIGIEG, SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION: It's too soon to know for sure. But I think it's safe to say that our old patterns of life, the nine to five, Monday through Friday, commuting patterns are not going to be exactly the same.
ALLEN: Yeah. And so how might that change what your stuff does?
BUTTIGIEG: You know, we think trains, planes and automobiles, but what about bikes, scooters, wheelchairs, for that matter?
ALLEN: Those are things you plan to pay more attention to?
BUTTIGIEG: Absolutely, yeah, look, roads aren't only for vehicles. We got to make sure that pedestrians and individuals and bicyclists and businesses can all coexist on the same roadway.
ALLEN: What do you think of requiring a COVID test before someone flies even domestically?
BUTTIGIEG: Well, there's an active conversation with the CDC right now, what I can tell you is this going to be guided by data, by science, by medicine, and by the input of the people are actually going to have to carry this out. But here's the thing, the safer we can make air travel in terms of perception as well as reality, the more people are going to be ready to get back in the air.
The Daily Wire is one of America's fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member .
VIDEO-'When Do They Get Their Green Jobs?': Psaki Jousts With Fox's Peter Doocy About Laid Off Oil And Gas Workers | The Daily Caller
Tue, 09 Feb 2021 15:53
White House press secretary Jen Psaki and Fox News reporter Peter Doocy went back and forth during Monday's White House press briefing over President Joe Biden's promise to provide ''green jobs'' to workers formerly employed in the fossil fuels industry.
When called on by Psaki, Doocy began by asking about the thousands of workers in the fossil fuels industry who are out of a job, or may soon be out of a job, due to the Biden administration's policies concerning the industry. (RELATED: 'I'm A Farmer': Democratic Senator Breaks With Biden Administration By Supporting Keystone XL Pipeline)
''When is it that the Biden administration is going to let the thousands of fossil fuel industry workers, whether it's pipeline workers or construction workers, who are either out of work or will soon be out of work because of the Biden EO, when it is and where it is they can go for their green job?'' Doocy asked. ''That is something the administration has promised. There is now a gap, so I'm just curious when that happens, when those people can count on that?''
''I certainly welcome you to present your data of all the thousands and thousands of people who won't be getting a green job. Maybe next time you're here you can present that,'' Psaki responded.
On Biden's first day in office he signed an executive order revoking the Presidential permit granted for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which was expected to run from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. This action is expected to cost roughly 11,000 American jobs. TC Energy, the company behind the construction of the pipeline, said on Jan. 2o that there could be an immediate loss of 1,000 construction jobs.
Doocy then noted to Psaki that she previously said those workers would be getting ''green jobs'' and mentioned that AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, a friend of Biden's, said he wished Biden had paired the loss of jobs in the fossil fuels industry and the job creation in the green energy industry more carefully. ''The Labor International Union of North America said that the Keystone decision will cost 1,000 existing union jobs and 10,000 projected construction jobs,'' Doocy added.
''What Mr. Trumka also indicated in the same interview was that President Biden has proposed a climate plan with transformative investments and infrastructure, and laid out a plan that will not only create millions of good union jobs, but also help tackle the climate crisis,'' Psaki retorted. ''And, as the president has indicated when he gave his prime time address to talk about the American Rescue Plan, he talked about his plans to also put forward a jobs plan in the weeks or months following. He has every plan to do exactly that.''
Trumka did praise Biden and his plans in his Axios interview, but Psaki did not follow up on Trumka's criticism of the timing of Biden's policy rollout. Biden also did not mention any future jobs plan announcement in his address to the nation on Feb. 5, as Psaki claimed.
''But there are people living paycheck to paycheck. There are now people out of jobs once the Keystone pipeline stops construction '... So what do these people who need money now, when do they get their green jobs?'' Doocy continued.
''The president and many Democrats and Republicans in Congress believe that investment in infrastructure, building infrastructure, that's in our national interests, boosts the U.S. economy, creates good-paying union jobs here in America, and advances our climate and clean energy goals, are something that we can certainly work on doing together, and he has every plan to share more about his details of that plan in the weeks ahead,'' Psaki responded.
VIDEO-User Clip: fight | C-SPAN.org
Tue, 09 Feb 2021 00:49
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VIDEO-Chinese Netizens Need License to Comment on Current Affairs | Epoch News | China Insider
Mon, 08 Feb 2021 21:55
Rumble '-- The Chinese Communist Party has further tightened its control over speech, information, and public opinion, by announcing restrictions on what is allowed on Chinese social media.
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VIDEO-I have a one hour show on the weekends. Check yourself before you wreck yourself." / Twitter
Mon, 08 Feb 2021 15:09
Brian Stelter : @ReaganBattalion @brittanys I have a one hour show on the weekends. Check yourself before you wreck yourself.
Sun Feb 07 21:23:55 +0000 2021
The Rising Phoenix : @brianstelter @ReaganBattalion @brittanys a mostly unwatched show, and only watched by brainless idiots
Mon Feb 08 15:05:48 +0000 2021
Re-Education Camper Lincoln : @brianstelter @ReaganBattalion @brittanys Oh please potato head, nobody cares.
Mon Feb 08 15:05:27 +0000 2021
Broken Biden Voters L's : @brianstelter @ReaganBattalion @brittanys Potato
Mon Feb 08 15:05:26 +0000 2021
jamie : @brianstelter @ReaganBattalion @brittanys https://t.co/bbPpF9XwRY
Mon Feb 08 15:04:59 +0000 2021
Rick Gobert : @brianstelter @ReaganBattalion @brittanys So you're saying Sean Hannity is 10x greater cause he has 5 shows on weekdays? Great logic, bud
Mon Feb 08 15:04:48 +0000 2021
Dipstick Lipstick : @brianstelter @ReaganBattalion @brittanys Great argument. No wonder you have such a choice time slot.
Mon Feb 08 15:04:19 +0000 2021
Pablo's GreatRevenge : @brianstelter @ReaganBattalion @brittanys You already wrecked yourself
Mon Feb 08 15:04:12 +0000 2021
Stevie Stonks : @brianstelter @ReaganBattalion @brittanys AHAHAHAHAHAHAA YOU FUCKING LOSER ðŸ‚ðŸ‚ðŸ‚ðŸ(C)ðŸ(C)ðŸ(C)
Mon Feb 08 15:03:55 +0000 2021
ᴅᴇʟᴛᴠᴅᴏɴ : @brianstelter @ReaganBattalion @brittanys 🂠gross
Mon Feb 08 15:03:17 +0000 2021
matt dooley : @brianstelter @ReaganBattalion @brittanys "Check yourself before you wreck yourself"? As a burn, that 1992 rhyme is'... https://t.co/Kz3ln7G2s2
Mon Feb 08 15:03:16 +0000 2021
Ç'ᴉʞoHZ' : @brianstelter @ReaganBattalion @brittanys https://t.co/VfKRHwp2s0
Mon Feb 08 14:56:38 +0000 2021
VIDEO- "Pelosi, asked about Lindsey Graham's threat to bring in the FBI to testify in Trump's impeachment trial, replies: "your question is a waste of time" and takes a different one. https://t.co/Le0kZ6iTnE" / Twitter
Mon, 08 Feb 2021 13:26
Andrew Solender : Pelosi, asked about Lindsey Graham's threat to bring in the FBI to testify in Trump's impeachment trial, replies: "'... https://t.co/uvXgpXpfpW
Thu Feb 04 16:40:02 +0000 2021
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Mon, 08 Feb 2021 13:04
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VIDEO-Pres. Biden says it's time for "schools to reopen safely," adding that roughly 20 million kids not being able to attend school this year ''is a national emergency" https://t.co/DGgJdrHkxt" / Twitter
Mon, 08 Feb 2021 11:49
Norah O'Donnell 🇺🇸 : SUPER BOWL INTERVIEW: In his first network interview since taking office, Pres. Biden says it's time for "schools t'... https://t.co/90uYlBW3EK
Sun Feb 07 21:35:58 +0000 2021
VIDEO-Norah O'Donnell 🇺🇸 on Twitter: "''The honesty with which he stepped forward and talked about the problem,'' Pres. Biden says of his son Hunter's memoir on his struggles with addiction, ''it gave me hope.'' ''It was like my boy's back,
Mon, 08 Feb 2021 11:45
Norah O'Donnell 🇺🇸 : ''The honesty with which he stepped forward and talked about the problem,'' Pres. Biden says of his son Hunter's memo'... https://t.co/shM3HPoIuW
Sun Feb 07 00:04:41 +0000 2021
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Tom Elliott : ProPublica's @lydiadepillis suggests Apple should extend YouTube's restrictions on controversial content to podcast'... https://t.co/p3w7jeieaB
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CBS Evening News - anchor Norah Odonnell - WHO shoots down wuhan lab theory (11sec).mp3
CBS Face the Nation - anchor Margaret Brennan (1) - intro for Dr Maria Van Kerkhove - variants are multiple mutations clustered (1min6sec).mp3
CBS Face the Nation - anchor Margaret Brennan (2) - Dr Maria Van Kerkhove - wuhan investigation not a show by chinese govt (1min16sec).mp3
CBS Face the Nation - anchor Margaret Brennan (3) - Dr Scott Gottlieb - wuhan investigation going nowhere because of chinese govt (1min8sec).mp3
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  • 0:00
    Unknown: daxi light
  • 0:00
    by iPhone
  • 0:04
    Adam: the new beta Adam Curry,
  • 0:06
    Unknown: John Dvorak,
  • 0:07
    Adam: Thursday, February 11 2021. This is your award winning gitmo-nation Media assassination Episode 13. This
  • 0:14
    Unknown: is no agenda broadcasting
  • 0:19
    Adam: live live from opportunity zone 33 here in the frontier of Austin, Texas capital of the Lone Star State in the morning, everybody.
  • 0:26
    John: I'm Adam Curry, and from Northern Silicon Valley, and since Biden's installation is President 60,000 Americans have died on his watch. He's a murderer. I'm Jhansi devorah Yeah, yeah.
  • 0:48
    Adam: That's called What about ism john? Stop with your What about isms?
  • 0:55
    John: Using his logic,
  • 0:57
    Adam: yeah. 31 degrees in Austin, Texas.
  • 1:01
    John: Oh, no wonder you could do that to the trill Ah yeah, so
  • 1:07
    Adam: um, what is going on?
  • 1:10
    John: is called Global Warming
  • 1:11
    Adam: turn off harp. Turn off heart people.
  • 1:15
    Unknown: Oh, man.
  • 1:16
    Adam: What a crazy day already crazy day. Bitcoin all time high. Which it was it was like almost 49,000 this morning.
  • 1:27
    John: You rolling in dough? Oh, yeah. Yeah,
  • 1:31
    Adam: yeah, just rolling in it. If I hadn't sold those 6510 years ago, I might be rolling in the dough.
  • 1:39
    John: Well, that was a blunder.
  • 1:41
    Adam: That was a big blunder. That's all right. I'm gonna I'm with the other students as bad as
  • 1:44
    John: both both buzzkill Jr. and the shill. Yeah, they both like I think a lot of people don't tell me
  • 1:53
    Adam: something bad happen to
  • 1:55
    John: know they both have Bitcoins. Of course, they
  • 1:58
    Adam: have bitcoins
  • 1:59
    John: on some old hard
  • 2:02
    Adam: drive. Eric told me about this. Yeah. Oh, yeah, I've done some I've done some mining a while but I think I got three or four bitcoins, but I don't know which computer it's on. I got a restore from a backup, right? Oh, my
  • 2:13
    John: God doesn't and he doesn't know where the disk is. As long gone. This is like 10 years ago.
  • 2:19
    Adam: Don't these people know what a seed is that you need to keep in your, in your safe or in your head? Hey, no,
  • 2:26
    John: talking to the wrong guy. I don't even care. I
  • 2:28
    Adam: know, I know. You don't.
  • 2:30
    John: I figured if I didn't buy 25 or 100 bitcoins when they were 25 cents or $1. What's the point now?
  • 2:38
    Adam: Well, something for a longer discussion someday. Meanwhile, we learned something. We learned that it is completely constitutional to impeach a president after he's already out of office with the fact that was quite shocking to me, I have to say is a constitutional thing.
  • 3:02
    John: I think that I think our murder in chief Barack Obama is susceptible to this.
  • 3:09
    Adam: Well, I like this a lot. Because now you know, eventually we can go back and we can get all kinds of dudes.
  • 3:14
    John: And what we end up impeaching all of them.
  • 3:17
    Adam: Well, let's get cheney because no one's talking about vice presidents. But I think cheney would be a good one too.
  • 3:22
    John: But what about bush? torture? Yeah. I think they're all susceptible. I mean, they've been called war criminals by the left. Yeah. Yeah. Actually Clinton has been too so you got first you got Reagan he's because it was still iran contra they can get go back and do that again. Yeah. Then he got Clinton. You can do the him again. And then a george HW Bush, I'm sure there's something very to puking out some guy. That's
  • 3:48
    Unknown: that's impeachable. Definitely.
  • 3:51
    Adam: But can't wait a minute. Can we impeach Joe Biden is vice president?
  • 3:57
    Unknown: Yeah.
  • 4:00
    Adam: And then he would not be able to hold office.
  • 4:03
    John: That's a good one. Yeah, I think it was, must be begun.
  • 4:08
    Adam: Must be begun. Begin to begin. He said yes. Well, I enjoyed. I didn't watch all of the trial, but I had c span radio on my hearing aids. So I heard most of it, most of it. And there were some funny bits in this. The trial is, as you noted in the newsletter, huge show trial, a
  • 4:30
    John: lot of stuff.
  • 4:32
    Adam: And you know, really, I'm disappointed. I think the level of lawyers on both sides is mediocre. Just you know, it's what are they all trying to do? Like a CBS movie of the week.
  • 4:47
    John: They're all doing auditions.
  • 4:49
    Adam: auditions. Exactly. Jamie Raskin who, from what I understand, he is a trial lawyer.
  • 4:56
    John: You'd never know it from this. Exactly.
  • 5:00
    Adam: Have the funniest moment.
  • 5:03
    John: You know, cider in chief? Well, there
  • 5:04
    Adam: were a lot there were actually a lot of funny moments. Let me see what I have. There was some some things about Bill Barr that the defense brought up. And it was interesting listening to this on c span radio, you know, c span radio, you're listening to it and they try to provide you with eyes by you know, by coming in by saying the senator from New York Chuck Schumer,
  • 5:28
    John: you know, they'll go naked, they're naked.
  • 5:32
    Adam: That's exactly Wouldn't it be cool if they did that? senator from New York Chuck Schumer has no pants on c span radio. But instead we we did get some some language which they then had to intervene on and say that c span radio was carrying this live which means that we do not censor any language it may be it may not be applicable or appropriate for some younger ear c span radio. And this was one of
  • 5:58
    Unknown: the according to a news report, Bill Barr, the highest law official of the worst MIT official in Deland told President Donald Trump to his face that his theories of election fraud were quote, bullshit.
  • 6:14
    Adam: Unquote, c span radio is caring this live We're so sorry for any nasty words you might have heard. But then you know when I'm talking about the quality of these lawyers, and are these millennials disguised as as Xers or boomers, listen
  • 6:30
    Unknown: to this 16 assistant us attorneys in the Trump administration urged the Attorney General to cease investigations because they had not seen evidence of any substantial anomalies that means they did not find any evidence
  • 6:45
    John: of real fraud.
  • 6:47
    Unknown: Attorney General Barr pursued investigations anyways and
  • 6:53
    how does that work?
  • 6:55
    Adam: How does a lawyer schooled in in the in language How does he come up with any ways
  • 7:03
    John: Come on
  • 7:05
    Adam: automatic dismissal I
  • 7:06
    John: didn't catch that at all I'm gonna give you I'm gonna give you a premature borderline Tip of the Day
  • 7:11
    Adam: wow okay. Anyways get out of town get out of town
  • 7:20
    John: let's it makes me wonder whether they're just mocking the whole process.
  • 7:25
    Adam: Yeah, maybe
  • 7:30
    John: I know there's no evidence of it because they're all seemed humorless like humorless Yeah, yep. They really did possible that they were that was an act to you don't know
  • 7:40
    Adam: Well, so what was interesting to me although we've seen this more recently in in different different things in the Senate, it was really a lot of use of video and man, would you take video and then you're overlaying never before heard radio transmission of Capitol Police? I mean, yeah, it's gonna sound scary. You know, you and I can do that. Just audio. This has never been heard before. Listen, listen to these brave men and women of the Capitol Police. You know, it's like,
  • 8:15
    oh, man, that sounded really bad.
  • 8:20
    John: It was ludicrous. But they also
  • 8:21
    Adam: use a lot of M five m footage, which was interesting. And it was just so flattering for CNN, Jake Tapper got old gt was slick from from the fact that they use cnn real reporting in this trial. A lot of CNN reporting was in that presentation. CNN reporters, talking to Trump supporters, Anderson, finding out what they think is there any way that if Donald Trump loses, it's legitimate, and they say no, this is this was cnn reporting. JOHN Kelly, former White House Chief of Staff saying Donald Trump told his producer supporters what to do, and they did it. All right. They're all reported by CNN. Oh, my God, you guys are so great. CNN,
  • 9:09
    John: CNN one more time. CNN till we don't get that mixed up with anyone else. One of
  • 9:15
    Adam: the what I found kind of obvious, like how the setup works, or maybe they were working ahead, maybe they were playing 3d chess against the president. I'm not sure. One of the pieces of evidence that was introduced was the leaked call between President Trump at the time and the Georgia governor, where he was saying, Hey, man, you know, this is like, last chance. You gotta you gotta get me the votes. This is bullcrap. And
  • 9:42
    John: I'm sorry. And it has to do with the insurrection. Oh, yeah. It's okay. Things in one thing, but that some of them had to do with the insurrection. It's all about that insert. I'm sorry, I said insurrection. But that's the term they use the pros test where they walk between the the walk down the aisle between the those what is called the velvet ropes don't get outside the ropes. NPR
  • 10:12
    Adam: really took the cake for me on because you know the term insurrection seems to be difficult for certain people. We've seen anderson cooper from CNN, we've seen Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. And we've also seen democratic house bigwig, Adam Schiff all say erection instead of insurrection. And it's an it seems to be just guys that have this issue and is it a truth wants to come out? are they thinking of something different? on national pornographic radio joined the club
  • 10:48
    Unknown: things they were brought up by the house managers that we can expect the Trump lawyers to bring up one of them being a First Amendment argument? What is the first amendment argument to defend the president for its conduct? And
  • 10:59
    what is the democratic warehouse manager response? Yes, so
  • 11:03
    Trump's lawyers in this proceeding, are arguing that he is protected by the First Amendment. First of all, he didn't attempt to incite an erection in selection is charged.
  • 11:15
    Adam: Now wait, listen, the ladies are in the wait she throws a second flub right after that, which is a new twist. First of all,
  • 11:22
    Unknown: he didn't attempt to incite an erection insurrection is charged and second of all, that his words are protected. the contrary,
  • 11:32
    Holy moly,
  • 11:33
    Adam: she's got penis on the mind.
  • 11:36
    John: The COC standing across him are naked. You don't know us NPR? They won't be naked.
  • 11:41
    Adam: No idea. But man, NPR, turning up the heat.
  • 11:47
    John: Wow.
  • 11:50
    Adam: Yeah, we will. Please. People need to be aware. We do have crack crack producers. Who were all literally Yes. All over this kind of stuff. So Victor Davis Hanson from the what is he with the Brookings Institution that Hoover Hoover, Hoover Institution. He gave a pretty good summary of
  • 12:15
    John: Philly, he is a he's at the Hoover Institution a lot because he likes to talk was that the interview guy there? He's a professor of ancient history. And he's, he's extremely highly regarded as such. He's not a slouch.
  • 12:35
    Adam: Well, he's being cancelled left and right.
  • 12:38
    John: And well, they can try all they wanted these pretty good and be hard to do.
  • 12:42
    Adam: He says this is exactly what it looks like. And there's no doubt about it. We are under Communist Party of China rule.
  • 12:50
    Unknown: It's not a serious attempt to either remove Donald Trump during his tenure, or to ban him from office in his retirement. It just it's like a public shaming like the Communist Party used to make people wear dunce caps. That's what it's intended for. And so are the public confessionals. And they somebody is fired from the New York Times for a crime or thought crime 30 years ago or indiscreet expressions and they have to have this abusive apology. I didn't know what I'm doing. I was ignorant. I wasn't properly advised. What I was just mumbling to myself, keep going training that I have now I want to apologize to marginalize people with the vocabulary is even reminiscent of the Soviet or Chinese system. We same the same words privilege. Now we have a new one honor and privilege. We come up with a slogan, one of the most dangerous that appeared in the last six weeks from the left and the left wing media is it's not about free speech. It's about free reach. And they said we're not trying to counsel people's first amendment rights by barring them from Facebook or Twitter or from universities. We're just saying that you don't have a inherent constitutional right to use a platform that you don't own.
  • 14:09
    Adam: I love that. Not free speech, free reach, free reach.
  • 14:14
    John: I don't think that's going anywhere. It's like Trump Lincoln. I want to have these clips from one of these obscure I'm spending a lot of time roam around these YouTube alternatives and some wild stuff. But this lawyer Robert Barnes comes on he does a three piece piece from barter horns law,
  • 14:35
    Adam: right this is Barnes law. Yeah. Yeah.
  • 14:37
    John: I want to jump to his last clip I have I'm gonna play the I like to play the other clips too. But just to put the little background on this, he says something on this. This clip called a final analysis, which I thought was I didn't think about it until he outlined it for for me and I think this we should have this in the back of our minds as we listen to all that These clips, okay?
  • 15:02
    Unknown: And none of which could be blamed on Trump. I mean, the so in the law there and incitement is clear, and there's been plenty of precedents on it for incitement you have to have the reason why it's a First Amendment violation. And the reason why Raskin had to argue reskin couldn't meaningfully argue that the speech was unprotected by the First Amendment didn't need to be tried. But it was a very weak argument. That's why he and he couldn't argue that his wanting to use the Fifth Amendment against Trump was not doing exactly what he was doing, that his attempts to circumvent other protections of the Constitution, including due process were present. That's why he made the extraordinary statement, that the precedent they want to set with this impeachment trial is not about Trump, really, it's that there is no constitutional limitation on Congress's power to be judge, jury and executioner. If you've ever held federal office, period. In fact, they want to go a step further, they're arguing under the 14th amendment article, subsection three, that you don't even need to be an extra facial, they can start holding trials of private citizens, anywhere in the country to prohibit people from running for office ever. This is that scary parallel. So I tell my liberal friends, that the the reason why anybody on the constitutional side can no longer in good faith stay on the left is because the left is decided to burn the Constitution, they no longer care about
  • 16:24
    it. It's an inconvenience. It's an intrusion. It's an obstacle. And this is one more example of their willingness to make a mockery of it. And just going after their political adversaries to establish a precedent to go after a lot of other people.
  • 16:39
    Adam: Victor Davis Hanson followed up. And he of course, also agrees with that, but he takes it one step further, and says this is the opposite of what the left has always wanted, done and stood for. But that's entirely antithetical to the whole civil rights movement.
  • 16:55
    Unknown: I can remember in 1964, in California, there was something called the Fair Housing movement. And what it said was, if you own an apartment building, or a house, or you're the head of a community or residential homeowners association, you can't tell an African American or an Armenian American or an Asian American sorry, you can buy a house anywhere you want. The fact that we had control 99% of the houses in town is your problem, not ours, we just go out and find a house, but you're not going to have a house with us. And that was rejected by the Supreme Court, that idea. And the idea that you can borrow somebody from a private, but a public quasi shared entity, and then expect them to go out and twitter or social media when you block that alternative. And that's the argument that the left is using, which was once a racist reactionary trope.
  • 17:53
    Adam: Used to be racist and wrong.
  • 17:56
    John: That's an interest that was a very good take by him. Guys smart that did take it to the next level. Yeah, yeah, these guys are these guys. These guys are shameless. They're horrible, horrible people.
  • 18:07
    Adam: Now Alan Dershowitz who has been effectively canceled and now camps out at on one American news or is it Newsmax See I don't even know worse. I don't even know
  • 18:20
    John: I'm on something I was gonna clip is probably the clip you have hit my I don't even know what this outlet is.
  • 18:26
    Adam: It's so sad because the guy is, for decades heralded as America's constitutional constitutional lawyers
  • 18:35
    John: happened to Ray McGovern, he said this before I might as well reiterate, please, these guys who normally used to be on all these shows, including Democracy Now a lot of them Ray McGovern being the best example of a guy was on Democracy Now all the time. He said one little thing and next thing you know, he's blacklisted from everything. And Stephen Cohen, the Russian expert, another good example, who's now died, he died, but he got kicked off everything. Glenn Greenwald's another example. He was on Democracy Now all the time and they turned on him, you know. And Matt Taibbi for all practical purposes. Yeah, I mean, there's just all these guys who used to be the voices of reason began from the left from the left these are not right wingers.
  • 19:21
    Adam: No sir all left certainly not
  • 19:22
    John: even got kicked off this planet.
  • 19:24
    Adam: I think Victor Davis Hanson isn't necessarily conservative either.
  • 19:28
    Unknown: My feeling he's pretty conservative. And really,
  • 19:31
    Adam: I thought it wasn't Yeah, well, when
  • 19:32
    John: you study he's talking about we're talking ancient history we're talking about ancient history he you get conservative, okay.
  • 19:40
    Adam: So Dershowitz. Now, I had already pointed out that it was hard for me to find the line in Trump's speech the just before the the erection and the line where he said fight and we got a fight fight like hell Dershowitz. says there's he doesn't even talk about that in this clip. But he says that the mainstream media has omitted a key piece from his speech, which he says is, for all intents and purposes has been scrubbed from the internet. He says it's never in any of the pieces and he says this one part of the speech is the crux of the reason why the President cannot be found guilty. I know that everyone
  • 20:24
    Unknown: here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.
  • 20:33
    I mean, isn't it like right there, open and shut? We had Mr. Kaster on last night. He is one of the lawyers. I mean, like that's it right there.
  • 20:40
    He said it out loud. I understand. The President didn't actually say that. How do I know the President didn't say that? Because it wasn't on CNN. And it wasn't on PBS.
  • 20:50
    And it wasn't in the media. So the President obviously
  • 20:53
    couldn't have said, you just made it up. You probably just created that tape, because I believe CNN.
  • 20:58
    And cnn didn't show that. And recently
  • 21:01
    on frontline, they had a whole show on Trump, and they showed that speech, but they left out that phrase, just the way they left out the term when he talks about good people on both sides saying, I don't include neo nazis or white nationalists.
  • 21:14
    They left that out.
  • 21:16
    That kind of editing, they're doing the doctoring of tapes that's going on at CNN. I'm suing cnn for doctoring the tape of my presentation in front of the Senate, when they took out the phrase illegal or unlawful, suggesting that I thought the President can do anything you want even engage in illegal conduct. So you just can't trust some of the media To tell you the truth. Of course, when he said peaceful and patriotic,
  • 21:40
    that's the end of the case.
  • 21:42
    Adam: There you go. If it didn't, it's not on CNN, it didn't happen.
  • 21:48
    John: This is what's going on.
  • 21:50
    Adam: Yeah, exactly what's going on.
  • 21:52
    John: And Dershowitz at least he has a couple outlets, and then we can pick it up. And some other people will pick it up. But yeah, everybody should know that this is his nonsense. And it's just like a
  • 22:06
    Adam: trial. Yeah. What I understand is by Saturday, they hope to have a vote Saturday night. And it would be very surprising if they if they got this one, which would mean they'd need what 17 republicans
  • 22:20
    John: 17 of which they have to get their six turn codes. And I'm not even sure all six of those are vote for impeachment. They just likely not. Yeah, I would think for for sure. I mean, Romney will for sure. Right. I don't know what that guy's problem is. But I guess he got very insulted by Trump.
  • 22:40
    Adam: You know, what's, what's funny, though, in the in the land of stop to steal his hotel bookings for Washington, DC are up significantly for March 3 and fourth. And you're gonna love this.
  • 22:58
    John: I know this already.
  • 23:00
    Adam: It's hilarious, because that was the original Inauguration Day. The original Inauguration Day, and there's even hotel Trump hotels are three times as expensive. March 3, March 4,
  • 23:15
    John: make a few extra bucks on the second. The last I heard from the queue types, night from queue was that on March 6, Trump will be sworn in as president could be. Oh, yeah. Yeah, could be anything gonna happen to this guy? Anything?
  • 23:37
    Adam: Oh, wait, wait. We're gonna go straight to the nutjob stuff. And we do that a little bit later. I have some stuff. But why
  • 23:42
    John: don't I don't have any nutjob stuff. I just wanted to play Barnes laws guy. Oh, I'm sorry. is telling us what's going on. I also have a kind of a summary from PBS.
  • 23:54
    Adam: As long as it's not Amy, I get so much grief.
  • 23:57
    John: I got no Amy. Oh.
  • 24:00
    Adam: You heard it here. Ladies and gentlemen. He's got no ama.
  • 24:04
    John: I got no Amy. All right. What are we pulling looking up and down the list here? I don't see it. No, Amy. Well, you say PBS? clam up. Yes. I got a show. We do
  • 24:13
    Adam: what we actually kicked someone out of the out of the troll room for saying just that. Just now. Did you guru.
  • 24:21
    John: But he say he said no.
  • 24:26
    Adam: And I said Go do your own podcast kick. Ooh, I know. I'm bad. And
  • 24:32
    John: this is a Robert Barnes and what's wrong with this impeachment? And this is a three parter. It's nothing long here and it says I think he's got most of the points.
  • 24:43
    Adam: Which 1am I playing here? What is wrong should
  • 24:45
    John: be Robert Barnes. What is wrong one?
  • 24:48
    Unknown: Okay.
  • 24:50
    Technically Pelosi failed to deliver the impeachment until after Trump was out. And she did that because she wanted a different sentiment. The leader in charge. And so that creates a constitutional issue. The next constitutional issue is the is Leahy being both judging jury. Your that's a problem three the Chief Justice not being present in the case. Fourth, the fact that
  • 25:17
    Adam: historically,
  • 25:17
    Unknown: historically, they've recognized the due process clause does apply to the way they're supposed to do it. And they have internal rules about how impeachment is supposed to work. And and that included giving him a chance to be heard, giving him advanced notice producing witnesses on his behalf. All of that was denied by the house. We have never had an impeachment where this has happened before, to this degree. And and that's what happened here. They just rushed it through. So all of those and then you have problems. I mean, one of the it's the whole idea, you could have had a different jury from a person if this was a midterm issue. That part by itself wasn't necessarily a problem. That's the problem is that it was a that she did not transfer the impeachment papers while Trump was president. And so that she deliberately delayed it to change who it is that got to adjudicate it.
  • 26:10
    Adam: Oh, that's interesting.
  • 26:12
    John: And I think what that is, if you think about it, when he brings up the points that
  • 26:17
    Adam: should ready for Joe Biden, I just switched it to Trump.
  • 26:22
    John: No, I think they what he said at the that first clip that we played earlier, and what Victor Hansen Davis said, Is this was done to prove that you could do a impeachment with somebody out of office.
  • 26:35
    Adam: Right, right. Right. Right.
  • 26:37
    John: So you wait, he's out of office now you transfer the papers. And it's proving it makes it it sets a precedent that would this has been done before. Yeah. Pelosi did it. So we can do this now with when the republicans get in. You can do it Barack Obama. I think because these guys
  • 27:01
    Adam: know, john, most politicians are dumb.
  • 27:03
    John: Come on, they don't get it. This can happen to them.
  • 27:06
    Adam: They hire lawyers who say anyways, come on,
  • 27:09
    John: we watch these people. This is true. A lot anyways, oh, my God, I just get to part two, sorry. So
  • 27:15
    Unknown: you get past all of those issues, the due process issues that no chief justice issues, a judge is also a juror issues. The timing of when the transfer took place issues whether you can do this to someone who is no longer holding office, all and the Bill of attainder issues, even if you get past all those issues, you have two other big issues, which is one, the First Amendment problem that this is protected speech. What is terrifying, as Dershowitz has also recognized is that what they're the precedent they're trying to set is not only that is that there's no statute of limitations ever. That was part one, they claim, part two, that there's no first amendment application ever, to any impeachment proceeding and unrelated to their to no due process requirement ever. So they're saying the constitution that gives them the power of impeachment does not apply. No other part of the Constitution applies to the actions of impeachment.
  • 28:13
    John: That's your limitations. Hello, Brock.
  • 28:16
    Adam: Very interesting. He
  • 28:17
    John: says you're nuts.
  • 28:19
    Adam: Why are they doing this? This makes no sense.
  • 28:22
    John: They think that they belong to place now. Well, but it's only a member. I remember when they I think it was right when Obama first won in 2008. And they own the House, the Senate and they had 60 people in the in the Senate. They had the mme that made. And they were doing crazy stuff. Then they were. Luckily they get they lost their 16 members very shortly thereafter, but like within a month or two. But I remember clips where they were doing stuff like they were having a meeting and then they encumbered Republic republican wanted to talk they just cut their mic. Alright, one time they did close. They said this meeting is adjourned they turn the lights off with a bunch of Republicans sitting in Yes.
  • 29:07
    Adam: Gosh, that's nuts. Right? And it's all the same people. It's on steroids. Now. People who are in
  • 29:16
    John: Oh, yeah, now they think that they've got it made. This is a problem for them. Anyway, let's go to the last clip,
  • 29:21
    Unknown: because there's two other problems with this particular impeachment, which is one they violated their own rules, which requires that there be separate articles of impeachment for each particular item or reason. And the reason for that is you need to know what you're voting on. In order to inject you need to know which count they're voting on. Well, they stuck all the counts together within one count. And within the criminal world. They tried to do this. it's unconstitutional. They call it a multiplicity or duplicitous or duplicative indictment, but particularly multiplicity, which is basically where they have multiple counts within one count where a jury could vote for guilty But they're not actually be agreement as to which count they're voting guilty on, because they've all been shoved into one count. So that's a that's a problem and including a constitutional problem, which again, the democrats answer is let's just scratch the constitution as it applies to impeachment. And then, of course, the same problem we discussed extensively in the last impeachment debate, which is there is no allegation of a specific crime being committed. Yeah,
  • 30:25
    and there Yeah,
  • 30:27
    Adam: yeah. So this is it seems futile, unless, for some god awful reason, they decided to deploy the nuclear option, which is highly unlikely, but that would mean that they
  • 30:41
    John: option only applies to legislation that and probably
  • 30:44
    Adam: can't go for impeachment. Oh, no. That's no fun. So it's for I mean, this or they can't be serious. They really all we have to do this. So he can never hold public office again, it just seems unlikely that they were going for that. And so then, in that case, Victor Davis Hanson analysis of this is just shaming, I think is right. But what's what, what I'm worried about is once Trump has been, you know, shamed, to the degree they feel appropriate, no, come up with the right words. We can almost kind of guess what it's going to be. But I think the word trader will be in there somehow that they're gonna have something, and it will be used as a wedge against half of America. That's what I'm worried about. Once we could No, no one is trying to figure out, hey, why were all these people so mad? At what they're saying is they did this because Trump told them to, and then we'll fix that we got unity, and we can move on. Meanwhile, you have 60% of the people they tracked illegally and is now just being presented by the media as if it's the most normal thing in the world. We're in financial dire straits. I mean, they did some nice, nice fact checking on people, didn't they? Yeah.
  • 32:02
    John: So the normal Yeah, no, I'm
  • 32:04
    Adam: I this is also the CCP way this is and I'm now more convinced than ever, especially with that analysis, analysis from Hansen, is the CCP is is calling the shots than just telling us what to do.
  • 32:19
    John: Well, there are a number of articles out there long essays written by various people saying that China won this election.
  • 32:24
    Adam: Did you see the I think I sent you the article, the 30 threats?
  • 32:30
    John: No, I did not see that article yet.
  • 32:31
    Adam: Oh, my goodness, it's sorry, that's 30 to 30, tyrants tablet mag. It's a very long read. But they they really run down how the CCP took over the United States and the politics. And I'd forgotten about Dianne Feinstein when she was mayor of San Francisco. That's when China really got a hold on stuff. And of course, it made her husband wealthy who was investing in stuff.
  • 33:04
    John: And I would think interesting, as you mentioned, the Chinese connection that the main guys that came over from the House of Representatives included the Chinese shill. Yeah, the thanks that Thanks.
  • 33:16
    Adam: Yeah, yeah,
  • 33:17
    John: he's the show is he doing there?
  • 33:19
    Adam: He's the Little China girl. They put them on the stage My Little China girl. My name is swalwell.
  • 33:27
    John: Or swallow Well, it's the right likes to portray and
  • 33:33
    Adam: just a few things we'll just touch briefly on China. Reddit raised another $250 million. That is Chinese money. I want to point out, they already took $300 million from Chinese investors. And my favorite that I just learned today, you know, the hot thing that everyone's talking about the hot platform, which is clubhouse I'm sure you've heard the clubhouse vibe.
  • 33:59
    John: Oh, yeah.
  • 34:00
    Adam: So now I i've been invited to clubhouse I'm not blue. It's a platform I'm not interested in it at all. It's like find something and get kicked off. And they're making the typical mistake of wall comm listen to celebrities talk with celebrities. You learn Musk, no one's going to give a shit. If you don't stack it full of celebrities, but here's what's interesting. The technology behind clubhouse is owned by a Gora. Gora is a Chinese company. A Chinese company is hosting these chats and you're just giving them everything including your address book because you can't invite anybody unless you give them access to your address book. This is this is Chinese spying on your conversations you idiots. Stop. Stop immediately. Dude. I
  • 34:56
    John: find fascinating in all this began with Tick Tock. Yeah. Is that when did the American coders take a backseat to Chinese coders? Plenty of Tick Tock up like products before Tick Tock ever showed
  • 35:15
    Adam: or we did Yeah, absolutely. But
  • 35:17
    John: all of a sudden the guys who do it best is the is Tick Tock. Yeah, they have a huge audience a huge market and they have they have little they add a little twists to it that work to win it. When do we take a backseat to Chinese coders, American coders? Oh, we're the best. We're the best. We get the most nerds. Now, I'll
  • 35:42
    Adam: tell you what, shall I tell you what I think?
  • 35:44
    John: I uh, what do you think I believe that is
  • 35:47
    Adam: my thinking is that American coders are still too ethical. So when they put an algo in place, they have in their mind equity equality. Gotta give everyone a fair voice. The Chinese go fuck it. This guy's hilarious put him at the top all the time. In fact, I've been very encouraged by his rules to say, I'll go put him top
  • 36:20
    John: is fired right to tell
  • 36:21
    Adam: me that isn't happening. Tell me that isn't exactly what's going on. They've got a whole we have to have enough people of color on the homepage. We have to have enough women represented. Tick Tock goes there. That dude who smashes his face? That's hilarious. Play it over and over again for everybody. Yeah. How simple is that to understand. But this algo i think is being abused. And Tina and I have an argument over this. I'm telling her I'm saying this thing. This is not just a viral video. This is either the fetta cheese Council of Finland. It is some organization is making money off of this. If you have not seen it, this is just one I believe it's the original of The Tic