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Russia-China entente deepens in the shadow of the pandemic

By M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | Indian Punchline | May 2, 2020

The Russian-Chinese entente emerged as one of the most significant templates of international politics in the recent period since the hugely consequential developments in Ukraine in 2014 that led to western sanctions against Moscow, which in turn galvanised the latter’s ‘pivot to Asia’.

Of late, this entente, which falls short of a formal alliance, assumes prominence, given the shift under way in regional and global alignments triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. The world economy faces recession and the US is threatened by a crisis unmatched since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits is soaring past 30 million.

The decline of the US as a global power is accelerating. But the US refuses to come to terms with this geopolitical reality and is determined to perpetuate its domination of the global arena, no matter what it takes. China and Russia have been cast in the ‘enemy’ image. In the short term at least, tensions will rise — in the US-China relations, in particular.

It was reported last week that the US is deploying missile defence systems near Russia’s borders with the potential to deliver a surprise nuclear strike. A Tass report quoted the First Deputy Chief of the Russian General Staff’s Main Operations Department Lt. Gen.Viktor Poznikhir as saying that the US has developed a concept of pre-launch interception and planned to destroy intercontinental ballistic missiles of Russia, China and other countries while they are still in launchers.

Suffice to say, it is in the common interests of Russia and China that in their growing confrontation with the US, they stand by each other and support each other. There is every indication that US imperialism will assume an even more violent and oppressive character in the prevailing world situation.

The Russia-China entente is driven by their leaderships. Within the period of a month in March-April, there have been two telephone conversations between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss the pandemic and its ramifications as well as the imperative need to jointly face the ensuing challenges.

The Chinese readouts (here and here) underscored that Putin was critical of the “provocation and stigmatisation by some country” (read the US) and the “attempt by some to smear China on the question of the origin of the virus.” Putin affirmed that since the start of COVID-19, Russia and China have “stood in unity and extended mutual support, which is a testament to the strategic nature and high quality” of their relationship.

The mutual support Russia and China are extending to each other creates space for both to effectively push back at the US. Earlier this week on April 29, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman endorsed the concerns expressed by Moscow from time to time in recent years over the presence of Pentagon’s labs in the countries of the former Soviet Union for weaponising diseases. Moscow has cited a specific lab near Tbilisi in Georgia, even claiming intelligence regarding visits by senior Pentagon officials to the centre recently. 

The Russians claim that there are 11 such labs in Ukraine developed by the Pentagon. They say when Crimea rejoined Russia in 2014, they found out that in one such lab in Simferopol, which was apparently a hub for collecting materials and sending them to Europe, 104 pools of ectoparasites, 46 samples of internal organs of rodents and 105 samples of human blood serum were found ready for despatch.

Moscow alleges that these labs conduct study on dangerous diseases, targeting specific ethnic groups, and include projects that are banned within the US itself. On April 29, at a media briefing in Beijing, the Chinese spokesman said,

“We noted the Russian foreign ministry spokesperson’s remarks and related reports. The US established multiple biological laboratories in former USSR countries but kept its mouth shut regarding the labs’ functions, purposes and safety, causing deep concerns from local people and surrounding countries. As we know, some local people strongly demand the labs be closed. We hope the US will act in a responsible manner, heed the concerns from the international community, attach importance to local people’s health and safety, and take concrete measures to eliminate the doubts.”

As the legal successor of the Soviet Union, Russia inherited its status as a party to the Geneva Protocol and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC) in 1992. China too had acceded to the BWC in 1984. All Asian countries are signatories to the BWC. Interestingly, so is the US, which had ratified the protocol in 1975.

Now, the US Government has not officially accused China of intentionally developing the COVID-19 as a biological weapon, while Trump keeps talking in innuendos. According to the assessment of the US intelligence, the virus was not man-made or genetically modified. But Trump claims he has seen evidence suggesting the novel coronavirus originated in a virology lab in Wuhan — although he couldn’t provide any evidence to support that claim.

China has reacted strongly to Trump’s jabs while Russia has been supportive of the Chinese stance. The Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov recently spoke derisively about the talk in some European countries demanding compensation from Beijing for “failing to timely inform the world community” — and by Trump himself saying similar US claims would be “much bigger than hundreds of billions US dollars.”

Indeed, this may become serious stuff if Trump chooses to pursue a punitive strategy towards China. The Washington Post wrote on Thursday, “In private, Trump and aides have discussed stripping China of its ‘sovereign immunity,’ aiming to enable the U.S. government or victims to sue China for damages.”

For the present, Russia agrees with the Chinese perception that the Trump administration is ratcheting up the rhetoric over Covid-19 to draw public attention away from its incompetence in countering the pandemic. But Russian support becomes crucial for Beijing if push comes to shove with Trump in the coming months.

Up until now, neither Russia nor China has sought each other’s help while negotiating bilateral relations with the US. There is a paradigm shift taking place here, which becomes a leap of faith for both China and Russia as well as a qualitatively new phase in their entente, which has so far been focused on regional and global issues of common concern.

May 1, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | Leave a comment

ICC Delivers a Blow to Israel’s Lobbying Efforts, Declares Jurisdiction over State of Palestine

Palestine Chronicle – May 1, 2020

Palestine is a state, and therefore the International Criminal Court (ICC) has legal jurisdiction to rule on alleged war crimes committed there, the ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda reiterated on Thursday, April 30.

The statement was a firm response to intense lobbying efforts by Israel and its supporters, especially Germany, to delegitimize the proceeding altogether.

The 60-page document was entitled: A Response to the ‘Observations of Amici Curiae, Legal Representatives of Victims, and States’. (It can be read in full here).

“Once a state becomes a party to the Statute, the Court is automatically entitled to exercise jurisdiction over article 5 crimes committed on its territory” without any further “separate assessment” by organs of the Court as to the Statehood of the State Party,” the statement reads in part.

“Palestine’s viability as a State—and the exercise of the Palestinian people’s right to self determination—has been obstructed by the expansion of settlements and the construction of the barrier and its associated regime in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which have been found to violate international law,” the document also stated.

The ICC pre-trial chamber will now decide how to move forward with the investigation.

“The Prosecutor advanced quite compelling arguments and properly addressed those submissions which aimed at persuading the court not to move forward,” Dr. Triestino Mariniello, member of the Legal Team Representing Gaza Victims before the ICC, told The Palestine Chronicle.

Mariniello also told the Chronicle that although Bensouda’s “observations were compelling,” her decision to call on the pre-trial chamber was not a mandated legal procedure and “it only causes unnecessary delays.”

“Since Palestine submitted a referral to the court, the ICC had the power to open an investigation without asking the pre-trial chamber to rule on the matter,” he said.

“The victims we represent are worried about further delays. The victims are also worried about the so-called ‘narrow scope of investigation’, which is a de facto exclusion of crimes that were committed since 2015 against Palestinian civilians.”

May 1, 2020 Posted by | War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

Why Foreign Interventionism?

By Jacob G. Hornberger | Future of Freedom Foundation | May 1, 2020

What is the point of U.S. foreign interventionism?

Why are U.S. troops killing and dying in faraway countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Somalia?

Why does the U.S. government have 165,000 troops stationed in more than 150 foreign countries?

Why is the U.S. government enforcing economic sanctions and embargoes against the people of Iran, North Korea, Cuba, and other countries?

Why are U.S. officials waging trade wars against foreign nations?

Why do the CIA and the Pentagon assassinate foreigners?

Why are U.S. officials provoking conflicts with Iran and Venezuela?

Why is regime change a core feature of U.S. foreign policy?

Why do U.S. officials partner with tyrannical foreign regimes?

Why does the U.S. government tax hard-pressed American citizens in order to send money to foreign regimes, including dictatorial ones?

Why does the U.S. government initiate wars of aggression against countries that have never invaded or even threatened to invade the United States?

Why do U.S. officials spend taxpayer money on foreign interventionism?

Why do U.S. troops inflict death, suffering, and destruction in foreign lands?

What are U.S. troops dying for in faraway lands?

After all, let’s acknowledge the obvious: No nation-state is invading the United States. No nation-state has the money, resources, personnel, equipment, and supplies to cross the ocean and invade and conquer the United States. There is no possibility of an invasion and conquest of the U.S. by Canada or any Latin American country.

Therefore, what is the purpose of all that U.S. meddling in overseas countries? We don’t like foreign regimes meddling in American affairs. Why should U.S. officials be meddling in the affairs of other countries, especially when the meddling involves the infliction of death, suffering, and destruction?

Consider Switzerland. It doesn’t have troops in the Middle East and Afghanistan. It doesn’t send foreign aid to regimes. It doesn’t assassinate people. It doesn’t initiate wars of aggression against Third World countries. It just devotes itself entirely to defending Switzerland against an invasion. And no one ever jacks with the Swiss.

In fact, have you ever wondered why U.S. officials call the Department of Defense by that name? I can see why Switzerland would use such a name. But the U.S.? it seems to me that the more truthful name would be the Department of Foreign Interventionism.

The Swiss model of non-intervention was actually the founding foreign policy of the United States. This was reflected by John’s Quincy Adams’ profound Fourth of July, 1821, speech to Congress entitled “In Search of Monsters to Destroy.” In that speech, Adams observed that if America were ever to abandon her founding foreign policy of non-intervention, “She might become the dictatress of the world: she would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit.”

In fact, that was one of the reasons why the Framers and our American ancestors had such a deep antipathy for what they called “standing armies,” by which they meant large, overgrown military-intelligence establishments, or what President Dwight Eisenhower would later label “the military-industrial complex,” or what we call today a “national-security state.” The Framers and our ancestors didn’t want a “standing army” large enough to engage in foreign interventionism.

Where to go from here? Isn’t the answer obvious?
This post was written by: Jacob G. Hornberger

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

May 1, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | | 1 Comment

With apparently fabricated nuclear documents, Netanyahu pushed the US towards war with Iran

By Gareth Porter | The Grayzone | April 29, 2020

President Donald Trump scrapped the nuclear deal with Iran and continued to risk war with Iran based on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s claim to have proven definitively that Iran was determined to manufacture nuclear weapons. Netanyahu not only spun Trump but much of the corporate media as well, duping them with the public unveiling of what he claimed was the entire secret Iranian “nuclear archive.”

In early April 2018, Netanyahu briefed Trump privately on the supposed Iranian nuclear archive and secured his promise to leave the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). That April 30, Netanyahu took the briefing to the public in a characteristically dramatic live performance in which he claimed Israel’s Mossad intelligence services had stolen Iran’s entire nuclear archive from Tehran. “You may well know that Iran’s leaders repeatedly deny ever pursuing nuclear weapons…” Netanyahu declared. “Well, tonight, I’m here to tell you one thing: Iran lied. Big time.”

However, an investigation of the supposed Iranian nuclear documents by The Grayzone reveals them to be the product of an Israeli disinformation operation that helped trigger the most serious threat of war since the conflict with Iran began nearly four decades ago. This investigation found multiple indications that the story of Mossad’s heist of 50,000 pages of secret nuclear files from Tehran was very likely an elaborate fiction and that the documents were fabricated by the Mossad itself.

According to the official Israeli version of events, the Iranians had gathered the nuclear documents from various locations and moved them to what Netanyahu himself described as “a dilapidated warehouse” in southern Tehran. Even assuming that Iran had secret documents demonstrating the development of nuclear weapons, the claim that top secret documents would be held in a nondescript and unguarded warehouse in Central Tehran is so unlikely that it should have raised immediate alarm bells about the story’s legitimacy.

Even more problematic was the claim by a Mossad official to Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman that Mossad knew not only in what warehouse its commandos would find the documents but precisely which safes to break into with a blowtorch. The official told Bergman the Mossad team had been guided by an intelligence asset to the few safes in the warehouse which contained the binders with the most important documents. Netanyahu bragged publicly that “very few” Iranians knew the location of the archive; the Mossad official told Bergman “only a handful of people” knew.

But two former senior CIA official, both of whom had served as the agency’s top Middle East analyst, dismissed Netanyahu’s claims as lacking credibility in responses to a query from The Grayzone.

According to Paul Pillar, who was National Intelligence Officer for the region from 2001 to 2005, “Any source on the inside of the Iranian national security apparatus would be extremely valuable in Israeli eyes, and Israeli deliberations about the handling of that source’s information presumably would be biased in favor long-term protection of the source.” The Israeli story of how its spies located the documents “does seem fishy,” Pillar said, especially considering Israel’s obvious effort to derive maximum “political-diplomatic mileage” out of the “supposed revelation” of such a well-placed source.

Graham Fuller, a 27-year veteran of the CIA who served as National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia as well as Vice-Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, offered a similar assessment of the Israeli claim. “If the Israelis had such a sensitive source in Tehran,” Fuller commented, “they would not want to risk him.” Fuller concluded that the Israelis’ claim that they had accurate knowledge of which safes to crack is “dubious, and the whole thing may be somewhat fabricated.”

No proof of authenticity

Netanyahu’s April 30 slide show presented a series of purported Iranian documents containing sensational revelations that he pointed to as proof of his insistence that Iran had lied about its interest in manufacturing nuclear weapons. The visual aides included a file supposedly dating back to early 2000 or before that detailed various ways to achieve a plan to build five nuclear weapons by mid-2003.

Another document that generated widespread media interest was an alleged report on a discussion among leading Iranian scientists of a purported mid-2003 decision by Iran’s Defense Minister to separate an existing secret nuclear weapons program into overt and covert parts.

Left out of the media coverage of these “nuclear archive” documents was a simple fact that was highly inconvenient to Netanyahu: nothing about them offered a scintilla of evidence that they were genuine. For example, not one contained the official markings of the relevant Iranian agency.

Tariq Rauf, who was head of the Verification and Security Policy Coordination Office at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from 2001 to 2011, told The Grayzone that these markings were practically ubiquitous on official Iranian files.

“Iran is a highly bureaucratized system,” Rauf explained. “Hence, one would expect a proper book-keeping system that would record incoming correspondence, with date received, action officer, department, circulation to additional relevant officials, proper letterhead, etc.”

But as Rauf noted, the “nuclear archive” documents that were published by the Washington Post bore no such evidence of Iranian government origin. Nor did they contain other markings to indicate their creation under the auspices of an Iranian government agency.

What those documents do have in common is the mark of a rubber stamp for a filing system showing numbers for a “record”, a “file” and a “ledger binder” — like the black binders that Netanyahu flashed to the cameras during his slideshow. But these could have easily been created by the Mossad and stamped on to the documents along with the appropriate Persian numbers.

Forensic confirmation of the documents’ authenticity would have required access to the original documents. But as Netanyahu noted in his April 30, 2018 slide show, the “original Iranian materials” were kept “in a very safe place” – implying that no one would be allowed to have any such access.

Withholding access to outside experts

In fact, even the most pro-Israeli visitors to Tel Aviv have been denied access to the original documents. David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security and Olli Heinonen of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies – both stalwart defenders of the official Israeli line on Iranian nuclear policy – reported in October 2018 that they had been given only a “slide deck” showing reproductions or excerpts of the documents.

When a team of six specialists from Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs visited Israel in January 2019 for briefings on the archive, they too were offered only a cursory browse of the supposedly original documents. Harvard Professor Matthew Bunn recalled in an interview with this writer that the team had been shown one of the binders containing what were said to be original documents relating to Iran’s relations with the IAEA and had “paged through a bit of it.”

But they were shown no documents on Iran nuclear weapons work. As Bunn admitted, “We weren’t attempting to do any forensic analysis of these documents.”

Typically, it would be the job of the U.S. government and the IAEA to authenticate the documents. Oddly, the Belfer Center delegation reported that the U.S. government and the IAEA had each received only copies of the entire archive, not the original files. And the Israelis were in no hurry to provide the genuine articles: the IAEA did not receive a complete set of documents until November 2019, according to Bunn.

By then, Netanyahu had not only already accomplished the demolition of the Iran nuclear deal; he and Trump’s ferociously hawkish CIA-director Mike Pompeo had maneuvered the president into a policy of imminent confrontation with Tehran.

The second coming of fake missile drawings

Among the documents Netanyahu flashed on the screen in his April 30, 2018 slide show was a schematic drawing of the missile reentry vehicle of an Iranian Shahab-3 missile, showing what was obviously supposed to represent a nuclear weapon inside.

Technical drawing from David Albright, Olli Heinonen, and Andrea Stricker’s “Breaking Up and Reorienting Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Program,” published by the Institute for Science and International Security on October 28, 2018.

This drawing was part of a set of eighteen technical drawings of the Shahab-3 reentry vehicle. These were found in a collection of documents secured over the course of several years between the Bush II and Obama administrations by an Iranian spy working for Germany’s BND intelligence service. Or so the Israeli official story went.

In 2013, however, a former senior German Foreign Office official named Karsten Voigt revealed to this writer that the documents had been initially provided to German intelligence by a member of the Mujaheddin E-Khalq (MEK).

The MEK is an exiled Iranian armed opposition organization that had operated under Saddam Hussein’s regime as a proxy against Iran during the Iran-Iraq War. It went on to cooperate with the Israeli Mossad beginning in the 1990s, and enjoys a close relationship with Saudi Arabia as well. Today, numerous former US officials are on the MEK’s payroll, acting as de facto lobbyists for regime change in Iran.

Voigt recalled how senior BND officials warned him they did not consider the MEK source or the materials he provided to be credible. They were worried that the Bush administration intended to use the dodgy documents to justify an attack on Iran, just as it exploited the tall tales collected from Iraqi defector codenamed “Curveball” to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

As this writer first reported in 2010, the appearance of the “dunce-cap” shape of the Shahab-3 reentry vehicle in the drawings was a tell-tale sign that the documents were fabricated. Whoever drew those schematic images in 2003 was clearly under the false impression that Iran was relying on the Shahab-3 as its main deterrent force. After all, Iran had announced publicly in 2001 that the Shahab-3 was going into “serial production” and in 2003 that it was “operational.”

But those official claims by Iran were a ruse aimed primarily at deceiving Israel, which had threatened air attacks on Iran’s nuclear and missile programs. In fact, Iran’s Defense Ministry was aware that the Shahab-3 did not have sufficient range to reach Israel.

According to Michael Elleman, the author of the most definitive account of the Iranian missile program, as early as 2000, Iran’s Defense Ministry had begun developing an improved version of the Shahab-3 with a reentry vehicle boasting a far more aerodynamic “triconic baby bottle” shape – not the “dunce-cap” of the original.

As Elleman told this writer, however, foreign intelligence agencies remained unaware of the new and improved Shahab missile with a very different shape until it took its first flight test in August 2004. Among the agencies kept in the dark about the new design was Israel’s Mossad. That explains why the false documents on redesigning the Shahab-3 – the earliest dates of which were in 2002, according to an unpublished internal IAEA document – showed a reentry vehicle design that Iran had already discarded.

The role of the MEK in passing the massive tranche of supposed secret Iranian nuclear documents to the BND and its hand-in-glove relationship with the Mossad leaves little room for doubt that the documents introduced to Western intelligence 2004 were, in fact, created by the Mossad.

For the Mossad, the MEK was a convenient unit for outsourcing negative press about Iran which it did not want attributed directly to Israeli intelligence. To enhance the MEK’S credibility in the eyes foreign media and intelligence agencies, Mossad passed the coordinates of Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility to the MEK in 2002. Later, it provided to the MEK personal information such as the passport number and home telephone number of Iranian physics professor Mohsen Fakhrizadh, whose name appeared in the nuclear documents, according to the co-authors of a best-selling Israeli book on the Mossad’s covert operations.

By trotting out the same discredited technical drawing depicting the wrong Iranian missile reentry vehicle – a trick he had previously deployed to create the original case for accusing Iran of covert nuclear weapons development – the Israeli prime minister showed how confident he was in his ability to hoodwink Washington and the Western corporate media.

Netanyahu’s multiple levels of deception have been remarkably successful, despite having relied on crude stunts that any diligent news organization should have seen through. Through his manipulation of foreign governments and media, he has been able to maneuver Donald Trump and the United States into a dangerous process of confrontation that has brought the US to the precipice of military conflict with Iran.

Gareth Porter is an independent investigative journalist who has covered national security policy since 2005 and was the recipient of Gellhorn Prize for Journalism in 2012.  His most recent book is The CIA Insider’s Guide to the Iran Crisis co-authored with John Kiriakou, just published in February.

May 1, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 1 Comment

Censorship Continues. Facebook Permanently Deleted SouthFront’s Page

SouthFront | April 30, 2020

SouthFront once again has become a target of corporate censorship. On April 30, Facebook permanently deleted our page (LINK) with about 100,000 followers.

This is not the first time that SouthFront has become a target of a technical and propaganda pressure campaign. On April 9, Facebook placed limits on SouthFront’s page claiming that its activities “don’t comply with Facebook’s policies.” (LINK)

On July 21, 2015, Facebook deleted our previous page used to inform people about the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Syria and other key developments around the world. (LINK)

The motivation in 2015 of US intelligence, and Facebook as a tool of US special services, when the situation in eastern Ukraine was especially tense, is clear. However, the current move raises many more questions.

It is likely Facebook was triggered by SouthFront’s video released on April 29. Entitled “SpaceX: Camel’s Nose under the Tent of Space Militarization”, it covers key aspects of the international situation and the US security strategy. With facts and examples, the video highlights the point of view that supposedly “private” global corporations based in the US are first of all the tools of, likely, the ‘neo-liberal’ part of the US establishment.

Another article that may have scared Facebook censors is “Leaked Video Reveals Pentagon Briefing On Development Of Vaccine To Modify Human Behavior”. This article was released on April 28 and objectively covered the background of the circulating video and questions the authenticity of claims that it shows Bill Gates. If this post became the reason of SouthFront’s ban on Facebook, this will mean that the leaked video poses an exceptional threat to a part of the US establishment.

In the meantime, SouthFront is facing an increasing media pressure. Recently, Deutsche Welle and several other mainstream media outlets released articles alleging that SouthFront is spreading disinformation about the COVID-19 outbreak. An interesting fact is that Deutsche Welle appeared to be unable to answer to SouthFront’s official email regarding its accusations against our organization. (LINK)

May 1, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 2 Comments

How Bill Gates Monopolized Global Health

Corbett • 05/01/2020

Who is Bill Gates? A software developer? A businessman? A philanthropist? A global health expert? This question, once merely academic, is becoming a very real question for those who are beginning to realize that Gates’ unimaginable wealth has been used to gain control over every corner of the fields of public health, medical research and vaccine development. And now that we are presented with the very problem that Gates has been talking about for years, we will soon find that this software developer with no medical training is going to leverage that wealth into control over the fates of billions of people.

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TRANSCRIPT

BILL GATES: Hello. I’m Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft. In this video you’re going to see the future.

SOURCE: Hello, I’m Bill Gates, Chairman of Microsoft

Who is Bill Gates? A software developer? A businessman? A philanthropist? A global health expert?

This question, once merely academic, is becoming a very real question for those who are beginning to realize that Gates’ unimaginable wealth has been used to gain control over every corner of the fields of public health, medical research and vaccine development. And now that we are presented with the very problem that Gates has been talking about for years, we will soon find that this software developer with no medical training is going to leverage that wealth into control over the fates of billions of people.

GATES: [. . .] because until we get almost everybody vaccinated globally, we still won’t be fully back to normal.

SOURCE: Bill Gates on Finding a Vaccine for COVID-19, the Economy, and Returning to ‘Normal Life’

Bill Gates is no public health expert. He is not a doctor, an epidemiologist or an infectious disease researcher. Yet somehow he has become a central figure in the lives of billions of people, presuming to dictate the medical actions that will be required for the world to go “back to normal.” The transformation of Bill Gates from computer kingpin to global health czar is as remarkable as it is instructive, and it tells us a great deal about where we are heading as the world plunges into a crisis the likes of which we have not seen before.

This is the story of How Bill Gates Monopolized Global Health.

You’re tuned into The Corbett Report.

Until his reinvention as a philanthropist in the past decade, this is what many people thought of when they thought of Bill Gates:

NARRATOR: In the case of the United States vs Microsoft, the US Justice Department contended that the software giant had breached antitrust laws by competing unfairly against Netscape Communications in the internet browser market, effectively creating a monopoly. Bill’s first concern was that the prosecution could potentially block the release of his company’s latest operating system, Windows 98.

SOURCE: Bill Gates Defends Microsoft in Monopoly Lawsuit

GATES: Are you asking me about when I wrote this e-mail or what are you asking me about?

DAVID BOIES: I’m asking you about January of 1996.

GATES: That month?

BOIES: Yes, sir.

GATES: And what about it?

BOIES: What non-Microsoft browsers were you concerned about in January of 96?

GATES: I don’t know what you mean, “concerned.”

BOIES: What is it about the word concerned that you don’t understand?

GATES: I’m not sure what you mean by it.

SOURCE: Bill Gates Deposition

STEVE JOBS: We’re going to be working together on Microsoft Office on Internet Explorer on Java and I think that it’s going to lead to a very healthy relationship. So it’s a package announcement today. We’re very, very happy about it, we’re very very excited about it. And I happen to have a special guest with me today via satellite downlink, and if we could get him up on the stage right now.

[BILL GATES APPEARS, CROWD BOOS]

SOURCE: Macworld Boston 1997-The Microsoft Deal

DAN RATHER: Police and security guards in Belgium were caught flat-footed today by a cowardly sneak attack on one of the world’s wealthiest men. The target was Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, arriving for a meeting with community leaders. Watch what happens when a team of hitmen meet him first with a pie in the face.

[GATES HIT IN THE FACE WITH PIE]

RATHER: Gates was momentarily and understand to be shaken but he was not injured. The hit squad piled on with two more pies before one of them was wrestled to the ground and arrested, the others at least for the moment got away. Gates went inside, wiped his face clean, and made no comment. He then went ahead with his scheduled meeting. No word on the motive for this attack.

SOURCE: Bill Gates Pie in Face

But, once reviled for the massive wealth and the monopolistic power that his virus-laden software afforded him, Gates is now hailed as a visionary who is leveraging that wealth and power for the greater good of humanity.

KLAUS SCHWAB: If in the 22nd century a book will be written about the entrepreneur of the 21st century [. . .] I’m sure that the person who will foremost come to the mind of those historians is certainly Bill Gates. [applause]

SOURCE: Davos Annual Meeting 2008 – Bill Gates

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that Bill Gates is singularly—I would argue—the most consequential individual of our generation. I mean that.

SOURCE: Bill Gates Talks Philanthropy, Microsoft, and Taxes | DealBook

ELLEN DEGENERES: Our next guest is one of the richest and most generous men in the world. Please welcome Bill Gates.

SOURCE: Bill Gates on Finding a Vaccine for COVID-19, the Economy, and Returning to ‘Normal Life’

JUDY WOODRUFF: At a time when everyone is looking to understand the scope of the pandemic and how to minimize the threat, one of the best informed voices is that of businessman and philanthropist Bill Gates.

SOURCE: Bill Gates on where the COVID-19 pandemic will hurt the most

The process by which this reinvention of Gates’ public image took place is not mysterious. It’s the same process by which every billionaire has revived their public image since John D. Rockefeller hired Ivy Ledbetter Lee to transform him from the head of the Standard Oil Hydra into the kind old man handing out dimes to strangers.

MAN OFF CAMERA: Don’t you give dimes, Mr. Rockefeller? Please, go ahead.

WOMAN: Thank you, sir.

MAN: Thank you very much.

ROCKEFELLER: Thank you for the ride!

MAN: I consider myself more than amply paid.

ROCKEFELLER: Bless you! Bless you! Bless you!

SOURCE: John D. Rockefeller – Standard Oil

More to the point, John D. Rockefeller knew that to gain the adoration of the public, he had to appear to give them what they want: money. He devoted hundreds of millions of dollars of his vast oil monopoly fortune to establishing institutions that, he claimed, were for the public good. The General Education Board. The Rockefeller Institute of Medical Research. The Rockefeller Foundation.

Similarly, Bill Gates has spent much of the past two decades transforming himself from software magnate into a benefactor of humanity through his own Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In fact, Gates has surpassed Rockefeller’s legacy with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation long having eclipsed The Rockefeller Foundation as the largest private foundation in the world, with $46.8 billion of assets on its books that it wields in its stated program areas of global health and development, global growth, and global policy advocacy.

And, like Rockefeller, Gates’ transformation has been helped along by a well-funded public relations campaign. Gone are the theatrical tricks of the PR pioneers—the ubiquitous ice cream cones of Gates’ mentor Warren Buffett are the last remaining hold-out of the old Rockefeller-handing-out-dimes gimmick. No, Gates has guided his public image into that of a modern-day saint through an even simpler tactic: buying good publicity.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation spends tens of millions of dollars per year on media partnerships, sponsoring coverage of its program areas across the board. Gates funds The Guardian‘s Global Development website. Gates funds NPR’s global health coverage. Gates funds the Our World in Data website that is tracking the latest statistics and research on the coronavirus pandemic. Gates funds BBC coverage of global health and development issues, both through its BBC Media Action organization and the BBC itself. Gates funds world health coverage on ABC News.

When the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer was given a $3.5 million Gates foundation grant to set up a special unit to report on global health issues, NewsHour communications chief Rob Flynn was asked about the potential conflict of interest that such a unit would have in reporting on issues that the Gates Foundation is itself involved in. “In some regards I guess you might say that there are not a heck of a lot of things you could touch in global health these days that would not have some kind of Gates tentacle,” Flynn responded.

Indeed, it would be almost possible to find any area of global health that has been left untouched by the tentacles of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

It was Gates who sponsored the meeting that led to the creation of Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, a global public-private partnership bringing together state sponsors and big pharmaceutical companies whose specific goals include the creation of “healthy markets for vaccines and other immunisation products.” As a founding partner of the alliance, the Gates Foundation provided $750 million in seed funding and has gone on to make over $4.1 billion in commitments to the group.

Gates provided the seed money that created The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, a public-private partnership that acts as a finance vehicle for governmental AIDS, TB, and malaria programs.

When a public-private partnership of governments, world health bodies and 13 leading pharmaceutical companies came together in 2012 “to accelerate progress toward eliminating or controlling 10 neglected tropical diseases,” there was the Gates Foundation with $363 million of support.

When The Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents was launched in 2015 to leverage billions of dollars in public and private financing for global health and development programs, there was the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as a founding partner with a $275 million contribution.

When the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations was launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2017 to develop vaccines against emerging infectious diseases, there was the Gates Foundation with an initial injection of $100 million.

The examples go on and on. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s fingerprints can be seen on every major global health initiative of the past two decades. And beyond the flashy, billion-dollar global partnerships, the Foundation is behind hundreds of smaller country and region-specific grants—$10 million to combat a locus infestation in East Africa, or $300 million to support agricultural research in Africa and Asia—that add up to billions of dollars in commitments.

It comes as no surprise, then, that—far beyond the $250 million that the Gates Foundation has pledged to the “fight” against coronavirus—every aspect of the current coronavirus pandemic involves organizations, groups and individuals with direct ties to Gates funding.

From the start, the World Health Organization has directed the global response to the current pandemic. From its initial monitoring of the outbreak in Wuhan and its declaration in January that there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission to its live media briefings and its technical guidance on country-level planning and other matters, the WHO has been the body setting the guidelines and recommendations shaping the global response to this outbreak.

But even the World Health Organization itself is largely reliant on funds from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The WHO’S most recent donor report shows that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the organization’s second-largest donor behind the United States government. The Gates Foundation single-handedly contributes more to the world health body than Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Russia and the UK combined.

What’s more, current World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is in fact, like Bill Gates himself, not a medical doctor at all, but the controversial ex-Minister of Health of Ethiopia, who was accused of covering up three cholera outbreaks in the country during his tenure. Before joining the WHO he served as chair of the Gates-founded Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and sat on the board of the Gates-founded Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the Gates-funded Stop TB Partnership.

The current round of lockdowns and restrictive stay-home orders in western countries were enacted on the back of alarming models predicting millions of deaths in the United States and hundreds of thousands in the UK.

HAYLEY MINOGUE: Imperial College in London released a COVID-19 report and that’s where most of our US leaders are getting the information they’re basing their decision making on.

[. . .]

The report runs us through a few different ways this could turn out depending on what our responses are. If we don’t do anything to control this virus, over 80% of people in the US would be infected over the course of the epidemic, with 2.2 million deaths from Covid-19.

SOURCE: Extreme measures based on scientific paper

BORIS JOHNSON: From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction: you must stay at home.

SOURCE: Boris Johnson announces complete UK lockdown amid coronavirus crisis

JUSTIN TRUDEAU: Enough is enough. Go home and stay home.

SOURCE: ‘Enough is enough’, Trudeau with a strong message to Canadians

GAVIN NEWSOM: . . . a statewide order for people to stay at home

SOURCE: California Gov Newsom issues statewide ‘SAFER AT HOME’ order

The work of two research groups was crucial in shaping the decision of the UK and US governments to implement wide-ranging lockdowns, and, in turn, governments around the world. The first group, the Imperial College Covid-19 Research Team, issued a report on March 16th that predicted up to 500,000 deaths in the UK and 2.2 million deaths in the US unless strict government measures were put in place.

The second group, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Bill Gates’ home state of Washington, helped provide data that corroborated the White House’s initial estimates of the virus’ effects, estimates that have been repeatedly downgraded as the situation has progressed.

Unsurprisingly, the Gates Foundation has injected substantial sums of money into both groups. This year alone, the Gates Foundation has already given $79 million to Imperial College, and in 2017 the Foundation announced a $279 million investment into the IHME to expand its work collecting health data and creating models.

Anthony Fauci, meanwhile, has become the face of the US government’s coronavirus response, echoing Bill Gates’ assertion that the country will not “get back to normal” until “a good vaccine” can be found to insure the public’s safety.

ANTHONY FAUCI: If you want to get to pre-coronavirus . . . You know, that might not ever happen, in the sense of the fact that the threat is there. But I believe with the therapies that will be coming online, and with the fact that I feel confident that over a period of time we will get a good vaccine, that we will never have to get back to where we are right back now.

SOURCE: Dr. Anthony Fauci on return to normalcy from pandemic

Beyond just their frequent collaborations and cooperation in the past, Fauci has direct ties to Gates projects and funding. In 2010, he was appointed to the Leadership Council of the Gates-founded “Decade of Vaccines” project to implement a Global Vaccine Action Plan, a project to which Gates committed $10 billion of funding. And in October of last year, just as the current pandemic was beginning, the Gates Foundation announced a $100 million contribution to the National Institute of Health to help, among other programs, Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ research into HIV.

Also in October of last year, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation partnered with the World Economic Forum and The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security to stage Event 201, a tabletop exercise gauging the economic and societal impact of a globally-spreading coronavirus pandemic.

NARRATOR: It began in healthy-looking pigs months, perhaps years, ago: a new coronavirus.

ANITA CICERO: The mission of the pandemic emergency board is to provide recommendations to deal with the major global challenges arising in response to an unfolding pandemic. The board is comprised of highly  experienced leaders from business Public Health and civil society.

TOM INGLESBY: We’re at the start of what’s looking like it will be a severe pandemic and there are problems emerging that can only be solved by global business and governments working together.

STEPHEN REDD: Governments need to be willing to do things that are out of their historical perspective, or . . .  for the most part. It’s really a war footing that we need to be on.

SOURCE: Event 201 Pandemic Exercise: Highlights Reel

Given the incredible reach that the tentacles of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have into every corner of the global health markets, it should not be surprising that the foundation has been intimately involved with every stage of the current pandemic crisis, either. In effect, Gates has merely used the wealth from his domination of the software market to leverage himself into a similar position in the world of global health.

The whole process has been cloaked in the mantle of selfless philanthropy, but the foundation is not structured as a charitable endeavour. Instead, it maintains a dual structure: the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation distributes money to grantees, but a separate entity, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust, manages the endowment assets. These two entities often have overlapping interests, and, as has been noted many times in the past, grants given by the foundation often directly benefit the value of the trust’s assets:

MELINDA GATES: One of my favorite parts of my job at the Gates Foundation is that I get to travel to the developing world, and I do that quite regularly.

[. . .]

My first trip in India, I was in a person’s home where they had dirt floors, no running water, no electricity, and that’s really what I see all over the world. So in short, I’m startled by all the things that they don’t have. But I am surprised by one thing that they do have: Coca-Cola. Coke is everywhere. In fact, when I travel to the developing world, Coke feels ubiquitous.

And so when I come back from these trips, and I’m thinking about development, and I’m flying home and I’m thinking, we’re trying to deliver condoms to people or vaccinations, you know? Coke’s success kind of stops and makes you wonder: How is it that they can get Coke to these far-flung places? If they can do that, why can’t governments and NGOs do the same thing?

SOURCE: Melinda French Gates: What nonprofits can learn from Coca-Cola

AMY GOODMAN: And the charity of billionaire Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda is under criticism following the disclosure it’s substantially increased its holdings in the agribusiness giant Monsanto to over $23 million. Critics say the investment in Monsanto contradicts the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s stated commitment to helping farmers and sustainable development in Africa.

SOURCE: Gates Foundation Criticized for Increasing Monsanto Investment

LAURENCE LEE: The study from the pressure group Global Justice now paints a picture of the Gates Foundation partly as an expression of corporate America’s desire to profit from Africa, and partly a damning critique of its effects.

POLLY JONES: You could have a case where the initial research is done by a Gates-funded institution. And the media reporting on how well that research is conducted is done, the media outlet is a Gates-funded outlet, or maybe a Gates-funded journalist from a media program. And then the program is implemented more widely by a Gates-funded NGO. I mean . . . There are some very insular circles here.

LEE: Among the many criticisms, the idea that private finance can solve the problems of the developing world. Should poor farmers be trapped into debt by having to use chemicals or fertilizers under written by offshoot of the foundation?

SOURCE: Gates Foundation accused of exploiting its leverage in Africa

This is no mere theoretical conflict of interest. Gates is held up as a hero for donating $35.8 billion worth of his Microsoft stock to the foundation, but during the course of his “Decade of Vaccines,” Gates’ net worth has actually doubled, from $54 billion to $103.1 billion.

The Rockefeller story provides an instructive template for this vision of tycoon-turned-philanthropist. When Rockefeller faced a public backlash, he helped spearhead the creation of a system of private foundations that connected in with his business interests. Leveraging his unprecedented oil monopoly fortune into unprecedented control over wide swathes of public life, Rockefeller was able to kill two birds with one stone: moulding society in his families’ own interests even as he became a beloved figure in the public imagination.

Similarly, Bill Gates has leveraged his software empire into a global health, development and education empire, steering the course of investment and research and ensuring healthy markets for vaccines and other immunisation products. And, like Rockefeller, Gates has been transformed from the feared and reviled head of a formidable hydra into a kindly old man generously giving his wealth back to the public.

But not everyone has been taken in by this PR trick. Even The Lancet observed this worrying transformation from software monopolist to health monopolist back in 2009, when the extent of this Gates-led monopoly was becoming apparent to all:

The first guiding principle of the [Bill & Melinda Gates] Foundation is that it is “driven by the interests and passions of the Gates family.” An annual letter from Bill Gates summarises those passions, referring to newspaper articles, books, and chance events that have shaped the Foundation’s strategy. For such a large and influential investor in global health, is such a whimsical governance principle good enough?

SOURCE: What has the Gates Foundation done for global health?

This brings us back to the question: Who is Bill Gates? What are his driving interests? What motivates his decisions?

These are not academic questions. Gates’ decisions have controlled the flows of billions of dollars, formed international partnerships pursuing wide-ranging agendas, ensured the creation of “healthy markets” for big pharma vaccine manufacturers. And now, as we are seeing, his decisions are shaping the entire global response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Next week, we will further explore Gates’ vaccination initiatives, the business interests behind them, and the larger agenda that is beginning to take shape as we enter the “new normal” of the Covid-19 crisis.

May 1, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | Leave a comment

The Unz Review Suddenly Banned by Facebook!

By Ron Unz • Unz Review • May 1, 2020

My morning newspapers had recently mentioned Facebook’s plans to crack down on misinformation related to our ongoing Covid-19 epidemic, and probably like most other readers I just nodded my head. After all, many Americans might die if cranks or pranksters began promoting highly dubious cures to the deadly disease, perhaps even suggesting that people should inject themselves with Lysol to ward off an infection.

However, those bland public statements took on an entirely different meaning yesterday afternoon when I discovered that all material from The Unz Review had suddenly been banned for alleged violations of “community standards” and our own Facebook page eliminated.

I don’t use Social Media much myself, but others obviously do, and blocking all our website content from access to the 1.7 billion Facebook users seems a pretty drastic step. So it’s quite reasonable to wonder why, and especially why now?

From the very first, the motto of our publication has been A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media, and I think we have fulfilled that pledge, publishing many thousands of articles and posts on an enormous range of extraordinarily controversial and even forbidden topics, notably including my own American Pravda series.

Under such circumstances, being banned by Facebook might hardly seem surprising. However, many of our most extremely controversial pieces were published years ago, drawing angry denunciations from various quarters, but received with apparent equanimity from the Lords of the Social Network. Nearly all of the “touchy” pieces we published in the last couple of weeks seem no more “touchy” than the ones from a year or two years or even three years ago. So what suddenly sparked this unprecedented action?

Although I can’t be sure, I strongly suspect that the triggering event was my own most recent American Pravda article, dealing as it did with the Coronavirus epidemic, the supposed focus of Facebook’s current crackdown. And this piece not only accumulated more early readership than any of my previous articles here, but also two or three times as many Facebook Likes, which might have raised serious concerns in certain quarters.

My previous American Pravda articles have hardly been bland, but disputing the established narrative of the JFK Assassination or World War II might be regarded as mere intellectual exercises, having little practical impact. By contrast, tens of thousands of Americans have already died from the Coronavirus outbreak while our economy has been wrecked. So raising troubling questions about the origins of this gigantic national disaster might be regarded as just too problematical to be allowed distribution on Facebook.

American Pravda: Our Coronavirus Catastrophe as Biowarfare Blowback? was the title of my 7,400 word essay, and I answered that explosive query in the closing section:

Last month, a team of five WSJ reporters produced a very detailed and thorough 4,400 word analysis of the same period, and the NYT has published a helpful timeline of those early events as well. Although there may be some differences of emphasis or minor disagreements, all these American media sources agree that Chinese officials first became aware of the serious viral outbreak in Wuhan in early to mid-January, with the first known death occurring on Jan. 11th, and finally implemented major new public health measures later that same month. No one has apparently disputed these basic facts.

But with the horrific consequences of our own later governmental inaction being obvious, elements within our intelligence agencies have sought to demonstrate that they were not the ones asleep at the switch. Earlier this month, an ABC News story cited four separate government sources to reveal that as far back as late November, a special medical intelligence unit within our Defense Intelligence Agency had produced a report warning that an out-of-control disease epidemic was occurring in the Wuhan area of China, and widely distributed that document throughout the top ranks of our government, warning that steps should be taken to protect US forces based in Asia. After the story aired, a Pentagon spokesman officially denied the existence of that November report, while various other top level government and intelligence officials refused to comment. But a few days later, Israeli television mentioned that in November American intelligence had indeed shared such a report on the Wuhan disease outbreak with its NATO and Israeli allies, thus seeming to independently confirm the complete accuracy of the original ABC News story and its several government sources.

It therefore appears that elements of the Defense Intelligence Agency were aware of the deadly viral outbreak in Wuhan more than a month before any officials in the Chinese government itself. Unless our intelligence agencies have pioneered the technology of precognition, I think this may have happened for the same reason that arsonists have the earliest knowledge of future fires.

Back in February, before a single American had died from the disease, I wrote my own overview of the possible course of events, and I would still stand by it today:

Consider a particularly ironic outcome of this situation, not particularly likely but certainly possible…

Everyone knows that America’s ruling elites are criminal, crazy, and also extremely incompetent.

So perhaps the coronavirus outbreak was indeed a deliberate biowarfare attack against China, hitting that nation just before Lunar New Year, the worst possible time to produce a permanent nationwide pandemic. However, the PRC responded with remarkable speed and efficiency, implementing by far the largest quarantine in human history, and the deadly disease now seems to be in decline there.

Meanwhile, the disease naturally leaks back into the US, and despite all the advance warning, our totally incompetent government mismanages the situation, producing a huge national health disaster, and the collapse of our economy and decrepit political system.

As I said, not particularly likely, but certainly a very fitting end to the American Empire…

The spread of these simple ideas on Social Media might have dramatic political consequences, so I can easily understand why certain elements would take strong steps to prevent this.

May 1, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 9 Comments

Greater Manchester Police ask residents to call police if someone repeats conspiracy theories

By Cindy Harper | Reclaim The Net | April 28, 2020

The erosion of civil liberties is being fast-tracked.

Asking people to call the police on family engaging in “conspiracy theories” is an idea that sounds like it comes out of China’s social credit system.

But it’s not. It’s happening in the United Kingdom.

Police in Manchester, England, are engaging in a social media campaign, requesting local residents to call police if any of their friends and family are engaging in “conspiracy theories.”

“Online platforms can be a fun world. Unfortunately, they can also be used to exploit vulnerable people. If you are worried that one of your friends or family is showing signs of radicalisation seek advice or call police on 101,” Greater Manchester Police said on Facebook. (Archive)

101 is the non-emergency number to contact local police in the UK.

In a time when civil liberties are becoming strained and social platforms are taking an extreme approach to stamping out “conspiracy theories,” public skepticism is rapidly increasing – and Greater Manchester Police’s statements are only appearing to exacerbate that.

If you ever had any doubt that the public isn’t aware of the Orwellian direction things are going in, you’d only have to look to the comments:

“How ironic that it was people accused of being ‘Conspiracy Theorists’ in the past that actually warned us a totalitarian police state would come and here it is,” replied Paul Nolan Jones.

“Do not think for yourself, do not question what you are told, trust nothing but what the government tell you and under NO CIRCUMSTANCES discuss alternative theories that concern YOUR life and that of YOUR loved ones. If anyone was in any doubt about the totalitarian police state path we are being led down atm, I suggest that you have a really good think about the above police statement,” said Emma Wells.

“Did you guys actually do any proper police training when you signed up or were you handed a copy of George Orwell’s 1984 to memorise instead? – THE THOUGHT POLICE are alive and well in 2020. Do you realise what you’re doing to society if you’re implementing action taken on the above?!,” said Charlotte Binns.

Update – April 30: In light of the Greater Manchester Police deleting the post to avoid criticism, this post has been updated with the screenshots of the comments that were featured in this article, and an archived version has been added for historical purposes.

May 1, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 1 Comment

Big Pharma Beware: Dr. Montagnier Shines New Light on COVID-19 and The Future of Medicine

By Matthew Ehret | Strategic Culture Foundation | April 30, 2020

This April 16th, Dr. Luc Montagnier became a household name around the world. This occurred as the controversial virologist decided to publicly state his support for the theory that Covid-19 is indeed a laboratory-generated creation and not a naturally occurring effect of viral evolution.

Referring to a study published at the Kusama School of Biology in New Dehli on January 31st, Montagnier (the 2008 Nobel Prize winner for his 1983 discovery of the HIV virus) made the point that the specific occurrence of HIV RNA viral segments spliced surgically within the COVID-19 genome could not have originated naturally and he described it in the following words:

“We have carefully analyzed the description of the genome of this RNA virus. We weren’t the first, a group of Indian researchers tried to publish a study showing that the complete genome of this virus that has within the sequences of another virus: that of HIV.”

While the Indian team was induced to retract their publication under immense pressure from the mainstream medical establishment (which never bothered to seriously refute the content of the study’s research but rather used the “random-mutation-makes-anything-possible” argument), Montagnier stated “scientific truth always emerges”.

Not China: Montagnier Misdiagnoses the Culprit

Montagnier’s political ignorance became all too clear when he was asked who the culprit could possibly be.

By asserting his belief that China’s BSL4 lab in Wuhan was the source, Montagnier has fallen into a trap set by Anglo-American Intelligence circles which have been promoting a military confrontation between the USA and China for a very long time.

Now even though Montagnier denies that China released this virus with malicious intent (unlike many fanatical droves of neoconservatives currently itching for war), the “Wuhan Lab origin” hypothesis completely ignores the reality of the Pentagon’s globally extended 25 bioweapons laboratories which have openly created novel coronaviruses including varieties that arose in bats as journalist Whitney Webb’s remarkable February 2020 paper demonstrated.

Even though a 2014-2017 temporary ban on “dual-use” funding was imposed onto America’s bioweapons research, nothing prevented this work from occurring internationally or even covertly within the 11 military labs on American soil itself and tied to the same Fort Detrick that was shut down in July 2019 under suspicious circumstances. As I pointed out in my previous paper The Project for a New American Century, 9/11 and Bioweapons, over $50 billion has been spent on bioweapons research since 2001 which the Project for a New American Century manifesto claimed would play a major role in the arsenal of 21st century warfare stating: “advanced forms of biological warfare that can “target” specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool”.

Luc Montagnier’s Wave Therapy: Quackery or Brilliance?

The most powerful aspect of Montagnier’s April 16th intervention into world politics in my view is not really found in his support for the laboratory-origins theory, but rather in the scientist’s often overlooked proposition for an international crash program in something called electromagnetic wave therapy. Rather than investing in vaccines, Montagnier has explained that it would be much wiser for nations of the world to launch a crash project into a very different approach to viral treatments than is currently common in polite society saying:

“I think we can make interference waves which are behind the RNA sequences that can eliminate those sequences with waves and consequently stop the pandemic”

Before brushing this off as “quackery” as so many are wont to do, one should keep in mind that President Trump himself has indicated his interest in Montagnier’s approach in his April 23rd briefing telling reporters:

“Supposing we hit the body with a tremendous … whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light. And I think you said that hasn’t been checked, but you are going to test it… And then I said supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or in some other way. And I think you said you are going to test it.”

While Trump has been vilely attacked as “unscientific” for these utterances, it is only due to the vast ignorance of Montagnier’s incredible discoveries into the electromagnetic properties of life that such mockery can go unchallenged. Montagnier’s innovations into “bleaching therapy” which Trump referenced in the same speech are also much more complex than mainstream detractors assume and has nothing to do with simply “injecting”disinfectants into the blood stream. These therapies are highly interconnected with the electromagnetic waves emitted by certain types of bacteria which Montagnier has discovered to be the most likely driving mechanism to many of the diseases both chronic and acute plaguing humanity. More will be said on that below.

What is Optical Biophysics and What did Montagnier Discover?

Optical biophysics is the study of the electromagnetic properties of the physics of life. This means paying attention to the light emissions and absorption frequencies from cells, DNA, and molecules of organic matter, how these interface with water (making up over 75% of a human body) and moderated by the nested array of magnetic fields located on the quantum level and stretching up to the galactic level.

Not to discount the bio-chemical nature of life which is hegemonic in the health science realm, the optical biophysician asks: which of these is PRIMARY in growth, replication, and division of labor of individual cells or entire species of organisms? Is it the chemical attributes of living matter or the electromagnetic properties?

Let me explain the paradox a bit more.

There are approximately 40 trillion highly differentiated cells in the average human body, each performing very specific functions and requiring an immense field of coherence and intercommunication. Every second approximately 10 million of those cells die, to be replaced by 10 million new cells being born. Many of those cells are made up of bacteria, and much of the DNA and RNA within those cells is made up of viruses (mostly dormant), but which can be activated/deactivated by a variety of methods both chemical and electromagnetic.

Here’s the big question:

HOW might this complex system be maintained by chemical processes alone- either over the course of a day, month or an entire lifetime?

The simple physics of motion of enzymes which carry information in the body from one location to another simply doesn’t come close to accounting for the information coordination required among all parts. This is where Montagnier’s research comes in.

After winning the 2008 Nobel Prize, Dr. Montagnier published a revolutionary yet heretical 2010 paper called “DNA Waves and Water” which took the medical community by storm. In this paper, Montagnier demonstrated how low frequency electromagnetic radiation within the radio wave part of the spectrum was emitted from bacterial and viral DNA and how said light was able to both organize water and transmit information! The results of his experiments were showcased wonderfully in this 8 min  video:

Using a photo-amplifying device invented by Dr. Jacques Benveniste in the 1980s to capture the ultra low light emissions from cells, Montagnier filtered out all particles of bacterial DNA from a tube of water and discovered that the post-filtered solutions containing no material particles continued to emit ultra low frequency waves! This became more fascinating when Montagnier showed that under specific conditions of a 7 Hz background field (the same as the Schumann resonance which naturally occurs between the earth’s surface and the ionosphere), the non-emitting tube of water that had never received organic material could be induced to emit frequencies when placed in close proximity with the emitting tube! Even more interesting is that when base proteins, nucleotides and polymers (building blocks of DNA) were put into the pure water, near perfect clones of the original DNA were formed!

Dr. Montagnier and his team hypothesized that the only way for this to happen was if the DNA’s blueprint was somehow imprinted into the very structure of water itself resulting in a form of “water memory” that had earlier been pioneered by Jacques Benveniste, the results of which are showcased in this incredible 2014 documentary “Water Memory”.

Just as Benveniste suffered one of the most ugly witch hunts in modern times (led in large measure by Nature Magazine in 1988), Montagnier’s Nobel prize did not protect him from a similar fate as an international slander campaign has followed him over the past 10 years of his life. Nearly 40 Nobel prize winners have signed a petition denouncing Montagnier for his heresy and the great scientist was forced to even flee Europe to escape what he described as a culture of “intellectual terror”. In response to this slander, Montagnier stated to LaCroix magazine:  “I’m used to attacks from these academics who are just retired bureaucrats, closed off from all innovation. I have the scientific proofs of what I say”.

Describing the greatest challenges to advancing this research, Montagnier stated:

“We have chosen to work with the private sector because no funds could come from public institutions. The Benveniste case has made it so that anyone who takes an interest in the memory of water is considered… I mean it smells of sulphur. It’s Hell.”

Casting Montagnier’s Research in a New Light

In a 2011 interview, Dr. Montagnier recapitulated the consequences of his discoveries:

“The existence of a harmonic signal emanating from DNA can help to resolve long-standing questions about cell development, for example how the embryo is able to make its manifold transformations, as if guided by an external field. If DNA can communicate its essential information to water by radio frequency, then non-material structures will exist within the watery environment of the living organism, some of them hiding disease signals and others involved in the healthy development of the organism.”

With these insights in mind, Montagnier has discovered that many of the frequencies of EM emissions from a wide variety of microbial DNA is also found in the blood plasmas of patients suffering from influenza A, Hepatitis C, and even many neurological diseases not commonly thought of as bacteria-influenced such as Parkinsons, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumathoid Arthritis and Alzheimers. In recent years, Montagnier’s teams even found certain signals in the blood plasmas of people with autism and several varieties of cancers!

Over a dozen French doctors have taken Montagnier’s ideas seriously enough to prescribe antibiotics to treat autism over the course of six years and in opposition to conventional theories, have found that amidst 240 patients treated, 4 out of 5 saw their symptoms either dramatically regress or disappear completely!

These results imply again that certain hard-to-detect species of light emitting microbes are closer to the cause of these ills than the modern pharmaceutical industry would like to admit.

A New Domain of Thinking: Why Big Pharma Should Be Afraid

As the filmed 2014 experiment demonstrated, Montagnier went even further to demonstrate that the frequencies of wave emissions within a filtrate located in a French laboratory can be recorded and emailed to another laboratory in Italy where that same harmonic recording was infused into tubes of non-emitting water causing the Italian tubes to slowly begin emitting signals! These DNA frequencies were then able to structure the Italian water tubes from the parent source a thousand miles away resulting in a 98% exact DNA replica!

Standing as we are, on the cusp of so many exciting breakthroughs in medical science, we should ask: what could these results mean for the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industrial complex which relies on keeping the world locked into a practice of chemical drugs and vaccines?

Speaking to this point, Montagnier stated:

“The day that we admit that signals can have tangible effects, we will use them. From that moment on we will be able to treat patients with waves. Therefore it’s a new domain of medicine that people fear of course. Especially the pharmaceutical industry… one day we will be able to treat cancers using frequency waves.”

Montagnier’s friend and collaborator Marc Henry a professor of Chemistry and Quantum Mechanics at the University of Strasbourg stated:

“If we treat with frequencies and not with medicines it becomes extremely cost effective regarding the amount of money spent. We spend a lot of money to find the frequencies, but once they have been found, it costs nothing to treat.”

Whether produced in a lab as Montagnier asserts or having appeared naturally as Nature Magazine asserts, the fact remains that the current coronavirus pandemic has accelerated a collapse of the world financial system and forced the leaders of the world to discuss the reality of a needed new paradigm and new world economic order. Whether that new system will be driven by Pharmaceutical cartels, and sociopathic bankers running global health policy for a technocratic elite of social engineers or whether it will be driven by nation states shaping the terms of that new system around human needs, remains to be seen.

If nation states manage to stay in the driver’s seat of this new system, then it will have to be driven by certain fundamental principles of healthcare for all, science practice reform and broader political/economic reform whereby the sacredness of human life is placed above all considerations of monetary profit. In this light, such crash programs into long term projects in space science, asteroid defense, and Lunar/Mars development will be as necessary in the astrophysical domain as crash programs in fusion energy will be in the atomic domain. Uniting both worlds, is the domain of life sciences that intersects the electromagnetic properties of atoms, cells and DNA with the large scale electromagnetic properties of the Earth, Sun and galaxy as a whole.

May 1, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Economics, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

Asymptomatic Spreaders, Typhoid Mary, SARS, MERS and COVID

By Christopher Brett – Fossils of Lanark – April 30, 2020

“The next pandemic virus will be present in Canada within 3 months after it emerges in another part of the world, but it could be much sooner because of the volume and speed of global air travel.  …  Given the increase, different patterns and speed of modern travel, a  new virus once arriving in Canada could spread quickly in multiple directions throughout the country. … The first peak of illness in Canada could occur within 2 to 4 months after the virus arrives in Canada. The first peak in mortality is expected to be approximately 1 month after the peak in illness.”

The Canadian Pandemic Influenza Plan for the Health Sector, 2006
Dr. Theresa Tam and Karen Grimsrud, Co-Chairs

At the beginning of February I was surprised by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s assertions that it was safe to continue to fly to China, that we would only  be testing those who self-reported symptoms, and that his plan for testing was science based. I was also surprised that Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam asserted that there was no risk from asymptomatic spreaders. It has come as no surprise to me that we have now closed our borders to China and most other countries, that we have stepped up our testing and begun contact tracing, and that studies have shown that asymptomatic spreading of COVID-19 is the norm.

I had six  main reasons for objecting to Canada continuing passenger flights to China:

– First, we were the only country continuing to fly to China.
– Second, it was all over the news that by the time Wuhan was placed under quarantine over half the population of Wuhan had fled to other parts of China.
– Third, the virus had spread to many other parts of China, including most major cities, by February 1st
– Fourth, we were not testing people when they got on the planes in China for coronavirus, we were not testing the passengers when they disembarked from the planes, there were no penalties for breaking the quarantine,  there no checks being made of the passengers to ensure that they were adhering to the quarantine, and there were no spot tests of the people coming from China. A few people arriving from China were advised to self-quarantine, but not everyone.
– Fifth, in November, 2014 during the Ebola crisis, Prime Minister Stephen Harper banned people  from Ebola-stricken West Africa from traveling to Canada. As a consequence of his actions no Ebola case arose in Canada. The USA did not ban people from West Africa and confirmed a case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States in a man who traveled from West Africa to Dallas, Texas. That patient died. Earlier Saudi Arabia had announced a travel ban aimed at preventing Liberians, Sierra Leoneans and Guineans from visiting Islam’s holy sites. No Ebola case arose in Saudi Arabia.
– Sixth, a ban works.

My main concern with  Dr. Theresa Tam’s assertion  that there was no risk from asymptomatic spreaders is that I have been aware of Typhoid Mary for over fifty-five years as she was often mentioned in side bars and fillers in newspapers when I was young. Typhoid Mary is the poster child for  asymptomatic spreaders. Her real name was Mary Mallon. She was employed as a cook in various households and kitchens in the New York area over the period from 1907 to 1915. She was the first person in the United States identified as an asymptomatic carrier of  typhoid fever and is believed to have infected 51 people, at least  three of whom died. (Some estimates put the death total at fifty.) Eventually she was arrested and put in quarantine to stop her working and spreading the disease. Interestingly, Marineli et al. (2013) mention that “By the time she died New York health officials had identified more than 400 other healthy carriers of Salmonella typhi.”

Intriguingly there is a fair amount of information on diseases having been transmitted by  asymptomatic carriers of diseases.    In addition to typhoid, Wickipedia mentions  C. difficile, influenzas,  tuberculosis, and HIV. Transmission of diseases by asymptomatic carriers appears to be the norm,  rather than the exception, for infectious diseases.

Dr. Theresa Tam stated that she followed and implemented The Canadian Pandemic Influenza Plan for the Health Sector , 2006 (“Canada’s Pandemic Plan”), of which she was the co-author. If she had followed the plan she should have noticed that “Transmission by asymptomatic persons is possible but it is more efficient when symptoms, such as coughing, are present and viral shedding is high (i.e. early in symptomatic period).” and that the “potential for asymptomatic infection and spread from asymptomatic individuals greatly limits the effectiveness and feasibility of most traditional public health control measures.”

If she had done a bit of research Dr. Tan might also have located an article by Fraser  et al. (2004) discussing factors that make an infectious disease outbreak controllable, in which they argue that “Direct estimation of the proportion of asymptomatic and presymptomatic infections is achievable by contact tracing and should be a priority during an outbreak of a novel infectious agent.” noting that “no confirmed cases of transmission from asymptomatic patients have been reported to date in detailed epidemiological analyses of clusters of SARS cases, which suggests that, for SARS, there is a period after symptoms develop during which people can be isolated before their infectiousness increases. Actions taken during this period to isolate or quarantine ill patients can effectively interrupt transmission.”

She might also have noted a paper by Myoung-don Oh et al. (2018) analyzing the 2015 MERS coronavirus outbreak in Korea in which they mention that “the potential for transmission from asymptomatic rRT-PCR positive individuals is still unknown. Therefore, asymptomatic [persons who test] positive for MERS-CoV should be isolated and should not return to work until two consecutive respiratory-tract samples test negative.”

Another paper that Dr. Tan might have located without much trouble is a 2018 report by the World Health Organization providing guidance for asymptomatic persons who test positive for Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). She should have noted the paper in part because Katherine Defalco, Public Health Agency of Canada, Ottawa, Canada contributed to the WHO’s report. In this report WHO state that the potential for transmission from asymptomatic  positive MERS-CoV  persons is currently unknown  but still recommended that “asymptomatic RT-PCR positive persons should be isolated , followed up daily for development of any  symptoms and tested at least weekly – or earlier, if symptoms develop – for MERS-CoV. The place of isolation (hospital or home) shall depend on the  health – care system’s isolation  bed capacity, its capacity to  monitor asymptomatic RT- PCR positive persons daily outside a health-care setting, and  the  conditions of the household and its occupants.” WHO also recommended that “When providing home isolation of asymptomatic RT-PCR  positive persons, the person and family  should be provided with clear instructions on:

•  adequate physical separation from potential householdor social contacts, especially those with risk conditions for severe MERS-CoV illness (e.g. separate room and toilet);
•  having  food in the room and avoid sharing food or  being in the same room with others as much as possible;
•  avoidance of visitors and travel; …

WHO also cautioned that “sometimes it is difficult to classify a case as ‘asymptomatic’ because although the person may not have any symptoms at the time of testing, he or she may develop illness during the course of infection.”

In contrast to WHO’s recommendations for asymptomatic MERS-CoV coronavirus persons, Canada did no testing to find asymptomatic COVID-19 coronavirus carriers. Instead we were told that they posed no threat, and that it was only those that developed symptoms who required testing. As noted above, recent studies have shown that asymptomatic spreading of COVID-19 is the norm. More importantly, Lai et al. (2020) report that “the transmission of COVID-19 through asymptomatic carriers via person-to-person contact was observed in many reports” citing reports published on the web by Rothe on January 30, 2020; by Liu on February 12, 2020; by Yu on February 18; and by Bai on February 21, 2020. Surprisingly, despite these warnings no effort was made in Canada in February or March to test for asymptomatic carriers.  In fact, we still don’t test for asymptomatic carriers.

There have been further reports of asymptomatic spreading. On March 23 Qian et al. reported a COVID-19 family cluster in China caused by a presymptomatic case. On April 1st Wei et al, reported on an investigation of all 243 cases of COVID-19 reported in Singapore during January 23–March 16 and identified seven clusters of cases in which presymptomatic transmission is the most likely explanation for the occurrence of secondary cases. Ten of the cases within these clusters were attributed to presymptomatic transmission and accounted for 6.4% of the 157 locally acquired cases reported as of March 16.

Dr. Tam was on the CBC News the other night reporting that only ten cases in Canada could be traced to origins in China. However, we only tested those who self-reported symptoms. As we never  tested for  asymptomatic spreaders , we will never know how many asymptomatic spreaders from China (or other countries) were in Canada. Further, we have only traced a fraction of those who have developed the disease, and will only know that many people contracted the disease while in Canada, without knowing the source for their disease.

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References and Suggested Reading

Anonymous, 2003
Learning from SARS – Renewal of Public Health  in Canada. A report of the National Advisory Committee on SARS and Public Health October 2003. 234 pages https://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/sars-sras/pdf/sars-e.pdf

Anonymous, 2020a
Asymptomatic carrier
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asymptomatic_carrier

Anonymous, 2020b
Mary Mallon
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Mallon

Anonymous, 2020c
Subclinical infection
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subclinical_infection#List_of_subclinical_infections

Y. Bai, L. Yao, T. Wei, F. Tian, D.Y. Jih, L. Chen, et al., 2020 Feb 21
Presumed asymptomatic carrier transmission of COVID-19
J Am Med Assoc (2020 Feb 21), 10.1001/jama.2020.2565

Filio Marineli, Gregory Tsoucalas, Marianna Karamanou, and George Androutsos, 2013
Mary Mallon (1869-1938) and the history of typhoid fever.  Ann Gastroenterol. 2013; 26(2): 132–134.   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3959940/

Fraser C, Riley S, Anderson R et al. 2004
Factors that make an infectious disease outbreak controllable. Proc Natl Acad  Sci USA 2004;101(16):6146–51.
https://www.pnas.org/content/101/16/6146

Lai, Chih-Cheng; Liu, Yen Hung; Wang, Cheng-Yi; Wang, Ya-Hui; Hsueh, Shun-Chung; Yen, Muh-Yen; Ko, Wen-Chien; Hsueh, Po-Ren (2020-03-04).
Asymptomatic carrier state, acute respiratory disease, and pneumonia due to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2): Facts and myths”. Journal of Microbiology, Immunology and Infection. doi:10.1016/j.jmii.2020.02.012. ISSN 1684-1182.

Y.C. Liu, C.H. Liao, C.F. Chang, C.C. Chou, Y.R. Lin , 2020 Feb 12
A locally transmitted case of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Taiwan.
New England J Med (2020 Feb 12), 10.1056/NEJMc2001573

Myoung-don Oh, Wan Beom Park, Sang-Won Park, Pyoeng Gyun Choe, Ji Hwan Bang, Kyoung-Ho Song, Eu Suk Kim, Hong Bin Kim, and Nam Joong Kim, 2018
Middle East respiratory syndrome: what we learned from the 2015 outbreak in the Republic of Korea.  Korean J Intern Med. 2018 Mar; 33(2): 233–246.
Published online 2018 Feb 27. doi: 10.3904/kjim.2018.031

Qian G, Yang N, Ma AHY, et al. Epub March 23, 2020
A COVID-19 Transmission within a family cluster by presymptomatic infectors in China. Clin Infect Dis 2020. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32201889

C. Rothe, M. Schunk, P. Sothmann, G. Bretzel, G. Froeschl, C. Wallrauch, et al. (2020 Jan 30)
Transmission of 2019-nCoV infection from an asymptomatic contact in Germany
N Engl J Med, 10.1056/NEJMc2001468

Theresa Tam and Karen Grimsrud, Co-Chairs, 2006
The Canadian Pandemic Influenza Plan for the Health Sector.  Public Health Agency of Canada.
550 pages. https://www.longwoods.com/articles/images/Canada_Pandemic_Influenza.pdf

W. E. Wei; , Z. Li; C. J. Chiew, S. E. Yong, M. P. Toh, V. J. Lee,  2020, April 10& April 1
Presymptomatic Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 — Singapore, January 23–March 16, 2020
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), 69(14);411–415. On April 1, 2020, this report was posted online as an MMWR Early Release.
https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6914e1.htm

World Health Organization,   2018
Management of asymptomatic persons who are RT-PCR positive for Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV): Interim guidance . 3 January  2018
WHO/MERS/IPC/15.2 Rev.1 Geneva:
http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/180973/1/WHO_MERS_IPC_15.2_eng.pdf?ua=1&ua=1

P. Yu, J. Zhu, Z. Zhang, Y. Han, L. Huang, 2020 Feb 18
A familial cluster of infection associated with the 2019 novel coronavirus indicating potential person-to-person transmission during the incubation period
J Infect Dis (2020 Feb 18), 10.1093/infdis/jiaa077

Peter Zimonjic, Rosemary Barton, Philip Ling, 2020
‘Was it perfect? No’: Theresa Tam discusses Canada’s early pandemic response. ‘Could we have done more at the time? You can retrospectively say yes,’ Canada’s top doctor says CBC News Posted: Apr 27, 2020

May 1, 2020 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | | Leave a comment

Hopefulness Despite 2.9 Billion Lost Birds

By Jim Steele | Watts Up With That? | May 1, 2020

What’s Natural

In 2019 bird researchers published Rosenberg et al “Decline of the North American Avifauna”, reporting a decline in 57% of the bird species. They estimated a net loss of nearly 2.9 billion birds since 1970, and urged us to remedy the threats, claiming all were “exacerbated by climate change”, and we must stave off the “potential collapse of the continental avifauna.” Months before publication the researchers had organized an extensive media campaign. Typical doomsday media like the New York Times piled on with “Birds Are Vanishing From North America” and Scientific American wrote, “Silent Skies: Billions of North American Birds Have Vanished.”

As I have now been sheltering in place, I finally had ample time to thoroughly peruse Rosenberg’s study. I had a very personal interest in it, having professionally studied bird populations for over 20 years and had worked to restore their habitat. I also had conducted 20 years of surveys which were part of the study’s database. Carefully looking at their data, a far more optimistic perspective is needed. So here I join a chorus of other ecologists, as reported in Slate, that “There Is No Impending Bird Apocalypse”. As one ecologist wrote, it’s “not what’s really happening. I think it hurts the credibility of scientists.”

First consider since 1970 many species previously considered endangered such as pelicans, bald eagle, peregrine falcon, trumpeter swan, and whooping crane have been increasing due to enlightened management. Despite being hunted, ducks and geese increased by 54%. Secondly, just 12 of the 303 declining species account for the loss of 1.4 billion birds, and counterintuitively their decline is not worrisome.

Three introduced species – house sparrows, starlings and pigeons – account for nearly one half billion lost birds. These birds were pre-adapted to human habitat and are considered pests that carry disease and tarnish buildings and cars with their droppings. Across America, companies like Bird-B-Gone are hired to remove these foreign bird pests. Furthermore, starlings compete with native birds like bluebirds and flickers for nesting cavities, contributing to native bird declines. The removal of starlings is not an omen of an “avifauna collapse”, but good news for native birds.

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When European colonists cleared forests to create pastures and farmland or provide wood for heating, open-habitat species “unnaturally” increased. Previously confined to the Great Plains, brown‑headed cowbirds quickly invaded the newly opened habitat. Unfortunately, cowbirds parasitize other species by laying its eggs in their nests. A cowbird hatchling then pushes out all other nestlings, killing the parasitized species’ next generation. The loss of 40 million cowbirds only benefits our “continental avifauna”.

Several bird species had evolved to colonize forest openings naturally produced by fire, or floods or high winds. Those species “unnaturally” boomed when 50% to 80% of northeastern United States became de-forested by 1900. Still, eastern trees will reclaim a forest opening within 20 years, so open habitat species require a constant supply of forest openings. However as marginal farms and pastures were abandoned, fires were suppressed and logging reduced, forests increasingly reclaimed those openings. With a 50% decline in forest openings, their bird species also declined; now approaching pre-colonial numbers. Accordingly, birds of the expanding forest interior like woodpeckers are now increasing.

White-throated Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos quickly colonize forest openings but then disappear within a few years as the forest recovers. Those 2 species alone accounted for the loss of another quarter of a billion birds; not because of an ecosystem collapse, but because forests were reclaiming human altered habitat. Nonetheless those species are still 400 million strong, and juncos remain abundant in the open habitat maintained by suburban back yards. If environmentalists want to reclaim the abundance of their boom years, they must manage forest openings with logging or prescribed burns.

Insect outbreaks also create forest openings. For hundreds of years forests across Canada and northeastern US have been decimated every few decades by spruce bud worm eruptions. So, forest managers now spray to limit further outbreaks. Today there are an estimated 111 million living Tennessee Warblers that have specialized to feed on spruce bud worms. But the warbler’s numbers have declined by 80 million because insect outbreaks are more controlled. Still they have never been threatened with extinction. Conservationists must determine what is a reasonable warbler abundance while still protecting forests from devastating insect infestations.

The grassland biome accounted for the greatest declines, about 700 million birds. Indeed, natural grasslands had been greatly reduced by centuries of expanding agriculture and grazing. But in recent times more efficient agriculture has allowed more land to revert to “natural” states. However fossil fuel fears reversed that trend. In 2005 federal fuel policies began instituting subsidies to encourage biofuel production. As a result, 17 million more acres of grassland have been converted to corn fields for ethanol since 2006.

Although still very abundant, just 3 species account for the loss of 400 million grassland birds: Horned Larks, Savannah Sparrows and Grasshopper Sparrows. Horned Larks alone accounted for 182 million fewer birds due to a loss of very short grass habitats with some bare ground. To increase their numbers, studies show more grazing, mowing or burning will increase their preferred habitat.

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It must be emphasized that the reported cumulative loss of 2.9 billion birds since 1970, does not signify ecosystem collapses. But there are some legitimate concerns such as maintaining wetlands. And there are some serious human-caused problems we need to remedy to increase struggling bird populations. It is estimated that cats kill between 1 to 3 billion birds each year. Up to 1 billion birds each year die by crashing into the illusions created by window reflections. Collisions with cars and trucks likely kill 89 to 350 million birds a year. Instead of fearmongering ecosystem collapse, our avifauna would best be served by addressing those problems.

Questioning Bird Models

Population estimates for most land birds are based on data from the US Geological Surveys Breeding Bird Surveys (BBS). I conducted 2 BBS surveys on the Tahoe National Forest for 20 years. Each survey route consists of 50 stops, each a half‑mile apart. At each stop for a period of just 3 minutes, I would record all observed birds, the overwhelming majority of which are heard but not seen. Many birds can be missed in such a short time, but the BBS designers decided a 3-minute observation time allowed the day’s survey to cover more habitat. Each year on about the same date, the BBS survey was repeated.

Each BBS route surveys perhaps 1% the region’s landscape. To estimate each species’ population for the whole region, the survey’s observations are extrapolated and modeled. However, models rely on several assumptions and adjustments, and those assumptions can inflate final estimates. For example, in 2004 researchers estimated there were 6,500,000 Rufous Hummingbirds. By 2017, researchers estimated there were now 21,690,000. But that larger population cannot be deemed a conservation success. That tripling of abundance was mostly due to new adjustments.

Because singing males account for most observations, the number of observed birds is doubled to account for an unobserved female that is most likely nearby. Furthermore, it is assumed different species are more readily detected than others. The models assume that each stop will account for all the birds within a 400‑meter radius. Because a crow is readily detected over that distance, no adjustments are made to the number of observed crows. But hummingbirds are not so easily detected. The earlier surveys assumed a hummingbird could only be detected if it was within an 80‑meter radius. So, to standardize the observations to an area with a 400‑meter radius, observations were multiplied by 25. Recent survey models now assume hummingbirds can only be detected within 50 meters, so their observations are now adjusted by multiplying by 64.

Thus, depending on their detection adjustments, one real observation could generate 50 or 128 virtual hummingbirds. That number is further scaled up to account for the time‑of‑day effects and the likely number of birds in the region’s un-surveyed landscapes.

Setting aside assumptions about the regional homogeneity of birds’ habitat, one very real problem with these adjustments that has yet to be addressed. If one bird is no longer observed at a roadside stop, the model assumes that the other 127 virtual birds also died.

Survey routes are done along roadsides and up to 340 million birds are killed by vehicles each year. Many sparrows and warblers are ground nesters and will fly low to the ground. Many seed eating birds like finches will congregate along a roadside to ingest the small gravel needed to internally grind their seeds. Every year I watched a small flock of Evening Grosbeaks ingesting gravel from the shoulder of a country road, get picked off one by one by passing cars. Roadside vegetation often differs from off-road vegetation. Roads initially create openings that are suitable for one species but are gradually grown over during the lifetime of a survey to become unsuitable habitat. So, it should never be assumed that the loss of roadside observations represents a decline for the whole region.

The larger the models’ detectability adjustments are for a given species, the greater the probability that any declining trend in roadside observations will exaggerate a species population loss for the region. The greatest population losses were modeled for warblers and sparrows and most warbler and sparrow data are adjusted for detectability by multiplying actual observations 4 to 10-fold. It is worth reporting good news from recent studies in National Parks that used a much greater density of observation points and were not confined to roadsides. Their observation points were also much closer together and thus required fewer assumptions and adjustments. Of the 50 species they observed, all but 3 populations were stable.

Pushing a fake crisis, Rosenberg et al argued that declining numbers within a species that is still still very abundant doesn’t mean they are not threatened with a quick collapse. He highlighted the Passenger Pigeon was once one of the most abundant birds in North America and they quickly went extinct by 1914. That doomsday scenario was often repeated by the media. But comparison to the Passenger Pigeon’s demise is a false equivalency. Passenger Pigeons were hunted for food when people were suffering from much greater food insecurity.

Rosenberg et al summarized their study with one sentence: “Cumulative loss of nearly three billion birds since 1970, across most North American biomes, signals a pervasive and ongoing avifaunal crisis.” But it signals no such thing. Wise management will continue. With better accounting of the natural causes of each species declines, plus more accurate modeling, it will be seen that Rosenberg’s “crisis” was just another misleading apocalyptic story that further erodes public trust in us honest environmental scientists.

Jim Steele is director emeritus of the Sierra Nevada Field Campus, SFSU and authored Landscapes and Cycles: An Environmentalist’s Journey to Climate Skepticism.

May 1, 2020 Posted by | Environmentalism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , | 5 Comments

NY Times Caught Exaggerating Antarctic Ice Loss – If There Is Any Loss at All

By James Taylor | Climate Realism | April 30, 2020

The New York Times is attempting to panic people with an article today claiming alarming ice loss in Antarctica. However, as recently as 2015, NASA reported satellite measurements show Antarctic ice mass has been growing since at least 1992, when satellites began taking measurements. Clearly, either the New York Times story is wrong or the Times is telling an unnecessarily alarmist story about a few years of minor ice loss after many more years of ice gain.

The Times article claims, “Researchers have known for a long time that, while the continent is losing mass over all as the climate changes, the change is uneven.” The assertion is only half true. Given that less than five years ago, NASA satellite instruments reported long-term and continuing growth in Antarctic ice mass, it is factually inaccurate for the Times to state, “Researchers have known for a long time that … the continent is losing mass….”

On the other hand, the Times is correct that any current asserted ice loss is “uneven.” The ice-change map accompanying the Times article shows that a much larger portion of Antarctica is gaining ice than is losing ice. The asserted overall ice-mass loss comes primarily from a relatively few locations along the very edge of the West Antarctic ice shelf. Those locations line up almost perfectly with locations where scientists have recently discovered volcanoes under the ice.

The more accurate overall picture is that scientists have documented long-term growth in the Antarctic ice sheet, even during most of the past 40 years. If there is a recent trend of ice loss, the trend is minor, confined to just a small portion of West Antarctica, has been occurring for less than five years, and is likely due in significant part to undersea volcanoes rather than climate change.

May 1, 2020 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | 1 Comment