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Bolivia’s former ‘interim president’ and coup government ministers could face trial over 2019 crackdown on protesters

RT | October 27, 2020

The Bolivian parliament has approved a resolution demanding a criminal case be opened against the nation’s former interim president Jeanine Anez and some of the ministers in her government over their 2019 crackdowns on protests.

The motion says Anez must stand trial over a decree authorizing the army to use force against the protesters back in November 2019, and exempting the military from any criminal responsibility as well as for what was called “massacres” in the cities of Cochabamba and El Alto.

Anez and her government had just ousted President Evo Morales in a coup, and deployed the security forces in a violent crackdown on his supporters. The law enforcement and the military fired live rounds at the demonstrators on several occasions.

At least 37 people died in clashes with the soldiers and riot police officers, according to local media reports. Police and army were even reported to have assaulted processions of mourners carrying coffins of those killed in previous demonstrations.

In addition to Anez herself, seven ministers from her government also face various charges that include corruption and illegal purchase of non-lethal weapons. The list of those that could stand trial involves Foreign Minister Karen Longaric, Defense Minister Fernando Lopez, and Justice Minister Alvaro Coimbra.

Upon learning of the parliament’s decision, Anez rushed to Twitter to declare it an example of political persecution.

“MAS [Movement Towards Socialism party] is returning to its habit of prosecuting those who think differently,” she wrote, even though it was her own government that was accused by Human Rights Watch of persecuting its political opponents.

Anez came to power after Morales, who had ruled the country for some 14 years, resigned under pressure from the military. The November 2019 coup came following massive protests led by the opposition supporters of the former Bolivian president, Carlos Mesa, who insisted that the October elections that handed victory to Morales had been rigged.

As Morales resigned and fled, first to Mexico and then to Argentina, Anez declared herself “interim president,” even though she lacked a quorum in the Senate to get a confirmation.

Earlier this month, MAS leader Luis Arce won the presidential election in a landslide. Anez herself had withdrawn from the running after polls showed her with just ten percent of popular support.

October 28, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties | | Leave a comment

Some questions about “the new normal”

By Richard Hugus | October 24, 2020

Dear Editor, Cape Cod Times :

According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health*, on October 22, 2020 only 1 person diagnosed with Covid 19 was counted as “hospitalized” and  0 were counted in the ICU at Falmouth Hospital. The count at Cape Cod Hospital in these categories was 0 and 0. Falmouth has a population of about 30,000 people. The population of Cape Cod is about 212,000.

Some questions:

Should 212,000 people be required to wear face masks and maintain a distance of six feet from everyone else when just one person is in the hospital?

Should small businesses Capewide be forced into onerous restrictions and widespread closings?

Should students be kept out of school and forced into “virtual” education via computer screen? For that matter, should students be denied an education altogether, or workers be denied employment, if they refuse to get the flu shot that has been mandated in Massachusetts in order to keep the case load (of 1, in this case) in hospitals down?

Should the healthy be required to quarantine when such measures have never been taken before?

Should our right to assemble be curtailed?

Do public health officials, or does anyone, have a right to limit our right of assembly? Or our right to travel?

Should children in day care centers be required to wear masks, and learn at the beginning of their lives that not being able to see other kids’ faces is normal?

Does oxygen deprivation from wearing masks make sense?

Is it right to make people so afraid of the virus that they fear getting medical attention for other illnesses?

Is it acceptable to see young people committing suicide in greater numbers because of the dark world the virus scare has ushered in?

If there was a raging virus, would masks make even a bit of difference?

Are masks a preparation for vaccines which we will also have no choice about?

Does the pharmaceutical industry perhaps have a profit motive in seeing vaccines mandated? Does that industry perhaps have undue influence at WHO and the CDC?

Whatever Covid may once have been, it now looks a lot like a political agenda masquerading as a health crisis. Too many things just don’t make sense. It’s time to say no to whatever and whoever is driving this agenda.


* See 10:50 mark of video presentation


October 28, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | Leave a comment

From a Wealthy Socialite to an Israeli Govt Censor, Facebook’s New “Free Speech Court” Is Anything but Independent

Freedom of speech on the Internet is all but extinct, and on the eve of elections, a de facto “free speech court” is going to make sure it never comes back. On Facebook at least.

By Raul Diego | MintPress News | October 27, 2020

Days away from the most polarized electoral contest in American history, social media companies like Facebook have vowed to censor any voices which they and their partners in the federal government consider inconvenient. According to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook is ready to implement election information strategies that have been in the works for years.

Company spokesman Andy Stone told the WSJ that the social media giant will be applying the “lessons” learned from previous elections in accordance with the designs of “hired experts” and vague references to “new teams,” who are leveraging their “experience across different areas to prepare for various scenarios.”

Mark Zuckerberg’s de facto monopoly over online peer-to-peer communication tools has given Facebook an inordinate amount of influence over the political narratives at both national and regional levels, which it has shown a willingness exercise with topics like the Philippines and Palestine.

Last week, the company took a major step in solidifying its grip over the content purveyed on its platform with the official launch of the Facebook Oversight board. A body that is to function like a ‘Supreme Court’ for chat rooms, if you will, with the power to review any decisions regarding post removals or deplatforming and to make policy recommendations. Members have been drawn from “law experts… rights advocates” and journalists from around the world. The oversight board currently boasts 20 members.

Four members – two of which have extensive experience in the U.S. judicial system – serve as the board’s co-chairs and were handpicked by Facebook, according to The Guardian. Other board members include former Danish prime minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, who is also a co-chair and is perhaps only remembered outside of Denmark for her selfie faux pas at Mandela’s funeral in 2013 when she was photographed taking a group photo with Barack Obama and David Cameron during the commemoration.

Judges of little character

Thorning-Schmidt’s insensitive moment at the laying-in-state of one of the most significant figures of the 20th century may be less damning to her presence on a social media oversight board than the tax-evasion scandal involving her husband – a British MP –, which ended up costing her re-election. When confronted over the accusations, she retorted that if her intention had really been to evade taxes, she would have done so “much more elegantly.” Despite these questionable instances and her reputation as an “extravagant” woman with expensive tastes, Thorning-Schmidt remains among the least objectionable figures on the oversight board.

Emi Palmor, for example, presents a much more alarming profile. One of 16 non-chair members of the board, Palmor is a former General Director of the Israeli Ministry of Justice, she was directly responsible for the removal of tens of thousands of Palestinian posts from Facebook. Before being fired from that job, Palmor had created the so-called “Internet Referral Unit” at the ministry; a cybersecurity team that deliberately targeted and took down the aforementioned content, and whose nomination to the Facebook oversight board was loudly protested by pro-Palestinian advocacy groups back in May.

Palmor posing with Israeli Prime Ministers Benjamin Netanyahu in 2016. Photo | Israeli Government Press Office

Inviting a literal state censor from a country with such an atrocious record of oppression and overt ethnic cleansing policies to serve in a supervisory role at one of the largest content networks in the world, should be reason enough for concern. Perhaps, even reason enough to call for the board’s dissolution given that such an egregious choice of personnel reveals an unacceptable political bias in an ostensibly impartial quasi-judicial body.

A clear agenda

A look at the other co-chairs on the oversight board leaves no doubt as to which interests Facebook intends to further through its sham social media traffic court. It might not be a surprise to learn that an American company would tap American legal minds to form part of a dispute resolution body, as Jamal Greene, an oversight board co-chair, describes it.

Greene is a Dwight Professor of Law Columbia Law School who served as an aide to Sen. Kamala Harris during the highly-controversial Senate confirmation hearings of Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Prior to this, he was a law clerk for late Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who wrote the 1997 Internet decency controls decision that shot down legislation that sought to regulate online speech. An auspicious sign, perhaps, but tempered by Steven’s own pragmatist views on free speech, leaving the door open to context when protecting the “public interest” surrounding the first amendment.

Sitting alongside Greene and Helle Thorning-Schmidt on the oversight board’s co-chairmanship is Michael McConnell; a constitutional law scholar who served seven years as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit court. McConnell wrote the dissenting opinion in the seminal “Ten Commandments” case, which centered around the government’s authority to decide which monuments can be erected in a public park.

Judge McConnell, who has been floated as a potential Supreme Court nominee more than once and is “highly regarded for his writing on church-state law,” argued in favor of the government’s discretionary powers, claiming that private donations to public facilities – like the ten commandments monument in a public park in Utah, that spurred the case – became “government speech” and, therefore within the purview of governmental authority.

Rounding out the co-chair suite is Catalina Botero Marino, a Colombian attorney and former special rapporteur for freedom of expression at the Organization of American States (OAS); an organization well-known for being Washington’s mouthpiece for D.C.-aligned policy in Latin America.

Botero expressed her position on the very topic she will be dealing with first-hand in her new position as co-chair of the Facebook oversight board in a 2019 paper titled “Towards an Internet Free of Censorship: standards, contexts, and lessons from the Inter-American Human Rights System.” In it, Botero reveals why she was tapped to join the make-shift panel of social media judges when she defines freedom of expression as “individual and collective self-government” and highlights her “utmost concern” over the “deliberately false circulation of information, created and put into circulation with the purpose of deceiving the public” in electoral processes.

Raul Diego is a MintPress News Staff Writer, independent photojournalist, researcher, writer and documentary filmmaker.

October 28, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | 2 Comments

Endangering European security: Biden’s assertion that Russia is number one ‘threat’ to US flies in face of facts & reason

By Glenn Diesen | RT | October 28, 2020

Joe Biden’s belief that Russia is the greatest danger to the US is based on emotion and outdated ideology. It should alarm Europeans as they could find themselves on the frontline of a ‘struggle’ that makes little or no sense.

US presidential challenger Joe Biden recently referred to Russia as the main threat to the US. The statement perplexed some observers given how his former boss Barack Obama dismissed Russia as a weak regional power in 2014, while in 2012 Obama himself had mocked Mitt Romney for arguing that Russia was America’s number one “geopolitical foe.”

Biden, the erstwhile vice president of Obama, has now seemingly made a complete reversal.

Remarkably, Russia has become the primary threat to the US without Washington clearly defining the rivalry. The vague references to Russia plotting against America, undermining democracy or being anti-Western have the common denominator of lacking coherence and conceptual clarity. What confrontation spawned this threat?

Anti-Western Russia

The Russian threat argument is founded on the narrative that Putin  apparently reversed the supposedly Western friendly policies of Yeltsin and reignited confrontation. Yet, what exactly would pro-Western policies entail?

Yeltsin pursued a radical pro-Western platform, accepting unilateral concessions and a demeaning student-teacher relationship vis-à-vis the West, in the belief that a Greater Europe would be constructed. However, the West looked at a weakened Russia and decided to construct a new Europe without Moscow. Through expansionism, NATO and the EU have become the main institutions to represent the continent and any Russian resistance is depicted as ambitions to restore the Soviet Empire.

Yeltsin’s entire foreign policy platform subsequently collapsed before he brought Putin to power to reform the untenable policies toward the West. Putin continued to push for a Greater Europe, although from a position of strength by rejecting unilateral concessions and being ‘socialized’ or ‘civilized’ by the West. However, the West continues to conceptualize Yeltsin’s pro-Western policies as a capitulation by forfeiting any role for Russia in Europe.

A revisionist power

Revisionism is the main concept that informs the West’s threat analysis of Russia. States can be divided into status quo powers, which seek to preserve the international system as it is, and revisionist powers that aim to overturn the status quo. Depicting Russia as a revisionist power for opposing NATO and EU expansionism is the great paradox that defines European security.

Irrespective of any benign intentions, the EU and NATO are revisionist by being the main vehicles to reorganize Europe. These two institutions push the dividing lines on the continent to the East and impose a destabilizing civilizational choice on the divided societies positioned between the West and Russia. NATO and the EU did not simply create an unfavorable status quo for Russia, they rejected the establishment of a new status quo order by rejecting any limitations to their expansion.

For centuries the West was concerned that the Russian Empire did not have any natural borders and expanded by impulse, yet in the post-Cold War era, this revisionist itch describes the West.

The failure to recognize Russia as a status quo power has continuously produced flawed predictions. In August 2008, Russia intervened in South Ossetia to repel an invasion by Georgia, which had been promised by NATO in April 2008 it would become a member of the military bloc. While Western media and politicians predicted that Russia would conquer Tbilisi and possibly annex Georgia, Russia merely restored the status quo of an autonomous South Ossetia.

In March 2014, Russia responded to the Western-backed toppling of Yanukovich by reabsorbing Crimea. Again, Western pundits’ warnings of Russia seeking to conquer Kiev and restore the Soviet empire proved to be wrong. Russia cemented its control over its strategic naval base in Crimea, which it already controlled before the Maidan.

Russia’s intervention in Syria in 2015 was similarly designed to preserve the status-quo, aimed against US efforts to topple the Syrian government in a wider revisionist effort to reorganize the power balance in the region.

Restoring the Soviet empire

Russia’s alleged effort to restore the Soviet empire similarly lacks coherence. The accusation evokes familiar and powerful Cold War connotations that can mobilize political support and resources among NATO states. However, what exactly does it mean to restore the Soviet empire and why would Russian tanks enter Warsaw?

Moscow is not led by communists seeking to rid the world of capitalism. Russia has neither the interest nor capacity to control a foreign population that does not want to live within Russian borders. How did this absurd concept end up dominating the Western discourse?

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton referred in 2012 to the Customs Union and the pending Eurasian Economic Union as an effort to “re-Sovietize the region” and proclaimed Washington’s intention to slow it down or break it up. The Eurasian Economic Union is not devoted to world revolution, rather it is a voluntary international institution largely modeled after the EU, which mostly focuses on facilitating free movement of people, goods, services and capital. Does the reference to the Soviet Union help us to understand the Eurasian Economic Union in any way, or does it merely revive the inference of incompatible values and threats?

The effort to make Russia fit in the clothes of the Soviet Union also manifests itself in the constant accusation of Moscow attempting to establish a sphere of influence, which implies a region of exclusive influence. Is the pot calling the kettle black? Moscow’s main argument under its Greater Europe Initiative has been to end bloc politics in Europe and replace it with mutual accommodation and harmonization of interests.

Before the toppling of Yanukovich, Moscow and Kiev proposed a trilateral EU-Russia-Ukraine trade commission to avoid zero-sum formats of exclusive influence. The EU Commission president denounced the proposal by Moscow and Kiev as unacceptable and insisted that Ukraine had to choose and make the right decision. Similarly, Russian influence in the Western Balkans is frequently denounced as an unacceptable intrusion into the EU’s backyard. EU and NATO policies inevitably become a struggle for spheres of influence as there is no conceptual space for legitimate Russian influence beyond its borders.

The ‘Sovietization’ thesis also explains why the West’s prediction about a Russian-Chinese clash over Central Asia did not materialize. Unlike the West, Beijing has not defined its strategy in the post-Soviet space as ‘saving’ the region from Russia. As both Russia and China do not demand exclusive influence in the region, a partnership has developed based on mutual recognition of legitimate interest.

Biden’s ideological threat perceptions

Biden’s antagonistic remarks about Russia should create concerns about the future of European security. The ideological language and reluctance to address Russian security interests results in an inaccurate interpretation of Moscow’s intentions while leaving no prospect for a compromise.

Russian security concerns and interests never enter the discourse in the West, and competition is subsequently interpreted solely as incompatible values. When competing security concerns are identified, compromise is the path to peace. However, when competing interests are clothed in the language of incompatible values, compromise is tantamount to appeasement and treason. There is subsequently no prospect for a solution to this impasse, and peace demands nothing less than victory.

Glenn Diesen is an Associate Professor at the University of South-Eastern Norway and an editor at the Russia in Global Affairs journal. Follow him on Twitter @glenndiesen

October 28, 2020 Posted by | Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 1 Comment

Biden vows to sanction ‘Lukashenko regime henchmen’ until Minsk turns ‘democratic’

RT | October 28, 2020

Democrat candidate for US president Joe Biden has called for regime change in Minsk, denouncing President Alexander Lukashenko’s “brutal dictatorship” and vowing to sanction his “henchmen” until there’s a “democratic Belarus.”

“I continue to stand with the people of Belarus and support their democratic aspirations,” Biden said, claiming that President Donald Trump “refuses to speak out on their behalf.”

Biden said that “No leader who tortures his own people can ever claim legitimacy” and demanded that “the international community should significantly expand its sanctions on Lukashenka’s henchmen and freeze the offshore accounts where they keep their stolen wealth.”

The Belarus statement was among a flurry of press releases by Biden’s campaign on Tuesday, and a rare foray into the subject of foreign policy. The Democrat has generally avoided the subject during the campaign, focusing his attacks on Trump on the Covid-19 pandemic.

Lukashenko, who has been president since 1994, was awarded a convincing victory in the August 9 election, by election organisers. The opposition claims the results were rigged.

Official runner-up Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, whom Biden endorsed in the statement, supposedly received about 10 percent of the vote. She has since fled to the neighboring Lithuania and reached out to EU countries for support, calling for a general strike to pressure Lukashenko into annulling the election they claim was “rigged.”

Police in Belarus forcefully dispersed demonstrations on Sunday, prompting some Biden supporters to demand “a plan for Belarus.”

While the EU, UK and Canada have imposed sanctions on Belarussian officials and openly sided with Tikhanovskaya in denouncing the “rigged” election, the Trump administration has been more diplomatic.

Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun met with Tikhanovskaya in Lithuania at the end of August, but said his job was “to listen, to hear what the thinking of the Belarusian people is and to see what they are doing to obtain the right to self-determination.”

“The United States cannot and will not decide the course of events in Belarus,” Biegun said at the time.

This stands in stark contrast with the Trump administration’s strategy for Venezuela, which Biden’s Belarus plan appears to mirror. Vowing to stand with the Venezuelan people in their pursuit of democracy, Washington endorsed opposition figure Juan Guaido as “interim president” of that Latin American country in January 2019, lining up the Organization of American States and even the EU in support.

However, Guaido has repeatedly failed to seize power in Caracas, leaving the government of President Nicolas Maduro more entrenched than ever. Meanwhile, the US-imposed sanctions – ostensibly targeting Maduro’s “regime” – have made lives miserable for the vast majority of Venezuelans, as even think tanks supporting the policy have noted.

October 28, 2020 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 3 Comments

Bellingcat DID take UK Foreign Office money, open logs show, directly contradicting Eliot Higgins’ claims

By Kit Klarenberg | RT | October 27, 2020

Controversial ‘open source investigations’ website Bellingcat was paid directly by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) at least once, official data shows, debunking its founder and chief’s claims to the contrary.

Suggestions that Bellingcat is a tool of Western governments, and funded by them directly, have long-abounded – and consistently been denied by founder and chief Eliot Higgins.

Such allegations reached fever pitch in late 2018, when files related to the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) military intelligence operation Integrity Initiative were leaked by hacktivist collective Anonymous. The papers revealed the secret endeavour, among other things, worked to discredit left-leaning, anti-war figures at home and abroad, and maintained clandestine global networks of journalists, academics, and military and intelligence operatives to spread pro-Western propaganda and encourage more aggressive policies toward Moscow.

Several documents openly referred to Bellingcat, at least one suggesting the organizations were collaborating on certain projects – if true, this would in turn imply Bellingcat was in receipt of FCO cash. Higgins was repeatedly probed on the question via Twitter, but he strenuously denied Bellingcat had conducted any work for or with the Initiative, or received FCO funding.

However, publicly-available documents prove the latter contention, at least, to be an outright lie. As Declassified UK chief Matt Kennard revealed on Twitter on October  26, official FCO procurement figures make clear the department paid Bellingcat £1,800 on December 20 2018 for “consulting, management and public relations” services – mere days prior to several of Higgins’ spirited denials.

The precise nature of the “consulting, management and public relations” services rendered by the organization is unclear, although it may be related to shadowy FCO program Open Information Partnership (OIP).

Officially, under its auspices Bellingcat collaborates with the Atlantic Council’s DFRLab, Zinc Network and Media Diversity Institute to “work together through peer-to-peer learning, training and working groups to pioneer methods to expose disinformation,” in collaboration with a sizable network of NGOs across Europe.

However, leaked documents suggest the endeavor is in actuality an avowed “disinformation factory” itself, seeking to covertly further Whitehall’s global policy objectives, seeking to influence “elections taking place in countries of particular interest to the FCO,” and other malign objectives – and strongly suggest Integrity Initiative is involved in the endeavour, or at least was at some stage.

The Initiative’s parent ‘charity’ Institute for Statecraft was named as one of OIP’s partners alongside Bellingcat et al, a number of Initiative staff were to be seconded to OIP, and the Initiative’s “pre-existing pool of contacts” was intended to serve “as a springboard for the identification of new potential network members.”

Significantly, the documents also detail numerous examples of OIP partners collaborating prior to the program’s April 2019 launch – yet further indications Eliot Higgins was also lying when he denied Bellingcat had ever joined forces with the Integrity Initiative.

For instance, in Ukraine OIP collaborated with a dozen online ‘influencers’ “to counter Kremlin-backed messaging through innovative editorial strategies, audience segmentation, and production models that reflected the complex and sensitive political environment,” in the process allowing them to “reach wider audiences with compelling content that received over four million views.”

In Russia and Central Asia, OIP worked with a network of ‘YouTubers’ in Russia and Central Asia to create videos “promoting media integrity and democratic values.” Somewhat sinisterly, participants were also taught how to “make and receive international payments without being registered as external sources of funding” and “develop editorial strategies to deliver key messages,” while the organization minimized their “risk of prosecution” and managed “project communications” to ensure the existence of the network, and indeed OIP’s role, were kept “confidential.”

Bellingcat’s website notes the organization is an OIP partner, although the fact that the program is funded entirely by the FCO – a fact openly stated on OIP’s homepage – isn’t mentioned. Upon the endeavour’s launch, Higgins was keen to claim Bellingcat was “subcontracted” for the project by OIP partner Zinc Network, which in turn received FCO funds. A cynic might suggest this semantic fudge allowed him to maintain the fiction Bellingcat wasn’t funded directly by the FCO, thus preserving the myth the organization is an independent citizen journalist collective, while nonetheless being heavily bankrolled by the UK government.

Alternatively, it may be the case that Whitehall itself wishes to distance itself from Higgins. After all, a leaked FCO-commissioned appraisal of Bellingcat concluded the organization was “somewhat discredited, both by spreading disinformation itself, and by being willing to produce reports for anyone willing to pay.”

Whatever the truth of the matter, there are indications Bellingcat’s relationship with the FCO may extend far further than what can be pieced together from publicly-available information. A Freedom of Information request submitted to the FCO in January 2019 asked the department for all internal documents related to research on the Syrian crisis mentioning Bellingcat, particularly those relating to the use of chemical weapons in the country, and “any documents that refer to the reliability of Bellingcat as a source when drafting research assessments.”

In response, the FCO stated it could “neither confirm nor deny it holds information relevant to your request,” on the grounds of “safeguarding national security.”

Kit Klarenberg is an investigative journalist exploring the role of intelligence services in shaping politics and perceptions. Follow Kit on Twitter @KitKlarenberg

October 28, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | Leave a comment

Twitter: Double Standards & Advertising

Twitter earns billions from advertising. But restricts Trump tweets on the grounds they might mislead.

By Donna Laframboise | Big Picture News | October 28, 2020

Censorship by big tech companies is a growing problem. On Monday, a week prior to a national election, Twitter interfered with a tweet by the current president of the United States. The company took steps to prevent anyone from ‘liking’ or sharing this message from Donald Trump:

Big problems and discrepancies with Mail In Ballots all over the USA. Must have final total on November 3rd.

Twitter further inserted a warning above the tweet:

Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about how to participate in an election or another civic process. [bold added]

As if the list of ideas that are disputed isn’t endless. Will we next be denied the opportunity to ‘like’ tweets that refer to Pluto as a planet, since its status is likewise disputed?

Some people dispute the efficacy of annual flu shots. Will Twitter, as a result, be neutering all tweets in favour of those vaccines? Some people dispute the notion that climate change is a crisis and an emergency – rather than a manageable problem. Will Twitter henceforth be preventing us from sharing 17-year-old Greta Thunberg tweets, which mention multiple things a week many grownups would dispute?

It’s hilarious that Twitter’s other concern is that Trump’s assertions might be misleading. This company survives on advertising. By huge multinational brands. Cosmetics. Casinos. Pharmaceuticals. We all know those ad campaigns are orchestrated by saints rather than spin doctors.

Seriously, folks. Spin is a fact of life. Sometimes it’s political. More frequently, it’s financial. The notion that Twitter exposes its users to billions of dollars worth of advertising, yet polices utterances by the US President lest they mislead tells us everything we need to know.

Big tech companies are about double standards and selective censorship. Their thumbs are firmly on the scale. Even during election campaigns.

October 28, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Progressive Hypocrite | , | 1 Comment

Newly Increased Coronavirus Crackdowns in Europe, a Preview of What Joe Biden Wants for All of America

Biden campaign rally, 27 October
By Adam Dick | Ron Paul Institute | October 28, 2020

Across Europe, supposedly in reaction to rises in the numbers of coronavirus cases, many national governments are imposing increased crackdowns that severely restrict the exercise of liberty. These coronavirus cases are in large part derived from testing that produces many false positives and that is often conducted on relatively young and healthy people who have very little risk of dying or even becoming seriously sick from a coronavirus infection.

Of course, the European politicians exerting their newly increased power say “the science” supports their tyrannical actions. And they will tend to give platforms to doctors and other scientists who back up those claims while ignoring or deriding the many doctors and other scientists who disagree.

If Joe Biden were president of the United States now, we can expect he would be following the course of these European power grabbers. The only likely reasons for restraint, aside from the potential of overwhelming popular revolt, would be if Biden had already implemented and maintained a countrywide crackdown of such high degree that he thought he could not feasibly increase it further or if congressional opposition or court orders managed to stop him.

In an August interview with David Muir at ABC, Muir asked Biden if Biden would shut down the country if “the scientists” say to do so because of coronavirus. Biden replied, “I would shut it down; I would listen to the scientists.” Of course, the scientists Biden is referring to are people like Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx who have helped stir up and maintain overblown fear of coronavirus and support for state and local crackdowns while members of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force. Biden is not referring to people like Scott Atlas, a more recently added coronavirus advisor of Trump, who argues that much of the government action taken in the name of countering coronavirus cause more harm than good.

Biden also reiterated in the ABC interview his commitment to imposing a national mask mandate.

Keep in mind that Biden, in the ABC interview, is talking about both what he would do at the time of the interview and what he would do as president after he takes office on January 20 — about three months from now, five months after the interview, and ten months after crackdowns began to be imposed across America. He seems content to impose extraordinary mandates on Americans for a long time. In large part this appears to be the case because Biden places little or no value on the average American’s freedom. Biden, in the ABC interview, provides this response to people who say a mask mandate “impacts on their freedom”:

Come on. Give me a break. It’s about saving lives.

Biden disregards freedom. He disregards science as well given that the evidence indicates wearing masks does not prevent coronavirus infection and does damage health.

The beginning portion of the Thursday presidential debate was dedicated to discussion by Biden and President Donald Trump regarding coronavirus policy. The exchange presented a sharp contrast in views related to coronavirus policy. Biden described the upcoming situation with coronavirus in America by saying “we’re about to go into a dark winter,” a hyperbolic description supporting his advocacy for imposing draconian countrywide mandates. If he wins, Biden will take office during that winter. In contrast, Trump said in the debate “no we’re not gonna shut down.” In regard to crackdowns continuing on local and state levels, Trump stated, “we have to open our country.” Trump further stated that “the cure cannot be worse than the problem itself, and that’s what’s happening.” Also, unlike Biden, Trump has been very sparing in his wearing of masks and has never proposed a national mandate.

In October, European nations have imposed and expanded draconian mandates in the name of countering coronavirus. Meanwhile, some American states and local governments have eased up on coronavirus mandates while others have increased them. Should Biden become president in January, expect him to act to make the coronavirus crackdown in America go countrywide and go big.

Copyright © 2020 by RonPaul Institute.

October 28, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | Leave a comment

Why So Gullible About Government in the Face of Covid-19?

By Donald J. Boudreaux | American Institute for Economic Research | October 27, 2020

At my blog, Café Hayek, I recently posted several entries in opposition to the Covid-19 lockdowns specifically, and, more generally, to Covid-caused hysteria. These posts sparked negative reaction in the comments section and in my email box. This negative reaction is, I think, unwarranted.

Unwarranted Faith

Among the most frustrating features of the pro-lockdown argument is the blind faith that those who make it place in the politicians who issue the orders and oversee the enforcement. This frustration is hyper-charged when such faith is displayed by classical liberals and libertarians, who normally understand that politicians and their hirelings have neither the knowledge nor the incentives to be trusted with much power. Yet in the face of Covid, executive-branch government officials are assumed somehow to become sufficiently informed and trustworthy to exercise the unbounded discretionary power – that is, the arbitrary power – required to prohibit vast swathes of normal human interaction ranging from the commercial through the educational to the personal (such as prohibiting family gatherings above a certain size).

Why this faith? The proffered answer, of course, is that Covid-19 is unusually dangerous and, therefore, we have no choice but to put faith in government officials. This answer is bizarre, for it insists that we must now trust with unprecedented power people who regularly act in ways that prove them to be unworthy to hold lesser amounts of power. My head explodes….

Moving on, and without pausing to explore just what is meant here by “unusually,” let’s grant that Covid-19 is indeed unusually dangerous. But also unusually dangerous is arbitrary government power. Is it unreasonable for those of us who fear this power to require that proponents of lockdowns meet a higher standard of persuasion before we accede to the exercise of such power? Given that the initial spark for the lockdowns, at least in the United Kingdom and the United States, was Neil Ferguson’s suspect and widely criticized Imperial Model – a model, recall, offered by a man with an awful record of dramatically exaggerating the likely mortality rates of diseases – is it unreasonable to demand that much stronger evidence be offered before we turn silent as governments continue massively to interrupt normal life?

If you’re tempted to answer these questions in the affirmative, recognize that there’s at least one important difference between pathogens and power – a difference that should be, but isn’t, taken into consideration by pro-lockdowners. The difference is this: Population immunity, either through a pathogen’s natural spread or through a vaccine, will at some point significantly reduce that pathogen’s danger; in contrast, for protection against government power there is no population immunity or vaccine. When such power expands, the ratchet effect documented by Robert Higgs ensures that that power remains more elevated and widespread than before.

Unlike pathogens, government power continues to nourish itself as it grows into an ever-greater danger. Quaking at the very thought of Covid while discounting the danger that lurks in the immense expansions of government power done in the name of fighting Covid is wholly unreasonable.

Where’s the Perspective?

Several of Café Hayek’s commenters and my email correspondents push back against anti-lockdown arguments by observing that ordinary people support lockdowns because they don’t wish to die, to become severely ill, or to have their loved ones stricken with Covid. This observation is accurate – as is an accompanying observation that Covid is spread from person to person. But as an argument for lockdowns it’s without merit, for it begs several questions.

How many lives are actually saved, on net, by the lockdowns? Obviously, the Covid-induced expansions of government power are not justified if the net number of lives saved is small. And remember, against the lives saved by lockdowns must be counted the lives lost because of the lockdowns – lives lost to suicide, to the reduced health and safety that comes from lower income, and from the failure to diagnose and treat non-Covid illnesses.

Yet those who insist that the desire not to be killed by Covid justifies the lockdowns largely ignore these questions and trade-offs. It would be as if a sincerely expressed desire not to be killed as a pedestrian by an automobile were taken as justification to prohibit automobiles. Such a prohibition would result in approximately 6,000 fewer pedestrians in America being killed annually by automobiles – itself alone an undeniably happy result. Yet would such a prohibition be justified by this objective fact? Would your answer change if someone with a superficial familiarity with economics declares that the danger posed to pedestrians by automobile traffic is a “negative externality”?

And whose lives are being saved by the lockdowns and for how long? I’m baffled by the ongoing failure in the public discussion to recognize that Covid kills mostly very old or sick people, and is practically of no danger to people under the age of 50. This reality alone should utterly discredit the case for locking down entire economies and life events. (Note, by the way, that I write this essay as a 62-year-old.) Not only does Covid pose no real – and much less no unusual – danger to most people, the group of persons to whom Covid does pose an unusual danger is easily identified.

As the Great Barrington Declaration sensibly argues, preventive efforts should be focused on helping this (relatively small) group of vulnerable persons. Keeping them isolated or otherwise protected from the coronavirus simply does not require the vast majority of the population to be locked down, “socially distanced” from each other, or saddled with other restrictions. In fact, as the Declaration’s authors note, by delaying population immunity, lockdowns likely increase the long-term threat to old and sick people.

Public Panic

It’s no good response to note that the general public is panicked by Covid. This panic is indeed real. It explains why the public isn’t more resistant to the lockdowns. But this panic does not justify the lockdowns.

Consider: The risk in America of being killed by terrorism is, as Bryan Caplan describes it, “microscopic.” Between 1970 and 2012 the chance that an American would, in any one year, be done in by terrorism was 1 in 4 million – much less than half the chance of being killed by a home appliance. Yet the 9/11-sparked panic over terrorism has resulted in a permanent increase in efforts to protect Americans from this virtual non-threat.

How much prosperity – including increased health and safety – are we failing to produce because we now waste billions of dollars worth of resources on protection from this minuscule risk? Too much.

And don’t forget that government’s response to 9/11 also includes America’s seemingly permanent war stance in the Middle East and a scaling up of government’s violation of our privacy. How much of our freedom has been permanently lost because of excessive fear of terrorism? Much too much.

Rather than accept as given the public’s irrational fear of terrorism, the far better course is to stop stoking this fear and, instead, to calm it by broadcasting accurate information about terrorism’s relative risks. (Aren’t we constantly told that one of the core functions of government is to produce and spread accurate information as a “public good?”) The spread of better information would prompt the public to demand better policies.

The same must be said about Covid. Tamping down the Covid hysteria by making available accurate information about this disease is what well-informed and public-spirited governments would do. Yet such governments are largely mythical. Real-world governments behave quite differently. Most governments, in the U.S. and elsewhere, chose – and continue to choose – a course precisely the opposite of what ‘good’ governments would choose. The reason, alas, isn’t mysterious: As H.L. Mencken observed, “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

Covid-19 is the perfect hobgoblin. And while its dangers are not imaginary, their degree and impact certainly are. Governments’ failure to ensure that their citizens are accurately informed about Covid is itself sufficient reason to distrust governments with the powers they’ve seized over the course of this hellish year.

Donald J. Boudreaux is a senior fellow with American Institute for Economic Research and with the F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University; a Mercatus Center Board Member; and a professor of economics and former economics-department chair at George Mason University.

October 28, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Timeless or most popular | , | 2 Comments

Spain: Study Shows 80% COVID Patients Deficient in Vitamin D

21st Century Wire | October 28, 2020

A new study has all but confirmed the link between COVID sufferers and Vitamin D deficiency. This latest study lends additional support to the argument that cheap therapeutics are already readily available to the public – a key point which further demolishes the US, UK government and Big Pharma narrative that “only a vaccine” can save the population from a rapidly waning ‘novel’ coronavirus which is still being used by politicians and the World Economic Forum to justify the continuation of highly damaging lockdown policies.

Results of new research done by the Marqués de Valdecilla University Hospital in Spain shows that a large number of COVID-19 patients – 82% of them, were found to have low levels of vitamin D, according to this new peer reviewed study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Evidence seems to suggest that out of the 216 tested, more men were affected by this condition than women.

Conversely, a control group showed that only 47% of people who didn’t have the virus were Vitamin D deficient.

Vitamin D is a hormone produced in the kidneys which aids in the regulation of calcium in the bloodstream.

According to researchers, one possible mechanism for the high risk to serious illness in low Vitamin D sufferers could be a clear increase in serum levels of inflammatory markers like D-dimer and ferritin used by the body to fight off an infection.

One specific note: researchers did not find a clear association with the levels of vitamin D and the severity of COVID, or a need to be sent to intensive care, or placed on a ventilator, or death.

According to researcher Dr Jose Hernandez, from the University of Cantabria, “One approach is to identify and treat vitamin D deficiency, especially in high-risk individuals such as the elderly, patients with comorbidities, and nursing home residents, who are the main target population for the COVID-19.”

Regarding the issue of treatment, Dr Hernandez added that, “Vitamin D treatment should be recommended in COVID-19 patients with low levels of vitamin D circulating in the blood since this approach might have beneficial effects in both the musculoskeletal and the immune system.”

October 28, 2020 Posted by | Economics, Science and Pseudo-Science | | Leave a comment

Nine Covid Facts: A Pandemic of Fearmongering and Ignorance

By Jeff Harris | Ron Paul Institute | October 28, 2020

Ever since the alleged pandemic erupted this past March the mainstream media has spewed a non-stop stream of misinformation that appears to be laser focused on generating maximum fear among the citizenry. But the facts and the science simply don’t support the grave picture painted of a deadly virus sweeping the land.

Yes we do have a pandemic, but it’ a pandemic of ginned up pseudo-science masquerading as unbiased fact. Here are nine facts backed up with data, in many cases from the CDC itself that paints a very different picture from the fear and dread being relentlessly drummed into the brains of unsuspecting citizens.

1) The PCR test is practically useless

According to an article in the New York Times August 29th 2020 testing for the Covid-19 virus using the popular PCR method results in up to 90% of those tested showing positive results that are grossly misleading.

Officials in Massachusetts, New York and Nevada compiled testing data that revealed the PCR test can NOT determine the amount of virus in a sample. (viral load) The amount of virus in up to 90% of positive results turned out to be so miniscule that the patient was asymptomatic and posed no threat to others. So the positive Covid-19 tests are virtually meaningless.

2) A positive test is NOT a CASE

For some reason every positive Covid-19 test is immediately designated a CASE. As we saw in #1 above up to 90% of positive Covid-19 tests result in miniscule amounts of virus that do not sicken the subject. Historically only patients who demonstrated actual symptoms of an illness were considered a case. Publishing positive test results as “CASES” is grossly misleading and needlessly alarming.

3) The Centers for Disease Control dramatically lowered the Covid-19 Death Count

On August 30th the CDC released new data that showed only 6% of the deaths previously attributed to Covid-19 were due exclusively to the virus. The vast majority, 94%, may have had exposure to Covid-19 but also had preexisting illnesses like heart disease, obesity, hypertension, cancer and various respiratory illnesses. While they died with Covid-19 they did NOT die exclusively from Covid-19.

4) CDC reports Covid-19 Survival Rate over 99% 

The CDC updated their “Current Best Estimate” for Covid-19 survival on September 10th showing that over 99% of people exposed to the virus survived. Another way to say this is that less than 1% of the exposures are potentially life threatening. According to the CDC the vast majority of deaths attributed to Covid-19 were concentrated in the population over age 70, close to normal life expectancy.

5) CDC reveals 85% of Positive Covid cases wore face masks Always or Often 

In September of 2020 the CDC released the results of a study conducted in July where they discovered that 85% of the positive Covid test subjects reported wearing a cloth face mask always or often for two weeks prior to testing positive. The majority, 71% of the test subjects reported always wearing a cloth face mask and 14% reported often wearing a cloth face mask. The only rational conclusion from this study is that cloth face masks offer little if any protection from Covid-19 infection.

6) There are inexpensive, proven therapies for Covid-19

Harvey Risch, MD, PhD heads the Yale University School of Epidemiology. He authored “The Key to Defeating Covid-19 Already Exists. We Need to Start Using It” which was published in Newsweek Magazine July 23rd, 2020. Dr. Risch documents the proven effectiveness of treating patients diagnosed with Covid-19 using a combination of Hydroxychloroquine, an antibiotic like azithromycin and the nutritional supplement zinc. Medical Doctors across the globe have reported very positive results using this protocol particularly for early stage Covid patients.

7) The US Death Rate is NOT spiking

If Covid-19 was the lethal killer it’s made out to be one would reasonably expect to see a significant spike in the number of deaths reported. But that hasn’t happened. According to the CDC as of early May 2020 the total number of deaths in the US was 944,251 from January 1 – April 30th. This is actually slightly lower than the number of deaths during the same period in 2017 when 946,067 total deaths were reported.

8) Most Covid-19 Deaths Occur at the End of a normal Lifespan

According to the CDC as of 2017 US males can expect a normal lifespan of 76.1 years and females 81.1 years. A little over 80% of the suspected Covid-19 deaths have occurred in people over age 65. According to a June 28th New York Post article almost half of all Covid suspected deaths have occurred in Nursing Homes which predominately house people with preexisting health conditions and close to or past their normal life expectancy.

9) CDC Data Shows Minimal Covid Risk to Children and Young Adults

The CDC reported in their September 10th update that it’s estimated Infection Mortality Rate (IFR) for children age 0-19 was so low that 99.97% of those infected with the virus survived. For 20-49 year-olds the survival rate was almost as good at 99.98%. Even those 70 years-old and older had a survival rate of 94.6%. To put this in perspective the CDC data suggest that a child or young adult up to age 19 has a greater chance of death from some type of accident than they do from Covid-19.

Taken together it should be obvious that Covid-19 is pretty similar to typical flu viruses that sicken some people annually. The vast majority are able to successfully fight off the virus with their body’s natural immune system. Common sense precautions should be taken, particularly by those over age 65 that suffer from preexisting medical conditions.

The gross over reaction by government leaders to this illness is causing much more distress, physical, emotional and financial, than the virus ever could on its own. The bottom line is there is NO pandemic, just a typical flu season that has been wildly blown out of proportion by 24/7 media propaganda and enabled by the masses paralyzed by irrational fear.

State and local governments in particular have ignored the rights of the people and have instituted outrageous attacks on freedom and liberty that was bought and paid for by the blood and sacrifice of our forefathers.

Slowly the people are recognizing the great fraud perpetrated on them by bureaucrats and elected officials who have sworn to uphold rights and freedoms as spelled out in the US Constitution. The time has come to hold these criminals accountable by utilizing the legal system to bring them to justice.

Either we act now to preserve freedom and liberty for our children and future generations yet unborn, or we meekly submit to tyrants who crave more power and control. I will not comply!

October 28, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

Defining Despotism Down

By James Bovard | American Institute for Economic Research | October 27, 2020

The simultaneous defining down of both democracy and despotism is 2020’s darkest legacy. Voters are recognizing that their ballots merely choose elective dictators who can exempt themselves from the Constitution simply by pronouncing the word “emergency.” At the same time, despotism is being redefined to signify government failing to force people to do the right thing.

Hundreds of millions of Americans were locked in their homes via governors’ shutdown orders earlier this year. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has said he may decree a national lockdown if Covid infection numbers rise. More than 10 million jobs have been lost thanks to the shutdown orders and countless misery has been imposed on scores of millions of people unnecessarily isolated from friends and family.

New York, the state hit worst by Covid, had one of the earliest and strictest lockdowns in the nation. After Gov. Andrew Cuomo swayed the legislature to give him “authorization of absolute power,” as the New Yorker declared, he issued scores of decrees, including one compelling nursing homes to admit Covid-infected patients and permitting Covid-infected staffers to keep working at those homes. More than 10,000 New York nursing home patients died of Covid. In June, Cuomo said the nursing homes deaths occurred “because the staff brought in the infection,”

A New Yorker profile explained that Cuomo and his aides saw the battle over Covid policy as “between people who believe government can be a force for good and those who think otherwise.” For many liberals and much of the nation’s media, placing people under house arrest, padlocking schools, and bankrupting business vindicated government as “a force for good.”

But the lockdowns failed to prevent almost nine million Americans from testing positive for Covid (the actual number of cases may be ten times higher, according to the Centers for Disease Control). As AIER’s Jeffrey Tucker quipped, “Mitigating disease through compulsory lockdowns is like cleaning your house by bombing it.” The World Health Organization’s envoy for Covid-19, David Nabarro, warned that “lockdowns just have one consequence that you must never, ever belittle, and that is making poor people an awful lot poorer.” Nabarro also warned that “we may well have a doubling of world poverty by next year” or “at least a doubling of child malnutrition.”

Lockdowns that were initially justified to “flatten the curve” have been perpetuated on increasingly ludicrous pretexts:

  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom recently decreed that Covid restrictions would be perpetuated in California counties based on voter turnout, alcohol availability, and other non-health factors. California assemblyman Kevin Kiley groused, “An entire county can be kept shut down because certain areas are judged to be lacking in ‘equity,’ even if the whole county has relatively few cases of Covid.”
  • In Washington, D.C., the local government is perpetuating private and public school shutdowns and other restrictions as long based on a newly-decreed standard: “a requirement that more than 60 percent of new cases be closely connected to other known cases.” The city currently can connect less than 10% of cases, so this Veto on Normalcy can last forever – or at least as long as devotees pledge their devotion to (mindless) “data and science.” D.C. Covid mania is so extreme that worshippers at the Basilica at Catholic University have been prohibited from performing the “stations of the cross” inside the church, instead being ordered to sit in a pew.

The contract between citizens and the government in this nation hinges on elected politicians obeying the Constitution. After Covid crackdowns obliterated constitutional rights, courts slammed run-a-mok rulers:

  • Federal judge William Stickman IV last month condemned Pennsylvania’s Covid restrictions: “Broad population-wide lockdowns are such a dramatic inversion of the concept of liberty in a free society as to be nearly presumptively unconstitutional.”
  • The Michigan Supreme Court ruled earlier this month that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer had extended a “state of emergency” far beyond what an unconstitutional state law allowed.
  • Federal judge Daniel Domenico last week ruled that some of Colorado’s Covid restrictions violated religious freedom: “The Constitution does not allow the State to tell a congregation how large it can be when comparable secular gatherings are not so limited, or to tell a congregation that its reason for wishing to remove facial coverings is less important than a restaurant’s or spa’s.”
  • In May, the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down a state official’s stay-at-home order as “unlawful, invalid, and unenforceable.”

The U.S. Department of Justice declared earlier this year: “There is no pandemic exclusion … to the fundamental liberties the Constitution safeguards.” Attorney General William Barr declared last month that imposing “a national lockdown, stay-at-home orders, is like house arrest. It’s — you know, other than slavery… this is the greatest intrusion on civil liberties in American history.”

But most of the media cheered almost every arbitrary restriction imposed by any government official in the name of fighting Covid. University of Chicago law professor Eric Posner fretted in the Washington Post that “judicial opposition to the lockdown orders is not just about religious liberty. It’s also, and perhaps really, about the role of government in American life.” And any limit on government power is equivalent to national suicide, apparently. A New York democratic legislator told the New Yorker that Gov. Cuomo is “inclined towards tyranny. But in a crisis that’s what people want.” The media’s valorization of Cuomo helped make his new book, American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic, a bestseller. Tyranny is comforting to some people regardless of how much havoc and pointless suffering tyrants inflict.

For many liberals, mandatory masks have become the new version of the Emancipation Proclamation. In his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, presidential candidate Joe Biden declared, “We’ll have a national mandate to wear a mask — not as a burden but as a patriotic duty to protect one another.” When asked if he will force everyone to wear a mask, Biden replied, “This isn’t about freedom, it’s about freedom for your, your neighbors.” Biden also declared, “Every single American should be wearing a mask when they’re outside for the next three months, at a minimum.” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in July that a federal mask mandate would be “authoritarian” but endorsed a national mask decree last week.

The ultimate symbol of maskless tyranny became Trump’s White House balcony appearance, when he removed his mask and muttered a few words after exiting Walter Reed Hospital. Even though no one was standing close by, Trump was widely compared to Mussolini – as if not wearing a mask was the ultimate betrayal of the American people.

Rather than campaigning against Trump’s abuses of power, Biden and the Democrats are condemning Trump for not seizing far more power to pretend to keep everyone safe from everything. During the first years of the War on Terror, some servile Republicans cheered on Bush administration travesties with the throwaway line: “You don’t have any constitutional rights if you’re dead.” Nowadays, many frightened Americans seem ready to support perpetual lockdowns based on the axiom: “You don’t have any rights if anyone tests positive for Covid-19.” A virus with a 99.9% survival rate has spawned a 100% presumption in favor of despotism.

The failure of iron fist policies should be the storyline of the 2020 election but instead Biden and much of the media want to double down on repression. Can the votes that are cast in the coming week close the authoritarian Pandora’s Boxes that have opened across the nation? Or will conniving invocations of “data and science” suffice to blight Americans’ rights and liberties in perpetuity?

James Bovard is the author of ten books, including Public Policy Hooligan, Attention Deficit Democracy, The Bush Betrayal, and Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty.

October 28, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , , | Leave a comment