Aletho News


Pompeo: US to Label BDS Movement as ‘Anti-Semitic’

Palestine Chronicle | November 19, 2020

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that Washington will take measures against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, which seeks to isolate Israel over its treatment of the Palestinians.

Washington “will regard the global anti-Israel BDS campaign as anti-Semitic,” he said.

“We will immediately take steps to identify organizations that engage in hateful BDS conduct and withdraw US government support for such groups,” Pompeo said.

Israel sees BDS as a strategic threat and has long accused it of anti-Semitism.

Activists strongly deny the charge, comparing the boycott to the economic isolation that helped bring down apartheid in South Africa.

Last week Pompeo announced his intention to create a new process by which Washington can label organizations and NGOs as “anti-Semitic”, Politico reported on Wednesday.

Three people close to the issue confirmed the move, saying Pompeo may hold off on making an announcement.

Pompeo made the first visit by a US secretary of state to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Thursday, after labeling the pro-Palestinian BDS movement an anti-Semitic “cancer”.

November 19, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 3 Comments

Doxing must not become normal political tactic, like the latest scandal around Michigan vote certification shows

By Micah Curtis | RT | November 19, 2020

A representative-elect seemingly encouraging the doxing of two people on the Wayne County Board of Canvassers, is only the latest of this sinister trend. If people don’t start calling it out, we risk it becoming the norm.

Doxing is a practice on the internet that is described as posting the personal information of an individual on a public forum. Whenever this is done, it is usually used with the intent to intimidate. If this information is easily accessible by some nut job on the internet, you could see harassment, vandalism, and many other things done to make the life of the person miserable. It’s a dirty tactic that actually falls under many states’ harassment and cyberstalking laws as illegal.

Anytime that a political figure does something of the sort it should raise eyebrows. Abraham Aiyash, a Michigan State representative elect publicly named the neighborhood in which a member of the board of canvassers in Wayne County lived. This particular action came across as encouraging people to continue to dig in to this woman’s personal information. The fact of the matter is that her neighborhood where she lives had zero things to do with the discussion at hand, and the only reason it was brought up was to try and intimidate her so that this soon to be representative could get what he wanted.

This followed Republicans on the board demanding they be allowed  to rescind their votes to certify the state’s election results over concerns about voter irregularities, claiming they had been pressured into complying.

This is not the first time that someone on the left has done such a thing. Black Lives Matter activist, Shaun King, threatened to begin doxing members of a police department unless one officer who was involved in a shooting had his information personally disclosed by the police department. Years before that, CNN threatened to do something similar to someone who posted a Trump meme that showed the network’s logo superimposed onto WWE supremo Vince McMahon’s face as he was beaten up by the president at WrestleMania 23.

This sort of action tends to cascade, and can snowball out of control before you know it. I saw on Twitter people threatened to dox Aiyash because of his actions. On the other side, his supporters began digging more into the background of the woman that he was trying to pressure. This cannot and should never become normal. This is political intimidation, point blank. Thankfully, the internet never forgets so these sorts of things will live on in people’s memories. However, the behavior needs to be called out for being as evil as it is.

On top of that, there needs to be legal consequences as well. Charges need to be filed, civil suits need to be filed as well and debts to society need to be paid. Political parties need to call it out, especially those who have members that are participating in this behavior. This comes across like something the Cosa Nostra would do in a mob film. Right now people in politics need to do a bit of soul searching, because the chilling effect here is incredibly frightening.

If nothing is done about this kind of behavior we are looking at a future where political intimidation will become the norm. Whether it’s a protester, a news network, or a government official, evil is still evil. Such intimidation needs to be shunned and punished or we risk our governments becoming the mob. Speaking as somebody who is originally from Chicago, trust me when I tell you that is not a line you want to be thin.

Micah Curtis is a game and tech journalist from the US. Aside from writing for RT, he hosts the podcast Micah and The Hatman, and is an independent comic book writer. Follow Micah at @MindofMicahC

November 19, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties | | Leave a comment

New footage reveals Netflix faked walrus climate deaths

By Susan Crockford | Polar Bear Science | November 19, 2020

Netflix faked ‘Our Planet’ walrus deaths in order to blame them on climate change – polar bears actually were the cause of walrus falling to their deaths from a Siberian cliff, independent video evidence from Russia shows.

A new video published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation on this new evidence.

Press release 16 November 2020 from the Global Warming Policy Foundation:

London, 19 November: In a GWPF video released today, Dr. Susan Crockford, a Canadian wildlife expert, provides new evidence that the 2019 Netflix documentary film series, ‘Our Planet’, withheld facts behind the controversial walrus story it promoted as evidence of climate change.

If there was ever any doubt that polar bears, not climate change, were the cause of walrus falling to their deaths from a rocky cliff in Siberia a few years ago, new evidence presented here seals the deal: a Russian photographer has released independent video of the event that clearly shows polar bears driving walrus over the cliff to their deaths.

In 2019, a sequence in the Netflix documentary ‘Our Planet’ showed a highly disturbing piece of footage of several walrus bouncing off sharp rocks as they fell from a high cliff to their deaths. It transpired this event happened in late September 2017 at a well-known walrus haulout at Cape Schmidt on the Chukchi Sea.

Narrator Sir David Attenborough blamed the tragedy on climate change, insisting that lack of summer sea ice due to climate change was to blame for the walrus falling to their deaths without provocation. A few months later, however, using some of the same walrus footage, Attenborough’s BBC series called ‘Seven Worlds, One Planet’ featured a number of polar bears driving walrus off the very same cliff. It was damning evidence that the ‘Our Planet’ account of walrus deaths had been a false narrative constructed to elicit an emotional response from the public.

New independent video footage of the same event shot by Russian photographer Yevgeny Basov corroborates the BBC evidence that polar bears drove the walrus over the cliff. Basov is a friend of Netflix ‘science advisor’ Anatoly Kochnev and was apparently invited to observe the commercial filming.

Like the original Netflix footage, this scene is not for the faint of heart. It captures a raw but natural encounter between predator and prey. Walrus hauling out on land during the summer are natural events that happen even when sea ice is available. Polar bears are known to stalk such herds until they stampede, leaving the weak or unwary crushed in their wake. Cliffs are not essential to this polar bear hunting strategy but are especially efficient.

This brutal film footage of nature in action is not evidence of climate change or species on the brink of extinction. It does prove, however, that the walrus narrative promoted by Sir David Attenborough in the Netflix documentary ‘Our Planet’ is a manipulative sham with no resemblance to reality.

My video below published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation

Although the location is not specified in the original Russian video, by Russian photographer Yevgeny Basov, entitled simply ‘Walruses and polar bears of Chukotka’ (posted 17 May 2020, see below), it is clear that the location shown early in the film footage (up to the 4:00 mark) is of the cliff and walrus haulout at Cape Schmidt, which the author described in a photo essay published in November 2017 here.

See also:

The truth about Attenborough’s falling walruses (below):

Falling Walrus: Attenborough Tacitly Admits Netflix Deception (below)

November 19, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | | 1 Comment

UK terrorism chief calls for ‘national debate’ on criminalizing doubts about Covid-19 vaccine

RT | November 19, 2020

The UK’s top counter-terrorism cop has suggested society stop allowing people to question the wisdom of a rapid Covid-19 vaccine rollout, regarding such skepticism to be life-threatening “misinformation.”

Met Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu has pointedly questioned whether it is “the correct thing for society to allow” the sharing of “misinformation that could cost people’s lives” — demonizing all doubts about quickly developed Covid-19 vaccines whose potential long-term effects are not yet known and tying them to extremist radicalization efforts.

While he didn’t go so far as to call for a law to be passed banning such content, his suggestion of a “national debate” will presumably light a fire under ministers already mulling such legislation.

Basu also expressed worries about a “sharp increase in extremist material online in the last few years” during Wednesday’s press conference, warning of a “new and worrying trend in the UK” of young people being radicalized. Officials told UK media that Islamic extremists and far-right groups were using “false claims about coronavirus” to radicalize their followers.

Social media users already wary of the rush to roll out the vaccine were disturbed by the attendant rush to criminalize criticism of it.

Some said that there were completely legitimate reasons to criticize the jab.

Im not anti vaccine. Im anti THiS vaccine. Experimental rushed and flawed, sold to us by the self same devious creeps and liars who stand to share trillions #WiSEUP

— Ian Brown (@ianbrown) November 18, 2020

Even some in favor of taking the jab thought the decision to do so should be a “personal choice” rather than a mandate.

I will take the vaccine but believe it’s a personal choice and debate important.The establishment have other ideas:Met Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said that there should be a discussion about whether it is “the correct thing for society to allow”

— Darren Selkus Ex PPC Epping Forest (@DarrenSelkus) November 19, 2020

Whatever happened to, ” my body, my choice”?

— alfred setian (@spats402) November 19, 2020

And others argued Basu’s suggestion should horrify anyone who believed in free speech, “no matter what [their] beliefs.”

I mean… literally the thought police. ! I don’t care if you want to marry vaccines…no matter what your beliefs this type of censorship should make your blood run cold! Without free thought, there is no freedom. Be careful what you support!

— Emma Kenny (@emmakennytv) November 18, 2020

“Am I alone in finding this more worrying than the virus itself?” one user asked.

The counter-terrorism chief’s concerns have added to the growing chorus of government entities calling for the blanket censorship – or even criminalization – of vaccine scepticism. The Labour Party earlier this week demanded the government adopt emergency legislation to impose civil and criminal penalties on social media platforms that don’t immediately remove posts that question the safety of the jab and other “false” materials.

Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth demanded government “deal with some of the dangerous nonsense, nonsensical anti-vax stuff that we’ve seen spreading on social media, which erodes trust in the vaccine” even though no vaccine has yet passed review by UK health authorities and speculation from either “side” of the debate is fully hypothetical.

Meanwhile, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has refused to rule out making vaccination mandatory, and ministers are reportedly considering issuing QR codes to people who receive the jab that will allow them to attend sports, theatre, and other events.

November 19, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , | 1 Comment

Irish Scientists and Doctors Inveigh Against Lockdowns

By Amelia Janaskie | American Institute for Economic Research | November 19, 2020

A team of Irish medical and public health professionals recently published a White Paper entitled “COVID-19 Alternative Strategy: A Case for Health and Socioeconomic Wellbeing,” calling for an “evidence-based” approach to pandemic management. In the paper, the team provides a cost-benefit analysis of lockdowns and scrutinizes their overall efficacy while citing extensive supporting research. They find excessive costs associated with lockdowns compared to their intended benefits. The paper’s findings suggest that a second set of lockdown measures will be even more detrimental, especially given their hypothesis that the virus is transitioning from its initial epidemic stage to endemic stage.

The paper shows that testing and lockdown strategies are ineffective in lowering Covid-19 deaths. PCR tests are not reliable and tend to overestimate the number of people sick with Covid-19, which misinforms policy decisions. The 2020 mortality and virus-related hospitalization rates also do not deviate drastically from previous years, suggesting Covid-19 did not create a significant increase in mortality. In addition, they demonstrate that there is no correlation between lower mortality and more stringent lockdowns.

Although the authors suggest the idea of “Flatten the Curve” might have been a suitable strategy at first for the purpose of not overwhelming hospitals, they find that there are significant unintended consequences of lockdowns, especially regarding public health. The majority of Covid-19 deaths occur in people close to life expectancy, while lockdown-induced deaths occur in young people far from life expectancy, resulting in a high number of total life years lost. The authors cite various studies showing that children, adolescents, women, individuals with young children, and at-risk individuals are experiencing diminished mental health. They also report that cancer and cardiovascular deaths are increasing due to lockdowns because less people are receiving necessary screenings or going to hospitals.

In its conclusion, the White Paper recommends four overarching strategies consistent with the 2019 WHO and Irish pandemic guidelines, including the removal of lockdowns and a focused protection of the vulnerable. Overall, this paper is an impressive study on lockdowns and presents a mountain of evidence that demonstrates lockdowns are not only ineffective but harmful to people and must be stopped to maintain a healthy society.

November 19, 2020 Posted by | Economics, Science and Pseudo-Science | | Leave a comment

In Shocking Reversal, Wayne County Election Board Republicans Rescind Certifications; Claim Family Threatened

By Tyler Durden – Zero Hedge – 11/19/2020

In a stunning development out of Wayne County, Michigan – two GOP members of the Board of Canvassers have rescinded their certifications of the Nov. 3 vote, claiming they were bullied into approving the election results in the state’s most populous county, which includes Detroit and surrounding areas.

Their initial refusal to vote placed the Board in a 2-2 deadlock, putting in jeopardy the state’s ability to certify Joe Biden’s win. Hours later, the two flip-flopped and agreed to certify. Now, they’re taking it back.

I rescind my prior vote to certify Wayne County elections,” wrote Monica Palmer in a sworn affidavit, who along with fellow GOP board member William C. Hartmann refused to certify the election on Tuesday. The two fell under intense pressure from the left – with Palmer claiming that her family was threatened (via Just The News ). The two were also doxxed over social media.

“The comments made accusations of racism and threatened me and members of my family,” continues Palmer’s affidavit, adding: “The Wayne County election had serious process flaws which deserve investigation. I continue to ask for information to assure Wayne County voters that these elections were conducted fairly and accurately. Despite repeated requests I have not received the requisite information and believe an additional 10 days of canvas by the State Board of canvassers will help provide the information necessary.”

Hartmann, in a similar affidavit, wrote “I voted not to certify, and I still believe this vote should not be certified.” He added that he and Palmer “were berated and ridiculed by members of the public and other Board members.”

“The public ostracism continued for hours…” he continued – next describing how he was told by Wayne County attorney, Janet Anderson-Davis, that “discrepancies [in the vote] were not a reason to reject the certification, and that he only voted to certify “based on her explicit legal guidance.”

“Later that evening, I was enticed to agree to certify based on a promise that a full and independent audit would take place,” he said – only to learn on Wednesday that state officials had reneged or would otherwise not honor the audit.

As JustTheNews’ John Solomon notes, “It was not immediately clear whether the Tuesday night compromise was binding or could be changed, or whether the two members’ decision to announce their rescinded votes would stop Michigan state officials from proceeding to name electors.”

November 19, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | | 1 Comment

Covid-19: New evidence on face masks

Sebastian Rushworth, M.D. | November 19, 2020

A few months back I wrote an article about the state of the evidence on face masks. At that point, there were no good studies looking at the effectiveness of face masks in preventing the spread of covid-19 specifically, but there was a systematic review that looked at all randomized trials that had been done on face masks for the prevention of respiratory infections more generally. That review found that surgical face masks reduced the probability of getting a respiratory infection by around 4% in absolute terms (17% in relative terms).

My conclusion was that, considering how infectious covid is, face masks were unlikely to have an effect on the spread of the virus on a population level, although I thought it made sense to use them in hospitals and nursing homes, where you want to do everything possible to minimize the risk of spread to people who are at high risk of a severe outcome.

Now we finally have a randomized controlled trial that has looked at the ability of face masks to protect wearers against covid-19. It was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The study was carried out in Denmark, and was funded by a charitable foundation that is connected with a company that owns supermarkets (I’m not sure whether that means they wanted the study to be a success or a failure, or just wanted to know the truth).

In order to be included in the study, participants had to be over the age of 18 and and they had to spend at least three hours per day outside the home. People were not allowed to take part in the study if they had current or prior symptoms that could indicate covid-19 infection, or a previously confirmed diagnos of covid-19. All potential participants had an antibody test performed at the beginning of the study, and if it was positive, then they were excluded from taking part. Participants were recruited through adverts in media and through direct contact with companies and other organizations.

In total 6,024 people were recruited in to the study, and of these 4,862 (81%) followed through to the end. That is a nice big number, which should be able to detect a meaningful difference, if there is one. The average age of the participants was 47 years. Half the participants were randomized to wear a face mask at all times when outside the home, and half were randomized not to. For obvious reasons, this study was unblinded, since it’s hard to create a situation where people are unaware of whether they’re wearing masks or not.

Participants in the intervention group were given 50 disposable surgical masks. This actually increases the probability of the study showing a meaningful effect compared with the reality in most countries where masks are currently being used in public. Why?

Because in most real world situations, people are wearing (and repeatedly re-wearing) non-disposable cloth masks, which are likely much less effective than disposable surgical masks that are only used once. In the systematic review I wrote about in my previous article, the little data there was on cloth masks suggested that they were completely ineffective.

Participants were followed for one month, and at the end of the month an antibody test and a PCR test for covid were carried out. If participants had symptoms suggestive of covid at any point during the month, a PCR test was also performed at that time point. All participants received written and video instructions on how to use the face masks properly. If outside the home for more than eight hours at a time, they were instructed to change to a new mask, so that a single mask was never used for longer than eight hours.

Both an intention-to-treat and a per-protocol analysis was done of the results. What that means is that they looked at what the results were, both if all participants involved in the study were included (intention-to-treat), and if only participants who reported wearing the masks as instructed a high proportion of the time were included in the analysis (per-protocol).

In general, it is considered good form to do an intention-to-treat analysis, and bad form to do a per-protocol analysis. The reason for this is that a per-protocol analysis will tend to make the results seem better than they are in the real world (in the real world, not everyone does as they’re told – annoying, right?!). In this case, however, I think it’s reasonable to also do a per-protocol analysis, because we want to know what effect, if any, masks have when used as instructed.

So, what were the results?

We’ll start with the intention-to-treat analysis. In the face mask group, 1,8% developed covid-19 over the course of the study. In the control group, 2,1% developed covid-19. That is a 0,3% difference in favor of face masks, but it is not even close to being statistically significant.

OK, let’s look instead at the per-protocol analysis, which in practice means that the 7% of participants who often didn’t follow the mask wearing instructions properly are excluded from the analysis. In the face mask group, 1,8% developed covid-19, and in the control group, 2,1% developed covid-19. So, interestingly, the result was the same regardless of whether you look only at those who wore the masks as intended, or look at everyone, including those who didn’t follow the instructions. This in itself suggests that mask wearing doesn’t make a big difference, since the results don’t change when you only look at people who have been good at wearing their masks as intended.

As an interesting aside, the researchers didn’t just look at covid, they also looked at 11 other respiratory viruses. In the face mask group, 0,5% tested positive for one or more other respiratory viruses. In the control group, 0,6% tested positive. That is a 0,1% difference, and again, it was nowhere close to being statistically significant.

What can we conclude from this?

Wearing face masks when out in public does not meaningfully decrease the probability that the mask wearer will get covid-19. It’s possible that there is a small reduction in risk, but if there is, it is so small that it was undetectable in a study where almost 5,000 people were followed for a month.

It is worth nothing here that the effect seen in studies is usually better than the effect seen in reality. The reason for this is that study participants usually try harder than people who aren’t part of a study, and they get better instruction. In this case, they also had better masks than most people are using at present in reality, and changed to new masks on a regular basis. So, if no meaningful difference was seen in this study, then I think it’s safe to say that no meaningful difference exists in reality.

One thing that is good about this study is that it is the first randomized controlled trial that comes close to mimicking the present reality in many countries, where people are wearing face masks in public, but not at home.

One interesting result of the study was that 52 people in the face mask group and 39 people in the control group reported another individual in the home having covid-19 during the course of the study. Yet of those, only 3 actually developed covid. People sharing a home with someone with covid were really no more likely to get covid than people who weren’t. This suggests that most covid infections happen outside the home, and is in itself something that would be an interesting avenue for further research. It also suggests that most people with covid are not themselves very infectious, giving support to the hypothesis that most infections happen through a small group of highly infectious ”super spreaders”.

The main thing lacking with this study is that it only looked at risk to the person wearing the face mask. It says nothing about the risk that the person wearing the mask will infect another person. That is an equally important parameter, and at present there are no high quality studies looking in to it, so before we can truly say that masks fill no function, we need another large randomized controlled trial that looks at the ability of face masks to prevent the mask wearer infecting other people.

You might also be interested in my article about whether fever lowering drugs are a good idea when you’re sick, or my article about how accurate the covid tests are.

November 19, 2020 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | | 1 Comment