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Sheriff Bianco has a message for Gavin Newsom

December 6, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Video | , , | 1 Comment

Ex-Pfizer Exec Demands EU Halt COVID-19 Vaccine Studies Over ‘Indefinite Infertility’ And Other Health Concerns

By Tyler Durden – Zero Hedge – 12/06/2020

Former Pfizer vice president and scientific director Dr. Michael Yeadon and German lung specialist and parliamentarian Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg have filed an urgent application with the European Medicine Agency calling for the immediate suspension of all SARS-CoV-2 vaccine studies – particularly the BioNtech/Pfizer study on BNT162b (EudraCT number 2020-002641-42).

Yeadon and Wodarg say the studies should be halted until a design study is available which addresses a host of serious safety concerns expressed by a growing body of renowned scientists who are skeptical of how quickly the vaccines are being developed, according to Germany’s 2020 News.

On the one hand, the petitioners demand that, due to the known lack of accuracy of the PCR test in a serious study, a so-called Sanger sequencing must be used. This is the only way to make reliable statements on the effectiveness of a vaccine against Covid-19. On the basis of the many different PCR tests of highly varying quality, neither the risk of disease nor a possible vaccine benefit can be determined with the necessary certainty, which is why testing the vaccine on humans is unethical per se. –2020 News

The pair also point to concerns raised in previous studies involving other coronaviruses – including (via 2020 News):

  • The formation of so-called “non-neutralizing antibodies” can lead to an exaggerated immune reaction, especially when the test person is confronted with the real, “wild” virus after vaccination. This so-called antibody-dependent amplification, ADE, has long been known from experiments with corona vaccines in cats, for example. In the course of these studies all cats that initially tolerated the vaccination well died after catching the wild virus.
  • The vaccinations are expected to produce antibodies against spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2. However, spike proteins also contain syncytin-homologous proteins, which are essential for the formation of the placenta in mammals such as humans. It must be absolutely ruled out that a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 could trigger an immune reaction against syncytin-1, as otherwise infertility of indefinite duration could result in vaccinated women.
  • The mRNA vaccines from BioNTech/Pfizer contain polyethylene glycol (PEG). 70% of people develop antibodies against this substance – this means that many people can develop allergic, potentially fatal reactions to the vaccination.
  • The much too short duration of the study does not allow a realistic estimation of the late effects. As in the narcolepsy cases after the swine flu vaccination, millions of healthy people would be exposed to an unacceptable risk if an emergency approval were to be granted and the possibility of observing the late effects of the vaccination were to follow. Nevertheless, BioNTech/Pfizer apparently submitted an application for emergency approval on December 1, 2020.

Wodarg Yeadon EMA Petition Pfizer Trial FINAL 01DEC2020 en Unsigned With Exhibits

Dr. Yeadon made headlines last month when he said “There is no science to suggest a second wave should happen,” and that false positive results from inherently flawed COVID-19 tests are being used to ‘manufacture’ a second wave.

As Ralph Lopez write at HubPages, Yeadon warns that half or even “almost all” of tests for COVID are false positives. Dr. Yeadon also argues that the threshold for herd immunity may be much lower than previously thought, and may have been reached in many countries already.

In an interview last month (see below) Dr. Yeadon was asked:

“we are basing a government policy, an economic policy, a civil liberties policy, in terms of limiting people to six people in a meeting… all based on, what may well be, completely fake data on this coronavirus?”

Dr. Yeadon answered with a simple “yes.”

He then lamented the lives lost as a result of lockdown policies, and of the “savable” countless lives which will be further lost, from important surgeries and other healthcare deferred, should lockdowns be reimposed.

Watch the full discussion below:

December 6, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | | Leave a comment

Iranian scientist assassinated with help of SATELLITE-CONTROLLED hardware – IRGC

RT | December 6, 2020

The assassination of senior Iranian military researcher Mohsen Fakhrizadeh involved sophisticated electronic equipment controlled via satellite link, a senior official said. The scientist was gunned down in an ambush last week.

This piece of information comes from General Ramezan Sharif, spokesman for the powerful Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), whose remarks during a Saturday event commemorating Fakhrizadeh were reported on Sunday by Iranian media.

“The assassination of a scientist on the street with a satellite device can not undermine our security,” he was cited as saying.

Last week the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, said a remotely controlled weapon was used in the ambush that claimed the scientist’s life. The operation was “very complicated” and didn’t require human presence on the site at the time of the attack.

Iranian officials believe that Fakhrizadeh’s assassination was masterminded by Israel. Iranian media reported that the remains of the weapon that killed him, which was recovered from the scene, indicated that it originated from the Israeli military.

Israeli Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen said his government had no idea who killed Fakhrizadeh, but added that whoever did made the world a safer place because the Iranian physicist took “an active part in creating a nuclear weapon.” Iran denies ever trying to militarize its nuclear research, saying it’s purely civilian in purpose.

December 6, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , | 1 Comment

The ‘European Democracy Action Plan’ Risks Sanctioning EU Citizens For Exercising Free Speech

By Andrew Korybko | OneWorld | December 3, 2020

The long-waited “European Democracy Action Plan” has finally been unveiled, but its proposal to sanction alleged purveyors of so-called “disinformation” is extremely worrisome because people (including EU citizens) might have their fundamental rights and freedoms violated if they’re punished for publishing and/or sharing content that’s been arbitrarily flagged as such, and the Vice President of the European Commission for Values and Transparency’s ambiguity about whether this will be imposed against publicly financed Russian international media outlets like RT and Sputnik risks the possibility that their EU employees might be sanctioned for their professional affiliations too.

The EDAP’s Supposed Principles

The “European Democracy Action Plan” (EDAP) has just been unveiled, but instead of reassuring everyone about the bloc’s commitment to human rights in its fight against so-called “disinformation”, it dangerously risks violating them by proposing that alleged purveyors of such arbitrarily flagged information products be sanctioned. The document starts off innocuously enough by explaining the need to “promote free and fair elections and democratic participation; support free and independent media; and counter disinformation”, all of which it’s claimed will be done “in full respect of the fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the Treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights, as well as in national and international human rights rules.” Regarding the aforementioned Charter, they note how “media freedom and media pluralism” are “enshrined” in it. The EDAP also condemns the fact that “Smear campaigns are frequent and overall intimidation and politically motivated interference have become commonplace” when describing the threats to journalists’ safety, some of which they note are “even initiated by political actors, in Europe and beyond”, which “can lead to self-censorship and reduce the space for public debate on important issues.”

The Definition Of “Disinformation”

This makes it all the more surprising that the EDAP later goes on to propose sanctions against those who repeatedly spread “disinformation”, which they define as “false or misleading content that is spread with an intention to deceive or secure economic or political gain and which may cause public harm”. Although they promise that this will be done “in full respect of fundamental rights and freedoms”, no transparent mechanism is suggested for explaining how they determine the offending individual’s intent for sharing supposed “disinformation”, nor is there any mention of an appeals process for those who are unfairly targeted for the same political reasons that the EDAP’s authors earlier condemned. The document notes that the experiences of the European External Action Service’s (EEAS) East Stratcom Task Force (which, while not mentioned in the text, is the combined foreign and defense ministry of the EU that also runs the defamatory “EU vs. Disinformation” portal which regards any non-mainstream “politically incorrect” viewpoint as Russian and/or Chinese “disinformation”) will play a role in this process, which is extremely disturbing because of how politically motivated that structure’s determinations are.

A Dystopian Task Force For Stifling Free Speech

The EEAS East Stratcom Task Force actually represents everything that the EDAP earlier said that it’s against. To channel the document’s own words, “Smear campaigns are frequent and overall intimidation and politically motivated interference have become commonplace” as evidenced by their hit piece in December 2019 against me personally and occasional “debunking” of OneWorld’s factually sourced analyses (which are personal interpretations of the facts and not representative of a “chain of command from the Kremlin” like they libelously wrote without any evidence whatsoever other than circumstantial speculation). Their labeling of the site as “being a new edition to the pantheon of Moscow-based disinformation outlets” proves that they’ve arbitrarily concluded that the intent of its authors such as myself is to spread “disinformation”, which the EDAP defines as “false or misleading content that is spread with an intention to deceive or secure economic or political gain and which may cause public harm”. I never had any such intent since the purpose in sharing my analyses is solely to stimulate “debate on important public issues”, which is a personal mission statement that’s actually in accordance with what the EDAP purportedly says that it wants to protect.

EU vs. Disinformation” Or “EU + Disinformation”?

From my experience being defamed by the EEAS East Stratcom Task Force’s “EU vs. Disinformation” project, I have no confidence in its capabilities to make independent and accurate determinations but rather suspect that it’s a political instrument wielded by the EU’s foreign and defense ministries to intimidate those who share “politically incorrect” interpretations of “important public issues”. The EDAP says that its anti-disinformation proposals “do not seek to and cannot interfere with people’s right to express opinions or to restrict access to legal content or limit procedural safeguards including access to judicial remedy.” Nevertheless, my right to express my opinion is being infringed upon after my work was defamed as “disinformation” (importantly without anyone from that platform ever making an attempt to contact me beforehand even on Twitter despite them referring to my account there and thus being aware of it prior to the publication of their hit piece), and I have no access to “judicial remedy” after what they’ve done. Based on what the EDAP proposes pertaining to sanctions against alleged purveyors of “disinformation”, OneWorld, its media partners, myself, and/or the other contributors including those who are EU citizens might possibly have such costs unfairly imposed upon them.

Cracking Down On EU Citizens

Vice President of the European Commission for Values and Transparency Vera Jourova ominously told the US government-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) “in an interview to coincide” with Thursday’s release of the EDAP that “sanctions will should [sic] follow the EU’s cybersanction regime, which was used for the first time this year to freeze assets and introduce visa bans on offenders — primarily Russian, Chinese, and North Korean citizens and companies — that have attacked the bloc.” Just as disturbing was that “she didn’t want to specify at the moment (whether Russian media companies such as RT and Sputnik can be targeted in the future), but added that ‘it can be governmental or nongovernmental actors, whoever will be identified, using very good evidence, that they are systematic producers or promoters of disinformation.’” This confirms what I feared when I read the EDAP, namely that individuals employed by those two companies (including EU citizens among them), as well as people such as myself dangerously defamed by the EEAS East Stratcom’s Task Force and others for allegedly being part of a Russian state “disinformation” conspiracy, might one day wake up to find themselves sanctioned by the EU.

EDAP’s Ambiguities Must Be Immediately Addressed

In order to sincerely abide by its stated principles to respect people’s freedoms, the EDAP must be amended to remove any ambiguities which could allow for the sanctioning of individual people, especially those who might even be EU citizens. After all, its “EU vs. Disinformation” “watchdog” functions more as a politically driven attack dog as proven by my personal experience of having been defamed by them (made all the more incriminating on their part because no attempt was made to contact me for comment on the same Twitter account that they wrote about in their hit piece before publishing it). Everyone has the right to freely express their views even if they’re “politically incorrect”, and it’s practically impossible for a nebulous structure representing the entire bloc’s foreign and defense ministry to confidently determine someone’s “intention to deceive or secure economic or political gain and which may cause public harm” whenever they publish, share, or tag someone under such arbitrarily flagged information products. Nobody can be confident in the EU’s ability to combat legitimate instances of “disinformation” when that defamatory label is casually thrown around with reckless abandon without considering the life-changing consequences that it could have for the victims like myself.

Media Literacy Is The Solution To “Disinformation”

The EDAP had it right near the end of the document when it proposed improving everyone’s media literacy like I earlier suggested over the summer after being victimized by a different defamation attack. Instead of violating people’s rights and especially those who might be EU citizens, the bloc should prioritize media literacy in order to cultivate a well-informed populace capable of arriving at their own conclusions about the various information products that they encounter. Falsely labeling something “disinformation” just because a government superbureaucracy like the EEAS can’t tolerate the fact that someone is peacefully sharing a dissident political opinion in line with their UN-enshrined human right to do so seriously discredits the bloc as a whole and raises questions about its stated intentions. Jourova herself said in a speech on the day that the EDAP was unveiled that “We do not want to create a ministry of truth. Freedom of speech is essential and I will not support any solution that undermines it”, yet that very same document that she was promoting does exactly that when it comes to my and others’ freedom of speech, especially those who are EU citizens whether casually involved in what’s wrongly described as “disinformation” or employees of foreign media companies.

Concluding Thoughts

Sanctions are never the solution to combating so-called “disinformation”, media literacy is, as the former is akin to the same state intimidation that the EDAP purports to be against while the latter is proof of confidence in people’s capabilities to independently arrive at their own conclusions. Only a “ministry of truth” would dare to sanction people, including its own citizens (however that would work out in practice despite potentially being illegal under the EU’s own laws since its people’s assets and freedom of movement can’t be seized/restricted without court order), for exercising their freedom of speech by sharing “politically incorrect” interpretations (analyses) of the facts. Quite hypocritically, some in the EU claim that Russia is a “dictatorship”, yet Moscow hasn’t threatened to sanction foreign media outlets, foreign commentators, and even its own citizens through asset seizures and/or travel restrictions for sharing views that contradict the Kremlin’s. In fact, judging by the EDAP itself and Jourova’s ominous hints in her interview with RFE/RL, it can be said that the EU will be much less democratic than Russia if it goes through with its “disinformation” sanctions proposal, thus turning the bloc into a modern-day Soviet Union when it comes suppressing freedom of speech and peaceful dissent.

December 6, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Russophobia | , | 2 Comments

Leaked emails show Anders Aslund, the Atlantic Council’s Russia-basher in chief, tried to solicit funds from Russian billionaires

By Kit Klarenberg | RT | December 2, 2020

Internal Atlantic Council emails reveal the NATO-connected ‘think tank’ aggressively schmoozed the obscenely wealthy owners of Russia’s Alfa Bank, in order to secure a slice of their vast riches.

The communications have been released publicly as a result of the ongoing defamation case brought against Fusion GPS and its founder and chief Glenn Simpson in a Washington, DC court, by Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven and German Khan, the owners of Alfa Bank. The three allege false allegations against them in the ‘Trump-Russia dossier’, produced for Fusion GPS by former MI6 operative Christopher Steele, damaged their reputation.

The now-notorious and utterly discredited dossier alleged they and the bank maintained a covert communications channel with Donald Trump, and moreover delivered “large amounts of illicit cash” to Vladimir Putin when he was deputy mayor of St. Petersburg in the 1990s.

In July, the trio were awarded damages in a separate action brought against Orbis Intelligence, Steele’s private espionage firm, in London after Judge Mark Warby ruled the dossier’s allegations were “inaccurate or misleading” and the former spy had failed to take reasonable steps to verify the claims.

‘We got nothing’

In May 2016, coincidentally around the same time the Democratic National Committee hired Fusion GPS to investigate Trump, the Atlantic Council caught wind of the fact Alfa Bank’s owners wished to give away the entirety of their fortunes to charitable causes while alive, and saw a prime opportunity for grift.

Writing to the think tank’s top executives, Council ‘senior fellow’ Anders Aslund lustily noted their intention, and respective net worth of Fridman ($15 billion) and Aven ($5 billion).

“This could open an opportunity. To date Fridman has been extremely stingy,” Aslund stated rapaciously. “Rich Burt represents both Fridman and Aven quite intensely. I shall tentatively have dinner with Aven in Moscow Sunday night so I might be able to ask him what he wants. As you remember, we hosted him here in November and got nothing.”

That the November 2015 event left the Council empty-handed was undoubtedly a crushing disappointment for Aslund, given he went to great lengths to be highly accommodating to Aven, letting him pick the time and format of his Council talk, the number of attendees, and more.

“Our preference would be a lunch talk, but please indicate what time that suits you. Do you want a private off the-record meeting with 20-24 people or a bigger public meeting? The choice is yours,” he wrote to Aven.

Aslund added chummily that whenever the billionaire had spare time in Washington, he and his wife Anna were “always happy” to see him. However, there were some organizational problems.

In an email to Council higher-ups, Aslund’s colleague Alison Perry suggests Aven wished to invite “former Russian propaganda minister” Mikhail Lesin to the meeting, to which Aslund initially agreed. However, the Council subsequently learned Lesin was under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for money laundering, and was forced to “find a polite way” of letting Aven know Lesin was no longer welcome.

The volte face was presumably begrudging in extremis, given Lesin’s purportedly immense wealth – five properties in California alone allegedly owned by companies affiliated with his family were worth a combined US$28 million. In a bizarre twist, the day after the Council event, he was found dead in a Washington, DC hotel room. Authorities concluded he died of blunt-force trauma to the head, induced by falling due to acute alcohol intoxication.

‘Nothing must be reported’

Fast forward to October 15, 2017, and Aslund’s gold-digging scheme was in full swing – he wrote to Council staff stating invitations for a “small, private, off-the-record breakfast” on October 26 with Fridman and Aven needed to be sent to a number of powerful individuals.

Proposed attendees included representatives of the US State Department, National Security Council, Treasury, Congress, Senate, and other influential government-funded think tanks, including the Council on Foreign Relations, Brookings Institute, RAND Corporation, and others. The senior fellow was keen to stress no journalists should be invited.

Aslund’s long-running effort to curry favor with Alfa Bank’s owners is highly ironic given his vociferous promotion of the Steele dossier, which in June 2017 he dubbed “outstanding intelligence.”

In February the next year, he wrote an essay for the Council stating the “reasons to believe Steele are multiple and overwhelming,” and slamming the refusal of the mainstream media to publicize the dossier during the 2016 presidential campaign due to the unverifiable nature of most of its contents.

Claiming news outlets had “confused the profession of journalism with that of prosecution,” Aslund also expressed contempt for the philosophy that “if not everything is proven correct, nothing must be reported” – a rather troubling indictment, given the Council’s ‘anti-fake news’ partnership with Facebook, and claims to be “on the front lines of disinformation.”

“The US media missed the greatest scandal of the 2016 election campaign because they were so stuck in medieval liturgy it rendered them incapable of reporting the truth… The question is not whether the Kremlin helped Trump win the election but whether it can be proved in court and whether it is punishable according to all too arcane US law, which could not even sentence Al Capone for anything but tax evasion,” he fulminated.

Strikingly, the essay has since been “retracted and removed” from the organization’s website.

What claims in the dossier can be verified have since been proven to be total fiction, its contents drunken tittle-tattle provided to Steele by Brookings Institute staffer Igor Danchenko. In interviews with the FBI in February 2017, he expressed dismay this gossip had been used to secure surveillance warrants against individuals connected to the Trump campaign.

Nonetheless, Aslund still views the dossier as “largely credible,” and has even praised the “excellent” and “knowledgeable” Danchenko, who somewhat amazingly was a student of his at Georgetown University.

‘Corrupt politically exposed persons’

Aslund’s fundraising activities are doubly ironic given in 2019 he authored ‘Russia’s Crony Capitalism’, a book documenting the country’s alleged descent from a “market economy to kleptocracy.”

In March this year, he predicted this shift would contribute to Russia’s economic collapse in the very near future. It was at least the fourth occasion Aslund has foretold the country’s impending and unstoppable implosion, having previously – and incorrectly – done so in 1999, 2001, and 2014.

All along, his willingness to personally profit from the very financial activities he condemns has endured untrammeled. In June 2018, Aslund was appointed to the supervisory board of Ukrainian state railway Ukrzaliznytsia – he resigned in September this year.

In explaining his decision, he claimed he was exposed to “excessive” legal risks by not being provided directors’ and officers’ liability insurance, and said many of the board’s decisions hadn’t been implemented by Ukrzaliznytsia’s management.

Principled enough, but there was also the small issue of directors not having been paid since April. Or, at least, not paid enough – earlier this year, President Volodymyr Zelensky capped salaries of public employees as well as members of management and supervisory boards of state-owned companies at 10 times the official minimum salary, about $1,700 a month, from April 1 to the end of quarantine.

In a statement to Interfax, Aslund moaned that while presented as a temporary emergency measure, “it might persist” even longer, an obviously horrifying and unacceptable prospect for the closeted kleptocrat.

“Members of parliament attack foreign members of supervisory boards of state-owned Ukrainian companies for being foreigners and having been paid too much, but we have been paid nothing since April,” he raged bitterly.

The month after his supervisory board appointment, BuzzFeed revealed Aslund was paid to write a paper alleging financial institutions in Latvia, long-lambasted as lairs of criminality and corruption, had made tremendous strides in enforcing anti-money laundering statutes – by the very banks involved. It was commissioned by Sally Painter, a lobbyist for Baltic banks and member of the Council’s board of directors.

The organizations that lined Aslund’s pockets included a subsidiary of ABLV Bank, which at the time was attempting to secure permission to establish an office in the US. The effort was ultimately unsuccessful, as the US Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network concluded ABLV was a bank of “primary money laundering concern.”

“ABLV executives, shareholders, and employees have institutionalized money laundering… Management permits the bank and its employees to orchestrate and engage in money laundering schemes; solicits high risk shell company activity that enables the bank and its customers to launder funds; maintains inadequate controls over high-risk shell company accounts; and seeks to obstruct enforcement of Latvian anti-money laundering rules in order to protect these business practices,” the Treasury ruled.

Some of this illicit activity, the Treasury alleged, involved transactions for parties involved in North Korea’s procurement and export of ballistic missiles, and money laundering for “corrupt politically exposed persons.” ABLV was accused of funneling billions of dollars “in public corruption and asset-stripping proceeds through shell company accounts,” and failing to mitigate risks stemming from these accounts, “which involved large-scale illicit activity connected to Azerbaijan, Russia, and Ukraine.”

Shortly after the Treasury’s findings were made public, ABLV was forced to close – but Aslund told BuzzFeed he stood by his report, as it was “factually correct.”

The paper was presented at a private Council event in October 2017, the same month he was arranging that “small, private, off-the-record breakfast” with Alfa Bank’s owners.

It was convened despite Aslund’s research not being an official Council publication, and the think tank claiming it was written and published without its input. Perhaps unsurprisingly, no reference to the report or the event can be found on the Council’s website.

Snouts in trough

The email tranche indicates Aslund wasn’t the only Council apparatchik determined to get the think tank’s proverbial mitts in the Alfa Bank till.

In July 2015, Council chief executive Fred Kempe emailed Petr Aven about a fully-fledged partnership between the Council and Letter One, an Alfa Bank affiliate, and suggested there was “a larger role” for him to personally play at the Council.

All the Council’s approaches to Alfa Bank were allegedly unsuccessful, but there’s no shortage of dubious institutions and individuals all too willing to lavishly bankroll the think tank. Its donors currently include the US embassies of UAE and Bahrain, Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk, defense giant Raytheon, the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), and the US State Department.

From 2006 – 2016, the Council’s annual revenue leaped tenfold, from $2 million to $21 million – a period in which, concurrently and not coincidentally, corporate and state budgets typically reserved for lobbying firms were increasingly directed to think tanks.

Its board of directors comprises well-connected US government veterans Henry Kissinger, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Michael Hayden, David Petraeus, and many others. The emails related to Alfa Bank also name Council officials Richard Burt, Daniel Fried, John Herbst and Richard Morningstar, all previously US ambassadors to European and/or Eurasian countries.

Such close ties to the US national security state unquestionably allow for very effective, well-targeted lobbying on behalf of its bankrollers indeed. Except Alfa Bank refused to bite.

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

December 6, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Russophobia | , , , | Leave a comment

Congress moves to block US troop pullout from Afghanistan, Germany

Press TV | December 6, 2020

US President Donald Trump’s controversial move to pull out 2,000 American troops out of Afghanistan and 12,000 more from Germany would be blocked by the major defense policy bill, a report has said.

One provision of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal 2021 “would block funding for reducing the number of US troops in Afghanistan from 4,500 to 2,500 by January 15, as ordered by Trump, until the Defense and State Departments verify that it was in the national interest,” news outlet reported Saturday.

Another provision of the NDAA, it added, essentially urges the incoming Biden administration to take a second look at Trump’s executive order to withdraw 12,000 American troops from Germany.

According to the bill, troop levels in Germany should remain at 34,500 until 120 days after the secretary of defense submitted cost estimates and assessments of the impact of a withdrawal on allies and military families.

The final draft of the NDAA — released Thursday night — underlines that Afghanistan pullout orders, announced by the newly-appointed Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller on November 17, “gave Congress no estimate of the national security implications.”

According to the report, the Trump administration has so far failed to clarify how a troop withdrawal was “in the national security interests of the United States to deny terrorists safe haven in Afghanistan, protect the United States homeland.”

Trump’s announcement last June that he wanted 9,500 troops out of Germany after years of battling with NATO allies to spend more for defense has also drawn opposition from both ruling political parties in the US Congress.

On July 29, then-Defense Secretary Mark Esper declared plans to carry out Trump’s order that increased the number of US soldiers to be withdrawn from Germany to 12,000.

Some of those troops would return to the US, while others would be transferred to Poland and the Baltic states in a shift eastward to enhance NATO’s purported deterrence against Russia, Esper claimed at the time.

The report further pointed out that the NDAA provision on Germany “means that final decisions on a troop withdrawal could go to Michele Flournoy, a former undersecretary of Defense for Policy who is considered a frontrunner for defense secretary in the Biden administration.”

Flournoy, the report added, has already stated that pulling thousands of troops out of Germany would likely cost more than leaving them in place. He also underlined in an Aspen Security Forum in August that “Our allies were completely surprised by this punitive troop withdrawal from Germany.”

Moreover, once Biden is inaugurated on January 20, he would have the authority to issue his own executive order reversing Trump’s withdrawal mandate.

December 6, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism | , , | 2 Comments

Election Day Information Blackout Shows U.S. Media Is No Friend of the People. Americans Must Demand Better

By Robert Bridge | Strategic Culture Foundation | December 6, 2020

While half of the United States is mesmerized by witness testimony describing the ‘irregularities’ that purportedly occurred in the 2020 presidential contest between the incumbent Donald Trump and Joe Biden, the other half has been left deliberately in the dark by an activist media.

It has become almost a cliché to say that the United States is now fiercely divided into parallel universes, alternative realities, otherwise known as the Republican and Democratic camps. One of the primary reasons for this great divide, aside from the obvious ideological differences, is that just one side, that is, the left, predominantly controls the flow of news and social media content.

Indeed, the ‘legacy media’ even feels itself bold enough to cast judgment on presidential messages via Twitter in real time. If ever there was a recipe for disaster, as the most consequential election in recent memory remains up for grabs, this is it.

On November 30, Bobby Piton, a mathematician and expert, testified at the Arizona voter fraud hearing where he provided compelling evidence that up to 300,000 “fake people” cast a vote in the contested election of Nov. 3. The data, if correct, was alarming in its implications since it meant the difference between Trump or Biden winning the fiercely contested swing state. Certainly the major media networks, in the interest of safeguarding the voting process and consequentially democracy itself, would be interested in providing its viewers with such news, right? Think again.

Not only was Piton’s riveting testimony sent to the memory hole by all of the ‘legacy’ media networks, but Twitter actually decided to block his account the very next day. Piton was treated as yet another ‘conspiracy theorist’ nutcase who will probably need to enter some sort of re-indoctrination internment camp before he can join polite society again. He certainly won’t be in need of company if the thought police get their way.

Just days earlier, the social media platform also suspended the account of Pennsylvania state senator Doug Mastriano, who testified at that state’s election hearing. Twitter later said that Mastriano’s suspension was a “glitch,” which begs the question as to why these technological breakdowns almost always, without fail, target Republicans.

The very same media blackout has hit dozens of other poll watchers, regular citizens with no political ax to grind who had the courage to come forward and relay their stories in the hope of protecting America’s democratic process. Their reward has been crickets from the media industrial complex, which is essentially telling those witnesses that their stories do not matter; only the stories that are peddled to them from the corporate masters are all that count.

Such medieval rationale applies even to the President of the United States, who gave what he said was possibly “the most important speech I’ve ever made.”

“We used to have what was called ‘Election Day,’ but now we have Elections Days, Weeks and Months, and lots of bad things happened during this ridiculous long period of time,” Trump said in his 46-minute statement from the White House.

The American leader then proceeded to provide the various ways that the U.S. election system has come under “coordinated assault and siege,” as he described it. Naturally, Twitter tagged the presidential message by saying “This claim about election fraud is disputed.” Imagine, if you will, what the response would have been had the media titans dared to interrupt one of FDR’s famous fireside chats with a message disputing the veracity of the claims.

In any case, the media, acting, or not acting, in absolute lockstep (jackboot?) synchronicity, decided that the U.S. leader’s remarks were not important enough for the American people to hear. Chris Cuomo, CNN talking head, explained his network’s decision to blank the president’s “tirade.”

“Here’s the fact,” Cuomo began. “Trump is the least of our problems. He is a simple study at this point. Trump is toxic. Period. Sure, he’s going to go out with a bang as in trying to blow up as much as he can. He is absolutely trying to make nothing better, despite the fact that America is in a time of abject crisis.”

Was Cuomo talking about the election crisis that has left the United States without any idea who will be its next president, and especially more now that new evidence of foul play are emerging every single day? Of course not. CNN (which Project Veritas just demonstrated has a very big dog in the outcome of the ongoing race) has decided for their audiences, who apparently can’t be trusted to make decisions for themselves, that what the U.S. leader has to say is not important because… yes, Covid, the disease that just keeps giving the Democrats excuses to kill any semblance of democratic principles left in the country.

Cue the hysteria.

“He’s not working on the pandemic that is worse than ever,” crazy Cuomo continued. “He’s not making a deal on relief when more people are struggling to put food on the damn table [cue the violins] than at any time in this country since my parents were babies during the Great Depression.”

In other words, Trump is acting like a monster for considering the integrity of the most consequential election in U.S. history when there is a virus on the loose that leaves 99.8 of its ‘victims’ alive and well.

Judging by CNN and the rest of the mainstream media’s breathtaking arrogance, it is not so hard to imagine a day when the president – whether he or she be Trump or some other nation-loving populist – is outright denied the ability to transmit information over social media, while being deprived of the necessary news coverage, as is already the case with the 45th POTUS. This is the pinnacle of corporate power, or rather the abuse of corporate power.

Such a turn of events in the ‘land of the free’ should be of massive concern for both Democrats and Republicans. Yet partisan politics is winning the day, as the Democrats and their lapdog liberal media believe they have sealed the White House. And perhaps they have. But such a victory will be short-lived as corporate power will not stop at Washington, D.C., but will go on to ravage every last remnant of freedom and democracy in the country. It goes without saying that fake elections supported by fake media will never nurture the conditions for a thriving democracy.

December 6, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | Leave a comment

Why did Sweden have more covid deaths than its neighbors?

By Sebastian Rushworth, M.D. | December 6, 2020

One of the arguments that has been used in support of strict lockdown is that Sweden has had significantly more covid deaths than its nordic neighbours. On the 19th of November, Sweden had registered 637 covid deaths per million people. For comparison, Denmark had registered 140, Norway had registered 57, and Finland had registered 69.

But, as I wrote about recently, the studies that have been done have not been able to find any correlation between severity of lockdown and the number of covid deaths. Which must logically mean that Sweden’s higher death rate was not due to the fact that it didn’t institute a severe lockdown. So, if that is the case, why did Sweden have more covid deaths than its closest neighbors?

A paper written by three economists at the end of August sought to answer that question. The research didn’t receive any specific funding, and the authors reported no conflicts of interest. The authors provided 15 different factors that could potentially explain the difference. I’m going to focus on the few that I think are likely the most important.

The first hypothesis is that Sweden, and in particular Stockholm, imported many more cases of covid-19 from abroad before measures were put in place to stop the spread between countries. The main reason for this is that Stockholm has a half-term holiday (“sportlovet”) in late February, when many people go skiing in the alps. The other nordic countries have similar holidays, but they have them earlier. So any Norwegians, Danes, or Finns who went skiing in the alps, would have gone there before the pandemic exploded in that region, while the people from Stockholm were there when infections were spreading at their worst.

The two other large-ish cities in Sweden, Malmö and Gothenburg, provide a useful control for this hypothesis. Both cities have their half-term holiday a week or two before Stockholm, and both were hit far less severely than Stockholm in the first wave. Stockholm experienced 40% of Swedish covid deaths, despite having only 24% of Sweden’s population.

Apart from this, Swedes travel internationally far more than their nordic neighbors (80% more per million people), which would have resulted in significantly more cases of covid being brought in to the country at the beginning of the pandemic.

The second hypothesis concerns the fact that Sweden has a much bigger population of immigrants than its nordic neighbors. 19% of Sweden’s population is foreign born, as opposed to 14% for Denmark and Norway, and only 8% for Finland. What this means in practice is that Sweden has a bigger population of people with darker skin, and it has been clear since early in the pandemic that darker skinned people in western countries are much more likely to develop severe covid than lighter skinned people.

As an aside, Much of the media debate around this phenomenon has centred around the idea that darker skinned people generally have lower status, higher rates of poverty, worse access to health care and so on – basically, that the difference is due to institutional racism.

But there is one big problem with that idea. It doesn’t fit all the facts. An article in the Washington Post on May 20th reported that 27 of 29 doctors who had died of covid in the UK up to that point belonged to ethnic minorities. In other words, 93% of doctors who had died at that point came from ethnic minorities, even though they only constitute 44% of all doctors in the country. Why is this important? Because doctors with darker skin are still doctors, which means that they are members of a high status, well paid, well-off segment of society.

Note, I’m not saying that institutional racism doesn’t exist. I’m just saying that it can’t explain why darker skinned people in western countries are hit much harder by covid than lighter skinned people.

Vitamin D deficiency could though. Darker skinned people in northern Europe are more likely to be vitamin D deficient for the simple reason that their skin isn’t as good at producing vitamin D from the feeble sunlight we get in this part of the world. A number of observational studies have shown that people with low vitamin D levels do worse when infected with covid, and there is even a randomized trial in which patients treated with high dose vitamin D did much better than the control group, which I’ve written about in a separate article (funnily enough, that study gained pretty much zero media attention, while remdesivir, a highly expensive drug that is almost completely useless against covid, has been talked about endlessly).

Anyway, what the authors are saying is that Sweden has a larger ethnic minority population than its nordic neighbours, and people from ethnic minorities do worse when they get covid.

The third hypothesis, and from my perspective the most important, concerns the fact that Sweden had a much larger vulnerable population at the beginning of 2020 than its nordic neighbours. This can be seen in multiple different ways in the statistics.

The first is that Sweden has a large nursing home population. Relative to population size, Sweden’s nursing home population is 50% larger than Denmark’s. And as I’ve mentioned previously, in Sweden, people don’t go to nursing homes until they are near the end of life.

The second way this can be seen in the statistics is by looking at overall mortality for the immediately preceding year, 2019. If unusually few people die in one year, then unusually many will die in the following year, since there is a carry forward effect (due to the fact that humans are not immortal). 2019 was an unusually un-deadly year in Sweden, and the early part of 2020 (pre-covid), was also unusually un-deadly, which means that there was an unusually large number of very frail old people in the country when covid struck. This same effect was not seen in Sweden’s nordic neighbours – for them 2019 was normal in terms of overall mortality.

To clarify exactly how big this difference is, let’s look at the numbers. In Sweden, overall mortality in 2019 was 2,5% lower than the average for the preceding five years. In Norway, mortality was exactly in line with the average. Denmark and Finland both had mortality rates that were 1% above the average. Denmark, Finland, and Norway were in a much better position in relation to covid from the start. Sweden was always going to have more deaths, regardless of the actions it took.

As I think this article shows, there were a number of big differences between Sweden and its nordic neighbors at the beginning of the pandemic, which are altogether certainly sufficient to explain the big difference in covid mortality.

Correlation is not causation. Many people have chosen to see a causative relationship between Sweden’s lack of severe lockdown and relatively high number of deaths, because it supports their prior beliefs about the effectiveness of lockdowns. Those beliefs are, however, not supported by the evidence.

You might also be interested in my article about how deadly covid really is, or my article about how effective lockdowns are.

December 6, 2020 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | , | 2 Comments