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Remembering the Intifada and its prisoners of freedom: “Ansar III: The Camp of Slow Death”

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network | December 9, 2020

The great Palestinian popular intifada (uprising) that mobilized, organized and unified the Palestinian masses – especially inside occupied Palestine, but also in the refugee camps, in exile and in diaspora – launched in December 1987. As we recall its 33rd anniversary, we note that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians – some estimates reaching up to 600,000 – were arrested, detained and imprisoned by Israeli occupation forces during the Intifada.

There, they experienced severe torture under interrogation, harsh conditions of confinement, medical neglect and abuse, collective punishment and home demolitions targeting their families, brutal beatings and mistreatment and the widespread and systematic use of administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial. Inside the prisons, however, despite all forms of repression, generations of Palestinian organizers developed “revolutionary schools” of politics, literature and organizing, developing powerful young activists to return to the streets embroiled in a great popular uprising.

In a failed attempt to suppress the Intifada, the Israeli occupation launched new prison camps and detention centers to hold the thousands of Palestinians detained in mass arrests throughout occupied Palestine. The following historical booklet, published in English in 1988 by ROOTS and Friends of Palestinian Prisoners, focuses on one such prison camp: Ansar III, “a barbed wire compound in the heart of the Negev desert.” At the time of the booklet’s publication, Janet Jubran of the Friends of Palestinian Prisoners noted in her introduction, “In one year, since the Intifada began, more than 25,000 Palestinians have been arrested. At this moment, nearly every family has one or more of its members in prison.”

This powerful booklet, including documentation, testimony and facts about Ansar III and its Palestinian prisoners – including many labor leaders, human rights defenders and journalists – was a part of the burgeoning organizing of Palestinian communities in exile and diaspora (in this case, in the United States) and the growing movement of international solidarity with the Palestinian struggle.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network is republishing this booklet today, on the 33rd anniversary of the Intifada, to bring this important historical document to new audiences, continuing to build upon this legacy of struggle, standing with the Palestinian prisoners and the Palestinian people in their struggle for liberation and return. 

Download the PDF here: Download PDF

December 9, 2020 Posted by | Book Review, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Mouse Utopia and The Blackest Pill – #PropagandaWatch

Corbett • 12/08/2020

You’ve probably heard about John B. Calhoun’s mouse utopia experiment by now. Everyone’s been talking about it recently. But what does this experiment really tell us about the human experience, and can we avoid swallowing the poisoned black pill of the propagandists when covering this highly anti-human idea? Join James for this important exposé of the Malthusian eugenicists behind the great reset.

Watch on Archive / BitChute / LBRY / Minds / YouTube or Download the mp4

SHOW NOTES

John B. Calhoun Film 7.1 [edited], (NIMH, 1970-1972)

Grand Theft World

Grand Theft World Podcast 005 | Unmasking Dystopia

John B. Calhoun’s Mouse Utopia Experiment and Reflections on the Welfare State

Mouse Utopia Experiment

Death Squared: The Explosive Growth and Demise of a Mouse Population

Escaping the Laboratory: The Rodent Experiments of John B. Calhoun & Their Cultural Influence

Letting the rat out of the bag

Soylent Green – FLNWO #04

Why Big Oil

Meet Paul Ehrlich, Pseudoscience Charlatan

see What is Sustainable Development?

December 9, 2020 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Timeless or most popular, Video | Leave a comment

Mess with Texas via mail-in ballot? States secede from presidential vote

By Ramin Mazaheri | Press TV | December 9, 2020

The United States corporate-dominated media has found that the easiest way to shape news coverage on the scores of legal challenges to the 2020 presidential election is to only report on them when the cases have lost.

After all, the more newspaper inches given to objective discussions of widespread voter fraud allegations equals the more chances an average American starts to think the election was rigged. This theory presumes that the average American is so docile and programmable that they have already completely forgotten the mainstream claims which dominated the previous four years: that the election was rigged (by Vladimir Putin).

Not reporting until a court rejects an integrity challenge also allows for a superior “I-knew-it-all-along” tone, combined with open accusations of lunacy on the part of the aggrieved party.

More than a month after the vote the party (Republicans) remain tremendously aggrieved: top pollster Gallup just reported that 83% of Republicans say that reports of Biden being the president-elect are not “accurate”. Yes, it’s an oddly-worded poll, but so many US wordsmiths have been purposely opaque since election day.

It’s always been easy to roll one’s eyes at the smug tone because such condescension will drop to the ground lack a bag of bricks with just one Supreme Court loss, after all.

Yes, the widespread US belief prior to November 3, 2020, was that their elections were poorly designed, poorly funded, poorly run, poorly counted and porous in many other ways besides, but I always thought the biggest post-election day challenge would be over the exact issue which has led to the totally unprecedented situation of states suing other states over accusations of ruining the election’s integrity:

Texas – now joined by Louisiana, Missouri and Arkansas – is suing the states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia and Wisconsin over mail-in ballots.

I’ll show that the US Constitution makes it clear their case should at least be heard by the Supreme Court. The state-on-state nature already takes the case directly to the top.

The Supreme Court always had to rule on the unprecedented expansion of mail-in balloting

What’s so interesting about “democracy with US characteristics” is how the nine justices of the Supreme Court are allowed to be so very, very removed from US society. They debate in private, they grant media interviews very rarely, they don’t have to say much in court (Justice Clarence Thomas went from 2006 to 2016 without publicly asking a question), nor do they even have to give public reasons for many of the momentous decisions they make (they just rejected a key vote fraud case in Pennsylvania with one sentence, but more accurately only one word: “denied”). It’s not the Holy See of Rome, but it’s close.

But it’s not close regarding the holiness, because what this unaccountable and unelected regime of nine holds sacred is merely the 18th century US Constitution, something which is currently losing lustre worldwide by the minute.

Some, not all, of these justices are Wahhabi-like in their insistence that the document is “dead” (and perfect in its deadness), in that it must be followed both to the letter and in the spirit of the bygone (allegedly golden) age in which it was written.

Given this ideological reality doesn’t it seem clear that executive branch orders by some governors, or even just their secretaries of state, to massively and controversially flood their states with mail-in ballots violated the US Constitution – even if these actions were approved by some in the judicial branch – because they often did not get legislative branch approval? Article 1, Section 4 of the US Constitution states: “The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature …

Texas’ lawsuit thus asserts: “The four states exploited the COVID-19 pandemic to justify ignoring federal and state election laws and unlawfully enacting last-minute changes, thus skewing the results of the 2020 General Election. The battleground states flooded their people with unlawful ballot applications and ballots while ignoring statutory requirements as to how they were received, evaluated and counted.” The suit claims the vote in Texas was tainted by the vote in Pennsylvania, etc.

People may notice that Article 1, Section 4 does not talk about “Elections for President”, but the US elects their president by an Electoral College, not direct vote. It is regularly inferred that this clause also applies to the presidential vote.

I wish I could find more good media reports on this case to better inform my opinion but – as I began – you just can’t find much objective journalistic discussion on the US voter fraud causes. No well-known anti-Trump media I saw ever even broached Article 1, Section 4 – even though it was named in the lawsuit – all they had was hysterical and completely nonobjective denials that the Texas lawsuit doesn’t even attempt to make a coherent argument. And yet: the Supreme Court gave the defendant states less than 48 hours to respond to Texas’ lawsuit – by 3pm on December 10.

The suit also says the expansion made the vote insecure, but forget about all the alleged vote machine tampering, the purported “smoking gun” videos, the reported 1,000 testimonies making accusations of election malfeasance – all of that either has the evidence or it doesn’t. Maybe there was a huge conspiracy of voter fraud, or maybe there wasn’t. The nation’s top intelligence official, the Director of National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe, just said that all issues of election fraud must be investigated and only then would we see “whether there is a Biden administration”. Will they all be properly investigated? This is America, so all we can say for sure is that no matter what happens America will insist that they are the spotless beacon the world should follow.

But the question of mail-in ballots – this enormous change to the US voting system which inspired seemingly thousands of complaints by Donald Trump on Twitter, as well as from many regular American citizens – this is the dispute which has the power to immediately invalidate the 2020 vote.

I say: yes, it should invalidate the vote – that is, if Americans want to follow the rules of the antiquated and fundamentally aristocratic American system.

America is not a modern democracy, nor is it accountable – don’t expect the Supreme Court to rule in favor of the outsider Trump

Yes, pro-Trumpers were wrong to wait until after the election – to see if their candidate lost – before bringing this suit, but who’s to say that elite Democrats wouldn’t have forced some of their own governors to do the same thing if Biden was the projected loser? How can judges rule on a case which was never brought before them? The bottom line is that checks and balances are what make democracy “democracy”, whether that democracy is Athenian, American, Chinese socialist or Iranian Islamic, and one person should not be able to change the fundamental nature of how elections are held, even if that person is a state governor or secretary of state, and even if a state judge says their change is OK.

Modern democracies have (at least) three branches for a reason, but it’s OK that mail-in ballots were often routed around the legislative branch?

(I often say Iranian democracy has revolutionarily created a “Supreme Leader branch”. I’d also say the massive influence of the internet/digital age gives more credence to making the unofficial “Fourth Estate” – the media – an official branch. What’s wrong with more than three branches, other than: But the bourgeois West doesn’t do it?)

The re-routing (and some state legislatures, such as Nevada, did approve a sweeping expansion to mail-in ballots) of democratic processes into the hands of one person should be seen as a continuation of what Western democracy truly is: liberal strongmanism. This process became out in the open with Dubya Bush’s phony war on Iraq and the Patriot Act, continued with the ignored anti-austerity elections in Greece, is part and parcel of Emmanuel Macron’s “rubber bullet liberalism” war on France’s Yellow Vests, and was seen in 2020 when some US governors essentially said: We want Trump out so badly that we’ll change the elections by fiat to do it.

(Corona was not a valid excuse in November, because by then 2020 had seen many nations successfully and safely hold elections.)

A coronavirus vaccine was announced just two days after Biden declared victory; after months of refusals – which have fiscally disemboweled the US lower classes – Democrats finally agreed to negotiate on their heretofore totally inflexible 2nd stimulus position as soon as the calendar turned from election November to December; Facebook, Twitter and the US mainstream media currently censor the average Republican’s election reflections as if these citizens were calling for a second Holocaust.

Those are not conspiracy theories but are listed to reveal how truly terrible and power-monging the political and cultural elite is in the United States. They overreach their power time and time again, no matter how negative the effect on their domestic public or the rest of the world.

Such persons wanted Trump out, and I’m not saying that they engaged in a massive conspiracy of election fraud to do so – I’m saying that they obviously changed the fundamental nature of the election to do so.

In the US, states decide individually how elections are run, but there should have been formal legislative debate about any huge changes to the election format and not merely a gubernatorial order reflected upon in private by a judge. It was undemocratic political overreach in a nation full of people who have been conditioned to believe that the boss/CEO/president can and should be able to fire/personally enrich/sanction at will.

There are enough “strict constructionists,” ”originalists” or (as I call them) “American Salafists” currently on the Supreme Court to see the logic of Texas’ argument. However, I do not think the Supreme Court will find in favor of Texas – the power-holders in the US system are fundamentally anti-Trump, I think 2016-2020 has proven that ad nauseam.

Trumpism was vindicated in a grassroots way – like it or not – on November 3rd, but there are no “Trumpist” judges in the top court. Who knows, maybe Trumpism will last long enough that one day there will be, but for now what all Supreme Court judges are is merely typical American conservatives. The idea that even though Supreme Court justices are the most untouchable persons in American society and yet they will bend over backwards to please Trump is, I think, a major (but common) fallacy.

It’s clear that the 2020 election was drastically changed (just look at how voter turnout suddenly was the highest in 120 years), and it’s clear that legislatures often did not fulfill their check and balance role, and it’s clear that “strict constructionism” was not something invented by Justice Anthonin Scalia but is an ideology which has been widely discussed since the very beginning of the American republic… all that will be thrown out to throw out Trump, I predict.

This article has not been pro-Trump or anti-Trump, it is reminding how very drastic the actions of anti-Trump power-holders in the US have been. They changed the nature of the 2020 vote, and they don’t want to admit that, and the Supreme Court is not likely to unconservatively OK a shocking, once-in-three-lifetimes reversal to the 2020 presidential vote – not because of the chaos and alienation it would cause among the 99%, but because American democracy is and has always been expressly designed to protect the elite, not the people/workers/lower classes.

By the way, the only presidential vote which ever mattered at all takes place in less than a week – the Electoral College votes on December 14th. I think this year’s general election on the presidential vote has provided a more interesting – yet legally meaningless – diversion than it normally does, don’t you?

*************************************************************

Results are in: Americans lose, duopoly wins, Trumpism not merely a cult (1/2)November 5, 2020

Results are in: Americans lose, duopoly wins, Trumpism not merely a cult (2/2)November 6, 2020

4 years of anti-Trumpism shaping MSM vote coverage, but expect long fightNovember 7, 2020

US partitioned by 2 presidents: worst-case election scenario realized November 9, 2020

A 2nd term is his if he really wants it, but how deep is Trump’s ‘Trumpism’? – November 10, 2020

CNN’s Jake Tapper: The overseer keeping all journalists in line (1/2)November 13, 2020

‘Bidenism’ domestically: no free press, no lawyer, one-party state? (2/2) – November 15, 2020

Where’s Donald? When 40% of voters cry ‘fraud’ you’ve got a big problem – November 17, 2020

The 4-year (neoliberal) radicalisation of US media & Bidenites’ ‘unradical radicalism’ – November 22, 2020

80% of US partisan losers think the last 2 elections were stolenDecember 3, 2020

Trump declares civil war for voter integrity in breaking (or broken) USA December 5, 2020

Ramin Mazaheri is currently covering the US elections. He is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.

December 9, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties | | 2 Comments

Billionaires’ ‘pandemic profits’ alone could pay for $3K stimulus checks to EVERY American – report

RT | December 9, 2020

American billionaires made so much money during the Covid-19 pandemic that their profits since March are enough to give every US resident a $3,000 check without cutting into their pre-virus wealth, a new report shows.

Over the last nine months, the 651 billionaires who call the US home have increased their wealth by a whopping $1.06 trillion, according to a report published Tuesday by Americans for Tax Fairness and the Institute for Policy Studies. Far from being negatively impacted by the pandemic-related economic shutdowns, the country’s super-rich seem to have thrived amid the policies that have plunged so many ordinary Americans into poverty.

The billionaires’ wealth grew so much that they could cut “every man, woman and child in the country” a $3,000 stimulus check and “still be richer than they were nine months ago,” ATF executive director Frank Clemente said in a Tuesday press release.

The report tracked the fat-cats’ profits from March 18, the approximate start date of the economic shutdowns, through December 7. The vast majority accelerated their accumulation of wealth even as ordinary Americans saw their life savings slip through their fingers, losing jobs, businesses, and loved ones to the one-two punch of the coronavirus and the political response.

After nine months of raking in the cash, the billionaires’ total wealth had soared 36 percent to over $4 trillion – nearly twice the $2.1 trillion in wealth held by the poorest 50 percent of Americans.

The monstrous cash-pile amounts to double the two-year budget gap of all state and local governments, a figure estimated to reach $500 billion thanks to the devastating effects of the economic shutdowns on tax revenues. It even approaches the massive sum the federal government spends on Medicare and Medicaid – $644 billion and $389 billion in 2019, respectively, the report claims.

While most working- and middle-class Americans received a single stimulus payment of $1,200 as part of March’s CARES Act pandemic bailout, a promised second stimulus check has failed to materialize. The expanded unemployment program that doled out $600 per week to newly-jobless Americans came to an end in July, and while President Donald Trump issued an executive order to bridge the gap with a less generous $300 weekly payment, Congress has thus far refused to pass a second Covid-19 bailout package even as the rest of the bailout programs are set to expire at the end of the year.

One of the chief beneficiaries of the fiscal explosion has been Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, whose personal fortune increased 63 percent since March as locked-down Americans turned to online shopping to meet their needs. The retail tycoon faced sharp criticism over his company’s alleged mistreatment of Amazon warehouse workers in the early days of the pandemic, but had he distributed his $71.4 billion windfall among Amazon’s employees, workers would have received $88,000 each while leaving their boss just as rich as he was before the coronavirus outbreak.

And Bezos, said to be the richest man in the US, wasn’t even the most blessed by Covid-19. That title goes to Tesla billionaire Elon Musk, whose wealth grew by an eye-popping 542 percent – from “just” $24.6 billion in March to $143 billion by December. Musk is about to get quite a bit richer, too, after his StarLink satellite company won a Federal Communications Commission auction to deliver bandwidth to hundreds of thousands of rural Americans.

Senate Democrats circulated a letter earlier this week demanding another $1,200 stimulus payment be part of the Covid-19 aid package currently being debated in Congress. The party has balked at a Republican-authored bailout proposal that would exclude individual payments and include a five-year liability shield for corporations – a measure Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders derisively dubbed a “get out of jail free card to corporations.”

December 9, 2020 Posted by | Economics | , | 1 Comment

Why the Texas Supreme Court Lawsuit Against Four Battleground States May Become an End-All Case

By Ekaterina Blinova – Sputnik – 09.12.2020

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has sued four US battleground states at the US Supreme Court over alleged election irregularities. Political scientists and academics have discussed whether the lawsuit could change the outcome of the election and why the Supreme Court has become the ultimate authority to solve the election dilemma.

The Texas lawsuit argues that Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Michigan violated the Electors Clause of the Constitution, as they made changes to voting rules and procedures under the pretext of the COVID pandemic either through the courts or executive orders, but not through the state legislatures, as mandated. It also alleges that there were certain differences in voting rules and procedures in different counties within the states in question, which is an abuse of the Equal Protection Clause of the US Constitution. And, finally, the aforementioned circumstances opened the door to “voting irregularities” in these states, according to the Texas attorney general. Thus, Texas, which approached the Supreme Court under Article III, asked the federal judiciary body to order states to allow their legislatures to appoint their electors.

​Praising Texas’ move, President Donald Trump vowed to “intervene” in the case, calling it “the big one”. At least seven other states, including Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, and South Dakota, may join the Texas lawsuit, some reports say.

Does the Texas Case Have Merit?

“It is unlikely that this lawsuit will move forward and change the results of the election, to President Trump’s favour”, believes Anthony Robert Pahnke, Professor of international relations at San Francisco State University. “So, it is true that rules were changed this year. It has yet to be proven that those changes resulted in discrimination against some group. Trump’s intervention will most likely go no further than this tweet.”Attorney General Ken Paxton’s case won’t get very far, insists Joe Siracusa, a professor at Australian Curtin University, arguing that it “it has little or no merit”.

The Texas lawsuit “has little to do with actually attempting to change the outcome of the 2020 presidential vote”, but is an attempt curry favour with Trump and fend off a challenge in the 2022 Texas Republican Party primary, suggests Mark Jones, a political science professor at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

​However, Daniel McAdams, executive director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, offers a different take, emphasising that the Texas suit does have a case.

“According to the US Constitution, presidents are elected by individual states rather than the country as a whole and election rules must be set by each state’s legislature”, he elaborates. “If one state arbitrarily alters its electoral process and particularly if that alteration is not made by that state’s legislature, it has the effect of disenfranchising the other US states. This is clearly what happened in several battleground states, which effectively instituted universal mail-in ballots, often without participation of state legislatures.”

The think tank director highlights that while “the Covid crisis was given as the rationale for altering election processes” and for the sake of “making it easier” for people to vote, “the effect was to in many cases remove the safeguards against vote fraud”.

This issue was earlier addressed by Fox News’ Mark Levine and Hans von Spakovsky, an American attorney and former member of the Federal Election Commission, in a 7 November interview. Von Spakovsky drew attention to the fact that the Democrats and their surrogates filed hundreds of lawsuits in different states, seeking to get rid of security protocols and measures aimed at preventing fraud in the use of absentee and mail-in ballots. The former member of the Federal Election Commission recalled that the Dems tried to pass these measures at a federal level through H.R.1 For the People Act of 2019, which was eventually blocked by the Republican-controlled Senate.

“In lawsuits between states, the US Supreme Court is the court of first resort and that is what is happening in this case”, says McAdams. “Texas officials and the relevant officials of other US states have an obligation to their citizens to defend the vote in their own states and across the United States.”

‘Large Proportion of Americans Have No Faith in the System’

Judging from nationwide polls, a considerable number of voters do not believe that the election was conducted in a fair and accurate way, the think tank director emphasises, warning that “this has created a situation where a large proportion of Americans have no faith in the system”.

“There must be a remedy for what appears to tens of millions of American voters who believe their vote has been stolen from them”, he says.

Forty-seven percent of American voters said it’s likely that Democrats stole the election in several states to ensure that Joe Biden would win, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey.

There is no unanimity on who won the election in the US Congress either: just 27 of all congressional Republicans believe that Joe Biden is the winner of the 2020 race. Furthermore, on Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Sen. Roy Blunt and House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy blocked an inaugural resolution recognizing Biden’s victory, as Trump’s litigations over the alleged voter fraud are still pending.

​The case brought forward by the Texas attorney general before the Supreme Court is the “end-all case to really determine the outcome of this election”, Jordan Sekulow, a member of President Trump’s legal team, told Newsmax on 8 December.

“That’s different than most court cases at the Supreme Court, because this is a case of original jurisdiction … because it is state versus state”, he stated.

December 9, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties | | Leave a comment

How long does immunity to covid last?

By Sebastian Rushworth, M.D. | December 9, 2020

One of the fears of many people in relation to covid has been that the immunity that develops after infection is so short lived that the infection will just keep going around and around and re-infecting everyone (until everyone is dead, I assume).

Two pieces of evidence have been presented to support this belief. The first concerns a few cases of “re-infection” that have been broadcast widely in media, even though virtually all of these cases have been either completely asymptomatic or only very mildly symptomatic the second time around – a sure sign the the immune system still remembers covid and is doing its thing to stop it.

The second concerns the fact that antibodies fade after infection. This builds on a fundamental lack of understanding of how the immune system works. Although the actively antibody producing cells diminish after an infection, these cells (so called “plasma cells”) are not responsible for immune memory. That role is filled by special “memory B-cells”, that lie dormant in the body, waiting for the infection to reappear. When it does, they quickly spring in to action and produce massive numbers of new antibody producing clones.

Now, however, covid has been around for a while, and we’re starting to get some pretty good data on how long immunity lasts after infection. There is a pre-print up on MedRxiv about a study that sought to gain a deeper understanding of what sort of immune memory is produced after a covid infection.

Before we get in to the details of the article, let’s talk a little bit about immune memory, so everyone is on the same page. Immune memory is the ability of the immune system to remember a pathogen after a first infection (or vaccination), and thereby respond much more quickly and effectively upon re-infection. It is mediated by three main types of cell. The first is the already mentioned memory B-cell, which is basically a dormant version of the antibody producing plasma cells. The second is the “memory killer T-cell”, which is a dormant version of the regular killer T cell (a.k.a CD8+ T-cell). Killer T-cells specialize in finding virus infected cells and getting them to commit suicide in a way that prevents the virus from spreading further.

The third is the “memory helper T-cell”, which among many other functions regulates the function of the other types of immune cell. Both killer T-cells and B-cells cannot become fully activated until helper T-cells have become activated. The central function of T-helper cells is shown by AIDS (Aquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), a disease caused by the destruction of the T-helper cells by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) – without the T-helper cells, other parts of the immune system cannot become fully activated, and the immune system is not able to function effectively.

In case you’re curious, the reason B-cells are called B-cells is because they mature in the bone marrow, so the B is for Bone marrow. T-cells mature in the thymus, so the T is for Thymus.

OK, now you know enough to understand the results of the study. 185 people with confirmed covid-19 were recruited and had blood samples drawn. 92% had not required hospitalization, so only a minority had had severe disease. The ages of the participants varied from 19 to 81. The blood samples were collected from several different sites across the United States.

The results of the study were based on analysis of the participants blood. 79% of participants only provided blood at a single time point, which varied from six days post-infection to more than six months post-infection, while the remainder (21%) provided blood at multiple time points. In other words, this was not really a longitudinal study, since most participants only had their blood analyzed at a single point in time, although there was some longitudinal data. 41 participants provided blood samples at six months or longer after infection, and this is really the group we’re most interested in, since this is the group that can tell us if there is still a good level of immune memory six months after infection.

Let’s look at the results.

Among the 54 individuals measured at one month post infection, 98% had antibodies. Among the 41 individuals measured at six to eight months post infection, 90% had antibodies. As mentioned before, antibodies are produced by plasma cells, and although antibodies in the blood stream decline with time as the plasma cells start to disappear, there should still be memory B-cells present for much longer, which can quickly be activated upon re-infection. That’s why it’s actually more important to look at what’s happening with memory B-cells than with antibodies, if you want to know how long your body maintains the ability to mount an antibody response to an infection. So, what did happen with the memory B-cells?

The prevalence of memory B-cells increased at each time point measured up to five months post infection, at which point they reached a stable level. There was no sign of a decline in memory B-cells after the five month mark.

Next we have the killer T-cells. At one month post infection, 61% had detectable memory killer T-cells. At six to eight months, 50% had measurable killer T-cells. It was however only possible to test for these cells in 18 individuals at the six month mark, so the confidence interval is wide, and thus it’s really impossible to say exactly what the trajectory was between the one month and six month marks. What can be said though is that a large proportion of participants still had measurable killer T-cells at six months.

Finally we have the memory helper T-cells. 94% of those measured at one month had measurable helper T-cells. Among those measured at six to eight months, that number was 89% (again, this data is based on only 18 individuals).

So, what can we conclude?

First, it’s important to note that this study had some weaknesses. The first is that, with the exception of a minority of participants, the study was cross-sectional, not longitudinal. This means that we’re not comparing people with themselves over time, we’re comparing them with other people who happen to be at a different point in the time line. It would have been better to have longitudinal data for all participants. The second is that some of the groups studied were pretty small, which creates wide margins of error. Some of the data was based on less than twenty individuals, which is really a tiny number.

A third weakness is that this study isn’t looking at how many people get reinfected with covid after a certain amount of time, it is looking at biomarkers – in other words, it is using proxy data, which is clearly a less reliable type of information than seeing what is actually happening to people in the real world. It’s kind of like doing a statin study and looking at what happens to cholesterol levels instead of looking at how many people have died after certain time point.

Having said all that, it is clear from this study that there is significant immune memory at the six to eight month time point after infection. At six to eight months after infection, 90% of measured samples still had antibodies and T-helper cells specific for covid-19, and 50% still had measurable T-killer cells. If the decline continues linearly over time from what was seen in this study, then it is reasonable to assume that most people continue to be immune to covid after infection for at least a couple of years.

You might also be interested in my article about the number of years of life lost, on average, when someone dies of covid, or my article about whether face masks are effective against covid.

December 9, 2020 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | 2 Comments

Tenants, Landlords Face Imminent Crisis As Pandemic Lifelines Expire

By Tyler Durden – Zero Hedge – 12/08/2020

January is going to be a mess. America’s small-time landlords, along with their tenants, are in trouble as safety nets are set to expire. Tenants haven’t paid rent in months, with a looming eviction moratorium expiring at the end of December. According to Reuters, the lack of rental income for landlords has also been troublesome, with many skipping mortgage payments, potentially resulting in a firesale of properties in the year ahead.

For 12 million Americans and their families – this Christmas will be their worst – as the extended unemployment benefits that have kept many of them afloat are set to expire later this month. Then on New Year’s Day, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s eviction moratorium expires, which could result in a massive wave of evictions in the first half of 2021.

At the moment, $70 billion in unpaid back rent and utilities are set to come due, according to a new report via Moody’s Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi.

Last month, Maryland utility companies began to terminate customers with overdue bills, many of which were unable to pay because of job loss due to the coronavirus downturn.

New research from the Aspen Institute warns 40 million people could be threatened with eviction over the coming months as the real economic crisis is only beginning.

According to Stacey Johnson-Cosby, president of the Kansas City Regional Housing Alliance, landlords are also in deep turmoil. She said more than 40% of the landlords surveyed in her coalition said they will have to sell their units because of the lack of rental income.

“They are sheltering our citizens free of charge, and there’s nothing we can do about it,” said Johnson-Cosby. “This is their retirement income.”

She said small landlords are frightened to speak out about non-paying tenants because social justice warriors and their “Cancel Rent” groups have attacked landlords.

“What they don’t realize is that if they run us out and we fail, it will be private equity and Wall Street firms that buy up all our properties, just like they did with houses after the last foreclosure crash.”

Reuters interviewed Clarence Hamer, who may have to sell his house in the coming months because his “downstairs tenant owes him nearly $50,000.” He owns a duplex in Brownsville, Brooklyn – and without those rental payments, Hamer has been unable to pay his mortgage.

“I don’t have any corporate backing or any other type of insurance,” said Hamer, a 46-year-old landlord who works for the city of New York. “All I have is my home, and it seems apparent that I’m going to lose it.”

Hamer is not alone – millions of Americans are headed for a “dark winter” as they could be evicted or lose their homes in the coming months as government safety nets are set to expire.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, stimulus talks quickly faded after it was reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell touted his own plan rather than a bipartisan compromise for a deal.

John Pollock, a Public Justice Center attorney and coordinator of the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel, recently said January could bring a surge of eviction and homelessness,” unlike anything we have ever seen” before.

December 9, 2020 Posted by | Economics | | 2 Comments

Contrary to climate alarmism and media, reef islands are GROWING despite rising sea, says new study

RT | December 9, 2020

Against all odds, low-lying reef islands actually appear to be growing in some parts of the world, despite rising sea levels, increasing their footprint and defying doomsday predictions.

Geomorphologist Murray Ford from the University of Auckland in New Zealand led a team of researchers who examined Jeh Island, one of the 56 islands that make up the Ailinglaplap Atoll in the Marshall Islands, itself one of the most endangered nations on Earth.

Ford and his team pored over aerial and satellite imagery of the island from above and made the startling discovery that not only has Jeh increased in total land area by 13 percent since 1943, it may actually have once been four separate islands which have now morphed together due to net land-mass gains.

“Counter to predictions, popular media coverage and political proclamations, recent studies have shown the majority of reef islands studied have been stable or have increased in size since the mid-20th century,” the research team from the University of Auckland in New Zealand, led by Ford, explains.

According to the geomorphologist and his colleagues, the more dire sea-level rise predictions were based on the assumption that islands are static and unchanging and would therefore simply drown once the tides rose enough.

The research team found that the islands grew courtesy of recently generated organic material formed by the reef and not sediment washed inland by the tides.

“The coral reefs which surround these islands [are] the engine room of island growth, producing sediment which is washed up on the island shoreline,” Ford explains. “Healthy coral reefs are essential for this process to continue into the future.”

Research dating back as far as 2018 found that among 30 coral atolls, accounting for over 700 islands in total, 88.6 percent remained stable or increased in size in recent decades, while none lost land overall.

December 9, 2020 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | Leave a comment

Canadian Health Ministry Exploring “Immunity Passports,” Vaccine “Tracking And Surveillance”

By Steve Watson | Summit News | December 9, 2020

The Health Minister of Ontario in Canada has stoked controversy by suggesting that people who do not take the coronavirus vaccine will face restrictions on where they can travel and spend time.

When asked by reporters about how the government intends to go about convincing people to get the vaccine, Health Minister Christine Elliott warned that those who refuse it will face difficulties reintegrating into society.

“That’s their choice, this is not going to be a mandatory campaign. It will be voluntary,” Elliot said, but adding that “There may be some restrictions that may be placed on people that don’t have vaccines for travel purposes, to be able to go to theatres and other places.”

When another reporter asked if the government would be introducing ‘immunity passports’, or proof of vaccination cards, Elliot said “Yes, because that’s going to be really important for people to have for travel purposes, perhaps for work purposes, for going to theatres or cinemas or any other places where people will be in closer physical contact.”

Following up on Elliot’s comments, The Toronto Sun spoke to her press secretary, who confirmed that the government is exploring several options for vaccine “tracking and surveillance.”

“This includes exploring developing tech-based solutions while also providing for alternative options to ensure equitable access to any potential ‘immunity passport,’” Alexandra Hilkene said.

Sun reporter Brian Lilley notes “That phrase will set off alarm bells and it should, not just for anti-vaxxers, but for anyone who is concerned about Charter rights and governments running roughshod over them.”

Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams has also said that a COVID-19 vaccine may be required for “freedom to move around”.

“What we can do is to say sometimes for access, or ease, in getting into certain settings, if you don’t have vaccination then you’re not allowed into that setting without other protection materials,” Williams said.

The comments of these Canadian officials add to the litany of other government and travel industry figures in both the US, Britain and beyond who have suggested that ‘COVID passports’ are coming, in order for ‘life to get back to normal’

In an essay in The Wall Street Journal on Saturday, former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Tom Frieden noted that he expects the so called ‘immunity passports’ will come into widespread use despite any ethical, legal or operational challenges, and despite the fact that it hasn’t at all been determined whether the vaccine equates to immunity.

December 9, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | 3 Comments

Everyone is already wearing a mask. They just don’t work.

By Jordan Schachtel | December 7, 2020

One of the most common pro-mask arguments I’ve heard over the course of the past year, both from “public health experts” and your average citizen, sounds similar to the following statement:

“If only everyone would just wear a mask, we would be able to crush the virus and end the pandemic.”

This line of reasoning is frequently espoused by lockdown governors and “public health experts.” You see, the problem isn’t them, it’s you, the citizen, we’re told. Wear a mask, peasant. You’re the problem! You’re the reason why the pandemic is still a problem in this country.

Deaths up? Why aren’t you wearing a mask. Cases up? Wear a mask. Hospitals crowded? The problem is that not enough people are wearing masks, they claim.

The idea that not enough Americans are wearing masks is detached from reality. And we have the data to prove it.

The Delphi group at Carnegie Mellon University has developed a very informative, consistently updated mask compliance tracker. It shows that the overwhelming majority of Americans across the nation are wearing masks. And in virtually every major population center in the United States, especially in areas where COVID-19 cases are rising, mask compliance levels are off the charts high, with most major metro areas registering well over 90 percent compliance.

Early on in the pandemic, when the “new science” told us that masks could stop the virus in its tracks (after the science of early 2020, espoused by the likes of Fauci and many others, rightly pointed to the reality that masks are useless outside of a controlled setting), the CDC and other “public health agencies” claimed that we could essentially eliminate transmission if a large percentage of the population adopted universal masking.

When lockdowns failed to “stop the spread,” masking up at over 80% was hyped as a way to “do more to reduce COVID-19 spread than a strict lockdown.”

“Universal masking at 80 [percent] adoption flattens the curve significantly more than maintaining a strict lockdown,” a much-hyped, highly publicized study, which was treated by many in the scientific community as the gospel, proclaimed.

“We will not only be able to flatten the curve, we will be able to significantly reduce the spread of the virus and return to life as normal sooner rather than later,” De Kai, a research scholar at Berkeley who helped develop the COVID-19 universal masking model, proclaimed.

With the help of the CMU mask compliance tracker, let’s take a look at the current COVID-19 hotspots in the United States and the level of mask compliance within these areas.

San Francisco metro area: 97% mask compliance

New York City metro area: 97% mask compliance

DC metro: 97%

Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington: 94%

Philly area: 96%

Chicago: 95%

Miami-Ft Lauderdale: 96%

Seattle: 96%

The data demonstrates very clearly that Americans have overwhelmingly exceeded the masking compliance percentages needed to supposedly “flatten the curve” and reduce transmission of the virus. The problem, of course, is that the models have not matched reality. Americans are wearing masks, but the hypothesis behind universal masking has not worked to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Americans have adopted the recommendations of the “public health experts,” but the “public health experts” have failed to follow the science, which now shows that masks are useless when it comes to stopping the spread of COVID-19. Now we’re left with an overwhelming majority of Americans wearing masks for no science-based reason whatsoever.

December 9, 2020 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | , | Leave a comment

Climatology is a “Joke” – Nobel Laureate Dr Kary Mullis

1000frolly PhD | May 3, 2018

Nobel Laureate Dr. Kary Mullis is correct in his assessment of the current state of climate science, describing it as a “Joke”.

As he correctly points out, there is no scientific evidence whatever that our CO2 is, or can ever “drive” climate change.

There is also no published empirical scientific evidence that any CO2, whether natural or man-made, causes warming in the troposphere.

Mullis earned a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta in 1966, he then received a PhD in biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in 1973.

His Nobel Prize was awarded in 1993.

December 9, 2020 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | 1 Comment