Aletho News


Presidents lose their minds and their manners

By Donald Forbes | TCW Defending Freedom | January 7, 2022

A LOT has been said about the psychological effects of Covid on the public. Worryingly, the management of an unpredictably mutating virus which is always one step ahead is fraying the composure of our leaders too.

In the last couple of weeks, Presidents Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron have lashed out at fellow citizens who defy government orders to be vaccinated because they doubt ‘the science’ is truly settled in favour of a jab which has not been subjected to the full range of tests for side-effects later in life.

Exasperated by resistance to their Covid dictates, the American and French leaders appear to be losing their minds and their manners in the battle between the risks of vaccination and the risk of becoming serious ill with the virus.

Biden, alarmed by the refusal of one third of Americans to be vaccinated while Omicron is on the loose – though it causes mainly flu-like symptoms – warned them at Christmas that they faced a ‘winter of death’. Not one person in the US is yet known to have died from the latest Covid variant.

‘We are looking at a winter of severe illness and death for the unvaccinated, for themselves and their families and the hospitals they’ll soon overwhelm,’ quoth the ancient prophet of doom at a White House briefing whose message was that the unjabbed are not just selfish, they endanger the lives of everyone else.

Biden fingered them officially as ‘bad persons’, an unwelcome term in America where being a good person is vital to many. Not unnaturally, his presentation was badly received, reinforcing as it did the political polarisation between Democrats and Republicans, whom the former accuse of being the main vaccination hold-outs.

People, including essential workers, are being fired across America for defying Biden’s vaccination mandates.

Macron went further this week in a newspaper interview, threatening to ‘emmerder les non-vaccinés jusqu’au bout’. A polite translation of this is that he intends to go after them hard until they give in.

Emmerder – literally, to smear with sh*t – is a commonly used expression and is offensive or not according to context. Macron deliberately used it at its rudest and got the reaction he hoped for.

A session of parliament to discuss the government’s introduction of an updated vaccination passport restricting the freedom of movement of the unvaccinated was suspended in uproar when members heard the explosion of Macron’s little bomb.

He changed the focus of the argument from the virus to his brutal language. It’s likely to be a talking point for his opponents during his campaign for re-election this spring.

The fashion for politicians insulting the people they rely on to elect them was set by President Obama referring to ‘bitter clingers’ and Hillary Clinton describing some Midwestern voters as ‘deplorables’. (Those bad persons again.)

Biden and Macron forgot that these remarks were never forgiven by their targets and in Clinton’s case helped her to lose the race for the presidency.

Boris Johnson has at least grasped that, after two years of unprecedented exposure to the arbitrary powers of government, it is politically counter-productive to strain people’s patience with constant loosening and re-tightening of a Covid regime unknown in free countries outside wartime.

What is shocking about Biden, Macron, Obama and Clinton is the openness of their contempt for the people they govern as if being in public office conferred on them a wisdom that separated them from the common voters rather than the duty to lead with their consent.

There is nothing in our democratic system, adversarial as it is, that entitles politicians to treat us angrily. How many people, hearing the Biden and Macron anathemas, rushed out with arms bared to the needle?

I was vaccinated promptly myself because the odds pushed me that way. But I understand the motives of those who see obligatory vaccination – along with a sustained media campaign to vilify them – as a step too far by an overbearing state.

The certitudes of government’s own scientific advisers are offset by the determination of so many health professionals – including my own GP – to refuse the vaccines. What right do political leaders, themselves scientifically uneducated, have to threaten doctors and nurses who have daily experience of how medical treatments work and which can be trusted?

‘My body my choice’, the battle cry that worked so well for supporters of abortion, is suddenly off the table when the principle doesn’t suit politicians.

Biden and Macron weren’t showing leadership. What they expressed was frustration that, with all their power, they cannot force obedience on free-thinking citizens and anger that they will be blamed for the consequences. Macron especially forgot that the way we speak to each other in public matters. If you abuse people, they remember.

January 6, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , , , | 2 Comments

36,257 Deaths and 3,244,052 Injuries Following COVID Shots in European Database

By Brian Shilhavy | Health Impact News | January 6, 2022

The European (EEA and non-EEA countries) database of suspected drug reaction reports is EudraVigilance, verified by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), and they are now reporting 36,257 fatalities, and 3,244,052 injuries following injections of four experimental COVID-19 shots:

From the total of injuries recorded, almost half of them (1,540,852) are serious injuries.

Seriousness provides information on the suspected undesirable effect; it can be classified as ‘serious’ if it corresponds to a medical occurrence that results in death, is life-threatening, requires inpatient hospitalisation, results in another medically important condition, or prolongation of existing hospitalisation, results in persistent or significant disability or incapacity, or is a congenital anomaly/birth defect.”

Health Impact News subscriber in Europe ran the reports for each of the four COVID-19 shots we are including here. It is a lot of work to tabulate each reaction with injuries and fatalities, since there is no place on the EudraVigilance system we have found that tabulates all the results.

Since we have started publishing this, others from Europe have also calculated the numbers and confirmed the totals.*

Here is the summary data through January 1, 2022.

Total reactions for the mRNA vaccine Tozinameran (code BNT162b2Comirnaty) from BioNTechPfizer: 16,471 deathand 1,546,829 injuries to 01/01/2022

  • 42,225   Blood and lymphatic system disorders incl. 230 deaths
  • 50,455   Cardiac disorders incl. 2,379 deaths
  • 467        Congenital, familial and genetic disorders incl. 45 deaths
  • 20,812   Ear and labyrinth disorders incl. 11 deaths
  • 1,616     Endocrine disorders incl. 5 deaths
  • 23,826   Eye disorders incl. 37 deaths
  • 124,211 Gastrointestinal disorders incl. 652 deaths
  • 386,451 General disorders and administration site conditions incl. 4,668 deaths
  • 1,780     Hepatobiliary disorders incl83 deaths
  • 17,061   Immune system disorders incl. 86 deaths
  • 67,000   Infections and infestations incl. 1,769 deaths
  • 28,457   Injury, poisoning and procedural complications incl. 302 deaths
  • 38,560   Investigations incl. 487 deaths
  • 10,496   Metabolism and nutrition disorders incl. 269 deaths
  • 185,798 Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders incl. 204 deaths
  • 1,451     Neoplasms benign, malignant and unspecified (incl cysts and polyps) incl. 136 deaths
  • 255,661 Nervous system disorders incl. 1,756 deaths
  • 2,254     Pregnancy, puerperium and perinatal conditions incl. 58 deaths
  • 232        Product issues incl. 3 deaths
  • 28,114   Psychiatric disorders incl. 193 deaths
  • 5,594     Renal and urinary disorders incl. 258 deaths
  • 59,397   Reproductive system and breast disorders incl. 6 deaths
  • 66,518   Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders incl. 1,801 deaths
  • 71,771   Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders incl. 136 deaths
  • 3,457     Social circumstances incl. 22 deaths
  • 13,685   Surgical and medical procedures incl. 157 deaths
  • 39,480   Vascular disorders incl. 718 deaths

Total reactions for the mRNA vaccine mRNA-1273 (CX-024414) from Moderna: 10,170 deathand 465,080 injuries to 01/01/2022

  • 9,961     Blood and lymphatic system disorders incl. 113 deaths
  • 15,564   Cardiac disorders incl. 1,039 deaths
  • 179        Congenital, familial and genetic disorders incl. 9 deaths
  • 5,591     Ear and labyrinth disorders incl. 6 deaths
  • 443        Endocrine disorders incl. 6 deaths
  • 6,731     Eye disorders incl. 36 deaths
  • 38,098   Gastrointestinal disorders incl. 380 deaths
  • 123,337 General disorders and administration site conditions incl. 3,392 deaths
  • 731        Hepatobiliary disorders incl. 51 deaths
  • 4,671     Immune system disorders incl. 19 deaths
  • 18,236   Infections and infestations incl. 965 deaths
  • 9,241     Injury, poisoning and procedural complications incl. 191 deaths
  • 10,065   Investigations incl. 321 deaths
  • 4,394     Metabolism and nutrition disorders incl. 247 deaths
  • 56,097   Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders incl. 208 deaths
  • 628        Neoplasms benign, malignant and unspecified (incl cysts and polyps) incl. 79 deaths
  • 78,044   Nervous system disorders incl. 965 deaths
  • 815        Pregnancy, puerperium and perinatal conditions incl. 6 deaths
  • 92           Product issues incl. 4 deaths
  • 8,416     Psychiatric disorders incl. 169 deaths
  • 2,725     Renal and urinary disorders incl. 197 deaths
  • 10,682   Reproductive system and breast disorders incl. 9 deaths
  • 20,529   Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders incl. 1,077 deaths
  • 24,552   Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders incl. 90 deaths
  • 2,029     Social circumstances incl. 41 deaths
  • 2,227     Surgical and medical procedures incl. 172 deaths
  • 11,002   Vascular disorders incl. 378 deaths

Total reactions for the vaccine AZD1222/VAXZEVRIA (CHADOX1 NCOV-19) from Oxford/AstraZeneca7,371 deathand 1,117,914 injuries to 01/01/2022

  • 13,616   Blood and lymphatic system disorders incl. 261 deaths
  • 20,296   Cardiac disorders incl. 788 deaths
  • 215        Congenital familial and genetic disorders incl. 6 deaths
  • 13,157   Ear and labyrinth disorders incl. 6 deaths
  • 664        Endocrine disorders incl. 5 deaths
  • 19,618   Eye disorders incl. 30 deaths
  • 105,367 Gastrointestinal disorders incl. 393 deaths
  • 293,748 General disorders and administration site conditions incl. 1,740 deaths
  • 1,004     Hepatobiliary disorders incl. 66 deaths
  • 5,228     Immune system disorders incl. 35 deaths
  • 36,265   Infections and infestations incl. 564 deaths
  • 13,023   Injury poisoning and procedural complications incl. 188 deaths
  • 24,589   Investigations incl. 191 deaths
  • 12,747   Metabolism and nutrition disorders incl. 113 deaths
  • 164,732 Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders incl. 144 deaths
  • 704        Neoplasms benign malignant and unspecified (incl cysts and polyps) incl. 34 deaths
  • 228,601 Nervous system disorders incl. 1,095 deaths
  • 586        Pregnancy puerperium and perinatal conditions incl. 19 deaths
  • 194        Product issues incl. 1 death
  • 20,622   Psychiatric disorders incl. 65 deaths
  • 4,226     Renal and urinary disorders incl. 71 deaths
  • 16,282   Reproductive system and breast disorders incl. 3 deaths
  • 40,154   Respiratory thoracic and mediastinal disorders incl. 963 deaths
  • 50,986   Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders incl. 59 deaths
  • 1,581     Social circumstances incl. 6 deaths
  • 1,686     Surgical and medical procedures incl. 28 deaths
  • 28,023   Vascular disorders incl. 497 deaths   

Total reactions for the COVID-19 vaccine JANSSEN (AD26.COV2.S) from Johnson & Johnson2,245 deaths and 114,229 injuries to 01/01/2022

  • 1,113     Blood and lymphatic system disorders incl. 46 deaths
  • 2,196     Cardiac disorders incl. 186 deaths
  • 40           Congenital, familial and genetic disorders incl. 1 death
  • 1,227     Ear and labyrinth disorders incl. 3 deaths
  • 93           Endocrine disorders incl. 1 death
  • 1,548     Eye disorders incl. 9 deaths
  • 9,141     Gastrointestinal disorders incl. 87 deaths
  • 30,336   General disorders and administration site conditions incl. 623 deaths
  • 143        Hepatobiliary disorders incl. 13 deaths
  • 509        Immune system disorders incl. 10 deaths
  • 5,832     Infections and infestations incl. 187 deaths
  • 1,060     Injury, poisoning and procedural complications incl. 23 deaths
  • 5,197     Investigations incl. 126 deaths
  • 709        Metabolism and nutrition disorders incl. 55 deaths
  • 16,069   Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders incl. 50 deaths
  • 80           Neoplasms benign, malignant and unspecified (incl cysts and polyps) incl. 8 deaths
  • 21,863   Nervous system disorders incl. 234 deaths
  • 52           Pregnancy, puerperium and perinatal conditions incl. 1 death
  • 29           Product issues
  • 1,627     Psychiatric disorders incl. 21 deaths
  • 485        Renal and urinary disorders incl. 29 deaths
  • 2,625     Reproductive system and breast disorders incl. 6 deaths
  • 4,115     Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders incl. 283 deaths
  • 3,506     Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders incl. 10 deaths
  • 372        Social circumstances incl. 4 deaths
  • 785        Surgical and medical procedures incl. 69 deaths
  • 3,477     Vascular disorders incl. 160 deaths

*These totals are estimates based on reports submitted to EudraVigilance. Totals may be much higher based on percentage of adverse reactions that are reported. Some of these reports may also be reported to the individual country’s adverse reaction databases, such as the U.S. VAERS database and the UK Yellow Card system. The fatalities are grouped by symptoms, and some fatalities may have resulted from multiple symptoms.

January 6, 2022 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | , | 1 Comment

Republicans blast Jan 6 as possible ‘Fedsurrection’

RT | January 6, 2022

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida) and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) theorized on the anniversary of the January 6 Capitol riot that the federal government may have played an active role in the day’s events.

During a Thursday press conference, the two firebrand Republicans once again rejected Democrats referring to the Capitol riot as an “insurrection,” a specific crime no one jailed for January 6 is currently facing.

“We know January 6 last year wasn’t an insurrection. No one has been charged with insurrection. No one has been charged with treason, but it very well may have been a Fedsurrection,” Gaetz told reporters.

Gaetz made clear he and Greene, who was recently suspended from Twitter, were not there to “celebrate” the events of January 6, but to hopefully “expose the truth.”

The truth, according to the lawmakers, may lead straight back to the FBI. “Director Wray was asked under oath before the Congress about the federal assets and agents that were on the ground on January 6th, and he wouldn’t provide clear answers,” Gaetz said.

Gaetz repeatedly referred to Ray Epps, an ex-Marine that some conservatives have theorized was an FBI plant, filmed goading people into entering the Capitol and crossing police barriers.

A man who resembles Epps could be seen in videos recommending protesters go into the Capitol, though he’s not always met with a warm welcome, with some even referring to him as a “fed” at one point.

Epps has refused to answer questions about his involvement in the Capitol riot or conspiracy theories around his involvement with the FBI, telling Daily Mail last summer when they confronted him at in Arizona to “get off my property.”

Gaetz claims Epps’ potential involvement in instigating the riot can be partly backed up by his name allegedly being removed last year from the FBI’s Capitol Violence Most Wanted list. “Attorney General Garland was asked in the judiciary committee by my colleague Thomas Massie about Ray Epps. He could have cleared up that circumstance and resolved all of these questions, but he declined to do so,” Gaetz said.

In a Thursday interview with journalist Brendan Gutenschwager, Gaetz also mentioned Epps as one of multiple potential “instigators” on January 6.

Greene also referred to Epps when speaking, recalling a recent visit to jailed Capitol rioters in Washington DC.

“When I went through the DC jail, I’ll tell you who I did not see. I did not see Ray Epps,” she said.

Gaetz and Greene also performed a march from the White House to the Capitol to mark the one year anniversary of the Capitol riot. In a Thursday morning interview on Steve Bannon’s podcast, Gaetz said he and others are not “ashamed” of their efforts on January 6.

January 6, 2022 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism | , | Leave a comment

Neocolonialism haunts Horn of Africa


Chinese foreign ministers have traditionally marked the new year by visiting the African continent. Wang Yi’s 2022 African tour begins with Eritrea against the backdrop of the US strategy in the Horn of Africa to gain control of the strategically vital Red Sea that connects Indian Ocean with the Suez Canal. 

Eritrea and China are close friends. China was a supporter of the Eritrean liberation movement since the 1970s. Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki, the veteran revolutionary who led the independence movement, had received military training in China. More recently, Eritrea was one of the 54 countries backing China’s Hong Kong policy (against 39 voicing concern in a rival Western bloc) at the UN General Assembly in October 2020. 

Last November, Eritrea signed an MoU with China to join the Belt And Road Initiative. Neighbouring Djibouti is already a major participant in the BRI. So is Sudan along the Red Sea coastline. 

Central to regional cohesion in the Horn of Africa is the relationship between Ethiopia and Eritrea. It has been a conflict-ridden troubled relationship but China, which also has close ties with Ethiopia, is well-placed to meditate reconciliation. 

One common view is that Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed pulled off a stunning victory in the conflict with US-backed Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) with the help of armed drones supplied by the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Iran. But civil wars are won on the ground. And the politico-military axis between Ethiopia and Eritrea to take on the TPLF proved to be the decisive factor. China encouraged the rapprochement between Addis Ababa and Asmara. 

Effectively, the two leaderships understood that they have a congruence of interests in thwarting the TPLF which is an American proxy to destabilise their countries and trigger regime changes. (Read the analysis in CounterPunch titled Ethiopia Conflict by US Design.)

Washington is mighty displeased that China’s influence in Djibouti is on the rise and resents that the Marxist regime of Isaias Afewerki keeps the US at arm’s length.

The Horn of Africa is of great strategic importance, and Ethiopia sits at its heart. Destabilise Ethiopia and impact the whole region; install a dictatorial expansionist ethnocentric regime (TPLF); sow division and poison the atmosphere of mutual understanding and cooperation that is being built within the region — this is the neocolonial agenda.

President Uhuru of Kenya, speaking at Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s inauguration had said, “Ethiopia is the Mother of African independence… for all of us on the continent, Ethiopia is our Mother… As we know, if the Mother is not at peace, the family cannot be at peace.” 

The US is going for the jugular veins of the Mother of post-colonial Africa. An analogy would be destabilising India to gain control of the South Asian region, the difference being that Ethiopia is the only African country never to have been colonised.

The widespread revulsion among Afghans all over the continent is palpable over the US using its TPLF proxy to destabilise Ethiopia. Their collective cry is “No more” — no more colonialism, no more sanctions, no more disinformation, no more lies by the CNN, BBC, etc. The cry resonates widely amongst the Ethiopians, Eritreans, Sudanese, Somali, Kenyan, and friends of Ethiopia. 

The paradox is, Ethiopia today has a democratically elected government after decades of thuggery under the TPLF that ruled with an iron fist for over 30 years with US backing. The Tigray people actually add up to only 5% of Ethiopia’s population but such details were irrelevant to Washington so long as the government in Addis Ababa obeyed its diktat. 

There is also a religious sub-text. The Tigray people are Christians whereas the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia is the Oromo, native to the region of Ethiopia and Kenya. They are a Cushitic people who have inhabited the East and Northeast Africa since at least the early 1st millennium. The Oromo people have a glorious history of forced resistance to religious conversion, primarily by European explorers, Catholic Christians missionaries.

Broadly, the resistance ideology is embedded in the Oromo collective memory. Abiy Ahmed is the first ethnic Oromo to become prime minister. Nobel laureate Abiy Ahmed is an extraordinary politician, far-sighted and deeply committed to his country’s plural identity national sovereignty. 

In geopolitical terms, Washington would see many advantages in the destabilisation of Ethiopia as it would trigger a multi-vector regional conflagration, as happens when multi-ethnic nations unravel — such as the former Yugoslavia or today’s India or Russia. And neighbouring countries would be inevitably sucked into ethnic wars such as Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia and Kenya — and even Egypt and Persian Gulf states. 

The fact that the UAE, Turkey and Iran — improbable allies — are supporting Abiy’s desperate effort to preserve Ethiopia’s sovereignty and national cohesion and helped boost his military campaign to ward off another attempt by the US-backed TPLF to capture power speaks volumes.   

In this matrix, while the US aims to dominate the hugely strategic Horn of Africa, “Plan B” will be to be the spoiler by throwing the region into turmoil so that China is also a loser. The point is, the Western world has no answer to China’s BRI. 

China and Ethiopia have a strong political affinity and deep economic bonds, and Ethiopia is one of China’s top five investment destinations on the African continent. Beyond investment, relations extend to trade, infrastructure finance and other areas. Economic engagement with China has provided Ethiopia with many opportunities.

Curiously, even prior to the advent of the BRI, China was already a major financier of Ethiopia’s infrastructure. Chinese investment in the manufacturing sector — incidentally, one of the Abiy government’s focus areas currently — has contributed to the country’s economic transformation and diversification and to job creation. 

A recent report by the well-known London-based global think-tank ODI titled The Belt and Road and Chinese Enterprises in Ethiopia estimates that China’s BRI “has the potential to open up new development pathways through infrastructure development, stimulating investment and job creation and promoting economic transformation… BRI can be an engine for growth and development. However, this is not a given…”

The ODI report, dated August 2021, concludes, “Chinese investors are concerned regarding economic and political uncertainty in Ethiopia. Political uncertainty has to do with domestic conflict and political instability, which may affect not only investors’ profitability, but also their personal safety and the safety of their assets. The economic challenges relate to high production and transport costs and the difficulties of accessing foreign exchange, which is a problem for virtually all Chinese businesses in the country. The challenges identified by Chinese investors could pose a threat to the sustained development of China–Ethiopia economic cooperation.” 

Simply put, if there is mayhem in Ethiopia, the locomotive of China’s BRI in the vast regions of the Horn of Africa and East Africa can be potentially slowed down if not derailed. That is the least the US can do faced with the grim prospect that it has no alternative offer to make to the African nations to counter the BRI.

If the BRI locomotive chugs along unimpeded, the entire Western neocolonial project in Africa in the 21st century is threatened with extinction. The existential angst shows in the Biden Administration’s announcement on New Year’s Eve terminating Ethiopia’s access to the US duty-free trade program under the U.S. African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA “amid the widening conflict in northern Ethiopia.” 

President Biden had threatened in November already that Ethiopia would be cut off from the AGOA because of alleged human rights violations in the Tigray region. Biden spoke up in sheer despair in anticipation of Wang Yi’s working visit to Ethiopia on December1! 

January 6, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , | Leave a comment

Belgium complicit in killing of popular African leader, book claims

New evidence shows Belgium turned a blind eye as its officials plotted the assassination of Burundian PM Prince Louis Rwagasore in 1961

PM Prince Louis Rwagasore led Burundi to independence from Belgium © AFP / BELGA
RT | January 5, 2022

Belgium has “overwhelming responsibility” for the killing of Prince Louis Rwagasore, the popular Burundian leader who sought to unite the country’s ethnic groups as it gained freedom from the colonial power, new evidence shows.

Weeks after being elected prime minister in a landslide, Rwagasore, the 29-year-old son of a former king, was assassinated in October 1961. The governing Belgian elite masterminded the shooting while Brussels turned a blind eye, according to archived records uncovered by Flemish sociologist Ludo De Witte.

Although the shooter, a Greek national, and five accomplices were executed, De Witte said that probes by the Belgian colonial court, the government of independent Burundi, and the UN all neglected Belgium’s role in the killing, which led to decades of war, ethnic tensions, and instability.

Publishing his findings in a book titled ‘Murder In Burundi’, De Witte noted that then-Belgian governor Roberto Regnier had told a post-election crisis meeting of senior Belgian officials and allies in the Belgium-friendly Christian Democrat party (CDC) that “Rwagasore must be killed.”

According to the author, the CDC saw his words as an invitation. Regnier’s remarks were apparently confirmed by four people at that meeting to a 1962 inquiry by prosecutors in Brussels. But that report had not been published until De Witte unearthed it during a five-year investigation into the murder.

It also appears the UK was at least aware of the danger faced by Rwagasore, with Britain’s then-ambassador James Murray writing in a 1962 dispatch that influential Belgians had “an almost pathological hatred” of the charismatic leader, who they believed would harm Belgian-Burundian relations. Murray noted that Regnier’s “words… go very far in the direction of incitement to murder,” according to De Witte.

The book also accuses then-Belgian foreign minister Paul-Henri Spaak – today celebrated as a founding father of the EU – of ignoring Regnier and other conspirators on a “war footing” with Rwagasore. It also finds fault with King Baudouin, who “moved heaven and earth” to commute the assassin’s death sentence to life imprisonment.

Last October, a special commission into Belgium’s colonial past admitted it paid “limited attention” to Burundi and Rwagasore’s killing. De Witte attributed this to a “reticence” among the country’s elite to “confront the reality” of colonization.

Meanwhile, a Belgian Foreign Ministry spokesperson did not respond to the book’s charges, but told The Guardian that the government was waiting for parliamentary recommendations before adopting a policy position.

January 6, 2022 Posted by | Book Review, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

US, Israel blocking elimination of chemical weapons worldwide: Iran

Iran’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Zahra Ershadi
Press TV – January 6, 2022

An Iranian envoy to the United Nations has raised concerns about the possession of chemical weapons by the United States and Israel, describing the pair as the main obstacles to the elimination of such arms across the world.

Zahra Ershadi, deputy permanent representative of Iran to the UN, made the remarks on Wednesday at the Security Council briefing on chemical weapons in Syria.

She said that the elimination of all chemical weapons worldwide was the prime objective of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), and that this goal could be realized only through the treaty’s full, balanced, effective and non-discriminatory implementation, as well as its universality.

It is therefore a source of serious concern that due to non-compliance by the United States, this objective has yet to be realized, she added.

Ershadi also stressed that the Israeli regime must be compelled to join the CWC without any precondition or further delay.

Warning against the serious impact of politicization on the CWC’s credibility, the Iranian envoy called for de-politicization of the work of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

Iran reiterates its long-standing and principled position on the need to strongly condemn the use of chemical weapons by anyone, anywhere and under any circumstances, she said.

The only absolute guarantee that chemical weapons will not be used again is the total destruction of all chemical weapons across the globe, she said, adding that all necessary measures should be taken to ensure that such weapons will not be produced and used in the future.

Citing significant efforts by Syria to carry out its obligations under the CWC, including the complete destruction of all its 27 chemical facilities as verified by the OPCW, Ershadi said the holding of monthly Security Council meetings to consider the Syrian file is unjustified.

Syria surrendered its entire chemical stockpile in 2013 to a mission led by the United Nations and the OPCW.

It believes that false-flag chemical attacks on the country’s soil have been staged by foreign-backed terrorists in a bid to pressure the government amid army advances.

Syria slams West’s disinformation campaign

Speaking at Wednesday’s Security Council briefing, Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN Bassam Sabbagh condemned any use of chemical weapons, emphasizing that the Damascus government has never employed such prohibited arms, despite the threats posed by terrorist groups and their sponsors on its territory.

Since joining the CWC in 2013, Syria has cooperated with the United Nations to eliminate its stockpiles and production facilities, a process that was completed in record time, in mid-2014, he added.

Sabbagh also rejected the disinformation campaign launched by some Western countries, which have adopted a hostile policy against Syria and created the OPCW Investigation and Identification Team, he said that reports by the body have become part and parcel of the hostile Western campaign.

He further urged the UN not to “drag its feet” in investigating the use of chemical weapons by terror outfits and cautioned that certain Western states often jump to conclusions before the end of the probe.

January 6, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | Leave a comment

Ex-defence minister told to ‘burn’ secret Iraq war memo – reports

RT | January 6, 2022

During Tony Blair’s time in office, Downing Street allegedly ordered former defence secretary Geoff Hoon to burn a secret memo that questioned the legality of the 2003 Iraq invasion. Hoon makes the bombshell claim in a new memoir.

In disclosures that have boosted ongoing attempts to strip the former prime minister of his recently conferred knighthood, Hoon reportedly revealed that Blair’s chief of staff Jonathan Powell had instructed him “in no uncertain terms” to destroy the legal document.

When reports of the allegation first surfaced in 2015, they were dismissed by Blair as “nonsense.” But Hoon has resurrected the claim in a tell-all book, titled ‘See How They Run’, according to the Daily Mail. The paper said Hoon has provided details of a “cover-up” at Downing Street.

The former Labour minister said he was sent a copy of the “very long and very detailed legal opinion,” written by then-Attorney General Peter Goldsmith, “under conditions of considerable secrecy” and told he should “not discuss its contents with anyone else.”

Describing it as “not an easy read,” Hoon said he “came to the view” after several readings that the memo was “not exactly the ringing endorsement” of the war effort that the British government and military chiefs had hoped for. Goldsmith had apparently written that the invasion would be lawful only if Blair believed it was in the UK’s national interest.

“When my Principal Private Secretary, Peter Watkins, called Jonathan Powell in Downing St and asked what he should now do with the document, he was told in no uncertain terms that he should ‘burn it.’”

However, Hoon said he and Watkins defied the order and decided to lock the memo in a safe at the Ministry of Defence instead. He noted that the document is “probably still there.”

While Blair has yet to comment, Powell has denied ordering Hoon to burn the memo, telling the Daily Mail that, at Goldsmith’s request, he had asked the former defence secretary to “destroy” a separate “minute” on the legality of the invasion that had been sent months earlier.

The explosive claims come as over 750,000 people have signed an online petition to strip Blair of his knighthood. Anti-war activists have long accused Blair of war crimes for sending British troops into Iraq and Afghanistan.

January 6, 2022 Posted by | Book Review, Deception, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , | 1 Comment

UK Government’s Case for Masks in Classrooms Accidentally Reveals They’re a Terrible Idea

By Will Jones | The Daily Sceptic | January 6, 2022

The Government on Wednesday published the evidence informing its recent controversial decision to recommend all secondary school pupils wear face masks in classrooms.

The new document from the Department for Education (DfE) explains that the decision “has been taken on the recommendation of UKHSA and is based on a range of evidence”. It says the Government has “balanced education and public health considerations, including the benefits in managing infection and transmission, against any educational and wider health and wellbeing impacts from the recommended use of face coverings”.

While conceding that the “direct COVID-19 health risks to children and young people are very low” – and rejecting SAGE’s advice to recommend masks in primary school classrooms (yes, really) – it claims that “the balance of risks for secondary classrooms has changed at this point in time, in accordance with the evolving evidence and the phase of the pandemic”.

The document summarises its evidence as follows:

Face coverings can be effective in contributing to reducing transmission of COVID-19 in public and community settings. This is informed by a range of research, including randomised control trials, contact tracing studies, and observational studies – assessed most recently by UKHSA, described in a review conducted in November 2021. The review’s conclusions were broadly in line with those of a previous Public Health England review; however, the addition of randomised control trials and substantially more individual-level observational studies increases the strength of the conclusions and strengthens the evidence for the effectiveness of face coverings in reducing the spread of COVID-19 in the community, through source control, wearer protection, and universal masking.

In fact, though, the UKHSA review from November 2021 found no high quality studies (except, it claims, the ONS study, which really isn’t high quality). Of the two randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that have been done and which were cited by the UKHSA, the one from Denmark found no statistically significant reduction in COVID-19 incidence from surgical masks (the study didn’t look at cloth masks) while the Bangladesh mask study found no benefit from cloth masks and the reported benefit from surgical masks was just 11%, with a 95% confidence interval that included zero. The UKHSA review also considered 23 observational studies, which it said had “mixed” results and many of which were of low quality and small.

This does not seem a strong basis to claim a large effect for mask wearing. A recent more comprehensive review (which included earlier evidence for other flu-like viruses) by Ian Liu, Vinay Prasad and Jonathan Darrow for the Cato Institute, entitled “Evidence for Community Cloth Face Masking to Limit the Spread of SARS‐​CoV‑2: A Critical Review“, concluded that: “More than a century after the 1918 influenza pandemic, examination of the efficacy of masks has produced a large volume of mostly low- to moderate-quality evidence that has largely failed to demonstrate their value in most settings.”

That is a better summary of the evidence than the DfE managed.

Needless to say, the DfE gives the propaganda value of masking a nod: “It can be a visible outward signal of safety behaviour and a reminder of COVID-19 risks.”

Notably, there is no mention in this document of the potential harms of wearing a mask for an extended period, such as the impact on breathing, the heart, or the skin. Contamination gets a brief mention, though it’s quickly dismissed:

Face masks and coverings will become highly contaminated with upper respiratory tract and skin micro-organisms. Disposal of single-use face coverings could theoretically pose a risk of transmission for inappropriately discarded face coverings, but it is very likely that the reduction in transmission risk due to reduced droplet and aerosol emissions from wearing a face covering significantly outweighs any potential for enhanced risk of transmission through inadvertent contact with a contaminated face covering. This is likely to hold regardless of duration that the face covering is used.

The reference provided for these claims is a SAGE document from September 2020, “Duration of Wearing of Face Coverings.” This is an interesting document, but it can scarcely be said to support the claims the DfE is making. On harms from masks, for example, it says:

Neither surgical masks nor face coverings are designed for use for extended periods. Wearing a face covering for an extended period can maintain a higher moisture level around the face which can be uncomfortable for some people and may increase the likelihood of skin complaints. Masks will become highly contaminated with upper respiratory tract and skin micro-organisms. A review of the downsides of face masks and face coverings (by Bakhit et al) found 20 studies reporting irritation and discomfort from using masks. Participants in studies with surgical or cloth masks reported difficulty breathing (12%-34%), facial irritation and discomfort (11-35%). More serious symptoms of headache, acne, rashes were associated with use of N95 and goggles. A study among healthcare workers (by Han et al) associates acne with extended duration of wearing. …

In a clinical study of extended wearing (by Chughtai et al), 124/148 participants reported at least one problem associated with mask use including pressure on face, breathing difficulty, discomfort, trouble communicating with the patient and headache. …

Measurements of heart rate during activity (by Li et al) showed significantly lower rates with a surgical mask compared to N95. In a study (by Fikenzer et al) of healthy young male volunteers surgical masks and FFP2/N95 respirators, both had a significantly marked negative impact on pulmonary capacity (FEV, PEV and PEF) while wearing the mask (with a spirometry mask) during exercise.

The DfE document omits to mention any of these issues. It does, however, include some recognition of the negative impact on education. It mentions a survey conducted by the Department in March 2021 that found “80% of pupils reported that wearing a face covering made it difficult to communicate, and more than half felt wearing one made learning more difficult (55%)”. It also mentions a DfE survey from April 2021 that found “almost all secondary leaders and teachers (94%) thought that wearing face coverings has made communication between teachers and students more difficult, with 59% saying it has made it a lot more difficult”. It adds:

Research into the effect of mask wearing on communication has found that concealing a speaker’s lips led to lower performance, lower confidence scores, and increased perceived effort on the part of the listener. Moreover, meta-cognitive monitoring was worse when listening in these conditions compared with listening to an unmasked talker. A survey of impacts on communication with mask wearing in adults reported that face coverings negatively impact hearing, understanding, engagement, and feelings of connection with the speaker. People with hearing loss were impacted more than those without hearing loss. The inability to see facial expressions and to read lips have a major impact on speech understanding for those with hearing impairments. The worse the hearing, the greater the impact of the mask.

What about the evidence for the claims the document does make – that it is “very likely” that the transmission reduction from wearing a mask “significantly outweighs any potential for enhanced risk of transmission through inadvertent contact with a contaminated face covering” and that “this is likely to hold regardless of duration that the face covering is used”. This is what the cited SAGE document says:

There is a lack of good evidence relating to the wearing of face coverings, with very little data relating to duration of wearing. In particular we suggest that the following aspects would benefit from further research:

• Effectiveness of face coverings as a source control after longer duration wearing, including analysis of the influence of moisture on the performance of different types of face coverings.
• Analysis of the potential risk of transmission due to contaminated face coverings (during and after removal).
• Assessment of the prevalence of skin complaints associated with face coverings, including an understanding of the factors that contribute and potential mitigation.
• Analysis of user acceptability of face coverings for long duration use in different settings.

In other words, there was no good evidence on the things the DfE is claiming are “likely” or “very likely”, or on much else really.

The DfE also carried out its own analysis of the impact of masks in schools.

DfE has also undertaken initial observational analysis based on data reported by 123 secondary schools that implemented face coverings during a 2-3-week period in the autumn term 2021, compared to a sample of similar schools that did not. The preliminary findings demonstrate a potential positive effect in reducing pupil absence due to COVID-19.

What did it find? It found that COVID-19 absences fell by 0.6% more (absolute reduction) in secondary schools that used face masks compared to similar schools that did not over a 2-3-week period, which amounts to an 11% relative reduction.

In a weighted sample of secondary schools that did not use face masks, the average COVID-19 absence rate fell by 1.7 percentage points from 5.3% on October 1st 2021 to 3.6% in the third week of October. This is equivalent to a 32% decrease.

In secondary schools that did use face coverings (either face coverings only or a combination of face masks and additional communications e.g. providing more communications to parents but not introducing any further measures such as increased testing), the average COVID-19 absence rate fell by 2.3 percentage points from 5.3% on October 1st 2021 to 3.0% in the third week of October. This is equivalent to a 43% decrease.

At surface level, this suggests that COVID-19 absence fell by 0.6 percentage points more (an 11% relative difference) in secondary schools that used face masks compared to similar schools that did not over a 2-3-week period.

However, the study had numerous limitations, which made the finding a “non-statistical and unknown clinical significant” reduction, i.e., it may just be chance.

There is a level of statistical uncertainty around the result. The analysis is non-peer reviewed and with the current sample size, shows a non-statistical and unknown clinical significant reduction in infection in a short follow up period, including that a ‘false positive’ (i.e. finding that face coverings saw reduced absence when the finding is actually by chance) would emerge around 15% of the time; a 5% threshold is widely used to declare statistical significance in academic literature.

Therefore, further work should be done to extend the analysis in terms of scope: for example, looking at different statistical methodologies, capturing different and longer treatment time periods and controlling for a wider number of school and local area variables to ensure this is a consistent finding.

The statistical uncertainty around the result was such that the 95% confidence interval for the effect size included zero (note in the below the upper CI is positive).

What’s more, the control group of 1,192 schools that didn’t use masks were very different to the 123 treatment schools which did, so that the above findings only emerged after significant weighting was added to the control group schools using a process the document calls “entropy balancing”.

Exploration of the data showed that the control and treatment group had differing characteristics, so weights for the control group schools were calculated using entropy balancing.

Prior to this weighting, the non-mask schools actually had lower average absence rates throughout the study period – though the treatment schools reduced more from their higher starting point.

Prior to weighting, the mean absence rate of the control group increases across the treatment period, whereas the mean absence rate of the treatment group decreases. However, the absence rates in the control group remain lower overall than those in the treatment group.

All-in-all, not exactly robust, compelling evidence of the benefits of masking, particularly given all the well-documented harms, which the document itself either sets out or cites other documents which do.

The document at one point hints at what I suspect is the real reason masks were brought back into classrooms: “In a Unison survey of support staff, 71% said face coverings in secondary school classrooms are an important safety measure.” Conservative MP Jonathan Gullis wrote in the Times this week that: “Face masks have been a central demand of teaching unions.” Sounds vey much like politics rather than science to me. (See this recent Daily Sceptic article by Ben Irvine on the role the teaching unions played in forcing the Government to lockdown in March 2020.)

When are we going to stop harming our young people with pointless interventions to deal with a virus that poses no threat to them and let them live normal lives again?

Stop Press: Oxford Professor of Evidence Based Medicine Carl Heneghan tells Julia Hartley-Brewer he is unimpressed by the Government’s “evidence” for masking in classrooms.

January 6, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | Leave a comment

Do We Trust Paxlovid? Pfizer’s New COVID Treatment Medicine

By Joel S. Hirschhorn | Principia Scientific International | January 5, 2022

The pro-drug industry mainstream media are insanely positive over the newly FDA approved Pfizer antiviral COVID treatment pills.

The drug, Paxlovid, received an emergency use authorization by FDA for use in patients 12 years old and up who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are at high risk.

Now is the time to speak calmly and accurately about Paxlovid. First, everyone should appreciate that there was very little testing of the short- and long-term safety of this product, exactly what happened with COVID vaccines.

Really good testing of a new drug should take many months or even years.

All you get is positive news for this new drug – actually a combination of drugs.

Here are brief summary statements about this new product:

It was approved by the FDA without any external meetings, serious reviews of test data or opportunity for public input. Pretty much all the regulatory work was done behind closed doors.

Terrific for Pfizer. Bad for the public.

Of importance, note that in the trials only 21 percent of people had a comorbidity, while in reality 94 percent of COVID deaths have at least one comorbidity, and the average number of underlying medical conditions is four.

As to antiviral science, protease enzymes must be present for the virus to successfully infect by completing the cycle before taking the cell over.  Paxlovid or any drug classified as a ‘Protease Inhibitor’ will inhibit or decrease the protease enzyme interfering with the virus.

Paxlovid blocks the 3CLPro protease from chopping up the long protein into pieces.  The virus can’t separate out which pieces to cut out and assemble.  It can’t make copies of itself.  The covid infection quickly stops.

Contrary to what the government says, Ivermectin is the most successful and proven protease inhibitor in use worldwide.  Just as with Paxlovid, ivermectin decreases the protease enzyme but… there are benefits of ivermectin in covid treatment that are not present in Paxlovid.

Additional actions of ivermectin include anti-coagulant action and anti-inflammatory actions, both observed in covid infections.  And IVM has been safely used for decades and there have been many medical studies as well as clinical results showing its antiviral and anti-inflammatory effectiveness.

Paxlovid requires combination with an HIV/AIDS drug, Ritonavir, preventing the breakdown of the Paxlovid so it may inhibit or decrease the enzyme interrupting the viral life cycle.  Ritonavir acts as a booster for Paxlovid, keeping it active inside a person’s body.  Ritonavir also has its own black box warning and side effects include life-threatening liver, pancreas and heart issues.

Does the public really want to take an HIV/AIDS drug?

A course of the treatment is 20 Paxlovid pills and 10 ritonavir pills taken over five days.  Taking 6 pills daily can pose challenges for many elderly people in particular.

According to Pfizer’s press release, for people with proven COVID infection, Paxlovid reduces hospitalization/death by 89 percent when taken within three days of symptom onset.  So in the treatment group there were 5 of 697 hospitalized with no deaths compared to 44/682 hospitalized with 9 subsequent deaths.

Think about that statement of taking this drug combo within three days of symptom onset. Here are critical problems facing ordinary people:

  • How can you accurately identify COVID symptoms from similar symptoms from the flu or a bad cold;
  • How can you get a fast test; how can you get in touch with your doctor within just a day or two and decide whether you really have COVID (don’t have drug interactions) and if so get a prescription; how can you get the prescription filled quickly?
  • None of these are easy to address and overcome. All this makes this new combo medicine unrealistic and impractical for nearly everyone.

Also reported was an approximate 10-fold decrease in viral load at day 5, relative to placebo, indicating robust activity against SARS-CoV-2 and representing (supposedly) the strongest viral load reduction reported to date for a COVID-19 oral antiviral agent.

How interesting it would have been to test the Pfizer drug against an ivermectin protocol.

For example, how does the Pfizer drug compare with the Dr. George Fareed and Dr. Brian Tyson protocol?  Well, Fareed and Tyson had many more patients (about 7,000) taking the drug combo and yet they had fewer hospitalizations (4) and the same number of deaths (0).

So, you’re way better off with the Fareed and Tyson protocol.  And the safety protocol of IVM after billions of uses globally is far better proven than for the Pfizer product.

For a good discussion on how IVM compares to Paxlovid see this article.  Especially on scientific evidence of ivermectin’s ability to block 3CL protease.

In terms of safety, the most common side effects reported during treatment and up to 34 days after the last dose of Paxlovid were dysgeusia (taste disturbance), diarrhea and vomiting.  But what more serious side effects may turn up months or years later?

Paxlovid must not be used with certain other medicines, either because due to its action it may lead to harmful increases in their blood levels, or because conversely some medicines may reduce the activity of Paxlovid itself.  The list of medicines that must not be used with Paxlovid is included in the proposed conditions for use.

That list includes a very large number of drugs and supplements used by many millions of people, including, for example, Lipitor and St. John’s Wort.  Paxlovid must also not be used in patients with severely reduced kidney or liver function.

Paxlovid is not recommended during pregnancy and in people who can become pregnant and who are not using contraception. Breastfeeding should be interrupted during treatment. These recommendations are because laboratory studies in animals suggest that high doses of Paxlovid may impact the growth of the fetus.

As to availability, Pfizer CEO Bourla recently said the company can manufacture 80 million courses in 2022, with 30 million available in the first half of the year.  That is not enough to serve many millions of Americans coming down with symptoms and a positive test result.

This too was said, tens of thousands of the pills will ship in the US before the end of 2021 and hundreds of thousands more are expected at the beginning of 2022, a Pfizer spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal.  The US government is paying Pfizer $5.3 billion for 10 million treatment courses that will be delivered by the end of next year, according to the paper.  Will medical insurance cover $530 per course?

Always follow the money.  A month ago, SVB Leerink analyst Geoffrey Porges projected the drug will generate $24.2 billion in 2022 sales.  Together with the company’s megablockbuster COVID-19 vaccine, Pfizer could be looking at $50 billion in peak pandemic vaccine and drug sales, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Louise Chen wrote earlier this month.

No surprise that some top Pfizer executives have become billionaires.

Do you want to do what is right for you, or terrific for Pfizer?

January 6, 2022 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | | Leave a comment


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January 6, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular, Video | | Leave a comment