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Threat of War between Syria and Israel is getting More Real

By Vladimir Platov – New Eastern Outlook – 14.02.2022

On February 9, Israel launched yet another series of strikes on targets near Damascus, which resulted in one Syrian killed and five injured, which has aggravated the threat of war between Syria and Israel.

According to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), on February 9, four Israeli F-16s, without crossing the state border of Syria, launched another guided missile attack on facilities near Al-Kiswah, a village south of Damascus. One of the anti-aircraft missiles of the Syrian army exploded over the occupied Golan Heights, after which the IDF fired from the area occupied by Israeli troops in the Syrian Golan Heights ten surface-to-surface missiles at the positions of the Syrian air defense forces. Some missiles were brought down by Syrian air defenses. Nevertheless, the attack still caused significant damage to some buildings in the city of Qudsaya, destroying dozens of houses and cars. To repel the attack, Syrian troops utilized Russian-made air defense systems, which shot down eight missiles.

According to an IDF statement, in response to an intercepted missile fired from Syria into northern Israel, Israel attacked targets in Syria, including the “Syrian radar and anti-aircraft batteries that launched missiles at Israeli Air Force aircraft.” However, it is obvious that the missile chosen by the IDF as the reason for retaliation was the anti-aircraft missile that exploded in the air and was launched by Syrian air defenses as a measure of protection against earlier Israeli missile attacks launched from Lebanon.

In the message the Syrian Foreign Ministry sent to the UN Security Council regarding the aforementioned act of aggression by Tel Aviv, the Syrian government denounces the dangerous consequences the Israeli attacks on the SAR territory may have for stability in the Middle East and the entire world. “Syria reserves the right to use all legal means to respond to the treacherous strikes carried out by Israel on the outskirts of Damascus from Lebanese airspace and from the occupied Golan Heights,” the document says. The Syrian Foreign Ministry drew attention to the fact that “the United States, which patronizes Israel, encourages it to continue attacks and paralyzes possible measures by the UN Security Council to deter the aggressor, which undermines the prestige of the international community.”

Initially, Israel planned to launch two strikes simultaneously on February 9 – one on the outskirts of Damascus, and the other on Latakia. However, after encountering two Su-35s scrambled in response, the IAF fighters flew back without attacking the Syrian port. At the same time, almost all of the missiles allegedly aimed at Iranian facilities in the Rif Dimashq Governorate were shot down by Russian-made Syrian air defense systems. The attack was carried out from Lebanese airspace, which is another gross violation of international law.

Israeli Air Force regularly strikes targets in Syria without entering the airspace of the Arab Republic, and mainly operates from the airspace of Lebanon – in violation of international norms, or from the Mediterranean Sea. Since 2013, the IDF has been carrying out hundreds of airstrikes on the territory of a neighboring country primarily targeting pro-Iranian forces in the SAR. This year, there have already been two such attacks by Israel. The first one was took place on January 31 at targets near Damascus, namely Hezbollah facilities and warehouses in the vicinity of Al-Qutayfah. In 2021, there were 55 attacks:

– 3 missile strikes in December (on December 7, 16 and 28, mainly in the area of the port of Latakia, one Syrian soldier was killed, and significant damage was caused). It is noteworthy that on December 28, not for the first time, two F-16s of the Israeli Air Force launched four guided missiles at facilities on the territory of the port of Latakia without crossing the Syrian border (from the Mediterranean Sea). The Syrian air defense forces did not engage in a battle to repel the IAF raid on the port of Latakia, since a landing Russian Air Force transport plane could be in the affected area;

– 4 missile strikes in November (on November 3, 8, 17 and 28, mainly on targets near the city of Homs, which resulted in four people killed, including two civilians, several people wounded and significant material damage);

– 4 missile strikes in October (on October 8, 13, 25 and 30, strikes were carried out on the outskirts of Damascus, the outskirts of al-Ba’ath and the village of Al-Krum in the Quneitra Governorate in southern Syria, and the city of Abu Kamal, as a result of which more than ten Hezbollah militants and a Syrian soldier were killed, and significant damage was caused);

– 3 missile strikes in September (on September 3, 14 and 27, South from the village of Mayadin in the Deir ez-Zor Governorate in Eastern Syria, near the Iraqi border, with many people being wounded);

– 2 missile strikes in August (on August 17 and 19); 3 missile attacks from May to July (on May 5, June 8 and July 19); 9 missile strikes from January to April, with dozens of people dead and wounded;

– 39 missile attacks and air raids were carried out in 2020.

Israel explains its attacks with the desire to prevent modern weapons from falling into the hands of it enemies. Enemy No. 1 in this regard is the Lebanese Hezbollah movement, which is fighting on the side of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and is controlled by Tehran. After the first Israeli airstrikes, Moscow invited all interested parties to meet and talk about disentangling their interests in order to avoid armed conflicts and civilian casualties. However, these calls of Russia have not been heeded.

Israel, despite repeated statements by official Syrian authorities to the UN, continues regular airstrikes on Syrian civilian targets, using, among other things, provocative air attacks by its fighters “under the cover” of civilian aircraft. Thus, in addition to the attack of December 28, on the night of October 13, 2021, four IAF F-16s once again entered the Syrian airspace in the area of the US-occupied Al-Tanf zone in the Homs Governorate and, under the cover of civilian aircraft flying at the same time, carried out an airstrike on a phosphate ore processing plant in the Palmyra area. It is noteworthy that this is not the first time such air attacks have been carried out from the area of the US-occupied zone in the Homs Governorate, which clearly indicates the coordinated actions of the IAF with the US military.

Such provocative tactics of the Israeli Air Force can lead to a serious aggravation of the situation, and it will by the IAF’s fault if the Syrian air defenses in their anti-missile actions shoot down a civilian aircraft of any country, under whose cover Tel Aviv carries out its airstrikes. And such an incident has already occurred in 2018 when Israeli planes bombed Syria from the air zone where the Russian reconnaissance plane was located, and the Syrian air defense shot down this plane by mistake. Russian service members were killed and a big scandal broke out, which was extinguished, and an armed conflict with Israel prevented, only thanks to complex diplomatic efforts.

The Syrian leadership has repeatedly demanded that the UN Security Council put pressure on Israel to stop attacks on the territory of the republic, since such actions violate its sovereignty and lead to increasing tensions in the region. The Syrian Foreign Ministry has previously repeatedly stated that the republic can use “all legal means” to respond to Israeli airstrikes on the Syrian territory. Therefore, by continuing such provocative attacks, Israel is openly tempting its fate, which could turn into a serious armed conflict at any time.

February 14, 2022 Posted by | Militarism, War Crimes | , , , , | 4 Comments

Vengeful Thievery by Biden and the Pentagon with Afghanistan

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | February 14, 2022

Throughout the invasion and 20-year occupation of Afghanistan, U.S. officials portrayed themselves as great saviors and benefactors of the Afghan people. Perhaps the best example of this phenomenon is the Pentagon’s application of the term “Operation Enduring Freedom” to its deadly and destructive operations in Afghanistan. There was also the supposed concern for “women’s rights” within the country.

It was always a lie. That was demonstrated by the fact that there was never an upward limit on the number of Afghan people who could be killed during the invasion and occupation. Why, early on, the Pentagon and the CIA even established a policy to not keep count of the number of Afghans they killed. It didn’t matter. Any number of deaths and injuries, no matter how high, was considered acceptable. The idea was that those people who survived the deadly and destructive U.S. violence would enjoy “enduring freedom” and “women’s rights.”

The truth is that U.S. officials never cared one whit for the well-being of the Afghan people, including all those people at Afghan wedding parties who were periodically bombed during the 20-year occupation.

Today, the U.S. government’s viciousness is, once again, on display, with two things: (1) The decision by President Biden and the Pentagon’s to enforce one of their patented systems of economic sanctions on the Afghan populace, and (2) Biden’s and the Pentagon’s decision to steal more than $7 billion from the Afghan government.

The sanctions are a pure display of viciousness. Why target the Afghan people with more death and suffering? The war is over. The Pentagon and the CIA lost. Get over it. Leave the Afghan people alone. Enough is enough. Can’t they be satisfied with the large number of deaths and the massive destruction they wreaked for the last 20 years on the Afghan people? Why kill and impoverish even more with a brutal system of economic sanctions?

The dark irony is that they’re enforcing the sanctions in the name of fighting “terrorism.” But isn’t the reason they condemn terrorism is that it targets innocent people as a means to achieve a political goal? Well, that is precisely what their evil system of sanctions does. It too targets innocent people with death, impoverishment, and suffering as a way to achieve a political goal — i.e., to make the Taliban regime look bad or even maybe — (hope springs eternal!) — brings regime change and another corrupt U.S. puppet regime into power.

Prior to the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, the Taliban central bank had deposited more than $7 billion in the United States for safekeeping. That money rightly belongs to the Taliban central bank, which has demanded it back. It matters not that the Taliban defeated the Pentagon and the CIA and forced them to exit the country. The money still rightly belongs to the Afghan government.

President Biden and the Pentagon, however, have decided to steal it. They say that they are going to use half the money to compensate the victims of 9/11 and the other half for “humanitarian aid.” Oh, aren’t they such good, caring, and compassionate people? Who would have known?

But they are not. They are nothing more than common thieves. They have no moral or legal right to steal that money, no matter what they do with it. The money belongs to the Afghan government.

Moreover, the Taliban regime never had anything to do with the 9/11 attacks, and no one, including the victims of 9/11, has ever provided any evidence to the contrary. The only reason that the George W. Bush regime ordered the invasion of Afghanistan was because the Taliban refused his unconditional extradition demand for Osama bin Laden, which the Taliban had the legal right to do given that there was no extradition treaty between the two countries. The Bush regime never provided one iota of evidence indicating that the Taliban were complicit in the 9/11 attacks and neither have any of the 9/11 victims.

Moreover, the notion that Biden and the Pentagon are going to be “humanitarian” with the Taliban’s money is laughable. They couldn’t care less about humanitarian concerns among the Afghan people. Remember: There was never an upward limit on the number of Afghan people they were willing to kill, maim, and injure in the process of bringing “enduring freedom” and “women’s rights” to Afghanistan. Keep in mind also that 99 percent of the people they killed, maimed, and injured and whose homes and businesses were destroyed by U.S. bombs for 20 long years had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks.

After wreaking so much death, suffering, and destruction on the people of Afghanistan, Biden and the Pentagon need to do the right thing. They need to lift those deadly and destructive sanctions and finally leave the Afghan people alone. They also need to return the Afghan government’s money to the Afghan government. Behaving like vicious common thieves seeking revenge and retribution for their defeat does not reflect well on the United States.

February 14, 2022 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , | 1 Comment

Personal data of Freedom Convoy donors leaked

RT | February 14, 2022

A website has claimed to have obtained a trove of personal data from Freedom Convoy donors, as the main fundraising platform for the backers of the Canadian anti-vaccine mandate truckers suffered an alleged hack and went offline on Monday.

The Distributed Denial of Secrets (DDoS) whistleblower site announced it had been given 30 megabytes of information on the donors of the Christian fundraising site GiveSendGo, including names, email addresses, zip codes and IP addresses.

This data won’t be made available to the public, but will only be provided to “journalists and researchers” due to its sensitive personal nature, according to DDoS.

Meanwhile, GiveSendGo – which became the main crowdfunding hub for the protesters after the mainstream platform GoFundMe blocked donations to them on February 5 – remained unresponsive on Monday.

Those visiting the site were met with a message saying: “Application is under maintenance, we will be back very soon.”

Media reports said GiveSendGo had been breached overnight, with its front page replaced by a clip from Disney’s animated movie ‘Frozen’, suggesting that its operations and money have been frozen too.

The video also contained a manifesto, in which the hackers labeled the site’s donors “grifters and hatriots,” while accusing them of funding “the insurrection in Ottawa” and the Capitol riots in the US on January 6 last year.

The Freedom Convoy demonstrations began in late January over Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s demand for unvaccinated truckers to quarantine after coming back to Canada from the US.

The protest escalated quickly and saw roads and border crossings blocked across Canada, including the capital, Ottawa, with those taking part also decrying Covid-19 lockdowns and mask mandates, along with calling for Trudeau’s resignation.

Supporters of the cause allegedly gathered $8 million online to continue rallying, but a Canadian judge issued an injunction blocking the money for the Freedom Convoy over the weekend.

Late on Sunday, the Canada Border Services Agency said it had ejected the last remaining demonstrator from the border with the US in Windsor, Ontario, reopening North America’s busiest trade link after a six-day blockade.

February 14, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Solidarity and Activism | , , , | 1 Comment

The New Zealand Government Needs to Engage With ‘Freedom Camp’ Protesters, Not Send in the Police

By Richard House | The Daily Sceptic | February 13, 2022

Inspired by the Canadian truckers, a number of New Zealand Freedom Convoys started out on February 5th from the tip of the North Island and the bottom of the South Island to converge on Wellington. Most of the South Island convoy is still camped at Picton (top of the South Island), unable to cross the Cook Strait by ferry. The North Island convoy arrived in Wellington early on February 8th and set up camp outside the New Zealand Parliament, blocking local streets with vehicles. While lacking central leadership and coming with a range of motives, all are calling for the lifting of mandated Covid health restrictions.

The anti-mandate protest camp outside Parliament poses a problem for Government authority. The Government’s response so far mirrors the effect (and often, it seems, motive) of the Covid public health orders in marginalising those who do not conform. The protestors have not been met by any politicians, as is the custom in New Zealand with protests against Parliament. They have been classified as an aggressive minority and have been accused of trespassing on Parliamentary grounds.

The Government’s dilemma is that to recognise any of the protesters’ demands will signify Government weakness, which – with declining polls – it can ill-afford. However, to take physical action to remove the protestors risks adverse publicity and the galvanising of more support. Yet to continue ignoring the protest – which appears to be there for the long haul – keeps it in the public eye, with the Government appearing reactive rather than proactive. There is no easy way out.

The Government has mishandled the situation so far. It should have realised that with every increase in restrictions and every mandate the protest movement would gather numbers, initially from those who are anti-lockdown, then anti-vaccine, then anti-mandate. With Government and opposition party apparatus all being so ‘on-message’ with health order controls, this blind spot is perhaps understandable, as few state workers would have raised concerns their bosses don’t want to hear, but as blind spots go it is a big one.

This protest is different to many previous high-profile protests in New Zealand’s history. Rather than a group campaigning on behalf of others, such as with the anti-apartheid protests, it is a group protesting about their personal treatment by the Government. They have ‘skin in the game’; the outcome significantly affects their lives.

On February 10th at around 8am, the police attempted to remove the protest group on Parliament’s lawn – estimated to be at least several hundred by official sources – one-by-one with tactics that resembled a rugby scrum. After taking most of the day to arrest around 120 protestors, the police withdrew. The police violence involved in removing a generally peaceful protest galvanised more people across the country to respond locally or join what they now call Camp Freedom. The central business district (city centre) roads in Wellington are gridlocked.

The inept state response this week shows the weakness of Government and its lack of strategy. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, when questioned about the protestors at a news conference, replied that it was a police matter and not for politicians. This is a serious miscalculation; it is high-stake politics. The failed police operation to forcibly evict the protestors from the lawn was not viable from the start. Purely from a numbers perspective, the rate of protestor removal was never going to succeed. The demonstration of police aggression went viral on social media and brought more protestors to support. New Zealand (unlike, say, France) isn’t accustomed to this intensity of protest.

Parliament Speaker Trevor Mallard’s decision to turn on the lawn sprinklers was an act of desperation and source of ridicule. In the festival atmosphere, protestors have responded with humour.

The Speaker’s latest hare-brained initiative is to blast music and vaccine adverts at the protestors. The protestors have brought in food kitchens and first aid tents, and are being creative in responding to the weather challenges as support through social media – like the rain, but much more welcome – is flooding in.

What should the Government have done? With hindsight, the simple answer is to have recognised the limits to its authority when it breached accepted norms of human rights and medical ethics. New Zealand had the benefit of seeing the Covid experience in the rest of the world, but the Government seems to have learned little and failed to anticipate how quickly the situation changes. If it had provided a ‘route to normal’ by announcing end dates to mandates and other restrictions before the protest reached the Parliamentary lawn, it may have taken steam out of the movement. Good leadership unites by providing a clear plan and end destination. Ambiguity and coercion lead to suspicion and division.

What should the Government do now? One thing seems for sure: it needs a political solution rather than a police operation.

February 14, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

Emergency powers to target protest funding

RT | February 14, 2022

The Canadian government has moved to extend its financial regulations to crowdfunding platforms and cryptocurrencies, under the Emergencies Act invoked Monday to crack down on “Freedom Convoy” trucker protests against Covid-19 mandates.

Under the emergency, which is due to last 30 days unless extended, all crowdfunding and crypto platforms must register with Canada’s financial intelligence agency FinTrac and report “large or suspicious” transactions, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Monday. This is an expansion of Canada’s existing money-laundering and terrorist financing rules, and the government will propose a law that would make these powers permanent, she added.

“We know that these platforms are being used to support illegal blockades and illegal activity which is damaging the Canadian economy,” said Freeland.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has declared trucker protests – from the “Freedom Convoy” parking in front of the parliament in Ottawa to the blockades at three border crossings with the US – to be illegal and authorized federal police to help provinces and local authorities dismantle them.

Canadian banks have also been instructed to freeze assets or “review their relationship” with anyone they suspect of being involved in such protests, without a court order. Companies whose trucks are being used in the “illegal” protests will have their accounts frozen and their insurance suspended, said Freeland.

The financial crackdown comes after Ottawa successfully pressured GoFundMe to freeze some CAN $10 million the trucker protest had raised, only to see the fundraiser move to GiveSendGo, a rival US platform. After GiveSendGo refused Canadian orders to freeze the funds, it was hacked and the trucker donor list was published online.

This is the first time Canada has invoked the Emergencies Act since it was passed in 1988, to replace the old martial law first enacted in 1914. The War Measures Act had been used during the two world wars to impose controls on the Canadian economy and imprison citizens of German, [Italian] and Japanese origin. It was most recently used in 1970 by Trudeau’s father Pierre, to crack down on Francophone separatists in Quebec who had kidnapped a lawmaker. Almost 500 people were arrested during the period now known as the October Crisis.

February 14, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , | 1 Comment

BBC Wants Anti-Vaxxers To Participate In New Reality Show

By Richie Allen | February 14, 2022

Have you ever fancied being a contestant on a reality TV show? No? Me neither. This might change your mind. The BBC wants to get a bunch of vaccine sceptics into a house, study them (Dear God), challenge their beliefs and see if it’s possible to change their minds.

According to The Times :

It is understood that a diverse group who have refused the vaccine will live together for a period, during which the documentary will explore their views on the jab and their misconceptions about its origins and side effects.

The participants will be presented with evidence about the safety and success of the vaccine in the hope that they will soften their stance. At the end of the experiment they will be confronted with a question: do they want to get the vaccine?

STV Studios, an independent production company, has begun casting for the documentary before filming later this year. It is not yet known when the programme will be shown but it is likely to be broadcast on BBC1 or BBC2.

Hmmm…. they’ll present the sceptics with evidence will they? Whose evidence? Will the sceptics be permitted to introduce their own evidence? Will the anti-vaxxers be allowed to present the VAERS and Yellow Card data which demonstrates just how harmful the covid jabs really are?

I doubt it very much. The BBC you see, or STV studios, will be very, very careful when selecting the vaccine sceptics and of course the episodes won’t be live. They’ll be recorded and heavily edited.

I won’t hold my breath waiting for my invitation.

February 14, 2022 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | 1 Comment

GOP lawmakers demand answers from Fauci

RT | February 14, 2022

US Republican lawmakers have sent a letter pressing chief White House medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci for answers about his alleged silencing of concerns that the Covid-19 virus originally came from a Chinese lab.

The letter, sent on Monday by three US House members, cited emails suggesting that Fauci and Dr. Francis Collins, then director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), tried in early 2020 to quash speculation among scientists that the virus may have originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Instead of alerting national security officials to the pandemic’s potentially unnatural origin, Fauci and Collins sought to shut down the debate, the GOP lawmakers said.

The emails, which were obtained by media outlets under Freedom of Information Act requests, reportedly showed that some virology experts saw reason to believe that the virus was lab-created. Some of the messages made reference to a February 2020 conference call in which many scientists leaned toward the lab-leak theory. For instance, Tulane Medical School professor Robert Garry said he could see no “plausible natural scenario” for some aspects of Covid-19 otherwise.

“However, those same email communications, particularly when viewed in light of other publicly available information, demonstrate an apparent effort by you and Dr. Collins not only to cover up the concerns those virologists raised, but to suppress scientific debate about the origins of Covid-19,” the letter said.

Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Washington), Brett Guthrie (R-Kentucky) and Morgan Griffith (R-Virginia) signed the letter.

They demanded that Fauci provide details on how those conversations with scientists were initiated and who consulted him and Collins on Covid-19’s likely origins. The lawmakers also requested information on any communications by Fauci and Collins with Chinese scientists, as well as documents related to US funding of the research in Wuhan.

Even as scientists were speculating about Covid-19’s potentially manmade origins, Fauci told reporters in April 2020 that the sequencing of the virus was “totally consistent with a jump of a species from an animal to a human.” Earlier that same day, Collins sent him a message of concern about the lab leak theory, asking how NIH might “put down this very destructive conspiracy.”

Republican lawmakers have accused Fauci of directing taxpayer funding to gain-of-function research that could potentially make organisms more transmissible or lethal. In Monday’s letter, the House members claimed the efforts to quell the lab-leak theory may have stemmed at least partly from fears of those grants being exposed. “It appears you and Dr. Collins may have done so to protect China and avoid criticism about incredibly risky research that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases was funding at the Wuhan lab,” the legislators said.

February 14, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

The Plan to Turn You Into a Genetically Edited Human Cyborg

By Dr. Joseph Mercola | February 14, 2022

A May 2021 project report by the U.K. Ministry of Defense, created in partnership with the German Bundeswehr Office for Defense Planning, offers shocking highlights of the dystopian cybernetics future that global technocrats are pushing mankind toward.

The report, “Human Augmentation — The Dawn of a New Paradigm, a Strategic Implications Project,”1 reviews the scientific goals of the U.K. and German defense ministries, and they are precisely what the title suggests. Human augmentation is stressed as being a key area to focus on in order to win future wars.

But human augmentation will not be restricted to the military ranks. It’s really a way to further separate classes of humans, with the rich and powerful elite being augmented “super-humans.” It’s worth noting that anything released to the public is a decade or more behind current capabilities, so everything in this report can be considered dated news, even though it reads like pure science fiction.

“… the field of human augmentation has the potential to transform society, security and defense over the next 30 years,” the report states. “We must begin to understand the implications of these changes and shape them to our advantage now, before they are thrust upon us.

Technology in warfare has traditionally centered on increasingly sophisticated platforms that people move and fight from, or artefacts that they wear or wield to fight with. Advances in the life sciences and converging developments in related fields are, however, beginning to blur the line between technology and the human …

Many technologies that have the potential to deliver strategic advantage out to 2050 already exist and further advances will undoubtedly occur … Our potential adversaries will not be governed by the same ethical and legal considerations that we are, and they are already developing human augmentation capabilities.

Our key challenge will be establishing advantage in this field without compromising the values and freedoms that underpin our way of life …

When we think of human augmentation it is easy to imagine science fiction inspired suits or wonder drugs that produce super soldiers, but we are on the cusp of realizing the benefits in a range of roles now. Human augmentation will help to understand, optimize and enhance performance leading to incremental, as well as radical, improvements.”

Changing What It Means To Be Human

As noted in the report, “Human augmentation has the potential to … change the meaning of what it means to be a human.” This is precisely what Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF), has stated is the goal of The Fourth Industrial Revolution.2

WEF has been at the center of global affairs for more than 40 years, and if you take the time to dive into WEF’s Fourth Industrial Revolution material, you realize that it’s all about transhumanism. It’s about the merger of man and machine. This is a dystopian future WEF and its global allies are actively trying to implement, whether humanity at large agrees with it or not.

Schwab dreams of a world in which humans are connected to the cloud, able to access the internet through their own brains. This, of course, also means that your brain would be accessible to people who might like to tinker with your thoughts, emotions, beliefs and behavior, be they the technocratic elite themselves or random hackers. As noted by history professor Yuval Noah Harari in late 2019, “humans are now hackable animals.”3 As noted in the featured report:4

“Human augmentation will become increasingly relevant, partly because it can directly enhance human capability and behavior and partly because it is the binding agent between people and machines.

Future wars will be won, not by those with the most advanced technology, but by those who can most effectively integrate the unique capabilities of both people and machines. The importance of human-machine teaming is widely acknowledged but it has been viewed from a techno-centric perspective.

Human augmentation is the missing part of this puzzle. Thinking of the person as a platform and understanding our people at an individual level is fundamental to successful human augmentation.”

Key words I’d like to draw your attention to is the affirmation that human augmentation can “directly enhance behavior.” Now, if you can enhance behavior, that means you can change someone’s behavior. And if you can change a person’s behavior in a positive way, you can also control it to the person’s own detriment.

Theoretically, absolutely anyone, any random civilian with a brain-to-cloud connection and the needed biological augmentation (such as strength or speed) could be given wireless instructions to carry out an assassination, for example, and pull it off flawlessly, even without prior training.

Alternatively, their physical body could temporarily be taken over by a remote operator with the prerequisite skills. Proof of concept already exists, and is reviewed by Dr. Charles Morgan, professor in the department of national security at the University of New Haven, in the lecture below. Using the internet and brain implants, thoughts can be transferred from one person to another. The sender can also directly influence the physical movements of the receiver.

The Human Platform

On page 12 of the report, the concept of the human body as a platform is described, and how various parts of the human platform can be augmented. For example:

  • Physical performance such as strength, dexterity, speed and endurance can be enhanced, as well as physical senses. One example given is gene editing for enhanced sight
  • Psychological performance such as cognition, emotion and motivation can be influenced to activate and direct desired behavior. Examples of cognitive augmentation include improving memory, attention, alertness, creativity, understanding, decision-making, intelligence and vigilance
  • Social performance — “the ability to perceive oneself as part of a group and the readiness to act as part of the team” — can be influenced. Communication skills, collaboration and trust are also included here

They list several different ways to influence the physical, psychological and social performance of the “human platform,” including genetics (germ line and somatic modification), the gut microbiome, synthetic biology, invasive (internal) and noninvasive (external) brain interfaces, passive and powered exoskeletons, herbs, drugs and nano technology, neurostimulation, augmented reality technologies such as external holograms or glasses with built-in artificial intelligence, and sensory augmentation technologies such as external sensors or implants. As noted in the report:

“The senses can be extended by translating frequencies beyond the normal human range into frequencies that can been seen, heard or otherwise detected. This could allow the user to ‘see’ through walls, sense vibrations and detect airborne chemicals and changes to magnetic fields.

More invasive options to enhance existing senses have also been demonstrated, for example, coating retinal cells with nanoparticles to enable vision in the infrared spectrum.”

They also point out that, from a defense perspective, methods to de-augment an augmented opponent will be needed. Can you even imagine the battlefield of the future, where soldiers are barraged from both sides with conflicting inputs?

As for ethics, the paper stresses that “we cannot wait for the ethics of human augmentation to be decided for us.” There may even be “moral obligations” to augment people, they say, such as when it would “promote well-being” or protect a population from a “novel threat.”

Interestingly, the paper notes that “It could be argued that treatments involving novel vaccination processes and gene and cell therapies are examples of human augmentation already in the pipeline.” This appears to be a direct reference to mRNA and vector DNA COVID jabs. If so, it’s an open admission that they are a human augmentation strategy in progress.

The Challenge of Unintended Consequences

Of course, there can be any number of side effects and unintended outcomes when you start augmenting an aspect of the human body or mind. As explained in the featured report:

“The relationship between augmentation inputs and outputs is not as simple as it might appear. An augmentation might be used to enhance a person’s endurance but could unintentionally harm their ability to think clearly and decisively in a timely fashion.

In a warfighting context, an augmentation could make a commander more intelligent, but less able to lead due to their reduced ability to socially interact or because they increasingly make unethical decisions. Even a relatively uncontentious enhancement such as an exoskeleton may improve physical performance for specific tasks, but inadvertently result in a loss of balance or reduced coordination when not being worn.

The notion of enhancement is clouded further by the intricacies of the human nervous system where a modifier in one area could have an unintended effect elsewhere. Variation between people makes designing enhancements even more challenging.”

Still, none of that is cause to reconsider or slow down the march toward transhumanism, according to the authors. We just need to understand the human body better, and for that, we need to collect and analyze more data on human performance, behavior, genetics and epigenetics. As noted by the authors:

“Devices that track movement, heart rate, oxygenation levels and location are already commonplace and will become increasingly accurate and sophisticated, making it possible to gather an increasingly wide array of performance data in real time. We can also analyze data in ways that were impossible even five years ago.

Artificial intelligence can analyze massive sets of information almost instantaneously and turn it into products that can inform decision-making. This marriage of data collection and analytics is the foundation of future human augmentation.”

Lab-Grown Designer Babies

As mentioned, by the time a technological advancement is admitted publicly, the research is already a decade or more down the road. Consider, then, the February 1, 2022, article in Futurism,5 which announced that Chinese scientists have developed an artificial intelligence nanny robot to care for fetuses grown inside an artificial womb. According to Futurism :6

“The system could theoretically allow parents to grow a baby in a lab, thereby eliminating the need for a human to carry a child. The researchers go so far as to say that this system would be safer than traditional childbearing.”

As of now, the AI robot is only in charge of lab-raised animal embryos, as “experimentation on human embryos is still forbidden under international law.” However, that could change at any time. In May 2021, the International Society for Stem Cell Research went ahead and relaxed the rules7 on human embryonic experimentation.8

Up until then, the rule had been that no human embryo could be grown in a lab environment beyond 14 days. Human embryos may now be grown beyond 14 days if certain conditions are met. In some countries, laws would still need to be changed to go beyond 14 days, but regardless, there’s no doubt that as transhumanism gets underway in earnest, ethical considerations about growing babies in laboratories will be tossed out.

Combine the announcement of an AI robot nanny to care for lab-grown embryos with the 2018 announcement that Chinese scientists were creating CRISPR gene-edited babies. As reported by Technology Review, November 25, 2018,9 “A daring effort is underway to create the first children whose DNA has been tailored using gene editing.”

The embryos were genetically edited to disable a gene called CCR5, to make the babies “resistant to HIV, smallpox and cholera.” The embryos were then implanted into a human mother using in vitro fertilization. At the time, the lead scientist refused to answer whether the undertaking had resulted in a live birth, but shortly thereafter it was confirmed that one trial participant had indeed given birth to gene-edited twins in November 2018.10

In June 2019, Nature magazine published an article11 questioning whether the CRISPR babies might inadvertently have been given a shorter life span, as research had recently discovered that people with two disabled copies of the CCR5 gene were 21% more likely to die before the age of 76 than those with one functioning copy of that gene. The babies might also be more susceptible to influenza and autoimmune conditions, thanks to this genetic tinkering.

Should We Breed Chimeras to Satisfy Need for Organs?

Ethical considerations about animal-human hybrids (chimeras) will probably also fall by the wayside once transhumanism becomes normalized. Already, human-monkey hybrid embryos have been grown by a team of Chinese and American scientists.12

The hybrid embryos are part of an effort to find new ways to produce organs for transplant patients. The idea is to raise monkeys with human-compatible organs that can then be harvested as needed. Here, the embryos were grown in test tubes for as long as 20 days — and this was done before the ISSCR officially agreed to relaxing the 14-day rule.

The question is, if this kind of research ends up being successful, and the creation of animals with human organs is actually feasible, at what point does the chimera become a human?

How do we know that what looks like a monkey doesn’t have a human brain, with the intelligence that goes with it? Taking it a step further, even, what’s to prevent scientists from growing human organ donors? Human clones, even? It’s a slippery slope, for sure.

Privacy in the Age of Transhumanism

Perhaps one of the greatest concerns I (and many others) have is that not only are we moving toward a merger of man and machine, but at the same time we’re also increasingly outsourcing human morality to machines. I cannot imagine the end result being anything but devastating. How did that happen? Timandra Harkness, a BBC Radio presenter and author of “Big Data: Does Size Matter?” writes:13

“As the recent pandemic years have shown, the desire to be free from scrutiny unless there’s a good reason to be scrutinized is widely seen as, at best, eccentric and, at worst, automatic grounds for suspicion.

We simply can’t articulate why a private life is valuable. We have no sense of ourselves as autonomous beings, persons who need a space in which to reflect, to share thoughts with a few others, before venturing into public space with words and actions that we feel ready to defend …

Part of the appeal of technologies like AI is the fantasy that a machine can take the role of wise parent, immune to the emotion and unpredictability of mere humans. But this tells us less about the real capabilities of AI, and more about our disillusionment with ourselves.

The urge to fix COVID, or other social problems, with technology springs from this lack of trust in other people. So does the cavalier disregard for privacy as an expression of moral autonomy.

Technology ethics can’t save us, any more than technology can. Even during a pandemic, how we regard one another is the fundamental question at the root of ethics. So we do need to treat technology as just a tool, after all. Otherwise we risk being made its instruments in a world without morals.”

Sources and References

February 14, 2022 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | 1 Comment

Sea Temperatures at the Great Barrier Reef Haven’t Increased in 150 Years, Newly Uncovered Data Show

By Chris Morrison | The Daily Sceptic | February 14, 2022

An 1871 dataset of sea temperatures across the Great Barrier Reef in Australia has been compared to recent measurements logged at the same reef areas. No differences in temperature were found by Dr. Bill Johnson, leading him to conclude: “Alarming claims that the East Australian Current has warmed due to global warming are therefore without foundation.”

The 1871 temperatures were taken by the SS Governor Blackall steamship on a voyage around the Australian east coast to observe a total eclipse of the sun in the north of the continent. Hourly measurements were made between 6am and 6pm every day in the voyage from Port Stanley, north of Sydney, to Cape York and repeated on the journey back. Dr. Johnson, a former research scientist at the New South Wales Department of Natural Resources, allowed for the considerable seasonal variations in temperature across the reef but concluded that nothing much had changed. He said there was no evidence that the system regulating temperature had broken down “or is likely to break down in the future”.

Needless to say, such stories do not tend to appear in the media, most of which is firmly wedded to the notion that human-caused global warming is destroying the coral reefs around the world.  In October 2020, the BBC reported that the Great Barrier Reef had lost half of its coral since 1995, citing a report that said it was due to “warmer seas driven by climate change”. But Professor Peter Ridd, who has spent 40 years observing the reef, noted recently that it was in robust good health. Coral growth rates have if anything “increased over the last 100 years”. The graph below, compiled by Ridd from Australian Institute of Marine Science records, illustrates recent growth.

Agence France-Presse‘s award-winning reporter Marlow Hood recently quoted a University of Leeds paper that said coral reefs anchoring a quarter of marine wildlife will “most likely” be wiped out, even if the rise in global warming from pre-industrial times is capped at 1.5°C – which amounts to future warming of just 0.4°C, as 1.1°C has already occurred since 1820. Mr. Hood describes himself on his twitter feed as the “Herald of the Anthropocene” and was recently given €100,000 by the Spanish bank BBVA , which is heavily involved in Net Zero finance. In his commendation, Mr Hood was praised for his ability to “synthesize complex scientific models and studies and explain them in simple terms”. Certainly, Mr Hood went to the heart of the Leeds paper by further reporting that with an increase of 2°C, reef mortality “would be 100%”. This finding is said to have come from a “new generation of climate models”.

Corals have long occupied an exalted place in the climate tablets of doom. Their demise is commonly projected from the natural bleaching that occurs when they expel symbiotic algae, suggested to occur in reaction to sudden changes in water temperature. However, most bleaching – which also appears to have an important evolutionary function – occurs around weather oscillations, such as the El Niño event. These happen on a regular basis and once localised conditions have been stabilised, the coral usually recovers. Tropical coral thrives in temperatures between about 24°C and 32°C and sometimes grows quicker in warmer waters. Any change in long term global temperatures is unlikely to be a threat and certainly not one as small as 0.4°C. In any case, according to Dr. Johnson’s discoveries, there hasn’t been any change in such conditions on the Great Barrier Reef for at least 150 years.

A more practical threat to coral reefs is the less discussed practice of blowing them up and using them for building materials, jewellery, calcium health supplements and marine aquarium decorations. According to Big Blue Ocean Cleanup, an environmental non-profit organisation, this trade is worth $375 billion a year. This is an astonishing sum. Across the Pacific, Blue Ocean identifies two techniques of destruction. The first is small-scale mining using crowbars and sledgehammers to break off the coral branches. The second involves the use of dynamite.

Needless to say, this has an enormous impact on the surrounding eco-system, killing marine life and leaving a barren ocean behind. Indiscriminate destruction also causes sand erosion and removes coastal protection. Ironically, much of the coral has been used to build airports and resorts in places like the Maldives to house tourists who come to marvel at the reefs.

Coral reefs need protecting. It is not a good idea to drench them in untreated sewage, douse them with toxic chemicals, smash up their habitat with reckless fishing or rearrange the ocean floor with high explosives. But this is relatively mundane environmental housekeeping work. It is a world away from using unproven science statements and climate models to spout ‘save the planet’ rhetoric and push for an unrealistic control-and-distribute Net Zero project.

In the run up to COP26, one of Prince William’s £1 million “Earthshot” gifts was handed to a small Bahamian company called Coral Vita that says it grows coral to replant in the ocean. Writing in the Spectator Australia, the biologist Jennifer Marohasy noted that the Australian government permitted the mining every year of 200 tonnes of coral from the Great Barrier Reef. At the same time, $1 billion Australian dollars was provided to save the ‘dying’ reef. Some of this money, she noted, will be used to replant corals.

She added: “[T]here will be jobs for scuba divers, and it will be filmed by underwater videographers, marine scientists will collect data around the programme and boats will be chartered. There will be money for almost everyone who wants to participate – if they are vaccinated, believe in human-caused climate change and believe the Great Barrier Reef is dying.”

February 14, 2022 Posted by | Environmentalism, Progressive Hypocrite, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | 1 Comment

Canadian Media STILL Pushing Crackpot Theory That Truckers Are Russian Agents

By Steve Watson | Summit News | February 14, 2022

As the Canadian freedom convoy rolls on and continues to influence other protesters around the globe, Canadian media continues to push outright disinformation by suggesting that the Russian government is behind the movement.

When the convoy first came to prominence at the end of January, state broadcaster the Canadian Broadcasting Company began spreading completely unfounded claims that “Russian actors” were present among the Canadian truckers holding up major cities including Ottawa and Toronto, as well as border crossings.

The tenuous reasoning behind the theory is that Canada has expressed support for Ukraine during the country’s ongoing tensions with Russia.

Rather than admit that working class truckers are sick of enforced restrictions and vaccine mandates threatening their livelihoods, CBC floated the crackpot idea that Vladimir Putin is secretly behind the protests.

CBC continues to push the conspiracy theory, with correspondent Harry Forestell filing the following report Friday giving airtime to ‘New Brunswick cybersecurity expert’ David Shipley, who is adamant that the Russians are behind everything.

Shipley proclaimed “Who would have reason right now to cause as much chaos in Canada as possible? Well, at the top of that list is Russia.”

He continued, “We are actively engaged in a geopolitical battle about the future of the Ukraine. Our Foreign Affairs minister, our Prime Minister, others have been very vocal in our support for the Ukraine and it seems very likely that the tactics that we are seeing, the creation of the massive Facebook groups using fake identities or in the case now alleged by a U.S. media outlet, a stolen identity of a Missouri woman to create these groups and to foster this communication hundreds of thousands of people, this is the Russian internet research agency playbook writ large.”

Shipley has considered that possibly the truckers are Chinese agents too, but ultimately no, they’re Russian.

He declared “You have other enemies as well. You have China, you have other states but when I narrow down my list of suspects and I don’t have enough evidence to win in a court of law but I don’t need that right now, this smacks of the kind of move that Russia has made in the past, the United States, and is continuing to do around the world.”

When asked what the solution to this pressing Russian agent problem is, Shipley’s solution was to restrict and shut down the convoy’s social media presence.

You certainly don’t have enough evidence Mr Shipley because there isn’t any.

February 14, 2022 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | 4 Comments

Ukraine Crisis: A Nightmare Caused by US Interventionism

By Ron Paul | February 14, 2022

Over the weekend we heard that the US is evacuating its embassy in Kiev for fear of a Russian invasion. We also heard that Russia is evacuating its embassy in Kiev for fear of a US-backed provocation in eastern Ukraine that may lead to a Russian military response.

We are in “uncharted territory” the media tells us. Yes, that is true. But it is uncharted because no one had ever imagined in the past that the US government would be so foolish to risk a thermonuclear war over the borders of a country – Ukraine – that have changed so many times over the past century.

An urgent Biden-Putin phone call on Saturday did not lead to any breakthrough – as if anyone thought it would. Instead, it provided cover for Biden Administration hawks to claim they tried every diplomatic approach, but war seems to be the only option.

But this whole thing is a farce. As I see it, here is the Ukraine crisis in a nutshell:

Biden to Putin: “Don’t invade Ukraine.”

Putin to Biden: “We have no intention of invading Ukraine.”

Biden to the US media: “Putin is about to invade Ukraine!”

Then Biden’s top officials proceed to embarrass themselves by warning that the invasion was imminent. Or it’s coming next Tuesday, or Wednesday, or surely before the end of the Olympics. Does anyone think they have any credibility left with their constant hysterical warnings?

Meanwhile “US intelligence” continues to leak incendiary information – likely self-serving – to a US media that has lost any interest in skepticism toward any “scoop” handed down by US government officials.

What the US media will not report is that this entire crisis – and the threat of a serious war – has all been brought about by US interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine, specifically the US-backed coup that overthrew an elected government in 2014. Every bit of unrest in Ukraine proceeded from that single foolish and immoral act by the Obama Administration.

That is why we are non-interventionist. The philosophy of non-interventionism is one very good piece of insurance protecting us from needless war. If you don’t meddle in the affairs of foreign countries, there is less chance of being dragged into an unnecessary war.

Ukraine is a great example of why non-interventionism is the only pro-America foreign policy. We are risking nuclear war with Russia over what? Ukraine’s borders? Surely most Americans see how idiotic this is.

The Biden Administration is at present shell-shocked that the Russian government did not back down over plans to expand NATO to Ukraine. Russia understandably views NATO membership for Ukraine -with its Article 5 guarantees – to be an unacceptable threat considering the ongoing border disputes.

This is not our fight, yet Biden’s foreign policy team has decided it’s a great time to kick the hornet’s nest.

Is it all about Biden’s dismal approval ratings? What a sick thing to risk a major war over. We need to stand up and say “enough.” Before it’s too late.

Copyright © 2022 by RonPaul Institute

February 14, 2022 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | 1 Comment

There Was No Exit Plan from “Slow the Spread”

By Robert Blumen | BROWNSTONE INSTITUTE | February 13, 2022

Last year, cartoons began to appear depicting an endless cycle of variants and government responses. They call to mind the definition of insanity (misattributed to Einstein) as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Or perhaps the less well known line from a 1990s Stephen King miniseries “Hell is repetition.”

The direction of public health policy over the past two years has been difficult to understand. It may be a fool’s errand to use logic and reason for something that by design makes no sense. But coming at it as I do with no prior education in medicine or epidemiology, crude tools such as logic and common sense may still be useful: The basic principles of reality are true for all endeavors. For a plan to work, it must work within a finite time; for every on ramp, there must be an exit

We started out with “Two weeks to flatten the curve.” If nothing else can be said in favor of this plan, credit must be given for how well it was explained. Pictures like this were clear enough. With my university-level education in math and physics, I understood that the area under the curve was expected to remain equal under both alternatives: the one with and the other without “precautions” (as the label in the diagram euphemistically refers to life under communism). The peak of the curve would be lower, at the cost of the epidemic being extended in duration.

While the plan might or might not work, it is possible to state the premise without contradicting laws of logic or common sense. The flattening plan does accept that nearly everyone will eventually be exposed and the contagion will exhaust itself. If the plan enables some people to delay their exposure, up to a point, that could buy doctors some time to better learn how to treat them. Or perhaps a miraculous vaccine will be introduced that would create sterilizing immunity and halt the outbreak in its tracks enabling those who had delayed to avoid infection entirely.

And doctors did learn how to treat the disease, but treatment is actively fought by the medical establishment. The FDA – the drug regulator in the US – tweeted you should only get treated for covid if you are a horse. Even today, you can get banned from social media for suggesting that it is possible to treat the disease. So any possible advantage in developing a treatment was wasted.

While the plan was clear, it was not guaranteed to work. Subtle effects could undermine the simple story told by the picture. Perhaps everyone staying at home will not help because people will get infected at home. Or perhaps too many people must leave home because essential critical infrastructure workers such as marijuana dispensaries must remain open to keep society running.

Some suggested then a policy that postpones population immunity would give the virus more time to mutate. Given enough time, people who were infected and have developed natural immunity to an earlier variant would face a virus sufficiently different that they might become infected again. Along these lines, biotech executive Vivek Ramaswamy and medical professor Dr Apoorva Ramaswamy MD, writing in the Wall Street Journal, question whether we should even try to slow the spread when “Speeding It May Be Safer.” Cognitive scientist Mark Changzi suggests “slowing the spread among the healthy not-at-risk, which just raises the frail’s chances of getting infected.” “Dr. Robert Malone and Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche, who have been asserting that you can’t vaccinate your way out of a pandemic for months” believe that vaccination during an outbreak accelerates the evolution of the virus away from the version targeted by the vaccine.

Quite likely the “precautions” did nothing to make the curve flatter. With the benefit of hindsight we can observe that outbreaks of the virus in proximate US states (or neighboring nations that are similar in size and demographics in other regions of the world) rise and fall side by side in cyclical surges, regardless of when or if efforts to slow the spread were made. There is no impact on the variability of any public health metric based on when a “precaution” was undertaken.

After the hospitalizations peaked and then declined to near zero in the spring of 2020, I naively expected that we had done what we could, and it was over. Whether we had flattened the curve, or, the virus did what it would have done anyway, was at that point irrelevant. Instead of ending the precautions, there was an unstated shift from the original strategy to a new one. Unlike the original, the new policy was not clearly explained. I suspect the reason is that it could not have been explained without it becoming obvious that it did not make any sense.

“Flatten the curve” assumes contagions come to an end – either through immunity or viruses burn themselves out for reasons we do not fully understand. All things come to an end. Even the plague of the Black Death ran out of gas before it wiped out the entire human race. If an outbreak ends when most of us have been exposed (and either died or developed immunity), how can slowing it down be said to save lives? Is it not the best we can hope for that some people are exposed and suffer the consequences later rather than sooner?

Evidence of the new reality appeared to me one day when I was stuck in a traffic jam, on a trip I (and many of my neighbors) made in violation of my locality’s “shelter in place” order. As I puzzled over this new reality, I noticed overhead digital signage (paid for by my governor’s massive ad spend on Covid propaganda), stating: “Stay at home: save lives.” This was the initial wave of a propaganda tsunami imploring us to “slow the spread.”

story about a superspreader who went to a party and infected multiple people who subsequently died attributed the deaths to the careless person who probably did not wear a mask. Was there some alternate version of reality in which the dead partygoers lived out the rest of their natural life never being exposed to a virus to which they were vulnerable? Should the superspreader be held responsible for their exposure, or was it only a matter of time until the virus found them, one way or another?

Sanctimonious lockdowners heaped scorn and ridicule on countries that did not slow the spread. A small industry of curve-fitting explanations were offered to explain the “success stories:” they locked down, they wore face masks, they tested, they quarantined, they contact-traced, they social distanced. They did as they were told. They obeyed authority. And we should do likewise.

According to Dr. Anthony Fauci MD, it was the time for us ornery Americans to do as we were told. In retrospect every one of the virtuous nations had its own spike or two, or three, often after getting fully vaccinated, taking a victory lap, and dislocating both of their shoulders by patting themselves on the back overly vigorously.

Consider testing. Some virtuous nations tested. Based on the long lines of cars to get into the popup centers, the United States tested a lot too. When former president Donald Trump suggested that – perhaps – we were overtesting, he was subjected to enormous ridicule. Yet how could testing help slow the spread of a virus? By itself testing does nothing other than identify sick people.

Can a test do a better job at identifying sick people than they can do on their own simply by noticing whether they have symptoms? If testing once a week does not help, does testing twice a week? And if so, then why do we care about a test result, if asymptomatic people are not contagious? In reality testing produced too many false positives to be useful.

Testing could in theory help if combined with contact tracing and quarantines to isolate the infected people. Contact tracing was another ritual of the success stories – yet contact tracing could not possibly work if someone could be infected by coming within six feet of a sick person or walking down the same side of the street because the second-order contacts of contacts would rapidly explode to include everyone in an entire city or region. This was another instance of Yogi Berra’s observation that “In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.”

I wondered what the goals of the new policy of “slow the spread” could be. Was it zero-covid? Zero-covid was the objective of a small cult of fanatics that never gained much traction in the US. A serious go at it would require a country to permanently ban inbound international travel. This was done in a small and tightly controlled nation where a friend of mine lives. According to my friend, they had very low levels of infection; however, the nation’s economy was tourism-based and the continued success of the policy requires that travelers not enter the country. The operation was a success, the patient died.

Several other countries tried and failed zero-covid. Antarctica, which should have been a slam dunk, could not pull it off. Nor could an isolated island in the Pacific. In one hilarious story from the zero-aspiring nation of Australia, the virus escaped from jail when a Covid security guard hooked up with a detained person at a quarantine facility.

We were not flattening the curve, nor did it look like a strategy of total eradication. We were in a strange middle ground. At best we were pushing the pain into the future but with no plan to ever deal with it. The goals and exit conditions of the plan were not clearly explained. I did at one point find a statement by Dr. Fauci that preventive measures could drive the disease down to a very low level. Was it assumed to remain low forever? If not, then from that low base, outbreaks could be somehow contained?

University of California Professor Dr. Vinay Prasad MD wrote about a similar message from President Biden:

So when people heard in Summer 2020 that Biden aimed to “get covid under control,” some people imagined an optimistic state of affairs whereby, once we all got vaccinated or wore masks for just 100 days (link), covid might be suppressed to such a permanently low level that most of us could forget about it, just as we forget about polio. Such people imagined a one-time, short-term effort to “get covid under control,” like unlocking a door.

If we are to believe that a worldwide pandemic grew from an outbreak of twelve people in Wuhan, China to infect nearly the entire world (even indigenous tribes in the Amazon jungle who are by definition quarantined) why would it not do the same when we emerged from our underground fallout shelters? What if through assiduously standing in small circles painted on the floor in grocery stores and wearing underwear on our faces, we succeeded in driving the number of Covid infections down to a very small number? To pick a number, for example, twelve people. Why would the contagion not, in the absence of broader acquired immunity, spread again from that new base of twelve, until eventually reaching all of those remaining uninfected?

It took me some time to give it a name. I settled on “suppression.” The fundamental reason that suppression is not a policy is that it has no exit. For a thing to work it must work within a limited time. If the measures to slow the spread succeeded in slowing it, then what? The nature of the off ramp is the answer to the question, “What happens when we stop doing it?” If the answer is, “It would go right back to what it was doing before,” then there is no exit.

During 2020 I had people tell me that we could not end the lockdown because the epidemic would pick up right where it left off and millions would die AND (sometimes the same people ) that if we keep up the restrictive measures for a while then we could stop because the virus would not come back. A bit of logic rules out the possibility that the virus could both come back and not come back.

Do we then spend the rest of our lives acting out Covid theater? Dr. Fauci said that he would never shake hands again. Blue check marks fret about quarantining their children. Jenin Younes reflected on a survey in which hypochondriac epidemiologists who are afraid to open their mail explain that they now consider a normal life to be dangerously reckless. Substack author Eugyppius writes about a medical journal editor who “can’t work out what we’re even doing here, but he wants us to keep doing it.”

Dr Prasad explained the difference between finite and infinite strategies:

Even if most of Biden’s voters agreed with his campaign promise to “get covid under control” in the abstract, this slogan does not specify whether the state of being “under control” involves a one-time effort, or a sustained effort over time. If you unlock a door, you do it once and you can forget it; if you lift an overhead hatch, maybe you have to keep holding it up so that it doesn’t fall back down again.

Slowing the spread – if such a thing is even possible – means we get to the same place later rather than sooner. Flat or not, it is over when you reach the right tail of the curve. The strange middle ground of slowing the spread with no exit condition, would, if tried, ruin our lives forever. Are you willing to live under covid restrictions for the rest of your life? And your children for the rest of their lives and all subsequent generations? For some measures that slow the spread of disease, such as indoor plumbing, garbage removal and better diet, the answer is yes. But if our forebears during the plague of the Black Death had adopted a covid-like attempt at suppression, no one would have gone outdoors since the 15th century.

During this time of insanity, some of us went about our lives as best we could and ignored the restrictions. The rest of the world is now coming to terms with the understanding that the “precautions” don’t do much. At best what is going to happen anyway, happens. If there is no off ramp then the change is either permanent or it will go on until failure is evident and people stop caring. Then they will go back to normal one by one.

Robert Blumen is a software engineer and podcast host who writes occasionally about political and economic issues.

February 14, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment