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Why requiring transplant recipients to be vaccinated is indefensible and objectively evil regardless of the scientific merits

Covid Vaccines are not remotely similar to other conditions that are typically required of or used to rank transplant patients.

By Ashmedai | May 2, 2022

One of the more pernicious and morally shocking developments surrounding the covid vaccines is hospitals forcing transplant recipients (and sometimes even their families) to be vaccinated with one of the covid vaccines.

I have heard a number of people defend this vile practice, who were genuinely convinced that there was nothing wrong with it. None of these individuals were “evil”, or anything close. Yet, they genuinely did not see a concern or dilemma that would disqualify the whole policy, or even one that would at least counsel a more thoughtful review before taking such a momentous and consequential step.

It is therefore worthwhile to present a clear explanation why, even assuming that transplant recipient vaccination is objectively beneficial as a purely scientific matter, mandating vaccination as a prerequisite for receiving a transplant is destructive to society and evil.

The following are a few of the more salient reasons why mandating recipient vaccination as a condition to remain eligible to receive a transplant, even assuming that transplant recipient vaccination are objectively beneficial as a purely scientific matter, is unjustifiable, destructive, and evil:

Breaks the Social Compact of Society:

    • Discriminates on the basis of a controversial political/social issue
    • Politicizes and undermines the trustworthiness of the medical community
    • Weaponizes the medical community / medical institutions in the “culture wars”
    • Drives the Balkanization of society

Is Intrinsically Immoral:

    • Such a mandate inflicts tremendous psychological torment upon people who are already suffering the stress and physical torment of a life-threatening disease
    • Erodes the ethics and character of medical professionals, so they regard some people as “inferior” and therefore undeserving of or not worth being treated
    • This is a policy that cannot be plausibly portrayed as being “in the best interests of patients”
    • Catch-all: Will cause considerable stress to the entire society

The Broader Context that Informs how People View Such a Mandate – The Medical Community no longer possesses the moral authority or credibility to make this sort of policy decision:

    • The already heavily damaged reputation and image of the medical community due to covid policies so far
    • A sizable minority today believes (if not outright majority) that hospitals and doctors are possibly complicit in the deaths of millions around the world and the unimaginable suffering of hundreds of millions more

Breaks the Social Compact of Society:

Discriminates on the basis of a controversial political/social issue

The reality of the current situation is that the covid vaccines are one of the preeminent issues at the forefront of the body politic in the country. This is therefore automatically a consideration when making policies on behalf of society, which any decisions regarding the prioritization scheme of transplant recipients are.

Decisions broadly affecting the whole of society that discriminate or persecute a faction/s of society break the social compact and erode or destroy the moral legitimacy of the major institutions through which political and social power and ideology are disseminated and enforced.

Specifically for this point, discriminating against a political or social minority – and surely where it is literally determining by proxy who lives and who dies – is by definition apartheid in both spirit and practice.

It goes without saying that apartheid policies are both harmful to a healthy and functioning society and evil.

Politicizes and undermines the trustworthiness of the medical community

Enacting a policy that is inextricably intertwined with a highly visible social or political controversy unavoidably conveys – regardless of whether it’s true – that the medical community is:

(A) a political actor that has

(B) vested political interests and objectives – such that it will

(C) pursue using the resources at its disposal

(D) even if/when they are in conflict with the neutral practice of medicine.

The damage from such overt political overtones and imaging (to say the least) to the practice of medicine, and the implications for the physical and mental health of the broader society, is something that does not require elaboration.

Importantly, this is true even for many of the people who agree with vaccination, because they also perceive that the medical community is “allying” with them to promote a political cause. The worse the reputation of the medical community is tarnished with political entanglements, the more difficult it becomes to rehabilitate subsequently.

Weaponizes the medical community & medical institutions in the “culture wars”

The participation of the medical community to coerce political compliance at gunpoint transforms the medical community (more than it is already) from a shared societal institution to a partisan one that one side views as a hostile force or enemy and the other views as a means to achieve political or social objectives.

This is true not just regarding people’s perception, but regarding the medical community itself. Even if the medical community would be starting off as an objective and non-partisan actor, committing such an overtly political act affects how the medical community will view and think of itself going forward (and the truth is that the medical community is by no means starting off from a “non-partisan” disposition).

The obvious (i.e. uncontroversial as factual observations regardless of whether one agrees or disagrees with the underlying position of either side here) societal harms that flow from this are manifold. Transforming the shared social institutions of science/medicine into a partisan weapon will cause the following negative consequences (among others; ‘shared’ is an increasingly tenuous proposition these days):

  • undermines trust in the practice of science
  • undermines the integrity of medical scientists by creating and incentivizing political objectives that take precedence over scientific integrity
  • causes a sizeable portion of society to regard doctors and medical professionals as enemies, which is harmful both to patients who will then not receive the same standards of medical care and to doctors who will suffer constant harassment and demoralizing stresses
  • encourages the propagation of propaganda as everyone is now incentivized to either deify or demonize medical practitioners and institutions regardless of the factual merits of any specific issue or incident

A society must have shared institutions that are not “playable characters” in the everyday social or political maelstroms that are the domain of politics in order to function and survive as a single political entity.

Drives the Balkanization of society

The most prominent consequence of the politicization and weaponization of the medical community and institutions is that it is a Balkanization of society. Regardless of the factual or scientific merits, even the perception by one faction that another faction is trying (and succeeding) in hijacking and corrupting the medical establishment is the fraying of the society as an organized political and social unit. To actually go ahead and do so is more damaging by orders of magnitude. Medical care is possibly the most foundational institution in a society – consider that the most consequential apartheid policy (besides for outright slavery) is the proscription of medical care by political or social affiliation. Thus proscribing medical care for a highly visible and prominent social faction within society – even if it wouldn’t be an outright death sentence for the patients restricted from medical treatment as is the case here – is tantamount to a declaration of [civil] war against anyone politically affiliated with the group targeted by the mandates.

It should also go without saying that you can’t have a functional society if whether your life and your human rights can be legally and socially vindicated depends upon on your political affiliation or ideological coadunation. There is no rational universe where this is an acceptable tradeoff for the conjectured benefits of restricting transplants to vaccinated patients.

Transplant Vaccine Mandates Are Intrinsically Immoral:

Such a mandate inflicts tremendous psychological torment upon people who are already suffering the stress and physical torment of a life-threatening disease

Any policy decision must consider the entire picture, not just the virtues of the preferred course of action.

Transplant vaccine mandates are dealing with a population that is exclusively comprised of people who are already under extreme suffering that is hard to contemplate or understand for someone bereft of this sort of experience. Adding distress to people already so tormented would therefore be warranted only if there was an exceptionally pressing concern. Even if the covid vaccines are somewhat beneficial as a purely scientific matter to patients awaiting an organ transplant, the marginal benefit of vaccination is hardly something that is so massive that imposing a vaccine mandate – in the context of everything else articulated in this article – can even be plausibly entertained let alone imposed. (The marginal benefit is the absolute risk reduction in all-cause morbidity/mortality gained from vaccination, not the “relative” risk reduction which is not relevant to assessing the real-world value of vaccination.)

Erodes the ethics and character of medical professionals, and influences and/or habituates them to regard some people as “inferior” and therefore undeserving of or not worth being treated

A policy of ‘either you acquiesce to vaccination or you die’ conveys to medical practitioners a clear message that people who reject the covid vaccines are not worthy of medical treatment. This is true regardless of the scientific merits of a (theoretically) objective cost/benefit analysis. Contingency of life-or-death treatment upon a political behavior or choice internalizes to medical practitioners and laypeople alike that it is appropriate to proscribe treatment to people because of political affiliation, so much so that we will even consign them to death. Medical apartheid on the basis of political or social faction characteristics is quite literally in the mold of the ideology and policies implemented in Germany in the 1930’s. Such a comparison is sufficient to retire any further consideration by itself of transplant vaccine mandates.

Such a dynamic is also corrosive to compassion and empathy — two attributes that are already in short supply in healthcare settings these days. The deprivation of treatment, especially in circumstances that are exceptionally heartwrenching, forces practitioners at minimum to suppress their sense of compassion. For many, the internal dissonance between their sense of compassion and the cruelty being inflicted on defenseless patients (& the relegation of a political class to “2nd class citizens”) that some would be complicit in will lead them to zealously embrace rationalizing that the unvaccinated are less than fully human. This is precisely how otherwise civilized people can be indoctrinated into an ideology that if unchecked ultimately enables them to commit or be complicit in the commission of atrocities.

(Requiring adherence to personal behavior standards – such as not consuming alcohol or drugs – whose medical rationale is obvious and apparent to everyone and which have already been standard requirements for decades is an entirely separate matter that has nothing to do with this discussion, and is something that requires its own lengthy dissertation to properly explore and flesh out.)

Like every other enumerated argument here, this point is true regardless of the factual merits of vaccination for transplant patients.

This is a policy that cannot be plausibly portrayed as being “in the best interests of patients”

Medical ethics is organized around the proposition that all decisions or policies must be in the best interests of patients. It is hard to imagine more blatant disregard of patients’ welfare than compromising the integrity and viability of the entire edifice of healthcare provision in the country as millions of people are less able and/or willing to seek and receive medical care as a result of all of the other points articulated above and below (and it is also not in the patients’ best interests for medical treatment to be withheld without which the patient will perish).

Contumeliously discarding the millennia-old foundational ethical principium of medicine ominously portends the possibility of medicine and healthcare unanchored to an ethical North Star.

Catch-all: This will cause considerable stress to the entire society

Polls consistently reveal that people of all social and political affiliations are suffering considerable stress. Policies that antagonize or that are erosive to the body politic spur or inflame the already burdened and fraying psyche of the populace. Even those advantaged by politically prejudicial persecution cannot escape the stresses that beset even those that have the upper hand politically, such as the worry that someday you will become a victim to the same social or political forces, or the stresses of living in a society where the social fabric is frazzled and fragmented. Especially in light of the current mental health apocalypse presently afflicting the country, it surely behooves the medical community to avoid further exacerbating the already overwrought stressors in people’s lives.

The Broader Context that Informs how People View Such a Mandate – The Medical Community no longer possesses the moral authority or credibility to make this sort of policy decision:

The reputation and image of the medical community has already been brutally savaged by the performance of the medical establishment throughout the covid crisis, especially the govt health agencies which are the backbone of the medical community’s authority and credibility. Moreover, at least a sizeable minority of the country believes that hospitals and doctors are complicit in the deaths of millions around the world and the unimaginable suffering of hundreds of millions more through draconian isolation of psychologically/emotionally vulnerable patients, denial of covid treatment, society-wide lockdowns, and vaccine carnage.

As a result, the medical community has lost the moral legitimacy and expert authority that until now was taken for granted. This is a monumental shift that is hard to overstate. The medical community previously was accorded the considerable latitude and deference by society they needed to make life-and-death policy decisions that society wouldn’t reflexively view as illegitimate or political. Without unambiguous and widely conceded moral authority to make controversial life-and-death policy decisions, the medical community ceases to be trusted and neutral stewards whose decisions can determine who lives and dies. Instead, they are no better than any other partisan and unobjective actor with their own biases and agenda. Empowering what is rationally perceived by one half of society as a conflicted and dishonest political actor to determine who lives and dies on the basis of a political characteristic is inherently evil and lacks even a semblance of moral credibility.

This last point is worth restating: This is akin to having a republican decide that democrats are not eligible for transplants unless they switch party affiliation or vice versa. The disfavored group would rightly and accurately perceive that a government that proscribes them from receiving lifesaving treatment lacks legitimacy.

Caveats:

It is important to note that there are many heroic doctors and nurses who do not agree with these policies. In a similar vein, the impact of such a policy (and the other covid policies that are similarly evil or just plainly irrational) is not uniform on all healthcare practitioners – there is a wide range of resiliency and resistance to the mental and psychological influence of this sort of policy.

It is also important to note that there is already considerable damage along the lines of everything stipulated above, so for the most part transplant mandates are aggravating already belabored destructive social pathologies as opposed to initiating or creating new ones.

However, this does not detract from the intensity or imperative of the arguments raised. The fact of the already-widespread devastation underscores how critical it is to reverse these developments – meaning that exacerbating them is that much more unconscionable.

Conclusion

Medical institutions are integral to the translation of medical and scientific knowledge into practice in a manner that will be accepted by the various major factions of society (there are always going to be fringe lunatic groups or cults that repudiate any sort of governing political bodies no matter what). A society without a shared epistemology cannot survive, as there can be no agreement on how to determine factual truth. The medical establishment institutions are fiduciaries to the entire population, granted awesome powers over society, and therefore commensurately responsible for the broader social impact of their actions (something that the medical literature en masse freely embraces, one need only look at the hundreds of papers condemning the medical community for their role in promoting “health inequities” and systemic racism).

It is not just prudent but obligatory to consider the political climate when weighing a policy choice that implicates and will resonate through the exigent political and social realities on the ground such as they are. One would think it would be common sense to go to the farthest practical extreme to avoid even the hint of appearing partisan or political, never mind actually further inflaming the divisive and increasingly weaponized political tensions. This is by no means even remotely controversial. The typical standards that society holds critical non-partisan institutions to is that they must avoid “even the appearance of” conflicts of interest, partisanship, etc. – recusals for these reasons are routine in the legal world for instance.

One would also be forgiven for thinking that the medical community would be embarrassed to be caught openly embracing the same fundamental political philosophy that animated the Nazi’s systematic denudement of the medical community back then of the ethical code synonymous with the practice of medicine.

Enacting a policy that in practice is political discrimination is irreconcilable with both basic medical ethics and the responsibility of the medical community to scrupulously avoid even the appearance of partisanship or other non-medical entanglements. There is no justification or defense for such an egregious lapse of judgement.

May 2, 2022 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , | 1 Comment

Reminder: Respiratory viruses infect huge numbers of people all the time, and nobody cared about this until 2020

Perspective from a 2018 New York study that tested a bunch of healthy adults for common respiratory viruses. Over 6% tested positive.

eugyppius | May 2, 2022

The ever-sharp Zacki on Twitter points to this intriguing 2018 study out of New York. The authors administered PCR tests to 2,685 people at a tourist attraction in New York City, between the months of January and July. Over 6% tested positive for one of seven common human respiratory viruses. In the winter, human coronaviruses were the most common; in the summer, rhinoviruses took the lead. By design, the study targeted healthy populations, and so we must imagine that it substantially understates the true rate of virus infection.

The authors don’t find a significant difference in the overall prevalence of positivity between winter and summer. In their small sample, it’s only the mix of viruses that changes. This is another piece of evidence in favour of my crazy theory, that a great part – perhaps a majority – of spring and summer allergies are in fact persistent low-grade rhinovirus infections.

Other studies, particularly on rhinovirus, find even larger incidences of infection. There is this paper, which looks at rhinovirus in infants and finds that 20% of their sample are asymptomatic positives; or this case-control study of all ages, which finds rhinovirus in 17% of their asymptomatic controls.

For perspective: At the height of the alpha wave in the United Kingdom, only about 0.3% of the population was testing positive for SARS-2 every day. School antigen testing in Germany, which is done multiple times a week and finds nearly every detectable infection in school-age children, found Delta 7-day incidences of around 1%, and Omicron 7-day incidences peaking in February at near 4% in specific age cohorts (see the the graph on p. 5). The allegedly hypercontagious SARS-2 looks like it was doing substantially worse, in other words, than garden-variety human coronaviruses in the same month in the New York study.

Respiratory viruses are extremely pervasive; they’re everywhere and this is totally normal. What isn’t pervasive, is virus testing. We’ve only ever tested widely for a single virus. So much of Corona mythology depends upon presenting data in isolation from what we know about the behaviour of all the other pathogens we’ve lived with for centuries. Our governments have spent two years hyperventilating about incidences of infection that turn out to be minuscule, or at worst normal, when compared to the other pathogens that infect us. This should also make you very, very sceptical of uncontrolled studies cataloguing alleged Long-Covid symptoms. If we tested this widely for rhinovirus, imagine all the totally unrelated symptoms we’d find in our vast pool of positive results.

May 2, 2022 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov interview with Xinhua News Agency

Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs | April 30, 2022

QuestionWhat do you think is at the root of the Ukrainian crisis? What can the international community do to solve this problem?

Sergey Lavrov When we talk about the Ukrainian crisis, first of all we need to look at the destructive policy of the Western states conducted over many years and led by the United States, which set a course to knock together a unipolar world order after the end of the Cold War. NATO’s reckless expansion to the East was a key component of those actions, despite the political obligations to the Soviet leadership on the non-expansion of the Alliance. As you know, those promises were just empty words. All these years, NATO infrastructure has been moving closer and closer to the Russian borders.

The West was never concerned about the fact that their actions grossly violated their international obligations not to strengthen their own security at the expense of the security of others. In particular, Washington and Brussels arrogantly rejected the initiatives put forward by Russia in December 2021 to ensure our country’s security guarantees in the west: to stop the expansion of NATO, not to deploy armaments that pose a threat to Russia in Ukraine and to return the Alliance’s military infrastructure to the 1997 configuration, when the NATO-Russia Founding Act was signed.

It is well-known that the United States and NATO member states have always viewed Ukraine as a tool to contain Russia. Over the years, they have actively fuelled anti-Russia sentiments there, forcing Kiev to make an artificial and false choice: to be either with the West or with Moscow.

It was the collective West that first provoked and then supported the anti-constitutional coup d’etat in Kiev in February 2014. Nationalists came to power in Ukraine and immediately unleashed a bloody massacre in Donbass, and set the course on the destruction of everything Russian in the rest of the country. Let me remind you that it was precisely because of this threat that the people of Crimea voted in a referendum for the reunification with Russia in 2014.

Over these past years, the United States and its allies have done nothing to stop the intra-Ukrainian conflict. Instead of encouraging Kiev to settle it politically based on the Minsk Complex of Measures, they sent weapons, trained and armed the Ukrainian army and nationalist battalions, and generally carried out the military-political development of Ukraine’s territory. They encouraged the aggressive anti-Russia course pursued by the Kiev authorities. In fact, they pushed the Ukrainian nationalists to undermine the negotiating process and resolve the Donbass issue by force.

We were deeply concerned about the undeclared biological programmes implemented in Ukraine with Pentagon’s support in close proximity to the Russian borders. And, of course, we could not disregard the Kiev leadership’s undisguised intentions to acquire a military nuclear potential, which would create an unacceptable threat to Russia’s national security.

In these conditions, we had no other choice but to recognise the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics and launch the special military operation. Its aim is to protect people from genocide by the neo-Nazis, as well as to demilitarise and denazify Ukraine. I would like to stress that Russia is acting to fulfil its obligations under bilateral agreements on cooperation and mutual assistance with the DPR and LPR, at the official request of Donetsk and Lugansk under Article 51 of the UN Charter on the right to self-defence.

The special military operation launched on February 24 is progressing strictly in accordance with the plan. All its goals will be achieved in spite of our opponents’ counteractions. At the moment we are witnessing a classic case of double standards and hypocrisy of the Western establishment. By publicly supporting the Kiev regime, NATO member states are doing everything in their power to prevent the completion of the operation by reaching political agreements. Various weapons are flowing endlessly into Ukraine through Poland and other NATO countries. All of this is being done under the pretext of “fighting the invasion”, but in fact the United States and the European Union intend to fight Russia “to the last Ukrainian.” They do not care at all about the fate of Ukraine as an independent subject of international relations.

The West is ready to jeopardise the energy and food security of entire regions of the globe to satisfy its own geopolitical ambitions. What other explanation is there for the unrestrained flywheel of anti-Russian sanctions launched by the West with the start of the operation and which they aren’t thinking of stopping?

If the United States and NATO are truly interested in settling the Ukrainian crisis, then, first, they must come to their senses and stop supplying weapons and ammunition to Kiev. The Ukrainian people do not need Stingers and Javelins; what they need is a solution to urgent humanitarian issues. Russia has been doing this since 2014. During this time, tens of thousands of tonnes of humanitarian cargo have been delivered to Donbass, and about 15,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid have already arrived in the part of Ukraine liberated from the Kiev regime, the DPR and the LPR, since the launch of the special military operation.

Second, it is essential that the Kiev regime stops cynical provocations, including in the information space. Ukrainian armed formations are barbarically shelling cities using civilians as living shields. We saw examples of this in Donetsk and Kramatorsk. Captured Russian servicemen are being abused with animal cruelty, and these atrocities are being posted online. At the same time, they use their Western patrons and global media controlled by the West to accuse the Russian army of war crimes. As they say, laying the blame at somebody else’s door.

It is high time for the West to stop unconditionally whitewashing and covering up for Kiev. Otherwise, Washington, Brussels and other Western capitals should consider their responsibility for complicity in the bloody crimes perpetrated by the Ukrainian nationalists.

Question: What measures has Russia taken to protect the lives and property of civilians? What efforts has it made to establish humanitarian corridors?

Sergey Lavrov: As I mentioned earlier, the special military operation is proceeding according to plan. Under this plan, the Russian military personnel are doing everything in their power to avoid victims among civilians. Blows are carried out with high-precision weapons, first of all at military infrastructure facilities and places where armoured vehicles are concentrated. Unlike the Ukrainian army and nationalist armed groups that use people as living shields, the Russian army provides the locals with all kinds of assistance and support.

Humanitarian corridors open daily from Kharkov and Mariupol to evacuate people from dangerous districts, but the Kiev regime demands that the “national battalions” in control of those areas do not release the civilians. Nevertheless, many are able to leave with the assistance of Russian, DPR and LPR servicemen. During the special military operation, the hotline of the Interdepartmental Coordination Headquarters of the Russian Federation for Humanitarian Response in Ukraine has received requests for assistance in evacuating 2.8 million people to Russia, including 16,000 foreign citizens and employees of UN and OSCE international missions. In total, 1.02 million people have been evacuated from Ukraine, the DPR and LPR, of which over 120,000 are citizens of third countries, including over 300 Chinese nationals. There are over 9,500 temporary accommodation facilities operating in Russian regions. They have space for rest and hot meals, and everything that may be necessary. Newly arrived refugees are provided with qualified medical and psychological assistance.

Russia is taking measures to ensure civilian navigation in the Black and Azov seas. A humanitarian corridor opens daily, a safe lane for ships. However, Ukraine continues to block foreign ships, creating a threat of shelling in its internal waters and territorial sea. Moreover, Ukrainian naval units have mined the shore, the ports and territorial waters. These explosive devices disconnect from their anchor lines and drift into the open sea, so they pose a serious danger to both the fleets and the port infrastructure of the Black Sea countries.

QuestionSince the special military operation was launched in Ukraine, Western counties have adopted a large number of unprecedented sanctions against Moscow. How do you think these sanctions will affect Russia? What are the main countermeasures taken by Russia? Some say that a new Cold War has begun. How would you comment on that?

Sergey Lavrov: It is true that the special military operation was used by the collective West as a pretext to unleash numerous restrictions against Russia, as well as its legal entities and individuals. The United States, Great Britain, Canada and EU countries do not conceal that their goal is to strangle our economy by undermining its competitiveness and blocking Russia’s progressive development. At the same time, the Western ruling circles are not embarrassed by the fact that anti-Russian sanctions are already beginning to harm ordinary people in their own countries. I mean the declining economic trends in the United States and many European countries, including growing inflation and unemployment.

It is clear that there can be no excuse for this anti-Russian line and it has no future. As President Vladimir Putin said, Russia has withstood this unprecedented pressure. Now the situation is stabilising, though, of course, not all risks are behind us.

In any case, they will not succeed in weakening us. I am confident that we will restructure the economy and protect ourselves from our opponents’ possible illegitimate and hostile actions in the future. We will continue to give a fitting and adequate response to the imposed restrictions, guided by the goal of maintaining the stability of the Russian economy and its financial system, as well as the interests of domestic businesses and the entire nation. We will focus our efforts on de-dollarisation, de-offshorisation, import substitution, and promotion of technological independence. We will continue to adapt to external challenges and step up development programmes for promising and competitive industries.

During the period of turbulence, our retaliatory special economic measures needed to ensure the normal functioning of the Russian economy will be continued and expanded. As a responsible player on the international market, Russia intends to continue scrupulously fulfilling its obligations under international contracts on export deliveries of agricultural products, fertilisers, energy carriers and other critical products. We are deeply concerned about a possible food crisis provoked by the anti-Russian sanctions, and we are well aware how important the deliveries of essential goods, such as food, are for the socioeconomic development of Asian, African, Latin American, and Middle Eastern countries.

I will be brief as regards the second part of your question. Today we are not talking about a new “cold war,” but, as I said earlier, about the persistent desire to impose a US-centric model of the world order coming from Washington and its satellites, who imagine themselves to be “arbiters of humankind’s fate.” It has reached the point where the Western minority is trying to replace the UN-centric architecture and international law formed after World War II with their own “rule-based order.” These rules are written by Washington and its allies and then imposed on the international community as binding.

We must realise that the United States has been carrying out this destructive policy for several decades now. It is enough to recall NATO’s aggression against Yugoslavia, attacks on Iraq and Libya, attempts to destroy Syria, as well as the colour revolutions that Western capitals staged in a number of countries, including Ukraine. All of this came at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives and resulted in chaos in various regions of the planet.

The West tries to crudely suppress those who carry out an independent course in their domestic and foreign policy. Not just Russia. We can see how bloc thinking is being imposed in the Asian-Pacific Region. We can recall the Indo-Pacific strategy promoted by the United States, which has a pronounced anti-China tendency. The US seeks to dictate the standards according to which Latin America should live, in the spirit of the outdated Monroe Doctrine. This explains many years of the illegal trade embargo on Cuba, sanctions against Venezuela, as well as attempts to undermine stability in Nicaragua and other countries. The pressure on Belarus continues in the same context. This list can go on.

It is clear that the collective West’s efforts to oppose the natural course of history and solve its problems at the expense of others are doomed. Today the world has several decision-making centres; it is multipolar. We can see how quickly Asian, African, and Latin American countries are developing. Everyone is getting a real freedom of choice, including where it comes to choosing their development models and participation in integration projects. Our special military operation in Ukraine also contributes to the process of freeing the world from the West’s neocolonial oppression heavily mixed with racism and a complex of exceptionalism.

The faster the West accepts the new geopolitical situation, the better it will be for the West itself and for the entire international community.

As President Xi Jinping said at the Boao Forum for Asia, “We need to uphold the principle of indivisible security, build a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture, and oppose the pursuit of one’s own security at the cost of others’ security.”

QuestionRussian-Ukrainian talks have attracted close attention of the international community. What are the main obstacles to the talks today? How do you regard the prospects of a peace treaty between the two parties? What kind of bilateral relations does Russia intend to have with Ukraine in the future?

Sergey LavrovAt present the Russian and Ukrainian delegations are holding discussions on the possible draft almost daily, via videoconference. This document should contain such elements of the post-conflict situation as permanent neutrality, the non-nuclear, non-bloc and demilitarised status of Ukraine, as well as guarantees of its security. The agenda of the talks also includes denazification, recognition of the new geopolitical reality, the lifting of sanctions and the status of the Russian language, among other things. Settling the situation in Ukraine will make a significant contribution to the de-escalation of the military and political tensions in Europe and the world in general. The establishment of an institution of guarantor states is envisaged as a possible option. First of all, they will be the permanent members of the UN Security Council, including Russia and China. We share information on the progress in the talks with Chinese diplomats. We are grateful to Beijing and other BRICS partners for their balanced position on the Ukrainian issue.

We are in favour of continuing the talks, although the process is difficult.

You are right to ask about the obstacles. For example, they include the militant rhetoric and incendiary actions of Kiev’s Western patrons. They are actually encouraging Kiev to “fight to the last Ukrainian,” pumping the country with weapons and sending mercenaries there. Let me note that the Ukrainian security services staged a crude bloody provocation in Bucha with the help of the West, to complicate the negotiation process among other things.

I am confident that agreements can only be reached when Kiev starts to be guided by the interests of the Ukrainian people, and not the advisors from far away.

Speaking about Russian-Ukrainian relations, Russia is interested in a peaceful, free, neutral, prosperous and friendly Ukraine. Despite the current administration’s anti-Russian course, we remember the many centuries of all-embracing cultural, spiritual, economic and family ties between Russians and Ukrainians. We will definitely restore these ties.

May 2, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Russia’s oil revenues expected to soar

Samizdat | May 2, 2022

Russia will see its income from the oil sector rise sharply this year and reach more than $180 billion, despite production cuts related to international sanctions, suggests a report published by independent research house Rystad Energy on Monday.

Thanks to the rising oil prices, Russia’s tax revenues will be 45% higher than last year and a whopping 181% higher than in 2020, Rystad Energy says.

“Europe’s dependence on Russian energy has been a deliberate and decades-long and mutually beneficial relationship. In this early phase of sanctions and embargoes, Russia will benefit as higher prices mean tax revenues are significantly higher than in recent years.” says Daria Melnik, a senior analyst at Rystad Energy.

According to the firm, the initial issues Russia had with its oil exports when European customers started shunning its oil were quickly resolved and loadings began to recover in late March, supported by orders from China and India. Russian crude exports remained resilient in April.

The EU, the US and their allies imposed sanctions against Russia with the aim of starving the country of cash and forcing it to abandon its military operation in Ukraine. However, Europe’s high dependence on Russian oil and gas has meant that turning away from it has proven problematic. The EU has pledged to phase out Russian gas by 2030.

If the EU decides to further restrict energy imports from Russia and impose an oil embargo, something that’s reportedly being considered by the bloc, Russia will be forced to cut oil production further as it lacks storage capacity for extra crude volumes and may not be able to quickly redirect the unwanted cargoes, Rystad Energy explains. In the long-term, Russia’s crude output will continue to decline more steeply than was estimated before the Ukraine crisis.

May 2, 2022 Posted by | Economics | , , | 2 Comments

Why Won’t They Say Who Funded These Ukraine Ads?

By Michael Tracey | May 2, 2022

On April 17, I was in London Bridge train station in central London, and couldn’t help but notice that the entire station was blanketed with these digital “Be Brave Like Ukraine” ads. Stylized in a nifty semi-Cyrillic font, the ads feature the classic blue and yellow color scheme that has now become so ubiquitous across “The West” — perhaps most prominently in London, where a local acquaintance told me she’s seen more Ukraine flags on display over the past two months than she ever saw of the UK’s own national flag.

I had a few natural questions upon seeing these ads. First, who crafted them? That answer came quickly: Just go to the “brave.ua” website and you’ll discover the ads were crafted by a consortium within the Ukraine government, including the office of Zelensky.

The answer to other natural questions have not come so quickly, though. Those questions include: Who paid for these ads? How much did they cost? Who organized their placement in some of the most expensive advertising real estate in the world? (They’ve also been displayed in Times Square, among other high-profile locations.)

Strangely, this information has proven difficult to acquire.

First I tried querying the TFL, the government body in charge of transport in London. They had no clue about the ads. Then I tried Network Rail, which runs most of the railways in England. They had no clue either. Finally I tried the massive global advertising agency which apparently owns the digital screens in question, JCDecaux. And… it initially seemed like they might have the answer. I know this because the “Corporate Communications Director” for JCDecaux inadvertently sent me an email where she deliberates with her colleague about how to answer my questions:

Kinda funny that the “Corporate Communications Director” still doesn’t have the hang of communications skills like sending your sensitive internal emails to the right recipient. Either way, this person did not in fact “come back to me tomorrow.” Days passed, and I heard nothing. Then, finally, here was the answer:

Curious, don’t you think? Why would a multinational advertising conglomerate based in France, with branches in the UK, US, and elsewhere, be so skittish about providing basic details about this Ukraine government advertising campaign? Shouldn’t they be proud of it, and therefore happy to provide the details? I thought the message of the ads was to “Be Brave Like Ukraine.” Apparently that “Bravery” doesn’t extend to allowing for transparency in the financial arrangements of these PR maneuvers, which have resulted in “Western” capitals being saturated with imagery that to the naked eye may seem benign — but, functionally, amounts to obvious pro-war propaganda.

Because bear in mind that these government-crafted ads have flooded London, NYC, Washington DC, etc. at the same time as Ukraine officials are furiously lobbying the UK and US governments to ramp up their military involvement in the war. Those lobbying efforts have been incredibly successful, with Respectable Mainstream outfits like The New Yorker finally now admitting that the scale of the US commitment constitutes “a full proxy war with Russia.” (Not so long ago, I was attacked as a peddler of “Putin’s talking points” for using the term “proxy war” on TV.)

It went largely unremarked upon when the head of the Pentagon, flanked by the head of the State Department, transited into Kiev for a secret mission on April 25 — and then hours later, a series of giant explosions ripped through a Russian military logistics hub approximately 90 miles inside Russia. This after US officials began leaking that they would no longer even pretend to recognize any distinction between “defensive” and “offensive” combat operations conducted by the Ukraine military — effectively acknowledging their willingness to provide both weaponry and real-time intelligence to launch attacks on Russia itself.

In the UK, the Armed Services Secretary, James Heappey, followed this up by declaring that it would be “entirely legitimate” for arms delivered by “Western countries” to be used for offensive strikes within Russian territory. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss then went further than even any US official when she declared that total “victory” in Ukraine must also include driving Russia out of Crimea, raising the stakes higher still.

With each passing week, both these countries adopt a more and more aggressive, bombastic war footing.

Meanwhile, the nice-seeming “Be Brave Like Ukraine” ads are covering major transportation centers. It doesn’t take much elaborate dot-connecting to apprehend that the ads are one facet of the larger PR campaign to draw the US, UK, and other governments further and further into the war. This campaign has been demonstrably effective. And the ad agency which facilitated the ads is choosing to conceal from the public basic details about their provenance — such as who even paid for them. Really makes you think.

May 2, 2022 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 3 Comments

Renault to sell Russian assets for one ruble

Samizdat | May 2, 2022

French carmaker Renault plans to sell its stake in Russia’s Avtovaz for a symbolic sum of 1 ruble, the Russian Trade Ministry announced on Wednesday.

Renault will transfer its 68% stake to the auto research institute NAMI Russia, known for designing the Aurus Senat, the country’s first luxury car, currently used by President Vladimir Putin. Renault apparently took the step as it lacks the ability to maintain its Russian operations.

The Trade Ministry also said Renault’s factory in Moscow, which produces cars under the Renault and Nissan brands, would be transferred to the city’s government.

Renault has declined to comment on the deal.

The trade ministry said the French carmaker will have the right to buy back its Avtovaz stake within five to six years, if the company wishes to return to the Russian market.

“But if during this period we make investments, then that will be taken into account when it comes to the cost [of the shares]. We won’t be giving any presents here,” Trade Minister Denis Manturov said, commenting on the move.

The deal comes as Western companies try to navigate the new economic realities. Western states have placed unprecedented sanctions on Russia over the past two months in retaliation for Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.

With many international companies under pressure to quit the Russian market, the Yale School of Management estimates that more than 750 firms are ending or scaling back their Russia operations.

Renault has until now been the most Russia-exposed Western carmaker. The company announced a suspension of operations at its Moscow plant last month, estimating the cost of the move at €2.2 billion ($2.3 billion).

May 2, 2022 Posted by | Economics | | 4 Comments

How Canada is ‘Cutting Costs’ by Euthanizing their Poor

By Mary Manley | Samizdat | May 2, 2022

Canada, one of the wealthiest nations in the world, is finding a new way to cut costs on disabled people by… euthanizing them?

In 2015 the case of Carter v Canada (Attorney General) prompted the Supreme Court to strike down a previous provision in the Criminal Code, thereby allowing Canadian adults the option of assisted suicide, or Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD).

That ruling then spiraled into a law known as Bill C-7, an all-encompassing euthanasia law passed in 2021 which threw out the requirement that those seeking assisted suicide need to have a terminal illness whose death was reasonably foreseeable.

Although Bill C-7 states that “Parliament affirms the inherent and equal value of every person’s life and the importance of taking a human rights-based approach to disability inclusion”, disability justice organizations and even the UN’s watchdog on disability opposed the new bill based on their belief that it would worsen discriminatory practices within the healthcare system.

More than 300 disability groups in Canada opposed Bill C-7, citing that the removal of the “reasonably foreseeable natural death” requirement would target disabled persons. Instead of being offered medical assistance or support, the Canadian government now has the option of doing away with any ill person that sucks up taxpayer money.

“Rather than funding and making life a possible and viable choice for many people, we’re entertaining this option of asking them if they would like to die, and it’s very scary,” said Spring Hawes, a former Invermere city councilor and the co-founder of Dignity Denied, in 2020.

“There is the danger that it might be considered a favor to offer someone dying when really that person just needs to have access to better care, better supports or the things they need to live well,” added Hawes who has a spinal cord injury and uses a wheelchair.

And what some could argue sounds like fear-mongering by a group of people who- in their very right have a legitimate reason to be afraid- is bolstered by horrifying stories told by disabled people which demonstrate abuse and neglect at the hands of their government.

In April of this year a 51 year-old Ontario woman with multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS) chose MAiD after two years of searching and failing to secure a bid for affordable housing free of cigarette smoke and chemical cleaners. “The government sees me as expendable trash, a complainer, useless and a pain in the a**,” she said in a video filmed on February 14, eight days before her assisted suicide.

One woman requested MAiD because she “simply [couldn’t] afford to keep on living”, after food banks became an inaccessible option. Another woman from Vancouver said she intended to use MAiD after COVID-19 left her with increased expenses and unmanageable pain. And in 2021, Chris Gladders chose to end his life via MAiD after experiencing “deplorable” living conditions at the retirement home called Greycliff Manor in Niagara Falls. When his family arrived to say goodbye to them they were horrified to find Chris in a room covered in urine and fecal matter.

“None of the floors were cleaned up or anything, you could see clearly where they changed his catheter bag,” said Shawn Gladders, Chris’s brother in January of 2021.

“There was urine on the floor, there were spots where there was feces on the floor… spots where your feet were just sticking. Like, if you stood at his bedside and when you went to walk away, your foot was literally stuck. It was very, very disturbing, for sure.”

Shawn said that on other occasions when he had visited his brother, Chris was taken outside of the room by a staff member, “I kick myself today, because I wish I would have walked in there before… I never would have left him there.” Shawn adds that Chris’ time at Greycliff Manor most likely contributed to his decision to end his own life.

In 2020, the Canadian government agreed to give a measly one-time payment of $600 to disabled persons who qualified, in response to the devastating economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. They estimated that just 1.67 million disabled persons would receive that assistance, compared to the 6 million disabled persons who live in Canada.

One disabled Canadian, who chose to remain anonymous, said that after asking her doctor to fill out a form for the credit he rejected her, saying, “You’re not disabled enough… You have to be sitting in the corner drooling to be able to get this.”

The fact is: the Canadian government has no interest in spending money on their disabled people. Instead, they see MAiD as a convenient option to cut costs on healthcare for persons with chronic conditions and other disabilities. Canada’s Parliamentary Budget Officer even published an exciting report on the savings assisted suicide would garner their taxpayers: MAiD before Bill C-7 generated a total saving of $86.9 million per year, and Bill C-7, the government was pleased to announced, would save an additional $62 million a year.

As if things couldn’t get any worse, Canada’s government appears to be fixed on including those with mental illnesses (such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and PTSD) to become eligible for assisted suicide, by as soon as next year. If that decision were to go through, Canada would become one of few nations allowing the use of MAiD in cases of mental illnesses.

May 2, 2022 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , | 1 Comment

pv magazine Insight on battery installation

Skip to 1:17:50

pv magazine Global | October 12, 2021

Experts discuss lithium battery storage installation.

Electric Bus In Paris Spontaneously Explodes

May 2, 2022 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Video | | Leave a comment