Aletho News


Obama: We have to “detoxify” the “scourge of disinformation and conspiracy theories and hate online”

By Tom Parker | Reclaim The Net | June 10, 2022

Former US President Barack Obama made a fresh push for online censorship during an appearance at the Copenhagen Democracy Summit by calling for crackdowns on content that he deems to be “disinformation,” “hate,” or a “conspiracy theory.”

Before Obama took the stage, 2022 Obama Foundation Leader Sarah-Josephine Hjorth hinted at what was to come by railing against “fake news and misinformation.”

“While the increase in use of smartphones and social media first came with the whisper of renewed democratic participation, fake news and misinformation dominate the digital landscape and result in an erosion of the fabric of truth and polarization,” Hjorth said.

Shortly after taking the stage, Obama continued this theme by invoking the January 6 Capitol riot and tying it to “misinformation and conspiracy theories.”

“In my own country, the forces that unleashed mob violence on our Capitol are still churning out misinformation and conspiracy theories,” Obama said.

Towards the end of his speech, Obama made a more direct call for censorship of content that’s branded as a conspiracy theory, disinformation, or hate.

“We have to take steps to detoxify our discourse,” the former President said. “Particularly the scourge of disinformation and conspiracy theories and hate online that has polluted our political discourse.”

Obama continued by demanding that technology companies “accept a certain degree of democratic oversight and accountability” and noting that he spoke at length about these issues during his April 21 speech at Stanford University.

In his Stanford speech, Obama called for “solving the disinformation problem,” welcomed social media censorship of “hate speech,” and said that content moderation “doesn’t go far enough.”

After finishing his speech, Obama invited three 2022 Obama Foundation leaders, Tudor Iulian Bradatan, Selvije Mustafi, and Federica Vinci, to the stage. He then complained about the increased amount of misinformation since he left office and the difficulty of “sorting between what’s true and what’s false, what’s journalism and what’s fabrication.”

Obama continued by claiming that the politicization of COVID issues, such as getting vaccinated or wearing masks, was “driven just by misinformation that was out there.”

“I’m wondering how…it’s [misinformation] affected you and whether you’ve seen some solutions to…help young people distinguish between what’s true and false in making decisions about how to participate and what to support?” Obama asked.

Mustafi, a national grassroots organizer at the biggest Roma movement in North Macedonia, said “there are big concerns also in our movement about how…false information and misinformation is spreading on the internet to influence decisions by some political actors or political sides.”

She added that the challenge of this kind of fake news and misinformation is that it makes people have a “different kind of opinion which is not necessarily relevant or truthful.”

Vinci, the Deputy Mayor of Isernia, Italy, described the spread of “false news” and “false noise” as “scary.”

Obama’s Copenhagen Democracy Summit and Stanford University speeches are some of the many pushes he’s made for rules that would chill online speech.

Earlier this year, the former President proposed “modifications” to online anonymity when people are “rude, obnoxious, cruel, or lie” and suggested that social media algorithms should be audited by federal inspectors to deal with misinformation.

And in previous years, Obama has called for social media regulations that curb “crazy lies and conspiracy theories” and pushed internet platforms to reduce the influence of hate groups.

June 10, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | 4 Comments

‘Boeing falls victim to anti-Russia sanctions’

Samizdat | June 10, 2022

Boeing’s decision to pause production of its popular 737 MAX plane may be due to sanctions imposed on Moscow, air safety expert Roman Gusarov told the newspaper Izvestia. Russia provides critical parts and components to the American aircraft maker.

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Boeing had to bring production of narrow-body jets to a halt for 10 days in May due to supply-chain snarls.

“Boeing’s dependence on Russian titanium is extremely high, amounting to about 30-40%, meaning that at least every third Boeing aircraft is assembled entirely from Russian titanium,” Gusarov said, adding that apart from titanium, which is vital to aircraft engineering, the company also imports titanium products from Russian producer VSMPO-AVISMA.

The analyst added that the US aircraft manufacturer previously received nearly finished parts that were produced at a jointly-run factory in the Russian town of Verkhnyaya Salda.

In March, Boeing suspended titanium purchases from Russia, saying that it had substantial inventory of the metal and could secure additional supplies from other sources. This decision was made after Russia was hit with severe sanctions by the US and its allies.

According to Gusarov, the temporary halt in production of the 737 MAX jets could be attributable not only to the suspension of Russian titanium deliveries but also to the global disruption of supply chains. The expert added that the annual global production of up to 600 planes typically involves engaging nearly all of the global manufacturing capacity of the relevant components.

“After all, Russia has also imposed indirect retaliatory sanctions that target supplies of nonferrous metals and products of gas-to-chemicals industry, which are widely used by microchip producers across the world,” Gusarov said, adding that the products for Boeing are made by thousands of global companies.

In March, Bloomberg reported that the ban of Russian aircraft from US airspace could also hit Boeing because the company used to contract giant Antonov An-124 cargo planes, operated by Russia’s Volga-Dnepr Group, to move supplies to its plants in the US.

June 10, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | | 1 Comment

Germany demands Serbia impose anti-Russian sanctions

Samizdat | June 10, 2022

Serbia must follow the EU lead in embargoing Russia and recognize its breakaway province of Kosovo as an independent state if it hopes to join the bloc some day, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Friday. At a press conference in Belgrade after his meeting with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Scholz also said that the anti-Russian sanctions won’t end once the fighting in Ukraine stops.

“It is important that many countries join the sanctions, because in addition to deliveries of weapons that is something that helps Ukraine defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Scholz said. “We expect all candidates for EU membership to join the sanctions as well.”

Brussels has so far adopted six “packages” of anti-Russian sanctions, with the most recent one including a phased ban on oil imports. These EU sanctions are “not something that will end when the hostilities are over,” Scholz said in Belgrade.

Instead, the German chancellor explained, Russia must accept it “cannot dictate the terms of peace” to Ukraine and guarantee Kiev’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, before the EU would consider lifting the embargo.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that the sanctions have backfired on the West, citing examples of inflation and shortages that US and EU governments are now trying to blame on Moscow. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen admitted on Friday the sanctions have made a “huge difference to food and energy prices,” amid record-setting inflation.

Vucic praised Serbia’s economic cooperation with Germany but reiterated that sanctioning Russia would be a difficult proposition for Belgrade. Earlier this week, he told Serbian television that the EU oil embargo has already cost $600 million in higher prices.

At the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos last month, Vucic said there was “no possibility” of anti-Russian sanctions at the moment and expressed pride that Serbia had been able to maintain its own, independent policy despite ongoing pressure.

On Friday, however, he said he “understood perfectly” Scholz’s demands, adding that “the chancellor will be notified of all our decisions going forward.”

Sanctioning Russia was not the only demand Scholz made to Belgrade, however. The German chancellor started his Balkans tour in Pristina, the capital of the breakaway Serbian province of Kosovo, which declared independence in 2008 with NATO backing.

“It is unimaginable for two countries that don’t recognize each other to become EU members,” Scholz said in a press conference with Kosovo prime minister Albin Kurti, which was widely interpreted to mean that Serbia must recognize the breakaway province before hoping to join the bloc.

“We first heard of this at the press conference in Pristina,” Vucic said later on Friday, adding that it came as a surprise, since until now the EU demanded “normalization” of relations, not recognition. He told reporters he had told Scholz that Serbia values its own integrity “as much as you value the integrity of Ukraine.”

“But Germany is powerful and we are small. It’s up to us to figure out how to deal with that.”

June 10, 2022 Posted by | Russophobia | , , | 1 Comment

Zelensky’s delay in opening sea corridor threatens the globe with hunger

By Paul Antonopoulos | June 10, 2022

Hundreds of Ukrainian mines floating in the Black Sea threaten to halt tens of millions of tons of grain from being exported. Ukrainian officials claim it would take six months to clear the mines, something which directly contradicts the long-held claim that Russia’s naval blockade is preventing the export of wheat.

Markiyan Dmytrasevych, an adviser to Ukraine’s Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food, said that regardless of any agreement with Russia, thousands of mines would remain floating around the port of Odessa, making the export of wheat difficult. According to Dmytrasevych, it will take until the end of the year to clear out all the mines, thus making a mockery of the months-long disinformation campaign that Russia was blockading Ukrainian wheat shipments and therefore responsible for any global food shortage.

Russia and Ukraine collectively supply about 40% of the wheat consumed in Africa, and due to the war and consequential anti-Russia sanctions, prices have already risen by about 23% across the continent. The two countries also account for about 33% of the world’s grain supply, and wheat prices have skyrocketed by a third since February 24.

To derail a global food crisis, Ukraine’s Black Sea coastline will have to be demined. However, demining efforts require specialized equipment to scour wide swaths of open water, something Kiev was fully aware of when it began mining the Black Sea.

NATO issued a warning on June 1, stating: “Drifting mines have been detected and deactivated in the Western Black Sea by coastal nation’s authorities. The latest statement of regional authorities, confirming another sighting of a mine, shows the threat of drifting mines in the Southwest part of the Black Sea still exists.”

Along with the obvious problem associated with traversing mine-laden waters, shipping insurance for vessels heading to the region has skyrocketed. “There is clearly a growing nervousness around the region in the insurance market, especially in relation to the Black Sea,” Marcus Baker at insurance broker and risk adviser Marsh told Reuters.

Ukraine President Volodomyr Zelensky told the Financial Times that while, in theory, he supports a maritime corridor, no Russian vessels should be allowed access. “On UN-led talks to restore access to Ukrainian Black Sea ports, Zelensky was willing to back the idea of a maritime corridor to enable grain exports from Ukrainian ports as long as no access was given to Russian ships,” the paper reported. “There was no need for a dialogue with Moscow to resolve the blockade given that the only threat to world food supplies was coming from Russia.”

However, despite Kiev now acknowledging that demining efforts could take up to six months, Zelensky is still attempting to blame Russia’s naval blockade as the reason why 75 million tons of grain could be stuck in Ukraine after the summer season.

Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš is also disingenuous to the situation, questioning to the Atlantic Council on June 8 whether “a US or French warship [should] go through the Bosphorus and dock in the port of Odesa?”. Of course, his suggestion completely omits that US and French warships would not only have to break the Russian blockade, but also traverse mined waters.

None-the-less, Ukraine is in a difficult position. As the country unrelentingly refuses to negotiate an end to the war with Russia on the open orders of Washington and London, Ukraine does not want to weaken its coastal defenses around Odessa. However, at the same time, it has been exposed that Ukraine’s Black Sea mines are responsible for halts in the export of wheat, and not Russia’s naval blockade as Western leaders, officials and media led to us to believe for months.

Despite offering a way out of the emerging food crisis by calling for the demining of the Black Sea and the creation of a maritime safe corridor, Ukraine Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko tweeted on Wednesday that the words of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov “are empty.”

“Ukraine has made its position on the seaports clear,” Nikolenko tweeted. “Military equipment is required to protect the coastline and a navy mission to patrol the export routes in the Black Sea. Russia cannot be allowed to use grain corridors to attack southern Ukraine.”

As Kiev stubbornly continues to carry out the demands of the US and UK, it appears that the establishment of a safe corridor for the export of grain from Ukraine will not emerge anytime soon, thus artificially creating a global food crisis that can be relatively easy to resolve, despite the inevitability of high wheat prices. Most disingenuously though is the continued portrayal that Ukraine is not responsible for the halt of exports, however, even this has been exposed to the point that Western media cannot ignore Kiev’s refusal to demine its coast.

Paul Antonopoulos is an independent geopolitical analyst.

June 10, 2022 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , | Leave a comment

On Ukraine, ‘progressive’ proxy warriors spell disaster

Urging leftists to support the Ukraine proxy war, Bernie Sanders aide Matt Duss whitewashes the US role, attacks The Grayzone, and advocates dangerous militarism.

By Aaron Maté | The Grayzone | June 7, 2022

The unanimous vote by progressive lawmakers for the $40 billion Ukraine funding bill has been followed by a near-unanimous refusal to defend it. To date, no member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus – with the sole exception of Cori Bush – has publicly explained why they chose to hand over billions of dollars to the weapons industry and intensify a proxy war against nuclear-armed Russia.

Amid this resounding silence, Matt Duss, a foreign policy adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders, has stepped in to fill the void. In a New Republic article titled “Why Ukraine Matters for the Left,” Duss attempts to convince fellow progressives that the “provision of military aid” to Ukraine “can advance a more just and humanitarian global order.” Duss has only praise for a Biden administration that, in his view, “should be applauded for its judicious reaction to the Ukraine crisis.” By contrast, Duss opts to launch an attack on dissident journalists, myself included, who don’t share his enthusiasm.

To make his case, Duss omits an abundance of inconvenient facts, betraying either considerable ignorance of the Ukraine-Russia conflict or a deliberate effort to distort it.

While apologia for US hegemonic projects is normal in DC foreign policy circles, Duss’ contribution is particularly noteworthy given his painstaking attempt to cast himself as an outsider. “Our political class,” Duss states, “advocates military violence with a regularity and ease that is psychopathic.” Duss’ comment is both accurate and wildly ironic, given his choice to advocate our political class’s military violence in Ukraine — with the remarkable ease that he identifies in others as psychopathic.

When it comes to how the Biden administration has handled the Ukraine crisis, Duss cannot identify a single fault. “The Biden team clearly did not seek this war,” Duss claims, and “in fact… made a strenuous, and very public, diplomatic effort to avert it.”

Duss does not explain what the administration’s “strenuous” diplomacy entailed, perhaps because even its top officials now openly admit that none existed.

In an interview with War on the Rocks, State Department counsellor Derek Chollet was asked if NATO expansion into Ukraine was “on the table” in pre-invasion contacts with Russia. “It wasn’t,” Chollet replied. The White House, Chollet explained, “made clear to the Russians that we were willing to talk to them on issues that we thought were genuine concerns they have that were legitimate in some way,” including “arms control.” (emphasis added) But when it comes to “the future of Ukraine” and its potential NATO membership, Chollet said, this was deemed a “non-issue.”

To Duss, the Biden administration’s (openly admitted) refusal to even discuss Russia’s core demands – and to only entertain issues that it deemed to be “legitimate” on Russia’s behalf – is apparently a “strenuous diplomatic effort.” If “diplomacy” amounts to enforcing US hegemony, as many in DC seem to believe, then Duss would have a case. But in the rest of the world, where diplomacy entails constructive dialogue with a semblance of parity, he does not.

Duss also takes aim at the argument, advanced by prominent leftists including former Brazilian President Lula da Silva, that a US-European pledge that Ukraine won’t join NATO “would have solved the problem” with Russia.

To refute Lula, Duss stresses that “in the weeks leading up to the war, U.S. allies, specifically German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron, signaled clearly” that Ukraine’s NATO ascension “was not going to happen.” According to Duss, it is Putin who sabotaged their efforts by invading, and who “has now made that discussion moot.”

Duss omits what also happened in the weeks leading up to the war. While Germany and France did indeed float a proposal to keep Ukraine out of NATO, it was Ukraine – with US backing – that rejected it. According to an account in the Wall Street Journal, Scholtz proposed to Volodymyr Zelensky on Feb. 19 – five days before Russia’s invasion — that Ukraine “renounce its NATO aspirations and declare neutrality as part of a wider European security deal,” signed by both Putin and Biden. But Zelensky rejected Schultz’s plan, a response that “left German officials worried that the chances of peace were fading.” In dismissing the Germans’ NATO proposal, Zelensky joined the Biden White House, as State’s Derek Chollet acknowledged and other Biden officials made clear in public.

Ignoring US-Ukrainian rejectionism, Duss then declares that “it seems absurd to suggest that even an ironclad public pledge from President Biden that Ukraine would never be accepted into NATO would have convinced Putin to draw back the 180,000 troops he had placed on Ukraine’s borders.” Perhaps, but that very public pledge happened to be the centerpiece of Germany’s last-minute diplomatic effort – one that Duss himself invoked, and that Zelensky (along with Biden) chose to reject.

Duss’ whitewashing of the Biden administration’s rejection of diplomacy before the Russian invasion carries over to the period since.

Since Russia’s invasion, Duss says, the White House has “acted with restraint and care not to get drawn into a wider war with Russia.” While it is true that Biden has opted not to start World War III – in other words, has opted not to trigger a global suicide pact — he has done anything but act with “restraint.” One day before Duss’ article was published, Biden authorized the delivery of medium-range advanced rocket systems to Ukraine. These rockets have the capacity to strike inside of Russia; the US is acting on Ukraine’s assurance that it won’t.

Duss may support undermining diplomacy in Ukraine and shipping off billions of dollars worth of heavy weaponry instead, but this can only be described as “restraint” if the sole measure is an immediate — rather than merely prospective — nuclear holocaust.

Duss is so impressed with Biden’s handling of the war that he cannot even detect a tangible path that could end it.  “As of this writing,” Duss declares, “I have seen no evidence of a settlement in the offing—as in, a deal that Putin would actually entertain, let alone accept—that we’re refusing to ‘push for.'”

If Duss cannot see evidence of a realistic settlement that Russia could accept, then he is being willfully blind. Russia’s explicit proposals, issued before the war and after, including two weeks into the invasion, called on Ukraine to “cease military action, change its constitution to enshrine neutrality, acknowledge Crimea as Russian territory, and recognise the separatist republics of Donetsk and Lugansk as independent states.”

It is worth noting that the latter is Russia’s only new condition: for the eight years before the February invasion, Russia formally accepted the Minsk accords, which, to end the Donbas war, would have kept the Donetsk and Lugansk regions inside Ukraine’s borders, with limited autonomy.

Duss is free to argue that Russia’s terms for ending the war are unacceptable. But to pretend that Russia has not even laid out those terms, is to essentially advocate that the war never end.

By omitting Russia’s stated terms for a settlement, Duss also allows himself to erase one of the invasion’s key causes: the 2014 Maidan coup, and the ensuing eight-year Donbas war that had left more than 14,000 people dead by the time Russian forces crossed the border on February 24th.

In his 2500+ word piece, Duss makes no mention of the Donbas war and how it began: the 2014 ouster of a democratically elected Ukrainian president, with new leadership selected by Washington; the coup government’s assault on Ukraine’s ethnic Russian and anti-coup citizens, who launched a rebellion in the Donbas; the critical role of fascists and neo-Nazis in the Maidan coup and the Donbas war since; the fascist-led sabotage of the 2015 Minsk accords, which could have put an end to the conflict. By omitting this history, Duss can also omit how the US has helped undermine the Minsk agreements by siding with Ukrainian’s far-right and choosing to use the Donbas war to “fight Russia over there” (Adam Schiff) and “make Russia pay a heavier price,” (John McCain), because Ukraine’s “fight is our fight.” (Lindsey Graham).

After ignoring Russia’s stated grounds for a peace settlement, Duss goes on to disingenuously claim that the Ukrainian government has been pushing for one.

“Ukraine presented Russia with a far-reaching set of proposals over a month ago, including a commitment to ‘permanent neutrality,’” Duss claims. “Volodomyr Zelenskiy continues to offer to negotiate directly with Putin to end the war.”

It is true that Ukraine presented Russia with a 10-point plan in late March. But Duss omits what happened immediately after: while Russia “signaled its preliminary support,” (RAND analyst Samuel Charap) Ukraine’s Western backers sabotaged it, and Zelensky acquiesced. In early April, Ukrainian and Russian officials were finalizing details for a Zelensky-Putin summit. But UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson traveled to Kiev and ordered him to halt diplomacy. Citing sources close to Zelensky, Ukrayinska Pravda reports that Johnson informed his Ukrainian counterpart that Putin “should be pressured, not negotiated with.” Johnson also relayed that even if Russia and Ukraine chose to sign security guarantees, the UK and its allies would not take part – rendering any such agreement worthless.

Zelensky clearly received the message, as Duss’s own source makes clear. When Duss claims that Zelensky “continues to offer to negotiate directly with Putin to end the war,” he links to a Reuters article that reveals such an “offer” to be hollow. Zelensky, Reuters reports, said he would only negotiate with Putin if Russia first withdrew entirely from Ukraine – an obvious non-starter. “Get out of this territory that you have occupied since February 24,” Zelensky said. “This is the first clear step to talking about anything.” Zelensky also “ruled out suggestions… that Ukraine should make concessions for the sake of securing a peace agreement that would allow Putin to save face.”

Thus, returning to Duss’ rendering, Zelensky’s “far-reaching proposals” were immediately rescinded under Western orders, and Zelensky’s “offer to negotiate” was premised on a condition that would have made negotiations impossible.

None of this is to suggest that Russia was justified in launching an invasion of Ukraine. To defend the use of force, which has been so catastrophic, Russia has to meet a high burden of evidence that, in my view, it has not. But one does not need to defend Russia’s invasion to see through Duss’ attempt to whitewash the US role in provoking and prolonging it.

Tellingly, Duss is openly hostile to journalists who have reported on the context that he has omitted. Out of nowhere, Duss introduces an attack on The Grayzone, the Max Blumenthal-founded news outlet that I work for. While Duss has nothing but praise for Biden, he has nothing but ad hominems for us (“pernicious authoritarian agitprop,” “atrocity-denying grifters” “click-baiting provocateurs”). After sharing this vitriol, he then immediately declares that engaging with us is “wasting time.”

I feel the same way about his juvenile name-calling, but interested readers can judge for themselves whether his insults are supported by facts. (He links to two “sources,” one a Medium blog post that, true to the neo-McCarthyite norm, peddles innuendo that The Grayzone is funded by Russia, among other smears).

If Duss is genuinely concerned about wasting time, he also might reflect on why he devotes ample space to paying lip service to progressive principles, only to ultimately endorse policies that flagrantly violate them. “Centering opposition to U.S. imperialism and militarism is an entirely appropriate starting point,” Duss states. Yet Duss’ desired end point would see leftists center U.S. imperialism and militarism, with disastrous results: among them, prolonging a proxy war against a nuclear armed power, threatening a worsening global food crisis, and sentencing more Ukrainians to death.

Even putting aside US complicity in the Ukraine proxy war and its dangers for the planet, progressives like Duss might wish to consider the likely political consequences. One obvious guide is the election of 2016, when Donald Trump won over a significant portion of voters by claiming to oppose the military interventionism that Duss is now urging progressives to embrace. Having seemingly learned nothing from 2016, Democrats in 2022 are again ceding anti-war sentiment to Republicans, 68 of whom voted against the $40 billion Ukraine bill in the House and Senate (versus zero Democrats).

As at least some Republicans vote against the proxy war, Biden has defended the domestic pain caused by his Ukraine proxy war by blaming “Putin’s Price Hike” and trying to argue that “defending freedom is going to cost.” Biden’s defense of “freedom” in Ukraine is now costing him a transatlantic flight to grovel at the feet of the Saudi autocracy, in the hopes of staving off a humiliating cost in the November midterms.

Continuing his mealy mouthed approach, Duss both claims to support diplomacy while simultaneously declaring it to be unattainable. The US, he says, “should certainly be actively engaged in finding a diplomatic path to end the war, and avoid committing to maximalist aims that could foreclose one.” But yet, according to Duss, “for the moment that path is unclear.”

If the path toward peace for Ukraine is unclear to Duss, then that can only be because he has chosen to erase the factual background and the diplomatic solutions on offer, thereby reinforcing the “maximalist aims” that he claims to oppose. Duss’s proxy war apologia will certainly win him a warm reception in establishment DC circles. For the US progressive movement, Ukraine, and the rest of the planet, it only spells disaster.

June 10, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite, Russophobia | , , , | 1 Comment

France investigating nuclear ‘cover-ups’

Samizdat | June 10, 2022

The French government is investigating whistleblower allegations that a state-run utility agency attempted to conceal safety issues at a nuclear power plant. Prosecutors confirm they are following up on complaints filed late last year.

Officials in Marseille launched an investigation into the alleged safety problems last month after an anonymous whistleblower said conditions at the Tricastin nuclear plant in southern France were “endangering the lives of others,” French newspaper Le Monde reported on Wednesday.

An engineer at the facility, the whistleblower also accused officials at the plant of “harassment,” as well as “violations of the criminal code, the environmental code, the labor code and the regulations relating to nuclear installations.” Though incidents continued – including a mysterious power surge at one reactor in 2017 and a flood at the same station one year later – no action was taken.

The largely state-run firm which operates the plant, Electricite de France (EDF), confirmed the ongoing investigation to the Wall Street Journal, saying the probe would help to “shed all necessary light on the alleged facts and thereby show the truth.”

Speaking to Reuters on Thursday, a lawyer for the whistleblower, William Bourdon, said the complaint was initially filed in November, but noted that the subsequent investigation does not target EDF directly. Instead, a probe “against X” has been launched, allowing prosecutors to look into the actions of multiple different parties.

The new investigation marks another blow for the French utility, which has recently taken half of the country’s nuclear reactors offline due to scheduled maintenance and refueling, and even outages caused by corrosion and damage. The spate of shutdowns coincided with soaring energy prices across Europe and elsewhere, driven in part by the conflict in Ukraine, as well as Western sanctions on Russian gas and oil exports.

The cost of inspecting and repairing the French nuclear plants could exceed €4.5 billion ($4.8 billion), according to recent EDF estimates, well beyond previous expectations. France derives around 70% of its electricity from nuclear power, and has seen a jump in prices throughout 2022.

Prior to the whistleblower filing, the Tricastin nuclear site had encountered some safety issues, including two separate uranium leaks within a matter of days in July 2008 which contaminated 100 employees at the plant and led to a ban on using local water for drinking, swimming, and agriculture.

June 10, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Nuclear Power | , | Leave a comment

Wired retracts statement accusing Substack of “paying extremists”

Substack supports “open debate,” not censorship.

By Christina Maas | Reclaim The Net | June 10, 2022

In one of its recent articles attacking Substack, which has a relatively open free speech policy, Wired falsely claimed that the newsletter platform “actively recruits and pays extremists.”

The tech outlet was forced to retract the statement after Substack’s head of communications Lulu Cheng Meservey, who has done a good job in speaking out in support of free speech, took to Twitter to expose how Wired did not provide evidence and refused to provide evidence of their claims even after Substack pointed that out to the outlet privately.

“We do not and have not, and he can’t name any examples,” Meservey wrote in one of the tweets. “Yet when approached about it, he said: ‘I’d be happy to remove it if you could provide evidence that it’s inaccurate.’”

Meservey rightly pointed out that is not how journalism works.

“It’s not journalism to make an unfounded claim and demand contrary “evidence” to remove it. It borders on extortion: we will defame you unless you give us what we want,” she wrote.

She likened what Wired did to a news outlet accusing you of laundering money “and when you protest, they refuse to issue a correction unless you give them your financial statements,” adding that the “burden of proof is on the journalist, not the subject.”

Meservey went on to note that not only was evidence not provided, the writer did not make an attempt to show any of the allegedly recruited people were extremists.

The false claim was retracted but it is a testament to the recent smear campaign against Substack. The newsletter platform allows journalists, writers, and other content creators to make money, as it is subscription-based, meaning creators can avoid having to rely on invasive advertising practices.

June 10, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | Leave a comment

Where’s the Emergency? 18 Congress Members Demand Answers as FDA Set to Approve COVID Shots for Kids Under 5

The Defender | June 8, 2022

Members of Congress today demanded answers from Dr. Robert M. Califf, commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as the agency reviews Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for COVID-19 shots in children age 5 and under.

The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) is meeting on four separate occasions in June to discuss additional EUAs that would provide cradle-to-grave COVID-19 shots — and to consider a “Future Framework” that will permanently lower the bar for safety and efficacy, according to Toby Rogers, Ph.D.

letter signed by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Rep. Bill Posey (R-Fla.) and 16 other members of Congress today asked Commissioner Califf 19 questions about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines for young children.

The questions focused on the youngest children (6 months to 5 years) due to the Congress members’ concerns about what they called the FDA’s “one-size-fits-all” approach to the vaccines.

“The data show that the risks of serious adverse outcomes for COVID for children five and under is very low and as such the standard for evaluating EUA interventions must be very high,” the letter states.

“We believe it is prudent and necessary that the FDA provide answers to a number of questions before approving EUA vaccines for children under age 5, including more than 70% of whom are already seropositive for COVID-19.”

The VRBPAC meetings began Tuesday. The meeting schedule is:

  • June 7 — EUA for Novavax’s COVID-19 shot for adults.
  • June 14 — Amendment to Moderna’s EUA to include primary series to children and adolescents 6 through 17 years of age.
  • June 15 — Amendment to Moderna’s EUA to include primary series for children 6 months to 5 years and amendment to Pfizer’s EUA to include the primary series to children 6 months through 4 years of age.
  • June 28 — Proposed “Future Framework” for COVID-19 shots.

The Congress members’ letter presses the FDA to address unanswered questions regarding the risks and benefits of administering COVID-19 vaccines to children.

They ask the FDA to explain, among many other things:

  • What the cardiac risk factor is for children who receive EUA COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Why the FDA recently lowered the efficacy bar for COVID-19 vaccines for the youngest children.
  • When the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will provide the public with more details on children’s serious adverse outcomes from COVID-19 infections.
  • If it is possible that administering the vaccines in young children could predispose them to increased risk from future novel COVID-19 variants.
  • How many children ages 5 and under with and without pre-existing medical conditions have died from COVID-19 or its variants.

Finally, the letter asks Commissioner Califf to “please list the medical emergencies [among] children 0 to 4 years old that enables the FDA to approve the COVID vaccine for children using its EUA.”

Children’s Health Defense calls for action

Mary Holland, Children’s Health Defense (CHD) president and general counsel, called the FDA’s Future Framework proposal “quite possibly the worst idea in the history of public health.”

Children under 18 with no comorbidities have virtually no risk of death from COVID-19, according to a November 2021 study published in Nature.

A July 2021 preprint paper found children have a 99.995% recovery rate, and the vast majority of children have minimal symptoms.

The Nature study described how children between 3 and 11 years of age mount effective, robust and sustained immune responses to COVID-19.

The CDC’s own data show that at least 75.2% of children ages 0 to 11 and 74.2% of adolescents ages 12 to 17 already have superior natural immunity.

There is no clinically significant health benefit from the mRNA vaccines, according to Moderna. Reporting on its ​​Phase 2/3 KidCOVE study, the company said, “the absence of any severe disease, hospitalization or death in the study precludes the assessment of vaccine efficacy against these endpoints.”

Preliminary data showed the shots were only about 44% effective at preventing symptomatic infection in children 6 months to 2 years old, and 37% effective in children ages 2 to 5 — both below the 50% level that regulators generally called the minimum level for EUA approval in 2020.

In New York, officials observed that Pfizer’s efficacy against Omicron plummeted from 68% to 12% after 7 weeks in children ages 5 to 11.

“These shots are dangerous and carry very real risks,” Holland said.

Studies show vaccinated children face a substantial risk of myocarditis. Moderna’s EUA application, originally filed in June 2021, has already been held up because of a clear safety signal for myocarditis, which prompted a number of European countries to prohibit its use in young people.

Additionally, the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System or VAERS has more than 48,500 reports of adverse events in children, including 112 deaths (as of May 27), and a growing number of reports of encephalopathies, clotting issues, diabetes and neurological problems in children following COVID-19 shots.

© 2022 Children’s Health Defense, Inc. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of Children’s Health Defense, Inc. Want to learn more from Children’s Health Defense? Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. Your donation will help to support us in our efforts.

June 10, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Shanghai lockdowns increase market for invasive medical surveillance tech

By Will Henney | Reclaim The Net | June 10, 2022

The South China Morning Post interviewed experts who believe there could now be a big market for facial recognition cameras to “detect signs of COVID-19.”

The news outlet cited a report by Everbright Securities that claimed that about 2 million devices for detecting infection and confirming vaccination and test results could be put in public venues like entertainment venues, hospitals, office buildings and shopping centers.

Everbright estimated that the market to be about 50 billion yuan ($7.5), with market leaders like Hikvision and SenseTime expected to leverage the opportunities. Another player in the surveillance market, Telpo, already makes facial recognition technology that can check the temperatures of multiple people.

The paper quoted Wang Feng, a financial services expert, saying: “The market potential here cannot be matched anywhere else in the world, because these smart devices will be widely used in big cities to meet stringent virus control rules. Operators of shopping malls and cinemas will buy the machines to improve efficiency of their verification processes.”

The facial biometrics device would, in theory, check test results, vaccination status, and recent movements before allowing someone to enter a certain venue. Everbright said that each device would cost between 2,000 and 10,000 yuan ($300 to $1,500).

June 10, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | Leave a comment

Covid Passes – and coercion – are here to stay

By Niall McCrae | TCW Defending Freedom | June 10, 2022

So the Covid Pass was not just for Christmas. Despite all the rhetoric of ‘living with Covid’, the Civil Service seeks two deputy directors for further development of this digital health certification (one a ‘delivery lead’, the other a ‘service management’ role). Seemingly a coronavirus outbreak is being exploited to usher in technocratic surveillance whereby the state will know our every movement. And given the excuse of another pandemic, or perhaps a climate-related emergency, such movement will be readily curtailed.

Looking back, we can see how society was primed by the authorities and mainstream media for the language of a ‘new normal’. The term ‘lockdown’, first used in a US prison setting, began to appear in British newspapers several years ago, typically in hyperbolic Daily Express reports of an incident in a railway station or department store. Was this predictive priming? Soon after Covid-19 emerged, the media were warning of ‘Long Covid’. As we now know, mRNA vaccines were already patented, and perhaps this syndrome was a prepared disguise for the likely litany of vaccine injuries; every symptom under the sun was included.

‘Long Covid’, though, may have a different and darker meaning. The Covid-19 regime has set a precedent, and draconian infection controls could be reinstated at any time. Anyone who thinks Covid-19 is over is very naïve. In places as diverse as Portugal, Finland, North Korea and New York the disease has returned to the headlines, with summer surges feared owing to holidaying, festivals and other socialising (otherwise known as fun). The virus will never officially disappear, and a largely compliant public will accept public health controls while dissidents will be forced to comply or suffer the consequences.

Vaccine passports, like Covid, are ready to pounce again. They were introduced in a limited way in England, while the devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland went much further. Nicola Sturgeon, a leader who basked in the glow of ‘saving Scots’ lives’, imposed restrictions long before and after the allegedly reckless rulers in Westminster.

It was as recently as January this year that the Scottish government expanded the use of vaccine passports. Adults needed to show proof of being fully vaccinated (less than four months since last jab) or a negative test before admission to nightclubs, unseated indoor events with more than 500 people, unseated outdoor events with over 4,000, and any event with more than 10,000 in attendance.

Many commentators believed that the SNP was using Covid-19 as a wedge in its independence drive, but the Labour assembly in Wales was just as extreme. In January Big Brother Watch launched a judicial review against Welsh ministers for its vaccine passport regime. Lawyer Shirin Marker of Bindmans LLP said: ‘In maintaining the Covid Pass Scheme, the Welsh government is exercising an unprecedented level of control over the rights and freedoms of the public. In these circumstances, it is essential that the Welsh government is transparent about what evidence they have relied upon to impose the scheme. Unfortunately, to date, such evidence has not been forthcoming.

I suspect that decisions were made at UK level to use the Celtic fringes to test the water. Whereas the Scots and Welsh were manipulated by national consciousness, the awkward English have too many Samuel Bamfords against the establishment. And another Peterloo could turn the tide.  Remember the poll tax riots, after the policy was introduced in Scotland with little resistance.

While he was still fooling us with Churchillian rhetoric, Boris Johnson repeatedly expressed his opposition to identity cards, an authoritarian creep of Tony Blair’s government. In the Daily Telegraph in 2004 he wrote: ‘There is the loss of liberty, and the creepy reality that the state will use these cards – doubtless with the best possible intentions – to store all manner of detail about us, our habits, what benefits we may claim, and so on.’

Yet as Prime Minister throughout the Covid-19 debacle, Johnson has keenly promoted the ‘build back better’ agenda espoused by the World Economic Forum. He agrees with WEF leader Klaus Schwab that we cannot return to the ‘old’ normal. While the British people feel they have left Covid-19 behind, at least for now, Johnson’s administration is spending public money to advance the Covid Pass. He will know of plans on a global scale, about which we can merely speculate. The enthusiasm of ministers for a new pandemic treaty, which would override national democracy, shows that we remain in the ratchet. What was Michael Gove doing at the recent Bilderberg meeting in Washington?

The blurb in the job advertisement states that the Department of Health and Social Care, which is administering the Covid Pass, is ‘central to the government’s response to Covid-19, the biggest challenge the country has faced in a lifetime’. Really? If there had been no constant barrage of sensational media messages in the last two years we would have carried on our lives regardless. Many of us know more victims of vaccine injury than of the virus itself.

Referring to the Prime Minister’s ‘Living with Covid’ strategy, the advert notes that ‘the NHS Covid Pass will be required at events and for international travel for the foreseeable future’. Living with Covid means never letting Covid go. And it is obviously not only about health, as this boast indicates: ‘Covid Pass is an award-winning DHSC programme undertaking a complex transition while continuing to deliver a vital citizen service in a changing health landscape.’

Digital surveillance here we come. But is it even more than that? Why are governments around the world so determined to inject us with repeated vaccines against a mostly mild and unremarkable respiratory virus? Are we being genetically engineered, and for what purpose? I can’t answer that, but clearly more jabbing is planned. In some countries the vaccine passport had slots for eight or ten doses, like a coffee loyalty card. Vast sums have been spent on stocks of Pfizer and Moderna vials.

I wonder how the interview panel would answer if applicants ask how many jabs they would be expected to take. Or is this post at a level high enough for vaccine immunity? For the plebs, however, Covid will be very long indeed.

June 10, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | , , , | Leave a comment

Do vaccine rollouts correlate to disabled americans?

el gato malo – bad cattitude – june 10, 2022

i have long been friends with ben. he’s done a lot of great work, runs a fantastic site on US all cause mortality, and has broken open a number of important issues around covid.

this may be another.

and it was not up for an hour before twitter not only marked the tweet as disinformation and locked ben out of his account all for asking a simple question that pretty much leaps out of this data.

the data comes from the FRED tool run by the st louis federal reserve bank. they are a well respected and high quality government run data source.

hard to see the problem with the data.

clearly, their issue is with the conclusion.

and, well, streisand effect and all, well, it caught my attention because naughty kitties love reading banned books.

correlation does not and cannot prove causality, but it can sure give us some strong hints, especially when we already know how off the charts the adverse event rate from these vaccines have been.

and boy is this timing provocative…

so, being the kind of gato to want to play with the data myself, i downloaded the set and graphed it.

as can be seen, this series was very stable for the prior 5 years. the dotted red line is the average value from 6/16 to 2/20, right before covid starting having effect.

this data comes from the current household survey. the drop for covid is likely a drop in survey response but as can be seen, it rapidly normalized.

then covid vaccination started.

the first callout is when vaccinated reached 1%.

the second is when boosters reached 1%.

i chose this convention because each has a sort of long tail at a very low level leading in but rose rapidly after reaching 1% so it seemed like the best inflection point for maximum relevance.

as can be seen, the timing is highly suggestive.

and it makes sense.

seeing this:

without a rise in disability reports would be surprising. we see 14k permanently disabled in VAERS. and we see a rise in the disabled rolls of 1.8 million. that’s pretty close to the 1-2% capture rate (more like 1%, but also likely capturing other categories as well, so hard to be precise) for reporting we’ve seen around other VAERS issues (besides death which seems to get better counted)

so it feels like we’re in a ballpark here.

and it does not look like “long covid” because the original covid strains were more severe and yet we saw no evidence of this disability spike pre-vaccines.

we can zoom in and really see the issue. data used is fred and owid. obviously, there is some chart crime here with the scaling, but the overall relationship is remarkable. this is basically what ben plotted.

the second sharp upleg in october also interested me so i checked it against this:

it’s easy to take up trending series and lay their scales so they look correlated. the real test is bi-directionality. and this looks to be most damning of all. i took % vaxxed each month and subtracted the prior month to get “% of population vaxxed in month.” this should give us a sense of the people at risk of vaccine complications at any given time. to this i added the same treatment to the booster series to get a total % of population getting a vaccine each month.

i then plotted this series against disability.

  • the vaccination series started to get steep in feb 21. disability got steep in april 21.
  • vaccination peaked in may. disability peaked in june.
  • vaccination started to rise again after august.
  • disability began to rise again after october.
  • then vaxx dropped off after jan 2022 and disability flattened out in mar 2022.

2 month lag, 1 month lag, 2 month lag, 2 month lag. 4 separate inflections all tracked in near identical and highly plausible timeframes for vaccine injury. we’re starting to get past “suggestive” here.

this zigs, zags, then zigs again, then zags again all as predicted if it were causal and all with the sort of lag you’d associate with reporting, 1-2 months. (all 2 mo save may-jun 21)

the disability series can be a little noisy month to month, but the big trends are all there.

based on what we know about side effects this looks to be an odds on hypothesis at this point. i can see no better fit to the data.

anyone seeing flaws here? what are we missing? is there another explanation?

“the vaccines just put 1.8 million americans into disability” is a big claim.

i want to stress, this is still a hypothesis and this is my first run through with this data so i want to let people chew on it and see what else emerges before making claims that are too strong.

but this is also REALLY provocative and unless i have really missed something, warrants research and explication, not censorship.

please spread the word and let’s get some eyes on this.

June 10, 2022 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | Leave a comment

US government admits participation in Ukrainian biolabs

By Lucas Leiroz | June 10, 2022

In a recent statement, US government officials finally admitted that the country helped to build and maintain biolaboratories on Ukrainian soil over the last two decades. The declaration comes from the Pentagon, which reinforces the military importance of the program of biolabs abroad. However, US officials still insist on the evidently fallacious narrative that the laboratories were intended for “peaceful” use.

In an online statement on Thursday, June 9, US Defense Department’s representatives said that Washington has been involved in the activities of 46 biolabs within Ukrainian territory, whose objectives, according to them, would be to act cooperatively with local experts in order to improve Ukraine’s biological safety and human and animal health.

“The United States has also worked collaboratively to improve Ukraine’s biological safety, security, and disease surveillance for both human and animal health, providing support to 46 peaceful Ukrainian laboratories, health facilities, and disease diagnostic sites over the last two decades (…) “This work, often conducted in partnership with outside organizations, such as the WHO and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), has resulted in safer and more effective disease surveillance and detection (…) Ukrainian scientists have acted consistent with international best practices and norms in publishing research results, partnering with international colleagues and multilateral organizations, and widely distributing their research and public health findings”, Pentagon’s spokespersons said.

The representatives also emphasized that there was no research being carried out in Ukraine involving the use of nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons. In this sense, the use of the biolabs would be restricted to activities related to the search for peaceful medical knowledge and without any military purpose, which seems contradictory, considering that there were US military personnel operating in these facilities, such as in all US biolaboratories in other countries.

In fact, if the function of the biolabs really existed only in a non-military way, the units could be managed by civilian institutions of the US government, instead of having the active participation of the armed forces and intelligence agencies. Furthermore, in this case, the American health authorities would be the ones called upon by the government to provide public clarification on the case, not the Pentagon. In the current conjuncture, the American authorities seem to contradict themselves successively, unable to hide the obvious truth that the country was producing biomedical research of a military nature in Ukraine.

In addition, the security policy surrounding the research carried out there raises suspicions about its possible peaceful use. Although in the statement it is claimed that the US acted in partnership with Ukrainian and international organizations, there was no publicity of data on the results of research in these units. In fact, the very existence of the laboratories had previously been denied by some American authorities – although some specific people, such as the Undersecretary Victoria Nuland, have also admitted, showing how there are continuous contradictory statements by the US government.

It seems that in the current situation, after Russia has exposed so much data about the clandestine activities of such labs and their supporters, there is no longer any way Washington can deny the existence of the activities, so it tries to maintain damage control through a “partial confession”, admitting the existence but denying the use for production of biological weapons.

Furthermore, even if we consider all the Pentagon’s statements true, many questions will remain unanswered. The sources of funding for the laboratories, according to data presented by the Russians, involved a wide network of private agents, including Big Pharma companies, such as Pfizer and Moderna, and Hunter Biden himself, son of the US president, known worldwide for carrying out illegal activities in Ukraine. None of this has been clarified by the Pentagon or any other American authority so far.

In addition, by not answering about private funding sources, the US government raises even more suspicions on the possible biological weapons research. It is true that there was American public money applied in the operations of the biolabs, but Russia denounces the existence of private investments that have not been recognized by the US so far. This means that there were at least two sources of funding for such activities. One of these sources was the US government itself, which supposedly financed peaceful biomedical research, while the other source, which involves pharmaceutical companies and corrupt agents, remains unofficial and, consequently, without clear purposes. Certainly, it was the private source that financed illegal research with bioweapons, which could not be included in official US state accounting documents. There are many questions Washington has yet to answer.

Lucas Leiroz is a researcher in Social Sciences at the Rural Federal University of Rio de Janeiro; geopolitical consultant.

June 10, 2022 Posted by | Deception, War Crimes | , | 1 Comment