Aletho News


When will Covid reporting start to tell the truth?

By Guy Hatchard | TCW Defending Freedom | September 9, 2022

The writer is in New Zealand.

TWO and a half years into the Covid saga, the public is still faced with an information blackout. The data is very concerning indeed, but no one in parliament or the MSM wants to get in front of it. Instead many are still stuck stoking the fear factor.  As Professor Vinay Prasad, an American haematologist-oncologist and health researcher, wrote a few days ago: ‘Legitimising irrational anxiety is bad medicine’.

Early on in our efforts to publicise the dangers of biotechnology medicine, I had an email exchange with Jesse Mulligan, a popular commentator with RNZ Afternoons. His perspective on Covid vaccination was as follows.

December 6, 2021: ‘I feel like anybody aiming to critique such an obviously positive public health measure should begin and end their messaging reminding people that any risks/flaws in the vaccine are minor compared to the horrific impacts of getting Covid . . . I don’t have the time to correspond with you on this at length but, for what it’s worth, if you’re putting people off getting a largely safe vaccine by what you’re writing about it, I think you need to review how you approach writing these messages.’

Mulligan quoted from Ministry of Health directives and had also read some questioning scientific articles, but he could not get past the conclusion that vaccination was an obvious public good and for this reason he declined to have me on his show.

The ‘obvious public good’ narrative has come in for some recent criticism. The BMJ printed an opinion piece in July entitled Time to assume that health research is fraudulent until proven otherwise? Or try this referenced substack article which reports that the negative harm/benefit ratio in the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine trials has been acknowledged in a scientific journal article. In other words there is more harm than benefit.

For me, the central early point of pandemic misinformation has been the underlying assumption that biotech medicine interventions could be safe. There really was little or no evidence to justify such an attitude, in fact, as I have discussed, there was a great deal of published pre-pandemic evidence to justify caution.

Given the central role of DNA in human physiology, altering its function was from the outset potentially catastrophic. We are now facing Covid vaccine outcomes which not only involve serious individual adverse effects, but also potentially affect whole populations into the longer term. These outcomes include:

·         Elevated excess all-cause death rates and lowered longevity

·         Lowered birth rates and fertility

The evidence for these is patchy because governments are not rushing to publish data, but it is still very convincing. So concerning in fact, that the Israeli government has covered up key data and scientific conclusions.

The latest comprehensive evidence for Covid vaccine-induced excess all-cause mortality can be found in this analysis: Excess mortality in Germany 2020-2022.

It is extraordinary that this perilous new normal has found its way into advertising messages, but not into serious commentary. Today I watched a TV ad for a funeral home which arranges alternative and appropriate funerals for those dying young, whilst a British Heart Foundation appeal featured a young woman collapsing on the football field. It did so to encourage donations.

Sudden deaths among all ages are being normalised in the public’s mind because they really are happening at a rate that dwarfs the past, as insurance data confirms. However here in New Zealand we are still being subjected to puerile government advertising devoid of scientific caution. Like this Ministry of Health promotion which turned up this morning:

GET YOUR SECOND BOOSTER – I’ve had three shots, do I really need another booster? Current evidence shows your protection against severe infection slowly decreases over time – GET YOUR SECOND BOOSTER

No mention of safety, no mention of efficacy, and the term ‘current evidence’ used as if this advert is scientifically up to date and reliable. It isn’t.

Why is it so unfashionable to be concerned about rising death rates and lowered birth rates? You might find a clue in this frightening pre-pandemic article from the government-owned Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Medically assisted deaths could save millions in health care spending: Report. Are higher death rates good news for people with this kind of perspective? We hope not.

We are clearly on a learning curve here. The poor vaccination outcomes were not anticipated, the adverse effects were initially disbelieved on principle and blamed on misinformation.

It is understandable that in the uncertain early days of Covid, people [trusted] the official MoH narrative, but continuing to do so now doesn’t fit the published scientific narrative or the public data. Caution was and is a very scientific strategy, it never deserved bad press.

Those offering advice to the public need to be more discerning if they wish to contribute to the well being and longevity of our society. MSM language has become extreme, and it is increasingly polarising without foundation in science.

There is still a chance for journalists to cover the pandemic with an open mind. It is happening elsewhere. GB News for example has gained one of the largest prime-time news audiences in the UK. Why not initiate a more open public debate? Cooling rhetoric and decreasing polarisation can only lead to better outcomes. Fresh air never harms anyone – it can save lives.

September 10, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | | Leave a comment

Wisconsin Healthcare Workers Who Had Religious, Medical Exemptions Must Get Novavax COVID Shot or Lose Job

By Suzanne Burdick, Ph.D. | The Defender | September 9, 2022

A Wisconsin hospital this week said it is withdrawing medical and religious exemptions for some employees from the hospital’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, giving those employees until Sept. 21 to get the Novavax vaccine.

Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, which operates 11 hospitals and more than 45 health centers and clinics throughout the midwest and employs more than 2,000 physicians, in an email said the Novavax vaccine option “eliminates conflicts” for those who originally declined COVID-19 vaccination for religious or medical reasons.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in July granted Emergency Use Authorization of the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine for adults ages 18 and up. While the prior COVID-19 vaccines made by PfizerModerna and Johnson & Johnson used fetal cell lines from unborn fetuses in various stages of development and testing, the Novavax vaccine is made differently and does not use human fetal cell lines.

Froedtert employees who don’t get the first Novavax dose by Sept. 21 will be terminated as Froedtert will consider them to have “voluntarily resigned,” the company said.

The hospital said in a statement:

“Froedtert Health requires staff and providers be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a federal requirement that is monitored for compliance. We join many other health systems around southeast Wisconsin and the U.S. that have made vaccination a condition of employment.

“The Novavax vaccination for COVID-19 is now available. This protein-based vaccination option eliminates conflicts for those staff with religious or medical exemptions caused by mRNA-based vaccines and other concerns.

“Since those staff are now eligible for a vaccination that does not conflict with their religious beliefs or medical situation, their exemption will expire. This affects a small percentage of staff with a vaccine exemption. Eligible staff continue to be exempt from a COVID-19 vaccine for religious and medical reasons.

“Froedtert Health respects the right of staff and providers to engage in activity protected by state and federal law.”

Froedtert employee who spoke anonymously to WISN 12 News on Wednesday said Froedtert’s abrupt demand will have negative repercussions.

“Anyone in healthcare knows we’re very understaffed and overworked right now and this is just going to take away a lot of nurses from the bedside,” she said. “This will affect patient care and safety.”

Although according to Froedtert, as of October 2021 — their most recent count — nearly 99% of their employees had been vaccinated against COVID-19, the employee said she thought about 100 nurses would be affected.

The employee, a Catholic, said the previous vaccines were against her religious beliefs because of the ingredients. However, the Novavax vaccine also goes against her religious beliefs, she said.

“Now that we’re two, almost three years into this [COVID-19 pandemic] and we know more, we should be able to make our own educated decision,” she said.

She added:

“It’s my body, my temple. God is within us. If we’re uncomfortable, or not sure about something, then we shouldn’t do it.”

The employee said she’s presently unsure what she will do.

“I carry the health insurance for our family. I have a week to decide if I feel comfortable taking this vaccine otherwise I honestly don’t know. I don’t know if any other healthcare facilities in this area even take exemptions,” she said.

Froedtert officials said their recent exemption withdrawal complies with federal regulations that mandate all employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19 or have legitimate religious or medical exemptions.

Mark Goldstein, an employment lawyer, told WISN 12 News employees affected by the mandate could “attempt to recast their religious exemption as a more generalized claim.”

“Quite frankly,” he added, “some of it depends on how strident they are in that regard.”

The hospital’s requirement is that employees be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but not that they have to get the new Omicron-specific booster shot made by Pfizer and Moderna.

Novavax pushed on unvaccinated despite safety concerns

As The Defender reported in late July when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine for adults age 18 and up, Operation Warp Speed in 2020 awarded Novavax — which like Moderna, had never brought a product to market before COVID-19 — a secret contract worth $1.6 billion (now being reported as $1.8 billion).

It was one of the largest taxpayer handouts channeled through Operation Warp Speed.

The media characterized the Novavax injection as a “game changer” in comparison to the mRNA and adenovirus-vectored gene therapy shots, claiming it should be “reassuring to those who are hesitant.”

In fact, according to the CDC’s advisors, the unvaccinated represent the “primary target population for Novavax.”

Some media outlets claimed Novavax — made with recombinant moth-cell-based nanoparticle technology, the problematic surfactant polysorbate 80 and a never-before-approved nanoparticulate adjuvant called Matrix-M — is “free of side effects.”

However, the day after the FDA issued its Novavax authorization, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) updated its product information for the Novavax shot to disclose “new” side effects.

The EMA’s list of side effects included “severe allergic reaction [anaphylaxis] and unusual or decreased feeling in the skin” (called paresthesia and hypoesthesia, respectively).

In addition, the EMA said it would assess myocarditis and pericarditis as Novavax side effects — safety signals that also were on display in the FDA’s briefing document on Novavax.

And in clinical trials, older adults who received the Novavax vaccine experienced an increased incidence of hypertension compared to those in the placebo group.

Not as ‘traditional’ as portrayed

The Novavax vaccine relies on a protein-based technology used for decades, leading some media outlets to portray it as a “traditional” vaccine compared with other COVID-19 vaccines that use newer technologies.

But according to Dr. Meryl Nass, an internist with a special interest in vaccine-induced illnesses, chronic fatigue syndrome and toxicology, the media’s portrayal of Novavax as a more traditional vaccine is not accurate.

Nass, a member of the Children’s Health Defense (CHD) scientific advisory committee, pointed out that the Novavax shot contains a novel adjuvant, Matrix-M, “so it is not really an old-fashioned shot.”

Nass raised safety concerns specific to the adjuvant, while others voiced concerns about Novavax being linked to heart inflammation and blood clots, and the fact that the vaccine was designed for use against the original Wuhan strain of SARS-CoV-2 — not the Omicron variants that are dominant today.

Adjuvant used in Novavax linked to autoimmune disease

Because Novavax is a protein subunit vaccine, it uses just the spike protein as the antigen rather than the whole pathogen (an inactivated or attenuated virus). Using the whole pathogen would expose the host to the virus’ entire protein coat instead of just one protein.

Protein subunit vaccines are often less immunogenic (less likely to provoke the immune system) than vaccines that use whole pathogens as the antigen, and may not generate a strong enough immune response.

That’s why they require the use of an adjuvant — in this case, Matrix-M — in addition to the antigen to get a stronger immune response.

However, few adjuvants are both potent and non-toxic enough for clinical use.

The proposed primary series for Novavax is two intramuscular injections 21 days apart at the dose level of 5 µg of the recombinant spike protein and 50 µg of the Matrix-M adjuvant.

Matrix-M, originally called QS-21, was one of the saponins derived from Quillaja saponaria, which is the soap bark tree native to Chile.

Some reports point out that the Matrix-M adjuvant — unlike the polyethylene glycol (PEG) lipid used in mRNA vaccines — is not linked to anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction), making it more attractive to people who are allergic to PEG.

But according to Nass, while it’s true that Matrix-M — which is not found in any other vaccines in the U.S. — isn’t linked to anaphylaxis, it is linked to autoimmune diseases.

“While touted as a replacement for the PEG lipid found in the mRNA vaccine, Matrix-M is less likely to cause anaphylaxis but more likely to cause autoimmune diseases,” Nass said.

Nass voiced other safety concerns about Novavax technology, including the use of moth cells.

According to the University of Nebraska Medical Center, where Novavax Phase 3 clinical trials were conducted, the Novavax vaccine uses moth cells to create a nanotechnology version of the COVID-19 spike protein.

Nass said insect cells can be used to grow proteins rapidly. “There is one flu vaccine made the same way: Flublok,” Nass said. Flublok is one of two egg-free flu vaccines licensed for use in the U.S.

“How many insect and viral proteins or other molecules are being injected into you when you get the Novavax vaccine — which is a function of how purified the vaccine is —  is unknown,” Nass said.

Novavax still uses the spike protein

The SARS-CoV-2 virus encodes 29 proteins, but Novavax — like Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson — chose to target only the spike protein.

As previously reported in The Defender, it is not known if the spike protein itself is safe.

“We have known for a long time that the spike protein is a pathogenic protein,” said Byram Bridle, Ph.D., associate professor of viral immunology at the University of Guelph, Ontario. “It is a toxin. It can cause damage to our body if it gets into circulation.”

According to Brian Hooker, Ph.D., P.E., CHD’s chief scientific officer, “If you wanted to pick the most toxic protein, you know what represents the highest virulence, the highest amount of damage on the COVID-19 virus? You would pick the spike protein.”

The spike protein “has been consistently shown to create clotting issues in the blood,” Hooker said.

Suzanne Burdick, Ph.D., is a reporter and researcher for The Defender based in Fairfield, Iowa. She holds a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Texas at Austin (2021), and a master’s degree in communication and leadership from Gonzaga University (2015). Her scholarship has been published in Health Communication.

This article was originally published by The Defender — Children’s Health Defense’s News & Views Website under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Please consider subscribing to The Defender or donating to Children’s Health Defense.

September 10, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

400 Doctors and Professionals Declare International Medical Crisis Due to Covid Vaccine Injuries and Deaths


Over 400 doctors, scientists and professionals from more than 34 countries this morning declared an international medical crisis due to “diseases and death associated with the ‘COVID-19 vaccines’”.

Launched at a press conference on Saturday, September 10th, the declaration states: “We are currently witnessing an excess in mortality in those countries where the majority of the population has received the so-called ‘COVID-19 vaccines’. To date, this excess mortality has neither been sufficiently investigated nor studied by national and international health institutions.”

It continues:

The large number of sudden deaths in previously healthy young people who were inoculated with these ‘vaccines’ is particularly worrying, as is the high incidence of miscarriages and perinatal deaths which have not been investigated.

A large number of adverse side effects, including hospitalisations, permanent disabilities and deaths related to the so-called ‘COVID-19 vaccines’, have been reported officially.

The registered number has no precedent in world vaccination history.

The declaration, which originates among concerned medics and professionals in India, makes eight “urgent” demands, including an immediate stop to the vaccinations and investigation of all deaths in previously healthy people.

Read the full text below, and if you are a doctor, scientist or other professional, do consider signing.


We, the medical doctors and scientists from all over the world, declare that there is an international medical crisis due to the diseases and deaths co-related to the administration of products known as ‘COVID-19 vaccines’.

We are currently witnessing an excess in mortality in those countries where the majority of the population has received the so-called ‘COVID-19 vaccines’. To date, this excess mortality has neither been sufficiently investigated nor studied by national and international health institutions.

The large number of sudden deaths in previously healthy young people who were inoculated with these ‘vaccines’, is particularly worrying, as is the high incidence of miscarriages and perinatal deaths which have not been investigated.

A large number of adverse side effects, including hospitalisations, permanent disabilities and deaths related to the so-called ‘COVID-19 vaccines’, have been reported officially.

The registered number has no precedent in world vaccination history.

Examining the reports on CDC’s VAERS, the U.K.’s Yellow Card System, the Australian Adverse Event Monitoring System, Europe’s EudraVigilance System and the WHO’s VigiAccess Database, to date there have been more than 11 million reports of adverse effects and more than 70,000 deaths co-related to the inoculation of the products known as ‘Covid vaccines’.

We know that these numbers just about represent between 1% and 10% of all real events.

Therefore, we consider that we are facing a serious international medical crisis, which must be accepted and treated as critical by all states, health institutions and medical personnel worldwide.

Therefore, the following measures must be undertaken on an urgent basis:

  1. A worldwide ‘stop’ to the national inoculation campaigns with the products known as ‘COVID-19 vaccines’.
  2. Investigation of all sudden deaths of people who were healthy previous to the inoculation.
  3. Implementation of early detection programmes of cardiovascular events which could lead to sudden deaths with analysis such as D-dimer and Troponin, in all those that were inoculated with the products known as ‘COVID-19 vaccines’, as well as the early detection of serious tumours.
  4. Implementation of research and treatment programmes for victims of adverse effects after receiving the so-called ‘COVID-19 vaccine’.
  5. Undertaking analyses of the composition of vials of Pfizer, Moderna, Astra Zeneca, Janssen, Sinovac, Sputnik V and any other product known as ‘COVID-19 vaccines’,
    by independent research groups with no affiliation to pharmaceutical companies, nor any conflict of interest.
  6. Studies to be conducted on the interactions between the different components of the so-called ‘COVID-19 vaccines’ and their molecular, cellular and biological effects.
  7. Implementation of psychological help and compensation programmes for any person that has developed a disease or disability as a consequence of the so-called ‘COVID-19 vaccines’.
  8. Implementation and promotion of psychological help and compensation programmes for the family members of any person who died as a result of having been inoculated with the product known as ‘COVID-19 vaccines’.

Consequently we declare that we find ourselves in an unprecedented international medical crisis in the history of medicine, due to the large number of diseases and deaths associated with the ‘vaccines against COVID-19’. Therefore, we demand that the regulatory agencies that oversee drug safety as well as the health institutions in all countries, together with the international institutions such as the WHO, PHO, EMA, FDA, UK-MHRA and NIH respond to this declaration and act in accordance with the eight measures demanded in this manifesto.

This Declaration is a joint initiative of several professionals who have been fighting for this cause. We call on all doctors, scientists and professionals to endorse this statement in order to put pressure on the entities involved and promote a more transparent health policy.

September 10, 2022 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, War Crimes | | 1 Comment


By David Bell and Domini Gordon | PANDA | August 28, 2022

Medical ethics is about protecting society from medical malfeasance and the self-interest of the humans whom we trust to manage health. It is therefore disturbing when prominent people, in a prominent journal, tear up the concept of medical ethics and human rights norms. It is worse when they ignore broad swathes of evidence, and misrepresent their own sources to do so.

On July 8th 2022, The Lancet published a ‘Viewpoint’ article online: “Effectiveness of vaccination mandates in improving uptake of COVID-19 vaccines in the USA.” The article, which acknowledges the controversial nature of vaccine mandates, primarily concludes that coercing people to take a medical product, and reducing options for refusal, increases product uptake.

It further concludes that the best way to implement such mandates is for employers and educational institutions to threaten job security and the right to education.

The use of coercion goes against the established ethics and morals of Public Health, and could be argued to be anti-health. In this case, the article justifies it by stating that “the current evidence regarding the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in adults is sufficient to support mandates.” However, it offers scant evidence to back this assertion, and ignores all evidence to the contrary. They apparently consider the ability to work and support a family, or gain formal education, as something that is to be granted or taken away, not a human right.

The Lancet was once a credible journal with a rigorous policy of peer review. However, in this article it appears to have dropped its former standards, promoting medical fascism (coercion, threat and division to achieve compliance with authority) without insisting on a rigorous evidence base to justify such an approach. This suggests an attempt to normalize such approaches in mainstream public health.

Past experience has shown us where fascism behind a façade of public health can lead. The sterilization campaigns aimed at coloured and low-income populations of the US Eugenicist era, and the extensions of similar programs under Nazism in 1930s and 1940s Europe, relied heavily on the normalization of such approaches.

Leading public health voices from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and other institutions championed a public health approach of sanitizing populations rather than environments, encouraging the idea of a tiered society where health ‘experts’ determine the rights and medical management of those deemed less worthy.

Avoiding the discomfort of evidence

The authors of this Lancet paper, ranging from academics and medical consultants to the daughter of a prominent politician, attempt to rewrite human rights in medicine as if precedent never existed. Their argument for coercion in mass vaccination recognizes that ‘vaccine mandates,’ whether issued by governments, employers or schools, all involve a loss of rights. No serious attempt is made to provide a medical justification for mass vaccination with a non-transmission-blocking vaccine.

The paper focuses on the premise that coercion, commonly considered a form of force, makes humans do things they would not otherwise do. Banning fellow humans from making their own health choices on pain of loss of normal participation in society has an impact on increasing vaccine uptake. This is hardly a revelation to any thinking human, but clearly important enough to justify publication in The Lancet.

The article links to evidence of vaccine mandates used for state school entry that show higher compliance when the right of religious and personal belief exemption is removed, or where onerous requirements for exemptions are put in place. Leaving ethical questions aside, the obvious lack of similarity between the authors’ predicate childhood vaccinations that block transmission and COVID-19 vaccines that have minimal impact on transmission, and may even promote it, is ignored. The one mandated adult vaccine predicate referenced in the article, the influenza vaccine, provides only a 2.5% reduction in pneumonia ‘when the (mandated) vaccine was well matched to circulating strains’ in the reference quoted.

When raising the sacking of non-vaccinated workers, the authors seem comfortable with the approach but coy in admitting its consequences. Their admission that “a few large US employers have terminated hundreds of workers for non-compliance references an article in Money magazine which actually paints a bleaker picture, characterizing it as a ‘great resignation.’

The authors will also have been aware of mass layoffs by large employers such as New York City (over 9,000 sacked or placed on leave), the US Department of Defense (DoD, which sacked 3,400), Kaiser Permanente (laid off 2,200), and the tens of thousands of staff lost from the UK care-home sector . Extrapolated across countries and society to actually provide credible data may have been too uncomfortable for the authors and Lancet editors.

High efficacy and safety are an obvious (though on their own, insufficient) prerequisite for any mandated product. This entire area of safety is dealt with by stating; “The current evidence on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in adults is sufficient to support mandates,” supported by a single study comparing vaccinated individuals 1-3 weeks and 3-6 weeks post-vaccination, revealing low levels of myocardial infarction, appendicitis and stroke.

The claim that “widespread administration in adults has quickly generated a large evidence base supporting the vaccines’ safety, including evidence from active surveillance studies” suggests that both the authors and The Lancet are unaware of the VAERS and Eudravigilance databases set up for exactly this purpose. No mention is made of growing data on myocarditismenstrual irregularities, or the excess all-cause mortality and severe outcomes in vaccinated groups in the Pfizer randomised control trials on which the FDA emergency registration was based. Were The Lancet’s reviewers unaware of these sources?

The sole reference to vaccine efficacy discusses COVID-19 ventilated patient outcomes, It ignores the period to 14 days post-previous dose that Pfizer acknowledges can be associated with immune suppression. Fenton et al. have noted that classing a vaccinated person as unvaccinated in the first 14 days post-injection has profound impacts on vaccine effectiveness data.

Ignoring the awkwardness of reality

Post-infection immunity in the unvaccinated is a threat to arguments for mandates. The authors disingenuously state that “evidence suggests that the immunity produced by natural infection varies by individual, and that people with previous infection benefit from vaccination. New variants further undercut the case for adequacy of previous infection.

Two references are used here: one from a study in Qatar and the other a study from Kentucky. The Qatar study finds that “the protection of previous infection against hospitalization or death caused by reinfection appeared to be robust, regardless of variant,” whilst the Kentucky study found Covid reinfection was reduced by vaccination over a 2-month period in the months soon after vaccination, prior to the waning and then reversal of this protection as demonstrated in studies of longer duration elsewhere.

The vast breadth of evidence on relative effectiveness of post-infection immunity is ignored. Either the authors failed to read their references and are unaware of waning and of the vast literature on post-infection immunity, or they do not consider demonstration of efficacy important for coerced medical treatments.

In a previous era, or in a previously credible medical journal, an argument for coercion to support a medical procedure would have required very high standards of evidence of efficacy and safety. It is arguing for the abrogation of fundamental principles such as informed consent that are at the core of modern medical ethics. Failure to address well-known contrary data should prevent an article from even reaching the peer-review stage.

Degrading public health degrades society

We are left with a paper stating that coercion is a good path to increase compliance for a product that does not reduce community infection risk, and has potentially serious side effects. Ignoring both of these aspects of COVID-19 vaccines is a poor approach to justifying mass vaccination. The sole nod to any human rights concern – “Some objectors argue mandates represent undue encroachment on individual liberty” – is an interesting way to characterize removal of the right to income, education and the ability to socialize with others.

Although all these rights are recognized under the Universal Declaration for Human Rights, the authors and The Lancet consider them insufficiently serious to dwell upon.

Public health has been down this road before. We have seen the path society takes when basic public health principles are subverted to achieve an aim that some perceive as ‘good.’ We have also seen how most health professionals will comply, however horrific the actions involved. There is no reason to believe that this round of medical fascism will end differently.

We rely on medical journals such as The Lancet to apply at least the same standards to the purveyors of such doctrines as they do to others and demand a rational and honest evidence base. Anything less would raise legitimate questions as to the role the journal is taking in promoting these doctrines, and their place in a free, evidence-based and rights-respecting society.

David Bell, Senior Scholar at Brownstone Institute, is a public health physician and biotech consultant in global health. He is the former Program Head for malaria and febrile diseases at the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) in Geneva, Switzerland.

Domini Gordon is Open Science and Open Society Coordinator at Panda.

September 10, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | Leave a comment

Pharma’s Criminal Business Model — and How the U.S. Government Benefits From It

The Defender | September 9, 2022

In early September, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that pharma giant Bayer would have to fork over millions to the DOJ to resolve allegations of fraud under the False Claims Act (FCA).

The False Claims Act, which enables civil cases involving fraud and false claims against the government, dates back to the 19th century and Civil-War-era defense contractor fraud — but in modern times, healthcare fraud is the “top driver of FCA activity, both in the number of cases filed and total dollars recovered.”

In fiscal year 2021 — a year in which medicine and pharma went to town with demonstrably murderous COVID-19 hospital protocols and vaccines — the act brought in $5.6-plus billion, the second largest annual total in the FCA’s history.

Eighty-nine percent of those settlements and judgments were related to “drug and medical device manufacturers, managed care providers, hospitals, pharmacies, hospice organizations, laboratories and physicians.”

And, though the total amounts were smaller in the three preceding years — fiscal years 20202019 and 2018 — healthcare-related cases still predominated, accounting for 86% to 87% of settlements and judgments.

In 2016, and again in 2019, the consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen zeroed in on “ongoing, systematic wrongdoing” by the pharmaceutical industry, analyzing up to 27 years (1991-2017) of criminal and civil penalties paid to the federal or state governments, whether via the FCA or other mechanisms.

The top two types of violations were drug-pricing fraud and unlawful or deceptive marketing. But the reports also described practices such as kickbacks, patent manipulation, corporate collusion, data concealment, sale of contaminated or adulterated products, accounting and tax fraud, insider trading and distribution of unapproved drugs.

In 2020, academic authors published a similar analysis in the Journal of the American Medical Association, reporting that 22 of 26 Global 500 or Fortune 1000 pharmaceutical firms had paid state or federal penalties for illegal activities between 2003-2016, with all but one firm engaging in the illegalities “for 4 or more years.”

The authors speculated that the four companies not documented as paying penalties could be more ethical or, conversely, might harbor “an ability for illegal activity to be undetected.”

All of these reports support the conclusion of Marc Rodwin — a Suffolk University Law School professor and expert on health law, policy and ethics — who wrote in a 2015 legal paper that the pharmaceutical industry’s “wide-scale” misconduct “risks slipping into the banalities of ordinary business practices.”

Bayer’s drop in the bucket

Bayer’s just-announced $40-million DOJ settlement, which responds to whistleblower lawsuits initiated nearly two decades ago, represents a drop in the bucket compared to the company’s $48.9-billion earnings for 2021.

The Germany-headquartered company, the world’s sixth-largest pharmaceutical juggernaut, is engaged in an ongoing biotech “investment spree” that has enabled positive financial results despite the current legal headaches associated with its ownership of Monsanto.

Violation Tracker, a database covering corporate misconduct from the year 2000 on, displays 155 results for Bayer and its subsidiaries over the past two decades, listing penalties such as drug and medical equipment safety violations, FCA offenses and various other forms of fraud.

The company’s “history of malfeasance” extends much further back, however, featuring its marketing of heroin as a top-selling children’s cough syrup in the early 20th century; the sale of lethal chemical weapons during WWI in violation of chemical warfare treaties; collaboration, as part of the IG Farben conglomerate, with Nazi medical experiments during WWII; knowingly marketing tainted blood products in the 1970s and 1980s; and, for 16 years, promoting a now-recalled birth control device — the focus of nearly 20,000 lawsuits — that routinely perforated women’s internal organs.

The long-running lawsuits that led to the latest settlement alleged Bayer paid kickbacks to hospitals and physicians to promote three drugs: a cholesterol drug recalled in 2001 after being linked to “significantly more fatal cases than its competitors,” a potent antibiotic associated with a wide range of serious or fatal adverse reactions and a kidney-toxic heart surgery drug approved in 1993 and belatedly recalled in 2007, after killing an estimated 22,000 bypass patients.

The whistleblower also alleged drug marketing “for off-label uses that were not reasonable and necessary” and significant downplaying of the two recalled drugs’ safety risks.

Though Bayer withdrew both drugs for “safety reasons,” its settlement admits no wrongdoing.

Top offenders since the early 1990s

In 1986, Congress amended the False Claims Act, significantly expanding its scope and “breath[ing] new life into what has now become the government’s primary enforcement tool against fraud.”

However, that same year President Ronald Reagan signed into law the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, a piece of legislation that decimated incentives to make vaccines safe by furnishing manufacturers with blanket immunity from liability for vaccine injuries.

The lifting of those legal constraints catapulted vaccines from a “neglected corner of the drugs business” into a major driver of pharmaceutical industry profits.

Public Citizen’s 1991-and-on analyses of settlements indicate these manufacturers also felt emboldened to engage in lawless — and recidivist — behavior even for drugs not enjoying liability protections.

According to Violation Tracker, Johnson & Johnson (J&J), Merck and Pfizer are the top three companies in terms of total penalties paid, with the latter two also accounting for the largest numbers of violations.

Among Pfizer’s penalties was a 2009 settlement for $2.3 billion — the largest healthcare fraud settlement in the DOJ’s history.

Merck and Pfizer happen to be two of the “big four” companies providing the vaccines on America’s childhood vaccine schedule, and J&J and Pfizer are responsible for two of the four COVID-19 shots authorized for U.S. use.

In 2021, Pfizer became the world’s largest pharmaceutical company, by revenue, thanks to its COVID-19 shots, also liability-free, and its Paxlovid drug. Together, Paxlovid and the vaccines accounted for almost half of operational revenues.

Durable Covid-19 revenues” are fueling Pfizer’s expectation that it will remain a “growth company.”

Cui bono?

Although pharmaceutical industry kickbacks to hospitals and physicians are among the bad behaviors openly acknowledged to lead to settlements or judgments, few experts discuss, even indirectly, the fact that the penalties themselves function as a form of federal kickback.

Law professor Rodwin discreetly alluded to this in his 2015 paper when speculating as to “why prosecutors rarely use the strongest sanctions in their arsenal.” Rodwin hypothesized that it might be because they “prefer to seek monetary penalties to support their budgets.”

According to Violation Tracker, pharmaceutical penalties since 2000 have enriched federal (and state) coffers to the tune of over $87 billion.

Curiously, Public Citizen’s two reports showed a sudden drop in 2013 and 2014 in the number and size of settlements, with federal criminal penalties “nearly disappearing” by 2017.

Eager to counteract any perception of declining enforcement, a publication called FCA Insider proclaimed in early 2021 the DOJ’s “years-long effort … to be more proactive in combatting fraud,” optimistically suggesting that “sophisticated data mining tools” were going to help the nation’s top law enforcer achieve increased fraud-related recoveries.

An honest look at history shows, however, that far more often than not, the DOJ — and regulatory agencies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — have been pharma’s biased partners in crime rather than its antagonists.

Examples of the phony and selective zeal for justice include the alleged fraud perpetrated by DOJ lawyers intent on denying compensation to thousands of National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program petitioners, and, more recently, Pfizer’s astonishing argument that a COVID-19-vaccine-related whistleblower lawsuit against it should be dismissed “because the U.S. government knew about the wrongdoings but continued to do business with the vaccine maker.”

And from the pharmaceutical industry’s perspective, handing over an $87-billion cut to the feds to grease the skids appears to be an acceptable price to pay.

As Public Citizen noted a few years ago, pharma penalties over the 1991-2017 period represented a paltry 5% of the 11 largest global drug companies’ net profits “during just 10 of those 27 years,” amounting to little more than a slap on the wrist.

Emphasizing the “stark imbalance” between penalties and profits, the consumer group concluded that without more sincere and active enforcement — including prosecution and jail sentences for executives overseeing systemic fraud — “illegal but profitable activities will continue to be part of [pharmaceutical] companies’ business model.”

This article was originally published by The Defender — Children’s Health Defense’s News & Views Website under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Please consider subscribing to The Defender or donating to Children’s Health Defense.

September 10, 2022 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | Leave a comment

Simone Gold, Fighter for Medical Freedom

By Adam Dick | Ron Paul Institute | September 10, 2022

Simone Gold is a fighter for medical freedom. Many Americans first learned of her when in July of 2020 Gold, who founded America’s Frontline Doctors, spoke along with other doctors at a Washington, DC press conference. The doctors challenged the coronavirus party line that had been pushed relentlessly in America over the preceding few months. That press conference, at which Gold spoke first among the doctors and served as the master of ceremonies, was a refreshing breakthrough of the voice of dissident doctors challenging the coronavirus crackdown and the accompanying propaganda campaign.

Gold and her organization continued fighting for medical freedom and against extreme coronavirus crackdown measures since. Among other things, America’s Frontline Doctors came out in opposition early on to the heavily pushed by politicians and media insistence that the experimental coronavirus “vaccine” shots were safe and effective and something everyone should take. The organization also helped people obtain early treatment for coronavirus so they could avoid serious sickness. Meanwhile, the coronavirus scare propagandists said there was nothing to do but wait until sickness becomes so bad that hospital admission is required.

On Friday, Gold was released from prison. Her crime? None. It was just a misdemeanor for, as reported in the Washington Times, “entering and remaining in a restricted building.” Yet, the building was the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, so the full force of the US government was employed to cause the great harm to Gold and many other people who walked into that building and did nothing destructive.

While in the building, the Washington Times notes that Gold “gave a speech in Statuary Hall about her opposition to coronavirus vaccine mandates and government-imposed lockdowns.” Ordinary people would not find her doing this worrisome. But, for the Biden administration devoted to coronavirus tyranny it is downright threatening.

In addition to her 60 days prison sentence, the Washington Times article reports that Gold was punished with a 9,500 dollars fine and 12 months of supervised release starting after her time in prison. Gold is among the many victims of a very harsh crackdown on people presented as opponents of President Joe Biden and repeatedly, though farcically, painted as taking part in an “insurrection” on January 6 of last year.

Here’s to Gold returning to her work fighting for medical freedom. We can use her help.

Copyright © 2022 by RonPaul Institute.

September 10, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , | Leave a comment

Prosecuting Trump

By Peter Van Buren | We Meant Well | September 6, 2022

What would you do if you were Merrick Garland? Would you prosecute Trump? Or would you walk away, concerned about accusations you and the FBI were playing politics?

Step One appears easy, put off any decision until after the midterms. Trump is not a candidate, key issues driving the midterms (inflation, Ukraine, Roe) are not his issues and though Trump is actively stumping for many candidates, initiating any prosecution before the midterms is just too obvious. Nothing else about Mar-a-Lago has had an urgency to it (months passed from the initial voluntary turnover of documents and the forced search) and announcing an indictment now would be a terrible opening move. So if you’re Garland, you have some time.

On the other hand waiting until after the midterms can be dangerous if as expected the Republicans do well and take both the House and the Senate. Even with slim majorities Republicans are expected to initiate their own hearings, into Hunter Biden’s laptop and how the FBI played politics with that ahead of the 2020 election. Holding off an indictment until that is underway risks making your case look like retaliation for their case. That’s a bad look for a Department of Justice which claims it is not playing politics. It would look even worse if the Republicans try and cut you off, opening some sort of hearings into the Mar-a-Lago search prior to an indictment. Nope, if you’re Merrick Garland you are caught between a rock and a hard place.

But there is a bigger question: if you are Garland and you indict Trump, can you win? Candidate Trump is already earning a lot of partisan points claiming he is the victim of banana republic politics, and his indictment ahead of 2024 (it matters zero if he has formally announced or not, he is running of course) will allow him to claim he was right all along. An indictment will allow Trump to fire both barrels, one aimed at Garland and the other at the FBI and these, coupled with the dirty tricks a Republican investigation into the FBI and Russiagate will expose will make Trump look very right. He was the victim of partisan use of justice, and the FBI did try to influence both the 2016 election (with Russiagate) and the 2020 (by deep-sixing Hunter Biden’s laptop claiming falsely it was Russian misinformation) and now is taking a swing at 2024 with the Mar-a-Lago documents. If public opinion moves further to Trump’s side, Merrick Garland through his indictment just reelected Trump to the White House as a sympathy candidate. The spooks call that blowback, and it is a real threat in this instance.

Any action against Trump must preserve what is left of faith in the rule of law applied without fear or favor, or risk civil disenfranchisement if not outright civil unrest. Garland will have to address the most obvious precedent case involving former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who maintained an unsecured private email server which processed classified material. Her server held e-mail chains classified at the Top Secret/Special Access Program level which included the names of CIA and NSA employees. The FBI found classified intelligence improperly stored on Clinton’s server “was compromised by unauthorized individuals, to include foreign governments or intelligence services, via cyber intrusion or other means.” Clinton and her team destroyed tens of thousands of emails, potential evidence, as well as physical phones and Blackberries which potentially held evidence. She operated the server out of her home kitchen despite the presence of the Secret Service on property who failed to report it. Her purpose in doing all this appeared to have been avoiding Freedom of Information Act requests during her tenure as SecState, and maintaining control over what records became part of the historical archive post-tenure.

Clinton seems to have violated all three statues Trump was searched under. If the FBI is going to take similar fact sets and ignore one while aggressively pursuing another, it risks being seen as partial and political. Any further action against Trump and certainly any prosecution of him must address why Hillary was not searched and prosecuted herself. Fair is fair, and after all nobody is above the law.

The other fear holding Garland back would be that of losing the case outright in court. Classified documents are typically dealt with either via administrative penalties (an officer is sent home for a few days without pay) or as part of some much larger espionage case where the documents were removed illegally as part of the subject spying for a foreign country. Rarely is a case brought all the way to court for simple possession. Most of the laws Trump may have broken require some sort of intent to harm the United States. In other words, Trump would have had to have taken the documents not just for ego or his library or as some uber-souveniers but with the specific intent to commit harm against the United States. Garland certainly does not have that.

Other factors which typically play into documents cases are also not in Garland’s favor. Despite not being kept in line with General Services Administration standards, the documents appear to have been locked away securely at Mar-a-Lago, the premises itself guarded by the Secret Service. Trump has already turned over surveillance video of the documents storage location, which presumably does not show foreign agents wandering in and out of frame. It is much harder to prosecute a case when no actual harm was shown done to national security.

Another factor in documents cases involves the content of the documents themselves. The uninformed press has made much of the classification markings, but Garland will need to show the actual content of the docs was damaging to the U.S., and that Trump knew that. Overclassification will play a role, as will the age and importance of the information itself; after all, it is that information which is classified, not the piece of paper itself marked Secret. Garland will know Trump will fight him page by page, meaning much of the classified will be exposed in court and/or the trial will move to classified sessions to shield the information but feed the conspiracy machine. One can hear Trump arguing his right to a public trial being taken away.

Hyperbole aside, the critical question returns to whether or not prosecutors could prove specific intent on Trump’s part for the more serious charges. Proving a state of guilty mind — mens rea — would be the crux of any actual prosecution based on the Mar-a-Lago documents. What was Trump thinking at the time, in other words, did he have specific intent to injure the United States or to obstruct some investigation he would have had to have known about? Without knowing the exact nature of the documents this is a tough prediction but even with the documents on display in front of us proving to a court’s satisfaction what Trump wanted to do by keeping the documents would require coworkers and colleagues to testify to what Trump himself had said at the time, and that is unlikely to happen. It is thus unlikely based on what we know at present that Trump would go to jail for any of this.

Take for example the charges of tax evasion now levied again the Trump Organization (i.e., not Trump personally and not part of the Mar-a-Lago case.) Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, as part of a plea deal, will testify against the Organization but not Trump himself as to why the Organization paid certain compensation in the form of things like school tuitions, cars, and the like, all outside the tax system. It will be a bad day for the Organization but loyal to the end, Weisselberg will not testify as to his boss’ mens rea. It is equally unclear who would be both competent and willing to do so against President of the United States Trump. Blue Check enthusiasm aside, he won’t go to jail over this.

The final questions are probably the most important: DOJ knows what the law says. If knowing the chances of a serious conviction are slight, why would the Justice Department take the Mar-a-Lago case to court? Then again, if knowing the chances for a serious conviction are slight, why would the FBI execute a high-profile search warrant in the first place? To gather evidence unlikely ever to be used? No one is above the law, but that includes politics not trumping clean jurisprudence as well.

And then what? If Garland successfully navigates the politics, if he proves his case in court, and if he secures some sort of conviction against Trump which withstands the inevitable appeal, then what? Trump’s Mar-a-Lago “crimes” are relatively minor. Could Garland call Trump having to do some sort of community service during the 2024 campaign a win? Pay a fine? It seems petty. It sure seems Trump wins politically big-picture whether he wins or loses at Mar-a-Lago. If you were Merrick Garland, what would you do?

September 10, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Progressive Hypocrite | , , | 1 Comment

Israel’s Predator spyware rivals NSO’s Pegasus

MEMO | September 10, 2022

The US and the Israeli Ministry of Public Security have imposed restrictions and sanctions on Israeli spyware company NSO. It was placed on the US blacklist, resulting in a decline in its deals and income.

However, it wasn’t the politicians, opposition activists and journalists who were spied on who benefitted from these restrictions, but rather another cyber-attacker Tal Dilian, a former combat fighter in an elite Special Operations Unit of the Intelligence Corps in the Israeli army and held a senior position in the Israeli Military Intelligence Division “Aman”.

One of the spyware companies that Dilian founded is Intelexa, which developed the Predator software. Dillian focused on selling this spyware programme to countries where the Israeli Defence Ministry does not issue permits to export cyber-attack software, such as Bangladesh, Sudan and Ukraine, according to a report in Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper published on Friday.

Unlike cyber-attack companies registered and operating in Israel, which are subject to the supervision of the Security Export Supervision Division in the Ministry of Defence, Dilian believes he is not under the Ministry of Security’s supervision and can supply his goods to any country or entity.

About a year ago, the phone of Greek journalist Thanasis Koukakis was behaving oddly, as his battery began to die quickly and phone calls were being disconnected. The journalist, who criticised the Greek prime minister’s economic policy, became suspicious that he was being watched. A month later, a Canadian cyber security research institute, Citizen Lab, discovered that the Predator programme had hacked Koukakis’ phone.

It was also found, following the formation of a commission of inquiry into the matter by the European Parliament and after examining 200 of its members’ phones, that an unsuccessful attempt had been made to hack the phone of the head of the Greek opposition, Nikos Androulakis, which caused a scandal described as the “Greek Watergate”.

Citizen Lab published a report last December confirming that two Egyptian dissidents in exile, politician Ayman Nour and a popular programme host who wishes to remain anonymous, had been hacked by the Predator spyware.

The newspaper added that investigations into the Greek scandal revealed the source of the Predator programme as Israel. Several weeks ago, members of the investigation commission set up by the European Union secretly visited Israel and met with officials in the Ministries of Justice and Public Security, as well as with Director General and founder of NSO Shalev Julio. The investigation committee announced that it had not found evidence linking Pegasus to a spying scandal in Spain.

While the US and Israeli authorities imposed sanctions and restrictions on Israeli cyber companies, an official in the Israeli cyber intelligence company Verint, Sam Rabin, resigned to appoint the deputy general manager of Intelexa, based in North Macedonia. However, most of its employees and director, as well as the hackers, are individuals dismissed from Israeli intelligence services. Dilian held the rank of colonel in the Israeli army and was the commander of the 81st Technological Unit and a senior officer in the army’s special operations unit.

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

Biden extends 9/11 emergency

Samizdat | September 10, 2022

US President Joe Biden has renewed the national emergency declared by former president George W. Bush in the days following the events of September 11, 2001 for another year.

The “terrorist threat” behind the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people “continues,” Biden wrote in a Thursday memo published in the Federal Register, adding that the “powers and authorities adopted to deal with” the attacks “must continue in effect beyond September 14, 2022.”

The 9/11 emergency declaration is just one of several Biden has extended this week alone. Also on Thursday, the president prolonged a national emergency he had declared the previous year regarding sectarian violence and human rights abuses in Ethiopia, while on Tuesday he announced the renewal of an emergency declared by his predecessor Donald Trump in 2018 regarding the threat of “foreign interference in or undermining public confidence in” US elections.

Biden has declared at least six national emergencies since taking office in January 2021 and extended several more, including the Covid-19 pandemic emergency. The National Emergencies Act endows the president with over 136 powers, most of which do not require congressional approval to wield. Since its passage in 1976, more than 60 national emergencies have been declared, with only about half of them officially concluded.

The president has largely abandoned predecessors’ focus on external terrorist threats like the al-Qaeda hijackers held responsible for 9/11, opting to focus attention instead on domestic terrorism, which the FBI has declared to be the primary threat facing the nation.

September 10, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties | | 5 Comments

The Big picture of disengagement in Ladakh


The Ministry of External Affairs has done the right thing by explaining its taciturn press release on Thursday in a single sentence regarding the disengagement of troops in the area of Gogra-Hotsprings along the LAC in the Western Sector of India-China border areas. 

The Official Spokesman Arindam Bagchi shared on Friday more details. Broadly, a consensus reached at the 16th round of India China Corps Commander Level Meeting on 17 July has since been fleshed out by the two sides, and the actual disengagement commenced on Thursday which will be completed on coming Monday. The following key elements draw attention: 

  • Both sides will “cease forward deployments in this area in a phased, coordinated and verified manner, resulting in the return of the troops of both sides to their respective areas.” 
  • All temporary structures and other allied infrastructure created in the area by both sides “will be dismantled and mutually verified.” 
  • “The landforms in the area will be restored to pre-stand-off period by both sides.”  
  • “The agreement ensures that the LAC in this area will be strictly observed and respected by both sides, and that there will be no unilateral change in status quo.” 
  • Going forward, the sides will “take the talks forward and resolve the remaining issues along LAC and restore peace and tranquility in India-China border areas.” 

The last two elements — prohibiting “unilateral change in status quo”  and the commitment to resolve the remaining issues — are inter-related. 

Simply put, there will be no attempts by either side to indulge in any “Mission Creep” to seize unilateral advantage of territory. This is hugely important, given the two vastly divergent narratives on what precipitated the standoff two years ago. How the “status quo” is to be understood is not yet in the public domain but presumably, it is to mutual satisfaction.

A judicious mix of firmness and realism made this agreement possible. Some Indian commentators have rushed to belittle its importance by linking it to a possible meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping next week at Samarkand.

That said, if there is going to be a meeting at Samarkand, this disengagement provides a setting for constructive discussion. Both governments have high stakes in maintaining peace and tranquility along the LAC in the present hugely transformative period in the world order. For China, issues of war and peace in the Taiwan Straits are a top priority. 

As for India, a crucial period of adjustment to new geopolitical conditions lies ahead which presents daunting challenges to its strategic autonomy and independent foreign policies, stemming from the West’s attempts to polarise the world community against Russia and China. 

Both India and China sense the high importance of pursuing their respective trajectories of economic growth and development optimally in a difficult and unfavourable climate internationally. Speaking of India, our analysts prefer — either due to ignorance or with deliberation — to sidestep the co-relation between a peaceful and tranquil border and the country’s overall economic situation. 

The Ukraine conflict is adding to global inflation by raising the cost of energy and other raw commodities while an increasingly hawkish US Fed is tightening its policies, and significantly reducing its balance sheet. There could be looming currency and foreign exchange worries. Time may have come to build up a clearing system among BRICS countries. India’s current foreign exchange reserves are at their lowest since October 2020. Persistent foreign outflows from India’s equity and debt markets have also weighed on the rupee.  

There is continuing Western interference in India-China relations and the fact that the government has sequestered the bilateral track with China is not going to be to the liking of the West. Fundamentally, the contradiction is that without India, there is no “Indo-Pacific Strategy” against China. 

In a recent interview with an Indian newspaper, the former Prime Minister of Australia and an acclaimed hawk on China, Kevin Rudd, posed the question that troubles the Western mind most: “What does India do ultimately, if China does unilaterally resolve the border, as Gorbachev did, with the Russian Federation within the Soviet Union in 1989?” 

Rudd repeated, “what would India then do in terms of China’s rise if the border was resolved, and India and China and Russia folded into one enormous market of mutual opportunity?” In such a scenario, Rudd could see only a binary choice for India: it should either “bandwagon” with China or “balance” China. 

Rudd must be a terribly disappointed man to see that there could be a Third Way. China is not really  expecting anyone to “bandwagon” with it. Its DNA is similar to India’s — pursuit of national interests while retaining strategic autonomy (even with regard to its partner Russia.) 

China takes satisfaction that India treasures its strategic autonomy. Its expectation is only that India should not align with the US to pursue  hostile policies. That is perfectly understandable, too. 

A consensus with China that neither party will try to gain territorial advantage is the maximum that can be expected today and the irreducible minimum required until such time as the Indian opinion  can accept a fair and just settlement of the boundary question in a spirit of compromise. 

Notably, Chinese commentators have appreciated EAM Jaishankar’s forceful remarks through March-April enunciating India’s oil purchases from Russia giving primacy to national interests. Conceivably, such assertion of India’s strategic autonomy created a favourable ambience in the ongoing talks at various levels with China, leading to the disengagement in Gogra-Hotsprings. 

China and India have many common interests in the emergent world order. Only two days ago, PM’s remarks at the Eastern Economic Forum plenary at Vladivostok signalled India’s interest to work with Russia in the Arctic (where China is also a participant) as also in the Northern Sea Route (where China too is a stakeholder).

By the way, the Russia-China Joint Statement on the International Relations Entering a New Era and the Global Sustainable Development (February 4, 2022)speaks about the two countries “consistently intensifying practical cooperation for the sustainable development of the Arctic” as well as the “development and use of Arctic routes.”

There is no empirical evidence to show that China has blocked India’s pathway in the Arctic or the Russian Far East, Southeast Asia, Central Asia or West Asia. The disengagement in Ladakh gives hope that the bilateral relations can be restored, especially in the economic sphere. There is no question that India should be vigilant about its defence and national security. But to be paranoid about it or getting  entrapped in xenophobic attitudes will be wasteful and ultimately debilitating. 

September 10, 2022 Posted by | Economics | , | 1 Comment

Rand Paul Hits Out at ‘Enormous Disconnect’ Between Priorities of Congress and Constituents

Samizdat – 10.09.2022

Since the beginning of the ongoing Russian special military operation in Ukraine, Washington has supplied Kiev with unprecedented amounts of funding, not least military assistance worth a total of at least $54 billion, according to the New York Times.

Republican Senator Rand Paul has lashed out at what he describes as a huge gap between Congress’ priorities and those of normal US constituents, especially when it comes to funding programs.

Speaking to Fox News, Paul argued that there’s an “enormous disconnect between those in Washington and those on the ground, like in Kentucky,” his home state which was hit by “severe” flooding in late July in which 40 people died and “hundreds of homes were lost”.

The Republican pointed to a total $54 billion dollars of funding that Washington has reportedly sent to Kiev since the beginning of Russia’s ongoing special operation to demilitarize and de-Nazify Ukraine on February 24. According to the senator, this sharply contrasts with the fact that Kentucky and much of Appalachia has struggled with serious infrastructure issues for decades.

“I was just out there,” Paul claimed. “Not one person said, ‘Can you please send more money to Ukraine?’ They said, ‘How come we’re a rich country and we’re having trouble digging our ditches, repairing our roads and all of the basic functions of government?’”

“And yet in Washington, it’s not just Democrats. You’ve got Democrats and all the Republican leadership lining up saying, ‘Please send more of our money to Ukraine,’ but I’m not hearing it at home at all,” he said.

Paul suggested that billions of taxpayer dollars pertaining to foreign assistance could be better spent at home on infrastructure-related issues, adding that these hefty sums could also help Americans ride out soaring inflation and energy crisis.

Referring to the US’ total national debt, Paul said, “We’re $30 trillion in the hole and it’s inflationary”. According to him, “You borrow more money to buy weapons. It also causes inflation. And so really what I hear still around Kentucky and around the U.S. is, ‘My gas costs so much. We can’t go on vacation this year. The groceries cost so much […]”.

In an apparent nod to constituents, the senator argued that, “They all instinctively know this is from the massive debts, the massive borrowing, and the huge COVID lockdowns and all the mistakes that were foisted upon us by Democrats, by Biden, by the Democrat Congress.” Paul warned that he thinks that “there’s a huge wave building”.

The remarks followed US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announcing that the White House had approved another $675 million in military assistance to Kiev, which includes howitzers, shells, Humvees, armored ambulances and anti-tank systems, among other weapons and munitions. Moscow has repeatedly warned Washington that supplying Kiev with arms will only prolong and aggravate the Ukraine conflict.

September 10, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Militarism | , | 1 Comment

U.S. ups the ante: are we indeed headed into WWIII and what can save us?

Gilbert Doctorow | September 9, 2022

The UK and Commonwealth may be mourning the passing of Queen Elizabeth II yesterday. I am in mourning as well, but for a very different reason: the gathering in the Ramstein air base in Germany yesterday reshuffled the deck on Western military and financial assistance to Ukraine, raising contributions to the ongoing holy crusade against Russia from still more nations and adding new, still more advanced precision strike weapons to the mix of deliveries to Kiev. It was an open summons to the Kremlin to escalate in turn, as were the test firing the same day of a new intercontinental rocket, the Minuteman III, from Vandenberg air base in California and the unannounced visit to Kiev yesterday of not only Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was featured in Western media accounts, but also other top officials of the Biden administration. The most notorious member of this delegation was surely Blinken’s deputy, Victoria Nuland, who had stage managed the February 2014 coup that put in power in Kiev the Russia-hating regime that Zelensky now heads.

The Russians may be compelled to take the bait due to the course of military action on the ground. As now becomes clear, they have just suffered some losses in very heavy ground and artillery fighting these past few days around Kharkov. The Ukrainian gains were facilitated by the advanced weaponry recently arrived from NATO countries, by the targeting data they are receiving from the U.S. and from off-stage tactical direction from NATO officers. By ‘take the bait,’ I mean the Russians may escalate to all out war on Ukraine. This question figured prominently in yesterday’s major news and political talk show programs of Russian state television. I will go into these matters in some detail below.

Regrettably, all of the foregoing also obliges me to revisit the critique I published a couple of weeks ago on the latest essay in Foreign Affairs magazine by John Mearsheimer. His overarching message on the dangers of our stumbling into a nuclear war is better substantiated by the latest developments, even though I believe that Mearsheimer failed to identify the several successive steps that lie ahead before we find ourselves in such a war. Mearsheimer oversimplified Russian options to deal with setbacks on the ground. This also will be a central issue in my narrative below.

Finally, in this essay I will direct attention to the second dimension of the ongoing confrontation between Russia and the entire Collective West:  the economic war being waged on the Russian Federation via sanctions, which now far outnumber those directed against any other country on earth. This war, as I will argue, is going well for the Russians. More importantly for us all, it is the sole area in which the peoples of Europe may have a say in putting an end to the mad policies being pursued by their national governments under the direct pressure of Washington.


Over the past ten days, we have witnessed the start of the Ukrainian counter-offensive which was preceded by so much anticipation in Western media. A reversal of Russian fortunes in the war was predicted, leading to the stalemate or outright defeat for Russia which Mearsheimer and some other analysts in the US foreign policy community feared would trigger a nuclear response from the Kremlin.

In fact, the Ukrainian counter-offensive got off to a very bad start. It opened in the south, in the Kherson region.  Kherson, which is predominantly Russian-speaking, was the first major Ukrainian city to fall to the Russians and it has strategic importance for ensuring Russian domination of the Black Sea littoral.  However, first results of the Ukrainian attacks there were disastrous for the Ukrainian armed forces. It soon was obvious that they had deployed new recruits who had little or no military experience. The infantry attacked across open terrain where they were easily destroyed in vast numbers by the Russian defenders of Kherson. I have heard the figure of 5,000 Ukrainian casualties in the Kherson counter offensive. Obviously the Russians were jubilant, though there were reports of some Ukrainian reservists being withdrawn from the field of action for redeployment elsewhere.

What followed was something the Russians evidently did not expect, namely a well prepared and implemented assault on their positions around the northeastern city of Kharkov, Ukraine’s second largest city. Kharkov was briefly surrounded by Russian forces at the start of the war, but was left in relative peace as the Russians refocused their strategy on taking the Donbas and avoiding major urban warfare except in one place, Mariupol. Exactly what the Russian game plan has been was recently explained in a remarkable paper published by a certain ‘Marinus’ in the Marine Corps Gazette

A couple of days ago I picked up the following amidst the chatter of panelists on Evening with Vladimir Solovyov: “yes, we made some mistakes, but it is inevitable in a war that mistakes are made.” As from the latest news on the apparent loss of Balakliya and surrounding villages on the outskirts of Kharkov, we can see that the Ukrainian tactics were precisely those which Russia had been using so effectively against them from day one of the ‘special military operation,’ namely a feint in one war zone followed by all-out attack on a very different region. Of course, the ‘feint’ around Kherson, if that is what it was, entailed the cynical sacrifice of thousands of young and not so young Ukrainian foot soldiers. But the resultant distraction prevented the Russians from bringing up sufficient manpower to successfully defend their positions around Kharkov, which include the strategically important city of Izyum.

Izyum is close to the Russian-Ukrainian border southeast of Kharkov and is a major logistical base for munitions and weaponry that are sent onward to support the Donbas operation. The latest information on the Russian side appears to be that the Russians have now dispatched large numbers of reservists to this area to hold their positions. They also speak of intense artillery duels. We may well assume that both sides have experienced heavy loss of life. As yet, the outcome is unforeseeable. Meanwhile, Russian war correspondents on the ground in Donetsk insist that the Russian advance towards Slavyansk, in the center of the former Donetsk oblast, is continuing without pause, which suggests that the strikes on their munitions stores claimed by the Ukrainians have not been totally effective. If Slavyansk is taken in the coming few weeks, then Russia will quickly assume control of the entire territory of the Donbas.

In last night’s talk show program, host Vladimir Solovyov said that this latest push in the Ukrainian counter-offensive was timed to coincide with the gathering at the Ramstein air base, Germany of top officials from NATO and other allies under the direction of the visiting U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. If the Ukrainian efforts were failing in the field, then the cry would go up: we must provide them with more weapons and training. And if the Ukrainian efforts in the counter-offensive were succeeding, those in attendance at Ramstein would hear exactly the same appeal to aid Kiev.

Though Evening with Solovyov, on air from about 23.00 Moscow time, offered viewers some few minutes of video recordings from the opening of the Ramstein gathering, far more complete coverage was provided to Russian audiences a few hours earlier by the afternoon news show Sixty Minutes. Here, nearly half an hour on air was given over to lengthy excerpts from CNN and other U.S. and European mainstream television reporting about Ramstein. Host Yevgeni Popov read the Russian translation of the various Western news bulletins. His presentation clearly sought to dramatize the threat and to set off alarm bells.

For his part, Vladimir Solovyov went beyond presentation of the threat posed by the United States and its allies to analysis of Russia’s possible response. He spoke at length, and we may assume that what he was saying had the direct approval of the Kremlin, because his guests, who are further removed from Power than he is, were, for the most part, allowed only to talk blather, such as the critique by one panelist of a recent pro-Ukraine, anti-Russia article in The New York Review of Books by Yale professor Timothy Snyder, who counts for nothing in the big strategic issues Russia faces today.

So, what did Solovyov have to say? First, that Ramstein marked a new stage in the war, because of the  more threatening nature of the weapons systems announced for delivery, such as missiles with accuracy of 1 to 2 meters when fired from distances of 20 or 30 kilometers thanks to their GPS-guided flight, in contrast to the laser-guided missiles delivered to Ukraine up till now. In the same category, there are weapons designed to destroy the Russians’ radar systems used for directing artillery fire. Second, that Ramstein marked the further expansion of the coalition or holy crusade waging war on Russia. Third, that in effect this is no longer a proxy war but a real direct war with NATO and should be prosecuted with appropriate mustering of all resources at home and abroad.

Said Solovyov, Russia should throw off constraints and destroy the Ukrainian dual use infrastructure which makes it possible to move Western weapons across the country to the front. The railway system, the bridges, the electricity generating stations all should become fair targets. Moreover, Kiev should no longer be spared missile strikes and destruction of the ministries and presidential apparatus responsible for prosecution of the war. I note that these ideas were aired on the Solovyov program more than a month ago but then disappeared from view while the Russians were making great gains on the ground. The latest setbacks and the new risks associated with the Western policies set out at Ramstein bring them to the surface again.

Solovyov also argued that Russia should now use in Ukraine its own most advanced weapons that have similar characteristics to what NATO is delivering to the other side. As a sub-point, Russia should consider neutralizing in one way or another the GPS guidance for U.S. weapons. Of course, if this means destroying or blinding the respective U.S. satellites, that would mean crossing a well-known U.S. red line or casus belli.

Next, in the new circumstances, Russia should abandon its go-it-alone policy and actively seek out complementary weapons systems from previously untouchable countries, such as Iran and North Korea. Procurements from both have till now been minimal. On this issue, a couple of panelists with military expertise were allowed to explain that both these countries have sophisticated and proven weapons that could greatly assist Russia’s war effort. Iran has unbeatable drones which carry hefty explosive charges and have proven their worth in operations that are unmentionable on public television. And North Korea has very effective tanks and highly portable field artillery which are both fully compatible with Russian military practice, because the designs were based on Chinese weapons, which in turn were copies of Russia’s own. These weapons also have shown their worth in the hands of unnamed purchasers in the Middle East. Moreover, North Korea has a vast store of munitions fully compatible with Russian artillery. It was also mentioned in passing that insofar as Kiev has mobilized in the field many Western mercenaries and covert NATO officers, Russia should also recruit from abroad, as for example, whole brigades from North Korea available for hire.

If any of these ideas put out by Solovyov last night are indeed implemented by the Kremlin, then the present confrontation in and over Ukraine will truly become globalized, and we have the outlines of what may be called World War III. However, I note that the use of nuclear weapons, tactical or otherwise, does not figure at all in the set of options that official Moscow discusses in relation to the challenges it faces in its Ukraine operation. Such a possibility would arise only if the NATO forces being sent to the EU’s ‘front line states’ grew in number by several times those presently assigned and appeared to be preparing to invade Russia.


Before Ramstein, before the news of Ukrainian successes on the ground in the Kharkov sector, I had plans to write about a very different development this past week that coincided with a different calendar: the end of summer vacations and return to work of our national governments. With the return, our presidents and prime ministers would finally have to address the critical state of the European economies, which are facing the highest inflation rates in decades and an energy crisis brought about by the sanctions on Russian hydrocarbons. Speculation was rife on what exactly they would do.

I was particularly struck by several articles in the 7 September edition of The Financial Times and planned to comment on them.

For months now, the FT has been the voice of Number 10, Downing Street, at the vanguard of the Western crusade to crush Russia. Their editorial board has consistently backed every proposal for sanctions against Russia, however hare-brained. And yet on the 7th their journalists ran away with the show and cast doubt on the basic assumptions held by their bosses. One article by Derek Brower in the “FT Energy Source” newsletter has the self-explanatory title “The price cap idea that could worsen the energy crisis.” As we saw today, Brower’s concern was misplaced:  finally, the EU could not agree a price cap policy. This notion, promoted from the United States by none other than the Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen, is in full contradiction with the practices of the global hydrocarbon market, as even a few EU leaders understood, depriving the initiators from the Baltic States of their hoped for consensus.

Another article of the 7th in FT, by Valentina Pop, Europe Express Editor, analyzed quickly and competently the problems facing European policy-makers in their bid to alleviate the pain to households and industry that the latest electricity and heating bills would otherwise present, given that they are several times higher than just a year ago and are unaffordable by large swathes of the population. Pop identified the key issue thus: how to provide aid quickly to those most in need given the constraints and resources available to the various government bureaucracies: “Some capitals will take many months in determining which households require help” she says. Of course, ‘many months’ of patience in the broad population will not be there.

But the most surprising article in this collection from the  7th was in the “Opinion Lex” section of the paper which was nominally about how Russian banks have weathered the storm that broke out when the EU sanctions on their industry first were laid down shortly after the start of Russia’s ‘special military operation.’ Indeed, VTB and other major Russian banks have returned to profitability despite it all. The author finds that ‘sanctions are biting less than western politicians hoped.’ Not only did the expected banking crisis not materialize, but the ruble is at five-year peaks and inflation is falling. Moreover the official Russian financial data behind these generalizations is said to be sound by independent and trustworthy market observers. The key conclusions are saved for last: “Russia has shown it can bear the pain of western sanctions. Western Europe must endure reprisals as robustly, or concede a historic defeat.’ The ‘reprisals’ in question are the complete shutdown of Russian gas deliveries through Nord Stream I until Europe lifts its sanctions.

It is interesting that even the Opinion article by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg published on the 7th in FT carries the following grim warning: “We face a difficult six months, with the threat of energy cuts, disruptions and perhaps even civil unrest.’ [emphasis mine]

To be sure, here and there in Europe, there are a few clever administrators who find promising solutions to the pending crisis of energy bills. In her first day in office, Britain’s new Prime Minister Liz Truss announced one such solution:  to immediately freeze the maximum energy bill per household at the present level of 2500 pounds sterling per year and then to turn around and agree with the power companies a subsidy for them to cover their losses.

This is fine for nipping in the bud possible ‘civil unrest.’ But the question remains how Britain will finance the estimated 150 billion pounds this will cost in the first year alone. If a similar solution were approved in the EU, the overall cost would surely approach the 800 billion euros of assistance borrowed to cover losses attributable to the Covid pandemic a year ago. But whereas the Covid aid was financed by collective borrowing of the EU, no such solidarity is likely to deal with the energy crisis, given that Germany, the Netherlands and other northern Member States oppose this becoming a general practice and will apply a veto. The British solution, however clever it may be, will hardly be available to many countries in the EU on their own given their high state indebtedness.

Then there is the second question of what to do to assist industry. Failure to give industry proper relief will result in company closures and rampant unemployment, which finally also sparks political protest. In any case, such solutions do not deal with the knock-on effects of vastly increased government borrowing to finance the energy subsidies, something which in the best of times always reduces capital available for other government services and capital available to private business for investment and job creation.

These various problems in dealing with the energy crisis that Europe created for itself by imposing sanctions on Russia may well be intractable and may well lead to spontaneous protests in a number of European countries this fall.

There is no anti-war movement on the Old Continent to speak of. So popular protests over the ‘heat or eat’ dilemma being imposed from the chanceries on the people without anything resembling public debate may be the salvation of us all if they induce war mongering politicans to resign.

©Gilbert Doctorow, 2022

September 10, 2022 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Russophobia | , , , | 2 Comments