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Opposition to Childhood Vaccine Mandates on the Rise, More Parents Say They Want the Right to Choose

Michael Nevradakis, Ph.D. – The Defender – December 16, 2022

A growing number of parents oppose vaccine mandates as a precondition for public school attendance, and interest among adults in receiving COVID-19 booster shots is waning, according to a national poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF).

The results of the latest KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor survey, released today, show more than one-third (35%) of parents now believe they should be the ones to decide whether their children receive a slate of childhood vaccines.

The poll encompassed a nationally representative sample of 1,259 adults who were interviewed between Nov. 29 and Dec. 8. According to The New York Times, the KFF is a “nonpartisan health care research organization.”

“It’s unfortunate that it took a wave of injuries and deaths from vaccines that never should have been released into the market — much less mandated — to draw long-overdue attention to the issue of vaccine safety,” said Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., chairman and chief litigation counsel for Children’s Health Defense.

Kennedy told The Defender :

“This latest poll is encouraging for those parents, physicians and scientists who for decades have been calling for an investigation into the relentless promotion by FDA, CDC and Big Pharma of inferior medical products without rigorous safety testing.

“As more parents begin to question the forced, routine administration of vaccines on healthy children, perhaps we will move closer to protecting children and holding vaccine makers and government agencies accountable for the harm these products cause.”

26% of parents today: ‘Risks of childhood vaccines for measles, mumps, and rubella outweigh the benefits’

According to the KFF poll, 65% of parents of children under age 18 “think healthy children should be required to be vaccinated to attend public schools.”

This represents an 11% decline from an October 2019 Pew Research Center poll showing 76% of parents supported public school vaccine mandates.

More than one-third of parents surveyed (35%) “now believe parents should be able to decide not to vaccinate their children, up from 23% in 2019.”

The poll also revealed declines in support for specific vaccines. For instance, 71% of respondents said “healthy children should be required to get vaccinated for MMR in order to attend public schools” compared with 82% who supported the MMR vaccine mandate for healthy children in 2019.

Nearly 3 in 10 parents (28%) said parents should be able to choose whether their children receive the MMR vaccine, compared with 16% in the 2019 poll.

A similar percentage (26%) responded that the “risks of childhood vaccines for measles, mumps, and rubella outweigh the benefits.”

A smaller decline was noted in the percentage of adults (85%) who felt the benefits of childhood MMR vaccination outweigh the risk. This represented a three-percentage-point decline from the 2019 Pew Research Center poll (88%).

These declines were driven by increased vaccine “skepticism” and a growing movement toward parental choice, on the part of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents — 44% of whom responded that parents should have a choice about whether or not their children receive the MMR vaccine, up from 20% in 2019.

Only 11% of Democrats provided the same response.

Moreover, only 56% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said “healthy children should be required to be vaccinated to attend public schools,” a decline of 23 percentage points compared to 2019.

A similar divide was apparent among respondents in reference to their COVID-19 vaccination status. While 83% of vaccinated respondents said healthy children should be required to be vaccinated in order to attend public schools, 63% of unvaccinated parents said parents should instead decide.

‘Tepid’ interest in COVID ‘boosters’ and flu vaccine

Interest in the updated COVID-19 booster is “tepid,” according to the KFF poll, which showed only 1 in 5 adults (22%) surveyed said they have received the updated bivalent booster and an additional 16% said they plan to receive it “as soon as possible.”

However, 12% of respondents said they would “wait and see” before deciding whether to get the new booster, 13% said they would get it only if required and 9% said they would “definitely not” get it.

An additional 27% were unvaccinated or only “partially” vaccinated, which means they are not eligible to get the booster.

Interest in the bivalent booster was highest among adults 65 and older (39%) and Democrat voters (38%), though both figures fall significantly short of a majority. Conversely, only 12% of Republicans and 11% of young adults under 30 said they had received a dose of the updated booster.

Also, 36% of “fully vaccinated” adults 65 and older said they don’t think they need the updated booster, while a “similar percentage,” according to KFF, said they did not think the benefit of the updated booster was worth it.

Overall, fewer than half of parents of children under 18 said their child has received the updated booster or is likely to do so.

Combined with children who have not been vaccinated and who are therefore ineligible for the booster, 58% of parents of 12- to 17-year-olds and 70% of parents of 5- to 11-year-olds responded in this manner.

Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, even if vaccinated, expressed skepticism toward the updated booster, with 64% stating they do not think they need it, and 61% saying they did not believe the benefit was worth it.

Even among Democrats, a majority (51%) said they were too busy or hadn’t had the time to get the updated booster, indicating it was not a high priority for them.

Even in the face of a so-called “tripledemic” of COVID-19, flu and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) this fall and winter, and despite the majority of parents saying they are worried their children will get sick from RSV (56%, and 73% of parents of children under the age of 5), only 34% of parents said their child has gotten a flu shot this season.

Parents’ rights movement growing in prominence

According to The Times, “The shift in positions appears to be less about rejecting the shots than a growing endorsement of the so-called parents’ rights movement.”

Dr. Sean O’Leary, chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Infectious Diseases told The Times :

“The talking point that has been circulated is the concept of taking away parents’ rights. And when you frame it that simply, it’s very appealing to a certain segment of the population.”

O’Leary said he worried that the parental rights movement might slow down compliance with state-mandated childhood immunization schedules, telling The Times “We do have a global dip in vaccine coverage. So this is not a time to be considering a rollback of these laws.”

Michael Nevradakis, Ph.D., based in Athens, Greece, is a senior reporter for The Defender and part of the rotation of hosts for CHD.TV’s “Good Morning CHD.”

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.

December 17, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | 1 Comment

Advocating a Risky Experiment Generates A Motive to Conceal Its Failure

Dr. Paul Alexander asks some tough questions about Grant Wahl’s death

By John Leake | Courageous Discourse | December 16, 2022

My first true crime book—about the Austrian author, journalist, and international serial killer, Jack Unterweger—recounted a strange dilemma suffered by Austria’s intelligentsia after evidence emerged that Jack had murdered several women. The trouble for them was, they had, just a few years earlier, vehemently advocated (through letters and a petition to the Justice Ministry) Jack’s early release from his life sentence in prison for a brutal murder he’d committed in his youth. Their passionate desire to liberate him arose after he published an “autobiographical novel” titled Purgatory. They (a Who’s Who of Austrian writers, artists, journalists, and scientists) found his book so moving, and so apparently expressive of his mature self-awareness, that they asserted it was evidence of his rehabilitation.

About 18 months after he was released from prison with great fanfare, an Austrian daily newspaper reported that a warrant had been issued for his arrest for murdering 7 women in three Austrian cities. Shortly thereafter he also fell under suspicion for murdering three women in Los Angeles and one in Prague, for a total of eleven women.

The lead police investigator, Ernst Geiger, discovered that many Austrian journalists and public commentators were extremely reluctant to acknowledge the extensive circumstantial evidence that Jack was the killer. Especially embarrassing for the Austrian National Broadcasting Corporation was the strange fact that Jack had gotten an assignment to produce a major radio story on the mysterious killer who was stalking Vienna’s red light district, much like “Jack the Ripper” had done in London a century earlier.

Those who’d advocated the extremely risky social experiment did not want to face up to the fact that their gamble had gone the wrong way, resulting in the terrible deaths of eleven young women. Many even seemed to prefer that the arrest warrant be rescinded and the investigation suspended.

This afternoon I was reminded of my first book when I read Dr. Paul Alexander’s reflections on the sudden death of celebrity soccer commentator, Grant Wahl, in the press box at the World Cup in Qatar. Mr. Wahl’s wife, Dr. Celine Gounder, was a member of President Biden’s COVID-19 Advisory Board and a vehement advocate for mass vaccination using the mRNA gene transfer shots developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

Dr. Gounder’s high profile endorsement of “The Great Gamble of COVID-19 Vaccine Development” (as Dr. McCullough characterized this massive experiment) raises the concern that she will be reluctant to examine the distinct possibility that these products caused or contributed to her fit young husband’s death.

Dr. Alexander’s fascinating and provocative essay is well worth reading in full.

December 17, 2022 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | | Leave a comment

Pandemic Preparedness: The New Parasite

By David Bell | Brownstone Institute | DECEMBER 17, 2022

The frequency and impact of pandemic-prone pathogens are increasing. Modest investments in PPR capacities can prevent and contain disease outbreaks, thereby drastically reducing the cost of response”

So begins a recent joint paper from the World Bank and the World Health Organization (WHO), written for the 2022 meeting of the G20. The paper is seeking to justify a request for unprecedented international public health funding directed to the burgeoning pandemic preparedness and response (PPR) industry. The modest investments they refer to includes $10 billion in new funding; three times the WHO’s current annual budget.

In the century prior to the Covid debacle pandemics were not increasing and their impact was steadily diminishing, as noted in WHO’s 2019 pandemic guidelines. The cost of the Covid response would also have been far lower if these abandoned but evidence-based 2019 guidelines were followed. The WHO guidelines note that the approaches that comprised Covid lockdowns would be costly, especially to lower-income people.

However, the joint statement is not intended to reflect reality; rather it is intended to paint a picture through which the public will perceive a false reality. By triggering fear and deference, the wealth-concentrating response used against Covid can be normalized and then repeated. False assertions stated as accepted fact have proven very effective in increasing the industry’s share of the global financial cake. International agencies have no advertising standards to comply with.

When an industry absorbs material value to produce mostly unquantifiable products, perceptions are vital. Growth in the public health industry can only occur in two ways. Firstly, the industry and the public can jointly identify mutually beneficent areas of work that the public considers worth funding. Secondly, the industry can mislead, coerce or force the public, with the assistance of cooperative governments, to provide support that is not in the public’s interest. The latter is what parasites do.

As a disclaimer, I have spent the bulk of my working life employed by governments or on aid budgets, living off money taken from taxpayers so that I could have it. It can be a great lifestyle, as global health salaries and benefits are generally very attractive, offer travel to exotic locations, and commonly offer generous health and education benefits. It can still work for the public if the relationship is symbiotic, increasing their general health and well-being and improving the functioning of a moral decent society. Sometimes that outcome can occur.

For public health to work for the public, the public must remain in control of this relationship. Oxpeckers, the birds that hitch a ride on rhinoceroses, have a useful symbiotic relationship with their host. They remove skin parasites from awkward crevices, providing the rhinoceros with a healthier skin and fewer irritating itches. If they pecked out the eyes of the host, they would cease to be of benefit, and become a marauding parasite.

For a while, the oxpecker may gain more for themselves, feasting on the rhino’s softer parts. Eventually their host will succumb as a blind rhinoceros, unless confined to a zoo, cannot sustain its being. But the oxpecker, if overcome by greed, may not have thought that far ahead.

To remain in charge and manage public health for mutual benefit, the public must be told the truth. But in a problem-solving industry where solved problems no longer require work, truth-telling risks job security.

This is where the symbiotic relationship of public health is prone to become parasitic. If one is paid to address a particular health issue, and the issue is resolved through good management or a changing risk environment, there is a clear and urgent need to justify continuation of salary.

On a larger scale, whole public health bureaucracies have an incentive to find more issues that ‘must’ be addressed, make new rules that must then be enforced, and identify more risks to investigate. New international public health bodies keep emerging and growing, but they don’t close down. People rarely choose redundancy and unemployment.

This is where the public health industry has a real advantage. In nature, parasites usually must concentrate on just one host to survive, adapting to maximize their gains. A hookworm is designed specifically to survive in its host’s gut. The host, however, has a whole variety of parasites, illnesses, and other pressing concerns to deal with. A host must therefore ignore the hookworm as long as it does not pose an obvious immediate threat. The worm needs to milk the host of blood whilst seeming relatively innocuous.

A really smart hookworm would find a way to trick the host into thinking it beneficial – perhaps by promoting the benefits of Medieval practices such as bloodletting, as we have seen with masks and curfews through the recent Covid response. The global health industry can use this approach by building a story that will benefit them, plausible enough to the public to pass rudimentary scrutiny. If it sounds sufficiently specialized, it will dissuade deeper examination.

In the current rendering of this ploy, the public faces an ever-growing threat of pandemics that will devastate society if we in the public health industry are not given more money. They are given a story of urgency, and shielded from the historical and scientific realities that would undermine it.

International public health organizations solely concentrated on addressing pandemics already exist, such as CEPI, inaugurated by the Gates Foundation, Norway and Wellcome Trust at the World Economic Forum in 2017, and the new Financial Intermediary Fund for pandemics of the World Bank. Others such as Gavi, and increasingly the WHO and Unicef, focus heavily on this area. Many of their sponsors, including large pharmaceutical companies and their investors, stand to gain very large profits off the back of this gravy train.

The average taxpayer, dealing with inflation, family life, jobs and myriad other priorities can hardly be expected to delve into the veracity of what ‘experts’ say in some far distant place. They must trust that a symbiotic, mutually beneficial relationship is still in place. They hope that the public health industry will do the right thing; that it is still on their side. Sadly, it is not.

White papers on pandemic preparedness don’t have detailed cost-benefit analyses, just as these were not provided for Covid lockdowns, school closures or mass vaccination. Cursory calculations suggest poor overall benefit, so they have been avoided. We now see this playing out through declining economiesrising poverty and inequality. Diverting billions of dollars annually to hypothetical pandemics will add to this burden. Yet this is being done, and the public is acquiescing to this use of their increasingly hard-earned taxes.

A dead rhinoceros will not support many oxpeckers, and a hookworm will not survive bleeding its host to death. A public health industry that impoverishes its funding base and harms society through ill-advised policies will eventually be caught up in the outcome. But the short-term gains from parasitism are attractive and humans don’t seem to have the instincts (or intelligence) that keep the oxpecker in healthy symbiosis.

Thus, the public health industry will probably continue its current trajectory, increasing inequality and poverty, comfortably on the receiving end of the wealth redistribution it promotes. The money requested for pandemic preparedness will be paid, because the people deciding whether to use your taxes are essentially the same people asking for them.

They run the international financial and health sector and they all meet at their private club called the World Economic Forum. Their sponsors now have more than enough spare cash swirling around to keep needy politicians and media on board.

Those working within the industry know what they are doing – at least those who pause long enough to think. This abuse will continue until the host, the parasitized, realizes that the symbiotic relationship they had been banking on is a fallacy, and they have been duped.

There are ways to deal with parasites that are not good for the parasite. A really smart public health industry would adopt a more measured approach and ensure their policies benefit the public more than themselves. But that would also require a moral code and some courage.

David Bell, Senior Scholar at Brownstone Institute, is a public health physician and biotech consultant in global health. He is a former medical officer and scientist at the World Health Organization (WHO), Programme Head for malaria and febrile diseases at the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) in Geneva, Switzerland, and Director of Global Health Technologies at Intellectual Ventures Global Good Fund in Bellevue, WA, USA.

December 17, 2022 Posted by | Corruption, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

Damage to Ukrainian civilian infrastructure self-inflicted – Russia

RT | December 17, 2022

Mistakes made by the Ukrainian forces in their attempt to repel a Russian missile strike on Friday led to damage to civilian infrastructure, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Saturday. Earlier, Kiev had blamed the Russian forces for hitting residential apartments in the strike and killing four people, including a toddler.

“Unprofessional actions of the Ukrainian air defense units resulted in damage to civilian infrastructure on the ground,” the ministry said, without providing any further details.

Earlier, the governor of the Ukrainian Dnepropetrovsk Region, Valentin Reznichenko, said that four civilians had died in Krivoy Rog in Friday’s strike, including a one-year-old boy. A total of 13 people were injured, including four children, he added. According to Reznichenko, it was a Russian missile that supposedly had hit a residential building, leading to four deaths.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the “high-precision weapon strike” was targeting the Ukrainian military command and administration system as well as the military industrial complex and relevant power-supply networks. The strike had in particular “disrupted foreign weapons and munition transportation” and had “blocked the advancement of the Ukrainian reserves,” the ministry said. The operation of some military industrial facilities was stopped as well, it added.

“The strike’s goal was reached. All the designated targets were hit,” the Russian ministry said. The Ukrainian General Staff said on Saturday that Russia had launched a total of 98 missiles at Ukraine during the massive strike on Friday. It did not elaborate on how many of them were shot down.

On Friday, Ukraine’s state-owned energy giant Ukrenergo declared a state of emergency following the reports of the Russian strikes hitting critical infrastructure. The operator called the situation a “system breakdown,” adding that it had registered a fall in nationwide electricity consumption by more than 50%.

In recent weeks, Russia has ramped up its airstrikes against Ukraine’s critical infrastructure, through missile and drone barrages across the country. This followed Kiev’s launch of several sabotage operations against civilian infrastructure in Russia, including the Crimean Bridge truck-bomb attack.

The Russian Defense Ministry had previously said the Russian forces only target military sites in Ukraine. In October, the Russian military started targeting energy facilities that the Defense Ministry believes to be crucial for Ukraine’s military capability. As a result, the Ukrainian energy system has been significantly degraded.

December 17, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , | Leave a comment

Modi ignores West’s sanctions on Russia


Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday marks a new stage in the bilateral relationship between the two time-tested friends, both contextually and from a long-term perspective.

The media may find it alluring to link Modi’s call to Ukraine developments despite the Indian and Russian readouts (here and here) making it clear that Russian-Indian bilateral relations dominated the conversation. 

Nonetheless, it is very significant that Modi was not deterred by the fact that although this is not an era for wars, the Ukraine conflict in all probability will only escalate, and there is a greater likelihood than ever before that Russia may be compelled to seek a total military victory, as the US is leaving it with no option by doggedly blocking all avenues for a realistic settlement and is furtively climbing the escalation ladder. 

Without doubt, the Biden Administration’s reported decision to deploy Patriot missile in Ukraine is a major escalation. Moscow has warned of “consequences.” Again, Moscow has confirmed that the US planned, masterminded and equipped Ukraine with the military capability to attack deep inside Russian territory — hundreds of kilometres, in fact — including against the base at Engels where Russia’s nuclear-capable strategic bombers are stationed. The two superpowers never before targeted each other’s nuclear assets. 

So, there is no question that Modi’s initiative at this point in time to discuss “the high level of bilateral cooperation that has been developing on the basis of the Russian-Indian privileged strategic partnership,” including in key areas of energy, trade and investments, defence & security cooperation, conveys a huge message in itself.

It quietly underscores a medium and long term perspective on the Russian-Indian relationship that goes far beyond the vicissitudes of the Ukraine conflict. Put differently, India will not allow its long-standing ties with Russia to be held hostage to Western sanctions. 

For India, the reorientation of Russian economic diplomacy toward the Asian region presents huge business opportunities. Who would have thought nine months ago that Russia was going to be the largest supplier of oil to India, leapfrogging Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the US? According to Reuters, India purchased about 40% of all export volumes of Russian Urals grade oil transported by sea in November, when European countries accounted for 25%, Turkey 15% and China 5%.

The figures speak for themselves: in November, while Russia supplied 909,000.4 barrels of crude oil to India per day, the corresponding figures were for Iraq (861,000.4), Saudi Arabia (570,000.9), and the US (405,000.5) Suffice it to say that when Modi upfront listed energy as his talking point with Putin, it reconfirms that India is giving a wide berth to the G7’s hare-brained scheme to impose a price cap on Russian oil exports. 

But all good things have a flip side. As the volume of India-Russia trade shoots up — with Russia emerging as India’s seventh largest trading partner, rising from 25th place — the imbalance in the bilateral trade is also widening, as Moscow prioritises India (and China) as preferred trading partners. 

EAM Jaishankar’s recent Moscow visit focused on a list of 500 items that Russia would be keen to source from India. Importantly, this is also about a supply chain for the Russian industry / economy. Jaishankar reportedly gave an interim reply of India’s readiness to start supplying spare parts necessary for airplanes, cars and trains.

Some Russian experts have talked about India as a potentially significant “trans-shipment” state for Russia’s “parallel imports” — that is, Russia can buy not only Indian goods from India but also products from third countries.

Meanwhile, turning away from the European market, Russia also seeks business opportunities for its export basket that includes mineral products, precious metals and products made from them, aluminium and other non-ferrous metals, electric machines, vehicles, pharmaceutical, chemical, rubber products, etc. 

Clearly, there are systemic issues to be addressed such as transportation logistics; payment mechanism, collateral sanctions. However, for the near term, all eyes are on the Russian oil exports to India in the time of the G7 price cap. 

The Russian government daily Rossyiskaya Gazeta reported on Tuesday, “It is expected that Russia, in response to the price ceiling, will adopt an official ban on selling oil under contracts where the “ceiling” will be mentioned or the marginal price for our oil will be indicated.” That is, Moscow will insist on an embargo on supplies basically restricted to the G7 and Australia. 

China and India are not affected, as they haven’t joined the price cap. The following excerpts from the Moscow daily outlines the state of play:

“There are no real mechanisms that could enforce these [G7] restrictions… already, about a third of Russian oil exports leave Russian ports without indicating the final destination. That is, a so-called “grey trade zone” is growing before our eyes, which allows traders to purchase Russian raw materials without the risk of falling under secondary sanctions… discount [ie., fair prices] allows the Asia-Pacific countries, primarily China and India, to increase purchases of Russian raw materials.” 

The fascinating part is that not only is the so-called “grey zone” expanding steadily but alongside, other suppliers have begun to adjust to the prices of Russian oil in the Asia-Pacific region — that is, to the real equilibrium prices or discounted prices. Curiously, even Western countries are in a position to receive relatively inexpensive Russian oil through third parties.

The bottom line is that the Biden administration’s goal was not to limit the volume of Russian oil exports but focused on the revenues of the Russian budget from oil production and the world oil market. Rissyiskaya Gazeta concludes: “In fact, so far what is happening does not contradict either our aspirations or the desires of the United States.” [See my article Race for Russian oil begins, The Tribune, Nov. 28, 2022]

This new-found pragmatism in the US calculus about the limits to sanctions took a curious turn on Thursday when the US blacklisted the Russian billionaire-oligarch Vladimir Potanin but exempted two of his biggest assets from the purview of sanctions — MMC Norilsk Nickel and Tinkoff Bank — on the specious ground that his holdings are less than 50% in these two companies [but are only 35%!]   

Why so? Because, MMC’s share in the world market of high-grade nickel is 17%, palladium 38%, platinum 10%, rhodium 7%, copper and cobalt 2% each; and, sanctioning the Russian company could sharply aggravate the world market for non-ferrous metals and can hurt US manufacturers. 

Clearly, the law of diminishing returns is at work in the continued weaponisation of sanctions against Russia. Indian business and industry should pay close attention to Modi’s far-sighted initiative on Friday.

December 17, 2022 Posted by | Economics | , , , | 1 Comment

Oil Exports From Key Russian Port Cut In Half As Price Cap Kicks In

By Tyler Durden | Zero Hedge | December 17, 2022

The market may have been too quick to dismiss the impact of European oil price cap on Russian oil.

Assuming that the latest G-7 attempt to limit Russian oil revenues were one big nothingburger – after all, the US itself admitted that the goal of the price cap was not so much to cripple Putin’s Treasury as to maintain a more stable flow of oil – the market quickly ignored the potential of lower Russian output as it continued to sell oil into year end amid fears there won’t be enough demand to offset stable supply.

But in yet another case of poetic justice-cum-Murphy’s law, Europe’s exercise in virtue signalling optics is about to backfire and achieve precisely what it was meant to achieve, if only for virtuous public consumption.

According to Bloomberg, there are signs that oil tanker companies are avoiding sending their ships to collect crude from a key Russian port in Asia following the G-7 sanctions targeting Moscow’s petroleum revenues. As has been duly documented here previously, since Dec. 5, buyers of Russian oil have only been allowed to access industry standard insurance and an array of trade-critical services if they pay $60 a barrel or less. But shipments of the key ESPO grade from the Asian port of Kozmino are about $10 above that, meaning they need to make alternative arrangements.

Since the cap began, ESPO (which stands for Eastern Siberia–Pacific Ocean, the initials of a pipeline that takes the oil from east Siberia to the Pacific) has seen loadings cut in half from a month earlier, tanker tracking compiled by Bloomberg show. By contrast Urals, a much larger grade exported from western Russia, is flowing freely to customers in Asia — aided by the fact it fell far below the $60 threshold a few weeks before it was introduced.

However, amid the latest sanctions which set the $60 price cutoff, tankers are shying away from the Asian grade, and in the 10 days since the measures began, 4.4 million barrels have been loaded onto tankers at Kozmino, Bloomberg calculates. In the same period a month earlier, there were 8.8 million barrels loaded.

While it is too soon to say if the observed drop in ESPO flows reflects something structural, weather conditions haven’t been particularly bad and there doesn’t appear to be many candidate ships in place to collect cargoes in the coming few weeks. That said, tanker tracking data is always volatile, depending on the timings of loadings, and the comings and goings of individual tankers.

Shipbrokers and traders contacted by Bloomberg also said that said there are signs that ESPO sellers are struggling to secure tankers for cargoes purchased at more than $60 a barrel. At least two large and well-known shipowners, China Cosco Shipping Corp. and Greece-based Avin International Ltd. have stepped back from moving ESPO crude since Dec. 5, according to shipbrokers. Emails sent to both companies weren’t answered.

Their absence has taken at least five tankers out of the regular pool of ships that move the grade, they said. That leaves charterers to work with smaller independent owners who’re still willing to handle the trade. If charterers continue to face headwinds with the booking of tankers, flows could be impeded, they said. ESPO and Sokol, another grade that’s exported from eastern Russia, currently trade above the $60 a barrel threshold that gives access to insurance and G-7 services.

With Urals grade Russian oil trading well below the price cap, and last fetching about $45/bbl, shipbrokers said tanker bookings for Russia’s flagship crude from western ports are proceeding more normally. Tanker tracking also suggests no obvious disruption to flows of the grade.

Of course, all of this is just a snapshot in time: once oil prices spike, as they will after the year-end selling is over, it is virtually assured that all Russian oil grades will be priced above $60, even with the deep discount to spot. At that point, traders will be watching closely to see if Russian crude exports can be maintained and how Moscow will respond if supplies do get disrupted.

As noted previously, the irony behind all this is that the stability of Russian exports is crucial as the US and rest of G-7 work on ensuring security of global oil supplies ahead of the Northern hemisphere winter while simultaneously attempting to deprive the Kremlin of funding for its war in Ukraine. A sharp loss of output could backfire on the west if it boosts wider oil prices and reignites inflation. And while the price cap wasn’t really supposed to be a price cap, it just may end up being one with Russian oil exports suddenly cut off, sending all “non-Russian” oil prices explosively higher, and sparking a new energy crisis some time in early 2023.

As for Russian product just sitting there, about half the ESPO cargoes scheduled for loading in the rest of this month have yet to secure tankers, according to shipbrokers. That is slower than usual, and they attributing it to the smaller pool of willing tankers operated by a smaller number of owners. It’s possible that tankers which previously handled oil from sanctioned regimes such as Iran and Venezuela – the so-called dark fleet – would be booked, shipbrokers said.

December 17, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Russophobia | | Leave a comment

Why the Net Zero Policy is Illogical


The U.K. Net Zero Carbon policy (UK NZC) is a Government policy offered as a solution to a problem that involves a range of academic disciplines. As well as being complex, the science of anthropogenic carbon-based global warming is controversial. Although some climate scientists insist that it is ‘settled’, there are many dissenters, as an internet search or a trip to a good bookshop will confirm.

The multi-disciplinary nature of climate science coupled with differing views among experts makes it almost impossible for a layman to follow the arguments, let alone assess the evidence and come to an informed opinion. Despite these apparent difficulties, I’ll argue that it is possible to establish a simple framework that can clarify complex questions – in this case, “How likely is it that UK NZC will be an effective response to global warming? – without requiring specialist knowledge. I also show how the approach can be used to identify, measure and illustrate differences of opinion.

Start from a small number of statements that make up the Net Zero commitment.

  1. The Earth must actually be warming.
  2. The warming must pose a genuine and serious threat to life on Earth.
  3. The warming must be man-made. Specifically, it must be caused by excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere arising from human activity.
  4. The U.K.’s NZC policy must bring about a meaningful global reduction of atmospheric carbon. That is, it must either make a significant reduction in its own right, or it must set an example that persuades other countries to reduce their own carbon emissions, to a degree sufficient to stop the warming.

For UK NZC to be effective, statements 1-4 must all be correct. If any one of them is false, the policy will fail, either because it doesn’t lead to sufficient carbon reduction, or because the policy wasn’t necessary in the first place.

The next step is to define a view (with respect to statements 1-4) as a set of probabilities p1, p2, p3, p4, which represent the respective degrees of belief placed in those statements. For example, the view of a particular climate scientist, Expert A, might be expressed as:

(p1, p2, p3, p4)= (0.8, 0.5, 0.2, 0.2), which means that Expert A is:

  • 80% sure that statement 1 – the Earth is warming – is true;
  • 50% sure that the warming is life-threatening (statement 2);
  • 20% sure that statement 3 is correct – warming is the result of human activity;
  • 20% sure that UK NZC will bring about a meaningful global reduction of atmospheric carbon one way or another.

Expert A rates the likelihood of all four statements being correct, i.e., UK NZC being effective, as:

P=p1 × p2 × p3 × p4 = 0.8 × 0.5 × 0.2 × 0.2 = 0.016.

If the view of a second expert, Expert B, with respect to statements 1-4, is:

(q1, q2, q3, q4) = (0.9, 0.5, 0.8, 0.3)

then a comparison with Expert A’s view shows that:

  • Expert B has a stronger overall belief than Expert A that UK NZC will be effective (Q=q1 × q2 × q3 × q4 = 0.9 × 0.5 × 0.8 × 0.2 = 0.108, versus P=0.016;
  • Both A and B agree that the Earth is warming (p1=0.8; q1=0.9);
  • Both of them are equally unsure whether that poses a significant threat to life on Earth (p2=0.5; q2=0.5);
  • They differ on the cause of the warming. Expert A doubts that it is man-made, whereas Expert B believes strongly that it is (p3=0.2; q3=0.8);
  • Both experts are fairly sceptical that UK NZC will lead to a significant reduction in global atmospheric carbon (p4=0.2; q4=0.3).

Neither expert is all that confident that UK NZC will achieve its aims, with Expert A being particularly pessimistic, seeing the likelihood as just 1.6% compared to 10.8% for Expert B. The main reason is that both of them are doubtful that unilateral U.K. action will have much influence on the choices of other countries.

The chart below represents the view of each expert on each requirement, and highlights statement 3, the one area of significant disagreement.


  • Defining a view with respect to a set of statements in terms of the respective degrees of confidence associated with each individual statement provides a convenient means of summarising, comparing and illustrating a variety of opinions on the subject to which the statements refer. It also serves as a natural starting point for a cost-benefit analysis of any proposed action.
  • It isn’t necessary to be an expert (in this case on climate science) to make a reasonable assessment of the conditions that must apply if an argument or an assertion (such as “There is no alternative to UK NZC”) is to be persuasive.
  • It isn’t too much to expect someone – expert or otherwise – who advocates a particular course of action to be able to give rough estimates of the likelihood that the conditions essential to the success of that action will be met.
  • Long chains of necessary conditions lead quickly to low probabilities of overall success. The longer the set of plausible conditions that must hold if an assertion is to be true, the less likely the truth of that assertion. With 15 independent requirements, each of which has a 95% probability of success, for example, the probability of overall success is less than 50%. Complex policy issues like those associated with climate change typically have many requirements and much uncertainty.

December 17, 2022 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | 2 Comments

If Being Frozen To Death Doesn’t Work, Being Starved To Death Comes Next

By Patrick Clarke | December 14, 2022

First we were placed under virtual house arrest. Now we are being frozen by soaring fuel bills and energy supply shortages in those same homes. Coming next, we are to be starved. All in pursuit of one of the Net Zero cults: Covid or carbon emissions. Too bleak a picture? We have only to look across the North Sea to one of our nearest neighbours, the Netherlands.

Surprisingly for such a small country (it is only about twice the size of Wales), the Netherlands is the second largest food exporter in the world, second only to the United States. It is Europe’s largest meat exporter. Four million cows, 13 million pigs and 104 million chickens are reared annually. It provides vegetables to many of its Western European neighbours.

One would assume this success story would be widely cherished, especially in an era of increasing food insecurity and shortages, with other key sources such as Ukraine under serious threat due to the continuing conflict there.

Remarkably, and many would say sinisterly, the polar opposite is the case. The supposed crime of the Dutch farmers? They have fallen foul of the ‘Zero Carbon’ fixation of the Climate Change Cultists who control so much of the current political and economic agenda.

One of that agenda’s chief targets is agriculture, particularly the use of nitrogen. The Dutch are at the top of the tree for nitrogen use per hectare of cultivated land, at nearly twice the European average.

The European Commission has given strict guidelines to EU member states to reduce their use of nitrogen. To comply with this the Dutch Government introduced laws to enforce a reduction of 50 per cent in nitrogen emissions by 2030. Such draconian targets can only come with draconian enforcement measures.

Dutch farming is being strangled through an assortment of regulations, including new flood prevention regulations, bizarrely given the success of the Dutch in preventing flooding over the centuries despite the fact that large parts of the country are below sea level, having been reclaimed from the sea.

Perhaps worst of all, one of the Government’s new laws bans the children of farmers from inheriting the farm when their parents retire or die. Once a farmer stops farming, their entire family becomes banned from farming in the Netherlands again. A whole way of life plus decades, sometimes even centuries, of experience is being gratuitously thrown away.

Where regulation fails, mandatory purchasing of land by the state is feared to be the next step as farmers have so far shown little interest in selling any of their land. Around 300,000 hectares of farmland is earmarked to be converted into nature conservation areas between now and 2040. More than 1,000 farms face forcible closure.

Nor is it just the Dutch Government that the farmers are battling. A panoply of NGOs are on the case too, using the courts to pursue any part of the government at national or provincial level deemed to be faltering in enforcing these objectives.

Those of us in the UK, long weary of seeing how political charities and activist lawyers run rings round attempts to enforce curbs on immigration, will be familiar with the process.

It’s worth pointing out too that, despite Brexit, Northern Ireland still has to implement these same EU directives as part of the Northern Ireland protocol. Thanks for that one, Theresa May, Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak. So while today it is Dutch farming under siege from its own government, tomorrow it will be farming in Northern Ireland that is compelled to go through the same pain.

Interestingly, no one has yet stepped forward with a credible plan for how these vital lost sources of food are going to be replaced. The Dutch Government hopes that it will come from artificially created meat from laboratories and is investing in this technology, though how it can be sufficiently scaled up remains to be seen. Given what is already widely known about the harmful effects of eating too many processed foods instead of natural foods, such as the triggering of obesity and potential heart disease, it has to be asked whether this is a desirable course, or indeed what the further health implications for users may be.

Some would say the whole agenda is a straight forward grab by bad actors intent on taking control of the world’s food resources, for whom Net Zero objectives provide a convenient camouflage for their own lust for power, control and yet more wealth than they already have. The usual suspects certainly spring to mind.

Others argue that out-of-control digital technocrats are so conditioned to assuming they can control anything, however complex, that they can’t accept that some things remain beyond human control, such as airborne viruses and the climate.

Each failure to learn that simple lesson is leading to ever more intensive efforts to achieve that control, control that must be achieved at all costs. Either way, vicious cycles of more authoritarianism, human misery arising from absurd and seriously harmful measures, plus more setbacks in failing to reach unobtainable goals lie ahead. Unless we can shake off the grip of these technocrats on our societies and the political institutions in thrall to them, the prospect of starving to death will become our grim reality in an increasingly tyrannical world.

Think that couldn’t happen here? Just look at Sri Lanka, though as with the Dutch farmers, most of the media and nearly every politician would prefer you not to!

December 17, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , , , | 4 Comments

Brits struggling to keep warm at home – survey

RT | December 17, 2022

A quarter of British adults are struggling to keep warm in their homes as they cut back on energy use in the face of soaring costs, according to a new survey by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The report, which was published on Thursday, shows that 23% of adults were occasionally, hardly ever, or never able to keep comfortably warm in their living room over the past two weeks.

The ONS data indicated that 63% of adults were using less gas and electricity because of increases in the cost of living, and 96% of those adults were using less heating.

When asked about the measures they were taking to keep warm this winter, 82% of respondents said they were using more clothing or blankets, 46% were only heating rooms they use, 31% were using hot-water bottles or microwave warmers, while 27% were going to bed earlier.

Other measures included cutting back on the use of tumble dryers and washing machines, as well as bathing or showering less.

According to the ONS, many households have already cut back on their energy usage, with 34% of the polled adults saying that reducing heating has negatively affected their health or wellbeing as a result.

The ONS research on the “impact of winter pressures” also found that 16% of adults are worried their food will run out before they have money to buy more, and 19% have cut back on their portion size. The study showed 17% are eating food which is past its use-by date.

The survey of nearly 5,000 British households comes as the nation’s inflation hit 10.7% in November, which is slightly down from the 11.1% in the previous month but still well above the 2% rate targeted by the Bank of England.

December 17, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | | 4 Comments

US Fed Reserve: Q2 Job Growth Overestimated by a Million, Is ‘Essentially Flat’

Samizdat – 17.12.2022

The White House announced “blockbuster” jobs growth in the second quarter earlier this year, allegedly reaching the highest levels in the last 40 years with the US economy adding 390,000 jobs in May alone. However, new data suggests that the figures were a spoof as the job market really stagnated.

The “record-high” Q2 employment surge reported by the Biden admin was overestimated by a million, according to the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank. This means that the actual job growth was “essentially flat”, reaching an astonishingly modest 10,500.

The research indicated that employment changes from March through June 2022 were “significantly different” in 33 states and DC compared with Current Employment Statistics (CES) estimates by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

“In the aggregate, 10,500 net new jobs were added during the period rather than the 1,121,500 jobs estimated by the sum of the states; the US CES estimated net growth of 1,047,000 jobs for the period,” the Fed said.

Among other problems, the release noted actual payroll jobs decline in Delaware and New Jersey, while earlier CES estimates suggested there was a firm upward trend. According to the new data, Delaware lost 4.1% of jobs in Q2 despite a previously reported 4.5% growth, while jobs in NJ fell 1.2% and not the allegedly 3.4% growth.

In the meantime, jobs in the Keystone state ran a flat line – new data on Pennsylvania shows zero growth (while CES previously reported a 2.9% boost).

The report has already prompted reactions of outrage: Florida Senator Rick Scott accused the Biden administration of lying and requested an immediate meeting with the Bureau of Labor Statistics chief to get to the truth.

December 17, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Economics | , | 1 Comment


The Highwire with Del Bigtree | December 15, 2022

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently hosted a roundtable forum of experts challenging the science coming from federal public health agencies surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine. Surgeon General, Joseph Ladapo announced the creation of the state’s new Public Health Integrity Committee, and Gov. Desantis announced he is requesting a grand jury investigation of vaccine-makers. Will other states follow?


The Highwire with Del Bigtree | December 15, 2022

The attempt to remask the public has started. And it’s rapidly moved past COVID as a reason to know of any basic respiratory illnesses. But does science justify it? Jefferey and Del break down the latest PR push surrounding masking.

December 17, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science, Video | , , , , | 1 Comment