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Activists complain bipartisan antitrust law proposal could make online censorship more difficult

The challenge comes from “free press” groups

By Didi Rankovic | Reclaim The Net | January 24, 2022

The American Innovation and Choice Online Act that is currently making its way through Senate committees before being put up for the final vote, is attracting attention both from those who support it and Big Tech’s lobbyists, who earlier reports said had already launched a broad campaign against it.

The bill that has so far received bipartisan support, aims to significantly limit the way Apple, Amazon, and Google use their monopolistic business practices to undermine competition and antitrust laws.

Either by design or coincidence, it isn’t just openly lobbying firms who are attacking the bill from various angles; they are joined by organizations like Free Press, which claims it is nonpartisan and fighting “for your right to connect and communicate.”

However, in the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, Free Press sees a “flaw” that would, essentially, make connecting and communicating easier – and doesn’t like it. Namely, the bill, if passed, they argue, could prevent censorship, specifically of what’s labeled as “hate speech or misinformation.”

After the narrative has been built for months if not years of “misinformation” being the most serious evil on the internet (despite it only being subjectively defined, unlike the clear and clearly damaging Big Tech antitrust behaviors), it makes sense that in order to discredit anything, reaching for the “misinformation” label is now a good idea.

Free Press writes in a blog post that the bill would provide an avenue to businesses hurt by Google and others purposefully downranking them in search results to launch legal battles against such decisions.

The bill is meant to prevent Big Tech from manipulating the all-important search results and listings as these giants promote their own products and services over those of competitors – but could also provide a way to those hit by censorship and obscured from view by the same technology to have a chance of fighting back. And that, Free Press believes, should not be allowed.

The same argument is being made by another group, this one openly close to the tech industry, TechFreedom. “If a majority of FTC Commissioners were bent on a partisan agenda — e.g., forcing mainstream platforms to carry Parler — it would be significantly easier for them to use the administrative litigation process to do so,” this group said. Coordinated or not, Parler was also mentioned in the blog post published by Free Press.

January 24, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Deception | , , | Leave a comment

An Amateur Look At “Russian Build Up” Photographic Evidence

By Walrus | Turcopolier | January 22, 2022

Western Media talk knowledgeably about a “Russian Build Up on the Border with Ukraine”. These stories are often accompanied by one of two satellite images which purport to show evidence of the same.

The first of these, as used by Politico, correctly identifies the location of this vehicle park as Yelnya. However the image is cropped so you cannot see the extensive barracks and infrastructure which identify this as a permanent military base constructed no later than 2016. Furthermore Politico defines “near” the Ukraine border as within 150 miles for that is Yelnyas distance from it.

The second image used is located at Soloti – again the image is cropped so the extensive permanent barracks and infrastructure are excluded. This base is about 30km from the Ukraine border but it has been there since 2005!

Details of the formations based at these locations are available here:

https://www.gfsis.org/maps/russian-military-forces

I have not included details of the sizes of the ammunition dumps that would be required to support any “invasion” of Ukraine. They would stick out a mile but are invisible today.

IMO, the “Russian Build Up” story is rubbish.

January 23, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | 1 Comment

Secret of ‘microwave weapons’ targeting US diplomats revealed

By Paul Robinson | RT | January 23, 2022

US diplomats and security officials suffering from a spate of unexplained health problems were victims of Russian microwave weapons, we were told time and time again. But now the CIA admits Moscow wasn’t actually behind “Havana Syndrome.” The story fits a disturbingly familiar pattern of misinformation.

With each passing week, the list of discredited allegations against Russia grows and grows. Time and time again, Western governments and the media have sprung into action to inform us of some new evil plot, only to backpedal later when it became clear that there was nothing to it.

Take, for instance, the multi-year saga that was Russiagate, built on the idea that Donald Trump was a Russian agent. There are still some believers, but for the most part people lost interest once it became clear that it was a load of baloney and that the “Steele Dossier” that sparked it off wasn’t worth the paper it was written on.

Then there were the claims that Russia was arming the Taliban, that it had inserted malware into the Vermont electrical grid, that it had bankrolled Brexit via British businessman Arron Banks, and so on. All are now discredited.

Yet the allegations keep on coming. A case in point is the story of Havana Syndrome, which was in the news again this week. For those of you who have missed it, Havana Syndrome is the name given to mysterious symptoms experienced by hundreds of American diplomats and CIA agents around the world, including “headaches, fatigue, hearing and vision loss, severe and debilitating cognitive impairment, tinnitus, brain fog, vertigo, and loss of motor control.”

Such a wide set of symptoms casts immediate doubt on whether there is a single cause. Nevertheless, speculation soon ran rife that they were all examples of a single “syndrome,” and that American diplomats were being targeted by some sort of unknown microwave emitter designed to fry peoples’ brains.

After examining four possible causes of Havana Syndrome – infection, chemicals, psychological factors, and microwave energy – a US government report concluded that “directed pulse RF [radio frequency] energy… appears to be the most plausible mechanism.” Havana Syndrome was “real, and it is serious,” remarked CIA Director William Burns, adding that there was a “very strong possibility” that it was the result of intentional actions.

Who might be doing such a thing? In public, US government officials avoided naming names, admitting that they lacked the evidence to do so. In private, however, the finger was pointed firmly at the Russian Federation, a charge rapidly amplified by the international media.

Thus the New York Times reported that officials “familiar with the report” mentioned above said that the country behind the “attacks” was Russia. CIA veteran Lewis Regenstein claimed that Russian/Soviet attacks of this sort had been going on since the 1950s, penning an article for the Washington Times headlined “68 years of Russian microwave radiation attacks on Americans with impunity.” “Russians use ‘secret microwave weapon’ to target American spies across the globe,” claimed The Sun. And so on. The media had made its mind up – Russia was to blame.

Why the Russian secret services might be doing this has never been explained, with some experts speculating that Havana Syndrome was the result of deliberate attacks, and others believing that the harm to humans was an unintended side effect of some scanning machine designed to extract intelligence from diplomats’ electronic devices. Either way, the Russians were responsible, even though not the slightest jot of evidence in support of this thesis has ever been publicly produced.

It didn’t take long, though, for skeptics to come up with other theories. One was that the syndrome was caused by the loud noise made by crickets. Support for this theory later came in a report commissioned by the US State Department that concluded crickets were the most likely culprits in 21 recorded cases.

Late last year, another theory emerged. Havana Syndrome was “a mass psychogenic illness,” a group of US scientists decided. It was, they said, an example of the “nocebo effect,” the opposite of the placebo effect. In this, expectations of something negative happening to one’s health causes something negative to happen. After the initial incident in Cuba, US diplomats were told to look out for “anomalous health” issues, and as a result they started feeling them. In effect, it was all in their heads.

Whatever the truth, the story of Russian microwave weapons continued to gain traction. But it now seems that even the CIA is having doubts. According to reports this Thursday,

“In a new intelligence assessment, the CIA has ruled out that the mysterious symptoms known as Havana Syndrome are the result of a sustained global campaign by a hostile power aimed at hundreds of US diplomats and spies, six people briefed on the matter told NBC News.

In about two dozen cases, the agency cannot rule out foreign involvement, including many of the cases that originated at the US Embassy in Havana beginning in 2016. Another group of cases is considered unresolved. But in hundreds of other cases of possible symptoms, the agency has found plausible alternative explanations, the sources said.

The idea that widespread brain injury symptoms have been caused by Russia or another foreign power targeting Americans around the world, either to harm them or to collect intelligence, has been deemed unfounded, the sources said.”

Oh dear! How embarrassing. For sure, there are still a few cases in which the cause of illness remains unknown and so foreign involvement “cannot be ruled out.” But that is hardly evidence for ruling it in. This latest assessment knocks the “Russia done it” narrative for six.

In short, once again we found that we’ve been fed a tissue of lies. By now, we should hardly be surprised, but the whole affair speaks to the credulity of much of our political and media establishment, and to the need for a much more cautious and evidence-based approach to allegations of wrongdoing.

It’s common nowadays to complain of the public’s lack of trust in traditional political and media institutions. One of the reasons for this is that people have become skeptical of the old “gatekeepers” of the truth due to their tendency to shout wolf at every available opportunity. If people believe disinformation coming from newer sources, it’s because they’ve become disenchanted by the misinformation coming from the old ones. The latter are under threat, but they have only themselves to blame.

Paul Robinson is a professor at the University of Ottawa. He writes about Russian and Soviet history, military history and military ethics, and is author of the Irrussianality blog.

January 23, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

Yamashita’s Gold and the CIA

Tales of the American Empire | January 20, 2022

During World War II, Japan’s Emperor Hirohito directed the looting of the national treasures in 13 nations his army had conquered. This included the wealth of Britain, Netherlands, and France, which had moved some of their gold to Asian colonies for safety. What happened to these treasures, estimated at around 100 billion in 1945 dollars? This loot was combined with treasure seized from the Germans to create a vast slush fund called the Black Eagle Trust, which was used to finance clandestine activities of the CIA. These funds allowed the creation of a huge organized crime syndicate in Asia that supplement their funds via drug and arms trafficking, and government contract and bank fraud.

___________________________________________

“Protecting the American Opium Trade”; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbMtl…

“The Empire Enters the Cocaine Trade”; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMmeI…

January 23, 2022 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Timeless or most popular, Video | | Leave a comment

Net Zero Watch pours scorn on Tony Blair Institute claims about ‘cheap’ onshore wind

Net Zero Watch – January 21, 2022

London — Net Zero Watch has ridiculed claims by the “Tony Blair Institute for Global Change” that the recent sharp rise in energy prices could have been avoided if the UK had only erected more onshore wind turbines over the last decade.

Given that Tony Blair introduced lavish subsidies for land owners and wind investors 20 years ago, it is unsurprising that his institute is trying to downplay their contribution to rising energy bills. However, its claim that more onshore wind turbines would have avoided rising energy bills is simply untrue.

The “Tony Blair Institute for Global Change” has claimed that the falling cost of onshore wind means that the UK has lost out by not building more of this technology, first introduced in bulk by the Blair government after 2002. Similar statements have been made by Carbon Brief.

Neither claim stands up to scrutiny.

Onshore wind farms cost consumers in the UK just under £1.5 billion in subsidy in 2020, or about £50 per household in total, one third hitting consumers through electricity bills and the rest finding its way to them through the cost of goods and services as shops and businesses pass on their own share of the subsidy. Because of this subsidy, onshore wind electricity was supplied at an average cost of about £90/MWh, roughly double the cost of conventional energy.

Analysis of the audited accounts of onshore wind farms between 2008 and 2019 conducted by Professor Hughes of the University of Edinburgh, showed no significant reduction in capital or operational costs over this time. Windfarms built in 2008 broke even at about £92/MWh, and those built in 2018/19 at about £91/MWh.

Both the “Tony Blair Institute” and Carbon Brief rely on an estimated break-even cost for new wind farms over the last decade of about £50/MWh. This is wishful thinking for which there is no empirical evidence in the audited accounts.

Furthermore, as is well-known, but not apparently to the “Tony Blair Institute” or Carbon Brief, onshore wind was restricted in England by the willingness of communities to accept it and not at all in Scotland, which has 60% of all the onshore wind in the UK. Mr Cameron’s “ban” was half-hearted and had no real effect. Insofar as onshore wind development was limited, it was discouraged by reductions in subsidy driven through by the Treasury.

The only realistic option for developing more renewable capacity at the time would have been to increase the amount of offshore wind. This would have involved a commitment to pay between £140 and £180 per MWh – the current prices for offshore projects developed in the 2010s. Those prices are 3.5 to 4.5 times the average market price in real terms for 2015-19 and would have imposed a huge burden on electricity customers, not just temporarily but for another 12-15 years.

It should also be remembered that the wind does not blow on demand. The current gas crisis has been exacerbated by low wind conditions that would have becalmed any additional onshore capacity that Mr Cameron might have built.

Advocates of more reliance on wind generation should tell us how we are to ensure that the electricity system continues to function in such conditions without relying on gas – and what the cost will be. Gas generation is the cheapest form of backup to intermittent wind generation.

By opposing the extraction of Britain’s massive shale gas reserves, Tony Blair’s Institute together with other green NGOs, MPs and ministers have directly contributed to the UK’s gas supply and energy cost crisis.

What is more, they also sabotaged any prospect of building new – and much more efficient – gas plants which would have met the current needs at lower cost and with lower carbon emissions.

The authors of those policies should reflect on their part in making the current situation worse than it might have been.

Professor Hughes said:

The ‘Tony Blair Institute’ and Carbon Brief authors appear to live in an alternative universe of speculative numbers. We have plenty of actual evidence about the cost of onshore wind in exactly the period under discussion. It was (and still is) extremely expensive. To have built more of it would have made the current situation even more painful for consumers.”

January 22, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | | 1 Comment

Unruly numbers

By Thorsteinn Siglaugson | January 20, 2022

Shortly before Christmas, the 14 day Covid-19 infection incidence in Iceland by vaccination status started to change dramatically as the new omicron variant of the coronavirus began to gain the upper hand. By the end of the year, the 14-day incidence of infection among double-vaccinated people had increased sevenfold and was now double that of the unvaccinated, while increasing elevenfold for those with three jabs.

This information, published on the official Covid-19 information site run by the Directorate of Health, began tocirculate at the start of this year and attracted quite some attention. On January 7th, data updates on the website were temporarily halted, explained by planned restructuring of the site. The next day I published an article in Iceland‘s main newspaper, Morgunblaðið, drawing attention to this sudden change in the infection rates. Chief Epidemologist Þórólfur Guðnason responded the same day, quoting a systematic error in the numbers; many who were registered as living in Iceland did not actually live in the country, had been vaccinated abroad but were registered unvaccinated locally. Therefore, he claimed it was not possible to draw the conclusions the data clearly supported, that the double-vaccinated were more likely to become infected than the unvaccinated.

As I pointed out in another article in Morgunblaðið on January 11th, in order for his explanation to be correct, the Chief Epidemologist would have had to previously overestimate the number of unvaccinated people by 90% to get an infection rate equal to the rate for the double-vaccinated. As I explained, such a huge overestimation would hardly go undetected for over half a year.

Change in 14-day incidence of infections for unvaccinated, original vs. updated values

It was finally on the morning of January 13th that the data appeared again. However, there was a snag: While the 14-day incidence of double- and triple-vaccinated adults and children was virtually unchanged, for the unvaccinated, the previously published numbers had taken an unexplained jump, starting on December 27 with a 4% increase, 11% the next day, then 12%, 14%, 15% and ending in a 20% increase on January 4th!

What might justify such a huge and sudden change in previously published data? Either a large group of unvaccinated people would have had to disappear without a trace during the second half of December, or a large number of infections, all among the unvaccinated, would have had to be lost and then found again. But no such explanations have been made.

This sudden and significant change in official data took place immediately after the data started to show a development that was in direct contradiction to the Chief Epidemologist‘s repeated claims that the vaccines were highly effective for preventing infections. Is this a mistake, or is there a different explanation? This is something the Directorate of Health will have to answer.

January 21, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | Leave a comment

Why Pfizer Can Never Be Trusted

State of the Nation | January 16, 2022

Here is an Announcement from the American Academy of Pediatrics website (May 4, 2021):

“Children ages 2-11 could potentially be eligible for (the still-experimental) COVID-19 vaccine this fall. Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla, D.V.M., Ph.D. (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine), said on a quarterly earnings call Tuesday he expects to request (experimental) Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in September. Under his plan, an EUA request for ages six months to 2 years would follow in the fourth quarter.

“Pfizer and its partner BioNTech currently are waiting for an FDA decision on an EUA for adolescents ages 12-15 years.”

And here is a list of lawsuits related to sixteen Pfizer drugs that were FDA-approved before long-term safety studies were completed:

(And the CDC Wonders Why There is Such a Thing as “Big Pharma/Big Vaccine-hesitancy”)

List Collated by Gary G. Kohls, MD – March 10, 2021 – (1041 words)

Pfizer is one of the largest multinational drug companies on the planet – and one of the five largest vaccine manufacturers (the other four are Sanofi, Merck, GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson $ Johnson.  AstraZeneca is # 10). Pfizer has faced thousands of lawsuits for fraudulent marketing and medical injuries caused by some of its most profitable, drugs.

Pfizer has also set a record for the largest fine paid for a health care fraud lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice. Pfizer paid $2.3 billion in fines, penalties, and settlement for illegal marketing claims.

Here is a partial list of 13 of Pfizer’s most dangerous, most litigated, most potentially lethal drugs. (NOTE:  If any reader had adverse effects to any of the following Pfizer drugs, he/she might want to consult an attorney).

Celebrex,

Bextra,

Geodon,

Zyvox,

Lyrica,

Neurontin,

Protonix,

Prempro,

Chantix,

Depo-Testosterone,

Zoloft,

Effexor,

Feldene,

Viagra,

Lipitor,

Zithromax,

Etc.


Celebrex and Bextra

Prizer promoted its two COX-2 pain relievers Celebrex and Bextra which generated 7000 lawsuits and a $894 million settlement. Both medications were me-too drugs similar to Merck’s infamous Vioxx, which caused 50,000 lawsuits because of cardiovascular deaths and injuries. Merck settled most of the cases with a $4.85 billion settlement.

 

Geodon, Zyvox, and Lyrica

Pfizer paid $1 billion to resolve allegations under the civil False Claims Act that the company illegally promoted four drugs – BextraGeodon, an anti-psychotic drug; Zyvox, an antibiotic; and Lyrica, an anti-epileptic drug – and caused false claims to be submitted to government health care programs for uses that were not medically accepted indications.

 

Neurontin

Pfizer paid out $142 million for committing racketeering fraud in the marketing of Neurontin.

 

Protonix

As part of a larger group of proton pump inhibitor lawsuits, Pfizer faced a number of Protonix lawsuits after it acquired drug company Wyeth who had been accused of marketing the drug for unapproved uses. In 2013, Pfizer agreed to pay $55 million to settle illegal marketing claims but the company may still be facing lawsuits for kidney injuries caused by the medication.

 

Prempro

Nearly 10,000 Prempro lawsuits were filed by women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer. The lawsuits were largely settled by 2012 for about $1 billion.

 

Chantix

Pfizer faced about 3,000 Chantix lawsuits filed by people who claimed they experienced suicidal thoughts and psychiatric disorders after using Chantix for smoking cessation. Pfizer set aside about $288 million and at least some of the cases were settled.

 

Depo-Testosterone

Thousands of cases of medical injury due to testosterone replacement therapy have been filed. Other drug companies have paid $ billions to settle their cases, however some Pfizer testosterone lawsuits were dismissed.

 

Zoloft

About 250 Zoloft lawsuits were filed, claiming Pfizer actively promoted the use of Zoloft to pregnant women despite knowledge of birth defect risks from their research. These cases were largely dismissed in 2016 when a judge concluded that there was not enough evidence to prove a link between birth defects and Zoloft use.

 

Effexor

Effexor was a medication originally produced by Wyeth which has also been the cause of multiple lawsuits. People who filed Effexor lawsuits claimed that it caused birth defects, and separately, suicidal thoughts and behaviors. In September 2015, Effexor lawsuits were dismissed but may have been eligible to refile.

Lipitor

Pfizer’s drug that lowers cholesterol (but only minimally decreases heart attack risk) but causes serious muscle damage, diabetes and other unforeseen health defects has generated billions of dollars of lawsuits.

Xeljanz

Pfizer’s arthritis and ulcerative colitis drug was only belatedly acknowledged by Pfizer to cause cancer, serious cardiovascular events and venous thromboembolism (such as pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis). Many lawsuits are in progress.

Feldene; Viagra, Zithromax, etc

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Environmental Pollution

In 1971 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asked Pfizer to end its long-time practice of dumping industrial wastes from its plant in Groton, Connecticut in the Long Island Sound. The company was reported to be disposing of about 1 million gallons of waste each year by that method.

In 1991 Pfizer agreed to pay $3.1 million to settle EPA charges that the company seriously damaged the Delaware River by failing to install pollution-control equipment at one of its plants in Pennsylvania.

In 1994 Pfizer agreed to pay $1.5 million as part of a consent decree with the EPA in connection with its dumping at a toxic waste site in Rhode Island.

In 1998 Pfizer agreed to pay a civil penalty of $625,000 for environmental violations discovered at its research facilities in Groton, Connecticut.

In 2002 New Jersey fined Pfizer $538,000 for failing to properly monitor wastewater discharged from its plant in Parsippany.

In 2003, shortly after Pfizer acquired Pharmacia, the company (along with Monsanto) agreed to pay some $700 million to settle a lawsuit over the dumping of known-to-be-carcinogenic PCBs in Anniston, Alabama.

In 2005 Pfizer agreed to pay $22,500 to settle EPA claims that the company failed to properly notify state and federal officials of a 2002 chemical release from its plant in Groton that seriously injured several employees and necessitated a major emergency response.

Also in 2005, Pfizer agreed to pay $46,250 to settle charges that its Pharmacia & Upjohn operation had violated federal air pollution rules at its plant in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

In 2008 Pfizer agreed to pay a $975,000 civil penalty to resolved federal charges that it violated the Clean Air Act at its former manufacturing plant in Groton, Connecticut in the period from 2002 to 2005.

Environmental groups in New Jersey have criticized as inadequate a clean-up plan devised by Pfizer and the EPA for the American Cyanamid Superfund site in Bridgewater, which is considered one of the worst toxic waste sites in the countryPfizer inherited responsibility for the clean-up through its 2009 purchase of Wyeth.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Dr Gary G. Kohls lives in the USA and writes articles that deal with the dangers of fascism, corporatism, totalitarianism, militarism, racism, malnutrition, and Big Pharma’s over-drugging and over-vaccinating agendas. In addition, his columns deal with cultural movements that threaten democracy, war, civility, health, freedom, the future of the children and the sustainability and livability of the planet.

January 21, 2022 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Environmentalism, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

YouTube puts bogus age restriction on Andrew Napolitano and James Bovard discussion challenging ‘insurrection’ narrative

By Adam Dick | Ron Paul Institute | January 20, 2022

YouTube or its owner Google sure seems keen on preventing people from learning about holes in the “insurrection” narrative being pushed by big money media and many politicians from President Joe Biden on down regarding protest and riot activity at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Legal commentator Andrew Napolitano, who is an Advisory Board member for the Ron Paul Institute, posted Tuesday at YouTube an episode of his show Judging Freedom titled “The FBI’s possible role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.” In the episode, Napolitano and journalist James Bovard discuss many apparent problems with the heavily pushed January 6 insurrection narrative. But, when you try on Thursday to watch the video at YouTube, you cannot just push play and watch as you can with most videos at YouTube. Instead, you are presented with a warning.

Where normally an image from the video with a play video button in the center would appear, the video screen is all black with over it at its center a circled exclamation point followed by this message:

Sign in to confirm your age

This video may be inappropriate for some users.

Click on the “SIGN IN” button below that message and you are taken to a page to sign in to your Google account, or to create a Google account if you do not have one, in order to watch the discussion.

Once you have done all this and YouTube seemingly has been satisfied that you are old enough, you are still not presented with the video ready to play. Instead, you encounter another all black video screen with a warning on it — again the circled exclamation point followed by “This video may be inappropriate for some users.” Below the warning is a button labeled “I UNDERSTAND AND WISH TO PROCEED.” Only after clicking on this button can you finally watch the video of Napolitano and Bovard’s discussion.

Of course, all the warnings, button clicks, age verification, and account sign in or creation requirements create a major impediment to people watching the video. Google and YouTube can say that they did not censor the video (at least for adults), but their imposing of special hurdles people must jump over to watch can be expected to much reduce viewership. Many adults will not trudge through all this. Children are barred from watching the video.

Should you go through all this and finally watch the video, you will see that the warnings and the action requirements that precede the video are without any justification, especially considering YouTube’s rather lenient approach generally to placing age restrictions on videos. So why all the effort to discourage people from watching? It sure looks like YouTube, or its owner Google, instead of trying to protect children from harm, is trying to protect the January 6 insurrection narrative from criticism.


Copyright © 2022 by RonPaul Institute.

January 21, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | Leave a comment

SPOOKS, RUSSIA, AND DISINFORMATION

By Paul Robinson | IRRUSIANALITY | January 20, 2022

Jeremy Morris has an interesting post on his Postsocialism blog about the malicious role played by Western intelligence services in shaping narratives of Russia. I’m somewhat sceptical about his thesis – or at least the extent of the phenomenon he describes – but as if by chance, today I also came across a story that kind of backs him up.

Morris complains of two “elephants in the room,” who together distort our understanding of Russia. The first is the “clear leveraging of latent public sympathy abroad for the Russian regime by our friends at the English-language offices of RT.” I guess that would be me.

The second is “academic and think-tank contacts with the security services in the West.” Given my former involvement in the intelligence world, and the fact that I’ve taught courses at the University of Ottawa with members of the Canadian security and intelligence services, I guess that would be me too.

Double elephant!

I imagine that Morris thinks that elephant number one distorts things in favour of Russia, and elephant number two distorts them against. That must make me some sort of push-me-pull-you doing both at once. Perhaps that explains why I always end up occupying the middle ground!

Anyway, I digress, because this isn’t meant to be about me. Back to the point.

“If you underestimate the hidden motives of those that comment on Russia – from both elephants, then you are guilty of the ‘fallacy of insufficient cynicism’,” writes Morris. I must confess myself guilty as charged. I can be pretty cynical, but I don’t think that everybody has “hidden motives.” People who write what one might call “pro-Russian” articles for RT aren’t doing it for the money or because the FSB has got some dirt on them any more than people writing Russophobic stuff for think tanks are doing it because they’re taking orders from the FBI, MI5, or CSIS. People tend to believe what they’re doing.

In any case, I worry less about spooks and more about the military industrial complex and its funding of think tanks and the like, all of which work together to inflate threats, keep us in a state of fear, and justify increased defence spending and aggressive foreign policies. But even there, the think tankers etc believe in what they’re doing. The problem is that believers get funded whereas non-believers don’t. I don’t think “hidden motives” are the issue.

That said, Morris has a point, in that security and intelligence services do maintain contacts with chosen favourites and feed them information that they hope will further their chosen narrative. The story I came across today illustrates how this works quite well.

A while back, I mentioned a law case in the UK involving Guardian journalist Carol Cadwalladr and British businessman Arron Banks. Banks is suing Cadwalladr for libel for having claimed that the Russian government offered him money for use in the Brexit referendum campaign, and that he lied about his relationship with the Russians. The case is now before the court, and Cadwalladr’s defence is becoming clear.

The Guardian journalist isn’t claiming that what she said about Banks was true, merely that given the evidence she had at the time she had good reason to believe that it was in the public interest for her to report it. So what was this evidence, and where did she get it from? This is where it becomes interesting. For as the Guardian reports,

In her written evidence statement, she [Cadwalladr] said she had obtained two intelligence files from an organisation contracted to undertake work countering Russian disinformation in Europe on behalf of a government agency, one file of which raised concerns about Banks’s Russian wife.

In other words, British intelligence fed the information to her via another source.

The accusation that Banks took Russian money to fund Brexit received widespread coverage. It was even repeated in a parliamentary report. Yet no evidence to support the claim has ever been produced, and as we have seen, Cadwalladr isn’t trying to say that it was true. In short, it was disinformation. And yet, what prompted it was in part documents leaked by British intelligence to a third party “contracted to undertake work countering Russian disinformation” and then in turn given by that organization to Ms Cadwalladr.

Doesn’t that strike you as a bit iffy?

In the first place, the story reinforces what I have said several times before, namely that the “disinformation industry” set up to “counter Russian disinformation” is itself a major source of disinformation. And second, it reveals an excessively cosy relationship between the media – supposedly an independent guardian of the truth that holds the state to account – and state organizations, including secret intelligence.

Personally, I find it more than a little disturbing.

Maybe Mr Morris is right after all!

January 20, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

Was Peter Daszak Working For The Central Intelligence Agency?

An EcoHealth Alliance whistleblower steps forward

Dr. Shi Zhengli, Dr. Peter Daszak, and the Wuhan Institute of Virology
Kanekoa TheGreat | January 18, 2022

“We found other coronaviruses in bats, a whole host of them, some of them looked very similar to SARS. So we sequenced the spike protein: the protein that attaches to cells. Then we… Well, I didn’t do this work, but my colleagues in China did the work. You create pseudo particles, you insert the spike proteins from those viruses, see if they bind to human cells. At each step of this, you move closer and closer to this virus could really become pathogenic in people. You end up with a small number of viruses that really do look like killers.”

This statement was said by EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak at a 2016 forum discussing “emerging infectious diseases and the next pandemic”. Daszak, who received more than $118 million in grants and contracts from federal agencies, including $53 million from USAID, $42 million from DOD, and $15 million from HHS, appeared to boast about the manipulation of “killer” SARS-like coronaviruses carried out by his “colleagues in China” at the now infamous Wuhan Institute of Virology.

According to investigative research done by independent-journalist Sam Husseini and The Intercept, much of the money awarded to EcoHealth Alliance did not focus on health or ecology, but rather on biowarfare, bioterrorism, and other dangerous uses of deadly pathogens.

EcoHealth Alliance received the majority of its funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), a State Department subsidiary that serves as a frequent cover for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Their second largest source of funding was from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), which is a branch of the Department of Defense (DOD) which states it is tasked to “counter and deter weapons of mass destruction and improvised threat networks.”

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has a long history of acting as a contract vehicle for various CIA covert activities. With an annual budget of over $27 billion and operations in over 100 countries, one former USAID director, John Gilligan, once admitted it was “infiltrated from top to bottom with CIA people.” Gilligan explained that “the idea was to plant operatives in every kind of activity we had overseas; government, volunteer, religious, every kind.”

In 2013, a US cable published by WikiLeaks outlined the U.S. strategy to undermine Venezuela’s government through USAID by “penetrating Chavez’s political base”, “dividing Chavismo”, and “isolating Chavez internationally.” In 2014, the Associated Press disclosed that USAID contracted out a project to develop a rival to Twitter in order to foment a rebellion in Cuba.

From 2009 to 2019, USAID partnered with EcoHealth Alliance on their PREDICT program which identified over 1,200 new viruses, including over 160 coronavirus strains; trained roughly 5,000 people around the world to identify new diseases; and improved or developed 60 research laboratories.

What better way for the CIA to collect intelligence on the world’s biological warfare capabilities?


Source: The Intercept

Dr. Andrew Huff received his Ph.D. in Environmental Health specializing in emerging diseases before becoming an Associate Vice President at EcoHealth Alliance, where he developed novel methods of bio-surveillance, data analytics, and visualization for disease detection.

On January 12, 2022, Dr. Andrew Huff issued a public statement (on Twitter) in which he claimed, Peter Daszak, the President of EcoHealth Alliance, told him that he was working for the CIA.

Dr. Andrew Huff’s full statement below:


Source: Dr. Andrew Huff

Dr. Huff continued, “… I wouldn’t be surprised if the CIA / IC community orchestrated the COVID coverup acting as an intermediary between Fauci, Collins, Daszak, Baric, and many others. At best, it was the biggest criminal conspiracy in US history by bureaucrats or political appointees.”

What exactly did they cover-up?

Peter Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance—financed by USAID, DOD, and other U.S. Government agencies—partnered with Dr. Ralph Baric of the University of North Carolina and Dr. Shi Zhengli of the Wuhan Institute of Virology to conduct gain-of-function research on bat-borne coronaviruses.

Baric successfully created a “chimeric” coronavirus in 2015. There is a well-documented scientific paper trail that details how Dr. Baric and Dr. Zhengli continued to collaborate on gain-of-function research together to create what went on to be a potential precursor to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Francis Collins, and Dr. Peter Daszak, who were proponents of this type of international collaboration on gain-of-function research were heavily incentivized to cover up the possibility of a lab origin because they previously had funneled U.S. taxpayer money to the Chinese lab.

At the start of 2020, there was a lot of chatter about where the virus SARS-CoV-2 actually originated from. Two papers published in March 2020—one in Nature Medicine and one in The Lancet—controlled the direction of the dialogue on the origin of the virus.

Both papers were repeatedly cited by Fauci, Collins, Daszak, the corporate media, and big tech as evidence to shut down and even censor any discussion of the possibility that the virus originated at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Only later through redacted emails released by FOIA did we learn that Fauci, Collins, and Daszak were intimately involved in crafting the two papers which dismissed the lab origin hypotheses as “conspiracy theory.”

In February 2020, Daszak told University of North Carolina coronavirus researcher Dr. Ralph Baric that they should not sign the statement condemning the lab-leak theory so that it seems more independent and credible. “You, me and him should not sign this statement, so it has some distance from us and therefore doesn’t work in a counterproductive way,” Daszak wrote.

More unredacted emails have revealed that while these scientists held the private belief that the lab release was the most likely scenario, they still worked to seed the natural origin narrative for the public through the papers published in Nature Medicine and The Lancet.

In April 2020, Daszak opposed the public release of Covid-19-related virus sequence data that has been gathered from China, as part of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) PREDICT program because he said it would bring “very unwelcome attention” to the aforementioned “PREDICT and USAID” programs.


Source: U.S. Right To Know FOIA

In September 2020, scientists were outraged when Daszak was chosen to lead the World Health Organization task force examining the possibility that Covid-19 leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Despite many clear attempts to cut off a legitimate scientific inquiry into the Wuhan lab origin hypothesis, the theory continued to persist predominantly due to the fact that the Chinese government was unable to provide a single shred of evidence in support of the natural origin theory.

In May 2021, the narrative turned when, Nicholas Wade, a former science reporter at the New York Times published his seminal column outlining the case for the Covid lab-leak theory.

For SARS1, an intermediary host species was identified within four months of the epidemic’s outbreak and the host of MERS was identified within nine months. Yet some 15 months after the SARS2 outbreak began, and a presumably intensive search, Chinese researchers had failed to find either the original bat population, or the intermediate species to which SARS2 might have jumped, or any serological evidence of a natural origin.

Every step of the way, Fauci, Collins, and Daszak have done everything in their power to obfuscate, mislead, and misinform the world about the possibility of SARS-CoV-2 originating at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

If Dr. Andrew Huff is telling the truth, Fauci, Collins, and Daszak are not covering up the lab origin only for themselves, but also for the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, and the U.S. Government.

January 20, 2022 Posted by | Deception, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

Covid-19 vaccines and treatments: we must have raw data, now

Data should be fully and immediately available for public scrutiny

Peter Doshi, senior editor, Fiona Godlee, former editor in chief, Kamran Abbasi, editor in chief | BMJ | January 19, 2022

In the pages of The BMJ a decade ago, in the middle of a different pandemic, it came to light that governments around the world had spent billions stockpiling antivirals for influenza that had not been shown to reduce the risk of complications, hospital admissions, or death. The majority of trials that underpinned regulatory approval and government stockpiling of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) were sponsored by the manufacturer; most were unpublished, those that were published were ghostwritten by writers paid by the manufacturer, the people listed as principal authors lacked access to the raw data, and academics who requested access to the data for independent analysis were denied.1234

The Tamiflu saga heralded a decade of unprecedented attention to the importance of sharing clinical trial data.56 Public battles for drug company data,78 transparency campaigns with thousands of signatures,910 strengthened journal data sharing requirements,1112 explicit commitments from companies to share data,13 new data access website portals,8 and landmark transparency policies from medicines regulators1415 all promised a new era in data transparency.

Progress was made, but clearly not enough. The errors of the last pandemic are being repeated. Memories are short. Today, despite the global rollout of covid-19 vaccines and treatments, the anonymised participant level data underlying the trials for these new products remain inaccessible to doctors, researchers, and the public—and are likely to remain that way for years to come.16 This is morally indefensible for all trials, but especially for those involving major public health interventions.

Unacceptable delay

Pfizer’s pivotal covid vaccine trial was funded by the company and designed, run, analysed, and authored by Pfizer employees. The company and the contract research organisations that carried out the trial hold all the data.17 And Pfizer has indicated that it will not begin entertaining requests for trial data until May 2025, 24 months after the primary study completion date, which is listed on ClinicalTrials.gov as 15 May 2023 (NCT04368728).

The lack of access to data is consistent across vaccine manufacturers.16 Moderna says data “may be available … with publication of the final study results in 2022.”18 Datasets will be available “upon request and subject to review once the trial is complete,” which has an estimated primary completion date of 27 October 2022 (NCT04470427).

As of 31 December 2021, AstraZeneca may be ready to entertain requests for data from several of its large phase III trials.19 But actually obtaining data could be slow going. As its website explains, “timelines vary per request and can take up to a year upon full submission of the request.”20

Underlying data for covid-19 therapeutics are similarly hard to find. Published reports of Regeneron’s phase III trial of its monoclonal antibody therapy REGEN-COV flatly state that participant level data will not be made available to others.21 Should the drug be approved (and not just emergency authorised), sharing “will be considered.” For remdesivir, the US National Institutes of Health, which funded the trial, created a new portal to share data (https://accessclinicaldata.niaid.nih.gov/), but the dataset on offer is limited. An accompanying document explains: “The longitudinal data set only contains a small subset of the protocol and statistical analysis plan objectives.”

We are left with publications but no access to the underlying data on reasonable request. This is worrying for trial participants, researchers, clinicians, journal editors, policy makers, and the public. The journals that have published these primary studies may argue that they faced an awkward dilemma, caught between making the summary findings available quickly and upholding the best ethical values that support timely access to underlying data. In our view, there is no dilemma; the anonymised individual participant data from clinical trials must be made available for independent scrutiny.

Journal editors, systematic reviewers, and the writers of clinical practice guideline generally obtain little beyond a journal publication, but regulatory agencies receive far more granular data as part of the regulatory review process. In the words of the European Medicine Agency’s former executive director and senior medical officer, “relying solely on the publications of clinical trials in scientific journals as the basis of healthcare decisions is not a good idea … Drug regulators have been aware of this limitation for a long time and routinely obtain and assess the full documentation (rather than just publications).”22

Among regulators, the US Food and Drug Administration is believed to receive the most raw data but does not proactively release them. After a freedom of information request to the agency for Pfizer’s vaccine data, the FDA offered to release 500 pages a month, a process that would take decades to complete, arguing in court that publicly releasing data was slow owing to the need to first redact sensitive information.23 This month, however, a judge rejected the FDA’s offer and ordered the data be released at a rate of 55 000 pages a month. The data are to be made available on the requesting organisation’s website (phmpt.org).

In releasing thousands of pages of clinical trial documents, Health Canada and the EMA have also provided a degree of transparency that deserves acknowledgment.2425 Until recently, however, the data remained of limited utility, with copious redactions aimed at protecting trial blinding. But study reports with fewer redactions have been available since September 2021,2425 and missing appendices may be accessible through freedom of information requests.

Even so, anyone looking for participant level datasets may be disappointed because Health Canada and the EMA do not receive or analyse these data, and it remains to be seen how the FDA responds to the court order. Moreover, the FDA is producing data only for Pfizer’s vaccine; other manufacturers’ data cannot be requested until the vaccines are approved, which the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are not. Industry, which holds the raw data, is not legally required to honour requests for access from independent researchers.

Like the FDA, and unlike its Canadian and European counterparts, the UK’s regulator—the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency—does not proactively release clinical trial documents, and it has also stopped posting information released in response to freedom of information requests on its website.26

Transparency and trust

As well as access to the underlying data, transparent decision making is essential. Regulators and public health bodies could release details27 such as why vaccine trials were not designed to test efficacy against infection and spread of SARS-CoV-2.28 Had regulators insisted on this outcome, countries would have learnt sooner about the effect of vaccines on transmission and been able to plan accordingly.29

Big pharma is the least trusted industry.30 At least three of the many companies making covid-19 vaccines have past criminal and civil settlements costing them billions of dollars.31 One pleaded guilty to fraud.31 Other companies have no pre-covid track record. Now the covid pandemic has minted many new pharma billionaires, and vaccine manufacturers have reported tens of billions in revenue.32

The BMJ supports vaccination policies based on sound evidence. As the global vaccine rollout continues, it cannot be justifiable or in the best interests of patients and the public that we are left to just trust “in the system,” with the distant hope that the underlying data may become available for independent scrutiny at some point in the future. The same applies to treatments for covid-19. Transparency is the key to building trust and an important route to answering people’s legitimate questions about the efficacy and safety of vaccines and treatments and the clinical and public health policies established for their use.

Twelve years ago we called for the immediate release of raw data from clinical trials.1 We reiterate that call now. Data must be available when trial results are announced, published, or used to justify regulatory decisions. There is no place for wholesale exemptions from good practice during a pandemic. The public has paid for covid-19 vaccines through vast public funding of research, and it is the public that takes on the balance of benefits and harms that accompany vaccination. The public, therefore, has a right and entitlement to those data, as well as to the interrogation of those data by experts.

Pharmaceutical companies are reaping vast profits without adequate independent scrutiny of their scientific claims.33 The purpose of regulators is not to dance to the tune of rich global corporations and enrich them further; it is to protect the health of their populations. We need complete data transparency for all studies, we need it in the public interest, and we need it now.

Footnotes

  • Competing interests: We have read and understood BMJ policy on declaration of interests and declare that The BMJ is a co-founder of the AllTrials campaign. PD was one of the Cochrane reviewers studying influenza antivirals beginning in 2009, who campaigned for access to data. He also helped organise the Coalition Advocating for Adequately Licensed Medicines (CAALM), which formally petitioned the FDA to refrain from fully approving any covid-19 vaccine this year (docket FDA-2021-P-0786). PD is also a member of Public Health and Medical Professionals for Transparency, which has sued the FDA to obtain the Pfizer covid-19 vaccine data. The views and opinions do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Maryland.

  • Provenance and peer review: Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

References

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Correspondence to: P Doshi Pdoshi@bmj.com

January 20, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

True or false? Reuters “fact check” of the Denmark study showing negative VE

By Steve Kirsch | January 20, 2022

Reuters did a “fact check” of the negative Vaccine Efficacy (VE) in the Denmark study and the study author used a hand waving argument to conclude the negative VE is due to a bias. What do you think?

I wrote earlier about the Denmark study showing that vaccine efficacy against Omicron goes negative after 90 days:

There is a Reuters “fact check” that says that the author claimed that the vaccines are fine and that the negative vaccine efficacy reported in the paper was simply due to a “bias.”

Oh really???

Here’s why I think the Reuters “fact check” is garbage

First of all, a hand waving argument supported by no data whatsoever claiming bias is not convincing to me.

Furthermore, I think the Denmark paper was accurate for these 3 reasons:

  1. we see negative VE consistently in MANY other studies.
  2. VE continues to go negative in that study consistent over time… how can they explain that?
  3. if it was behavior differences between vaxed and unvaxed that accounts for the bias, then how come people who got Moderna behave DIFFERENTLY than people who got Pfizer?!?

I am not alone in suggesting the authors claim “there must be a bias” as needed to fit the narrative

One of the commenters on the original paper wrote something very similar to what I wrote:

So assume the results you like (high VE for recent vaccination) are causal, but hand wave confounders at results you don’t like (negative VE for distant vaccination)? Science?

I couldn’t have said it any better myself. This was my reaction too when I read the paper.

What do you think?

So who got it right? Me or Reuters?

January 20, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | | Leave a comment