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UN calls for probe into Israel’s use of armed force against children

Palestine Information Center – December 2, 2020

RAMALLAH – The UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner has called for a transparent investigation into the use of armed force by Israeli soldiers against Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank.

The UN Human Rights Office said that the Israeli forces critically injured at least four children with live ammunition and rubber-coated metal bullets in separate incidents across the West Bank in the past two weeks.

“All injuries resulted from the use of potentially lethal force in circumstances where available information suggests the children did not pose a threat to life or serious injury of the soldiers or to anyone else.”

“It thus appears the force used was not in accordance with international law,” the Human Rights Office said in a statement, pointing out that a 16-year-old boy was shot in the chest and critically injured in al-Bireh city on November 29.

“On 27 November, during protests in Kafr Qaddum village in the north of the West Bank, soldiers shot a 16-year old boy in the head with a rubber-coated metal bullet. The boy fell from the impact and is hospitalized with a fractured skull.”

“On November 17, a 15-year old boy on his way back from school lost his right eye after being hit by ricochet ammunition in Qalandia refugee camp north of Jerusalem. Although there were clashes taking place between soldiers and residents of the camp, none of the available information suggests the boy would have posed a threat to anyone at the time he was shot,” the statement elaborated.

“UN Human Rights Office calls on Israel to promptly, transparently and independently investigate all instances of (Israeli army) use of force that have led to killing or injury and to hold those responsible accountable,” the statement said.

“In accordance with international law, use of lethal force is only allowed as a measure of last resort, in response to a threat to life or of serious injury. Stone-throwing does not appear to constitute such threat. In addition, force must always be used in a manner which causes the least possible harm. Shooting in the head or upper body does not appear to conform with this requirement.”

“Children enjoy special protection under international law and must be protected from violence at all times.”

December 3, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 3 Comments

French former interior minister accused of concealing evidence in death of 80yo killed by riot police tear gas grenade in her home

RT | December 2, 2020

The daughter of an 80-year-old woman killed when a tear gas grenade was fired into her apartment by French riot police two years ago has filed a legal complaint against former Interior Minister Christophe Castaner over the death.

In 2018, Zineb Redouane was closing the shutters of her flat in Marseille when she was struck by the canister, fired during a Yellow Vest demonstration. Experts estimated it had been travelling at more than 97km/h when it hit her chest and face, and she died in hospital shortly thereafter. A report earlier this year into the incident cleared the police of any wrongdoing.

However, a recent investigation conducted by the French non-governmental organization Disclose, using reconstructions by a research group at the University of London, contradicted that report and alleged that the officer who had fired the canister was targeting residential homes.

As a result of the NGO’s findings, Redouane’s daughter, Milfed, has now lodged a legal complaint against Castaner, who was the interior minister at the time of her mother’s death.

Her daughter’s lawyer, Yassine Bouzrou, has repeatedly accused the former minister and others of obstructing justice, and now, in the formal complaint, is accusing him of concealing and interfering with evidence.

Castaner, who currently leads the ruling La République En Marche! party, has repeatedly claimed Redouane’s death was not linked with the tear gas grenade. In 2019, pronouncing claims that police killed her as false, he told France’s Inter radio station, “We must stop this talk of police violence”.

The complaint will now be heard before the Cour de Justice de la République – a special court that was set up to try cases of ministerial misconduct.

December 2, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Subjugation - Torture | , | Leave a comment

Five Burning Questions About the New Covid Vaccine

By Kit Knightly | OffGuardian | December 2, 2020

The United Kingdom government has today announced its approval of the first Covid19 vaccine for general use. 800,000 doses are slated to be released for general use by the end of the week, and has already signed a contract for 40 million more doses (to go along with over 300 million doses of as-yet-unreleased vaccines from other companies).

With the newest phase in the Covid19 roll-out set to begin, it’s time we addressed the five biggest questions about this vaccine, its effectiveness, its safety and whether or not we’ll be forced to use it.

1. Does it work?

Clearly, the company claims it does, and the UK government seems to believe them. The Guardian, in their coverage of the vaccine, claim it has a 95% efficacy rating, but does not provide a source for this or any kind of data at all.

Fortunately, better journalists and researchers are writing for the British Medical Journal, including this piece from Peter Doshi just last week.

To explain where this “95% effective” claim actually comes from:

The Pfizer vaccine trial included nearly 44,000 people. Half getting their vaccine, half getting a placebo. In total, from the 44,000 people, 170 were later recorded as having become ‘infected with Covid19’. 162 of them were in the placebo group, 8 of them in the vaccine group.

The vaccine is therefore credited with preventing 154 cases of Covid19… or 95%.

You don’t need to be a medical researcher or virologist to see how potentially flawed this reasoning is. The entire trial of 44,000 people is deemed a success based on the potentially multi-variant outcome from less than 4% of those involved.

The details of the trial are hard to come by, so we have yet to find out how these 170 people were even diagnosed with “Covid19”. Was it a clinical diagnosis based on symptoms? Or PCR test? Either method would raise serious questions about accuracy.

In short, the answer to “Does it work?” is “we have no idea.”

2. Is it safe?

Potentially more important than the question of efficacy is the question of safety. No one, not even the vaccines most ardent defenders, is denying that this vaccine process has been rushed – vaccines typically take years and years to produce, whereas this one has been hurried on to the market in less than nine months. Some of them have skipped important stages in testing altogether.

Even supposing the short term trials have not shown any side effects, there has simply been no time to do long-term outcome studies. The potential for complications, months or years down the line, certainly exists.

Further, the vaccine is based on new technology – an mRNA vaccine, which injects viral genetic material to generate an immune response. The technology has been in development for years, but this would be the first mRNA vaccine actually put to use.

So, again, the short answer to “is it safe?” is “we don’t know”.

However, the vaccine pushers and manufacturers clearly have doubts about its safety, since they have gone out of their way guarantee they have total legal indemnity from prosecution or civil suits should something go wrong. Not a confidence booster that.

Ask yourself: if Ford or BMW were releasing a new type of car based on “cutting edge technology”, but before you buy one you have to sign a waiver saying you can’t sue the car manufacturers in the event you explode in a fiery ball of death…would you drive that car?

3. What’s in it?

This is a simple one. We don’t know, they won’t say. At least not in anything but the vaguest terms.

4. Who will get it?

First on the docket are the elderly and NHS workers. We don’t know who will be excluded. Immunocompromised people were excluded from the efficacy study, so presumably, they’ll also be excluded from taking the vaccine. If not, that’s a potential disaster waiting to happen (although they have legal protection, so I guess that doesn’t matter).

The British military are already busily setting up “mass vaccination centres”. So eventually, of course, almost everyone will be expected to get injected if they want to partake of society in any way at all. Which leads us onto question five…

5. Will it become mandatory?

The question of “mandatory vaccines” has been buzzing around since the earliest stages of the pandemic narrative. The final result will obviously vary country-to-country, but it’s certainly a possibility here in the UK.

A few months ago a group of scholars submitted written evidence to the UK Parliament that mandatory vaccinations would be defensible on a human rights basis, and that there was already legal precedent for this action in UK legislation (specifically, treating mental health patients who may be a danger to themselves).

In the end, and this is purely my speculation, I doubt the vaccine will ever be literally legally mandatory. Parliament will reject the “expert advice” suggesting Covid19 vaccines be forced on people.

This will accomplish two goals at once: a) It will give the government a veneer of “libertarianism”, a thin facade to cover it’s tyrannical nature. And b) It will allow a potential “third wave” of Covid19 to be blamed on “vaccine hesitancy”.

Though it will probably never be literally mandatory, they will certainly make it much easier to function should you get the vaccine.

There’s been much talk of “immunity passports”, meaning digital documents showing your vaccination status which make you exempt from lockdown and social distancing rules.

In the future it’s not hard to see these documents (either physical or digital) being vital to the ability work, socialise, travel, get loans, apply for state benefits or even receive medical treatment.

So, even if not forced to partake of the vaccine, you will likely be bribed, blackmailed or coerced into doing so eventually.

*

To sum up – we don’t know exactly what’s in the vaccine, it might not work, it may not be safe, and we’re probably all going to end up being forced to use it.

Merry Christmas everyone.

December 2, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | Leave a comment

“And Why Stop There?”: CNN Analyst Calls For Sweeping Regulation of Free Speech On The Internet

By Jonathan Turley | November 30, 2020

We previously discussed the unrelenting drumbeat of censorship on the Internet from Democratic leaders, including President-elect Joe Biden. Those calls are growing as anti-free speech advocates see an opportunity in the Biden Administration to crackdown on opposing views. One vocal advocate of censorship and speech controls has been CNN media analyst Oliver Darcy who just ratcheted up his call for de-platforming opposing views. Like many anti-free speech advocates, Darcy simply labels those with opposing views as spreading “disinformation” and demands that they be labeled or barred from social media. In a recent newsletter, Darcy calls for every tweet by Trump to be labeled as disinformation while asking “and why stop there?” Precisely. Once you cross the Rubicon of speech regulation, there is little reason or inclination to stop. Just look at Europe.

Darcy wrote:

“Nearly every tweet from the president at this point is labeled for misinfo. Which had me thinking. Why doesn’t Twitter just take the step of labeling his entire account as a known source of election disinfo? And why stop there? Why not label accounts that repeatedly spread claims the platform has to fact-check?”

There was a time when the very touchstone of American journalism was the rejection of such calls for censorship, including at CNN.

What is chilling about Darcy’s writings is that they reflect the view of many now in Congress and in the Democratic Party. Indeed, they reflect many in the Biden campaign. Once a party that fought for free speech, it has become the party demanding Internet censorship and hate speech laws. President-Elect Joe Biden has called for speech controls and recently appointed a transition head for agency media issues that is one of the most pronounced anti-free speech figures in the United States. It is a trend that seems now to be finding support in the media, which celebrated the speech of French President Emmanuel Macron before Congress where he called on the United States to follow the model of Europe on hate speech.

Darcy is calling for a more active and extensive regulation of speech to protect users from thoughts or views that he considers false or dangerous: “Think of it as a version of NewsGuard for Twitter.”

“NewsGuard” has a lovely Orwellian sound to be added to other codes for censorship like Sen. Richard Blumenthal recently calling for “robust content modification” on the internet. Who can object to a NewsGuard, which Darcy describes like some beneficent St. Bernard watching over our news and social postings? Of course, what Darcy considers “disinformation” or what Blumenthal considers “robust content modification” is left dangerously undefined.

So put me down as preferring free speech without the helpful guards and content modification. Instead, I hold a novel idea that people can reach their own conclusions on such is disinformation just as Darcy does.

December 2, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | 1 Comment

Warp Speed Ahead: COVID-19 Vaccines Pave the Way for a New Frontier in Surveillance

By John W. Whitehead | The Rutherford Institute | December 1, 2020

Like it or not, the COVID-19 pandemic with its veiled threat of forced vaccinations, contact tracing, and genetically encoded vaccines is propelling humanity at warp speed into a whole new frontier—a surveillance matrix—the likes of which we’ve only previously encountered in science fiction.

Those who eye these developments with lingering mistrust have good reason to be leery: the government has long had a tendency to unleash untold horrors upon the world in the name of global conquest, the acquisition of greater wealth, scientific experimentation, and technological advances, all packaged in the guise of the greater good.

Indeed, “we the people” have been treated like lab rats by government agencies for decades now: caged, branded, experimented upon without our knowledge or consent, and then conveniently discarded and left to suffer from the after-effects.

You don’t have to dig very deep or go very far back in the nation’s history to uncover numerous cases in which the government deliberately conducted secret experiments on an unsuspecting populace, making healthy people sick by spraying them with chemicals, injecting them with infectious diseases and exposing them to airborne toxins.

Now this same government—which has taken every bit of technology sold to us as being in our best interests (GPS devices, surveillance, nonlethal weapons, etc.) and used it against us, to track, control and trap us—wants us to fall in line as it prepares to roll out COVID-19 vaccines that owe a great debt to the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for its past work on how to weaponize and defend against infectious diseases.

The Trump Administration by way of the National Institute of Health awarded $22.8 million to seven corporations to develop artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, etc., with smart phone apps, wearable devices and software “that can identify and trace contacts of infected individuals, keep track of verified COVID-19 test results, and monitor the health status of infected and potentially infected individuals.”

This is all part of Operation Warp Speed, which President Trump has likened to the Manhattan Project, a covert government effort spearheaded by the military to engineer and build the world’s first atomic bomb.

There is every reason to tread cautiously.

There is a sinister world beyond that which we perceive, one in which power players jockey for control over the one commodity that is a necessary ingredient for total domination: you.

By you, I mean you the individual in all your singular humanness.

Remaining singularly human and retaining your individuality and dominion over yourself—mind, body and soul—in the face of corporate and government technologies that aim to invade, intrude, monitor, manipulate and control us may be one of the greatest challenges before us.

These COVID-19 vaccines, which rely on messenger RNA technology that influences everything from viruses to memory, are merely the tipping point.

The groundwork being laid with these vaccines is a prologue to what will become the police state’s conquest of a new, relatively uncharted, frontier: inner space, specifically, the inner workings (genetic, biological, biometric, mental, emotional) of the human race.

If you were unnerved by the rapid deterioration of privacy under the Surveillance State, prepare to be terrified by the surveillance matrix that will be ushered in on the heels of the government’s rollout of this COVID-19 vaccine.

Everything we do is increasingly dependent on and, ultimately, controlled by our internet-connected, electronic devices. For example, in 2007, there were an estimated 10 million sensor devices connecting human utilized electronic devices (cell phones, laptops, etc.) to the Internet. By 2013, it had increased to 3.5 billion. By 2030, it is estimated to reach 100 trillion.

Much, if not all, of our electronic devices will be connected to Google, a neural network that approximates a massive global brain.

The end goal? The creation of a new “human” species, so to speak, and the NSA, the Pentagon and the “Matrix” of surveillance agencies are part of the plan.

Neuralink, a brain-computer chip interface (BCI), paves the way for AI control of the human brain. “In the most severe scenario, hacking a Neuralink-like device could turn ‘hosts’ into programmable drone armies capable of doing anything their ‘master’ wanted,” writes Jason Lau for Forbes.

There’s no limit to what can be accomplished—for good or ill—using brain-computer interfaces.

Clearly, we are rapidly moving into the “posthuman era.”

Transhumanism—the fusing of machines and people—is here to stay and will continue to grow.

In fact, as science and technology continue to advance, the ability to control humans will only increase. In 2014, for example, it was revealed that scientists have discovered how to deactivate that part of our brains that controls whether we are conscious or not.

Add to this the fact that increasingly humans will be implanted with microchips for such benign purposes as tracking children or as medical devices to assist with our health. Such devices “point to an uber-surveillance society that is Big Brother on the inside looking out,” warns Dr. Katina Michael. “Governments or large corporations would have the ability to track people’s actions and movements, categorize them into different socio-economic, political, racial, or consumer groups and ultimately even control them.”

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, control is the issue.

All of this indicates a new path forward for large corporations and government entities that want to achieve absolute social control. Instead of relying solely on marauding SWAT teams and full-fledged surveillance apparatuses, they will work to manipulate our emotions to keep us in lock step with the American police state.

Now add this warp speed-deployed vaccine to that mix, with all of the associated unknown and fearsome possibilities for altering or controlling human epigenetics, and you start to see the perils inherent in blindly adopting emerging technologies without any restrictions in place to guard against technological tyranny and abuse.

It’s one thing for the starship Enterprise to boldly go where no man has gone before, but even Mr. Spock recognized the dangers of a world dominated by AI. “Computers make excellent and efficient servants,” he observed in “The Ultimate Computer” episode of Star Trek, “but I have no wish to serve under them.”


Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People  is available at www.amazon.com. Whitehead can be contacted at johnw@rutherford.org.

December 1, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | , , | 1 Comment

Expanding Occupation – Brouqin Village

Al-Haq • November 10, 2020

November 29, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

Mile Markers of Tyranny: Losing Our Freedoms on the Road from 9/11 to COVID-19

By John W. Whitehead | Rutherford Institute | September 08, 2020

“No one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end.”—George Orwell

You can map the nearly 20-year journey from the 9/11 attacks to the COVID-19 pandemic by the freedoms we’ve lost along the way.

The road we have been traveling has been littered with the wreckage of our once-vaunted liberties, especially those enshrined in the Fourth Amendment.

The assaults on our freedoms that began with the post-9/11 passage of the USA Patriot Act laid the groundwork for the eradication of every vital constitutional safeguard against government overreach, corruption and abuse.

The COVID-19 pandemic with its lockdowns, mask mandates, surveillance, snitch lines for Americans to report their fellow citizens for engaging in risky behavior, and veiled threats of forced vaccinations has merely provided the architects of the American police state with an opportunity to flex their muscles.

These have become mile markers on the road to tyranny.

Free speech, the right to protest, the right to challenge government wrongdoing, due process, a presumption of innocence, the right to self-defense, accountability and transparency in government, privacy, press, sovereignty, assembly, bodily integrity, representative government: all of these and more have become casualties in the government’s ongoing war on the American people. In the process, the American people have been treated like enemy combatants, to be spied on, tracked, scanned, frisked, searched, subjected to all manner of intrusions, intimidated, invaded, raided, manhandled, censored, silenced, shot at, locked up, denied due process, and killed.

What the past 20 years have proven is that the U.S. government poses a greater threat to our individual and collective freedoms and national security than any terrorist, foreign threat or pandemic.

In allowing ourselves to be distracted by terror drills, foreign wars, color-coded warnings, partisan politics, pandemic scares, and other carefully constructed exercises in propaganda, sleight of hand, and obfuscation, we failed to recognize that the U.S. government—the government that was supposed to be a “government of the people, by the people, for the people”—has become the enemy of the people.

Indeed, the U.S. government has grown so corrupt, greedy, power-hungry and tyrannical over the course of the past 240-plus years that our constitutional republic has since given way to an idiocracy, and representative government has given way to a kleptocracy (a government ruled by thieves) and a kakistocracy (a government run by unprincipled career politicians, corporations and thieves that panders to the worst vices in our nature and has little regard for the rights of American citizens).

Although the Bill of Rights—the first ten amendments to the Constitution—was adopted as a means of protecting the people against government tyranny, in America today, the government does whatever it wants, freedom be damned.

“We the people” have been terrorized, traumatized, and tricked into a semi-permanent state of compliance by a government that cares nothing for our lives or our liberties.

The bogeyman’s names and faces have changed over time (terrorism, the war on drugs, illegal immigration, a viral pandemic), but the end result remains the same: in the so-called name of national security, the Constitution has been steadily chipped away at, undermined, eroded, whittled down, and generally discarded with the support of Congress, the White House, and the courts.

What we are left with today is but a shadow of the robust document adopted more than two centuries ago. Sadly, most of the damage has been inflicted upon the Bill of Rights.

Here is what it means to live under the Constitution, post-9/11 and in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic.

The First Amendment is supposed to protect the freedom to speak your mind, assemble and protest nonviolently without being bridled by the government. It also protects the freedom of the media, as well as the right to worship and pray without interference. In other words, Americans should not be silenced by the government. To the founders, all of America was a free speech zone.

Despite the clear protections found in the First Amendment, the freedoms described therein are under constant assault. Increasingly, Americans are being arrested and charged with bogus “contempt of cop” charges such as “disrupting the peace” or “resisting arrest” for daring to film police officers engaged in harassment or abusive practices. Journalists are being prosecuted for reporting on whistleblowers. States are passing legislation to muzzle reporting on cruel and abusive corporate practices. Religious ministries are being fined for attempting to feed and house the homeless. Protesters are being tear-gassed, beaten, arrested and forced into “free speech zones.” And under the guise of “government speech,” the courts have reasoned that the government can discriminate freely against any First Amendment activity that takes place within a government forum.

The Second Amendment was intended to guarantee “the right of the people to keep and bear arms.” Essentially, this amendment was intended to give the citizenry the means to resist tyrannical government. Yet while gun ownership has been recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court as an individual citizen right, Americans remain powerless to defend themselves against SWAT team raids and government agents armed to the teeth with military weapons better suited to the battlefield. As such, this amendment has been rendered null and void.

The Third Amendment reinforces the principle that civilian-elected officials are superior to the military by prohibiting the military from entering any citizen’s home without “the consent of the owner.” With the police increasingly training like the military, acting like the military, and posing as military forces—complete with heavily armed SWAT teams, military weapons, assault vehicles, etc.—it is clear that we now have what the founders feared most—a standing army on American soil.

The Fourth Amendment prohibits government agents from conducting surveillance on you or touching you or invading you, unless they have some evidence that you’re up to something criminal. In other words, the Fourth Amendment ensures privacy and bodily integrity. Unfortunately, the Fourth Amendment has suffered the greatest damage in recent years and has been all but eviscerated by an unwarranted expansion of police powers that include strip searches and even anal and vaginal searches of citizens, surveillance (corporate and otherwise) and intrusions justified in the name of fighting terrorism, as well as the outsourcing of otherwise illegal activities to private contractors.

The Fifth Amendment and the Sixth Amendment work in tandem. These amendments supposedly ensure that you are innocent until proven guilty, and government authorities cannot deprive you of your life, your liberty or your property without the right to an attorney and a fair trial before a civilian judge. However, in the new suspect society in which we live, where surveillance is the norm, these fundamental principles have been upended. Certainly, if the government can arbitrarily freeze, seize or lay claim to your property (money, land or possessions) under government asset forfeiture schemes, you have no true rights.

The Seventh Amendment guarantees citizens the right to a jury trial. Yet when the populace has no idea of what’s in the Constitution—civic education has virtually disappeared from most school curriculums—that inevitably translates to an ignorant jury incapable of distinguishing justice and the law from their own preconceived notions and fears. However, as a growing number of citizens are coming to realize, the power of the jury to nullify the government’s actions—and thereby help balance the scales of justice—is not to be underestimated. Jury nullification reminds the government that “we the people” retain the power to ultimately determine what laws are just.

The Eighth Amendment is similar to the Sixth in that it is supposed to protect the rights of the accused and forbid the use of cruel and unusual punishment. However, the Supreme Court’s determination that what constitutes “cruel and unusual” should be dependent on the “evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society” leaves us with little protection in the face of a society lacking in morals altogether.

The Ninth Amendment provides that other rights not enumerated in the Constitution are nonetheless retained by the people. Popular sovereignty—the belief that the power to govern flows upward from the people rather than downward from the rulers—is clearly evident in this amendment. However, it has since been turned on its head by a centralized federal government that sees itself as supreme and which continues to pass more and more laws that restrict our freedoms under the pretext that it has an “important government interest” in doing so.

As for the Tenth Amendment’s reminder that the people and the states retain every authority that is not otherwise mentioned in the Constitution, that assurance of a system of government in which power is divided among local, state and national entities has long since been rendered moot by the centralized Washington, DC, power elite—the president, Congress and the courts.

If there is any sense to be made from this recitation of freedoms lost, it is simply this: our individual freedoms have been eviscerated so that the government’s powers could be expanded.

Mind you, by “government,” I’m not referring to the highly partisan, two-party bureaucracy of the Republicans and Democrats. Rather, I’m referring to the Deep State—the corporatized, militarized, entrenched bureaucracy that has set itself beyond the reach of the law and is unaffected by elections, unaltered by populist movements, and staffed by unelected officials who are, in essence, running the country and calling the shots in Washington DC, no matter who sits in the White House.

This is a government that, in conjunction with its corporate partners, views the citizenry as consumers and bits of data to be bought, sold and traded.

This is a government that spies on and treats its citizens as if they have no right to privacy, especially in their own homes.

This is a government that is laying the groundwork to weaponize the public’s biomedical data as a convenient means by which to penalize certain “unacceptable” social behaviors.

This is a government that subjects its people to scans, searches, pat downs and other indignities by the TSA and VIPR raids on so-called “soft” targets like shopping malls and bus depots by black-clad, Darth Vader look-alikes.

This is a government that uses fusion centers, which represent the combined surveillance efforts of federal, state and local law enforcement, to track the citizenry’s movements, record their conversations, and catalogue their transactions.

This is a government whose wall-to-wall surveillance has given rise to a suspect society in which the burden of proof has been reversed such that Americans are now assumed guilty until or unless they can prove their innocence.

This is a government that treats its people like second-class citizens who have no rights, and is working overtime to stigmatize and dehumanize any and all who do not fit with the government’s plans for this country.

This is a government that uses free speech zones, roving bubble zones and trespass laws to silence, censor and marginalize Americans and restrict their First Amendment right to speak truth to power. The kinds of speech the government considers dangerous enough to red flag and subject to censorship, surveillance, investigation, prosecution and outright elimination include: hate speech, bullying speech, intolerant speech, conspiratorial speech, treasonous speech, threatening speech, incendiary speech, inflammatory speech, radical speech, anti-government speech, right-wing speech, left-wing speech, extremist speech, politically incorrect speech, etc.

This is a government that adopts laws that criminalize Americans for otherwise lawful activities such as holding religious studies at home, growing vegetables in their yard, and collecting rainwater.

This is a government that persists in renewing the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which allows the president and the military to arrest and detain American citizens indefinitely.

This is a government that saddled us with the Patriot Act, which opened the door to all manner of government abuses and intrusions on our privacy.

This is a government that, in direct opposition to the dire warnings of those who founded our country, has allowed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to establish a standing army by way of programs that transfer surplus military hardware to local and state police.

This is a government that has militarized American’s domestic police, equipping them with military weapons such as “tens of thousands of machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment; and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft,” in addition to armored vehicles, sound cannons and the like.

This is a government that has provided cover to police when they shoot and kill unarmed individuals just for standing a certain way, or moving a certain way, or holding something—anything—that police could misinterpret to be a gun, or igniting some trigger-centric fear in a police officer’s mind that has nothing to do with an actual threat to their safety.

This is a government that has allowed private corporations to get rich at taxpayer expense by locking people up in private prisons for non-violent crimes, while providing Corporate America with a source of cheap labor.

This is a government that has created a Constitution-free zone within 100 miles inland of the border around the United States, paving the way for Border Patrol agents to search people’s homes, intimately probe their bodies, and rifle through their belongings, all without a warrant. Incredibly, nearly 66% of Americans (2/3 of the U.S. population, 197.4 million people) now live within that 100-mile-deep, Constitution-free zone.

This is a government that treats public school students as if they were prison inmates, enforcing zero tolerance policies that criminalize childish behavior, failing to teach them their rights under the Constitution, and indoctrinating them with teaching that emphasizes rote memorization and test-taking over learning, synthesizing and critical thinking.

This is a government that is operating in the negative on every front: it’s spending far more than what it makes (and takes from the American taxpayers) and it is borrowing heavily (from foreign governments and Social Security) to keep the government operating and keep funding its endless wars abroad. Meanwhile, the nation’s sorely neglected infrastructure—railroads, water pipelines, ports, dams, bridges, airports and roads—is rapidly deteriorating.

This is a government whose gun violence—inflicted on unarmed individuals by battlefield-trained SWAT teams, militarized police, and bureaucratic government agents trained to shoot first and ask questions later—poses a greater threat to the safety and security of the nation than any mass shooter. There are now reportedly more bureaucratic (non-military) government agents armed with high-tech, deadly weapons than U.S. Marines.

This is a government that has allowed the presidency to become a dictatorship operating above and beyond the law, regardless of which party is in power.

This is a government that treats dissidents, whistleblowers and freedom fighters as enemies of the state.

This is a government—a warring empire—that forces its taxpayers to pay for wars abroad that serve no other purpose except to expand the reach of the military industrial complex.

This is a government that has in recent decades unleashed untold horrors upon the world—including its own citizenry—in the name of global conquest, the acquisition of greater wealth, scientific experimentation, and technological advances, all packaged in the guise of the greater good.

This is a government that allows its agents to break laws with immunity while average Americans get the book thrown at them.

This is a government that speaks in a language of force. What is this language of force? Militarized police. Riot squads. Camouflage gear. Black uniforms. Armored vehicles. Mass arrests. Pepper spray. Tear gas. Batons. Strip searches. Surveillance cameras. Kevlar vests. Drones. Lethal weapons. Less-than-lethal weapons unleashed with deadly force. Rubber bullets. Water cannons. Stun grenades. Arrests of journalists. Crowd control tactics. Intimidation tactics. Brutality. Contempt of cop charges.

This is a government that justifies all manner of government tyranny and power grabs in the so-called name of national security, national crises and national emergencies.

This is a government that exports violence worldwide, with one of this country’s most profitable exports being weapons. Indeed, the United States, the world’s largest exporter of arms, has been selling violence to the world in order to prop up the military industrial complex and maintain its endless wars abroad.

This is a government that is consumed with squeezing every last penny out of the population and seemingly unconcerned if essential freedoms are trampled in the process.

This is a government that believes it has the authority to search, seize, strip, scan, spy on, probe, pat down, taser, and arrest any individual at any time and for the slightest provocation, the Constitution be damned.

In sum, this is a government that routinely undermines the Constitution and rides roughshod over the rights of the citizenry.

This is not a government that believes in, let alone upholds, freedom.

So where does that leave us?

As always, the first step begins with “we the people.”

Those who gave us the Constitution and the Bill of Rights believed that the government exists at the behest of its citizens. It is there to protect, defend and even enhance our freedoms, not violate them. Our power as a citizenry comes from our ability to agree and stand united on certain freedom principles that should be non-negotiable.

It was no idle happenstance that the Constitution opens with these three powerful words: “We the people.” In other words, we have the power to make and break the government. We are the masters and they are the servants. We the American people—the citizenry—are the arbiters and ultimate guardians of America’s welfare, defense, liberty, laws and prosperity.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we have managed to keep the wolf at bay so far. Barely.

Our national priorities need to be re-prioritized. For instance, some argue that we need to make America great again. I, for one, would prefer to make America free again.


Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People  is available at www.amazon.com. Whitehead can be contacted at johnw@rutherford.org.

November 29, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Brutal police beating of maskless French man hints at frightening future for locked-down Europe

By Damian Wilson | RT | November 27, 2020

A shocking video of French police beating up a man who wasn’t wearing a mask showed the authorities’ iron-fist approach to enforcing regulations and suppressing protests. Will this be the new norm when the pandemic has passed?

A British shopper recently spotted by police failing to wear a face mask decided to heap abuse on the hapless copper patiently explaining the rules to her before she simply flung her basket to the ground and strolled off without a care in the world. All very British, and no one was hurt – but it illustrated the frustration normal people are feeling over this never-ending pandemic.

Meanwhile, in Paris, a young, black music producer leaving his studio without wearing a face mask was spied by three policemen who set upon him and forced him back into his studio, where they kicked, punched and beat him with a truncheon for five minutes before he managed, with the help of friends, to bundle them out the door.

That didn’t deter the trio of plod as they tossed tear-gas grenades through the window to flush their prey from safety so he could be arrested.

The young chap, identified only as Michel, was later released without charge or having to pay the €135 fine for failing to comply with face-mask rules in Paris. The three policemen involved have been suspended from duty after it emerged that the entire incident was caught on a studio video camera.

And while it would be right to flag up clear concerns of racism surrounding this assault, looking at what prompted this inexplicable outburst of violence from law enforcement officers is even more disturbing.

It wasn’t police on the lookout for yet another terrorist, or a bank robber or wanted fugitive. It was all about not wearing a face mask. This is what we have come to.

And it’s not just France. In Berlin last week, police fired water cannon and pepper spray at a crowd of people, including children, protesting against Germany’s coronavirus restrictions. In the aftermath, police justified the action saying people were refusing to wear face masks. So you blast them with water?

Spain, which suffered a particularly restrictive 100-day lockdown, has also seen trouble. On top of street protests by families missing their loved ones, there have been running battles with the police, barricades set on fire, and shops looted across the country.

Likewise in Italy, where even the Mafia is alleged to have joined in the looting and trashing of property, all in the guise of a coronavirus protest. Police there also used tear gas to disperse the crowds.

And it’s not just these nations. Protests in the UK have attracted thousands, the USA has seen violence flare at street marches, there have been rallies across the globe – Argentina, Brazil, Nigeria, Serbia, Russia, Australia, South Africa, Mexico. Even in countries most of us would struggle to find on a map, like Malawi.

Everywhere, the riot police have steamed in to break up crowds, leading to countless clashes and arrests creating even further upset. Is this where we are now? This is what this infernal Covid-19 virus has driven us to? Police in riot gear using batons, shields, water cannon and tear gas on their fellow citizens who are venting their anger, having become simply tired of being cooped up indoors?

Back in Paris, the young music producer who had been assaulted told journalists outside police headquarters that “people who should have been protecting me attacked me. I did nothing to deserve this.”

Anyone expecting some sort of climbdown from their government and public health officials has no doubt given up waiting by this point. Across the world, people are preparing for a crappy Christmas and grim warnings that breaching restrictions will mean a terrible price to be paid come the new year.

In France, the controversial new global security law has passed its first legislative stage, meaning anyone taking a photo or filming on-duty police that enables them to be identified faces a year in prison and a whopping €45,000 fine.

Prime Minister Jean Castex has suggested the government may backtrack on the controversial law but it’s naive to believe there’s any real honesty in that claim.

Meanwhile, French police will continue to pursue their thuggery, beating and teargassing innocent citizens, tipping people from their tents when clearing temporary camps of asylum seekers and trampling over protestors at will. Anyone caught filming them will simply be arrested and flung in jail.

No doubt this sort of behaviour will be repeated across the globe at organised protests against coronavirus restrictions wherever they may be. The lingering concern is that once this cursed pandemic passes, will things return to normal, where those we expect to protect us do just that?

Or has there been a subtle but sinister shift towards a more brutal state in many countries, where governments have been emboldened by newly tried and tested authoritarianism? Let’s see what answer to that 2021 brings.

Damian Wilson is a UK journalist, ex-Fleet Street editor, financial industry consultant and political communications special advisor in the UK and EU.

November 27, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , , | 1 Comment

Moving past apartheid: one-state is not ideal justice, but it is just and possible

By Ramzy Baroud | MEMO | November 26, 2020

Once again, Europe’s top diplomats expressed their ‘deep concern’ regarding Israel’s ongoing illegal settlement expansion, again evoking the maxim that Israeli actions “threaten the viability of the two-state solution”.

This position was communicated by EU Foreign Affairs Chief, Josep Borrell, on November 19, during a video-conference with Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister, Riyad al-Maliki.

All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law and should be rejected in words and action, regardless of whether they pose a threat to the defunct two-state solution or not.

Aside from the fact that Europe’s ‘deep concern’ is almost never followed with any substantive action, articulating a legal and moral stance in the context of imaginary solutions is particularly meaningless.

The question, then, is: “Why does the West continue to use the two-state solution as its political parameter for a resolution to the Israeli occupation of Palestine while, at the same time, failing to take any meaningful measure to ensure its implementation?”

The answer lies, partly, in the fact that the two-state solution was never devised for implementation, to begin with.  Like the “peace process” and other pretenses, it aimed to promote, among Palestinians and Arabs, the idea that there is a goal worth striving for, despite it being unattainable.

However, even that goal was, itself, conditioned on a set of demands that were unrealistic at the outset. Historically, Palestinians have had to renounce violence (their armed resistance to Israel’s military occupation), consent to various UN resolutions (even if Israel still rejects those resolutions), accept Israel’s “right” to exist as a Jewish state, and so on. That yet-to-be-established Palestinian State was also meant to be demilitarized, divided between the West Bank and Gaza, but excluding most of occupied East Jerusalem.

Yet, while warnings that a two-state solution possibility is disintegrating, few bothered to try to understand the reality from a Palestinian perspective. Fed up with the illusions of their own failed leadership, according to a recent poll, two-thirds of Palestinians now agree that a two-state solution is not possible.

Even the claim that a two-state solution is necessary, at least as a precursor to a permanent one-state solution, is absurd. This argument places yet more obstacles before the Palestinian quest for freedom and rights. If the two-state solution was ever feasible, it would have been achieved when all parties, at least publicly, championed it. Now, the Americans are no longer committed to it and the Israelis have moved past it into whole new territories, plotting the illegal annexation and permanent occupation of Palestine.

The undeniable truth is that millions of Palestinian Arabs (Muslims and Christians) and Israeli Jews are living between the Jordan River and the Sea. They are already walking on the same earth and drinking the same water, but not as equals. While Israeli Jews represent the privileged, Palestinians are oppressed, caged in behind walls and treated as inferior. To sustain Israeli Jewish privilege as long as possible, Israel uses violence, employs discriminatory laws and, as Professor Ilan Pappe calls it, ‘incremental genocide’ against Palestinians.

A one-state solution aims to challenge Israeli Jewish privilege, replacing the current racist, apartheid regime with a democratic, equitable, and representative political system that guarantees the rights for all peoples and all faiths, as in any other democratic governance anywhere in the world.

For that to take place, no shortcuts are required and no further illusions about two states are necessary.

For many years, we have linked our struggle for Palestinian freedom with the concept of justice, as in ‘no justice no peace’, ‘justice for Palestine’, and so on. So, it is befitting to ask the question, is the one-state solution a just one?

Perfect justice is not attainable because history cannot be erased. No truly just solution can be achieved when generations of Palestinians have already died as refugees without their freedom or ever going back to their homes. Nevertheless, allowing injustice to perpetuate because ideal justice cannot be obtained is also unfair.

For years, many of us have advocated a one-state as the most natural outcome of terribly unjust historical circumstances. However, I – and I know of other Palestinian intellectuals, as well – have refrained from making that a cause celèbre, simply because I believe that any initiatives regarding the future of the Palestinian people must be championed by the Palestinian people themselves. This is necessary to prevent the kind of cliquism and, as Antonio Gramsci called it, intellectualism, that wrought Oslo and all of its ills.

Now that public opinion in Palestine is shifting, mainly against the two-state solution, but also, though gradually, in favor of a one-state, one is able to publicly take this stance as well. We should support the one democratic state because Palestinians in Palestine itself are increasingly advocating such a rightful and natural demand. I believe it is only a matter of time before equal rights within a one-state paradigm become the common cause of all Palestinians.

Advocating dead ‘solutions’, as the Palestinian Authority, the EU and others continue to do, is a waste of precious time and effort. All attention should now focus on helping Palestinians obtain their rights, including the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees and holding Israel morally, politically and legally accountable for failing to respect international law.

Living as equals in one state that demolishes all walls, ends all sieges and breaks all barriers is one of these fundamental rights that should not be up for negotiations.

November 26, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 3 Comments

Guatemala on the brink of serious social crisis

By Lucas Leiroz | November 26, 2020

A major crisis is unfolding in Guatemala. Violent protests, vandalism and mutual accusations fill the scenario of great political, social, and institutional tensions that are forming in this Central American country. Last weekend, amid protests against the government in the center of Guatemala City, there was an attempt to set fire to the National Congress, which gained prominence in the news across Latin America. At first, the main suspicions pointed to criminal actions of violent protesters, but some investigations point to completely different possibilities.

Initially, investigators began to question the fact that the Parliament’s security team was very scarce at the time of the demonstrations – even though it was clear that on November 21 there would be protests in the vicinity, having previously been publicly announced. The Congressional protection scheme was limited to a few individuals scattered around the area, without any organized staff to prevent potential acts of vandalism. Still, according to reports, the Guatemalan National Civil Police simply did not try to prevent some of the acts of vandalism carried out during the protests, remaining inert while the crimes were being committed. Witnesses say the police watched passively as the protesters set fire to the Parliament without any reaction. Several photo and video records were posted on social networks around the world, proving police inertia in the face of vandalism, which caused indignation and suspicion.

It was then that the Guatemalan political opposition, led by the party “Unidad Nacional de la Esperanza” (UNE), began to claim that such acts were not committed by protesters, but by government infiltrators, protected by security forces, trying to boycott the legitimate civil acts. The government’s intention, according to the opposition’s allegations, would simply be to delegitimize popular demonstrations through propaganda about the acts of vandalism practiced by such infiltrators, which would make a perfect excuse for the government to take exceptional measures and act violently against the protesters.

To understand the Guatemalan crisis properly, we must analyze the country’s situation profoundly. The peak of popular dissatisfaction, which motivated the violent protests of November 21, was the approval by the parliamentarians of the Budget of the Republic for 2021. The project of State accounts significantly reduced health and education expenses, which generated legitimate popular indignation. Among the social programs that lost funding under the new budget are child nutrition projects, for example – even in a country where the poverty line reaches 50% of the total population. In the same vein, provisions for universities, maternity centers and medical clinics have declined substantially and are now in real risk. After the increase in violence in the protests, budget approval was temporarily suspended.

Despite this being the peak of the revolt, popular indignation began much earlier and encompasses several factors. Guatemala suffers from a serious case of structural corruption, as well as great incompetence to deal with the country’s main social problems. The country has not yet overcome the crisis generated by the new coronavirus pandemic and the two consecutive hurricanes that hit the region recently, leaving hundreds of dead people.

Popular indignation is not restricted to the acts of the Parliament. In the Executive Branch, the situation is similar. Alejandro Giammattei’s first year in office is being marked by criticism and scandals, in addition to a notable inability to overcome internal differences between members of his own team. For example, recently, Vice President Guillermo Castillo criticized Giammattei for invoking international legal documents to legitimize a severe response against acts of vandalism during the demonstrations. Castillo classified the attitude as exaggerated and said that the Guatemalan people do not practice such acts.

In addition, the vice president stated during an interview that he asked the president to resign from his office with the aim of alleviating social tensions in the country. Castillo openly defends the creation of a Guatemalan “commission of notables”, led by religious and popular institutions, which should give to the Congress a list with possible names to occupy the office of new president. This is sufficient to reveal the deep level of dissatisfaction, disunity, and lack of strategic planning within the Guatemalan government and parliament.

While the accusations continue on both sides and the Guatemalan state is fragmented into several political factions, the population suffers from the consequences of many incompetent policies. Now, with the arson attack against the Parliament, popular demonstrations are likely to be suppressed with extreme violence. Although Congress has suspended the approval of the new budget, there is no indication that such suspension will continue – it may be only a temporary measure while the demonstrations remain violent. It is likely that the government will tighten up its security policies and that the restriction on popular acts will grow to the point of preventing any legitimate demonstration against austerity measures. Given the recent history of the country and the entire Central American region, it is difficult to establish any positive scenario for the near future in Guatemala.

Lucas Leiroz is a research fellow in international law at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

November 26, 2020 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism | , , | 1 Comment

The Thanksgiving Rebellion of 2020

By Jeffrey A. Tucker | American Institute for Economic Research | November 25, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control warned us not to travel or meet in multigenerational gatherings during Thanksgiving. Which is to say: government tried to make Thanksgiving, probably the most iconic of all American holidays, practically disappear from the calendar this year.

They didn’t put it that way exactly. Thanksgiving is not canceled but merely “postponed” — a strange thing to say about a holiday that has a fixed day of the year and surely the one that most means “family” to people.

What they said was you need to go through a 7-point checklist that most everyone would fail. You have to check local cases (never mind that cases aren’t deaths and cases might not even be cases), check hospital capacity as if you will be stricken down like in the movie Contagion and thereby be turned away at the door, observe local quarantine rules that bespot the whole country, do not travel with someone not in your household, make sure no old people will be at the gathering, make sure never to get closer than 6 feet to another human being, and…OK this is all ridiculous. It’s fear porn, distributed by “science.”

And it’s true that our airports are getting scarier by the day with all the convoluted quarantine rules. Imagine showing up back home and knowing that you are barred from even so much as visiting a convenience store. Plus people really do not know the rules because they change by the day and hour.

The governor of Washington State proclaimed that “Gatherings have grave consequences right now.” (He was obsequious and deferential toward mass protests in June: BLM = good; Thanksgiving = bad.)

The governor of Vermont has pledged to interview any student coming back to school about whether they had gatherings outside their home. If so, they get thrown out for two weeks. Probably the track-and-trace machinery will go into place.

In Texas, the health department ran ads all over radio claiming that something as innocent as a small birthday party will spread the coronavirus, based on a now-famous case in which no one was either hospitalized or died but all got immunities.

The ads even deployed the voices of young children (“we feel guilty for gathering”) bemoaning that they got the dreaded disease which in fact has an infinitesimally small to nonexistent risk to children.

And so on it goes, the entire country pounded with anti-Thanksgiving propaganda via every public messaging source. On an 80s-style radio station in Texas, one I heard while driving, the music all proclaimed the glories of parties, dancing, defying authority, standing up against evil, taking big risks, and living large. But the ad breaks hectored people to stay home and stay safe and not have any fun. The contrast was striking, to say the least.

This bureaucratic hydra of federal, state, and local governments tried to delete Thanksgiving. And this is at a time of unprecedented sadness and depression when people are most in need of family and companionship. This is absolutely cruel.

What the heck has become of us? Well, Americans being Americans, they rebelled.

“According to the American Automobile Association,” writes Jason Riley, “there could be as many as 50 million Thanksgiving travelers this year, only 10% less than in 2019.” I saw the same at the two airports I visited. They were about 75% as busy as the old days but still bustling. Rental cars were in high demand. Americans will not be locked down on Thanksgiving.

Riley further writes:

This is a form of mass civil disobedience like nothing the country has seen since the 1960s. Some of it is born of Covid fatigue, to be sure. But the endless parade of politicians flouting their own rules surely has also played a role. It began shortly after the spring lockdowns and if anything has become more commonplace, even farcical.

Riley points out that the politicians themselves do not follow their own ridiculous rules. Like the Soviet apparatchiks of old, they believe that the theater of dictatorial compliance is for the worker and peasants but not for themselves. The “vanguard of the proletariat” has a special exemption from the rules they make for others.

They live well. Everyone else: line up at the food bank.

There is a reason why so many Americans are not buying it anymore. It’s become rather obvious that this is less about health and science than it is about social/economic/political control, regardless of the costs.

This becomes obvious once you see through the incredibly foggy blizzard of data, studies, official pronouncements, and furrowed-browed scientists Skyping into network news shows. The real underlying story here is that lots of people in powerful positions believe that they should be in charge of your life and know better how to make choices over health and safety than you do.

Once you see it this way, you stop being intimidated by their alleged authority and experience and start living your life again. After all, it is not the case that the governments have special access to health wisdom that is denied to you and yours. By now, you have read the risks, seen the problems with the posture of certainty of the supposed experts, and observed the way they utterly fail to consider the downsides of shutting businesses, schools, sports, and the arts.

Consider the following editorial in one of three of the world’s most prestigious medical journals, the Lancet in the UK. The article pits Martin Kulldorff of the Great Barrington Declaration against Massachusetts General Hospital’s Rochelle Walensky. Martin points to the carnage of lockdowns and a more humane solution to the presence of disease. Walensky’s entire argument against basic exercise of public health of the past is as follows:

“The Great Barrington Declaration is predicated on the idea that you know who is going to get sick and you can somehow isolate and protect them, but there is absolutely no evidence that we can do this”, she said. She pointed out that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that up to 40% of Americans have some kind of co-morbidity that makes them vulnerable to the ravages of COVID-19. Identifying all these people is not straightforward. “No-one is suggesting that lockdowns should be the default position. They are a last resort. But if we just let the virus run free without mitigation strategies, such as masking, our hospitals will overflow and that would mean we would no longer be able to take care of the population’s health across the board.”

Notice her insistence that “we” cannot achieve intelligent risk assessment of the population. By we, she means experts such as herself. And she is right! They cannot. And that’s the whole point. That needs to be left to individuals. Central planning does not work for all the reasons that F.A. Hayek explained: the necessary knowledge to make intelligent decisions is decentralized and not available in useful forms for elite overseers or anyone else.

As for lockdowns as a last resort, please: they were used as a first resort in the presence of a virus that turned out to be far less severe than the models predicted. It is barely a disease at all for large swaths of the population. The fatality demographics are overwhelmingly concentrated on a low-life-expectancy population in a world where people are living longer than ever. The average age of death from Covid exceeds average life spans.

Then finally we get the invocation of the overflow problem. Hospitals cannot scale, she alleges. Why? Restaurants, bars, stores, office buildings, and supply and demand for a billion other things scales just fine. It’s a matter of increasing supply to match increased demand – a core economic problem and answer. Why does this not apply to medical services too?

Do you see what is going on here? We have a medical doctor who is pronouncing on economics and she doesn’t even know it. She sums up the problem we have had this entire year. Many health officials have stepped outside their role to become central planners of the entire society and economy. They never explained why people should grant them this power. They just took it for themselves by intimidating fearful and ignorant politicians to do their bidding.

With all due respect to the good doctor, I would translate her statement to the Lancet as follows: “You people out there are too stupid, fat, and unhealthy to be in charge of your lives; that’s where I come in!”

And the carnage is everywhere. I had hoped when I came to Texas to find a society that had long ago gone back to normal. What I find instead is heartbreaking. In this town, half the local businesses seem to be boarded up. The one movie theater for the whole county is bankrupt and closed. Most of the independently owned shops are dead. The shopping mall is barely surviving, and the masked employees are demoralized and seeing their doom.

Who survives? The big-box chain stores in town. Wal-Mart seems fine and so does Home Depot. These companies are well-capitalized enough to survive. I’m glad for them but there is something unjust about all of this. The lockdowns benefited elites at the expense of everyone else.

This small and wonderful town is now sad and broken – thanks to people like Dr. Walensky who undoubtedly had the best of intentions. She lives in Boston. I’m right now in rural Texas. The people who surround me have had their lives shattered by her and her fellow intellectuals who bear no real consequence for being wrong.

So, yes, she is correct that she does not have the capacity to know who is vulnerable and who is not. No one knows that with certainty. The solution is not to lock the whole of society down until the virus magically goes away. That is not public health. That is an unprecedented imposition of top-down brutalism.

The battle over lockdowns and public health is the struggle of our lives, the greatest crisis in generations. But the problems and solutions are not different from the ones that have consumed intellectuals for centuries. What institutions better manage society in good times and in bad: governments (run by experts, with power and resources) or free people acting with intelligence and creativity as best they can? One might have supposed we had the answer to this question already. But human beings forget. Then the tragic lessons have to be learned all over again.

November 25, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Economics, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | 1 Comment

‘Health passports’ for air travel mean mandatory Covid-19 vaccines cloaked in the illusion of choice

By Helen Buyniski | RT | November 24, 2020

An airline lobbying group has volunteered its service as private-sector enforcer for the Covid vaccine mandates many countries have promised not to enact. Good luck flying – or getting a job, or government benefits – without one.

The CEO of Australian airline Qantas got a less than enthusiastic reaction earlier this week when he suggested all international travelers will soon be required to provide proof of vaccination against the novel coronavirus before they’ll be allowed on board.

While establishment types thought it was a smashing idea, skeptics were horrified at the thoughts that a private corporation could force them to consume a pharmaceutical concoction just to fly.

The most sinister aspect of such a policy, however, is that it won’t be forced at all. Wannabe-travelers can either take the rushed-through, side-effect-ridden jab, or stay home.

The illusion of ‘choice’ adroitly skirts the thicket of legal issues surrounding mandatory vaccination in most Western countries, as even the most draconian pandemic emergency laws run into difficulties when they try to mandate what would amount to pharmaceutical experiments on unwilling participants. The Nuremberg Code, and the Geneva Convention, for that matter, exist for a reason, and the nuclear-level public shaming deployed against so-called ‘anti-vaxxers’ can only do so much.

Deploying the ‘carrot’ – exemption from travel restrictions and weeks-long quarantines, entry into concerts and football matches, and other perks – rather than the ‘stick’ of mandates and arrests is much more likely to drive reluctant populations to the needle.

The government of Slovakia was able to test a whopping 97 percent of its population in under three weeks by rewarding the compliant with certificates excusing them from curfew and gathering restrictions, and the UK’s ‘nudge unit’ is considering embracing this paradigm for vaccination itself. The International Air Transport Association (IATA), a global airline lobbying group, has shown with its backing of Qantas’ questionable quest that it’s 100 percent on board as well.

As the backlash to the Australian airline’s announcement erupted, spearheaded by UK travel agency Tradewinds Travel’s vow not to do business with Qantas going forward, the IATA revealed the entire industry would soon follow in the airline’s footsteps. Not only would passengers need to provide proof of vaccination, but they’d be expected to download and use a mobile ‘health passport’ app. Indeed, the group is already hard at work on a ‘Travel Pass’ that will allow passengers to flash both their vaccination status and Covid-19 test results at the airport – privacy be damned.

The IATA’s efforts have the backing of the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which sets international standards for air travel. But it’s individual airlines’ private-sector status that makes their promised regulations so valuable to governments who’d otherwise be restricted from impinging on the bodily integrity of their citizens with vaccine mandates. Just as Google, Facebook and Twitter are weaponized by the US and allied governments to dodge citizens’ rights to free speech, airlines can adopt whatever rules they like. Don’t want to get the jab? Buy your own private jet, they’ll say.

The IATA’s Travel Pass is far from the only competitor in the health passport field, either. The World Economic Forum’s CommonPass, funded by the pandemic-ubiquitous Rockefeller Foundation, emerged as the clear frontrunner earlier this month when three airline conglomerates lined up behind it, issuing a joint statement urging governments to embrace privacy-destroying health passports over freedom-trampling quarantines.

Indeed, it was the WEF which drew up the prototype for these health passports years ago with its Known Traveler Digital Identity program. The organization coyly admitted it’s currently testing “components of the KTDI concept in a real-life, cross-border context” and working with the IATA as well as the International Civil Aviation Organization to shove the program down the world’s throat.

Not that it’ll need much shoving. The powers-that-be seem confident that, after ‘Lockdown 2.0’, most people will be so eaten up with cabin fever they’ll jump through any hoop imaginable just to climb onboard a plane and get out of wherever they are. ‘Flights to nowhere’ taking off and landing at the same airports in Australia and Hong Kong earlier this year have already proved frequent flyers are jonesing to get back in the air.

But even the most desperate would-be traveler should be wary of what they’re signing up for. The WEF has made no secret of its desire to get rid of cash in its sprawling ‘Great Reset’ plot, embracing Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) tracked via blockchain (just like CommonPass, KTDI and other variations of the health passport). The establishment has strongly hinted that individuals who want to work in this brave new world will have to have their vaccines up to date, and a cashless society means the non-compliant won’t just be barred from travel and toil – they’ll be prohibited from conducting any transactions at all.

Sure, it will be great to be able to travel the world again. But is it really worth turning over the last shreds of privacy and control over one’s own body to a group of unelected, unaccountable megalomaniacs?

Helen Buyniski is an American journalist and political commentator at RT. Follow her on Twitter @velocirapture23

November 24, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment