Graham Fuller: Some hard thoughts about post Ukraine by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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After posting this analysis by Fuller, whom I had never heard of, I came across these comments in a MOA thread and decided to pass them on:

Interesting read, but I’d take a Fuller perspective with a little more than a grain of salt. For sure he is/ was deeply involved in the Gulen movement in Turkey… a fact I randomly stumbled over while browsing one of my daughters poli-sci text books years ago. Subsequent to that I seem to recall he was some how tangled up with the Boston Marathon alleged bombing. I make no claim as to the veracity if any of what I’ve brought up here, but since narrative control is a stated goal of the spooks a bit of scepticism is probably advised.


Fuller married his daughter to the chief of the Tsarnaev clan. Basically traded her as meat in pursuit of high casualties in the Chechen wars. Sponsored the Tsarnaevs of Boston when they immigrated. First year they were in country they lived in his home. You wonder why the Tsarnaev kid smirked chuckled and laughed all through his trial? He outranked prosecutor judge and jury. He is not in custody.

Fuller is also 85 years old. And Bernhard is right to quote him. America does not have anyone less slimy and Fuller seems to be smarter than the usual slime.

Graham Fuller: Some hard thoughts about post Ukraine by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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What you say is all true. I would add that what the US and NATO were doing and prodding Ukraine to do was intended to provoke Russia into invading because they hoped Russia would get bogged down in a long war there that sapped them economically while the West simultaneously took a bulldozer to Russia's economy via the sanctions. But Russia has known this was inevitable since at least 2014 and have been preparing economically and militarily since then. As for the Russian people, many of whom were previously pro-West, they have witnessed the hatred and contempt toward Russians and their culture that permeates Western societies and they will never forget that.

Western political leaders are globalists who display all the hubris and privilege of the elite. Of course, they knew what Ukraine was doing to the residents of the Donbass but they didn't care, just like they don't care about the Ukraininans fighting their proxy war or the Ukrainian civilians trying to survive in a war-ravaged country. This was evident by their outrage over the reduction in gas to Europe via Nord Stream because the turbine sent to Canada for repairs couldn't be returned to Russia because of the sanctions. Even if it's true that the Russians used this as a chance to troll Europe, how ridiculous is it to get your panties in a twist when you've done everything in your power to destroy them economically? It's like saying, "you have to keep playing nice while we play dirty." Such is their "rules-based order", where they decide what the rules are and who has to follow them, i.e., not them.

St Petersburg International Economic Forum Plenary session by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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Agree with everything you said.

Lavrov unveils Russia’s geopolitical strategy - Foreign minister tells students of Moscow’s economic and political plans and future of relations with the West by Inuma in WayOfTheBern

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Moscow expects increased economic cooperation with China as the West takes a more dictatorial stance, in global affairs, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned on Monday. Russia intends to build relations with independent countries and will decide how to deal with the West if and when it comes to its senses, he added.

“Now that the West is taking the position of a dictator, our economic ties with China will grow even faster,” Lavrov told students at the Primakov School, an elite Moscow educational institution named after one of his predecessors. Evgeny Primakov served as foreign minister from 1996-98 and after that as prime minister.

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“In addition to direct income to the treasury, this will give us the opportunity to implement plans for the development of the Far East and Eastern Siberia,” he added. “The majority of projects with China are concentrated there. This is an opportunity for us to realize our potential in the field of high technology, including nuclear energy, but also in a number of other areas.”

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Addressing the ongoing turmoil in Ukraine, Lavrov said that Moscow had tried to resolve the Donbass crisis by having Kiev implement the Minsk Protocol, but the West only pretended to care about the talks, and instead “encouraged the arrogant position of the Kiev regime.”

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Now the West is “reacting furiously” to Russia defending its “absolutely legitimate, fundamental interests,” Lavrov said. Western leaders “shout slogans” and declare they must “defeat Russia,” or make Russia “lose on the battlefield,” without understanding the history or nature of Russia, he added.

“They must have done poorly in school,” said Lavrov.

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“I am convinced this will eventually end. The West will eventually recognize reality on the ground. It will be forced to admit that it can’t constantly attack the vital interests of Russia – or Russians, wherever they live – with impunity,” he added.

If and when the West comes to its senses and wants to offer something in terms of resuming relations, Russia will “seriously consider whether we will need it or not,” the foreign minister told the high-schoolers.

Moscow isn’t just implementing a strategy of import substitution in response to anti-Russian sanctions, but “must stop in any way being dependent on the supply of anything from the West” and rely on its own capabilities and those countries that have “proven their reliability” and act independently, Lavrov explained.

Russia's MOD Claims More Evidence of US Funded Bioweapons in Ukraine by Inuma in WayOfTheBern

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From MOA commenter Jo Dominich today (5/23/22):

Your comment that Russia is now being blamed for releasing Monkeypox is very interesting. I posted in another thread that I am 100% certain this is part of the USA Biolab/Bioweapons programme and am in no doubt it has been released by them. Early on in Covid the President of China accused the USA of releasing it. I think that's why China went straight to lockdown and isolation for a few weeks because they knew they were dealing with a bioweapon. Lockdowns are not the normal response to respiratory viruses as in Asia, due to certain weather conditions, they are not uncommon. I have read WHO about what Monkeypox actually is. It is stated as being a very rare virus only found in rurally isolated areas in Africa and is passed from animals to humans. It is a form mof smallpox. So, being a very rare virus found only in isolated African rural locations, we are now being asked to believe it has or is crossing 5 continents. If you look at some of the evidence Russia has been publishing about the biolabs one of the bioweapons being developed was a specific form of small pox. There can be no doubt the two are linked.

Great Moments in Unintended Consequences by sproketboy in WayOfTheBern

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Your post might get some traction if you said what it was about and told people why it would be worth their while to follow your link.

eugyppius: Brief thoughts about thinking by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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Ain't it the truth! I think the difference between us is that you still try and most of the time I don't.

Jaques Baud: The Military Situation in the Ukraine—An Update by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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Connecting some dots on Ukraine by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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Media Are Now Whitewashing Nazis They Had Previously Condemned

This post has a collection of links to pre-2022 articles about the Nazi groups operating in Ukraine and reports on their war crimes by human rights' groups.

eugyppius: Brief thoughts about thinking by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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That's frustrating, it's why I tell my friends not to talk politics around me. They think they're "informed" because they read what comes in on their Facebook feed and watch TYT - where to begin....

Connecting some dots on Ukraine by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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It's incredibly disheartening.

PATRICK LAWRENCE: Ukraine & the Strength of Nonalignment by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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From the article, bold added:

I was interested to read, last December, of the expansive agreements Vladimir Putin and Mahendra Modi signed at the conclusion of a summit the Russian and Indian leaders held in New Delhi.

The two leaders were very clear this was about more than rubles and rupees. Putin: “The ties are growing and I’m looking into the future.” Modi: “A lot of geopolitical equations have emerged, but India–Russia friendship has been a constant.”

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Also interesting reading was Lloyd Austin’s testimony to the U.S. House Armed Services Committee on April 6, wherein the defense secretary explained that those damnable Indians were going to have to ditch their defense ties to Russia.

The biggest pebble in the Pentagon’s shoe is India’s agreement to purchase the Russian-made S–400 missile-defense system, which must be some piece of gear considering that Washington is unfailingly inflamed whenever anybody buys it.

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“And our requirement going forward,” Austin continued, “is that they downscale the types of equipment that they’re investing in and look to invest more in the types of things that will make us continue to be compatible.”

I just love that last bit: Our requirement. You have to sound tough up on Capitol Hill, I suppose.

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Apart from the material agreements New Delhi and Moscow signed in December, the Modi government has declined to condemn the Russian intervention in Ukraine and is not participating in the sanctions regime.

...the Biden administration can pound all it wishes with its rhetoric to the effect that the whole world is horrified by Russia’s “special operation” in Ukraine. We have all seen the maps: Most of the world isn’t. Subscribers to the sanctions and the shrieks of horror are by and large limited to the Western democracies.

The long-term effect of this bifurcation will be the West’s increasing alienation from the vast majority of humanity, otherwise known as the non–West. In time this will turn out to be big.

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From Nehru’s day to ours, the principle of nonalignment has been as sanctified a pillar of Indian foreign policy, as “freedom” is to all right-thinking American ideologues.

There’s no touching it. This was part of Modi’s point when he spoke alongside Putin on Dec. 6.

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But the reality beneath the pronouncements of Blinken, Austin, von der Leyen, et al. is that the West simply cannot accept a world in which nonalignment, noninterference, territorial integrity, and associated precepts are held up as abiding principles. A lot of liberals mocked the Bush–Cheney regime and its with-us-or-against-us routines. Now we find that Western elites and the trans–Atlantic foreign policy cliques have no capacity to see the world differently.

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Washington’s overreaching adventure, with NATO allies following its lead, may well divide the world once again — not as the West intends, but between those nations who insist on a proper world order based on international law and those who insist they are above it.

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Austin and Blinken have made it terrifyingly clear that the true objective of the U.S.–NATO campaign in Ukraine is just as the more honest among us have said from the start: This is about “weakening Russia,” as the two secretaries put it — subjugating Russia, in other words, crushing it.

Have two not-quite-competent American officials just declared the start of World War III? Let me know when it is all right to express concern about the danger of a nuclear exchange without being called a treasonous propagandist in Moscow’s behalf.

Alternative perspective on the current war and "the New world order" from MENA. by therazorx in WayOfTheBern

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Thank you so much for cross-posting this here!

Patrick Lawrence: "The 'defactualization' of America." by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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I'm going to post some limited excerpts of this excellent article, which everyone should go and read for themselves. Bold added.

Introduction from the author:

This is the first of an occasional series, to appear in four parts, considering various aspects of our “bubble of pretend,” that protective membrane within which most Americans prefer to reside, safely removed from the realities of our circumstances, the disorders of our time, and, of course, the responsibilities we share for these circumstances and disorders. My concern as I began these pieces, sometimes tipping into morbid fascination, was that our collective psychology, as I understand the term, has deteriorated these past few years to such an extent it calls into question the survival of our polity, if not our republic.


So far as I know, this is the first war in modern history with no objective, principled coverage in mainstream media of day-to-day events and their context. None. It is morn-to-night propaganda, disinformation and lies of omission—most of it fashioned by the Nazi-infested Zelensky regime in Kiev and repeated uncritically as fact.

There is one thing worse than this degenerate state of affairs. It is the extent to which the media’s malpractice is perfectly fine to most Americans. Tell us what to think and believe no matter if it is true, they say, and we will think and believe it. Show us some pictures, for images are all.

There are larger implications to consider here. Critical as it is that we understand this conflict, Ukraine is a mirror in which we see ourselves as we have become. For more Americans than I wish were so, reality forms only in images.

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This majority — and it is almost certainly a majority — has no thoughts or views except those first verified through the machinery of manufactured images and “facts.” Television screens, the pages of purportedly authoritative newspapers, the air waves of government-funded radio stations—NPR, the BBC—serve to certify realities that do not have to be real, truths that do not have to be true.

Ten days into the Russian intervention, the propaganda coming out of Kiev was already so preposterous The New York Times felt compelled to publish a piece headlined, “In Ukraine’s Information War, a Blend of Fact and Fiction.” This was a baldly rendered apologia for the many “stories of questionable veracity,” as The Times put it, then in circulation.

After railing against disinformation for years, The Times wants us to know, disinformation is O.K. in Ukraine because the Ukrainians are our side and they are simply “boosting morale.”

We cannot say we weren’t warned. The Ghost of Kiev and Snake Island turn out now to be mere prelude, opening acts in the most extensive propaganda operation of the many I can recall.

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I must reproduce a quotation from that propaganda-is-O.K. piece The Times published in its 3 March editions. It is from a Twitter user who was distressed that it became public that the Ghost of Kiev turned out to be a ghost and the Snake Island heroes didn’t do much by way of holding the fort.

“Why can’t we just let people believe some things?” this thoughtful man or woman wanted to know. What is wrong, in other words, if thinking and believing nice things that aren’t true makes people feel better?

America the beautiful, or something like that.

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We have been told once again what to think and believe, and most of us will think and believe it.

After the Pentagon Papers came out in 1971, Hannah Arendt published an essay in The New York Review of Books called “Lying in Politics.” In it she wrote of America’s slide into a sort of collective psychosis she termed “defactualization.” Facts are fragile, Arendt wrote, in that they tell no story in themselves. They can be assembled to mean whatever one wants them to mean. This leaves them vulnerable to the manipulations of storytellers.

A dead body in a Ukrainian street, in other words, can be assigned a meaning that, once it is established, evidence to the contrary cannot be used to erase.

It is a half-century since Arendt published “Lying in Politics.” And it is to that time, the 1960s and 1970s, that we must trace the formation of what now amounts to America’s great bubble of pretend. The world as it is has mattered less and less since Arendt’s time, the world as we have wished it to be has mattered more and more.

People can live in these bubbles a very long time. The unreality within them can be very persuasive.

Reich (and Fauci) are Wildly Wrong ⋆ Brownstone Institute by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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An excellent point-by-point takedown of this tweet from Robert Reich that someone sent to the author of the piece, Donald Boudreaux. First, the tweet, followed by some highlights of Boudreaux's counterargument:

Perhaps there’s something wrong with a system that allows a 35-year-old, unelected, Trump-nominated judge — whom the American Bar Association deemed unqualified — to strike down the travel mask mandate for the entire country?

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  • First, there is no legally specified minimum age for serving on the federal bench

  • Second, like him or not, Donald Trump was president from 2017 to 2021, and among any president’s duties is to nominate federal-court judges.

  • Third, Judge Mizelle wasn’t put on the court by Trump unilaterally; she was approved by the Senate.

  • Fourth, all federal-court judges are unelected.

  • Fifth, also unelected are all public-health officials, including Anthony Fauci and Rochelle Walensky.

  • Sixth, while the ABA did indeed deem Judge Mizelle to be unqualified, it did so because she spent little time in the private practice of law. If this criterion suffices to render someone unfit for high government office, Anthony Fauci is even less qualified for his position than is Judge Mizelle for hers, given that Fauci spent no time in the private practice of medicine.

  • Seventh, because the CDC is a federal-government agency, its diktats generally cover the entire country...Judge Mizelle could hardly have ruled against the mask mandate for only a subsection of the country.

  • Eighth, Reich skates alarmingly close to implicitly endorsing a totalitarian proposition that Fauci recently endorsed explicitly – namely, that government-employed public-health bureaucrats are above the law.

To propose that any government action be immune to judicial oversight – that is, immune to oversight by the formal guardians of the law – is to propose that the officials who perform that action are above the law. As Reason’s Eric Boehm wrote in reaction to this authoritarian outburst by Fauci, “This is either a complete misunderstanding of the American system’s basic functions or an expression of disdain toward the rule of law.”

Beware of the Fact-Checkers by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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From the article by Leonard Goodman , bold added:

A case study in how allegedly neutral analysts hired by publications or social media can effectively cancel good-faith questions and opinions because they challenge dominant narratives.

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Opinion columnists are familiar with the traditional role of the fact checker. Prior to publication, an editor checks accuracy of quotes and the sources for factual assertions. Erroneous or unsupported assertions are removed or revised.

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But times have changed. Today, an entire fact-checker industry has emerged to check your opinions, making sure you have not strayed beyond acceptable limits for public discourse. These professional fact-checkers are often brought in after publication of a controversial article, opinion piece or podcast to quell a controversy. Acting more like business consultants, they help media platforms large and small stay on the right side of government officials and corporate sponsors.

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COVID-19 has been a boon to the fact-checking industry. Big outfits like Politifact and Factcheck.org have special divisions just to police COVID “misinformation.” Like the Ministry of Truth imagined by George Orwell in his epic novel, “1984,” these outfits will tell you what you can and can’t say about the lockdowns, masks, and the mRNA vaccines manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna.

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I got a window into the world of professional fact checkers last November after I published an op-ed for the Chicago Reader called, “Vaxxing our Kids, Why I’m not rushing to get my six-year-old the COVID-19 vaccine.” In it, I considered the arguments for and against the official policy to vaccinate every child. And I apparently crossed a line by including opinions held by a significant number of prominent scientists and physicians who believe healthy children don’t need the vaccine because their risk of severe COVID is minuscule, the vaccine may do more damage than good to children, and it does little to stop the spread of COVID.

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Like all my columns, Vaxxing our Kids was submitted on deadline, fact-checked and edited. At publication, my editor thanked me for taking on the difficult topic and pronounced my research to be “bulletproof.” She predicted that the piece would be controversial, but that many parents of young children would appreciate hearing a different point of view.

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Scheerpost co-published Vaxxing our Kids. But the way Scheerpost and the Chicago Reader handled the exact same content and the ensuing controversy could not have been more different. Scheerpost put the column front and center on its website and invited readers to comment and debate. Last I checked, there were 105 on-line comments and a robust debate, for and against the policy of mass vaccination of children. Many of the posters on Scheerpost shared knowledge, research and expertise on the questions raised in the op-ed, a shining example of how the First Amendment is supposed to work.

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The Chicago Reader took a different approach. Rather than embrace the controversy and welcome a debate over an important issue of public health, the Reader let “the mob ha[ve] the final edit” as one journalist remarked in the Chicago Tribune. After disabling all comments on its website, Reader management hired an external and anonymous “fact checker” to rewrite my column and issue a report with nine points of disagreement, later expanded to fifteen points of disagreement. The publisher offered me two options: either remove the column from the Reader website, or replace it with the new version that was “extensively modified” by the fact-checker, to be followed by the fact-checker report. I asked to publish a rebuttal to the fact-checker report and was told: “As for rebuttal: Your side is the actual column. The rebuttal is not a ‘side’ it is a fact-checker’s report.”


More at the link.

eugyppius: Brief thoughts about thinking by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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I'm not a subscriber - I only have so many subscription dollars to spend - so I don't have access to the full post. This is unfortunate because from the portion that is public, it looks to be thought-provoking and has obvious relevance for many of us. (emphasis added)


Most people are wrong about most things. This is especially true of the people who are brought to your attention by newspapers and television. It doesn’t matter how smart they are, or how well-read, or how thoroughly educated. There aren’t very many fields of endeavour where you can get ahead on the sheer strength of being right. Our expert classes succeed instead by cultivating the correct allies, publishing the right papers in the right journals, working on the right problems, winning the right grant funding, and making the right friends. People who enjoy these trivialities are precisely the people for whom being right is not a priority.

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Above all, experts prefer to work within and propagate safe, consensus positions. This is because they have primarily careerist goals, which they prefer to pursue secure from the criticism of colleagues. Being wrong is not nearly so important as seeming wrong, which can cost you promotion. Once you realise that experts are little more than consensus-establishing and -propagating professionals, statements about what the science says or what the literature shows acquire a totally new meaning.

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Forget, then, about expert opinion. There is no substitute for doing your own research. In everything that matters to you, you must consider the actual theories that are presented to you for yourself. And, particularly in areas of limited evidence, you’ll be less interested in which theories are wrong (though that matters too), than in the subtler problem, of which theories are more or less probable than the alternatives.

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Most of the theories that are put about, are not really theories at all. They are, instead, arguments, designed to justify or advocate for specific policies. Arguments are not genuine attempts to understand anything; they are attempts to convince other people to think in a certain way.

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People assemble arguments like they would a house. They develop a program (the plan), collect evidence in favour of this thesis (the materials), and finally they present their thesis with all the evidence adduced in neat footnotes (the construction). This approach is reasonable enough, if all you want to do is persuade, but if you want to understand how a given model of reality fares against others, it is the wrong way. ...

Errors, Both Tactical, and of Strategic Consequence by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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From the article, more at the link (bold added):

U.S. and European NATO hawks and liberal interventionists want above all else, to see Putin, humiliated and repudiated. Many in the West want Putin’s blood-soaked head atop a pike towering above the ‘city gate’, visible to all as a resounding warning to those who challenge their ‘rules-based international order’.

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Yet the hawks see that they dare not – cannot – go the ‘whole hog’. Despite the belligerence and posturing, they want the kinetic aspect to the conflict confined within the borders of Ukraine: No U.S. boots on the ground (though those whose very existence cannot pass our lips are already there, and have been ‘calling the shots’).

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The Pentagon, for one (at least), does not relish risking a war with Russia that escalates badly, and could evolve to the use of nuclear weapons. (This stance however, is now being challenged by leading neo-cons who argue that fears of Russia’s resort to nuclear capabilities are exaggerated, and should be placed to one side).

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There is indeed a major strategic error – that is the decision taken by the West primordially to fight a financial war against Russia – which may well prove to be the undoing of the western war agenda.

Yet, contrary to the G7’s expectation that western sanctions would collapse the Russian economy, the FT is acknowledging: “Whisper it quietly … But Russia’s financial system seems [today] to be recovering from the initial sanction shock”

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The second strategic error is the failure to understand that Russia’s economic resilience does not stem alone from the EU continuing to purchase gas from Russia. But rather, it is by Russia playing both sides of the equation – i.e. linking the rouble to gold, and then linking energy payments to the rouble – that its currency has risen.

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In this way, the Bank of Russia is fundamentally altering the entire working assumptions of the global trade system – (i.e. by replacing evanescent dollar trading by solid commodity-backed, currency trading) – whilst at the same time triggering a shift to the role of gold back to being a bulwark underpinning the monetary system.

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Paradoxically, the U.S. itself prepared the ground for this shift to trading in local currency by its unprecedented seizure of Russia’s reserves, and the threat to Russia’s gold (if it could only lay its hands on it). This spooked other states who feared that they might be next in line, incurring Washington’s whimsical ‘displeasure’. More than ever, the non-West now is open to local currency trading.

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This ‘boycott-Russian-energy’ strategy is ‘curtains for Europe’, of course. There is no way for Europe to replace Russian energy from other sources in coming years: Not from America; nor from Qatar, nor Norway. But the European leadership, consumed by a frenzy of ‘moral outrage’ at a flood of atrocity images from Ukraine, and a sense that the “liberal order” at any cost must prevent a loss in the Ukraine conflict, seems ready to go ‘whole hog’.

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Well, what might the West’s Plan III be? The war frenzy; the visceral hatred; the language which seems designed to exclude a ‘coming to political terms’ with Putin, or the Moscow leadership is still there, and the Neo-cons are smelling opportunity...

The Neo-cons are cock-a-hoop that financial war is failing. From their perspective it puts military action back on the table, with a new ‘front’ opening: An attack on the original key premise that a nuclear exchange with Russia must be avoided

the prospect of elon musk taking over twitter has the left unraveling by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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Not a big fan of Musk but this opinion piece is spot on. Some excerpts with some of my favorite lines bolded:

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for those who (implausibly) missed this, the internet is in full melt down today over elon musk making a bid to buy the entirety of twitter and take it private. i have not always been a musk fan, but i will say this for senor muskrat: the man is not afraid to take just massive, outlandish swings at things, and, as odd as i find it to be saying this, he may be just what twitter, the american agora, and modern politics needs.

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and this is why the left has lost their minds. if nothing else, elon’s power move has elicited every one of them to not just speak but shriek the quiet part out loud. they are showing their true colors in dazzling 8k resolution. and it is glorious.

the. fear. is. palpable.

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and it should be. because this could be the end for the way of life on which an entire politico/social tribe has become dependent. “free and fair public discourse in a marketplace of ideas” is their kryptonite. it will destroy them.

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the simple evidence of the true size of groups and movements will finally become visible. the wokesters of lunatic loserdom are not a large group. they only appear that way. this deception is achieved by media control, selective amplification, selective suppression, and top down dialogue shaping about what is allowed to trend and who gets shadowbanned, down moderated, and outright ousted.

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not to be outdone, this fragile flower of academia demands that “punch no punchbacks” be the law of the land such that he may avoid being knocked down by the more precocious children. not only does “stay in your lane elon” constitute some kind of world record for impotent imprecation, but this whole line of reasoning is outright self mockery.

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because, let’s face it, of all the logical fallacies, appeal to not only authority, but one’s own authority is perhaps the purest expression of coddled vanity.

and, oh my godwin, they went right for “tHiS wILL MaKe tWiTTer NaZI!”

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this is not the last tango in weimar, this is a cosseted clerisy quaking in their misbegotten boots as they see a freight train of “actual reality” bearing down on them to topple their ivory towers by making everyone’s soap box the same height.

it’s magnificent.

Chris Bray is Stupid and Evil by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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I was led to this essay by eugyppius, who writes this:

Chris Bray, who writes Tell Me How This Ends, has a fantastic essay about the years he spent covering a complex international legal dispute. Basically, historians had conducted confidential interviews of former IRA members about their activities during the Troubles. UK police, when they learned of this, attempted to subpoena these tapes, leading to a years-long court battle...


Excerpted from Chris Bray's essay, which is linked in the post title (bold added, italics in original):

Without wading back into the exceptionally complicated details of that long controversy, I learned two things from the experience that have never left me.

First, as I traveled to Boston to go to court, and as I wracked up PACER charges downloading legal briefs and judicial orders, I would have email exchanges with newspaper reporters who wanted me to tell them what had happened. I would shoot back an email message that said, “Judge’s ruling attached,” and they would reply, “Yeah, saw the attachment, what does it say?”

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Over two years, through events in a trial court and in an appellate court, with multiple parties pursuing complicated and divergent courses, reporters would not read. They wouldn’t read the 40-page legal briefs filed by the lawyers for all the competing sides, but they also wouldn’t read a three-page order from a judge. They would not read, period. They wanted the tl;dr, in a sentence or two. “Yeah, what’s it say?”

.

In our own moment, I remain extremely confident that the flood of bullshit like this…

[embedded newspaper headline about "anti-vaxxer theories"]

…is being slopped out by people who DRS — who Don’t Read Shit — about the topic they cover. Somebody in a government agency shot this dude an email message that said COVID VACCINES ARE MIRACLE DRUGS EVERYONE SHOULD GET THEM, and he said to himself, “Miracle drugs, got it!” We’re plagued by an army of people who pour “information” into the world based on two Twitter posts and a text message, after a full three to five seconds of deep thought:

[embedded blog post title about conservatives believing in mass psychosis formation "because an anti-vaxxer doctor told Joe Rogan so"]

.

My guy at the CDC says the vaccines are great, so.

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Second, as I wrote about the implications of the subpoenas, I made complicated arguments about complicated events — forty years of complicated events, because subpoenas for interviews about a 1972 murder arrived at Boston College in 2011, and American courts wrestled with the problem into 2012. (And British courts wrestled with it until the late months of 2019, but more about that in a moment.)

To aggressively summarize a years-long public discussion, I said that the subpoenas would destroy the ability of academic researchers to get people to talk to them about dangerous topics, limiting the scope of future research (about which, see also the case of Rik Scarce).

.

But also, I said, the cost to future researchers wasn’t worth the value of the material the police would get, because the police “investigation” was a farce...After four decades of no effort at all, I argued, police weren’t actually investigating; rather, they had discovered that someone else had investigated, and they were running to Boston to borrow someone else’s work. Putting a tape in a machine and pressing play, I said, wasn’t investigating, and the laziness of the effort would doom it.

.

Link rot and the destruction of old comment systems makes it hard for me to show you this, but as I wrote in the Irish press, the American academic press, a group blog for academic historians in the United States, and my own sad little blog, every argument I made was dismissed as pro-IRA idiocy. (this will resonate with many people who get tarred with a similar brush for simply trying to sort out complex events). The police are investigating a murder, you fucking moron! What the hell is wrong with you, IDIOT!?!? Commenters explored the precise cause and scope of my breathtaking idiocy: Is this Chris Bray person just really stupid, or is he, like, working for the terrorists? Above all, a small army of Internet Experts™ knew that my analysis was totally wrong, and the play wouldn’t end the way I said it would. The police would get the tapes, and then the police would get the killers. People are going to prison, you fucking idiot!

.

The police did get the tapes. Detectives from the Police Service of Northern Ireland flew to Boston, collected the tapes from the Department of Justice, and flew back to Belfast with them. Here’s what happened next:

Pretty much nothing.

.

Police arrested Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams, who has long been suspected of having been the Provisional IRA commander who gave the orders for McConville’s murder and disappearance. They confronted him with the taped voices of people saying he did it; he shrugged and said he was awfully confused that people would tell such strange lies about him. Then he was released from jail, the end, effectively washed clean by the unspoken admission that the police couldn’t prove it. They pressed “play” on the tape machine and everything, but even tough investigative steps like that didn’t bring Adams down.

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Another person accused of being a former leader in the Provisional IRA, Ivor Bell, was brought before a limited legal tribunal because of his diagnosis of vascular dementia, and acquitted on a charge of conspiring in McConville’s murder...

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I will never forget the experience of evaluating evidence, reading hundreds or thousands of pages of court records, flying across the country to watch judicial proceedings, digging through historical documents, and coming to a set of reasoned conclusions that I presented logically and with facts — only to hear that you fucking idiot, the police say that this is a serious murder investigation, who are you to doubt that?

The POLICE, Chris! They SAY! Are you questioning the official explanation?

Yes.

.

You’ll dig, you’ll discuss, you’ll think and re-think, you’ll evaluate evidence and look for more, you’ll work to make an argument and to invite engagement with it, and you will — always — be angrily dismissed by people who repeat something they saw on the Huffington Post and never thought to question.

There is no point to caring about the things people like this say to you, or about you. Be who you are. Do your work.

Is it possible to actually know what has been and is going on in Ukraine? -- Sott.net by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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(continued)

In October 2015, Vasyl Hrytsak, director of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), confessed that only 56 Russian fighters had been observed in the Donbass. This was exactly comparable to the Swiss who went to fight in Bosnia on weekends, in the 1990s, or the French who go to fight in Ukraine today.

.

The Ukrainian army was then in a deplorable state. In October 2018, after four years of war, the chief Ukrainian military prosecutor, Anatoly Matios, stated that Ukraine had lost 2,700 men in the Donbass: 891 from illnesses, 318 from road accidents, 177 from other accidents, 175 from poisonings (alcohol, drugs), 172 from careless handling of weapons, 101 from breaches of security regulations, 228 from murders and 615 from suicides.

In fact, the Ukrainian army was undermined by the corruption of its cadres and no longer enjoyed the support of the population. According to a British Home Office report, in the March/April 2014 recall of reservists, 70 percent did not show up for the first session, 80 percent for the second, 90 percent for the third, and 95 percent for the fourth. In October/November 2017, 70% of conscripts did not show up for the "Fall 2017" recall campaign. This is not counting suicides and desertions (often over to the autonomists), which reached up to 30 percent of the workforce in the ATO area. Young Ukrainians refused to go and fight in the Donbass and preferred emigration, which also explains, at least partially, the demographic deficit of the country.

.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense then turned to NATO to help make its armed forces more "attractive." Having already worked on similar projects within the framework of the United Nations, I was asked by NATO to participate in a program to restore the image of the Ukrainian armed forces. But this is a long-term process and the Ukrainians wanted to move quickly.

.

So, to compensate for the lack of soldiers, the Ukrainian government resorted to paramilitary militias.... In 2020, they constituted about 40 percent of the Ukrainian forces and numbered about 102,000 men, according to Reuters. They were armed, financed and trained by the United States, Great Britain, Canada and France. There were more than 19 nationalities.

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These militias had been operating in the Donbass since 2014, with Western support. Even if one can argue about the term "Nazi," the fact remains that these militias are violent, convey a nauseating ideology and are virulently anti-Semitic...[and] are composed of fanatical and brutal individuals. The best known of these is the Azov Regiment, whose emblem is reminiscent of the 2nd SS Das Reich Panzer Division, which is revered in the Ukraine for liberating Kharkov from the Soviets in 1943, before carrying out the 1944 Oradour-sur-Glane massacre in France. [....]

.

The characterization of the Ukrainian paramilitaries as "Nazis" or "neo-Nazis" is considered Russian propaganda. But that's not the view of the Times of Israel, or the West Point Academy's Center for Counterterrorism. In 2014, Newsweek magazine seemed to associate them more with... the Islamic State. Take your pick!

.

So, the West supported and continued to arm militias that have been guilty of numerous crimes against civilian populations since 2014: rape, torture and massacres....

The integration of these paramilitary forces into the Ukrainian National Guard was not at all accompanied by a "denazification," as some claim.

.

In 2022, very schematically, the Ukrainian armed forces fighting the Russian offensive were organized as:

  • The Army, subordinated to the Ministry of Defense. It is organized into 3 army corps and composed of maneuver formations (tanks, heavy artillery, missiles, etc.).

  • The National Guard, which depends on the Ministry of the Interior and is organized into 5 territorial commands.

.

The National Guard is therefore a territorial defense force that is not part of the Ukrainian army. It includes paramilitary militias, called "volunteer battalions" (добровольчі батальйоні), also known by the evocative name of "reprisal battalions," and composed of infantry. Primarily trained for urban combat, they now defend cities such as Kharkov, Mariupol, Odessa, Kiev, etc.

Is it possible to actually know what has been and is going on in Ukraine? -- Sott.net by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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From the person who posted this account, bold added:

Just recently I came across perhaps the clearest and most reasonable account of what has been going on in Ukraine. Its importance comes due to the fact that its author, Jacques Baud, a retired colonel in the Swiss intelligence service, was variously a highly placed, major participant in NATO training operations in Ukraine. Over the years, he also had extensive dealings with his Russian counterparts. His long essay first appeared (in French) at the respected Centre Français de Recherche sur le Renseignement. A literal translation appeared at The Postil (April 1, 2022). I have gone back to the original French and edited the article down some and rendered it, I hope, in more idiomatic English. I do not think in editing it I have damaged Baud's fascinating account. For in a real sense, what he has done is "to let the cat out of the bag." — Boyd D. Cathay


[There is much more at the link, but I am excerpting some background here (bold in original except as noted) since this history is conveniently forgotten or distorted in mainstream media reporting. The post itself should be consulted as it contains passages that link to external sources] -

Let's try to examine the roots of the [Ukrainian] conflict. It starts with those who for the last eight years have been talking about "separatists" or "independentists" from Donbass. This is a misnomer. The referendums conducted by the two self-proclaimed Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk in May 2014, were not referendums of "independence" (независимость), as some unscrupulous journalists have claimed, but referendums of "self-determination" or "autonomy" (самостоятельность). The qualifier "pro-Russian" suggests that Russia was a party to the conflict, which was not the case, and the term "Russian speakers" would have been more honest. Moreover, these referendums were conducted against the advice of Vladimir Putin.

.

In fact, these Republics were not seeking to separate from Ukraine, but to have a status of autonomy, guaranteeing them the use of the Russian language as an official language — because the first legislative act of the new government resulting from the American-sponsored overthrow of [the democratically-elected] President Yanukovych, was the abolition, on February 23, 2014, of the Kivalov-Kolesnichenko law of 2012 that made Russian an official language in Ukraine (bold added). A bit like if German putschists decided that French and Italian would no longer be official languages in Switzerland.

.

This decision caused a storm in the Russian-speaking population. The result was fierce repression against the Russian-speaking regions (Odessa, Dnepropetrovsk, Kharkov, Lugansk and Donetsk) which was carried out beginning in February 2014 and led to a militarization of the situation and some horrific massacres of the Russian population (in Odessa and Mariupol, the most notable). (bold added)

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At this stage, too rigid and engrossed in a doctrinaire approach to operations, the Ukrainian general staff subdued the enemy but without managing to actually prevail. The war waged by the autonomists [consisted in].... highly mobile operations conducted with light means. With a more flexible and less doctrinaire approach, the rebels were able to exploit the inertia of Ukrainian forces to repeatedly "trap" them.

.

In 2014, when I was at NATO, I was responsible for the fight against the proliferation of small arms, and we were trying to detect Russian arms deliveries to the rebels, to see if Moscow was involved. The information we received then came almost entirely from Polish intelligence services and did not "fit" with the information coming from the OSCE [Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe] — and despite rather crude allegations, there were no deliveries of weapons and military equipment from Russia.

.

The rebels were armed thanks to the defection of Russian-speaking Ukrainian units that went over to the rebel side. As Ukrainian failures continued, tank, artillery and anti-aircraft battalions swelled the ranks of the autonomists. This is what pushed the Ukrainians to commit to the Minsk Agreements.

.

But just after signing the Minsk 1 Agreements, the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko launched a massive "anti-terrorist operation" (ATO/Антитерористична операція) against the Donbass. Poorly advised by NATO officers, the Ukrainians suffered a crushing defeat in Debaltsevo, which forced them to engage in the Minsk 2 Agreements.

.

It is essential to recall here that Minsk 1 (September 2014) and Minsk 2 (February 2015) Agreements did not provide for the separation or independence of the Republics, but their autonomy within the framework of Ukraine. Those who have read the Agreements (there are very few who actually have) will note that it is written that the status of the Republics was to be negotiated between Kiev and the representatives of the Republics, for an internal solution within Ukraine.

.

That is why since 2014, Russia has systematically demanded the implementation of the Minsk Agreements while refusing to be a party to the negotiations, because it was an internal matter of Ukraine. On the other side, the West — led by France — systematically tried to replace Minsk Agreements with the "Normandy format," which put Russians and Ukrainians face-to-face. However, let us remember that there were never any Russian troops in the Donbass before 23-24 February 2022. Moreover, OSCE observers have never observed the slightest trace of Russian units operating in the Donbass before then. For example, the U.S. intelligence map published by the Washington Post on December 3, 2021 does not show Russian troops in the Donbass.

.

In October 2015, Vasyl Hrytsak, director of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), confessed that only 56 Russian fighters had been observed in the Donbass. This was exactly comparable to the Swiss who went to fight in Bosnia on weekends, in the 1990s, or the French who go to fight in Ukraine today.

(continued...)

ProtonMail acquires email alias tool SimpleLogin by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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From the article:

Proton has announced joining forces with SimpleLogin to provide more privacy online.

Proton, launched in 2014, is a privacy-focused technology provider well known for its encrypted email service ProtonMail. In its efforts to improve the privacy of its users, Proton has joined hands with SimpleLogin, a service that provides users with randomly-generated anonymous email addresses so users can easily create a unique email address for every service they sign up for. Doing this provides more security through obscurity and helps retain some privacy in the case of online data breaches.

.

SimpleLogin is available as a mobile app, web app, and browser extension. Every time users register for a new online service, it will provide them with an anonymous email address, meaning they do not have to use your real email address. They can easily disable an anonymous email if the service they signed up for gets hacked, sells their address to advertisers, or when they begin getting spam messages.

.

Yen said that the two companies share values and philosophy, especially on matters of privacy. He also believes the proximity of the two companies, one being in Switzerland and the other one in France is an advantage.

German industry would collapse without Russian gas – BDI The head of the Federation of German Industries has advised against an embargo on Russian gas by Budget-song-budget in WayOfTheBern

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Disagreeing and saying why is fine, insults like you're slinging around are not. Knock it off.

Russia, Ukraine & the Law of War: Crime of Aggression by Inuma in WayOfTheBern

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From the link:

Scott Ritter, in part one of a two-part series, lays out international law regarding the crime of aggression and how it relates to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

When it comes to the legal use of force between states, it is considered unimpeachable fact that in accordance with the intent of the United Nations Charter to ban all conflict, there are only two acceptable exceptions. One is an enforcement action to maintain international peace and security authorized by a Security Council resolution passed under Chapter VII of the Charter, which permits the use of force.

The other is the inherent right of individual and collective self-defense, as enshrined in Article 51 of the Charter, which reads as follows:

“Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defense shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.”

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A plain-language reading of Article 51 makes it clear that the trigger necessary for invocation of the right of self-defense is the occurrence of an actual armed attack — the notion of an open-ended threat to security does not, by itself, suffice.

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[There is a lengthy discussion of the Charter and how it has been applied, or not applied, since 1945]

Ukraine

Concerns that any attempt to carve a doctrine of pre-emption out of the four corners of international law defined by Article 51 of the U.N. Charter would result in the creation of new rules of international engagement, and that that would result in the breakdown of international order were realized on Feb. 24.

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That is when Russian President Vladimir Putin, citing Article 51 as his authority, ordered what he called a “special military operation” against Ukraine for the ostensible purpose of eliminating neo-Nazi affiliated military formations accused of carrying out acts of genocide against the Russian-speaking population of the Donbass, and for dismantling a Ukrainian military Russia believed served as a de facto proxy of the NATO military alliance.

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Putin laid out a detailed case for pre-emption, detailing the threat that NATO’s eastward expansion posed to Russia, as well as Ukraine’s ongoing military operations against the Russian-speaking people of the Donbass.

“[T]he showdown between Russia and these forces,” Putin said, “cannot be avoided. It is only a matter of time. They are getting ready and waiting for the right moment. Moreover, they went as far as aspire to acquire nuclear weapons. We will not let this happen.” NATO and Ukraine, Putin declared,

“did not leave us [Russia] any other option for defending Russia and our people, other than the one we are forced to use today. In these circumstances, we have to take bold and immediate action. The people’s republics of Donbass have asked Russia for help. In this context, in accordance with Article 51 of the U.N. Charter, with permission of Russia’s Federation Council, and in execution of the treaties of friendship and mutual assistance with the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic, ratified by the Federal Assembly on February 22, I made a decision to carry out a special military operation.”

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Putin’s case for invading Ukraine has, not surprisingly, been widely rejected in the West...

While one may be able to mount a legal challenge to Russia’s contention that its joint operation with Russia’s newly recognized independent nations of Lugansk and Donetsk constitutes a “regional security or self-defense organization” as regards “anticipatory collective self-defense actions” under Article 51, there can be no doubt as to the legitimacy of Russia’s contention that the Russian-speaking population of the Donbass had been subjected to a brutal eight-year-long bombardment that had killed thousands of people.

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The bottom line is that Russia has set forth a cognizable claim under the doctrine of anticipatory collective self defense, devised originally by the U.S. and NATO, as it applies to Article 51 which is predicated on fact, not fiction.

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While it might be in vogue for people, organizations, and governments in the West to embrace the knee-jerk conclusion that Russia’s military intervention constitutes a wanton violation of the United Nations Charter and, as such, constitutes an illegal war of aggression, the uncomfortable truth is that, of all the claims made regarding the legality of pre-emption under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, Russia’s justification for invading Ukraine is on solid legal ground.


(This is part one of a two-part article by Scott Ritter, "a former U.S. Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD.")

Announcing a hostile takeover of the left by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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From the article:

...there is never any self-reflection, never any reckoning, never any demand to change course to meet people’s actual needs...The focus is always, hilariously, about messaging, as if tweaking a few words, but not the underlying ideology, would be enough to bring back the people who have rejected the party.

It all becomes like the Monty Python skit, “Just a flesh wound!”.

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The intellectual and moral collapse of the left accelerated and became complete in response to the pandemic. The left was handed a straightforward problem — a rogue federal bureaucrat, in cahoots with the pharmaceutical industry, engineered a gain-of-function virus in collaboration with a Chinese bioweapons lab that got out and started killing millions of people.

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Handed a golden opportunity to show that the meritocratic, progressive, regulatory state could effectively govern when it actually matters, the left went full Pharma fascist instead.

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So I’m announcing a hostile takeover of the left. The movement is underperforming, current leadership has completely lost its way. First we need to fire a bunch of people. Then I am going to jettison underperforming assets and refocus the brand on what matters.

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You may be thinking whoa whoa, the left is not a corporation so one cannot just announce a hostile takeover. Are you sure about that? The climate change movement is funded by billionaires Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg (amongst others). The BLM campaign is funded by George Soros. Billionaire MacKenzie Scott funds Planned Parenthood. Democratic dark money groups spent $1.7 BILLION on the 2020 presidential election.

.

As of today, the following leaders are dismissed. This is not cancel culture, this is zero tolerance for actual Nazis.

[Names the following and says why]:

  • Noam Chomsky

  • Naomi Klein

  • Slavoj Žižek

  • Michael Moore

  • Every corporate Dem who worked for Clinton, Obama, or Biden

  • The entire left media infrastructure

  • The billionaires

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Sort the organic wheat from the chaff

It is an enormous problem that the left has collapsed morally and intellectually. The world needs a vibrant counterculture and a multitude of different visions for society. Through dialogue, debate, and competition, ideas are refined and improved and everyone benefits. In taking over the left we must keep what was working and toss out the ideas that have outlived their usefulness.

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Keep 1960s left values. 1960s left values are fine and should be fully implemented. Obviously equal rights for people of color, women, and people who are LGBT are foundational. (Of course biological men should not compete in women’s sports, I should not have to explain this to anyone — it’s not a 60s value anyway). Protect the environment. Stop the war. Crack down on toxic polluters. The dreams of JFK, RFK, and MLK for a fair and just society must be completed.

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Jettison postmodernism and identity politics...Identity politics has become a dead end. The reason you are sick, depressed, and confused all the time is because Pharma is poisoning you. Come join us as we hold them accountable.

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Climate change is not our biggest worry. Focusing on global warming is fine to a point, alternative energy sources are nice, but vaccine injury is going to wipe out life on earth long before rising seas ever do. And no, you don’t need $500 billion of taxpayer money to set up electric car charging stations nationwide. If the technology works as well as you say it does, great, then it should be market-competitive and capital should fund it.

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There is no left nor right anymore, it is time we retired those worn out terms

Left and right are hereby retired.

The world is now divided into Pharma Fascists vs. Free and Sovereign People.

Pharma Fascists have a lot of wealth, capture, and obedient zombies under hypnosis. But that’s about all they have.

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Free and Sovereign People is the descriptor for the vast majority of people on the planet. We have science, logic, reason, rationality, evidence, data, health, joy, love, families, liberty, puppies, spirit, and nature on our side.

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We just have to press our advantage and drive the Pharma Fascists out of business and out of polite society forever.

I believe the way to do this will be through massive DECENTRALIZATION of all aspects of politics, economics, and knowledge.


See the rest of the article at the link.

(edit to add from end of article)

the goldilocks zone of societal participation lies in knowing what you don't know by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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From the article:

“entranced by their need to know WHAT to think, their inability to know HOW to think left them vulnerable to domination by demagogues and the dissolution of a free society and so, born citizens, they died subjects.”

-the epitaph you do not want

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the hallmark of the modern age is a firehose of information and emotion that both invites and demands that you have an opinion on everything. every issue is someone’s hobbyhorse or hot button and in the attention economy, the issue du jour rapidly crowds out all others. more and more, the desire to remain relevant in a world of ever shifting obsession creates a drive toward a presumption that we not only need to have an opinion, but worse, that we possess a basis for one.

at a stroke this both demands and serves as enabler for a captured class with strident views and low information.

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this finds uneasy confluence with the idea of technocracy and other such “rule by experts” who peddle imposed “solutions” and seemingly always seek to “do something” that more often than not is sold as “for you” when it is in fact “to you.”

emotion demands action and this bias toward stepping in with loud, simple solutions rather than nuanced comprehension and considered calculation instils not just a need to generate an overblown sense of emergencies but a desire to handle them badly and a distrust of the very processes that would allow for their effective analysis and mitigation. (bold added)

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the “emergency” itself is put forward in a fashion calculated to prevent any from questioning whether it is, in fact, a matter that warrants attention and response. "everything i want” is rendered calamity to ensure its prominence of place. everything is a crisis. everything a war.

coming to terms with this emergent property of the modern age will be one of the important societal processes of our time.

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we all want to act like we know that which we do not know so that we can assuage our emotional need to “do something” about a set of “crises” that were mostly not crises at all until our poorly calibrated responses made them so.

and this is no way to live.

(more at the link)

PATRICK LAWRENCE: The Casualties of Empire by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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From the article (bold added):

The news reports come in daily from Moscow, Kiev and the Western capitals: how many dead since Russia began its intervention in Ukraine on Feb. 24, how many injured, how many hungry or cold, how many displaced. We do not know the true count of casualties and the extent of the suffering and ought not pretend we do: This is the reality of war, each side having its version of unfolding events.

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My inclination is to add the deaths in Ukraine these past two weeks to the 14,000 dead and the 1.5 million displaced since 2014, when the regime in Kiev began shelling its own citizens in the eastern provinces — this because the people of Donetsk and Lugansk rejected the U.S.­–cultivated coup that deposed their elected president. This simple math gives us a better idea of how many Ukrainians are worthy of our mourning.

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Among paying-attention people it is increasingly plain that Washington’s intent in provoking Moscow’s intervention is, and probably has been from the first, to instigate a long-running conflict that bogs down Russian forces and leaves Ukrainians to wage an insurgency that cannot possibly succeed.

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Is there another way to explain the many billions of dollars’ worth of weapons and matériel the U.S. and its European allies now pour into Ukraine? If the Ukrainians cannot win — a universally acknowledged reality — what is the purpose here?

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Whether this strategy goes as Washington wants, or if Russian forces get their work done and withdraw to avoid a classic quagmire, remains to be seen. But as Dave DeCamp noted in Antiwar.com last Friday, there is no sign whatsoever that the Biden administration plans any further diplomatic contacts with the Kremlin.

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The implication here should be evident. The U.S. strategy effectively requires the destruction of Ukraine in the service of America’s imperial ambitions. If this thought seems extreme, brief reference to the fates of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria will provide all the compelling context one may need.

Edit to add:

Here is what I do not want Americans to miss: We are destroying ourselves and what hope we may have to restore ourselves to decency as we watch the regime governing us destroy another nation in our name. This destruction, too, has already begun.

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In January 2021, NATO published the final draft of a lengthy study it called Cognitive Warfare. Its intent is to explore the potential for manipulating minds—those of others, our own—beyond anything heretofore even attempted. “The brain will be the battlefield of the 21st century,” the document asserts. “Humans are the contested domain. Cognitive warfare’s objective is to make everyone a weapon.”

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No, we’re not in Kansas anymore. Cognitive Warfare is a window onto diabolic methods of propaganda and perception management that have no precedent. This is war waged in a new way — against domestic populations as well as those declared as enemies.

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And we have just had a taste of what it will be like as these techniques, well-grounded in cutting-edge science, are elaborated. Yet more disturbing to me than the cold prose of the report is the astonishing extent to which it proves out. Cognitive warfare, whether or not the NATO report is now the propagandists’ handbook, works, and it is working now on most Americans.

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Last week the conductor of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, Valery Gergiev, was sacked for refusing to condemn Vladimir Putin. The same thing then happened to Anna Netrebko. The Metropolitan Opera in New York fired its star soprano for the same reason: She preferred to say nothing about the Russian president.

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There is no bottom to this. Last Friday Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Senator, openly called for Putin’s assassination. Michael McFaul, briefly Barack Obama’s ambassador to Russia and the king of nitwittery, asserts that all Russians who don’t openly protest Russia’s intervention in Ukraine are to be punished for it. In the idiotic file, the International Federation of Felines has barred imports of Russian cats.

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Look at what has become of us. Most Americans seem to approve of these things, or at least are unstirred to object. We have lost all sense of decency, of ordinary morality, of proportion. Can anyone listen to the din of the past couple of weeks without wondering if we have made of ourselves a nation of grotesques?

Court rules against Germany's "hate speech" law, says it's illegal to share innocent users' data with law enforcement by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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From the article:

The court argued the online hate-speech law violated EU law because it allowed users’ data to be shared with law enforcement even before it is determined if a crime has been committed.

The decision can be appealed at a higher court.

US Surgeon General asks Big Tech platforms to hand over Covid "misinformation" data by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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"We need more witches to burn, bring us witches!"

What could possibly go wrong?


From the article:

President Joe Biden’s Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy formally requested Big Tech companies submit data on the prevalence of COVID-19 “misinformation” on social media, instant messengers, search engines, e-commerce platforms, and crowdsourcing platforms.

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The request for information is part of the Covid National Preparedness Plan that Biden announced during the State of The Union address on Tuesday. The surgeon general’s office wants platforms to submit data on the prevalence of alleged Covid misinformation, beginning with the common examples of such misinformation outlined by the CDC.

Dr. Murthy’s request asked about the major sources of Covid misinformation, including those that have been providing “unproven” treatments.

Surfshark VPN adds "fake news warning" feature by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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From the article (bold added):

Virtual private network (VPN) provider Surfshark has introduced a new feature that inserts “fake news warning” (FNW) labels next to a wide range of links in the browser including search result links and links on the websites that you visit.

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In a blog post announcing the feature, Surfshark said that its list of “untrustworthy websites” that get flagged with FNWs was taken from “Is It Propaganda Or Not?” (a site that claims to help people “understand Russian influence operations targeted at US audiences,” “identify propaganda,” and “push back”) and then reviewed by its security experts.

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Currently, Ron Paul Institute, ZeroHedge, Infowars, Natural News, and others sites are being flagged with Surfshark’s FNWs.

Free speech video sharing platform BitChute said that it was also being flagged with Surfshark’s FNWs when the feature was rolled out. However, after BitChute tagged Surfshark on Twitter and told it that “a VPN company should not try to be a nanny,” BitChute stopped being flagged with FNWs and Surfshark said it “will be updating this feature to make sure there are no false positives.”

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Based on an analysis of the sites that are being flagged, this FNW feature appears to be using two lists from Is It Propaganda Or Not? – a list titled “sites that reliably echo Russian propaganda” that was published in November 2016 and a list of outlets that it accuses of producing “large amounts of original propaganda content” that was published in March 2017.

[LOLOLOLOL]

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Surfshark cited “recent events in Ukraine” that “have thrown our world deeper into turmoil and confusion” when announcing the FNW feature and said the feature will “help anyone avoid false information on the internet.”

[No, it won't. It will make sure they only see approved false information]

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The practice of flagging online misinformation is controversial because the sources that get to define misinformation often change their definitions. For example, numerous social media users had their content and accounts censored for suggesting that COVID-19 may have originated in the infamous Wuhan Institute of Virology before it was finally admitted that this may be a possibility.

Excellent comment on Scott Ritter's Consortium News article, "Putin’s Nuclear Threat" by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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Disagree.

Excellent comment on Scott Ritter's Consortium News article, "Putin’s Nuclear Threat" by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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If they didn't want to give Putin justification for rebuilding "another Russian Empire", they shouldn't have continually violated assurances made to Gorbachev not to expand NATO boundaries further east. We almost had a nuclear showdown with the Soviets when they put missiles in Cuba, and yet the West not only blew off Russia's equally legitimate national security concerns but amped up the tensions. This was entirely avoidable if we'd had leaders who aren't hypocrites and sociopaths.

Ukraine makes strange bedfellows - Indian Punchline by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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Some excerpts from the blog of retired Indian ambassador MK Bhadrakumar:

The world community is aghast over the acute tensions between the United States and its NATO allies on one side and Russia on the other, which is poised critically on the brink of a military confrontation, the like of which the world didn’t see in the entire Cold War era.

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The shocking part is that it has become a no-holds barred struggle that is being fought with tooth and claw, as hidden racial and religious prejudices lying just below the surface have welled to the surface in the Western world.

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Not a single Muslim country has voiced support for Washington in its confrontation with Russia. Although they are stakeholders in a Third World War, they prefer not to think about it. The heart of the matter is that they think this is another crusade of the Christian countries — cloaked as values and ‘rules-based order’ — which they’ve experienced so often. They see that the Western countries are back to their bestial wars endemic to European history through centuries.

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If reports are to be believed, Saudi Arabia point blank refused to pay heed to the Biden Administration’s entreaties to break up its energy alliance with Russia known as OPEC+ which fine tunes the supply position in the world oil market. Saudi Arabia’s rival Iran and Syria have openly supported Russia.Turkey offered mediation between Russia and Ukraine and indeed had a hand in arranging the talks in Belarus.

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However, it is Israel that made the most memorable overture to Russia of a historical nature suffused with great poignancy. Israel prevented the US from transferring to Ukraine its Dome missile defence system which would have been a game changer in the present conflict on the plea that it did not want to act against Russia!

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Both Washington and Tel Aviv hushed up this spat until its disclosure recently by the media. Then came the request from the Biden Administration seeking support from Israel to co-sponsor its resolution in the Security Council regarding Ukraine. Israel refused! The US made its displeasure known.

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To be sure, Israel must be well aware of the situation. Ukraine is not like any other country for Israel. It was the country where the horrific massacres took place in late September 1941 when the invading Nazi army, SS and German police units and their auxiliaries perpetrated one of the largest massacres of World War II.

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It took place at a ravine called Babyn Yar (Babi Yar) just outside the Ukrainian capital city of Kiev. According to the Holocaust Encyclopaedia, “Germans continued to perpetrate mass murders at this killing site until just before the Soviets re-took control of Kyiv in 1943. During this period, Germans shot Jews, as well as Roma, Ukrainian civilians and Soviet POWs. In the decades after the war, Babyn Yar symbolized the struggle over the memory of World War II and the Holocaust in the Soviet Union.”

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Israel finds itself in a delicate situation. The US is Israel’s close ally...

On the other hand, Israel has a very special relationship with Russia in terms of the fact that it also had suffered greatly at the hands of the marauding Nazi invaders. After all, over 20 million Soviet citizens perished during World War II.

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Equally, Israel is acutely conscious that Russia is deeply committed to the campaign against fascism at a time when the western world has turned its back on it and has decided to not only move on but also acquiesce with the recrudescence of Nazi ideology in the European societies lately.

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The UAE, a staunch ally of the US in the West Asian region, abstained twice in the recent days over the US-sponsored resolutions condemning Russia at the UN Security Council.

Google suppresses America's Frontline Doctors in search results by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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From the article (bold added):

More evidence is emerging of Google manipulating algorithms powering its mammoth and highly influential search service to give certain results (much) more visibility than others.

And now, reports say, Google is not even trying to hide that this is the case, as America’s Frontline Doctors (AFLDS) has been informed its reach on the internet is being artificially limited.

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This organization says it is dedicated to improving doctor-patient relationships that are jeopardized by what it calls politicized science and biased information. The AFLDS would also like to provide patients with access to “independent, evidence-based information” that will inform people’s decisions regarding their healthcare choices. [we obviously can't have THAT]

Well, meeting that goal might prove to be quite difficult since Google Search, on which a huge majority of US-based users rely for their internet queries, says it is deliberately deranking information coming from the AFLDS.

*

The AFLDS is informed that its site “appears to violate” Google’s medical content policy, which is not allowed – and neither is content that “contradicts or runs contrary to scientific or medical consensus and evidence based best practices.”

That’s according to Google’s rules. What consensus, reached by who, and what best practices, determined by who, and at what time – none of this information is provided in the notices.

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Google’s rigid, authoritarian style of promoting one-sided content and eliminating different arguments and positions would in this case work by first deranking (and eventually removing) AFLDS links – unless the group agrees to self-censor.

And that means deleting content from the site, and then clicking on “‘Request Review’ button which is prefaced with the question, ‘Done fixing?’,” the AFLDS explains.

*

The organization also takes issue with Google’s (deliberately) broad and ambiguous wording and lack of proper, or any definition of scientific and medical consensus and best practices – to ask why, “In a time when celebrities and computer programmers are allowed to express their views on virology, but actual doctors and scientists are censored, including the hundreds of doctors comprising AFLDS, such clarity is elusive.”

"Bear-baiting as foreign policy." by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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Some excerpts from this excellent article (bold added) but I encourage people to go read it in full:

In the time of the first Queen Elizabeth, British royal circles enjoyed watching fierce dogs torment a captive bear for the fun of it. The bear had done no harm to anyone, but the dogs were trained to provoke the imprisoned beast and goad it into fighting back. Blood flowing from the excited animals delighted the spectators.

This cruel practice has long since been banned as inhumane.

And yet today, a version of bear-baiting is being practiced every day against whole nations on a gigantic international scale. It is called United States foreign policy. It has become the regular practice of the absurd international sports club called NATO.

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I call attention to a 2019 report by the RAND Corporation to the U.S. Army chief of staff entitled “Extending Russia.” Actually, the RAND study itself is fairly cautious in its recommendations and warns that many perfidious tricks might not work. However, I consider the very existence of this report scandalous, not so much for its content as for the fact that this is what the Pentagon pays its top intellectuals to do: figure out ways to lure other nations into troubles U.S. leaders hope to exploit.

We examine a range of nonviolent measures that could exploit Russia’s actual vulnerabilities and anxieties as a way of stressing Russia’s military and economy and the regime’s political standing at home and abroad. The steps we examine would not have either defense or deterrence as their prime purpose, although they might contribute to both. Rather, these steps are conceived of as elements in a campaign designed to unbalance the adversary, leading Russia to compete in domains or regions where the United States has a competitive advantage, and causing Russia to overextend itself militarily or economically or causing the regime to lose domestic and/or international prestige and influence.

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This description perfectly fits U.S. operations in Ukraine, intended to “exploit Russia’s vulnerabilities and anxieties” by advancing a hostile military alliance onto its doorstep, while describing Russia’s totally predictable reactions as gratuitous aggression...

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What is truly diabolical is that, while constantly accusing the Russian bear of plotting to expand, the whole policy is directed at goading it into expanding! Because then we can issue punishing sanctions, raise the Pentagon budget a few notches higher and tighten the NATO Protection Racket noose tighter around our precious European “allies.”

(much more at the link)

The billionaires have hired the millionaires to write a new version of Das Kapital by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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From the article:

Reading this article felt like hearing someone describe plans to create a Jurassic Park. I suppose ya could but everyone knows that this does not end well.

What Can Replace Free Markets? Groups Pledge $41 Million to Find Out.

It is true that we desperately need alternatives to neoliberal economics — something I have pointed out repeatedly on my Substack. But these are not the proper institutions to foster these new ideas.

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The world right now is run by technocrats — the World Economic Forum, Davos, the Gates Foundation, W.H.O., and Greens/Democrats/Liberal/Labor Parties all operate from the belief that a ruling class of highly educated elites is entitled to govern because they will make the best decisions. And they have made a total mess of things. The world is now beset with skyrocketing inequality; corruption and capture; political polarization; chronic illness, pandemics, and death; and a move by all developed economies to emulate China with digital surveillance, censorship, and totalitarian state control. All of these horrible outcomes are a direct result of the technocrats taking power and not understanding either political philosophy nor the needs/interests of citizens.

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What we will get from this new $41 million project is Das Kapital for Technocrats. And we already see hints of this in the descriptions of how these institutions will approach the research question.

These institutions...are all so deeply ensconced in the technocrat mindset and the technocrat information bubble that they are completely incapable of understanding the problem and have no idea what the alternatives might be.

This project is asking the foxes to redesign the hen house in the name of reducing inequality amongst chickens.

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What we desperately need is a revolution to smash the technocracy into dust. The bougiecrats fear this more than anything else (which is why Trudeau is using storm troopers to crush the truckers on behalf of his bosses at the World Economic Forum). If one cares about the fact that the world is on the wrong track, the remedy is to set 8 billion people free, let them use their voice, get out of their way, and let them create from their own intuitive sense of wonder and purpose. The remedy for the problems the world is facing right now is to allow 8 billion people to experience their own personal sense of agency. And what these technocrats will propose instead is to micromanage the global population through behavioral economics and bio-fascism.

New Zealand is in trouble, it locked down too hard and too long; now look...no natural immunity by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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From the article:

[W]ith OMICRON, and no background immunity, the population is like a sponge of susceptibles...moreover, vaccination has made it worse

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https://dailyexpose.uk/2022/02/18/new-zealands-pandemic-of-the-fully-vaccinated/

‘The New Zealand Ministry of Health has refused to publish the number of Covid-19 deaths by vaccination status, but we think it’s plain to see by the very limited data they have quietly published on Covid-19 hospitalisations, that the country is very much in the midst of a Pandemic of the Fully Vaccinated, and it looks like Covid-19 vaccination has offered zero benefit in preventing hospitalisation.

In fact, from the numbers given it appears vaccination has made things worse.’

@TheGrayzoneNews: "Was the Ottawa convoy hack a US-Canadian intel op? The hacker claiming credit for stealing convoy donors' info has boasted of working with the FBI and Canadian feds The group hosting the data has smeared Assange and targeted states in US crosshairs" by Maniak in WayOfTheBern

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Further indications of Cottle’s ties to law enforcement arrived in July 2021 when journalist Barrett Brown released documents revealing how the hacker had collaborated with notorious neo-Nazi cyber-activist “weev” to conduct major hacks that could be blamed on Antifa. Brown suggests this “just happened” via GiveSendGo.

Cottle has recently taken to Twitter to praise the Canadian government for activating the Emergencies Act. The hacker declared that “THEY F***ED AROUND AND FOUND OUT.” Though his Twitter account has since been locked, he has continued to brag about his GiveSendGo hack in a series of bizarre videos.

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In another possible hint of national security state involvement, a non-profit self-styled whistleblower site called Distributed Denial of Secrets, or DDoSecrets, has taken possession of the information supposedly obtained by Cottle, and begun distributing it to mainstream media outlets.

Besides targeting right-wing websites, DDoSecrets has previously been implicated in hacking operations against the Russian government. Its founder, Emma Best, is a vitriolic antagonist of Julian Assange and has gone to extreme lengths to paint him as an asset of the Kremlin.

The Remdesivir Riddle by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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From the article (bold added):

Remdesivir is a broad-spectrum anti-viral that early on in the pandemic was touted as our first victory in the fight against COVID-19. Ever since, however, the drug has remained controversial, and different public health institutions have wildly varying approach to whether, and how, it should be used.

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The first thing to know about antivirals in treating COVID-19 is that they are best given early. Both Paxlovid and Molnupiravir insist that treatment should start as soon as possible, and definitely no later than 5 days after onset of symptoms.

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However, something strange happened with remdesivir. Until recently, the treatment guidelines insisted that it only be used for severe COVID-19 patients, which in practice meant 7 or 8 days after the onset of symptoms...

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In other words, remdesivir is being given after the viral replication phase has wound down, at a time where the patient is in a far worse state, and there is little or no help it can provide.

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You might be surprised to hear that about 20% of Gilead’s 2021 revenue came from sales of remdesivir, which enjoyed USD 5.6 billion in sales. As far as they are concerned, remdesivir is a runaway success.

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In fact, the US government goes as far as to pay hospitals to use it, with a bonus in the tens of thousands of dollars per patient that uses it, called the “New Treatments Add-On Payment”. No wonder US hospitals spent over USD 1 billion on remdesivir last year, more than on any other drug.

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So we are faced with the riddle of remdesivir: why is a drug that costs more than $2000 per treatment, which is associated with kidney failure, being given at a time that reason, and research, tells us it can’t have much of an effect?...

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The Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of remdesivir, released via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request contains an incredibly troubling paragraph:

Clinical Virology remains concerned about the disconnect regarding this drugs mechanism of action and the timing of treatment administration. Remdesivir is an analog of adenosine triphosphate that inhibits viral RNA synthesis, and as such, the drug would most likely work early in the infection cycle when SARS-CoV-2 replication is occurring at a high level. Most patients who are hospitalized with COVID-19 are entering the hospital during the second week of infection when viral loads are in decline and the underlying disease is associated with severe lung pathology driven by a hyperactive immune response and cytokine release syndrome. It is not clear that remdesivir will have much of an impact on viral replication this late into the infection cycle.

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In other words, exactly what we’ve documented in this article so far.

The story of the approval of remdesivir back in April/May 2020 is a head scratcher, given the evidence we had on hand. Many good pieces tell the story, and “The Strange Story Of Remdesivir, A Covid Drug That Doesn’t Work” is a good summary.

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At this point, one is forced to speculate. The forced early approval, as well as the odd placement of remdesivir on the treatment schedule left a gap in early treatment options that is just now beginning to be filled.

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Was there a deliberate decision for the greater good that early treatment must be held back until as many as possible are vaccinated and/or the main vaccines receive full authorization? This will sound conspiratorial, but how else can we explain that remdesivir continues to be provided to this day on highly controversial data, and yet fluvoxamine, an off-patent early treatment drug for which the evidence is mounting, cannot get past “inconclusive”, as far as the NIH is concerned.

Are Moderna and Pfizer the Next Enrons? Former Blackrock & Hedge Fund Guru Edward Dowd Paints Grim Picture for Big Pharma’s Vax Kings — While Big Insurance Appears Prepped to Go To War With Big Pharma Over Death Payouts by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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3 podcasts of about 30 minutes each, well worth the listen. Most of the discussion is about what's happening with stocks but they also talk about the reports coming from the insurance industry.

Related? CEO of Moderna Dumped $400 Million in Stock and Deleted His Twitter Account

Site links removed by reddit by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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This site is shadowbanned but can be manually approved by a mod.

https://www.healthgrades.com/right-care/pregnancy/how-common-is-miscarriage

Sen. Ron Johnson: COVID-19: A Second Opinion by Maniak in WayOfTheBern

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This is excellent, covers a lot of territory and I'm not even all the way through. Here are some of the experts who are providing information, I'm too lazy to detail all their impressive credentials but tried to indicate the thing they're most noted for:

Dr. Peter McCullough, cardiologist

Dr. Ryan Cole, pathologist

Dr. Harvey Risch, epidemiologist

Dr. Pierre Kory, pulmonary and critical care specialist

Dr. Richard Urso, opthalmologist and former chief of orbital oncology who ended up treating 600 Covid patients because there were no other doctors doing this where he lived

Dr. Christina Parks, cellular molecular biology; as an African-American scientist, she brings a unique perspective that most people are not even aware of, the predisposing mutations like sickle cell trait, etc. that can put people of African descent at much greater risk of adverse reactions from the vaccine

Dr. Mary Bowdin, ENT and respiratory specialist in Houston, who ended up treating massive numbers of Covid patients whose primary care physicians wouldn't

Dr. Harpel Mangat, general practitioner in Germantown MD who like others ended up treating massive numbers of Covid patients because other doctors weren't

Dr. Paul Marik. was Professor of Medicine and Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, treated ICU patients for 35 years until he was terminated

Dr. Aaron Kheriarte, psychiatrist, Chief of Ethics at the Unity Project, was Director of medical ethics program at University of California till fired over vaccine mandates (lawsuit ongoing)

Dr. Robert Malone, Physician and scientist for over 30 years, has worked as vaccinologist and clinical researcher; now Chief Medical Officer of the Unity Project, President of the 17k plus International Alliance of Physicians and Medical Scientists

Dr. David Wiseman, was top research bioscientist at J&J and now runs his own product R&D business

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya (taped presentation), one of the three authors of the Great Barrington Declaration (edit to correct spelling of his name)

Dr. Paul Alexander, clinical epidemiologist


About the first 1 hour, 45 minutes is comprised of the opening statements from these experts, followed by the open discussion that begins with questions that Sen. Johnson compiled but will eventually include questions from the audience, etc. I'm only a little over 2 hours and 15 minutes in to a video that lasts almost 5 hours, trying to take notes with timestamps for future reference.

(edit to bold experts' names)

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Steve Kirsch: Tawny Buettner, RN observed a >10X increase in the rate of myocarditis after the vaccines rolled out by Maniak in WayOfTheBern

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Here's more stories of vax injuries from whistleblower health care workers in Queensland - nurses, paramedics, admin staff. Their faces are blurred out because of fears of retaliation. What they report is horrifyingly consistent with what we hear from other front line workers and the vax injured who are speaking out.

The Center for Countering Digital Hate is Dumb by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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From the article (bold added):

Meet Imran Ahmed. He runs an organisation called the Center for Countering Digital Hate, which is devoted to complaining that there are people on the internet who have different opinions about things than he does.

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Everything suggests Ahmed started out as an anti-racism campaigner, before Corona fried his brain. Now his main thing is screeching about vaccines. This has precious little to do with hate, so Ahmed has made a late-stage course correction and decided that his Center for Countering Digital Hate is also a Center for Countering “misinformation.”

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Elsewhere, in a section entitled Our People, where you might expect to see CCDH staff photos and biographies, you instead find – and I swear this is real – nothing but eight different photos of Ahmed himself

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Ahmed’s latest talking point is that there is an “Anti-Vaxx Industry,” which consists of a few people who think for themselves and notice things on the internet, sometimes in return for donations

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It is, however, the vaccinators of the world who are making all of the money here. The putative revenues which Ahmed assigns to the “Anti-Vaxx Industry” amount to less than 0.23% of the 2021 earnings of BioNTech. And... would it not be fair to say that Ahmed is himself part of some kind of progressive advocacy industry? That big red “Donate” button plastered all over his website takes you directly to a page that solicits one-time or monthly donations in suggested amounts ranging from $25 to $250 dollars.

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The Ahmeds of the world could very easily put the “Anti-Vaxx Industry” out of business. Instead of having a sad on the internet, establishment media outlets could simply publish a wider range of opinion. The last two years have seen unprecedented disruptions to civilian life, the crash development and heedless promotion of experimental new pharmaceuticals, and their heavy-handed, coercive imposition upon millions who don’t want them. It is totally reasonable to have a problem with what is happening here, and a lot of people would feel better about their scientists, their governments, and their media, if they abandoned their relentless, dishonest and condescending messaging campaigns and started treating their citizens like adults who are entitled to informed consent.

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And this is isn’t just about Corona, or the vaccines. Go look at the major blogs on Substack. Most of them provide content and opinions that are excluded from the press — not because this content is weird or arcane or unpopular, but because the press has decided that their real job is opinion manipulation. I’m not going to get rich off of Substack, but it’s entirely down to their insistence on lying to everybody all the time that somebody like me can gather enough followers to have a hope of doing this full-time.

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Ahmed is also very worked up about the sanctity and inviolability of expert opinion, and here too I have advice. If the virologists and the epidemiologists and the immunologists don’t want their theories and research to be matters of public discussion, they need to stop interfering in public life. Once virological and epidemiolgoical and immunological theses become the basis of nationwide house arrests and medical coercion, the public acquires a direct interest in these theses. They are no longer matters for a closed, abstruse gaggle of shadowy experts. Don’t like that? Then stop advising governments on lockdowns and vaccination policy, and public interest in antibodies, t-cells, aerosolised transmission, masks, and vaccine efficacy will evaporate. These people are free, at literally any moment, to end most public discussions over vaccination

Truckers Convoy: Why The Mainstream Media Blackout?! by EndlessSunflowers in WayOfTheBern

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Did you see where Trudeau announced he was exposed to Covid and would follow the 5-day isolation protocol? It's been suggested that he's hiding.

The comments in that thread are pretty funny.

“Back to the future.” by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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From the article (bold added):

Covid/Omicron is but one piece in a much broader puzzle: namely, where have all of the workers gone?

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics measure of the labor supply has fallen by 2.3 million persons since the onset of Covid–19. The Fed has hitherto argued those bodies will come back, along with an additional increment from population growth, which will increase the supply of labor further. But that labor supply is not surging back as the central bank had hoped, which is why the prospect of rising interest rates suddenly looms as a real possibility.

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Nominal wage gains are finally being recorded thanks to a super tight supply of labor. But rising inflation is already eroding these gains in real terms, if it has not eliminated them.

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Paradoxically, pandemic mitigation measures have likely exacerbated “the great quit” in the service industries. As the writer Freddie de Boer has highlighted in his blog:

If you’re locking down but surviving doing so with meal delivery apps, online shopping, and delivery groceries, you’re not reducing risk, you’re just imposing it on other people.

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In other words, pandemic risk mitigation is a misnomer. We have simply concentrated health risks in the service sector, in industries where pay sucks, the labor is stressful and back-breaking and where unionization (and, hence, superior benefits and protections) is often blocked.

PATRICK LAWRENCE: Russia’s Red Line - Consortium News by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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From the article (bold added):

“They must understand,” Sergei Lavrov said in one of his many public statements last week, “that the key to everything is the guarantee that NATO will not expand eastward.”

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All that Lavrov, President Vladimir Putin and other Russian officials have said and done since the Ukraine crisis re-erupted late last year indicate one simple, hard-as-granite reality. In consequence of the many pointedly provocative moves the West, notably the U.S. and Britain, have made in Ukraine over the past year, our planet now has a brand-new red line etched upon it.

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I hope Russia draws it in the deepest scarlet. As a diplomatic tactic, red lines are not very often advisable: They tend to paint the painter of the line into a corner. This one is absolutely necessary if we are to see a new security order in Europe. A new security order in Europe is essential if we are to achieve a sustainably, stable world order in our time.

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This latest round of the Ukraine crisis, which began when the U.S. cultivated and ultimately directed the 2014 coup in Kiev, makes it clear that Washington and London, with the Continent’s capitals ambivalently in tow, are not going to stop aggressing eastward to Russia’s frontier until they are made to stop — at a red line.

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Biden, true enough, is a step away from assisted living, if he does not already require it behind the White House’s windows. Blinken, equally so, is somewhere between a Schlemiel (the klutz who knocks over a bottle of wine at table) and a Schlimazel (he into whose lap the wine spills).

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Biden, Blinken, and golf caddies such as NATO Secretary–General Jens Stoltenberg: It is impossible to accept that they do not know well what Moscow has just done, the depth and hue of line it has drawn. The only exception here is Boris Johnson. Britain’s latest Old Etonian prime minister, who seems to have stepped out of a Monty Python skit, may indeed be too stupid to know what time it is.

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They know they cannot win a war against Russia on Ukrainian soil. And they will not fight one, accordingly, unless a grave mistake is made. As Scott Ritter just wrote in Consortium News, and Marshall Auerback earlier argued in The Scrum, Ukraine shapes up as a provocation too far for Washington, London and Brussels. It’s Kiev as Waterloo. It’s the end of Western expansionism.

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My answer: This is about maintaining tension and danger at the highest possible pitch for as long as possible. This circumstance, if one steps back to consider it, meets all the West’s core objectives. The last time this happened, readers take note, it went on for four decades. It is a depressing thought but in all likelihood what we are in for. They don’t call it Cold War II for nothing.

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This info op appears to serve three purposes. In no particular order, these are to blur causality so as to cast Russia as responsible for this crisis, to maintain public fear and ignorance in the West and to keep all options open in the very unlikely event war breaks out.

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Much more at the link.

Censorship is stupid. It's even stupider when it's left to algorithms and ignoramuses. by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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From the article (bold added):

Twitter’s “dumb” algorithms have claimed another victim – Mario Nicolais of the Colorado Sun, whose reference to a classic Greek myth of Oedipus seems to have thrown the social platform’s automated censorship for a loop.

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Nicolais was on Twitter in an exchange with author and The Ringer senior staff writer Shea Serrano when he replied to one of Serrano’s tweets, which featured a satirical press release about his son beating him at a game of “21.”

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To that, Nicolais made the mistake of responding – in the spirit of the original tweet – “All men must eventually kill their father. It is as it always has been.” The “killing” here was meant as a metaphor of children eventually becoming better than their parents.

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The tweet is a paraphrase of the famous through line originating in a thousands-of years-old Greek myth, that has been used by Sophocles in his classic Oedipus Rex – and many others like Sigmund Freud and William Shakespeare.

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We’ll never know how this trio of famous historical figures would fare sharing their thoughts on Twitter today, but we do know that the reply posted by Nicolais earned him a stern warning from the platform – that he would be suspended on abuse and harassment grounds unless he removed the tweet.

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And suspended he got, a decision he has decided to appeal, with the outcome of that process still pending. In the meantime, Nicolais decided to elucidate his audiences about why the turn of phrase he used could in no way be construed as harassing or abusive, but merely a reference to one of the most well-known coming-of-age myths, that have been, and continue to be extensively explored in our culture.

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“My appeal still has not been ruled on. Maybe my jury should catch an encore presentation of ‘The Terminator’ or ‘The Matrix’ in the interim. After all, machines killing their creators is just another take on a very familiar theme,” writes Nicolais.


The ultimate result of shielding man from the effects of folly is to people the world with fools. – Herbert Spencer

It's even worse when you have a bunch of badly trained Gorts programmed by uneducable morons in charge.

New Law Will Install Kill Switches In All New Cars by Orochi in WayOfTheBern

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Mankind would be better served if citizens could put a kill switch on political leaders' bank and investment accounts.

Mass formation: who are the resisters and what characteristics do they share in common? by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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I also wonder how much immunity to emotional manipulation factors in. I can be emotionally manipulated but it has to be done by a master (e.g., sociopath), the run-of-the-mill stuff rolls off me. I have a friend who uses FB and I finally had to tell her I didn't want to hear her endless rants about some argument over politics she had with someone. It was like, get a damned grip, you don't even LIKE that person, why are you working yourself into an emotional meltdowni over some opinion they expressed?

Omicron Makes Biden’s Vaccine Mandates Obsolete by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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Excerpts from this January 2022 oped in the Wall Street Journal (bold added), which was penned by Dr. Luc Montagnier, a winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering the human immunodeficiency virus; and Mr. Jeb Rubenfeld, a constitutional scholar.


Federal courts considering the Biden administration’s vaccination mandates—including the Supreme Court at Friday’s oral argument—have focused on administrative-law issues. The decrees raise constitutional issues as well. But there’s a simpler reason the justices should stay these mandates: the rise of the Omicron variant.

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It would be irrational, legally indefensible and contrary to the public interest for government to mandate vaccines absent any evidence that the vaccines are effective in stopping the spread of the pathogen they target. Yet that’s exactly what’s happening here.

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Both mandates—from the Health and Human Services Department for healthcare workers and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for large employers in many other industries—were issued Nov. 5. At that time, the Delta variant represented almost all U.S. Covid-19 cases, and both agencies appropriately considered Delta at length and in detail, finding that the vaccines remained effective against it.

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Those findings are now obsolete. As of Jan. 1, Omicron represented more than 95% of U.S. Covid cases, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Because some of Omicron’s 50 mutations are known to evade antibody protection, because more than 30 of those mutations are to the spike protein used as an immunogen by the existing vaccines, and because there have been mass Omicron outbreaks in heavily vaccinated populations, scientists are highly uncertain the existing vaccines can stop it from spreading. As the CDC put it on Dec. 20, “we don’t yet know . . . how well available vaccines and medications work against it.”

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The Supreme Court held in Jacobson v. Massachusetts (1905) that the right to refuse medical treatment could be overcome when society needs to curb the spread of a contagious epidemic. At Friday’s oral argument, all the justices acknowledged that the federal mandates rest on this rationale. But mandating a vaccine to stop the spread of a disease requires evidence that the vaccines will prevent infection or transmission (rather than efficacy against severe outcomes like hospitalization or death). As the World Health Organization puts it, “if mandatory vaccination is considered necessary to interrupt transmission chains and prevent harm to others, there should be sufficient evidence that the vaccine is efficacious in preventing serious infection and/or transmission.” For Omicron, there is as yet no such evidence.

(note: WHO is using weasel words with "preventing serious infection and/or transmission." If a vaccine cannot be shown to stop spread, it shouldn't be mandated, period.)