The Cyber Threat Intelligence League, Sara-Jayne Terp, and the unbearably idiotic schoolmarms who have been unleashed to censor the internet by stickdog in WayOfTheBern

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There are many supporting links at the OP.


Michael Shellenberger, Alex Gutentag and Matt Taibbi have continued their reporting on the “Censorship Industrial Complex” with a new piece on an odious organisation called the Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) League. Their revelations provide fresh details about the early history of the public-private campaign to censor the internet in the wake of the 2016 presidential election, and I have to say that this is one of the most amazing and bizarre stories I have ever encountered.

The CTI League appear to be an organisation cobbled together in 2020 from two main factions. The first comprised a group of computer security experts and military/intelligence contractors put together by a (former?) Israeli intelligence official named Ohad Zaidenberg during the early months of the pandemic, originally (and allegedly) for the purposes of protecting hospital computer systems from security threats. They were soon joined by separate group around an eccentric “UK defence researcher” named Sara-Jayne Terp, who believes that social media “misinformation” campaigns were responsible for Trump’s election and that these campaigns have to be countered in the same way as cybersecurity threats. Terp developed an array of censorship strategies she called the “Adversarial Misinformation and Influence Tactics and Techniques” (AMITT) Framework. These were first applied by CTI League, and have since been rechristened “DISARM.” In this form, Terp’s tactics have been used for “defending democracy, supporting pandemic communication and addressing other disinformation campaigns around the world, by institutions including the European Union, the United Nations and NATO.”


The framework has helped establish new institutions, including the Cognitive Security ISAO, the Computer Incident Response Center Luxembourg and OpenFacto’s analysis programme, and has been used in the training of journalists in Kenya and Nigeria. To illustrate, with one other specific example, DISARM was employed within the World Health Organization’s operations, countering anti-vaccination campaigns across Europe. The use of framework methodology enabled the coordination of activities across teams and geographies, and also – critically – across multiple languages, eliminating the need to translate text by matching actions to numbered tactics, techniques and procedures within the framework.

The framework has helped establish new institutions, including the Cognitive Security ISAO, the Computer Incident Response Center Luxembourg and OpenFacto’s analysis programme, and has been used in the training of journalists in Kenya and Nigeria. To illustrate, with one other specific example, DISARM was employed within the World Health Organization’s operations, countering anti-vaccination campaigns across Europe. The use of framework methodology enabled the coordination of activities across teams and geographies, and also – critically – across multiple languages, eliminating the need to translate text by matching actions to numbered tactics, techniques and procedures within the framework.

That’s right, the NAFO Twitter scourge, lockdown-promotion bots, weird vaccinator social media propaganda and god knows what else, all look to be downstream of Terp, AMITT and the CTI League.

Then, I started looking more closely into Terp and this AMITT Framework specifically, and I decided all of that could wait for another day.

Obviously the insidious intent and scale of Terp’s tactics, and their clear violations of the United States Constitution, make all of this reprehensible. At the same time, the absolute hamfisted idiocy of AMITT and the entire “MisinfoSec” approach to internet censorship is a thing to behold. Our oppressors are dangerous, malign and powerful people who want nothing good for us, but they are also just some of the dumbest sods you can imagine.

What happened here is fairly clear: The American and British political establishments developed a new fear of social media following the great populist backlashes of 2016. Suddenly, they wanted very badly to do something about the malicious misinformation they imagined to be proliferating on Facebook and Twitter. A whole tribe of opportunist insects like Terp were eager to meet this demand, snag lucrative contracts, and perhaps even (in the words of the Shellenberger/ Gutentag/ Taibbi informant) “become part of the federal government.” To do this, they shopped about a bunch of transparently pseudoscientific graphs and charts, laden with obfuscatory jargon, and amazingly they weren’t laughed out of the room. You just have to imagine that everybody involved in this scene is a knuckle-dragging retard who knows exactly nothing about how social media works. We must be talking about soccer moms and geriatric index-finger typists who can barely log into Facebook. When they see an edgy internet meme with a lot of retweets their mind immediately goes to Russia, and when a global warming sceptic stumbles into their feed they assiduously reply with links to Wikipedia articles about the Scientific consensus on climate change. They can never figure out why everybody is always laughing at them. It must be Putin, that must be why.


WEF 'Young Global Leader', Ida Auken, delivers a sales pitch for a future without ownership: "Why do you want to own a cell phone, if you can just lease it? Why shouldn't you lease your refrigerator, or your washing machine, or your dishwasher? Why do you want to own it?" by stickdog in WayOfTheBern

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This is so awesomely circular.

They created with entire "waste problem" of ownership with planned obsolescence and no right to repair. Now they bring us their solution, which is that they own everything, we own nothing, and we are only allowed to use any of their stuff at their whim.

Proof that vaccination rates are grossly overestimated, which means that all the population based estimates of supposed vaccine efficacy that we have been bombarded with for the last 2+ years are garbage. by stickdog in WayOfTheBern

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The source is LA County's own official vaccination dashboard.

Just go there and click on the choice "Seniors 65+ yrs".

This is what you will see.

The graph for just Seniors 65+ years clearly reads:

  • Total population: 1.37 million
  • with 1+ doses: 1.39 million
  • with 1+ bivalent dose: 564K (41%)
  • up to date: 276K (20%, well now up to 21%)

On the bright side, even in LA, even among seniors, only 21% still believe in Big Pharma's latest scam.

In San Francisco, official city data show that over 100% of Bayview/Hunters Point residents have completed the primary series of two vaccination.

San Francisco neighborhood data.

Check out the very first row:

Bayview Hunters Point -- total acs_population = 38,480 count_series_completed = 38,547

So more the number of people who got 2 doses is greater than the total population?

Note that the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood is one of blackest, poorest, and youngest neighborhoods in SF. Hmmmm. So how far off do the think the city's official higher than 100% officially reported vaccination rate is?,_San_Francisco

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Bayview–Hunters Point had the highest percentage of African-Americans among San Francisco neighborhoods, home to 21.5% of the city's Black population, and they were the predominant ethnic group in the Bayview. Census figures showed the percentage of African-Americans in Bayview declined from 48% in 2000 to 33.7% in 2010, while the percentage of Asian and White ethnicity increased from 24% and 10%, respectively, to 30.7% and 12.1%. However the eastern part of the neighborhood had a population of 12,308 and is still roughly 53% African-American.

A recent Brookings Institution report identified Hunters Point as one of five Bay Area "extreme poverty" neighborhoods, in which over 40% of the inhabitants live below the Federal poverty level of an income of $22,300 for a family of four.[45] Nearly 12% of the population in the Bayview receives public assistance income, three times the national average, and more than double the state average. While the Bayview has a higher percentage of the population receiving either Social Security or retirement income than the state or national averages, the dollar amounts that these people receive is less than the averages in either the state or the nation.

What purposefully underestimating actual populations and counting undocumented people as vaccinated does is ruin all population-based statistics that have ever been published purporting to show that "unvaccinated people are X times more likely" to get COVID, be hospitalized with COVID, or die from COVID (or other any other cause).

Garbage denominators in:

  • huge overestimates of achieved vaccination rates by the very institutions tasked with making them as high as possible

  • huge underestimates of entire populations so that unvaccinated populations (which are calculated by subtracting the often over 100% vaccinated population estimates from the purposefully underestimated total population estimates)

and garbage data out.

DHS Censorship Cartoon - "Report Uncle Steve For Vaccine Disinformation!" by stickdog in WayOfTheBern

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DHS tries to scrub its Big Brother fingerprints

Please spend 2 minutes and 18 seconds and watch this video.

Thankfully, someone saved this video.

In a short post today, I’d encourage my readers to simply watch this 2-minute video that was produced by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The video encourages a young girl - depicted in a cartoon - to report her “Uncle Steve” for spreading “disinformation” about Covid.

Uncle Steve had written on a social media post that the Infection Fatality Rate for Covid is “the same as the flu.”

For most healthy people under the age of 60, this is a completely true statement.

But, for the sake of argument, let’s say it’s not true - that Uncle Steve is wrong.

According to the DHS, Uncle Steve is a threat to public health and should be turned in - by his own niece … who, in this video cartoon, does dutifully turn Uncle Steve into authorities.

Right, wrong or possibly right, Uncle Steve can’t even share an opinion if it goes against what Anthony Fauci said.

As this must-read article shows, the DHS has now gone back and scrubbed all of its website posts that brag about how the bureaucracy is now performing “domestic” surveillance on Americans who are spreading disinformation. (It also scrubbed - or tried to erase - this video.)

The More Days You Live, The More Things You Know | We should respect our elders (as imperfect as they are, young people are generally worse) by stickdog in WayOfTheBern

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This past Thursday I spoke at The Cambridge Union, the debating society at Cambridge University. The proposition was “This House Would Respect Our Elders.”

Below is a transcript of my speech.

Good evening,

The motion before us contends that we should respect our elders. I align myself with this proposition. Not as a call for uncritical reverence, but rather to acknowledge the limitations of youth and a recognition of the intricacies of the human endeavor that spans generations.

I’m a psychologist, not a sociologist or an economist or a political scientist. I generally tend to focus on empirical research about individuals. In order to form a grounded opinion on the motion, it is essential to understand what a large body of research indicates about the psychological and behavioral differences between young adults and older adults.

Many people believe, for example, that advanced age is accompanied by maturity and wisdom.

This is reflected in official policies that set age thresholds for driving, military service, voting, drinking alcohol, and holding elected office. For example, the minimum age requirement for head of state is 35 in the United States, 40 in South Korea, and 45 in Singapore.

Incidentally, the United Kingdom's minimum age for all elected positions is only 18, an interesting fact that may shed light on why this debate is particularly pertinent in this setting.

Moreover, a brief glance at those in positions of power reveals a skew towards older individuals:

  • The average age of a successful startup founder is 42 years old. The media-driven belief that successful founders are typically very young is untrue.
  • The average British MP is 51 years old
  • The average CEO of a Fortune 100 company is 57 years old
  • The average age at the time of hire among S&P 500 company CEOs is 58 years old
  • The average age of G20 world leaders is 62 years old
  • The average U.S. senator is 64 years old
  • The average member of the House of Lords is 71 years old

And the current president of the United States is one-hundred and ninety-six years old.


Twelve billionaires’ climate emissions outpollute 2.1 million homes, analysis finds by stickdog in WayOfTheBern

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Yes, the analysis is facile. Still, our supposed climate crisis, regardless of its reality, is now being used to get you to demand the exact same austerity for the masses prescriptions that Thatcherites, Reaganites, and rich conservatives of all stripes have long championed.

And we should all have just two words for the billionaires driving this social project:

You first.

Scapegoating and the Road to Political Persecution | “Humanity is arming itself, in dread and fascinated horror, for a stupendous crime.” Carl Jung | “A common perception of totalitarians is that their target group are vermin or a virus.” Donald Dutton (author of "The Psychology of Genocide") by stickdog in WayOfTheBern

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While we cannot create a heaven on earth, we can create a hell and history is full of examples. Many of these man-made hells are the result of war and conquest, but many others are the result of governments persecuting their own people. Be it the Gulags of the Soviet Union, the killing fields of Cambodia, the Nazi concentration camps, the genocide of the Tutsis in Rwanda, or the Cultural Revolution in China, power-hungry political leaders are responsible for the deaths of millions of people in the 20th century.

How much have we learned from these recent horrors? Could a modern democratic government commit a political persecution and kill a portion of its own population? In this video we are going to explore how this risk is high in any society that is naïve and sheepish enough to permit the rise of totalitarian rule.

“. . .the totalitarian hell proves only that the power of man is greater than they ever dared to think, and that man can realize hellish fantasies without making the sky fall or the earth open.”

Hannah Arendt, Origins of Totalitarianism

To achieve its ideological ends a totalitarian government mobilizes all the mechanisms of the state to exert a strict top-down control of the populace, a mass surveillance system is put in place, and all aspects of life become politicized.

In the 20th century Nazism was the ideology that drove totalitarianism in Germany, it was Fascism in Italy, while in Asia and other parts of Europe it was Communism. Today a new totalitarian ideology appears to be taking root. This ideology is built on the belief that at current population levels human beings are parasitic creatures, and if allowed to be free, will run roughshod over mother earth. Harmony can be returned to our planet, and ecological disaster averted, but only if certain politicians and bureaucrats are granted the power to control our lives. What to eat, what type of energy to use, where to work, how to spend one’s recreation time, how many children to have, and where one travels – all these questions are to be answered by the totalitarian ruling class, not by free individuals planning their lives within the law and order of a free society.

“The controlling mind [of the totalitarian] foresees a paradise in which every action and every object is monitored, labeled, and controlled. There will be no room for any bad thing to exist. Nothing and no one will be out of place.”

Charles Eisenstein, Fascism and the Antifestival

Will we in the modern world allow another group of sick minds the opportunity to remake society in the image of a deluded ideology? Will we permit the rise of totalitarian rule? If we do the result will be same as it was in the 20th century, society will be destroyed, poverty will be the norm, and many people will be killed. To understand why every time totalitarianism is tried it devolves into mass killings by the government in power, we must examine the mind of the totalitarian politician and bureaucrat. For when we understand the pathologies that afflict these individuals it will be clear why totalitarians will drive society into ruin before abandoning course and admitting failure.

A first characteristic of the politicians and bureaucrats who make up the totalitarian government is that they are deluded true believers in their ideology. They are convinced, in other words, that what they are trying to accomplish is for the good of humanity and that society would be worse off absent their rule. The totalitarian mind is similar to the schizophrenic mind. It believes the web of delusions in which it is caught; it sticks to its ideological model of the world in the face of disconfirming evidence; and it tends to hate those who try to pierce its illusions.

A second characteristic of totalitarians is that they hold a contemptuous view of the masses and see normal men and women as inferior and incapable of making good choices. For their own good, it follows, and for the good of mother earth, the masses must obey the government. Totalitarians also tend to view the masses as unneeded, in such large numbers, for the realization of their ideological aims and so view whole segments of the populace as useless eaters who are overpopulating the world.

“Only where great masses are [viewed as] superfluous. . .is totalitarian rule. . .at all possible.”

Hannah Arendt, Origins of Totalitarianism

A further characteristic of totalitarians is their tendency to judge moral issues through a utilitarian lens. When making policy decisions, in other words, totalitarians tend to use the criteria of the greatest good, for the greatest number of people as the justification for their actions. Individual rights matter little to the utilitarian, what matters is the good of the collective and to the totalitarian the good of the collective always means achieving its ideological ends. This utilitarian approach to moral issues is reflective of a very disturbed mind, or as Iain McGilchrist explains:

“The tendency to adopt a calculating and utilitarian approach in judging moral issues is more marked in those with reduced aversion to harming others, lower trait empathy, higher psychoticism (which is itself characterised by reduced empathy and emotional blunting). . .and greater Machiavellianism. It is also characteristic of the moral thinking of psychopaths. . .”

Iain McGilchrist, The Matter with Things

A deluded true believer in a utopian ideology, viewing him or herself as a superior being, seeing the world as overpopulated, and judging moral issues through a utilitarian lens, such is the mind of a totalitarian, and such is a mind capable of committing a mass atrocity. After totalitarians have taken power, all that is needed to initiate the process of political persecution is the inevitable failure of their rule. And fail they will, as all attempts to control society in a strict top-down manner are doomed from the start. The more order the totalitarians try to impose on a society the more chaos they create, and with such chaos comes a never-ending series of crises. But when the crises come instead of admitting that the fault lies with their rule, totalitarians deflect blame to others through the process of scapegoating. For as true believers totalitarians never consider the possibility that the crisis is a by-product of trying to force a deluded ideology on society through top-down control. Rather they convince themselves, and strive to convince others, that responsibility for the crisis lies elsewhere.


Dr. Jeffrey Sachs on Rising: What MSM WON'T TELL YOU About Ukraine-Russia, Nord Stream (must see video!) by stickdog in WayOfTheBern

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Coffee & COVID's take on this interview

Professor Sachs sprinted out of the gate, starting his takedown of the existing narrative by connecting the current proxy war to the U.S.’s meddling in Ukraine back in the 2014 color revolution. But Sachs went further, claiming that Viktoria Nuland and Lindsay Graham bungled the whole thing at great cost to Ukraine:

SACHS: “The war’s been going on for nine years since the U.S. participated in the violent overthrow of a Ukrainian president that wanted neutrality for his country — not NATO… During this whole period, the U.S had a weak hand and it played it terribly… at every step Ukraine could have been saved but the U.S. kept upping the ante and Ukraine kept losing more.” According to Professor Sachs — who is an actual expert on international politics — Ukraine’s losses starting with Crimea are directly attributable to U.S. bungling, and he even called out Joe Biden as the bungling co-author. If that’s not a sign that Biden’s political future is numbered, I don’t know what is. People like Professor Sachs don’t get where they are without having a solid sense of politics.

Dr. Sachs explained that, if it weren’t for U.S. meddling, the Ukraine would still own the Crimean peninsula, not to mention still have millions of now-departed citizens:

SACHS: “Then Russia retook Crimea. It wasn’t even demanding Crimea! It was demanding a lease on its naval base until 2042. But then it took Crimea. Then the U.S. upped the ante, sending in weapons, we’ve got your back. President Putin said in December 2021, ‘let’s negotiate over this.’ The U.S. said, ‘no way, it’s none of your business.’ Then the Special Military Operation started. Ukraine said in March 2022, ‘ok, ok, we can be neutral.’ The war could have ended then, but the U.S. intervened… Now Ukraine has lost hundreds of thousands of people, the population has declined by millions due to mass migration. They’ve just done a terrible job, and I’ve been saying this to the White House every step of the way… Biden played it wrong at every moment.” Even the shows’ anchors seemed dismissive of the war. The tone of their questions suggested that the war’s poor prospects should have been obvious to everyone from the get-go:

MALE ANCHOR: “What were the intelligence, the defense experts thinking? Were they naive? Or did they actually think that somewhere before this point — where we’re not willing to fund the resistance any longer — that they were actually going to deal a lethal blow to Russia? Or at least eject them from the country?” Professor Sachs not only agreed with the anchor’s cynical sentiments but went further, suggesting — unless I’m misunderstanding something — that Ukraine should just give up and the U.S. should apologize to Russia:

SACHS: “Robbie, I’m an old guy. I’ve been through this a lot of times (since) Vietnam. This is standard operating procedures of the United States. Over-promise. Over-Sell. Get into proxy wars. Then, they fail… (Look,) we’ve run out of time. We’ve run out of patience. We’ve run out of budget support. We’ve run out of 155 millimeter shells. And tragically, Ukraine’s running out of soldiers. So that old line, that we’re in there to the last Ukrainian, is tragically, literally happening right now… Ukraine has lost hundreds of thousands of people in this absolutely stupid, avoidable conflict. So it’s gonna stop. It has to stop. NATO — that means the U.S. by the way, it doesn’t mean anything else — has to help to end this in the most favorable way by saying (to Russia), okay, okay, we’re not going to enlarge in in some lamebrain idea of George W. Bush Jr., and we (wrongly) kept it going, and we should’ve negotiated with you, the whole thing was a stupid idea. We’re going to have to say that.” If the anchors are bipartisan, then we’re all bipartisan now. The anchors and Dr. Sachs all seem solidly on board with where Coffee & Covid readers have been for over a year now. Not only did the “liberal” female anchor dismissively call the conflict “this proxy war,” but she then pitched Sachs a softball over the most recent, utterly ridiculous, official narrative about the Nordstream bombing:

FEMALE ANCHOR: “Such an important point about the human cost. Ukraine is starting to recruit or conscript women into the military, (and) Max Blumenthal posted a disturbing video earlier this week of new recruits who all looked to be men in their fifties and sixties. So it does look like there has been just an incredible human toll in the people of Ukraine who’ve been made to fight this proxy war. But I did want to turn to this new reporting about the Nordstream pipeline last week, where it was reported a Ukraine military official played a central role in the 2022 sabotage of the Nordstream pipeline. How credulously should we be looking at (this story)?” I saw it but didn’t even bother commenting last week about the Washington Post’s latest preposterous claim that — it hurts to even try describing WaPo’s nonsense — a rogue Ukrainian intelligence agent who was acting alone orchestrated the entire Nordstream bombing, all by himself, without Biden or even Zelensky knowing one single thing about it. And of course, Biden and Zelensky would have opposed an illegal act of terrorism like that.

Supposedly this daring, 007-like, deep-sea diving, two-places at one-timing, nearly invisible man of mystery has, allegedly, been arrested for his terrible crimes against the international order and is now rotting in isolation in a remote Ukraine jail cell someplace extremely inconvenient for visitors.

Good grief. Only Washington Post reporters could be dumb enough to believe that anyone would buy that obvious prevarication. Professor Sachs doesn’t buy it either, and agrees with us over who is really to blame, strongly hinting the bombing was obviously the USA. More remarkably, Professor Sachs then advised the two young anchors — who seemed to agree — not to believe the government about anything:

SACHS: “First thing, don’t believe anything the government says. It makes up whatever is convenient. [Male anchor nods in agreement.] So, there’s absolutely no credibility to pinning it on one person who happens to be under wraps and in custody in Ukraine. I’m still going with Seymour Hirsch (who blamed U.S. Navy divers) till I hear otherwise, but who knows. I testified in the U.N. security council on a session calling for an independent, U.N.-led investigation. Who blocked it? The United States government… has blocked any real investigation in this.”

Moscow challenges Washington's fly larvae hegemony | The era of unipolar bug-burgers is over. Maggot flour is for everyone. by stickdog in WayOfTheBern

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I don't think it's pointless to point out that there are no true heroes among our world leaders.

Moscow challenges Washington's fly larvae hegemony | The era of unipolar bug-burgers is over. Maggot flour is for everyone. by stickdog in WayOfTheBern

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I come bearing game-changing news.

BRICS is rising up against the Satanic West’s monopoly on “puree from black soldier fly larvae”.

Last month, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin quietly signed a decree allowing food manufacturers to produce “coarse larvae flour” and other anti-globalist delicacies. This is the final judo-chop that will ultimately lead to the collapse of the Bretton Woods system and the creation of a worm-backed global digital currency that honors the true spirit of the United Nations Charter.

Bugs = food security and economic prosperity, as one Russian media outlet correctly reported on November 9:

The head of the department of the Federal Research Center for Animal Husbandry, Professor Roman Nekrasov explained that “the government’s adoption of the resolution is long-awaited and in demand; it will make it possible to officially establish the production and processing of products from black soldier fly larvae by agricultural producers. This opens up the possibility of producing a variety of insect products on a large scale, which will strengthen the country’s food supply.” According to him, insects can now become a kind of mini-livestock that can be raised for human nutrition.

Companies involved in the production of food products from processed insects are going to supply the market with components for making cutlets, sausages, as well as ingredients for protein bars, according to Viktor Eremenko, director of the Unicon consulting company.

Who among us could say no to a succulent larvae sausage?


EU's Digital Identity Wallet Is An Electronic Leash With Which Brussels Wants To Control Its Citizens by stickdog in WayOfTheBern

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There is a danger that the new Polish government may just waive through this oppression policy...

The agreement between the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union on the EU Digital Identity Wallet is open to abuse and gives Brussels the ability to deny people rights and control them.

According to the new European legislation, the wallets, which are to be voluntary for the time being, will include digital versions of all ID cards, driving licenses, degree certificates, and medical documentation.

The European Commission insists that the system will be secure, and the current Spanish presidency of the EU is saying that this will make the EU a digital leader at a global level in protecting democratic values, but what has digitalization got to do with European values?

On the contrary, the move actually threatens European values as argued by 504 academics and experts from 39 countries who have signed an open letter warning of the dangers to people’s online security and freedom.

The pandemic moved us in this direction when the Covid-19 vaccine passports were introduced and limited the right to travel. The new wallet will move us much further in the direction of oppression.

Having all documents in one place means that they can be confiscated in one click. This was done by the Trudeau administration in Canada when, during Covid, it denied vaccine-refusers access to their accounts and later removed insurance rights from drivers participating in the protest blockade of the capital, Ottawa.


The head of Poland’s central bank Adam Glapiński, says consumers do not want their bank to know about all their transactions and full digital centralization of transactions removes that right to anonymity.


Charles Eisenstein: War is Always Justified | For there to be peace, people are going to have to stop doing what they think is justified. If I am on a side, it is the side of peace. by stickdog in WayOfTheBern

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I agree, but this doesn't mean that taking the side of peace (without genocidal oppression, of course) isn't a good approach both in this situation and in general, at least when it comes to rhetoric.

US life expectancy data prove ‘experts’ are literally killing us | he last time Americans on average were living shorter lives than they are today was in 1996. The drop puts us in the top six biggest declines globally and leaves us 34th in the world on this metric. by stickdog in WayOfTheBern

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Well, it's the NY Post, so it is this is the rule rather than the exception. Normally, I post that in the title. Sorry.

The only actual newsworthy part of it is just how bad the US has looked, is looking, and almost certainly will be looking in terms of overall life expectancy, not that this was news to 98% of anyone here.

Feds Ignored Concerns Over California-Based Chinese Biolab Containing Deadly Pathogens | The FBI and CDC neglected to thoroughly investigate a CA biolab operated by Chinese nationals containing deadly transmissible pathogens. by stickdog in WayOfTheBern

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OK. So where was the real lab? Under whose auspices did it operate? And how many more are there?

Why Dumb Ideas Capture Smart and Successful People: Intelligent individuals are better at understanding the reputational consequences of their beliefs | "Many have discovered an argument hack. They don’t need to argue that something is false, just show that it’s associated with low status." by stickdog in WayOfTheBern

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Many have discovered an argument hack. They don’t need to argue that something is false. They just need to show that it’s associated with low status. The converse is also true: You don’t need to argue that something is true. You just need to show that it’s associated with high status. And when low status people express the truth, it sometimes becomes high status to lie.


The founders of the elaboration likelihood model wrote that, “Ultimately, we suspect that attitudes are seen as correct or proper to the extent that they are viewed as beneficial for the physical or psychological well-being of the person.”

In his book The Social Leap, the evolutionary psychologist William von Hippel writes, “a substantial reason we evolved such large brains is to navigate our social world… A great deal of the value that exists in the social world is created by consensus rather than discovered in an objective sense… our cognitive machinery evolved to be only partially constrained by objective reality.” Our social brains process information not only by examining the facts, but also considering the social consequences of what happens to our reputations if we believe something.

Indeed, in his influential theory of social comparison processes, the eminent psychologist Leon Festinger suggested that people evaluate the “correctness” of their opinions by comparing them to the opinions of others. When we see others hold the same beliefs as us, our own confidence in those beliefs increases. Which is one reason why people are more likely to proselytize beliefs that cannot be verified through empirical means.

In short, people have a mechanism in their minds. It stops them from saying something that could lower their status, even if it’s true. And it propels them to say something that could increase their status, even if it’s false. Sometimes, local norms can push against this tendency. Certain communities (e.g., scientists) can obtain status among their peers for expressing truths. But if the norm is relaxed, people might default to seeking status over truth if status confers the greater reward.

Furthermore, knowing that we could lose status if we don’t believe in something causes us to be more likely to believe in it to guard against that loss. Considerations of what happens to our own reputation guides our beliefs, leading us to adopt a popular view to preserve or enhance our social positions. We implicitly ask ourselves, “What are the social consequences of holding (or not holding) this belief?”


Which brings us to a question: Who is most susceptible to manipulation via peripheral persuasion? It might seem intuitive to believe that people with less education are more manipulable. But research suggests this may not be true.

High-status people are more preoccupied with how others view them. Which means that educated and/or affluent people may be especially prone to peripheral, as opposed to central, methods of persuasion.

Indeed, the psychology professor Keith Stanovich, discussing his research on “myside bias,” has written, “if you are a person of high intelligence… you will be less likely than the average person to realize you have derived your beliefs from the social groups you belong to and because they fit with your temperament and your innate psychological propensities.”

Students and graduates of top universities are more prone to myside bias. They are more likely to “evaluate evidence, generate evidence, and test hypotheses in a manner biased toward their own prior beliefs, opinions, and attitudes.”


Feds Ignored Concerns Over California-Based Chinese Biolab Containing Deadly Pathogens | The FBI and CDC neglected to thoroughly investigate a CA biolab operated by Chinese nationals containing deadly transmissible pathogens. by stickdog in WayOfTheBern

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I came across this amazing story by chance. It looked so bizarre I did not know what to think. It was a stunning and (if true) horrifying story. It involved the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) which continues to be responsible for setting a large part of the discredited worldwide Covid pandemic policies – including the next pandemic wave for which the main stream news media seems excited to be preparing us.

We are also aware that the CDC, has been spreading misinformation throughout this so-called “pandemic”: the CDC advocated no early treatment; called ivermectin toxic horse paste; refused to acknowledge the importance of natural immunity; called the injections “safe” when they were not; advocated total masking where there was no evidence; supported injecting children, babies and pregnant women with the experimental jabs with no safety data; supported school closures; etc etc etc. They have been shown to be consistently reckless and incompetent.

The scandalous and diabolical relationship between the US National Institute of Allergy and Infection Diseases (NIAID) under Dr. Anthony Fauci and the Wuhan Institute of Virology biolab in the dangerous gain-of-function research surrounding SARS-CoV-2 is a matter of record.

Now, one of my readers referred me to a Substack by Jeff Childers of 19 Nov 2023 where the CDC appears to have again acted in a strange and irresponsible way in relation to the discovery of a covert biolab discovered in California. CLICK HERE to view. Here is part of the Substack below (other parts are of high interest also).

The Substack commentary is below:

“As a result of that investigation, this week the Select Committee on the CCP released a pretty shocking report (40 pages).


The House Committee’s report revealed some shocking new information. First, we learned that courageous code inspector Harper tried over and over to get the CDC to investigate, but the CDC refused to investigate. Federal health officials even hung-up on persistent Officer Harper multiple times. Only after the local Congressman got involved did the CDC finally agree to inspect the warehouse — and it found "at least 20 potentially infectious agents, including HIV, Tuberculosis, and the deadliest known form of Malaria."

But — and this is critical — for some inexplicable and unexplained reason, the CDC did not test any of the samples — even the ones with unknown contents or with coded labels. Later, local officials discovered a freezer labeled ‘Ebola’ — Ebola! — but still the useless CDC has refused to follow up.

Local officials also discovered bags labeled cocaine, methamphetamine, ecstasy (MDMA), and THC. Not quite doing justice to the case, the Committee succinctly described the CDC’s disinterest in the lab as being “baffling.” I could think of some stronger but still accurate words. “Treasonous” comes to mind.

The CDC and the Corporate Media have gullibly accepted the cover story and still describe the lab’s purpose as “creating Covid-19 test kits.” And, in fact, the lab received hundreds of thousands, if not millions, in grants from the State of California to create covid test kits. But the Select Committee’s investigators found the lab workers were actually just buying cheap “counterfeit” covid tests from China and repackaging them in the warehouse. They didn’t actually create anything. Not test kits, at least.

The report explained there was a "lack of apparent legitimate (or even profit-motivated criminal) motive in the operation of the illegal facility." So the lab’s real purpose remains unknown.

But it gets even murkier. The Select Committee discovered that Jesse Zhu/David He, the lab’s criminal operator, was "receiving unexplained payments via wire transfer" from Chinese banks. In large, round numbers.


Feds Ignored Concerns Over California-Based Chinese Biolab Containing Deadly Pathogens | The FBI and CDC neglected to thoroughly investigate a CA biolab operated by Chinese nationals containing deadly transmissible pathogens. by stickdog in WayOfTheBern

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The FBI and CDC neglected to thoroughly investigate a California biolab operated by Chinese nationals containing deadly transmissible pathogens, according to a new report.

Released by the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party on Wednesday, the findings reveal how Chinese nationals have been conducting experiments on several deadly pathogens in a Reedley, California, biolab under the discretion of a Chinese man connected to Beijing’s communist government.

“This report outlines troublesome gaps that exist in federal law that allow bad actors to take advantage of the system,” Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif., whose district includes Reedley, said in a statement. “It is my hope no other town in any Congressional district will endure what my constituents have through this experience.”

The whole scandal began to unravel in December 2022 when Jesalyn Harper, a local code enforcement officer, noticed a building code violation outside the facility. Upon gaining access, Harper discovered the warehouse was actually a laboratory being operated by self-professed Chinese nationals. In the lab, Harper noticed vials containing biological substances — one of which was HIV — labeled in Mandarin, English, and an undeciphered code. She also discovered 1,000 genetically modified lab mice, later found to have been “bred to simulate the human immune system for the purpose of laboratory experimentation.”

It was later determined that the Reedley Biolab was owned and operated by Universal Meditech Inc. (UMI), a company controlled by “Jesse” Zhu, a Chinese national “associated with [People’s Republic of China]-government linked companies” who is wanted in Canada for “contempt of court, where he is the subject of a CAD$330 million judgment for stealing American intellectual property.” Upon illegally entering the U.S. under the name David He, Zhu “set up a new network of companies” and has seemingly acquired “thousands of vials labeled as dangerous pathogens, as well as expensive medical equipment.”

Prior to coming to North America, Zhu worked at companies with ties to China’s communist government and would receive payments totaling more than $1.3 million from PRC banks during the years he was selling fraudulent scientific products. Zhu was ultimately arrested by federal agents last month on charges related to “manufacturing and distributing misbranded medical devices” and lying to the Food and Drug Administration.

But it wasn’t just the FBI that dismissed local officials’ concerns about the Reedley Biolab. Fresno County officials spent “months” attempting to reach the CDC, which “refused to speak with them and, on a number of occasions … hung up on them mid-conversation.” It wasn’t until Costa stepped in on their behalf that the federal health agency responded.

During their inspection of the warehouse on May 3, CDC employees discovered that the Reedley Biolab housed “at least 20 potentially infectious agents,” including “the deadliest known form of Malaria,” HIV, Tuberculosis, and SARS-CoV-2 (otherwise known as Covid-19), among others. The CDC classified these “potentially infectious agents” under risk groups 2 and 3, the latter of which is “associated with serious or lethal human disease for which preventive or therapeutic interventions may be available.”

It’s worth mentioning that the CDC based its classifications on the vial labels and refused to test any of the samples, knowing that “absent testing, local officials would have to destroy all samples pursuant to a forthcoming abatement order.” Despite already being deemed an “illegal enterprise,” the agency also issued a three-page report concluding there was no evidence UMI violated U.S. law and that there weren’t any “select agents or toxins.”

While destroying the pathogens and materials, local officials discovered a freezer filled with silver bags containing samples of Ebola. According to the report, the CDC did not appear to be aware of such materials. Nonetheless, the pathogens were destroyed pursuant to the court order.

“The CDC’s refusal to test any potential pathogens with the understanding that local officials would otherwise have to destroy the samples through an abatement process makes it impossible for the Select Committee to fully assess the potential risks that this specific facility posed to the community,” the report reads. “It is possible that there were other highly dangerous pathogens that were in the coded vials or otherwise unlabeled. Due to government failures, we simply cannot know.”

Following her walkthrough, Harper referred the matter to Fresno County and the FBI for further investigation. Two months later, the federal agency notified Harper it had closed its inquiry “because the Bureau believed that there were no weapons of mass destruction on the property.” While the FBI “continued to engage with local officials,” Harper and local officials took the initiative to continue their investigation.

After obtaining a warrant, local officials searched the Reedley Biolab on March 16, in which they “observed blood, tissue and other bodily fluid samples and serums; and thousands of vials of unlabeled fluids and suspected biological material.” They also discovered “ultralow temperature freezers,” raising concerns that the facility was “storing infectious agents on site.” Containers “labeled with biohazard signs” and medical cabinets containing “what authorities later identified as highly flammable, explosive, and corrosive chemicals” were also found.

Local and state officials conducted subsequent inspections on April 21 and May 1-2, respectively.

Online disinformation : UNESCO unveils action plan to regulate social media platforms | Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO sounded the alarm on Monday about the intensification of disinformation and hate speech online, which constitutes "a major threat to stability and social cohesion". by stickdog in WayOfTheBern

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"Digital technology has enabled immense progress on freedom of speech. But social media platforms have also accelerated and amplified the spread of false information and hate speech, posing major risks to societal cohesion, peace and stability. To protect access to information, we must regulate these platforms without delay, while at the same time protecting freedom of expression and human rights."

Audrey Azoulay UNESCO Director-General

UNESCO's action plan is the result of a consultation process on a scale unprecedented within the United Nations system, with over 10,000 contributions from 134 countries collected over the last eighteen months. Over forty pages, it outlines the principles which must be respected as well as the concrete measures which must be implemented by all stakeholders: governments, regulatory authorities, civil society and the platforms themselves.

Representatives from independent regulators have already welcomed UNESCO's initiative, and several of them - notably in Africa and Latin America - have indicated that they are ready to begin implementing these measures. To this end, UNESCO will organize the first World Conference of Regulators in mid-2024.


7 fundamental principles to be respected

UNESCO's measures are organised around 7 principles which must be respected so that:


  1. These independent regulators work in close coordination as part of a wider network, to prevent digital companies from taking advantage of disparities between national regulations.

  2. Content moderation is feasible and effective at scale, in all regions and in all languages.


  1. Regulators and platforms take stronger measures during particularly sensitive moments like elections and crises.


*In particular, platforms must have teams of qualified moderators, in sufficient numbers and speaking all the main languages of their social media, so that they can carry out reliable and effective control of content that is posted online. *


UN & Bill Gates Launch “50in5” Global Digital Infrastructure Plans | The “50in5” program – so-called because it aims to introduce DPI (including digital payments & ID) in fifty countries in the next five years – began with a live-streamed event on November 8th. by stickdog in WayOfTheBern

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There’s nothing new there, for anyone who has been paying even the slightest bit of attention. Digital identity and digital payment systems are self-explanatory (and we’ve covered them before). “Data Exchange Systems” essentially means national governments will share identity and financial records of citizens across borders with other nations, or indeed with global government agencies.

The key word is “interoperable”.

As we have written before, the “global government” won’t be one single health care system, identity database, or digital currency – but dozens of notionally separate systems all carefully designed to be fully “interoperable”.

As well as being a project of the UNDP, UNICEF, and the Inter-American Development Bank, the 50in5 is funded by various globalist NGOs and non-profits including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and (indirectly through an NGO called “Co-Develop”) the Rockefeller Foundation.

The eleven counties taking part in the program so far are Bangladesh, Brazil, Estonia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Moldova, Norway, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Togo. A careful spread from every continent, including first, second, and third-world nations.

It is a list noteworthy for including NATO, EU, and BRICS members. Interesting implications on supposed “multipolarity” there.

In related news, on the exact same day the 50in5 program launched, the European Parliament and Council of Europe agreed on a new framework for a region-wide European Digital Identity (eID) system.


One in Five Experience Rebound COVID After Taking Paxlovid, New Study Shows by stickdog in WayOfTheBern

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At a glance:

  • New study shows that viral rebound with Paxlovid is more common than previously believed.
  • Clinicians should counsel patients about the possible risk of transmitting virus during rebound.

A new study by Harvard Medical School researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital has found that one in five individuals taking nirmatrelvir-ritonavir therapy, commonly known as Paxlovid, to treat severe symptoms of COVID-19 had a positive test result and shed live potentially contagious virus following an initial recovery and negative test — a phenomenon known as virologic rebound. By contrast, people not taking Paxlovid experienced rebound only about 2 percent of the time.

Results of the study, which was partly funded by the HMS-led Massachusetts Consortium on Pathogen Readiness, are published Nov. 13 in Annals of Internal Medicine.


“We conducted this study to address lingering questions about Paxlovid and virologic rebound in COVID-19 treatment,” said senior author Mark Siedner, associate professor of medicine at HMS and an infectious disease clinician and researcher at Mass General. “We found that the virologic rebound phenomenon was much more common than expected — in over 20 percent of people taking Paxlovid — and that individuals shed live virus when experiencing a rebound, which means they may be contagious after initial recovery.”


Charles Eisenstein: War is Always Justified | For there to be peace, people are going to have to stop doing what they think is justified. If I am on a side, it is the side of peace. by stickdog in WayOfTheBern

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I just heard someone say, “One war crime does not justify another.” My reflex as a peace advocate is to agree with that statement, but something gives me pause. It starts with a grammatical issue but it doesn’t end there.

The only beings on earth that perform the act of justifying are human beings. “War crimes” do not perform that act. What the statement intends to say is something like, “One cannot legitimately use one war crime to justify another.” But what is this “legitimate”? A substitute for justifiable. One cannot justifiably use one war crime to justify another. We are on the brink of an infinite regress that seeks to convert the subjective act of justifying something into an objective property, as if one could filter all acts through a moral sieve that separates them into two categories, the wrong and the right.

Seen this way, the statement about justifying war crimes is exactly wrong. People do indeed use one war crime to justify another. With the exception of crimes of passion, which people typically justify in retrospect, all wars and most violence begins with justification. The heinous acts of the other side are high-octane fuel for the justification engine.

In the objective sense of an ethical principle, we can argue whether this or that war was justified. But in terms of the rhetorical act of the human being called justifying, all wars are justified. Someone is justifying them.

This is why, as I have argued over the past month, we must exit the conversation about what is justified if there is ever going to be an end to the violence in the Holy Land.

The word just comes from the Latin justus — upright, equitable, lawful, right, proper. To justify literally means to make it right. To take something self-interested or indeterminate and make it into something right, that is justification. It is much easier to override the heart’s repulsion and harm others when aided by a story in which it is right.

Both sides in the Gaza conflict believe they are right. Hamas and the Israeli government both justify acts of carnage. So it has always been, and so it shall ever be. To end it, we have to appeal to something outside of what is justified, who is right, and who is wrong.

Force me to speak in terms of right and wrong, and I would say, yes, it is wrong to kill 4500 children in a bombing campaign. I would say it is wrong to kidnap and murder innocent festival-goers and children in a kibbutz. I do not mean to establish the two sides as equivalent here. I understand well the assymetrical dynamics of oppressor and oppressed. If forced to, I could tell you which side I think is wronger or righter than the other. I am fully capable of understanding each side’s logic and adjudge one or the other more valid. But like many of you, I am sick of being asked to pitch my tent in one camp or another.

I am unwillng to do that, and it is not because, sheltered by my circumstances and privilege, I have the luxury of not taking sides. I am unwilling because I want to see the violence end, and that means that people are going to have to stop doing what they think is justified.

I repeat: for there to be peace, people are going to have to stop doing what they think is justified.

If I am on a side, it is the side of peace.

I know I am not alone there. In fact many people who do not enjoy the shelter of circumstance and privilege are saying something similar. I already shared the video “In my name, I want no vengeance” by Michal Helav, whose only son was murdered by Hamas. There are many others. Here are a few examples from the article, “Listen to Israeli survivors: They don’t want revenge.”


I am in awe of the courage of these people. It is not easy to speak against the howls of a bloodthirsty mob — and the bloodthirsty inner mob that wants to relieve the grief for a moment by converting it into hate. I was on a call a few weeks ago with a group of Israeli and Palestinian peace activists. “If you speak out, they slap you down,” one said. They were afraid to say anything publicly, afraid to protest, and trying to think of more indirect forms of peace action.

In times of conflict, the advocate for peace draws more hatred than even the enemy. The enemy by his existence validates the drama that affirms the partisan’s role and identity (and, in the case of a nation, an agenda of domination or conquest). The more abhorrent the enemy’s acts, the better. But the peace advocate undermines that drama and the roles and justifications that it creates.

Palestinian peace activist Aziz Abu Sarah describes what it is like:

It is a very tough time obviously to be a peace activist and much harder than choosing which side I want to care about more. Because if you are pro-Palestinian you sympathize obviously with the Palestinian cause. If you're pro-Israel, you sympathize with the Israeli cause. And if you're a peace activist, you have friends on both sides. And so your pain is multiplied. Because if I'm talking to my friends and family in the West Bank, I'm talking to my family or my family in Jerusalem, they are living in complete fear. I'm talking to my friends in Gaza who are escaping, terrified. I'm talking to my friends in Israel who are living the biggest nightmare in their lives. I'm terrified for my friends who have missing family members. They are trying to find where they are, most likely hostages in Gaza. I have friends who lost family members. And so you're trying to take the pain of both the Israelis and the Palestinians and absorb both of it and live with both of it. And understand both perspectives, understand when your Israeli friends are angry, and they can't comprehend how you could talk about Gaza right now. Because in their mind, but what about my pain? And my friends in Gaza think I'm completely a traitor, because how am I able to sympathize with the Israelis pain, with the people who've lost their lives in Israel. It's very difficult. But I also think this is exactly what we need right now. This is the time to stand up and say there is an alternative: hate isn't the only path.


Freddie deBoer: Where Are the AI Skepticism Stories? by stickdog in WayOfTheBern

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But what really blows my noodle is how rare AI skepticism still is in the media. One year ago, ChatGPT was opened to the public. The onslaught of overheated and careless rhetoric about our imminent ascent to a new plane of existence (or our imminent extermination) began then and has not slowed since. It’s inherent to the financial interests of journalism for professional media to sensationalize, after all. (This is a complaint that’s old enough that it was made by Charles Dickens, among many other journalists.) And so I’m not at all surprised that there’s been so many stories about how nothing will ever be the same, even as we’re all still just living busy little ordinary lives like we always have. What does surprise me is that there hasn’t really been a counterweight to all of that, writers looking at all the froth and seeing that there’s an unfilled need for some skepticism and restraint. It remains the case that the best bet about the future lies in something like the statement “these new ‘AI’ technologies aren’t really artificial intelligence and are unlikely ever to be, but they could have some interesting and moderately significant consequences.” But I see very very little of that. The Boston Globe has run a few skeptical pieces, including by me, and every once in a while I see a strong argument that we’re getting way ahead of ourselves. In general, though, there’s a remarkable dearth of restraint.

The New Yorker recently revealed its new “AI Issue.” There is nary an overall skeptical piece to be found. It just genuinely seems not to occur to the bigwigs at fancy media that there is a place for skepticism about the ultimate impact of this technology, even if (especially if!) they’re sure it will change everything. Here’s some copy in the email from the magazine announcing the issue, by editorial director Henry Finder.

A technology becomes an age—the automobile age, the Internet age—when it’s so pervasive that you can’t imagine life without it. Culturally speaking, there’s a before and after. For people of a certain generation, the Internet was once a rumor about bulletin boards and “Usenet”; now they arrive at a countryside bed and breakfast and ask for the Wi-Fi password with their room key. The new age arrives on no specific day; it creeps up slowly, and then pounces suddenly. And so, it seems, with A.I. For some years, it had been a silent partner in the most ordinary aspects of life, from smartphone pics to Netflix recommendations. But once it learned to converse—via ChatGPT, Bard, and the like—millions of people were startled into elation and alarm. Pygmalion had parted her lips.

Golly, Henry! Maybe you should Finder someone who can articulate the very real possibility that this is all going to look embarrassing a few years from now? Even if you aren’t, like me, one of those who questions how much actual impact the internet has had on our society in structural terms, it’s hard to understand why so few people feel compelled to play defense. Or maybe I do. Right now, AI hype gets clicks and attention, and since there’s not going to be any one definitive moment when all of this hype gets derailed, but rather a long slow embarrassed petering out, no one will ever be forced to confront their predictions that don’t come true.

Of course the New Yorker is not remotely alone in its attachment to ridiculously overheated rhetoric about AI. Perhaps my favorite is Elizabeth Weil’s laughable pick-me notion that Sam Altman of OpenAI is “the Oppenheimer of our age.” Right now, the combined nuclear arsenal of the world is capable of killing a significant percentage of our species, irradiating vast swaths of the earth for generations, and plunging the planet into nuclear winter. All of foreign policy and military strategy are filtered through the prism of nuclear weapons; without Russia’s immense nuclear capability, Vladimir Putin never even attempts to invade Ukraine, and with it, more and more people who formerly draped themselves in yellow and blue are quietly urging Zelensky to cut a deal. That’s how nukes tilt the playing field. The insights developed during the Manhattan Project contributed to an energy technology that should have revolutionized the world and still represents our best hope against climate change, if we only have the wisdom to use it. And Sam Altman is the same as Oppenheimer because… ChatGPT gives 8th graders the ability to generate dreadfully uninspired and error-filled text instead of producing it themselves? What? What? What?

That speaks to the most important point. The question that overwhelms me, and which our journalist class seems totally uninterested in, is simply to ask what AI can do now. Not what AI will do or should do or is projected to do, not an extrapolation or prediction, but a demonstration of something impressive that AI can do today. For it to be impressive, it has to do something that human beings can’t do themselves. I find ChatGPT and the various image generators fun but consistently underwhelming. For one thing, when you see some of their output on social media and it looks impressive, it’s a textbook case of survivorship bias. (They’re not posting all the other outputs that are garbled and useless.) But even were that not the case, you couldn’t point to ChatGPT or MidJourney or the like and call it a truly meaningful advance because there is nothing that they can produce that human beings have not or could not produce themselves. The text ChatGPT produces is not special. The images Dall-E produces are not special. They’re only considered special because a machine made them, which is of obviously limited social consequence. I’m aware that, for example, programmers are finding these tools very useful for faster and more efficient coding. And that’s cool! Could be quite meaningful. But that’s not revolution, it’s refinement. And that’s what we’ve had for the past 60 or so, various refinements after a hundred years of genuinely radical technological advancement and attendant social change.

Every time I ask people what AI can do now rather than in some indefinite future, it goes something like this - someone will say “AI is curing cancer!,” I’ll ask for evidence, they’ll send a link to a breathless story in Wired or Gizmodo or whatever, I’ll chase down a paper or press release to what they’re referring to, and it turns out that someone’s exploring how AI might someday be used in oncology diagnostics in such a way that some cancers might be caught earlier, maybe. Which could be good, definitely, but is also not happening now, and is not revolutionary change, especially given that we’ve learned in the past few decades that earlier detection does not necessarily increase the odds of survival. Even people who appear to be very well-informed about these issues tend to talk about “runaway AI” and “the singularity” with immense imprecision and a complete lack of appropriate skepticism. It leaves someone like me with nowhere to go; when you can just assert that a radically life-altering event is happening in the future, one which depends upon an immense number of shaky assumptions and which assumes that certain “emergent” leaps necessarily will happen because someone has imagined that it might, well, who can hold you accountable to any tangible reality? And I just don’t agree with the framing of a lot of this stuff. I think that eventually self-driving cars will be the norm, and that will be consequential for society. I look forward to it. But will it be as consequential as the switch from horse-powered transportation to the internal combustion engine, which happened barely more than 100 years ago? Not even close.


Finally, a Scientific Paper Examines Walgreens' COVID Test Data! The positivity rate of the unvaccinated was 33.0% compared to 38.3% for those who had two original doses, 41.2% for those with 3 original doses, and 41.8% for those with 4 original doses. by stickdog in WayOfTheBern

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The sponsor (Pfizer) designed and conducted the trial and was responsible for the collection, analysis, and interpretation of the data. The first draft of the manuscript was written by medical writers (paid by Pfizer) under the direction of the authors. Pfizer manufactured RSVpreF vaccine and placebo.


Participants were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive one intramuscular injection of unadjuvanted RSVpreF vaccine at a dose of 120 μg (containing 60 μg each of RSV A and RSV B antigens) or placebo. Placebo was lyophilized to match the appearance of RSVpreF vaccine but did not contain the active ingredients (i.e., RSV A and RSV B preF antigens, which are based on the currently predominant Ontario and Buenos Aires genotypes, respectively).

So Pfizer ran the trials and made the comparative "placebo", but the experiment doesn't tell us what is in this "placebo." It's some substance that they freeze dried to make look like the vaccine, but we don't get know what it was. According the the protocol, "Placebo will be a lyophile match to the vaccine, which will consist of excipients matched to those used in the RSVpreF vaccine formulation, minus the active ingredients."

But we don't get to know what they put into their "placebo".

The CDC advisory panel expressed concerns about the clinical trial data to the point where they changed an initially strong recommendation to get the vaccine, if eligible, to one that says people over 60 “may” get an RSV vaccine based on a shared discussion with their doctors. For some, this may mean a discussion with their pharmacist. (The RSV vaccines will be covered by Medicare Part D and, thus, will be administered in pharmacies in many cases.)

One issue was that a few people in the trials developed Guillain-Barré syndrome in the days following the shot. Guillain-Barré is a rare disorder that causes muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis.

In addition, atrial fibrillation (an arrhythmia that can lead to blood clots in the heart) within 30 days of vaccination was reported in 10 participants who received Arexvy and four participants who received a placebo.

“One could argue that the benefits of these vaccines far outweigh the risks; for instance, the protection afforded against severe RSV disease is greater than the small risk of Guillain-Barré in this situation,” says Dr. Roberts. There will be continued monitoring for Guillain-Barré and other issues once the RSV vaccines become available, he adds.

Another issue was that most of the participants in the clinical trials were in their 60s, so there was little data on other high-risk groups, such as those over age 80.

FNDP: 🐴🐴Song🐴🐴 Stampede!🐴🐴 by Caelian in WayOfTheBern

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Finally, a Scientific Paper Examines Walgreens' COVID Test Data! The positivity rate of the unvaccinated was 33.0% compared to 38.3% for those who had two original doses, 41.2% for those with 3 original doses, and 41.8% for those with 4 original doses. by stickdog in WayOfTheBern

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But when people who appointing themselves the brownshirts of the COVID vaxx police are told this, somehow this doesn't even register to them.

They say, "Nobody ever said it was supposed to stop transmission" as if that was not their entire basis ("Your freedom stop when you infect others") for their hatefully oppressive self-righteous discrimination of those whose only crime was not worshipping experimental Big Pharma products as fervently as they did.

And I say did, because even in San Francisco, a place where all of the local business employees I know immediately festooned themselves with Barney Fife deputy vax police badges, fewer than 20% of residents have gotten the newest monovalent booster more than 2 full months since it became widely available.

And note that based on SF's previous "at least one vaccine" statistics in which they published vaccination percentages over 105% for certain neighborhoods and for over 65 demographics, this 19% is almost certainly an overestimate.

Finally, a Scientific Paper Examines Walgreens' COVID Test Data! The positivity rate of the unvaccinated was 33.0% compared to 38.3% for those who had two original doses, 41.2% for those with 3 original doses, and 41.8% for those with 4 original doses. by stickdog in WayOfTheBern

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OK, so a group of scientists finally took the Walgreens data that showed for over a year the vaccinated tested positive for COVID-19 at a higher percentage than the unvaccinated and tried to massage these data the best they could to prove bivalent booster efficacy (which was across the board far higher for compared to those already vaccinated but not boosted than it was compared to the unvaccinated!).

Effectiveness of BNT162b2 BA.4/5 Bivalent mRNA Vaccine Against Symptomatic COVID-19 Among Immunocompetent Individuals Testing at a Large US Retail Pharmacy

To try to make these data look best for the vaccines, they removed 740,342 of the original 1,048,227 tests.

Records were excluded if the individual (1) received any non-mRNA vaccine, (2) received an Omicron-adapted vaccine other than the BNT162b2 BA.4/5 bivalent, (3) received >1 dose of BNT162b2 bivalent, (4) received only 1 original wild-type dose or their last original wild-type dose ≤2 months ago (ie, not eligible for a bivalent vaccine), (5) received a BNT162b2 bivalent dose ≤2 months after their last original wild-type dose (ie, not according to current guidelines), (6) received a BNT162b2 bivalent dose <14 days ago (ie, individuals were not considered vaccinated until ≥14 days), (7) declined to report vaccination status or self-reported fewer vaccines in the current questionnaire than in a prior questionnaire (completed between 1 January 2022 and 31 January 2023), (8) were immunocompromised or received >4 original wild-type doses, (9) had invalid SARS-CoV-2 test results, (10) self-reported a prior SARS-CoV-2 infection ≤3 months ago, or (11) did not report symptoms on the testing survey. Finally, to ensure that cases and controls included in the analysis had similar healthcare seeking behaviors, we also excluded those reporting testing related to future travel or employment screening and those who tested multiple times during the study window.

And even after all of this data massaging, here were the results.

For those counting at home, the positivity rate of the unvaccinated was 33.0% compared to 38.3% for those who had two original doses, 41.2% for those with 3 original doses, and 41.8% for those with 4 original doses. For the vaccinated this includes those who also got the bivalent booster in addition to their first 2, 3, or 4 doses!

Once again, the more injections you have gotten, the more likely that you are getting COVID and spreading COVID to others. The only exception to this is in a very short window from 2 weeks after your last booster to roughly 3 to 5 months after your last booster.

Jonathan Cook: The media's Nord Stream lies just keep coming | Why do billionaires and governments scramble to control the media? Because the power over our minds is the greatest power there i by stickdog in WayOfTheBern

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Want to understand why the media we consume is either owned by billionaires or under the thumb of government? The latest developments in the story about who was behind the explosions that destroyed the Nord Stream pipelines that brought Russian gas to Europe provide the answer.

Although largely forgotten now, the blasts in the Baltic Sea in September 2022 had huge and lasting repercussions. The explosion was an act both of unprecedented industrial sabotage and of unparalleled environmental terrorism, releasing untold quantities of the most potent of the greenhouse gases, methane, into the atmosphere.

The blowing up of the pipelines plunged Europe into a prolonged energy crisis, tipping its economies deeper into a recession from which they are yet to recover. Europe was forced to turn to the United States and buy much more expensive liquified gas. And one of the long-term effects will be to accelerate the de-industrialisation of Europe, especially Germany.

There can be almost no one in Europe who did not suffer personal financial harm, in most cases significant harm, from the explosions.

The question that needed urgently answering at the time of the blasts was one no media organisation was in a hurry to investigate: Who did it?

In unison, the media simply recited the White House’s extraordinary claim that Russia had sabotaged its own pipelines.

That required an unprecedented suspension of disbelief. It meant that Moscow had chosen to strip itself both of the lucrative income stream the gas pipelines generated, and of the political and diplomatic leverage it enjoyed over European states from its control of their energy supplies. This was at a time, remember, when the Kremlin, embattled in its war in Ukraine, needed all the diplomatic influence it could muster.

The main culprit

The need to breathe credibility into the laughably improbable “Russia did it” story was so urgent at the time because there was was only one other serious culprit in the frame. No media outlet, of course, mentioned it.

The United States had both the motive and the means.

... ' It is why, when it became obvious that the “Russia did it” claim was unsupportable, the media literally jumped ship: credulously reporting that a small group of “maverick” Ukrainians – unknown to President Volodymyr Zelensky, of course – had rented a yacht and carried off one of the most daring and difficult deep-sea stunts ever recorded.

It is why, later, the media treated it as entirely unremarkable – and certainly not worthy of comment – that new evidence suggested the Biden administration was warned of this maverick Ukrainian operation against the whole of Europe. It apparently knew what was about to happen but did precisely nothing to stop it.


And it is why the latest reporting from the Washington Post changes the impossible-to-believe “maverick” Ukrainian operation into one that implicates the very top of the Ukrainian military. Still, once again, the paper and the rest of the media steadfastly refuse to join the dots and follow the implications contained in their own reporting.

The central character in the new drama, Roman Chervinsky, belongs to Ukraine’s special operations forces. He supposedly oversaw the small, six-man team that rented a yacht and then carried out the James Bond-style attack.

The ingenuous Post claims that his training and operational experience meant he was “well suited to help carry out a covert mission meant to obscure Ukraine’s responsibility”. It lists his resistance activities against Russia. None indicate that he had the slightest experience allowing him to mastermind a highly challenging, extremely dangerous, technically complex attack deep in the waters of the Baltic Sea.


The Washington Post’s new story repeats the line that the Biden administration was forewarned of the attack. Now, however, the Post casually reports that, after expressing opposition, “US officials believed the attack had been called off. But it turned out only to have been postponed to three months later, using a different point of departure than originally planned”.

The Washington Post simply accepts the word of US officials that the most powerful country on the planet fell asleep at the wheel. The CIA and the Biden administration apparently knew the Ukrainian military was keen to blow up the Nord Stream pipelines and plunge Europe into an energy crisis and economic recession. But US officials were blindsided when the same small Ukrainian operational team changed locations and timings.

On this account, US intelligence fell for the simplest of bait and switches when the stakes were about as high as could be imagined. And the Washington Post and other media outlets report all of this with a faux-seriousness.


The Elites Think You Are Cannon Fodder | Why do you trust the power elites when they say that your death, along with the deaths of millions, will be 'just,' 'righteous,' and 'necessary'? Why do you believe their stories? by stickdog in WayOfTheBern

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The power elites think you are cannon fodder, in one way or another.

I’ve been reflecting on all those people I see around me advocating for bloody violent conflict from the comfort of their armchairs, TV studio, or bench in Parliament. How can anyone respect these people?

Right or wrong, “just war” or otherwise, at least in medieval times many of the leaders actually put their skin in the game.


They either sincerely (and stupidly) believed their Popes or Gods, or they just really, really wanted some more land and gold. “Might is right!”, especially when you have the “divine right” of a King.

Today, when the power elites want something (usually related to oil or profits for the Military-Industrial Complex), they can just print money (thereby lowering your wealth) and recoup their outlays with war profits from all those juicy 'defence' stocks. Of course, this requires selling a story to the inevitable cannon fodder—flag-draped plebs—and to the foreign—usually brown-faced—'collateral damage.' And the plebs fall for it time and again. Will it be forevermore?

And it's not just the usual career politicians who play this game; the 'intelligentsia' are often worse. Since it's that day of the year again, I found myself reading some of Wilfred Owen's poems, and I was reminded that W.B. Yeats had excluded him from the 'Oxford Book of Modern Verse,' a collection curated by the literary elites. Yeats argued:

'In all the great tragedies, tragedy is a joy to the man who dies... If war is necessary in our time and place, it is best to forget its suffering as we do the discomfort of fever...'

Thus spoke the man whose nationalistic literary revival enabled the fatal Easter Rising. He would have us believe that those who died found it a 'joy' to die, but for some strange reason, he opted out of the actual fighting. He did write a poem about it, which led to his being awarded the Nobel Prize a few years later, and he lived a long and comfortable life among the political and literary power elites. During this time, he advocated for Fascism and Mussolini, even writing marching songs for the Irish Fascists known as the 'Blue Shirts’.


Hillary Clinton Lost Because She's Deeply Unpopular | Seven years later and millions of shitlibs still can't accept it by stickdog in WayOfTheBern

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Matt Yglesias suggests that people still underrate the importance of the 2016 presidential election. It’s hard for me to believe that he really thinks that; not a day goes by in which rich angry liberals fail to blame everyone else but themselves for 2016. But it’s his list of “some of Hillary Clinton’s idiosyncratic handicaps” that supposedly cost her the election that’s really risible - “the emails, the decades-long poor relationship with the non-ideological press, the sense that she should be held responsible for stuff her husband did.”

This is, shall we say, selective. In particular, it leaves out the perhaps-salient fact that Hillary Clinton is and has always been one of the most divisive national politicians in the history of public polling. From the time she arrived on the scene as First Lady, to her run as New York’s junior senator, to her role as Barack Obama’s Secretary of State, to her twerking, gaffe-ing, galactically entitled presidential run, Hillary Clinton has always been profoundly unpopular with broad swaths of the electorate. Her traditional high favorability among Democrats was a secondary benefit to her primary campaign - her biggest strength being the overwhelming attitude among Democrat insiders that it was “her turn” - but could do little to help her in a general election where her lack of favorability among independents doomed her.

None of this was a secret in 2016, not her unpopularity and not the fact that she was being handed the nomination because she was a member of a powerful political dynasty that had immense influence on the Democratic party. The will of the voters was secondary at best. The Morning Consult, from that year:

Clinton Is Seen as Untrustworthy and Corrupt

For voters who have an unfavorable view of Hillary Clinton, their dislike can be boiled down to one word: trust. Almost half (47 percent) of voters who have an unfavorable view of Clinton don’t think she is trustworthy and almost four in 10 voters (39 percent) say she is corrupt….

It’s little surprise that 50 percent of Republicans say she is untrustworthy, but that was also the top reason for 47 percent of independents and 39 percent of Democrats who have an unfavorable view of Clinton. Republicans and independents, at 45 percent and 39 percent, respectively, also believe she is corrupt, compared with 25 percent of Democrats.

A little over one-fifth of voters (21 percent) said Clinton changes her positions when it’s politically convenient. At 26 percent, Democrats were slightly more likely to criticize Clinton for that reason, compared with 23 percent of independents and 18 percent of Republicans.

It’s mystifying, how little the conventional wisdom on 2016 reflects this plain reality - that Hillary Clinton lost because voters don’t like her.

There was ample evidence, during that Democratic primary, to predict that her periodic lack of favor would doom her in the general. Here’s a Gallup graphic that shows her popularity over the course of her career in the national spotlight.


Her favorable-unfavorable numbers were bad, period. You could be forgiven though for looking at such graphics and thinking that she simply was inconsistent over time. The trouble with saying that her popularity is just inconsistent, rather than a clear disadvantage, is that a graph like this is exactly the last thing you want in a candidate running against Donald Trump in 2016, particularly given that she was clearly entering another period of unpopularity right before the election began in earnest. The Democrats enjoyed the benefits of incumbency and eight years of a president who, despite engendering a lot of conservative insanity, was broadly popular and oversaw a slack but steady economic recovery and a return to normalcy after the habitual insanity of the Bush years. Incumbency + no recession + no major wars is a hard bag to fumble, but the Democrats managed to fumble it. The symbol of the Democratic party shouldn’t be a donkey but rather a man tripping over his own dick.


It’s common for people to defend Clinton by saying that her unpopularity is a result of sexism. That is, no doubt, partially true, although she’s also a remarkably clumsy politician. I don’t doubt that sexism has hurt her career in myriad ways. The trouble with that is that it simply doesn’t matter. Elections are what they are’ public sentiment is what it is. If you insist that this was the most important election of our lifetimes, as Yglesias is here, then you have to focus on what is rather than on what ought to be. And the reality was plain: Clinton presented genuinely unique vulnerabilities as a presidential candidate given how many people in the country actively disliked her. For or fair, that was just true.

But we weren’t allowed to point out the clear danger of the moment because the media decided early in the cycle that any questions about Clinton’s electability were simply a stalking horse for misogyny. The party and its loyalists insisted that it was sexist to call a spade a spade and acknowledge that Clinton had severe vulnerabilities in basic public sentiment; here’s a version from the NYT. Under the conditions of 2016, with the incumbency advantages and Trump’s unique issues, you would have wanted to elect someone who simply didn’t have the level of negative baggage that Clinton did, someone who the country generally saw as inoffensive. Yglesias nominates Martin O’Malley, but of course Bernie Sanders fit the bill as well. Sanders beat Trump in poll after poll, and cleaned up with independents, which would seem to be important in a presidential election. Clinton apparatchiks have always scoffed at those polls, asserting without evidence that Republican oppo would have sunk him without caring much that Republican oppo was already sinking Hillary.

Bernie, of course, also would have energized the youth like no other, setting up the Democrats for durable gains down the road with that demographic.


Italian Study: During the omicron period (from 1/1/2022 to 2/5/2023 when this study ended), those with 2 vaccine doses were 3.4 times MORE likely than the unvaccinated to test positive for COVID. And those with 3 or 4 vaccine doses were 1.51 times MORE likely to test positive for COVID! by stickdog in WayOfTheBern

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Well, I was disposed to get it myself.

All I wanted was a shred of data that showed that the overall health outcomes of vaccinated populations were actually better than the overall health outcomes of demographically comparable unvaccinated populations. Yet every time I asked medical professionals and vaccines advocates for these data, I got "just trust us, it's totally beneficial" crickets.

After a year or so of being on the fence about this, I started to figure out why no such data was forthcoming.

RFK Jr. And His Position on Israel & College Free Speech | Is he standing by his principles on these issues? (Hint: No!) by stickdog in WayOfTheBern

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Pretty much.

And this boggles my mind because he had seemed like at least a reasonable person on every other issue. I mean, not perfect on many issues, but at least reasonable. I just don't get why he decided to stake out the furthest corner of extreme Zionism instead of just sticking to the garden variety insane Zionism of every other federally elected official save the one all the others censured.

RFK Jr. And His Position on Israel & College Free Speech | Is he standing by his principles on these issues? (Hint: No!) by stickdog in WayOfTheBern

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I agree.

However, his candidacy at least seems viable, and I like him more than I like Trump or Biden.

Yes, faint praise indeed.

But he needs to at least champion the principle of free speech over his bizarre, extreme, and unfailing worship of Zionism to retain any support from me.

Cryptocracy | Dispersed power is hidden power, hidden power is unaccountable power, unaccountable power is illegitimate power, and illegitimate power does not deserve your compliance. by stickdog in WayOfTheBern

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Who, if anyone, or what, if anything, is in charge?

In many ways this is the question of the age, inspiring passionate debates across the ideological spectrum, with divergent answers springing not just from left and right but from every boutique micro-ideology howling within humanity’s splintered mind. Dissident rightists talk about elite theory and the Cathedral, an emergent managerial structure sprawling across the institutions that coordinates itself with power-seeking talking points the way ant colonies use pheromones to swarm towards food supplies. Libertarians ascribe malign incompetence to the state and its lumbering bureaucracies, and to the central banks and their fraudulent fiat currencies. Accelerationists point to the blind idiot god of technocapital. Wignats talk about The Jews. Conspiracy analysts finger the World Economic Forum, the bankers, the intelligence agencies, the reptoids. Christians speak of the Devil, gnostics of archons. The Woke rant about the invisible witchcraft of systemic racism, white privilege, cisheteronormativity, misogyny, and every once in a while, recall their origins with Marx and remember to blame capitalism.

What all of these have in common is that they remove the source of agency in public affairs from the visible to the invisible. It is not the politicians that we can see who coordinate the world and provide impetus to policy changes, but hidden puppet masters – human or systemic – who manipulate them from off-stage. If there is a single, unifying theme around which most of the current year’s human species can coalesce across all ideological divides, it is this: the true power is hidden.

This state of ignorance encourages an uneasy sense of paranoia. We’re like travellers in a dark forest, unable to see more than a few feet into the shadows beyond a path we aren’t even sure we didn’t wander off some time ago. Every cracking branch in the undergrowth, every rustle in the leaves, every animal cry causes us to startle. It could be nothing. It’s probably nothing. But it could be a wolf. Or a bear. Or some eyeless monster from our childhood nightmares. It probably isn’t. It’s probably just a racoon. But you can’t see what it is, and your imagination fills in the details.

None of which is to say there aren’t monsters out there.

Secrecy in public affairs puts people on edge. You cannot trust what you cannot verify, and you cannot verify what you cannot see. There’s a reason that the archetype of the oily vizier whispering honeyed manipulations in a credulous king’s ear is universally reviled. Whether the king is a good king or a bad king, if he’s really the king, at least you know who’s in charge; you know the rules he follows; you know the customs that bind him, the ambitions that drive him, the personality that animates him. There’s a certain trustworthiness to that. The power that hides itself behind the throne is power that cannot be trusted.

Maybe the vizier is in truth a good vizier, giving the king sage advice, motivated only by his love of the kingdom and his desire for the general happiness and prosperity. But maybe he isn’t. Maybe he’s a serpentine traitor with a gnawing, insatiable hunger for power and wealth at the sadistic core of the sucking black singularity he has in place of a heart. The point is that, so long as he lurks in the shadows, you can’t really know, and your imagination will fill that null space of unknowing with your fears.

In the managerial state, power is deliberately opaque. We face not a single untrustworthy vizier, but armies of them, faceless bureaucrats and nondescript functionaries who camouflage themselves within the dense undergrowth of corporate org charts. Corner one of them over a decision you dislike, and they throw their hands up and say, it wasn’t me, I’m just following policy, or best practices, or mandates, or The Science, or whatever. Try to trace the origin of the policy, and you find yourself in a bewildering web of think tanks, policy institutes, committees, and so forth, none of which is willing to take direct responsibility for the policy. Every once in a while you might manage to find a unique origin point, and almost invariably you find that it started as a simple suggestion, from some nobody with no particular power or influence, who simply put an idea out there which then took on a life of its own.

The lockdowns are a case in point. The idea seems to have originated with a middle school science fair project in which a tween ran a toy model on her computer that showed that if people were locked in their homes viral outbreaks could be prevented, an idea which is obviously true and equally obviously impossible in practice, and ruinous in direct proportion to whatever degree it is put into practice. Early in 2020 it was popularized by some blogger whose name I can’t recall, who wrote something on Medium about dancing hammers which struck panicked midwits as very clever. Then it got picked up by the managerial network organism, turned into policy, and the world was broken.

The lockdowns are an extreme example, but really our entire system works like this. Take building codes. Wherever you live, there is a building code. It specifies in exact detail the best practices for every aspect of construction, and unless you follow it to the letter you will not be permitted to proceed with whatever project you have in mind, whether it’s erecting an apartment block or putting an extension on your deck. Where did the building code come from? It wasn’t the building inspector: he’s just enforcing it. It wasn’t the mayor or the members of the town council: they wouldn’t know where to start. No, the building code emerged from some local bureaucracy, staffed by experts, who put together its elements on the basis of things that other experts said were good things to do. You don’t know their faces or their names. You will almost never track down the specific person who put a specific requirement into the building code. It was probably decided upon in a closed committee meeting, and no one on the committee will admit direct responsibility. Indeed, the committee itself will not take direct responsibility: they were just following the best practices of other committees, modifying other building codes, in other municipalities. If you happen to disagree with some element of the building code – finding it overly restrictive, too cautious, too expensive for whatever marginal improvement in structural stability or energy efficiency it is intended to enforce – you have no way of changing it. The people on the committee weren’t voted into their positions. They don’t have to listen to the public, and therefore they don’t. Meanwhile, within their sphere of responsibility they have absolute power to enforce their diktats. Maybe you can reason with them when exceptions to the building code arise, and maybe you can’t; that’s up to them, and not to you.


RFK Jr. And His Position on Israel & College Free Speech | Is he standing by his principles on these issues? (Hint: No!) by stickdog in WayOfTheBern

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Two Key Issues After RFK Jr. took a strong position supporting Israel’s war with Palestine, it seemed to many that it flew in the face of his position on peace and war.

As a result, many revoked their support for him, and his campaign manager Dennis Kucinich quit.

We can’t say for sure why Kucinich quit, but his position on Israel has been quite clear. He points out the ‘nothingness’ of war consciousness, and how we can’t expect anything good from taking this kind of stance. He, like many others including myself, suggests taking a new approach, one built on peace and healing, not more destruction.

I recommend checking out Kucinich’s statement below. He is standing by a principle here.


The question might be, why is RFK Jr. not standing by his stated principle of peace and healing the divide? This is a question that many people need to push him to meaningfully answer.

The only thing I’ve been able to find that summarizes a number of points on why he supports Israel in what they are currently doing is the video linked here.

He essentially explains that Hamas is a big problem, wants to eliminate Israel and Jews, and needs to be stopped. And that other countries would be responding the same way if what happened on Oct. 7th happened to them.

But in 2023, is there not a better way to deal with Hamas? Palestinian people and their actions are not Hamas, yet they are paying the price. At the same time, it is clear Israel is not simply targeting Hamas.

Why does indiscriminately killing tens of thousands of Palestinians become the answer in dealing with Hamas? Humanity is being lost here.

Either people who believe another way is possible are naive, or we simply don’t have leadership willing to explore the option.

Netanyahu is taking the actions of a war criminal. RFK Jr. would call out former US presidents who’ve done the same, yet he is giving Netanyahu a pass here.

Another major issue RFK Jr. has gotten wrapped up in is his support of billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman’s open letter to the president of Harvard calling for consequences for students who are harsh on Israel and clashing with Jewish students at the school.


Italian Study: During the omicron period (from 1/1/2022 to 2/5/2023 when this study ended), those with 2 vaccine doses were 3.4 times MORE likely than the unvaccinated to test positive for COVID. And those with 3 or 4 vaccine doses were 1.51 times MORE likely to test positive for COVID! by stickdog in WayOfTheBern

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The Money Chart

These data show that during the omicron period (from January 1 2022 to February 5th of 2023, which is when the data from this study end), those with 2 doses of vaccine were 3.4 times MORE likely than the unvaccinated to test positive for COVID. And those with 3 or 4 doses of the vaccine were 1.51 times MORE likely to test positive for COVID.

These data also show that during the omicron period (from January 1 2022 to February 5th of 2023, which is when the data from this study end), those with 2 doses of vaccine were 1.36 times MORE likely to die of any cause than were the unvaccinated. And those with 3 or 4 doses of the vaccine were 1.35 times MORE likely to die of any cause than were the unvaccinated.

Note that the supposed 0.70 Cox proportional hazard model reduction in all-cause death for those who received 3 to 4 injections was achieved only by adjusting for COVID infection status, thus penalizing the unvaccinated cohort for NOT getting COVID nearly as much as the vaccinated cohorts did!!!

Italian Study: During the omicron period (from 1/1/2022 to 2/5/2023 when this study ended), those with 2 vaccine doses were 3.4 times MORE likely than the unvaccinated to test positive COVID. And those with 3 or 4 vaccine doses were 1.51 times MORE likely to test positive for COVID! by [deleted] in WayOfTheBern

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The Money Chart

These data show that during the omicron period (from January 1 2022 to February 5th of 2023, which is when the data from this study end), those with 2 doses of vaccine were 3.4 times more likely than the unvaccinated to test positive COVID. And those with 3 or 4 doses of the vaccine were 1.51 times more likely to test positive for COVID.

These data also show that during the omicron period (from January 1 2022 to February 5th of 2023, which is when the data from this study end), those with 2 doses of vaccine were 1.36 times more likely to die of any cause than were the unvaccinated. And those with 3 or 4 doses of the vaccine were 1.35 times more likely to die of any cause than were the unvaccinated.

Note that the supposed 0.70 Cox proportional hazard model reduction in all-cause death for those who received 3 to 4 injections was only achieved by adjusting for COVID infection status, thus penalizing the unvaccinated cohort for NOT getting COVID nearly as much as the vaccinated cohorts did!!!

Calls for Biden to Withdraw Assange Extradition Gains Bipartisan Support | 16 Democratic and Republican members of Congress call for president Biden to withdraw US extradition request against WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange by stickdog in WayOfTheBern

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Last week a cadre of lawmakers were able to see through their unyielding contempt for one another long enough to sign a letter calling on Joe Biden to withdraw the U.S. extradition request against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. It’s a rare occurrence when hyper-partisan politicians find a common cause and work together to do what’s right, but apparently, it can still happen.

Never before have we seen the likes of Alexandria Occasio Cortez and Marjorie Taylor Greene working towards the same goal, one that an overwhelming majority of Americans support. The two are among the sixteen members of the US Congress who have personally written to President Joe Biden, pleading with the US to immediately halt any legal action against Assange and to abandon its efforts at extradition.

Assange continues to resist an American effort to extradite him for prosecution under the Espionage Act, from Belmarsh prison in London. The allegations pertain to the dissemination of diplomatic dispatches and hundreds of thousands of leaked documents concerning the Afghanistan and Iraq wars during the years 2010 and 2011, among many other things.

These 16 members of Congress argue that prosecuting Assange would set a dangerous precedent for press freedom and could have chilling effects on investigative journalism worldwide. In the letter, they emphasize the importance of protecting whistleblowers and the public's right to access information in the interest of transparency and accountability.


UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT -- The Economic Costs of the Israeli Occupation for the Palestinian People: The Unrealized Oil and Natural Gas Potential by stickdog in WayOfTheBern

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Executive summary

Geologists and natural resources economists have confirmed that the Occupied Palestinian Territory lies above sizeable reservoirs of oil and natural gas wealth, in Area C of the occupied West Bank and the Mediterranean coast off the Gaza Strip. However, occupation continues to prevent Palestinians from developing their energy fields so as to exploit and benefit from such assets. As such, the Palestinian people have been denied the benefits of using this natural resource to finance socioeconomic development and meet their need for energy. The accumulated losses are estimated in the billions of dollars. The longer Israel prevents Palestinians from exploiting their own oil and natural gas reserves, the greater the opportunity costs and the greater the total costs of the occupation borne by Palestinians become.

This study identifies and assesses existing and potential Palestinian oil and natural gas reserves that could be exploited for the benefit of the Palestinian people, which Israel is either preventing them from exploiting or is exploiting without due regard for international law.

Identifying and quantifying the economic loss to the Palestinian people of being denied their natural right to develop and exploit their natural resources extends beyond oil and natural gas resources. The focus of this study, however, is confined to these two resources, in the light of their high value and their critical importance in potentially meeting basic Palestinian needs for energy and export revenues. Also critical are the new oil and natural gas finds in the Eastern Mediterranean that Israel has begun to exploit for its own benefit, while these resources may be considered shared resources, whereby the oil and natural gas exist in common pools. The use of and benefits from these resources should be governed by the same rules and norms that apply to other common resources.

The disputes and tensions involving oil and natural gas cannot be separated from the political context that surrounds them, and the fact that the period when the natural gas discoveries were made coincided with a number of important political developments in the region. The political context intersects at many crucial junctures with the oil and natural gas resource developments and thus complicates an already complex political situation. Ignoring these complexities can only rob= the analysis of many crucial determinants.

Several defining characteristics of oil and natural gas separate them from other natural resources. First, they do not follow political borders and can therefore coexist with and straddle multiple national borders. Second, they take several millions of years to accumulate underground, such that the current generations of owners are not necessarily either the only or the legitimate owners. Third, they can be stored at zero cost for decades, centuries and even millenniums. Typically, their economically optimal exploitation depends, in part, on whether the interest rate exceeds the expected price increase. Fourth, they may be part of the global commons, where efficiency and equity considerations require their unitization and common exploitation. Fifth, they are nonrenewable resources, any exploitation of which at any time reduces what is available for future generations.

The new discoveries of oil and natural gas in the Levant Basin, amounting to 122 trillion cubic feet of natural gas at a net value of $453 billion (in 2017 prices) and 1.7 billion barrels of recoverable oil at a net value of about $71 billion, offer an opportunity to distribute and share a total of about $524 billion among the different parties, in addition to the many intangible but substantive advantages of energy security and cooperation among long-time belligerents. They can also potentially be a source of additional conflict and violence if individual parties exploit these resources without due regard for the fair share of others. What could be a source of wealth and opportunities could prove disastrous if this common resource is exploited individually and exclusively, without due regard for international law and norms.

Several schemes of alternative property sharing methods are identified in this study, anchored in the historical property rights of the parties and recent agreements. The utility of these identified shares is that they are grounded in history and mutual agreement. These shares could serve as background for a negotiation framework.

The exploitation of Palestinian natural resources, including oil and natural gas, by the occupying Power imposes on the Palestinian people enormous costs that continue to escalate as the occupation remains in effect. This is not only contrary to international law, but also in violation of natural justice and moral law. To date, the real and opportunity costs of the occupation exclusively in the area of oil and natural gas have accumulated to tens, if not hundreds, of billions of dollars.

This study concludes by emphasizing the need for further detailed economic, historical and legal research, guided by international law, to ascertain property rights related to oil and natural gas resources. It therefore recommends detailed studies to clearly establish the Palestinian people’s right to their separate natural resources, as well as their rightful share in the common resources collectively owned by several neighbouring States in the region, including Israel.

Caitlin Johnstone: Israelis Keep Hurting Their Own PR Interests By Talking | "One problem Israel keeps running into is how the institutionalized dehumanization of Palestinians that keeps the apartheid state operational also causes Israelis to say things that non-Israelis find extremely shocking." by stickdog in WayOfTheBern

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We saw this illustrated in a recent New Yorker interview with Daniella Weiss, a leader of the push to build illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian land. Weiss stated frankly and unapologetically that she supports apartheid, that she doesn’t believe Palestinians should have any sovereignty anywhere, that she doesn’t believe Palestinians should have voting rights, that she wants the population of Gaza to be replaced by Israeli settlements, and that she is untroubled by the killing of children in Gaza because she feels it’s being done in the interests of Israeli children.

Asked where the Palestinians in Gaza should go, Weiss replied, “To Sinai, to Egypt, to Turkey.” When the interviewer said the Palestinians are not Egyptian or Turkish, she contended that “The Ukrainians are not French, but when the war started they went to many countries.”

To the question “When you see Palestinian children dying, what’s your emotional reaction as a human being?”, Weiss answered, “I go by a very basic human law of nature. My children are prior to the children of the enemy, period. They are first. My children are first.”

Asked if she believes human rights are not universal and should not apply equally to everyone, Weiss replied “That’s right.”

But perhaps the most revealing statement Weiss made was her entirely truthful explanation of what drives the Israeli push to colonize Palestinian land:

“In Israel, there’s a lot of support for settlements, and this is why there have been right-wing governments for so many years. The world, especially the United States, thinks there is an option for a Palestinian state, and, if we continue to build communities, then we block the option for a Palestinian state. We want to close the option for a Palestinian state, and the world wants to leave the option open. It’s a very simple thing to understand.”

That one paragraph right there will teach you more about the present-day realities of the Israel-Palestine conflict than an entire year of watching CNN. It’s horrid, and it’s jarring to hear it spoken out loud in a favorable way… but it’s true.


All of a Sudden RFK Jr. Is Totally on Board With Censorship — And Admits He Flew on Epstein’s ‘Lolita Express’ | "Recent events have shone a brighter light on the unsettling extent to which RFK Jr. is willing to compromise his professed core values for the sake of the Israeli political project." by stickdog in WayOfTheBern

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I didn’t want to have to write this article.

The older I get, the truer the adage “if you live long enough, your heroes always disappoint you” becomes.

RFK Jr., to be clear, was never a hero of mine — I don’t have many of those and very few are politicians — but he was a rare one whom I respected.

Talking to a friend of mine a few months back, when RFK Jr. was still running as a Democrat, about the value of his dissident candidacy, he broached the topic of RFK Jr.’s peculiar statements of unconditional political support for Israel, as if he were running for Prime Minister of a Middle Eastern ethnostate rather than the United States of America. What was always most peculiar about his sycophantic position on Israel was its stark juxtaposition against his otherwise non-interventionist foreign policy.

My answer at the time was to shrug my shoulders: “It’s not a dealbreaker to me.” To me, his stance on draining the administrative state of its pernicious influences was much more important. We had bigger fish to fry, in my view, so I was willing to overlook his bizarre devotion to Israel.

But recent events have shone a brighter light on the unsettling extent to which RFK Jr. is willing to compromise his professed core values for the sake of the Israeli political project.

Some un-American censorious hack billionaire hedge fund manager called Bill Ackman recently wrote an open letter to the president of Harvard demanding censorship of speech on campus because it hurt his fee-fees and his little menopausal pussy was all itchy for some speech suppression relief:

“I am writing this letter to you regretfully. Never did I think I would have to write a letter to the president of my alma mater about the impact of her actions and inactions on the health and safety of its student body in order to help catalyze necessary change. For the past four weeks since the horrors of October 7th, I have been in dialogue with members of the corporation board, other alumni, as well as students and faculty sharing and comparing our concerns about the growing number of antisemitic incidents on campus, as we wait for you and the University to act. Four weeks after the barbaric terrorist acts of October 7th, I have lost confidence that you and the University will do what is required…

Slack message boards are replete with antisemitic statements, memes, and images. On-campus protesters on the Widener Library steps and elsewhere shout “Intifada! Intifada! Intifada! From the River to the Sea, Palestine Shall Be Free!” as they knowingly call for violent insurrection and use eliminationist language seeking the destruction of the State of Israel and the Jewish people.”

So, let’s be very clear: this petty tyrant is not complaining merely about physical assaults or threats of violence against Jewish students, which is already clearly illegal. Rather, his demand — with the threat being that no more of his filthy banker money will be funneled to Harvard if it’s not met — is that speech on applications like Slack policed by Harvard administrators under the guise of fighting “hate speech.”

You can read the whole screed if you like. It’s full of vague references to “antisemitic” “hate speech” and similar bullshit, amorphous terms like that with the widest possible interpretation so as to maximize the justification for silencing speech.

“It’s time to hold college administrations responsible for the epidemic of campus antisemitism by insisting on zero-tolerance policies.,” RFK Jr. wrote in reply, endorsing the banker’s call to censorship.

“Zero tolerance policies” for unapproved speech — the RFK position on speech.

This is really sick stuff — rank un-American trash of intolerable scale.

Of course, it’s ironic that RFK Jr. is so willing to go to bat against free speech on behalf of the state of Israel to quash “antisemitism” given that he himself has been the target of cynical weaponized accusations of the same by Social Justice™ retards based on the concurrent appearance of the numbers 14 and 88 in a Tweet.

I’ve tolerated a lot of questionable stances from RFK Jr., and have until now been willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. But this is a bridge too far.


Mark Nestmann: The War On Cash, Past And Future | Keynes, FDR, Nixon ... they all hated cash by stickdog in WayOfTheBern

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Of course, your friendly central banker will never tell you it wants to abolish cash so that you have no alternative but to keep all your money in CBDC. In either case, your deposits can be confiscated, bailed in, frozen, deemed expired, or geographically restricted at the click of a mouse. Instead, the motivations are made to sound loftier – to “fight crime” and “facilitate tax compliance.”

The situation in the EU, United Kingdom, and Australia appears dismal for those who want to hold cash “just in case.” But for Americans, the news isn’t all bad. When the Fed introduced FedNow, its precursor to a CBDC, earlier this year, there was a huge outcry against it. Presidential candidate Ron DeSantis went as far as proclaiming, “cash is independence” and that he would abolish FedNow on the first day of his administration.

We’ve long advocated that one of the first things you should do to prepare yourself for a financial crisis in which bank deposits are bailed in or ATMs stop working is to store cash securely in your home. Keep it in a fire-resistant safe, where it’s protected from intruders.

Today wouldn’t be too soon to begin.