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Thu, 28 Oct 2021
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The decay of science in the age of lockdowns

globes
© shutterstock
Science is about rational disagreement, the questioning and testing of orthodoxy and the constant search for truth. With something like lockdown - an untested policy that affects millions - rigorous debate and the basics of verification/falsification are more important than ever. Academics backing lockdown (or any major theory) ought to welcome challenges, knowing - as scientists do - that robust challenge is the way to identify error, improve policy and save lives.

But with lockdown, science is in danger of being suppressed by politics. Lockdown moved instantly from untested theory to unchallengeable orthodoxy: where dissenters face personal attack. Understandable on social media perhaps, but it has now crept into the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in a recent article about the Great Barrington Declaration (GBD).

The GBD, which I wrote, together with Dr. Jay Bhattacharya at Stanford and Dr. Sunetra Gupta at Oxford, argues for focused protection. Rather than a blanket lockdown which inflicts so much harm on society, we wanted better protection of those most at risk - mindful that Covid typically poses only a mild risk to the young. For saying so, we are smeared as 'the new merchants of doubt' - as if scepticism and challenge is regarded by the BMJ as something to be condemned.

The error-strewn attacks in BMJ demonstrate what awaits academics who do challenge prevailing views.

Arrow Up

Biden administration said it left 100 Americans in Afghanistan, now admit it is far more

Psaki
© Getty Images
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki
The Biden administration is in touch with nearly 400 Americans who are stranded in Afghanistan, a figure that far exceeds the administration's claims that about 100 Americans were left in the nation following the United States' hurried exit from Kabul, according to a senior congressional source who was briefed Thursday by the State Department.

With Afghanistan in the administration's rear-view mirror, U.S. officials are providing exact figures on the number of Americans who are still stranded and want to leave — although they are doing so in private, off-the-record forums according to two senior congressional aides, who relayed the contents of the non-public call to the Washington Free Beacon.

The United States is in touch with 363 Americans who are stuck in war-torn Afghanistan and around 176 U.S. permanent residents who are asking to be evacuated immediately, Biden administration officials said on the call with congressional staff, according to the source, who requested anonymity to discuss non-public information. These figures demonstrate that senior Biden administration officials routinely misrepresented the number of stranded Americans to the public and Congress for nearly two months.

Arrow Down

US officials walk back Biden's remarks on Taiwan, say 'strategic ambiguity' policy has not changed

Psaki
© Youtube/creenshot/White House
White House Press Sec. Jen Psaki
US officials scrambled on Friday to clarify that Washington's policy toward Taiwan had not changed, after an apparent gaffe by US President Joe Biden Thursday night when he said on CNN that the United States would come to the island's defence in the event of an attack by China.

"There is no change in our policy," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said at a briefing, as she fielded numerous questions about whether Biden's comments signaled an end to Washington's long-held position of "strategic ambiguity".

Asked by CNN's Anderson Cooper whether the US would come to Taiwan's defence if mainland forces attacked, Biden said: "Yes, we have a commitment to do that."

The US does not maintain official diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but is required by the Taiwan Relations Act to support the self-governed island's efforts to defend itself, including through arms sales. China regards Taiwan as a renegade province, destined for eventual reunification with the mainland, by force if necessary.

The Taiwan Relations Act does not, however, include a commitment to intervene militarily if China seeks to annex Taiwan by force. The US has for decades followed a policy of "strategic ambiguity", in which it does not indicate whether it would take military action in Taiwan's defence.


Arrow Down

Putin slams restrictions against RT DE as an attack on 'freedom of speech' but warns against any counterproductive retaliation

Putin
© Sputnik/Maksim Blinov/Kremlin/Reuters/RT DE Logo
Russian President Vladimir Putin • Valdai Discussion Club in Sochi, Russia, October 21, 2021
The removal of two YouTube channels of RT's German language service (RT DE), once described by its editor-in-chief as a "declaration of media war against Russia," is an infringement on freedom of speech, Vladimir Putin has said.

Speaking on Thursday to gathered experts and journalists at the Valdai Discussion Club in Sochi, the Russian president noted that RT DE has been prevented from working in Germany in numerous ways, but warned against any retaliation that could cause more issues.

"As far as a response is concerned, we have to be careful," Putin said, calling the restrictions against RT DE a "mistake," but appearing to suggest that it could be worked out and rejecting the idea of an immediate response.

"Reciprocal measures should not be counterproductive," he said.

In September, RT DE's main YouTube channel, as well as another channel of the service called Der Fehlende Part (DFP), were deleted after the social media giant accused them of trying to circumvent community guidelines.

Comment: Again 'coronavirus misinformation' is the control lever to eliminate news outlets offering alternates to MSM messaging.


Arrow Down

WH tries to spin as Biden loses more support than anyone in office since WWII

Biden
© AP/Evan Vucci
US President Joe Biden
It's always something to see the White House spin on any given topic — it so deviates from the truth and reality, sometimes stunningly so, with what they would have you believe or accept. But they have a lot to try to argue away with the recent job approval polls on Joe Biden.

It's not just one poll, but he's been cratering now since August in all kinds of polls, across all groupings and categories of concerns. The latest Gallup poll has him with the biggest drop in approval of any one in the office since World War II. In that poll, his approval ratings in his first nine months have nosedived by 11 percent, as independents throw him over and just 42 percent of Americans think he's doing a good job.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki had a truly novel take on why Joe Biden's approval ratings are so incredibly low, and it shows what disdain the White House has for the opinion of the American people.


Padlock

Russian Lockdown Lite: Moscow mayor decrees another two weeks of 'non-working days' to 'lower Covid infection rates'

medics special suits
© Alexander Zemilianichenko/AP
Medics with special suits in Moscow City Clinical Hospital No. 52
"You deal with your lockdowns first, then we can shake hands."

Those were the words with which Valentina Matviyenko, speaker of Russia's upper house of parliament, greeted a group of European delegates last June at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, an event hailed as a grand ceremony to signal Russia's emergence from the pandemic. Four months later, infections and deaths from COVID-19 have skyrocketed in Russia amid intractable vaccine hesitancy and pandemic fatigue, and various stay-at-home measures have been introduced across the country to curb the rapid spread of the virus.

And on October 21, Moscow announced it was imposing the kind of lockdown that Matviyenko, and many other Russian officials, had publicly ridiculed.

The announcement by Mayor Sergei Sobyanin -- who avoided the word "lockdown" but ordered so-called "nonworking days" and the closure of most indoor public spaces between October 28 and November 7 -- came the same day authorities reported a record 36,339 new coronavirus cases throughout Russia and 1,036 deaths from the illness in the previous 24 hours.

Sobyanin wrote in a message posted to his website:
"The situation in Moscow is developing according to the worst-case scenario. In coming days we will reach historical peaks in terms of COVID infection."Calling a paid holiday "the most effective way to lower the infection and fatality rates from COVID. Spend more time breathing fresh air in the park, among other things."
Previous experiments with "nonworking days" show that Russians sometimes take such advice quite literally. In March 2020, a weeklong holiday aimed at curbing community transmission prompted hundreds to flood Sochi and other Black Sea resort towns and gather at parks to grill kebabs and enjoy time off work.


Comment: That journalist is confused: lockdowns and mandatory vaccinations and medical apartheid have resulted in an EXPLOSION of hospitalizations in those countries most ardently applying such.

The Russian government isn't worried about overloaded hospitals because it knows that such doesn't happen UNLESS you go full-Covid with medical apartheid.

Putin et al are apparently trying to balance appeasement of whatever forces 'up there' are demanding Full-Spectrum Covid against not triggering mass popular unrest.


Putin

Putin Warns Wokeness is Destroying West: "It Happened in Russia 100 Years Ago, it's Evil, and it Destroys Values"

putin valdai
Russian President Vladimir Putin slammed during a speech on Thursday the far-left woke ideology that he said is causing societal ills throughout the Western world, saying that it is no different than what happened in Russia during the 1917 revolution.

Putin made the remarks during a plenary session of the 18th annual meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi where the topic was "Global Shake-up in the 21st Century." Putin's remarks were translated by an interpreter and that video was uploaded to the Russian government's website.

"We see with bemusement the paralysis unfolding in countries that have grown accustomed to viewing themselves as the flagships of progress," Putin said during an event where he spoke for a few hours. "Of course, it's none of our business what is happening - the social and cultural shocks that are happening in some Western countries. Some believe that aggressive blotting out of whole pages of your own history, the affirmative action in the interest of minorities, and the requirement to renounce the traditional interpretation of such basic values as mother, father, family, and the distinction between sexes are a milestone ... a renewal of society."

Putin said that Western nations had a right to do whatever they wanted to do but that "the overwhelming majority of Russian society" rejected these new ways of thinking.

Comment: Putin is right.

See also:


Yoda

Trump to form own media company, social platform to counter censorship

Trump new media company social media

Former President Donald Trump announced the formation of 'TRUTH Social' social media platform on October 20, 2021
Former President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he is launching a new media company — complete with a social media platform that will begin rolling out in November.

Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG) said in a statement that its mission was to "create a rival to the liberal media consortium and fight back against the 'Big Tech' companies of Silicon Valley, which have used their unilateral power to silence opposing voices in America."

The new company's first project is its social network, dubbed TRUTH Social, which is set to launch in beta for "invited guests" next month and come online nationwide in the first three months of 2022. A web page inviting people to sign up to be part of the beta launch describes TRUTH Social as "America's 'Big Tent' social media platform that encourages an open, free, and honest global conversation without discriminating against political ideology."

Star of David

Uptick in Israeli illegal settler attacks serves Bennett government policy: Terrorize Palestinians and steal more land

israel settler gun soldier
© B’Tselem/screenshot
B’Tselem image from May 14, 2021 of a masked settler wearing military trousers invading the Palestinian village of ‘Urif in the occupied West Bank and firing on Palestinians as an Israeli soldier watches.
There are more than two settler attacks on Palestinians a day this year on average. According to two Israeli human rights experts, the violent settlers are working with the cooperation of the army and the Israeli government.

Settler violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank is rising rapidly this year, with more than 2 attacks a day on average, per the Israeli military- a far greater rate than a year ago.

According to two Israeli human rights experts, the violent settlers are working with the cooperation of the army and the Israeli government to take over more and more land for Jewish settlement under a policy of pushing Palestinians out of Area C. Just what Naftali Bennett said he wanted.

"Settler violence is a tool for achieving political aims. It's a tool that serves the government, serves the government policy of taking over land, and therefore it is flourishing; therefore it is successful," says Lior Amihai, executive director of the human rights group Yesh Din.

Comment:


Apple Green

Sinister Rockefeller food system agenda - They created it, and now want to destroy it

agriculture
No one group has done more to damage our global agriculture and food quality than the Rockefeller Foundation. They began in the early 1950s after the War to fund two Harvard Business School professors to develop vertical integration, which they named "Agribusiness." The farmer became the least important. They then created the fraudulent Green Revolution in Mexico and India in the 1960s and later the pro-GMO Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa - since 2006. Money from the Rockefeller Foundation literally created the disastrous GMO genetically-altered plants with their toxic glyphosate pesticides. Now, again, the foundation is engaged in a major policy change in global food and agriculture - and it's not good.

In their latest report, True Cost of Food: Measuring What Matters to Transform the U.S. Food System, the Rockefeller Foundation is deeply engaged in a coordinated effort to radically change the way we produce food and how we calculate its true cost. They claim it is part of a global consensus, through the UN, to create "sustainable" agriculture amid the ongoing Covid breakdown crisis. Far from being a positive change, it is intended to radically change our access to healthy food and our choice of what we eat. The foundation, which has just released the second food report in two years, is partnering with the Davos World Economic Forum and big agribusiness to lead the drive. Their new slogan is "True Cost of Food."

Comment: It's certainly one aspect of the conspiracy. Ultimately though, much of these grand designs are just PR masking the fact that food shortages have already kicked in due to crop failures and mass die-offs of cattle. They WANT you to believe they're fully in control, but actually their control is slipping away. Hence the recent surge in draconian measures to 'lock people in' to the elites' deadly embrace...