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Mon, 25 Jan 2021
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Alexei Navalny & Russia baiting: Biden brings back business as usual

Navalny
Joe Biden enters the White House with an entourage of faces very familiar to OffGuardian, and many of those readers who have been with us since the beginning.

Glassy-eyed Jen Psaki is once again taking the White House press briefings. Victoria "Fuck the EU" Nuland is going to be secretary of state, and Samantha Power is hoisted back onto a platform from which she can berate the rest of the world for not following America's "moral example" by bombing Syria back to the stone age.

It was the machinations of these people - along with Biden as VP, John Kerry as Secretary of State and of course Barack Obama leading the charge - that lead to the coup in Ukraine, the war in Donbass and - indirectly - the creation of this website. For it was our comments on the Guardian telling this truth that got everyone here banned, multiple times.

So, for us, pointing out cold-war style propaganda is like slipping back into a comfy pair of shoes.

Bizarro Earth

A lack of expertise, funds, and inaction undermined the CDC's handling of the coronavirus

CDC HQ
© REUTERS/Tami Chappell/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: A general view of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia September 30, 2014.
In early February, 57 people arrived at a Nebraska military base, among the first Americans evacuated from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the new coronavirus outbreak. U.S. health officials knew very little then about the mysterious new virus, and the quarantined group offered an early opportunity to size up the threat.

The federal government sought help from a team at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, including Dr. James Lawler, an experienced infectious disease specialist. Lawler told Reuters he immediately asked the world-renowned U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for permission to test the quarantined group, deeming it crucial to know whether people without symptoms were infected and could spread the deadly pathogen.

Agency officials worried that detained people couldn't give proper consent because they might feel coerced into testing. "CDC does not approve this study," an official at the quarantine site wrote to Lawler in a Feb. 8 email obtained by Reuters. "Please discontinue all contact with the travelers for research purposes."

Comment: Regardless of the CDC's actions, the coronavirus had already begun to make its way around the planet much earlier: Chinese Govt: 'Covid-19 began as multiple separate outbreaks globally, we were just the first to report'

See also: Compelling Evidence That SARS-CoV-2 Was Man-Made

And check out SOTT radio's:


Stop

Facebook bans UK Socialist Workers Party as dozens of activists removed from platform

Britain Socialist Workers Party SWP censored Facebook
© Alex Pantling/Getty Images
Britain’s Socialist Workers Party (SWP) was censored from Facebook
A socialist group has been left furious after its official account was banned on Facebook and dozens of activists were removed without giving "a reason".

Facebook Messenger: Users across UK report issues with app

The social media giant recently announced it was cracking down on accounts that violated its policies against posting content relating to conspiracy theories and militarised social movements. Between August 2020 and January 12, 2021, Facebook has removed more than 78,000 profiles on both Facebook and Instagram. Former US President Donald Trump was also indefinitely suspended on Facebook and Instagram a day after the Capitol riots that left five dead and resulted in his second impeachment earlier this month.

The new rules have meant Facebook has also disabled the accounts of more than 45 left-wing activists and 15 Facebook pages in Britain.

Comment: Breitbart noted the hypocrisy of Facebook restoring the British accounts who then went on to complain that they were different from the far right. Facebook is still denying Trump and US conservatives a voice:
Facebook "bowed to pressure" from "socialists, trade unionists and campaigners", and reinstated the party's main page after a short period, the SWP said in a statement.

The far-left party went on to complain that "dozens of SWP activists and local branch pages remain suspended", however, and called on the tech giant to reinstate their accounts "immediately".

Following the ban, Reform UK leader Nigel Farage remarked: "Maybe this will teach the radical left a lesson about censorship."

The SWP shot back: "Hey Nigel you racist bigot — we're back on Facebook. Another loss for you and your mate Trump. Now get back in your box."

The SWP went on to suggest that they are against big tech censorship, pointing to an article in the far-left newspaper the Socialist Worker — which is published in the United Kingdom by the SWP — in which they warned that Big Tech censorship may be turned against leftist activists.

The Trotskyist party seemingly backtracked on their alleged principled stance later, however, sharing a post on social media which said: "Far-right social media being shut down for inciting violence and hatred is not the same as [the SWP's Facebook] being shut down for just being far-left."

Unlike the prompt about-face from Facebook on the banning of the SWP, the Silicon Valley giant has said that it has "no plans to lift" the suspension of Donald Trump from their site. Executives at the site have also reportedly claimed that the blacklisting of Mr Trump stopped a "coup".

Counter-extremism campaigner Maajid Nawaz said of the action against the SWP: "Many cheered banning Trump while some of us screamed from the rooftops that this is where it was headed. Defending a principle is not defending the person. That's a basic tenet of human rights."


Earlier this week, Facebook announced that it would be expanding its censorship purge, barring advertisements for firearm accessories in the United States as well as removing any posts containing "Stop the Steal" rhetoric.

Following the inauguration of Joe Biden, the Big Tech giants have seemingly become more active in targeting far-left groups for censorship as well, with journalist Andy Ngo reporting that several high profile Antifa accounts were purged from Twitter following inauguration day riots in Portland by militant leftist groups.


Glenn Greenwald added, "Congrats to all who urged this system."



Cardboard Box

Confessions of a deprogrammed Trump supporter

Trump flag
© AP/Paul Sancya
Trump supporter
As many people are aware, CNN recently aired a wonderful interview by former Moonie-turned-cult-deprogrammer Steve Hassan giving advice to Americans wishing to deprogram their MAGA-hat wearing loved ones, now that the age of Trump is coming to an end.

I was fortunate enough to have read Hassan's book and had the loving scrub-brush of truth wash my brain of all of its formerly pro-Trump sympathies and can honestly say that I am most certainly better off for having left those old delusions in the past.


For one thing, I used to enjoy my right to free speech... but thanks to the terrible events of January 6, 2021 that left 3 people dead, horned Q supporters doing photo ops for media, pro-Trump rioters let into the capitol building by guards, and busloads of conspicuous violent figures whom some say were "provocateurs" (whatever that means), I have come to realize that I was all wrong.

Comment: Sadly this is a fairly accurate tongue-in-cheek exposé of our current circumstances.


Syringe

Gates receives Covid-19 vaccine two days after Biden sworn in, despite questioning if FDA can be trusted under Trump

Gates
© Unknown
Vaccine pusher Bill Gates
Microsoft founder Bill Gates has received his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine after putting millions into development and distribution, but most used the moment to bring up numerous conspiracy theories that center on the man.

"I feel great," Gates announced to the world on Friday, adding a picture of himself getting a Covid-19 vaccine. "Thank you to all of the scientists, trial participants, regulators, and frontline healthcare workers who got us to this point," he added.

At 65, Gates is eligible to receive the vaccine under Washington state's tier one distribution plan.

Comment: How much did Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation invest in a Biden victory? $142,230

See also:


Water

White House launches 'comprehensive threat assessment' on domestic extremism

Capitol protesters
© static.politico
Supporters of then-President Trump clash with police with water bottles, Jan. 6, 2021.
President Joe Biden has asked the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to conduct a "comprehensive threat assessment" of domestic extremism following the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol by a violent mob that left five people dead.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced on Friday that Biden decided to ask for the review, which will be coordinated with the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, because "clearly more needs to be done" to address the rising threat posed by violent extremists across the country.

"The January 6th assault on the capitol and the tragic deaths and destruction that occurred underscored what we have long known: The rise of domestic violent extremism is a serious and growing national security threat," Psaki said. "The Biden administration will confront this threat with the necessary resources and resolve."

The pro-Trump rioters who breached the Capitol earlier this month included members of the far-right, self-described "Western chauvinist" Proud Boys and far-right militia groups Oath Keepers and Three Percenters. All three groups have increasingly provided security or worked alongside neo-Nazi and white supremacist factions, according to national security experts.


Russian Flag

Russia has a spectacular soft power chance to appeal to American conservatives

PutinMAGAhat
© Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images
The Russian government's official fears that some members of the Trump-inspired "Make America Great Again" movement might become "political prisoners" in Biden's America presents a spectacular soft power chance for the Kremlin to appeal to a broad swath of conservatives if it facilitates their future emigration to Russia and subsequently provides the necessary support to aid their assimilation and integration into society.
Speaker of the Russian State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin dropped a bombshell last week when he declared during the opening of the lower house of parliament's spring session that some members of the Trump-inspired "Make America Great Again" (MAGA) movement might become "political prisoners" in Biden's America. His exact words were as follows:
"Those who participated in unauthorized political actions everywhere were anointed by Washington as fighters for freedom and democracy. When the same thing happened in the United States itself, they labelled these people as domestic terrorists who face 15-20 years in prison. These will be real political prisoners. Let's call a spade a spade."
While there's no doubt that those who stormed the US Capitol deserve to be punished to the fullest extent of the law, the fact of the matter is that the double standards vis-a-vis Washington's stance towards analogous groups that it backs abroad and even towards the arguably just as seditious Antifa and "Black Lives Matter" prove that those MAGA members are indeed "political prisoners".

Comment: One door closes, another opens. It is up to us to determine the threshold of our circumstances and options.

See also:
American supporters of Donald Trump have growing interest in obtaining Russian passports says Foreign Ministry


Syringe

Biden's 1M shots-a-day COVID-19 'goal' was already reached by Trump

Biden
© AP/Carolyn Kaster
President Joe Biden "What's in YOUR jab?"
President Biden's "wartime effort" goal to vaccinate 100 million people against COVID-19 in 100 days relies on a daily average that was repeatedly bested under former President Donald Trump.

Biden's first full day in office on Thursday saw 1.3 million Americans inoculated against the deadly coronavirus, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News. But the same figures show that 1.3 million shots were administered on Jan. 11 and that 1.1 million were given both Jan. 14 and 16.

Vaccinations also hit a record-high, 1.6 million on Wednesday, when Biden was sworn into office, according to the data.

Since his inauguration Wednesday, the new commander in chief and his top spokesperson have repeatedly been pressed by reporters on whether he's setting his immunization target too low.


Comment: Biden's promise: Biden also announced his White House would ensure that there would be "100 million shots into the arms of the American people in the first 100 days" in what he called the "most efficient mass vaccination plan in US history."


Comment: Safe? We shall soon find out. Biden's 'massive vaccination push' equates to using the public as guinea pigs. We are the test subjects.

See also: Are vaccines safe? Many astute experts say no:


Pistol

AOC: I didn't attend Biden's inauguration in part because I don't 'feel safe' around Republicans

AOCortez
© Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg/ Getty Images
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said during an interview on Thursday night that part of the reason that she did not attend President Joe Biden's inauguration was because she does not feel safe around Republicans.
"You knew that people would ask why you weren't there," CNN host Chris Cuomo said. "This was a good cause, from your perspective, of dealing with your constituency. But this was supposed to be a show of force, and unity, and you weren't there. Explain it."

"How many are 'We?'" Cuomo pressed.

"I think a very considerable amount," Ocasio-Cortez answered. "A lot of members do not feel safe. In fact, just today-"

"You really think that colleagues of yours in Congress, may do you dirty?" Cuomo asked.

Comment: Clarification: Open carry is illegal in D.C. District of Columbia. Concealed Carry Pistol Licenses (CCPLs) are required in order to concealed carry and are issued to residents and non-residents and require a firearms training course that has been approved by the Metro Police. The D.C. ban on handguns was a violation of the Constitution. Private citizens are not free to carry guns at the Capitol under any circumstances. Members of Congress are exempt from federal legislation banning guns on the Capitol grounds.


Cell Phone

Rights advocates alarmed by US spy agency's purchase of warrantless phone location data

Wyden
© Andrew Harnik/AFP/Getty Images
Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore) "The Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act"
Digital rights advocates reacted with alarm to a report published Friday detailing how Defense Intelligence Agency analysts in recent years bought databases of U.S. smartphone location data without first obtaining warrants.
"I think we've really reached the point where you have so much data floating around that governments can essentially buy their way around the Fourth Amendment." — Sen. Ron Wyden
The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) is part of the Department of Defense and is tasked with informing military and civilian policymakers about the activities and intentions of foreign governments and nonstate actors.

The new revelation, first reported by the New York Times, initially came in the form of DIA responses to questions from Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) regarding the agency's warrantless purchase of commercial location data generated by phones both inside and outside of the United States.

Wyden asked the DIA to clarify its interpretation of Carpenter v. United States, a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision barring law enforcement agencies from requesting personal location information from a cellphone company without first obtaining a search warrant from a judge.

"DIA does not construe the Carpenter decision to require a judicial warrant endorsing purchase or use of commercially-available data for intelligence purposes," the agency replied, implicitly acknowledging its exploitation of an apparent loophole in the case that DIA believes permits its warrantless acquisition of location data from third-party brokers.