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Mr. Potato

Australian mask crackdown mad, health experts warn

Premier Daniel Andrews
© Jason South
Premier Daniel Andrews says his mandatory mask order is not going anywhere.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews' captain's call to maintain a strict mandatory mask order over summer is ridiculous and could badly backfire, health experts warn after the Premier revealed his decision goes further than the health advice.

Mr Andrews announced an indefinite crackdown for mandatory masks on Sunday, including banning face shields, scarfs and bandannas and requiring a "fitted mask that covers nose and mouth" which he expects to remain over the summer.

But health experts said the mandatory order should be directed at higher risk shopping, public transport and workplace settings.

Comment: See also:


Video

Disney to lay off 28,000 at its parks in California, Florida

disney world florida
© Joe Burbank, Orlando Sentinel via AP
Guests wear masks as required to attend the official reopening day of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Saturday, July 11, 2020.
Disney officials said the company would provide severance packages for the employees, where appropriate, and also offer other services to help workers with job placement.

Squeezed by limits on attendance at its theme parks and other restrictions due to the pandemic, The Walt Disney Co. said Tuesday it planned to lay off 28,000 workers in its parks division in California and Florida.

Two-thirds of the planned layoffs involve part-time workers but they ranged from salaried employees to hourly workers, Disney officials said.

Comment: As the PTB continue with the pandemic charade, major and minor businesses continue to fall. When major tourist attractions like Disney World/Land are going down the tubes, it's unlikely anything will dissuade the controllers from destroying the economy. It seems clear that this is exactly what they want to do.

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NPC

'Doesn't the word 'woman' exist any more?' Pantone reveals new color to honor 'people who menstruate'

Pantone period color
© Instagram / pantone
Pantone's new 'period' color
Color-matching company Pantone has launched a new shade of red aimed at emboldening "people who menstruate." But the woke gesture to 'that time of the month' left some women seeing red.

'Period' is a bold shade of red unveiled by Pantone on Tuesday. The company's color palette is already used extensively in the design industry, and this latest addition is a collaboration between the company and Intimina, a Swedish firm that sells menstrual cups.

Comment: See also:


Arrow Down

Less than half of Americans say they would get covid-19 vaccine if you paid them $100 to take it

vaccine shot
© Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Mounting skepticism around a potential Covid-19 vaccine was vividly illustrated when far fewer than half of Americans said they'd be likely to get a coronavirus vaccine if they were paid $100 to do so, according to an Axios poll.

Recent polling has consistently shown smaller and smaller numbers of Americans saying they would be willing to take a coronavirus vaccine as soon as one becomes available, as well as rampant concern over the safety and efficacy of a vaccine if it were rushed to meet an election Day deadline.

A new Axios-Ipsos poll bears much of that out, and illustrates that skepticism with an unusual question.

Respondents were asked if they would be "very likely" or "somewhat likely" to take a first-generation vaccine under a variety of circumstances, one of which is being paid a $100 incentive to get the shot.

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Briefcase

About that Trump tax return story . . . .

Trump
© Getty Images
US President Donald Trump

Comment: It is ironic, yet apropos to the spirit of the current times, that more accurate political commentary and analysis is to be found coming from ordinary people, in 240-character increments, than from media giants.


So. I finally read the NYT Trump tax story because I wanted to see what line was being reported for taxes owed and I came across this about the $750 in 2016 and 2017. Per the NYT own story, Trump actually paid to the US Treasury $1 million in 2016 and $4.2 million in 2017.

Comment: 'Fake news': New York Times hit piece claims Trump paid no federal taxes


Bad Guys

US politicians are too old: The short-term philosophy this encourages creates a vicious circle that is dooming the country

trump biden
© Getty Images/Drew Angerer; Getty Images/Mario Tama
(L) Donald Trump (R) Joe Biden
Both US presidential candidates would break the record for oldest age if elected, and many in Congress are pushing 90, with every reason to pursue short-term gain and leave the country holding the bag. How did this happen?

When conservative organization Students for Trump posted a video in which House Judiciary Committee chair Jerry Nadler (D-New York) appeared to have soiled himself on live TV, even conservative media hesitated to pick it up, and quite a few Twitter users shamed the organization for mocking the 73-year-old, 15-term congressman. Even in 2020's hyper-partisan climate, some thought it beyond the pale to make fun of an old man for apparently losing control of his bowels. And Nadler is actually youthful and vibrant compared to many of his colleagues.

Magnify

Epstein victim is painting his enablers as murderous lizard people

maria farmer art
© RadicalMedia
In Maria Farmer's "FBI diagram," dead sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein is in a flying saucer, Ghislaine Maxwell is a bloodthirsty reptile, and a pantsless Alan Dershowitz is shushing victims underneath a tree of poisoned apples.

"I'm going to be working on a series all about the elites," Farmer told The Daily Beast of her whimsical painting, a depiction of heaven and hell that features Les Wexner, the former chairman of Limited Brands and an Epstein associate, as the head of a snake. "As someone who's been hurt by these people, I can translate it in a way that people can see."

Farmer, 50, is believed to be the first victim to report Epstein to police. She says Epstein and Maxwell assaulted her at Wexner's Ohio estate, where she stayed in the summer of 1996 while working on an art project. (Wexner has denied knowing Farmer.) She later learned that Maxwell had allegedly assaulted her underage sister, Annie, at Epstein's New Mexico ranch. In a recent court filing, Maxwell has denied these accusations.

Megaphone

Ex-OPCW member says Syria 2018 chemical attacks report may not reflect actual events

douma
© Sputnik / Mikhail Voskresenskiy
A former lead investigator from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ian Henderson, said the final report of the Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) into the alleged use of toxic chemicals in an attack in Douma, Syria, in 2018, may not reflect what happened on the ground.

Henderson was speaking at an informal meeting of the UN Security Council, organised by the Russian Mission, to openly discuss the treatment of the Syrian chemical dossier, in contrast to traditionally closed gatherings of the council on the issue.
"I speak for myself, but I know there are other Douma FFM inspectors who hold the similar concerns that I do about the manner in which the investigation was controlled, locked-down... [as well as] the findings reflected in the final FMM report", Henderson said. "We believe that there is more than sufficient information out there today that has demonstrated our points that the findings of the FFM report on Duma may not reflect the actual situation".

Syringe

Over 5,000 Russians have taken world's first Covid-19 vaccine, none have reported serious side effects

Sputnik-V vaccine
© REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva
Trials of Russia's Sputnik V, the world's first registered vaccine against Covid-19, are going well, and giving hope of a return to normality. That's according to a statement from the ministry of health in Moscow.

More than 5,000 volunteers have received the formula, and there have been no severe side effects,officials announced on Monday. Trials are currently in the third, and final, stage.

"To date, more than 5,000 citizens have been vaccinated with the Sputnik V vaccine," read a statement by the ministry, quoting Alexander Gintsburg, the head of Moscow's Gamaleya Institute for Epidemiology and Microbiology, which created the formula. "Cases of significant undesirable and adverse reactions, other than the expected ones, have not been recorded."

Cookie

Oxford University anonymously interviews RT journos, reveals we have 'doubts about the West.' In other news, water is wet.

RT news moscow
© Reuters / Gleb Garanich
RT vehicles seen near Red Square in central Moscow, Russia, June 15, 2018
Oxford University academics interviewed two dozen former RT employees in a bid to reveal the inner workings of our newsroom. However, they didn't need secret interviews to find out we're a bit skeptical of the West.

In December 2018 I received a message on LinkedIn, the world's most boring social network. It was from Mona Elswah, a researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute, and she and her colleagues wanted to anonymously interview me about my experiences working at RT - specifically how "editorial policies might influence, or not, the news content."

I politely declined and went about my day. However, Elswah's team sent out 240 such messages, and 23 people responded. Considering that these 23 were okay with breaking nondisclosure agreements, what they revealed amounted to one big nothingburger.

Regardless, the study was published on Monday, and received considerable attention in the media. According to Politico, it gives an inside look at "Russia's state-media propaganda machine."