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Sat, 23 Jan 2021
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Bizarro Earth

One of Biden's first acts is to ensure White House website asks for correct pronouns

Joe Biden
© Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images

One of the Biden's administration's first acts after the inauguration earlier today was to change the White House website to ensure it asked people for their correct pronouns.

Comment: In the next 4 years we are going to see how the creepy creatures from the "swamp" lead the show in the US, and how most countries in the world follow them. But normal human beings can't accept their twisted and bizarre pseudo reality as the new normal - no matter how aggressively it is pushed and made policy. And perhaps, because of this, we'll see another movement - a movement of traditional values - that seeks to address it.


Bizarro Earth

"Just like in Ukraine and Belarus": TikTok condemned by Russian parents association over calls for youth to attend Navalny protests

angel
© Sputnik / Evgeny Odinokov
FILE PHOTO.
Young people attracted by calls for civil unrest from opposition activists could be putting themselves in harm's way, say Russian officials, telling parents to get their kids to watch a movie instead.

The Ministry of Education in Moscow posted the stark warning to its page on the VKontakte social network on Thursday. Responsible for the protection of young people, the authorities noted that "in the last few days, calls for children to go on so-called 'marches' [on Saturday] have begun to appear in droves in various forums."

"We are all aware of children's curiosity, love of harmless pranks and showing off, but in the hands of unscrupulous adults, all this can involve a young person in illegal actions and drag them into a very bad situation," the officials said. "Be as vigilant as possible, take an interest in your children's plans and protect them from the dangers of these 'outings.' Spend the day together!"

Comment: Tweets below reveal some of the planning behind the protests, as well as from the event itself:




"Oleg Stepanov, coordinator of Navalny's Moscow headquarters, detained"






Blue Planet

Google says it will block search engine in Australia if forced to pay for news

google logo 3d printed
© REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo
A 3D printed Google logo is seen in this illustration taken April 12, 2020.
Alphabet Inc's Google said on Friday it would block its search engine in Australia if the government proceeds with a new code that would force it and Facebook Inc to pay media companies for the right to use their content.

Google's threat escalates a battle with publishers such as News Corp that is being closely watched around the world. The search giant had warned that its 19 million Australian users would face degraded search and YouTube experiences if the new code were enforced.

Australia is on course to pass laws that would make tech giants negotiate payments with local publishers and broadcasters for content included in search results or news feeds. If they cannot strike a deal, a government-appointed arbitrator will decide the price.

Comment: See also:


Camera

Ghislaine Maxwell's Epstein court hearing HACKED by 14,000 QAnon followers

Ghislaine Maxwell QAnon Q
© AFP / Handout / Laura Cavanaugh / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA; REUTERS/Patrick Fallon
(L) Ghislaine Maxwell; (R) A QAnon sign
A court hearing involving Jeffrey Epstein's alleged madam Ghislaine Maxwell was interrupted after it was unlawfully live-streamed to thousands of followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory.

The hearing to unseal documents from a bombshell 2015 civil lawsuit against accused sex trafficker Maxwell ground to a halt on Tuesday when the presiding judge was informed that the proceedings were being broadcast on YouTube.

"Judge, I need to interrupt. I was just informed that apparently somebody is broadcasting this on to YouTube, so I don't know if you want to give a reminder that that is illegal to do," the deputy clerk told Judge Loretta Preska.

Comment: See also:


X

Twitter suspends Michelle Malkin, Gateway Pundit, Right Side Broadcasting Network accounts

Michelle Malkin
© AP Photo
Conservative activist Michelle Malkin is pictured.
Twitter suspended yet another stack of conservative accounts. This occurred less than two weeks after the hashtag "hang Mike Pence" was allowed to trend on the platform for a whole night and hit over 14,000 tweets.

On Tuesday, conservative activist Michelle Malkin took to Telegram to announce Twitter had locked her account without following typical protocol, which would require an explanation of the suspension and opportunity to delete posts violating Twitter policy.

The political commentator asserted her profile's 24-hour suspension was politically motivated and pointed to her account's final tweet. In her last post, she warned Americans about censorship on mass media platforms. She noted these restrictions go against the spirit of the Constitution.

Comment: See also:


Attention

It's a miracle! US sees record one-day drop in covid hospitalizations since Biden inauguration.

Joe Biden’s inaugural speech
In the last few days - really since the BIden inauguration - we have seen declarations of victory over covid across the board, from the likes of Dr. Fauci who yesterday said that coronavirus infections may be "about to hit a "plateau", to Wall Street, where Bank of America yesterday declared "The Beginning Of The End Of The COVID Crisis."

In its chart of the day, BofA showed that the US is now clearly over the hump, with 142,000 COVID cases in the US on Monday, down 32% from the prior Monday with the seven day average also dropping to 209,000, down 16% from the peak on January 8th.

us covid chart 1
In another good sign, the bank said that "testing is increasing and the share of tests that come back positive is falling" and cheerfully adds that "It seems clear that an end to the holiday season, a modest increase in restrictions and a small increase in herd immunity is bending the COVID curve."

Syringe

Amazon never offered Trump administration COVID-19 vaccine distribution assistance: ex-officials

trump amazon
Amazon offered to aid President Joe Biden with coronavirus vaccine distribution, but former federal officials claim that the company never extended this same assistance to the Trump administration.

Just after Biden was sworn in as the 46th president, Amazon announced that the company was "ready to assist" with the new administration's goal of vaccinating 100 million Americans in the first 100 days of his presidency.

Amazon's worldwide consumer business CEO Dave Clark penned the letter to Biden on Wednesday, promising that the company is "prepared to leverage our operations, information technology and communications capabilities and expertise to assist your administration's vaccination efforts."

Comment: Just another example of partisan politics standing in the way of a (supposedly) lifesaving intervention for the people. They either know the 'pandemic' is a NothingBurger™ and that the vaccine isn't as vital as they're letting on and are deliberately lying about it, or they're true believers who don't care about saving lives and would rather leverage an important vaccine for political points, ending lives in the meantime. Either way, they're scum.

See also:


X

Hungary to oppose 'shadowbanning' of 'Christian, conservative, and right-wing' voices online

Viktor Orbán
© AP Photo/Francois Mori
The Hungarian government is following Poland in moving against Big Tech, vowing action against the "shadowbanning" of "Christian, conservative, [and] right-wing opinions".

"'Shadowban' means the act of social media providers secretly, for political purposes, restricting the visibility and access of our user profile without our knowledge about it," explained Judit Varga, the Minister of Justice in Viktor Orbán's national conservative government, in a statement shared on social media, claiming that she has herself had "personal experience" of such treatment at the hands of "Big Tech".

"Tech companies thus violate all those fundamental democratic legal norms that form the basis of Western-type culture," she accused, adding that "we could... only learn about the system-wide practice of shadow banning from a now-leaked voice recording of the Twitter CEO [Jack Dorsey]."

Comment: See also:


Attention

UK minister warns more 'draconian' steps maybe be necessary to tackle Covid-19, hinting that police may receive health data

uk police
© REUTERS / John Sibley
The British environment minister has warned that additional measures may be necessary to combat lockdown fatigue and those guilty of repeatedly breaking Covid-19 restrictions as the government dismisses relaxing rules.

Speaking on Friday, Environment Secretary George Eustice said the government wants to be "straight" with people, adding that the current lockdown measures won't be reduced until case numbers start to fall and all vulnerable groups have received a vaccine.

Eustice was asked whether there was any truth to reports that police could be given access to health data to crack down on quarantine breaches.

"Generally, with this whole pandemic, we've had to take some quite extraordinary steps, very draconian steps, that are a big infringement on people's liberty," the minister responded.

"And yes, that does mean that we have to intervene in quite a draconian way and issue penalties, and we make no apology for doing that."

Comment: As if they weren't already draconian enough!
UK partygoers to be fined up to £6,400

In a bid to stem the ongoing spread of coronavirus, revellers will be slapped with £800 fines if they attend house parties with more than 15 people present during lockdown, UK Home Secretary Priti Patel announced on Thursday.

The fines will double for repeat offences, up to a maximum of £6,400, and the organisers of events will continue to be fined £10,000, as per the current restrictions, in what Patel called a "crackdown on those most serious cases of rule-breaking".

The home secretary was joined by the Chair of the National Police Chiefs' Council, Martin Hewitt, who said that, from late August to January 17, some 250 fixed penalty notices had been issued in England for people organising large gatherings.

[...]
Wedding with 400 guests busted in London Jewish neighborhood

The Metropolitan Police busted a wedding celebration in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in London. Around 400 guests had convened behind covered windows in violation of the UK's strict social distancing rules.

The party was dispersed on Thursday night after police received a tip about a large gathering in Egerton Road, Stamford Hill. According to the BBC, the raid targeted the Yesoday Hatorah Girls Senior School. Stamford Hill is home to a large community of Orthodox Haredi Jews.

Police said an estimated 400 guests were taking part in the event, though many left when the officers arrived. A group of five attendees were issued £200 ($275) fixed penalty notices. The organizers of the event are facing a far heftier fine of £10,000 for the rule-breaking gathering.

[...]

Orthodox Jewish communities throughout the world have been reluctant to observe bans on mass gatherings, saying their spiritual obligations are more important than the mitigation of infection risks. This has opened them to criticism, including by members of other branches of Judaism who question the rationale.

Religious people are not the only ones defying lockdowns in Britain, even as the government imposes increasingly "draconian" measures, saying they are absolutely crucial to contain the infection. Rave parties appear to be the prime target for the Home Office's plan to increase fines for lockdown violators, which was announced earlier this week. With the screws tightening by the week, Britons are left to wonder and joke about the lengths that authorities will go to enforce the rules.




Control Panel

Mayors of 30 cities now pushing for Universal Basic Income

universal basic income
In Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1967 book "Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?" the civil rights leader discussed how to best address poverty in the United States.

"I am now convinced that the simplest approach will prove to be the most effective — the solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income," he wrote.

King was not the first to propose a guaranteed income; political philosophers from Montesque to Thomas Paine also penned their support for what is often referred to as "universal basic income." And the idea was recently re-popularized by former Democratic presidential candidate and current New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang.

However, King stands out as the most visible influence on Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, a coalition of 30 mayors from Texas to Minnesota, who support direct, recurring cash payments for citizens and are starting guaranteed income programs of their own. The organization prominently features King's words on its website, describing its mission as "rooted" in the civil rights leader's legacy.


Comment: King lived in a different socioeconomic time of the US, and despite what some in Critical Race Theory circles would say we're not so sure he's be embracing Universal Basic Income in the same way if he had been alive today. And quite probably not for the same reasons that are given in today's political climate - never mind that UBI will be held over people's lives if they don't toe the line for getting vaccinated, being able to travel freely, speak freely, etc, etc.


Comment: What may be an essentially helpful motivation (helping cash-strapped Americans get through truly difficult times) - may also lead many to get hamstrung by over-dependence and policies that are NOT in their best interest.

From this article:
[...] one of the main arguments against a UBI is that participants will have more incentives to not look for work and simply live outside of the labor force. It is undeniable that work provides people with structure and a place where they can build relationships. Given that social capital has been in decline for many decades now, as documented separately by Robert Putnam and the Social Capital Project at the Joint Economic committee, the workplace has become an increasingly central place to build social capital.

Beyond providing an opportunity to climb the income ladder, work also provides the meaning needed to keep climbing. As Oren Cass recently described, work is the cornerstone of meaning, family relations, and social capital. Cass's "Working Hypothesis" claims that where:
[A] labor market in which workers can support strong families and communities is the central determinant of long-term prosperity and should be the central focus of public policy.
...
Work is both a nexus of community and a prerequisite for it. Work relationships represent a crucial source of social capital, establishing a base from which people can engage in the broader community. Communities that lack work, by contrast, suffer maladies that degrade social capital and lead to persistent poverty. Crime and addiction increase, their participants in turn becoming ever less employable; investments in housing and communal assets decline; a downward spiral is set in motion.
For a country that was forged and continues to thrive under the mantra of hard work, earned success, business dynamism, and innovation, the concept of a UBI as necessary to solve our problems seems strange. These attitudes have not significantly changed and human flourishing, the pursuit of happiness, and earned success continue to be the backbone of the American Dream. Certainly, welfare programs have a role in providing a helping hand, but they should be a trampoline instead of a mattress.
See also: