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Bizarro Earth

Pro-Brexit and right-wing academics 'forced to censor views' for fear of being shunned

University
© Getty Images / Jon Lovette
Locust Walk with students in fall, University of Pennsylvania, University City area, Philadelphia, PA, USA
Academics who identify their political views as right-wing are much more likely to conceal their views from their employers. This was intensified among Brexit supporters, with many fearing expressing such views would have a negative impact on their careers.

The report titled 'Academic Freedom in the UK', by the Policy Exchange think tank, found university campuses are increasingly governed by unwritten rules, which encourage academics to hide unfashionable opinions.

It found that right-wing and pro-Brexit academics were most likely to censor their political views, in fear of being ostracised or passed over for promotion.

Comment: See also:


Pistol

Police: Man fires gun in Miami Beach hotel, enraged mother and son were not social distancing

Miami social distancing shooting
Police have arrested a man who allegedly fired shots into a Miami Beach hotel lobby's floor after he told a mother and her son to practice social distancing at a Miami Beach hotel.

Miami Beach Police arrested 47-year-old Douglas Marks at the Crystal Beach Suites Hotel, along the 6900 block of Collins Avenue, Monday night.

"The guy came and started shooting," a witness said. "The son and the mom were, like, crying, and they were scared."

When officers arrived at the hotel, they found a man in the lobby holding a black pistol. They said he surrendered to them and was arrested without incident.

According to a police report, the man was enraged that a mother and child were not social distancing. Detectives said the mother and son angered the man enough for him to allegedly fire gunshots into the lobby's floor.


Pistol

Woman killed, 2 wounded after gunfire erupts at Beverly Crest mansion party

Beverly Crest Mansion Party
© RMG News
Outside a mansion in the Beverly Crest neighborhood after a shooting wounded at least three people. Aug. 4, 2020.
One woman was killed and two other people were wounded after shots were fired at a large party at a mansion in the upscale hillside neighborhood of Beverly Crest in the early morning hours Tuesday.

The shooting occurred at around 1:15 a.m. at a home in the 13200 block of West Mulholland Drive, the Los Angeles Fire Department reports. In a video posted by one party goer to Instagram, about 20 gunshots could be heard. There appeared to be two rounds of gunfire. Following the second, there was chaos as people tried to run to safety.

Officers arrived on scene to find two women and a man with gunshot wounds, Los Angeles police Lt. Chris Ramirez said at a news briefing Tuesday morning.

All three were rushed to local hospitals, where one of the women, believed to be about 35-years-old, died. The two others were in stable condition, Ramirez said.

Comment: The woman who was killed is another unseen death connected to the lockdown. Why isn't this even a part of the conversation?


Attention

Lebanon Braced For High Number of Casualties as Absolutely Gargantuan Explosion Obliterates Port Area of Beirut​​​​​​​


Comment: Update 5 August 2020 - 00:30 CET

The death toll has reached 70 people, with around 4,000 people wounded.

The entire city of Beirut is reporting injuries and damage. The city's population is around 2.5 million people...

beirut explosion blast radius

explosion beirut
© ANWAR AMRO/AFP via Getty Images
A MASSIVE explosion in Beirut on 4 Aug was felt for miles around.
At least two explosions in the Lebanese capital of Beirut have occurred near the city's main port area.

Videos from around the city captured the massive explosion and subsequent shockwave Tuesday evening.


A powerful blast has just rocked the Lebanese capital of Beirut. The cause of the massive explosion is as yet unknown.

But multiple social media videos from various angles shows it happened during daylight hours Tuesday, in the late afternoon or early evening local time.

Images show that a massive shockwave flashed over the city, followed by an immense fireball that appeared several stories high.


Comment: Fireworks? That second blast looks like it was from at least a thousand-pound bomb. The energy it released is associated with only the largest (non-nuclear) bombs and volcanic eruptions.

In the meantime, we fear a lot of people may have been killed here.


Lebanon newspaper The Daily Star suffered massive damage to their main office:


Lebanon's port area, and thus a key economic lifeline for the small Mediterranean country, is certainly wrecked:


Another apocalyptic scene: a priest giving mass is felled from falling debris as he flees a church somewhere in the city:


Here's a still from the 'second' explosion:

explosion beirut

Fireworks?
UPDATE 9:30PM CET

Turns out 'fireworks' is indeed just a rumor (one started by Lebanon's branch of the Global Fake News Factory):


That global media instantly went with that as a cause is likely a clue as to the real cause. Perhaps it was a Hezbollah munitions storage site, which 'somebody' eliminated, taking Beirut's shipping lifeline with it, along with thousands of lives & livelihoods.

Update 9:45PM CET

Here's video footage of the event from real close up:


Strangely (or not), the Israelis are piping up to say that the warehouse stored "munitions confiscated from Hezbollah." So possible motive begins taking shape.


Furthermore:


Update 10PM CET

The closest type of explosion we've seen to this is the one that occurred on 5 August 2019, one year ago tomorrow. It happened when a major munitions facility in the Krasnoyarsk region of Siberia exploded:


In fact, the massive blast in Russia this time last year was part of a string of strange explosions at Russian military facilities.

Today's explosion in Beirut, however, is an order of magnitude more powerful, and thus destructive.


Bizarro Earth

Are chrome grilles 'designed to intimidate & kill pedestrians'? Liberals and conservatives fight over pickup trucks

trucks
© Reuters / Joseph White
America's love affair with the pickup truck is the latest battlefield in the unending culture wars, with liberal pundits decrying these 4,000-pound killing machines, and conservatives clinging to their beloved Rams and Silverados.

After an oblivious pickup driver nearly ran Dan Neil over in a Costco parking lot, the Wall Street Journal columnist echoed the arguments of the gun control crowd and focused his attention on the tool itself, and not the user. Why, he wrote, are these square-jawed vehicles getting so damn huge?

These "behemoths," he wrote, are deadly for pedestrians caught in front of their chrome grilles, and pack in so many luxury features that they hardly qualify as work vehicles anymore.

Online, a cohort of liberal commentators agreed. Pickup trucks, which now account for roughly 70 percent of all new vehicles sold in the US, "have basically been deliberately designed to intimidate and kill pedestrians," journalist Ryan Cooper tweeted. It's "pretty f**ked" how "we're not talking about whether they 'belong on city streets,'" New York reporter Dave Colon added.

Arrow Down

Houston mayor warns of $250 fine for not wearing face mask

masked shopper
© Paul Grover for the Telegraph
Houston's mayor warned Monday that city residents who disobey a statewide mandate requiring masks to be worn in public spaces will risk a $250 fine.

The Houston Chronicle reported that Mayor Sylvester Turner (D) said at a press conference that Houston police have been directed to enforce Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's (R) directive, which carries a verbal warning for first offenses and a $250 fine for second offenses.

"For months, we have been focusing on education and not citations, but now I am instructing the Houston Police Department to issue the necessary warnings and citations to anyone not wearing a mask in public if they do not meet the criteria for an exemption," the mayor reportedly said.

Turner had previously shied away from fining residents over mask mandates; in April, he directed officers to issue masks to residents who were not in compliance with a similar order issued by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo as part of a countywide disaster declaration.

Footprints

Number of UK citizens emigrating to EU has risen by 30% since Brexit vote

Benalmádena  Spain
© Leon Neal/Getty Images
Benalmádena, Spain. The biggest jump in migration was to Spain, where an estimated 380,000 British nationals live.
The number of British nationals emigrating to other EU countries has risen by 30% since the Brexit referendum, with half making their decision to leave in the first three months after the vote, research has found.

Analysis of data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Eurostat shows that migration from Britain to EU states averaged 56,832 people a year in 2008-15, growing to 73,642 a year in 2016-18.

The study also shows a 500% increase in those who made the move and then took up citizenship in an EU state. Germany saw a 2,000% rise, with 31,600 Britons naturalising there since the referendum.

"These increases in numbers are of a magnitude that you would expect when a country is hit by a major economic or political crisis," said Daniel Auer, co-author of the study by Oxford University in Berlin and the Berlin Social Science Center.

Red Pill

These 'inconvenient' data patterns destroy the established coronavirus narrative

face mask
© AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
No matter what position you take on lockdowns, masks, Hydroxychloroquine, or any other COVID-related issue, there's a doctor or expert out there whose opinion you can easily grab and use to bolster your case. Indeed, most people have formed their opinions on what should be done about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and consequently have decided which "experts" they want to listen to, follow on social media, and share material from.

For better or worse, to a large degree, we're firmly entrenched in our own echo chambers. So to a degree, appealing to authority is almost a moot point at this point in the game, whether your "authority" is the CDC and WHO, who have consistently been wrong more than they have been right, or that group of doctors who were censored and even dismissed from jobs last week for daring to express an unpopular yet sincerely held medical opinion.

What isn't a moot point, however, is observable patterns, which exist independently of what any of the "experts" have to say. Now I'm no doctor, and neither are most of you, but I am a functioning, thinking adult with at least half a brain (some of you may dispute this, and you're certainly entitled to your opinion!).

I'm also capable of analyzing statistics, reading charts, and noticing patterns. And the patterns I'm noticing have me scratching my head. As someone who doesn't sit well with cognitive dissonance, media gaslighting, and especially governmental overreach, if I'm being told I shouldn't or can't go out and that I'm not allowed to breathe free air when I do, the evidence on the ground should damn-well comport with the "logic" they are giving us to justify their extreme measures. But they aren't, not in any observable, logical way.

Sheriff

Minneapolis Police Department advises residents to give in to criminals

Minneapolis policeman
© Chad Davis/Flickr
The Minneapolis Police Department is advising residents of the city to
"Be prepared to give up your cell phone and purse/wallet" if approached by robbers, and "Do not argue or fight with the criminal. Do as they say."
The "robbery prevention tips" were circulated by the department and reported by local ABC affiliate KSTP-5. They advise that the city is suffering an increase in robberies and carjackings, especially in the 3rd Precinct — the area of the city in which George Floyd was killed in police custody on Memorial Day, and rioters destroyed police headquarters.

Comment: Persons of reason (with acumen apparently higher than MPD) chimed in to say these were not the prevention tips they were hoping for:


Bombarded with criticism across the board, the Minneapolis police think again and backpedal their statement:
However, the department has now attempted to distance itself from the statement after it achieved notoriety, drawing criticism from countless commentators, activists, and lawyers as well as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Donald Trump Jr:
MPD's directive to obey criminals "appears to not have gone through the proper channels before release," according to a statement from department spokesman John Elder. "There is not a prescribed way to respond to being a victim of a crime. People have different capabilities and each incident is different," he added.

The police spokesman also specified that Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo was not responsible for his department's previous email to the citizens of Minneapolis.

"Chief Arradondo later sent out a statement referencing the uptick in crimes in that area. Chief Arradondo sent out an update on enforcement activities later that week. Chief Arradondo was not consulted nor did he send out the original message from the crime prevention specialist," said Monday's statement from the MPD.

Elder statement
© MPD/email/screengrab
This statement issued by MPD spokesman John Elder on the afternoon of August 3, 2020.
Note: Alpha News requested clarification regarding the word "appears" in Elder's statement, seeking to understand if MPD will ever confirm whether or not its previous statement was sent without proper authorization. An update will be published should he do so.
See also:


X

Ex-US Marine Whelan, convicted of espionage in Russia, changes jails as US is 'not interested' in swap

Paul Whelan
© Sputnik/Kirill Kallinikov
Paul Whelan in the Lefortovo court in Moscow
Paul Whelan, imprisoned in Russia on spy charges, will serve his sentence in Russia's Republic of Mordovia, about 500km east of Moscow. It had been rumored he was likely to be swapped with the US for Russians.

The convicted spy, who holds American, British, Canadian, and Irish passports, was found guilty in June by a Moscow court on charges of espionage and was sentenced to 16 years in prison. He was arrested in December 2018 after receiving a USB device from an undercover FSB officer, containing sensitive information. Whelan maintains that he was set up, and thought the memory stick contained photos of a tourist trip.

According to Russia's Federal Penitentiary Service, the former Marine is being moved on a prison train from Moscow's Lefortovo detention center to prison IK-17 - a seven-hour drive from Moscow. Despite being convicted almost two months ago, he was not immediately transported out of pre-trial detention.

Comment: Having not appealed his verdict, Whelan must now decide if he will ask for clemency:
"We just visited Paul (on Tuesday morning) at the Lefortovo pre-trial detention center (in Moscow), where he made the final decision not to appeal his sentence and wrote a statement," his attorney Olga Karlova told news agency TASS. Karlova added that her client does not trust the Russian justice system and believes another trial is pointless.

US authorities have insisted the ex-Marine is not spy. Whelan has described himself as "more like Mr Bean, than James Bond."

Last week, US ambassador to Russia John Sullivan said that the US was not looking for an exchange, but rather "justice" for Whelan.

A notable feature of the saga has been restrained reporting from the US press, which typically would give a case of this nature massive coverage. This has raised eyebrows in Moscow media circles. As for 4pm Moscow time Moscow on Tuesday, neither CNN nor The New York Times carried the story on their website front pages.
See also: