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Sun, 24 Jan 2021
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If America really wants unity, it must do away with critical race theory

black lives matter protest
© REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
Demonstrators burn U.S. flags during a Black Lives Matter protest on the Fourth of July Holiday in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., July 4, 2020
On his first day in office, Joe Biden declared he'll dismantle Donald Trump's 1776 Commission, fully embracing critical race theory. This will ultimately lead to worse racial divides and now it's up to the citizens to stop it.

One of the main pitches that the Joe Biden campaign made during the 2020 election was that he would reunite the country. The words "unity" and "healing" have been touted around more than a McDonald's slogan. The premise is that Donald Trump as a divisive figure damaged the country to the point where it's going to take Joe Biden of all people to fix it. However, Joe Biden has stated he plans to sign an executive order to end Donald Trump's 1776 Commission. Trump had created that initiative to counter the New York Times' 1619 Project and its use in education.

Back in July of last year, I wrote about senators pushing to keep federal funding away from the 1619 project. It was a wise move then, and it's still a wise move to move away from the nonsense that exists within it. We should be teaching people actual history, not historical fiction that reads like anti-American propaganda. The origins of these theories have always been rooted in nonsense from people who despise the very country they live in - like Derrick Bell Jr., one of Barack Obama's professors at Harvard and one of the people at the roots of critical race theory.

Bad Guys

Professor calls elimination of Republican Party and purging "Nazified" people from Congress, universities, and 'regular jobs"'

The media has been airing discussion of hosts and leading figures like Katie Couric on "deprogramming " Trump supporters or treating Trump supporters as a cult, including a CNN interview with an actual "cult expert." Since that would include over 70 million Trump voters, the hyperbolic language can be dismissed as just more examples of our rage-filled political environment. After all, a few days after the election, a law professor declared that even questioning the Biden electoral victory was tantamount to being a holocaust denier. One professor however has taken this call even further in declaring such supporters are worse than the Nazis and heralding the need for the same type of treatment seen with the Nuremberg trials, including the apparent elimination of the Republican Party. Smith College Professor Loretta Ross, who teaches women's and gender studies, rejected calls for unity and instead called for punitive action against supporters in Congress, universities, and "regular jobs."

In an article in CounterPunch Ross declares that there can be no unity with Trump supporters and that the Republican Party itself cannot continue to exist:
Republicans are no longer entitled to exist as a legitimate political party because this authoritarian backlash has been building since new Civil Rights laws were passed in 1964 and 1965 in response to white racist violence captured on TV that required the National Guard to quell. Then-President Lyndon Johnson predicted that most white people would flee the Democratic Party to join the pro-segregationist, anti-feminist, and anti-gay revanchist political movement of George Wallace, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan. Every undemocratically selected Republican president since the 1960s (by an electoral college designed to be disenfranchising) has failed to repudiate this neo-fascist wing of their party.

I'm through giving Republicans the benefit of the doubt after 50 years.


Lockdown having no impact on coronavirus rates in England, vaccine will have 'limited impact' in short term - Infectious disease expert

uk police lockdown

A police car patrols London's Greenwich Park in April at the height of the first lockdown
A third pandemic lockdown appears to be having little impact on rates of COVID-19 in England, researchers warned on Thursday, with prevalence of the disease "very high" and "no evidence of decline" in the first 10 days of renewed restrictions.

Until rates of COVID-19 are reduced substantially, health services "will remain under extreme pressure" and the number of deaths will continue to rise rapidly, researchers leading Imperial College London's REACT-1 prevalence study said.

Comment: As has been detailed elsewhere, health services are under pressure due to over a decade of budget cuts, mismanagement by successive governments, chronic understaffing, as well as coronavirus guidance that has removed nearly a third of beds from wards, and, to add to all that, nurses who test for coronavirus - although they may be showing no symptoms - are told to stay off work and self-isolate for weeks on end.

Is it any wonder that, whilst there's been no real rise in coronavirus admissions, hospitals are 'under extreme pressure'? This has also been the case for years.

"The number of COVID-19 in-patients (in hospital) is extremely high at the moment, and we can't expect that to drop unless we can achieve lower levels of prevalence," said Steven Riley, a professor of infectious disease dynamics who co-led the work.

Comment: See the link above, the majority of those patients, according to an NHS Director, originally went into hospital for other reasons, they just happen to have also tested positive for coronavirus - and those tests are extremely unreliable.

Comment: It would appear that any significant rise in the excess death rate has been primarily because of a lack of critical and primary care: UK care homes record 29,000 excess deaths during lockdown, lack of critical care partly to blame


Don't worry, it's just corporate fascism

Censorship is censorship, whether committed by the state or anyone else.

For over a decade now, the left in the United States has been cultivating a pernicious lie. They claim that censorship exists only if it is done by the government. Through a facile reading of the First Amendment, they have concluded that schools, corporations, publishers, theaters, and cable providers are not engaged in censorship if they ban certain speech, they are merely private entities making choices. It's a lie.

Censorship can be committed by any institution, even by individuals if they have enough power. Today the greatest threat to American freedom comes not from the government but from corporate actors who seek to control the actions and beliefs of American citizens by withholding goods and services from those with whom they disagree. And the left, which once abhorred certain views but would fight for your right to express them, now just abhors them and you can go to hell.

Comment: Actually the threat to freedom comes from both corporations and the US government since there is, at the topmost layer of control, an interchangeable or revolving door of corporate figures who at some point join government, and government technocrats who leave office to join corporations.

Comment: While we don't condone infecting your mental hygiene with degenerate art, we do largely agree with what the author is saying: Don't succumb to the chilling effect of mass censorship and the group-think of pathological pseudo reality that tells you what is, and isn't, the correct information to look at and perspectives to take. Inform yourself as well and as truthfully as you possibly can.


Fire breaks out at world's biggest vaccine maker, India's Serum Institute

Serum Institute
© Twitter
The Serum Institute of India (SII) in Pune, India
A fire has broken out at a production facility belonging to the world's largest vaccine producer, the Serum Institute of India (SII). The company's management has said Covid vaccine production hasn't been impacted, however.

On Thursday afternoon, emergency services were called to an SII plant in Pune, after a fire broke out on the fifth floor.

Executive Director Suresh Jadhav confirmed the facility in question is used for the production of a BCG vaccine - an inoculation used primarily against tuberculosis.

Eye 1

'Completely wrong': New sexual consent app under fire in Denmark

cellphone celular movil
© CC BY 2.0 / Andy Rennie /
While sexologists have suggested the consent app would put a damper on sex life and impede sexual skills, legal professionals have warned that electronic consent won't hold up in court, rendering the app sparked by a controversial "consent law" useless.

The app iConsent has hit the Danish market a few weeks after parliament passed a much-debated law that classifies all sex without formal consent as rape. Failing to obtain consent before engaging in intercourse may result in criminal charges.

According to the founders, the purpose of the app is to ensure that both parties agree to have intercourse.

"It works in such a way that the user can enter the phone number of the person he or she wants to have sex with. You send the request, and the other is then given the opportunity to accept or reject the request for consent to sex", developer Carsten Nielsen explained to Danish Radio.

The given consent is valid for 24 hours and is limited to sexual intercourse.

Nielsen agreed that it may feel strange reaching for a phone in an intimate situation, but, in isolation, so is putting on a condom.

Comment: See also:

Eye 1

Netherlands proposes first curfew since World War Two, flight bans

Netherlands lockdown
© REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw
FILE PHOTO: Tables and chairs are stacked on an empty shopping street as Netherlands is set to extend the lockdown as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Rotterdam, Netherlands January 12, 2021.
The Dutch government on Wednesday proposed the first nationwide curfew since World War Two and a ban on flights from South Africa and Britain in its toughest moves yet to limit the spread of coronavirus in the Netherlands.

Comment: There are reports that, those who are able to afford it, are getting around these random travel bans by stopping over in a country that isn't listed and then traveling on to their desired destination.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the curfew, which is largely intended to target new, more infectious variants of the disease, must be approved by parliament, which is set to debate measures against the coronavirus on Thursday.

The flight ban, which Rutte said also will apply to all South American countries, will begin on Saturday. The curfew was expected to take effect this weekend, he said.

Comment: It's noteworthy that a government that has recently quit is also proposing unprecedented restrictions on the freedoms of its citizens.

See also:


Large gas explosion destroys building in Madrid, 4 dead & one missing

gas explosion spain
© @SAMUR_PC / Twitter
Madrid’s Civil Protection and emergency services working at the scene of the explosion in Madrid on 20 January 2021.
Three people have died, one person is still missing, and over 8 have been left injured following a large explosion in Madrid on Wednesday. The blast occurred just before 3pm, destroying four floors of a building, No.98 in the Calle Toledo in central Madrid, as well as ripping the façade off the building.

Comment: The most recent updates report 4 dead.

The mayor of Madrid José Luis Martínez Almeida, who arrived at the scene soon after the emergency services, confirmed at the time that 'at least two people' had died, and that the initial assessment by the authorities was that the blast was caused by a gas leak. It has since been reported that repairs were being done to a gas boiler at the time of the explosion, and that a technician is still missing.

Comment: SOTT has been reporting on the apparent uptick in gas related explosions since 2015: Sott Exclusive: Mysterious 'gas explosions' destroying residential homes, killing people

See also:

Bad Guys

The Old Order returns

scary Biden
The central question Americans ought to consider on this Inauguration Day as The Old Order returns is whether what they are seeing in their country is happening because it is strong or because it is weak.

On its face, a capital city packed with a military presence — an occupation hailed by the media, as the swamp protects itself — may seem like a show of force, a reiteration of law and order above all else. As Chris Bedford writes this morning, all that needed to happen for Tom Cotton's idea to become reality was for the seat of the powerful to be attacked instead of the neighborhoods in Kenosha. Had the federal government and the Department of Justice been willing to do what Donald Trump wanted them to do this summer, perhaps people would've learned earlier that rioting does not pay. But that's not what they learned, and for good reason.

Wiser observers will understand that a capital city in need of such an overwhelming military presence — if only for the mental and emotional stability of the so-called leaders who inhabit it — also indicates a vast maw of weakness. The frail leadership of the United States is the great unremarked phenomenon of this moment. In this moment of crisis, we have what appears to be the most elderly class of political elites in the history of the nation. The octogenarian and septuagenarian set of Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Jim Clyburn, Chuck Schumer, Mitch McConnell, Dick Durbin are white knuckling it to the end of their careers — attempting to make their mark before leaving the stage and passing things on to people who share none of their memories of the time before.


Lockdowns don't prevent coronavirus spread

behind bars
Much has been said about the terrifying models that in the spring projected such a staggering number of deaths from the novel coronavirus.

In hindsight, as bad as the pandemic has been, it never even approached the dismal numbers suggested ‒ the very numbers that rationalized society-wide lockdowns in Italy, the U.K., New York City, and then in many other places as the pandemic spread.

What researchers have struggled with since then is how to measure the impact of various actions taken. Do we even know if what we're doing is working? Where's the evidence for that, and are there other things we ought to do instead?

Naturally, proponents of lockdowns have long said that strong government action prevented all kinds of horrors. If anything, the poor outcomes we had in the spring and the fall indicated that we didn't do enough. Skeptics, on the other hand, said that lockdowns did nothing but harm our societies ‒ physically, economically, and mentally ‒ and that infection rate curves moved the way they did regardless of what strong-worded politicians implemented, and often before their strong policies took effect. The August NBER paper by Andrew Atkeson, Karen Kopecky and Tao Zha, 'Four Stylized Facts about COVID-19' spells out the uncomfortable position for most policy-makers: the virus seems to spread rapidly, kill selectively, and in no way responds to anything that well-meaning politicians have thrown at it.

Comment: See also: