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Tue, 26 May 2020
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Ten reasons why immunity passports are a bad idea

immunity passport
© Kevin Frayer/Getty
A woman in Beijing shows a health QR code on her phone to access a shopping area, as a security guard checks her temperature.

Comment: The following article rests on the assumption that SARS-CoV-2 is a dangerous disease that we need to protect ourselves from. There is far too much evidence showing this is not the case to take this assumption seriously. Nevertheless, the article is valuable in showing that, even if the fear narrative were correct, immunity passports are a very bad idea.

Restricting movement on the basis of biology threatens freedom, fairness and public health.

Imagine a world where your ability to get a job, housing or a loan depends on passing a blood test. You are confined to your home and locked out of society if you lack certain antibodies.

It has happened before. For most of the nineteenth century, immunity to yellow fever divided people in New Orleans, Louisiana, between the 'acclimated' who had survived yellow fever and the 'unacclimated', who had not had the disease1. Lack of immunity dictated whom people could marry, where they could work, and, for those forced into slavery, how much they were worth. Presumed immunity concentrated political and economic power in the hands of the wealthy elite, and was weaponized to justify white supremacy.

Comment: The article really fell apart at the end. If you take off the lefty social justice gloss, what it comes down to is protecting the vulnerable (regardless of their skin colour, age or sexual identity) and let everyone else go about their business. The virus is not dangerous to ~99% of the population. Scrap the tracking, the vaccinations and social distancing, let the virus spread throughout the community naturally (while protecting those at risk of complications), build up herd immunity and let the world carry on as normal, just like we do every cold and flu season.

See also:


The results of Europe's lockdown experiment are in

italy shutdown
© Giulio Napolitano/Bloomberg via Getty Images
With governments across Europe reopening their economies for business, it's a good moment to look back on the different paths taken to control Covid-19 outbreaks to try to see how effective they were.

The chart below shows the relative severity of Europe's restrictions based on work done by the University of Oxford's Blavatnik School of Government, which tracks a range of measures and scores how stringent they've been each step of the way.

Reaction Time

For many European countries, stringency levels increased substantially after the World Health Organization declared a pandemic, even when their case loads were low.

Comment: And yet, z-scores is a terrible way to measure excess mortality. See also: Lives vs lives - The global cost of lockdown

Cardboard Box

$21M Brooklyn field hospital never saw a patient amid coronavirus pandemic

Comment: Remember the story blasted around the world about how the bodies were piling up so high in Brooklyn that they were being put into overflow refrigerated trucks?..

Brooklyn Cruise Terminal
© AP
The Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook
A roughly $21 million Brooklyn field hospital authorized by the de Blasio administration at the height of the coronavirus pandemic opened and closed without ever seeing one patient, according to city officials.

The Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook was one of several sites across the five boroughs converted into a medical facility as a way to relieve the city's overburdened hospital system as the COVID-19 crisis mounted.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans on Mar. 31 — a day after the USNS Comfort hospital ship arrived in New York Harbor to aid in the coronavirus fight — for the $20.8 million Red Hook field hospital with an estimated capacity for 750 beds.

The field hospital was built by Texas-based construction company SLSCO.

"They are going to set it up rapidly and we're then going to go to the next site, the next site, the next site to meet our goal," de Blasio told reporters of the site during that press conference in which the mayor also outlined the details to turn Queens' Billie Jean King National Tennis Center into a 350-bed temporary hospital.

Comment: They didn't 'save' any lives because there was no 'killer virus' to begin with. They may in fact have unnecessarily killed thousands, however, via their reckless lockdown.


We're all in this together - but not in the way you think

networked city
We are all in this together. No, by that I do not mean what Andrew Horney calls "all those cloyingly saccharine, feel-good public service announcements being delivered by famous faces on television and social media platforms, telling us "we're all in this together." We are all interdependent through the production of goods and services that constitutes the market order. Some critics of the current crisis see it as yet another case of the rich getting one over on the rest of us. I will argue that this cannot be correct, because the rich as well as the poor (and the middle class) depend on the freedom to produce, and are all harmed by the lack of it.

Angelika Albaladejo writes, "The Rich Are Getting Richer," citing a new report that "shows that some American billionaires are making substantial gains during the global health crisis." Wilamette Week asks, "How Will the Rich Get Richer During the Pandemic-Fueled Economic Collapse?"

Israel Shamir in "Deep Pockets Love Lockdown" suggests that the rich do not like the widespread availability of travel:
No more travels for us. The very rich folks will regain their solitary possession of Venice, the Côte d'Azur, and all the other elite destinations so recently inundated by mass tourism. Once again they will have it as good as they had it in the 19th century. Travel is a luxury, and ordinary people do not deserve luxury. They tried to keep us away by making travel as unpleasant as possible with body searches, but it didn't help. If this global pandemic doesn't stop us, they are simply going to cut us off.

Eye 2

For resisting lockdown orders prohibiting religious services, Mississippi church is burned to the ground

"Bet you stay home now you hypokrits" was written in parking lot at church that had sued the city over its public health orders.
mississippi church arson covid-19
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said he's "heartbroken and furious" after a fire this week at a church that has challenged coronavirus restrictions. The fire is being investigated as arson.

The fire Wednesday in Holly Springs destroyed the First Pentecostal Church, and investigators found graffiti in the church parking lot that reads, "Bet you stay home now you hypokrits," NBC affiliate WMC of Memphis reported.

The church was "burned to the ground" and had been trying to open services, Reeves tweeted Thursday.

First Pentecostal filed a lawsuit last month against the city over its public health order on in-person worship services, the station reported.

Comment: It's said that crises don't change people; they reveal them.

Well, this 'scamdemic', so global and profound in its effects on everyone, is certainly revealing a lot of diabolical people who relish and thrive on the lies...

Eye 1

Arrivals to UK, including citizens, 'must self-isolate for 14 days' - Rule won't go into affect till next month

heathrow airport
© LHR Airports Ltd/PA
The measures, which will also apply to returning UK citizens, will be reviewed every two weeks.
International travellers, including returning UK citizens, could face spot checks and £1,000 fines if they fail to self-isolate for 14 days after arriving in the country under measures to guard against a second wave of coronavirus.

The home secretary, Priti Patel, is expected to outline the plans, which will be introduced early next month, at the daily Downing Street briefing on Friday, the Northern Ireland secretary, Brandon Lewis, confirmed on Friday morning.

Exemptions for road hauliers and medical officials will apply, and the common travel area with Ireland and the Channel Islands will be unaffected. Arrivals from France will not be exempt, Lewis said, following confusion earlier this week.

Comment: Considering that most holidays or trips are for 2 weeks or less, this quarantine is lockdown by another name:

Light Sabers

As common sense returns to the gender debate, radicals set upon their own allies

Amanda Jetté Knox
In 2014, Ottawa-based writer Amanda Jetté Knox reported that her child Alexis had "come out to the family as a transgender girl." This event changed Knox's life, as "Alexis' journey taught [her] a great deal about courage, compassion and authenticity."

A few months after that, Knox's spouse came out as transgender as well. Knox reported to her readers that this realization, too, was "beautiful," and that she could not be more delighted to now be "gay married."

In blog posts, Knox described the whole family as "the happiest we've ever been," and wrote that "our world is so full of love and support that it leaves absolutely no room for hatred or ignorance to reside within it." Indeed, Knox made gender transition her professional focus, "studying research, interviewing experts, giving talks, writing articles" about trans issues. She authored a bestselling 2019 book about her experiences. In newspapers and magazines, she wrote articles under headlines like "The only way to respond to my transgender child's desperate plea was with love," "My daughter came out as trans, and it saved my marriage," and "My wife surprised her coworkers when she came out as trans." Knox gushed on CBC radio, took the stage at a Microsoft-sponsored event in Vancouver, and appeared on numerous television programs, always relentlessly promoting the same upbeat message of how trans-inclusiveness had brought joy to her household, over which there is now "a permanent rainbow... that unicorns like to prance around on."


Joe Rogan's $100M message to YouTube: 'Stop censoring us, Big Tech!'

© Getty Images/Michael S. Schwartz
Joe Rogan has received a $100m deal from Spotify.
The comedian's landmark shift away from the Google-owned streaming service could signal the start of a wave of creators moving away from the site - as it bafflingly attempts to pander to legacy media.

If you know podcasts, you know Joe Rogan. The American comedian has been producing his Joe Rogan Experience for more than a decade. He began just recording himself and his fellow comics shooting the breeze and smoking some weed before and after gigs.

Fast forward ten years and he has one of the biggest talk shows on the planet with presidential candidates, Hollywood megastars and billionaires queuing up to join him in the studio. The show has such enormous sway that it even managed to affect the price of Tesla stocks after Elon Musk took a toke on a joint during an interview.

In view of all this, it is perhaps not surprising that Spotify have just wooed the former Fear Factor presenter away from YouTube after writing him a cheque for a rumoured $100 million. That is proper, box office megabucks. To put it into context, that is more than Dr Phil, Howard Stern, Rush Limbaugh, Ellen DeGeneres and Ryan Seacrest were valued at last year by Forbes Magazine in their top five list of "World's Highest Paid Hosts".

Comment: See also: Joe Rogan just blew up the death star


US Secret Service: State unemployment insurance programs hit with 'massive fraud'

BFranklin and mask
© depositphotos.com
A well-organized Nigerian crime ring is exploiting the COVID-19 crisis by committing large-scale fraud against multiple state unemployment insurance programs, with potential losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a new alert issued by the U.S. Secret Service.

A memo seen by KrebsOnSecurity that the Secret Service circulated to field offices around the United States on Thursday says the ring has been filing unemployment claims in different states using Social Security numbers and other personally identifiable information (PII) belonging to identity theft victims, and that "a substantial amount of the fraudulent benefits submitted have used PII from first responders, government personnel and school employees."

The Secret Service warned:
"It is assumed the fraud ring behind this possesses a substantial PII database to submit the volume of applications observed thus far. The primary state targeted so far is Washington, although there is also evidence of attacks in North Carolina, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Florida."
The Secret Service said the fraud network is believed to consist of hundred of "mules," a term used to describe willing or unwitting individuals who are recruited to help launder the proceeds of fraudulent financial transactions.
"In the state of Washington, individuals residing out-of-state are receiving multiple ACH deposits from the State of Washington Unemployment Benefits Program, all in different individuals' names with no connection to the account holder."
The Service's memo suggests the crime ring is operating in much the same way as crooks who specialize in filing fraudulent income tax refund requests with the states and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS), a perennial problem that costs the states and the U.S. Treasury hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue each year.

Comment: It's bad enough Uncle Sam joined the global pandemic club causing societal and economic devastation for Americans to unprecedented levels and years of ramifications. Now a potentially preventable financial scam is going viral. Buck up America...or bucks out!


Netherlands: Emergency services battle fire at abandoned nuclear plant, residents urged to lock windows, doors

Netherlands Nuke facility
© Twitter/Omroep Gelderland
Nuclear facility fire
Dozens of firefighters have been deployed to tackle a blaze at a disused nuclear facility in Dodewaard in the Netherlands. Police have asked the public to stay away and lock all doors and windows to avoid exposure to the fumes.

The fire broke out shortly before noon local time on Thursday in Dodewaard, which is roughly 100 km from Amsterdam. Eyewitness video from the scene shows fire crews battling the blaze on the roof.