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Open letter: Refuting Politifact's 'fact check' of OffGuardian COVID article

fact check
On the 27th of June OffGuardian published an article by Torsten Engelbrecht and Konstantin Demeter titled "COVID19 PCR Tests are Scientifically Meaningless", on July 7th Politifact published a "fact check" response to this article, without contacting either OffGuardian or the authors for comment. Below is the author's response, an email to which no member of the PolitiFact team has yet responded.

Dear Angie Drobnic Holan, Daniel Funke & Aaron Sharockman
My name is Torsten Engelbrecht and I am journalist in Hamburg, Germany. On July 7, you claim in a piece that my OffGuardian article "COVID19 PCR Tests are Scientifically Meaningless" (co-authored by Konstantin Demeter) is "inaccurate."

Unfortunately, your piece is unsubstantiated from start to finish. This is a very serious issue, not least because Facebook has flagged our article as false news. To clarify this issue please answer the following questions (at least in short):

Red Pill

Holland's top scientists: 'No reliable evidence face coverings work' - Warn they could even hinder 'the fight against Covid-19'

amsterdam

While 120 countries in the world ordered citizens to wear masks in public places to prevent the spread of Covid-19, the Dutch are doing things differently. Pictured, people enjoying a drink in Amsterdam
As I walked around the sun-dappled streets of Amsterdam, something felt strange in this world swept by fear and pandemic. There was laughter coming from barges sliding along the famous canals, clusters of cyclists clogged the streets, shoppers dipped into chic boutiques, the barber shops seemed busy and cafes served couples chatting over coffee.

I heard many voices of tourists in bars and restaurants, while even the seedier sides of this celebrated Dutch city had people strolling through them. It took me a moment to realise what was so weird. Then it struck me. It felt like I had stepped back in time, returning to the pre-pandemic normality of a bustling city filled with human beings whose faces were not covered by cloth.

For while 120 countries in the world, including much of Europe, have ordered citizens to wear masks in public places to prevent the spread of Covid-19, the Dutch are doing things differently.

The nation's top scientists, having examined key data and research, have declared there is no firm evidence to back the use of face coverings. Indeed, they argue that wearing the wretched things may actually hamper the fight against disease.

Yellow Vest

'Masks are muzzles': Protesters rally outside BBC HQ & march to Downing Street after UK govt widens mask-wearing orders

masks muzzles
Activists took to the streets of London a day after the UK cabinet expanded its guidelines for mandatory face coverings. The demonstration comes amid growing skepticism worldwide over the efficacy of such policies.

A large group of demonstrators assembled in Hyde Park on Saturday, where they listened to speeches denouncing the government's anti-coronavirus measures. Piers Corbyn, brother of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, was among the speakers.

Carrying placards reading "Stop the new normal, save lives,""Freedom over fear," and "Masks are muzzles," the protesters then marched towards Downing Street, stopping outside BBC headquarters along the way.

Footage from RT's Ruptly video agency shows a huge crowd, most without masks, filling the streets of the UK capital as they marched toward Downing Street.

Burka

BLM is extorting business owners in Kentucky by demanding they 'hire Blacks' and 'buy from Black retailers'


Comment: Now they're demanding 'diversity' and 'reparations' from minority-owned small businesses.

This was never about 'justice for George Floyd'.


louisville BLM cuban restaurant
Members of Louisville's Cuban community plan to gather Sunday in support of a NuLu restaurant owner who says he was threatened by Black Lives Matter protesters during a recent demonstration.

Fernando Martinez, a partner of the Olé Restaurant Group, was one of dozens of business owners in the downtown Louisville district who recently received a letter from protesters laying out demands that aim to improve diversity in the area, which is known for its locally-owned shops and restaurants.

Martinez has publicly denounced the demands on Facebook, calling them "mafia tactics" used to intimidate business owners. And on Thursday, a small group of protesters confronted him outside his newest restaurant, La Bodeguita de Mima, on East Market Street.

"There comes a time in life that you have to make a stand and you have to really prove your convictions and what you believe in," Martinez wrote in his Facebook post. "... All good people need to denounce this. How can you justified (sic) injustice with more injustice?"

Comment: "...so we have decided to force them to serve us. By any means necessary..."

The extent of lawlessness in the US is growing by the day.


Alarm Clock

Sleepless in Seattle? Residents shred 'defund the police' as 'radical experiment' during City Council budget meeting

Seattle police
© AP/Aron Ranen
Seattle police block a street with their bikes in the Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone.
To paraphrase a line from the classic movie Network, residents of Seattle are mad as hell and they aren't going to take it anymore.

With the "Defund the Police" movement alive and well in cities like Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, New York City, and elsewhere across the country, the Seattle City Council is considering a plan that would slash funding to the city's police department by 50 percent — resulting in the layoff of hundreds of officers — 100 of them immediately.

While the "defund" movement was initially popular among Seattle residents, those days are apparently over — or at least headed in that direction — as reported by Q13 FOX. During a city council budget meeting on Wednesday, hundreds of residents (Seattlites?) spoke out against the proposed plan to neuter their police department.


Comment: Seattle, as well as other hotspots such as Portland and Minneapolis, have begun a wave of permissive insurrection and refuse to pay the price for it. Laws and law enforcement are meant to protect everyone without exception. Does it happen? Not always, but without this leverage what do we have and what can we expect? And, how does insurrection from the inside out begin?

See also:


Star of David

Ramallah: Palestinian mosque torched in latest racist attack

mosque of Al Bireh
© Twitter
The mosque of Al Bireh, near Ramallah, was set on fire overnight.
A Palestinian mosque near the West Bank city of Ramallah was set on fire overnight in an apparent extremist attack, local media reported.

The mosque in Al-Bireh was also daubed with graffiti declaring "this land is for the Jews" and "siege to the Arabs", according to Palestinian news agency Wafa.

On Monday, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh slammed the blaze as a "racist attack" by suspected Jewish settlers. "We hold the occupation authority [Israel] fully responsible for it and for the unruly acts and growing violence of the settlers," Shtayyeh said.

Israeli Economic Minister Amir Peretz called for the "hatemongers" behind the attack to be "brought to justice".


X

DHS removes top official who oversaw intel reports on journalists

Brian Murphy
© DHS
Brian Murphy
The Department of Homeland Security is removing its top intelligence official from his post amid criticism of his office's role in the civil unrest in Portland, Oregon.

Brian Murphy, who has been the acting chief of DHS's Office of Intelligence and Analysis, is being removed from that role, a person familiar with the matter confirmed to POLITICO. The person said acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf made the decision.

Murphy's removal comes in the wake of a string of bruising reports about the office he runs. Over the last week, news has broken that I&A compiled intelligence reports about journalists covering protests in Portland, including a reporter for the New York Times. And on Friday, The Washington Post reported it also monitored protesters' electronic communications. Both stories raise legal concerns.

Those protests, part of a nationwide movement against police brutality and racism, have been increasingly kinetic, with some protesters throwing fireworks and other objects at law enforcement officers protecting the federal courthouse. Law enforcement officials, in turn, have responded with tear gas and other controversial tactics.

Comment: As we watch the onslaught of news about Portland's inability to confront its siege head-on or take advantage of federal help (blackmailed with fines for doing their job), news outlets do the country no favor by slanted reporting for political or self-serving reasons. Are Americans so clueless to the trappings of pre-fabricated revolution? They wouldn't be if the Times and WaPo were really doing their job.

See also:


Star of David

Israel arrests BDS coordinator in night raid as his children watched

Nawaja'a
© twitter
General coordinator of BDS Mahmoud Nawaja'a
Israeli occupation forces detained the general coordinator of the BDS - boycott, divestment and sanctions - movement in a night raid early Thursday.

At around 3:30 am dozens of Israeli soldiers, accompanied by at least one dog, stormed the home of Mahmoud Nawaja'a near Ramallah, "handcuffing, blindfolding and taking him away from his wife and three young children," the BDS National Committee (BNC) said.

This video released by the BNC shows Nawaja'a, 34, as he is led away blindfolded by armed soldiers:


Arrow Up

The Agora is Growing! Rejoice!

Agora is Growing
© Corbett Report
Have you entered a store without the mandated mask affixed to your face?

Visited a friend in violation of a lockdown order?

Frequented a New York bar that didn't offer "substantive" food to go with your beer?

Congratulations! You're a thought criminal!

And here's the best part: There are more thought criminals being born every day!

What am I talking about? The counter-economy, that's what!

As you'll no doubt remember from my previous writing on the subject, counter-economics is not what the Pentagon does to cook its books each year. No, it's both an idea and a practice that was pioneered by Samuel Edward Konkin III, everyone's second favourite Canadian emigre anarchist.

In An Agorist Primer, Konkin explains that "All (non-coercive) human action committed in defiance of the State constitutes the Counter-Economy." That's a deceptively simple definition, so let's tease out some of the nuance here:
  • "Non-coercive" is important because murder, theft, assault, fraud, extortion and other forms of coercion are not part of the counter-economy, but, as Konkin notes, are simply "other forms of statism."
  • "Human action" is important because, as Konkin was at pains to stress, counter-economics is not a dry, dusty theory to be discussed in a philosophy classroom, but an idea that can only be realized in practice.
  • And "in defiance of the State" is important because the purpose of counter-economics is to undermine, and, eventually, shrink the state out of existence.
So, you walk into a store without a mask in defiance of your city's ordinances? Congratulations! You're a practicing counter-economist.

Bomb

Ghislaine Maxwell trial: Unsealed documents reveal US president Bill Clinton attended Epstein's orgy island with teenage girls

epstein and ghislaine
© Reuters / Lucas Jackson
Court documents released Thursday claim to reveal what life was like inside the world of rich and powerful pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and his accused madam Ghislaine Maxwell.

A federal judge unsealed the trove of records from a now-settled civil defamation case involving chief accuser Virginia Giuffre and Maxwell.

Maxwell, 58, has since been criminally charged after she was arrested July 2 on a six-count indictment accusing her of grooming young girls for sex. She has pleaded not guilty.

Comment: See also: