The rise of La Resistenza to Covid lockdowns! Defiant Italian bar and restaurant owners choose civil disobedience and reopen
RT – Facing fresh closure decrees lasting into March, Italian hostelry owners flout the rules just to avoid bankruptcy, while their diners prefer freedom rather than fear, and shout at interfering police, ‘Get out! you work for us!’
The lockdown resistance is rising! Nearly a year after the Italian government signalled the arrival of killer Covid-19 on European shores by suspending flights from China and declaring a national emergency when two cases of the virus were confirmed in Rome, the nation’s bars, cafes and restaurants are uniting with one voice to roar, ‘Basta!’
And if the number of 50,000 establishments currently on board is to be believed, it’s a movement growing by the day.
At the vanguard of this insurgency are those proud purveyors of pasta and pizza, Italy’s estimated 300,000 restaurant and cafe owners. They were hard-hit by the first lockdown last March, when nearly a sixth of them were expected to go under as a result of the first few months of restrictions. Now the latest government decree is in place until March 5 at least, and beyond that, who knows?
The unsustainable drain the regulations have placed on the finances of many of those hugely popular and endlessly charming, family-run trattorias and bars beloved of locals and tourists alike, and their collapse that inevitably follows, is a national shame. But the government is so preoccupied by infighting and turmoil as it teeters on the edge of survival, it is in no position to provide any sort of long-term solution.
Accounting for three percent of the economy and employing more than 1.2 million people before the pandemic, the first three months of lockdown cost the sector at least €25 billion (over $30 billion), according to the Italian Federation of Public Exercises (FIPE). Last June, it predicted the loss of 350,000 jobs and the closure of 50,000 bars, restaurants and pizzerias. Needless to say, the outlook has only worsened in the last six months.
Although Covid rules have eased slightly for some since December, all restaurants still have social distancing and single-use menu measures in place and must shut by 6pm – ruling out a dinner service.
With the workday cut dramatically in half and revenues slumping accordingly, it is unsurprising that under-siege restaurateurs are organising into something the government will find hard to ignore – a widespread rebellion against the rules in a campaign of civil disobedience.
Surely it cannot be long before the strains of the 19th Century folk protest song-turned anti-facist anthem Bella Ciao are heard in the streets once again!
As the #IoApro (I am open) momentum builds, politicians like Silvio Berloscuni’s Forza Italia colleague Vittorio Sgarbi are jumping on the bandwagon, egging on the restaurant insurrectionists with an animated diatribe against the rules in which he urges establishments, “Open up and don’t worry, in the end we will make them eat their fines.”
Dutch Covid-19 track-and-trace system springs data leaks as potentially thousands of names, numbers and records are stolen
RT – The personal details and data of potentially thousands of Dutch citizens who took part in their country’s Covid-19 track-and-trace system has been leaked, health officials confirmed on Friday.
The Dutch health services (GGD) and police confirmed that the coronavirus data was stolen in two separate leaks – one targeting a small group of prominent people, while the other concerned the personal details of an as-yet-unknown number of residents. But GGD said thousands could be affected by the data leak, and any staff who were involved in any intentional wrongdoing will be fired.
Dutch police arrested two GGD call-center employees earlier this week “on suspicion of computer trespassing” as part of their investigation.
The Dutch privacy commission Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens has reportedly been swamped with calls from people worried about their personal information being stolen in the leaks and offered for sale online.
On Friday, the GGD confirmed the leaks were from its Covid-19 track-and-trace system, and not from a related tracking app used via smartphones.
GGD staff who were responsible for scheduling appointments and forwarding negative test results could also access data including birthdays, addresses, social security numbers as well as medical notes and telephone numbers. The information was informally shared on WhatsApp groups when staff needed help from one another.
“If people who mean ill intentionally take data out of a system, that’s almost impossible to stop,” the GGD said. “People who have crossed the line will be fired, simply, and weak spots in our security will be identified and strengthened.”
News of the data leaks come as the country sees a growing pushback against coronavirus restrictions, with a series of protests and riots breaking out in Dutch cities over the past week against the night-time curfew.
Europe goes to war on vaccines: EU unveils export controls that could stop vaccines reaching Britain after forcing AstraZeneca to publish contract in a bid to make the firm hand over its UK jabs
Daily Mail – The EU stepped up its war over vaccines today as it introduced export controls that will allow it to block shipments of coronavirus jabs to countries outside of the bloc including the UK – amid a very public row with drug-maker AstraZeneca.
‘We paid these companies to increase production and now we expect them to deliver,’ EU Commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis said as she announced the ‘transparency measures’.
‘Today’s measure has been adopted with the utmost urgency. The aim is to provide us immediately with full transparency… And if needed, it also will provide us with a tool to ensure vaccine deliveries.’
EU officials said they expected the order to come into effect on Saturday, continue until the end of March, and apply to vaccines that are covered by advance purchase agreements – such as Pfizer BioNTech.
Brussels has been in a furious dispute with AstraZeneca this week, accusing it of breaching its contract by delaying deliveries to EU governments while maintaining those under a deal it signed earlier with the UK.
But Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides insisted: ‘We are not protecting ourselves against any specific country. And we’re not in competition or in a race against any country.’
Earlier in the day, Brussels published a version of the contract it signed with AstraZeneca to try and force the vaccine-maker to send doses made in the UK to Europe – but appeared to have shot itself in the foot.
While European ministers have publicly insisted that they are entitled to the jabs under the terms of the contract, Steven Barrett – a respected commercial lawyer with the Radcliffe Chambers – told MailOnline that it actually shows the opposite.
‘The EU’s public position is legally unsustainable, and they have made public comments that are demonstrably wrong,’ he said.
He pointed to section 5.1 of the contract as the most damning, saying that it ‘clearly shows’ the company is only under a ‘Best Reasonable Effort’ clause to supply the EU – as boss Pascal Soriot has publicly stated.
While section 5.4 does state that factories in the UK are considered to be part of the EU under the terms of the contract, he called this ‘a distraction’ that ‘is not relevant to the EU’s point’.
‘This is actually a mildly embarrassing climbdown from the EU, who have a rule that all vaccines used in the EU have to be made in the EU.
‘What they have done in that clause is say, for the purposes of this contract, the UK counts as the EU.’ But, he added, it does not mean they are entitled to doses made in UK factories.
In addition, clause 6.2 of the contract states that ‘competing agreements’ signed by AstraZeneca might affect the supply of vaccines to the EU.
‘They knew there would be competing agreements,’ Mr Barrett said. ‘Everyone in the world knew there would be competing agreements. They knew that might mean doses were delayed.
‘I believe the EU is publicly asserting that it now has a right to jump the queue and take doses that belong to other people. That is expressly wrong,’ he added.
>> Related: UK refuses to publish vaccine-supply data for ‘security reasons’ amid delivery row with the EU
A UK minister has announced that the government won’t publish vaccine-supply data, for “security reasons,” amid an ongoing row with the EU over delayed deliveries and in spite of Scotland’s plan to reveal its stock figures.
During an interview on the BBC, Prisons Minister Lucy Frazer was challenged over why the UK government is refusing to reveal how many vaccines it has, the reporter questioning if it was hiding something.
Frazer claimed that “the government isn’t trying to hide something,” that it has been “incredibly transparent” and is only withholding the data for “security reasons.” However, when the reporter asked what the minister had meant by “security reasons,” Frazer was unable to answer, simply stating that this is the information she has received.
In a sign of the divide between the UK and Scottish governments, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced that, in order to “have transparency,” her administration will be releasing detailed figures about supply levels in that country. The UK government has demanded that such information not be released by any devolved administration, but it doesn’t have the power to prevent Sturgeon from publishing it if she so chooses.
SHFTPlan – China has expanded the rollout of anal swabbing to test for COVID-19, saying these tests are more reliable. Also more invasive, and probably a lot more uncomfortable too.
For those in quarantine, China will use an anal swab to determine if the virus is still present. Chinese state media outlets introduced the new protocol in recent days, prompting widespread discussion and some outrage. Some Chinese doctors say the science is there though, and as the peasants, we should just accept the science.
Here’s the likely reason they are using these swabs instead:
Recovering patients, they say, have continued to test positive through samples from the lower digestive tract days after nasal and throat swabs came back negative. -Washington Post
Why would they want so many positive tests? To keep the narrative going, of course.
for many, it seemed a step too far in government intrusions after a year and counting of a dignity-eroding pandemic.
“Everyone involved will be so embarrassed,” one user in Guangdong province said on Weibo, a Chinese social media platform, on Wednesday. In a Weibo poll, 80 percent of respondents said they “could not accept” the invasive method.
So now we know that anal swabs might finally be where the sheep draw the line.
U.S. News, Politics & Government
THIS IS INSANE — Pro-Trump twitter personality Ricky Vaughn arrested and indicted (today) for 2016 memes…
CITIZEN FREE PRESS – Biden’s DOJ arrested Vaughn this morning
Biden’s Department of (Justice has charged a Trump voter who had 58,000 followers on twitter with election interference because he posted a meme in 2016 telling Democrats to vote for Hillary Clinton via text as a joke.
A Florida man was arrested this morning on charges of conspiring with others in advance of the 2016 U.S. Election to disseminate misinformation designed to deprive individuals of their constitutional right to vote.
Douglass Mackey, aka Ricky Vaughn, 31, of West Palm Beach, was charged by criminal complaint in the Eastern District of New York. He was taken into custody this morning in West Palm Beach and made his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce E. Reinhart of the Southern District of Florida.
“There is no place in public discourse for lies and misinformation to defraud citizens of their right to vote,” said Seth D. DuCharme, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. “With Mackey’s arrest, we serve notice that those who would subvert the democratic process in this manner cannot rely on the cloak of Internet anonymity to evade responsibility for their crimes. They will be investigated, caught and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
The complaint alleges that in 2016, Mackey established an audience on Twitter with approximately 58,000 followers. A February 2016 analysis by the MIT Media Lab ranked Mackey as the 107th most important influencer of the then-upcoming Election, ranking his account above outlets and individuals such as NBC News (#114), Stephen Colbert (#119) and Newt Gingrich (#141).
As alleged in the complaint, between September 2016 and November 2016, in the lead up to the Nov. 8, 2016, U.S. Presidential Election, Mackey conspired with others to use social media platforms, including Twitter, to disseminate fraudulent messages designed to encourage supporters of one of the presidential candidates (the “Candidate”) to “vote” via text message or social media, a legally invalid method of voting.
For example, on Nov. 1, 2016, Mackey allegedly tweeted an image that featured an African American woman standing in front of an “African Americans for [the Candidate]” sign. The image included the following text: “Avoid the Line. Vote from Home. Text ‘[Candidate’s first name]’ to 59925[.] Vote for [the Candidate] and be a part of history.” The fine print at the bottom of the image stated: “Must be 18 or older to vote. One vote per person. Must be a legal citizen of the United States. Voting by text not available in Guam, Puerto Rico, Alaska or Hawaii. Paid for by [Candidate] for President 2016.”
A Terrifying New Bill In Congress Would Eliminate The Possibility Of Turning America Around In 2024, 2028 Or Ever Again
Michael Snyder – Have you heard about H.R. 1? If not, I would urge you to read the text of the bill immediately. It is called the “For The People Act”, and you can find it right here. The text of this bill specifically states that Congress has the “ultimate supervisory power over federal elections”, but of course anyone that is familiar with what the U.S. Constitution actually says knows that this is not true. The states are supposed to have final authority over their own election laws, and H.R. 1 is a blatant attempt to usurp that authority. Unfortunately, in the aftermath of the riot at the U.S. Capitol there are very few politicians in Washington that still have a willingness to stand up for election integrity. H.R. 1 is almost certainly going to get through the House of Representatives, and it has a really good chance of getting through the Senate as well.
If this legislation is approved, it will fundamentally change the nature of our federal elections forever.
And not in a good way.
I do not think that Tucker Carlson was exaggerating by very much at all when he warned that “Democrats will control the federal government for decades” if H.R. 1 becomes law…
Democrats will control the federal government for decades or more if a sweeping new proposal touted as comprehensive government reform becomes law, Tucker Carlson said on Monday.
Carlson warned of the many dangers of “H.R. 1.,” the “For The People Act,” a nearly 800-page bill sponsored by Maryland Democrat John Sarbanes of Baltimore.
In essence, this bill would make elections all over the country just like elections in California.
Democrats introduced the same bill last year, but it died in the Republican-controlled Senate.
But now Democrats control the Senate, and they just need a handful of Senate Republicans to go along with them so that they can overcome any potential filibuster. The following comes from Zero Hedge…
In the House, Democrats have revived sweeping election reform legislation that died in the Senate during the previous session, perhaps hoping they can browbeat enough Republicans into going along with them. If that happens, the “Grand Old Party” of Abraham Lincoln might as well disband, because Republicans would never have any hope of regaining a congressional majority or controlling the White House under the rules that HR 1 would put in place.
Although the Constitution explicitly places state legislatures in charge of managing federal elections, HR 1 seeks to use the power of the purse to bludgeon the states into conforming to a centralized system pioneered in California and other deep-blue states. Congress can’t technically compel the states to change their voting laws, but seasoned politicians know that the states have become dependent on federal money to run their elections, and can’t afford to pick up the tab themselves.
Inevitably, there would probably be a few red states that would attempt to defy this new law, but the threat of reduced federal funding would force most red states to submit to the new mandates.
So exactly why are many Republicans so deeply alarmed by this bill?
Well, the good people over at Pundit Press have put together a list of some of the things that this new law would do…
1) Internet-only registration with electronic signature submission.
2) Banning the requirement to provide a full SSN for voter registration.
3) Nationwide ‘Motor Voter’ registration.
4) 16 year olds required to be registered to vote.
5) Nationwide same-day registration.
6) Grants ($25M) for using minors in election activities.
7) More children voters.
8) Prohibiting attempts to clean voter rolls of non-residents.
9) Murderers and rapists can vote.
10) Mandatory early voting.
11) THE BIG ONE – NATIONWIDE VOTE BY MAIL, BAN ON BALLOT PROTECTION MEASURES, LEGALIZED LIMITLESS BALLOT HARVESTING.
If you are a Republican and you live in a state that already allows “ballot harvesting”, than you probably already know how devastatingly effective it is.
When ballot harvesting is legalized without any limitations, it becomes exceedingly difficult for Republicans to win except for in the most conservative areas. During one of his recent shows, Tucker Carlson explained why…
“Under H.R. 1, [people] could freely go house to house and apartment to apartment collecting unknown thousands of ballots and then dump them all in a ballot dropbox. No one would have any idea if those ballots had been tampered with at any point along the way or would there be any way to prove it if they had been tampered with,” he continued.
Not only that, but H.R. 1 would also reportedly allow people “to print out their ballots at home”…
For example, HR 1 would allow ballot harvesting on steroids. Voters would — for the first time — have the ability to print out their ballots at home, creating a gaping security hole that could easily be exploited by either domestic or foreign interests. The legislation also allows third parties to collect ballots from an unlimited number of absentee voters and submit them through ballot drop boxes, dramatically increasing the risk that vulnerable Americans could be bullied, bribed, or blackmailed for their votes without the protection of election workers.
Can you imagine what would happen if we actually allowed tens of millions of people all over the country to print out their own ballots?
Senator on Panel that Oversees IRS asks Tax Agency to Strip Conservative Group of Nonprofit Status Over COVID-19 “Superspreader” Events
Judicial Watch – Reminiscent of the Obama Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) witch hunt of conservative groups, a U.S. Senator who sits on the committee that oversees the tax agency is pushing it to revoke a student charity’s nonprofit status. The veteran lawmaker, Rhode Island Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse, says the conservative student organization, Turning Point USA, should lose its nonprofit rating because it held large events that could help spread COVID-19. In a letter to IRS Commissioner Charles P. Rettig the senator describes the gatherings as “superspreader” events. He specifically mentions a Palm Beach, Florida winter gala at the Mar-a-Lago Club famously owned by former President Donald Trump.
“According to press reports and social media posts, many participants gathered and mingled indoors without wearing masks, in violation of Palm Beach County’s COVID-19 regulations,” Whitehouse, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, writes to the IRS chief. The powerful chamber has oversight over the IRS, among many other government agencies. “In holding these ‘superspreader’ events, Turning Point USA knowingly exposed hundreds of young people and staff working at the events to serious risk of infection,” the letter continues. The legislator asks the IRS to review whether the group, which has more than 250,000 student members, should continue to enjoy its tax-exempt nonprofit status. “Established law has long held that an organization is not eligible for tax exemption under section 501(c)(3) if a purpose of the organization is contrary to public policy or is illegal,” the letter states, reminding the IRS commissioner of a three-part test established to determine whether an organization’s activities are consistent with tax exemption under the code.
The analysis includes determining whether the purpose of the organization is charitable, if activities are not illegal and whether the activities are in furtherance to the group’s exempt purpose and are reasonably related to that purpose. “Turning Point USA’s reckless decision to host potential ‘superspreader’ events, in open violation of local COVID-19 regulations, put children and others at risk, and was clearly contrary to the public good,” the senator tells the IRS commissioner. “Tax-exempt status provides a substantial benefit to charitable organizations and reflects the federal government’s endorsement of an organization’s activities. Organizations that knowingly put in danger minors entrusted to their care should not enjoy the benefits of tax-exempt status. Accordingly, I urge the IRS to review whether it should revoke Turning Point USA’s tax-exempt status.”
Founded in 2012, Turning Point USA describes itself as a national student movement dedicated to identifying, organizing, and empowering young people to promote the principles of free markets and limited government. The group’s founder, 27-year-old Charlie Kirk, was the chairman of Students for Trump, which aimed to activate a million new college voters before the 2020 presidential election. In a press release announcing the letter to the IRS, Whitehouse refers to the group as a “right-wing nonprofit” that “promotes far-right ideas to young people around the country.” The document, posted on the senator’s official website, further states that Turning Point USA “has cultivated close ties to President Trump and the Trump family.”
The senator’s push to repeal the conservative charity’s nonprofit status brings back memories of the Obama IRS singling out groups with conservative-sounding terms such as “patriot” and “Tea Party” in their titles when applying for tax-exempt benefits. Judicial Watch launched an investigation and sued for records after an explosive Treasury Inspector General report revealed that in 2010 the IRS began using inappropriate criteria, such as lists of past and future donors, to identify organizations applying for tax-exempt status. The illegal IRS reviews continued for more than 18 months, according to the report, and “delayed processing of targeted groups’ applications” preparing for the 2012 presidential election. The IRS director at the center of the scheme, Lois Lerner, not only broke agency rules—as well as the law—to target conservative organizations she also lied to Congress to cover up the wrongdoing.
NaturalNews – Reports from mainstream media show that the pandemic has claimed over 400,000 American lives, but some legislators tell a different story.
On Tuesday, Dec. 29, two Minnesota state representatives revealed that death totals have been inflated in the state. During an interview on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Republican Reps. Mary Franson and Scott Jensen demanded an audit to clarify the matter.
Minnesota falsely “classifying some deaths as COVID”
Franson and Jensen claimed that a national audit of the published coronavirus death totals nationwide is crucial since the figures have been inflated by including people who died of non-illness related reasons, such as car crashes, drownings or suicides after they tested positive for coronavirus.
Franson explained that she enlisted experts who checked the data and the results were “shocking.” The analysis revealed that Minnesota is listing some deaths as COVID-related when they shouldn’t be.
Franson also mentioned that the mischaracterized deaths may have something to do with the Minnesota lockdown that’s negatively affecting the state’s economy. She added that restaurants in Minnesota are only allowed to serve customers outside, a condition that isn’t ideal for winter. (Related: Are U.S. states covering up coronavirus death data?)
According to Jensen, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is behind the mischaracterized deaths because when “the Department of Health and the CDC [Centers for Disease Control] decided to change the rules that had been in place for 17 years by encouraging the diagnosis of COVID-19 in situations that we never would have otherwise, they were abandoning their long-held commitment to precisely identifying the inciting or the initiating event that would lead to a sequence of events that would lead to a person’s demise.”
As of December 2020, official totals showed that more than 344,000 Americans have died of the coronavirus. However, the exact number that should be counted as coronavirus deaths have been fiercely debated because everyone who died while under a coronavirus diagnosis, regardless if the infection was the primary or a significant contributing factor to the death or not, is included in the totals.
Medical professionals and the CDC said those deaths need to be included in totals if coronavirus was “one of several contributing illnesses that led to a person’s death.”
Newsmax – A top Biden administration official has come under scrutiny for bringing — and heralding the views of — a critical race extremist to the San Diego School District in September.
San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Marten, President Joe Biden’s nominee to be deputy education secretary, invited Bettina Love to deliver a presentation on “Abolitionist Teaching,” the National Review reported.
The district faculty received Love’s training and were told white teachers regularly “spirit murder” Black students, per the report.
Love, author of “We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom,” reportedly told staff they must become “abolitionists” and “build conditions that create institutions that are just, loving, equitable, and center Black lives.”
Love added a warning on “spirit murdering,” which she called “a death that is built on racism and intended to reduce, humiliate, and destroy people of color,” a staffer in attendance reported.
Marten introduced Love and “was very supportive of the programming and of the speaker as well,” the staffer said, per the report.
“She was obviously very familiar with what this woman was going to be talking about and delivering,” the attendee said, adding Love told trainees to “recognize our privilege and bias and how it affects our decisions.”
The revelations might arise during Marten’s Senate confirmation hearing. She is tapped to serve under Education Secretary-nominee Miguel Cardona, Connecticut’s former education commissioner.
Breitbart – President Joe Biden told Americans in his Inaugural Address last week: “We have learned again that democracy is precious. Democracy is fragile. And at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed.” But one would be forgiven for thinking otherwise, given the Biden administration’s behavior on taking office.
After a week of Biden, the United States is being run more like a Third World country than an advanced democracy. Here are nine of the most salient examples:
- Rule by executive order. President Biden issued dozens of executive orders in his first week, a new record. Yet at a town hall in October, he promised: “I have this strange notion. We are a democracy. … Things you can’t do by executive order, unless you’re a dictator. We’re democracy, we need consensus.” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has supported him, turning the legislature into a rubber stamp, hailing Biden for what she called “transformative executive actions.”
- Putting a predecessor on trial. Biden broke his pledge to seek “unity,” and backed a Senate impeachment trial for his predecessor, President Donald Trump. Trump has not committed any known crime. Moreover, the Constitution does not provide for a former president to be impeached. Already, 45 Senators voted to declare the trial unconstitutional, meaning there is no chance of a conviction. The only purpose is to prevent Trump from running for office again — pure politics.
- Censorship of opposition. The Biden administration has not done anything to challenge the ongoing censorship of conservatives in social media, which the Biden campaign actually supported. Administration officials are said to be delighted that Trump has been banned from Twitter, because it has eliminated the most powerful opposition voice. In addition, the Department of Justice has begun prosecuting people for memes. The chilling effect on speech is real.
- Attacking the private sector. Biden has killed jobs in the fossil fuel industry by canceling the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline and suspending oil and gas leasing on federal lands. He has done so even though there will be no benefit for the planet. Even Climate Envoy John Kerry admitted Wednesday that if U.S. emissions were to reach “zero,” the world’s emissions would ensure that climate change continued. But in a Third World dictatorship, the private sector is expendable.
- Exploiting identity politics. Biden continues to peddle the lie that our society is haunted by “systemic racism.” He is leading an assault on common national symbols and ideas, deleting the report of the 1776 Commission within moments of taking office. (Biden attacked the report, which he clearly has not read, as “offensive” and “counter-factual.”) Biden also imposed new transgender rules on the military and on amateur sports, short-circuiting debate about a sensitive issue.
- Challenging judicial independence. One of the only checks on a runaway executive or legislature is an independent judiciary. But Biden is pressing ahead with plans to “reform” the courts, potentially “packing” the Supreme Court with left-wing judges. To that end, he has appointed Bob Bauer to lead a “bipartisan” commission to study the issue. Bauer is Biden’s former campaign lawyer, and worked for Perkins Coie, the firm that arranged the fraudulent “Russia dossier.”
- Purging former officials. Biden is removing officials appointed by his predecessor to a variety of agencies, from the Voice of America to the National Security Council. The “purge” has even included officials like National Security Agency general counsel Michael Ellis, who had previously been vetted through a bipartisan process. Trump complained about Obama “holdovers” but hired critics, even Democrats. Notably, Biden has not appointed one Republican to his Cabinet.
- Encouraging a slavish media. The Biden Administration enjoys the benefit of fawning coverage from the mainstream media, which has thus far provided glowing reports about the new administration, and continues to portray Trump and his supporters in the most negative light possible. The Washington Post kept a running tally of allegedly false statements by Trump, but has declined to do so for Biden — even though Biden has a well-deserved reputation for telling falsehoods.
- Military in the streets. The National Guard ought to have been brought to the Capitol to reinforce police on January 6. Their presence was understandable in the aftermath of the Capitol riot, even if the much-touted threats to the Inauguration never amounted to much. But now their presence has been extended for months, supposedly to thwart threats to the Senate trial. It looks less like a legitimate mission and more like a show of force by Democrats against their political opponents.
Economy & Business
Investment Watch Blog – For decades, the big fish on Wall Street have been able to do virtually anything that they want, but now the small fish are fighting back and it has been a beautiful thing to watch. Finally it is payback time, and the losses have been absolutely staggering. In fact, Reuters is reporting that short sellers have lost more than 70 BILLION dollars so far this year. But nobody should be crying for the short sellers. As Charles Payne pointed out during an epic rant on Fox Business, the short sellers have ruthlessly crushed countless businesses over the years, and they did so without showing any mercy whatsoever.
So now the big hedge funds want mercy themselves?
It’s not likely to happen.
After sending GameStop, AMC and other beleaguered stocks into the stratosphere, now investors on Reddit are talking about going after a really huge whale.
The silver market is perfectly primed for an epic short squeeze, and a coordinated assault by retail investors could make it happen.
The following is an excerpt from the post on the “WallStreetBets” Reddit subgroup that everyone is talking about…
The silver futures market has oscillated between having roughly 100-1 and 500-1 ratio of paper traded silver to physical silver, but lets call it 250-1 for now. This means that for every 250 ounces in open interest in the futures market, only 1 actually gets delivered. Most traders would rather settle with cash rather than take delivery of thousands of ounces of silver and have to figure out to store and transport it in the future.
The people naked shorting silver via the futures markets are a couple of large banks and making them pay dearly for their over leveraged naked shorts would be incredible. It’s not Melvin capital on the other side of this trade, its JP Morgan. Time to get some payback for the bailouts and manipulation they’ve done for decades (look up silver manipulation fines that JPM has paid over the years).
The way the squeeze could occur is by forcing a much higher percentage of the futures contracts to actually deliver physical silver. There is very little silver in the COMEX vaults or available to actually be use to deliver, and if they have to start buying en masse on the open market they will drive the price massively higher. There is no way to magically create more physical silver in the world that is ready to be delivered. With a stock you can eventually just issue more shares if the price rises too much, but this simply isn’t the case here. The futures market is kind of the wild west of the financial world. Real commodities are being traded, and if you are short, you literally have to deliver thousands of ounces of silver per contract if the holder on the other side demands it. If you remember oil going negative back in May, that was possible because futures are allowed to trade to their true value. They aren’t halted and that’s what will make this so fun when the true squeeze happens.
That post has already been upvoted more than 9,400 times, and it appears that a consensus is building that this is going to be the next big thing after the raid on GameStop short sellers is done.
Investment Watch Blog – For every $11.00 the price of GameStop shares goes up, the banks lose about a billion dollars.
2008’s housing market collapse only cost the banks around 50 billion.
$1000 GME/Funcoland is WORSE FOR THE BANKS THAN THE 2008 HOUSING MARKET CRASH.
This is going to crash the entire financial system.
And it’s not limited to Gamestop, or AMC, or BBRY.
This has exposed a serious vulnerability in a system that is already propped up by MASSIVE amounts of debt.
These funds make up a significant amount of trading volume on the NYSE, and the average hedge fund has $30-40 in debt for every $1 of actual money on their books.
It has now become apparent that the sustenance of the entire system is dependent upon fund managers and bankers trading on inside info at the expense of retail investors who hold positions opposite theirs.
Retail and “outsiders” have now figured out a way to break their game, rendering them unable to service that debt.
If the government intercedes, they can only do so unconstitutionally and screw tens of thousands of regular people out of money they made fairly.
If they don’t, I don’t know if you realize this, but we are looking at a system-wide collapse that can’t be stopped.
Hedge funds have a total of $3.25 trillion under management, and nearly every dollar of that is intertwined and levered up to the extent above.
The value of the US dollar will be at risk. There’s no amount of stimulus the government can pour in to help service that debt without triggering hyperinflation.
WND – Amid a boycott in response to its politically motivated decision to drop Mike Lindell’s MyPillow products, shares of Bed Bath & Beyond plunged 36.4% at the close of trading Thursday.
The retail chain suffered its biggest one-day loss since going public in June 1992.
The consumer organization Media Action Network launched the boycott of Bed, Bath & Beyond after the retail chain stopped selling Lindell’s products due to his support of President Trump’s claim that fraud affected the outcome of the 2020 election. Retailers Wayfair and Kohl’s also have stopped selling MyPillow products.
Lindell, famous for his TV ads, employs more than 1,500 people at his Minnesota plant. He recounted to WND last May the remarkable transformation in his life through his faith in Jesus Christ.
“This isn’t about pillows. It’s about the continual punishment of conservative speech,” Media Action Network founder Ken LaCorte said in an announcement of the boycott.
“And we’ve had enough.”
Media Action Network has a petition online in support of the boycott with nearly 24,000 signatures so far.
“Every time we turn around, another conservative has been silenced under false pretenses of ‘hate’ or ‘isms’ or the most recent offense-de-jour,” said LaCorte. “We’re fighting back.”
Protesters at Bed, Bath & Beyond’s store in Larkspur, California, on Tuesday left checkers with a $20 tip and a statement for CEO Mark Tritton.
“Stop promoting ‘cancel,” they wrote. “You buckled to pressure, removing MyPillow products … because of Mike Lindell’s politics. It’s un-American.
“Our country was founded on the principle of free speech and open debate,” they wrote. “These days, censorship and suppression are far too common, and you’re now part of the problem. You have that right, of course, but realize you’re antagonizing half of your customers. And Mark … we’ve had enough. We’re tired of corporate big-shots looking down on our beliefs. Reverse this decision now and get out of politics, or we’re done with you forever.”
CNN – If you’re having a hard time finding Grape-Nuts at your local supermarket, you are not alone.
The pandemic has come for Grape-Nuts. Supply chain constraints and higher demand for cereal have led to shortages of the product, Kristin DeRock, Grape-Nuts Brand Manager, said in an emailed statement.
Grape-Nuts should be “fully back” on shelves in the spring, she said.
From 2015 to 2019, the US ready-to-eat cereal market dipped between one and two percent each year, according to data from Euromonitor International. From 2019 to 2020, the market grew by nearly 20% to about $10.6 billion.
The Grape-Nuts shortage comes as demand for consumer goods has put a strain on supply chains, leading to shortages.
All that said, people who can’t get enough of Grape-Nuts can breathe a sigh of relief. Fans can be rest-assured that “we have absolutely no plans to discontinue Grape-Nuts cereal,” DeRock said.
The cereal has been around since 1897, when it was developed by founder C.W. Post himself, according to the Grape-Nuts website. It’s made with wheat and barley but no grapes or nuts. Post also makes Honey Bunches of Oats, Pebbles and Raisin Bran cereal, among other cereals.
A message on the Grape-Nuts websites implores anxious customers to be patient.
“Please know that our team members are working hard every day to safely produce and ship products to our consumers during this unique time,” it says. “We expect our [Grape-Nuts] to be available again at your favorite retailer in the next couple months.”
Energy & Environment
Al Jazeera – A Dutch court has ordered the Nigerian subsidiary of Shell to pay compensation over oil spills in Nigeria’s Niger Delta, a ruling which could pave the way for more cases against multinational oil firms.
The Court of Appeal in The Hague on Friday ruled that the Nigerian arm of the British-Dutch company must issue payouts over a long-running civil case involving four Nigerian farmers who were seeking compensation, and a clean-up, from the company over pollution caused by leaking oil pipelines.
It held Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary liable for two leaks that spewed oil over an area of a total of about 60 football pitches in two villages, saying that it could not be established “beyond a reasonable doubt” that saboteurs were to blame.
The Hague appeals court ruled that sabotage was to blame for an oil leak in another village.
However, it said that the issue of whether Shell can be held liable “remains open” and the case will be continued as the court wants clarification about the extent of the pollution and whether it still has to be cleaned up.
Under Nigerian law, which was applied in the Dutch civil case, the company is not liable if the leaks were the result of sabotage.
“Shell Nigeria is sentenced to compensate farmers for damages,” the court said in its ruling, which can be appealed via the Dutch Supreme Court.
The amount of compensation will be established at a later date. The court did not specify how many of the four farmers would receive compensation.
The court did not hold Shell’s parent company, which is based in the Netherlands, directly responsible.
However, it ruled that Shell’s parent company and its Nigerian subsidiary must fit a leak-detection system to a pipeline that caused one of the spills.
Science & Technology
BBC – A purple dye dating back to the purported reign of the Biblical King David has been identified on a piece of fabric by Israeli archaeologists.
The dye is said to have been more valuable than gold and was associated with royalty.
It is the first time textile from that period with the colour has been found in the region.
Israel Antiquities Authority expert Dr Naama Sukenik called it a “very exciting and important discovery”.
The fragment was unearthed during excavations at a site in Timna, about 220km (137 miles) south of Jerusalem.
“In antiquity, purple attire was associated with the nobility, with priests, and of course with royalty,” said Dr Sukenik.
“The gorgeous shade of the purple, the fact that it does not fade, and the difficulty in producing the dye, which is found in minute quantities in the body of molluscs, all made it the most highly valued of the dyes, which often cost more than gold.”
Purple is mentioned in the Jewish and Christian Bibles, including in garments worn by King David, King Solomon and Jesus.
The material containing the dye was found during a dig at a site known as Slaves’ Hill.
“The colour immediately attracted our attention, but we found it hard to believe that we had found true purple from such an ancient period,” said Prof Erez Ben-Yosef from Tel Aviv University’s Archaeology Department.
Until now, the colour had been found on mollusc shells and fragments of pottery, but not on dyed fabrics.
Carbon-dating of the fragment found it came from about 1,000 BC, around the time when King David is sai
CNA Nursing Home Whistleblower: Seniors Are “Dying Like Flies” After COVID Vaccine Injections! Speak Out!
Global Research – James (he gives his last name in the video) is a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant), and he recorded this video as a whistleblower because he could not keep silent any longer.
James reports that in 2020 very few residents in the nursing home where he works got sick with COVID, and none of them died during the entire year of 2020.
However, shortly after administering the Pfizer experimental mRNA injections, 14 died within two weeks, and he reports that many others are near death.
The video is long (47 minutes), and it is clear that James is suffering from emotional stress, and he admits that he has nothing to gain from going public, and that he will probably lose his job for doing so.
But he makes it very clear that these were patients he knew and cared for (he is also a “lay pastor”), and that after being injected with the mRNA shot, residents who used to walk on their own can no longer walk. Residents who used to carry on an intelligent conversation with him could no longer talk.
And now they are dying. “They’re dropping like flies.”
His superiors are explaining the deaths as being caused by a COVID19 “super-spreader.”
However, the residents who refused to take the injections, are not sick, according to James.
James makes it very clear that as a Christian, he cannot live with his conscience anymore, and that he can no longer remain silent.
He is not anti-vaccine, but just sharing what he knows is true, regarding the people he has cared for in his profession for over 10 years now.
This is a very clear pattern now. Inject the elderly with the mRNA injections, then blame their illnesses and deaths on the COVID virus.
The only reason Big Pharma and their sponsored corporate media are getting away with this, is because more healthcare workers like James are not coming forward to speak up for the helpless.
Even many in the Alternative Media are guilty for not covering this genocide against our seniors, as James states, because people are more concerned with Donald Trump and Joe Biden political news, while people’s grandmother, grandfather, and others are being killed by these injections.
James calls upon other CNAs, nurses, and family members to go public and tell the world what is going on with these experimental mRNA COVID injections.
How many more lives need to be lost before we say something?
CBS – More than half of hand sanitizers imported from Mexico contain dangerous levels of toxic ingredients and should not be used by consumers, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In January alone, more than 900 accidental poisonings involving hand sanitizer were reported in the U.S., the overwhelming majority involving young children.
The FDA on Tuesday issued a countrywide import alert for alcohol-based hand sanitizers from Mexico, the agency’s latest attempt to address a pandemic-induced spike in products contaminated with methanol, or wood alcohol. The substance, which in most cases is not listed as an ingredient on the labels, can be toxic when absorbed through the skin, and life-threatening when ingested.
“Although people using these products on their hands are at risk for methanol poisoning, young children who ingest these products and adolescents and adults who drink these products as an alcohol substitute are most at risk,” the FDA noted.
The increased use of hand sanitizers has led to a surge in accidental poisonings, most involving children. According to data from the National Poison Data System, there were 938 hand-sanitizer exposure cases reported to the 55 U.S. Poison Control Centers during a 10-day period, from January 1, 2021 to January 10, a 57% increase from a year ago. Of those cases, nearly 600 involved children ages 5 and younger.
“Over the course of the ongoing pandemic, the agency has seen a sharp increase in hand sanitizer products from Mexico that were labeled to contain ethanol (also known as ethyl alcohol) but tested positive for methanol contamination,” the FDA stated.
Mercola – n order to “maximize protection” against COVID-19, researchers recommended layering two types of masks or using a three-layer mask to keep particles out.
There’s just one pesky problem to covering your mouth and nose with multiple layers of material: “At some point, ‘we run the risk of making it too hard to breathe’”.
In the included video, Dr. Ted Noel uses a vaping device and several different types of masks — including disposable and cloth — to illustrate that vapor clearly passes around and through the masks.
The first randomized controlled trial of the effectiveness of surgical face masks against SARS-CoV-2 infection found masks did not statistically significantly reduce the incidence of infection.
Researchers writing in PeerJ said cloth masks have “poor filtering efficiency” due to large, open pores present in the masks; this got even worse after washing, with filtering efficiency dropping by 20% after the mask was washed and dried four times
Green Med Info – The most in-depth analysis to date confirms the importance of omega-3 fats for heart health. If fatty fish is not a regular part of your diet, you may need to consider supplementing omega-3 fatty acids to keep your heart happy and healthy
The most in-depth analysis to date confirms the importance of consuming sufficient quantities of omega-3 fats for preventing cardiovascular disease.
The meta-analysis, published in the peer-reviewed journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, reviewed 40 clinical trials, and the multi-disciplinary team of researchers delivered an authoritative rallying cry for including more EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) omega-3 fats in your diet, citing their significant cardioprotective effects.
Omega-3 Fats: Are You Getting Enough?
This expanded review of a previously published meta-analysis analyzed the observed effects of all randomized control trials with EPA/DHA supplementation and cardiovascular outcomes published before August 2019. Examined outcomes included myocardial infarction (MI) — commonly called heart attack — coronary heart disease (CHD) events, CVD events (a composite of MI, angina, stroke, heart failure, peripheral arterial disease, sudden death and non-scheduled cardiovascular surgical interventions), CHD mortality and fatal MI.
The study found that EPA and DHA supplementation is associated with significantly reduced risks of having a cardiovascular event and reduced risks of dying from such an event. The risk reduction broke down as follows:
- Fatal myocardial infarction — 35% lower risk
- Myocardial infarction — 13% lower risk
- CHD events — 10% lower risk
- CHD mortality — 9% lower risk
According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular disease is responsible for nearly 18 million deaths each year and is the No. 1 cause of death globally.
Benefits of Omega-3s Are Dose-Dependent
Study authors noted that whatever amount of EPA and DHA you are getting in your normal diet, supplementation is likely required to receive maximum cardioprotective benefits. A 1,000-milligramincrease in daily omega-3 consumption decreased the risk of cardiovascular disease events by 5.8% and heart attack by 9%. The study examined dosages of up to 5,500 milligrams (mg) per day and discovered that benefits are dose dependent.
The new research corroborates a 2019 meta-analysis by Harvard School of Public Health researchers and represents all of the research to date, encompassing more than 135,000 study participants. Study co-author Aldo Bernasconi, Ph.D., stated:
“When separate analyses arrive at similar results, that’s not only validating, it also underscores the science base needed to inform future intake recommendations. Because this paper included more studies and all dosages, the estimates for a dose-response are more precise and the conclusions stronger.”
Supplemental Omega-3s Protect Against Heart Disease
EPA and DHA are the primary omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids of marine origin. Foods like anchovies, sardines and wild-caught salmon are highly nutritious options for getting these heart-healthy fats into your diet, however study co-author Dr. Lavie suggests that any patient with CVD should consider supplementing as well.
Dr. Lavie suggests omega-3 supplementation at doses of 1,000 to 2,000 mg per day — far higher than what is typical, even among people who regularly eat fish, adding:
Omega-3 fats have been shown in numerous studies to decrease the risk of heart attack death and to reduce the risk of all-cause mortality in CHD patients. With at least 61 health benefits, omega-3 fats have been shown to improve mood disorders such as bipolar depression as well as blood pressure and diabetes symptoms, making them important not only for heart health but your overall health as well.
Newsmax – Heart surgery can be stressful, but researchers may have found a way to reduce patients’ anxiety and postoperative pain — without any extra side effects.
A team from the Netherlands found that the simple act of listening to music around the time of surgery may help patients as they recover.
“This is a fascinating question for heart surgeons because we perform the most invasive procedures that require opening the chest, stopping the heart, using a heart-lung machine while we fix the heart, and then allowing the patient to return to life again,” said Dr. Harold Fernandez, a U.S. cardiac surgeon unconnected to the new study.
“Undoubtedly, there is a significant amount of both anxiety and pain associated with these procedures,” said Fernandez, who is chief of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at Northwell Health’s Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y.
In the new research, published Jan. 25 in the online journal Open Heart, the Dutch team analyzed data from 16 studies looking at the effect of music on post-op care. The studies included almost 1,000 patients, and about 90% of the procedures involved coronary artery bypass grafts and/or heart valve replacement.
A majority of the time the type of music used was relaxing and did not have strong rhythms or percussion, the researchers noted. The choice of music varied; sometimes it was from the patients’ own playlists, but other times it was from preselected playlists or chosen by their doctor.
Instead of music, the comparison groups in the studies received a mix of other options, such as scheduled rest, breathing exercises, or headphones without music.
The researchers then used validated scales and scoring systems to measure patients’ anxiety and pain.
The analysis showed that listening to music did seem to significantly reduce patients’ anxiety and pain after major heart surgery. Several days of listening to music also reduced anxiety for up to eight days after surgery, according to the study.
The researchers stressed that even though the music therapy did seem to help ease discomfort, it didn’t have any big impact on patients’ use of opioid painkillers, length of hospital stay, time spent on mechanical ventilation, blood pressure, heart rate or breathing rate.
Still, unlike medications, music “has neither risks nor known side effects … [so] health care professionals should consider providing perioperative music for patients undergoing cardiac surgery,” the researchers said in a journal news release. The team was led by Ellaha Kakar, from the departments of surgery and neuroscience at Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam.
For his part, Fernandez said the study is “very important for all of us to look for ways that can make the experience gentler for the patient, because this can potentially lead to better healing, and therefore improved results.”
He noted that the benefits from music appeared to set in quickly, and ” the effect is more pronounced when the patients select their own tunes.”
The analysis did have some limitations, Fernandez said, and more study may be needed. Still, he said, “I feel that we should start looking at implementing this as a complementary form of therapy for patients following heart surgery.”