The Most Revolutionary Act

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The Most Revolutionary Act

Regulators, Congress Should Investigate Proposed Amazon-One Medical Merger

By  Public Citizen

Amazon’s proposed acquisition of healthcare provider One Medical should be rejected unless Amazon commits to robust, legally binding safeguards that protect consumers, competition and the integrity of the healthcare system.

The letter reads:

“The risks to competition, patient privacy and the delivery of quality health are evident. This merger should not be permitted to proceed unless and until strong public interest protections are imposed that will demonstrably address all of those grave dangers.”

Public Citizen raised the following concerns:

  1. Amazon may gain an unfair competitive advantage in the healthcare market. There is good reason to fear that Amazon will leverage its dominant role in the online retail market to gain unfair advantage in healthcare delivery, for example, through bundling Amazon Prime and One Medical memberships.
  2. Amazon may misuse patients’ health data. The personal medical data that One Medical routinely accumulates would be of enormous value to a marketing company such as Amazon, which will have an undeniable and inherent interest in trying to gain access to that most personal of data. Moreover, there are good reasons to worry that Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act protections will be inadequate to prevent Amazon from vacuuming up One Medical patients’ data.
  3. The merger may exacerbate healthcare inequalities. Amazon-One Medical is likely to disproportionately serve healthier and wealthier patients. This will leave other healthcare providers with sicker and less profitable patients — raising overall costs, and worsening healthcare disparities already experienced by vulnerable populations.
  4. The merger could worsen Medicare overbilling. Amazon, through its acquisition of One Medical, would likely build out a primary care network across the country that inflates Medicare payments as part of its business model.
  5. The merger may undermine the quality of healthcare. Amazon’s online business model could deeply erode the quality of primary healthcare — including preventative, acute and chronic disease management care. While some virtual visits can enhance consumer access, the overly aggressive substitution of in-person medical encounters with virtual visits can work directly against the proper provision for needed in-person care. Relatedly, Amazon’s demand for robot-like efficiency among its employees may well conflict with the imperatives of providing quality healthcare. And finally…
  6. The merger may undermine worker rights at One Medical. Amazon has a well-documented history of hostility to workers exercising their right to form unions. Similarly, One Medical workers have reported being rushed, pressured, stretched out and unable to deliver the quality of care they believe patients require. Amazon seems likely to worsen these issues.

“The American healthcare system is broken, but Amazon’s entry as a major healthcare provider only threatens to make it worse,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. “We may get marketing instead of medicine, data harvesting instead of privacy protections, robotic care instead of bedside manner, and more healthcare disparity instead of more quality. The problem of American healthcare can be summed up as too much greed and not enough patient care. The Amazon acquisition of One Medical will only deepen that problem.”




Pentagon-hired contractors ‘everywhere on battlefield’ in Ukraine

Free photos of Tacp
Samizdat | August 8, 2022
 Ukrainian forces have “had the American military at their side” from the start of the conflict with Russia, the magazine Causeur cited a “well-placed analyst” in French intelligence as saying. Pentagon-hired contractors are allegedly “everywhere on the battlefield.”

Tap News

The claim was published by the right-leaning outlet last week in an analysis of the five-month-long Russia-Ukraine conflict, which, it stated, “is not the fight of David against Goliath,” contrary to what many people believe.

“In Ukraine, the Pentagon for the first time subcontracted large-scale warfare,” the magazine cited its source as saying. These “mercenaries” come in addition to the “gigantic” military aid provided to Kiev by Washington, and are not necessarily frontline fighters, according to Causeur.

As an example of ‘subcontracted’ warfare, it cited the widely-publicized supply of SpaceX satellite internet access for Ukrainian military officials. CEO Elon Musk initially framed this as an act of charitable support, but media reports later revealed that it was paid for with US taxpayer money.

The US decided not to involve its troops in Ukraine, claiming it did not want a direct confrontation with Russia. However, the French magazine said Washington is apparently ignoring the threat of escalation as it pours weapons and private manpower into Ukraine for the sake of “bleeding” Russia, which, the US government hopes, will result in a strategic defeat for Moscow.

The magazine also said that Russia appears to be slowly gaining the upper hand over Ukraine as its superior firepower is prevailing over Kiev’s eight-year preparations for a fight for Donbass. The heavy damage caused by Russian artillery and aerial forces have led to dissertations and insubordination among the Ukrainian troops, it said. If the Russian forces progress beyond the heavily urbanized Donbass with its unfavorable terrain, the balance of power could quickly shift in Moscow’s favor, the report said.

Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”

In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.



There is No Food Crisis – If Only We Stopped Burning It As Biofuel

We’ve all been bombarded daily with horror stories about how food prices are being forced up and hundreds of millions of the world’s poorest risk starvation because the Russian invasion of Ukraine has prevented exports of grain and sunflower oil.

Well, let me give you some figures our politicians and the mainstream media don’t want to mention. They don’t mention these figures because these figures undermine the disastrous global-warming, climate-catastrophist, Net-Zero policies being forced on us by our rulers.

The U.S. produces abut 384 million metric tonnes of corn each year and around 50 million tonnes of wheat. Ukraine produces about 38 million tonnes of corn each year and around 33 million tonnes of wheat. Around 20 million tonnes of Ukraine’s wheat is exported each year.

Conclusion 1: The U.S. produces an awful lot more food than Ukraine.

But let’s look at how all the USA’s corn and wheat is actually used. Over a third of the USA’s corn – that’s more than 128 million tonnes of the USA’s corn production – is used to make biofuels rather than being used for human consumption.

It’s more difficult to find out how much of the U.S.’s 38 million tonnes of wheat is used for biofuels, but it may be as much as a quarter. However, we do know that in the European Union, 12 million tonnes of grain, including wheat and maize, is turned into ethanol – around 7% of the bloc’s production. It’s estimated that this is enough food to feed around 150 million people if it wasn’t being used for transport fuel.

Also just in the EU, 3.5 million tonnes of palm oil is used to make biodiesel. That’s almost the amount of sunflower oil coming out of Ukraine and Russia combined.

Conclusion 2: We’re burning food rather than using it to feed people.

You may have noticed that last year the petrol you buy changed from something called ‘E5’ to ‘E10’. E5 petrol is petrol containing 5% biofuel and E10 is, of course, petrol containing 10% biofuel.

According to calculations done by scientists at Princeton University, if the U.S. and Europe were to decrease their use of ethanol made from grain by 50% – that would mean just moving back from E10 petrol to E5 petrol – they would effectively have sufficient extra crops to replace all of Ukraine’s exports of grain.

If our rulers were to completely scrap the biofuel mandates they have imposed on us, the world would be awash with food and food prices would fall significantly. Then the only reason for hungry people would be distribution problems caused by mismanagement, corruption and conflict.

When the EU first mandated that 2.5% of all fuel sold in the EU should be made from biofuels, worldwide food prices shot up – wheat, for example, doubled in price – and the UN’s Rapporteur for Food said: “It is a crime against humanity to convert agricultural productive soil into soil which produces food stuff that will be burned into biofuel.”

He further argued that biofuels would only lead to further hunger in a world where an estimated 854 million people – one out of six in 2007 – already suffered from the scourge; 100,000 people died from hunger or its immediate consequences every day; and every five seconds, a child died from hunger

We’re now at 10% biofuels and, if I have understood correctly, following new climate change legislation passed in the U.S. last week, the biofuel content of petrol may be increased even further. This will mean diverting more potential food to fuel production at a time of world food shortages and rocketing food prices.

This is madness. But it get worse. Biofuels are less efficient than fossil fuels – you get fewer miles or kilometres per litre or gallon and they damage car engines more than fossil fuels. Moreover, the huge amounts of energy required to produce biofuels mean that they are probably more environmentally-damaging than fossil fuels.

Scrapping the biofuels mandates in the U.S. and EU isn’t something that would take years or months to implement. It could be done this week and the results – more food availability and falling food prices – would happen immediately.

So, why won’t our rulers do this? Moreover, why do they seem to be moving in the opposite direction – by pushing ever more food into fuel production?

It could just be utter incompetence. Or it could be fear of a storm of criticism by the ever more vociferous climate-catastrophist lobby. It could be that they are trapped by their own save-the-planet virtue-signalling. Or it could be the classic reaction of politicians and bureaucracies – the more evidence emerges that their policies are misguided, the more they double down on those policies as they can never admit that they got it wrong.

However, for the conspiracy theorists, there’s a fifth possibility – that our rulers are acting together to deliberately restrict food production, push up food prices and impoverish us all as a means of increasing their control over us.



The Intertwined Role of Steppes Nomads and Early Chinese Civilization


Episode 2: Journey to the East

The Foundations of Eurasian Civilization

Dr Craig Benjamin (2013)

Film Review

This lecture is an introduction to the Benjamin’s 48 episode course The Foundations of Eurasian Civilization.

About half the course is devoted to China, considered the cradle of Eastern civilization. However it will also cover China’s immense influence on the West, beginning with the Confucian about efficient bureaucracy,* and the essential role of numerous Chinese inventions in the  industrialization of western society.

By the fall of the Tang dynasty in 740 AD, China had created the wealthiest and most powerful state (population two million) the world had ever seen, thanks to Chinese peasants creating the world’s most successful commercial farming system.

At the same time, the steppes nomads to the north of the first Chinese cities (and their ferocious horse archers – see Barbarian Empires of the Steppes) also had a massive influence on early Chinese civilization. Their repeated booty raids on China would lead the first Chinese emperor Qin Shi Huangdi (founder of the Qin/Ch’in Dynasty) to build the first border length wall in 221 BC.

Hundreds of thousands of Chinese workers were conscripted to build the wall, with tens of thousands losing their lives. The wall failed to stop the raids.

It would be the steppes nomads, and their domestication of the Bactrian camel, that made possible the Silk Roads, the first overland network of international trade.

*American founding father Benjamin Franklin was a big fan of Confucius and adopted many of his ideas in developing his approach to democratic government.

Film can be viewed free with a library card at Kanopy.

US and Australia to launch second joint spy satellite from New Zealand Site

Rocket Lab plans to create more than ...


Guardian, Tory Shepherd, Tue 2 Aug 2022

Some in space industry bewildered by Australia’s lack of fanfare about the launch of the satellites, which will be used to collect intelligence for allied nations

A second spy satellite built by Australia and the United States is scheduled for liftoff on Tuesday from a launch site in New Zealand.

The first of the two satellites, which will be used to collect intelligence for the allied nations, launched two weeks ago.

The Australian Department of Defence did not announce the successful launch of the first satellite or the launch date of the second.

US spy agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, has been celebrating the “Antipodean Adventure”, which features a crocodile, a rocket and an eagle on its logo.

Some in the space industry are bewildered by the lack of information and fanfare on the Australian side.

Malcolm Davis, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s senior analyst and resident space expert, said there is a “very different culture” in the US military, which actively promotes its work, and the Australian military, which is “closed off”.

“It’s not just these particular satellites, it’s an attitude within Defence that they’re very closed off,” he said.

“The Americans are very forward. You only need to look at how they support movies like Top Gun: Maverick. It’s a very different culture, and it’s a frustrating one down here.”

New Zealand’s Rocket Lab is providing the rockets to deliver the classified payloads into orbit from the launch site on the Māhia Peninsula.


Lawmaker: Most Ukraine Aid is a ‘Scam’

Twisted Times

Two GOP congresswomen have cited a CBS news report showing that 70% of weapons shipped to Kiev aren’t making it to the front lines. Likely being sold on the black market, sold in the Middle East, stored for later use by nationalists in a civil war (i.e. think IS or the Taliban rising), or given to criminal gangs who’ll eventually move into Europe in a few years’ time, turning Ukraine into another Mexico.

Republican lawmakers are feeling vindicated for opposing a $40 billion Ukraine aid package after a CBS News report showed that only 30% of the Western weapons flooding into the country are actually making it to the front lines in Kiev’s conflict with Russia.

“This [is] one of the reasons I voted ‘no,’” US Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) said on Twitter in a retweet of the CBS News post. Greene was among 57 House Republicans who voted against the massive aid bill, which passed overwhelmingly in May with the support of all Democrats and most GOP lawmakers. Eleven Republicans opposed the bill in the Senate, where it passed by an 86-11 margin.

The CBS story noted that with nearly $60 billion in US and Western European aid approved for Ukraine since Russia’s military offensive began in February, most of the weaponry has failed to get through to Ukrainian fighters. Getting weapons to the troops involves navigating a complex network of “power lords, oligarchs [and] political players,” the outlet cited Lithuanian aid group founder Jonas Ohman as saying. Amnesty International senior crisis adviser Donatella Rovera told CBS that “there is really no information” on where the weapons are going.

Representative Lauren Boebert (R-Colorado) said such scrutiny had been dismissed prior to the CBS report. “How many people were called Russian bots for saying this exact same thing since March? Now, when CBS says it, it’s perfectly fine. Whatever the case, glad the facts are out now. The majority of the Ukraine aid is a scam.”

US Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) delayed the Senate’s vote on the Ukraine aid bill by insisting on adding a provision appointing an inspector general to monitor how the money was being spent. His colleagues refused to include the oversight requirement and passed the massive package a few days later. A US intelligence official told CNN in April that arms shipments were dropping “into a big black hole” once they reached Ukraine.

Greene, Boebert and other lawmakers who voted against the aid bill were pilloried by critics for failing to support Ukraine. After Greene argued that the US government was focused on sending billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine at a time when American mothers couldn’t even buy formula for their babies, Democrats accused her of standing “with President Putin in the face of Russian aggression.” Representative Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland) said she was “repeating Putin’s propaganda and disinformation” and “appeasing imperialist assaults on sovereign nations.”

The Georgia lawmaker also tussled with a fellow Republican after Representative Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) defended the Ukraine aid package by saying “investing in the destruction of our adversary’s military, without losing a single American troop, strikes me as a good idea.” Greene replied, “So you think we are funding a proxy war with Russia? You speak as if Ukrainian lives should be thrown away, as if they have no value. Just used and thrown away.”

With the US and its allies pledging unprecedented levels of military support to Ukraine, a recent CBS News report suggested that only around 30% of the weapons sent by the West actually make it to the front lines. The report adds to ongoing rumors of waste, corruption, and black market profiteering.

The US has approved more than $54 billion of economic and military aid to Ukraine since February, while the UK has committed nearly $3 billion in military aid alone, and the EU has spent another $2.5 billion on arms for Kiev. An entire spectrum of equipment, from rifles and grenades to anti-tank missiles and multiple launch rocket systems have left the West’s armories for Ukraine, with most entering the country through Poland.

However, this rarely goes smoothly, CBS News revealed this week.

“All of this stuff goes across the border, and then something happens, kind of like 30% of it reaches its final destination,” Jonas Ohman, the founder of a Lithuania-based organization supplying the Ukrainian military, told the American network. Ohman said that getting the weapons to the troops involves navigating a complex network of “power lords, oligarchs [and] political players.”

“There is really no information as to where they’re going at all,” Donatella Rovera, a senior crisis adviser with Amnesty International, told CBS. “What is really worrying is that some countries that are sending weapons do not seem to think that it is their responsibility to put in place a very robust oversight mechanism.”

Back in mid-May Republicans in the US House of Representatives were divided over Washington’s aid pipeline to Ukraine, with establishment politicians touting a “proxy war” with Russia while members of the populist Freedom Caucus argue that Congress is neglecting domestic priorities while provoking a nuclear-armed adversary.

The infighting escalated as the House passed a $39.8 billion military and economic aid package for Kiev. While Democrats voted in lockstep to support the spending binge, 57 Republicans gave the plan a thumbs-down. Representative Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), who was among the 149 GOP members who voted yes, followed up on Wednesday by saying that “Investing in the destruction of our adversary’s military without losing a single American troop strikes me as a good idea.”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) shot back that Crenshaw was pushing a “proxy war.” She added, “You speak as if Ukrainian lives should be thrown away, as if they have no value, just used and thrown away. For your proxy war? How does that help Americans? How does any of this help?” 


The ‘Great Vaccine Scare’ — When Politics Take Priority Over Public Health

By  Dr. Joseph Mercola

The topic of vaccines has always been controversial, but it reached a fever pitch during the COVID-19 pandemic when it became sacrilegious to speak out against vaccines, or even question their safety and efficacy.

  • In 2021, investigative journalist Paul Thacker became a target of what he calls “the Great Vaccine Scare — hysteria about any and all vaccine criticism.”
  • Thacker wrote an article published in The BMJ titled “COVID-19: Researcher blows the whistle on data integrity issues in Pfizer’s vaccine trial.”
  • The article was thorough and accurate, but labeled as “misinformation” by a Facebook fact checker anyway.
  • Dr. Aseem Malhotra was also harassed for sharing science relating to COVID-19 shot side effects.
  • Former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson was also a victim of vaccine hysteria; his Twitter account was suspended when he posted scientifically accurate information that cast a negative light on COVID-19 shots.


In 2021, investigative journalist Paul Thacker became a target of what he calls “the Great Vaccine Scare — hysteria about any and all vaccine criticism,” after he wrote an article published in The BMJ titled “COVID-19: Researcher Blows the Whistle on Data Integrity Issues in Pfizer’s Vaccine Trial.”

The article, it should be noted, was thorough, accurate and “based on dozens of internal company documents, photos, audio recordings and emails.”

It was so well done that it earned Thacker a nomination as a finalist for the Steve Connor Award for Investigative Science Journalism, presented by the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW).

An ABSW judge described the article as, “A very good story on a sensitive issue that was reported responsibly, it very clearly spells out why the story mattered.”

Fact-checkers pounce, label factual info ‘misinformation’

Thacker’s investigation details a series of problems with laboratory management and quality control checks by Pfizer subcontractor Ventavia Research Group, which was testing Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Regional director Brook Jackson, formerly employed by Ventavia, said she witnessed falsified data, unblinded patients, inadequately trained vaccinators and lack of proper follow-up on adverse events that were reported.

After notifying Ventavia about her concerns repeatedly, she made a complaint to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — and was fired the same day. Other former Ventavia employees spoke of similar issues.


Soon after Thacker’s investigative piece was published in BMJ, it was “fact checked” by a group called Lead Stories, which referred to the investigation as a “hoax alert” in the related URL.

Along with “correcting” statements that Thacker did not make, Lead Stories disparaged the investigation for “missing context,” but as investigative reporter Matt Taibbi explained, “‘Missing context’ has become a term to disparage reporting that is true but inconvenient.”


Harassment for voicing vaccine concerns now commonplace

Anyone who dares to question or criticize vaccinations is at risk of being harassed in today’s climate. Dr. Aseem Malhotra, a consultant cardiologist and chairman of public health collaboration in the U.K., is among those targeted for sharing science relating to COVID-19 shot side effects.

Malhotra has earned some notoriety for speaking about the underlying factors that make certain people more vulnerable to COVID-19 — namely lifestyle-related diseases driven by poor diet.

This aspect of prevention via a long-term healthy lifestyle, which could save lives in future pandemics, is another tenet that’s ignored by the dominant narrative. However, in June, Malhotra was invited to speak at a “side event during a meeting of the British Medical Association.”


The talk was based on the importance of evidence-based medicine and included information about historical corruption in the pharmaceutical industry.

The talk was not about vaccine side effects, per se, but Malhotra did mention a preprint article that found Pfizer and Moderna mRNA COVID-19 shots are associated with an increased risk of serious adverse events of special interest.

The excess risk of these adverse events exceeded the risk reduction for COVID-19 hospitalization compared to the placebo group.

Malhotra received praise for his talk, and the next day was presented with a Champion of Preventive Medicine award by the chair of the BMA, who had also attended Malhotra’s talk. Soon after, the harassment started.


Inconvenient science silenced by Twitter

Former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson was also a victim of vaccine hysteria.

His Twitter account was suspended when he posted this scientifically accurate information:

“It doesn’t stop infection. Or transmission. Don’t think of it as a vaccine. Think of it — at best — as a therapeutic with a limited window of efficacy and terrible side effect profile that must be dosed IN ADVANCE OF ILLNESS. And we want to mandate it? Insanity.”

Berenson filed a lawsuit against Twitter for labeling the tweet as misleading and canceling his account. The case has since been resolved, with Twitter acknowledging that the tweets should not have led to a suspension.


Dr. Meryl Nass was similarly censored by Twitter after she tweeted the findings of a preprint study by Israeli scientists, which looked into the immunogenicity and efficacy of a fourth COVID-19 mRNA shot.

It showed that while antibody titers were high, efficacy was low — “strong evidence,” she tweeted, “that titers are useless at predicting efficacy.”


“Oddly enough, former CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] Director Tom Frieden made this exact same point  last September to The BMJ, ‘We don’t know that antibody level is what determines protection.’”

Politics put ahead of science in booster rollout

In another disturbing example of the narrative taking priority over science, Dr. Marion Gruber, director of the FDA’s Office of Vaccines Research & Review and deputy director Dr. Philip Krause both left their positions near the end of 2021, citing frustration that the CDC is involved in decisions that should be left up to the FDA, and that the White House announced booster shots were coming before the FDA had finished its reviews of the booster shots.

Both Gruber and Krause were authors of an article published in The Lancet, which stated, “the currently available evidence does not show the need for widespread use of booster vaccination in populations that have received an effective primary vaccination regimen.”

Harvard professor Martin Kulldorff, a member of the FDA’s Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee, was also punished by the CDC — which removed him from its advisory committee on vaccines — when he stated a COVID-19 clinical trial should not have been paused.

Twitter then censored him when he tweeted that people with prior natural COVID-19 infection and children do not need COVID-19 shots.

Steve Kirsch, executive director of the Vaccine Safety Research Foundation, has also been vilified for speaking out against vaccines, and he has proof, in the form of a timeline of changes made to his Wikipedia page, which went from describing him as a “good guy,” including his 2003 humanitarian award, to painting him as a “menace to society.”





Japanese Surgeon Calls for Suspension of COVID Boosters

Booster shot rollout expected to start week of Sept. 20
American Buddhist Net

In a letter to the peer-reviewed journal Virology, a Japanese cardiovascular surgeon, Dr. Kenji Yamamoto, has called for the discontinuation of COVID-19 booster shots. “As a safety measure, further booster vaccinations should be discontinued,” Yamamoto wrote. Among his urgent concerns are the fact that the COVID-19 vaccines have been linked to vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia, which, in some cases, has been lethal to patients.

Yamamoto works at Okamura Memorial Hospital in Shizuoka, Japan. In the letter he explains that he and his colleagues have “encountered cases of infections that are difficult to control,” including some that occurred after open-heart surgery and were still not under control after several weeks of treatment with multiple antibiotics.

These patients, says Yamamoto, showed signs of being immunocompromised, and some of them died.

Yamamoto believes their suppressed immune function is likely to have been caused by COVID-19 vaccination.


STUDY: Closing Bars, Restaurants Did NOT Suppress COVID-19

Study finds that forced business closures during covid did NOTHING to stop spread

Natalie Winters

The National Pulse

A study on the efficacy of shutting down bars and restaurants to stop the spread of COVID-19 found that the restrictions were “not an efficient way” to decrease virus transmission, concluding that it “does not contribute to the suppression of SARS-CoV-2.”

The studySARS-CoV-2 Suppression and Early Closure of Bars and Restaurants: A Longitudinal Natural Experiment – was conducted by researchers in Japan and published in the peer-reviewed journal Scientific Reports. 

Researchers used Japan as a case study because during the first two months of 2021, the early closure of restaurants and bars was the only mitigation strategy adopted by officials. This gave researchers the unique opportunity to isolate the closure of restaurants and bars as variables they could assess the efficacy of.

Data for the study was provided through a large-scale nationally representative survey.

“From the perspective of public policy implications, our study suggests that the early closure of full-service restaurants and bars, without any other concurrent policies, is not an efficient way to suppress SARS-CoV-2. Given the large detrimental effects on employment, alternative measures for full-service restaurants and bars should be considered before they are closed completely,” summarized the paper.

Despite the data showing a reduction in the use rate of restaurants and bars among Japanese people, researchers found “no discernible decrease in the symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 except the reduction of “cough” among college graduates.”

The other symptoms tracked by researchers included high fever, sore throat, headache, and smell and taste disorder.

“These results suggest that the early closure of restaurants and bars without any other concurrent measures does not contribute to the suppression of SARS-CoV-2,” posit researchers.

The study follows months of mandated closures of restaurants and businesses throughout the world, with health officials floating the measure as a potential solution to combat supposedly new variants of COVID-19. Dr. Birx, in her book Silent Invasion, professes to be the leader of the mass lockdown measures in the United States. She claims to have been supported by President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, and Vice President Mike Pence.



Understanding Chinese History Through Its Geography

Part 1: Yin and Yang: Geography of China

Foundations of Eastern Civilization

Dr Craig Benjamin (2013)

Film Review

In his introduction to the course Foundations of Eastern Civilization, Benjamin devotes an entire lecture to the impact of China’s unique geographical features on Chinese civilization.

The third largest country in area, after Russian and Canada, China is only slightly bigger than the US. The two countries also share a number of geographical features (northern hemisphere, roughly same size, extensive coastlines, diverse geography and history of uncivilized Wild West).

China’s Yangtze and Yellow Rivers clearly had a major impact on economic development, owing to devastating floods occurring on both during monsoon season. The Yangtze is the third longest river in the world after the Amazon and Nile.

China has four distinct geographic regions:

  • The eastern alluvial plains (at the mouth of the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers) – featuring extremely rich river sediment, these plains have been farmed (with wheat, millet and sorghum) and densely settled for many thousands of years. This region has consistently sustained the densest populations in human history.
  • The southern hills – enjoy much more temperate weather (subtropical in places). It was here wild rice was domesticated.
  • The western mountains – consisting of mountain ranges interspersed with harsh  deserts, this region protected China from Western expansionist empires prior to  the European Age of Exploration. Comprises two-thirds of China’s land mass.
  • The northern grasslands – for thousands of hears, homeland to thousands of nomadic steppes warriors with enormous influence on the direction of Chinese civilization.

According to Benjamin, China’s relative isolation from the outside world forced early Chinese emperors to focus on the internal integration of 56 different ethnic groups.

Film can be viewed free with a library card on Kanopy.

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