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CDC Report: COVID Bivalent Booster Falls Flat in First ‘Real-World’ Test

By  Josh Mitteldorf, Ph.D. Madhava Setty, M.D.

Results from a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report suggest the COVID-19 bivalent booster does little more than restore protection levels to pre-vaccination levels.

The only “emergency” was that collapsing demand for Pfizer’s original shots had caused a lapse in the drugmaker’s windfall profits.

Responding to this embarrassment, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week published the first data on efficacy of the bivalent boosters.

Using the agency’s own data and methodology, we calculate an effectiveness of 9% compared to no vaccine at all. However, inexplicably, the CDC reported an effectiveness in the range of 19% to 50%, depending on previous vaccination history.

Even accepting the CDC’s computation, the FDA’s authorization was illegal because their rules demand a minimal efficacy of 50% for emergency use authorization.

It gets more interesting when we look at subjects in the study who were fully vaccinated but did not get the new booster. They did much worse than the unvaccinated. This is more evidence of something we reported in the past: Modest efficacy of the COVID-19 “vaccines” lasts a short while, then falls to zero and continues falling well below zero. A few months after vaccination, the vaccinated are more likely to get COVID-19 than the unvaccinated.

Breaking down the study

The study in question is a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) released Nov. 22 by the CDC that purportedly demonstrated a protective benefit of the bivalent COVID-19 booster that was authorized for emergency use on Sept. 1 of this year.

The CDC authors offered some rare transparency up front:

“Postauthorization immunogenicity studies have shown similar neutralizing antibody titers to BA.4/BA.5 after receipt of either a monovalent or BA.4/BA.5–containing bivalent vaccine as a fourth dose; however, immunogenicity studies are not generally designed to measure clinical impact.”

Let’s break that down …

First, “immunogenicity” refers to an immune response in the form of antibody production that can be detected in a blood test. It’s a further leap to draw conclusions about how your body will respond when it is exposed to an actual virus.

Nevertheless, there is no requirement for Pfizer and Moderna to demonstrate that their new booster formulation will prevent COVID-19 or any other clinical outcome.

Second, the studies have not shown that the bivalent booster produces an antibody response to the new Omicron subvariants that is any better than an additional booster with the original COVID-19 shot.

Given these first two points, evidence of any form of booster effectiveness would be a remarkable finding from the start.

Third, the studies were conducted after authorization was granted, i.e. “post-authorization.” This is the Alice in Wonderland script, where the trial takes place after the execution.

And this new after-the-fact “trial” is not a double-blind placebo-controlled study of the type that was done two years ago for the original mRNA products. The MMWR study was based on data from people who came in for COVID-19 testing at their local drug stores.

All “participants” were sick. Every person had a respiratory disease with symptoms similar to COVID-19. So the study was capable only of distinguishing people who were sick with COVID-19 from people who were just as sick but tested negative for the virus.

If people are equally sick, why do they care if they test positive for COVID-19? People opt for preventive therapies not to prevent a positive test, but to keep them from getting sick. This study design offered no information about the only interesting question.

Thus, as a test of “vaccine efficacy,” this study design was dead on arrival. It was a non-starter.

What the CDC data show

[…]

The CDC reported that the bivalent booster offered a modest benefit in avoiding a positive COVID-19 test compared to those who received the primary series with or without one or two monovalent boosters. The estimated bivalent booster effectiveness ranged from 14% to 61%, depending on age, number of monovalent boosters and elapsed time since last dose.

[…]

We were unable to replicate their findings because the authors did not share the raw numbers for each subgroup in their report.

However, our own calculation, based on their methodology applied to the aggregate data of all subgroups, resulted in a bivalent booster effectiveness of only 9%.

Read between the lines: negative efficacy

[…]

This clearly implies — though it was not stated — that the vaccinated are more likely to test positive for COVID-19 than the unvaccinated.

According to our calculation (based on the CDC’s data and methodology), the vaccine effectiveness in preventing a positive COVID-19 test was -17% for people who had received two shots, -36% for three shots and -45% for four shots.

This is prima-facie evidence that the more monovalent shots people had, the less protected they were.

To reiterate: Vaccination with the monovalent booster resulted in negative effectiveness. The greater the number of doses, the greater the risk of contracting COVID-19. This constitutes a dose-dependent effect, one of the hallmarks of causality.

As stated above, the effectiveness of the bivalent booster across all ages and prior monovalent doses was a mere 9% compared to those who were unvaccinated. It is thus reasonable to conclude that the bivalent booster does little more than restore immunity to pre-vaccination levels.

And this meager 9% protection is not without cost. These mRNA products have far higher rates of severe adverse reactions, including death, than any vaccines in the past.

Nevertheless, the CDC authors summarized it this way:

“In this study of vaccine effectiveness of the U.S.-authorized bivalent mRNA booster formulations, bivalent boosters provided significant additional protection against symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection in persons who had previously received 2, 3, or 4 monovalent vaccine doses.”

[…]

“Protecting from severe COVID-19” is exactly what people considering the new booster would want to hear. But it is utterly baseless. The report did not measure the incidence of severe COVID-19. “Severe COVID-19” is not mentioned anywhere in the report.

Nevertheless, billions of taxpayer dollars have already been used to purchase 170 million doses of the new bivalent product.

Some other mainstream reports have been more skeptical of the new boosters. The New York Times, a reliable bullhorn for the CDC’s “recommendations” did not cover this story. However, several days prior to the MMWR release, the Times ran this story, “Will Covid Boosters Prevent Another Wave? Scientists Aren’t So Sure.” Dr. Meryl Nass dissected this remarkable critique from the Times.

The newest findings demonstrate that anywhere from two to five doses later, those who have dutifully followed the CDC’s “guidance” are back to square one. However, media coverage of this two-year-long exercise in futility may finally be shifting.

[…]

Via https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/covid-bivalent-booster-falls-flat-cdc-report/

Google, YouTube Invest $12 Million in Global Fact-Checking Media Network

By  Suzanne Burdick, Ph.D.

Reacting to Tuesday’s announcement that Google and YouTube will fund a global fact-checking network through the media institute Poynter, media expert Mark Crispin Miller, Ph.D., said, “This is grotesque — almost to the point of comedy, except it’s not funny.”

The money is part of a $13.5 million grant the tech companies awarded the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), a division of the nonprofit media institute Poynter, according to Mashable.

The money will go toward scaling up existing operations of Poynter’s IFCN, and also toward launching new initiatives to elevate what the IFCN deems to be “information” and reduce what it deems to be “misinformation,” the companies said.

“The world needs fact-checking more than ever before,” said Baybars Örsek, executive director of the IFCN. “This partnership with Google and YouTube infuses financial support to global fact-checkers and is a step in the right direction.”

However, Mark Crispin Miller, Ph.D., professor of media studies at New York University, told The Defender he found the development to be “grotesque — almost to the point of comedy, except that it’s not funny.”

Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D., author of “Google Archipelago: The Digital Gulag and the Simulation of Freedom,” also criticized Google and YouTube’s financial partnership with the IFCN, telling The Defender:

“Google and YouTube are not purveyors of information; they are tools for the totalitarian control of information. They have engaged in censorship, down-ranking, and black-listing information, likely since their inception.

[…]

Are fact checks statements of opinion or statements of fact?

The distinction between what constitutes “information” versus what constitutes “misinformation” is arbitrary and depends on whether it aligns with the preferred narrative of those in power, Rectenwald said.

“‘Misinformation’ means anything that runs counter to the regime’s narratives on any number of issues, including international policy and warfare, economics and recession, pandemics and vaccines, politics and elections, the global elites, climate change and The Great Reset that is being ushered in as we speak.”

Moreover, according to Facebook, “Fact checks” are statements of opinion, and as such, are protected under the First Amendment  — that’s what the social media giant argued when, after it was sued for defamation, the company claimed its “fact checks” aren’t factual assertions.

In November 2020, Children’s Health Defense filed a First and Fifth Amendment lawsuit against Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg and two of Facebook’s “fact-checkers” for illegal censorship and false promotion/false misrepresentations under federal law (the Lanham Act and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly referred to as the RICO Act).

Jenin Younes, litigation counsel for the New Civil Liberties Alliance, told The Defender Google and YouTube have suppressed free speech on key issues.

Younes is involved in a lawsuit against the Biden administration alleging government officials — including Dr. Anthony Fauci — colluded with Big Tech to censor the opinions of the scientists who wrote the “Great Barrington Declaration.”

Google manipulated its algorithm to ensure the Great Barrington Declaration was more or less hidden from the public,” Younes said. “YouTube has been among the worst offenders in censoring expression of non-government-approved views on COVID-19 and thereby stifling debate.”

She added:

“The company even went so far as to censor a video of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, epidemiologists Jayanta Bhattacharya, Sunetra Gupta, and Martin Kulldorff — the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration — and former White House COVID-19 advisor Scott Atlas, in which they discussed efficacy (or lack thereof) of masks and other COVID-19 restrictions.

“We know through public statements made by high-ranking members of the Biden administration, and internal documents obtained through discovery in Missouri v. Biden and other cases, that the government has been behind much of this censorship.

“We look forward to learning more about just how much YouTube and Google have been colluding with, and coerced by, the government as these cases progress through the court system.”

Crispin Miller said Google and YouTube’s financial partnership with the IFCN reminded him of the “Ministry of Truth” in George Orwell’s novel, “1984.” He also pointed out that Orwell based the book’s central character — Winston Smith, who works at the Ministry of Truth — on Orwell’s own experience working at the BBC during World War II writing propaganda broadcasts.

“That’s significant because the Ministry of Truth is a satire version of the media in wartime, constantly pumping out lies,” he said, referencing Google’s involvement with the U.S. military.

“Google itself is a fount of propaganda — not only in what it chooses to foreground but, more importantly, in what it suppresses or buries,” he said.

What is happening here?

The government’s collusion with Big Tech is not a matter of privatizing government functions, Rectenwald said — it’s the opposite of that.

“As I wrote in ‘Google Archipelago,’” he said, “the issue with Big Tech’s information control is not the privatization of governmental functions but rather the governmentalization of private enterprise.”

[…]

According to Crispin Miller, “The Poynter Institute represents itself as a disinterested, realistic watchdog but is not anything of the kind. It’s just as prone to untruths and just as protective of the major propaganda narratives as the corporate media is.”

Poynter in 2015 launched IFCN to “bring together the growing community of fact-checkers around the world and advocates of factual information in the global fight against misinformation.”

According to its website, IFCN now works with more than 100 organizations worldwide via “advocacy, training and global events” and takes it upon itself to monitor “trends in the fact-checking field” while providing “resources to fact-checkers.”

With the new grant from Google and YouTube, IFCN will “directly strengthen and expand fact-checking” efforts around the world, Poynter said in a press release, adding:

[…]

According to a 2021-2022 report, Poynter’s revenue increased 150% since 2017, and in 2022, its revenue surpassed $15 million.

Among its major funders in 2021 and early 2022 were Meta (the parent company of Facebook), TikTok and the Google News Initiative.

[…]

Via https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/google-youtube-fact-checking/

NATO Running Out of Weapons for Kiev Regime

https://infobrics.org/media/russia/krasmax/A_Artillery_Ukraine.jpg

Drago Brosnic

InfoBRICS

Months before Russia launched its counteroffensive against NATO’s crawling encroachment on its western borders, the political West started sending massive amounts of weapons and munitions to the Kiev regime. Initially, the deliveries primarily included tens of thousands of man-portable missiles for various purposes, including ATGM (anti-tank guided missiles) and MANPADS (man-portable air defense systems) weapons. Even then, it already became clear that NATO’s stocks couldn’t provide enough weapons for a long-term conflict, while it would take years to ramp up deliveries by expanding production lines. This was further exacerbated when the Kiev regime started asking for more advanced weapons and systems amid mounting battlefield losses.

Many NATO member states were (and still are) forced to send weapons and munitions which were already in short supply for their own militaries. This is particularly true when it comes to former Warsaw Pact member states of the belligerent alliance, many of whom were forced to give up their Soviet-era weapons. Old NATO powers promised to send their weapons to replace these older arsenals of the alliance’s Eastern European members, although this process proved to be quite slow. On the other hand, the Kiev regime’s ever-growing demands are putting additional pressure. As NATO’s current production capacity simply cannot meet these requests, the Neo-Nazi junta’s battlefield prospects look grimmer by the day. “If this does not happen, we won’t be able to win — as simple as that,” Dmytro Kuleba, the Kiev regime chief diplomat warned during a recent meeting.

On November 26, the New York Times reported that approximately two-thirds of NATO members have effectively run out of weapons by sending them to the Kiev regime. Even the more prominent alliance members with big MICs (Military Industrial Complexes) are having major issues keeping up with the Kiev regime’s demands. According to an unnamed NATO official, 20 out of 30 member states are “pretty tapped out” in terms of additional weapon and munition supplies to the Neo-Nazi junta. While members such as the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Italy still have the ability to arm the Kiev regime with basic weapons, even they are refraining from sending specific weapons systems requested by the junta.

The demands include various types of strategically impactful weapons, including surface-to-surface guided missiles such as ATACMS, a weapon with a 300 km engagement range. The US officially rejected such demands, supposedly “out of concern” the missiles could be used to attack targets deep within Russia. However, the more likely reason is that the Pentagon is fully aware of the fact that it would take years to replace its current stocks of such missiles and it’s not very keen on expending them all without certain replacement. The same is true for many other types of weapons and systems which are equally needed to maintain optimal military power.

Artillery is especially important in this regard. As soon as the Kiev regime started burning through its Soviet-made stocks, many of which were also destroyed in Russia’s long-range strikes, NATO was forced to provide both artillery pieces and shells. As the alliance’s post-(First) Cold War doctrine shifted toward a more interventionist style of warfare, artillery became less important, resulting in ever-shrinking stocks.

According to various reports, the enormous demand for artillery munitions is putting tremendous pressure on NATO members trying to meet the Kiev regime’s requests. At present, the Neo-Nazi junta forces are firing at least five thousand shells per day, but the US, by far the most heavily armed NATO member state, can only produce 15,000 shells per month. Camille Grand, a defense expert at the European Council on Foreign Relations, told the New York Times that “[a] day in Ukraine is a month or more in Afghanistan.”

On the other hand, the soaring demand is extremely profitable for the Military Industrial Complexes of the political West.

“Taking into account the realities of the ongoing war in Ukraine and the visible attitude of many countries aimed at increased spending in the field of defense budgets, there is a real chance to enter new markets and increase export revenues in the coming years,” according to Sebastian Chwalek, CEO of Poland’s PGZ, a corporation that owns a number of weapons manufacturers.

However, the US MIC has been experiencing by far the largest windfall in this regard. Arms industry giants such as Lockheed Martin and Raytheon already made billions in the opening months of the Ukrainian crisis.

Back in May, during a visit to a Lockheed Martin plant, US President Joe Biden stated that the US would ramp up weapons production, but that “this would not come cheap.” However, most US officials and experts agree that this is not only a question of funding, as it will take years to increase production in order to meet the current demand, which is expected to grow exponentially in the foreseeable future.

“If you want to increase the production capability of 155 mm shells. It’s going to be probably four to five years before you start seeing them come out the other end,” according to Mark F. Cancian, a former White House weapons strategist and current senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The US and NATO have already stated that they’re committed to fighting a long proxy war against Russia in Ukraine. In October, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin openly admitted this is the plan that Washington DC and its satellites have. He said that the US and NATO would “boost Ukraine’s defensive capabilities for pressing urgent needs and for the long term.” However, as the US is profiteering from the crisis, especially at the EU’s expense, the bloc is becoming increasingly frustrated, a feeling even the most senior officials in Brussels are now ready to express more freely than ever before.

[…]

Via https://infobrics.org/post/37182/

Australia: The Narrative is Imploding. Unlawful Covid Fines Will Now Be Refunded

Via https://talesfromtheloublog.wordpress.com/2022/11/29/australia-the-narrative-is-imploding-another-conspiracy-bites-the-dust-the-covid-fines-were-unlawful-and-will-now-be-refunded/

UK Assumes Full Control of Libya’s Oil

An oil and gas platform off the coast of Libya. (Photo: Antonio Sempere via Getty)

Internationalist 360º

British oil giants BP and Shell are returning to the oil-rich north African country just over a decade after the UK plunged it into chaos in its 2011 military intervention, which the British government never admitted was a war for oil.

  • BP controls exploration areas in Libya covering nearly three times the size of Wales 
  • UK company Petrofac, convicted of bribery last year, has secured new oil contract in Libya and sponsored British embassy there
  • UK is combining its interest in accessing Libya’s oil with increasing military involvement

Last month Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) agreed for BP to start drilling for and producing natural gas in a major project off the coast of the north African country.

The UK corporation, on whose board sits former MI6 chief Sir John Sawers, controls exploration areas in Libya equivalent to nearly three times the size of Wales.

British officials have long sought to profit from oil in Libya, which contains 48 billion barrels of reserves – the largest oil resources in Africa, accounting for 3% of the world total.

BP is one of the few foreign oil and gas companies with exploration and production licences in Libya. Its assets there were nationalised by Muammar Gaddafi soon after he seized power in a 1969 coup that challenged the entire British position in the country and region.

After years of tensions between the two countries, prime minister Tony Blair met Gaddafi in 2004 and agreed the so-called ‘Deal in the Desert’ which included a $900m exploration and production agreement between BP and Libya’s NOC.

BP re-entered the country in 2007 but its operations were scuppered by the war of 2011 when British, French and US forces with the support of Qatar and Islamic militants overthrew Gaddafi.

Terrorism and civil war subsequently engulfed the country and oil company operations were put on hold.

The restart of BP’s operations follows the signing in 2018 of a memorandum of understanding with the NOC and Eni, the Italian oil major, to resume exploration, with Eni acting as the operator of the oil fields. BP chief executive Bob Dudley hailed the deal as an important step “towards returning to our work in Libya”.

The BP-ENI project, an $8bn investment, involves two exploration areas in the onshore Ghadames basin and one in the offshore Sirte basin, covering a total area of around 54,000 km2. The Sirte basin concession alone covers an area larger than the size of Belgium.

The UK’s other oil major, Shell, is also “preparing to return as a major player” in Libya, the company has stated in a confidential document. After putting its Libyan operations on hold in 2012, the corporation is now planning to explore for new oil and gas fields in several blocks.Oil briberyA third British company, Petrofac – which provides engineering services to oil operations – secured a $100m contract in September last year to help develop an oil field known as Erawin in Libya’s deep southwest.Petrofac was at the time under investigation for bribery by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO).One of its executives, global head of sales David Lufkin, had already pleaded guilty in 2019 to 11 counts of bribery.

The month following the award of the Libya contract, the SFO convicted and fined Petrofac on seven counts of bribery between 2011 and 2017. Petrofac pleaded guilty to its senior executives using agents to bribe officials to the tune of £32m to win oil contracts in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

“A key feature of the case”, the SFO noted, “was the complex and deliberately opaque methods used by these senior executives to pay agents across borders, disguising payments through sub-contractors, creating fake contracts for fictitious services and, in some cases, passing bribes through more than one agent and one country, to disguise their actions”.

Petrofac works with BP in several countries around the world, including Iraq, Azerbaijan and Oman and in the North Sea.

Government backing
All three British companies re-entering Libya have strong links to the UK government. In some of the years during which Petrofac was paying bribes, the company was led by Ayman Asfari, who with his wife donated almost £800,000 to the Conservative Party between 2009 and 2017.In 2014, Asfari, who is now a non-executive director of Petrofac, had been appointed by David Cameron to be one of his business ambassadors.Petrofac, which is incorporated in the tax haven of Jersey, has also benefited from insurance provided by the UK taxpayer via UK Export Finance (UKEF).In May 2019, when Petrofac was under investigation by the SFO, UKEF provided £700m in project insurance for the design and operation of an oil refinery at Duqm in the dictatorship of Oman, a project in which Petrofac was named as the sole UK exporter.In June this year Petrofac was one of five companies sponsoring the official reopening of the British embassy in Tripoli. Ambassador Caroline Hurndall told the audience: “I am especially proud that British businesses are collaborating with Libyan companies and having a meaningful impact upon Libya’s economic development. Many of those businesses are represented here tonight”.BP and Shell are especially close to Whitehall, with a long standing revolving door of personnel between the corporation and former senior civil servants.

LobbyingFrank Baker, then the ambassador to Libya, wrote in 2018 that the UK was “helping to create a more permissible environment for trade and investment, and to uncover opportunities for British expertise to help Libya’s reconstruction”.Since then, new ambassador Hurndall has held meetings with Libya’s oil minister, Mohammed Aoun, to discuss the return of UK oil companies to Libya, and the NOC has set up a hub in London, its only one outside Libya and the US.The NOC’s London unit, launched in early 2021, is poised to “award consultancy and asset management contracts worth hundreds of millions of pounds over the next several years to British companies”, the Times reported.Also heavily promoting British oil interests is the Libyan British Business Council (LBBC), whose president is Lord Trefgarne, a former minister under Margaret Thatcher, and which is chaired by former British ambassador to Libya, Peter Millett.

The LBBC, which sent a delegation to Libya earlier this month, says it acts “as an influential and informed advocacy group on behalf of UK business in Libya – in dialogue with the British government” and others.

In October 2018, the LBBC and the NOC signed a ‘statement of intent’ on the subject of “enhanced cooperation in the development of Libya’s oil and gas industry”. It also called for “mutually satisfactory contracts”.

The chair of the NOC, Mustafa Sanalla, said at the time that “the UK is a key partner for Libya in boosting oil production” and welcomed “strengthening this partnership”. The LBBC pledged to “facilitate Chairman Mustafa Sanalla’s access to British government ministers”.

Control of oil

Last year, Libya was the UK’s third largest source of oil, after Norway and the US, supplying 7.8% of all British oil imports. Oil is Libya’s lifeline, providing over 90% of the country’s revenues.

But the country’s civil war has provoked a battle for control over the oil industry which has been described as being in “disarray”, with “little clarity on who really is in control of the nation’s most valuable resource”. The UN-backed Government of National Unity, which is supported by the UK, sits in the capital, Tripoli, while in the east of the country sits a rival government.

[…]

Via https://libya360.wordpress.com/2022/11/29/the-uk-assumes-full-control-of-libyas-oil/

 

 

 

Fake Tweet Tanks Eli Lilly’s Stock Price and Exposes Drugmaker’s Price Gouging

By  Suzanne Burdick, Ph.D.

After drugmaker Eli Lilly apologized for a “misleading” fake Twitter post announcing insulin would now be free, comedian Russell Brand mocked the company for making billions of dollars in profit from life-saving insulin by charging 4,000 times what it costs to produce.

Within hours, the fake tweet got around 10,000 likes and thousands of retweets before Twitter suspended the impersonator. It also caused Eli Lilly’s stock price to drop 4.37% — and drew fresh attention to the sky-high price of insulin in the U.S.

The creators of the fake Twitter account used Elon Musk’s new paid verification feature to get a “blue tick” that signaled account verification.

“You could say that Musk ‘blue’ it by putting Twitter’s blue verification check mark up for sale,” Forbes reported Nov. 12.

Eli Lilly issued an official public apology — also posted on Twitter — which read:

Comedian and political commentator Russell Brand wasted no time in mocking the drugmaker’s apology:

“Yeah sorry about that. There’s a real problem here. You’ve been served a fake message … sorry you were misled for a moment [to think] the world was a fair and decent place. Let’s get you back on track: The world is an unfair, profiteering, ugly place based on greed.”

Brand pointed out the company didn’t apologize for “charging you too much money for insulin.” He cited a Nov. 12 Common Dreams report that said:

“Diabetes — a disease that can wreak havoc on organs, eyesight, and limbs if left unmanaged — affects more than 37 million U.S. adults and is the country’s seventh leading cause of death.

“Meanwhile, the price of insulin, which is needed to treat diabetes, is so astronomical in the U.S. that experts have accused the federal government and pharmaceutical industry of violating human rights.

“Although it costs a mere $10 to produce a vial of insulin, uninsured patients in the U.S. pay $300 to $400 per vial of the century-old drug because the three pharmaceutical corporations [including Eli Lilly] that control the nation’s lucrative insulin market charge excessive prices with very little pushback from congressional lawmakers.”

Brand also drew attention to a letter from Public Citizen, T1International and more than 50 other organizations telling congressional leaders that the Inflation Reduction Act “barely scratches the surface” of what is needed to expand insulin access and “likely does nothing” to lower the excessive prices charged by insulin manufacturers.

When the discoverer of insulin — Sir Frederick Banting — sold the patent in 1923 for $1, he famously said, “Insulin does not belong to me, it belongs to the world.”

That’s clearly not true in today’s world, Brand said.

“There is a kind of ugly materialistic and rational nihilism that pervades our entire culture that thankfully can be punctured by a single Blue Tick trick,” he said, referring to the fake Twitter post.

“It shows you if we were to — in the spirit of unity and mirth — join together in opposition of these negative principles, that the world would change.”

Watch the Brand segment here:

 […]

Via https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/insulin-fake-tweet-eli-lilly-price-gouging/

Twitter Stops Enforcing Covid Misinformation Policy

2015 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter - Arrivals

Getty Images

Carlie Porterfield

Forbes

Topline

Twitter quietly stopped enforcing its Covid misinformation policy last week, the embattled social media company said, as new owner Elon Musk continues to transition the platform to fit his vision of freedom of speech.

Key Facts

Twitter users on Monday night spotted a line added to a report dedicated to Twitter’s Covid misinformation moderation that said the platform’s policy would no longer be enforced effective Nov. 23.

The company did not make a formal announcement that it was ending enforcement of the policy, but it lines up with many of Musk’s recent moves, like last week reinstating the personal account of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who was banned in January over spreading Covid misinformation.

In 2020, Twitter began flagging posts, removing content and suspending accounts that were found to contain misinformation about Covid or any message that “could place people at a higher risk of transmitting COVID-19,” the company said.

Twitter removed 97,674 pieces of content and suspended 11,230 accounts since January 2020 under the guidelines, according to the platform.

Twitter’s previous policy of removing Covid misinformation had been lauded by health professionals like U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, who last year advised other social media platforms to take similar measures.

Key Background

Musk outlined Twitter’s new policy as “freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach,” saying the platform would not promote and demonetize negative content and hate speech, and that users would only be able to find the offending tweets if they “specifically seek it out,” which is no different from the rest of the internet, Musk tweeted earlier this month.

Musk himself has repeatedly used Twitter to share questionable comments about Covid and criticize the handling of the pandemic, even before he bought the platform for $44 billion in October. Musk’s recent moves include reinstating accounts that had previously been banned, including Greene and other controversial users like former President Donald Trump.

Musk’s tenure at the tech company has been tumultuous, with Twitter losing advertising revenue as brands suspend spending over concerns of the direction Musk will lead the company.

On Monday, Musk said Apple had threatened to remove Twitter from its App Store without providing a reason. Twitter let go about half of the company’s workforce in a round of layoffs earlier this month.

What To Watch For

On Monday, Musk tweeted that he would be releasing what he described as “the Twitter Files” on the platform’s free speech suppression.

[…]

Via https://www.forbes.com/sites/carlieporterfield/2022/11/29/twitter-stops-enforcing-covid-19-misinformation-policy/?sh=32653c352200

Four Arizona Counties Delay Election Certification

Kari Donovan

The Republic Brief

Historic denial of election data is happening in the state of Arizona because the midterm elections earlier in November were completely suspicious and election officials really had no choice other than to say ‘NO’ to lousy election results.

[…]

Here is what Independent media is reporting:

Four out of Arizona counties say that they will hold off on certifying the 2022 midterm elections. Gila, Cochise, Mohave, and Yavapai have refused to approve the suspect election. Arizona only has 15 counties in the state.

Seth Kessel, a leading high-profile election integrity activist, posted some information on his Truth Social account about the 2022 AZ results:

Dr. Kelli Ward is a long-time Conservative activist and leader in Arizona and head of the state Republican party as the AZGOP chairwoman.

Ward oversaw the corrupt AZ election in 2020 and communicated daily to the public for

On Monday, she tweeted:

“The Cochise County Board in southeast Arizona delayed the certification of the suspect midterm elections on Friday,” Jim Hoft reported for The Gateway Pundit, adding:

“Republicans in the state had 72% of the turnout on election day. Democrats had only a 17% turnout. But for some reason, the remaining ballots after election day broke even between the two parties – despite Republicans holding strong leads in the polls.”

Secretary of State candidate Mark Finchem said this action sets precedent for other Arizona counties to do the same.

“This now establishes precedent to do the same in other counties now that Cochise County is validating their results. Arizona cannot certify any election results until all counties have rendered certified results,” Mark Finchem #JustFollowTheLaw VoteFinchem.com (@RealMarkFinchem) posted on Twitter on November 19, 2022.

The Arizona Attorney General’s office on Saturday sent a letter to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office demanding explanations for the election issues before the results can be certified.

“The Elections Integrity Unit of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office has received hundreds of complaints since Election Day pertaining to issues related to the administration of the 2022 General Election in Maricopa County,” Wright wrote.

“These complaints go beyond pure speculation, but include first-hand witness accounts that raise concerns regarding Maricopa’s lawful compliance with Arizona election law.”

In Fox News bitter and pouty coverage of the historic story, watch as they discredit everyone who raised a concern about the election:

“The three claimed the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission allowed certifications for testing companies to lapse, and that voided the certifications of vote tabulation equipment used across the state.

That came despite testimony from the state’s elections director that the machines and the testing company were indeed certified.

“The equipment used in Cochise County is properly certified under both federal and state laws and requirements,” state Elections Director Kori Lorick told the board. “The claims that the SLI testing labs were not properly accredited are false.”

The move is the latest drama in the Republican-heavy county in recent weeks, which started when GOP board members Tom Crosby and Peggy Judd voted to have all the ballots in last week’s election counted by hand to determine if the machine counts were accurate.

Crosby also defended a lawsuit he and Judd filed against the county elections director earlier this week seeking to force the hand-count. They dropped the case against Lisa Marra on Wednesday.

“If our presenters’ request is met by the proof that our machines are indeed legally and lawfully accredited, then indeed we should accept the results,” Crosby said. “However, if the machines have not been lawfully certificated, then the converse is also true. We cannot verify this election now.”

[…]

Via https://republicbrief.com/breaking-four-arizona-counties-delay-election-certification/

19th Century Korea: Resisting European Colonization to Fall Victim to Japan

How North Korea’s Kim Il Sung was shaped by the USSR - Russia Beyond

Kim Il-Sung, leader of Korean resistance against Japanese Occupation

Episode 41: Korean Choson – The Last Dynasty

Foundations of Eastern Civilization

Dr Craig Benjamin (2013)

Film Review

In response to the opium wars Britain launched on China, Korea’s Choson Dynasty essentially closed their country to foreigners.

After the Choson rejected British India Company trade overtures in 1832, the European response was aggressive:

  • In 1846, three French warships delivered a letter protesting the persecution of French missionaries.
  • In 1854, two Russian warships “interfered” with Korean commercial shipping, resulting in several injuries and deaths.
  • In 1866, after a local Pyongyang official declined their request to trade, a US trading ship took him hostage, fired their guns into a crowd of civilians and sent a crew ashore to plunder Pyongyang and murdered seven Koreans. In response, the Korean military set fire to the ship and killed the entire crew.
  • In 1866 a full scale campaign against Catholicism turned into a blood bath – with nine French missionaries and 8,000 Korean Catholics killed. One of the missionaries escaped to China, where he persuaded the French overseas fleet pursue punitive action.  After a French squadron pillaged the administrative center on Gangwha Island, they made an unsuccessful attempt to invade the mainland. \
  • In 1871, the US US Asiatic Squadron sent warships against Korea in 1871. Opening fire on them, batteries on shore forced them to return to China.

Japan proved more successful in colonizing Korea:

  • In 1875, a Japanese invasion of Korea forced them to sign the 1876 Treaty of Kanghwa opening trade relations between the two countries.
  • Between 1882-89 (fearful of further Japanese aggressive), Korea signed military and trade agreements with the US, Britain, Germany,  them with Italy, Russia, France, and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
  • In 1885, Japan withdrew the troops they had stationed in Korea.
  • In 1895, the Japanese ambassador assassinated the Choson queen. In response the king fled to the Russian legation to conduct his official business.
  • In 1894, the Choson requested China’s help in suppressing a civil rebellion. To counteract Chinese military influence over Korean, Japan also dispatched troops to Korea (in violation of the Treaty of Kangwha). This led first Sino-Japanese War (1894-95).
  • In 1895, the Shimonoseki Treaty granted the Japanese total control over Korea.
  • In 1905 (following Japan’s victory in the Russo-Japanese War), US President Teddy Roosevelt encouraged Japan to increase its dominance in Korea when Japan agreed to US occupation of the Philippines.
  • In 1907, Japan dissolved the Korean Army and stationed 2,000 police in Korea to pacify the population. They also suspended all newspapers.
  • In 1910, the Japanese forced the Choson emperor to abdicate.

The period 1910-1945 was associated with extremely harsh colonial rule intent on eradicating Korean culture. Forbidden to use the their own language, Koreans were forced to adopt Japanese names and convert to Shintoism.

In 1919, a populist independence movement was brutally crushed with 7,000 members killed. Tens of thousands were either jailed or permanently injured.

In 1937, Japan invaded China, launching the second Sino-Japanese War. Korean men were conscripted into the Japanese army, with another 16% of the Korean population deported to Japan either as as slave labor or as “comfort women” (sex slaves). Seventy thousand Korean cultural artifacts were either destroyed or taken to Japan.

A Korean resistance movement, led by Kim Il-Sung,* was formed with the support of the Communist Party of China. Thousands joined People’s Liberation Army and fought the Japanese in China.


*Kim Il-Sung (grandfather of Kim Jong-un) ultimately became the first premier of North Korea.

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

https://www.kanopy.com/en/pukeariki/watch/video/5808608/5808693

MIT Professor: Halt Vaccination of Young People Until Vaccine-Linked Myocarditis Is Studied

Retsef Levi, an expert in risk management and health systems and a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, in New York, on Oct. 26, 2022. (The Epoch Times)
Retsef Levi: Dissenting views about the COVID-19 narrative have

Epoch Times

Retsef Levi, a former Israeli military intelligence officer, an expert in risk management and health systems, and a professor at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management, coauthored a paper that found a 25 percent rise in heart attack emergency calls among young Israelis after the country’s rollout of the COVID genetic vaccine.

Levi argues that there is enough data from this and various other studies on the vaccine’s adverse heart effects, to stop its use and run a thorough investigation into why many once-healthy young people suffer or die from heart inflammation after being vaccinated.

“The main question that we need to ask ourselves is, do we have enough evidence from this study and many other studies, to say halt!” Levi said during a recent interview with Epoch TV’s “American Thought Leaders” program. “We’re going to stop these vaccines, for young individuals, but maybe overall, and we’re going to take the time to really look very, very carefully and scrutinize every piece of data and bring together every possible piece of data to understand what is the answer.”

Levi has worked extensively in the areas of analytics and modeling, looking at issues of risk management in the field of healthcare and other related systems. Mainly, analyzing data sets to see what they reveal about quality, safety, risks, etc.

His coauthored paper in Nature Scientific Reports looked at Israel’s national emergency calls in the first five months of 2021 and found a 25 percent increase in cardiac arrest and heart attacks in men aged 16-39 as compared to the year before the national vaccine rollout.

The study found, “a temporal correlation between this increase starting in early 2021, and the launch of the vaccination campaign in Israel,” said Levi.

The paper does not conclude a causal relationship between the vaccine and the observed increase in heart problems, but it definitely gives enough evidence to warrant an in-depth investigation said, Levi.

Further, Israel’s health ministry should want to know why there was an increase in heart problems; but instead, they “launched an attack on us, both in the public domain, as well as even actively trying to approach the journal and asked the journal to retract the paper,” said Levi.

Sound Scientific Process Abandoned

There is a lot of data that strongly suggests an increase in myocarditis or death in young people who have been vaccinated. Levi believes that the haste with which the vaccines were produced, approved, and deployed, neglected safety and best practices for rolling out vaccines.

This deviation from basic sound scientific principles has put health officials in Israel and the United States, “in a situation where you essentially cannot admit any wrong anymore because that will imply that you did something very, very disastrous,” said Levi. “We approve it in a very expedited way, and we approve it to everybody regardless of the risk, and that was basically the fundamental mistake that we’ve done. And I think everything else can be explained by that.”

There was strong early evidence, including a 2020 study done by Stanford University researchers John Ioannidis and colleagues concluding that people under 65, with no comorbidities, had very little risk of death from COVID-19 and should have helped target vaccines to the high-risk populations.

Levi believes health agency officials and governments should not have required vaccinations for healthy young people, and by doing so, “put them in a situation when they take an unknown risk that now we know is actually, in some cases pretty substantial, and could really compromise the future of young people and including causing their death.”

Epoch Times Photo
Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo. (York Du/The Epoch Times)

Mounting Evidence Against Vaccinating Youth

Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo, recently advised Floridians not to vaccinate healthy young people, because he found an 84 percent increase in heart problems among young men. While his study also does not prove a causal relationship, “at the very least, this should just raise your concerns that something really, really disturbing is happening here,” said Levi.

Levi thinks the public should look at a variety of studies when determining the safety of any vaccine or health guidance, and that Ladapo’s findings are in keeping with a large body of evidence that supports his guidance, even though the mainstream is dismissing this evidence.

Levi believes Ladopo was correctly following the mounting evidence of vaccine-related heart problems and deaths, and the principle of “do no harm.” “Ladopo was saying, I don’t feel comfortable to continue to give these vaccines to young individuals, given the evidence that I have,” said Levi.

[…]

Via https://www.theepochtimes.com/health/halt-vaccination-of-young-people-until-vaccine-linked-myocarditis-is-studied-mit-professor_4882005.html

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