Friday, November 27, 2020

Timing Is Everything: Assassination of Iranian Nuclear Scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh- Undermining Rebooted Nuclear Deal

Yes, timing is certainly a factor. Particularly when one is birthing a new Middle East. For a world set to be reordered (arranged yet again) I've little to no doubt that Israel, with acquiescence from the US, is behind this. 

Jerusalem Post

The assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh comes at a sensitive and important time. It is between the US election and the swearing in of a new president. It also comes less than a week after a reported visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Saudi Arabia. That visit was called a message to the new US administration of President-elect Joe Biden, as well as a message to Iran.  
The killing of a nuclear scientist closely linked to Iran’s secretive nuclear program is an even bigger message. Iran has been humiliated by having one of is leading professors and nuclear chiefs, one whose name was well known, apparently gunned down in broad daylight on the street near Absard Iran, east of Tehran.
Photos showed blood, a car with bullet holes and a second vehicle that had been blown up.  
Image from BBC
                   
Let’s go back to 2018 when Israel’s Foreign Ministry published a speech by Prime Minister Netanyahu in which he named Fakhrizadeh. The entire quote is interesting.

 

“There’s another document from the archive. This is following the new directive of Iran’s Minister of Defense, Mr. Shamkhani, today he’s the director of the National Security Council. Following the new directive of Iran’s Minister of Defense, the work would be split into two parts, covert and overt. A key part of the plan was to form new organizations to continue the work. This is how Dr. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, head of Project Amad, put it. Remember that name, Fakhrizadeh. So here’s his directive, right here. And he says: “The general aim is to announce the closure of Project Amad,” but then he adds, “Special activities”—you know what that is—“Special activities will be carried out under the title of scientific know-how developments.”

And in fact, this is exactly what Iran proceeded to do. It continued this work in a series of organizations over the years, and today, in 2018, this work is carried out by SPND, that’s an organization inside Iran’s Defense Ministry. And you will not be surprised to hear that SPND is led by the same person that led Project Amad, Dr. Fakhrizadeh, and also, not coincidentally, many of SPND’s key personnel worked under Fakhrizadeh on Project Amad.”

Clearly Fakhrizadeh was a key to Iran’s program and his killing shows how vulnerable that program is. Back in June and early July a series of mysterious explosions hit Iran’s missile complex at khojir and then the nuclear facility at Natanz. This harmed the centrifuges that are key to the nuclear program.
In recent weeks a number of important events have taken place. For instance Israel has hosted key delegations from the Gulf. Iran has also been implicated in planting explosives along the Golan in mid-November. Israel says it carried out airstrikes in retaliation. Then, earlier this week, reports in Syrian regime and other media claimed more airstrikes harmed pro-Iranian personnel in Syria. Reports of those airstrikes were made on November 25.
Iran is in a complex position at the moment. It has been harmed by the Trump administration’s economic sanctions. It has also made progress on its drone and ballistic missile programs in recent years. It has used those missiles in Syria and Iraq and trafficked them to Iraq. It has used drones to attack Saudi Arabia and trafficked technology to the Houthi rebels in Yemen that resulted in ballistic missile attacks on Saudi Arabia. It has moved drones to Syria. It has also tried to move air defense to Syria in 2018. Iran has tried to entrench in Syria, moving forces and weapons to Albukamal on the Iraq border and T-4 base to create a corridor of influence. It has repeatedly tried to strike at Israel from the Golan and entrenched in Damascus and its environs.
In addition Iran launched a military satellite this year and wants to launch more. It has a new train that it showed off that can move ballistic missile launchers into position. What Iran lacks is a viable nuclear weapon and a way to deliver it. As its arms embargo ends, Iran may be able to move technology that can assist it. It is also renewing work with North Korea, the US has indicated. Recent media reports also claimed the US was in the spotlight as the Trump administration ends. This means tensions could increase. However the US also wants to withdraw forces from the region. The White House sent its new acting defense secretary to the region and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was just in the region for talks with Israel, Bahrain, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and allies. The US continues to announce sanctions on Iran, pressuring the regime.

In this sense Iran watched as Israel and the Gulf states have made peace and is watching Washington closely. The death of its key scientist on the road to Absard, not far from the Khojir missile site, is a huge embarrassment for Iran. Some on social media compare it to the death of Soleimani. Iran retaliated for the death of Soleimani with ballistic missile strikes on US forces at Al-Asad base in Iraq. Iran also downed a civilian airliner by mistake, revealed the regime’s technological programs. Iran has advanced 3rd Khordad missile defense and recently put these missiles and other drones on a new ship it acquired. It also downed a US drone.
All this looks like complex timing for Iran. Iran must consider what to do next as some elements in the regime will demand retaliation, angry that they didn’t get to retaliate in January. In Iraq Iran has been ordering its proxies to attack US forces. However it has been cautious after the US threatened to close its embassy in September. Iran must weigh a response as it also wonders about angering the new US administration. Iran recently released an Australian academic and wants to appear more palatable to western countries. Western states are fearful of Iran but one Iranian diplomat is on trial in Belgium over alleged bombing plot. Iran considers all this as it is busy cleaning the blood off the street near Absard.

                               
Iran scientist's assassination appears intended to undermine nuclear deal

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh may not much have impact on the Iranian nuclear programme he helped build, but it will certainly make it harder to salvage the deal intended to restrict that programme, and that is – so far - the most plausible motive.

Israel is widely agreed to be the most likely perpetrator. Mossad is reported to have been behind a string of assassinations of other Iranian nuclear scientists – reports Israeli officials have occasionally hinted were true
Don't forget the major cooperative role Iran had in the settling of Nagorno Karabakh:

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Duplicitous France & US Decry the Astana 2.0 Which Halted the Fighting in Nagorno Karabakh, France Rebukes Russia?

It was an Astana 2.0 that resulted in the cessation of hostilies in NK. That's just the fact.

  No matter how much you may disagree or stomp your feet. Or state outright falsities.  It was the regional solution that was needed at this time. And it is this solution that has made both the US and France very, very unhappy, because this agreement was not desired by the US and France!
  Thankfully someone besides myself has been paying attention. That someone is MK Bhadrakhumar. While I’ve not entirely agreed with him. He’s been a sane voice among an abundance of insanity on this topic.
  Two months ago I explained how it was NATO was looking to challenge Russia, Turkey, Iran and Azerbaijan in the region. (I've long ago explained that NATO and Turkey were "out of love") Don’t forget the US and friends had tried & failed with one of their usual colour revolution tactics in Azerbaijan.Though they did succeed in Armenia. France and the US have been playing geo political games- behind the scenes, as I've written. Some older relevant posts will be relinked at the bottom of this latest, and we’ll get to Bhadrakumar’s piece as well...  

First let’s go back to the report of November 22/20 Moscow Issues Stern Warning, as Russian Ministers Descend on Yerevan, to Armenia & Minsk Partners Where in a nutshell we have Russia issuing a stern warning to those that will attempt to break this agreement. Those that will stir the pot. Kick up the dirt. Break the fragile peace. I’d mentioned France specifically at that time. Their free pass is no good here. And Putin’s not having it either. 

Understanding the dirty dealings of the Macron government should, if you’ve been aware the French government was being provocative all along, have made clear it just a matter of time before France would make it's move.

"The French Senate resolution calling on the government to recognize independence of the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh can only be regarded as a provocation, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said Thursday, commenting on the decision made by the French lawmakers.

"The adoption of the completely biased resolution by the Senate can only be regarded as provocation. It seems that the French Armenians are widely using the topic of the conflict for electoral purposes," the ministry’s statement reads.

The diplomatic agency underlined that the resolution has no legally binding effect. "However, considering the political significance of this document, its adoption in France, a country that has the status of a mediator, raises serious doubts about this country’s neutrality," the statement emphasizes. The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry recommended that the French Senate "do activities that facilitate peace, stability and progress in the region rather than pass biased resolutions."

On Wednesday, the French Senate has passed a resolution containing a call on the government to officially recognize the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, 305 senators out of 306 present voted for the resolution. Experts explained that the resolution serves as a recommendation and has no mandatory power"

That’s a blatant provocation from an alleged neutral nation. Minsk Accord partner for peace?  And it’s gone unnoticed. Completely. Why? Baku is less then pleased, of course. Russia won't take too kindly to this move. For that matter nor will Iran or Turkey. Though the resolution has no “official” power that’s not the reason this resolution was created and passed (real world magic at work)  This resolution has been conjured to play directly into the court of public opinionIt’s a flip off to the peace accord. And a big “FU” to Putin led Russia and the remarkable work they did in getting the fighting to stop.
                                               

"The trilateral agreement on November 10 between Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia over Nagorno-Karabakh is leading to a geopolitical struggle in the Caucasus. So long as Armenia and Azerbaijan were ferociously fighting, the great game lurked in the shade"

“The great game lurked in the shade” Yes, it did. Unnoticed, by most, though I can't figure out how or why?

"But no sooner than the seven-week old conflict reached a climax — capture of Shusha by Azeri forces and Armenia facing imminent rout — Moscow stepped in to mediate a truce in real time.

The speed with which Russian President Vladimir Putin moved and his hands-on role in knocking the Armenian and Azeri heads together through night-long negotiations was absolutely stunning. It took the region and the international community by surprise."

Not all of us were surprised by the regional solution. In fact some of us were hoping for this solution. Or a solution along these lines.


"Putin’s mediation inevitably led to Russian peacekeeping. By the time the world came to know of the truce in the wee hours of November 10, Russian military contingents were already en route to Nagorno-Karabakh. 
The French President Emmanuel Macron has egg on his face. He had fancied himself to be the charioteer in the Caucasus ever since conflict erupted in late September. Of course, the Armenian Diaspora in France constitutes an influential constituency in French politics.

On November 7, Macron had called Putin and discussed the “ongoing large-scale hostilities” in Nagorno-Karabakh and reached a “mutual commitment to continued coordinated mediation efforts by Russia and France, including as part of the OSCE Minsk Group.”

Next he knew, as he woke up at Elysee Palace three days later, was that Russian peacekeeping forces were landing in Nagorno-Karabakh. And, to rub salt into Macron’s bruised ego, it was only six days thereafter that Putin remembered to call Macron (on November 16) — “considering that Russia and France are co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group,” as the Kremlin readout put it.
Macron couldn’t take it anymore. The French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was ordered to urge Moscow publicly that it should clear up the “ambiguities” over the ceasefire,  (included in the  Nov. 22/20 post) notably regarding the role of Turkey and foreign fighters. He told the French National Assembly, “We must remove the ambiguities over refugees, the delimitation of the ceasefire, the presence of Turkey, the return of fighters and on the start of negotiations on the status of Nagorno-Karabakh.” 
To be sure, France coordinated with the US (both are co-chairs of the Minsk Group). Within hours of the French FM’s statement, the US State Department waded into the topic. While welcoming the cessation of hostilities, the US statement ignored Moscow’s mediatory role. It said,

“Ending the recent fighting is only the first step toward achieving a peaceful, negotiated settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.  We urge the sides to re-engage as soon as possible with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group Co-Chairs to pursue a lasting and sustainable political solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict based on the Helsinki Final Act principles of the non-use or threat of force, territorial integrity, and the self-determination and equal rights of peoples.  As a Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, the United States remains fully engaged in this effort.”

Plainly put, both France and the US insist that Russia cannot act unilaterally but only through the Minsk Group. Yesterday, the French presidency called for international supervision to implement the cease-fire. “We want the Minsk Group to play its role in defining the surveillance (of the cease-fire),” an official in Macron’s office said.

The French official rebuked the Kremlin: We understand that the Russians are talking to the Turks regarding a possible formula, which we don’t want, that would replicate the Astana process (on Syria) to divide their roles in this sensitive region. We can’t have on one side Minsk (Group) and the other Astana (process on Syria). At one point the Russians have to make a choice.”  

There's that alt media angle. The alt media comes off just like the US and France. We can't have a regional solution! We can't have Turkey and Russia cooperating! We can't allow an Astana process to be replicated! Why?  Would someone care to explain why?

"Clearly, France (and the US) fear that that Russia and Turkey have cut a deal to keep out Western powers from future peace talks. Indeed, the Astana forum enabled Russia and Turkey to discuss between themselves how to handle the Syrian conflict and marginalised the Western powers. To add insult to injury, like in Syria, Russia also has a deal with Turkey on the deployment of the latter’s military personnel in Azerbaijan"
That's right boys and girls. Russia and Turkey made a deal in Syria. That's been dam obvious for a long time now. And the Assad government, rhetoric aside, is completely aware of that!

"The western expectation was that Russia and Turkey would fall out over Nagorno-Karabakh, but the opposite has happened. They have blocked the western powers from getting involved. Both Turkey and Russia have strained relations with the US; Macron and Turkish President Recep Erdogan are confronting each other on multiple fronts ranging from Libya to Syria to France’s predicament with “Islamist terrorism”. Recently, Erdogan proposed psychiatric counselling for Macron."

The western expectation, the desired outcome, fed through the main stream and alt media was that Russia and Turkey would fall out. Go back and reread this report:

 So obvious..

"Putin and Erdogan would have a congruence of interest to cement the November 10 peace deal before the Joe Biden presidency sails into view. Biden has harshly referred to Erdogan and Putin. In the final analysis, though, Nagorno-Karabakh highlights a serious fracture in the western alliance system: one NATO power (Turkey) has aligned with the alliance’s existential enemy (Russia) to humiliate and marginalise two major allies (the US and France). The Minsk Group consists of two other NATO members also — Germany and Italy. 

Russia and Turkey are unlikely to get back into the Minsk Group. Neither country wants the western powers to get a habitation in Caucasus. Russia, perhaps, has more to lose than Turkey, since Azerbaijan and Georgia  also border North Caucasus, a volatile region with majority Muslim population, and Azerbaijan is also a littoral state of the Caspian Sea, where Moscow is determined to preserve security primacy and constrain other external powers that can impede its influence, especially the US and NATO. 

In Georgia, the US has consolidated a strategic presence. The US is committed to helping Georgia deepen its Euro-Atlantic ties and supports Georgia’s NATO aspirations. Curiously, in a signal to Moscow, the outgoing US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Georgia on November 18.

At the end of the day, Russia-Turkey coordination in Nagorno-Karabakh remains tactical. But it is with Iran that Russia a robust understanding over Nagorno-Karabakh. The November 10 peace accord is based on Iran’s peace plan and Tehran feels gratified that Moscow opted for the “Astana format”

A few related reports:


 Two from earlier, three in total for the day  because tomorrow, my time will likely be extremely limited:

COVID-19: Infection risk from handling cash is low, Bank of England Concludes

I've continued to use cash right through the pandemic... no problem.  No Covid

Skynews

It carried out the study after noting a decline in cash use during the pandemic - which the Bank said may partly reflect "concerns about the risk of banknotes transmitting the virus".

But it found that even if exposed to a high dosage equivalent to being directly sneezed on, the virus did not survive at high levels on notes - either of the modern polymer or old-fashioned paper variety - for very long.

Survival of the coronavirus on notes appeared in fact to be lower than on many of the other surfaces with which people come into contact in their day-to-day life.

Researchers, using £10 notes, found the level of virus remained stable for one hour after exposure.

After six hours, virus droplets on banknotes had declined to 5% or less of their initial levels and after 24 hours it was less than 1% while at five days, it was at undetectable or trace levels.

In shops, the main infection risks would come from being close to an infected person or handling a shopping basket or trolley, PIN keypads, products on shelves or touchscreens of self-checkout terminals, the study said.

Especially after those mask wearing dolts have touched their virus/bacteria ridden masks dozens of times while shopping, then touching everything in the store... you get the idea?

Unlike these surfaces, cash would typically be stored in wallets, tills or safes.

"Contamination of banknotes, where it could occur, is most likely to be indirectly by transfer from the hands of an infected person or when someone touches an infected surface and then touches a banknote," the study said.

"Any contamination by these routes would be likely to result in much lower levels of the virus than by direct contamination modelled in this study.

"Where contamination does happen, this work shows that the virus typically declines rapidly over a period of hours, and it represents no greater risk than other surfaces people come into contact with as part of their everyday lives."

The Bank said there was some evidence the virus decays more slowly on smooth surfaces such as stainless steel than on notes.

It added: "Where low levels persist, it is not clear whether they are present at levels that could potentially establish infection."

 From earlier today:

Landmark Danish study finds no significant effect for facemask wearers

Landmark Danish study finds no significant effect for facemask wearers

 That post ended on this note:

Exactly as has been stated here and many other places. Repeatedly. False sense of security and possibility of making the spread worse.  I will have more on the Denmark study.

More on the Denmark Study below:

Spectator.UK: Do Masks Stop the Spread of Covid-19

"Do face masks work? Earlier this year, the UK government decided that masks could play a significant role in stopping Covid-19 and made masks mandatory in a number of public places. But are these policies backed by the scientific evidence?

Yesterday marked the publication of a long-delayed trial in Denmark which hopes to answer that very question. The ‘Danmask-19 trial’ was conducted in the spring with over 6,000 participants, when the public were not being told to wear masks but other public health measures were in place. Unlike other studies looking at masks, the Danmask study was a randomised controlled trial – making it the highest quality scientific evidence.

Around half of those in the trial received 50 disposable surgical face masks, which they were told to change after eight hours of use. After one month, the trial participants were tested using both PCR, antibody and lateral flow tests and compared with the trial participants who did not wear a mask.
In the end, there was no statistically significant difference between those who wore masks and those who did not when it came to being infected by Covid-19. 1.8 per cent of those wearing masks caught Covid, compared to 2.1 per cent of the control group. As a result, it seems that any effect masks have on preventing the spread of the disease in the community is small.

Some people, of course, did not wear their masks properly. Only 46 per cent of those wearing masks in the trial said they had completely adhered to the rules. But even if you only look at people who wore masks ‘exactly as instructed’, this did not make any difference to the results: 2 per cent of this group were also infected.

When it comes to masks, it appears there is still little good evidence they prevent the spread of airborne diseases. The results of the Danmask-19 trial mirror other reviews into influenza-like illnesses. Nine other trials looking at the efficacy of masks (two looking at healthcare workers and seven at community transmission) have found that masks make little or no difference to whether you get influenza or not.
But overall, there is a troubling lack of robust evidence on face masks and Covid-19. There have only been three community trials during the current pandemic comparing the use of masks with various alternatives – one in Guinea-Bissau, one in India and this latest trial in Denmark. The low number of studies into the effect different interventions have on the spread of Covid-19 – a subject of global importance – suggests there is a total lack of interest from governments in pursuing evidence-based medicine. And this starkly contrasts with the huge sums they have spent on ‘boutique relations’ consultants advising the government.

The only studies which have shown masks to be effective at stopping airborne diseases have been ‘observational’ – which observe the people who ordinarily use masks, rather than attempting to create a randomised control group. These trials include six studies carried out in the Far East during the SARS CoV-1 outbreak of 2003, which showed that masks can work, especially when they are used by healthcare workers and patients alongside hand-washing"

Observational study? Like the coughing mannequin study? Would coughing mannequins qualify as an observational study? Or a study in absurdity?

"But observational studies are prone to recall bias: in the heat of a pandemic, not very many people will recall if and when they used masks and at what distance they kept from others. The lack of random allocation of masks can also ‘confound’ the results and might not account for seasonal effects. A recent observational study paper had to be withdrawn because the reported fall in infection rates over the summer was reverted when the seasonal effect took hold and rates went back up.

This is why large, randomised trials like this most recent Danish study are so important if we want to understand the impact of measures like face masks. Many people have argued that it is too difficult to wait for randomised trials – but Danmask-19 has shown that these kind of studies are more than feasible.

And now that we have properly rigorous scientific research we can rely on, the evidence shows that wearing masks in the community does not significantly reduce the rates of infection"

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

What NO ONE is Saying About The Lockdowns

 No one site has been shamelessly pushing severe lock downs, to my knowledge, then MoA. With their virtue signalling commenters- Save for the mainstream media. No matter the deadly costs to the vast majority of the global populace Sadly, I did read the latest from that so called alt site. I won't link to it. You can find it for yourself.

Following up on yesterday's post: Pandemics are Over When the Public Decides They Are Over

James Corbett makes the point succinctly about the harm the lockdowns are causing


 

And yes I'm one of those who has done all possible to maintain sanity during this time of  extreme dystopian insanity. Where virtue signalling trumps actual virtue. So long as the 'virtuous' attack those who wish to live their lives. Feed their families. Visit their loved ones. Have support for their drug addicted friends and family.  Not witness opioid deaths go through the roof.  Being able to help others with addiction issues get the supports and treatments they need. Those that want to see medical procedures, proceed. Cancer screening etc., Those that are actually concerned about the massive increase in anti microbial resistance that will end up killing many more people then this pandemic could or would have barring bad government and fudged numbers. Also taking note of the massive increased plastic pollution. And those of us who want the aged to enjoy their last days- Not opt to end their life rather then live through yet another lock down.

TRANSCRIPT

This is James Corbett of corbettreport.com.

In 2006, a 15-year-old high school student from Albuquerque, New Mexico won third place in the Intel science and engineering fair for her project on slowing the spread of an infectious pathogen during a pandemic emergency. Using a computer simulation that she developed with the help of her father, she argued that in order to slow the spread of the disease, governments should implement school shutdowns, keep kids at home and enforce social distancing.

Incredibly, that third place high school science fair project can be tied directly to the lockdown policies being implemented by governments around the world today. You see, that father that she developed her computer simulation with was no average doting dad, but a senior researcher at Sandia National Laboratories who at that time was working on pandemic emergency response plans for the US Department of Homeland Security. His proposal to implement school shutdowns and, if need be, workplace shutdowns in the event of a pandemic emergency was developed at least in part in response to his daughter’s high school project.

Now those advocating for lockdowns have seen the destruction and death that those policies have wrought this year and we are living through that right now. Not only are people being deprived of their livelihoods and forced into grinding poverty as a direct result of these shutdowns, but now the undeniable truth is that if you are advocating for lockdowns, you are advocating for some portion of the population to be consigned to death.

This is no longer debatable. It is even openly admitted—although months too late by the World Health Organization.

DAVID NABARRO: I want to say it again: we in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as a primary means of control of this virus. [. . .] We may well have a doubling of world poverty by early next year. We may well have at least a doubling of child malnutrition because children are not getting meals at school and their parents and poor families are not able to afford it.

This is a terrible, ghastly global catastrophe, actually. And so we really do appeal to all world leaders: stop using lockdown as your primary control method. Develop better systems for doing it. Work together and learn from each other. But remember, lockdowns just have one consequence that you must never, ever belittle, and that is making poor people an awful lot poorer.

SOURCE: The Week in 60 Minutes #6

This is the point at which, no doubt, I’ll be expected to produce the data to back up the non-controversial observation that lockdowns kill, even though that data will do precisely nothing to penetrate the consciousness of those who have already decided that they occupy the moral high ground for advocating locking billions of people around the globe as prisoners inside their own homes. But persevere I will.

I’ll point, for example, to the letter signed by hundreds of doctors calling the lockdowns themselves a “mass casualty incident” and exhorting politicians to end the shutdowns.

I’ll point to the research that shows that thousands of people will die because of delays to cancer surgery treatments as a result of the medical shutdowns.

I’ll point to the research of the Well-Being Trust showing that 75,000 Americans are expected to die deaths of despair—including alcohol and drug misuse and suicide—this year alone as a result of the lockdowns.

I will point to the research of The Lancet showing that 265 million people are expected to be thrown into severe food insecurity as a result of these lockdowns.

I will even point to the research showing 125,000 children are expected to die from malnutrition as a result of these lockdowns.

But, as I say, none of these deaths will matter to those who have already decided that they are right and virtuous for advocating locking vast swathes of the human population inside their own homes to starve to death in the name of slowing the spread of a disease that even the epidemiologists who have been wrong about everything this year tell us will kill less than one percent of the infected.

Yes, slowing the spread, not stopping the spread. This was never about stopping a pandemic. Even the lockdown advocates never advocated that. But somehow that has been forgotten and “15 days to flatten the curve” has turned into a never-ending carte blanche for the biosecurity state to implement any number of draconian policies on its population, any number of policies on the checklist of the would-be dictator. Not only locking people inside their own homes, but constant surveillance of the population through the contact tracing and tracking apps that are increasingly being implemented around the globe, and, inevitably, the proposals for mandating the experimental vaccines which agents of the state will forcibly inject into people against their will.

This is not acceptable.

We cannot allow this to stand.

If we forsake this, our most basic right—the right to step foot outside of our own homes—then we forsake our humanity itself. An important part of what makes us human is being taken away from us in the name of stopping the spread of COVID-19.

But there is good news for those who have managed to retain their sanity in the time of insanity. We do not need a complicated plan in order to subvert this agenda. We do not need special deputization or to ask permission from the government. We do not need to join any particular political party or even any particular protest movement.

All we have to do is disobey these unlawful “orders.”

CASSIE ZERVOS: The persistent anti-lockdown protesters said they will not forget Melbourne’s strict 112 day measures as they took to the steps of Parliament. They carried signs saying “Don’t trust the government” and chanted for police to join them in their rally.

SOURCE: Melbourne anti-COVID lockdown protest turns ugly outside Parliament House

BUSINESS OWNER: I’ve lost friends who’ve killed themselves. I’ve seen clients die because they’ve lost their livelihood.

HEALTH INSPECTOR: I’m sorry to hear that.

BUSINESS OWNER: I know you are and i’m just a—I’m asking for you to guys have some compassion.

SOURCE: Buffalo, New York Business Owners Stand Up to Cuomo Lockdown Orders

ASHLEY DRIEMEYER: Can he arrest us all? Because, from what I am gathering, in this area we are all banding together and going against our governor.

SOURCE: Illinois restaurant owner will defy new state restrictions

[CROWD BANGS POTS AND PANS DURING PROTEST]

SOURCE: Protests in Denmark – Epidemic law and mandatory vaccines – EPIDEMILOV

BUSINESS OWNERS: Get out! Get out! Get out! Get out! Get out!

SOURCE: Buffalo, New York Business Owners Stand Up to Cuomo Lockdown Orders

If you have managed to retain your sanity during this time of widespread insanity, I applaud you and wish to assure you that you are not alone. Many, many people all around the world are defying orders. They are protesting against these lockdowns. They are standing up. They are disobeying.

But of course the corporate controlled press don’t want you to know that disobedience is an option on the table and they will not report on this. But disobedience is an option. Open your business. Leave your home. Do not ask for permission. Disobey.

To those who are still advocating for lockdowns, I encourage you to do so to the face of those parents who have lost their teenage children due to suicide as a direct result of the shutdowns and tell them that their child’s death doesn’t matter because it wasn’t listed as being due to COVID-19. Or do so to the face of the tens of thousands of others who have already lost loved ones as a direct result of these shutdown or the hundreds of thousands more who will die as long as these lockdowns endure.

If you are advocating for lockdowns, you are complicit in tearing families apart. You are complicit in inflicting untold suffering on millions of people around the world. You are complicit in casting the poorest and most vulnerable in our societies into even further grinding poverty. You are complicit in murder.

A line is being crossed right now. Which side of history are you on? Make your decision now and make it wisely, because your actions during these times will not be forgotten.

You have been warned.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Pandemics are Over When the Public Decides They Are Over

 An anonymous commenter left this at nomadiceveryman's blog

Exactly what this article says NOV21:
https://mises.org/wire/pandemics-are-over-when-public-decides-theyre-over

It's worth reading and considering:

Excerpts below

[State senator Steve] Fenberg and many other state leaders are worried…about whether a stay-at-home order would even work this time around. People have grown accustomed to certain freedoms since the spring, and already there are some in the population resistant even to the least oppressive rules, such as wearing masks.

"They don’t want to have restrictive orders that people just entirely ignore," Fenberg said. "Once you cross that line, that seriously, then it really starts to unravel, when people completely check out from following the orders."

We’ll ignore the creepy framing of the issue around how citizens have lamentably "grown accustomed to certain freedoms" like being able to leave one’s home. But Fenberg is right to think the public is unlikely to be nearly as compliant this time around.

And what happens if Americans start acting as if there were no pandemic? Then, the pandemic is at a de facto end, even if "experts" insist that it is still a de jure reality.

Medical Pandemics vs. Social Pandemics

In other words, government agencies may issue declarations of when pandemics end, but as noted in the New York Times last May,

pandemics typically have two types of endings: the medical, which occurs when the incidence and death rates plummet, and the social, when the epidemic of fear about the disease wanes.

"When people ask, 'When will this end?,' they are asking about the social ending," said Dr[.] Jeremy Greene, a historian of medicine at Johns Hopkins. In other words, an end can occur not because a disease has been vanquished but because people grow tired of panic mode and learn to live with a disease

This has happened before. During the 1957–58 Asian flu pandemic, for example, the public took little notice of the fact that the flu was especially virulent that year. It is now estimated that more than a hundred thousand died of the flu in the period, which would be the equivalent of 220,000 Americans today. Indeed, Americans continued to die from the Asian flu into the 1960 flu season and beyond. But as far as the public was concerned, there had been no pandemic that required staying home or closing schools.

 Neither my own parents, nor my in laws gave this 'pandemic' a second thought. I asked them all (save for my father in law who is deceased) 

Many Americans are apparently already moving in that direction now. According to a new report this month from Gallup, the percentage of Americans saying they are “very likely” to shelter in place has fallen from 67 percent in late March to 49 percent as of November 1. The percentage of respondents saying they are "very unlikely" or "somewhat unlikely" to adhere to stay-at-home orders has doubled from 15 percent to 33 percent. Notably, this trend has occurred in spite of more Americans in the survey also saying they think the virus situation is "getting worse." In other words, Americans don’t think the disease is about to go away, but less than half say it’s very likely they’ll be sitting at home.

At this point, it’s a fairly safe bet that even as more and more Americans conclude they can’t put their lives on hold indefinitely, government bureaucrats will continue to insist that the pandemic puts everyone at grave risk.

But the public and technocrats often function on different schedules. After all, sitting at home for months or even years may work for childless, white-collar intellectuals and bureaucrats who can easily work from home and need not worry about the social and emotional development of children and others in their care. But many others are likely to view that model of daily life as thoroughly untenable.

Moreover, many currently unemployed Americans—who number in the millions—may conclude that collecting unemployment checks indefinitely is not a satisfactory substitute for making a living the ordinary way.

Making Risk Assessments

All of this will go into calculating risk, and this is why the public's recognized end to pandemics is often different from the "official" end. The public is made up of countless individuals who make who make their own risk assessments based on the available facts.

How Much Risk Are We Willing to Accept When Driving?

Governments have tried this in other contexts as well.

When it comes to highway safety, for instance, federal and state government agencies spent years trying to convince Americans that “55 saves lives” and that driving at slower speeds would save thousands of American lives per year.

 The concluding paragraphs..

The same thing, of course, has always occurred in the context of disease, and it is likely to occur in the context of covid-19. As time goes on, more and more Americans will simply accept that the risk of catching various diseases as a part of life. This long ago occurred with the flu which still kills tens of thousands of Americans per year.

When this does finally happen with most of the public in regards to covid-19, the pandemic will be de facto over, although many politicians and bureaucrats will no doubt disagree.


Monday, November 23, 2020

Face Masks Reduce Spread in Lab, BUT, NOT in the Community at Large? Why? Obviously, Because the REAL World is NOT a Lab

And a laboratory is NOT the real word.  Talk about a "no shit sherlock" or 'stating the obvious. Why are people so dense? So blinded by what's right in front of them? 

NewZealandHerald

In controlled laboratory situations, face masks appear (appearances can be deceiving)  to do a good job of reducing the spread of coronavirus (at least in hamsters) and other respiratory viruses. However, evidence shows mask-wearing policies seem to have had much less impact on the community spread of Covid-19.

Why this gap between the effectiveness in the lab and the effectiveness seen in the community? The real world is more complex than a controlled laboratory situation. The right people need to wear the right mask, in the right way, at the right times and places.

The real world is more complex?! Wow. No way. Again with the stating the obvious.  Yet governments are doubling down on their own definition of insanity- masks and lock downs. Didn't work the first time. Won't work the second time. Unless they (the powers that very obviously shouldn't be) alter the CT values of the PCR tests. Then they can make the pandemic go away. Simply disappear it. 

The real-world impact of face masks on the transmission of viruses depends not just on the behaviour of the virus but also on the behaviour of aerosol droplets in diverse settings, and on the behaviour of people themselves.

That a whole lot of variables... Real world kind of stuff, ya know?

We carried out a comprehensive review of the evidence about how face masks and other physical interventions affect the spread of respiratory viruses. Based on the current evidence, we believe the community impact is modest (non existent)  and it may be better to focus on mask-wearing in high-risk situations.

The evidence

Simply comparing infection rates in people who wear masks with those who don't can be misleading. One problem is people who don't wear masks are more likely go to crowded spaces, and less likely to socially distance. (That's a foolish assumption)
People who are more concerned often adhere to several protective behaviours ( More foolish assumptions) — they are likely to avoid crowds and socially distance as well as wearing masks.

When I don't wear a mask- I stay away from the freak outs. And shop when it's not busy. Meanwhile the freak out mask wearers are standing around talking up a storm. And shooting dirty looks to people without masks.

That correlation between mask wearing and other protective behaviours might explain why studies comparing mask-wearers with non-mask-wearers (known as "observational studies") show larger effects than seen in trials. Part of the effect is due to those other behaviours.

The most rigorous, but difficult, way to evaluate the effectiveness of masks is to take a large group of people and ask some to wear masks and others not to, in a so-called controlled trial. We found nine such trials have been carried out for influenza-like illness. Surprisingly, when combined, these trials found only a 1% reduction in influenza-like illness among mask-wearers compared with non-mask-wearers, and a 9% reduction in laboratory-confirmed influenza. These small reductions are not statistically significant, and are most likely due to chance.

Due to chance. And nothing more. Because there has never been any real science supporting mask wearing as a means to reduce viral spread.  Check the spin below? There is no reason to believe that the Covid virus, which is similar in size to the influenza virus would result in any different outcome in a rigourous, real science based mask study.

None of these trials studied Covid-19, so we can't be sure how relevant they are to the pandemic. The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is a similar size to influenza, but has a different capacity to infect people, so it is possible masks might be more or less effective for Covid-19. A recently published trial in Denmark of 4862 adults found infection with SARS-CoV-2 occurred in 42 participants randomised to masks (1.8%) compared to 53 control participants (2.1%).

In the recent study from Denmark the masks were equally as ineffective as with the Coronavirus.

What might diminish the effect of masks?

Why might masks not protect the person wearing them? There are several possibilities. Standard masks only protect your nose and mouth incompletely, for one thing


Why masks might fail to clearly protect others is more complex. Good masks reduce the spread of droplets and aerosols, and so should protect others.

However, in our systematic review we found three trials that assessed how well mask wearing protects others, but none of them found an obvious effect. The two trials in households where a person with influenza wore a mask to protect others in fact found a slight increase in flu infections; and the third trial, in college dormitories, found a non-significant 10% relative reduction.

We don't know if the failure was the masks or participants' adherence. In most studies adherence was poor. In the trials very few people wear them all day (an average of about four hours by self-report, and even less when directly observed). And this adherence declined with time.

But we also have little research on how long a single mask is effective. Most guidelines suggest around four hours, but studies on bacteria show masks provide good protection for the first hour and by two hours are doing little. Unfortunately, we could not identify similar research examining viruses.

Is it better to focus masks on the 3 Cs: covered, crowded and close contact?

In addition to the completed Danish trial, another ongoing trial in Guinea-Bissau with 66,000 participants randomised as whole villages may shed more light as it tests the idea of source control. But given the millions of cases and billions of potential masks and mask wearers, more such trials are warranted.

We know masks are effective in laboratory studies, and we know they are effective as part of personal protective equipment for health care workers. But that effect appears diminished in community usage. So in addition to the trials, new research is urgently needed to unravel each of the reasons laboratory effectiveness does not seem to have translated into community effectiveness. We must also develop ways to overcome the discrepancy.

Until we have the needed research, we should be wary about relying on masks as the mainstay for preventing community transmission. And if we want people to wear masks regularly, we might do better to target higher-risk circumstances for shorter periods. These are generally places described by "the three Cs": crowded places, close-contact settings, and confined and enclosed spaces. These would include some workplaces and on public transport.

We are likely to be better off if we get high usage of fresh masks in the most risky settings, rather than moderate usage everywhere.

- Paul Glasziou is a Professor of Medicine at Bond University; Chris Del Mar is a Professor of Public Health at Bond University

Exactly as has been stated here and many other places. Repeatedly. False sense of security and possibility of making the spread worse.  I will have more on the Denmark study... For now I'll close with Scott's latest video, below:

nomadiceveryman