Friday, June 18, 2021

Antiviral drug shown to save lives of covid-19 patients in hospital

People who get seriously ill from covid-19 could be offered a new lifeline with the first antiviral drug shown to save lives in patients admitted to hospital, researchers have said.

The drug, a combination of two antibodies developed by Regeneron, reduced the risk of death when given to people with severe covid-19 who hadn’t mounted a natural antibody response of their own.

The chances of these patients needing to be put on a ventilator were also reduced, as was the duration of their hospital stay.

In the Recovery trial between 18 September 2020 and 22 May 2021, 9785 patients admitted to hospital with covid-19 in the UK were randomly allocated to receive the usual care plus the antibody combination treatment, or usual care alone.

Of these, about one-third were seronegative, meaning they had no natural antibody response of their own, and half were seropositive, meaning they had already developed natural antibodies against the virus. For one-sixth of those involved in the study, their antibody status was unknown.

Among patients who received usual care alone, mortality within 28 days of being admitted to the trial was 30 per cent in those without an antibody response, compared with 15 per cent in those who were seropositive at the start of the study.

For patients who had no antibody response, the treatment reduced the chance of them dying within 28 days by a fifth, compared with usual care alone.

For every 100 such patients treated with the antibody combination, there would be six fewer deaths, researchers say.

“This is in some ways a first,” said Martin Landray at the University of Oxford, joint chief investigator of the study. “This is an antiviral treatment that is used later on – because these patients are severe, they’ve gone into hospital – and has a demonstrated clear impact on survival, and on those other outcomes.

“So in its own right, it’s an important result because these patients are among the sickest patients, and here we now have a treatment we did not have before.”

For the seronegative patients given the treatment, the duration of hospital stay was four days shorter than the usual care group, and the proportion of patients discharged by day 28 was greater.

The treatment made no difference in patients who had mounted their own antibody response by the time the study started.

“These results are very exciting,” said Peter Horby, the other joint chief investigator, also from the University of Oxford. “The hope was that, by giving a combination of antibodies targeting the Sars-CoV-2 virus, we would be able to reduce the worst manifestations of covid-19. There was, however, great uncertainty about the value of antiviral therapies in late-stage covid-19 disease.

“It is wonderful to learn that even in advanced covid-19 disease, targeting the virus can reduce mortality in patients who have failed to mount an antibody response of their own.”

The researchers say they aren’t sure when the treatment will be approved for use in the UK. It is unlikely to be rolled out quickly as the drug isn’t particularly easy to get hold of and patients would need antibody testing on their admission to hospital – which isn’t currently in place.

The study has been published as a pre-print on medRxiv and hasn’t yet been peer-reviewed.

The treatment uses a combination of two monoclonal antibodies (casirivimab and imdevimab, known as REGEN-COV in the US) that bind specifically to two different sites on the coronavirus spike protein, neutralising the ability of the virus to infect cells.

Previous studies in people in the community showed that the treatment reduced viral load, shortened the time to resolution of symptoms and significantly reduced the risk of being admitted to hospital or death.

Stephen Powis, national medical director for NHS England, said: “These encouraging results from this trial carried out in and by the NHS suggest a new treatment option to help save the lives of some patients hospitalised with covid and are the latest example of research and innovation for patients, which the NHS has played a role in during the pandemic.

“Studies have also suggested the same treatments might help similar patients in the community avoid going to hospital in the first place, which is why yesterday the health service chief executive, Sir Simon Stevens, asked the NHS to rapidly establish a new monoclonal antibody service so we are ready to offer these drugs if backed by regulators.”


YouTube Suspends Sen. Ron Johnson From Uploading Videos Over COVID-19, Hydroxychloroquine Claims

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) was suspended by YouTube and cannot upload videos for seven days, with the Google-owned video-sharing platform accusing him of spreading misinformation about COVID-19 treatments.

“YouTube’s arrogant Covid censorship continues,” he wrote in confirming the development. “How many lives will be lost as a result? How many lives could have been saved with a free exchange of medical ideas? This suppression of speech should concern every American.”

A spokesperson for YouTube told Fox News that one of Johnson’s videos was taken down because it violated its policies and claimed that he was spreading “medical misinformation.”

“We removed the video in accordance with our COVID-19 medical misinformation policies, which don’t allow content that encourages people to use Hydroxychloroquine or Ivermectin to treat or prevent the virus,” the spokesperson said. The Epoch Times has contacted the company for comment.

But by doing so, Johnson said that YouTube’s move to censor him suggests they have “accumulated too much unaccountable power.”

“Big Tech and mainstream media believe they are smarter than medical doctors who have devoted their lives to science and use their skills to save lives,” Johnson said in a statement to news outlets on Friday. “They have decided there is only one medical viewpoint allowed, and it is the viewpoint dictated by government agencies. How many lives will be lost as a result? How many lives could have been saved with a free exchange of medical ideas?”

In the video that was taken down, according to The Federalist, Johnson criticized federal bureaucrats for trying to dissuade the public from taking, or preventing them from knowing about, hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19.

“It always baffled me that there was such a concerted effort to deny the American public the type of robust exploration research into early treatment early in this pandemic,” Johnson said, saying that he wanted more focus on the topic and said studies have suggested that “both hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin” are “incredibly safe” drugs.

Hydroxychloroquine, notably, was touted by President Donald Trump during COVID-19 task force briefings at the White House.

A recent study from medRxiv found that a combination of hydroxychloroquine, which is prescribed for malaria, and zinc may increase the COVID-19 survival rate by around 200 percent in some cases where a patient has a severe case and requires ventilation.

“We found that when the cumulative doses of two drugs, HCQ and AZM, were above a certain level, patients had a survival rate 2.9 times the other patients,” the study’s conclusion said.

But last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning against using hydroxychloroquine, citing potential side-effects such as “serious heart rhythm problems and other safety issues, including blood and lymph system disorders, kidney injuries, and liver problems and failure.”


Russian oil imports have set a new record in the United States despite the strained relationship between Washington and Moscow

Industry experts believe the Biden administration’s climate policies will make the country more dependent on foreign oil producers.

The United States imported record levels of crude oil from Russia in March and is expected to continue importing at high levels in coming months, according to the Western Energy Alliance, a trade association that represents 200 independent natural gas and oil producers in the United States.

Imports of crude oil and petroleum products from Russia reached 22.9 million barrels in March, the highest level since August of 2010, according to International Energy Agency (IEA). Of the total amount, crude oil imports from Russia stood at 6.1 million barrels. Russia has become the third-largest oil exporter to the United States.

High levels of oil shipment from Russia have continued since March, according to ClipperData, a commodity intelligence company that monitors cargo shipments worldwide.

“Last month we saw a record 5.75 million barrels of Russian crude discharged in the US, and we’re projecting a further record this month of 7.5mn bbls,” ClipperData analysts wrote on Twitter on June 7.

Critics argue that Biden’s climate agenda is hard on the U.S. oil industry but soft on foreign producers.

“It’s disturbing to our industry that the Biden administration goes out of its way to disadvantage the American producer while buttressing the Iranian and Russian industries,” Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Western Energy Alliance, told The Epoch Times.

The recent spike in Russian oil imports has followed the “misguided climate policies” of the administration, including ending the Keystone XL pipeline and pausing new oil and natural gas permitting on public lands and waters, according to Sgamma.

President Joe Biden has “tipped us into oil dependence on Russia just a year after complete independence,” Sgamma said, calling it “a geopolitical gift” to the Kremlin.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude surpassed the $70 mark last week, reaching the highest level in over two years. Top commodity traders now believe oil prices could see $100 per barrel due to supply constraints. Oil hasn’t traded above $100 per barrel since 2014.

“There’s been kind of a dearth of investment in fossil fuels, which is going to leave us undersupplied as we go forward,” Phil Flynn, senior energy analyst at the Price Future Group, told The Epoch Times in a recent interview.

He noted that the Biden administration’s climate policies, which will reduce the supply of oil and gas, have been a major factor in driving the prices.

“U.S. oil production has fallen by 1.715 million barrels [per day] from a year ago, so a large part of that void is being filled by Russia,” Flynn wrote in a recent op-ed on Fox Business.

“During Trump’s term, America was competing with Russia and Saudi Arabia to be the world’s dominant oil and gas producer, yet under Biden, we are retreating from that race in the name of climate change,” he wrote.

An increase in oil and gas prices will help boost Russia’s energy and political dominance, he argued, criticizing Biden’s recent move that will allow Russia to supply natural gas to Germany.

The Biden administration last month waived Trump-era sanctions against the company building the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline that links Russia and Germany.

The pipeline is expected to increase the dependence of the region on Russia for natural gas. Construction on the 764-mile pipeline that began in 2018 was a source of friction between Washington and its European allies.




Thursday, June 17, 2021

A Group Of Parents Sent Their Kids' Face Masks to A Lab for Analysis. Here's What They Found

We've been told for well over a year that widespread forced public masking should be implemented because, even if only moderately to slightly to negligibly effective at curbing the spread of COVID-19, there are ZERO drawbacks. 

"What's the harm?" they ask.

"It's only a minor inconvenience," they bleat.

"If it saves ONE LIFE, it's worth it!" they implore.

Meanwhile, we on Team Reality have not only continued to point to real-world data that shows masking to be entirely ineffective, we've also maintained that forced public masking, especially long-term, has negative societal and even health ramifications that the powers-that-be are all-too-happy to ignore in subservience to their newfound face mask god. 

It only stands to reason that one of those health ramifications would be the fact that millions of people, particularly children, have been forced to wear and carry around pieces of cloth they've continually breathed through for hours on end. What lurking pathogens might be found on these disgusting contraptions being incessantly handled, stuck in pockets, and mindlessly tossed on books, tables, and desks? Well, one group of Florida parents sent a batch of masks worn by their children to a lab to find out. And yeah, you'll probably need to make sure you aren't eating dinner anytime soon before you digest THESE results. 

Via press release:

Gainesville, FL (June 16, 2021) – A group of parents in Gainesville, FL, concerned about potential harms from masks, submitted six face masks to a lab for analysis. The resulting report found that five masks were contaminated with bacteria, parasites, and fungi, including three with dangerous pathogenic and pneumonia-causing bacteria. No viruses were detected on the masks, although the test is capable of detecting viruses.

The analysis detected the following 11 alarmingly dangerous pathogens on the masks:

* Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumonia) 

* Mycobacterium tuberculosis (tuberculosis) 

* Neisseria meningitidis (meningitis, sepsis) 

* Acanthamoeba polyphaga (keratitis and granulomatous amebic encephalitis) 

* Acinetobacter baumanni (pneumonia, blood stream infections, meningitis, UTIs— resistant to antibiotics) 

* Escherichia coli (food poisoning)

* Borrelia burgdorferi (causes Lyme disease)

* Corynebacterium diphtheriae (diphtheria)

* Legionella pneumophila (Legionnaires' disease) 

* Staphylococcus pyogenes serotype M3 (severe infections—high morbidity rates) 

* Staphylococcus aureus (meningitis, sepsis)

Half of the masks were contaminated with one or more strains of pneumonia-causing bacteria. One-third were contaminated with one or more strains of meningitis-causing bacteria. One-third were contaminated with dangerous, antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens. In addition, less dangerous pathogens were identified, including pathogens that can cause fever, ulcers, acne, yeast infections, strep throat, periodontal disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and more.

The face masks studied were new or freshly-laundered before wearing and had been worn for 5 to 8 hours, most during in-person schooling by children aged 6 through 11. One was worn by an adult. A t-shirt worn by one of the children at school and unworn masks were tested as controls. No pathogens were found on the controls. Proteins found on the t-shirt, for example, are not pathogenic to humans and are commonly found in hair, skin, and soil.

A parent who participated in the study, Ms. Amanda Donoho, commented that this small sample points to a need for more research: “We need to know what we are putting on the faces of our children each day. Masks provide a warm, moist environment for bacteria to grow.”

These local parents contracted with the lab because they were concerned about the potential of contaminants on masks that their children were forced to wear all day at school, taking them on and off, setting them on various surfaces, wearing them in the bathroom, etc. This prompted them to send the masks to the University of Florida’s Mass Spectrometry Research and Education Center for analysis.

Appetizing, eh? Of course, nothing above, or anything else, will deter the extremists in the masking cult, some of whom now want to see masking in schools forever.


Florida Appeals Court Just Dealt A Devastating Blow To Forced Masking

A Florida appellate court delivered a devastating blow to government-induced forced public masking in the state on Friday with a narrow 2-1 decision that finally took into account citizen privacy rights that have often been ignored throughout the pandemic.

In overturning and sending back for reconsideration the decision of a circuit judge in favor of Alachua County's mask requirement, the 1st District Court of Appeal panel cited the state Supreme Court's interpretation of privacy rights "so broad as to include the complete freedom of a person to control his own body," Fox13 reported.

A panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal, in a 2-1 decision, said Alachua County Circuit Judge Donna Keim did not properly consider the privacy rights of plaintiff Justin Green before she rejected a request for a temporary injunction against the mask requirement.

"The trial court simply looked at the right asserted by Green too narrowly, relying on the wrong privacy jurisprudence," said the 13-page majority opinion, written by Judge Adam Tanenbaum and joined by Judge Robert Long. "The right to be let alone by government does exist in Florida, as part of a right of privacy that our (Florida) Supreme Court has declared to be fundamental. 

… (The Supreme Court) has construed this fundamental right to be so broad as to include the complete freedom of a person to control his own body. Under this construction, a person reasonably can expect not to be forced by the government to put something on his own face against his will. Florida’s constitutional right to privacy, then, necessarily is implicated by the nature of the county’s mask mandate."

The majority stopped short of declaring the Alachua County requirement unconstitutional but sent the case back to the lower court for reconsideration.

Judge Joseph Lewis' 15-page dissent predictably appealed to forced masking as a "temporary and de minimus interference with a person’s public interactions in response to a global pandemic," but Tanenbaum and Long - both appointed to the bench by Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis - carried the day.

While Lewis also tried to argue that the case was moot because DeSantis' executive order in May preventing local governments from requiring masks, the majority pointed out that counties could always reissue orders at a future time.

"Because of the nature of the various emergency orders that we have seen and the county’s continued commitment to public mask wearing, we are not convinced that this is the last that we will see of this issue," Tanenbaum wrote in a footnote.

Later in the opinion, however, the majority appeared to acknowledge that the circuit judge might not have a case to reconsider.

"We remand for a new proceeding that presumes the unconstitutionality of the mask mandate, in the event there still is some mask mandate that remains to be litigated," the opinion said.

... Green, who operates a nursery business, took the lawsuit to the Tallahassee-based appeals court after Keim refused to grant a temporary injunction in May 2020.

Interestingly, Fox13 reported that the decision from Tanenbaum and Long "relied heavily on a 2017 Florida Supreme Court decision blocking a law that sought to require women to wait 24 hours before having abortions."

Hey, my body my choice, right? Except, in this case, nobody is actually getting killed because masks have never done squat to stop or even slightly curb the spread of COVID-19 or any other respiratory virus.

Florida state representative Anthony Sabatini called the decision a "huge legal win" for liberty.

This is how it's done, folks. The people trying to force you to cover your face with a disgusting bacteria collector in the name of 'public health' - with absolutely zero science or data on their side to support their claims - have always been the aggressors here, and using the courts everywhere possible to push back is definitely the right move.

It's hard to predict what will eventually happen with this case, but the decision does underscore just how important judicial appointments are, even at the state level. DeSantis appointed both of these judges, and he also has appointed three of the seven judges on Florida's Supreme Court.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

What the Rich Don’t Admit About the Poor

The above heading occurs above a recent NYT article by Ezra Klein.

Klein is a smart young Jewish writer who writes persuasively in favour of Leftist causes. Like just about all leftist writers, Klein's persuasiveness depends on him leaving out half of the argument concerning his topic. The article concerned is a case in point The conservative side of his argument is glided over.

What he says (rightly) is that America still depends heavily on manual labour and that such labour is normally poorly paid. He regards that as outrageous.

So what is his solution? You will never guess: more government spending financed by big tax rises.How unoriginal can you get? Concern over income disparities goes back a very long way. The Soviets never solved it and a very wise Jewish teacher once told us: The poor ye always have with you

How does Klein deal with such facts? He doesn't. Klein just conveys outrage, not any kind of fully reasoned argument.


Inflation Is a Middle Class Tax Hike

Rapidly rising prices for all manner of goods and services are hitting us all hard.

It seems like just last month that we were expressing concern over rising inflation. Oh, right — it was. The Consumer Price Index (CP) jumped 4.2% in April. May said, “Hold my beer,” and saw a spike of 5% year over year.

CNBC crunches the numbers and right up top emphasizes the bad news:

fastest pace since August 2008

higher than Wall Street expectations

The 3.8% rise in the core inflation rate, which excludes food and energy prices, was the sharpest increase in nearly three decades.

There’s not much sugar coating here — the economic news is not good. Supply chains are broken. Companies can’t find enough workers, and the ones they can find are commanding higher wages. Inflated prices are largely a symptom of these underlying ailments.

Heather Boushey, a member of the White House Counsel of Economic Advisors, shrugged off the report as good news: “Today’s data on inflation is the latest indicator that things are both moving in the right direction and that we have supply-chain hiccups.”

“Hiccups”? We realize that having to wait a few months for a recliner or a bicycle is truly a First World Problem. But this is also not the America Joe Biden promised us, and it’s a far cry from the roaring American economy Donald Trump was fueling before the pandemic.

The Federal Reserve’s response? Apathy. “Though the inflation readings are well above anything seen since the 2008-09 financial crisis, the Federal Reserve has been largely dismissive of the numbers,” says CNBC. “Central bank officials believe the current rise is due to temporary factors that will abate as the year goes on and look higher because of comparisons to the year-ago period, when much of the economic activity remained restricted due to pandemic precautions.”

There is some truth to that, but it’s far from the full picture. As it turns out, you cannot shut down much of the economy and then have the government flood the economy with $6 trillion in “magic money” and not have prices increase because of the havoc that wreaks on supply and demand.

The same experts who totally underestimated the inflation rate are telling us this is no big deal and prices will recede before long. That’s no doubt true of some things like lumber and houses, but it’s certainly not guaranteed, and it’s perhaps even unlikely for most goods and services. Higher prices will be the new floor.

“Chipotle executives announced this week the fast-casual chain will be raising prices by about 4 percent to offset some of the costs of the tighter labor market. Procter & Gamble warned customers earlier this year to expect mid- to high-single-digit percentage point price increases on staples like diapers and tampons,” reports The Dispatch. In fact, “The May 2021 NFIB Small Business Economic Trends survey found 48 percent of small businesses reported raising their prices, compared with just 5 percent that reported lowering them.”

Given that generous unemployment benefits have raised expectations for wages — just about at Democrats’ preferred $15 an hour, as it so happens — companies are going to be paying more for labor over the long term. And the supply disruptions show no sign of abating, which only exacerbates price problems.

That’s a middle class tax hike if we ever saw one.

But there’s also the national picture, which political analyst Kevin Williamson elucidates:

The worrisome, if not quite worst-case, scenario is this: We start to suffer genuinely problematic inflation, the Fed jacks up interest rates to stabilize prices, the cost of borrowing for the U.S. government goes up substantially, the cost of financing the debt rises from 8 percent of the budget to 12 percent of the budget and then appears set to keep on marching up from there, the economy goes into recession, and Washington has a choice — it can cut back spending during a recession, thereby almost certainly deepening that recession, or it can go even more deeply into debt at a time when the cost of debt service already is climbing, thereby making both the total debt and the cost of financing it that much worse.

“This,” he concludes, “is where fiscal crises and sovereign-debt crises come from.”




Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Donald Trump has reeled off the times he was blasted for spreading lies and conspiracy theories - only to later be proven right.

Speaking via satellite link from his Bedminster, New Jersey golf course at the Frank Speech Rally in New Richmond, Wisconsin the former president recalled how he'd been blasted for saying hydroxychloroquine was a treatment for COVID, that the virus leaked from a Wuhan virus lab, and that Hunter Biden's laptop was real. 

He said: 'We were right! Listen to this: Hydroxychloroquine works. The virus came from a Chinese lab - it just came out. Hunter Biden’s laptop was real. They tried to say it was made by Russia. Russia. Russia. Russia,' he started.

‘Lafayette Square was not cleared for a photo op. That just came out and I want to thank the Inspector General for having the courage to come out with the truth. The ‘Russian Bounties’ story was fake. Remember that? We produce vaccines before the end of 2020 in record time.'

Trump touted hydroxy - previously used as an anti-malaria drug, throughout last spring, and even took it as a precaution. He was condemned for doing so, with medics saying there was no evidence the treatment helped COVID.

But preliminary research released earlier this week showed hydroxychloroquine can increase survival rates in seriously-ill COVID patients by 200 per cent.

Trump has long claimed COVID may have leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. He was dismissed as a quack over that theory throughout much of 2020. It is now being taken far more seriously, although no definitive proof of where COVID came from has been established. 

He has repeatedly attacked liberal-leaning media outlets for failing to cover the damaging contents of Hunter Biden's laptop, and was cleared earlier this week of claims he'd cleared protesters from outside the White House to stage a photo opportunity amid George Floyd protests last year.

Trump also reminded the crowd of how he'd been shot down when claiming COVID vaccines would be ready by the end of 2020 - only to later be proven spectacularly right. The first approved vaccines were administered in the United States on December 15 2020. 

He said: 'The vaccines are saving the country and frankly the world. This would have been another 1917 situation where you lost a 100 million people like in the Spanish flu. Everybody said it would take 3,4,5 years. Don’t even do it because it’s going to take so long. I got it done in less than nine months. All of the people that have been able to get their shots. Nobody would have been able to get it yet. But remember, it’s also about freedom, so it’s your choice.'

The former president also discussed the fraudulent 2020 election which he continues to claim he won, before rallying the gathered crowd with his MAGA  message and the ongoing movement. 

Trump made his remarks during a rally organized by conspiracy theorist MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, a staunch supporter of the former president. 

Trump together with Lindell promoted conspiracy theories about the 2020 election with Trump saying that it was 'rigged' by President Joe Biden and the Democrats, while bemoaning the fact he was no longer allowed on social media. 

The former president has yet to share any definitive proof that last year's election was rigged, despite employing a large team of lawyers to do so.  

'We do press releases now because we were banned from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. They want to silence us because of the election. Cancel culture, call it what you will, but the reason is because of the election,' Trump said. 'They know the results. They know what really happened. That’s why if you go to any place, and you will see the Democrats don’t want recounts. They don’t want audits.    

During his Saturday remarks, Trump insisted the 2020 election was 'totally rigged.' 

'The election was rigged like never before. We got 'em by surprise four years ago and then we got 12 million more votes. Think about it, we got 63 million votes and we won, and then we got 75 million votes and they say we lost. But we didn't lose. If you win Miami, if you win Florida, and Ohio and add Iowa. Nobody won those states and lost. We were supposed to lose 25 seats and we gained 16 in the House of Representatives.

'If it wasn't for me, right now the Senate would be 60-40 against,' Trump argued during the event.

He claimed that Democrats would have 10 more seats than they currently have in the evenly split legislative chamber of Congress. 'Because I made teleconference calls—they call them town hall calls—speaking to tens of thousands of people, for congressional candidates and senators,' the former president said.

'And we would be at 60-40 against instead of 50-50,' Trump added, before attacking the GOP Senate minority leader. 'And unfortunately Mitch McConnell, with what he was doing, hurt us very, very badly in Georgia. We lost those two seats. We should have never lost those two seats.'

Trump has repeatedly criticized and attacked McConnell, after the Kentucky Republican condemned his actions leading up to the January 6 riots targeting the U.S. Capitol. 

Although McConnell did not join seven GOP senators in voting to convict Trump for inciting the violence, he refused to defend Trump and blamed him directly for the assault. 

Dozens of election challenge lawsuits filed by Trump and his allies have all been dismissed in both state and federal courts. Even judges appointed by Trump and others have rejected the allegations. 

Election audits and recounts in key battleground states, including in places where the election was overseen by Republicans, have all reaffirmed Biden's win.

In the video message live-streamed during Lindell's MAGA Frank Free Speech rally at the River's Edge Apple River concert venue in New Richmond Trump proceeded to reel off a list of things insisting that he was ‘right about everything’. 

'Blue state lockdowns didn’t work. They were a disaster. You look at California, you look at New York, you look at Illinois run by governors of a certain party called the Democrat party, they didn’t work, they were a disaster, and then you look at Texas and Florida they’ve done such a fine job.

'The schools have to be reopened. We’ve been saying that for a year. Open up the schools. And our border security program were vitally important and unprecedentedly successful. All Biden had to do was to leave it alone. So we went from the most safest border in the history of our country to the worst and most dangerous. Drugs are flowing in at a level we’ve never seen before. There is human trafficking. Nobody has ever seen numbers like this,' Trump stated.

‘I just saw a report where Sweden is doing very bad on crime. Germany is doing very bad on crime. These used to be the safest countries in Europe and now they’re becoming very unsafe. You know why? They’re letting in people into their country that are causing disruption. Well, we are letting people into our country at a level Sweden couldn’t even imagine. So people are just flowing across our borders. We built almost 500 miles of border wall and it would have been finished in just four weeks, and then Biden decided to stop it. 

On coronavirus Trump again demanded China pay reparations to the United States, but said his earlier figure of $10 trillion wouldn't be enough.

It comes as China continues to face increasing international scrutiny over its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, with U.S. intelligence services investigating whether the novel coronavirus leaked from a lab in Wuhan, where the outbreak first emerged at the end of 2019.

'China and the China virus—they have to pay reparations. We've been hurt so badly in terms of death, human life,' Trump said.

'And in terms of monetarily, to a level that they have to pay us. And frankly, if they paid us $10 trillion that wouldn't cover it. But they really have to pay the world because this started in the world—the entire world has been, not only disrupted, but it's almost been destroyed and we're doing well because we created such a great economic foundation.'

Monday, June 14, 2021

How the Government Makes Corporations Woke

When corporations promote left-wingery, free-market conservatives are met with a taunt: “You want companies to have freedom of speech, and you want the free market to decide, so what are you complaining about? This is what you wanted.”

Of course, private, free-market de­cisions are never immune to private criticism. But “woke capitalism” is also not purely the result of private, free-market decisions. Behind the invisible hand of the market is the mailed fist of the government, pushing companies to the left in ways direct and indirect, in areas ranging from climate policy to workplace and hiring rules.

There are four major capacities in which government pressures companies to go woke: government as corporate shareholder, government as customer, government as capital-market regulator, and government as workplace regulator.

Government as shareholder: Who owns corporations? The shareholders. In theory, corporations work equally for the financial benefit of all the shareholders. But not all shareholders have an equal voice. Those with large holdings and organizations get more attention. In today’s America, many of the largest and most active investors are state and local public-pension funds that manage enormous pots of money, such as the colossal California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS). These are, in theory, merely investment fiduciaries, seeking the best returns to support the retirement benefits paid out to each state’s retired government employees. In practice, many of the pension funds are shot through with left-wing activists who see a government-controlled stake in public companies as a lever with which to move the world.

For example, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) is the second-largest pension fund in the U.S., with approximately $275 billion in assets. It owns $300 million of Exxon­­Mobil stock. It could reap the profits of owning ExxonMobil for the benefit of California teachers, or it could sell the stock if it felt morally obligated to divest. Instead, it is the largest share­holder involved in a “Reenergize Exxon” campaign that recently in­stalled three dissident directors on the board with the aim of moving America’s largest oil company away from carbon-based fuels.

In a March 2021 blog post on the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance, the head of sustainable investment and stewardship strategies at CalSTRS, along with a member of her staff and an Oxford professor, wrote that “CalSTRS is working on develop­ing its model so that it can be sub­stantially scaled in order to address the many environmental (e.g., global warm­ing, loss of biodiversity, and plastics in the oceans) and social (e.g., racial, gender, and income inequality)” issues it wishes to address through its share­holdings. She described the anti-ExxonMobil campaign as a “pilot” for strategies to storm the “Corporate Castle” of companies that decline to follow the activists’ directives. That model includes an “army of investors (could be few but mighty) who will support attacking the castle walls,” “NGOs and other stakeholder repre­sentatives who can be marshalled to apply pressure,” “executive search firm(s) for identifying the slate of new executives and directors” to be installed, and “appropriate media outlets who can amplify the message.”

This pressure campaign goes beyond environmental issues, which are just one of the three corners of the “ESG” formula of environmental, social, and governance topics on which government shareholders are active. CalPERS has been investing in private as well as public companies and then using its stake to pressure the companies to meet racial and other “diversity” quotas. In 2018, CalSTRS announced that it would use its financial heft to pressure retailers anywhere in the country to stop selling guns that are banned in California — overriding the laws of other states. It signed on to a collective effort of state pension funds declaring “Principles for a Responsible Civilian Firearms Industry,” with a roster that also included CalPERS and the pension funds of Connecticut, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Oregon, and San Francisco. These are all arms of government, seeking to own the means of production in order to dictate what may be produced and sold.

As discussed by Patrick Pizzella elsewhere in this issue, the Trump administration promulgated a rule re­focusing shareholder fiduciaries on pursuing the economic interests of their beneficiaries over their own political causes. The Biden administration blocked the rule from going into effect.

Public-shareholder activism is not limited to American government entities. Pension funds and sovereign-wealth funds of foreign states have their own lists of demands and priorities. Norway’s trillion-dollar sovereign-wealth fund, whose revenue comes from taxes and fees on the country’s oil industry, is the largest single owner in the world’s stock markets. Taking its marching orders from the Norwegian parliament, it sets “clear expectations” that “the companies in our portfolio should address global challenges in their corporate govern­ance” that “largely coincide with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

Government as customer: Government doesn’t just invest, it also buys and spends. Collectively, government con­tracts can provide a large share of a business’s income. In some industries, such as military contractors or health providers, it is effectively impossible to survive solely by selling to private customers. Federal, state, and local governments are especially aggressive about requiring contractors to sign on to their environmental and racial agendas. This phenomenon, too, is global in scope. A 2016 OECD paper observes that “public procurement expenditures amount to 13% of OECD countries’ gross domestic products” and urged that this large governmental footprint be used as leverage to promote “ambitious low-carbon innovation strategies.”

Contracts do not involve just the government spending its own money; governments also control access to public facilities. Chick-fil-A, for example, was banned from operating in airports in multiple cities — San Antonio, Buffalo, San Jose — by government officials angered at the company for the political views of one of its executives on same-sex marriage.

Government as capital-market regu­la­tor: It’s not possible to access American capital markets without getting past the gatekeepers. These include the Securities and Exchange Commission, which sets disclosure rules, the markets (the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ), the ratings agencies, and the accounting firms. The SEC is the government; the markets exercise directly delegated governmental authority, which in some circumstances can even preempt state law; the others live in that vague space where compliance is effectively compelled by the need to keep government happy. Then there are the central banks, which have been quite insistent in imposing their own woke visions on lenders, with the aim of raising the cost of capital for disfavored businesses and industries.

SEC disclosure requirements, and rules for what proposals can be raised by dissident shareholders, have been a hotly contested field for political activism. Joe Biden’s presidential campaign called for “requiring public companies to disclose climate risks and the greenhouse gas emissions in their operations and supply chains.”

Government pressure can be indirect, too. Climate envoy John Kerry spent this spring pressuring Wall Street banks to commit to “climate-friendly finance” that aims to redirect lending and investment towards “zero emissions” targets — with the understanding that collective refusals to do business made at the prodding of government may be less vulnerable to challenge under the antitrust laws.

Government as workplace regulator: Finally, the government’s rules shape the workplace. Civil-rights laws were originally written to guarantee equal opportunity under the law, even in private workplaces. But, in practice, many diversity-related corporate initia­tives have gone far beyond equality. They have instead created sinecures in human-resources depart­ments for left-wing activists who use the implicit threat of lawsuits to persuade corporate management to give them a free hand in leftist indoctrination. Maybe the most naïve joke among conservatives in recent years is to ask what kind of job you could get with, say, a gender-studies major. The answer is that you can get a job in a big corporation that puts you in a position to decide who gets all the other jobs. That power structure would not exist without substantial coercive govern­ment pressure.

If we want corporations to get back to the business of business, and out of politics, the first step is to get government out of their business.


TX Gov. Abbott says Texas will build its own Mexican border barrier

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Thursday that he has immediate plans to build border barriers along the state’s border with Mexico in an effort to assist law enforcement apprehensions of immigrants attempting to cross into the United States illegally.

“President Biden’s open-border policies have led to a humanitarian crisis at our southern border as record levels of illegal immigrants, drugs, and contraband pour into Texas,” Abbott said. “While securing the border is the federal government’s responsibility, Texas will not sit idly by as this crisis grows.”

Abbott said the state will immediately begin construction on barriers in easily accessible and unsecured areas like Del Rio.

“The influx across the border is out of control, and the Biden Administration has shown that is not going to step up and do its job,” Abbott told Breitbart exclusively prior to a border summit on Thursday. “And amidst reports of even more people coming in across the border, we know we have to step up and do more.”

Customs and Border Patrol statistics revealed that the Del Rio Sector saw 27,890 illegal immigrant apprehensions in May this year, a 1,118 percent increase from the same period last year.

“The reason why we are here (Del Rio) is because of the massive increase,” Abbott stated, noting that unlawful border crossings were once “concentrated in the Rio Grande Valley. “Now, you know we’re upstream from the Rio Grande Valley in the Del Rio Sector and the Del Rio sector is suffering from some of the largest increases.”

Abbott said local residents are reporting “a lot of very bad dangerous people” coming into Texas illegally.

“They’re seeing a lot of very bad dangerous people come across the border,” Abbott said. “People that they are afraid of encountering, people who are causing damage to their fences, their livestock, their crops, their neighborhoods, and their homes.”

“Bad things are happening around here, and so they need help from the state to help them address this exploding crisis,” he continued.

Abbott said the Biden administration seems to be “welcoming these people into the United States,” but that Texas won’t send the same message. He said Texas will use it authority under a State of Emergency to ramp up enforcement of laws along the border.

“If you come to Texas, you’re subject to being arrested. You’re not going to have a pathway to roam the country,” Abbott said. “You’re going to have a pathway directly into a jail cell.”

“We want to be very aggressive in working with local officials and begin making mass arrests,” he continued. “In working in collaboration with a large number of counties — that means we’re going to be arresting a lot more people.”

Abbott acknowledged the increase in apprehensions will necessitate additional jail space, and he has partnered with Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey to seek assistance from governors nationwide with the crisis.

“With your help, we can apprehend more of these perpetrators of state and federal crimes before they can cause problems in your state,” the governors said. “Texas and Arizona have stepped up to secure the border in the federal government’s absence, and now, the Emergency Management Assistance Compact gives your State a chance to stand strong with us.”

Abbott said he predicts a “high level of participation,” adding, “The immigration issue and the border issue is not just the number one issue of Texas, it’s the number one issue in America. And so all of these other governors, they hear the same concerns that we hear about in Texas.”

Abbott said Texas is going to do whatever it can to secure the border, but “in the end, only the federal government and Congress can fix this.”

“…but as it stands right now, the state of Texas is going to step up and we’re going to start making arrests — sending a message to anybody thinking about coming here, you’re not going to get a free pass to the U.S. They’re getting a straight pass to a jail cell,” he concluded.




Saturday, June 12, 2021

Evidence Mounts — Chauvin Did Not Murder Floyd

The strange evolution of the prosecution’s asphyxiation charge.

In his motion for a new trial, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, through his attorney Eric Nelson, made an obvious point. Quoting case law, Nelson reminded the court of “the prosecutor’s inherently unique role in the criminal justice system, which mandates that the prosecutor not act as a zealous advocate for criminal punishment, but as the representative of the people in an effort to seek justice.”

Had the State prosecutors set out to honor this mandate and seek justice, they would not have presented the medical evidence they did. In fact, they would not have charged Derek Chauvin with second-degree murder or charged his colleagues as accomplices.

Prosecutors knew they had a problem. To make the murder charge stick in the Chauvin case, they had to secure an “asphyxia” diagnosis from a physician. 

If justice were the goal, prosecutors would have taken two critical steps to assure that the medical testimony supported the charge of murder. The first was to run a controlled experiment to see if Chauvin’s actions could possibly have resulted in the death of George Floyd. The second was to make the court and the defense aware of the potential compromise of its star medical witness, Hennepin County Medical Examiner Dr. Andrew Baker.

Dr. John Dunn did run such an experiment, and he made a video of the same. Dr. Dunn comes well credentialed. He is a former member and chair of the medico-legal committee for the American College of Emergency Physicians, board certified in legal medicine, and co-author with a pathologist of a chapter on forensics for a text published by the American College of Legal Medicine. He has followed the case from the beginning, studied the videos, and reviewed Floyd’s autopsy report.

Not content to speculate, Dr. Dunn enlisted the help of two men to determine whether or not the prone restraint used by Chauvin on Floyd could have asphyxiated and killed him. He recruited a 230-pound man to play the role of Floyd and a 170-pound man to play Chauvin’s role. At the time of the incident, Floyd weighed 223 pounds, and Chauvin, with his gear, weighed about 170.

The Chauvin proxy applied the handcuffs and placed the “suspect” in the prone restraint position. For a 10-minute period, he put his left knee on the man’s neck and shoulder, matching the pressure Chauvin put on Floyd. Throughout the experiment, Dunn used a pulse oximeter to monitor the oxygen level and pulse of the man being held in this prone restraint.

As Dunn attests and the video shows, “The results were that there was no impact on the oxygen level or the pulse of the restrained man for the full 10 minutes, and no ill effects at the time or two days later when he was interviewed.” Arguably, Dunn’s experiment has more evidentiary value than any contrary proof offered by the State.

Dunn believes that Floyd died from cardiac arrhythmia — a lethal heart rhythm. He observes that Floyd was suffering from severe cardiac disease aggravated by the drugs in his system including methamphetamine and fentanyl. “Exertion and excitement from intoxication and the arrest situation along with the amphetamine stimulant drug effects increase the arrhythmia risk,” says Dunn.

As the State’s charging documents make clear, even the officers on the scene were aware that Floyd may have been suffering from the severe effects of intoxicants. While restraining Floyd, rookie officer Thomas Lane said to Chauvin, “I am worried about excited delirium or whatever.” Chauvin responded, “That’s why we have him on his stomach.” Chauvin was acting in the interest of Floyd’s safety in his positioning, not acting to kill him.

A week or so before Floyd’s death, I saw a Kansas City police officer use the same technique on a prone female suspect for at least 10 minutes. My thought on seeing this: ‘Thank God, she’s white.” Not wanting to make the officer nervous — the woman was large and violent — I chose not to shoot video. In retrospect I wish I had. The technique does not look good, but the officer in question was able to restrain the woman until backup arrived with no apparent ill effect to her or to him.

Prosecutors knew they had a problem. To make the murder charge stick in the Chauvin case, they had to secure an “asphyxia” diagnosis from a physician. Neither Dr. Baker nor another forensic pathologist who reviewed the case for prosecutors supported that diagnosis.

So prosecutors doctor-shopped until the congenial Dr. Martin Tobin, a pulmonologist, essentially recruited himself to the case. With no relevant experience in death investigation, Dr. Tobin charmed the jury and the New York Times into believing that Floyd’s drug use and heart problems had nothing to do with his death.

Key to Dr. Tobin’s testimony was his contention that Floyd’s hypopharynx was cut off by neck pressure. Under oath, Dr. Tobin testified to the existence of research that supports his contention implicating a closed-off hypopharynx in asphyxia deaths. But, tellingly, prosecutors failed to present any such research in support of Tobin’s claim.

Tobin’s testimony would not have sufficed without at least some support from Dr. Baker. In Chauvin’s request for a new trial, his attorney cited “evidence that, under pressure from prosecutors, Dr. Baker altered his findings and conclusions regarding the death of George Floyd.” This is not an idle accusation.

In the way of background, Baker prepared the autopsy on May 26, 2020, the day after Floyd died. He met with prosecutors that same day. On May 29, in a criminal complaint charging Chauvin with manslaughter and third-degree murder, the State attested as follows (emphasis added):

The autopsy revealed no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxiation or strangulation. Mr. Floyd had underlying health conditions including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease. The combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in the system likely contributed to his death.

In an amended complaint on June 3, the State upped the charge against Chauvin to “Second Degree Murder — Unintentional — While Committing a Felony.” The complaint noted the results of the toxicology test, namely “the presence of fentanyl and evidence of recent methamphetamine use.”

Now, however, Baker supplied the State with one new detail that would prove to be essential for conviction: “The ME listed the cause of death as “[c]ardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint and neck compression” (italics added). Baker first announced the “neck compression” detail in a June 1 press release.

In a May 17 article in The American Spectator, George Parry details the nature of the pressure brought to bear on Baker. The conduit for that pressure was Dr. Roger Mitchell, a former Washington, D.C., medical examiner and deputy mayor of Washington. Parry’s source was a motion for sanctions against the prosecution filed by attorneys representing Chauvin’s partner and alleged accomplice, Tou Thao.

Although some questioned Parry’s (and my own) reliance on the Thao motion, three days after Parry’s article the State confirmed that Thao’s attorneys were over the target. Admitted the State in its response to Thao’s motion, “At some point before Dr. Baker issued his findings and autopsy report on June 1, 2020, Dr. Roger Mitchell, who was acquainted with Dr. Baker professionally as a colleague and fellow forensic pathologist, reached out to Dr. Baker, and they discussed this case” (italics added).

Prosecutors go on to say they learned of Mitchell’s conversations with Baker during a routine meeting to discuss the medical aspects of the case on November 5, 2020. “Ultimately,” they report, “the State opted not to utilize Dr. Mitchell as a testifying expert witness.” They should never have even considered him.

On July 2, 2020, Mitchell had given an interview to the Guardian, in which he said, “From what the world has seen, we know that George Floyd’s intoxication, or George Floyd’s heart condition, played absolutely no part in his death.”

“From what the world has seen?” In that one statement, Mitchell summarized the effect a misleading video snippet was having on the State’s case. The mob was now dictating Minnesota justice.

The increasingly radicalized Mitchell was speaking out wherever he could find a microphone. His diagnosis of society’s ills was as skewed as his diagnosis of Floyd’s. Mitchell said on a podcast around the same time as his meeting with the prosecutors, “my people are starving. My people are hungry. My people have foots on their necks…. White supremacy has placed itself at the center disenfranchisement of black and brown people in this country.”

Five prosecutors and a paralegal sat in on the November 2020 meeting with Mitchell. If anyone recorded the conversation, no one provided the defense with the audio. The four defendants — Chauvin, Lane, Thao, and Alexander Keung — have had to rely on the State’s own account of that meeting. Prosecutors surely presented Mitchell’s story in its best possible light, but even that light is troubling.

The accusations against Mitchell in Thao’s motion came from the meeting summary prepared by the State and shared with the defense in a belated document dump. The summary was sufficiently well buried that defense attorney Eric Nelson was unaware of the Mitchell meeting at the time of the trial.

Thao’s motion quotes from the prosecutors’ notes taken at the November 5 meeting with Mitchell. Here are some of the highlights:

“Baker said that he didn’t think the neck compression played a part.”

Dr. Mitchell called Dr. “Baker first to let him know that he was going to be critical of Baker’s findings.”

“In this conversation, Mitchell said, you don’t want to be the medical examiner who tells everyone they didn’t see what they saw. You don’t want to be the smartest person in the room and be wrong. Said there was a way to articulate the cause and manner of death that ensures you are telling the truth about what you are observing and via all of the investigation. Mitchell said neck compression has to be in the diagnosis.”

George Parry covered this well, but in brief, Baker told Mitchell neck compression played no role in Floyd’s death, and Mitchell threatened to write a disparaging op-ed about Baker in the Washington Post unless he said it did. Thao’s attorneys knew what they were saying when they demanded “sanctions for prosecutorial misconduct stemming from witness coercion.”

In an angry response that reads as though written by Keith Olbermann, the State answered Thao by saying, “These preposterous accusations are simply false, and Defendant Thao does not offer even a shred of evidence to support this baseless conspiracy theory.” There it is, the ultimate refuge from a losing argument — a charge of “conspiracy theory.”

As Thao’s motion noted, Mitchell was not at all coy about his second cited attempt at coercion, namely his efforts to destroy the career of of Dr. David Fowler, the one medical witness to testify in Chauvin’s defense. But that is a story for another day.

The story for today is Chauvin’s sentencing in two weeks and his request for a new trial. Time after time, prosecutors have failed to honor their “inherently unique role.” On the medical front alone, they either ignored the evidence that cast Chauvin’s guilt into doubt or buried it. If their goal truly is “to seek justice,” they should at the very least run an experiment comparable to the one performed by Dr. Dunn to put their theory of the case to the test. Even police officers deserve due process, not just the semblance of it.


Friday, June 11, 2021

What Does It Mean When a Nation Honors a Mass-Murdering, Pedophilic Slaver?

Turning churches into mosques is very much on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s mind these days.  Last Friday,  June 4, he “spoke of the Turkish legacy of conquest and the conversion of the Hagia Sophia [into a mosque] during a mosque opening in the city of Zonguldak on Friday.”  In his own words, “the re-opening of the Hagia Sophia as a mosque is important, as it is a legacy of conquest.”

Thus, while the West falls all over itself to disavow any “conquest” its ancestors may have engaged in—for example, the “conquest of the Americas” at the hands of the “genocidal” Columbus—here is the president of Turkey praising the violent conquests committed by his Muslim ancestors.  The significance of this dichotomy, and what it portends for the future, is in need of acknowledgement.

As a case study, take Erdoğan’s stance towards Turkey’s greatest jihadis of history—men whose atrocious deeds would shame ISIS.  Last summer, while celebrating his decree to transform the Hagia Sophia—which for a millennium had functioned as Eastern Christendom’s greatest basilica—into a mosque, Erdoğan repeatedly saluted Sultan Muhammad al-Fatah (“the Conqueror,” 1432-1481) for violently transforming Christian Constantinople into Islamic Istanbul.

And yet consider: Sultan Muhammad’s sole justification for conquering Constantinople was that Islam demands the subjugation of “infidels,” in this case, Christians. He had no other “grievance” than that.  In fact, when he first became sultan, he “swore by the god of their false prophet, by the prophet whose name he bore,” a bitter Christian contemporary retrospectively wrote, that “he was their [the Christians’] friend, and would remain for the whole of his life a friend and ally of Constantinople.” Although they believed him, Muhammad was taking advantage of “the basest arts of dissimulation and deceit,” wrote Edward Gibbon. “Peace was on his lips while war was in his heart.”

During his siege of Constantinople, he regularly exhorted his Muslim army with jihadi ideology, including by unleashing throngs of preachers crying,

Children of Muhammad, be of good heart, for tomorrow we shall have so many Christians in our hands that we will sell them, two slaves for a ducat, and will have such riches that we will all be of gold, and from the beards of the Greeks we will make leads for our dogs, and their families will be our slaves. So be of good heart and be ready to die cheerfully for the love of our [past and present] Muhammad.

“Recall the promises of our Prophet concerning fallen warriors in the Koran,” the sultan himself exhorted: “the man who dies in combat shall be transported bodily to paradise and shall dine with Muhammad in the presence of women, handsome boys, and virgins.”

The mention of “handsome boys” was not just an accurate reference to the Koran’s promise (e.g., 52:24, 56:17, and 76:19); Muhammad was a notorious pedophile.  His enslavement and rape of Jacob Notaras—a handsome 14-year-old nobleman’s son in Constantinople, whom Muhammad forced into becoming his personal catamite until he escaped—was only one of the most infamous. The sultan stabbed to death another Christian boy who “preferred death to infamy.”

After his conquest and desecration of the Hagia Sophia, Sultan Muhammad had the “wretched citizens of Constantinople” dragged before his men during evening festivities and “ordered many of them to be hacked to pieces, for the sake of entertainment.” The rest of the city’s population—as many as 45,000—was hauled off in chains to be sold as slaves.

This is the man whom Turkey and its president honor—including by rededicating one of Christendom’s greatest and oldest churches as a victory mosque to him last year.  Nor is Muhammad al-Fatah the only terrorist to be honored; as Erdoğan explained in one of his speeches:

The conquest of Istanbul [Constantinople] and the conversion of the Hagia Sophia into a mosque are among the most glorious chapters of Turkish history.….The resurrection of the Hagia Sophia represents our memory full of heydays in our history, from [the battles of] Badr to Manzikert, from Nicopolis, to Gallipoli [all jihadi victories] … The resurrection of the Hagia Sophia is required by our respect and commitment to all of our ancestors, from Alp Arslan [Islamic victor of Manzikert who opened the way to the conquest of Asia Minor, and massacred or enslaved tens of thousands of Christians], to Muhammad al-Fatah, to Abdulhamid [who massacred as many as 300,000 Armenians in the name of jihad between 1894-1896].  The resurrection of the Hagia Sophia … honors Muhammad al-Fatah’s spirit of conquest… Allah willing, we will continue to walk on this sacred path without pause or hesitation, until we reach our ultimate destination [emphasis added].

The message could not be clearer: jihadi ideology dominates Turkey, at least its leadership.  Invading and conquering neighboring peoples—not due to any grievances but because they are non-Muslim—with all the attending atrocities, rapes, destruction, and mass slavery, is apparently the ideal, to resume once the sunset of Western power is complete.

Meanwhile, because Americans are used to seeing statues of their own nation’s heroes toppled—for no other reason than that they were white and/or Christian, and therefore inherently evil—the significance of Erdoğan’s words and praise of Sultan Muhammad the Conqueror—who as an Asian Muslim is further immune from Western criticism, as that would be “racist”—will remain lost on them.


Thursday, June 10, 2021

A malaria drug which Donald Trump touted as a possible prevention for COVID-19 could increase survival rates in severe patients by up to 200 per cent, according to a new study.

Scientists found that, when ventilated patients with a severe version of COVID were given high doses of hydroxychloroquine with zinc, their survival rates could increase dramatically.

Trump said in March 2020 he was taking it to prevent him catching the virus, rather than treat it. He did not become infected until October, and was not treated with the drug.

Yet Trump's allies on Wednesday were highlighting the study, conducted by Saint Barnabas Medical Center in New Jersey on 255 patients.

It was published on May 31 on the medical site medRxiv.

Trump's spokesman, Jason Miller, tweeted: 'Oh.'

He quoted: 'Study shows hydroxychloroquine and zinc treatments increased coronavirus survival rate by almost three times'

His son, Donald Trump Jr, said: 'In the last week alone, we've learned that the media, so-called fact checkers and their Big Tech enforcers lied to us about the lab-leak theory, Hydroxychloroquine and the clearing of Lafayette Square.

'All to hurt Donald Trump. 'What else are they lying about?'

Marjorie Taylor Greene, the stridently pro-Trump congresswoman for Georgia, tweeted: 'How many people died bc Dr. Fauci said trust the science and Hydroxychloroquine isn't effective?

'New study shows: Hydroxychloroquine + Azithromycin therapy at a higher dose improved survival by nearly 200% in ventilated COVID patients.

'Trump was right.'

In April 2020, Trump declared: 'We bought a tremendous amount of hydroxychloroquine, which I think is, you know, it's a great malaria drug. 

'It's worked unbelievably, it's a powerful drug on malaria. And there are signs that it works on [coronavirus], some very strong signs. 

'And in the meantime, it's been around a long time, and also works very powerfully on lupus. So there are some very strong, powerful signs, and we'll have to see. 

'Because again, it's being tested now, this is a new thing that just happened to us, the invisible enemy, we call it.'

He continued: 'It's a very strong, powerful medicine, but it doesn't kill people. We have some very good results and some very good tests. You've seen the same test that I have. 

'In France, they had a very good test. But we don't have time to go and say, gee, let's take a couple of years and test it out. And let's go and test with the test tubes and the laboratories. 

'We don't have time. I'd love to do that.' A month later, on May 28, 2020, he told a roundtable event at the White House: 'I happen to be taking it. 

'A lot of good things have come out. You'd be surprised at how many people are taking it, especially the front-line workers. Before you catch it. The front-line workers, many, many are taking it.'

He added: 'I'm taking it, hydroxychloroquine. Right now, yeah. Couple of weeks ago, I started taking it. Cause I think it's good, I've heard a lot of good stories.'

White House physician Dr. Sean Conley released a memo that evening, which said that after discussing evidence for and against hydroxychloroquine with Trump, they concluded 'the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risks.' 

 Trump's support of the unproven drug was described by critics as reckless and dangerous.

Last summer, Twitter restricted the account of Trump Jr after he posted a video of doctors touting the effectiveness of the drug. The social media platform accused him of 'spreading misleading and potentially harmful misinformation' related to the coronavirus.

In March of this year, the World Health Organization warned against using the drug to prevent the coronavirus, citing data suggesting it was ineffective.

Yet the authors of the new report state: 'We found that when the cumulative doses of two drugs, HCQ and AZM, were above a certain level, patients had a survival rate 2.9 times the other patients.

'By using causal analysis and considering of weight-adjusted cumulative dose, we prove the combined therapy, >3 g HCQ and > 1g AZM greatly increases survival in Covid patients on IMV and that HCQ cumulative dose > 80 mg/kg works substantially better.'

Hydroxychloroquine is still an unproven drug for COVID treatment.

Early in the pandemic, Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation's top public health expert, expressed interest in the drug, but he maintained that more data was needed to prove its efficacy.

Fauci's emailed comments on hydroxychloroquine line up with what he said in public and the scientific consensus about the drug.

Republican critics, however, accuse him of secretly supporting the drug - although there is no evidence to prove it.

Several other studies in recent months, after Fauci's email, have found that hydroxychloroquine can be effective in certain situations.

A December study from the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents showed 84 per cent fewer hospitalizations among patients treated with the drug, and a January study, conducted by Hackensack Meridian Health, found encouraging results in patients with mild symptoms who were treated with the drug.

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

Why a Judge Has Georgia Vote Fraud on His Mind: ‘Pristine’ Biden Ballots That Looked Xeroxed

When Fulton County, Georgia, poll manager Suzi Voyles sorted through a large stack of mail-in ballots last November, she noticed an alarmingly odd pattern of uniformity in the markings for Joseph R. Biden. One after another, the absentee votes contained perfectly filled-in ovals for Biden—except that each of the darkened bubbles featured an identical white void inside them in the shape of a tiny crescent, indicating they’d been marked with toner ink instead of a pen or pencil.

Adding to suspicions, she noticed that all of the ballots were printed on different stock paper than the others she handled as part of a statewide hand recount of the razor-thin Nov. 3 presidential election. And none was folded or creased, as she typically observed in mail-in ballots that had been removed from envelopes.

In short, the Biden votes looked like they’d been duplicated by a copying machine.

“All of them were strangely pristine,” said Voyles, who said she’d never seen anything like it in her 20 years monitoring elections in Fulton County, which includes much of Atlanta.

She wasn’t alone. At least three other poll workers observed the same thing in stacks of absentee ballots for Biden processed by the county, and they have joined Voyles in swearing under penalty of perjury that they looked fake.

Now election watchdogs have used their affidavits to help convince a state judge to unseal all of the 147,000 mail-in ballots counted in Fulton and allow a closer inspection of the suspicious Biden ballots for evidence of counterfeiting. They argue that potentially tens of thousands may have been manufactured in a race that Biden won by just 12,000 votes thanks to a late surge of mail-in ballots counted after election monitors were shooed from State Farm Arena in Atlanta.

“We have what is almost surely major absentee-ballot fraud in Fulton County involving 10,000 to 20,000 probably false ballots,” said Garland Favorito, the lead petitioner in the case and a certified poll watcher who runs, one of the leading advocates for election integrity in the state.

He said the suspect ballots remain in the custody of the election officials and inaccessible from public view.

“We have confirmed that there are five pallets of shrink-wrapped ballots in a county warehouse,” Favorito said in an interview with RealClearInvestigations.

He and other petitioners were ordered to meet at the warehouse May 28 to settle the terms of the inspection of the absentee ballots. But the day before the scheduled meeting, the county filed a flurry of motions to dismiss the case, delaying the inspection indefinitely.

“We will be in court on June 21 to resolve these motions,” said Favorito, calling them another “roadblock” the county has tried to throw in their way. He expects talks over the logistics of the inspection to resume after the Fourth of July holiday.

As part of his May 21 order, Superior Court Judge Brian Amero requested officials guard the warehouse around the clock until an inspection date can be set. But just eight days later, a breach in security was reported after sheriff’s deputies left their post for a couple of hours.

“The front door was [found] unlocked and wide open in violation of the court order,” Favorito said.

County officials confirmed that a motion-detection alarm was triggered Saturday, May 29, shortly after the deputies drove away from the building in their patrol cars around 4 p.m. But they said a locked room where the ballots are kept “was never breached or compromised.”

Favorito is not convinced, and his lawyer is seeking to obtain the video footage from building security cameras. “How do we know for certain there was no tampering with the ballots?” asked Favorito, who said he did not vote for Trump.

News of the security lapse caught the attention of former President Donald Trump, who has claimed his loss to Biden was marred by fraud. In a statement, he implied election officials in the Democratic-controlled county are trying to hide evidence of fraud. “They are afraid of what might be found,” he asserted.

Trump is also closely monitoring the ongoing election audit in Arizona, another red state that turned blue in 2020. If evidence of fraud is found in these key swing states, it might help confirm suspicions the election was “stolen” from Trump and the 74 million who voted for him—as a recent poll found 61 percent of Republicans believe—as well as provide the proof of voter fraud that Democrats and major media have long claimed doesn’t exist.

The cases could potentially give other battleground states incentive to take steps to tighten election security and root out fraud, including passing legislation to limit the use of controversial mail-in drop boxes and require the verification of signatures on such ballots. In Georgia, relatively few mail-in ballots were rejected for invalid signatures in the November general election, even though several thousand had been disqualified for signature issues in the primary election.

In a move that inspired national boycotts alleging voter “suppression,” Georgia recently passed a law limiting, but not removing, the drop boxes. The state had installed them for the first time in 2020 under pressure from Democratic groups, who argued officials needed to make voting easier for minorities who didn’t trust the mail and feared going to the polls during the COVID scare.

The 38 drop boxes Fulton distributed throughout the county in the November election will be cut to eight in the future. The boxes had been largely unregulated and unattended—located outdoors, open 24 hours a day and available for drop-offs until the evening of Election Day, prompting complaints of ballot stuffing and double voting. But now they have to be located inside election offices or early voting locations, and can only be available during the hours when early voting is permitted. The new law also requires ballots be printed on special security paper.

Voting by mail traditionally was limited to voters who had clearly defined and well-documented reasons to be absent from the polls. But Democrats in key swing states lobbied to relax the rules in the middle of the election and amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Mail-in or drop-off ballots create opportunities for voter error and fraud. In a typical election, one in 20 mailed ballots are rejected, according to recent studies. More than 534,000 mail-in ballots were rejected during the 2020 Democratic primaries alone.

Still, both Republican and Democratic officials in Georgia say they have found no credible evidence of widespread fraud in the general election. Democrats, as well as many major media outlets, have written off Favorito’s group’s allegations of fraud as “conspiracy theories.”

“This is nothing more than a circus that’s being put on by those who promote the ‘big lie’” that Trump won the election, said Robb Pitts, the Democratic chairman of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners. “Where does it end? The votes have been counted. The elections have been certified. It’s over.”

Pitts effectively controls the county elections board through his Democratic appointee Mary Carole Cooney, who runs the board. They are in charge of securing the pallets of disputed Biden mail-in ballots awaiting inspection in the county warehouse.

But Judge Amero, who federal elections records show is a Democratic donor, felt compelled to unseal the ballots for a forensics review after reading the sworn affidavits submitted by election monitors. Here are key witnesses in the case:

Suzi Voyles, a veteran Fulton poll manager who audited the Nov. 14 recount at Georgia World Congress Center, testified she examined several stacks of ballots of about 100 ballots each from a cardboard box marked “Box No. 5—Absentee—Batch Numbers 28-36.” She said these ballots “came from the ballot [drop] boxes that had been placed throughout Fulton County.”

“Most of the ballots had already been handled; they had been written on by people, and the edges were worn. They showed obvious use,” she wrote in her Nov. 17 affidavit. “However, one batch stood out. It was pristine. There was a difference in the texture of the paper,” and these mail-in ballots hadn’t been folded even though they ostensibly had been removed from envelopes.

All but three of the 110 ballots in the bundle—which had been labeled “State Farm Arena”—were marked for Biden and appeared to be “identical ballots.”

The most “alarming peculiarity” was the identically marked ovals next to Biden’s name. In every ballot, “The bubble next to ‘Joseph R. Biden’ had a slight white eclipse in the bubble,” she said, leading her to believe that the batch of 107 Biden ballots had been “copied” from a single ballot.

Voyles speculated that “additional absentee ballots had been added [for Biden] in a fraudulent manner” at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta on election night.

The void she and other auditors witnessed in the exact same spot of the oval filled in on 107 ballots for Biden “was alarming to us,” Voyles said in an RCI interview. “Every single bubble was precisely alike. I had never seen that before in 20 years” of election monitoring.

But when she and other recount workers raised concerns with county election officials, “we were told not to worry about it,” she said. “They seemed uninterested in the [integrity of the] ballots.”

After Voyles later blew the whistle in affidavits and state election hearings, she was fired as a poll manager by the Fulton County Department of Elections. “I got the boot for speaking the truth,” she told RCI.

Robin Hall, a certified Fulton County recount observer, also testified she witnessed a number of boxes of absentee ballots marked “100 percent for Biden” that appeared to be “perfectly filled out as if they were pre-printed with the presidential candidate selected.” She stated: “They did not look like a person had filled this out at home. All of them looked alike.”
Judy Aube also worked at the World Congress Center on Nov. 14 where she observed the same thing: “suspicious batches” of mail-in ballots for Biden whose markings appeared identical, as if they had been duplicated by a machine and not filled out by a voter at home.

Barbara Hartman, another election official auditor, also doubted the authenticity of absentee ballots she handled that she said were never folded, as would normally be the case for ballots returned in an envelope by mail or dropped in a box. “The absentee ballots looked as though they had just come from a fresh stack,” she swore in her affidavit. “I could not observe any creases in the ballots and [it] did not seem like they were folded and put into envelopes or mailed out.” Also, “The majority of the mail-in ballots that I reviewed contained suspicious black perfectly bubbled markings for Biden,” Hartman stated, adding that “they looked as if they were stamped.”
The veteran poll watchers found no plausible explanation for the anomalies other than possible fraud.

However, election officials have offered an explanation for why the mail-in ballots examined in the stacks did not have folds or creases. They say ballots are sometimes copied onto other paper when they are too damaged to be fed through one of the scanning machines during tabulation. The mailed ballots can be torn or crumpled by postal workers during delivery or by poll workers while opening them and removing them from envelopes, which could prevent the machines from reading them.

But Favorito suspects the hundreds, if not thousands, of allegedly duplicate absentee ballots for Biden might be connected to spikes in votes for Biden he observed late on election night in Fulton County after election officials cleared monitors from State Farm Arena and pulled cases full of ballots out from under tables and began scanning them.

“There’s always the chance it was an inside job,” said Favorito, a career IT professional who’s been a leading advocate for Georgia election integrity over the past two decades.

On Nov. 3, Fulton County elections officials informed monitors that they were shutting down the State Farm tabulation center before midnight, only to continue counting throughout the night while no one was watching.

“Election workers don’t bring ballots in after the supervisor has delayed processing until the morning, hide them under a table, and then bring them out for scanning and tabulation after the supervisor tells [monitors] they are done scanning for the evening and they go home,” Favorito said.

“Once scanning [was] completed, an election line feed showed an unprecedented vote spike that turned the election in favor of Biden,” he added. In fact, “just over a half hour after workers scanned the potentially fraudulent ballots, an election line feed showed a 100,000-plus vote spike for Biden.”

“Where did those ballots come from and why did they handle them so suspiciously?” Favorito asked.

Voyles noted that the county elections supervisor who oversaw the secret scanning of the cases full of ballots also helps run the warehouse where the suspect ballots are being stored.

Phone calls and emails to Fulton County went unanswered.

Similar Anomalies, Other Counties
Favorito pointed out that the potential for counterfeit ballots exists in other Georgia counties, not just Fulton.

In fact, two Democrat poll workers blew the whistle on similar anomalies they witnessed in neighboring DeKalb and Cobb counties, where the election process also is controlled by Democrats.

Carlos E. Silva, for one, declared in a Nov. 17 affidavit that he observed a similar “perfect black bubble” in absentee ballots for Biden during the recount he worked in DeKalb County. And while overseeing the Cobb County recount, he swore he “observed absentee ballots being reviewed with the same perfect bubble that I had seen the night before in DeKalb. All of these ballots had the same characteristics: they were all for Biden and had the same perfect bubble.”

Added Silva, a registered Democrat, “There were thousands of [mail-in] ballots that just had the perfect bubble marked for Biden and no other markings in the rest of the ballot.”

Another registered Democrat, Mayra Romera, testified that while monitoring the Cobb County recount, she noticed that “hundreds of these ballots seemed impeccable, with no folds or creases. The bubble selections were perfectly made … and all happened to be selections for Biden.”

In a recent article pooh-poohing complaints of fraud in Georgia, as well as Arizona, The New York Times portrayed Favorito as “a known conspiracy theorist” and suggested he was a 9/11 truther. As evidence, it cited a 2002 book he published “questioning the origin of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.”

Asked about it, Favorito responded: “My book did not propose any theories on what happened on 9/11. I don’t mention anything about explosives” planted in the World Trade Center, as truthers have speculated. Rather, he said, he questioned Bush family business connections with the bin Laden family and other wealthy Saudis, and argued that the war on terror benefited the Bushes. He also faulted the Bush administration for “obstructing” FBI investigations into the attacks.

Favorito says he is a “constitutionalist” and neither a Republican nor a Trump supporter.

Tuesday, June 08, 2021

An Orchestrated Hoax

Dinesh D’Souza

It can now be said publicly: The massive public campaign to convince and even compel the world to accept the idea that SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19, arose naturally from a meat market in Wuhan was a hoax.

The gory details are contained in a bombshell investigative report in the magazine Vanity Fair. This alone is surprising. Vanity Fair is a culture and trends magazine, not noted for this type of serious inquiry. Yet Katherine Eban’s in-depth article is thoroughly researched, with multiple named sources, and written in the style of a detective story.

The first question to ask is: How did we get a scientific and media consensus that SARS-CoV2 originally came from the Wuhan meat market? The answer is a group letter signed by leading virologists that appeared in the reputable science publication The Lancet. This article dismissed theories that suggested SARS-CoV2 might have come from the Wuhan lab as “conspiracy theories” that had were flatly rejected by the scientific community.

Apparently convinced they had to “listen to the science,” the Lancet statement convinced media around the world to revile public figures, especially politicians such as Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), for even asking for an investigation into where COVID-19 came from. Cotton was almost universally dubbed a kook for even raising the possibility of “debunked” and “discredited” theories.

Digital media promptly imposed its strict regime of restriction, banning, shadowbanning, and deplatforming of users who were deemed to share such “misinformation.” Acting on the recommendation of its so-called fact checkers, Facebook took down millions, perhaps tens of millions, of posts supposedly conveying the false notion that SARS-CoV2 might have leaked out from a lab.

But what Vanity Fair exposes is the behind-the-scenes mechanism for how that Lancet statement was produced. According to the article, it was organized by a zoologist named Peter Daszak, himself involved in U.S. government-funded research aimed at the making of deadly viruses in labs. Daszak has worked in close collaboration with Ralph Baric of the University of North Carolina. Daszak’s group, EcoHealth Alliance, has worked directly with China’s Wuhan laboratories to research coronaviruses, and potentially make them more contagious and more lethal.

The ostensible purpose of such “gain-of-function” research is to study viruses, to understand them better, and to develop better cures for pandemics that might arise naturally. But of course, such research is very dangerous, because viruses could through accident or negligence be released and cause the very pandemics they are designed to prevent. Alternatively, such research can be exploited for military purposes, because lethal viruses also make for a powerful weapon of biological warfare.

When Daszak learned that a virus was causing global havoc, he moved quickly to line up a group of virologists to declare, without any persuasive evidence whatever, that COVID-19 had a natural origin. It might seem puzzling why prominent scientists would agree to sign a letter taking a position on something for which there is no valid scientific evidence. Why would they do this?

The one-word answer is: money. Figures like Daszak and institutions like EcoHealth Alliance that receive large amounts of government money typically package those funds into sub-grants that are dispersed among researchers and research institutions around the country. Consequently, there’s a large group of virologists who are, in a sense, in Daszak’s back pocket. They have a financial vested interest in doing what he wants, and moreover, they, like Daszak, have a stake in camouflaging the possibility that their type of work caused a global pandemic with millions of deaths and untold ruin in its wake.

Not only did Daszak organize the Lancet statement, but he did so, according to Vanity Fair, “with the intention of concealing his role and creating the impression of scientific immunity.” In an email addressed to Baric, Daszak said, “No need for you to sign the ‘Statement’ Ralph.” Daszak explained that neither he nor Baric should sign the declaration “so it has some distance from us and therefore doesn’t work in a counterproductive way.”

Daszak added, “We’ll then put it out in a way that doesn’t link it back to our collaboration so we maximize an independent voice.” Baric agreed, responding, “Otherwise it looks self-serving and we lose impact.” In the end, Baric didn’t sign. Daszak did. And at least six of the others who signed the statement either worked at, or had received funding from, EcoHealth Alliance, according to Vanity Fair.

What we have here is a group of scientists actively involved in cooking up potentially deadly viruses, and possibly involved in a dangerous collaboration with the Wuhan lab that may have helped cause the death of millions, working in concert to create a false public impression of scientific consensus, when they knew perfectly well that there was no such consensus.

Not only did the media and digital media run with it, but, in addition, the Biden administration used the pretext of scientific consensus—the bogus consensus the Lancet helped create—to shut down an ongoing State Department investigation, begun late in the Trump era and spearheaded by Mike Pompeo, into the true origins of COVID-19. This shutdown was actively promoted by U.S. government agencies and bureaucrats who had no intention of revealing their own role in sponsoring and subsidizing highly dangerous “gain-of-function” research.

The consequences of the COVID-19 deception, jointly promoted by scientists, journalists, digital moguls, and bureaucrats in the U.S. government, all eager to hide their possible role in a 21st century pandemic, are far-reaching. The big lie that COVID-19 arose naturally from a meat-market has stymied a true inquiry into what happened. Now we might never know. Not knowing means that preventing a future epidemic becomes that much more difficult.


‘Extortionists will never see this money’: US seizes ransom paid to Colonial Pipeline hackers

Washington: The US Justice Department has recovered the majority of a multimillion-dollar ransom payment to hackers after a cyberattack that caused the operator of the nation’s largest fuel pipeline to halt its operations last month.

The operation to recover the cryptocurrency from the Russia-based hacker group is the first undertaken by a specialised ransomware task force created by the Biden administration Justice Department.

It reflects what US officials say is an increasingly aggressive approach to deal with a ransomware threat that in the last month has targeted critical industries around the world.

“By going after an entire ecosystem that fuels ransomware and digital currency, we will continue to use all of our tools and all of our resources to increase the costs and the consequences of ransomware attacks and other cyber-enabled attacks,” Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said on Monday (Tuesday AEST) at a news conference announcing the operation.

Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline, which supplies roughly half the fuel consumed on the East Coast, temporarily shut down its operations on May 7 after a gang of criminal hackers known as DarkSide broke into its computer system.

Colonial officials have said they took their pipeline system offline before the attack could spread to its operating system, and decided to pay a roughly US$4.4 million ($5.6 million) ransom in hopes of bringing itself back online as soon as it could.

The 63.7 bitcoin ransom — a favoured currency of hackers because of the perception that it is more difficult to trace — is currently valued at $US2.3 million.

US law enforcement tracked multiple transfers of bitcoin that has been moved to a specific digital address, for which the FBI had the “private key,” which has a role similar to a password needed, to access assets accessible from the specific bitcoin address.

Once officials identified the account, called a “wallet,” that DarkSide had use to collect the payment, it sought permission from a judge in the Northern District of California to seize the funds from the wallet, the New York Times reported.

Ransomware to be treated more like terrorism, US official says

The filing said the “cryptocurrency address” was located in the Northern District of California. “Following the money remains one of the most basic, yet powerful tools we have,” said Monaco.

“Ransom payments are the fuel that propels the digital extortion engine, and today’s announcement demonstrates that the United States will use all available tools to make these attacks more costly and less profitable for criminal enterprises.”

“We will continue to target the entire ransomware ecosystem to disrupt and deter these attacks,” she said.

Stephanie Hinds, the acting US attorney for the Northern District of California, where the seizure warrant was filed, said “the extortionists will never see this money.”

The FBI generally discourages the payment of ransom, fearing it could encourage additional hacks. Monaco said the takeaway for the private sector is that if companies come quickly to law enforcement, officials may be able to conduct similar seizures in the future.