Thursday, May 27, 2021

A reprieve

The core biopsy I had last week showed that my cancers are of a type that is susceptible to immunotherapy. My oncologist has recommended a drug which should cure me -- no certainty of course.  The cure will be a rather long road requiring at least 4 months so no early results can be expected.  There is however now hope that I could be back to my old form until something else gets me -- JR

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Has the Covid vaccine blood clot puzzle been solved? Rare side effect from Johnson & Johnson and AztraZeneca shots is caused by cold virus used to deliver the jab - and can be fixed, scientists claim


German scientists claim they have discovered why some coronavirus vaccines cause blood clots - and how to fix it.

Two vaccines, one from Johnson & Johnson and the other from AstraZeneca-University of Oxford have been linked to rare, but serious, blood clots, particularly among women under age 50.

In the U.S., J&J's shot was paused for 11 days by federal health regulators while, in Europe, some countries have stopped using AztraZeneca's jab completely and others, like the UK, recommend that younger women get a different vaccine.

But in a new pre-print paper published on Wednesday, researchers at Goethe-University of Frankfurt and Ulm University, in Helmholtz, say the problem lies in the adenovirus vector - a common cold virus used so the vaccine can enter the body.

What's more, they say the vaccines can be adapted to prevent the rare side effect from occurring, reported the Financial Times.

Dr Rolf Marschalek, a professor at Goethe University, told the Financial Times the reason the vaccines have been causing these problems is because they are adenovirus vector vaccines.  

Both J&J's and AstraZeneca's vaccine combine genetic material from the new virus with the genes of the adenovirus - which causes the common cold - to induce an immune response.

The cold virus is altered so it cannot make you sick and a little section of the COVID-19 vaccine genetic material, which codes for the spike protein, is inserted.

The spike protein is what the virus uses to enter and infect our cells. The vaccine is injected and the body recognizes the protein and makes antibodies against it.

That way, if you become ill with the real virus, your body recognizes it and knows how to fight it off. 

Marschalek says the vaccine is sent into nucleus of our cells, where the genetic material is found, instead of into the cytosol fluid, liquid found inside cell where the virus makes it proteins.  

Marschalek told the Financial Times that after entering the nucleus, parts of the spike protein break off and create mutated versions of themselves, which then enter the body and trigger the rare blood clots.

In particular, the vaccines were causing a condition known as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST).

CVST is a rare type of blood clot that blocks the brain's sinus channels of draining blood, which can cause hemorrhages.

It occurs in about five per million people in the general population.

In most cases, CVST occurred in combination with low levels of blood platelets, also known as thrombocytopenia. 

As of Wednesday, the J&J vaccine has been linked to 28 cases in the U.S. out of more than 10.4 million shots.

Meanwhile, the AstraZeneca vaccine has been linked to 242 clotting cases and 49 deaths in the UK out of nine million shots and more than 100 in continental Europe out of 16 million.

Comparatively, Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna vaccines use newer messenger RNA (mRNA) technology.

By comparison, mRNA vaccines use part of the pathogen's genetic code and give instructions for our cells to make part of the spike protein so the body can recognize the virus and attack if we become infected.

Marschalek told the Financial Times that with mRNA vaccines, the genetic material of the spike protein is sent directly to the cell fluid and does not enter the nucleus. 

'When these...virus genes are in the nucleus they can create some problems,' Marschalek told the Financial Times.

He says there is a fix, however, and says the vaccine can be genetically modified so the spike protein doesn't split apart when it enters our cells.

He says he has not spoken to AstraZeneca yet, but that J&J has contacted his lab and that he is working them to improve their shot.  

'[J&J] is trying to optimize its vaccine now,' Marschalek told the newspaper. 

'With the data we have in our hands we can tell the companies how to mutate these sequences, coding for the spike protein in a way that prevents unintended splice reactions.'

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-9622627/German-scientists-claim-figured-Covid-vaccines-cause-blood-clots.html

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Belarus is a Greenie dream


Belarus is much in the news these days so I thought I might add some notes

I was talking recently to a lady of Belarusian heritage who still speaks Russian and who still has close family in Belarus.  She reports that people who know Belarus are often very complimentary about it.  It seems well-organized and orderly with very little crime.  It is not a rich country (average income of $8,000 pa) by Western standards but most people eat well and products from all over Europe are to be found in the shops.  Some people who know the place say that Belarus is the best country in the world to live in.

Something that Greenies might like is that the roads are good but traffic jams are few. Belarus has an extremely good and comprehensive public transport system. So people get more exercise by walking and can do so without wading through vehicular pollution. It's a Greenie dream in action. Greenies would also like that over 40% of its 207,600 square kilometres (80,200 sq mi) is forested.

Climate skeptics would like that most of its electricity is thermal generated and that they have a nuclear power station under construction.

* The capital city, Minsk, has a population of about 2 million. It was completely destroyed during the Second World War, but, following the example of Warsaw, it was rebuilt in the same place and now is an attractive city

* Minsk is a very green and clean city. In addition to numerous parks, here is the third largest botanical garden in the world.

* Minsk is a very safe city. In the list of 378 most dangerous cities from Numbeo, Minsk was on the 351th place in terms of danger and became the safest city among the former Soviet Union countries. Belarus itself is one of the safest countries in the world according to statistics.

* It is also surprising for big cities that it's relatively quiet at night, relatively few nightclubs and bars.

* Public transport is always on time. Surprisingly, but it's true: the schedule is maintained with a possible deviation of a couple of minutes.  The American Green/Left wants to get people out of their cars and onto public transport.  Belarus shows it can be done.

So you see what people mean when they find a lot to like about Belarus. 

<img src="https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2021/05/26/17/43481179-9620727-image-a-14_1622047572280.jpg>"

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DeSantis Signs Bill to Stop Big Tech Censorship of Floridians


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed into law a bill—the first of its kind in the United States—allowing Floridians to sue Big Tech platforms.

A number of free speech advocates, including Cuban and Venezuelan exiles, state senators, and deplatformed influencers, stood behind DeSantis as he made the announcement at Florida International University on May 24.

Courts may award up to $100,000 in damages to an individual if a social media platform censors or shadowbans a user’s content, deplatforms a user, or if it hasn’t applied censorship or deplatforming standards in a consistent manner, according to the text of the bill.

“We will be the first state to hold Big Tech accountable,” DeSantis said at a press conference. “They are exerting a power that really has no precedent in American history.”

Big tech companies that violate the bill, SB 7072 Social Media Platforms, can be sued by Floridians for monetary damages. The state’s attorney general can bring action against companies that violate this law under Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.

As an example, the governor mentioned that people were deplatformed for discussing the Wuhan lab leak theory regarding the origins of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, whereas now that theory has become a topic of mainstream discussion.

“2021 looks more like the fictitious 1984,” the governor said.

The law also blocks Big Tech from deplatforming Floridian political candidates. The Florida Election Commission will impose fines of $250,000 per day on any social media company that deplatforms any candidates for statewide office. The fine is $25,000 per day when deplatforming candidates for other offices.

While Floridians have the right to block anyone, it’s not the role of Big Tech to censor, said DeSantis.

“SB 7072 is a bold first step to reining in Big Tech tyranny by defending the rights of all Floridians in the digital space,” DeSantis said. “Over the years, these platforms have changed from neutral platforms that provide Americans with the freedom to speak to enforcers of preferred narratives.

“Florida is the first state to hold Big Tech accountable by empowering each and every Floridian silenced by arbitrary corporate censorship to fight back. This is a groundbreaking bill that protects Floridians from Silicon Valley’s power grab.”

If social media platforms are found to have violated antitrust law, they’ll be restricted from contracting with any public entity. That “antitrust violator” blacklist imposes real consequences for Big Tech oligopolies’ bottom line. According to DeSantis, the law will also require social media companies to be transparent about their content moderation practices and give users proper notice of changes to those policies.

According to Florida state, the new law will likely be able to withstand legal challenges, as it contains language that explains how Big Tech companies are different from other corporations, and that Section 230 requires companies to act in good faith—something the governor accuses Big Tech of not always following.

Florida Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez said at the same conference that “Florida is taking back the virtual public square as a place where information and ideas can flow freely.”

“Many of our constituents know the dangers of being silenced or have been silenced themselves under communist rule,” she said.

“Thankfully, in Florida we have a Governor that fights against big tech oligarchs that contrive, manipulate, and censor if you voice views that run contrary to their radical leftist narrative.”

Florida won’t be the only state enacting such a law, according to DeSantis.

“We are seeing other states now following suit,” he said. “It starts in Florida but it doesn’t end in Florida.”

https://www.theepochtimes.com/mkt_morningbrief/desantis-signs-bill-to-stop-big-tech-censorship-of-floridians_3827083.html

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Why does Facebook still ban users from saying Covid was man-made even as Dr Fauci casts doubt on virus origins? And Italian journalist is censored by YouTube for claiming it was created in Wuhan lab

A fresh spotlight has been thrown on how tech giants police Covid 'misinformation' after Dr Antony Fauci questioned whether the virus was man-made in China - a sentiment banned across swathes of social media.

Facebook policies outlining what kinds of 'misinformation' its users cannot post about, specifically picks out theories that the virus was 'man-made' or 'manufactured' - the very theory Fauci was discussing.

At the same time, an Italian journalist claimed last week to have been censored by YouTube over a book which questions whether the virus was engineered in a Wuhan lab, despite America's top disease expert saying it warrants investigation.

These inconsistencies beg the question whether social media's 'misinformation' witch-hunt has gone too far in trying to prevent the spread of dangerous lies, and actually stifles productive debate instead.

For example, on vaccines: A large number of Facebook policies deal with clear misinformation - such as outlawing claims that jabs contain 'the mark of the beast', or turn you into a monkey.

But the site also says it bans 'claims that COVID-19 vaccines kill or seriously harm people (such as causing blood clots.)'

That is despite the fact that medical regulators in Europe and elsewhere have seen fit to put warnings on AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson jabs saying they can cause blood clots - albeit in vanishingly rare cases.

Meanwhile YouTube also has clear-cut policies banning untruths, such as saying prayer will cure the virus or that Covid isn't real.

But the site's policies ban posts questioning the efficacy of masks or debating lockdown measures - even though government guidance on both has changed many times since the start of the pandemic, largely thanks to debate about their benefits.

Separate rules on advertising on YouTube outlaw adverts around 'sensitive events' such as Covid, banning anything that 'potentially profits' from the event 'without a benefit to users' - though what exactly qualifies as a 'benefit' is not explained.

It was those advertising rules that Italian journalist Fabrizio Gatti fell foul of when adverts for his book - The Infinite Error: The Secret Story Of A Pandemic That Should Have Been Avoided - were 'blacklisted' from Google last week.

Google said the video violates the rules because it 'displays speculative intent or lacks reasonable sensitivity around a global health crisis.'

But Elisabetta Sgarbi, whose company is publishing Gatti's book on Covid, told Italian news agency Ansa: 'There is a big difference between "gratuitous offense" and the right to criticize.

'[The book] documents the responsibilities of the Chinese regime, the allied governments and the WHO in the delayed response to the Covid-19 pandemic... which should have avoided.

'I hope that Google... can help encourage reflection and discussion on the health and human catastrophe that has hit the world.'

Mr Gatti added: 'I express my full solidarity with colleagues who have been or will be economically damaged, just for giving space to... my research.

'I hope that Google will revise its position as soon as possible. We already have to put up with the Chinese regime and the consequences of its failure to contain Covid.

'[Google's action] it is yet another symptom of a very worrying drift.

'Once once the infection is overcome with vaccines, as I write in my book, we will have to defend our democracies from totalitarianism and the digital monopoly.'

Other policies that might get adverts banned from Google are ones which 'appear to profit from a tragic event with no discernible benefit to users', adverts selling products 'which may be in insufficient supply', and those which 'claim victims of a sensitive event were responsible for their own tragedy.'

Both Facebook and Google say the policies were created in response to the spread of misinformation as the pandemic spread, and aim to direct people towards reliable information and stop the spread of claims that could cause harm.

But others, such as former New York Times journalist Alex Berenson - whose own books were temporarily banned from Amazon or questioning the science behind masks and lockdowns - say they amount to censorship.

'Big Tech censorship of opposing views on COVID is a huge problem, and it's part of an even bigger problem,' he said.

'This isn't about COVID, it's about whether or not as a society we're going to allow people who have views that are sort of outside what the mainstream media want you to believe, to present those views,' he continued.

Last year, Google was criticised after directing search engine users away from the Great Barrington Declaration - a petition started by prominent academics urging a re-think on lockdowns.

Instead of being shown the petition itself at the top of search queries, Google users were instead shown articles and pages critical of it, according to Spiked.

Google also said in October last year that it had pulled more than 200,000 videos from YouTube, including one from Scott Atlas - who at the time was a physician advising the US government.

Meanwhile Facebook has also been pulling down pages that question whether lockdowns are effective, while attaching fact-check labels and warning notices to some news articles.

The company says it has removed over 18 million pieces of content across Facebook and Instagram globally since the start of the pandemic for violating its rules, and has displayed warning labels on 167million pieces of COVID-19 content on Facebook.

While Amazon refused to disclose its policies around censorship at the time, Google and Facebook both publish detailed lists about what users can and cannot post.

The firms say they are acting to prevent the spread of 'misinformation' - but what exactly constitutes misinformation is something they cannot agree even among themselves.

For example, Facebook's policy specifically bans any post that says coronavirus is 'man-made' or 'manufactured' - though users are allow to speculate that the virus may have leaked from a lab.

Google-owned YouTube's policy, meanwhile, makes no mention of banning videos discussing 'man-made' Covid.

However, YouTube does ban posts that discuss the use of Hydroxychloroquine as a Covid treatment - something that Facebook does not specifically outlaw.

Both sites ban content discussing whether face masks help stop the spread of Covid and whether social distancing is effective.

23 May, 2021

'Rigged': Mollie Hemingway's Definitive Account of the 2020 Election Democrats Won't Want You to Read

Bestselling author Mollie Hemingway is ready to set the record straight on the 2020 election with a definitive account of what happened from the fiery showdown between Donald Trump and Joe Biden to the U.S. House and Senate races that determined the precarious balance of power we now see on Capitol Hill.

In Rigged: How the Media, Big Tech, and the Democrats Seized Our Elections, Hemingway promises to reveal the backstory of the "devastating triple punch that took down the Trump presidency," Regnery Publishing—a fellow Salem Media affiliate—announced Tuesday. "Americans who feel silenced, subjected, and betrayed are about to learn the truth about a scandalous election," the publisher promises.

"What happened during the 2020 election deserves to be investigated and discussed," noted Hemingway in a column announcing her book due out this September. "It must be investigated and discussed, not in spite of media and political opposition to it, but because of that opposition. That is why I am writing a book about what happened before, during, and after the 2020 presidential election."

Just as she did in Justice on Trial—her book co-authored with Carrie Severino telling the full story of the contentious confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh—Hemingway is sure to expose the truth of what went down before, on, and after November 3, 2020.

"If questioning the results of a presidential election were a crime, as many have asserted in the wake of the controversial 2020 election and its aftermath, nearly the entire Democratic Party and media establishment would have been incarcerated for their rhetoric following the 2016 election," wrote Hemingway in her announcement of Rigged, scorching Democrats for their hypocrisy and feigned moral superiority.

"My book will contain never-before-told eyewitness stories about what really went down in 2020, not just in the presidential race, but in tight House and Senate races as well. The book will contain analysis of how media and Big Tech oligarchs used their power to control information on the Internet to manipulate people’s behavior before and after the 2020 election. My book will contain not just interviews about the election with top officials from the Trump White House and presidential campaign, but also interviews with Trump himself."

"I have no doubt that the same powers that worked to oust Trump in 2020 will do everything they can to suppress this book in 2021," Hemingway admitted. "But I don’t care. The story has to be told."

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Biden Gets a Real Vaccine Job

Instead of coasting along on Operation Warp Speed, he needs to vaccinate the world for global security.

By now you’ve heard that the Biden administration’s attempt to waive drug company patents will make virtually no difference to poor countries fighting the Covid pandemic. Oddly, you’ve heard it from both supporters and opponents of his action.

It won’t improve vaccine makers’ incentive to maximize production; they have every incentive now. It won’t improve affordability of the vaccine, already the best bargain in history. The World Bank has $4 billion burning a hole in its pocket to help poor countries acquire and distribute shots when available.

Nor is a lack of competition, aka monopoly, the problem: Fifteen vaccines, including four Russian and five Chinese, are already approved for large swaths of earth’s population, with dozens more in development.

The only real challenge is hiking production fast enough of a specialized product that didn’t exist a few months ago in order that everybody in the world can receive it.

The voices in Mr. Biden’s ear were the same voices that always clamor for invalidating drug company patents, regardless of circumstance. On Monday, in response to another clamor, he finally relaxed the U.S. claim on surplus vaccine coming off factory lines for the benefit of countries in deep struggle against the Covid virus. Remember these episodes next time the Biden administration tells you it isn’t just living off the capital of Operation Warp Speed, it’s “innovating” on its own.

More clearly than ever, the previous U.S. administration and the current British one were astonishing aberrations, casting aside bureaucratic caution, throwing billions at vaccine makers on grounds that it was impossible to waste money when the potential payoff was so high. Other countries, we’ve slowly come to understand, engaged in more hand-waving than action, their officials hesitant to commit to purchases for fear of being accused of overpaying, buying the wrong vaccine, or too much coziness with drug makers. Result: Money is not flowing to vaccine production that could be; the time and attention of vaccine makers is consumed with political gamesmanship it shouldn’t be.

Should investors devote scare resources to high-risk efforts to replace ingredients in short supply? Should they pour concrete for factories that might sit idle for want of equipment and materials? All the wrong signals were sent.

Covax, a vehicle for vaccinating poor countries born a month before Warp Speed, was sidetracked by multilateral virtue signaling. To show the magnanimity of its sponsors, most nations would get the vaccine free despite the availability of aid money, though this would mean Covax lacked any cash flow of its own to secure production commitments. In the name of equity, supply would be dribbled out to many countries simultaneously rather than focused on those that could use it. Congo recently tried to return 1.3 million doses in danger of expiring, having administered fewer than 1,000 shots.

Pledges by the U.S. and other countries did not result in what the World Bank delicately calls “encashment.” Covax’s self-praising sponsors seemingly didn’t want it competing with them for early vaccine supply. Now with the U.S. swimming in more vaccine than it can use, it’s still sitting on rights to 60 million AstraZeneca doses not yet approved for U.S. consumption that could be used elsewhere.

OK, countries will put their own voters first. The Biden administration’s overwhelming priority was to pass a superfluous domestic bailout package, on top of those already passed, so it could claim credit for the pandemic recovery already visible around the corner.

Politicians will act politically; only offensive is the unusual sycophancy of the U.S. press in covering the Biden administration’s political motives.

A top international aid official tells me Mr. Biden’s latest patent proposal, however popular with the left, would only upset the beneficial dynamic that led investors to pour billions into mRNA technology in the first place. The same incentive is attracting billions now to develop booster vaccines as well as more-practical delivery methods (e.g., nasal spray).

Happily Angela Merkel and other European leaders seem set to stop the charade at the World Trade Organization, whose approval would be needed. Maybe a new dawn of realism is breaking. The absurd credit Team Biden keeps bestowing on itself is wearing thin. It’s about time, because there’s a real job to be done. Amid the horrors in India you’ve been reading about, a billion Indians have yet to be exposed to the virus. Inoculating them and millions of others in Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Nigeria and other giant urbanized developing countries—and, yes, China—may yet be the difference between global stability and instability in the coming decade.

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One Voter Bloc That Democrats Are Losing in Texas...And It's a Key One

Texas is becoming a blue state. It’s one of the Democratic Party’s unicorns. Every time, there’s been disappointment. In 2014, folks thought that Wendy Davis had a chance to be governor. She ended up getting less than 40 percent of the vote. Beto O’Rourke fell short in his bid to unseat Ted Cruz. Hillary Clinton also failed in 2016 and Biden in 2020. Oh, I know—the margins of victory weren’t as high in years past. Sure. But the Democratic Party’s extreme facelift towards Marxism has a lot of Hispanic voters switching parties. The Daily Caller News Foundation has more:

“I am starting to see this need to connect with the Hispanic community and let them know nationwide that it’s the Republican party that offers opportunities,” Adrienne Pena-Garza, chair of the Hidalgo County Republican Party, told the DCNF.

Pena-Garza grew up in Texas as the daughter of a Democratic state legislator who switched parties and became a Republican around 2010. Pena-Garza told the DCNF that her father’s community reacted very strongly to his switch, noting that he had been beloved as a Democrat but was treated with incivility as a Republican.

But Pena-Garza also switched parties, concerned by the policies and talking points she was witnessing from Democratic lawmakers.

“Things have shifted dramatically,” she said. “I grew up as a strong Catholic,” she said. “This area has got strong Catholic roots today, Christian roots. Being pro-life and pro God was very important to me as an individual. And my family is a family that has served its country. My grandfather served in World War II and in the United States Navy, and my brother served 20 years honorably in the United States Air Force. I saw that the Democrat party was just moving quickly to the left and towards socialism. And those just did not did not align with my values any longer.”

This isn’t shocking. The 2020 election saw scores of Hispanics flee the Democratic Party from California to Florida. In Texas, the border counties which are Hispanic-majority saw support for Trump almost quintupled since 2016. The summer of rioting last year, along with the Left’s incessant call to defund the police cost Democrats a ton of votes. And it will continue to do so if scores of white liberals swell the ranks. College-educated white liberals are outliers when it comes to American politics. They want a liberal vs. conservative electorate which isn’t favorable to them. As David Shor, a liberal data scientist and pollster noted, most nonwhite voters are not liberal and do not see the issues through the lens of the ‘woke’ Left, even on issues like racial resentment. They’re far, far apart—on everything. Not the best groundwork for those who believe Democrats have an advantage due to demographics. The 2020 election pretty much shredded that given that Trump was only 43,000 votes from winning a second term.

At any rate, it seemed as if Democrats have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. There was a period where Democrats probably could have solidified things with this voter bloc, but anti-police/pro-crime overtures, political correctness, and other extreme lefty narratives sunk the ship. One area Shor notes as an example of white liberals projecting a narrative onto a voter bloc where the data doesn’t exist is immigration. Hispanic voters aren’t overly liberal on this issue, but the pro-open borders nonsense they’ve been peddling seems to be pushing Hispanic voters to back Republicans. Liberal blogger Kevin Drum noted that for eons, analysts noted that if the GOP just moderated a bit, they could nab a solid chunk of Hispanic voters. Now, it seems that’s happening but only because the Democratic base has become increasingly more insane.

This bodes well for the GOP, especially in Texas. It's a red state and it will remain a red state as long as the woke white Left continues to drive the messaging and agenda items.

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Also see my other blogs. Main ones below:

http://snorphty.blogspot.com (TONGUE-TIED)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com/ (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS

http://awesternheart.blogspot.com.au/ (THE PSYCHOLOGIST)

https://heofen.blogspot.com/ (MY OTHER BLOGS)

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Why does Facebook still ban users from saying Covid was man-made even as Dr Fauci casts doubt on virus origins? And Italian journalist is censored by YouTube for claiming it was created in Wuhan lab


A fresh spotlight has been thrown on how tech giants police Covid 'misinformation' after Dr Antony Fauci questioned whether the virus was man-made in China - a sentiment banned across swathes of social media.

Facebook policies outlining what kinds of 'misinformation' its users cannot post about, specifically picks out theories that the virus was 'man-made' or 'manufactured' - the very theory Fauci was discussing.

At the same time, an Italian journalist claimed last week to have been censored by YouTube over a book which questions whether the virus was engineered in a Wuhan lab, despite America's top disease expert saying it warrants investigation.

These inconsistencies beg the question whether social media's 'misinformation' witch-hunt has gone too far in trying to prevent the spread of dangerous lies, and actually stifles productive debate instead.

For example, on vaccines: A large number of Facebook policies deal with clear misinformation - such as outlawing claims that jabs contain 'the mark of the beast', or turn you into a monkey.

But the site also says it bans 'claims that COVID-19 vaccines kill or seriously harm people (such as causing blood clots.)'

That is despite the fact that medical regulators in Europe and elsewhere have seen fit to put warnings on AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson jabs saying they can cause blood clots - albeit in vanishingly rare cases.

Meanwhile YouTube also has clear-cut policies banning untruths, such as saying prayer will cure the virus or that Covid isn't real.

But the site's policies ban posts questioning the efficacy of masks or debating lockdown measures - even though government guidance on both has changed many times since the start of the pandemic, largely thanks to debate about their benefits.

Separate rules on advertising on YouTube outlaw adverts around 'sensitive events' such as Covid, banning anything that 'potentially profits' from the event 'without a benefit to users' - though what exactly qualifies as a 'benefit' is not explained. 

It was those advertising rules that Italian journalist Fabrizio Gatti fell foul of when adverts for his book - The Infinite Error: The Secret Story Of A Pandemic That Should Have Been Avoided - were 'blacklisted' from Google last week.

Google said the video violates the rules because it 'displays speculative intent or lacks reasonable sensitivity around a global health crisis.'

But Elisabetta Sgarbi, whose company is publishing Gatti's book on Covid, told Italian news agency Ansa: 'There is a big difference between "gratuitous offense" and the right to criticize. 

'[The book] documents the responsibilities of the Chinese regime, the allied governments and the WHO in the delayed response to the Covid-19 pandemic...  which should have avoided.

'I hope that Google... can help encourage reflection and discussion on the health and human catastrophe that has hit the world.'

Mr Gatti added: 'I express my full solidarity with colleagues who have been or will be economically damaged, just for giving space to... my research. 

'I hope that Google will revise its position as soon as possible. We already have to put up with the Chinese regime and the consequences of its failure to contain Covid. 

'[Google's action] it is yet another symptom of a very worrying drift.

'Once once the infection is overcome with vaccines, as I write in my book, we will have to defend our democracies from totalitarianism and the digital monopoly.'

Other policies that might get adverts banned from Google are ones which 'appear to profit from a tragic event with no discernible benefit to users', adverts selling products 'which may be in insufficient supply', and those which 'claim victims of a sensitive event were responsible for their own tragedy.'

Both Facebook and Google say the policies were created in response to the spread of misinformation as the pandemic spread, and aim to direct people towards reliable information and stop the spread of claims that could cause harm.

But others, such as former New York Times journalist Alex Berenson - whose own books were temporarily banned from Amazon or questioning the science behind masks and lockdowns - say they amount to censorship. 

'Big Tech censorship of opposing views on COVID is a huge problem, and it's part of an even bigger problem,' he said.

'This isn't about COVID, it's about whether or not as a society we're going to allow people who have views that are sort of outside what the mainstream media want you to believe, to present those views,' he continued. 

Last year, Google was criticised after directing search engine users away from the Great Barrington Declaration - a petition started by prominent academics urging a re-think on lockdowns.

Instead of being shown the petition itself at the top of search queries, Google users were instead shown articles and pages critical of it, according to Spiked.

Google also said in October last year that it had pulled more than 200,000 videos from YouTube, including one from Scott Atlas - who at the time was a physician advising the US government.

Meanwhile Facebook has also been pulling down pages that question whether lockdowns are effective, while attaching fact-check labels and warning notices to some news articles.

The company says it has removed over 18 million pieces of content across Facebook and Instagram globally since the start of the pandemic for violating its rules, and has displayed warning labels on 167million pieces of COVID-19 content on Facebook. 

While Amazon refused to disclose its policies around censorship at the time, Google and Facebook both publish detailed lists about what users can and cannot post.

The firms say they are acting to prevent the spread of 'misinformation' - but what exactly constitutes misinformation is something they cannot agree even among themselves. 

For example, Facebook's policy specifically bans any post that says coronavirus is 'man-made' or 'manufactured' - though users are allow to speculate that the virus may have leaked from a lab.

Google-owned YouTube's policy, meanwhile, makes no mention of banning videos discussing 'man-made' Covid.

However, YouTube does ban posts that discuss the use of Hydroxychloroquine as a Covid treatment - something that Facebook does not specifically outlaw. 

Both sites ban content discussing whether face masks help stop the spread of Covid and whether social distancing is effective. 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9612833/How-Facebook-bans-users-saying-Covid-man-made.html


Sunday, May 23, 2021


'Rigged': Mollie Hemingway's Definitive Account of the 2020 Election Democrats Won't Want You to Read

Bestselling author Mollie Hemingway is ready to set the record straight on the 2020 election with a definitive account of what happened from the fiery showdown between Donald Trump and Joe Biden to the U.S. House and Senate races that determined the precarious balance of power we now see on Capitol Hill.

In Rigged: How the Media, Big Tech, and the Democrats Seized Our Elections, Hemingway promises to reveal the backstory of the "devastating triple punch that took down the Trump presidency," Regnery Publishing—a fellow Salem Media affiliate—announced Tuesday. "Americans who feel silenced, subjected, and betrayed are about to learn the truth about a scandalous election," the publisher promises.

"What happened during the 2020 election deserves to be investigated and discussed," noted Hemingway in a column announcing her book due out this September. "It must be investigated and discussed, not in spite of media and political opposition to it, but because of that opposition. That is why I am writing a book about what happened before, during, and after the 2020 presidential election."

Just as she did in Justice on Trial—her book co-authored with Carrie Severino telling the full story of the contentious confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh—Hemingway is sure to expose the truth of what went down before, on, and after November 3, 2020.

"If questioning the results of a presidential election were a crime, as many have asserted in the wake of the controversial 2020 election and its aftermath, nearly the entire Democratic Party and media establishment would have been incarcerated for their rhetoric following the 2016 election," wrote Hemingway in her announcement of Rigged, scorching Democrats for their hypocrisy and feigned moral superiority.

"My book will contain never-before-told eyewitness stories about what really went down in 2020, not just in the presidential race, but in tight House and Senate races as well. The book will contain analysis of how media and Big Tech oligarchs used their power to control information on the Internet to manipulate people’s behavior before and after the 2020 election. My book will contain not just interviews about the election with top officials from the Trump White House and presidential campaign, but also interviews with Trump himself."

"I have no doubt that the same powers that worked to oust Trump in 2020 will do everything they can to suppress this book in 2021," Hemingway admitted. "But I don’t care. The story has to be told."

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Biden Gets a Real Vaccine Job

Instead of coasting along on Operation Warp Speed, he needs to vaccinate the world for global security.

By now you’ve heard that the Biden administration’s attempt to waive drug company patents will make virtually no difference to poor countries fighting the Covid pandemic. Oddly, you’ve heard it from both supporters and opponents of his action.

It won’t improve vaccine makers’ incentive to maximize production; they have every incentive now. It won’t improve affordability of the vaccine, already the best bargain in history. The World Bank has $4 billion burning a hole in its pocket to help poor countries acquire and distribute shots when available.

Nor is a lack of competition, aka monopoly, the problem: Fifteen vaccines, including four Russian and five Chinese, are already approved for large swaths of earth’s population, with dozens more in development.

The only real challenge is hiking production fast enough of a specialized product that didn’t exist a few months ago in order that everybody in the world can receive it.

The voices in Mr. Biden’s ear were the same voices that always clamor for invalidating drug company patents, regardless of circumstance. On Monday, in response to another clamor, he finally relaxed the U.S. claim on surplus vaccine coming off factory lines for the benefit of countries in deep struggle against the Covid virus. Remember these episodes next time the Biden administration tells you it isn’t just living off the capital of Operation Warp Speed, it’s “innovating” on its own.

More clearly than ever, the previous U.S. administration and the current British one were astonishing aberrations, casting aside bureaucratic caution, throwing billions at vaccine makers on grounds that it was impossible to waste money when the potential payoff was so high. Other countries, we’ve slowly come to understand, engaged in more hand-waving than action, their officials hesitant to commit to purchases for fear of being accused of overpaying, buying the wrong vaccine, or too much coziness with drug makers. Result: Money is not flowing to vaccine production that could be; the time and attention of vaccine makers is consumed with political gamesmanship it shouldn’t be.

Should investors devote scare resources to high-risk efforts to replace ingredients in short supply? Should they pour concrete for factories that might sit idle for want of equipment and materials? All the wrong signals were sent.

Covax, a vehicle for vaccinating poor countries born a month before Warp Speed, was sidetracked by multilateral virtue signaling. To show the magnanimity of its sponsors, most nations would get the vaccine free despite the availability of aid money, though this would mean Covax lacked any cash flow of its own to secure production commitments. In the name of equity, supply would be dribbled out to many countries simultaneously rather than focused on those that could use it. Congo recently tried to return 1.3 million doses in danger of expiring, having administered fewer than 1,000 shots.

Pledges by the U.S. and other countries did not result in what the World Bank delicately calls “encashment.” Covax’s self-praising sponsors seemingly didn’t want it competing with them for early vaccine supply. Now with the U.S. swimming in more vaccine than it can use, it’s still sitting on rights to 60 million AstraZeneca doses not yet approved for U.S. consumption that could be used elsewhere.

OK, countries will put their own voters first. The Biden administration’s overwhelming priority was to pass a superfluous domestic bailout package, on top of those already passed, so it could claim credit for the pandemic recovery already visible around the corner.

Politicians will act politically; only offensive is the unusual sycophancy of the U.S. press in covering the Biden administration’s political motives.

A top international aid official tells me Mr. Biden’s latest patent proposal, however popular with the left, would only upset the beneficial dynamic that led investors to pour billions into mRNA technology in the first place. The same incentive is attracting billions now to develop booster vaccines as well as more-practical delivery methods (e.g., nasal spray).

Happily Angela Merkel and other European leaders seem set to stop the charade at the World Trade Organization, whose approval would be needed. Maybe a new dawn of realism is breaking. The absurd credit Team Biden keeps bestowing on itself is wearing thin. It’s about time, because there’s a real job to be done. Amid the horrors in India you’ve been reading about, a billion Indians have yet to be exposed to the virus. Inoculating them and millions of others in Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Nigeria and other giant urbanized developing countries—and, yes, China—may yet be the difference between global stability and instability in the coming decade.

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One Voter Bloc That Democrats Are Losing in Texas...And It's a Key One

Texas is becoming a blue state. It’s one of the Democratic Party’s unicorns. Every time, there’s been disappointment. In 2014, folks thought that Wendy Davis had a chance to be governor. She ended up getting less than 40 percent of the vote. Beto O’Rourke fell short in his bid to unseat Ted Cruz. Hillary Clinton also failed in 2016 and Biden in 2020. Oh, I know—the margins of victory weren’t as high in years past. Sure. But the Democratic Party’s extreme facelift towards Marxism has a lot of Hispanic voters switching parties. The Daily Caller News Foundation has more:

“I am starting to see this need to connect with the Hispanic community and let them know nationwide that it’s the Republican party that offers opportunities,” Adrienne Pena-Garza, chair of the Hidalgo County Republican Party, told the DCNF.

Pena-Garza grew up in Texas as the daughter of a Democratic state legislator who switched parties and became a Republican around 2010. Pena-Garza told the DCNF that her father’s community reacted very strongly to his switch, noting that he had been beloved as a Democrat but was treated with incivility as a Republican.

But Pena-Garza also switched parties, concerned by the policies and talking points she was witnessing from Democratic lawmakers.

“Things have shifted dramatically,” she said. “I grew up as a strong Catholic,” she said. “This area has got strong Catholic roots today, Christian roots. Being pro-life and pro God was very important to me as an individual. And my family is a family that has served its country. My grandfather served in World War II and in the United States Navy, and my brother served 20 years honorably in the United States Air Force. I saw that the Democrat party was just moving quickly to the left and towards socialism. And those just did not did not align with my values any longer.”

This isn’t shocking. The 2020 election saw scores of Hispanics flee the Democratic Party from California to Florida. In Texas, the border counties which are Hispanic-majority saw support for Trump almost quintupled since 2016. The summer of rioting last year, along with the Left’s incessant call to defund the police cost Democrats a ton of votes. And it will continue to do so if scores of white liberals swell the ranks. College-educated white liberals are outliers when it comes to American politics. They want a liberal vs. conservative electorate which isn’t favorable to them. As David Shor, a liberal data scientist and pollster noted, most nonwhite voters are not liberal and do not see the issues through the lens of the ‘woke’ Left, even on issues like racial resentment. They’re far, far apart—on everything. Not the best groundwork for those who believe Democrats have an advantage due to demographics. The 2020 election pretty much shredded that given that Trump was only 43,000 votes from winning a second term.

At any rate, it seemed as if Democrats have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. There was a period where Democrats probably could have solidified things with this voter bloc, but anti-police/pro-crime overtures, political correctness, and other extreme lefty narratives sunk the ship. One area Shor notes as an example of white liberals projecting a narrative onto a voter bloc where the data doesn’t exist is immigration. Hispanic voters aren’t overly liberal on this issue, but the pro-open borders nonsense they’ve been peddling seems to be pushing Hispanic voters to back Republicans. Liberal blogger Kevin Drum noted that for eons, analysts noted that if the GOP just moderated a bit, they could nab a solid chunk of Hispanic voters. Now, it seems that’s happening but only because the Democratic base has become increasingly more insane.

This bodes well for the GOP, especially in Texas. It's a red state and it will remain a red state as long as the woke white Left continues to drive the messaging and agenda items.

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Also see my other blogs. Main ones below:

http://snorphty.blogspot.com (TONGUE-TIED)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com/ (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS

http://awesternheart.blogspot.com.au/ (THE PSYCHOLOGIST)

https://heofen.blogspot.com/ (MY OTHER BLOGS)

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