Monday, October 19, 2020

The High Human Cost of the War on Terror

A recent study by the Costs of War group at Brown University examines the high cost of the seemingly endless War on Terror on the population of nations that have born the brunt of Washington's moves to crush its enemies since the attack of September 11, 2001.  While the War on Terror is receiving absolutely no coverage by the mainstream media, it is an issue that has the potential to impact the western world since anger against the United States is being created by these actions which are allegedly intended to protect us.


Here is a key quote from the paper that outlines the importance of the study:


"Wartime displacement (alongside war deaths and injuries) must be central to any analysis of the post-9/11 wars and their short- and long-term consequences. Displacement also must be central to any possible consideration of the future use of military force by the United States or others."

 

The authors open by noting that since the Bush II administration announced the War on Terror 19 years ago, the United States has fought in wars or participated in combat operations in at least 24 nations.  These wars have had a very high human cost that Washington seems quite capable of ignoring.  Civilians have been forced to flee for their lives from air strikes, bombings, artillery fire and drone attacks among other events which has created both refugees and internally displaced people (IDP). 

 

With that background, let's look at some statistics.  The authors calculated the total number of displaced people in eight of the most significant wars in which U.S. forces have been involved since September 11, 2001.  These include the Afghanistan/Pakistan and Iraq wars for which Washington is clearly responsible for initiating armed combat, the wars in Syria and Libya for which Washington was responsible for escalating and the conflicts/wars in Yemen, Somalia and the Philippines for which Washington was responsible as a participant through the use of drone strikes, battlefield advising, arms sales and logistical support among other means.

 

Here is a table showing the total displacement for the eight aforementioned wars as well as the percentage of each nations pre-war population that has been displaced:

 


These conservative estimates of displaced people could be far higher given that many refugees are not officially registered and are not counted as refugees by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.  Using expanded estimates in the number of displaced people for Afghanistan and Syria could bring the total to between 48 million and 59 million.  In addition, as shown in this quote from the paper, the United States government has been substantially involved in many conflicts that are not included in the total:


"The U.S. government has employed combat troops, drone strikes and surveillance, military training, arms sales, and other pro-government aid in countries including Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia (related to the war in Yemen), South Sudan, Tunisia, and Uganda.72 In most of these countries, the U.S. military and allied European forces have backed national governments’ counter-insurgency campaigns and “counter-terrorism” operations against Islamist militants and other insurgents. In Burkina Faso, for example, there were more than half a million incidents of displacement in 2019; by year’s end, around 560,000 Burkinabe were living as IDPs. In Mali, 208,000 were living as IDPs by the end of 2019 as a result of years of violent conflict.73 Since 2001, U.S. combat troops have operated in every single one of the ten countries now suffering from the most severe internal displacement in the world, according to IDMC. The Central African Republic joins Burkina Faso and Mali in the top three. The rest of the top ten include Niger, Chad, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as Somalia, Syria, and Yemen."


Here is a graphic showing the outflows and inflows of displaced people:

 


On the upside, if there is one, the authors of the study note that 25.3 million people have returned to their countries of origin as shown here:


 

It is important to keep in mind that many of these returnees are children that were born while in exile and are returning to homes that they have never known.  As well, many have returned because they were deported by their host nation or because they could not afford to live in their host nation because the cost of living was much higher than they could afford.

 

Let's close this posting with a final quote from the paper:

 

The displacement documented in this paper, along with the wars’ death toll and other intersecting forms of harm, cannot simply be dismissed or normalized as “unintended consequences” or “collateral damage.” The displacement and other suffering must be central to any analysis of the post-9/11 wars and to any conceivable consideration of the future use of military force by the United States or any other country. The legitimacy and efficacy of war should be questioned more than ever given nearly two decades of disastrous outcomes. One must also ask what steps the U.S. government, U.S. citizens, and other responsible parties have taken—and what steps they will take—to repair and make amends for the damage inflicted on the 37 million or more people displaced by the post- 9/11 wars.

 

Thursday, October 15, 2020

How Facebook is Controlling the Vaccine Narrative

 A recent posting on Facebook's company blog has made it quite clear where the world's foremost social media platform stands on the issue of vaccines, most particularly, the potential vaccine for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

 

Here is the posting as written by Kang-Xing Jin, Head of Health and Rob Leathern, Director of Product Management at Facebook:

 


For your information, here is Kang-Xing Jin's Linkedin page showing his experience in the field of public health given that he is head of Facebook's Health division (i.e. there is none):

 


Here is Rob Leathern's LinkedIn page which also shows his experience in the field of public health (again, none):

 



Here is the opening paragraph of their blog posting:

 

"The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of preventive health behaviors. While public health experts agree that we won’t have an approved and widely available COVID-19 vaccine for some time, there are steps that people can take to stay healthy and safe. That includes getting the seasonal flu vaccine. So today we’re announcing new steps as part of our continued work to help support vaccine efforts. These include: 

 

1.) Launching a new flu vaccine information campaign on Facebook, including new product features that provide additional vaccine-related content

 

2.) Rejecting ads globally that discourage people from getting a vaccine

 

3.) Working with global health partners on campaigns to increase immunization rates"

 

Here's how Facebook is going to control the vaccine narrative in the ecosystem that they control:

 

Facebook is also going to act to "amplify the voices of Public Health Partners" to increase vaccination rates around the world by working with organizations like WHO and UNICEF using public health messaging campaigns.  They are also working with WHO's Vaccine Safety Network to "train and support their network of vaccine partners to utilize Facebook to reach as many people as possible with public health messaging".

 

The writers of the posting conclude with this message:

 

"We will continue to support vaccine efforts as part of our work to help the people who use our platform stay healthy and safe."


Apparently, there are no alternatives to vaccines to help us stay healthy and safe.  It also seems rather coincidental that Facebook has suddenly taken an interest in vaccines now that nations around the world are biding their time, waiting for the development of a vaccine for the SARS-CoV-2 virus that is likely to be mandatory.

 

It's nice to see that Facebook, formerly a social media company, has turned itself into a health care company whose mandate includes the promotion of vaccines.  Bill Gates, one of Mark Zuckerberg's fellow technoplutocrats and the global spokesperson for universal vaccines, would be proud.


Tuesday, October 13, 2020

The Great Barrington Declaration - Universal Lockdowns vs. Focused Protection

 With governments around the world implementing Phase II of their lockdowns as the number of COVID-19 cases grows (in tandem with the number of tests being completed), it is interesting to see that there is another narrative being promoted by a group of infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists who are growing increasingly concerned about the physical and mental health impact that these universal lockdowns are having on our society.  After a meeting at Great Barrington, Massachusetts between October 1st and 4th, 2020, three scientists have created the Great Barrington Declaration, a document that has been signed by thousands of scientists and hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens who have become increasingly concerned about how their governments are handling the COVID-19 pandemic and how the current measures being utilized (i.e. lockdowns) are, in fact, causing irreparable damage to all of us.

 

Let's open this posting by looking at a video featuring three dissenting scientists who are responsible for issuing the Great Barrington Declaration:

 


The three imminently qualified scientists who originated this Declaration are as follows:


1.) Dr. Martin Kulldorff



2.) Dr. Sunetra Gupta:



3.) Dr. Jay Bhattacharya:



Here is a screen capture showing the lead page of the Great Barrington Declaration website:

 


Here is the entire text of the Great Barrington Declaration:

 

"As infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists we have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies, and recommend an approach we call Focused Protection. 

 

Coming from both the left and right, and around the world, we have devoted our careers to protecting people. Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health. The results (to name a few) include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health – leading to greater excess mortality in years to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden. Keeping students out of school is a grave injustice. 

 

Keeping these measures in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed.

 

Fortunately, our understanding of the virus is growing. We know that vulnerability to death from COVID-19 is more than a thousand-fold higher in the old and infirm than the young. Indeed, for children, COVID-19 is less dangerous than many other harms, including influenza. 

 

As immunity builds in the population, the risk of infection to all – including the vulnerable – falls. We know that all populations will eventually reach herd immunity – i.e.  the point at which the rate of new infections is stable – and that this can be assisted by (but is not dependent upon) a vaccine. Our goal should therefore be to minimize mortality and social harm until we reach herd immunity. 

 

The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity, is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk. We call this Focused Protection. 

 

Adopting measures to protect the vulnerable should be the central aim of public health responses to COVID-19. By way of example, nursing homes should use staff with acquired immunity and perform frequent PCR testing of other staff and all visitors. Staff rotation should be minimized. Retired people living at home should have groceries and other essentials delivered to their home. When possible, they should meet family members outside rather than inside. A comprehensive and detailed list of measures, including approaches to multi-generational households, can be implemented, and is well within the scope and capability of public health professionals. 

 

Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal. Simple hygiene measures, such as hand washing and staying home when sick should be practiced by everyone to reduce the herd immunity threshold. Schools and universities should be open for in-person teaching. Extracurricular activities, such as sports, should be resumed. Young low-risk adults should work normally, rather than from home. Restaurants and other businesses should open. Arts, music, sport and other cultural activities should resume. People who are more at risk may participate if they wish, while society as a whole enjoys the protection conferred upon the vulnerable by those who have built up herd immunity."

 

The proposals in this document are very pragmatic. Never before have healthy people been subject to universal quarantining, a measure that has caused great economic distress, particularly among the less economically well-to-do.  This is why the originators of the Declaration are promoting the idea of a "focused protection" method of protecting society's most vulnerable populations rather than a "shotgun" approach as is currently in favour. 

 

According to the Great Barrington Declaration website, the following medical and public health practitioners and scientists have signed the document:

 

Here is the current number of signatories of all types current to October 14, 2020:


I have taken the opportunity to submit my signature as support for this measured approach to controlling the pandemic.  If you wish to do the same, please click here and follow the instructions on the Great Barrington Declaration website.


Friday, October 9, 2020

The People Behind the World Economic Forum's Great Reset

If you haven't been paying attention, it may surprise you to find out that the Great Pandemic of 2020 is being used by one of the world's leading economic non-governmental organization as an excuse to reset the entire global economy.  Thanks to the World Economic Forum (WEF) and its braintrust, the post-pandemic world will look entirely different.  By the time that citizens of nations that have undergone the most severe lockdowns (i.e. Australia, the United Kingdom), people will be begging for change.

 

While I have posted on the subject of the WEF's Great Reset previously, a quick recap is in order.  The concept of a "great reset" in the post pandemic world is being promoted as a panacea to the world's economic and environmental ills.  Here is the WEF's Great Reset lead webpage:

 

Here's what the WEF has to say about the context of its Great Reset:


"The Covid-19 crisis, and the political, economic and social disruptions it has caused, is fundamentally changing the traditional context for decision-making. The inconsistencies, inadequacies and contradictions of multiple systems –from health and financial to energy and education – are more exposed than ever amidst a global context of concern for lives, livelihoods and the planet. Leaders find themselves at a historic crossroads, managing short-term pressures against medium- and long-term uncertainties."

 

Here's what it has to say about the opportunity for a "Great Reset":

 

"As we enter a unique window of opportunity to shape the recovery, this initiative will offer insights to help inform all those determining the future state of global relations, the direction of national economies, the priorities of societies, the nature of business models and the management of a global commons. Drawing from the vision and vast expertise of the leaders engaged across the Forum’s communities, the Great Reset initiative has a set of dimensions to build a new social contract that honours the dignity of every human being."

 

What we must remember is that the Great Reset is being put in place by the "Davos Elite", a group of the world's most wealthy oligarchs and hundreds of the world's most powerful corporations including (in roughly alphabetical order) Amazon (its Web Services Division), Apple, Astra Zeneca, the Bank of America, BMO Financial Group, Bayer, Chevron, Deutsche Bank, Facebook, Google, HP, ING Group, Johnson & Johnson, JPMorgan Chase, Mastercard, Manulife, Microsoft, Moderna, Nasdaq, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, the Open Society Institute (i.e. George Soros), PayPal, Pfizer, Royal Dutch Shell, Saudi Aramco, Standard Bank Group, Suncor Energy, Visa and Walmart.  As you can well imagine, most of these major corporations have executives that are part of the oligarchy that controls every aspect of life on planet earth in one way or another.


Now, let's look at who is running the World Economic Forum.  The Forum is chaired by its founder and Executive Chairman Professor Klaus Schwab as shown here:

 


In its own words, the Forum is guided by:

 

"... a Board of Trustees, exceptional individuals who act as guardians of its missions and values, and oversee the Forum's work in promoting true global citizenship.

 

The Board of Trustees comprises outstanding leaders from business, politics, academia and civil society. In their work on the Board, members do not represent any personal or professional interests. To reflect the Board's multistakeholder status, its membership is divided equally between representatives of the business community and leaders from international organizations and civil society."

 

Here is a screen capture showing the crème de la crème of the world's elite, at least according to the World Economic Forum:

 


Let's look at some background for a few of these amazing individuals:








You will notice the links between the leadership of the WEF and the leadership of the world's other major influencing organizations including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations and at least two of the world's most influential central banks. 

 

There are two additional members that I have left until last:

 


 

Lucky Canada!  There are two highly influential Canadians on the WEF's Board of Trustees.  While many of my readers may not have heard of either of these individuals, Mark Carney was a former Governor of the Bank of Canada and Chrystia Freeland is both Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance in the Trudeau II government as shown here:

 


She is widely considered to be the "power behind the Prime Minister" and is also likely to at least run as the replacement for Justin Trudeau when he leaves office.  She is connected to George Soros as shown in this picture:

 

 


...and this interview with George Soros from 2015:


 

With Canadians' tax dollars and its economic future now in the hands of this highly connected individual and with her relationship with central banker Mark Carney, I think that it is highly likely that Canada and Canadians will form the template for the "Great Reset" whether we want it or not.

 

I'd like to close this posting with a quote from my previous posting on the Great Reset:

 

"If there is one thing that we have learned from the COVID-19 pandemic (and September 11, 2001 before that), it's that governments, highly influential non-governmental organizations like the World Economic Forum and the dark lords of the plutocracy never let a good crisis go to waste.  We have also learned that the changes that governments have implemented, particularly to our civil rights, during the pandemic are not going away anytime soon.  Our way of life has changed dramatically and our overlords will see that the world is "reset" in ways that benefit them and their insiders, despite the pronouncements that their solutions will see greater societal equality and a cleaner planet.  Only a fool would believe that this "Great Reset" is not, at least in part, designed to make the billionaire global oligarch class even wealthier and more controlling than they already are."

 

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

The Food and Drug Administration - Gatekeeper for a COVID-19 Vaccine

Governments around the world are counting on a pharmaceutical solution to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Here is an industry tracker showing how many vaccines and therapeutic drugs are in trials for COVID-19:

 


Apparently, Big Pharma is spending untold billions of dollars and millions of hours of research on the potential for massive profits (our health be damned).  Now, let's look at one little-discussed aspect of the hunt for a coronavirus vaccine that has received relatively little coverage.

 

Back in June, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released this on its website:

 

 

Let's look at some key excerpts from the FDA's Development and Licensure of Vaccines to Prevent COVID-19 Guidance for Industry document.  Here is the introduction:

 


 

The key takeaway is that the FDA is, in large part, only providing vaccine manufacturers with suggestions and recommendations where it uses the word "should", not legally enforceable responsibilities.

 

That said, here are the general "recommendations" and "suggestions" that the FDA has for COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers:

 



During the manufacturing process, all source material including cell banks, virus banks and identification of all animal-derived materials used for cell culture and virus growth must be adequately controlled.  As well, complete details of the manufacturing process must be provided.  In contrast, a quality control system "should" be in place for all stages of manufacturing and testing.

 

One of the greatest concerns about a coronavirus vaccine is that no vaccine for a coronavirus, particularly SARS and MERS has been developed to this point in time as shown in this quote from "Vaccines for SARS-CoV-2: Lessons from Other Coronavirus Strains" by Eriko Padron-Regalado on the National Institutes of Health website:

 

"The emergence of the strain of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) and its impact on global health have made imperative the development of effective and safe vaccines for this lethal strain. SARS-CoV-2 now adds to the list of coronavirus diseases that have threatened global health, along with the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) coronaviruses that emerged in 2002/2003 and 2012, respectively. As of April 2020, no vaccine is commercially available for these coronavirus strains."


The FDA has noted this in its guidance document:


"Vaccine-Associated Enhanced Respiratory Disease" or VAERD is a phenomenon that occurs when there is an interaction between a vaccine and a respiratory disease.  Vaccine-induced antibodies appear to play a role in exacerbating respiratory symptom.  During the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, Canadian researchers found that there was a greater risk of H1N1 infection among those that had been vaccinated against seasonal influenza.  This could also occur with a new experimental vaccine for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. 

 

Now, let's look at the most interesting part of the guidance:

 


To help you understand what the highlighted portion of the page means, here is an explanation of a clinical trial:

 

"Clinical researchers work to ensure that they avoid bias in clinical trials. Bias refers to human choices or other factors (unrelated to the protocol) that might affect the trial's results. For example, if doctors could choose which patients to assign to comparison groups in a study, some might assign sicker patients to the treatment group and healthier patients to the control group (not receiving treatment). The doctors might not even realize they are doing this, and it could affect trial results.

 

Randomization helps ensure that researchers don't introduce bias into the trial. In many clinical trials that test the effectiveness of a medication, half of the participants receive the medication in question. The other half receive a placebo, which contains no medication. Randomization involves assigning patients to these comparison groups by chance, rather than choice.

 

Researchers also may use “blinding” to help avoid bias. In a blinded trial, researchers will not know which patients are receiving treatment and which ones are receiving a placebo."

 

Here is an explanation of the "placebo effect" and how powerful it can be:

 

"For years, a placebo effect was considered a sign of failure. A placebo is used in clinical trials to test the effectiveness of treatments and is most often used in drug studies. For instance, people in one group get the tested drug, while the others receive a fake drug, or placebo, that they think is the real thing. This way, the researchers can measure if the drug works by comparing how both groups react. If they both have the same reaction — improvement or not — the drug is deemed not to work.

More recently, however, experts have concluded that reacting to a placebo is not proof that a certain treatment doesn't work, but rather that another, non-pharmacological mechanism may be present.

How placebos work is still not quite understood, but it involves a complex neurobiological reaction that includes everything from increases in feel-good neurotransmitters, like endorphins and dopamine, to greater activity in certain brain regions linked to moods, emotional reactions, and self-awareness. All of it can have therapeutic benefit. "The placebo effect is a way for your brain to tell the body what it needs to feel better," says Kaptchuk.

But placebos are not all about releasing brainpower. You also need the ritual of treatment. "When you look at these studies that compare drugs with placebos, there is the entire environmental and ritual factor at work," says Kaptchuk. "You have to go to a clinic at certain times and be examined by medical professionals in white coats. You receive all kinds of exotic pills and undergo strange procedures. All this can have a profound impact on how the body perceives symptoms because you feel you are getting attention and care.'"

It is interesting to note that the Food and Drug Administration is requiring that a drug that will be used to prevent COVID-19 only has to be 50 percent more effective than a placebo (i.e. if a placebo is 25 percent effective, a COVID-19 drug only has to be at least 50 percent more effective (37.5 percent effective) than the placebo.

Once the subjects are being tested, since there could be some adverse reactions to the new drugs, the FDA recommends the following safety considerations:

 

"1.) Solicited local and systemic adverse events for at least 7 days after each study vaccination in an adequate number of study participants to characterize reactogenicity (including at least a subset of participants in late phase efficacy trials).

 

2.) Unsolicited adverse events in all study participants for at least 21–28 days after each study vaccination.

 

3.) Serious and other medically attended adverse events in all study participants for at least 6 months after completion of all study vaccinations. Longer safety monitoring may be warranted for certain vaccine platforms (e.g., those that include novel adjuvants).

 

4.) All pregnancies in study participants for which the date of conception is prior to vaccination or within 30 days after vaccination should be followed for pregnancy outcomes, including pregnancy loss, stillbirth, and congenital anomalies.

 

Let's close with this interview on a potential COVID-19 vaccine from the imminent Dr. Anthony Fauci (starting at the 4 minute 40 second mark and :

 


Let's repeat that.  "There's never a guarantee that your vaccine will be safe and effective".


Now, go to the 14 minute and 38 second mark where Dr. Fauci is asked how long the vaccine protection will last and whether you will need to be revaccinated  Here is his answer:


"We do not know the answer to that....You can assume that you will get protection to at least take us through this cycle....We have to assume that (the degree of protection) it is going to be finite.  Right now, we do not know how long it (immunity) lasts."


That's reassuring, isn't it?  Just what we all wanted; to be candidates for a massive vaccine experiment thanks to Big Pharma and its profit-generating business model.


Monday, October 5, 2020

Robot Dogs - Coming Soon to a War or Demonstration Near You

Here is a recent article from the United States Air Force Expeditionary Center website:

 


You will notice that the "object" behind Tech. Sgt. John Rodiguez is identified as a Ghost Robots Vision 60 prototype.  Here is a further quote from the article:


"A team of 10 Airmen from the 621st Contingency Response Group participated in an agile combat employment exercise Sept. 1-3 at Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado, and Nellis AFB, Nevada, with other active-duty and Air National Guard Airmen from across the United States.

 

Devil Raiders brought their unique multifunctional skill sets to the exercise that also tested the Advanced Battle Management System, which is a state-of-the-art system designed to provide combatant commanders the ability to control Department of Defense assets in real time.

 

According to an Air Force news story, the goal of ABMS is to enable the Air Force and Space Force to operate together as a joint team – connecting sensors, decision makers and weapons through a secure data network enabling rapid decision making and all-domain command and control.

 

The 621st Contingency Response Wing team provided security forces, command and control, aircraft maintenance, aerial port and communications Airmen for the ACE exercise.

 

During the exercise, the team flew from Buckley to Nellis via New York’s 109th Airlift Wing LC-130 Hercules aircraft.

 

“After we land, everything moves quick,” said Tech. Sgt. Greg Hochgesang, 621st Contingency Response Squadron aircraft maintenance craftsman.

 

Once the Devil Raiders landed on the first chalk, the security forces Airmen secured the airfield in a traditional and unconventional way.

 

Our defenders employed the robot dogs,” said Master Sgt. Lee Boston, 321st CRS loadmaster and the CR team chief for the exercise. “These robot dogs are a new technology that we’re testing as part of the exercise. The dogs give us visuals of the area, all while keeping our defenders closer to the aircraft.

 

After the airfield was secured, maintainers assessed their own aircraft for damage, then marshalled the next LC-130 into its spot." (my bold)

 

For this security exercise, the United States Air Force deployed Ghost Robotics Vision 60 robot dogs as part of their test exercise.

  

Here is a screen capture from the "About" page of the Philadelphia-based Ghost Robotics (Robots That Feel the World) website:

 


Here is a video showing the Ghost Robotics Vision 60 Version 4 robot in action, using "Blind-Mode":

 


Note how quickly it recovers from being kicked or pushed over.

 

Here is a video showing the Ghost Robotics Vision 60 being deployed for public safety purposes:

 


So, not only are robot dogs coming soon to a war near you, this quadruped robot could be used by police/security forces as part of their operations to control demonstrators and provide security for their officers by providing real-time situational data.  


The canine robots are currently unarmed...at least for now.