The Monastiraki Kitchen wanted to present the best Christmas dinner ever (until next Christmas) for our clients. The Big Feast. A meal for Kings and Queens. Partly because of our Automatic Earth readers’ donations, I think we got quite a ways there. Even if the dinner happened yesterday, December 31, instead of Christmas.
The Automatic Earth readers were responsible for buying €450 worth of steaks, meaning a good sized steak for 450 people (sometimes we make good deals). And we also bought tons of cookies, and charcoal, etc. Ask Filothei, she knows the details. I decided I’ll let the photos tell the story this time, not me. Here we go:
Apart from the usual food, and this time the steaks, Christmas at Monastiraki is always a time for gift bags. Hundreds of them. They contain lots of sweets, but also soaps, shampoo, warm socks and gloves etc. Very popular. We are so grateful to all those who contribute.
Really, lots of gift bags.
A crazy amount of sweets. Carloads.
And the steaks. Ever tried to prepare 450 of them?
It’s a lot.
Did I mention there were sweets? The bakers who donate these are saints. We are dealing with homeless people, for whom steaks and cakes and good chocolate are dreams. Well, Christmas is the time to make dreams come true.
And all this is dragged to the square by the crew.
Who then do the last preparations.
Yeah, Monastiraki Square is a bit magical at times.
And it’s also busy…
Before the food arrives. Gift bags! We have gift bags!
The girl crew.
Did I mention we have sweets?
Thank you all soo much for making this possible. It counts. It makes a real difference. It’s a community effort. Even if you’re in Tennessee, you are part of that community.
I’ll end with the usual play:
Most of you will know the drill of this by now: any Paypal donations ending in $0.99 or $0.37 go straight to the Monastiraki kitchen, while other donations go to the Automatic Earth -which also badly needs them. (Note: a lot of Automatic Earth donations also end up at the kitchen).
I dislike few things more than asking people for money, even though the Automatic Earth now runs primarily on donations, and there’s some sweet justice in that as well, in depending on people’s appreciation of what we do, instead of ad revenues.
But I cannot do this on my own right now. The Monastiraki kitchen will realistically need about €1,500 per month (not all from my readers). I don’t have that to spare. So I’m calling on you. Unashamedly, because I know there is no reason to be ashamed of the cause.
I love all you people, and I’m sorry I can’t thank you all individually who have supported -and still do- the Monastiraki kitchen and the Automatic Earth all this time, and I ask you to keep on doing just that. The details for donations on Paypal and Patreon, for both causes, are in the top of the two sidebars of this site. Could not be much easier. If you’d rather send a check, go to our Store and Donations page. Bitcoin: 1HYLLUR2JFs24X1zTS4XbNJidGo2XNHiTT.
Love you. Thank you. This kitchen would not exist without you, these people would not get fed.
The FDA. the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, announced on Monday that it gave full approval to a vaccine. But it didn’t. Or rather, it did, but the approval is for a vaccine that doesn’t exist. Or rather, it exists, but it’s not being produced. Or rather, it’s being produced, but under different names and with different legal statuses.
The FDA is playing a game with Americans, in order to get them to submit to being vaccinated. And this has to stop. No more. The role of the FDA is to protect people, not cajole them into politically desired but illegal actions. Below are 3 -bullet points of- articles about the (non-) approval. One from Peter Doshi, senior editor at The BMJ, and a powerful foe to the FDA, one from Robert Kennedy jr, and one from Jill Malone, wife of Dr. Robert Malone.
But first, yet another lie -BIG, not noble- from Anthony Fauci, as told to Anderson Cooper. There is no approval for “the Pfizer product”, and Fauci knows that very well. Or rather, there is approval for a Pfizer product that is not available to anyone. And that should never have been approved the way it was in the first place, but that’s another story. Still, Fauci said it.
In theory, if he were called on it (but of course he won’t be by any reporter he talks to), he could say that the products are the same anyway. But he won’t say that, because he realizes full well that they have different legal statuses; they are “legally distinct” in the words of the FDA. So Fauci can’t say they are the same. Even if it’s just a matter of a different label on a vial.
Yes, it sounds crazy, but that’s the legal labyrinth the FDA and Pfizer have negotiated themselves into. Why? Kennedy says it best: Pfizer is unlikely to allow any American to take a Comirnaty vaccine until it can somehow arrange immunity for this product..
And: “If it says “Comirnaty,” it’s a licensed product. If it says “Pfizer-BioNTech,” it’s an experimental product, and under 21 U.S. Code 360bbb, you have the right to refuse. If it comes from Moderna or Johnson & Johnson (marketed as Janssen), you have the right to refuse. [..] If it doesn’t say Comirnaty, you have not been offered an approved vaccine.”
Jill Malone: The vaccine that is likely to be supplied for some time, WILL BE THE Pfizer – EUA vaccine. So any mandates based on full approval are meaningless.
“There was some poll that showed about 30% of people who are not anti-vax, they were just waiting to get what they felt was the real final stamp of approval, which we just got today with the Pfizer product.” He continued, “And those 30% are saying when that occurs, they will feel very, very comfortable about getting vaccinated. So right away, you’re talking about 30%. I hope they come through with what the survey said.”
[..] “They’re going to give a lot of incentive and backing for a lot of institutions and organizations and places of employment to mandate, and that could be colleges, university, the military, organizations that employ a lot of people, some of the big corporations are going to say if you want to work for us in person, you’ve got to be there and get vaccinated.”
[..] “I know I respect people’s freedom, but when you’re talking about a public health crisis that we’ve been going through for well over a year and a half, the time has come. Enough is enough. We’ve just got to get people vaccinated.” “If we keep lingering without getting those people vaccinated that should be vaccinated, this thing could linger on, leading to the development of another variant which could complicate things.”
On 28 July 2021, Pfizer and BioNTech posted updated results for their ongoing phase 3 covid-19 vaccine trial. The preprint came almost a year to the day after the historical trial commenced, and nearly four months since the companies announced vaccine efficacy estimates “up to six months.” But you won’t find 10 month follow-up data here.
While the preprint is new, the results it contains aren’t particularly up to date. In fact, the paper is based on the same data cut-off date (13 March 2021) as the 1 April press release, and its topline efficacy result is identical: 91.3% (95% CI 89.0 to 93.2) vaccine efficacy against symptomatic covid-19 through “up to six months of follow-up.”
[..] the recent reports from Israel’s Ministry of Health caught my eye. In early July, they reported that efficacy against infection and symptomatic disease “fell to 64%.” By late July it had fallen to 39% where Delta is the dominant strain. This is very low. For context, the FDA’s expectation is of “at least 50%” efficacy for any approvable vaccine.
[..] evidence of waning immunity was already visible in the data by the 13 March 2021 data cut-off… And it’s hard to imagine how the Delta variant could play a real role here, for 77% of trial participants were from the United States, where Delta was not established until months after data cut-off.
[..] Despite the reference to “six month safety and efficacy” in the preprint’s title, the paper only reports on vaccine efficacy “up to six months,” but not from six months. This is not semantics, as it turns out only 7% of trial participants actually reached six months of blinded follow-up (“8% of BNT162b2 recipients and 6% of placebo recipients had ≥6 months follow-up post-dose 2.”) So despite this preprint appearing a year after the trial began, it provides no data on vaccine efficacy past six months, which is the period Israel says vaccine efficacy has dropped to 39%.
[..] —a total of three covid-19 related deaths (one on vaccine, two on placebo). There were 29 total deaths during blinded follow-up (15 in the vaccine arm; 14 in placebo). The crucial question, however, is whether the waning efficacy seen in the primary endpoint data also applies to the vaccine’s efficacy against severe disease.
[..] here we are, with FDA reportedly on the verge of granting a marketing license 13 months into the still ongoing, two year pivotal trial, with no reported data past 13 March 2021, unclear efficacy after six months due to unblinding, evidence of waning protection irrespective of the Delta variant, and limited reporting of safety data.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Meryl Nass, M.D. at childrenshealthdefense.org.
Monday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a biologics license application for the Pfizer Comirnaty vaccine. The press reported that vaccine mandates are now legal for military, healthcare workers, college students and employees in many industries. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has now required the vaccine for all teachers and school staff. The Pentagon is proceeding with its mandate for all military service members.
[..] First, the FDA acknowledges that while Pfizer has “insufficient stocks” of the newly licensed Comirnaty vaccine available, there is “a significant amount” of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine — produced under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) — still available for use. The FDA decrees that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine under the EUA should remain unlicensed but can be used “interchangeably” (page 2, footnote 8) with the newly licensed Comirnaty product. Second, the FDA pointed out that the licensed Pfizer Comirnaty vaccine and the existing, EUA Pfizer vaccine are “legally distinct,” but proclaims that their differences do not “impact safety or effectiveness.”
[..] EUA products are experimental under U.S. law. Both the Nuremberg Code and federal regulations provide that no one can force a human being to participate in this experiment. Under 21 U.S. Code Sec.360bbb-3(e)(1)(A)(ii)(III), “authorization for medical products for use in emergencies,” it is unlawful to deny someone a job or an education because they refuse to be an experimental subject. Instead, potential recipients have an absolute right to refuse EUA vaccines.
U.S. laws, however, permit employers and schools to require students and workers to take licensed vaccines. EUA-approved COVID vaccines have an extraordinary liability shield under the 2005 Public Readiness and Preparedness Act. [..] At least for the moment, the Pfizer Comirnaty vaccine has no liability shield. Vials of the branded product, which say “Comirnaty” on the label, are subject to the same product liability laws as other U.S. products.
When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices places a vaccine on the mandatory schedule, a childhood vaccine benefits from a generous retinue of liability protections. But licensed adult vaccines, including the new Comirnaty, do not enjoy any liability shield. Just as with Ford’s exploding Pinto, or Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup, people injured by the Comirnaty vaccine could potentially sue for damages. And because adults injured by the vaccine will be able to show that the manufacturer knew of the problems with the product, jury awards could be astronomical.
Pfizer is therefore unlikely to allow any American to take a Comirnaty vaccine until it can somehow arrange immunity for this product.
[..] the FDA’s acknowledgement in its approval letter that there are insufficient stocks of the licensed Comirnaty, but an abundant supply of the EUA Pfizer BioNTech jab, exposes the “approval” as a cynical scheme to encourage businesses and schools to impose illegal jab mandates. The FDA’s clear motivation is to enable Pfizer to quickly unload inventories of a vaccine that science and the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System have exposed as unreasonably dangerous, and that the Delta variant has rendered obsolete.
Americans, told that the Pfizer COVID vaccine is now licensed, will understandably assume COVID vaccine mandates are lawful. But only EUA-authorized vaccines, for which no one has any real liability, will be available during the next few weeks when many school mandate deadlines occur. [..] While the media has trumpeted that the FDA has approved COVID vaccines, the FDA has not approved the Pfizer BioNTech vaccines, nor any COVID vaccines for the 12- to 15-year age group, nor any booster doses for anyone.
And the FDA has not licensed any Moderna vaccine, nor any vaccine from Johnson & Johnson — so the vast majority, if not all, of vaccines available in the U.S. remain unlicensed EUA products.
Here’s what you need to know when somebody orders you to get the vaccine: Ask to see the vial. If it says “Comirnaty,” it’s a licensed product. If it says “Pfizer-BioNTech,” it’s an experimental product, and under 21 U.S. Code 360bbb, you have the right to refuse. If it comes from Moderna or Johnson & Johnson (marketed as Janssen), you have the right to refuse. The FDA is playing bait and switch with the American public — but we don’t have to play along. If it doesn’t say Comirnaty, you have not been offered an approved vaccine..
FDA Pfizer authorization (Comirnaty): Key points to consider and discuss.
These points are an aggregate of many minds, including Dr. Robert Malone. 23 Aug 2021
General talking points
• Why mandates if herd immunity isn’t possible?
• What happens 8 months after boosters?
• What’s the plan for the next variant?
• Why we’re messing with vaccine injury liability if the vaccines are safe and effective?
There are now TWO LEGALLY distinct (Pfizer vs. BionTech), but otherwise identical products, based on two FDA letters, as well as a press release. The analysis of these FDA products below is preliminary and subject to change.
Letter to Pfizer https://www.fda.gov/media/150386/download
• DOES NOT GIVE FULL APPROVAL
• Extends EUA to allow supply of current Pfizer under EUA because limited supply of BioNTech version.
• “The products are legally distinct with certain differences that do not impact safety or effectiveness. (page 2, Pfizer letter) [..] here FDA quietly admits that the licensed Pfizer vaccine and the authorized Pfizer vaccine are identical with regard to safety/efficacy, but they are “legally distinct.” That’s code for one has manufacturer liability, while the other doesn’t. It is also code for “we don’t want to impose a mandate on the EUA product cause it is illegal, but we can probably get away with a mandate on the licensed product.”
[..] yes, we licensed the vaccine, but…there is a lot of the old vaccine out there, actually “a significant amount” and this amount will be considered an EUA and will continue to be used. Now, why would they do that? Why specify that identical versions of the product will be legally different? Because they need the license to impose the mandates. But they need the EUA to evade liability.
Along with the license comes liability for the manufacturer. (While all EUA products were given a liability shield.) the feds want us to THINK the vaccine we are receiving is licensed, which will make people submit because they think it can now be mandated , but instead we are almost certain to receive the EUA vials instead, to save Pfizer’s behind.
“On August 23, 2021, FDA approved the biologics license application (BLA) submitted by BioNTech Manufacturing GmbH for COMIRNATY (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA) for active immunization to prevent COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 in individuals 16 years of age and older.” The efficacy claims are based on outdated data. The press release indicates that the basis of the efficacy claims was as quoted below. However, those data are outdated, and captured with strains of virus (Alpha, Beta) that are no longer predominant. The efficacy claims are therefore invalid – it is quite clear that the vaccine is much less effective in preventing infection by the currently circulating strain (Delta)
In its letter to BioNTech, the FDA states “” We have determined that an analysis of spontaneous postmarketing adverse events reported under section 505(k)(1) of the FDCA will not be sufficient to assess known serious risks of myocarditis and pericarditis and identify an unexpected serious risk of subclinical myocarditis. Furthermore, the pharmacovigilance system that FDA is required to maintain under section 505(k)(3) of the FDCA is not sufficient to assess these serious risks.” The first sentence says that VAERS will be incapable of assessing known serious risk The second sentence says that the other pharmacovigilance systems that by law FDA employs (supposedly about 20 different databases when they were bragging about them last October) are similarly incapable of assessing known serious risk.
• The risks in pregnancy remain unknown. “although not FDA requirements, the company has committed to additional post-marketing safety studies, including conducting a pregnancy registry study to evaluate pregnancy and infant outcomes after receipt of Comirnaty during pregnancy.” The prescribing info says: “There is a pregnancy exposure registry for COMIRNATY. Encourage individuals exposed to COMIRNATY around the time of conception or during pregnancy to register by visiting https://mothertobaby.org/ongoingstudy/covid19-vaccines/ .” WHY ARE THEY DOING A PREGNANCY STUDY?
FDA has licensed the BioNTech vaccine for 16 and up
• All of the authorized vaccine on shelves and in freezers will remain only authorized, until the new product with Cominaty labelling arrives.
• 3d or booster doses and vaccine for 12-15 year olds remains under EUA
• Why not also approve the Pfizer version? Why leave it under EUA?
• When the press says the “Pfizer vaccine is fully approved.” It is not. The vaccine that is likely to be supplied for some time, WILL BE THE Pfizer – EUA vaccine. So any mandates based on full approval are meaningless.
THE BLA acknowledges LONG term myocardial issues with a 5 year follow up consistent with the lower range for LTFU for Gene Therapy Products. Is FDA quietly acknowledging the Gene Therapy classification? These products have been classified by FDA as Gene Therapy Products which require UP to 15 years long term follow up in studies. This was acknowledged by Moderna in their 2Q 2020 filing.
Using superior CDC published methods, normalizing for people vaccinated, Children’s Health Defense estimates 176x reports of VAERS deaths associated with C19 vaccines compared with flu vaccines. 35x the number for H1N1 (where stimulated reporting is speculated) Using CDC published methods we estimate under-reporting of VAERS deaths to be 5- 15x. for a total of 30,000-90,000 deaths, mostly non-C19. Underreporting for lifethreatening events may be 24-64x. IN ADDITION – (Israel MOH, combined with Dagan study), we have estimated between 35-86,000 EXCESS USA deaths due to Covid in those vaccinated (>=1 dose)
We’ve been talking a lot lately at the Automatic Earth about programs to vaccinate children. It’s one more thing that people appear to blindly accept as necessary and beneficial to our societies. While the only consideration really should be how beneficial it is to the children themselves. Most people here, at least, seem to agree on that. But that’s just here.
The US, Germany, Canada, and soon France and Spain all have plans, some already have been rolled out, to carpet bomb the virus by going after their children, and there is no doubt many more countries will follow their example.
Since we know there is no medical reason to do so, we must ask what the ethical and legal aspects tell us. And I can’t find those. How and why can you justify injecting people against something that is no threat to them, with a substance that potentially is a much worse threat?
I dug up a graph again that I posted in April, which spells out the Covid risk for all age groups, including children:
If your chance of survival is 99.99996%, there is no risk. And you don’t need to be inoculated. That would -at best- be equivalent to keeping your kids home 24/7 because you are afraid of what might happen in traffic, or in social life with other kids, or some bogeyman. The risk is never zero, but close enough that we do not act on it, and call it common sense.
The arguments that are usually used are that 1) kids must be jabbed to protect others around them, and 2) that the vaccines have been tested and proven safe. Obviously, 1) is very curious, and never been used before, and 2) is simply a lie: vaccines need years of testing for side effects, not months, and certainly not weeks, as is now the case for the effects on children.
The “testing” is simply that if not too many people drop dead after 5 minutes, well, then it must be safe, as institutions like the European Medicines Agency solemnly declare. Completely ignoring potential long term effects, something that seems essential in mRNA “vaccines” because of their potential effects on fertility etc. We just don’t know, but we should before applying the substances. There’s a reason none of the vaccines have been approved.
As for that alleged safety, this is from the European version of the American VAERS system:
1,5 million adverse reactions, and those are just the ones that have been reported. Now, I don’t know how many people in Europe have been inoculated, but I bet you this is not a 99.99996% success story. The numbers of deaths are not, either.
So I was happy to see some actual common sense reported in a Dutch paper today (Google translated), where the Health Council in the Netherlands injects at least some nuance into the debate. For kids with underlying conditions, like severe obesity or lung- and heart problems, some protection might make sense. I still wouldn’t go with mRNA vaccines, I would use ivermectin instead, but I get the reasoning somewhat.
The Health Council advises the cabinet to vaccinate children from the age of 12 with a medical risk against the corona virus. Vaccinating all children in that age group, as is done in Germany, France and the US, for example, is not yet on the agenda. An opinion on this will follow in a few weeks. The current advice concerns children aged 12 to 17 who are annually invited for the flu shot and children with severe obesity. According to the Health Council, vaccination of these children provides significant health benefits, because they run a high risk of a serious course of Covid-19. According to chairman Bart-Jan Kullberg, that risk is twice as high as in healthy children.
The corona pandemic also indirectly has a major impact on children at medical risk. To avoid the risk of contamination, for example, they do not go to school or social activities. The Health Council also takes this ‘social-emotional impact’ into account. The council cannot estimate the number of children involved. “It concerns, for example, children with a heart or lung disease. There are also many small groups with a rare condition. General practitioners and paediatricians have a good picture of these groups,” says Kullberg.
An advice on vaccinating healthy children will only follow in a few weeks. The vast majority of children do not or hardly get sick after a corona infection. So far, almost 280,000 children in the Netherlands are known to have been infected. Usually they had only mild symptoms, such as a cold and cough. In the age group 0-12 years, 379 children were hospitalized. In the 13-17 age group, there have been 101 since September. A total of three children have died; all three had an underlying condition. Last month, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) gave the green light for the use of the Pfizer vaccine in children from 12 years of age. More and more countries are also vaccinating all healthy children over the age of 12 to slow down the spread of the coronavirus.
Vaccinating children from the age of 12 against the coronavirus can make a significant contribution to curbing the pandemic, OMT chairman Jaap van Dissel already suggested last weekend. According to him, it reduces the reproductive value (R) of the virus in winter by as much as this. about 15 percent. “That can be important to keep the spread low during that period as well.” In Germany, for example, teenagers will be vaccinated from next Monday, in France from mid-June and in Spain from mid-August. The US and Canada have been at it for weeks.
Vaccinating healthy children, who themselves hardly run the risk of becoming seriously ill after a corona infection, requires a ‘broader medical, epidemiological, ethical and legal consideration’, according to the Health Council. “It also depends on the phase of the pandemic,” Kullberg said. Because the number of infections is currently falling sharply and more than a million adults are now vaccinated every week, there is no reason to make that decision hastily, he says.
Now, mind you, that is the same country that admitted depriving children of their freedom, their development, and normal lives, in order to manipulate their parents. Talk about ethics. As I said a few days ago, “Holland closed schools not to protect children, but to make parents stay home. Think about how crazy that is.”
Due to the Dutch corona policy to close schools and thus keep parents at home, children have been used as a means to fight the epidemic. Our cabinet receives that hard slap on the fingers today in the annual worldwide children’s rights report, the KidsRights Index. According to the makers, the Netherlands has set a very bad example internationally, by not even trying to keep schools open safely. With all the consequences that entails for the mental health of our youth. The corona guidelines from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child have also been neglected. Youth has not been given any priority in Dutch policy, it sounds.
Statements by corona minister Hugo de Jonge, dated mid-December 2020, are presented as proof. Then De Jonge indeed mentioned on television as the reason why the cabinet decided to close the schools, that parents with children sitting at home will therefore start working from home more quickly. When parents take their children to school, that is another moment of contact, De Jonge explained at the time. “And we also learned from the first wave, when the schools were also closed, that the fact that primary education does not provide physical education also ensures that parents adhere better to another advice, namely: work from home as much as possible. ”, said the minister at the time.
“Children’s rights have been put in second place by the cabinet during corona time,” Marc Dullaert, founder of the international children’s rights organization KidsRights, now told this site. “They were the ankle bracelet for parents. These had to be kept at home in order to effectively fight the epidemic. At the expense of their mental health.” In the first phase, when everyone was looking for the right approach, this was understandable according to Dullaert. ,,But De Jonge’s statements came at a time when it was really no longer acceptable, in the second phase. And other countries – such as Belgium and Sweden – have done everything they can to keep the schools open, so there were alternatives on the table.”
Staying on topic, I liked this from the Conservative Woman site in Britain, with perhaps the best argument against child vaccination: “The sooner most of us are exposed to it, ideally in childhood, the sooner it will cease to be a major problem..”
All non-corrupted scientific commentators have known from the very start that this pandemic only ends one way: SARS-CoV-2 is going to become an endemic virus. It will always be with us. The sooner most of us are exposed to it, ideally in childhood, the sooner it will cease to be a major problem. High-risk individuals can choose to take a vaccine. Ivermectin and vitamin D can be used to prevent infection and treat confirmed cases. As we have seen, the argument that children must take vaccines so that we can achieve herd immunity is utterly false. Only those completely ignorant of virology and immunology would even attempt to make it. That brings us back to the original argument for vaccinating children against Covid: to protect them from the severe disease.
If this is the only reason to vaccinate children, there is only one calculation that parents should make: Is the risk from Covid greater than the risk from the vaccine? The present Covid vaccines being administered in the West are based on experimental technologies that are being used under emergency use authorisations (EUAs). Full safety studies will not be completed until 2023. The Covid vaccines were all created in the last year and we have no medium-term or long-term data on them. We don’t know if they will have an effect on children’s reproductive organs and fertility. We don’t know if they will produce auto-immune diseases. And we don’t know if they will lead to ADE (antibody-dependent enhancement) upon re-exposure to the virus (causing more severe illness).
We do know that the vaccines produce a range of cardiovascular and neurological events including strokes, myocarditis, pericarditis and paralysis in a significant number of people. In the small US state of Connecticut at least 18 children and young adults have come down with myocarditis, an extremely serious and sometimes fatal condition involving inflammation of the heart muscle (and they’ve only just started vaccinating children there). The Israel Ministry of Health has reported that the incidence of myocarditis for vaccine recipients is between 1 in 3,000 and 1 in 6,000 in young men.
In Canada (population 38 million) only 11 children have died from Covid since the start of the pandemic. In the UK (pop 68 million) 32 children have died. It is nearly certain that all of them had one or more severe comorbidities. The fact is, most children brush off Covid without even knowing they’ve had it. For all intents and purposes, Covid poses zero risk to healthy children.
A number of school leaders have swung into action following the approval of the vaccination of children against Covid (a disease which almost all children aren’t at risk from) using the Pfizer vaccine (trials of which only included 1,134 children). It wasn’t very long ago that the establishment line was: if you don’t get a Covid vaccine, you are selfish. Even the Queen (disappointingly) joined in with this line [..]. But now, adult advisers to the Government suggest that children should be vaccinated not to protect children but to protect…themselves. Professor Anthony Harnden, the Deputy Chairman of the Government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, says:
‘I think the vast majority of benefit won’t be to children, it will be an indirect benefit to adults in terms of preventing transmission and protecting adults who haven’t been immunised, for whatever reason haven’t responded to the vaccine and therefore that presents quite a lot of ethical dilemmas as to whether you should vaccinate children to protect adults.’ He notes that children themselves are ‘in the main’ not at risk from Covid. Over half of the adult population has been fully vaccinated (with seventy-five per cent having received at least one dose of a vaccine) and Covid deaths, while still exaggerated, have flattened. There is no reason to vaccinate most children and, given the potential side effects, many not to do so. If the Government bottles it on the vaccination of children, it is they who are being selfish.
The reactions to the virus are many times more dangerous than the virus itself. Because the reactions have been amplified by fear. Time to shake it off. But for that to happen, we need politics and media to change, because they’re doing the amplifying. Problem is, fear sells.
Experts say the return to normalcy will happen when “herd immunity” is achieved. For that to happen, they say, 70% of the population must be vaccinated. Then, of course, there are questions of how long the immunity lasts, whether the disease will recur, and so on. According to a team of researchers at Aristotle University in Thessaloniki who have developed a Covid-19 risk evaluation model, the vaccination of 70% of the population, and thus herd immunity, will be achieved in November, provided there are 1 million vaccinations per month.
[..] By the end of May, a “wall of immunity” for the most vulnerable groups – the elderly and those suffering from serious underlying diseases – will have been built, the researchers say. “[The wall] doesn’t mean complete freedom but at least means the likelihood of lockdown becomes remote,” says Dimosthenis Sarigiannis, professor of environmental engineering at Aristotle University.
Now, a year ago, there also was a lot of talk about herd immunity. But that had nothing to do with the “vaccines”, because none of them existed back then. Way back when, “herd immunity” meant that enough people had been infected, and not gotten sick. Some estimates said 20% would be enough, others said 70%. But none talked about vaccines. And now all of a sudden it’s all about vaccines? For which the companies that produce them say there is no evidence that they protect the vaccinated from getting infected, or them from infecting others? Excuse me?
There already is a huge amount of herd immunity. 90-95% of people do not get sick, period. Because they have strong enough immune systems of themselves, or because they’re young, or any combination of factors. It would seem very irresponsible to claim all of these people should be jabbed before there can be herd immunity. It’s just shoddy science, or, rather, shoddy masquerading as science.
In the US, a Determination of Public Health Emergency is used to justify the Emergency Use Authorization of some vaccines, but travel restrictions are not necessarily required during the Public Health Emergency.
If there is no Public Health Emergency, then there can be no Emergency Use Authorization, and the Covid vaccines could not be widely distributed until getting FDA approval after years of testing.
Even if there is a Public Health Emergency, the Covid vaccines could not obtain Emergency Use Authorization if an effective treatment is acknowledged to be available.
With a Public Health Emergency in place, the PREP act (Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act for Medical Countermeasures Against COVID-19) provides liability immunity to both public and private distribution channels for the vaccines, including those who prescribe, dispense, and administer the vaccines.
“Liability immunity” means that the “covered person is immune from suit and liability under Federal and State law with respect to all claims for loss caused by, arising out of, relating to, or resulting from the administration or use of a covered countermeasure [such as a vaccine].”
In addition, “to the extent that any State law that would otherwise prohibit the employees, contractors, or volunteers who are a “qualified person” from prescribing, dispensing, or administering COVID-19 vaccines or other Covered Countermeasures, such law is preempted.”
Ilargi: Ok, so no travel restrictions in the US. But how about other countries, what do their laws say? Anybody looking at that? Can the government here in Greece, for example, invite tourists back in while still in a Public Health Emergency? Tourists that could bring in the very virus the emergency is meant to fight?
Also, this is of course pivotal: “Even if there is a Public Health Emergency, the Covid vaccines could not obtain Emergency Use Authorization if an effective treatment is acknowledged to be available.”
Pivotal, because no government, at least in the west, has done any widespread application of vitamin D, ivermectin or HCQ programs. Are these substances “effective”? The reason we don’t know is that although there is plenty literature to suggest they might be, they were never tested. So are the current “vaccines” effective (and safe)? We don’t know that either. There’s a big sales job going on about them, but that’s it.
Ilargi: Some story, basically: “[If] There is no adequate, approved, and available alternative to the product for diagnosing, preventing, or treating the disease or condition.”
“Effective, adequate, approved, and available alternative..” How does one determine these terms? Especially if those alternatives are not tested?
But sure, as long as a government can waive the “Emergency” flag in your face, what are you going to do?
Doc Robinson: Yesterday, Pfizer and Moderna got their Covid vaccine EUA reissued by the FDA, and the duration of the EUA can last until the emergency declaration is “terminated.”
Ilargi: A year, and then we add on another year, and before you know it we need to look up the definition of “emergency” in a dictionary.
Then this from commenter “Herr Werner”, which is a bit long, but interesting:
Herr Werner: I have had a very straightforward question to ask about the safety of covid vaccines, in particular the mRNA ones. The question has nagged me for months, and I spent time this week working on it. It was a difficult question to answer. I wrote this up with the idea of talking within my circle of ppl, I thought the TAE community might find it of interest. Kind of long, apologies –
As I write this, over 200MM people have received covid vaccine doses. While there is more than one vaccine out there, the two available in the West currently are the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. (The JnJ vaccine – based on a more conventional technology – will likely be available in early March, but going forward if you show up for the shot, you are not likely to know ahead of time which one you’ll get.) Both Pfizer and Moderna’s are based on mRNA, a topic of much study but little widespread deployment. In the US both are released on an Emergency Use Authorization or its equivalent in other nations, and full approval is not expected until early 2023. Nevertheless the media, the CDC, and political and medical “authorities” are unanimous and incessant in the message that it is “safe and effective.”
Dissenting views on safety are relegated to the fringes, and the existence of vaccines other than just the two mRNA ones (with different, more conventional modes of action) is never mentioned in the Western media. There are several promising aspects to mRNA technology, and still more unknowns about it, particularly long-term effects which most likely would manifest as autoimmune disorders. Being a new technology, early animal studies were often plagued with unexpected negative results as the methods and delivery agents were refined. So where are we in our knowledge and expertise as a species with mRNA, now that we are jabbing tens of millions of people with these vaccines?
The straightforward questions I have are, “How do we know how safe mRNA vaccines are? How well-studied are their long-term effects?”
Those two questions do not yield to an interwebs search. Even an in-depth search mostly returns mostly self-referential information, or secondhand info repackaged and parroted by an authority figure whose motives are unclear (or simply dubious.) Specifically for the covid mRNA vaccines, no long-term data exist, as even the earliest human trials began only in late 2020. At best, we can only infer from other studies done using mRNA technology. A strong case for safety of mRNA could be made if there is a large base of data – say 200 studies, ending over 5 or (better yet) 10 years ago, and a total of a few million people involved in the trials. Even with a large database, there are unknown unknowns once you move outside the confines of clinical study and enter the real world with its long (statistical) tails. Still, large studies with years of follow-up would suggest confidence in their safety.
On the other hand, if there turned out to be just a few studies, or they don’t cover much time history, or include only a small sample of people, that would not support a strong case for mRNA safety. If the latter is the case, then – being generous here – it would be “risky” at best to be giving millions of people a vaccine with this new technology. Severity matters too in the risk/reward calculation: if a disease like Ebola or Lhasa takes hold, they are so deadly and the situation so dire that greater risks are worth taking – including a vaccine with side-effects or other measures that cause harm.
My approach was to answer 3 questions that follow from the first ones – 1) HOW LONG have mRNA interventions been tested on humans?
2) HOW MANY people have been tested (thousands? millions, tens of millions?)
3) …and from 1 and 2, do THOSE numbers suggest that vaccinating large numbers of people with an unapproved mRNA product is safe?
For a starting point I used a Forbes article “What Are The Long-Term Safety Risks Of The Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 Vaccines?” It was published in Dec 2020 and, unsurprisingly, concludes that they are safe. (In fact the article leads off with a strawman, perhaps an attempt at humor, the author’s husband asking if these vaccines are going to turn us into zombies.) The author is Ellen Matloff, in her bio a certified genetic counselor, and she also runs a company that “specializes in scalable, updating, digital genetic counseling.” She is coauthor of several papers in genetics, including subjects related to gene therapy and patient advocacy. It is safe to say she knows what she’s talking about on the topic. Like many authorizes it is equally safe to assume she has a vested interest – both financially and as a personal belief system – in promoting genetic technology.
Spoiler alert: If you want to skip the rest, here’s the answer: about 1,675. That’s the number of people enrolled in (completed) mRNA clinical trials (32 of them) that ended before 2017. Keep in mind the number that received the mRNA treatment-under-study is about half that; most of these are blinded studies and half of them got a placebo. Of those, only 8 studies were conducted on an mRNA treatment against an infectious agent (HIV, rabies) a more realistic comparison which brings the number down to 985 persons. So the size of the database (hundreds) relative to the number of people now receiving doses of the technology (tens of millions) is quite small.
Matloff first discusses the Pfizer vaccine trial and its ability to identify short-term effects “Pfizer vaccine clinical trial study explain[s] that their data show a greater than 83% likelihood of finding at least one adverse, or undesirable, event, if the true incidence of that event is 1 in 10,000. However, the study does not include enough participants, nor has it followed them for enough time, to reliably detect adverse events that are rarer than 1 in 10,000.” That refers to the clinical trials conducted and self-reported by the producer of the vaccine. Assuming their studies are honest and well-run, that covers short-term risks. And it seems to be borne out thus far in the frenzy of arm-jabbing between the end of 2020 and now. We seem to be “in the clear” on short-term effects – safety seems to be on par with any other vaccine, if not a bit better. Though it does suck to be one of those few hundred (?) worldwide that reacted severely and died after the first or second jab, or someone close to them.
On long term risks, the article suggests ‘safe and effective’ though both the article and scientific evidence become decidedly hazy. In Forbes she writes “Of course, the only way to know what, if any, long-term side effects result from the use of these mRNA vaccines is to follow the participants of the Pfizer and Moderna clinical trials, vaccinate and study many more people, and then follow all of them for several years. That effort is well underway.” By way of supporting the long-term knowledge, she mentions “mRNA vaccines are not as new as you may think. In fact, mRNA vaccines have been studied over the past two decades and have shown great promise for both infectious disease and cancer.” She links to several sources and particularly calls out an mRNA rabies vaccine trial to support her case. No adverse events are noted in the study. This trial involved 101 participants and ended in 2017. It is neither a large study (many participants to extrapolate the lessons out to millions of people) nor an old study (completed just four years ago.)
The rest of this analysis looks only at numbers; the number people enrolled in mRNA studies and when. This research was performed with data from the US gov’t clinical trials database. One unknown about mRNA or any vaccine is the length of time for long-term effects, if any, become evident. Pulling a number out of the air, let’s look at three years of follow up. That should be enough time for side effects, such as exposure to the infectious agent that the vaccine targets. Let’s round that up to four, that allows for lag of ending the study and publishing out results. This is Feb 2021 so I looked at studies ending before Jan 2017.
Searching on mRNA returns 103 studies. This includes all studies most of which (like the 20 Covid-related ones) are ongoing. All of those studies in total have 90,000 participants. Filtering out incomplete or terminated studies, and ones newer than that arbitrary point in time, gives 32 studies and 1,675 persons. As I mentioned above the number that received the mRNA treatment-under-study is about half that; most of these are blinded studies and half of them got a placebo. Of those, only 8 studies were conducted on an mRNA treatment against an infectious agent (HIV, rabies) a more realistic comparison which brings the number down to 985 persons. Quite a small population to draw conclusions of long-term safety from – that entails extrapolating to a population four orders of magnitude larger.
BTW my approach is admittedly coarse. And I want to emphasize, it does *not* suggest that mRNA technology is dangerous. The approach simply looks at how large the database is that supports how “safe and effective” mRNA vaccines are. Questions such as long-term follow-up, adverse events, and other factors from the individual studies are outside my area of expertise, and unlikely to be found in publicly available sources. We are vaccinating large numbers of people (tens of millions) based on an experience of small size (hundreds) and not much history (going back 1-5 years in most cases.) Again, it does not suggest that mRNA technology is dangerous – it suggests that we do not have enough data. I find insufficient evidence to support the assertion that mRNA technology is “safe and effective” – we SIMPLY DO NOT KNOW.
Ilargi: And then Doc Robinson’s reply to that:
Doc Robinson:HerrWerner: “She links to several sources and particularly calls out an mRNA rabies vaccine trial to support her case. No adverse events are noted in the study. This trial involved 101 participants and ended in 2017.”
If that’s what she wrote, then she’s not a trustworthy source of information (for whatever reasons). No adverse events?
Actually, 78% reported systemic adverse events in that trial. And 10% reported “Grade 3 events — which means the reaction is severe enough to cause hospitalization, and/or is disabling (but not immediately life threatening.)
…we enrolled and vaccinated 101 participants... 50 (78%) of 64 intradermally vaccinated participants and 29 (78%) of 37 intramuscularly vaccinated participants reported solicited systemic adverse events, including ten grade 3 events… intradermal or intramuscular needle-syringe injection was ineffective, with only one participant (who received 320 μg intradermally) showing a detectable immune response.
1 year into the pandemic, we are still stuck with facemasks that, according to physics, appear to have very little effect. We’re stuck with lockdowns that already have destroyed millions of businesses and jobs, for not terribly obvious purposes. Does locking down entire countries or cities prevent a virus from spreading? Not that we know. Here in Athens, this has been in effect since early November, and guess what, numbers are rising again…
How can you force these kinds of things on people if you refuse to try and boost their immune systems? If the only things you do is force them to stay indoors, inarguably a riskier environment, and then tell them to take an untested “vaccine”, or else?
It makes less sense all the time, going forward. And I don’t think it’s because of some great evil plan, there are simply too many people having to make too many decisions they are not at all qualified to make. So they follow “the science”. What else do you do when you’re way out of your league? Virus? Ask a virologist, or epidemiologist. But those people cover only a very small part of the issue. They are clueless when it comes to economic apocalypse, and yet they are in charge of decisions that feed it.
Look, if you put an elephant in a circus, you have a traumatized animal. Which will somehow adapt perhaps, since there’s life around him/her, feeders, audience, and nowhere to go, but still a walking trauma. Inmates will bond with fellows to an extent, there’s life around them, but they’re still traumatized.
And now we’ve excluded millions upon millions of people from their social contacts, the life their ancestors always had, and we’re telling them that a jab of some experimental substance will make it good. Even though we all know there is no guarantee of that whatsoever. None.
We lost our way, and our heart, and your brains. We lost what it means to be human. And mRNA vaccines are not human.
Here’s another interview with PCR inventor Kary Mullis, A controversial guy, for sure, but he did invent it. And maybe that merits a listen:
I have a lot of sympathy for young(er) people who are upset about what has happened, and still is happening, to the planet they were born on, during their lifetime and that of the generations before them. I have less sympathy for the “climate movement” even if those same young people thinnk it represents them, because it has grown too big and too diverse, and has come to rely (for no reason) too much on hype and exaggeration. Don’t feed your opponent or enemy.
The movement also has too little attention for what younger people themselves contribute to the descent into chaos. If you don’t start with yourself, how are you ever going to tell others what to do? How many phones and gadgets and cars do you have? Do your clothes also say Made in China? Personal question.
Naming one’s movement “Extinction Rebellion” strikes me as odd, because the movement appears to be, from what I can see, based almost exclusively on the deleterious effects of carbon emissions, though these have -at least so far- played just a small part in the actual extinction of -far too many- species, much less than the use of chemicals, the loss of forest, and land use in general, just to name some examples.
I have a lot of sympathy for Greta Thunberg, and I’m sure she means very well. But I have no sympathy for the PR people that she allows to surround her, and who make millions of dollars off of her name and appearances. Nor do I think Greta had grasped at age 16 the full complexity of the systems that have led to what she protests against. Very few adults have either, so that’s hardly her fault.
I still think, just like I said a year ago when she was first unloaded upon the Davos conference by those same PR people, that not only is there nothing for her there, but her time would be better spent trying to educate herself about that “full complexity”. Because today, it all appears to me to be too much about what she does not want, rather than about what she does, and to a large extent that’s because she simply doesn’t know. Protesting for something is harder than protesting against it.
Because of all these things, the climate movement is actively though unwittingly helping the rich, who got rich through their use of fossil fuels, to get richer still off of society’s adaptation to a world in which fossil fuels play a smaller role.
Yes, there are enormous amounts of irony involved in this. People like the idea of a green economy. They like the sound of it. But if you would ask them what it means in practice, they would picture something very close to the present economic system, just green, i.e. powered by electricity instead of fossil fuels.
And that is nonsense. In the same way that “fossil free” living is utter nonsense, but nevertheless it’s terms like that which are most prominent in headlines. Carbon neutral, carbon free, fossil free, those terms all describe fantasies; they are terms straight out of a PR campaign book. There’s even carbon negative. But who among the activists understand what this means? You got to be careful guys, because the way this is going, you will all end up being accomplices of the very people you should be protesting.
Here’s what going to happen (and already has), Greta and all of you Greta fans.
You’re getting to Davos and meet with all these rich people, and they all already have their plans ready. They’re going to tell you that they agree with just about everything you have to say. But they do and they don’t at the same time.
The fossil fuel industry, along with carmakers, governments et al, have solved the riddle: what appeared at first to be a huge threat to them, now turns out to be their next golden goose: they’re going to get paid more to move away from fossil fuels and emissions than they previously did to produce them. Pretty smart, right?
Only you will find out not even that is true. Do you know what an electric car produces in pollution, in CO2 emissions? I read the other day that an electric car has to drive 30,000-50,000 km a year over its “lifetime” to pollute less than a petrol one. Details are not terribly important there, it sounds kind of right. Unless you’re in Poland or certain parts of Germany or Eastern Europe, than it’s much higher still. Brown coal.
How did the rich and the worst polluters do it? How did they solve the riddle? By promoting Greta and the entire climate movement, with the help of the media they own, and then steering their priorities to be in line with their own. Piece of cake for them. They have been among the most powerful forces in western society forever, and it wasn’t too hard for them to figure this one out.
And that’s why these days, and increasingly as Davos has started (timing is everything), climate is a well advertized topic, and why the likes of BlackRock and Microsoft -and many others- just days ago announced that they will “go green”, divest out of fossil fuels etc.
They do this because they see a profit to be made. So don’t flatter yourselves, it has nothing to do with you. Or rather, it does, but not the way you thought and wanted. Your worst adversaries are using you for their promotion and advertizing platforms. The more banners you fly, the more words Greta utters, the more governments will make trillion dollar promises, ane the more Big Oil will make profits. Like this one today (just one example in fat growing long row):
At least $1 trillion of investment in new fuel technology is needed to enable the shipping industry to meet U.N. targets for cuts in carbon emissions by 2050, a study published on Monday showed. The global shipping fleet, which accounts for 2.2% of the world’s CO2 emissions, is under pressure to reduce those emissions and other pollution. About 90% of world trade is transported by sea.
A trillion euros for 2.2% of CO2 emissions. We can all do the math here, right?! And yes, Greta and her fellow schoolkids contributed a lot to that amount by seeking publicity, but also by being promoted by other interests. Only to become part of a giant publicity machine.
You see, Greta, the message the rich get is not that they must listen to you, it’s that others do listen who control a lot of money, individuals, governments, and so there will be money to be made if they just promote your ideas enough. You’ve been co-opted and pre-empted, so to speak. And what are you going to do now? You’re in cahoots, whether you like it or not, with the likes of Exxon, Shell, and Mercedes.
The oil companies have long rebranded themselves as energy companies (this started when BP’s logo turned green years ago) and invested billions in solar and wind turbines. The carmakers are betting big on electric vehicles. And this is supposed to achieve your goal of carbon neutrality? Let’s get real, shall we?
You’re way out of your league. You’re up against people who represent decades if not centuries-old interests, as well as -aspiring- politicians in every Parliament and even city counsel who know full well their careers will be nipped in the bud if they don’t go along with those interests. And then there’s 10,000 Middle East sheiks.
Davos is not your stage, Greta, and it’s not the stage for the people who believe in you. You’re betraying them by going there, because you have no control over the stage. Still, the other side really want you to think it is, the oil companies do, US and EU governments do, Mercedes and Toyota and Ford, do. Because you are their meal ticket.
They want you to believe that the problem that keeps you up at night can be solved with electric cars and solar panels and wind turbines. Because they have invested heavily in companies that produce all of those.
And now there’s a trillion here and a trillion there, because people listen to you. No government, no chosen official or appointed civil servant at any level, can anymore be forgiven for not budgeting heavily for climate change effects, even if they are ignorant about what those are.
The entire climate change issue is about energy, not about a duscussion of sources of energy. And as I argued late last year in Energy vs DNA and Energy vs Waste, mankind, like any other organism, is driven to use all surplus energy at its disposal as fast as it can. If only so other organisms can’t benefit from it, or even other humans.
And all energy use produces waste, not just fossil fuels. I suggest you read those. In the meantime, Greta, go home, enjoy the snow and the northern lights on your skin, have the youth you’re supposed to have, share your views with your friends, study study study and keep things in perspective. Your fans are not in Davos, but you are; that’s an ego-trip that will backfire on you because you’re being played for a fool.
On October 21 2019, Brexit became an entirely irrelevant issue. Or perhaps we should say it had already become that, but on that date it was exposed for all to see that it was. The parading into a courtroom of Julian Assange in London was all the evidence one could need that the UK government breaks its own laws as well as numerous international laws, with impunity. But that is not how the media reported on it, if it did at all.
And so, the core issue behind Brexit, i.e. who makes Britain’s laws, turned to nothing. If your government breaks its own laws all the time, what does it matter where those laws are made? They are meaningless anyway. Whether they come from Brussels or London make no difference if the government and judicial system don’t abide by them. Those million men marches for a Final Say look totally ridiculous once that reality sinks in.
I can’t get the picture of Julian Assange as he looked on Monday out of my head. I’ve written so much about him, tried so hard to find support for him, and now to see him withered away and perhaps not strong enough to see the end of his own extradition hearing is heartbreaking. So let’s go through the whole thing again; it’s not like I could write about anything else right now.
That is how the vast majority of people will see his case, that he fought the law and the law caught up with him. But that’s not at all what’s been happening. He doesn’t fight the law, he fights the lawless posing as the law. The only person who’s abided by the law the entire time this epic tragedy has now lasted has been Julian Assange (and his lawyers, and others who work with him, and former Ecuador president Correa). All the other players, the people who’ve been chasing, torturing and now murdering him have all broken the law consistently, one after the other, and in coordinated fashion. But they have the media on their side, and that’s how the story got turned upside down. Propaganda wins.
In 2010, Swedish police invented a rape allegation out of thin air and against the expressed wishes of the alleged victim. There’s the Swedish prosecutor who overruled his own peer who had ruled that the rape allegation was annulled and Assange was free to go the UK. Then the British prosecutor who released Assange on bail citing that fake Swedish allegation and then called him in without either country wanting to guarantee extradition to the US was off, subsequently keeping him locked in the Ecuador embassy for 7 years because of that same fake allegation without allowing him to travel to the country he’d been granted asylum in.
This was followed (after 7 years!) by the new Ecuador government that violated any and all international law by rescinding Julian’s asylum, but only after hiring a Spanish “security” company that recorded all of his -and all of his visitors’ – talks and phones etc., including client-lawyer and doctor-patient conversations that we all know are confidential -and for good reason- and up to and including Julian’s talks with his psychologist and swipes of everyone’s DNA, including his children. They even (live-) streamed all this confidential information to the CIA.
Next, the UK police arrested him inside another country’s embassy. And now he’s in a super high security prison for no apparent reason at all, after a judge (where do they find these judges in the UK, so eager to break their own laws?) said he was a risk to “abscond”. Even if that were true, how is that a reason for worse treatment than an A-level crazy terrorist, inflicted upon someone who’s never harmed a fly? And then Monday in court, a British court, it was a bunch of Americans who openly decided what should happen, as per Craig Murray who was there, and both the prosecutor and the judge complied.
What Assange practiced when he published “US war files” is called journalism. Which thank god is perfectly legal. Much of what those files reveal is not. What he did when he allegedly “skipped bail” in the UK is called requesting asylum. Also perfectly legal, a basic human right. He never broke a law. And that of course is why the Espionage Act was dusted off and applied to his case in a proverbial round peg/square hole fashion: they couldn’t find anything else to charge him with. And after so many laws have already been broken, what difference does one more make?
If you live in Britain and you think Brexit is a more important issue than Assange, you’re delusional. Nothing is more important to anyone in a society than a government torturing a man to death in broad daylight, a man who moreover has not broken a single law. We don’t even torture mass murderers, terrorists or child rapists to death anymore, at least not at home. But Julian Assange IS treated that way. And whether the UK will be a part of Europe or not, that is the country it has become. A lawless medieval banana republic.
Any image of a dead child is always harrowing, for everyone but the most deranged psychopaths among us. If the child has drowned while seeking a better life it is possibly worse. The public reaction of politicians to such images, which varies from doing very little, or nothing, to solve the issues that have led to a child drowning, to trying to make cheap political gains from the image, must be the worst.
On September 2 2015, this photo of Syrian Kurdish 2 year-old Alan Kurdi, lifeless on a beach near Bodrum, Turkey, went viral. Almost 4 years later, all Europe has done is try to hide the problems that led to his death, by handing Turkey billions of euros to keep refugees inside that country. And still today conditions in Lesbos, Greece are appalling. Hardly a thing has changed.
Improvements to the situation that lead to Alan Kurdi’s death, within Syria itself, have had very little to do with European efforts. Russia had a much bigger role in that. And Syria is not the only source, or place, of troubles and refugees. Libya has turned into an open air slave market thanks to US and EU “efforts” under Obama. And Iraq is not exactly a land of milk and honey either. Or Afghanistan.
And then this week another picture of a drowned child made the frontpages -and more. That child, too, drowned due to a situation that has a long history: the US seeking to turn Central America into a dirt-poor, chaotic and unsafe environment that local people desperately want to escape. Same difference. And again, in the US and EU it is used as propaganda material.
So who do you blame for this? Trump of course. Who also gets the blame for the conditions in which children are held at the US-Mexico border, in “cages”. A disaster that caused Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to stage a scene in which she cried her heart out while looking at an empty parking lot in an expensive dress.
The truth is, it doesn’t seem to matter anymore. The people who are on AOC’s side of the divide will never see the reports on her faking the scene, that’s how segregated America has become. The “appropriate media” will convey the “appropriate” message” to the “appropriate audience”. Chuck Schumer even took the photograph to Capitol Hill for some quick and easy points.
It’s rare that I reach back into the past of the Automatic Earth, but it’s not entirely unique either. The reason I do it today is not only the relevance of the article -in my view-, or the fact it was published so long ago, but it’s that the ‘world’ has changed so much since January 1 2014, the date I wrote the piece below, as Everything Better Is Purchased At The Price Of Something Worse. It’s gained much new relevance since.
This essay, way back when, dealt with Carl -Gustav- Jung, probably the most influential psycho-analist we’ve ever known (he’s having a heated discussion with Freud about this as we speak, over a glass of brandy), and his take in the 1950s on our ability to incorporate new technologies into our lives, our minds and brains.
Jung couldn’t have dreamt how much of that was yet to come, but he already put some very dire warnings out there. His main point appears to be that our capacity to ’embrace’ anything new is per definition -very- limited because we ARE our ancestors, and whatever they never knew, we will have a hard if not impossible time making part of our lives.
It’s just that, as he warns, we are completely blind to this. Once you lose the link to your ancestors, you will move away from them ever faster. Because there’s nothing left to anchor you. But at the same time, you ARE your ancestors.
I am thinking about this on a near constant basis as I see people sit or move around with their iPhones et al, and their Facebook and Instagram et al, and I wonder what they did with their lives before they could walk the streets bumping into each other -or the odd car- before a constant link to faraway places seemed appropriate and/or needed.
Jung already thought about this, before it existed, 60-odd years ago. He framed it as: what are you giving up for what you gain? But of course the whole younger part of the poulation, who’ve never known anything else, have no notion of having given up anything. They never did anything else with their lives.
Well, Jung had a completely different idea. He said our brains haven’t even processed the times we never knew, ‘primitivity’, ‘antiquity’, or the Middle Ages yet, let alone radio, TV, or the internet. “We are very far from having finished completely with the Middle Ages, classical antiquity, and primitivity, as our modern psyches pretend.”
Carl Jung claimed that our only true frame of reference is our ancestors, and since they never knew radio, TV, internet, we cannot incorporate such things into our lives without losing our connection to them. But we ARE them, and if we would ever lose that connection, we would be beyond lost. We’d be gone. First mentally, then -inevitably- physically.
And what we label ‘progress’ is then merely a way to move ever faster awasy from what we really are, which is the ancestors that gave birth to us. Gone, lost, into some empty space, with no grounding and no purpose.
Perhaps that goes a ways towards explaining why we are destroying the planet we live on. We lost the connection to who we are. We are focused today only on progress, on the future, and not on the present, because the present requires a link to the past.
Here’s my take on this 5.5 years ago. Before all these millions of zombies were stalking the streets looking only at their phones, eagerly – nay, desperately- awaiting messages from people thousands of miles away. Mostly about what food they eat, no less, or what dress they wear.
The concept of what constitutes our lives has changed profoundly. It is no longer the people around us, or even the landscape, our lives now are made up of people who are not here (and landscapes in travel brochures and nature documentaries). That is quite something.
Carl Jung said quite a while ago that our minds and brains cannot handle that. But there you are and here we go.
In fact, I don’t see much understanding at all. I think that’s because they base their comprehension of the world they’ve been born into on information provided by the very people they’re now protesting against. Look kids, your education system sucks, it was designed by those destroying your planet, you need to shake it off and get something better.
But I know what you will do instead: you’re going to get the ‘proper’ education to get a nice-paying job, with a nice car (green, of course) and a nice house etc etc. In other words, you will, at least most of you, be the problem, not solve it. And no shift towards wind or solar will make one iota of difference in that. Want to improve the world? Improve the education system first.
Climate change is just one of an entire array of problems the world faces, and in the same way the use of fossil fuels is just one of many causes of these problems. And focusing on only one aspect of a much broader challenge simply doesn’t appear to be a wise approach, if only because you risk exacerbating some problems while trying to fix others.
In order to fix what’s broken, you’re first going to have to find out what broke it. The impression I get is that fossil fuels have been named the designated culprit, and people think that if only we have access to some other form(s) of energy we’ll be fine. But species extinction appears to be at least as large an issue as climate change, and the loss of 60% of all vertebrates, and 90% of flying insects in some places, since 1970 is linked to climate change only sideways.
It’s one thing to run into problems you could not have foreseen. It’s quite another to run into them because you elected to ignore readily available knowledge. But it’s the latter issue that’s behind by far most of the problems we’re running into. Because, again, our education system is broken.
And perhaps we should try to be forgiving when well-meaning children and young politicians don’t have a full grasp of political and economic issues heaped upon them by older generations. But physics? That you can only and always ignore at your own peril.
The First Law of Thermodynamics says energy cannot be created or destroyed; the total quantity of energy in the universe stays the same. The Second Law of Thermodynamics says that the use of energy produces waste (because entropy tends to increase). Neither law talks about fossil fuels.
This brings me once more to one of my favorite quotes of all time (because it explains so much):
“Erwin Schrodinger (1945) has described life as a system in steady-state thermodynamic disequilibrium that maintains its constant distance from equilibrium (death) by feeding on low entropy from its environment – that is, by exchanging high-entropy outputs for low-entropy inputs. The same statement would hold verbatium as a physical description of our economic process. A corollary of this statement is that an organism cannot live in a medium of its own waste products.”
– Herman Daly and Kenneth Townsend
And unfortunately, as I’ve said before in Mass Extinction and Mass Insanity:
What drives our economies is waste. Not need, or even demand. Waste. 2nd law of thermodynamics. It drives our lives, period.
Not only do we produce waste with every calorie of energy we burn, our economic systems depend on us burning as much as we can. We ‘optimized’ them for it. Energy efficiency is the enemy of our economies. We transport ourselves in vehicles that are 20 times our own weight, and that use only 10% of the fuel we put in them for the purpose of transporting us. That’s what keep the economic engine going. It’s also what destroys the planet.
There’s probably no moment of deeper despair for the world than when I see a Swedish schoolgirl and a Dutch historian pop up at Davos to tell the billionaires and power hungry ‘the truth’. Davos is the last place to be when you have good intentions. All those people owe their money and power to the system you say you’re protesting. You think they’re going to give it up, or even risk it?
What those people will tell you, and what many of you are already parroting (check the Green New Deal), is that ‘going green’ will be a very profitable undertaking. Get the best of both worlds and eat it too. Tempting, for sure, but also incredibly stupid.
It is a strange world where in some parts of the globe children are left to drown when the rubber dinghies they are put in to escape warfare and poverty in order to reach a place where they are expected to be able to grow up in peace and safety and have an education and a future, fail to carry them there, while in other parts they are put in cages and camps, torn away from their families, simply for looking for a better life and future, and at the same time other children just like them are rescued by heroes bigger than life from all over the planet, from a cave they are trapped in, in a no holds or costs barred operation.
What is the difference between these children that could ever justify such divergent treatments? They themselves surely would never be able to answer such a question. But that is all the more reason to ask them. And if they don’t understand, how can we? And if we don’t understand, why is it happening? Why do we allow it to happen? In Thailand, mankind shows it very much possesses humanity. In the Mediterranean and along the US border, it shows that it has none. The two can’t both be true at the same time.
What now? It’s not difficult. From Arab Weekly, writing about the EU’s request to Egypt to set up ‘Regional Disembarkation Centres’ in the country:
Instead of asking economically struggling countries to act as refugee hosts, European leaders need to solve the problems that cause these refugees to leave their countries in the first place, particularly the unrest that has engulfed many countries, Egyptian specialists said.
“The solution to the problem will be to resettle these refugees in their countries,” said Youssef al-Metany, a refugee lawyer at local NGO Egyptian Network for International Law. “This can only happen when the conflicts raging in these countries are settled.”
See? We all know the answer. What we need is the same courage and selflessness that the cave divers in Thailand have demonstrated over the past week. Yes, one died, bless his soul, but he knew there are more important things than one’s own life. One of them is children. Another is honor. And yet another is humanity. Let’s make it happen. Let’s save them all.
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