Reader’s Links for February 8, 2021

Each day at just after midnight Eastern, a post like this one is created for contributors and readers of this site to upload news links and video links on the issues that concern this site. Most notably, Islam and its effects on Classical Civilization, and various forms of leftism from Soviet era communism, to postmodernism and all the flavours of galloping statism and totalitarianism such as Nazism and Fascism which are increasingly snuffing out the classical liberalism which created our near, miraculous civilization the West has been building since the time of Socrates.

This document was written around the time this site was created, for those who wish to understand what this site is about. And while our understanding of the world and events has grown since then, the basic ideas remain sound and true to the purpose.

So please post all links, thoughts and ideas that you feel will benefit the readers of this site to the comments under this post each day. And thank you all for your contributions.

This is the new Samizdat. We must use it while we can.

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

121 Replies to “Reader’s Links for February 8, 2021”

  1. https://wsvn.com/news/local/officials-find-probable-cause-in-fiu-pedestrian-bridge-collapse/

    As the western meritocracy fails then falls, and we pass through communist levels of construction efficiency( check the apartment blocks in China: unoccupied, less than 10 years old and falling apart already) on the way down, you can expect more and more of this although I doubt that the future MSM will be as honest.

    I actually wonder if peer review were applied honestly to academics based upon merit as opposed to “diversity” how many now sinecure comfortable would be missing afterwards?

  2. https://thedaleygator.com/2021/02/07/why-yes-being-a-moron-can-get-you-killed/

    We can hope but there are far too many of them : (

    A Tennessee man was shot and killed Friday night after a “prank” robbery went wrong, police said.

    The Metro Nashville Police Department is investigating a claim of self-defense in the death of Timothy Wilks, 20, Friday.

    Investigators say witnesses told them that Wilks and a friend approached a group of people, including Starnes, with butcher knives while participating in a “prank” robbery for a YouTube video, but Starnes was not aware of the prank and shot Wilks.

    Tragic that someone was killed over a stupid prank, but, if people threaten you with butcher knives, all for a YouTube video, what are you supposed to do exactly?

  3. https://quillette.com/2021/01/27/beating-back-cancel-culture-a-case-study-from-the-field-of-artificial-intelligence/

    It’s a tale that illustrates a number of useful principles for those seeking to combat cancel culture. These include:

    Find your friends. There’s nothing worse than facing a mob alone. Build your network in advance, so that you don’t have to cold-call free-speech advocates when a crisis already is upon you. Create relationships with people in your workplace and field who share your views. Find out whether there are unions or other groups that are responsible for protecting your rights, and find out what they can do to help if a mob ever comes after you. Join and support organizations such as Heterodox Academy, the National Association of Scholars, and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). Connect with like-minded people on social media. Your friends may come to your aid publicly or privately. Both are good. Even just receiving words of encouragement from like-minded individuals can make a big difference when you’re under attack.

    Pick your battles. All workplaces and professional fields can present their share of dogmatists and unpleasant personalities. You can’t take on all of them, and not all battles are worth fighting. Pick the ones with high symbolic value—which is to say, battles that act as proxies for some larger principle—and which you think you have a reasonable chance of winning. In my case, I knew that taking on a notorious bully in the AI community was worth it because her rout would send a message to imitators. I also knew we had an advantage going in, because this individual already had hurt and angered many people. Moreover, her position as research director at a prominent company made her more vulnerable than me.

    Know what to expect. The cancel crowd has its own bullet-point playbook. And they’ll respond aggressively to any symbolic act that threatens their status, or erodes the impression that they are the ones calling the shots. Remember that behind the social-justice veneer lies the brutal logic of power and ego. To maximize the pain you feel, they’ll tag activist groups on social media to inflate their numbers and reach. They’ll bombard every organization you’re part of with demands to censure, discipline, disown, fire, or expel you—often phrasing their appeals in the passive aggressive guise of “concern” and “disappointment.” At other times, they will insult, taunt, and, threaten you in a manner resembling middle-school children having a recess meltdown. In my case, the ringleader called me “a full on misogynist and racist,” “shameful bigot,” “hypocrite,” “clueless,” “tone-deaf,” “snowflake,” and “soulless troll.” She assailed my “privilege and patriarchy,” “lack of basic empathy and ethics,” and “zero self-awareness.” She also questioned whether I’m really a human, and called on NeurIPS to ban me, and for my department to expunge me. Her goal, in short, was to ruin my life. The cancelers will dig up anything they can from your past. And if they can’t find any, they’ll make it up. This will all seem terrifying, but much less so if you realize that you’re just the latest victim in what is basically a mechanical and dehumanizing process. Insofar as you don’t actually get fired from your job or suffer some other equivalent setback, these are all just words, and they don’t define who you are.

    Don’t back down. Don’t apologize. Don’t make clarifications, and don’t try to appease the mob. All of these will only be taken as concessions, and embolden the mob to demand more. The real Achilles’s Heel of the cancel crowd is its short attention span. Once they bully someone into submission, they move on to the next victim. It’s a system designed for quick wins. If you don’t back down, they’ll raise the pitch as far as they can—but eventually they’ll be at a loss for what to do next, and all but the most fanatical will lose interest. The few that remain, now bereft of their backup, are just what you need to teach all of them a lesson, as we did in my case.

    Don’t let them make it about you. You have the right to defend yourself when attacked, and it’s only natural to do so. Fight sanctions against you through the appropriate channels. But focusing your efforts on your own actions, even if they are the subject of spurious accusations, is generally a mistake. That’s because it changes the subject from the real underlying issues to your own supposed failings—and that’s what the cancel crowd wants, because it effectively forces you to fight for a draw instead of a win. The appropriate response to low attacks is to point out how low they are. For example, if someone threatens you with Title IX sex-discrimination proceedings on the basis of alleged “sexism”—as they did in my case—don’t bother dignifying this kind of ludicrous claim with a substantive rebuttal. Rather, just thank them for illustrating the misuse of Title IX to crush free speech, as I did.

    Hold the moral high ground. Never descend to the level of insults, taunts, and ad hominem attacks, no matter how strong the temptation. Let the cancelers do it to their heart’s content, and the onlookers will judge accordingly. In my confrontation with the AI cancel crowd, I was particularly helped by the fact that several of the ringleaders are (or call themselves) professional AI ethicists. Some of them are even well-known within their field. When they serially engaged in childish and unethical behavior in full view of their colleagues, they did my job for me.

    Mock them mercilessly. Fear is what keeps the silent majority from speaking up, and laughter is the best antidote. The cancelers take themselves extremely seriously, imagining themselves to be social-justice angels whose holy ends justify every imaginable means. Their sanctimonious spirit is a gift to you, if you call it out instead of playing along with its conceit.

    Don’t let their narrative outrun yours. Once a false narrative is entrenched, it’s hard to overturn, no matter how many facts you have on your side. So while, as noted above, I generally would discourage you from focusing too much on defending your own actions, there should be some resource you can point to so that everyone can know the truth. Once you have established that resource—a blog post, a published article, a podcast, even a set of tweets or Facebook posts—point people to it where necessary, including your own professional contacts and potential allies. Keep it short, crisp, and compelling so that it gets widely circulated and isn’t thwarted by short attention spans. And keep the tone confident (and possibly even funny), so that it’s clear who the real inhuman fanatics are.

    Goad them into overreaching. The cancelers’ overconfidence is your greatest asset, as I learned when the ringleader of the mob that came after me resorted to posting the above-referenced list of people whom she wanted canceled, many of them junior researchers whose only crime was to have followed me or liked one of my tweets. This crossed a line for a lot of observers, and of course the people on the list itself were aghast. Word spread of the shocking behavior. Even people on her side started turning against her.

    Turn their weapons against them. You may find this to be the most controversial principle, but it’s also arguably the most crucial—as the cancelers won’t stop until they fear that they’ll endure the same consequences that they seek to impose on others. In my case, I watched as investors and customers leaned on the ringleader’s company to rein her in. Even companies that posture heavily in the area of social justice don’t actually want to be stained by the disgraceful behavior of mob leaders. Indeed, I have no doubt that it was an ultimatum from her employer that finally led the ringleader to stop her Twitter outbursts and apologize publicly to her victims, for all to see. Some will say that once we resort to this step, we become as bad as the cancelers. But that’s a false equivalence. The cancel crowd tries to ban people because of their views. We try to stop bullying—behavior that is reprehensible regardless of ideology.

    Use the courts. The courts can be your friend when confrontations with the cancel crowd can’t be resolved through less formal and expensive means—for two reasons. One is that they invoke principles of due process, and look askance at show trials and kangaroo courts. They also tend to be less politically skewed than universities, tech firms, and human-resources departments. Even just the threat of a lawsuit can be enough to stop the cancelers. It worked for me when some of them crossed the line from insult to defamation. FIRE and other pro-free-speech organizations employ lawyers whose job is to fight on your behalf. Oh, and universities hate lawsuits. Whether you end up suing or not, moreover, always keep records on the assumption that you will need documents to prove your case. It’s easier to gather them at each step rather than after the fact.

    Bring administrators around. Some administrators are themselves members of the cancel crowd, and will always be part of the problem until such time that they conclude that this attitude is no longer helpful to their own careers. But most are just decent people trying to do their job and find a path to safe harbor. And in this regard, it’s actually useful to them when they can see pressure coming from both sides, not just one. Despite being bombarded with demands, my department ultimately took no action against me (besides dissociating itself from my positions)—in part, I think, because I helped them see the situation clearly, including what was really at stake and how much the department had to lose by doing the wrong thing.

    Don’t antagonize. Educate. Even many neutral onlookers who find cancel-culture tactics repellent dismiss the phenomenon as afflicting just a few privileged souls—acceptable collateral damage, as they see it, in the battle against patriarchy, white privilege, and so forth. (They’re just “false positives,” as one MIT professor put it when he attempted to dissuade people from signing our letter to ACM.) It’s easy to get angry at these naïve enablers of the mob, but it’s better to make them aware. Point them to resources such as The National Association of Scholars’ database of cancellations, the Canceled People website, or Quillette’s Panics and Persecutions. Give them examples of cancellations of journalists, tech workers, and even high-school students. Patiently explain what they’re missing (as I did in my response to the above-referenced MIT professor).

    Get the majority on your side. In the end, most cancelers can’t be dissuaded in the short run: They’ve invested too much in their roles as inquisitors to give them up easily. The goal isn’t to win them over—you won’t—but rather to persuade the much larger number of people in the middle. Just because these people aren’t vocal doesn’t mean they aren’t out there watching, reading, thinking.

    Perhaps most importantly, remember that most cancellation attempts end in failure. It’s hard to know that, however, because we seldom hear about the mobbings that fizzle out. Instead, the mob relies on its high-status wins to keep everyone in line. They enjoy the illusion that their movement is unstoppable, when in fact it becomes a subject of mockery as soon as a critical mass of people raise their voices against it.

    • A valuable resource article since it is only a matter of time before a community member of this blog runs afoul of cancel culture. Should be stickied.

    • It’s what I do and I use jokes, mockery, and laughter. It works. They leave. And often, people who watched the exchange are smiling.

  4. Libel, on an opinion board, can be sued.

    Waymouth, used Trustpilot to air his opinion: ‘Once they have your money they are totally apathetic towards you. You will learn more from forums, YouTube and the Citizens Advice website about your case, for free.’

    “…calling them ‘a total waste of money’ and a ‘scam’ in row over £200”

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9235149/Client-pay-law-firm-25-000-libel-damages-negative-Trustpilot-review.html

    I wonder if Trustpilot, who were not reported to defend their customer in court, will sue for all the customers they lose, if known by many as a positive-only website?

      • Telephones who use the new optic cable network ONLY work if the house has power unlike the good ol’ telephones. Complain about it and you are told “buy a mobile”. Having carried a page for much of my working life I can assure you that now that I do NOT want a mobile phone and that negativity doesn’t even begin to cover how that supposed “necessity” can be used against you.
        They really are slowly painting us all into a corner without voice, arms, freedom of movement or privacy. The 1984 cliché beckons more every day.

          • Time to buy that generator and that 200+L fuel tank. Not to mention a very large rainwater tank as wells in built up areas are suicide as are creeks and what better way to pass on whatever to the masses.
            In the book “The Road” after he feels the tremor and sees/hears the flashes/noise he fills up his bathtub with water and his can’t cope wife asks him: “are you having a bath?”. It reminded me of the tourist who brushed her teeth and rinsed her brush in the only (drip filled) drinkable water for 200k so that everyone had to enjoy her mouth fauna and the taste of peppermint which made even the coffee hard to handle whilst tea was impossible.

            As an addendum…if you have a a flowing brook on your property even if the water is not drinkable make a paddle wheel, add some sprockets and a large bike chain and use it to turn some 10-20(120-240v)auto generators. This will not power stoves, fans, and heaters (IIRC toasters) but it will power your PC and TV and even your refrigerator/freezer.

    • article mentions jewelry as a stash — here is an example of use:
      “The Egers were an extremely wealthy family, living [in] a mansion with many servants, but the Communists had taken control of post-war Hungary and arrested Bela without warning. At only twenty, with a baby in her arms, [wife] Edith bribed the prison guard with a glittering diamond ring. [per her memoir: She put it on the counter so that a supervisor could see it; she asked if her husband could come out to see her; the supervisor had someone bring him then turned his back to the couple, ..] Moments later, she and Bela walked out of the prison and directly to the train station, escaping from Hungary with only the clothes on their backs. In the United States, where they had been granted refugee status, they performed menial labor to survive the early years.”

  5. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Take Delivery of Entire Armada of Missile Speedboats (sputniknews, Feb 8, 2021)
    https://sputniknews.com/military/202102081082017195-irans-revolutionary-guards-take-delivery-of-entire-armada-of-missile-speedboats/

    “The Islamic Republic’s large coastal defence fleet of small missile and machinegun-armed speedboats has become a major headache for US military planners. Last year, then-President Donald Trump threatened to blow Iranian speedboats out of the water after accusing Iran of “harassing” large US surface warships by zipping by them at high speeds.

    The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy has taken delivery of some 340 new combat speedboats for operations in the country’s southern waters.

    Speaking at a ceremony in the strategic Strait of Hormuz-straddling city of Bandar Abbas on Monday, Mohammad Bagheri, chief of staff of Iran’s Armed Forces, said that “with features such as agility, high manoeuvrability, high firepower, stealth – as far as is possible, and many other features, the speedboat plays an irreplaceable role in the sea.”

    “Building and using a speedboat is not something that other countries cannot do, but the factor that makes this small vessel an irreplaceable power is a competent [sailor] who is responsible for defending against and attacking the enemy,” Bagheri added.
    The commander went on to praise the Navy’s growing missile, mine, submarine, and surface combat capabilities, and to stress the importance of Iran securing its maritime borders in the Persian Gulf region.

    “The existence of more than two-thirds of the world’s fossil fuel reserves and the shipping of 20 percent of these resources through the Strait of Hormuz has made the security of the people of this region an issue of great importance. The IRGC Navy has been able to fulfil its responsibility for security in the region,” Bagheri said.

    Along with Bagheri, Monday’s ceremony was attended by IRGC Commander Hossein Salami, IRGC Navy Commander Ali Reza Tangsiri, and other government and military officials.

    Iran’s defence industry has perfected the creation of small attack speedboats, with a variety of designs developed to maximise the boats’ hydrodynamic properties, reduce their radar cross section, allow for acceleration to speeds of up to 90 knots (over 165 km per hour), and enable them to pack a serious punch via onboard rocket or missile launchers.

    The Revolutionary Guard Navy took delivery of another 112 speedboats of various classes last May amid escalating tensions with Washington.

    Iran’s coastline includes roughly 1,700 km of coastal waters in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, and the country has contributed substantial military and diplomatic resources to defending the high-traffic area from foreign incursions. In 2019, Iran proposed a “coalition of hope” in the Persian Gulf, a security initiative aimed at reducing regional tensions and keeping outside powers out of the region.

    Last month, a senior Iranian commander boasted that Iran’s vast array of missiles has helped the country parry the threat posed by the US Navy, Tehran’s main strategic adversary. In January, the Islamic Republic staged large-scale ballistic and cruise missile drills, with the exercises seeing missiles fired from ships and coastal batteries, the deployment of a variety of combat and reconnaissance drones, and the firing of a ballistic missile at a seaborne target over 1,800 km away.
    Iran-US tensions soared to historic highs during the Trump administration, with the two nations stepping back from the brink of military conflict repeatedly amid a series of tanker seizures, drone shoot downs, and the assassination of a senior Iranian military commander, which led to the pummelling of two US military bases in Iraq with ballistic missiles.

    Iran expressed cautious optimism that the incoming Biden administration would seek to quell tensions and rejoin the nuclear deal abandoned by Trump in 2018. However, on Sunday, President Biden indicated that the US would not lift its sanctions against Tehran until the country halted its uranium enrichment activities and returned to its obligations under the nuclear agreement. Iranian authorities maintain that because it was the US side which abrogated its commitments to the treaty, it should be Washington that takes the first steps to rejoin it, including by lifting all restrictions against Iran.”

  6. AND SO IT BEGINS: UK GOVERNMENT MULLS EMERGENCY MEASURES THAT WOULD ENABLE NETWORKS TO SWITCH OFF YOUR ELECTRICITY WITHOUT WARNING OR COMPENSATION
    A series of ‘modifications’ to the Smart Energy Code have been proposed by officials and look set to pass into law by next spring.
    These include giving networks the right to decide when they consider the grid to be in a state of ’emergency’ and the power to switch off high usage electrical devices such as electric vehicle chargers and central heating systems in British homes.
    Under the plans all homes would need to have a third generation smart meter installed, to include a function that allows meters in the home to receive and carry out orders made by the energy networks.
    This would dramatically alter the role of smart meters, which are currently capable only of sending data on energy use to energy networks.
    If passed unchallenged, these ‘modifications’ to the law would mean that electric vehicle owners could plug in at the end of the day and wake up without sufficient charge to travel the next morning.
    Similarly, central heating systems could be turned off in homes across a whole area if too many electric vehicles are plugged in to charge at once, for example.
    Currently, consumers are entitled to compensation if their power supply is cut off, but under these plans, this recompense would likely be scrapped.
    There is also a question mark over whether to force households to install the new smart meters, or make it an opt in or opt out scheme.
    When energy networks are allowed to declare an ’emergency’, triggering their right to switch off private domestic energy devices, is also so far undefined.
    The modifications, tabled by Richard Hartshorn of Scottish and Southern Electricity earlier this summer, argue that networks must be given these powers if major power cuts are to be avoided as the UK switches from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.
    https://www.thegwpf.com/and-so-it-begins-uk-government-mulls-emergency-measures-that-would-enable-networks-to-switch-off-your-electricity-without-warning-or-compensation/

  7. Turkey Launches New Operation Against Armed Kurdish Separatist in Country’s South, Reports Suggest (sputniknews, Feb 8, 2021)
    https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/202102081082016603-turkey-launches-new-operation-against-armed-kurdish-separatist-in-countrys-south-reports-suggest/

    “Turkey’s Interior Ministry said on Monday that a new operation was launched aimed a combating Kurdish separatist movements in the country’s southern regions, media reported.

    According to state news agency Anadolu, the ministry said that over 1,600 personnel from the gendarmerie, police, and village guards were mobilized in 96 teams as part of Operation Eren-8 Amanoslar.

    The operations will span the provinces of Osmaniye, Hatay and Gaziantep, all bordering Syria’s northwest.

    This is in addition to the seven other anti-terrorist operations underway in the country’s heavily Kurdish eastern provinces.

    Ankara has waged war with Kurdish groups, especially the leftist Kurdish Workers’ Party, for over 40 years accusing them of terrorist campaigns that have cost tens of thousands of lives. About 15 percent of Turkey’s population is Kurdish and Ankara is quick to quash any separatist ambitions of the world’s largest stateless people.”

  8. Border Force detain 49 migrants at Dover after they attempted to cross English Channel in three boats taking total number of arrivals this year to 285 (dailymail, Feb 8, 2021)
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9236705/Border-Force-detain-49-migrants-English-Channel-taking-years-arrivals-285.html

    “Border Force detained 49 migrants at Dover after they attempted to cross the English Channel in three boats on Saturday – taking the number of arrivals this year up to 285.

    Six men were initially caught making the crossing in a brand new grey, yellow and blue rigid hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) amid calm and mild conditions in the early hours of Saturday morning.

    Two more crossings quickly followed, carrying 43 people from France to Britain.

    People traffickers have been taking advantage of recent milder weather – but snow in the South over the last couple of days appears to have halted crossings.

    Meanwhile official in France managed to prevent 92 people from making the crossing.

    Among them were 13 people who had got into difficult in the Pas-de-Calais strait, while the coastal maritime surveillance boat (VCSM) Escaut, of the maritime gendarmerie, rescued 26 migrants and took them back to France at 10.30am.

    Friday saw 13 migrants reach the UK in the first crossings of the month, while French officials prevented 123 people from crossing – including one boat that had 10 people on board.

    The latest arrivals takes the number who have been detained so far this year to 285, January 9 was the busiest day so far when 103 people arrived in six boats.

    A total of 223 asylum seekers made it to the UK last month in 15 boats.

    A record 8,410 migrants made the dangerous journey in 2020…”

  9. Exclusive: West Must Solve ‘Demographic Crisis’ or ‘Europe Will Be Lost’ – Hungary Govt (breitbart, Feb 8, 2021)
    https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2021/02/08/exclusive-interview-west-must-solve-demographic-crisis-europe-will-be-lost-says-hungary-families-minister/

    “Hungary’s minister for families believes that “the demographic crisis of the Western world” is one of its greatest challenges, and that without serious action to support parents “Europe will be lost.”

    This is part two of two part-part interview with Katalin Novák, Hungary’s Minister for Family Affairs. Read part one here.

    Discussing some of the wider issues around Hungary’s world-leading programme of support for people to have families — as an alternative to mass migration, which the country’s conservative government sees as undesirable due to the long-term impact on social cohesion and the national culture — Minister Novák dismissed any suggestion that the policies are “leftist” merely because they involve state support.

    “I would never declare our family policies leftist. We give chance, the freedom of choice, real opportunities,” said the Hungarian stateswoman, whose prime minister, Viktor Orbán, has indeed been at pains to criticise many Westerners and the European Union for “making excuses for the crimes of communism” in years gone by.

    “Since 2010, we have been elected three times by a two-thirds majority in each case. Hungarian people gave us a clear authorisation, which we need to follow… to address Hungarians’ belief that the future lies in the increased support of families,” Novák insisted.

    “While we spend more and more on family policies, income taxes related to childrearing are also decreasing at the same time: we have a family-friendly tax system and mothers raising at least four children are exempt from paying personal income tax forever,” she explained.

    “We think that the demographic crisis of the Western world is one the biggest challenges we face. If we can’t find a long-term solution to the problem, if we don’t act immediately, Europe will be lost.

    “At the same time, conservative values, including family values are constantly attacked by the Left. We need to act, to enable young couples have children, strengthen families already raising kids, and to build strong, value-based alliances globally that promotes the traditional family,” she declared.

    Minister Novák went on to share some details of discussions she had recently with political counterparts in Japan — like Hungary, a Westernised country which has rejected mass migration in order to preserve its national character and social cohesion, but which, famously, is facing great challenges as a result of declining birthrates and an ageing population.

    “We had a great and meaningful conversation with Seiko Noda, the former Minister of Internal Affairs, Member of Parliament and a prominent leader of the ruling party, LDP,” she said.

    “Although we face the same problem demographically and we are both committed to find working solutions, there hasn’t been direct talks in the field between our countries before,” she added — a perhaps somewhat surprising revelation to conservatives who have been keeping abreast of Hungary’s progress on these issues since 2010.

    “In Japan, marriage numbers are falling and the fertility rate has also been decreasing… In Hungary, the fertility rate and the number of marriages are increasing, while the number of divorces and abortions are falling,” she noted.

    “Among others, we exchanged views on the Hungarian IVF regulation that provides free treatment, the baby-expecting subsidy that provides a 28,000-euro loan for young married couples which they don’t need to pay back when bearing three children, and I also talked about Hungarian measures helping mothers balance work and family life,” she said, referencing some of the family support policies covered in part one of her interview with Breitbart as well as Hungary’s recent move to make fertility treatment free of charge.

    Minister Novák conceded that the progress of Hungary’s family support programme had been somewhat disrupted by the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, but suggested that “Hungarians were more prepared to crisis caused by the epidemic thanks to 10 years of pro-family decision-making”, adding: “I also deeply believe that thanks to our pro-family initiatives during the crisis, we will be able to overcome the negative consequences of COVID soon.”

    This contrasts with the situation in France, for example, where, as she noted, births rates have collapsed to 1945 levels, with declines in the likes of Germany and Sweden as well — but with no family support system comparable to Hungary’s in place to allow them to bounce back.”

    • Yep. MEMRI Daily Brief No. 256:

      A New Alliance Rising In The East – Turkey, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, China – And Its Enemies – The U.S. and India

      The year 2021 marks the emergence of a new Eastern alliance.… Brought into sharp relief by the bloody November 2020 war between Azerbaijan and the Armenians of Artsakh, the alliance between three authoritarian regimes – in Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Pakistan – seems to have acquired a surprising silent partner in the People’s Republic of China.

      …[T]his alliance is as much about mutual cooperation as it is directed against a disparate group of potential adversaries large and small – India, Armenia, and the United States. Some might add Russia and Iran to this list, but both countries are as often collaborators as they are rivals of their authoritarian neighbors.…

      Turkey’s ties now make it Pakistan’s second-largest arms supplier, after Islamabad’s longtime patron China. Pakistan has been helpful to Turkey in the defense field as well, especially in pilots after the Turkish purge of its air force after the failed 2016 coup. Of greater concern is the specter of Turkish-Pakistani nuclear cooperation…

      China’s relations with [Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Pakistan] can be seen within the context of its aggressive efforts to project economic and political power throughout Eurasia and beyond…

      China has some real adversaries – India, Japan, the United States, and others – but aside from them, it patiently seeks to forge client relationships with a broad range of states, including American allies…

      For this cabal’s adversaries, there seem to be only two options: either to try to woo and appease these antagonistic countries, a tactic which has yielded limited benefits to date but which cannot be completely abandoned given the importance of states like Turkey and Pakistan, or to build their own mutually beneficial broad alliance. Some of this has happened already, as Turkish aggression has drawn Greece, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates closer together.

      The missing piece here is the role of the United States under a new American president. Will the Biden administration fritter away its focus on marginal bilateral issues that breed distrust among putative allies in the Eastern Mediterranean and West Asia?

      Or will it seek to project its power and reforge multifaceted mutually-beneficial alliances – Greece, Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, India – that can possibly serve as one type of counterweight to Turkish mischief and Chinese plotting?

      https://www.memri.org/reports/new-alliance-rising-east-–-turkey-azerbaijan-pakistan-china-–-and-its-enemies-–-us-and-india
      ………
      Fritter, I’d say.
      That’s a passive gift to both Iran and China at the expense of our allies, who’ll be slapped around as well.

  10. BERLIN – Germany: Dozens of Antifa march through Berlin following homeless camp eviction

    Antifa groups marched across Berlin’s district of Friedrichshain on Sunday, in protest against the eviction of the homeless camp in Rummelsburger Bucht.

    Dozens rallied in Rigaer Strasse and headed to Ostkreuz, chanting slogans against the police and occasionally lighting up flares.

    Tensions were high inside Ostkreuz station, where a man was pinned down by police forces and arrested.

    The homeless camp in Berlin-Lichtenberg was cleared on Friday evening, when around 100 people were moved to a temporary accommodation by buses. Residents of the camp were reportedly not allowed to take their belongings before leaving, with protests against the operation taking place already on Saturday.

    • I wanted to know more aboout “StratNewsGlobal”, so curiously friendly with Iran.

      They get into trouble, it seems. For example,
      “’Delete the video or there will be negative consequences,’ Chinese embassy threatens India based strategic affairs portal over a critical video on Xi Jinping”

      Days after a news portal named ‘Strat News Global’ drew parallels between Chinese Premier Xi Jinping and German Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, the Chinese Embassy to India had sought to intimidate the news Editor of the portal, Nitin A Gokhale.

      On August 1, the Strat News Global published a video on Youtube wherein they pointed out the uncanny resemblance in the dealings and expansionist policies of both the leaders.

      The video highlighted how both Hitler and Xi rose to prominence with the promise of rejuvenating the ‘lost glory of their respective countries’, economic revivalism, the militarisation of foreign and illegally annexed territories, elimination of political opponents and critics, institutional control, press censorship, armed proliferation, expansionism, breach of treaties and so on.”
      https://www.opindia.com/2020/08/chinese-embasy-threat-nitin-a-gokhale-strat-news-global-xi-jinping-hitler-video/

  11. The Reichstag Fire of the Democrats – Frontpagemag
    Daniel Greenfield
    10-12 minutes

    A pretext for political terror.

    Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.

    There are thousands of soldiers outside Congress and political terror inside its halls. That political terror isn’t coming from a QAnon Shaman who only eats organic food, but from the Democrats who are using a manufactured state of emergency to purge the opposition.

    Democrats deployed 26,000 troops to Washington D.C. at a cost of $500 million. Thousands of soldiers, authorized to use deadly force as they were forbidden to do either at the border or during the Black Lives Matter assault on the White House, will stay to fight an imaginary threat.

    https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2021/02/reichstag-fire-democrats-daniel-greenfield/

    • South Africa suspends rollout of Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine

      […]initial trials showed “disappointing” results

      […]The country has received 1 million doses of the jab

      […]COVAX, an international procurement initiative for poorer countries, has bought the AstraZeneca vaccine in bulk from the Serum Institute of India.

    • NYC – Elderly Man Dies Shortly After Receiving COVID Vaccine At Javits Center

      The man collapsed Sunday morning as he was leaving the center, but it is unknown if the vaccine was connected to his death.

    • Brits to have ‘THIRD’ COVID jab this year as vaccine proves ineffective against South Africa strain

      […]Experts have warned new variants of COVID-19 may be resilient against vaccinations, more infectious, more fatal or a combination of all three and therefore it is crucial governments prepare against these new strains.

      […]The government has already ordered 50 million doses of vaccines from Cure Vac, which will rapidly be developed to fight new strains of coronavirus and will be available by the end of the year.

    • The country rejecting all COVID-19 vaccines

      Tanzania has controversially said it is not seeking COVID-19 vaccines – at all.

      The country’s health minister insists Tanzania is safe from the global pandemic, and has instead encouraged Tanzanians to use traditional medicines.

    • ctv news – Accepting 1.9M vaccines from COVAX is ‘morally wrong’: Stephen Lewis

      Former UN special envoy for HIV/AIDS Stephen Lewis discusses the ethics of using vaccines intended for low-income countries.

    • SKY NEWS AUSTRALIA – Proof of vaccination certificates to track jab recipients

      Australians who receive a coronavirus vaccine will carry ‘proof of vaccination’ certificates under plans being finalised by the federal government ahead of the Pfizer rollout.

      The certificate is accessible through the Medicare or MyGov apps or as a hardcopy but it remains unclear what Australians will or won’t be able to access with or without the certification.

    • Vaccines or Not, Scientists Now Believe Covid is Here to Stay

      Ease of transmission, new strains, and limits of vaccination programs all mean Covid-19 will be around for years—and a big business.

      Governments and businesses are increasingly accepting what epidemiologists have long warned: The pathogen will circulate for years, or even decades, leaving society to coexist with Covid-19

      […]implying lasting modifications to personal and societal behavior, epidemiologists say.

      […]“We assume it would last for years, or be eternal, such as the flu,”

      https://www.thestreet.com/mishtalk/economics/vaccines-or-not-scientists-now-believe-covid-is-here-to-stay

      ==============================================

      Germany: 14 vaccinated nursing home residents test positive for UK COVID variant in Belm

      Fourteen residents of a nursing home in the western German municipality of Belm, in Lower Saxony, have tested positive for the UK coronavirus variant despite having been vaccinated against COVID-19.

      All the residents of Haus St. Marien and some workers were put under quarantine, while other staff members were seen queueing up for PCR tests outside the premises on Monday.

      Local officials said that all the infected patients received their last shot of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine on January 25. None of them currently have serious symptoms and the cause of infection remains unclear.

      The British B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant is estimated to be significantly more infectious than the basic strain of coronavirus but European and American experts expect that current vaccines will remain effective against it.

    • Delta and other local companies ramp up vaccine offerings for employees

      Delta and Kroger are two local employers who are working hard to get employees vaccinated, even offering bonuses to those who do so.

    • Germany: Vaccination with AstraZeneca jab to kick off nationwide – Spahn

      German Health Minister Jens Spahn confirmed that vaccination with the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine will kick off in Germany this week, after supplies reached immunisation centres across the country over the weekend, while speaking in Berlin, on Monday.

      Spahn added that some states would start inoculating with it already on Monday and added that the first reactions and experiences will be monitored as per the recommendation of the Standing Committee on Vaccination at the Robert Koch Institute (STIKO).

      The minister also explained that although mild symptoms of the South African coronavirus variant may occur even after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine, “what is to be avoided, namely that it comes to a really severe disease, with a need for treatment, possibly even clinically, that according to the current state of knowledge this can actually be effectively avoided with these vaccines.”

      Spahn also explained that while the vaccines have been initially reserved for recipients from high risk groups left over or additional doses will be permitted be given to people outside those groups to avoid waste.

      “When the vaccinations that were planned have been given, there may still be vaccine doses left over, for example because more vaccine doses were drawn from a vial bigger than planned or because some vaccine recipients did not show up,” he explained, stressing that “since the shelf life is only a few hours, you have the choice between throwing away or vaccinating. And from my point of view, anything is better than throwing away.”

      The AstraZeneca jab is the third to become available in Germany, after the BioNTech-Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, but unlike the two existing alternatives it will only be administered to people between the ages of 18 and 65 after the government held that there was insufficient study data on its efficacy for older people.

      […]

    • UK – Matt Hancock: over-70s in England to book Covid own vaccine appointments

      Matt Hancock has urged people over 70 in England to arrange to have a Covid-19 vaccine if they have not already been inoculated.

      The health secretary also announced that workplace testing is to be expanded to all businesses with more than 50 employees that are currently open.

  12. Supreme Court Blocks California Ban on Indoor Worship – Frontpagemag
    Joseph Klein
    9-11 minutes

    Religious liberty at stake.

    The U.S. Supreme Court has solidified its support for religious freedom, delivering a blow last Friday night against arbitrary attempts by California’s Governor Gavin Newsom to prevent people of faith from gathering indoors to worship. It follows on the heels of another Supreme Court decision last November, which disapproved of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s discriminatory edicts limiting group worship by the residents of New York State during the COVID-19 emergency.

    By a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court sided with the San Diego area South Bay Pentecostal Church, which challenged Newsom’s ban of indoor worship as part of his coronavirus lockdown orders. The Court issued a partial emergency injunction blocking the enforcement of the state of California’s prohibition on indoor worship services, pending disposition of a petition for the Court to undertake a full review of the constitutional issues in the case. For now, the Court was willing to allow a 25% capacity limitation on indoor worship services and the continuation of a prohibition of singing or chanting indoors because of the enhanced possibility that such activities can spread the virus.

    https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2021/02/supreme-court-blocks-california-ban-indoor-worship-joseph-klein/

  13. BLM’s Nobel Peace Prize Nomination – Frontpagemag
    John Perazzo
    9-11 minutes

    These are exciting times for Black Lives Matter (BLM) and its comrades. First, they spent most of 2020 raking in countless millions of dollars in donations as compensation for turning dozens of American cities into war zones—an activity they describe as “racial justice” activism. Next, they helped get two their two most influential supporters on Earth, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, installed in the White House. And now, they have been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

    The nomination was put forth by the Norwegian parliamentarian Petter Eide, who lauds BLM for its noble “struggle against racism and racially motivated violence.” In light of the fact that Mr. Eide has represented the Socialist Left party in Parliament since 2017, it is no surprise that he should be impressed by the agendas and tactics of BLM, an organization founded by three self-identified “trained Marxist” revolutionaries: Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi. Under their leadership, BLM has perfected the longtime Marxist strategy of portraying the U.S. as a racist cesspool in desperate need of fundamental transformation. Presumably Mr. Eide believes that such a message, if repeated with sufficient frequency and passion, will promote “peace.”

    Perhaps he also believes that yet another Marxist ideal advocated by BLM—the dissolution of “the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure”—will likewise further the cause of “peace.”

    While conceding that “people message me to say that BLM is a violent organization,” Mr. Eide dutifully explains that “if some elements of the movement may have been violent, that is not a reason to blame the whole movement.”

    https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2021/02/blms-nobel-peace-prize-nomination-john-perazzo/

  14. esla makes huge investment in Bitcoin, will soon accept cryptocurrency as payment for its products
    Leon Wolf
    2 minutes

    Tesla, Inc., the brainchild of entrepreneur Elon Musk, made a big splash Monday morning with a securities filing announcing that the company is investing $1.5 billion in Bitcoin and making plans to accept cryptocurrency in the “near future.”

    The news was another major boon for the flagship cryptocurrency, which has seen prices skyrocket over the last year, as global fears about the stability of government-issued currency have intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to the news, Bloomberg reported that Bitcoin jumped another 16% to an all-time high of $44,795.20.

    Tesla’s announcement lends additional legitimacy to cryptocurrency, which has recently shown significant signs of shaking legacy investor skepticism about its staying power. Other cryptocurrencies, including the farcical Dogecoin, have also risen in recent days and weeks as major businesses like Paypal and Square have announced that they will begin accepting Bitcoin as currency.

    https://www.theblaze.com/news/tesla-makes-huge-investment-in-bitcoin?utm_source=theblaze-breaking&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20210208Trending-BruceUnity&utm_term=ACTIVE%20LIST%20-%20TheBlaze%20Breaking%20News

  15. Senator Manchin Wants All of Your ‘Suspicious Transmissions’ Reported to the Federal Government – The Truth About Guns
    Carl Bussjaeger
    5-7 minutes

    government spy big brother stasi cia

    A man watches a screen that shows an eye being scanned at the spy museum in Oberhausen, Germany. The exhibition “Top Secret” explains the work of secret services and shows unique original details from the Russian KGB, the CIA and the east German STASI during the cold war. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

    Senator Joe Manchin, whom you may recall from his star turn promoting the failed Manchin-Toomey universal background check push after Sandy Hook, is still busy in the Senate. He’s the “centrist” West Virginia Democrat who, in a 50-50 world, is described by many as the upper chamber’s most powerful Senator. But if those on the right are looking to Manchin as a safeguard against some of the left’s most ambitious attacks on individual freedoms, a bill he just introduced should be cause for concern.

    https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/senator-manchin-wants-all-of-your-suspicious-transmissions-reported-to-the-federal-government/

  16. VIDEO: Crazed Man Attacking Deputy Soaks Up 12 Rounds Before He’s Stopped – The Truth About Guns
    John Boch
    4-5 minutes

    A crazed man’s rampage came to a not-so-sudden end Saturday morning in Montgomery County Maryland, and a bystander caught it all on video. After striking a lone deputy twice with a long stick, the attacker took a dozen rounds while still advancing on the officer.

    It looked like the stuff of nightmares. The attacker looked more like a college professor with his sport coat and khaki pants than a would-be cop-killing lunatic. The wicked grin on his face added a freaky, horror-film feel as the man just kept advancing on the retreating deputy. That was after he broke a long piece of wood with a couple of blows over the deputy’s forearm.

    The story from WUSA says the man caused a couple of accidents by ramming other vehicles before the deputy arrived.

    video at site

    https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/video-crazed-man-attacking-deputy-soaks-up-12-rounds-before-hes-stopped/

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