Reader’s Links for August 2, 2021

(Sorry for the late post on this. Busy day yesterday and I forgot to premake a bunch more)

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

71 Replies to “Reader’s Links for August 2, 2021”

  1. FRANCE – The new national identity card comes into force on Monday August 2 throughout France

    […]It is the result of European harmonization obliging each member state ” to put into circulation a new format of identity cards “, according to the interior ministry, which boasts a document “More secure, more practical and [au] modernized design ”.

    […]But the great novelty of the new CNI is in the biometrics, similar to that of a passport: a QR code will verify whether the document is authentic, and a chip, of the same type as that of a bank card, will store the documents. data of the holder, in particular two fingerprints.

    France launches new digital identity cards

    Identity cards have become an inseparable part of our lives. From the office to voting booths, they are required everywhere.

    They follow a common template all around the globe and include details about every person’s name, gender, address and nationality.

    The French government has launched digital identity cards equipped with QR codes and fingerprints. It also has an electronic chip that acts as an all-access key.

    The new cards were approved by the French government on March 14 and were launched to prevent identity theft.

    According to French Citizenship Minister Marlène Schiappa, “The identity card as you know it, as the French know it at the moment, it will gradually be replaced by a new object, the one we have been able to discover, more practical, new, which has a format more suitable for the pocket or the wallet. It is also an object that is more protective of our rights, and more secure, which will take its place in our daily lives.”

    The QR code at the back of the ID cards makes it much more secure as it will prevent the production of counterfeits.

    The old cards, which are 25 years old, will be replaced by new ones that will be rolled out from March 29.

    Although Europe is a highly digitised society, that comes with a downside.

    56 per cent of Europeans have experienced some kind of fraud in the last two years. One-third of those cases were of identity theft. This had caused a setback of around 24 billion euros.

    Reverse digitisation

    There are privacy concerns over France’s new ID card as critics claim its technology has loopholes.

    They claim that storing all their personal data in a single chip is highly risky.

    Previously, in a row over India’s Aadhaar card, it was condemned as the most unsafe identity document ever.

    However, for millions of ordinary Indians, the Aadhaar card was a ticket to welfare schemes, bank accounts and a better life.

    Despite their drawbacks, identity documents are potent tools in rolling out welfare schemes.

    In the United States, the social security number was called a privacy ”time bomb.”

    Hackers claimed that by using algorithms, publicly available data can be pieced together to generate a person’s social security number.

    However, it helped America recover from the Great Depression.

    Last year, there were reports that Britain was mulling a digital identity card. As a result, it received a barrage of criticism. It was described as government over-reach.

    Identity documents are crucial for SURVIVAL during the coronavirus pandemic that many health experts consider as a public health crisis.

    US President Joe Biden had said last week, “The government isn’t some foreign force sitting in a distant capital. It’s all of us. We the people.”

    • …it helped America recover from the Great Depression.

      The war did that: We became the Arsenal of Democracy; we fed the world and our manufacturing base flourished.

      FDR used the Depression to fundamentally transform the USA. It was a naked power grab by a charismatic Executive.

  2. RT – Mass protests sweep Europe | Rallies against COVID restrictions continue in France, Germany, Italy

    While the number of daily COVID cases in Western Europe are relatively low, streets of France, Germany and Italy are engulfed by anti-restrictions protesters.

    Reportedly one person in Germany died after yet another clash with the local police.

    • sky news UK – ‘Cabs for jabs’ drive launched

      Discounted pizzas and taxi rides will be offered to young people in an attempt to drive up vaccine uptake rates in the under-30s in England.

      + comments on the YT page

    • France’s Macron fronts Instagram Q&A session on vaccines

      Appearing in a video posted to social media wearing a laid-back t-shirt, President Emmanuel Macron invites the French public to get in touch with any questions they have about the vaccine.
      Conveying his message through Instagram and Tik Tok, he promises to counter “false information” and “false rumours”.

      Alexia Maurin 1 hour ago

      C'est à cela que l'on reconnait les cons dégénérés, ils osent tout et
      n'importe quoi...lui il est dans le fond des égouts nauséabonds, il est
      la lie du monde politique, aucune morale, aucune stature d'homme
      d'état...juste une péripatéticienne de la cause lui
      demandez pas si son dernier toucher rectal s'est bien passé....on
      atteint le summum de la décadence...minc avait prévenu nous avons une
      p-te au sommet de l'é tapine auprès de la jeunesse sur internet
      on devrait lui coller un délit de racolage et d'ailleurs la police des
      mœurs devrait l'interpeller...les mecs lrem ont de ces casseroles des
      cas sociaux de la mafia : dupont moretti, darmanin, micron, de rugis,
      grivaux la branlette.....pincez moi je fais un mauvais rê
      shanti tout va devenir


    • al jazeera – Pfizer, Moderna to raise COVID vaccine prices for Europe

      Pfizer and Moderna have raised the prices of their jabs in their latest EU supply contracts, a Financial Times report says.

    • Deutsche Pravda – More than one million dead in Latin America as variants spread

      Experts say Latin America is fast becoming the new epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than one million people there have died.

      The only exception is Chile, where 80 percent of the population are fully vaccinated. Otherwise, health systems are struggling to cope.

      COVID-19 has claimed the lives of nearly 200,000 people in Peru, where the vaccination campaign is only slowly getting underway.

      Just 16 percent of the population are completely inoculated.

      The country is battling several coronavirus variants.

      Colombia is experiencing one of the longest peaks of infection since the coronavirus arrived in the country.

      This third spike has put the national medical system to the test.

      Quarantine measures have been struggling to strengthen an already strained system.

      ICUs in the country’s second largest city Medellín are over 95 percent occupied.

      Doctors insist the national model of pandemic care has failed.

    • CNN – ‘Mind boggling’ data about the unvaccinated and Covid-19

      CNN’s Harry Enten looks at the data around the Covid-19 vaccine that shows that you have a 25 times greater chance of dying from Covid-19 if you are unvaccinated and that those who are vaccinated have more than a 99% chance of surviving a infection.

    • SINGAPORE – Man charged with spreading fake news on Covid-19 vaccination

      A former production manager of a Singapore-based engineering company was charged at the Sessions Court today with spreading fake news regarding the death of a policeman, allegedly due to a Covid-19 vaccine in April.

      The accused, Muhammad Zaki Omar, 36, however pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to him before judge Rohaida Ishak.

      According to the charge sheet, he was accused of using his own Facebook account with the intention of causing concern to the public at 11.39pm on April 3.

      The accused had posted the fake news which read “Finally in Gerik today, a death was confirmed involving a policeman. Complications of second dose vaccine injection. May the welfare of the family members of the deceased be safe-guarded.

      • Singapore Braces for a Leap of Faith in Its Covid Strategy

        Singapore is aiming for a feat no country has achieved so far: reopen to the world and emerge from the pandemic with a death toll still in the double digits….

        In a plan laid out by officials this week, the tiny city-state that relies on being globally connected is eyeing the resumption of some international travel by September. To do that, it’s trying to snuff out an outbreak driven by the delta variant and reach a vaccination level — 80% — that few countries have achieved, but which the government says will put Singapore in a position where it can live with the virus without carnage….

        “We are determined to get to our destination of being a Covid-resilient Singapore…. But our journey must take into consideration public health realities. Sometimes, we may need to take a detour if we see hazards ahead. This way, we can ensure that we will get to our final destination safely, even though it may take a little longer.”

        While those leading the pandemic response say they expect to treat Covid as an endemic infection, much like influenza, the flu can infect a thousand people in Singapore every day during peak season. It’s hard to imagine political and public health leaders that have shut down the country over a smaller number of often mild COVID-19 infections standing by if 1000 people a day come down with COVID-19.

        Singapore’s stance positions it to be one of the first countries to test the theories that epidemiologists and virologists crafted when COVID-19 first emerged. Many predicted that herd immunity — a widespread level of protection that essentially means that the virus does not have enough vulnerable people left to infect and therefore can’t take hold in a community — would exist in areas where more than 70% of the population has been vaccinated.

        While flattening the curve and getting to herd immunity via vaccination was a goal of many nations, Singapore may show whether it’s attainable.

    • American Medical Association – Dr. Tom Frieden on reaching the unvaccinated and masking

      …former director of the CDC and president and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives in New York, about reaching the unvaccinated

    • Mark Dice -They Want to Arrest and Jail All Unvaccinated Adults!

      In a shocking experiment, random beachgoers in San Diego, California are asked if they’ll sign a petition supporting the arrest and detention of all unvaccinated adults until they agree to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

    • FOX News – NIH Director Collins: Masks on children under 12 ‘is a really smart thing to do’

      NIH director: Delta variant is a ‘different virus,’ could hit reset button

      National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins discusses new health guidance as the Delta coronavirus variant spreads across the U.S

      The vaccine works extremely well

    • NYT – To Fight Vaccine Lies, Authorities Recruit an ‘Influencer Army’

      The White House has teamed up with TikTok stars, while some states are paying “local micro influencers” for pro-vaccine campaigns.

      LOS ANGELES — Ellie Zeiler, 17, a TikTok creator with over 10 million followers, received an email in June from Village Marketing, an influencer marketing agency. It said it was reaching out on behalf of another party: the White House.

      Would Ms. Zeiler, a high school senior who usually posts short fashion and lifestyle videos, be willing, the agency wondered, to participate in a White House-backed campaign encouraging her audience to get vaccinated against the coronavirus?

      “There is a massive need to grow awareness within the 12-18 age range,” Village Marketing wrote to Ms. Zeiler’s business email. “We’re moving fast and have only a few available slots to fill, so please let us know ASAP.”

      Ms. Zeiler quickly agreed, joining a broad, personality-driven campaign to confront an increasingly urgent challenge in the fight against the pandemic: vaccinating the youthful masses, who have the lowest inoculation rates of any eligible age group in the United States.

      Fewer than half of all Americans age 18 to 39 are fully vaccinated, compared with more than two-thirds of those over 50, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And about 58 percent of those age 12 through 17 have yet to receive a shot at all.

      To reach these young people, the White House has enlisted an eclectic army of more than 50 Twitch streamers, YouTubers, TikTokers and the 18-year-old pop star Olivia Rodrigo, all of them with enormous online audiences. State and local governments have begun similar campaigns, in some cases paying “local micro influencers” — those with 5,000 to 100,000 followers — up to $1,000 a month to promote Covid-19 vaccines to their fans.

      The efforts are in part a counterattack against a rising tide of vaccine misinformation that has flooded the internet, where anti-vaccine activists can be so vociferous that some young creators say they have chosen to remain silent on vaccines to avoid a politicized backlash.

      “The anti-vaccine side of the internet is still set on all this vaccine news,” said Samir Mezrahi, the administrator of several “meme pages” such as Kale Salad, which has nearly 4 million followers on Instagram and posts viral videos and other content. “We’re posting about J. Lo and Ben Affleck.”

      Renee DiResta, a researcher who studies misinformation at the Stanford Internet Observatory, said that while influencer campaigns can be useful, they may be no match for mass, organic online movements. She noted the contrast between creators who have been asked to spread pro-vaccine messaging versus vaccine skeptics, who have made it a personal mission to question the injections.

      “That’s the asymmetric passion,” she said. “People who believe it’s going to hurt you are out there talking about it everyday. They’re driving hashtags and pushing content and doing everything they can do.”

      But even if the influencer campaigns amount to a sprinkler in a wildfire, some creators said, they felt compelled to join in.

      “I didn’t worry about the backlash,” said Christina Najjar, 30, a TikTok star known online as Tinx. “Helping spread the word about the importance of getting vaccinated was the right thing to do.”

      Ms. Najjar said she was thrilled when the White House reached out to her through her manager in June. She soon posted a question-and-answer video about the vaccines with Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on Instagram.

      Their banter was light. Discussing what she called a “happy vaxx girl summer,” Ms. Najjar peppered Dr. Fauci with questions: Was it safe to go out for a drink? Should we be concerned about getting pregnant after getting the vaccine? Do I look 26? “You have an ageless look to you,” he replied.

      “I’ll tell my Botox doctor that,” she said.

      Ms. Najjar called the session “a great time,” adding, “I think I flirted with Dr. Fauci, but in a respectful way.” A White House official said Dr. Fauci was not available for comment.

      Public health officials have used celebrities to reach people since Elvis Presley rolled up his sleeve on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in 1956 to get the polio vaccine. These days, young people are more likely to trust the advice of their favorite content creator than a mainstream celebrity, according to a 2018 study by the marketing agency MuseFind.

      As a result, “we need to get an influencer army to push the pro-vaccine message out there,” said Jason Harris, chief executive of the advertising agency Mekanism, which is an authority on influencer marketing. “That’s the only way we’re going to have loud enough voices on social to drown out all the misinfo that’s happening.”

      The White House began considering the power of online creators in January, repurposing the influencer marketing tactics that Mr. Biden had used on the campaign trail toward promoting vaccinations, said Rob Flaherty, the White House director of digital strategy.

      Mr. Flaherty said he and Clarke Humphrey, the White House’s Covid-19 digital director, teamed up with Village Marketing and Made to Save, a national campaign aimed at promoting access to coronavirus vaccines. In June, they hosted several off-the-record briefings over Zoom so online creators could ask questions about the vaccines and how they worked.

      Since then, the Biden administration has rolled out influencer discussions with Dr. Fauci and brought Ms. Rodrigo to the White House, where she urged people to “actually get to a vaccination site.”

      In March, the White House also orchestrated an Instagram Live chat between Dr. Fauci and Eugenio Derbez, a Mexican actor with over 16.6 million Instagram followers who had been openly doubtful of the vaccines. During their 37-minute discussion, Mr. Derbez was upfront about his concerns.

      “What if I get the vaccine, but it doesn’t protect me against the new variant?” he asked. Dr. Fauci acknowledged that the vaccines might not completely shield people from variants, but said, “It’s very, very good at protecting you from getting seriously ill.”

      Mr. Flaherty said the whole point of the campaign was to be “a positive information effort.”

      State and local governments have taken the same approach, though on a smaller scale and sometimes with financial incentives.

      In February, Colorado awarded a contract worth up to $16.4 million to the Denver-based Idea Marketing, which includes a program to pay creators in the state $400 to $1,000 a month to promote the vaccines.

      Jessica Bralish, the communications director at Colorado’s public health department, said influencers were being paid because “all too often, diverse communities are asked to reach out to their communities for free. And to be equitable, we know we must compensate people for their work.”

      As part of the effort, influencers have showed off where on their arms they were injected, using emojis and selfies to punctuate the achievement. “I joined the Pfizer club,” Ashley Cummins, a fashion and style influencer in Boulder, Colo., recently announced in a smiling selfie while holding her vaccine card. She added a mask emoji and an applause emoji.

      “Woohoo! This is so exciting!” one fan commented.

      Posts by creators in the campaign carry a disclosure that reads “paid partnership with Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment.”

      Patricia Lepiani, president of Idea Marketing, said local micro influencers are in demand because they can seem more authentic than national social media stars. “Vaccination campaigns will only be effective if you know your community,” she said.

      Colorado officials recently said the state has just two months left to use 350,000 doses of stockpiled Covid-19 vaccines before they expire.

      Other places, including New Jersey, Oklahoma City County and Guilford County, N.C., as well as cities like San Jose, Calif., have worked with the digital marketing agency XOMAD, which identifies local influencers who can help broadcast public health information about the vaccines.

      Governments’ interest in the campaigns has spiked sharply in the past week, said Rob Perry, chief executive of XOMAD, as concerns have grown about the spread of the Delta variant of the virus. He added that “when large numbers of influencers post in the same time period, vaccination rates go up.”

      For Ms. Zeiler, the TikTok star, things moved quickly after she signed on to the White House-backed vaccination campaign. In June, she held an online conversation with Dr. Fauci, using the time to squash the false rumor that vaccines cause infertility. It was a conspiracy theory that she had heard from friends and that she had seen videos of on her TikTok “For You” page.

      “When I saw that I was like, OK, I need to ask him about it,” she said. “It was kind of sad to see him be like, no, that’s not true.”

      Ms. Zeiler has since used her footage with Dr. Fauci for other platforms, including Instagram, and created original content for YouTube promoting the vaccines. In one 47-second video, she spoke directly into the camera, ticking through the reasons she had gotten vaccinated and why others should too. “Reason one,” she declared, was “you can go wherever you want.”

      Ms. Zeiler said in an interview that her work was not done. “I know I won’t stop until all my followers are safe and vaccinated,” she said.

    • FRANCE PR4VD4 – Germany to offer Covid-19 vaccine booster shots from September

      Germany will start offering Covid booster shots from September and make it easier for 12-to-17 year olds to get a jab, the health ministry said Monday, amid concerns about the spread of the Delta variant.

    • LOUISIANA – Gov. Edwards issues statewide mask mandate for Louisiana

      The order requires face coverings for everyone age 5-or-older or enrolled in kindergarten, except for the following:

      Anyone who has a medical condition that prevents the wearing of a face covering
      Anyone who is consuming a drink or food
      Anyone who is trying to communicate with a person who is hearing impaired
      Anyone who is giving a speech for broadcast or to an audience
      Anyone temporarily removing his or her face covering for identification purposes

  3. Canada’s Trudeau expected to call snap elections in September

    OTTAWA, Canada: Reports from Canada say Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will schedule snap elections in September, two years ahead of schedule.

    Trudeau believes he can strengthen his party’s hold on power due to the success of high vaccination rates and a post-pandemic rebound, which he hopes will translate to increased votes.

    […]Polling suggests the Liberals could win a majority in September, as Canadians return to a life free of Covid and the economy is boosted by billions of government dollars.

    Current polling show the Liberals winning 34 percent of the vote in September, which would not allow them to form a majority government. However, Trudeau is betting on winning a greater majority of votes.

    • CBC – What will a federal election look like during a pandemic?

      Despite rumours of a federal election call soon, it doesn’t have to be held until 2023.

      But a minority government means it’s not business as usual in Ottawa.

    Newt Gingrich: Nancy Pelosi is the greatest threat to constitutional liberty in our lifetime
    Newt Gingrich
    6-8 minutes

    NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

    As a 20-year member of Congress and four-year Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, let me speak bluntly and directly.

    Speaker Nancy Pelosi is the greatest threat to constitutional liberty in our lifetime.

    With the passive support of an apparently cowardly caucus, she is behaving as a dictator more like Fidel Castro, Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin, or Nicolás Maduro.


    Pelosi ordered and kept the fencing around the U.S. Capitol for months – even when members of her own party were calling for it to come down. She stripped a duly elected Republican of all her committee assignments.

  5. Betraying the Cuban People, Again
    Chris Farrell
    7-8 minutes

    Cubans are holding the largest anti-government rallies in decades. American media coverage has been near zero. Everyone knows that President Biden’s hollow platitudes are utterly meaningless. Pictured: Cuban-Americans march from the White House to the Cuban Embassy on 16th Street during the “Cuban Freedom March” on July 26, 2021 in Washington, DC, urging the U.S. government to intervene in Cuba to support human rights and end communist rule there. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

    “Elections? What for?”
    — Fidel Castro, January 1960

    “The United States stands with the brave Cubans who have taken to the streets to oppose 62 years of repression under a communist regime.”
    — President Biden, July 22, 2021

    Take a look at the opening quotes to this essay, pause, and think about them. There is a long litany of American miscalculations, cowardice, gamesmanship, indifference, condescension, and exploitation centered on Cuba, the Cuban people, and Cuban-Americans. It has been a bipartisan problem for decades, with a lot of American political rhetoric; one double-crossed, failed invasion attempt; and brutal communist intransigence.

    Freedom of Speech: A Vulnerable Right
    Pete Hoekstra
    5-7 minutes

    Social media has undoubtedly become the dominant form of communication in our society. Sixty-eight percent of U.S. adults identify themselves as Facebook users. Statistics show that people on average spend 2.5 hours per day on social networks and messaging. Also, 49 percent “of consumers depend on influencer recommendations on social media.” Social media boosters claim that this success shows that Facebook, Twitter, Google, and other platforms are fulfilling their promise to help build an interconnected world of free expression and solidarity in diversity of thought. But is this true?

    Many of us in the world of politics, and political discourse in particular, hoped that social media would form a new marketplace in which differing ideas and policy options could be promoted and debated freely. In recent months, however, it has become undeniable that the opposite is happening.

    Rather than developing into a new marketplace of open competition among ideas and ideologies, the social media space has narrowed. Thought regulation, and even censorship, whether overt or hidden, has become commonplace. Too often, only “correct” opinion and the approved version of “truth” have been allowed. The arbiters of online speech — faceless corporate bureaucrats — frequently display outright political bias.

  7. Minnesotans Take Legal Action Over Critical Race Theory
    By Tom Ozimek
    July 31, 2021 Updated: August 1, 2021
    biggersmaller Print

    A law firm has taken legal action on behalf of Minnesotans opposed to critical race theory (CRT) who argue that they’ve become victims of bullying and retaliation for speaking out against what they say is a divisive and discriminatory philosophy.

    The Minnesota-based Upper Midwest Law Center (UMLC) announced on July 30 that it had filed complaints and lawsuits on behalf of clients who “seek an end to the ‘official’ propagandizing of CRT and the bullying and retaliation which accompany it.”

  8. Pelosi says Dems’ massive spending bill should include immigration reform
    Megan Henney
    3-4 minutes

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday that a sweeping, multitrillion-dollar spending bill that Democrats are aiming to pass without any Republican support should also tackle immigration reform.

    “I do believe that immigration should be in the reconciliation, some piece of that, in the reconciliation,” Pelosi told reporters on Friday during a press conference with House Democratic leadership. “We know we have a very good case for this to be included.”

  9. July 31, 2021 from the Facebook page of the man from Iraq, now a Canadian citizen, the Canadian leader of the terrorist group, Hibz ut-Tahrir, Mazin Abdul-Adhim, living in London, Ontario.

    In the midst of the chaos engulfing Tunisia and the failure of the Nahda movement to investigate Andy real change, one of the leaders of Nahda and an Imam, Reda Bihar Nasir, posted two statuses on his Facebook page.

    Some people don’t want to listen in the heat of the movement, whe; doors are opened for them, to partake in a new face of the same ugly old system, to provide legitimacy to the ruling class and thwart the revolution.

    Some other people like to mock and belittle, “how can you have a say when you haven’t even been involved in the political life of any state since your inception”, “how simplistic is this reading that suggests every government in our lands is tied to the west”, again not realising their own ignorance about the political realities that shaped and continue to shape the political life in our lands. but with patience and perseverance, all sincere people will come to realise thruth and reality of things.

    The two posts translated:
    1. “ The testimony to Allah and History:
    The only party that understands the game of democracy and understood that its threads are in the hands of the great powers and hat it is just a decoration to beautify the ugly colonial face is Hibz ut-Tahrir”.

    2. “I offer my apologies to every member of Hibz ut-Tahrir and ask them for forgiveness for my arguments to prove democracy as the only system we should consider! O members of Hibz ut-Tahrir: your opinion is right and my opinion is wrong!”

  10. CBC – How Canadian tourism sustains Cuba’s army and one-party state

    Cuban-Canadians say beach resorts popular with Canadians fuel exploitation and repression

    Standing on a street corner in Montreal, Reinaldo Rodriguez has a message for Canadians.

    “Canadian tourists are feeding the Cuban regime,” he told CBC News.

    Rodriguez was part of a wave of protests that have swept Canada’s 30,000-strong Cuban community since unrest spread across the island on July 11.

    “The people don’t see (the money),” he said. “The same as happens with the money the government makes from its doctors who work overseas. The Cuban hospitals are unsanitary, people don’t have medicines.”

    Fellow protester Felix Blanco carried a sign that read, “All-included resort in Cuba: 51 per cent dictatorship, 49 per cent foreign company, 0 per cent Cuban people.”

    Blanco grew up in Varadero, the heart of the country’s sun-and-sand industry.

    “The regime uses that money for repression,” he told CBC News. “We can see how many police cars they have, how well prepared they are to repress. But we don’t have ambulances.” (Cuban authorities have said they lack gasoline for ambulances.)

    Cuban-Canadian activists say many Canadians are not aware of the extent to which the survival of Cuba’s one-party regime depends upon the foreign currency tourists bring into the country, or the lengths the Cuban government will go to keep Canadians coming.

    And an even smaller number realize just how many of their dollars are going not to Cuba’s undemocratic government, but directly to a group of companies controlled by a small group of well-connected generals in Cuba’s Revolutionary Armed Forces.

    COVID crushes tourism

    While foreign arrivals in Cuba have crashed this year, no other nationality has stayed away as much as Canadians, according to Cuban government statistics.

    Overall visits are down about 95 per cent compared to 2019, but Canadian visits have plunged by 99.5 per cent. (Russia, by contrast, actually sent more visitors in 2021.)

    That is hugely damaging to Cuba’s economy, because (in normal years) far more Canadians enter and leave Cuba than citizens of any other country — including Cuba itself.

    On January 1 this year, Cuba — like many countries — introduced new rules requiring all visitors to produce a negative PCR test for COVID-19 before travel.

    Cuba is an island and few of its impoverished citizens can afford to leave it. Foreign visitors are its main source of vulnerability when it comes to COVID.

    But just a few days later, Cuba removed the testing requirement exclusively for Canadian visitors.

    It wasn’t because Canada’s COVID risk was lower. In fact, the rules were relaxed just as Canada was approaching peak caseload for the entire pandemic up to that point — about 8,000 new cases a day. (It’s just a few hundred per day now.)

    Cuba avoided the worst of the pandemic through 2020. That changed in 2021; Cuba reported just 169 new cases on January 1, 2021, but was recording over 1,000 new daily cases by February 1.

    The Cuban government also offered PCR tests to Canadians returning home at about one-tenth of the price one would expect to pay in Canada, the U.S. or Mexico.

    Some Canadians remained so eager to visit Cuba they sought to extend the Atlantic bubble to include the Caribbean island — by travelling from Halifax to Cayo Coco to stay in a Canadians-only hotel at a time when Nova Scotia was requiring most Canadians looking to visit the province to apply for government permission.

    The army and the resorts

    In December 2019, just before COVID hit, Cuban President Raul Castro named Manuel Marrero Cruz as Cuba’s first prime minister in over 30 years.

    The last person to hold the post had been Fidel Castro himself, who left it to become president. The appointment of the long-serving minister of tourism demonstrated the vital importance of hotels and resorts to Cuba’s economy.

    Other than tourism, there is little Cuba has to offer world markets in comparison to its needs. For every dollar it gains through exports, it spends five on imports. It looks to tourists to make up that yawning gap year after year.

    Raul Castro, more than anyone else, is responsible for Cuba’s modern resort industry. Seen by many Cubans as more pragmatic than his brother Fidel, Raul was in charge of the Revolutionary Armed Forces when Soviet aid to Cuba dried up.

    He used the country’s defence budget to branch out into tourism and other businesses, creating the nucleus of a business empire that today is the biggest player in the Cuban economy. Hotels went up around Cuba’s western coast, although Cuba’s own people were forbidden to visit them until 2008 (the same year the Cuban government dropped its ban on cellphones, computers and DVD players.)

    A hotel empire led by a general

    At the top of the military’s hotel empire sits General Luis Alberto Rodriguez Lopez-Calleja, father of two of Raul Castro’s grandchildren and a member of Cuba’s Politburo — a man some Cubans believe is the one really running the country alongside his father-in-law, using President Miguel Diaz-Canel as a replaceable public face.

    Rodriguez Lopez-Calleja heads the armed forces’ holding company GAESA, which runs a range of tourism, construction, banking, air and ground transport and retail businesses across the country, including the hotel chain Gaviota, which owns most of the four- and five-star hotel rooms in the country.

    The Cuban state also owns Cuba’s two other big chains, the Gran Caribe Hotel Group and Cubanacan, although both chains recently have been losing ground to the military’s holding company.

    The accounts of the chains, like those of all state enterprises in Cuba, are closed.

    But the Cuban government has been very public about its intentions to build its economic future on tourism.

    Cuba’s current development plan foresees the construction of over 100,000 new hotel rooms by 2030, along with 24 new golf courses.

    At the heart of the growth plan are GAESA and other companies owned by the armed forces. GAESA will spend over $15 billion on 121 hotel projects, twice as much as is expected to come from foreign investors and Cuba’s civilian government combined.

    The Cuban military is on track to own over 90,000 hotel rooms by 2030 — more rooms than currently exist in the entire Dominican Republic, the most hotel-rich country in the Caribbean.

    And spending on new hotel and real estate ventures now far outstrips Cuba’s shrinking budgets for health, education, agriculture and science combined.

    Even as the pandemic gripped Cuba and tourism plunged, Cuba’s Communist government was able to find Canadian partners. Blue Diamond Resorts, a company that already manages about 20 state-owned hotels in Cuba, went into business with the Cuban state again in August 2020 to open boutique hotel Mystique Casa Perla in Varadero.

    Neither Blue Diamond nor its parent company Sunwing responded to CBC News inquiries for this article. Neither did the Cuba Tourist Board of Canada.

    Richard Feinberg of the University of California San Diego co-wrote a paper on Cuba’s tourist industry for the Brookings Institution. He said foreign hotel chains typically have one of two types of arrangements with the Cuban state or military.

    Hotels owned by the Ministry of Tourism, he said, often have foreign companies as junior partners (typically with a 49 per cent stake in the property, with Cuba holding the controlling share). Military-owned hotels, he said, more often belong entirely to the military’s real estate company Almest S.A., and foreign partners merely have management contracts.

    Low wages, ‘captive’ workforce

    Workers are provided through an employment agency also controlled by GAESA/Gaviota. While a foreign company pays Gaviota an estimated $750 a month for the average base-salary worker, the worker would typically receive less than 10 per cent of that amount in salary. The rest goes to the Cuban military.

    Cuban hotel workers take home only a tiny fraction of what their counterparts in Cancun or the Dominican Republic earn for similar work. Guest workers from India working on one hotel were paid ten times more than their Cuban peers.

    Communist Party organs defended the pay difference by claiming that the productivity of Indian workers was “three or four times better” than the average Cuban’s.

    In addition, GAESA’s construction projects benefit from the forced labour of military conscripts, such as those who dug the foundation beneath the new Hotel Prado y Malecon in Havana.

    Felix Blanco points to another difference between Cuba’s tourist industry and other Caribbean destinations: a captive workforce. While Mexican workers unsatisfied with their wages can leave and set up on their own, “my family in Cuba are not allowed to have their own business.” A Cuban who leaves a $40/month job in the tourist sector will be lucky to earn $30/month in other sectors of the economy.

    Tourism jobs are highly sought after, said Feinberg.

    “Cubans leave their jobs as engineers, as medical professionals, as teachers, to work in those hotels,” he told CBC News, “because that’s where the salaries are better, the working conditions are better, and you have access to tips from international tourists.”

    No way around the military

    Some tourists choose to avoid big hotels and resorts in Cuba, preferring private homes and B&Bs. Even then, it’s hard for them to avoid enriching Cuba’s military. It operates the banks through which tourists make credit card payments to individuals. It operates the stores that sell imported food and goods.

    The Cuban military dominates hotel building in Havana and five years ago took over control of Habaguanex, the consortium that operates Old Havana’s stores and restaurants, previously run by the city’s official historian Eusebio Leal.

    As U.S. hotel company Marriott discovered last year, it is virtually impossible to operate on the island today without enriching what is already the country’s richest institution: the Revolutionary Armed Forces.

    Opinions are divided on whether Canadian tourists might, by staying away, hasten the fall of Cuba’s one-party state. Cuban-Canadians like Felix Blanco say they believe it would help.

    Feinberg, meanwhile, said he’s skeptical of “the idea that if we could only reduce the number of stays at these hotels we could somehow starve out and shrink the Cuban security apparatus.”

    The Cuban government would ensure that resources flow to that apparatus one way or another, he said.

    What’s not clear is where they would flow from. Cuba’s increasing dependence on tourism has been acknowledged by President Miguel Diaz-Canel himself, who has called it “the locomotive of the Cuban economy” and once told national deputies that “what we have on a weekly basis to pay credits, to buy raw materials and to invest, comes from tourism.”

    “Cuba is a place that a lot of Canadians have affection for,” said Karen Dubinsky of Queens University, who has written about the lives of ordinary Cubans.

    “Canadians aren’t stupid. They know that to be on vacation in a resort hotel is not the same as living life, certainly not the same as how Cubans live life. And maybe Canadians could dig a little deeper,” she told CBC News. “If Canadians become more sympathetic and educated tourists as a result of this, that’s a good place to start.”

  11. Germany: Berlin condemns violent weekend protests

    After Berlin’s banned COVID-sceptics protest saw violent clashes and as many as 600 arrested in the German capital on Sunday, the German government slammed what it described as riots on Monday.

    Ulrike Demmer of the German federal government stressed that there “is no place for violence and right extremism, from anywhere it may come.”

    The spokesperson of the Ministry of the Interior, Steve Alter on his part underlined the nature of these rallies and added that these were “namely a surveillance object that sees the legitimacy of the state in the foreground, which is hostile to democracy and which endangers security” of the state and its institutions.


    SOT, Ulrike Demmer, Spokesperson of federal government (German): “Despite the prohibition of this demonstration, there were incidents and riots over the weekend, as well as hundreds of arrests. There were also attacks on people from the protest, which the federal government takes with great concern. Violent clashes and abuse of the right to demonstrate is unacceptable. There is no place for violence and right extremism, from anywhere it may come.”

    SOT, Ulrike Demmer, Spokesperson of federal government (German): “For the concrete case of the attack on the regional chairman of the trade union Verdi, I want to express from here, that we have taken notice from press reports, that people are being attacked arbitrarily. This goes beyond any understanding and is absolutely unacceptable. The clarification of this act is of paramount importance, and I would like to wish to the injured people a soon recovery”

    SOT, Steve Alter, Spokesperson of German Federal Ministry Interior (German): “[…] namely a surveillance object that sees the legitimacy of the state in the foreground, which is hostile to democracy and which endangers security, for example, people and groups who, even if they have no internal connection, get together to destabilise and delegitimate the state and the institutions.

    There is a recognisable pattern since the beginning of the pandemic in these demonstrations, in the floods catastrophe and other cases where there is no external connection, but in the end the goal that unites these individuals and other actors and individual groups is this movement.”


  12. Channel pr4vd4 –Scottish minister Humza Yousaf claims nursery discriminated against daughter

    The Scottish Health Secretary Humza Yousaf has made a complaint against a nursery near Dundee, alleging that it refused to offer his daughter a place on the grounds of her mother’s Muslim name.

    Mr Yousaf and his wife then helped co-ordinate five further enquiries using Muslim and “white sounding” names, and they allege that the nursery discriminated against the Muslim applicants.

    The owners of the nursery said they were “extremely proud of being open and inclusive to all”, adding that the claim was demonstrably false and refuted “in the strongest possible terms”.

  13. Postal Union That Endorsed Biden Says COVID Vaccine Mandates ‘Not The Role Of The Federal Government’
    July 29, 2021 By Jordan Davidson

    The postal union that endorsed Democrat Joe Biden for president is opposed to the Biden administration’s sweeping vaccine mandate for federal employees.

    Members of the executive board of the American Postal Workers Union, which represents more than 220,000 United States Postal Service employees and thousands of mail workers in private mail services, first voiced their public support for Biden in June 2020 because of “his record of advancing the cause of unions, his support for the public Postal Service, postal workers, and his opposition to postal privatization.” The union claimed Biden cared about the workers in the postal service and appreciated their hard work “serving the people at a time of incredible need” even when they “face[d] the prospect of closure” due to a lack of funding.

  14. The Left Has A Pedophilia Problem, And It’s Out In The Open
    Spencer Lindquist
    8-10 minutes

    Like many others, I have fond memories of my childhood. Whether I was marching in an Independence Day Parade, binge-watching the Power Rangers, or making gingerbread men for Christmas with my family, I had the chance to enjoy a childhood that preserved my innocence, an innocence that is unique to children and that, once lost, doesn’t return.

    A subset of children growing up today will likely recall certain aspects of their childhood very differently. The left has, with a startling degree of success, endeavored to reshape our society by embedding their beliefs within the experience of childhood, overshadowing 4th of July parades with Pride parades, implanting LGBT propaganda in children’s shows, and supplanting gingerbread men with the “genderbread person.”

    In isolation, any of these specific incidences would be unsettling, to say the least, but by viewing them in the larger context one reaches a conclusion that is just as unconscionable as it is unavoidable. It isn’t just that controversial beliefs are being thrust into childhood experiences, but that the natural curiosity, openness, and naivety that is the inherent disposition of youth is being hijacked to normalize a divergent sexual ethic.

  15. Washington’s New Laws Handcuffing Police Will Increase Crime, Chaos
    Jason Rantz
    9-11 minutes

    Washington state just reimagined policing with sweeping so-called “police accountability” bills that went into effect this week. Led by anti-police activists enabled by allies in the Democrat-controlled legislature, the consequences of these dramatic changes will be worse than you can imagine. And Democrats don’t seem to care.

    Police use of force is now strictly limited. Car chases and tear gas are almost entirely banned. Chokeholds are now forbidden, requiring officers to use more lethal tools at their disposal. Some bills even conflict with others.

    “The challenge is — I’m going to be very frank — the laws were written very poorly, and the combination of them all at the same time has led to there being conflicts in clarity and in what was intended versus what was written,” Kent Police Chief Rafael Padilla told ABC News.

  16. “FBI Agents with Shields, Weapons Drawn, Raid SoCal Home of Non-Violent January 6 Protester who Walked Through Capitol, Took Photos (VIDEO)”
    by Cristina Laila – August 2, 2021


    California – FBI agents on Thursday raided the home of a Huntington Beach man after his prayer group tipped off the feds when he sent of photo of himself inside the Capitol to a group chat on January 6.

    According to the criminal complaint, Glenn Allen Brooks, 61, entered the Capitol through a broken window on the senate side and peacefully walked through the building.

  17. The MA “breakthru” scare is a talking point, as valid as everything else peddled by the chattering class.

    Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)
    “The findings in this report are subject to at least four limitations.

    First, data from this report are insufficient to draw conclusions…

    Second, asymptomatic breakthrough infections might be underrepresented because of detection bias.

    Third, demographics of cases likely reflect those of attendees at the public gatherings, as events were marketed to [GAY] adult male participants; further study is underway to identify other population characteristics among cases, such as [KISSY FACE] additional demographic characteristics and [AIDS] underlying health conditions including immunocompromising conditions.

    …Ct values obtained with SARS-CoV-2 qualitative RT-PCR diagnostic tests might provide a crude correlation to the amount of virus present in a sample and can also be affected by factors other than viral load.

    Although the assay used in this investigation was not validated to provide quantitative results, there was no significant difference between the Ct values of samples collected from breakthrough cases and the other cases. This might mean that the viral load of vaccinated and unvaccinated persons infected with SARS-CoV-2 is also similar. However, microbiological studies are required to confirm these findings.

  18. RE: Boosters

    “The World Health Organization (WHO) has voiced opposition to third dosing in richer nations before making primary doses available to billions of people in middle-income and poorer countries. It’s a completely reasonable point, both morally and strategically, in the war against COVID-19.

    But evidence now points in an alarming new direction, suggesting that fully vaccinated individuals can carry the delta variant in their noses and mouths, shedding in some cases just as much virus to infect others as do unvaccinated infected individuals.

    Moreover, in the absence of fully effective vaccination of better than 75 percent of adults, a society may act as a herd of walking petri dishes, cultivating immune-escape mutant forms of SARS-CoV-2 — that is, mutants that evade existing vaccines. The vaccine that rolls out tomorrow in a poorer country may have already been rendered less effective by its prior inadequate, or incorrect, use in richer countries….

    Because the virus surges so rapidly after infection, peaking its viral load two or three days faster than garden-variety COVID-19, individuals who are carrying all that virus in their bodies have no idea, exhibit no symptoms, and take no special precautions to protect others. Worse, even if they were immunized by either vaccines or prior COVID-19 illness, they may be vulnerable to reinfection.

    That’s for two reasons. First, the sheer volume of virus coming at their unmasked faces from a delta-infected individual is three orders of magnitude larger than anything their bodies were prepared for — instead of encountering a few puffs of particles in the air, they are gulping down microscopic hurricanes of the stuff.

    And second, it surges inside their bodies faster than their B cell memory component can mobilize to generate neutralizing antibodies and other weaponry.

    It also appears that the United States may have blundered by setting the time interval between the first two doses at 21 days — a decision made by the CDC and FDA under the TRUMP ADMINISTRATION….
    [No. That's what the manufacturers recommended.]

    For reasons having less to do with science than with the rush to get as many British at least partially protected as rapidly as possible, Boris Johnson’s government chose a far longer time interval between doses — months. And that may explain why the delta variant’s dire impact seems to be reversing in the UK, with daily incidence of new cases dropping rapidly….

  19. There are 2 snow leopards at the San Diego Zoo. Both endangered cats have COVID-19

    A second snow leopard has tested positive for COVID-19 at the San Diego Zoo, just days after an earlier case, the organization said on Thursday.

    Zoo staff tested stool samples from Naphisa, a 3-year-old female snow leopard, after she developed a cough “within the past few days”, according to a spokesperson. After the sample tested positive for the coronavirus in the zoo’s lab, the staff sent another sample to the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System; the state-level lab confirmed the result.

    That’s exactly what had happened July 23, when the zoo announced that Ramil, a 9-year-old male snow leopard, tested positive for the virus after keepers noticed he had a cough and runny nose.

    Naphisa and Ramil are eating and moving about normally […], and their coughs are beginning to improve.

    The endangered cats live together in an enclosure they share with two Amur leopards. Once Ramil tested positive, the zoo staff assumed that the other three leopards would be exposed. All four animals are being closely monitored and quarantined, and their exhibit is closed to the public….

    [No vaxx offered to these cats.]
    Naphisa and Ramil are the zoo’s only snow leopards. The organization hopes they’ll become a breeding pair, though Naphisa has yet to produce cubs….

  20. GoV – Implementing Geronticide

    by Baron Bodissey
    All Western democracies are welfare states to varying degrees, the most extreme versions being Germany and Sweden. An important component of the welfare state is its care for the aged. In recent decades life expectancy has increased, along with the cost of geriatric medicine. The cost increase is not linear — the last decade of life for those over 75 is, on average, very expensive, and governments are footing the bill.

    Back in 2008 I posted about the coming demographic crisis and how various Western governments might decide to cope with it. It was clear that the Baby Boomers — my generation, the proverbial “pig in the python” — would eventually break the system as they entered retirement and became more and more expensive to maintain.

    The current demographic debacle was foreseen long ago, all the way back in the 1960s and 1970s. The preferred solution back then was to import immigrants from the fecund Third World, who would become productive citizens, generating the tax revenues that would be crucial to supporting the Boomers in their dotage. In addition, Aisha and Mehmet would be trained to take jobs as nurses and medical technicians to staff the nursing homes that would eventually be bursting at the seams with the Aged of Aquarius.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.