Reader’s Links for August 23, 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

100 Replies to “Reader’s Links for August 23, 2021”

  1. Australia The Beta Test Site For NWO Takeover/Local council shoots rescue dogs to death in Australia, cites COVID-19 restrictions Sorry don’t have the link but found this
    Australians Who Post Anti-Lockdown Content Online Could …
    Aug 01, 2021 · These days Australia is one of three major beta test site nations for the progression of the NWO progressives that relabeled it the “Great Reset” . If it quickly gains compliance there and the UK, it will spawn like mold spores across industrial third world countries, turning them into …

    NWO’s start to get rid of domestic animals.
    Local council shoots rescue dogs to death in Australia, cites COVID-19 restrictions

  2. The depth of the rot we see in our countries would not exist without financing. The rise of communist Australia for example, which must be considered as part of a roll-out template ready for spreading, needs the creation of government debt to pay for it. The people pay for their own gulag. The CCP need only lift a finger to quietly point its “elected” minions in the right direction. After all, the CCP is the current world expert in human control.

  3. The big ‘known unknown’ of 2020 – Liberty Unyielding
    J.E. Dyer
    17-22 minutes

    The big ‘known unknown’ of 2020

    The Arizona audit in progress, May 2021. ABC News video, YouTube

    The results of the Maricopa County election “audit” from Arizona are reportedly to be published this week. It’s not certain, of course, how this will go. Partisan media are utterly incapable of reporting on this matter in responsible, temperate language, so here are a few links from each side: here, here, here, here, here.

    As a reminder, polling indicates a majority favor audits.

  4. Putin warns terrorists & Taliban fighters ‘disguised as refugees’ could be flowing out of Afghanistan amid chaos of US withdrawal

    […]According to the Russian president, this poses a potential security threat and “is a direct concern for our citizens.” He added that “we do not want fighters disguised as refugees to turn up in our country.” Citing a spate of terrorist attacks driven by separatism in majority-Muslim regions in the country’s south, such as Chechnya, two decades ago, the president insisted that “we do not want to repeat what happened in the 90s and mid-2000s… we had these horrors that are now being repeated on the territory of Afghanistan.”

    Putin went on to say that one of the reasons Russia has carried out strikes on Islamic State in Syria and provided military to the government of President Bashar Assad in Damascus is to prevent the country from “turning into some kind of Afghanistan, and becoming a breeding ground for terrorism.”

    The Russian leader also slammed plans by western nations, including the US, to resettle Afghan translators, and others at risk of Taliban reprisals, to countries in the region, such as Uzbekistan. According to Putin, this is a “humiliating” request and poses a security threat for Russia.

    • europravda – Austrian chancellor says he’s against taking in more Afghan refugees

      Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said that his country had already taken in enough refugees from Afghanistan.

    • “breeding ground for terrorism” is too dismissive a phrase.
      Try “The site of a new caliphate intent on conquering any states within reach, doing so without regard for ‘rules of engagement’ that distinguish between military an civilian targets.” Perhaps n you could substitute the PRC for “caliphate” in that the PRC targets cyber assets that pertain to both civilian and military matters.

    • I just replied to X re France yesterday identifying five Taliban linked to terrorism posing as refugees as they arrived from Kabul.

  5. Fox News – Ex-CIA director compares Trump supporters to the Taliban

    Hayden is a retired US Air Force four-star general

    Former CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden was widely panned for a retweet that signaled he equated President Trump’s supporters in the United States with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

    On Thursday, Hayden retweeted a split image. The top showed black-clad Islamic militants waving guns and flags from a line of cars with a caption reading: “Their Taliban.” Beneath that was a line of pickup trucks hoisting American flags and “Trump 2020” flags with the caption: “Our Taliban”

    Hayden is a retired U.S. Air Force four-star general who at various points was the Director of the National Security Agency, the Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, in addition to being the Director of the CIA.

    While some of the replies seemed to concur with Hayden’s sentiment – that Trump supporters and the Taliban are essentially the same – the vast majority were critical.

    “Wow. Hate much,” tweeted one user.

    • Deutsche Pravda – Firefight at Kabul airport as Afghans scramble to flee Taliban

      […]German troops were involved in a firefight with unknown attackers that left one Afghan security officer dead and three others injured.

      […]the group’s leadership appears to be taking shape. Some have been part of the Taliban since its creation in the 1990s.

      Key figures include:

      Hibatullah Akhundzada has been the Taliban’s supreme leader since 2016. Prior to his rise to the top, he spent decades as a strict hardline judge and cleric. He has final authority on military, political and religious affairs.

      Abdul Ghani Baradar is a co-founder of the Taliban and is now their political head. He held senior positions in the late 1990’s. Baradar spent 8 years in prison in Pakistan after being captured in 2010. He helped lead negotiations with the US to withdraw troops from Afghanistan last year.

      The deputy leader of the Taliban is believed to be Sirajuddin Haqqani. He is head of the Haqqani network in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and led many of their military efforts. The Haqqani network has been a fierce opponent of the US presence in Afghanistan. Haqqani is on the FBI’s most wanted list and is believed to be behind several terror attacks.

      Mohammad Yaqoob is the head of the Taliban’s military operations. He is the son of the deceased Taliban founder Mullah Mohammad Omar.

    • Taliban flag seller in Kabul: ‘This flag will be flown all over the world’

      At a Kabul roadside on Sunday, men and young boys are busy selling Taliban flags.

      Since rolling into Kabul a week ago, the white banner of the Muslim jihadists has become a common sight in the capital.

    • The Taliban’s spokesperson has told Sky News there will be ‘consequences’ if the US delays their withdrawal from Afghanistan.

    • BBC – Taliban tells BBC that Afghans can leave after 31 Aug with proper visas

      The Taliban are urging Afghan people to stay and rebuild their country but will not stand in the way of those who want to leave, if they have the correct documentation, a spokesman has told the BBC.

      Suhail Shaheen said people could still leave on commercial flights after the deadline for foreign troops to leave by 31 August.

      He said: “We are not putting hurdles in their way if they have a passport issued – they can go on commercial flights at any time. We want them to stay in the country but if they intend to go, they can… if they have the proper documents.”

      But he stressed there would be “consequences” if the foreign forces stayed beyond 31 August. He did not elaborate on what this would mean, saying only that the Taliban leadership would decide.

    • CBC – Special forces now escorting Afghans, Canadians to Kabul airport: officials

      The federal government has confirmed Canada’s special forces are operating outside the security cordon of the airport in Afghanistan’s capital, working to shepherd people from Kabul into the airport.

    • Afghan Refugees Coming To New Jersey’s Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst

      Officials tell CBS3 they will provide housing, medical, and transportation support.

    • NJ prepares to receive Afghan refugees fleeing Taliban

      U.S. military officials on Monday confirmed that Joint Base McGuire Dix Lakehurst is preparing to receive Afghan refugees, including special immigrant visa applicants and their families, as well as other Afghans considered to be at-risk.

      It’s one of 4 U.S. military bases now prepared to take in evacuees.

    • the telegraph – Son of legendary Afghan commander ‘preparing to surrender’ last anti-Taliban stronghold

      Ahmad Massoud is holding the Panjshir Valley with other opposition fighters, but is set to surrender in the absence of international support

      Opposition fighters in the last pocket of anti-Taliban territory in Afghanistan are preparing a surrender agreement as they lack resources and international support, a key adviser to the group has told The Telegraph.

      Ahmed Massoud, the son of a renowned Afghan warlord, is holding the Panjshir Valley – a natural fortress 100 miles north of Kabul – with a few hundred Afghan soldiers, commandos and pilots.

      He has been joined by other ousted Afghan leaders including Amrullah Saleh, the vice president who now claims to be the acting leader of Afghanistan.

      In his first interview since the fall of Kabul, Mr Massoud told The Telegraph last week that his surrounded forces would “fight to the last breath” if it came to war.

      But an adviser to Mr Massoud, whose identity The Telegraph is not disclosing, said the 32-year-old was looking for a way to capitulate with his honour intact.

      “Panjshir can’t fight the Taliban, the Taliban have overwhelming forces,” the adviser said. “This is not the 1980s or 1980s, the Taliban have battle hardened fighters.”

      Hundreds of Taliban fighters have been sent towards Panjshir, according to the Taliban’s Alemarah information service.

      The outlet broadcast footage of a convoy of captured Afghan government trucks flying the white Taliban flag moving along a highway.

      “The enemy is under siege in Panjshir,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Twitter.

      ‘Peaceful solution’

      At a gathering of clerics in Kabul on Monday, Mr Mujahid said there had been no fighting in Panjshir yet and that the Taliban were seeking a “peaceful solution”.

      Mr Massoud’s father, Ahmed Shah Massoud, fought the Soviet invasion in the 1980s and then resisted the Taliban in the 1990s from the valley fortress, before being killed in an Al Qaeda bombing two days before 9/11.

      Given his father’s reputation, Mr Massoud’s capitulation would represent a significant win for the Taliban.

      “Taliban want outright allegiance, it would be a big symbol to get public allegiance from him because of who his father was,” the adviser said.

      Mr Massoud is “looking for a face-saving way for them to surrender,” as well an agreement to keep Taliban forces out of Panjshir, something to which the Taliban are unlikely to agree.

      With no international support, Mr Massoud will be unable to hold out for long if the Taliban lose patience in negotiations.

      “Everyone is sick of Afghanistan after a 20-year war, no one wants to pour any weapons into a resistance movement,” the adviser said.

      “The cards are heavily stacked against Panjshir,” he said. “I think Panjshir can hold out for two to three months, and then the winter will come.”

      In a last ditch effort to stop a Taliban military offensive, the Panjshir forces sent a delegation to Pakistan last week to negotiate.

      But the Taliban, flush from a stunningly quick military victory, are not in a mood to compromise, said the adviser to Mr Massoud.

      “They don’t feel like they’re speaking to an equal,” said the adviser. “They’ve got them surrounded and can attack any time.”


      FDA Approves First COVID-19 Vaccine

      Approval Signifies Key Achievement for Public Health

      For Immediate Release:

      August 23, 2021

      Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine has been known as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, and will now be marketed as Comirnaty (koe-mir’-na-tee), for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older. The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA), including for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals.

      “The FDA’s approval of this vaccine is a milestone as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. While this and other vaccines have met the FDA’s rigorous, scientific standards for emergency use authorization, as the first FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, the public can be very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D. “While millions of people have already safely received COVID-19 vaccines, we recognize that for some, the FDA approval of a vaccine may now instill additional confidence to get vaccinated. Today’s milestone puts us one step closer to altering the course of this pandemic in the U.S.”

      Since Dec. 11, 2020, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine has been available under EUA in individuals 16 years of age and older, and the authorization was expanded to include those 12 through 15 years of age on May 10, 2021. EUAs can be used by the FDA during public health emergencies to provide access to medical products that may be effective in preventing, diagnosing, or treating a disease, provided that the FDA determines that the known and potential benefits of a product, when used to prevent, diagnose, or treat the disease, outweigh the known and potential risks of the product.

      FDA-approved vaccines undergo the agency’s standard process for reviewing the quality, safety and effectiveness of medical products. For all vaccines, the FDA evaluates data and information included in the manufacturer’s submission of a biologics license application (BLA). A BLA is a comprehensive document that is submitted to the agency providing very specific requirements. For Comirnaty, the BLA builds on the extensive data and information previously submitted that supported the EUA, such as preclinical and clinical data and information, as well as details of the manufacturing process, vaccine testing results to ensure vaccine quality, and inspections of the sites where the vaccine is made. The agency conducts its own analyses of the information in the BLA to make sure the vaccine is safe and effective and meets the FDA’s standards for approval.

      Comirnaty contains messenger RNA (mRNA), a kind of genetic material. The mRNA is used by the body to make a mimic of one of the proteins in the virus that causes COVID-19. The result of a person receiving this vaccine is that their immune system will ultimately react defensively to the virus that causes COVID-19. The mRNA in Comirnaty is only present in the body for a short time and is not incorporated into – nor does it alter – an individual’s genetic material. Comirnaty has the same formulation as the EUA vaccine and is administered as a series of two doses, three weeks apart.

      “Our scientific and medical experts conducted an incredibly thorough and thoughtful evaluation of this vaccine. We evaluated scientific data and information included in hundreds of thousands of pages, conducted our own analyses of Comirnaty’s safety and effectiveness, and performed a detailed assessment of the manufacturing processes, including inspections of the manufacturing facilities,” said Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. “We have not lost sight that the COVID-19 public health crisis continues in the U.S. and that the public is counting on safe and effective vaccines. The public and medical community can be confident that although we approved this vaccine expeditiously, it was fully in keeping with our existing high standards for vaccines in the U.S.”

      FDA Evaluation of Safety and Effectiveness Data for Approval for 16 Years of Age and Older
      The first EUA, issued Dec. 11, for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for individuals 16 years of age and older was based on safety and effectiveness data from a randomized, controlled, blinded ongoing clinical trial of thousands of individuals.

      To support the FDA’s approval decision today, the FDA reviewed updated data from the clinical trial which supported the EUA and included a longer duration of follow-up in a larger clinical trial population.

      Specifically, in the FDA’s review for approval, the agency analyzed effectiveness data from approximately 20,000 vaccine and 20,000 placebo recipients ages 16 and older who did not have evidence of the COVID-19 virus infection within a week of receiving the second dose. The safety of Comirnaty was evaluated in approximately 22,000 people who received the vaccine and 22,000 people who received a placebo 16 years of age and older.

      Based on results from the clinical trial, the vaccine was 91% effective in preventing COVID-19 disease.

      More than half of the clinical trial participants were followed for safety outcomes for at least four months after the second dose. Overall, approximately 12,000 recipients have been followed for at least 6 months.

      The most commonly reported side effects by those clinical trial participants who received Comirnaty were pain, redness and swelling at the injection site, fatigue, headache, muscle or joint pain, chills, and fever. The vaccine is effective in preventing COVID-19 and potentially serious outcomes including hospitalization and death.

      Additionally, the FDA conducted a rigorous evaluation of the post-authorization safety surveillance data pertaining to myocarditis and pericarditis following administration of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine and has determined that the data demonstrate increased risks, particularly within the seven days following the second dose. The observed risk is higher among males under 40 years of age compared to females and older males. The observed risk is highest in males 12 through 17 years of age. Available data from short-term follow-up suggest that most individuals have had resolution of symptoms. However, some individuals required intensive care support. Information is not yet available about potential long-term health outcomes. The Comirnaty Prescribing Information includes a warning about these risks.

      Ongoing Safety Monitoring

      The FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have monitoring systems in place to ensure that any safety concerns continue to be identified and evaluated in a timely manner. In addition, the FDA is requiring the company to conduct postmarketing studies to further assess the risks of myocarditis and pericarditis following vaccination with Comirnaty. These studies will include an evaluation of long-term outcomes among individuals who develop myocarditis following vaccination with Comirnaty. In addition, although not FDA requirements, the company has committed to additional post-marketing safety studies, including conducting a pregnancy registry study to evaluate pregnancy and infant outcomes after receipt of Comirnaty during pregnancy.

      The FDA granted this application Priority Review. The approval was granted to BioNTech Manufacturing GmbH.

    • NYC mandates vaccinations for public school teachers, staff

      NEW YORK (AP) — All New York City public school teachers and other staffers will have to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, officials said Monday as the nation’s largest school system prepared for classes to start next month.

      The city previously said teachers, like other city employees, would have to get the shots or get tested weekly for the virus. The new policy marks the first no-option vaccination mandate for a broad group of city workers in the nation’s most populous city, though Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday that coaches and students in football, basketball and other “high-risk” sports would have to get inoculated before play begins.

      Now, about 148,000 school employees — and contractors who work in schools — will have to get at least a first dose by Sept. 27, according to an announcement from the Democratic mayor and the city health and education departments.

      “We want our schools to be extraordinarily safe,” de Blasio said. Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter called the policy “another layer of protection for our kids,” including her own 11th-grader.

      The city hasn’t immediately said what the penalty will be for refusing, or whether there will be exemptions. The previous vaccinate-or-test requirement had provisions for unpaid suspensions for workers who didn’t comply.

      Unions that represent school employees said they needed answers — and negotiations.

      Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, said its priority was ”keeping our kids safe and the schools open,” but provisions for medical exceptions and other details “must be negotiated with the UFT and other unions, and if necessary, resolved by arbitration.”

      Robert Troeller, the president of the custodians’ union said he was concerned that the city had announced the requirement without bargaining.

      Troeller said he believed about 60% of the 850 members of Local 891 of the International Union of Operating Engineers had gotten at least a first shot. But at least some who haven’t “are dead-set against this,” he said.

      At least 63% of all school employees already have been vaccinated. That figure doesn’t include those who may have gotten their shots outside the city.

      The new requirement came as federal regulators gave full approval to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, one of three vaccines available in the U.S. All already have authorization for emergency use, but officials hope the full approval will increase public confidence in the vaccines.

      School starts Sept. 13 for the city’s roughly 1 million public school students.

      New York and some other cities and states have been fighting the virus’ highly contagious delta variant by ratcheting up pressure to get more people inoculated.

      New York City last week began requiring proof of vaccination to enter restaurant dining rooms, gyms and many other public places, a first-in-the-nation policy that a few other cities have copied since it was announced. Meanwhile, New York state announced last week that hospital and nursing home workers would have to get inoculated.

      Vaccine mandates for teachers are fairly rare so far in the U.S., though Washington state, for one, says teachers must be inoculated or face dismissal. Vaccinate-or-test requirements are somewhat more common, existing in places including Los Angeles and Chicago, which are the two biggest U.S. school districts after New York.

      A new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that about 6 in 10 Americans say students and teachers should be required to wear face masks while in school, and that teachers and eligible students should also be required to get vaccinated. But Democrats and Republicans differ sharply on these issues, the poll found.

    • WaPo – Vaccine resistance in the military remains strong, a dilemma for Pentagon as mandate looms

      The Pentagon’s effort to mandate coronavirus vaccination for all 1.3 million active-duty service members will continue to face resistance from a segment of the force, troops and observers say, until military leaders devise an effective strategy for countering pervasive doubt about the pandemic’s seriousness and widespread misinformation about the shots designed to bring it under control.

      When Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced earlier this month that he would seek to require inoculation no later than mid-September, Pentagon data showed that thousands of personnel — about one-third of the force — remained unvaccinated. President Biden quickly endorsed the move.

      The looming mandate comes as the virus’s highly transmissible delta variant fuels a new wave of infections globally, and after Biden, in what was widely seen as a signal to state and local governments and the private sector that they should follow suit, directed agencies throughout the federal government to implement proof-of-vaccination requirements or impose restrictions on employees who refuse. For military personnel, administration officials have said, the need is particularly urgent.

      “Right now it’s being framed as a readiness issue,” said Katherine Kuzminski, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, pointing to the current security crisis that has unfolded in Afghanistan’s capital, where thousands of U.S. troops were sent with little notice to help evacuate American citizens and U.S. allies following the Taliban’s takeover of the country. “As we see in Afghanistan, there is certainly a need to rapidly deploy people, and they may or may not be going to places that have relatively high rates of vaccinations.”

      But, Kuzminski added, “I don’t think we’ve seen a vaccine that was [so] politicized.”

      The Defense Department did not respond to a request for comment about its efforts to address vaccine hesitancy within the ranks.

      Vaccine rates have varied widely between the individual service branches. In July, before Austin’s announcement, the Navy led the way with more 70 percent of its personnel fully vaccinated. At the low end, fewer than 60 percent of Marines met that criteria.

      Though Pentagon officials have made clear a mandate is imminent, and that those who refuse risk losing their jobs, inoculation has been voluntary since the vaccines were introduced over the winter — a rare optional task in an organization where orders are the norm. Anecdotally, it appears at least some have viewed the lack of a requirement as grounds to infer the shots might not be safe despite a wealth of evidence to the contrary — or even that they’re unnecessary if their health and physical fitness is otherwise good.

      “Just from talking to soldiers, picking their brains, some of the things I’ve heard have been ‘I don’t know the long term effects’ or ‘I just don’t know enough and it worries me,’” said Capt. Javon Starnes, a soldier at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. Starnes detailed his own bout with the virus in an episode of “The 18th Airborne Corps Podcast,” which also featured interviews with other soldiers from the base who espoused a variety of views on vaccinations, ranging from an early desire receive a vaccine to an ongoing reluctance.

      “Me being a 24-year-old guy, I work out regularly, I think I’m pretty in shape,” Sgt. Colton Joiner said on the podcast. “I think if I were to weight the risk, I think at this time it’s not as much of a risk, it’s not that significant to me.”

      Kuzminski, the military analyst, noted that age — and the relative youth of the armed forces compared to other government institutions — is likely a factor in voluntary vaccination rates.

      “The reality is that there is some impermeability with young service members. They have a tough job, they put their lives on the line,” she said. “There is a certain sense of fearlessness.”

      But as the Pentagon’s data bear out, that mind-set is not pervasive across all of the services.

      One potential factor driving the Navy’s comparatively high vaccination rate, observers say, can be traced to last year’s high-profile coronavirus outbreak on the USS Theodore Roosevelt, which left the ship and its crew crippled after hundreds of sailors became sick. It was one of the first major incidents within the military to illustrate how swiftly the virus can spread, particularly among those living in tight quarters, and for many leaders it was a frightening wake-up call.

      “There’s also a culture in the Navy that is much more top-down,” Kuzminksi said. “The commander has a lot more cultural authority because being shipboard is such a contained community.”

      Others pointed to past instances of forced exposure to vaccines or chemical agents, dating back to radiation tests and Agent Orange in Vietnam, as a potential explanation for the vaccine hesitancy that remains so pervasive. In 2004, a federal judge barred the Department of Defense from mandating an experimental anthrax vaccine after some service members who were inoculated years prior questioned whether there was a corollary to various ailments they had developed. More recently, questions have been raised among military veterans and medical professionals about health issues stemming from exposure to toxic substances at open-air burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan.

      “What I’ve found from speaking to soldiers is that there are some who are, in a broad sense, skeptical of the government,” said Col. Joe Buccino, a military spokesperson for the XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg who, as host of the unit’s podcast, has explored the question of vaccine hesitancy among Army personnel. “And that is probably drawn from a broader skepticism within the American population, probably going back to the early 1970s.”

      There is also the inescapable reality that, for many Americans, the coronavirus vaccines are seen more as a partisan political issue rather than a matter of public health and shared responsibility. Further sowing doubt for some are the rampant disinformation and conspiracy theories spreading on social media, not just related to the virus or the efficacy of the vaccines but to potential exemptions for service members.

      When the coronavirus vaccine is made mandatory for military personnel, the only exemptions would be for religious or medical concerns, which the Pentagon has pledged to uphold. Yet last month on Gab, a social networking site popular among the far-right, documents circulated claiming they would garner an “air tight religious exemption” request from the “potentially deadly” vaccine.

      “You’ve got a social media site that already traffics in white nationalism that is specifically targeting the military to inject these ideas into the conversation,” said Kris Goldsmith, an Army veteran and CEO of Sparverius, a company that tracks online extremism. “ … There is also a lot less distance between your family and friends. Today you bring your TikTok and Twitter with you, so even if the military is a diverse place, you can constantly be exposed to misinformation.”

      With the likelihood of the vaccines becoming mandatory, military leaders now face the possibility social media disinformation campaigns will actively work to undermine them. Goldsmith notes that, already, there is considerable messaging online “encouraging active-duty troops to disobey lawful orders,” and users who identify as service members questioning whether they will be forced to resign or retire from the military should they continue to refuse the vaccines.

      It remains to be seen precisely how the military will address any continued resistance once the vaccine mandate takes effort. In announcing his intent Aug. 9, Austin stopped short of establishing a deadline by which all personnel must be vaccinated and said that the leaders of each branch of service would be responsible for establishing their own plans.

      “One of the narratives that has been getting picked up over the past couple of weeks is this idea that there will be all these people court-martialed,” Goldsmith said, referring to a sort-of doomsday scenario that’s been discussed online in which the military is faced with the decision of separating tens of thousands of troops or conceding to those who wish to remain unvaccinated. “And while that is theoretically possible, that would be a huge drain on resources. So what I would expect is [that commanders turn to] nonjudicial punishments, duty restrictions, measures that make life inconvenient until someone relents.”

      For now, it appears the Defense Department’s senior leadership anticipates such instances will be rare, and that those told to get vaccinated will fall in line. Asked earlier this month if he thought service members would refuse such an order, the Pentagon’s chief spokesman, John Kirby, demurred. “Members of the military, he said, “understand when you sign up for the military that there are requirements laid upon you.”

    • reuters – Pentagon set to make Pfizer vaccine mandatory after FDA approval

      WASHINGTON, Aug 23 (Reuters) – The Pentagon is preparing to issue updated guidance to require all U.S. service personnel to be vaccinated after Monday’s approval of the Pfizer Inc (PFE.N)/BioNTech SE COVID-19 vaccine by the Food and Drug Administration, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said.

      Kirby told a briefing the completion date for vaccine guidance was still being worked on.

      The FDA granted full approval on Monday to the vaccine, which had earned emergency-use authorization in December, making it the first to secure such validation as U.S. health authorities struggle to win over vaccine skeptics.

      Asked if similar guidance could be given for other COVID-19 vaccines, Kirby replied: “Right now we’re focused on the Pfizer vaccine because of the FDA approval that came in this morning.”

      The Pentagon said this month it would seek President Joe Biden’s approval by mid-September to require 1.3 million military members to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

      After setting COVID-19 rules for federal workers, Biden last month directed the Pentagon to look into “how and when” it would require members of the military to take the vaccine. Biden said then he strongly supported the Pentagon’s plan to add the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of required vaccinations for service members by mid-September.

      U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has said the deadline could be moved up if the FDA approved the vaccine earlier.

      The U.S. military said this month that around half the U.S. armed forces are already fully vaccinated, a number that climbs significantly when counting only active-duty troops and excluding National Guard and Reserve members.

      Vaccination rates are highest in the Navy, which suffered from a high-profile outbreak last year aboard an aircraft carrier. About 73% of sailors are fully vaccinated, compared with the U.S. national average of about 60% of adults ages 18 and over.

      Because U.S. service members are generally younger and fitter, relatively few of them have died as a result of COVID-19 – just 28 in total, according to Pentagon data.

    • The New York Times – Dying in the Name of Vaccine Freedom

      In the video above, Alexander Stockton, a producer on the Opinion Video team, explores two of the main reasons the number of Covid cases is soaring once again in the United States: vaccine hesitancy and refusal.

      “It’s hard to watch the pandemic drag on as Americans refuse the vaccine in the name of freedom,” he says.

      Seeking understanding, Mr. Stockton travels to Mountain Home, Ark., in the Ozarks, a region with galloping contagion and — not unrelated — abysmal vaccination rates.

      He finds that a range of feelings and beliefs underpins the low rates — including fear, skepticism and a libertarian strain of defiance.

      This doubt even extends to the staff at a regional hospital, where about half of the medical personnel are not vaccinated — even while the intensive care unit is crowded with unvaccinated Covid patients fighting for their lives.

      Mountain Home — like the United States as a whole — is caught in a tug of war between private liberty and public health. But Mr. Stockton suggests that unless government upholds its duty to protect Americans, keeping the common good in mind, this may be a battle with no end.

    • FRANCE PR4VD4 – Israel starts testing children for Covid-19 antibodies prior to return to school

      Israel on Sunday launched antibody testing for children aged as young as three, seeking information on the number of unvaccinated youths who have developed protection against coronavirus ahead of the new school year.

    • sky news australia – COVID-19 vaccine to be administered to 1.2 million kids by end of 2021

      Sky News host Peter Gleeson says Australia’s 1.2 million children aged between 12 and 15 should be vaccinated by the end of the year.

      One of the Nine papers is reporting 1.2 million kids aged between 12 and 15 should be vaccinated by the end of the year after the Prime Minister said the plan was to “immunise them” against COVID “in parallel” with the adult population.

    • ctv news – Proof of vaccine to be required for some non-essential businesses in B.C., officials announce

      VANCOUVER — Hoping to curb the fourth COVID-19 wave in B.C., proof of vaccination status will be required for some non-essential businesses, health officials announced Monday.

      Premier John Horgan, Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix made the announcement at a joint news conference.

      The vaccine certificates – known as the B.C. vaccine card – will be required at restaurants, fitness centres, casinos, organized indoor events like conferences and weddings, movie theatres and ticketed sporting events, indoor concerts, officials said.

      One dose of vaccine will be required to enter those businesses and events as of Sept. 13 and full vaccination will be required by Oct. 24.

      “Getting vaccinated is the way forward through the pandemic,” Horgan said during the news conference. “There is no reason why those who are anxious to participate in the social and economic life of our community can’t take that next step and get that safe, effective vaccine.”

      The measures introduced Monday are for people attending the events or business. Henry said it’s “up to each business ” to determine whether employees must be vaccinated.

      The rules don’t apply to elementary and secondary schools or after-school programs. They will apply, as relevant, to post-secondary campuses and may include some student housing. More details on that plan will be released Tuesday.

      Henry said Monday vaccines have “changed the way” B.C. can deal with pandemic, but there are still waves of cases, particularly in those who are unvaccinated.

      B.C.’s seven-day average for new COVID-19 cases reached as low as 35 per day at the beginning of July, but has since climbed back up to 555. Hospitalizations have also been increasing steadily in recent weeks.

      Health officials have previously said the majority of cases involve people who are unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated against COVID-19.

      Horgan warned there “may be bumps along the way” as this is the first time B.C. has implemented a program like this one.

      Henry said putting enforcement in the hands of businesses is similar to how the province asks liquor servers to ask for ID before serving alcohol. There will be support, however, for businesses to manage this new requirement, Henry said.

      “We’re making it as simple as we possibly can to have a confidential way of determining peoples’ immunization status,” she said.

      “There may be a small group of people who are protesting against this, as they have for other measures, along the way but as it is a provincial health officer order we do have the ability to support businesses with bylaw officers, with environmental health officers.”

      The card will be available to download on phones and details on how to do so will be released well before Sept. 13, officials said. A secure option will also be provided for those who can’t access their proof of vaccination online through a call-in centre. Individuals will need to show their proof of vaccination alongside valid government photo ID.

      The measures will remain in place until Jan. 31, 2022, but may be extended.

      Henry said the short answer to whether there will be exemptions is “no.”

      “This is a temporary measure that’s getting us through a risky period where we know that people who are unvaccinated are at a greater risk of both contracting and spreading this virus,” she said.

      “If there are the rare people who have a medical reason why they can’t be immunized, these are discretionary events that we are talking about so they will not be able to attend those events through this period of time of high risk.”

      A negative COVID-19 test also won’t exempt a person from the public health order.

      Exemptions are available for religious reasons but the rules don’t apply to places of worship.

      Children under 12, who currently aren’t eligible for COVID-19 vaccines in B.C., are exempt from the rules as long as they’re with an adult who is fully vaccinated.

      People travelling from another province or country will be able to share their proof of vaccine.


      • ctv news – B.C. implementing vaccine cards to slow virus transmission

        B.C. Premier John Horgan and Chief medical officer Bonnie Henry announced vaccine certification is coming to slow the spread of COVID-19.

    • city news – Vaccine passports: A new trend for businesses?

      Some businesses across Calgary are starting to implement their version of a vaccine passport.

      Kristy Kilburn talks to Cultivate counselling to understand why they are on board with it.

    • twitter @RanIsraeli

      Are we doomed?

      Israel’s Prime Minister is crazy (or an idiot):

      “People who received two vaccine shots walk around feeling like they are protected… they don’t understand that the second vaccine has faded against the “Delta” – they must quickly get vaccinated with the 3rd dose!”.

      + video


      Israel government next outrageous step:

      The “Green passport” will be valid only for 6 months from the moment you received the 2nd shot!

      Tomorrow the director of the iMoH will decide whether the booster shots will be permitted/coerced for 30+ people(or for the entire population?!)


    • ABC Pravda -Full FDA approval should be ‘good reason’ to get vaccine: Pfizer CEO

      Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said some people are opposed to getting the vaccine due to an emotional reaction, and cannot be convinced by data and science.

    • Georgians speak after Pfizer vaccine gets full approval from FDA

      Some people in one Georgia county say they still won’t get the vaccine.

    • CBC – Jays to require proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 tests from fans

      The Toronto Blue Jays have announced that fans 12 and over will be required to show proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 tests in order to watch home games at Rogers Centre starting Sept 13.

      This comes as the CFL’s Edmonton Elks struggle with an outbreak among players.

    • ctv news – COVID-19 outbreak after Ont. basketball tournament, nearly 7,000 told to get tested ‘immediately’

      “Get tested as soon as possible.”

      That’s the message from health officials in Durham Region to anyone who attended a basketball tournament in Oshawa, Ont. earlier in the month.

      An outbreak was declared, with at least 20 positive cases being linked to the event.

      It was attended by teams from all over Ontario and across the country — meaning that potentially 7,000 people need to get tested for COVID-19.

  6. “Rest of the world ‘increasingly thinks’ Australia has ‘lost the plot’: Panahi”
    Sky News Australia – August 23, 2021

  7. Taliban’s fighters head to Panjshir valley after capturing major provincial cities of Afghanistan

    Taliban’s fighters head to Panjshir valley after capturing major provincial cities of Afghanistan

  8. Bush Era NSA Head Says It Is A “Good Idea” To Send Unvaxx’d Trump Supporters To Afghanistan
    by Tyler Durden
    2 minutes

    Authored by Steve Watson via Summit News,

    Former head of the NSA and the CIA during the George W. Bush presidency, General Michael Hayden, declared that he thinks it would be a “good idea” to send unvaccinated supporters of President Trump to die in Afghanistan.

    Hayden, who infamously declared that the Fourth Amendment “changed” on September 11, 2001, and went on to oversee mass surveillance of Americans at the NSA while the invasion of Afghanistan was implemented, made the comments on Twitter.

    Hayden responded to a post stating “Can we send the MAGA wearing unvaxxed to Afghanistan, no use sending that plane back empty?”

    Hayden also retweeted a picture labelling Trump ‘MAGA’ supporters as ‘Our Taliban’:

  9. ‘There will be consequences’: Taliban warn US and Britain to get out, saying August 31 withdrawal deadline is a ‘red line’
    2 minutes

    The Taliban has threatened a ‘reaction’ and warned of ‘consequences’ if the US or UK do not leave Afghanistan by August 31 and extend the deadline for the withdrawal of troops.

    President Joe Biden wants all Americans to have left the country by the end of the month although he admitted on Sunday night that an extension was under discussion, while this morning UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the evacuation effort is ‘down to hours now, not weeks’.

    Taliban spokesman Dr Suhail Shaheen said the group will not accept an extension to the deadline and warned of retaliation if Western forces extend their ‘occupation’ since the group dramatically swept to power.

    The War Wisdom of George Washington, John Quincy Adams, and Douglas MacArthur
    Francis P. Sempa
    13-16 minutes

    The debacle in Afghanistan is a failure of America’s political and military elites. It is a bipartisan failure stretching back 20 years. But it was preceded by similar losses in Korea, Southeast Asia, and Iraq — failures that resulted from a combination of hubris, sentimentality, and flawed visions of American national security policy, and the true nature of war.

    The United States has fought five wars since World War II, and won only one of them — the first Gulf War in 1991. War, as Prussian general and military theorist Carl von Clausewitz explained, is violence in support of a political objective. In Clausewitzian terms, Korea was a tie. Vietnam was a defeat. The second Gulf War is inconclusive. And the Afghan War is a defeat.

    To be clear, this terrible record has nothing to do with the courageous soldiers, sailors, pilots, and Marines who fought these wars. The failures have all been at the political level — presidents, defense secretaries, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Congress. That is where hubris, sentimentality, and flawed visions have repeatedly undermined the finest and best-equipped armed forces in the world.

    For far too long, America’s political-military leaders have ignored the wise counsel of two of its greatest statesmen — George Washington and John Quincy Adams. Their words and their actions stand as guideposts for our political and military leaders, if only they will take heed of them.

  11. British Ministers are Now Openly Stating Their Belief That Biden Has Gone Completely Mad
    6-8 minutes

    British ministers are now saying out loud what millions of Americans have come to believe behind closed doors: President Biden has gone “completely mad.”

    The Sunday Times reported on the development at Whitehall, a euphemism for the bureaucratic wing of the British government. Afghanistan descended into chaos shortly after the abrupt, unilateral decision of President Biden to withdraw military troops ahead of coordination with the U.S.’s NATO allies and the evacuation of diplomats, civil servants, and diplomats.

    Earlier in the week, the Daily Mail reported that Great Britain had to deploy 300 special forces troops and other personnel to Afghanistan in order to rescue 6,000 British nationals and Afghan allies that were left in harm’s way after Biden’s decision. That the U.S. president overruled his generals’ warnings and failed to even leave behind sufficient troops to secure U.S. citizens and military equipment has America’s British allies openly questioning the president’s sanity.

    “In London ministers and their advisers watched with incredulity,” the Sunday Times reported. “One minister said the president ‘looked gaga’. An aide described the press conference as ‘completely mad’ and the president as ‘doolally’. Such thoughts are normally never whispered in Whitehall, let alone briefed.”

    “Biden did not expect it to play out like this,” the Times continued. “Shortly after lunch on Friday, August 13, the day after the Taliban had taken control of Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second city, US embassy staff in Kabul began destroying sensitive documents. Biden, meanwhile, departed for his holiday.”

    Who Is Directing American Policy?
    Lawrence Kadish
    6-8 minutes

    If it is not President Joe Biden directing American domestic and foreign policy, then who is? (Image source: iStock)

    The images of our desperate Afghan allies begging for rescue as their nation falls into the darkness of the Taliban will become permanently etched in the legacy of the Biden Administration. So too will infants being handed by frantic parents into the arms of U.S. Marines, more than 800 people jammed into a departing C-17 cargo plane, and Taliban beating and whipping those seeking access to the Kabul airport.

    Yet the Biden administration was repeatedly told by military brass and intelligence officials that this was going to be the nightmare scenario if they unilaterally pulled American forces out at the end of this month. President Joe Biden’s order that created heart-rending havoc ignored all professional advice, insight, and guidance. His Kabul chaos has made the disorderly evacuation of Dunkirk during World War II look like an act of military precision.

    How could he do this? For those who follow the grifters, pilot fish, and “consultants” who wallow behind the wake of this administration it should come as no surprise. The lobbyists now working K Street with access to the White House would have been familiar to him as the same profiteers who enjoyed enormous retainers during the Obama years. One suspects it is a closed and suffocating world.

  13. COVID-19 outbreak among Cyber Ninjas staff delays delivery of full Arizona Senate audit
    2 minutes

    Senate President Karen Fann said the Senate will get just a partial report on the 2020 election audit Monday, due to a COVID-19 outbreak that has left three members of the Cyber Ninjas team “quite sick.”

    In a news release, Fann, R-Prescott, said Doug Logan, the CEO of Cyber Ninjas, has COVID-19 along with two other members of his five-person audit team.

    That will delay the expected delivery of the full draft report, compiled after months of recounting ballots in the 2020 Maricopa County general election, as well as reviewing the county’s election methods.

  14. U.S. Embassy in Kabul Sends Out Thousands of Blank VISA Documents Which Are Easy to Falsify and Makes Things Worse – The Last Refuge
    4-5 minutes

    David Fox is an American trapped in Kabul who appeared on a video report with ABC to highlight the situation faced by thousands of Americans attempting to evacuate the region. While he was describing the dangerous situation around the Kabul airport, Mr. Fox also pointed out a very serious issue. ABC buried the lead….

    According to his report, the U.S. State Department responded en masse to all the people trapped in Afghanistan reaching out for help.

    The U.S. Embassy consular services department sent a document with instructions to assist Americans and eligible Afghans claiming Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) status. The document looks exactly like an approved VISA document except there is no filled in name, no serial number and no barcode.

    As Mr. Fox notes, the document is easily able to be forged which makes the Kabul airport situation even worse, as it is likely the people who receive this response from the consular’s office will duplicate it and share it with friends or family who can then use it in an effort to get to the United States.

    CIA’s Former Counterterrorism Chief for the Region: Afghanistan, Not An Intelligence Failure — Something Much Worse
    by Douglas London
    13-17 minutes

    Editor’s note: This article is part of Just Security’s ongoing coverage of the U.S. military withdrawal and Taliban takeover in Afghanistan.

    While it’s certainly convenient to depict the shock and miscalculation U.S. officials claim over Afghanistan’s tragic, rapid fall to the Taliban as an intelligence failure, the reality is far worse. It’s a convenient deflection of responsibility for decisions taken owing to political and ideological considerations and provides a scapegoat for a policy decision that’s otherwise unable to offer a persuasive defense.

    As CIA’s Counterterrorism Chief for South and Southwest Asia before my 2019 retirement, I was responsible for assessments concerning Afghanistan prepared for former President Donald Trump. And as a volunteer with candidate Joe Biden’s counterterrorism working group, I consulted on these same issues. The decision Trump made, and Biden ratified, to rapidly withdraw U.S. forces came despite warnings projecting the outcome we’re now witnessing. And it was a path to which Trump and Biden allowed themselves to be held captive owing to the “ending Forever Wars” slogan they both embraced.

  16. bloomberg – Democrat Elections Lawyer Elias Leaves Perkins Coie, Starts Firm

    Marc Elias, a voting rights lawyer who has represented the Democratic National Committee and lead Biden campaign efforts to combat legal challenges to the 2020 presidential election is leaving Perkins Coie to launch his own firm.

    Elias is taking 13 lawyers, including 10 partners, with him from Perkins Coie, according to a statement released by the massive law firm Sunday. The move will allow the new Elias Law Group to “engage more directly in the political and electoral process,” Perkins Coie said in the statement.

    Elias— who was general counsel for the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign—led the Biden campaign’s legal fight against efforts to throw out ballots and overturn election results in a number of states by Trump supporters in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election. He has since turned his attention to Republican efforts to tighten voting requirements in states like Georgia, Texas and Arizona.

    He said in Tweet Sunday that he was starting the new firm “because our democracy is at risk and it is the most effective way for me to fight back.”

    Seattle-founded Perkins Coie is among the country’s 50 largest law firms, reporting more than $1 billion in global revenue last year. Its clients have included Microsoft, Inc., Google, Starbucks, Tyson Foods, and Intel Corp. Under Elias, the firm has also represented a wide range of Democrats in Congress, as well as party leadership organizations.

    Perkins Coie will continue to operate its corporate political activities practice, led by partner Rebecca Gordon. It will also work with the Elias group on voting rights litigation and other matters, the firm said.


    BREITBART- Democrat Election Lawyer, Russia Hoaxer Marc Elias Leaves Perkins Coie Ahead of Durham Report

    Democrat election lawyer Marc Elias, a key figure in the “Russia collusion” hoax, has parted ways with the Perkins Coie law firm, ahead of the anticipated release of Special Counsel John Durham’s report into the origins of the Russia inquiry.

    Elias led Democrats’ efforts to change the voting rules in the 2020 presidential election, and also spearheaded efforts to overturn election results in close congressional races — including a New York race where he questioned voting machines.

    In 2016, Elias was the attorney at Perkins Coie who arranged for the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to hire the Fusion GPS opposition research firm — a fact hidden in federal election filings.

    The Washington Post exposed Elias’s involvement, despite his past denials, in an October 2017 investigative report:

    The Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund research that resulted in a now-famous dossier containing allegations about President Trump’s connections to Russia and possible coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin, people familiar with the matter said.

    Marc E. Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington firm, to conduct the research.

    After that, Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community, according to those people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

    Steele’s dossier ended up in the hands of the FBI, and was used to obtain a warrant from the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court to spy on Trump aide Carter Page — though the agency concealed the political origins of the dossier, and misled the FISA court in warrant renewal applications after the FBI knew the dossier had been discredited.

    Earlier this month, it was reported that Durham was presenting evidence to a grand jury for possible criminal prosecution. He is “preparing a lengthy report expected to be completed in the coming months,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

    In an announcement Sunday, Elias did not mention the Durham investigation, but said that he was leaving Perkins Coie with “eleven partners and three counsel” to form his own new election law firm, Elias Law Group LLP.

    Perkins Coie — noted for its long history of representing Democrats — will continue its “corporate political activities” practice, Elias’s release said.

    Constitutional law scholar Jonathan Turley, who has followed Elias closely, called his departure significant Sunday, as it came “before the release of the John Durham report.” It is not yet clear whether that report will be made public.



    Wednesday, December 13,

    Washington, D.C.

    Marc Elias Laments Anti-Democracy Trump Followers

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