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Some SA suburbs" success more linked to San Antonio airport than others

Boerne among cities is banking on San Antonio landing more airlines and flights......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsMay 17th, 2021

Elon Musk says Tesla is glad to see new data-security laws after several Beijing-led regulatory crackdowns on Big Tech

Elon Musk's collaborative tone about data security came despite China's richest tech titans being hurt by Beijing's regulatory crackdown. China is one of the most lucrative markets for Tesla. Luo Yunfei/China News Service via Getty Images Tesla is glad to see new data-security laws, Elon Musk said at China's World Internet Conference. "Data security is key to the success of intelligent and connected vehicles," he said on Sunday. Musk's collaborative tone came despite China's richest tech titans dealing with huge losses. See more stories on Insider's business page. Tesla is glad to see new laws relating to strengthening of data management, Elon Musk said at China's World Internet Conference on Sunday.Musk didn't specify that his remarks related to China's strict data protection law, but said Tesla's data centre in the country localizes all data generated for business there.Beijing has been moving to tighten regulation for several months to rein in the power of Big Tech.The nation's Personal Information Protection Law, set to be implemented on November 1, lays out rules around better user data storage and conditions under which companies can gather data, including obtaining prior consent."Data security is key to the success of intelligent and connected vehicles," Musk said in prepared remarks to the summit. "And it's not only closely linked to an individual's interests, but also matters to the whole society.""At Tesla, we are glad to see a number of laws and regulations that have been released to strengthen data management," he said."All personally identifiable information is securely stored in China without being transferred overseas," he said, referring to the company's handling of data. "Only in very rare cases, for example, spare parts, order for overseas is data approved for transfer internationally."He added that he believed data protection was not only an issue of one single company and should be a mutual effort for all industry players. "We're working with regulators on finding the best solution for data security," he said.China is one of the most lucrative markets for Tesla, contributing 30% of total sales for the EV maker in the second quarter this year. At Sunday's summit, China's Vice-Premier Liu said President Xi Jinping has promised to work with countries around the world to shape a vibrant digital economy and build on effective supervision.Other US business leaders that participated via video in the event were the recently appointed CEOs of Intel and Qualcomm, Pat Gelsinger and Cristiano Amon.Musk's collaborative tone came despite the rough patch that the tech sector in China is enduring. The country's richest tech titans, including Jack Ma and Pinduoduo's Colin Huang, have had billions wiped off their personal wealth as a result of investors reacting to Beijing's strict new rules.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider11 hr. 32 min. ago

Elon Musk says Tesla is glad to see new data-security laws after several Beijing-led regulatory crackdowns on big tech

Elon Musk's collaborative tone about data security came despite China's richest tech titans being hurt by Beijing's regulatory crackdown. China is one of the most lucrative markets for Tesla. Luo Yunfei/China News Service via Getty Images Tesla is glad to see new data-security laws, Elon Musk said at China's World Internet Conference. "Data security is key to the success of intelligent and connected vehicles," he said on Sunday. Musk's collaborative tone came despite China's richest tech titans dealing with huge losses. See more stories on Insider's business page. Tesla is glad to see new laws relating to strengthening of data management, Elon Musk said at China's World Internet Conference on Sunday.Musk didn't specify that his remarks related to China's strict data protection law, but said Tesla's data centre in the country localizes all data generated for business there.Beijing has been moving to tighten regulation for several months to rein in the power of big tech.The nation's Personal Information Protection Law, set to be implemented on November 1, lays out a set of rules around better storage of user data and conditions under which companies can gather data, including obtaining prior consent."Data security is key to the success of intelligent and connected vehicles," Musk said in prepared remarks to the summit. "And it's not only closely linked to an individual's interests, but also matters to the whole society.""At Tesla, we are glad to see a number of laws and regulations that have been released to strengthen data management," he said."All personally identifiable information is securely stored in China without being transferred overseas," he said, about the company's handling of data. "Only in very rare cases, for example, spare parts, order for overseas is data approved for transfer internationally."He added that he believed data protection was not only an issue of one single company and should be a mutual effort for all industry players. "We're working with regulators on finding the best solution for data security," he said.China is one of the most lucrative markets for Tesla, contributing 30% of total sales for the EV maker in the second quarter this year. At Sunday's summit, China's Vice-Premier Liu said President Xi Jinping has promised to work with countries around the world to shape a vibrant digital economy and build on effective supervision.Other US business leaders that participated via video in the event were the recently appointed CEOs of Intel and Qualcomm, Pat Gelsinger and Cristiano Amon.Musk's collaborative tone came despite the rough patch that the tech sector in China is enduring. The country's richest tech titans, including Jack Ma and Pinduoduo's Colin Huang, have had billions wiped off their personal wealth as a result of investors reacting to Beijing's strict new rules.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider15 hr. 0 min. ago

An Afghan Army cadet says he"s been hiding at home for 6 weeks, fearing the Taliban"s door-to-door manhunt

The Taliban have been hunting down people that served the previous Afghan government or once helped the West. Taliban fighters escort veiled women marching at a pro-Taliban rally outside the Shaheed Rabbani Education University in Kabul, Afghanistan. AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images Former members of Afghanistan's national army are now likely Taliban targets. One cadet told Insider he was hiding in his home and afraid to go outside. "They are taking over houses and killing them one by one. We are now in a very dangerous situation." See more stories on Insider's business page. A cadet with Afghanistan's army has described being in hiding for the past six weeks, never once stepping outside for fear of retribution from the Taliban.The cadet, who asked not to be named as he fears for his life, told Insider the Taliban were hunting members of the Afghanistan National Army, which helped foreign armies fighting the militant group.Insider has reviewed ID documents and photos of the cadet in uniforms that he said were taken in training. Due to the collapse of the Afghan military, Insider was unable to independently verify his military service.'They can easily recognize us as cadets'The cadet said he had been hiding in his uncle's house in Jalalabad since August 14, the day before the Taliban seized Kabul, and not left since.The cadet said he was afraid of being identified as an Afghan Army member as he has short hair and little facial hair - the opposite of typical Taliban-fighter style: "They can easily recognize us as cadets." Taliban commanders speaking to reporters in September 2021. WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images He said he believes the Taliban had information about Afghan soliders' identities: "They are targeting one by one, people on the list.""They are taking over houses and killing them one by one. We are now in a very dangerous situation."Former army members "are at huge risk since the Taliban takeover," he said. "They are looking for [us].""The situation is getting worse day by day here." Taliban fighters display their flag on patrol in Kabul on August 19, 2021. Rahmat Gul/AP The Taliban were known for brutal punishments, including hand amputation and execution. One of their founders said this week they would bring those punishments back.Afghan Army soliders are also likely Taliban targets, with several reports saying the group has done door-to-door manhunts for them.A confidential August 18 report sent to the United Nations from a Norwegian intelligence service, seen by Insider, warned that the Taliban were "intensifying the hunt-down of all individuals and collaborators with the former regime."It said people linked to the military were "particularly at risk.""There are multiple reports that the Taliban have been and are extending lists of individuals, phone numbers and family members of individuals believed to have been collaborating with allied forces."An Afghan special forces commander also told the BBC in late August that the Taliban had already killed at least 12 special forces members in Kandahar and three soldiers in Jalalabad, saying: "The Taliban took them out of their homes and shot them." Members of the Taliban Badri 313 military unit stand beside damaged and discarded vehicles parked near the destroyed CIA base in Deh Sabz district on September 6, 2021, after the US pulled all its troops out the country. AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images The cadet's brother told Insider: "He is at home, we are hiding from the outside. We are not letting him go outside, he cannot go to the city."He said the whole family is afraid: "If they know we are hiding him here, they could punish the whole family."He said the family has not tried to flee Afghanistan, fearing the Taliban checkpoints around the country, including around Kabul's airport, from which thousands tried to flee following the group's takeover."We haven't tried to leave so far, the Taliban have checkpoints everywhere," the brother said. "They are checking everybody's names. There were a lot of Taliban in front of Kabul airport."Cadet wants to fight for BritainThe Afghan National Army was trained by NATO, the US, and other allied countries, and its soldiers fought along western troops until their withdrawal and the subsequent Taliban takeover. This made Afghan Army soldiers a Taliban target.The cadet's brother said they were desperate for help from another nation: "To the United Nations, to any government, it doesn't matter which: Who can help us?"The UK, for example, is considering incorporating Afghan troops into its army. "We are hoping for the best, if the UK government can help," the cadet said. "I want to help the UK."Matthew Loh contributed reporting.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 25th, 2021

Post-Pandemic Luxury Trends Beginning to Emerge

A new report from Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is shedding some light on what the post-pandemic luxury real estate market might look like as the travel restrictions and financial upheavals of the pandemic begin to settle and wealthy homebuyers begin assessing their preferences and needs in a changing world. Of particular interest is a continued demand […] The post Post-Pandemic Luxury Trends Beginning to Emerge appeared first on RISMedia. A new report from Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is shedding some light on what the post-pandemic luxury real estate market might look like as the travel restrictions and financial upheavals of the pandemic begin to settle and wealthy homebuyers begin assessing their preferences and needs in a changing world. Of particular interest is a continued demand for vacation homes—where people are likely to spend significantly more time than they did previously—as well as a likely renewed interest in large metros like New York City and Dubai. The report also examined geographic and demographic trends, honing in on what it referred to as the “millennial migration” of younger homebuyers flooding into non-traditional markets—places like Aspen, Colorado and Santa Barbara, California—driven by a desire for more space and flexible remote work schedules. “What is interesting to me is that millennials are largely skipping the entry level home purchase and moving directly to a move-up home, or in many cases an aspirational home,” Christy Budnick, CEO of HSF Affiliates, LLC, tells RISMedia. “Since many millennials are purchasing their first home in their mid to late 30s, we are seeing an unusual percentage purchasing in the million dollars-plus range.” Millennials also prefer less flashy, less opulent designs for their luxury homes, the report said, and value technology and smart-home amenities much more than previous generations. Following the broader market, luxury buyers have also flocked to lesser-known cities in the Midwest especially, driving up prices and leaving scarce inventory. Empty lots or tear-down homes in Coeur d’Alene are going for around $700,000, while prime locations along one of the area’s beautiful lakes are easily surpassing $2 million, according to the report. The median price for a luxury sector home in Austin blew past $2.75 million, the report said, and has seen a 66% increase in total sales in that sector. Other hot cities in non-traditional luxury markets the report identified include Crested Butte, Colorado; Bozeman, Montana, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. “With the ability for many to work from home or a mix of in-office/at-home work, homebuyers will continue to prioritize lifestyle and the ability to spend more time enjoying life in their second or vacation homes,” Budnick says . Florida is another destination for younger luxury buyers, according to the report, as people flee high taxes in Atlantic states. The overall median home price in Miami rose almost 30%, and the threshold to be considered a luxury property nearly doubled from around $1 million to more than $2 million. Florida is also the epicenter of the “half-and-half” trend, where homeowners are looking for an equal amount of two good things as they split time between two places, according to the report. Sparked by a pandemic restlessness that saw frustrated, unfulfilled city-dwellers seeking gratification when their traditional at-home indulgences were restricted, these people are likely to continue slipping in and out of new homes—which are designed to comply with their every need—year-round. “Because of the pandemic, buyers are no longer using their vacation homes just for vacation. Instead, they are spending much more time working remotely and splitting their time between primary and secondary homes,” Budnick says. Privacy and flexibility characterize this new practice, which is also popular along the Jersey Shore and California coastline. Having two spaces where they will spend roughly equal amounts of time—with both used almost interchangeably for pleasure as well as work—is the definition of the “half-and-half.” Vaccinations and a loosening of previously tight restrictions have done nothing to quell people’s enjoyment, or desire to at least try out this new experience, according to the report. International vacation homes are another trend on the uptick in a post-pandemic world, as luxury buyers cast their eyes overseas as they look to snatch up more space for leisure. Those buyers have piled into more rural areas, again with an emphasis on space and privacy, though also an eye on how governments handled the pandemic. The report cited Dubai and Canada as two destinations that have seen an increased interest at least partially due to their success at staying open and safe during the pandemic, according to the report. Canada in particular was rated highly for its “risk readiness” and “health management,” and buyers were also drawn to country-cottage style properties that can provide flexibility with home offices or so-called “granny suites.” “Many luxury buyers did seek to attain a new nationality during the early days of the pandemic, particularly those in hard hit areas as well as those looking for more space, but also excellent health care,” Budnick says. “This is one of the reasons that Canada has fared so well, offering homes with wide open space outside of the city but access to an outstanding health care system in the event it is needed.” A handful of swanky Toronto suburbs saw median home prices soar more than 50% year-over-year, according to the report, and Dubai’s most expensive properties spiked 230% in the first quarter of 2021. Jesse Williams is RISMedia’s associate online editor. Email him your real estate news ideas to jwilliams@rismedia.com. The post Post-Pandemic Luxury Trends Beginning to Emerge appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaSep 24th, 2021

Paine Field airport stake acquired by state pension fund manager

The deal means all public workers will share a piece of the facility's future operational and financial success......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsOct 1st, 2019

Need to know: The plane paparazzi, Facebook"s Renton plans and Zillow"s success

Chris Edwards is among the legion of amateur airplane photographers who give frequent headaches to jet makers and airlines but provide coveted intel for aerospace analysts and airport managers. He was the cause of a headache in July when, perched .....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsAug 18th, 2019

Why a Bright Outlook in Life Can Help You Save More Money

Staying positive has been scientifically linked to greater financial success......»»

Category: topSource: foxnewsApr 21st, 2019

Brand success is all about the experience

From a pop-up movie theater in a busy airport to soft drink machines that let people in different countries communicate i.....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsMay 12th, 2018

"Damn You To Hell, You Will Not Destroy America" - Here Is The "Spartacus COVID Letter" That"s Gone Viral

"Damn You To Hell, You Will Not Destroy America" - Here Is The 'Spartacus COVID Letter' That's Gone Viral Via The Automatic Earth blog, This is an anonymously posted document by someone who calls themselves Spartacus. Because it’s anonymous, I can’t contact them to ask for permission to publish. So I hesitated for a while, but it’s simply the best document I’ve seen on Covid, vaccines, etc. Whoever Spartacus is, they have a very elaborate knowledge in “the field”. If you want to know a lot more about the no. 1 issue in the world today, read it. And don’t worry if you don’t understand every single word, neither do I. But I learned a lot. The original PDF doc is here: Covid19 – The Spartacus Letter Hello, My name is Spartacus, and I’ve had enough. We have been forced to watch America and the Free World spin into inexorable decline due to a biowarfare attack. We, along with countless others, have been victimized and gaslit by propaganda and psychological warfare operations being conducted by an unelected, unaccountable Elite against the American people and our allies. Our mental and physical health have suffered immensely over the course of the past year and a half. We have felt the sting of isolation, lockdown, masking, quarantines, and other completely nonsensical acts of healthcare theater that have done absolutely nothing to protect the health or wellbeing of the public from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Now, we are watching the medical establishment inject literal poison into millions of our fellow Americans without so much as a fight. We have been told that we will be fired and denied our livelihoods if we refuse to vaccinate. This was the last straw. We have spent thousands of hours analyzing leaked footage from Wuhan, scientific papers from primary sources, as well as the paper trails left by the medical establishment. What we have discovered would shock anyone to their core. First, we will summarize our findings, and then, we will explain them in detail. References will be placed at the end. Summary: COVID-19 is a blood and blood vessel disease. SARS-CoV-2 infects the lining of human blood vessels, causing them to leak into the lungs. Current treatment protocols (e.g. invasive ventilation) are actively harmful to patients, accelerating oxidative stress and causing severe VILI (ventilator-induced lung injuries). The continued use of ventilators in the absence of any proven medical benefit constitutes mass murder. Existing countermeasures are inadequate to slow the spread of what is an aerosolized and potentially wastewater-borne virus, and constitute a form of medical theater. Various non-vaccine interventions have been suppressed by both the media and the medical establishment in favor of vaccines and expensive patented drugs. The authorities have denied the usefulness of natural immunity against COVID-19, despite the fact that natural immunity confers protection against all of the virus’s proteins, and not just one. Vaccines will do more harm than good. The antigen that these vaccines are based on, SARS-CoV- 2 Spike, is a toxic protein. SARS-CoV-2 may have ADE, or antibody-dependent enhancement; current antibodies may not neutralize future strains, but instead help them infect immune cells. Also, vaccinating during a pandemic with a leaky vaccine removes the evolutionary pressure for a virus to become less lethal. There is a vast and appalling criminal conspiracy that directly links both Anthony Fauci and Moderna to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. COVID-19 vaccine researchers are directly linked to scientists involved in brain-computer interface (“neural lace”) tech, one of whom was indicted for taking grant money from China. Independent researchers have discovered mysterious nanoparticles inside the vaccines that are not supposed to be present. The entire pandemic is being used as an excuse for a vast political and economic transformation of Western society that will enrich the already rich and turn the rest of us into serfs and untouchables. COVID-19 Pathophysiology and Treatments: COVID-19 is not a viral pneumonia. It is a viral vascular endotheliitis and attacks the lining of blood vessels, particularly the small pulmonary alveolar capillaries, leading to endothelial cell activation and sloughing, coagulopathy, sepsis, pulmonary edema, and ARDS-like symptoms. This is a disease of the blood and blood vessels. The circulatory system. Any pneumonia that it causes is secondary to that. In severe cases, this leads to sepsis, blood clots, and multiple organ failure, including hypoxic and inflammatory damage to various vital organs, such as the brain, heart, liver, pancreas, kidneys, and intestines. Some of the most common laboratory findings in COVID-19 are elevated D-dimer, elevated prothrombin time, elevated C-reactive protein, neutrophilia, lymphopenia, hypocalcemia, and hyperferritinemia, essentially matching a profile of coagulopathy and immune system hyperactivation/immune cell exhaustion. COVID-19 can present as almost anything, due to the wide tropism of SARS-CoV-2 for various tissues in the body’s vital organs. While its most common initial presentation is respiratory illness and flu-like symptoms, it can present as brain inflammation, gastrointestinal disease, or even heart attack or pulmonary embolism. COVID-19 is more severe in those with specific comorbidities, such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. This is because these conditions involve endothelial dysfunction, which renders the circulatory system more susceptible to infection and injury by this particular virus. The vast majority of COVID-19 cases are mild and do not cause significant disease. In known cases, there is something known as the 80/20 rule, where 80% of cases are mild and 20% are severe or critical. However, this ratio is only correct for known cases, not all infections. The number of actual infections is much, much higher. Consequently, the mortality and morbidity rate is lower. However, COVID-19 spreads very quickly, meaning that there are a significant number of severely-ill and critically-ill patients appearing in a short time frame. In those who have critical COVID-19-induced sepsis, hypoxia, coagulopathy, and ARDS, the most common treatments are intubation, injected corticosteroids, and blood thinners. This is not the correct treatment for COVID-19. In severe hypoxia, cellular metabolic shifts cause ATP to break down into hypoxanthine, which, upon the reintroduction of oxygen, causes xanthine oxidase to produce tons of highly damaging radicals that attack tissue. This is called ischemia-reperfusion injury, and it’s why the majority of people who go on a ventilator are dying. In the mitochondria, succinate buildup due to sepsis does the same exact thing; when oxygen is reintroduced, it makes superoxide radicals. Make no mistake, intubation will kill people who have COVID-19. The end-stage of COVID-19 is severe lipid peroxidation, where fats in the body start to “rust” due to damage by oxidative stress. This drives autoimmunity. Oxidized lipids appear as foreign objects to the immune system, which recognizes and forms antibodies against OSEs, or oxidation-specific epitopes. Also, oxidized lipids feed directly into pattern recognition receptors, triggering even more inflammation and summoning even more cells of the innate immune system that release even more destructive enzymes. This is similar to the pathophysiology of Lupus. COVID-19’s pathology is dominated by extreme oxidative stress and neutrophil respiratory burst, to the point where hemoglobin becomes incapable of carrying oxygen due to heme iron being stripped out of heme by hypochlorous acid. No amount of supplemental oxygen can oxygenate blood that chemically refuses to bind O2. The breakdown of the pathology is as follows: SARS-CoV-2 Spike binds to ACE2. Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2 is an enzyme that is part of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, or RAAS. The RAAS is a hormone control system that moderates fluid volume in the body and in the bloodstream (i.e. osmolarity) by controlling salt retention and excretion. This protein, ACE2, is ubiquitous in every part of the body that interfaces with the circulatory system, particularly in vascular endothelial cells and pericytes, brain astrocytes, renal tubules and podocytes, pancreatic islet cells, bile duct and intestinal epithelial cells, and the seminiferous ducts of the testis, all of which SARS-CoV-2 can infect, not just the lungs. SARS-CoV-2 infects a cell as follows: SARS-CoV-2 Spike undergoes a conformational change where the S1 trimers flip up and extend, locking onto ACE2 bound to the surface of a cell. TMPRSS2, or transmembrane protease serine 2, comes along and cuts off the heads of the Spike, exposing the S2 stalk-shaped subunit inside. The remainder of the Spike undergoes a conformational change that causes it to unfold like an extension ladder, embedding itself in the cell membrane. Then, it folds back upon itself, pulling the viral membrane and the cell membrane together. The two membranes fuse, with the virus’s proteins migrating out onto the surface of the cell. The SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid enters the cell, disgorging its genetic material and beginning the viral replication process, hijacking the cell’s own structures to produce more virus. SARS-CoV-2 Spike proteins embedded in a cell can actually cause human cells to fuse together, forming syncytia/MGCs (multinuclear giant cells). They also have other pathogenic, harmful effects. SARS-CoV- 2’s viroporins, such as its Envelope protein, act as calcium ion channels, introducing calcium into infected cells. The virus suppresses the natural interferon response, resulting in delayed inflammation. SARS-CoV-2 N protein can also directly activate the NLRP3 inflammasome. Also, it suppresses the Nrf2 antioxidant pathway. The suppression of ACE2 by binding with Spike causes a buildup of bradykinin that would otherwise be broken down by ACE2. This constant calcium influx into the cells results in (or is accompanied by) noticeable hypocalcemia, or low blood calcium, especially in people with Vitamin D deficiencies and pre-existing endothelial dysfunction. Bradykinin upregulates cAMP, cGMP, COX, and Phospholipase C activity. This results in prostaglandin release and vastly increased intracellular calcium signaling, which promotes highly aggressive ROS release and ATP depletion. NADPH oxidase releases superoxide into the extracellular space. Superoxide radicals react with nitric oxide to form peroxynitrite. Peroxynitrite reacts with the tetrahydrobiopterin cofactor needed by endothelial nitric oxide synthase, destroying it and “uncoupling” the enzymes, causing nitric oxide synthase to synthesize more superoxide instead. This proceeds in a positive feedback loop until nitric oxide bioavailability in the circulatory system is depleted. Dissolved nitric oxide gas produced constantly by eNOS serves many important functions, but it is also antiviral against SARS-like coronaviruses, preventing the palmitoylation of the viral Spike protein and making it harder for it to bind to host receptors. The loss of NO allows the virus to begin replicating with impunity in the body. Those with endothelial dysfunction (i.e. hypertension, diabetes, obesity, old age, African-American race) have redox equilibrium issues to begin with, giving the virus an advantage. Due to the extreme cytokine release triggered by these processes, the body summons a great deal of neutrophils and monocyte-derived alveolar macrophages to the lungs. Cells of the innate immune system are the first-line defenders against pathogens. They work by engulfing invaders and trying to attack them with enzymes that produce powerful oxidants, like SOD and MPO. Superoxide dismutase takes superoxide and makes hydrogen peroxide, and myeloperoxidase takes hydrogen peroxide and chlorine ions and makes hypochlorous acid, which is many, many times more reactive than sodium hypochlorite bleach. Neutrophils have a nasty trick. They can also eject these enzymes into the extracellular space, where they will continuously spit out peroxide and bleach into the bloodstream. This is called neutrophil extracellular trap formation, or, when it becomes pathogenic and counterproductive, NETosis. In severe and critical COVID-19, there is actually rather severe NETosis. Hypochlorous acid building up in the bloodstream begins to bleach the iron out of heme and compete for O2 binding sites. Red blood cells lose the ability to transport oxygen, causing the sufferer to turn blue in the face. Unliganded iron, hydrogen peroxide, and superoxide in the bloodstream undergo the Haber- Weiss and Fenton reactions, producing extremely reactive hydroxyl radicals that violently strip electrons from surrounding fats and DNA, oxidizing them severely. This condition is not unknown to medical science. The actual name for all of this is acute sepsis. We know this is happening in COVID-19 because people who have died of the disease have noticeable ferroptosis signatures in their tissues, as well as various other oxidative stress markers such as nitrotyrosine, 4-HNE, and malondialdehyde. When you intubate someone with this condition, you are setting off a free radical bomb by supplying the cells with O2. It’s a catch-22, because we need oxygen to make Adenosine Triphosphate (that is, to live), but O2 is also the precursor of all these damaging radicals that lead to lipid peroxidation. The correct treatment for severe COVID-19 related sepsis is non-invasive ventilation, steroids, and antioxidant infusions. Most of the drugs repurposed for COVID-19 that show any benefit whatsoever in rescuing critically-ill COVID-19 patients are antioxidants. N-acetylcysteine, melatonin, fluvoxamine, budesonide, famotidine, cimetidine, and ranitidine are all antioxidants. Indomethacin prevents iron- driven oxidation of arachidonic acid to isoprostanes. There are powerful antioxidants such as apocynin that have not even been tested on COVID-19 patients yet which could defang neutrophils, prevent lipid peroxidation, restore endothelial health, and restore oxygenation to the tissues. Scientists who know anything about pulmonary neutrophilia, ARDS, and redox biology have known or surmised much of this since March 2020. In April 2020, Swiss scientists confirmed that COVID-19 was a vascular endotheliitis. By late 2020, experts had already concluded that COVID-19 causes a form of viral sepsis. They also know that sepsis can be effectively treated with antioxidants. None of this information is particularly new, and yet, for the most part, it has not been acted upon. Doctors continue to use damaging intubation techniques with high PEEP settings despite high lung compliance and poor oxygenation, killing an untold number of critically ill patients with medical malpractice. Because of the way they are constructed, Randomized Control Trials will never show any benefit for any antiviral against COVID-19. Not Remdesivir, not Kaletra, not HCQ, and not Ivermectin. The reason for this is simple; for the patients that they have recruited for these studies, such as Oxford’s ludicrous RECOVERY study, the intervention is too late to have any positive effect. The clinical course of COVID-19 is such that by the time most people seek medical attention for hypoxia, their viral load has already tapered off to almost nothing. If someone is about 10 days post-exposure and has already been symptomatic for five days, there is hardly any virus left in their bodies, only cellular damage and derangement that has initiated a hyperinflammatory response. It is from this group that the clinical trials for antivirals have recruited, pretty much exclusively. In these trials, they give antivirals to severely ill patients who have no virus in their bodies, only a delayed hyperinflammatory response, and then absurdly claim that antivirals have no utility in treating or preventing COVID-19. These clinical trials do not recruit people who are pre-symptomatic. They do not test pre-exposure or post-exposure prophylaxis. This is like using a defibrillator to shock only flatline, and then absurdly claiming that defibrillators have no medical utility whatsoever when the patients refuse to rise from the dead. The intervention is too late. These trials for antivirals show systematic, egregious selection bias. They are providing a treatment that is futile to the specific cohort they are enrolling. India went against the instructions of the WHO and mandated the prophylactic usage of Ivermectin. They have almost completely eradicated COVID-19. The Indian Bar Association of Mumbai has brought criminal charges against WHO Chief Scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan for recommending against the use of Ivermectin. Ivermectin is not “horse dewormer”. Yes, it is sold in veterinary paste form as a dewormer for animals. It has also been available in pill form for humans for decades, as an antiparasitic drug. The media have disingenuously claimed that because Ivermectin is an antiparasitic drug, it has no utility as an antivirus. This is incorrect. Ivermectin has utility as an antiviral. It blocks importin, preventing nuclear import, effectively inhibiting viral access to cell nuclei. Many drugs currently on the market have multiple modes of action. Ivermectin is one such drug. It is both antiparasitic and antiviral. In Bangladesh, Ivermectin costs $1.80 for an entire 5-day course. Remdesivir, which is toxic to the liver, costs $3,120 for a 5-day course of the drug. Billions of dollars of utterly useless Remdesivir were sold to our governments on the taxpayer’s dime, and it ended up being totally useless for treating hyperinflammatory COVID-19. The media has hardly even covered this at all. The opposition to the use of generic Ivermectin is not based in science. It is purely financially and politically-motivated. An effective non-vaccine intervention would jeopardize the rushed FDA approval of patented vaccines and medicines for which the pharmaceutical industry stands to rake in billions upon billions of dollars in sales on an ongoing basis. The majority of the public are scientifically illiterate and cannot grasp what any of this even means, thanks to a pathetic educational system that has miseducated them. You would be lucky to find 1 in 100 people who have even the faintest clue what any of this actually means. COVID-19 Transmission: COVID-19 is airborne. The WHO carried water for China by claiming that the virus was only droplet- borne. Our own CDC absurdly claimed that it was mostly transmitted by fomite-to-face contact, which, given its rapid spread from Wuhan to the rest of the world, would have been physically impossible. The ridiculous belief in fomite-to-face being a primary mode of transmission led to the use of surface disinfection protocols that wasted time, energy, productivity, and disinfectant. The 6-foot guidelines are absolutely useless. The minimum safe distance to protect oneself from an aerosolized virus is to be 15+ feet away from an infected person, no closer. Realistically, no public transit is safe. Surgical masks do not protect you from aerosols. The virus is too small and the filter media has too large of gaps to filter it out. They may catch respiratory droplets and keep the virus from being expelled by someone who is sick, but they do not filter a cloud of infectious aerosols if someone were to walk into said cloud. The minimum level of protection against this virus is quite literally a P100 respirator, a PAPR/CAPR, or a 40mm NATO CBRN respirator, ideally paired with a full-body tyvek or tychem suit, gloves, and booties, with all the holes and gaps taped. Live SARS-CoV-2 may potentially be detected in sewage outflows, and there may be oral-fecal transmission. During the SARS outbreak in 2003, in the Amoy Gardens incident, hundreds of people were infected by aerosolized fecal matter rising from floor drains in their apartments. COVID-19 Vaccine Dangers: The vaccines for COVID-19 are not sterilizing and do not prevent infection or transmission. They are “leaky” vaccines. This means they remove the evolutionary pressure on the virus to become less lethal. It also means that the vaccinated are perfect carriers. In other words, those who are vaccinated are a threat to the unvaccinated, not the other way around. All of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in use have undergone minimal testing, with highly accelerated clinical trials. Though they appear to limit severe illness, the long-term safety profile of these vaccines remains unknown. Some of these so-called “vaccines” utilize an untested new technology that has never been used in vaccines before. Traditional vaccines use weakened or killed virus to stimulate an immune response. The Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines do not. They are purported to consist of an intramuscular shot containing a suspension of lipid nanoparticles filled with messenger RNA. The way they generate an immune response is by fusing with cells in a vaccine recipient’s shoulder, undergoing endocytosis, releasing their mRNA cargo into those cells, and then utilizing the ribosomes in those cells to synthesize modified SARS-CoV-2 Spike proteins in-situ. These modified Spike proteins then migrate to the surface of the cell, where they are anchored in place by a transmembrane domain. The adaptive immune system detects the non-human viral protein being expressed by these cells, and then forms antibodies against that protein. This is purported to confer protection against the virus, by training the adaptive immune system to recognize and produce antibodies against the Spike on the actual virus. The J&J and AstraZeneca vaccines do something similar, but use an adenovirus vector for genetic material delivery instead of a lipid nanoparticle. These vaccines were produced or validated with the aid of fetal cell lines HEK-293 and PER.C6, which people with certain religious convictions may object strongly to. SARS-CoV-2 Spike is a highly pathogenic protein on its own. It is impossible to overstate the danger presented by introducing this protein into the human body. It is claimed by vaccine manufacturers that the vaccine remains in cells in the shoulder, and that SARS- CoV-2 Spike produced and expressed by these cells from the vaccine’s genetic material is harmless and inert, thanks to the insertion of prolines in the Spike sequence to stabilize it in the prefusion conformation, preventing the Spike from becoming active and fusing with other cells. However, a pharmacokinetic study from Japan showed that the lipid nanoparticles and mRNA from the Pfizer vaccine did not stay in the shoulder, and in fact bioaccumulated in many different organs, including the reproductive organs and adrenal glands, meaning that modified Spike is being expressed quite literally all over the place. These lipid nanoparticles may trigger anaphylaxis in an unlucky few, but far more concerning is the unregulated expression of Spike in various somatic cell lines far from the injection site and the unknown consequences of that. Messenger RNA is normally consumed right after it is produced in the body, being translated into a protein by a ribosome. COVID-19 vaccine mRNA is produced outside the body, long before a ribosome translates it. In the meantime, it could accumulate damage if inadequately preserved. When a ribosome attempts to translate a damaged strand of mRNA, it can become stalled. When this happens, the ribosome becomes useless for translating proteins because it now has a piece of mRNA stuck in it, like a lace card in an old punch card reader. The whole thing has to be cleaned up and new ribosomes synthesized to replace it. In cells with low ribosome turnover, like nerve cells, this can lead to reduced protein synthesis, cytopathic effects, and neuropathies. Certain proteins, including SARS-CoV-2 Spike, have proteolytic cleavage sites that are basically like little dotted lines that say “cut here”, which attract a living organism’s own proteases (essentially, molecular scissors) to cut them. There is a possibility that S1 may be proteolytically cleaved from S2, causing active S1 to float away into the bloodstream while leaving the S2 “stalk” embedded in the membrane of the cell that expressed the protein. SARS-CoV-2 Spike has a Superantigenic region (SAg), which may promote extreme inflammation. Anti-Spike antibodies were found in one study to function as autoantibodies and attack the body’s own cells. Those who have been immunized with COVID-19 vaccines have developed blood clots, myocarditis, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Bell’s Palsy, and multiple sclerosis flares, indicating that the vaccine promotes autoimmune reactions against healthy tissue. SARS-CoV-2 Spike does not only bind to ACE2. It was suspected to have regions that bind to basigin, integrins, neuropilin-1, and bacterial lipopolysaccharides as well. SARS-CoV-2 Spike, on its own, can potentially bind any of these things and act as a ligand for them, triggering unspecified and likely highly inflammatory cellular activity. SARS-CoV-2 Spike contains an unusual PRRA insert that forms a furin cleavage site. Furin is a ubiquitous human protease, making this an ideal property for the Spike to have, giving it a high degree of cell tropism. No wild-type SARS-like coronaviruses related to SARS-CoV-2 possess this feature, making it highly suspicious, and perhaps a sign of human tampering. SARS-CoV-2 Spike has a prion-like domain that enhances its infectiousness. The Spike S1 RBD may bind to heparin-binding proteins and promote amyloid aggregation. In humans, this could lead to Parkinson’s, Lewy Body Dementia, premature Alzheimer’s, or various other neurodegenerative diseases. This is very concerning because SARS-CoV-2 S1 is capable of injuring and penetrating the blood-brain barrier and entering the brain. It is also capable of increasing the permeability of the blood-brain barrier to other molecules. SARS-CoV-2, like other betacoronaviruses, may have Dengue-like ADE, or antibody-dependent enhancement of disease. For those who aren’t aware, some viruses, including betacoronaviruses, have a feature called ADE. There is also something called Original Antigenic Sin, which is the observation that the body prefers to produce antibodies based on previously-encountered strains of a virus over newly- encountered ones. In ADE, antibodies from a previous infection become non-neutralizing due to mutations in the virus’s proteins. These non-neutralizing antibodies then act as trojan horses, allowing live, active virus to be pulled into macrophages through their Fc receptor pathways, allowing the virus to infect immune cells that it would not have been able to infect before. This has been known to happen with Dengue Fever; when someone gets sick with Dengue, recovers, and then contracts a different strain, they can get very, very ill. If someone is vaccinated with mRNA based on the Spike from the initial Wuhan strain of SARS-CoV-2, and then they become infected with a future, mutated strain of the virus, they may become severely ill. In other words, it is possible for vaccines to sensitize someone to disease. There is a precedent for this in recent history. Sanofi’s Dengvaxia vaccine for Dengue failed because it caused immune sensitization in people whose immune systems were Dengue-naive. In mice immunized against SARS-CoV and challenged with the virus, a close relative of SARS-CoV-2, they developed immune sensitization, Th2 immunopathology, and eosinophil infiltration in their lungs. We have been told that SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines cannot be integrated into the human genome, because messenger RNA cannot be turned back into DNA. This is false. There are elements in human cells called LINE-1 retrotransposons, which can indeed integrate mRNA into a human genome by endogenous reverse transcription. Because the mRNA used in the vaccines is stabilized, it hangs around in cells longer, increasing the chances for this to happen. If the gene for SARS-CoV-2 Spike is integrated into a portion of the genome that is not silent and actually expresses a protein, it is possible that people who take this vaccine may continuously express SARS-CoV-2 Spike from their somatic cells for the rest of their lives. By inoculating people with a vaccine that causes their bodies to produce Spike in-situ, they are being inoculated with a pathogenic protein. A toxin that may cause long-term inflammation, heart problems, and a raised risk of cancers. In the long-term, it may also potentially lead to premature neurodegenerative disease. Absolutely nobody should be compelled to take this vaccine under any circumstances, and in actual fact, the vaccination campaign must be stopped immediately. COVID-19 Criminal Conspiracy: The vaccine and the virus were made by the same people. In 2014, there was a moratorium on SARS gain-of-function research that lasted until 2017. This research was not halted. Instead, it was outsourced, with the federal grants being laundered through NGOs. Ralph Baric is a virologist and SARS expert at UNC Chapel Hill in North Carolina. This is who Anthony Fauci was referring to when he insisted, before Congress, that if any gain-of-function research was being conducted, it was being conducted in North Carolina. This was a lie. Anthony Fauci lied before Congress. A felony. Ralph Baric and Shi Zhengli are colleagues and have co-written papers together. Ralph Baric mentored Shi Zhengli in his gain-of-function manipulation techniques, particularly serial passage, which results in a virus that appears as if it originated naturally. In other words, deniable bioweapons. Serial passage in humanized hACE2 mice may have produced something like SARS-CoV-2. The funding for the gain-of-function research being conducted at the Wuhan Institute of Virology came from Peter Daszak. Peter Daszak runs an NGO called EcoHealth Alliance. EcoHealth Alliance received millions of dollars in grant money from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (that is, Anthony Fauci), the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (part of the US Department of Defense), and the United States Agency for International Development. NIH/NIAID contributed a few million dollars, and DTRA and USAID each contributed tens of millions of dollars towards this research. Altogether, it was over a hundred million dollars. EcoHealth Alliance subcontracted these grants to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a lab in China with a very questionable safety record and poorly trained staff, so that they could conduct gain-of-function research, not in their fancy P4 lab, but in a level-2 lab where technicians wore nothing more sophisticated than perhaps a hairnet, latex gloves, and a surgical mask, instead of the bubble suits used when working with dangerous viruses. Chinese scientists in Wuhan reported being routinely bitten and urinated on by laboratory animals. Why anyone would outsource this dangerous and delicate work to the People’s Republic of China, a country infamous for industrial accidents and massive explosions that have claimed hundreds of lives, is completely beyond me, unless the aim was to start a pandemic on purpose. In November of 2019, three technicians at the Wuhan Institute of Virology developed symptoms consistent with a flu-like illness. Anthony Fauci, Peter Daszak, and Ralph Baric knew at once what had happened, because back channels exist between this laboratory and our scientists and officials. December 12th, 2019, Ralph Baric signed a Material Transfer Agreement (essentially, an NDA) to receive Coronavirus mRNA vaccine-related materials co-owned by Moderna and NIH. It wasn’t until a whole month later, on January 11th, 2020, that China allegedly sent us the sequence to what would become known as SARS-CoV-2. Moderna claims, rather absurdly, that they developed a working vaccine from this sequence in under 48 hours. Stephane Bancel, the current CEO of Moderna, was formerly the CEO of bioMerieux, a French multinational corporation specializing in medical diagnostic tech, founded by one Alain Merieux. Alain Merieux was one of the individuals who was instrumental in the construction of the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s P4 lab. The sequence given as the closest relative to SARS-CoV-2, RaTG13, is not a real virus. It is a forgery. It was made by entering a gene sequence by hand into a database, to create a cover story for the existence of SARS-CoV-2, which is very likely a gain-of-function chimera produced at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and was either leaked by accident or intentionally released. The animal reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 has never been found. This is not a conspiracy “theory”. It is an actual criminal conspiracy, in which people connected to the development of Moderna’s mRNA-1273 are directly connected to the Wuhan Institute of Virology and their gain-of-function research by very few degrees of separation, if any. The paper trail is well- established. The lab-leak theory has been suppressed because pulling that thread leads one to inevitably conclude that there is enough circumstantial evidence to link Moderna, the NIH, the WIV, and both the vaccine and the virus’s creation together. In a sane country, this would have immediately led to the world’s biggest RICO and mass murder case. Anthony Fauci, Peter Daszak, Ralph Baric, Shi Zhengli, and Stephane Bancel, and their accomplices, would have been indicted and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Instead, billions of our tax dollars were awarded to the perpetrators. The FBI raided Allure Medical in Shelby Township north of Detroit for billing insurance for “fraudulent COVID-19 cures”. The treatment they were using? Intravenous Vitamin C. An antioxidant. Which, as described above, is an entirely valid treatment for COVID-19-induced sepsis, and indeed, is now part of the MATH+ protocol advanced by Dr. Paul E. Marik. The FDA banned ranitidine (Zantac) due to supposed NDMA (N-nitrosodimethylamine) contamination. Ranitidine is not only an H2 blocker used as antacid, but also has a powerful antioxidant effect, scavenging hydroxyl radicals. This gives it utility in treating COVID-19. The FDA also attempted to take N-acetylcysteine, a harmless amino acid supplement and antioxidant, off the shelves, compelling Amazon to remove it from their online storefront. This leaves us with a chilling question: did the FDA knowingly suppress antioxidants useful for treating COVID-19 sepsis as part of a criminal conspiracy against the American public? The establishment is cooperating with, and facilitating, the worst criminals in human history, and are actively suppressing non-vaccine treatments and therapies in order to compel us to inject these criminals’ products into our bodies. This is absolutely unacceptable. COVID-19 Vaccine Development and Links to Transhumanism: This section deals with some more speculative aspects of the pandemic and the medical and scientific establishment’s reaction to it, as well as the disturbing links between scientists involved in vaccine research and scientists whose work involved merging nanotechnology with living cells. On June 9th, 2020, Charles Lieber, a Harvard nanotechnology researcher with decades of experience, was indicted by the DOJ for fraud. Charles Lieber received millions of dollars in grant money from the US Department of Defense, specifically the military think tanks DARPA, AFOSR, and ONR, as well as NIH and MITRE. His specialty is the use of silicon nanowires in lieu of patch clamp electrodes to monitor and modulate intracellular activity, something he has been working on at Harvard for the past twenty years. He was claimed to have been working on silicon nanowire batteries in China, but none of his colleagues can recall him ever having worked on battery technology in his life; all of his research deals with bionanotechnology, or the blending of nanotech with living cells. The indictment was over his collaboration with the Wuhan University of Technology. He had double- dipped, against the terms of his DOD grants, and taken money from the PRC’s Thousand Talents plan, a program which the Chinese government uses to bribe Western scientists into sharing proprietary R&D information that can be exploited by the PLA for strategic advantage. Charles Lieber’s own papers describe the use of silicon nanowires for brain-computer interfaces, or “neural lace” technology. His papers describe how neurons can endocytose whole silicon nanowires or parts of them, monitoring and even modulating neuronal activity. Charles Lieber was a colleague of Robert Langer. Together, along with Daniel S. Kohane, they worked on a paper describing artificial tissue scaffolds that could be implanted in a human heart to monitor its activity remotely. Robert Langer, an MIT alumnus and expert in nanotech drug delivery, is one of the co-founders of Moderna. His net worth is now $5.1 billion USD thanks to Moderna’s mRNA-1273 vaccine sales. Both Charles Lieber and Robert Langer’s bibliographies describe, essentially, techniques for human enhancement, i.e. transhumanism. Klaus Schwab, the founder of the World Economic Forum and the architect behind the so-called “Great Reset”, has long spoken of the “blending of biology and machinery” in his books. Since these revelations, it has come to the attention of independent researchers that the COVID-19 vaccines may contain reduced graphene oxide nanoparticles. Japanese researchers have also found unexplained contaminants in COVID-19 vaccines. Graphene oxide is an anxiolytic. It has been shown to reduce the anxiety of laboratory mice when injected into their brains. Indeed, given SARS-CoV-2 Spike’s propensity to compromise the blood-brain barrier and increase its permeability, it is the perfect protein for preparing brain tissue for extravasation of nanoparticles from the bloodstream and into the brain. Graphene is also highly conductive and, in some circumstances, paramagnetic. In 2013, under the Obama administration, DARPA launched the BRAIN Initiative; BRAIN is an acronym for Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies®. This program involves the development of brain-computer interface technologies for the military, particularly non-invasive, injectable systems that cause minimal damage to brain tissue when removed. Supposedly, this technology would be used for healing wounded soldiers with traumatic brain injuries, the direct brain control of prosthetic limbs, and even new abilities such as controlling drones with one’s mind. Various methods have been proposed for achieving this, including optogenetics, magnetogenetics, ultrasound, implanted electrodes, and transcranial electromagnetic stimulation. In all instances, the goal is to obtain read or read-write capability over neurons, either by stimulating and probing them, or by rendering them especially sensitive to stimulation and probing. However, the notion of the widespread use of BCI technology, such as Elon Musk’s Neuralink device, raises many concerns over privacy and personal autonomy. Reading from neurons is problematic enough on its own. Wireless brain-computer interfaces may interact with current or future wireless GSM infrastructure, creating neurological data security concerns. A hacker or other malicious actor may compromise such networks to obtain people’s brain data, and then exploit it for nefarious purposes. However, a device capable of writing to human neurons, not just reading from them, presents another, even more serious set of ethical concerns. A BCI that is capable of altering the contents of one’s mind for innocuous purposes, such as projecting a heads-up display onto their brain’s visual center or sending audio into one’s auditory cortex, would also theoretically be capable of altering mood and personality, or perhaps even subjugating someone’s very will, rendering them utterly obedient to authority. This technology would be a tyrant’s wet dream. Imagine soldiers who would shoot their own countrymen without hesitation, or helpless serfs who are satisfied to live in literal dog kennels. BCIs could be used to unscrupulously alter perceptions of basic things such as emotions and values, changing people’s thresholds of satiety, happiness, anger, disgust, and so forth. This is not inconsequential. Someone’s entire regime of behaviors could be altered by a BCI, including such things as suppressing their appetite or desire for virtually anything on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Anything is possible when you have direct access to someone’s brain and its contents. Someone who is obese could be made to feel disgust at the sight of food. Someone who is involuntarily celibate could have their libido disabled so they don’t even desire sex to begin with. Someone who is racist could be forced to feel delight over cohabiting with people of other races. Someone who is violent could be forced to be meek and submissive. These things might sound good to you if you are a tyrant, but to normal people, the idea of personal autonomy being overridden to such a degree is appalling. For the wealthy, neural laces would be an unequaled boon, giving them the opportunity to enhance their intelligence with neuroprosthetics (i.e. an “exocortex”), and to deliver irresistible commands directly into the minds of their BCI-augmented servants, even physically or sexually abusive commands that they would normally refuse. If the vaccine is a method to surreptitiously introduce an injectable BCI into millions of people without their knowledge or consent, then what we are witnessing is the rise of a tyrannical regime unlike anything ever seen before on the face of this planet, one that fully intends to strip every man, woman, and child of our free will. Our flaws are what make us human. A utopia arrived at by removing people’s free will is not a utopia at all. It is a monomaniacal nightmare. Furthermore, the people who rule over us are Dark Triad types who cannot be trusted with such power. Imagine being beaten and sexually assaulted by a wealthy and powerful psychopath and being forced to smile and laugh over it because your neural lace gives you no choice but to obey your master. The Elites are forging ahead with this technology without giving people any room to question the social or ethical ramifications, or to establish regulatory frameworks that ensure that our personal agency and autonomy will not be overridden by these devices. They do this because they secretly dream of a future where they can treat you worse than an animal and you cannot even fight back. If this evil plan is allowed to continue, it will spell the end of humanity as we know it. Conclusions: The current pandemic was produced and perpetuated by the establishment, through the use of a virus engineered in a PLA-connected Chinese biowarfare laboratory, with the aid of American taxpayer dollars and French expertise. This research was conducted under the absolutely ridiculous euphemism of “gain-of-function” research, which is supposedly carried out in order to determine which viruses have the highest potential for zoonotic spillover and preemptively vaccinate or guard against them. Gain-of-function/gain-of-threat research, a.k.a. “Dual-Use Research of Concern”, or DURC, is bioweapon research by another, friendlier-sounding name, simply to avoid the taboo of calling it what it actually is. It has always been bioweapon research. The people who are conducting this research fully understand that they are taking wild pathogens that are not infectious in humans and making them more infectious, often taking grants from military think tanks encouraging them to do so. These virologists conducting this type of research are enemies of their fellow man, like pyromaniac firefighters. GOF research has never protected anyone from any pandemic. In fact, it has now started one, meaning its utility for preventing pandemics is actually negative. It should have been banned globally, and the lunatics performing it should have been put in straitjackets long ago. Either through a leak or an intentional release from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a deadly SARS strain is now endemic across the globe, after the WHO and CDC and public officials first downplayed the risks, and then intentionally incited a panic and lockdowns that jeopardized people’s health and their livelihoods. This was then used by the utterly depraved and psychopathic aristocratic class who rule over us as an excuse to coerce people into accepting an injected poison which may be a depopulation agent, a mind control/pacification agent in the form of injectable “smart dust”, or both in one. They believe they can get away with this by weaponizing the social stigma of vaccine refusal. They are incorrect. Their motives are clear and obvious to anyone who has been paying attention. These megalomaniacs have raided the pension funds of the free world. Wall Street is insolvent and has had an ongoing liquidity crisis since the end of 2019. The aim now is to exert total, full-spectrum physical, mental, and financial control over humanity before we realize just how badly we’ve been extorted by these maniacs. The pandemic and its response served multiple purposes for the Elite: Concealing a depression brought on by the usurious plunder of our economies conducted by rentier-capitalists and absentee owners who produce absolutely nothing of any value to society whatsoever. Instead of us having a very predictable Occupy Wall Street Part II, the Elites and their stooges got to stand up on television and paint themselves as wise and all-powerful saviors instead of the marauding cabal of despicable land pirates that they are. Destroying small businesses and eroding the middle class. Transferring trillions of dollars of wealth from the American public and into the pockets of billionaires and special interests. Engaging in insider trading, buying stock in biotech companies and shorting brick-and-mortar businesses and travel companies, with the aim of collapsing face-to-face commerce and tourism and replacing it with e-commerce and servitization. Creating a casus belli for war with China, encouraging us to attack them, wasting American lives and treasure and driving us to the brink of nuclear armageddon. Establishing technological and biosecurity frameworks for population control and technocratic- socialist “smart cities” where everyone’s movements are despotically tracked, all in anticipation of widespread automation, joblessness, and food shortages, by using the false guise of a vaccine to compel cooperation. Any one of these things would constitute a vicious rape of Western society. Taken together, they beggar belief; they are a complete inversion of our most treasured values. What is the purpose of all of this? One can only speculate as to the perpetrators’ motives, however, we have some theories. The Elites are trying to pull up the ladder, erase upward mobility for large segments of the population, cull political opponents and other “undesirables”, and put the remainder of humanity on a tight leash, rationing our access to certain goods and services that they have deemed “high-impact”, such as automobile use, tourism, meat consumption, and so on. Naturally, they will continue to have their own luxuries, as part of a strict caste system akin to feudalism. Why are they doing this? Simple. The Elites are Neo-Malthusians and believe that we are overpopulated and that resource depletion will collapse civilization in a matter of a few short decades. They are not necessarily incorrect in this belief. We are overpopulated, and we are consuming too many resources. However, orchestrating such a gruesome and murderous power grab in response to a looming crisis demonstrates that they have nothing but the utmost contempt for their fellow man. To those who are participating in this disgusting farce without any understanding of what they are doing, we have one word for you. Stop. You are causing irreparable harm to your country and to your fellow citizens. To those who may be reading this warning and have full knowledge and understanding of what they are doing and how it will unjustly harm millions of innocent people, we have a few more words. Damn you to hell. You will not destroy America and the Free World, and you will not have your New World Order. We will make certain of that. *  *  * This PDF document contains 14 pages, followed by another 17 pages of references. For those, please visit the original PDF file at Covid19 – The Spartacus Letter. *  *  * We try to run the Automatic Earth on donations. Since ad revenue has collapsed, you are now not just a reader, but an integral part of the process that builds this site. Thank you for your support. Support the Automatic Earth in virustime. Donate with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon. Tyler Durden Mon, 09/27/2021 - 00:00.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nyt3 hr. 0 min. ago

I went to Stew Leonard"s for the first time and the unique customer experience made me actually enjoy grocery shopping

Growing up, I never knew Stew Leonard's existed, but I was pleasantly surprised with the unique in-store shopping experience. Stew Leonard's store front Taylor Rains/Insider I went to Stew Leonard's for the first time and the experience made grocery shopping feel like less of a chore. The store is full of appetizing food and interesting decorations, colors, displays, and animatronics. The $400 million business prides itself on its store brands, which soared 40% in sales during the pandemic. See more stories on Insider's business page. Many people hate grocery shopping, including me. I have always dreaded the weekly run, but a family-owned supermarket chain in the Northeast added a little fun to the chore. Stew Leonard's storefront in Norwalk, Connecticut Miro Vrlik Photography/Shutterstock Stew Leonards was founded in 1969 and is a chain of seven grocery stores in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York. The iconic business is the world's largest dairy store and brings in over $400 million in sales each year Stew Leonard's employees Stew Leonard's Growing up in Florida, I never knew the supermarket existed, but I was pleasantly surprised with the unique in-store shopping experience when I visited the Newington, Connecticut location recently. Stew Leonard's storefront in Newington, Connecticut Taylor Rains/Insider The first thing I noticed was the store's rustic feel, almost like it didn't belong in Connecticut. The wood building looks like a giant barn, complete with a silo, which is in line with Stew's farm theme. Inside Stew Leonard's Taylor Rains/Insider When I entered the building lobby, I saw a garden of flowers, plants, and pumpkins - right in time for the fall season. Also in the space was a photo booth and a rock that outlined the company's policy of "the customer is always right." "The customer is always right" policy Taylor Rains/Insider Once inside the main building, I was immediately overwhelmed with the number of signs, colors, decorations, and displays. Donut stand Taylor Rains/Insider At the entrance sat a mouth-watering donut stand full of fresh pastries. Meanwhile, just past was a stage with five animatronic dairy characters that put on a show every few minutes. I'm sure they're a hit with the kids. Stew Leonard's animatronics Taylor Rains/Insider After watching the show, I made my way to the produce section, which is the start of the store's single long shopping aisle. Produce section Taylor Rains/Insider Stew Leonards is set up like a roadmap, zig-zagging customers through each section of the store via an established path. While shoppers can exit the main path or decide to bypass sections, the store's pre-arranged route eliminates aisles and streamlines the shopping experience. Shopper in produce section Taylor Rains/Insider Walking through produce was a treat because of all the organic, fresh fruits and vegetables. In the section was the first of eight mini-shows that the store has set up, which are animatronic characters that sing for customers. Fresh fruits Taylor Rains/Insider The shows are activated by a big "push" button, which I obviously had to try. The banana was kiddish, but cute, though I'm sure the employees get tired of hearing the same tune every day. Animatronic character Taylor Rains/Insider In addition to the singing banana, the store also had a parrot... Animatronic character Taylor Rains/Insider a pig... Animatronic character Taylor Rains/Insider and chickens. Animatronic characters Taylor Rains/Insider A unique service Stew offers that I have not seen anywhere else is the fresh fruit and vegetable stand, where employees will cut produce for customers to save them time at home. Fruit and vegetable cutting stand Taylor Rains/Insider One of my favorite aspects of the store was the free samples. On the day I went, there was a vendor with flavored seltzer water and another with fresh pineapple, both of which were pretty tasty. Samara vendor Taylor Rains/Insider One useful feature of the store is its in-house butcher. The butcher had all types of fresh-cut beef, like sirloin, ribeye, and filet mignon. I opted for the teriyaki steak tips and they proved to taste much better than pre-packed meat. Employee prepares steak tips Taylor Rains/Insider The bread section was also impressive. Stew's has in-store bakers that produce fresh bread every day, and the store had offerings that I had not seen at other supermarkets, like pre-cut ciabatta bites and pumpkin seed loaves. Bread section Taylor Rains/Insider I was also intrigued by the fresh-made bagels, which come in all sorts of interesting flavors, like cheddar, rainbow, garlic, blueberry, and french toast. Bagels Taylor Rains/Insider Past the meat and bread is all of the international cheese, which is my favorite section. There was an entire wall dedicated to cheddar and a stand full of other types, like mozzarella, ricotta, and burrata. Stew employees produce over 500 pounds of fresh mozzarella cheese a day. International cheeses Taylor Rains/Insider I also really enjoyed exploring the seafood section, which was full of fresh fish, like salmon, flounder, and shellfish. Every meat looked delicious and I was impressed with the quality of the salmon I took home for dinner. Seafood section Taylor Rains/Insider At the end of the shopping experience are a few places to pick up lunch or dinner before heading to check-out. Stew's has a BBQ stand... BBQ stand Taylor Rains/Insider a pizza stand... Pizza stand Taylor Rains/Insider and a sushi shelf to choose from. Sushi shelf Taylor Rains/Insider Customers can buy some hot food to eat at home or take upstairs to Stew's in-store dining area, which was what I opted for. I ordered the pizza combo for $6, which came with two slices and a drink. Eating pizza at Stew's upstairs dining room Taylor Rains/Insider Throughout the store were all sorts of interesting decorations, like Mickey and Yoda doing aerobatics and an upside-down cow. The cow symbolizes the advice Stew got from his friends at Disney when coming up with marketing ideas: "gravity doesn't matter." Upside-down cow Taylor Rains/Insider Source: Stew Leonard's Before check-out, I had to take a look at Stew's Doggy Bar, which is full of unique treats. I grabbed the doggy pops for my dog Indiana, who gave them a 10/10. Stew's doggy bar Taylor Rains/Insider Also before check-out is a gift shop with Stew Leonard's swag... Swag shop Taylor Rains/Insider and a wall full of fresh-made soups. All of the options looked delicious and I ended up grabbing three, which are the perfect size for an easy lunch. Soups Taylor Rains/Insider Stew's does not have self-check-out, which is my preference, but the line went quickly. For customers with only a few items, there are dedicated express check-out lanes. Check-out area Taylor Rains/Insider On the way out, customers can stop by the ice cream shop serving up unique flavors, like pistachio and apple pie. Pistachio is my favorite flavor and it did not disappoint. Ice cream shop Taylor Rains/Insider Stew Leonard's prides itself on its store brands, which make up over 60% of its supermarket. According to Stew Leonard Jr, the private brand boomed during the pandemic, soaring 40% in summer 2020. Stew Leonard Sr and Stew Leonard Jr Stew Leonard's Source: Store Brands Leonard Jr explained major brands sold out quickly during COVID, so people opted for alternates, which he sees as a good opportunity for customers to try the store brand. In particular, the company's organic foods and citrus products did well during the pandemic. Stew Leonard's store branded marinara sauce Taylor Rains/Insider Source: Store Brands Stew's also had to buy products from restaurants because the store and national brands ran out. One five-pound bag of french fries it bought from a local restaurant and sold for $5 was bringing in $5,000 a week in June 2020. Different brands of peanut butter Taylor Rains/Insider Source: Store Brands Stew's success has been complemented by its eventful history. The supermarket was named the "Disneyland Dairy Store' by the New York Times in 1983 and ranked in Fortune Magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For in America" list 10 consecutive years from 2002 to 2011. Stew's farm fresh eggs Taylor Rains/Insider Source: New York Times, Stew Leonard's Furthermore, it solidified its place in the Guinness Book of World Records in 1992 for having "the greatest sales per unit area of any single food store in the United States." Guinness book of world records plaque Taylor Rains/Insider Source: Stew Leonard's The supermarket was also a stomping ground for food celebrities like Martha Stewart, who bought ingredients from the store, and Paul Newman who asked Stew Leonard Sr. for help in launching his salad dressing. Stew Leonard's cow named after Martha Stewart Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images Source: Inc I am not surprised by Stew Leonard's immense success and love from the local communities. Its unique in-store experience made grocery shopping actually enjoyable, and there is no doubt I will become a regular customer. Stew Leonards Taylor Rains/Insider Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider15 hr. 0 min. ago

I flew American Airlines to Europe for the first time during the pandemic and found it"s back to normal with bad food, uncomfortable seats, and free alcohol

American did a great job of getting me to Madrid on time but the flight was far from memorable. One thing I didn't miss was the bad airplane food. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider American Airlines is one of four US carriers flying overseas to Europe and has recently started increasing services as more countries open to American tourists. Transatlantic flights are pretty much back to normal, besides having to wear a mask. Hot meals and alcohol are once again served in all cabins including economy class. See more stories on Insider's business page. American Airlines is one of the leading US carriers flying between the US and Europe, especially from its international gateway in New York. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider The summer before the pandemic saw American fly to 23 European destinations from the US. Fast forward to the summer of 2021, however, and that number stood at 11 as American wasn't as quick to rebuild in Europe following its reopening. Flying American Airlines to Europe during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Source: Cirium But even still, American has maintained service to core cities like London; Madrid; and Rome, while opening new routes including New York-Athens. Athens, Greece. Shutterstock Read More: American and JetBlue just unveiled a new partnership with 33 new routes combined— here's what it means for travelers And American has proved to be an inexpensive option when crossing the pond, as I found when planning a recent work trip to Doha, Qatar with flights on American, British Airways, and Qatar Airways. Flying American Airlines to Europe during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Read More: Gulfstream just debuted its new $75 million ultra-long-range plane that's also the world's largest purpose-built private jet: Meet the G700 I flew American Airlines from New York to Madrid during the summer of vaccinated travel. Here's what it was like. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Read More: I booked a flight on American Airlines despite the airline canceling thousands of flights this summer – here's how I'm preparing for the worst After recent bad experiences on American, I was a bit nervous to fly the carrier overseas. I made sure to do extra research on backup options in case something went wrong, and even arrived at the airport four hours early. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Read More: I was stranded in Bogotá airport for 10 hours and it taught me the true value of credit card perks and not taking no for an answer But having flown American internationally earlier in the summer, I knew how to prepare. The first step was to download Verifly, American's preferred health passport service that speeds along airport check-in and document verification. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider I submitted all my required documentation and got the green light. As a result, check-in at the airport was less painful than expected as I was able to use a self-serve kiosk to get my boarding pass. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider For those checking a bag, though, there was a bit of a line, as is usually the case in international terminals. I was glad to have only brought a carry-on. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider I was instantly relieved once I had my boarding pass and headed straight to the gate with only a minimal line at security. I felt silly having arrived four hours before departure but as the old saying goes, better safe than sorry. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider One benefit of flying out of American's Terminal 8 at John F. Kennedy International Airport is that Bobby Van's Steakhouse is open, and Priority Pass members through Chase can get a free meal. I had the burger and it was delicious. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Read More: I used a credit perk to dine for nearly free at an airport restaurant and it's my new favorite travel hack The rest of the concourse was quiet as I arrived before the bulk of the evening overseas departures. Even still, there were shops and restaurants open for business in a good sign for the industry. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider I headed straight to the gate after lunch and got my first glimpse at the aircraft taking us to Spain, the mighty Boeing 777-200. American now only flies Boeing 777 aircraft between New York and Europe in a win for business class and first class customers that get to enjoy the airline's best premium cabin products. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Pandemic-era safety measures including social distancing floor placards and plexiglass portions at the gate counter were still on display. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Boarding began around 45 minutes prior to departure in American's standard group boarding procedure. Most US airlines have abandoned back-to-front boarding. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider American's Boeing 777-200 aircraft seat 273 passengers across three cabins, with classes of service including business, premium economy, and economy. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Source: SeatGuru In economy, seats are arranged in a 10-abreast, 3-4-3 configuration that's standard for most airlines flying the 777. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Seat pitch in economy is between 31 and 32 inches, according to SeatGuru, while seat width is a standard 17 inches. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Source: SeatGuru I booked this flight quite late and there weren't too many seats from which to choose that didn't require paying an extra fee. American isn't alone in the practice of charging for advance seat assignments on long-haul flights but I despise the practice as these tickets are expensive enough as it is. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider But to American's credit, there were a good showing of complimentary aisle and window seats towards the back of the plane from which to select. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider And to my surprise, the most unique seats in economy were available for selection. The last three rows on this aircraft are arranged in a 2-4-2 configuration meaning there are six two-seat pairs. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider I thought I had lucked out by selecting one of them but my excitement was short-lived. Simply put, these seats were not the most comfortable for a larger traveler. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider The small width didn't help and I felt like I was taking up part of the seat next to me. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider One thing that could've helped was if the armrest for the window seat was moveable, but it was fixed in place. I was so close to the seat in front of me that my tray table couldn't even lay flat (a problem I didn't have on the other carriers on which I flew during this trip). Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider My top concern was having enough room once my seat neighbor arrived. But I lucked out and had both seats to myself as nobody showed up to claim the other. Flying American Airlines to Europe during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider There was a gap between the seat and the cabin wall which offered some additional legroom and a place to store the pillow and blanket kit left on the seat. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider American is quite generous with seat features on its wide-body aircraft. Each seat has an 8.9-inch in-flight entertainment screen with a variety of movies, television shows, games, and music. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider The moving map proved handy during the flight to keep track of our location. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider A tethered remote is also available to control the system and act as a game controller or keyboard for the seat-to-seat chat function. It also comes in handy when scrolling through content since the touch functionality is quite poor in that regard. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider In-flight WiFi is also available on the aircraft for a price. And for those using devices during the flight, in-seat power is offered through USB charging ports and 110v C power outlets at seats. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider The rest of the aircraft was quite full, which surprised me as it was quite late in the season for transatlantic travel. Some passengers were visiting family and friends while others were starting their study abroad term. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Bad weather in New York wreaked a bit of havoc on the airport but we weren't overly affected. I was quite relieved that our departure was pretty close to on time as I had a connection to make in Madrid. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider The storm did, however, make for some great views as we blasted out of New York. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Madrid is quite a short flight from New York and while I wanted to go straight to sleep, I did want to see what the meal service was like. This was the first time I'd had a hot meal on American during the pandemic. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider As I waited for the service to begin, I had a look at what was on offer in the movie department. American had quite a good selection in all categories, and I ultimately picked "The Vault." Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider First attendants started the drink service first with a selection of soft drinks, juices, wine, and beer. Alcohol isn't currently served in economy on American's domestic flights but it flows freely on transatlantic hops. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider I ordered a club soda along with some red wine to help ease my sleep after the meal. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Next came the meal service as flight attendants quickly passed out the trays. I felt like I was being served in a cafeteria as one flight attendant curtly asked, "chicken or pasta?" Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider I unwrapped the entree to find that not much has changed at all when it comes to American's economy catering. The chicken dish was accompanied by a side salad, cheese and crackers, and a cinnamon dessert bar. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider I couldn't describe the chicken beyond that it was served in a tomato-based sauce. I enjoyed the sides more than the main and was glad I had the burger at Bobby Van's before the flight. Next time, I think I'll head straight to sleep. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Flight attendants were very quick to complete the meal service, though, and got it done in under an hour and a half. The flight to Madrid is only six hours and 30 minutes so every second counts. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Ready for bed with a full stomach, I used the pillow and blanket that American had left on the seat and did my best to get comfortable. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Another downside of the two-seat row is that there's a gap between the seat and window, making propping a pillow up against the cabin wall near-impossible. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider But even then, it wasn't too difficult to get to sleep and I woke just before breakfast was served. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Flight attendants once more came around to serve drinks first, followed by a pre-packaged cold breakfast. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider On offer for the optimistic morning meal included Chobani strawberry yogurt, a raspberry fig bar, and coconut cashew granola. All in all, it was quite standard but still enjoyable. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider The flight to Madrid was nearing its end and I can't say I was upset to see it go. American did a great job of getting me to Spain on time but the in-flight experience was exactly what I expected it to be. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider I did appreciate the modernity of the aircraft and the efficiency of the crew but there wasn't anything memorable about this flight. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Besides having to wear a mask, though, I'd say that American is back to normal on these flights, for better or worse. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider15 hr. 0 min. ago

Democrats" criticisms of Biden are actually a reminder of why the GOP is such a danger to our democracy

Democrats are willing to criticize the president's handling of COVID and Afghanistan, while Republicans refuse to disagree with Donald Trump. President Joe Biden. Drew Angerer/Getty Images Democrats have taken Joe Biden to task for his handling of COVID and the Afghanistan withdrawl. On the other hand, Republicans refuse to call out Donald Trump's lies and mistakes. The difference underlines just how much of a threat the GOP is to America's democracy. This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author. See more stories on Insider's business page. The past two months have brought a dramatic change to the Biden presidency. COVID-19 numbers have skyrocketed. The Afghanistan withdrawal was mired by the deaths of US soldiers and chaos at the Kabul airport. The recent revelation that a US drone strike in the country killed 10 civilians only added to the fallout. For a President who came into office with decades of experience at the highest levels of government, August and September have shown that experience can't always prepare you for the most difficult moments. Biden's critics, both Republican and Democrat alike, have noticed. But only one team has shown integrity in holding the President's feet to the fire.Criticizing your ownThe right's criticisms of Biden have been as predictable as they are ridiculous, such as the suggestion that Biden resign over Afghanistan. But criticism from his own party has been more substantive. Democratic senators from every wing of the party criticized the administration's handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal. Just this week, many Democrats have been up in arms about the Biden administration's treatment of Haitian migrants at the southern border. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer "urge[d] President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas to immediately put a stop to these expulsions" while Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called the situation "a stain on our country." As surprising as it may sound, this criticism is a good thing. Healthy democracy is built on politicians and pundits willing to criticize their own party's leaders when they make a mistake. It also beats the alternative: fawning over a dear leader with no critical eye or pushback to their decisions. That is how the Republicans live. That is how democracies die. Fear of your ownThe need for serious intra-party criticism to foster a healthy democracy is why it's so worrying that Republicans are completely unwilling to criticize their leaders, or more specifically, their leader. Even months removed from office, Donald Trump and the political movement that he represents are beyond reproach by Republicans. Those who do speak out, like Rep. Liz Cheney, are ousted from leadership, while others, like Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, are forced into an early retirement. Republican cable pundits like Fox News' Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity are the major drivers. Not only do they spread dangerous misinformation on a daily basis, but when it comes to mistakes and missteps by Trump and other Republicans, they are silent. This week, it was revealed that Trump's lawyer had given Mike Pence a six-point plan to steal the 2020 election. If Biden were to propose such an undemocratic idea today, Democrats in the media and in the Capitol would call for his impeachment. But Republicans refuse to hold their own to account, even when it means pushing a lie. Over the past year, the GOP has proven that they don't care about maintaining our democratic system of government. They care about power. Integrity and doing what's right is meaningless if it won't help them entrench their minority rule over the United States.It helps when Fox News and other right-wing media are completely in their pocket, rather than traditional media which largely tries to hold the country's leadership in check, regardless of who's in charge.This is just the latest example of how the GOP is better at politicking in our democratic system than the Democrats - and the latest example of how the GOP's skill at exploiting that system is going to be the very thing that crushes it. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider15 hr. 0 min. ago

How We Know Bitcoin Is A Force For Good

How We Know Bitcoin Is A Force For Good Authored by Mark Jeftovic via BombThrower.com, Cryptos are the antidote to repressive Central Bank Digital Currencies Yesterday I wrote up why I don’t think any kind of China-style ban on Bitcoin and cryptos would be tenable in (so-called) liberal democracies here in the West. It referenced an earlier piece that described the threefold governance structure I see competing for relevance over the coming decades. Somebody linked to those in the comments from a Tom Luongo piece (which I rather enjoyed enough to subscribe to his newsletter) but when I read through some of the other comments around Bitcoin, how it’s a globalist Trojan horse for surveillance capitalism and social credit I realized I needed to get a piece out to speak specifically to this aspect of future governance. I cover this a lot in The Crypto Capitalist Letter, in fact it’s a pillar of our macro economic thesis (which you can download free here). It all comes down to the differences between real crypto currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, Monero, et al and coming Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), like China’s Digital Yuan, like the coming FedCoin, and anything else that will be issued by central banks, directly from governments or even in conjunction with Big Tech platforms. There are the two main types of digital money that will co-exist in the future. Each type of digital money corresponds to a governance mode of the future. Which type of this money you make your own or your business’ financial centre of gravity will have an outsized impact on whether you live in the future as a neo-Feudal serf or as a sovereign individual. Each one has its own fundamental architecture, and the governance and economics that result from those architectures reflect the governance models of the mode that is built on them. This is critical and builds on what I’ve been writing about for  years now, drawing on the work of relatively obscure commentators like Vincent Locascio and Steven Zarlenga. The latter who wrote in his Lost Science of Money, whoever controls the monetary system, controls society. “a main arena of human struggle is over the monetary control of societies and that control has been and is now exercised through obscure theories about the nature of money. If it had to be summarized in one sentence, it is that by misdefining the nature of money, special interests have often been able to assume the control of society’s monetary system, and in turn, the society itself. ”. It is because of how fundamentally the monetary architecture is reflected in the governance stack that sits atop of it that I can make the case with rather high confidence that Bitcoin and cryptos are not Trojan horses for globalist control. They are the opposite – they are the mechanisms through which people, all people, any person, the masses – can reclaim their own economic autonomy and become self-ruling and free. The defining feature that makes them so is simply that a liberating crypto-currency is designed such that the blockchain is decentralized anybody can take part in validating the blockchain the possessor controls the private keys to the units he or she owns This is Bitcoin. These are cryptos in general. They may also contain other features that confer a “sound money” status on them, like Bitcoin’s 21 million unit hard cap or Ethereum’s EIP 1559 protocol. But it is these three attributes, especially the last one, of holding one’s own private keys, that make them emancipatory monetary technologies. The crypto folks have an expression: “Not your keys, not your coins”. I expect this to be the defining feature that demarcates the difference between a bona fide crypto currency that empowers its holders and centralized digital cash (tokens) that governments and central banks run to control the populace. Those skeptical of Bitcoin, who suspect a globalist, Davos-inspired regimen of surveillance and social credit are correct about digital cash being the conduit for those, but they’ve simply conflated all forms of digital money and view Bitcoin as typical or a test-run of them. This misconception arises simply from not knowing or understanding the differentiators between a crypto like Bitcoin and a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), like a coming “FedCoin”. CBDCs will very much be tools of elitists to implement top-down command-and-control economics and even Great Reset-style social management through monetary policy. CBDCs will in all likelihood not be designed to put the private keys over the currency units into the hands of its possessor. Digital “cash” under CBDCs will be centrally programmable and implemented without end-user consent across all national governance and Davos-inspired initiatives. CBDCs will be the rails of all manner of economic programs (like UBI and MMT) and social policy objectives which simply are not possible, or desirable under cryptos: Expiry dates on “cash” in your wallet Negative interest rates if you try to save any of it Social credit objectives (no jab / no stimmie) Instant taxation on transactions and payments Social justice pricing (cup of coffee costs 10X if you’re in a higher tax bracket) Built-in climate tariffs Capital controls Infinitely inflatable, issue on demand If you thought the Federal Reserve was suffering from mission creep now that they’ve decided to tackle climate change and social justice, just wait until they get the ability to program what you can do with your monthly stimmie after it already in your wallet. (Anybody remember the original Robocop?) That is what we’re looking at with CBDCs and if that’s your dystopian vision of what digital cash means, you’re not wrong. You’re just misdirecting your apprehensions if you think that’s what Bitcoin means. This is because it and most of the other digital currencies are the antidote to CBDCs. Which is why they are subject to such hostility from policy makers, the corporate press and elites. This will be a battle. A never-ending tension between these two digital money systems – crypto currencies, which are actually fungible, inelastic, deflationary (purchasing power increases over time) and which gives their holders economic autonomy in this new era. On the other side we’ll have these centrally issued, programmable digital tokens. Which side of the ledger the majority of your economic activity happens on will govern your future status as a Neo-Serf or an autonomous Sovereign Individual. If the dynamic becomes extreme it could even result in a kind of monetary Apartheid. The good news is that today, at this moment in time, it’s still largely self-selecting. I’ve written many times, that crypto’s (real cryptos, not CBDCs or even stablecoins) are all about optionality. Crypto’s like Bitcoin confer options on their holders (HODL-ers), while the coming CBDCs will be all about limiting them. *  *  * I cover this dynamic extensively in The Crypto Capitalist Letter, a long with a tactical focus on publicly traded crypto stocks. Get the overall investment / macro thesis free when you subscribe to the Bombthrower mailing list, or try the premium service for a month with our fully refundable trial offer. Tyler Durden Sun, 09/26/2021 - 12:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedge15 hr. 31 min. ago

30 Facts You Need To Know: A COVID Cribsheet

30 Facts You Need To Know: A COVID Cribsheet Authored by Kit Knightly via Off-Guardian.org, You asked for it, so we made it. A collection of all the arguments you’ll ever need. We get a lot of e-mails and private messages along these lines “do you have a source for X?” or “can you point me to mask studies?” or “I know I saw a graph for mortality, but I can’t find it anymore”. And we understand, it’s been a long 18 months, and there are so many statistics and numbers to try and keep straight in your head. So, to deal with all these requests, we decided to make a bullet-pointed and sourced list for all the key points. A one-stop-shop. Here are key facts and sources about the alleged “pandemic”, that will help you get a grasp on what has happened to the world since January 2020, and help you enlighten any of your friends who might be still trapped in the New Normal fog: “Covid deaths” – Lockdowns – PCR Tests – “asymptomatic infection” – Ventilators – Masks – Vaccines – Deception & Foreknowledge *  *  * PART I: “COVID DEATHS” & MORTALITY 1. The survival rate of “Covid” is over 99%. Government medical experts went out of their way to underline, from the beginning of the pandemic, that the vast majority of the population are not in any danger from Covid. Almost all studies on the infection-fatality ratio (IFR) of Covid have returned results between 0.04% and 0.5%. Meaning Covid’s survival rate is at least 99.5%. * 2. There has been NO unusual excess mortality. The press has called 2020 the UK’s “deadliest year since world war two”, but this is misleading because it ignores the massive increase in the population since that time. A more reasonable statistical measure of mortality is Age-Standardised Mortality Rate (ASMR): By this measure, 2020 isn’t even the worst year for mortality since 2000, In fact since 1943 only 9 years have been better than 2020. Similarly, in the US the ASMR for 2020 is only at 2004 levels: For a detailed breakdown of how Covid affected mortality across Western Europe and the US click here. What increases in mortality we have seen could be attributable to non-Covid causes [facts 7, 9 & 19]. * 3. “Covid death” counts are artificially inflated. Countries around the globe have been defining a “Covid death” as a “death by any cause within 28/30/60 days of a positive test”. Healthcare officials from Italy, Germany, the UK, US, Northern Ireland and others have all admitted to this practice: Removing any distinction between dying of Covid, and dying of something else after testing positive for Covid will naturally lead to over-counting of “Covid deaths”. British pathologist Dr John Lee was warning of this “substantial over-estimate” as early as last spring. Other mainstream sources have reported it, too. Considering the huge percentage of “asymptomatic” Covid infections [14], the well-known prevalence of serious comorbidities [fact 4] and the potential for false-positive tests [fact 18], this renders the Covid death numbers an extremely unreliable statistic. * 4. The vast majority of covid deaths have serious comorbidities. In March 2020, the Italian government published statistics showing 99.2% of their “Covid deaths” had at least one serious comorbidity. These included cancer, heart disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s, kidney failure and diabetes (among others). Over 50% of them had three or more serious pre-existing conditions. This pattern has held up in all other countries over the course of the “pandemic”. An October 2020 FOIA request to the UK’s ONS revealed less than 10% of the official “Covid death” count at that time had Covid as the sole cause of death. * 5. Average age of “Covid death” is greater than the average life expectancy. The average age of a “Covid death” in the UK is 82.5 years. In Italy it’s 86. Germany, 83. Switzerland, 86. Canada, 86. The US, 78, Australia, 82. In almost all cases the median age of a “Covid death” is higher than the national life expectancy. As such, for most of the world, the “pandemic” has had little-to-no impact on life expectancy. Contrast this with the Spanish flu, which saw a 28% drop in life expectancy in the US in just over a year. [source] * 6. Covid mortality exactly mirrors the natural mortality curve. Statistical studies from the UK and India have shown that the curve for “Covid death” follows the curve for expected mortality almost exactly: The risk of death “from Covid” follows, almost exactly, your background risk of death in general. The small increase for some of the older age groups can be accounted for by other factors.[facts 7, 9 & 19] * 7. There has been a massive increase in the use of “unlawful” DNRs. Watchdogs and government agencies have reported huge increases in the use of Do Not Resuscitate Orders (DNRs) over the last twenty months. In the US, hospitals considered “universal DNRs” for any patient who tested positive for Covid, and whistleblowing nurses have admitted the DNR system was abused in New York. In the UK there was an “unprecdented” rise in “illegal” DNRs for disabled people, GP surgeries sent out letters to non-terminal patients recommending they sign DNR orders, whilst other doctors signed “blanket DNRs” for entire nursing homes. A study done by Sheffield Univerisity found over one-third of all “suspected” Covid patients had a DNR attached to their file within 24 hours of hospital admission. Blanket use of coerced or illegal DNR orders could account for any increases in mortality in 2020/21.[Facts 2 & 6] *  *  * PART II: LOCKDOWNS 8. Lockdowns do not prevent the spread of disease. There is little to no evidence lockdowns have any impact on limiting “Covid deaths”. If you compare regions that locked down to regions that did not, you can see no pattern at all. “Covid deaths” in Florida (no lockdown) vs California (lockdown) “Covid deaths” in Sweden (no lockdown) vs UK (lockdown) * 9. Lockdowns kill people. There is strong evidence that lockdowns – through social, economic and other public health damage – are deadlier than the “virus”. Dr David Nabarro, World Health Organization special envoy for Covid-19 described lockdowns as a “global catastrophe” in October 2020: We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of the virus[…] it seems we may have a doubling of world poverty by next year. We may well have at least a doubling of child malnutrition […] This is a terrible, ghastly global catastrophe.” A UN report from April 2020 warned of 100,000s of children being killed by the economic impact of lockdowns, while tens of millions more face possible poverty and famine. Unemployment, poverty, suicide, alcoholism, drug use and other social/mental health crises are spiking all over the world. While missed and delayed surgeries and screenings are going to see increased mortality from heart disease, cancer et al. in the near future. The impact of lockdown would account for the small increases in excess mortality [Facts 2 & 6] * 10. Hospitals were never unusually over-burdened. the main argument used to defend lockdowns is that “flattening the curve” would prevent a rapid influx of cases and protect healthcare systems from collapse. But most healthcare systems were never close to collapse at all. In March 2020 it was reported that hospitals in Spain and Italy were over-flowing with patients, but this happens every flu season. In 2017 Spanish hospitals were at 200% capacity, and 2015 saw patients sleeping in corridors. A paper JAMA paper from March 2020 found that Italian hospitals “typically run at 85-90% capacity in the winter months”. In the UK, the NHS is regularly stretched to breaking point over the winter. As part of their Covid policy, the NHS announced in Spring of 2020 that they would be “re-organizing hospital capacity in new ways to treat Covid and non-Covid patients separately” and that “as result hospitals will experience capacity pressures at lower overall occupancy rates than would previously have been the case.” This means they removed thousands of beds. During an alleged deadly pandemic, they reduced the maximum occupancy of hospitals. Despite this, the NHS never felt pressure beyond your typical flu season, and at times actually had 4x more empty beds than normal. In both the UK and US millions were spent on temporary emergency hospitals that were never used. *  *  * PART III: PCR TESTS 11. PCR tests were not designed to diagnose illness. The Reverse-Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test is described in the media as the “gold standard” for Covid diagnosis. But the Nobel Prize-winning inventor of the process never intended it to be used as a diagnostic tool, and said so publicly: PCR is just a process that allows you to make a whole lot of something out of something. It doesn’t tell you that you are sick, or that the thing that you ended up with was going to hurt you or anything like that.” * 12. PCR Tests have a history of being inaccurate and unreliable. The “gold standard” PCR tests for Covid are known to produce a lot of false-positive results, by reacting to DNA material that is not specific to Sars-Cov-2. A Chinese study found the same patient could get two different results from the same test on the same day. In Germany, tests are known to have reacted to common cold viruses. A 2006 study found PCR tests for one virus responded to other viruses too. In 2007, a reliance on PCR tests resulted in an “outbreak” of Whooping Cough that never actually existed. Some tests in the US even reacted to the negative control sample. The late President of Tanzania, John Magufuli, submitted samples goat, pawpaw and motor oil for PCR testing, all came back positive for the virus. As early as February of 2020 experts were admitting the test was unreliable. Dr Wang Cheng, president of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences told Chinese state television “The accuracy of the tests is only 30-50%”. The Australian government’s own website claimed “There is limited evidence available to assess the accuracy and clinical utility of available COVID-19 tests.” And a Portuguese court ruled that PCR tests were “unreliable” and should not be used for diagnosis. You can read detailed breakdowns of the failings of PCR tests here, here and here. * 13. The CT values of the PCR tests are too high. PCR tests are run in cycles, the number of cycles you use to get your result is known as your “cycle threshold” or CT value. Kary Mullis said: “If you have to go more than 40 cycles[…]there is something seriously wrong with your PCR.” The MIQE PCR guidelines agree, stating: “[CT] values higher than 40 are suspect because of the implied low efficiency and generally should not be reported,” Dr Fauci himself even admitted anything over 35 cycles is almost never culturable. Dr Juliet Morrison, virologist at the University of California, Riverside, told the New York Times: Any test with a cycle threshold above 35 is too sensitive…I’m shocked that people would think that 40 [cycles] could represent a positive…A more reasonable cutoff would be 30 to 35″. In the same article Dr Michael Mina, of the Harvard School of Public Health, said the limit should be 30, and the author goes on to point out that reducing the CT from 40 to 30 would have reduced “covid cases” in some states by as much as 90%. The CDC’s own data suggests no sample over 33 cycles could be cultured, and Germany’s Robert Koch Institute says nothing over 30 cycles is likely to be infectious. Despite this, it is known almost all the labs in the US are running their tests at least 37 cycles and sometimes as high as 45. The NHS “standard operating procedure” for PCR tests rules set the limit at 40 cycles. Based on what we know about the CT values, the majority of PCR test results are at best questionable. * 14. The World Health Organization (Twice) Admitted PCR tests produced false positives. In December 2020 WHO put out a briefing memo on the PCR process instructing labs to be wary of high CT values causing false positive results: when specimens return a high Ct value, it means that many cycles were required to detect virus. In some circumstances, the distinction between background noise and actual presence of the target virus is difficult to ascertain. Then, in January 2021, the WHO released another memo, this time warning that “asymptomatic” positive PCR tests should be re-tested because they might be false positives: Where test results do not correspond with the clinical presentation, a new specimen should be taken and retested using the same or different NAT technology. * 15. The scientific basis for Covid tests is questionable. The genome of the Sars-Cov-2 virus was supposedly sequenced by Chinese scientists in December 2019, then published on January 10th 2020. Less than two weeks later, German virologists (Christian Drosten et al.) had allegedly used the genome to create assays for PCR tests. They wrote a paper, Detection of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) by real-time RT-PCR, which was submitted for publication on January 21st 2020, and then accepted on January 22nd. Meaning the paper was allegedly “peer-reviewed” in less than 24 hours. A process that typically takes weeks. Since then, a consortium of over forty life scientists has petitioned for the withdrawal of the paper, writing a lengthy report detailing 10 major errors in the paper’s methodology. They have also requested the release of the journal’s peer-review report, to prove the paper really did pass through the peer-review process. The journal has yet to comply. The Corman-Drosten assays are the root of every Covid PCR test in the world. If the paper is questionable, every PCR test is also questionable. *  *  * PART IV: “ASYMPTOMATIC INFECTION” 16. The majority of Covid infections are “asymptomatic”. From as early as March 2020, studies done in Italy were suggesting 50-75% of positive Covid tests had no symptoms. Another UK study from August 2020 found as much as 86% of “Covid patients” experienced no viral symptoms at all. It is literally impossible to tell the difference between an “asymptomatic case” and a false-positive test result. * 17. There is very little evidence supporting the alleged danger of “asymptomatic transmission”. In June 2020, Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, said: From the data we have, it still seems to be rare that an asymptomatic person actually transmits onward to a secondary individual,” A meta-analysis of Covid studies, published by Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in December 2020, found that asymptomatic carriers had a less than 1% chance of infecting people within their household. Another study, done on influenza in 2009, found: …limited evidence to suggest the importance of [asymptomatic] transmission. The role of asymptomatic or presymptomatic influenza-infected individuals in disease transmission may have been overestimated…” Given the known flaws of the PCR tests, many “asymptomatic cases” may be false positives.[fact 14] *  *  * PART V: VENTILATORS 18. Ventilation is NOT a treatment for respiratory viruses. Mechanical ventilation is not, and never has been, recommended treatment for respiratory infection of any kind. In the early days of the pandemic, many doctors came forward questioning the use of ventilators to treat “Covid”. Writing in The Spectator, Dr Matt Strauss stated: Ventilators do not cure any disease. They can fill your lungs with air when you find yourself unable to do so yourself. They are associated with lung diseases in the public’s consciousness, but this is not in fact their most common or most appropriate application. German Pulmonologist Dr Thomas Voshaar, chairman of Association of Pneumatological Clinics said: When we read the first studies and reports from China and Italy, we immediately asked ourselves why intubation was so common there. This contradicted our clinical experience with viral pneumonia. Despite this, the WHO, CDC, ECDC and NHS all “recommended” Covid patients be ventilated instead of using non-invasive methods. This was not a medical policy designed to best treat the patients, but rather to reduce the hypothetical spread of Covid by preventing patients from exhaling aerosol droplets. * 19. Ventilators killed people. Putting someone who is suffering from influenza, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or any other condition which restricts breathing or affects the lungs, will not alleviate any of those symptoms. In fact, it will almost certainly make it worse, and will kill many of them. Intubation tubes are a source of potential a infection known as “ventilator-associated pneumonia”, which studies show affects up to 28% of all people put on ventilators, and kills 20-55% of those infected. Mechanical ventilation is also damaging to the physical structure of the lungs, resulting in “ventilator-induced lung injury”, which can dramatically impact quality of life, and even result in death. Experts estimate 40-50% of ventilated patients die, regardless of their disease. Around the world, between 66 and 86% of all “Covid patients” put on ventilators died. According to the “undercover nurse”, ventilators were being used so improperly in New York, they were destroying patients’ lungs: This policy was negligence at best, and potentially deliberate murder at worst. This misuse of ventilators could account for any increase in mortality in 2020/21 [Facts 2 & 6] *  *  * PART VI: MASKS 20. Masks don’t work. At least a dozen scientific studies have shown that masks do nothing to stop the spread of respiratory viruses. One meta-analysis published by the CDC in May 2020 found “no significant reduction in influenza transmission with the use of face masks”. Another study with over 8000 subjects found masks “did not seem to be effective against laboratory-confirmed viral respiratory infections nor against clinical respiratory infection.” There are literally too many to quote them all, but you can read them: [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] Or read a summary by SPR here. While some studies have been done claiming to show mask do work for Covid, they are all seriously flawed. One relied on self-reported surveys as data. Another was so badly designed a panel of experts demand it be withdrawn. A third was withdrawn after its predictions proved entirely incorrect. The WHO commissioned their own meta-analysis in the Lancet, but that study looked only at N95 masks and only in hospitals. [For full run down on the bad data in this study click here.] Aside from scientific evidence, there’s plenty of real-world evidence that masks do nothing to halt the spread of disease. For example, North Dakota and South Dakota had near-identical case figures, despite one having a mask-mandate and the other not: In Kansas, counties without mask mandates actually had fewer Covid “cases” than counties with mask mandates. And despite masks being very common in Japan, they had their worst flu outbreak in decades in 2019. * 21. Masks are bad for your health. Wearing a mask for long periods, wearing the same mask more than once, and other aspects of cloth masks can be bad for your health. A long study on the detrimental effects of mask-wearing was recently published by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health Dr. James Meehan reported in August 2020 he was seeing increases in bacterial pneumonia, fungal infections, facial rashes . Masks are also known to contain plastic microfibers, which damage the lungs when inhaled and may be potentially carcinogenic. Childen wearing masks encourages mouth-breathing, which results in facial deformities. People around the world have passed out due to CO2 poisoning while wearing their masks, and some children in China even suffered sudden cardiac arrest. * 22. Masks are bad for the planet. Millions upon millions of disposable masks have been used per month for over a year. A report from the UN found the Covid19 pandemic will likely result in plastic waste more than doubling in the next few years., and the vast majority of that is face masks. The report goes on to warn these masks (and other medical waste) will clog sewage and irrigation systems, which will have knock on effects on public health, irrigation and agriculture. A study from the University of Swansea found “heavy metals and plastic fibres were released when throw-away masks were submerged in water.” These materials are toxic to both people and wildlife. *  *  * PART VII: VACCINES 23. Covid “vaccines” are totally unprecedented. Before 2020 no successful vaccine against a human coronavirus had ever been developed. Since then we have allegedly made 20 of them in 18 months. Scientists have been trying to develop a SARS and MERS vaccine for years with little success. Some of the failed SARS vaccines actually caused hypersensitivity to the SARS virus. Meaning that vaccinated mice could potentially get the disease more severely than unvaccinated mice. Another attempt caused liver damage in ferrets. While traditional vaccines work by exposing the body to a weakened strain of the microorganism responsible for causing the disease, these new Covid vaccines are mRNA vaccines. mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid) vaccines theoretically work by injecting viral mRNA into the body, where it replicates inside your cells and encourages your body to recognise, and make antigens for, the “spike proteins” of the virus. They have been the subject of research since the 1990s, but before 2020 no mRNA vaccine was ever approved for use. * 24. Vaccines do not confer immunity or prevent transmission. It is readily admitted that Covid “vaccines” do not confer immunity from infection and do not prevent you from passing the disease onto others. Indeed, an article in the British Medical Journal highlighted that the vaccine studies were not designed to even try and assess if the “vaccines” limited transmission. The vaccine manufacturers themselves, upon releasing the untested mRNA gene therapies, were quite clear their product’s “efficacy” was based on “reducing the severity of symptoms”. * 25. The vaccines were rushed and have unknown longterm effects. Vaccine development is a slow, laborious process. Usually, from development through testing and finally being approved for public use takes many years. The various vaccines for Covid were all developed and approved in less than a year. Obviously there can be no long-term safety data on chemicals which are less than a year old. Pfizer even admit this is true in the leaked supply contract between the pharmaceutical giant, and the government of Albania: the long-term effects and efficacy of the Vaccine are not currently known and that there may be adverse effects of the Vaccine that are not currently known Further, none of the vaccines have been subject to proper trials. Many of them skipped early-stage trials entirely, and the late-stage human trials have either not been peer-reviewed, have not released their data, will not finish until 2023 or were abandoned after “severe adverse effects”. * 26. Vaccine manufacturers have been granted legal indemnity should they cause harm. The USA’s Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP) grants immunity until at least 2024. The EU’s product licensing law does the same, and there are reports of confidential liability clauses in the contracts the EU signed with vaccine manufacturers. The UK went even further, granting permanent legal indemnity to the government, and any employees thereof, for any harm done when a patient is being treated for Covid19 or “suspected Covid19”. Again, the leaked Albanian contract suggests that Pfizer, at least, made this indemnity a standard demand of supplying Covid vaccines: Purchaser hereby agrees to indemnify, defend and hold harmless Pfizer […] from and against any and all suits, claims, actions, demands, losses, damages, liabilities, settlements, penalties, fines, costs and expenses *  *  * PART VIII: DECEPTION & FOREKNOWLEDGE 27. The EU was preparing “vaccine passports” at least a YEAR before the pandemic began. Proposed COVID countermeasures, presented to the public as improvised emergency measures, have existed since before the emergence of the disease. Two EU documents published in 2018, the “2018 State of Vaccine Confidence” and a technical report titled “Designing and implementing an immunisation information system” discussed the plausibility of an EU-wide vaccination monitoring system. These documents were combined into the 2019 “Vaccination Roadmap”, which (among other things) established a “feasibility study” on vaccine passports to begin in 2019 and finish in 2021: This report’s final conclusions were released to the public in September 2019, just a month before Event 201 (below). * 28. A “training exercise” predicted the pandemic just weeks before it started. In October 2019 the World Economic Forum and Johns Hopkins University held Event 201. This was a training exercise based on a zoonotic coronavirus starting a worldwide pandemic. The exercise was sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and GAVI the vaccine alliance. The exercise published its findings and recommendations in November 2019 as a “call to action”. One month later, China recorded their first case of “Covid”. * 29. Since the beginning of 2020, the Flu has “disappeared”. In the United States, since Februart 2020, influenza cases have allegedly dropped by over 98%. It’s not just the US either, globally flu has apparently almost completely disappeared. Meanwhile, a new disease called “Covid”, which has identical symptoms and a similar mortality rate to influenza, is supposedly sweeping the globe. * 30. The elite have made fortunes during the pandemic. Since the beginning of lockdown the wealthiest people have become significantly wealthier. Forbes reported that 40 new billionaires have been created “fighting the coronavirus”, with 9 of them being vaccine manufacturers. Business Insider reported that “billionaires saw their net worth increase by half a trillion dollars” by October 2020. Clearly that number will be even bigger by now. *  *  * These are the vital facts of the pandemic, presented here as a resource to help formulate and support your arguments with friends or strangers. Thanks to all the researchers who have collated and collected this information over the last twenty months, especially Swiss Policy Research. Tyler Durden Sun, 09/26/2021 - 07:00.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nyt18 hr. 48 min. ago

The "Great Game" Moves On

The 'Great Game' Moves On Authored by Alasdair Macleod via GoldMoney.com, Following America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, her focus has switched to the Pacific with the establishment of a joint Australian and UK naval partnership. The founder of modern geopolitical theory, Halford Mackinder, had something to say about this in his last paper, written for the Council on Foreign Relations in 1943. Mackinder anticipated this development, though the actors and their roles at that time were different. In particular, he foresaw the economic emergence of China and India and the importance of the Pacific region. This article discusses the current situation in Mackinder’s context, taking in the consequences of green energy, the importance of trade in the Pacific region, and China’s current deflationary strategy relative to that of declining western powers aggressively pursuing asset inflation. There is little doubt that the world is rebalancing as Mackinder described nearly eighty years ago. To appreciate it we must look beyond the West’s current economic and monetary difficulties and the loss of its hegemony over Asia, and particularly note the improving conditions of the Asia’s most populous nations. Introduction Following NATO’s defeat in the heart of Asia, and with Afghanistan now under the Taliban’s rule, the Chinese/Russian axis now controls the Asian continental mass. Asian nations not directly related to its joint hegemony (not being members, associates, or dialog partners of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) are increasingly dependent upon it for trade and technology. Sub-Saharan Africa is in its sphere of influence. The reality for America is that the total population in or associated with the SCO is 57% of the world population. And America’s grip on its European allies is slipping. NATO itself has become less relevant, with Turkey drawn towards the rival Asian axis, and its EU members are compromised through trading and energy links with Russia and China. Furthermore, France is pushing the EU towards establishing its own army independent of US-led NATO — quite what its role will be, other than political puffery for France is a mystery. It is against this background that three of the Five Eyes intelligence partnership have formed AUKUS – standing for Australia, UK, and US — and its first agreement is to give Australia a nuclear submarine capability to strengthen the partnership’s naval power in the Pacific. Other capabilities, chiefly aimed at containing the Chinese threat to Taiwan and other allies in the Pacific Ocean, will surely emerge in due course. The other two Five Eyes, Canada and New Zealand, appear to be less keen to confront China. But perhaps they will also have less obvious roles in due course beyond pure intelligence gathering. The US, under President Trump, had failed to contain China’s increasing economic dominance and its rapidly developing technological challenge to American supremacy. Trump’s one success was to peel off the UK from its Cameron/Osbourne policy of strengthening trade and financial ties with China by threatening the UK’s important role in its intelligence partnership with the US. For the UK, the challenge came at a critical time. Brexit had happened, and the UK needed global partners for its future trade and geopolitical strategies, the latter needed to cement its re-emergence onto the world stage following Brexit. Trump held out the carrot of a fast-tracked US/UK trade deal. The Swiss alternative of neutrality in international affairs is not in the UK’s DNA, so realistically the decision was a no-brainer: the UK had to recommit itself entirely to the Anglo-Saxon Five-Eyes partnership with the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand and turn its back on China. But gathering intelligence and building naval power in the Pacific won’t defeat the Chinese. All simulations show that the US, with or without AUKUS, cannot win a military conflict against China. But AUKUS is not a formal model on NATO lines which commits its members by treaty to aggression against a common enemy. While Taiwan remains a specific problem, the objective is almost certainly to discourage China from territorial expansion and protect and give other Pacific nations on the Asian periphery the security to be independent from the SCO behemoth. The trade benefits of closer relationships with these independent nations are also an additional reason for the UK to join the CPTPP — the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. It qualifies for membership through its sovereignty over the Pitcairn Islands. And that is why China has also applied to join. Therefore, AUKUS’s importance is in the signal sent to China and the whole Pacific region, following the abandonment of land-based operations in the Middle East and Afghanistan. The maritime threat to China is a line which must not be crossed. We are entering a new era in the Great Game, where the objective has changed from dominance to containment. Having lost its position of ultimate control in the Eurasian land mass America has selected its partners to retain control over the high seas. And the UK has found a new geopolitical purpose, re-establishing a global role now that it is independent from the EU. The French cannot join the CPTPP being bound into the common trade policies of the EU. Seeing the British escape the strictures of the EU and rapidly obtain more global influence than France could dream of has touched a raw nerve. Mackinder vindicated The father of geopolitics, Halford Mackinder, is frequently quoted and his theories are still relevant to the current situation. Much has been written about Mackinder’s prophecies. His concept of the World Island was first mentioned in his 1904 presentation to the Royal Geographic Society in London: “a pivot state, resulting in its expansion over the marginal lands of Euro-Asia”. In 1943 he updated his views in an article for the Council on Foreign Relations, adding to his heartland theory. Written during the Second World War, his commentary reflected the combatants and their positions at that time. But despite this, he made a perceptive comment relative to the situation today and AUKUS: “Were the Chinese for instance organised by the Japanese to overthrow the Russian Empire and conquer its territory they might constitute the yellow peril to the world’s freedom just because they would add an oceanic frontage to the resources of the great continent.” When Mackinder wrote his article the Japanese had already invaded Manchuria, but their subsequent defeat removed them from an active geopolitical role, and in place of a Soviet defeat China has entered a peaceful partnership with Russia that extends to all its old Central Asian soviet satellites. It is the focus on the ocean frontage that matters, upon which the maritime silk road depends. The article brings into play another aspect mentioned by Mackinder, and that is the Heartland’s tremendous natural resources, “…including enough coal in the Kuznetsk and Krasnoyarsk basins capable of supplying the requirements of the whole world for 300 years”. And: “In 1938 Russia produced more of the following food stuffs than any other country in the world: wheat, barley, oats, rye, and sugar beets. More manganese was produced in Russia than in any other country. It was bracketed with United States in the first place as regards iron and it stood second place in production of petroleum”. Through its partnership with Russia all these latent resources are available to the Chinese and Russian partnership. And the real potential for industrialisation, held back by communism and now by Russian corruption, has barely commenced. After presciently noting that one day the Sahara may become the trap for capturing direct power from the sun (foreseeing solar panels), Mackinder’s article ended on an optimistic note: “A thousand million people of ancient oriental civilisation inhabit the monsoon lands of India and China [today 3 billion, including Pakistan]. They must grow to prosperity in the same years in which Germany and Japan are being tamed to civilisation. They will then balance that other thousand million who live between the Missouri and the Yenisei [i.e., Central and Eastern America, Britain, Europe and Russia beyond the Urals]. A balanced globe of human beings and happy because balanced and thus free.” Both China and now India are rapidly industrialising, becoming part of a balanced globe of humanity. While the West tries to hang on to what it has got rather than progressing, China and India along with all of under-developed Asia are moving rapidly in the direction of individual freedom of economic choice and improvements in living conditions, to which Mackinder was referring. Obviously, there is some way for this process yet to go, displacing western hegemony in the process. America particularly has found the political challenges of change difficult, with its deep state unable to come to terms easily with the implications for its military and economic power. We must hope that Mackinder was right, and the shift of economic power is best to be regarded as the pains of geopolitical evolution rather than conditions for escalating conflict. But in pursuing its green agenda and eschewing carbon fuels, the West is unwittingly handing a gift to Mackinder’s Heartland, because despite diplomatic noises to the contrary China, India and all the SCO membership will continue to use cheap coal, gas, and oil which Asia has in abundance while Western manufacturers are forced by their governments to use expensive and less reliable green energy. Green obsessions and global trade Meanwhile, the West has gone green-crazy. Banning fossil fuels without there being adequate replacements must be a new definition of insanity, for which the current fuel crises in Europe attest. With over 95% of European logistics currently being shifted by diesel power, switching to battery power or hydrogen by 2030 by banning sales of new internal combustion engine vehicles is a hostage to fortune. While it is hardly mentioned, presumably the Western powers think that by banning carbon fuels they will take the wind out of Russia’s energy quasi-monopoly, because including gas Russia is the largest exporter of fossil fuels in the world. Instead, the West is creating an energy shortage for itself, a point driven home by Gazprom withholding gas flows through its pipelines to Europe, thereby driving up Europe’s energy costs sharply and ensuring a far more severe energy crisis this winter. Even if Russia turns on the taps tomorrow, there is insufficient gas storage in reserve for the winter months. And Europe and the UK have got ahead of themselves by decommissioning coal and gas-fired electricity. In the UK, a massive undersea gas storage facility off the Yorkshire coast has been closed, leaving precious little national storage capacity. As we have seen with the post-covid supply chain chaos, energy problems will not only become acute this winter, but are likely to persist through much of next year. And even that assumes Russia relents and moderates its energy stance to European customers. By way of contrast, though its partnership with Russia China is gifted unlimited access to all carbon fuels. She is still building coal-fired electricity power stations at an extraordinary rate — according to a BBC report there are 61 new ones being commissioned. A further 51 outside China are planned. As a sop to the West China has only said she won’t finance any more outside her territory. And India relies on coal for over two-thirds of its electrical energy. While Europe and America through their green obsessions are denying themselves the availability and technologies that go with carbon fuels, the Russian/Chinese axis will continue to reap the full benefits. The West’s response is likely to be to decry Chinese pollution and its contribution to global warming, but realistically there is little it can do. Demand for Chinese-manufactured goods will continue because China now has a quasi-monopoly on global manufacturing for export. In the unlikely event western consumers become avid savers while their governments continue to run massive budget deficits, their trade deficits will rise even more, allowing Chinese exporters to increase prices for consumers and intermediate goods without losing export sales. While there is nothing it can do about China’s production methods, AUKUS members will undoubtedly lean on other exporting CPTPP members to comply with global green policies. But they will be competing with China, and while they may pay lip service to the climate change agenda, in practice they are unlikely to implement it without holding out for unrealistic subsidies from the western nations driving the climate change agenda. Under current circumstances, it seems unlikely that China’s CPTPP application will lead to membership, given the CPTPP requirement for China’s central government to relinquish ownership of its SOEs and to permit the free flow of data across its borders. In any event, China is focused on developing its Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a free trade agreement with ratification signed so far by China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand. It will come into effect when ratified by ten out of the fifteen signatories, likely to be in the first half of 2022, and in terms of population will be two and a half times the size of the EU and the US/Mexico/Canada (USMCA) trade agreements combined. With four out of five of the signatories being American allies, RCEP demonstrates that the AUKUS defence partnership is an entirely separate issue from trade. While the US may not like it, if RCEP goes ahead freer trade will almost certainly undermine a belligerent stance in due course. Despite hiccups, the progression of trade dealing in the Pacific region promises to prove Mackinder right about the prospect of a more balanced world. All being well and guaranteed by a balance of naval capabilities between AUKUS and China, a free-trading Pacific region will render the European and American trade protectionist policies an anachronism. But the threat is now from another direction: financial instability, with western nations pulling in one direction and China in another. Since the Lehman collapse and the ensuing financial crisis, China has been careful to prevent financial bubbles. Figure 1 shows that the Shanghai Composite Index has risen 82% since 2008, while the S&P500 rose 430%. While the US has seen financial asset values driven by a combination of QE and investor speculation, these factors are absent and discouraged in China. Government debt to GDP is about half that of the US. It is true that industrial debt is high, like that of the US. But the difference is that in China debt is more productive while in America there has been a growing preponderance of debt zombies, only kept solvent by zero interest rate policies. China’s policy of ensuring that the expansion of bank credit is invested in production and not speculation differs fundamentally from the US approach, which is to deliberately inflate financial assets to perpetuate a wealth effect. China avoids the destabilising potential of speculative flows unwinding because it lays the economy open to the possibility that America will use financial instability to undermine China’s economy. In a speech to the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee in April 2015, Major-General Qiao Liang, the People’s Liberation Army strategist, identified a cycle of dollar weakness against other currencies followed by strength, which first inflated debt in foreign countries and then bankrupted them. Qiao argued it was a deliberate American policy and would be used against China. In his words, it was time for America to “harvest” China. Drawing on Chinese intelligence reports, in early 2014 he was made aware of American involvement in the “Occupy Central” movement in Hong Kong. After several delays, the Fed announced the end of QE the following September which drove the dollar higher, and “Occupy Central” protests broke out the following month. To Qiao the two events were connected. By undermining the dollar/yuan rate and provoking riots, the Americans had tried to crash China’s economy. Within six months the Shanghai stock market began to collapse with the SSE Composite Index falling from 5,160 to 3,050 between June and September 2015. One cannot know for certain if Qiao’s analysis was correct, but one can understand the Chinese leadership’s continued caution based upon it. For this and other reasons, the Chinese leadership is extremely wary of having dollar liabilities and the accumulation of unproductive, speculative money in the economy. It justifies their strict exchange control regime, whereby dollars are not permitted to circulate in China, and all inward capital flows are turned into yuan by the PBOC. Furthermore, domestic monetary policy appears deliberately different from that of America and other western nations. While everyone else has been inflating their way through covid, China has been restricting domestic credit expansion and curtailing shadow banking. The discount rate is held up at 2.9% with market rates slightly lower at 2.2%, and the only reason it is that low is because alternative dollar rates are at zero and EU and Japanese rates are negative. It is this restrictive monetary policy that has led to the current crisis in property developers, with the very public difficulties of Evergrande. Far from being a surprise event, with cautious monetary policies it could have been easily foreseen. Moreover, the government has a sensible policy of not rescuing private sector businesses in trouble, though it is likely to take steps to limit financial contagion. In their glass houses, Western critics continually throw stones at China. But at least her policy makers have attempted to avoid contributing to the global inflation cycle. With prices beginning to rise at an accelerating pace in western currencies, a new global financial crash is in the making. China and her SCO cohort would be adversely affected, but not to the same extent. The fruits of China’s policies of restricting credit expansion are showing in the commodity prices she pays, which in her own currency have increased by ten per cent less than for dollar-based competition, judging by the exchange rate movements since the Fed reduced its funds rate to the zero bound and instigated monthly QE of $120bn on 19-23 March 2020 (see Figure 2). And while both currencies have moved broadly sideways since January, there is little doubt that the fundamentals point to an even stronger yuan and weaker dollar. The domestic benefits of a relatively stronger yuan outweigh the margin compression suffered by China’s exporters. It is worth noting that as well as moderating credit demand, China is attempting to increase domestic consumer spending at the expense of the savings rate, so consumer demand will begin to matter more than exports to producers. It is in line with a long-term objective of China becoming less dependent on exports, and exporters will benefit from domestic sales growth instead. Furthermore, with China dominating global exports of intermediate and consumer goods and while western budget deficits are increasing and leading to yet greater trade deficits, Chinese exporters should be able to secure higher prices anyway. There can be little doubt that the budget deficits financed by monetary inflation in America, the EU, Japan and the UK, plus central bank stimulus packages are now undermining the purchasing power of all the major currencies. The consequences for their purchasing powers are now becoming apparent and attempts to calm markets and consumers by describing them as transient cuts little ice. In terms of their purchasing powers, these currencies are now in a race to the bottom. Not only are the costs of production rising sharply, but following a brief pause of three months, commodity and energy prices look set to rise sharply. Figure 3 shows the Invesco commodity tracker, which having almost doubled since March 2020 now appears to be attempting a break out on the upside. Since global competitiveness is no longer a priority, China would be sensible to let its yuan exchange rate rise against western currencies to help keep a lid on domestic prices and costs. It is, after all, a savings driven economy, with the sustainable characteristics of a strong currency relative to the dollar. Conclusions Having failed in their land-based military objectives, America’s undeclared tariff and financial wars against China are also coming to an end, to be replaced by a policy of maritime containment through the AUKUS partnership. Attempts to stem strategic losses in Asia have now ended with the withdrawal from Afghanistan and from other interventions.The change in geopolitical policy is not yet widely appreciated. But the parlous state of US finances, dollar market bubbles, persistent and increasing price inflation and the inevitability of interest rate increases will make a policy backstop of maritime containment the only geostrategic option left to America. By pursuing more cautious monetary policies, China is less exposed to the inevitable consequences of global monetary inflation. While yuan currency rates are managed instead of set by markets, it is now in China’s interest to see a stronger yuan to contain domestic price and cost inflation. Even though fiat currencies could be destroyed by imploding asset bubbles, these factors contribute to a set of circumstances that appear to lead to a more peaceable outcome for the world than appeared likely before America and NATO withdrew from Afghanistan. There’s many a slip between cup and lip; but it was an outcome forecast by Halford Mackinder nearly eighty years ago. Let us hope he was right. Tyler Durden Sun, 09/26/2021 - 08:10.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nyt18 hr. 48 min. ago

I traveled to Iceland as a vaccinated American and the entry and exit process was tedious, but easy if you understand the rules

Vaccinated travelers from the US need to present their vaccine card, a negative COVID test, and a pre-arrival form. Icelandair ticket counter at New York-JFK Taylor Rains/Insider I traveled to Iceland as a vaccinated American and the process was easy, yet tedious. Vaccinated travelers from the US need to present their vaccine card, a negative COVID test, and a pre-arrival form. Reykjavik has a number of testing sites for Americans to get a COVID test before re-entering the US. See more stories on Insider's business page. Americans are itching for a vacation, and the vaccine rollout has given travelers more freedom to go overseas. TSA checkpoint at JFK Taylor Rains/Insider Iceland is one of the many European countries that allow vaccinated Americans to enter without quarantine, so I made the hop across the pond in early September. Luggage for Iceland Taylor Rains/Insider The entry and exit processes were tedious and there were specific steps I had to follow, including getting a negative covid test, having my vaccine card, and filling out pre-arrival paperwork. Vaccine card and negative covid test Taylor Rains/Insider Accepted vaccines are Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Sinovac, and Sinopharm BIBP and covid tests must be either PCR or rapid antigen. Travelers who do not present a negative covid test will be fined 100,000 ISK ($781) at the border.Source: Island.is I flew Icelandair from New York's JFK International Airport to Keflavik Airport in Reykjavik. Icelandair is very transparent about the entry requirements for Iceland on its website. Signs at JFK Terminal 7 Jeff Greenberg/Getty Images Source: Icelandair To enter Iceland as a vaccinated American, visitors must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with at least 14 days past the final dose, receive a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours before the first leg of the journey, and pre-register their arrival. Passport, COVID vaccine card, and mask Evgenia Parajanian/Shutterstock Certification of previous infection dated between 14 and 180 dates from arrival into Iceland is also acceptable at the border. These travelers do not need to present a negative covid test to enter without quarantine.Source: Island.is The pre-arrival form must be done online. I was required to fill out my departure and return date, my personal information, and certify I would get a COVID test before travel. Once submitted, I received a barcode in my email to verify it was complete. Barcode received after completing pre-arrival form Taylor Rains/Insider Due to COVID-19 restrictions, I was unable to check in online or on the mobile app and was instructed by Icelandair to collect my boarding pass at the desk. Icelandair check-in email Taylor Rains/Insider When I arrived at JFK, I made my way to the Icelandair check-in counter where signs reminded passengers to fill out the online pre-arrival form. You could not check in without it. Reminders to fill out pre-arrival form Taylor Rains/Insider The pre-arrival form can be found online. At the counter, I was asked to present my negative COVID test, vaccine card, and pre-arrival form. The agent checked the date of my test and the result and verified my vaccine card was legitimate before handing me my boarding pass. Icelandair check-in counter Taylor Rains/Insider For those who forgot or did not know to get a COVID test, JFK has a few options, including Adams Medical in Terminal 1, Xpresscheck in Terminal 4, and NYC Test & Trace Corps in Terminal 5. The test must be PCR, not rapid antigen. COVID testing site at JFK Terminal 5 Leonard Zhukovsky/Shutterstock I did not have to show any COVID-related entry documents again until I landed in Iceland. Icelandair Boeing 757 cabin Peter Gudella/Shutterstock Upon arrival in Reykjavik, I deplaned and headed to customs where airport employees split passengers into two lines - one for those entering Iceland and a second for those connecting to onward flights. Two lines to enter customs at Keflavik Airport Taylor Rains/Insider The line looked long but only took about 15 minutes to clear. The customs agent only checked my passport but told me COVID documents would be verified later in the entry process. Customs sign at Keflavik Airport Roberto La Rosa/Shutterstock After passing customs, I made my way through the arrivals hall before coming to a large "Exit to Iceland" sign and a roped-off section for travelers entering the country. Exit to Iceland sign Taylor Rains/Insider I made my way downstairs to a second counter where I was asked to present the barcode I received after filling out the pre-arrival form. Travelers at Keflavik Airport Wolfgang Kaehler/Getty Images Once the agents checked the barcode, I was directed to a third desk where my vaccine card, pre-arrival form, and negative COVID test were checked for a second time. Passengers a Keflavik Airport arrival area Kollawat Somsri The agent scanned my barcode and verified my vaccine card and test results before allowing me to exit the airport. About five minutes later, I received a text saying I was free to enter Iceland without quarantine Text saying I don't need to quarantine Taylor Rains/Insider If I was unvaccinated, I would need to take a test at the border and undergo quarantine.Source: Island.is Getting back into the US was a simpler process and only required a negative COVID test taken no earlier than three days before departure from Iceland. Fortunately, Reykjavik had a handful of testing centers available. Downtown Reykjavik Taylor Rains/Insider Source: CDC I booked my test and received a barcode verifying my payment and appointment. The test cost me $60 and guaranteed I would have the results within 48 hours, which was perfect timing for my flight. Fortunately, I received my negative result in less than 24 hours with a QR code certifying its validity. Negative COVID test result Taylor Rains/Insider For the return flight, I was once again unable to check in online due to COVID-19 restrictions. Icelandair check-in counter at Keflavik Airport Taylor Rains/Insider When the check-in counter opened at Keflavik, I only needed to show my negative COVID test to receive a boarding pass. After that, I was able to pass through security, passport control, and board the aircraft with only my passport. Icelandair check-in counter at Keflavik Airport Taylor Rains/Insider Upon arrival in JFK, I was not asked again for my negative COVID test and simply re-entered the US with just my passport. CBP Global Entry kiosk Taylor Rains/Insider Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt19 hr. 32 min. ago

Orlando is gearing up to become a rival to Silicon Valley - and shift away from being a destination primarily for tourists and retirees

Lockheed Martin, Oracle, Verizon, and Deloitte all have offices in Orlando - and more companies are joining them. Orlando has talent, transport, and low taxes. John Greim/Loop Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images Orlando has been shaking off Florida's reputation as primarily a place for tourists and retirees. Instead, the city is becoming a hub for tech, defense, training, and finance companies. Execs from EA, Luminar, and Stax told Insider why its tech scene is thriving. See more stories on Insider's business page. Defense and technology startup Red 6 is opening a hub in Orlando to develop its airborne tactical augmented reality system.It's one in a long line of companies, including Lockheed Martin, Oracle, Verizon, and Deloitte, with offices in the central Florida city.For years, people have viewed the Sunshine State as primarily a vacation and a retiree destination, but groups such as the Orlando Economic Partnership have been working to elevate its profile as a tech hub."In Orlando, everyone knows the Disney story," Tim Giuliani, the Partnership's president, told Insider. "This part of the story that people don't know or don't recall is the space race."NASA started performing launch operations in Cape Canaveral more than 70 years ago. The city is also home to the Kennedy Space Center and US Army, Air Force, and Navy simulation command centers, which has led to an influx of other technology, defense, and training companies."You have this cluster here, that's developed over a long time, and now you're seeing it get to a critical mass," Giuliani said. "You're seeing more companies moving out of California and New York.""We've made great strides in growing our reputation as a city where tech companies and start-ups can not only open, expand, relocate, and thrive, but be in proximity to some of the world's leaders in innovation," Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer added.Orlando has talent, transport, and low taxesExecs from Electronic Arts, Luminar, and Stax told Insider that Orlando's big talent pool made it easier for them to recruit in the area."We have all these great colleges that are literally in our backyard," Suneera Madhani, founder of Orlando-based SME payments platform Stax, said. These include the University of Central Florida, the University of Florida, and Valancia College.Giuliani said there were half a million college students within a hundred-mile radius of downtown Orlando."We have been able to tap into that talent," Luminar CTO Jason Eichenholz said. The self-driving LIDAR startup has around 400 employees, with roughly 60% based in Orlando."In the early days of Luminar, when we would meet with a potential customer and they'd have one specific LIDAR engineer, we would have a millennia of men and women, experienced in LIDAR technology, which gave us a very unfair advantage compared to our competition," Eichenholz added.The execs said it was easy to recruit workers from other states to move to Orlando, too.Electronic Arts vice-president Daryl Holt said its Orlando studios had more than 850 employees - some from the area, including many UCF graduates, and some who relocated.Migration to the state has boomed because of its warm climate, low living costs, and lack of income tax."Who wouldn't want to move to Florida?" Mahdani said. Many of Stax's C-suites and middle management relocated from New York, California, and Atlanta, he added.Eichenholz said some young tech workers relocated to California to work for companies like Google, Apple, and Facebook, but that once they had a family, "we do exceptionally well in being able to attract them back to Florida."The execs said Orlando had a pro-business environment and bustling tech community. Madhani, for example, sits on the board of Starter Studio, a venture-tech accelerator that helped her set up Stax in 2014."It's a wonderful nexus point of industry, education, and government all rowing in the same direction," Holt said.Giuliani said Orlando is a well-connected city. As well as an international airport, Brightline is due to launch a rail line connecting Orlando to Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach in 2022."Obviously Silicon Valley is not going to die and New York's not going to die," Giuliani said. "There's just going to be more for everybody else."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt21 hr. 16 min. ago

Meet a single dad with $550,000 in student loans for his 5 children: "I"m not going to take the chance of not sending my kids to school"

"I'm looking at paying $3,000 a month for the better part of the rest of my life," Reid Clark, 57, says. He's "highly concerned" about retiring. ROBYN BECK/Contributor/Getty Images Reid Clark, 57, unexpectedly became the sole provider for his five children. He took out parent PLUS loans to fund their education, and told Insider he now has $550,000 in debt. "I'm looking at paying $3,000 a month for the better part of the rest of my life," he told Insider. See more stories on Insider's business page. Reid Clark didn't expect to be providing for five children on just his income alone.Clark was preparing to pay for his five kids' education as part of a two-income family, but he and his ex-wife divorced in 2011. Just a few years later, when the children started going to college, he decided to turn to federal loans to finance their education himself. (Due to private circumstances, his ex-wife isn't contributing.)Now, his debt load stands at over $550,000."I'm looking at paying $3,000 a month for the better part of the rest of my life," Clark, who is 57, told Insider. He estimates he'll have to keep making those payments for at least three more decades.Parent PLUS loans, the type of loan Clark is paying off, is a federal loan that lets parents pay for their children's education. It can cover the full cost of attendance minus any financial aid the child already received. Reid Clark with his five children. Reid Clark For Clark, the ability to take out those loans meant he didn't have to defer his kids' educations despite the unexpected change in his financial standing. But now, he said, even though he makes a livable salary in healthcare sales, his retirement could very likely be pushed off because he chose to take on debt to prioritize his kids' futures."For those of us who want to see our kids do better, we understand that you better yourself, and you better your chances for success, with education," Clark said. "And I'm just not going to take the chance on not sending my kids to school, even though it's going to create a tremendous financial burden. It's not an option."Clark says he just wanted what was best for his kids, and parent PLUS loans allowed him to give his kids the best. But he's "highly concerned" for his own financial future, and he blames high interest rates and lending practices that don't take into account the borrower's income, or change in income.'They make it really challenging to educate your kids and pay for it'President Joe Biden campaigned on canceling $10,000 in student debt for every borrower, and some Democrats are urging him to cancel $50,000 of every borrower's federal student loans using executive action. But it's unclear whether parent PLUS loans would be included in that forgiveness, and helping parents with their debt has yet to be a part of conversations on Capitol Hill.Parent PLUS loans are the most expensive type of federal loan: they currently have an interest rate of 6.28% for the 2021-22 school year, compared with 3.73% for undergraduate loans, allowing debt to accumulate quicker for parents who need help sending their kids to school. New data released last week by the Texas Public Policy Foundation highlighted the burden student debt puts on parents, finding that there is around one parent PLUS borrower for every five student-loan borrowers. Andrew Gillen, author of the report, told Yahoo Finance that one of the problems with parent PLUS loans is that since the amount parents receive is based off cost of attendance instead of how much the parents can actually afford, it can create a "dangerous mentality" that leads to unchecked borrowing. It's not like Clark's children went to the most expensive schools in the country. Three of them went to small schools in Pennsylvania, where Clark currently lives, and the other two went to other state schools on the East Coast. But even for public universities, tuition coasts have been soaring for years.Since 2001, average in-state tuition has surged 211%. In addition to Clark's loans, each of his kids took out around $20,000 in student loans because Clark wanted them to have a "vested interest" in their educations.He said his debt comes down to flaws with the federal student-aid system, in which the government makes it very easy for people to borrow money but very hard to pay it back."At the very onset of the whole process is where the problems begin," Clark said, referring to the unchecked amount parents can borrow years in advance. "They really make it challenging to educate your kids and pay for it."Once the federal pause on student-loan payments lifts in February, Clark anticipates having the means to make monthly payments on his loans, but completely eliminating his debt could take decades and he said he's "not holding out hope" for student-loan forgiveness anytime soon."I am highly concerned about my ability to pay back the loans during my remaining working years, and it's going to scare me even more in a few years when I retire, and I go on to a very limited income," Clark said. "That's the part that gives me the most anxiety."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt21 hr. 16 min. ago

Pret A Manger is tempting US coffee lovers with its subscription service, capitalizing on a booming trend among retailers

Pret A Manger's announcement follows a successful rollout in the UK, which garnered 16,500 subscriptions on its debut day. In 2020, Pret garnered 16,500 subscriptions on its first day in the UK. Photo by: Newscast/Universal Images Group via Getty Images Pret A Manger has launched its coffee-subscription program in New York City and Washington, D.C. It follows a successful rollout in the UK, which garnered 16,500 subscriptions on its debut day. The coffee market is showing resilience, said an expert from the Speciality Coffee Association. See more stories on Insider's business page. Cafe chain Pret A Manger has launched its coffee subscription service in New York and Washington D.C., the company recently announced. Its US debut comes after a successful rollout in the UK market. In 2020, Pret garnered 16,500 subscriptions on its first day in the UK. "After seeing success in the UK market, Pret A Manger is eager to offer its US customers a program with similar benefits, starting with a free first month for all new subscribers," the company said in a statement. The coffee market has shown resilience during the pandemic, according to Peter Giuliano, chief research officer of the Speciality Coffee Association. "Lots of people were predicting reduced coffee consumption caused by the pandemic, some even predicting the end of the small coffee shop," he told Insider. Some brands have been able to adapt to a new normal, however. "Chains who made a strong pivot to at home consumption, focusing on programs like subscription services, seemed more resilient during the pandemic," Giuliano said.The service will operate via Apple or Google digital wallets or QR codes, which are emailed to subscribers. As in the UK, customers have to wait 30 minutes between each order using the service. This is to prevent people buying drinks wastefully or for friends without a subscription, Insider's Grace Dean reported. "We recognize our customers need for ease, flexibility and value, and this subscription model will be able to provide that," said Jorrie Bruffett, president of Pret A Manger in the US.Bruffett said the chain has also invested in new technology to enhance the overall customer experience. "This innovation in technology comes with a new app redesign and more exclusive perks to be launched later this year," he said in a statement. The subscription economy has experienced growth of more than 435% over the last nine years, according to Zuora, a subscription-management platform.Like Pret, other chains in the restaurant space have tested out subscription-based models as a way to retain customers. Restaurants are following the success of models from Netflix and Amazon in the subscription sales industry, which is projected to hit $263 billion by 2025 according to Juniper Research. In 2020, Panera debuted an unlimited-coffee subscription for its MyPanera loyalty program members, which costs $9 a month, or about $108 annually. More recently, Taco Bell announced it is testing an in-app-only taco subscription in Arizona for $5. Customers who sign up for a Taco Lover's Pass can indulge in a free taco daily, for 30 days. Pret's subscription service was first launched as a plan to turn around its finances, which were knocked by the COVID-19 pandemic. The company's sales slumped 74% in 2020, compared with 2019. Insider's Grace Dean reported. It also cut a third of its UK workforce in 2020 and closed multiple stores in the US.But Sean Keith, director of new business development at Eagle Eye, which powers Pret's subscription, previously told Insider that the subscription program was a success for bringing in new customers and keeping them coming back."We see businesses that are playing in subscriptions are out-competing businesses that are not," he said. Pret's classic plan is $19.99 a month and includes all organic coffees and teas with a flavored syrup add-on. Its premium plan costs $29.99 a month and includes all espresso-based, barista-made drinks, as well as organic coffees and teas with an espresso shot or flavored syrup add-on. Both plans include hot or iced drinks of any size. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytSep 26th, 2021

Huawei CFO Gets Hero"s Welcome In China While Canadians Land Quietly After Biden Acquiesced To "Hostage Diplomacy"

Huawei CFO Gets Hero's Welcome In China While Canadians Land Quietly After Biden Acquiesced To 'Hostage Diplomacy' China is essentially declaring 'victory' after the Biden DOJ struck a deal with Huawei Technologies CFO Meng Wanzhou for a deferred prosecution agreement, allowing her to go free from her Canadian confinement after nearly three years.  She was treated to a hero's welcome in a major homecoming after her Air China plane touched down at Shenzhen's Bao’an International Airport at about 10 pm local time on Saturday. State media gave the event major coverage and the city was decked out in celebratory banners of "Welcome Home" - and a sizeable crowd of supporters came out to greet her. A teary-eyed Meng while holding a bouquet roses gave a brief speech wherein she said to the crowd, "I am finally home after over 1,000 days of suffering." She joyfully added, "Finally I am home". State media said that about 60 million people watched the live-stream of the event. However, while in Vancouver her very loose form of house arrest wherein she was monitored 24/7 but still free to move about, had been dubbed by US media an "opulent detention"... so the reality was a far cry from "1,000 days of suffering." "The motherland will always provide you with the most powerful support," the airport tower had radioed to her inbound flight just ahead of touchdown. Supporters on the tarmac waived the national flag of China while holding huge banners. She must now spend two weeks at a hotel in isolation, based on the country's strict quarantine requirement for any and all travelers from foreign countries.  According to a further description of the festive scene: She thanked the support from the Chinese government and people, and said she was touched by President Xi Jinping’s concern for her case.  After her speech, Meng sang along as the crowd burst into a patriotic Chinese song called "Ode to the Motherland." But here's what Bloomberg relates of the other side what's being dubbed China's hostage diplomacy concerning the "two Michaels" subsequently released from Chinese detention in tit-for-tat exchange: "In contrast, Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig arrived to a more low-key reception. The pair landed in Calgary before sunrise on Saturday, accompanied by Dominic Barton, Canada’s ambassador to China." Welcome home, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. You’ve shown incredible strength, resilience, and perseverance. Know that Canadians across the country will continue to be here for you, just as they have been. pic.twitter.com/1UoLbBFGNv — Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) September 25, 2021 "Dressed in blazers and face-masks, they were met by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who hugged the pair on the tarmac," the report details. "Government officials, including Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and the nation’s spy agency, tweeted welcome messages to the pair, who were expected to reunite with the families in private." China's state media didn't miss the opportunity to claim a "triumph" for the nation in the face of US and Canada's conspiring to keep the Huawei executive in a lengthy 'illegal detention', which both countries said was for illicit dealings with Iran under US sanctions. More than 60 million people watched livestreaming of #Meng Wanzhou’s arrival in Shenzhen. Yes, Chinese people regard Meng regaining freedom as victory of justice and we believe China’s powerful national strength has shaped this result. pic.twitter.com/uPmahPPoRr — Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) September 25, 2021 People’s Daily for example titled an article hailing her return, "No Force Will Prevent China’s Progress" while claiming the ordeal as a major victory for China’s Communist Party in the face of Western aggression. Tyler Durden Sat, 09/25/2021 - 17:00.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytSep 25th, 2021