Saturday, May 9, 2020





COVID: breathing ventilators, New York, death rate


by Jon Rappoport

May 8, 2020

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A recent study from the Journal of the American Medical Association Network delivers numbers that should make you stop and think—

JAMA Network, April 22, 2020, “Presenting Characteristics, Comorbidities, and Outcomes Among 5700 Patients Hospitalized With COVID-19 in the New York City Area”:

“Mortality rates for those who received mechanical ventilation in the 18-to-65 and older-than-65 age groups were 76.4% and 97.2%, respectively. Mortality rates for those in the 18-to-65 and older-than-65 age groups who did not receive mechanical ventilation were 19.8% and 26.6%, respectively.”

Well, of course, the people who were put on ventilators were the most ill patients to begin with, right? Perhaps. We don’t know that.

In any case, the numbers are shocking.

How to explain them?

I offer several clues.

CLUE ONE: A close and trusted researcher has told me the following: many older people live with chronically low oxygen levels. This may not be ideal, but they survive.

However, when such people arrive at hospitals, doctors can misinterpret the oxygen levels, believing these are dire emergency situations—and therefore, they put the patients on ventilators. With too much pressure, the result can be lung damage and death.

CLUE TWO: The now-famous New York ER doctor, Cameron Kyle-Sidell, at Maimonides Medical Center, has stated that standard ventilator protocol could be damaging and killing patients.

NY Post, April 6: “In another video posted Sunday, Kyle-Sidell described COVID-19…It is as if tens of thousands of my fellow New Yorkers are on a plane at 30,000 feet and the cabin pressure is slowly being let out’,” he said in a video posted Tuesday.”

“’These patients are slowly being starved of oxygen … and while they look like patients absolutely on the brink of death, they do not look like patients dying of pneumonia’.”

Sidell has said the lung muscles of these patients are functioning. That is not the problem. Oxygen deprivation is the problem.

NY Post: “James Cai, a physician assistant who was New Jersey’s first coronavirus patient, told The Post that he agreed with Kyle-Sidell’s observations and conclusions…”

“Cai noted that the… ‘[lung muscle in the] COVID-19 patient works just fine. So [a] ventilator is actually doing more harm to [the] lung…thousands of thousands [of] Americans’ lives are on the line!’”

CLUE THREE: Money. Insurance money. In a phone interview, physician and Minnesota state senator, Scott Jensen, told me that hospitals, who are suffering very deep financial losses, are incentivized by Medicare to label as many patients as possible “COVID-19,” and to put them on ventilators.

Jensen stated that a patient on Medicare, diagnosed with straight pneumonia, would bring a $4600 payment to the hospital. The same patient, labeled “COVID-19 pneumonia,” would bring $13,000. And if that patient is put on a ventilator: $39,000.

Result? Patients unnecessarily put on ventilators. With the wrong protocol, harm and death could result.

CLUE FOUR: In New York, there are many elderly and very ill people, suffering from long-term conditions that have nothing to do with an epidemic. They have been treated for years with toxic drugs and toxic vaccines. They already have lung problems. Massive propaganda about the COVID virus terrifies them. They believe they might be “infected.” They’re also afraid their neighbors might report them to the authorities if they cough at night. They come to hospitals. There, in the midst of a foreign environment, they’re confused and even more scared. Diagnosed with COVID, put on ventilators, isolated from family and friends, they give up and die.

There is one more factor that has been overlooked. It involves the “high-altitude sickness” in patients. Oxygen deprivation. Some people have explained this as an effect of the recent rollout of 5G technology.

Here, from a CDC FAQ about 2003 SARS—yes, I said 2003—is a brief quote: “After 2 to 7 days, SARS patients may develop a dry, nonproductive cough that might be accompanied by or progress to a condition in which the oxygen levels in the blood are low (hypoxia).”

So unless the CDC is retrospectively rewriting history, straight oxygen deprivation (hypoxia) is not a recent development.

WebMD describes hypoxia: “Hypoxemia (low oxygen in your blood) can cause hypoxia (low oxygen in your tissues) when your blood doesn’t carry enough oxygen to your tissues to meet your body’s needs. The word hypoxia is sometimes used to describe both problems.”

WebMD lists a number of causes: asthma attack; trauma (injury); COPD; emphysema; bronchitis; pain medicines, “and other drugs that hold back breathing”; heart problems; anemia, “a low number of red blood cells, which carry oxygen.”

Among the drugs that can cause the oxygen deprivation known as hypoxia? From “…opiate [opioid] drugs also slow your breathing…and in case of an overdose, your breathing is slowed to a virtually non-existent and lethal level.”

Is anyone looking into that, in New York?

More from “In the U.S., a whopping 44 people die each and every day as a result of respiratory arrest brought on by prescription opioid overdose. The opioids depress your breathing, bring on heavy sedation and make it impossible to wake up. What’s more, the opioids found in painkillers are the same ones found in heroin, which caused over 8,000 overdose deaths in 2013.”

From Medscape, there is more: “Life-threatening breathing difficulties can occur in patients who use gabapentin or pregabalin with opioids or other drugs that depress the central nervous system, as well as those with underlying respiratory impairment and the elderly, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned in a drug safety communication issued today.”

2018 estimate of deaths from opioid overdoses in New York: 3000. Many more people in the New York area are addicted to these drugs. In New York State, in 2017, the number of people discharged from hospitals, after treatment for opioid overdose or dependency: 25,000.

In 2020, still more people who have developed opioid hypoxia would be missed, because they are diagnosed with “COVID-19 lung problems.” Some of these people would be put on ventilators—ignoring the need to deal with their overdose, their addiction, their withdrawal—and they would die.

New York City, opioids, heroin, severe breathing problems, hypoxia.

None of the clues I’ve listed requires the existence or transmission of a purported coronavirus.

Note: In the near future, I hope to publish updated information from the extraordinary environmental researcher, Jim West, who has been documenting the effects of pollution in the New York area for 20 years.










The Matrix Revealed

(To read about Jon’s mega-collection, The Matrix Revealed, click here.)

Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.


“I Sent Them”


Clusterfuck Nation
For your reading pleasure Mondays and Fridays

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“Our utter incompetence actually helps us,” declared Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI Peter Strzok to his confidante (10,000 text messages) and paramour, FBI attorney Lisa Page, when he discovered on January 4, 2017, that the agency had omitted to close the barren Crossfire Razor case against General Michael Flynn.

There you have a perfect summary of the fantastic hubris at work in the agency-gone-rogue under then-FBI Director Jim “I sent them” Comey days before the swearing-in of a president somehow mistakenly elected by bamboozled voters — or so the thinking apparently went at the highest level there. Or what passed for thinking.

General Flynn, you see, having been anathematized by Barack Obama, and black-spotted by the so-called Interagency (i.e. the giant hairball of competing spy shops set up after the 9/11 fiasco), was about to assume the pivotal job of White House National Security Advisor, and it was known that he was fixing to change things up with all that. He had been director of one such shop, the Defense Intelligence Agency, for a few years and he had a fair idea just how lawlessly debauched the Intel Community had grown under CIA Director John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, not to mention Mr. Comey, and they all knew that. So, General Flynn had to go, and then get squeezed hard to somehow rat-out his boss, the incoming President Trump, against whom the Interagency had nothing but a dossier of already discredited oppo research baloney courtesy of the Clinton campaign.

The pretext was some conversations General Flynn had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak a few weeks before the inauguration. The FBI cooked up a “narrative” that it was criminal misbehavior for a duly appointed incoming NSA to confab with foreign diplomats ­— a completely specious notion, of course. The Interagency’s errand boys in the press ran with that preposterous story, and the inconsolable cohort of Hillary voters herding up to form “the Resistance” went along with the gag out of sheer, crazed bitterness.

Attorney General William Barr neatly disposed of that yarn Thursday in his remarkable chat with Catherine Herridge of CBS News (transcript here), saying:

     [H]e [General Flynn] was the designated national security adviser for President-Elect Trump, and was part of the transition, which is recognized by the government and funded by the government as an important function to bring in a new administration. And it is very typical, very common, for the national security team of the incoming president to communicate with foreign leaders.”

Could it be plainer? In dismissing the case, Mr. Barr gave such a concise, lucid, and comprehensive account of his action that the enraged cadres of the Resistance immediately set their hair on fire and lit up the cable news channels with thunderous objurgation. The most amusing instance featured the apoplectic homunculus Jerrold Nadler, who threatened to haul Mr. Barr before his House Judiciary Committee to do some ‘splainin’ in the matter. That’s a colloquy I’d pay to watch — the stolid AG laying it out again in calm, straight talk with Mr. Nadler in such a stammering fury that his bariatric surgery adhesions finally give out and the committee chamber gets splattered with  bits of brisket, kugel, and Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray tonic.

Another ripe one was the MSNBC session between Resistance errand-boy Chris Hayes and the redoubtably mendacious Congressman Adam Schiff, whose own overloaded garbage barge of seditious perfidy was blown out of the water with one well-aimed torpedo by new Acting Director of National Intelligence, Richard Grenell, who threatened to immediately release Mr. Schiff’s trove of long-hidden interview transcripts from the House Intelligence Committee 2017 hearings on RussiaGate if the congressman did not do it himself and at once. The transcripts, you see, completely refute Mr. Schiff’s own longstanding edifice of falsehood about having evidence of collusion between Mr. Trump and Russia. If the Democratic Party had any dignity, they’d take away his committee chairmanship, at least.

We await additional action from Mr. Grenell over Mr. Schiff’s still-concealed transcript of Intel Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson’s secret testimony in last year’s impeachment hearings. Congresspersons enjoy limited immunity against the fallacious and slanderous things they say on-the-job, but not from felony crimes, and Mr. Schiff may find himself liable for something like seditious conspiracy around his intrigues with so-called “whistleblower” Eric Ciaramella, and others, in the UkraineGate sting operation.

A great deal of evidence of official criminal malfeasance has spilled into the public arena over the past three years, but recently it has turned into a flood, perhaps due to Mr. Grenell’s efforts, perhaps due to the posse of attorneys around Mr. Barr, including especially Jeffrey Jensen and John Durham. The official narratives of the RussiaGate conspirators are now openly overturned. Too many people know everything. The chronology of their misdeeds is now clearly established ­— for instance, the fact that the highest officials in the FBI and the DOJ knew by January 2017 that their sole asseveration of Russian collusion, the Steele dossier, was an utter, concocted, crock-of-shit.

Which means, of course, that the Mueller Investigation ­— begun months later — was also an adventure in bad faith, malicious falsehood, and official treachery. Everyone connected with it ought to be running scared now. Surely some will be indicted and tried, perhaps many. It will go hard on the whole Resistance, including the millions of rank-and-file Democrats who linked arms to cheerlead countless acts of legal depravity that have undermined American principles of justice and fairness. Accounting for all that in the courts will put extra strains on this society beset by the corona virus crisis and the harshest economic disaster in US history. It’s a hard passage, but it can’t be avoided.

The compliant and complicit news media has a lot to answer for, not only to the public but to their boards of directors — if those boards still have a vestige of decency. But for the moment they are still pretending that there’s nothing to see. Sooner or later, though, it will hit them, all those editors and cable news executives — that in their bubble of arrogant self-righteousness, they parlayed away their self-respect, their professional reputations, and their personal honor.

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A Too-Big-To-Fail Bankster
Three Teenagers who bring him down
Gothic doings on a Connecticut Estate.
High velocity drama!

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Enough With the Phoney ‘Lockdown’ Debate


On March 15th, Washington state Governor Jay Inslee ordered all bars, restaurants and recreational facilities closed. The next day, New York followed suit, in a move coordinated with New Jersey and Connecticut. In Florida, by contrast, Gov. Ron DeSantis didn’t issue a stay-at-home order until April 1st, more than two weeks later. And in Sweden, there was never any real lockdown, even if bars and restaurants there have been operating under restrictions that govern use and occupancy.

Four jurisdictions. Four different lockdown timetables. Imagine if we were able to plot an index of human activity in these four places. These graphs would show, one might predict, that things were going along fairly normally, perhaps starting to dip, until a lockdown went into effect, and then activity levels plunged abruptly.

It so happens we can plot such an index, because Moovit, an Israeli-based transit-app service provider, has released its metadata in regard to ridership in dozens of cities around the world. And in the graph below, which I created based on Moovit’s numbers, you can see ridership (expressed in percentage terms, as a deviation from original baseline) versus time for four municipal groupings, corresponding to the above-listed jurisdictions: Seattle, New York City, Miami, and Stockholm. Without a legend to tell you which line matches with which city, can you tell which is which?

Seattle is shown in green. Its residents began staying at home on March 6th—more than a week before the state governor issued his order. While one might expect New York City to track closely with Seattle, given that the applicable state orders in New York and Washington were just 24 hours apart, the plunge in New York City/New Jersey ridership (Moovit lumps the two together), shown in purple, lags Seattle by a week.

In fact, the NYC/NJ data tracks very closely with that of Miami, shown in red, despite Florida’s (widely criticized) lockdown lag. Meanwhile, residents of two Swedish cities—Stockholm and the smaller Uppsala (grouped together by Moovit)—began staying at home slightly before New Yorkers, despite the fact that few were required by law to do so, either then or now. Here is another version of the same graph, but with the cities marked.

There’s a funny satirical article that’s been making the rounds titled Graph Lover Doesn’t Want This Sh*t To End. I will confess that it hits very close to home. And I realize that many readers may have already had it up to the gills with graphical depictions of COVID-19’s health and socioeconomic effects. But some of us are even more exasperated with the overheated politics surrounding the “lockdown debate”—the running, roiling argument about when and how governments should continue to lift the restrictions put in place during March and April.

I’ve spent a lot of time looking at this kind of data in recent weeks, and trying to tease out the policy ramifications. One of the trends that’s jumped out is that lockdown orders have tended to ratify public behaviour as much as prescribe or circumscribe it. Seattle residents essentially began imposing a lockdown on themselves before their government did, because the city had become one of the country’s leading early COVID-19 hotspots. Likewise, most Swedes didn’t need their government to tell them to stay home. Like everyone else, they get their news from the globalized data dump and anxiety mill known as social media. They all saw what was happening in Italy and elsewhere.

And this is why I find the lockdown debate so phoney. It’s been fuelled, on both sides, by the presumption that government decrees work as a sort of magic wand that will bring our economies (and perhaps the most acute phase of the pandemic) back to life. But the data suggest there is no magic wand. Much of the lockdown effect was imposed not by top-down fiat, but through millions of small decisions made every day by civic groups, employers, unions, trade associations, school boards and, most importantly, ordinary people.

Here in Toronto, where I live, for instance, I know relatively few people whose decision to work from home (or not work at all) was dictated by government order. Most white-collar employers told workers to stay at home days or weeks before official rules went into effect. And many service industries closed up shop because there simply weren’t any customers. Electricity-usage data reported by the New York Times, similarly, show that people became homebodies well before they were required to do so.

Source: New York Times 

An understanding of the crowdsourced nature of the lockdown seems absent from a lot of the most detailed commentary that one sees on offer. Consider the website Lockdown Sceptics, featuring the work of my Quillette colleague Toby Young, which recently published a detailed critique of the influential COVID-19 epidemiological models produced by Neil Ferguson and his colleagues at Imperial College London.

As someone who once earned a pay-check writing similar (albeit more primitive) mathematical models back in the 1990s, I take a pedant’s interest in such intellectual excursions. (To wit: I would argue that the author’s central point of attack—the non-deterministic aspect of Ferguson’s model—is completely beside the point. All non-linear, iterative dynamical systems, such as are represented by this kind of epidemiological model, tend to generate output that’s massively sensitive to initial conditions and operating parameters. And so they are invariably non-deterministic to begin with. I also didn’t appreciate the author’s drive-by on FORTRAN, my old programming language. But I digress.) In truth, however, it was never necessary for this (or any) author to dive into the innards of Ferguson’s model to understand how divorced from reality it was. One merely had to read the original March 16th Imperial College report, which presumed to model various aspects of society’s functioning with a binary sawtooth function—100 percent or zero, and nothing in between—according to the imposed legal regime. Consider Figure 4 from that report, reproduced below, in which policy changes, which are triggered on and off according to intensive-care-unit usage, generate rolling waves of huge infection spikes.


That kind of model would make complete sense in a universe where government had the power to dictate our behaviour completely, in the way that someone flicks a light switch. But as the transit data would suggest, it doesn’t. Even if every government on Earth lifted the lockdown tomorrow, those transit numbers probably wouldn’t pass the 50 percent threshold for months. Getting back to 100 percent may take years—if it ever happens at all.

The skeptics who argue that lockdowns “don’t work” usually will support this claim by ticking off nations or regions that have succeeded in fighting off serious COVID-19 outbreaks without imposing harsh government restrictions. But when you parse the actual data, what you find is that these tend to be high-trust, high-education, high-information societies—such as in Scandinavia and East Asia—where official lockdowns haven’t been necessary precisely because a critical mass of people have effectively locked themselves down on their own. If spring-breakers in Miami were as conscientious and disciplined as, say, most office workers in Stockholm or Tokyo, the state’s governor wouldn’t have had to clear the beaches. But they’re not, so he did. Such spectacles tell us a lot about college students, but not much about lockdowns.

The crowdsourced aspect of lockdowns is bad news and good news. It’s bad news because getting all of society’s actors on the same page will take many months. And so, as state-level data already show, we won’t be able to get our economies up and running on anything like the speedy timeline that most self-styled lockdown opponents are seeking. But it’s also good news, because a slower, crowdsourced form of lockdown lifting will be subject to a whole slew of negative feedback mechanisms among ordinary people and employers, such that localized outbreaks naturally lead to corrections. And so we can avoid the problem, depicted in Ferguson’s graphs, by which sudden quantum shifts in centralized policy yield behavioural spikes whose catastrophic effects set off an endless wave of epidemiological boom and bust.

To repeat, the analytical mistakes being made here are not unique to lockdown proponents or “skeptics.” Both sides of the debate systematically overestimate the role of government, largely because arguing about what government should or shouldn’t be doing, while assuming this question to be the key to success or failure, has become the go-to reflex of pundits and even many public-health officials. But by indulging these reflexes, we expose our wilful blindness to both the surprisingly marginal role of government in many aspects of lockdown policy, and the semi-permanence of many mitigation strategies that already have been imposed by countless civic and economic actors. Indeed, while reading the broadsides that emit from both camps, I often think these people should all just get out more and see what is actually happening beyond their web browsers and spreadsheets.

My neighbourhood Greek bakery, for instance, is a place where every other customer seems to be 90 years old, where most of the business comes from loyal regulars, and where a good many transactions once were conducted amidst a flurry of warm hugs, handshakes, kisses, gossip, and complaints. (This is charming in theory, but annoying when you’re standing in line for Greek donuts.) The bakery stayed open these last two months because it is an “essential service.” But there are no more hugs and kisses and hair touslings and pinches of annoyed little girls’ cheeks. Counter-to-ceiling plastic shields have gone up to protect the cashiers. Dots on the floor tell us where to stand. You can’t use cash, just credit-card tap. Now— Opa!—please take your galaktoboureko and leave.

Little of this self-imposed “lockdown-lite” is going to change in coming weeks and months, regardless of what government does, even as the masks come off and the floor dots start to fade. The changes we’ve made are sociologically sticky and, in some cases, literally hard-bolted into our public architecture.

In fact, many of the most important mitigation strategies are unknown to the general public because they’ve taken place behind closed doors on the initiative of employers, not bureaucrats, and have little or nothing to do with legal mandates (which are themselves, as I can attest is the case here in Canada, a contradictory, hastily-conceived patchwork of federal and provincial directives and advisories). To give but one example I happen to be familiar with: Many of the men and women you see driving delivery trucks and construction vehicles are now governed by all sorts of rules, at pickup and drop-off, that allow them to perform their functions without coming within six feet of others. In some cases, they’ve been enabled with apps on their phones or dash-mounted tablets that permit them to coordinate these functions without any direct on-site human interaction whatsoever. Or they might be subject to thermometer-gun screenings to determine if they have a fever. Having implemented these lockdown-lite policies at great cost and inconvenience, employers aren’t going to dump them the moment the government gives them permission to do so, even though these procedures have increased costs and decreased output.

Many employers I speak to are actually far more constricted by the concerns of their own employees than by the law itself. At one workplace that I know of, the boss announced that loosened provincial restrictions mean that everyone can come back to work this month. To his surprise, his employees announced that they’d voted on the issue through Facebook, and, no, they would not be coming back, at least not yet. And in Quebec, which is starting to let elementary-school students come back to class this month, thousands of parents—a majority at some schools—have decided to keep their children home. I am told by reliable sources within my own family that some of these parents are even pressuring their neighbours to do likewise, and are shaming dissenters on social media as bad parents. It’s lockdown by mob.

To some extent, I find this attitude of populist hyper-vigilance to be exasperating, because sending your young kids to school is now generally safe (and, selfishly, because I think my own seven-year-old could benefit from getting back to a structured education environment). But we got into this mess by letting our guard down, and so it’s not surprising that many ordinary people want to err on the other side of the equation for a month or three. Whatever your views, though, if you’re all in a fuss about lockdown policy, please remember that the real lockdown was never imposed by government. It turns out that it was inside each and every one of us all along.


Jonathan Kay is Canadian Editor of Quillette. He tweets at @jonkay.

Featured image: Photo by David Baxendale: Glasgow Lockdown, 2020.

The post Enough With the Phoney ‘Lockdown’ Debate appeared first on Quillette.



Veritas liberabit vos. Jn 8:32 In this time of great crisis, we Pastors of the Catholic Church, by virtue of our mandate, consider it our sacred duty to make an Appeal to our Brothers in the Episcopate, to the Clergy, to Religious, to the holy People of God and to all men and women of good will.


Whitney: Sweden Is The Model

Whitney: Sweden Is The Model

Authored by Mike Whitney via The Unz Review,

At present, there is no vaccine for the coronavirus. That means that one of the two paths to immunity is blocked. The other path is “herd immunity,” in which a critical mass of infection occurs in lower-risk populations that ultimately thwarts transmission.

Herd immunity is the only path that is currently available. Let that sink in for a minute. The only way our species can effectively resist the infection is through the development of specific antibodies or sensitized white blood cells. In other words, the only way we can lick this thing is by the majority of the population getting the infection and thereby developing immunity to future outbreaks.

That being the case, one would assume that the government’s policy would try to achieve herd immunity in the least painful way possible.

(Young, low-risk people should go back to work if they so choose.)

But that is not the government’s policy, in fact, the government’s policy is the exact opposite. US policy encourages people to remain at home and self quarantine until the government decides to lift the lockdown and allow some people to return to work. This policy assumes that the infection will have vanished by then, which of course, is extremely unlikely. The more probable outcome is that– when people return to work– there will be another surge in cases and another spike in deaths. We will have shifted the curve to a future date without having flattened it. We will have inflicted catastrophic damage on the economy and gained nothing. This is an idiotic policy that goes nowhere.

After 6 weeks of this nonsense, many people are getting fed-up and demanding that the lockdowns be ended. In response to the public outcry, many governors are planning to restart their economies and lift the restrictions. What this means, is that, after wasting a month and half on a failed strategy, many states are ready to follow in Sweden’s footsteps with one critical difference, they’re not going to have a team of crack epidemiologists carefully monitoring their social interactions to see if a wave of new Covid cases is going to overwhelm the health care system. That means that things could get out of hand fast, and I expect they will. As we said in last week’s column, the lockdowns must be lifted gradually, that is crucial.

“You have to step down the ladder one rung at a time”, says Senior Swedish epidemiologist and former Chief Scientist of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, Johan Giesecke. In other words, slowly ease up on the restrictions and gradually allow people to get back to work. That is the best way forward.

There is also the question of whether herd immunity will be sufficient to fight off reinfection. This question was posed to Giesecke in a recent interview in which he was asked:

“Why are you gambling that herd immunity will protect your people from re-infection?”

Giesecke answered, 

“There has not been a single proven case of anyone getting a second infection from the virus….so far there have been no reinfections….If you have it once you don’t get it again….There will be herd immunity, that’s clear, and it will last over the period of this outbreak.”

The interviewer then asked Giesecke why he was so certain that surviving the infection would produce herd immunity?

Because it’s a coronavirus,” Giesecke said, “and we know about 6 other coronaviruses, so why would this one be special? ….At present, 30% of the population of Stockholm is immune or has already had the infection. We do not have herd immunity today, but to go from 30% to 50% will only take weeks.“

Giesecke candidly admits that he cannot be absolutely certain that infection survivors are immune, but he strongly believes that they are. (Please, excuse my choppy transcription o f the taped interview.)

Giesecke again:

When you (in the US and elsewhere) ease the lockdowns you will have more deaths…We will not have as many deaths because we will have herd immunity by the time the other countries start to lift their lockdown which means the virus won’t spread much more in Sweden, whereas you will have a higher number of cases and deaths.”

If Giesecke is right, then Sweden is on the path to “normal” while the US is still chasing its tail, still following a policy that is clearly counterproductive, and still listening to self-appointed pontiffs like Bill Gates who obviously want to drag this thing out forever so he can implement his vaccination-surveillance panopticon. This needs to change. The safety and well-being of the American people should take precedence over the Hodge-podge of competing interests and conflicting agendas that have shaped the current policy. Now take a look at excerpt from an article at the National Review:

“Spring is in the air, and it is increasingly found in the confident step of the people of Sweden. With a death rate significantly lower than that of France, Spain, the U.K., Belgium, Italy, and other European Union countries, Swedes can enjoy the spring without panic or fears of reigniting a new epidemic as they go about their day in a largely normal fashion.

Dr. Mike Ryan, the executive director of the World Health Organization’s Emergencies Program, says: “I think if we are to reach a new normal, I think in many ways Sweden represents a future model — if we wish to get back to a society in which we don’t have lockdowns.”

The Swedish ambassador to the U.S., Karin Ulrika Olofsdotter, says: “We could reach herd immunity in the capital” of Stockholm as early as sometime in May. That would dramatically limit spread of the virus.

…Dr. Anders Tegnell, the chief epidemiologist of Sweden… heroically bucked the conventional wisdom of every other nation and carefully examined the insubstantial evidence that social-isolation controls would help reduce COVID-19 deaths over the full course of the virus.

As Tegnell told NPR in early April: “I’m not sure that there is a scientific consensus on, really, about anything when it comes to this new coronavirus, basically because we don’t have much evidence for any kind of measures we are taking.”….”To me it looks like a lot of the exit strategies that are being discussed look very much like what Sweden is already doing,” he told Canada’s Globe & Mail….

Sweden has about 2,200 reported COVID-19 cases per million population. This is lower than the number in the U.S. (3,053 per million), the U.K., France, Spain, Italy, and also lower than in many other EU countries. It’s slightly above the number in Germany, which has been hailed for its approach to the virus….

Sweden has 265 reported COVID-19 deaths per million population. That is somewhat higher than in the U.S. (204 per million) but lower than the number in many other EU countries….on an age-adjusted basis, Sweden has done significantly better than the U.S. in terms of both cases per million and deaths per million — and with no lockdowns….

Unlike its Nordic neighbors and everywhere else…Sweden doesn’t have to worry about when and how to end social isolation. They don’t have to decide who to keep locked down and who to let out. They don’t have to get into civil-liberty arguments over involuntary restrictions or whether to fine people for not wearing masks and gloves….

Now many countries and U.S. states are beginning to follow Sweden’s lead. But California and other states continue to pile up isolation-induced health costs and blow gigantic holes in their budgets with lockdowns that, nationwide, have generated more than 30 million newly unemployed.” (“Sweden Bucked Conventional Wisdom, and Other Countries Are Following“, National Review)

This is an excellent article that’s worth reading in full. And what the article shows, is that Sweden is the model. They put the right people in the right positions to do the research, read the data and make right decisions on critical issues of public health. Then they implemented the right policy which is going to make their social and economic transition much easier.

Sweden is on the path to recovery while the United States is still trying to get out of the hole it dug for itself.

Tyler Durden Sat, 05/09/2020 - 09:20


Friday, May 8, 2020

YouTube Targets Chinese Blogger After She Posts Video On Coronavirus Origins

YouTube demonetized the account of popular Chinese-American blogger Jennifer Zeng Thursday night, after she published a video which considers several possibilities for the origins of COVID-19, according to Forbes.




Submitted by RiNS

You gotta love the Italian Language. It has such a lovely spoken rhythm when the person speaking it is pissed off!

And that rhyme could hang people!


60 Minutes Exposes Swine-Flu Hoax & Vaccine Injuries of 1976


This is a largely forgotten episode of CBS’s 60 Minutes in which the program’s lead reporter, Mike Wallace, exposes profound corruption and fraud at the highest levels of public-health agencies. The predictions of doom coming from these trusted sources caused public panic over a Swine Flu pandemic that never happened except in the dramatic reports of the media. Although there never was a surge of genuine Swine-Flu deaths, there definitely was a huge wave of vaccine injuries and deaths among the trusting victims who took the Swine Flu vaccine, and that is a major component of this story. It is sobering to realize that everything exposed by Mike Wallace except vaccine injuries has been repeated in spades in the deployment of the Coronavirus pandemic – but the vaccines are coming very soon, we are told, so there is every reason to believe that this part of the story also will be repeated. (We do not yet know the date of this broadcast, but it had to be prior to Mike Wallace’s retirement, which was in 2006.)

Source: 60 Minutes / YouTube


The post 60 Minutes Exposes Swine-Flu Hoax & Vaccine Injuries of 1976 appeared first on Red Pill University.


Thursday, May 7, 2020

Texas' Anti-Climactic Reopening: Malls & Restaurants Empty, Beaches & Parks Packed

As predicted, even when the economy finally opens back up across the US, the severe hit which has already seen a number of major retailers file for bankruptcy - with Nieman Marcus being the latest Thursday, it won't mark the end of the financial pain.


1/3 of Americans may refuse coronavirus vaccine, according to poll



(NEW YORK POST) More than one-third of Americans may not get a coronavirus vaccine if one becomes available, according to a new poll.

While 64 percent of respondents to a survey by Morning Consult said they would get the shot, 22 percent were unsure and 14 percent said they would not get vaccinated.

The poll of 2,200 US adults found those aged 65 and older were the largest segment of the population intending to get vaccinated if possible – with 85 percent indicating that they plan to do so.

Read the full story ›

The post 1/3 of Americans may refuse coronavirus vaccine, according to poll appeared first on WND.


DoJ Abandons Flynn Criminal Case After "Newly Discovered Information"

DoJ Abandons Flynn Criminal Case After "Newly Discovered Information"

Shortly after Brandon Van Grack, the chief of the Justice Department’s Foreign Agents Registration Act division, filed a notice of his withdrawal in federal court in Washington, The Justice Department has this morning said it is dropping the criminal case against President Donald Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, abandoning the critical leg of many leftists' belief in the Russia collusion bullshit.

This move comes less than a week after unsealed documents in the case fueled renewed claims by Flynn that FBI agents had cooked up a bogus case against him, and as AP reports, is a stunning reversal for one of the signature cases brought by special counsel Robert Mueller. It comes even though prosecutors for the last three years had maintained that Flynn had lied to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian ambassador in a January 2017 interview. Flynn himself admitted as much, and became a key cooperator for Mueller as he investigated ties between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign.



Tyler Durden Thu, 05/07/2020 - 14:37


YouTube Deletes Viral Video Claiming Dr. Fauci Spewing 'Absolute Propaganda' About COVID-19

One thing that should be abundantly clear by now is that any thoughts, opinions, or speculation which challenges the official narratives regarding COVID-19 will be promptly silenced by Silicon Valley, under the guise of protecting the public - which apparently can't be trusted to absorb information


Professor Lockdown, Neil Ferguson, resigns over sex scandal


by Jon Rappoport

May 7, 2020

(To join our email list, click here.)

Neil Ferguson, the historically failed computer modeler, who threw darts at a board, and launched a prediction of 500,000 COVID deaths in the UK and two million in the US, and thereby convinced both governments to opt for extreme lockdowns, has resigned his UK government post.

No word yet whether his backer, Bill Gates, who pours tens of millions of dollars a year into Ferguson’s institute at Imperial College, has turned off the money spigot.

Sex scandal: Ferguson admits he broke his own rules and the UK government’s.

He saw his married girlfriend, Antonia Staats, during the lockdown; she traveled from her home to his, while he was still, technically, recovering after a diagnosis of COVID. Staats says she and her husband have an open marriage. She says she suspects her husband has COVID.

Ferguson issued a statement of regret, a mea culpa, on his way out the door.

In his wake, he’s left a distinct impression that: the privileged and rich live by a different set of rules, not subject to the constraints imposed on the masses; he can flout the lockdown edicts he helped create—therefore, how important can those edicts really be; the science behind lockdowns is not science at all; cheaters win, suckers lose.

If Trump, Boris Johnson, Merkel, Macron et al had a shred of sense, reason, smarts, and conscience, they would use this incident to attack Ferguson’s reputation and computer model and rip them to shreds. It’s a perfect launch pad. But no. They drone on. They enable the armies of pod people wearing masks and staying home. They support that cosmically sociopathic Howdy Doody, Bill Gates.

The Guardian is bending over backwards by running a headline about headlines: “The prurient headlines about Neil Ferguson are a huge distraction.”

Really? Does the author of the Guardian piece have a clue about Ferguson’s track record in predicting epidemics? Does he know Ferguson claimed, in 2005, for example, that 200 million people could die in the bird flu “outbreak?” Official figures eventually listed the death toll in the low hundreds.

Does the author of the Guardian piece have a clue about the false-positive-spitting PCR diagnostic test for the virus? Is he aware that doctors and hospitals are putting “COVID-19” on death certificates of 90-year olds falling off buildings and testing positive on the way down?

Does he even faintly understand what is actually involved in claiming the discovery of a new virus—and how a reliable procedure was never followed in Wuhan?

No, to all of the above. He’s stuck railing about “prurient headlines.”

Tsk, tsk, Neil Ferguson made a boo-boo.

Afraid not.

He set off a storm on nations and economies and people’s lives.

His professional colleagues, who are still praising him as a genius, are covering their own asses, because they know the career of making computer predictions is a fatuous con. They feast at a table of numbers, arranging them to suit their purposes.

To whom it may concern: when person A works for person B, and person B dumps money on person A’s head, person A is going to do person B’s bidding.

Person A is Ferguson. Person B is Bill Gates.

In what universe would Ferguson ever claim a virus, which is supposed to lead to a messianic Gates vaccine, is not dangerous at all? In no universe. That is called a conflict of interest.

No one firmly ensconced in the mainstream of medicine or science will say this out loud. No one in the mainstream will say, on this basis alone, Ferguson’s models should be rejected.


Because they’re cowards.

They should be wearing full hazmat suits pumping gas in Death Valley in the summer. Waiting for cars that never come.

The Matrix Revealed

(To read about Jon’s mega-collection, The Matrix Revealed, click here.)

Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.


Spotify removes podcast featuring interview with conspiracy theorist David Icke, while Apple stalls

"That episode has been removed from the Spotify platform as it is a violation of our content policies," a spokesperson told CNBC.  Apple is yet to remove the same podcast from its podcast platform. Apple did not respond to CNBC's request for comment.


Private school beats public schools in creating citizens

Last month the nation received the latest depressing results on federal civics and U.S. history exams. We also heard a verdict in a federal court case declaring Detroit public schools illegally dysfunctional, leaving students incapable of executing basic civic duties.


Oregon threatens small business owner with massive fine after she defies shutdown order



Like many small business owners, Lindsey and Scott Graham of Oregon just want to get their businesses back up and running, but have reportedly been threatened with a $70,000 fine if they do.

The couple's gym, four tanning salons and hair salon have been closed since late March, when Democratic Gov. Kate Brown implemented her "Stay Home, Save Lives" executive order. Lindsey Graham given birth to a newborn shortly before the shutdown began, but didn't anticipate being out of work so long.

Graham told PJ Media she had to let 25 employees go, and the closures have cost the family thousands in lost revenue.

As a result, she opted to open one of her businesses -- Glamour Salon in Salem.

On Monday, Lindsey Graham was sanitizing her closed hair salon in preparation to open the following day, when an official from Oregon's Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division, or OSHA, showed up.

Graham said he threatened her with a $1,000 fine if she opened and an additional fine for "willful noncompliance" if she remained open following the first citation, according to PJ Media. (It's worth noting that Graham called OSHA, and says she was told in a recorded message and by a live representative that the agency does not enforce stay-at-home or business shutdown orders.)

The maximum penalty for that second fine, the outlet reported, is $70,000.

In her Facebook video Monday, Graham said she was "terrified" and couldn't "possibly risk a $70,000 citation."

"The whole point of me opening up is that I don't want my family to be in a financial situation later because the government closed our businesses," she said, later indicating that she felt "beaten down."

"Well, I don't even really want to reopen tomorrow, I just kind of have to," Graham told KOIN on Monday. "It's been more a month, and we don't even have a date yet, and I can't imagine our family surviving that way without knowing when we can work again and with no income coming in."

Graham joined protests over the weekend calling on the governor to allow businesses to reopen, making her a sort of de facto figurehead for the movement.

"It was pretty eye-opening and also devastating to know that the reason we were there is because we were begging her to let us reopen our businesses and just work," she said.

She also told the news outlet that her employees would be taking all necessary precautions to ensure everyone's health, such as using masks and gloves, disinfecting between appointments, and restricting the number of employees and customers inside the business.

Still, reopening would be in defiance of Brown's order.

Graham went ahead and reopened anyway, and a crowd showed up outside her business to support her.

There’s a large crowd forming outside Glamour salon in Salem this morning as it reopens against @OregonGovBrown’s Stay Home Save Lives order. They tell us they’re in support of the salon reopening today @fox12oregon

— Amber Wilmarth (@amberwilmarth) May 5, 2020

Brown's office said in a statement to KGW that they were aware of the salon's operation in defiance of the order, calling it "irresponsible and unfortunate."

Oregon's OSHA wouldn't confirm to the outlet whether it would take punitive action, though the governor's office said defying the "Stay Home, Save Lives" orders could cost Graham up to $1,250 in fines and/or 30 days in prison for the Class C misdemeanor charge.

KGW also reported that OSHA "did point out that a willful violation of their rules carries a minimum fine of $8,900.00."

There have been no reports of Graham receiving the citation despite opening Tuesday, but another salon owner was not as fortunate, as Shelley Luther of Texas was sentenced to a week in jail after opening her salon in defiance of state-mandated closures.

Business owners are not grandstanding, they are just doing their best to earn a living after their businesses were shuttered indefinitely by stroke of a pen.

The shutdowns have caused economic hardship for so many across the nation, but even in the left-leaning state of Oregon, there is hope as people like Graham begin to push back against their authoritarian government.

People are losing the businesses they've worked a lifetime to build, while their employees are left hoping they can obtain unemployment benefits.

Good people like Lindsey Graham simply wish to find ways to safely get back to work, and it is the government's job to get out of their way as soon as possible.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

The post Oregon threatens small business owner with massive fine after she defies shutdown order appeared first on WND.


New OPCW Leaks Prove They Are Lying To Us About Syria


The Grayzone’s Aaron Maté has published some explosive new leaks from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) which make it clear beyond a shadow of a doubt that the organisation, and the narrative managers associated with it, have been lying about the investigation into an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria two years ago.

In May of last year an Engineering Assessment signed by South African OPCW inspector Ian Henderson was leaked to the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media, saying in direct contradiction of the OPCW’s official findings that the chlorine cylinders allegedly dropped upon the scene via aircraft were in fact “manually placed” there. Since Douma was then occupied by the Al Qaeda-linked and Saudi-backed Jaysh al-Islam group, who were fighting against the Syrian government, this would mean the Syrian government was not responsible for whatever killed dozens of civilians. And it would have the very serious implication that the US, UK and France launched airstrikes against the Syrian government on false grounds.

From the moment Henderson’s leaked document first emerged, both the OPCW and the establishment spinmeisters responsible for managing the imperial narrative on Syria have been dismissing Henderson’s Engineering Assessment on the grounds that he was not a part of the OPCW’s Fact-Finding Mission (FFM), the team which went to Douma to investigate the incident. Since that time mountains of evidence have surfaced both corroborating Henderson’s assessment and revealing that attempts to portray him as not a part of the FFM are disingenuous pedantic manipulations at best, but these new leaks by The Grayzone are the first hard proof we’ve seen that this spin job was actually an outright, bald-faced lie.

Exclusive: The Grayzone has obtained documents exposing falsehoods and misleading claims by OPCW Director General Fernando Arias to degrade the reputation of Douma whistleblower Ian Henderson. @aaronjmate presents further evidence of official deception:

 — @TheGrayzoneNews

The leaked documents include an OPCW security-planning memo labeled “MISSION PERSONNEL” which plain as day lists Henderson as a member of the FFM. The documents also include a letter from the office of then-OPCW Director General Ahmet Üzümcü explicitly asking that Henderson take leadership of inspections in crucial locations, in direct contradiction of the assertion by current Director General Fernando Arias that Henderson only played “a minor supporting role in the investigation of the Douma incident.”

He lied. The Director General of the OPCW lied to the world about the Douma investigation. These new leaked documents show clearly and unequivocally that Henderson was a part of the FFM and played a major role in the investigation, and that we were lied to about both of these things by OPCW officials.

“Let me first turn to the findings of the investigation with respect to Inspector A,” Arias said in a statement this past February, with ‘Inspector A’ referring to Henderson. “Inspector A first worked for the OPCW from June 1997 to December 2005, eventually being promoted to Team Leader. He was rehired at a lower level in June 2016 and worked at the OPCW until May 2019. Inspector A was not a member of the FFM.”

“Inspector A was not a member of the FFM, and his name is not included in the mandates issued for FFM deployments,” reads a February note by the OPCW Technical Secretariat. “He provided support to the FFM team investigating the Douma incident since he was at the command post in Damascus at the relevant time. It is customary for the inspector serving at the command post to provide assistance to the FFM. Inspector A played a minor supporting role in the FFM investigation.”

These were lies, and they were smears. They’ve been repeated and reiterated in various ways since the OPCW scandal first emerged, and have been uncritically repeated as fact by news agencies like AFP and Reuters, as well as establishment narrative managers like Bellingcat, Idrees Ahmad, Nick Waters, Brian Whitaker, and Eliot Higgins.

They have been thoroughly discredited, and Maté reports that more is on the way, writing that a “part two of this article” will soon address the smears which have been leveled at the second OPCW whistleblower.

@SusanSarandon @RVAwonk @bellingcat @PatrickHilsman @conspirator0 @EliotHiggins Ian Henderson, a disgruntled OPCW employee, sent his speculative assessment to the "Working Group". But when the working group tried to establish his credentials, the OPCW confirmed that he was NOT part of the Fact Finding Mission. Which means, he had no direct access.

 — @im_PULSE

It has been revealed over the course of the OPCW scandal that US officials have attempted to interfere in the investigation and cajole OPCW inspectors into coming to conclusions which implicate the Syrian government. This would not be the first time the US government threw its weight around to make the OPCW fall in line with its regime change agendas, with threats to cut organisation funding and John Bolton reportedly even threatening a Director General’s children in order to help manufacture the case for the invasion of Iraq. Bolton, for the record, was Trump’s National Security Advisor throughout the entirety of the Douma investigation.

We were lied to about Douma, and we’re being lied to about the coverup. The US has a lot invested in its ability to launch military strikes based on scant or nonexistent evidence without international backlash, so there’s a lot at stake for the corrupt mass murderers in charge of the most powerful military force in the history of civilization. It makes perfect sense that they are doing everything they can to hide the truth.


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Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Bubble-Wrapped Americans: How the U.S. Became Obsessed with Physical and Emotional Safety


“In America we say if anyone gets hurt, we will ban it for everyone everywhere for all time. And before we know it, everything is banned.”

 Professor Jonathan Haidt

It’s a common refrain: We have bubble-wrapped the world. Americans in particular are obsessed with “safety.” The simplest way to get any law passed in America, be it a zoning law or a sweeping reform of the intelligence community, is to invoke a simple sentence: “A kid might get hurt.”

Almost no one is opposed to reasonable efforts at making the world a safer place. But the operating word here is “reasonable.” Banning lawn darts, for example, rather than just telling people that they can be dangerous when used by unsupervised children, is a perfect example of a craving for safety gone too far.

Beyond the realm of legislation, this has begun to infect our very culture. Think of things like “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces.” These are part of broader cultural trends in search of a kind of “emotional safety” – a purported right to never be disturbed or offended by anything. This is by no means confined to the sphere of academia, but is also in our popular culture, both in “extremely online” and more mainstream variants.

Why are Americans so obsessed with safety? What is the endgame of those who would bubble wrap the world, both physically and emotionally? Perhaps most importantly, what can we do to turn back the tide and reclaim our culture of self-reliancemental toughness, and giving one another the benefit of the doubt so that we don’t “bankrupt ourselves in the vain search for absolute security,” as President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us about?

Coddling and Splintering: The Transformation of the American Mind

Bubble-Wrapped Americans: How the U.S. Became Obsessed with Physical and Emotional SafetyTwo books published in 2018 provide parallel insights into the problems presented by the safety obsession of American culture: The Splintering of the American Mind by William Egginton, focused on the tendency of Americans to tunnel themselves off into self-selected bubbles, and The Coddling of the American Mind by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, which deals more with the tendency to avoid any uncomfortable or unpleasant information.

There is an interesting phenomenon involved in coddling: Australian psychologist Nick Haskam first coined the term “concept creep.” Basically, this means that terms are often elastic and expand past the point of meaning. Take, for example, the concept of “trauma.” This used to have a very limited meaning. However, “trauma” quickly became expanded to mean even slight physical or emotional harm or discomfort. Thus the increasing belief among the far left that words can be “violence” – not “violent,” mind you, but actual, literal violence.

In the other direction, the definition of “hero” has been expanded to mean just about anything. Every teacher, firefighter and police officer is now considered a “hero.” This isn’t to downplay or minimize the importance of these roles in our society. It’s simply to point out that “hero” just doesn’t mean what it used to 100 or even 30 years ago.

Once this expansion of a term occurs, there is never any kind of retraction. Trauma now means just about anything, and violence will soon be expanded to include lawful, peaceful speech that one disapproves of. Once this happens, there will be no going back. In the words of Sam Harris:

“We (as a society) have to be committed to defending free speech however impolitic, or unpopular, or even wrong because defending that is the only barrier to violence. That’s because the only way we can influence one another short of physical violence is through speech, through communicating ideas. The moment you say certain ideas can’t be communicated you create a circumstance where people have no alternative but to go hands on you.”

It is extremely dangerous to begin labelling everything as violence for reasons of free speech, but perhaps even more dangerous is the notion that when anything is violence, nothing is violence. Redefining words as “violence” means that we have little recourse for when actual violence occurs.

The Coddling of the American Mind notes some other concepts that are important as we speak of America’s obsession with “safety” above all else. First, that coddling combined with splintering means that people’s political views are much more like fanatical religious views than anything. They don’t see themselves as having to debate ideas or seek common ground. Rather, the opposing side and its proponents are seen as “dangerous” and must be discredited at all costs. It is worth noting that this is much more common among the left than the right or the center, which has now become more the place where “live and let live” types congregate.

The problem with this goes beyond simply being irritated by irrational people barking at you or at someone else: There is an entire generation of people who are seriously lacking in critical thinking skills. They think that labelling people and name-calling are excuses for a reasoned argument. In the words of Voltaire, “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”

These problems are hardly confined to political radicalism or academia. Indeed, the corporate sector is no stranger to this kind of safety obsession. There is the phenomenon of “woke capital,” where the corporations find the latest celebrity cause-du-jour and use it as a marketing strategy.

There is currently an extreme risk aversion in management science. Companies will now do basically anything to avoid “a kid getting hurt” or someone’s delicate sensibilities being offended.

Education from kindergarten up to the universities is increasingly about teaching doctrines and ideology, rather than critical thinking and problem solving skills. All of this is a dangerous admixture that combines the full weight of the academic, cultural and business elites in this country. And its consequences are far reaching.

Trigger Warnings and Safe Spaces

Bubble-Wrapped Americans: How the U.S. Became Obsessed with Physical and Emotional SafetyFor those unaware, a “trigger warning” is a person’s advisory that disturbing content is going to be posted. However, in an example of concept creep, the meaning of “disturbing” has become expanded to mean, well, just about anything that might offend a leftist. It is also sometimes known as a “content warning,” “TW” or “CW.”

A similar concept is that of a “safe space.” What used to be a term used for a place where people in actual danger of physical harm could express themselves, a “safe space” now means a place where there is no room for disagreement or questions because language is literally violence.

This might all sound very silly and we definitely agree that it is. However, it is quickly becoming de rigeur not just in academia, which is increasingly functioning as a bizarre combination of a daycare center for 21 year olds and an indoctrination program, but also in the corporate world and in the media.

It’s not surprising that such foolishness has reached our corporate elites, because so many figures within that world come from the Ivy League. Harvard Law, for example, was the center of a controversy where they were urged not to teach rape law or even use the word “violate” (which makes it pretty hard to talk about violations of the law). A Harvard professor argued that greater anxiety among students to discuss complicated and nuanced séxual assault cases was impeding the ability of professors to adequately teach their students. This in turn would lead to poorly prepared attorneys for rape victims in the future.

Beyond a simple discussion in the academic sphere, there are student groups on campus who urge students not to attend or participate in class discussions focused on séxual violence. The same student groups advocate for warning students in advance so they can skip out on class and even to exclude “triggering” material from tests. Once again, the real victims here are the victims of séxual assault whose attorneys will be ill-prepared to advise them, to say nothing of the cumulative effect on the prosecutorial environment.

Northwestern University professor Laura Kipnis was subject to a lengthy investigation by a kangaroo court and frivolous Title IX complaints over an article she wrote for The Chronicle of Higher Education about campus séx panics. Top comedians like Chris Rock now refuse to perform on college campuses, a place that has typically been their bread and butter.

Another key term to understand here is “microaggressions” which means just about anything. Offensive statements under this umbrella include things like “I don’t see race,” “America is the land of opportunity” and “I believe the most qualified person should get the job.”

To readers of Generation X or older, this all might sound like a resurgence of political correctness and, indeed, to some extent it is. However, there is something different about the current anti-speech craze sweeping not just campuses, but also boardrooms: Political correctness was, at least in theory, about the elimination of so-called “hate speech” (for example, using “mentally disabled” instead of “retarded” or “little person” instead of “midget”) and also about broadening the canon of literature to include more women and minorities.

One doesn’t need to agree with either objective or be as generous as we are to see that the West has entered a new, accelerated and intensified version of the old political correctness that is qualitatively more dangerous. The “safe spaces” phase of this is about eliminating anything and everything that might be emotionally troubling to students on campus.

This assumes a high degree of fragility among American college students. But perhaps this assumption isn’t totally off base.

The Road to Safety Obsession

Bubble-Wrapped Americans: How the U.S. Became Obsessed with Physical and Emotional SafetyIf you were born before 1985 or so, your childhood was vastly different than of those born after you. As a child, you probably came and went as you pleased, letting your parents know where you were going, who you would be with and when you might be home. You rode your bike without a helmet and if you were bullied at school there’s a good chance that you view this as a character-building experience, not one of deep emotional trauma.

So what happened?

A few things. First, in 1984, the “missing child” milk carton was introduced. America became obsessed with child abduction in response to several high-profile child kidnappings over the period of a few years. Etan PlatzAdam Walsh and Johnny Gosch are just three of the names known to Americans during this time period. In September 1984, the Des Moines, Iowa-based Anderson Erickson Dairy began printing the pictures of Johnny Gosch and Eugene Martin on milk cartons. Chicago followed suit, then the entire state of California. In December 1984, a nationwide program was launched to keep the faces of abducted children front and center in the American mind.

The milk cartons didn’t find many kids, but they did create the panic of “stranger danger,” where children were taught to fear strangers even though the lion’s share of child abduction, molestation and abuse comes from friends, family and other trusted figures such as public school teachers or camp counselors. Most missing children in America are runaways and in 99 percent of all child abductions, the perpetrator is a non-custodial father. There is at least one case of “stranger danger” being harmful – a lost 11-year-old Boy Scout who thought his rescuers were looking to kidnap him.

Some of the protocols established out of this were useful, such as AMBER Alerts and Code Adam. Awareness of child abduction in general was raised and as a result there’s significantly fewer child abductions today than there were in 1980. Indeed, stranger abduction is incredibly rare in the United States. But this has come with a dark side.

You might be familiar with the myriad of cases in suburban America where children playing alone are arrested by the police because they don’t have adult supervision. The parents are then questioned by the police or, in some cases, the state’s Child Protective Services.

There was also the panic after the mass shooting at Columbine High School, which led to the bubble wrapping of schools alongside the home. “Zero tolerance” policies were implemented alongside school-wide peanut butter bans.

And so the result is that there are at least two generations of American children raised in a protective net so tight that they not only have trouble expressing themselves, but also being exposed to failure and discomfort. What began as a good-faith effort to prevent child abduction and increase overall child welfare has ended up, as a side effect, creating a world where children were raised in such safety that they can’t even handle being upset.

This has not only insulated children from the consequences of their own actions and the normal pains of growing up, but also gives the impression that no matter what their problems, “adults” are ready to step in and save the day at any moment.

It’s worth noting that, in recent years, there has been a sharp rise in mental illness among young people, both on campus and off, including those with severe mental health problems.

Cops and the 24-Hour News Cycle

Bubble-Wrapped Americans: How the U.S. Became Obsessed with Physical and Emotional SafetyThere are two other cultural phenomena worth exploring: The television series Cops and the 24-hour cable news cycle. As of April 2020, Cops is still on the air, having moved from Fox to Spike TV in 2013.

Cops was more than just a TV series, it was a cultural phenomenon that changed television. The cinéma vérité style used by the show was to be copied in the 90s by virtually every reality show you can name. Curiously, it came out around the same time that crime rates had plummeted comparatively to the 70s and 80s. And just at that time, people started having the worst in human behavior beamed into their homes for entertainment every Saturday night.

At the same time, CNN was bringing news into your home 24 hours a day without end. This meant they had to fill programming around the clock – and most news is bad news. So in addition to a hugely popular program centered around chasing criminals in the act, Americans also had a constant stream of bad news and dangerous events pumped into their homes. The result was the end of the “free range child,” the kind who learned through play and discovered risk management through trial and error. This was replaced with children whose entire existence was micromanaged by adults, with little to no unsupervised play time.

The ability to learn through failure is a well-established principle going back to the Greeks, who called it pathemata mathemata (“guide your learning through pain”). The knowledge and wisdom gained through failure and pain are arguably more lasting and valuable than those learned in school.

The Generation Gap: Millennials and Gen Z

Older generations (Generation X and Baby Boomers) have a tendency to conflate Millennials and Gen Z (also known as “Zoomers”). However, there are two key differences, one cultural and one clinical: First, Zoomers are much more digital natives than their Millennial counterparts. They didn’t get constant internet access or mobile access at college. They’ve had it since they were in middle school in many cases.

While this is bound to create secondary cultural differences, we know of one clinical difference between Millennials and Zoomers: Zoomers are much more prone to mental illness, specifically depression, anxiety, alcoholism and self-harm.

Depression and anxiety in particular are through the roof for girls, with moderate increases for boys. While self-reported cases are up, we also have harder clinical data: There has been a 62 percent increase in hospital admissions.

The Baby Boomers and Gen Xers created an environment where it is safer than ever to be a child, but at what cost? There has been widespread and verifiable psychological damage done to the younger generation, which is likely being compounded by the coddling taking place in our nation’s universities.

Screen Time and Social Media

“Screen time” is the new obsession for parents, especially among, ironically, those who work in high-tech Silicon Valley jobs such as Steve Jobs, father of the iPhone. But there seems to be an emerging consensus among those who have actually studied the topic that the problem isn’t “screen time” per se, but rather the more specific use of it in the form of social media. This has been identified as the cause of depression and anxiety, particularly among girls.

Why is social media usage particularly impactful among girls? Dr. Haidt and others postulate that it’s because they are more sensitive to the “perfect” lives being lived by beautiful social media influencers – at least the lives that they lead online. What’s more, there is a lot of exclusion and bullying taking place on social media. In days past, you only heard about the party you didn’t get invited to, but now you get to watch it unfold in real time on Snapchat or other platforms. And cyberbullying is much harder to track and police than its real world equivalent.

There’s a related bubble wrapping going on with regard to a different sort of screen time: Kids today are often forbidden from playing with plastic guns or even finger guns. There is the notorious case of the 7-year-old child who was suspended for biting a Pop Tart toaster pastry into the shape of a gun. But millions of children come home (from the same schools where finger guns can warrant a suspension) to play Grand Theft Auto for hours on end.

Indeed, there is some evidence that suggests that violent movies and video games can trigger violent thoughts in some, but not all, people who view them. The National Institute of Mental Health has done an extensive study detailing the impact that violent media has on those who view it.

A Nation Divided

Bubble-Wrapped Americans: How the U.S. Became Obsessed with Physical and Emotional SafetyThere’s not much hyperbole in saying that America is barely a single nation anymore. We talk about “red states” and “blue states,” but the divide is much deeper than that. Even the coastal states largely have an urban college-educated Democratic population and a rural non-college-educated Republican population.

While some animosity between different areas of the political spectrum, or even resentment of cities by the countryside and vice versa, is nothing new, the rancor took off sharply in the early 2000s following the controversial election of George W. Bush and his expanded imperial presidency after 9/11.

Social media makes it easier for extremes to amplify their anger. What’s more, it’s much easier for people to become part of an online crusade – or witch hunt – than it is for them to do so without it.

This is a big part of what is behind the string of disinvitations and protests on American college campuses. No one, especially young people (where “young” means “under 30”), can bear to listen to the opinions of someone they don’t agree with. Disinvitations aren’t limited to highly controversial figures like MILO and Richard Spencer, or even the decidedly much more vanilla Ann Coulter. Condoleeza Rice, the first black female Secretary of State, was disinvited in 2014, as was the first female head of the IMF and the first female finance minister of a G8 nation, Christine Lagarde.

Because Americans increasingly refuse even to listen to arguments from the other side, inserting instead a strawman in favor of reasoned debate, there is no reason to believe that the American political and ideological divide will not increase.

The Evolution of Victimhood Culture

America and the West have largely adopted a victimhood culture. It is worth taking a minute to trace this radical transformation of values in the West from its origins.

The earliest societies in the West were honor cultures. While it sounds like a no-brainer that we should return to an honor culture, we should unpack precisely what this means. An honor culture usually means a lot of interpersonal violence. Small slights must be dealt with through dead violence – because a gentleman cannot take any kind of stain on his honor. Dueling and blood feuds are common in these kinds of cultures.

This is superseded by dignity culture. Dignity culture is different, because people are presumed to have dignity regardless of what others think of them. In a dignity culture, people are admired because they have a “thick skin” and are able to brush off slights even if they are seriously insulting. While we might find ourselves offended, even rightfully so, it is considered important to rise above the offense and conduct ourselves with dignity. Everyone heard some variant of “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” growing up as a child. This is perhaps the key phrase of a dignity culture.

Victimhood culture is concerned with status in a similar manner to honor culture. Indeed, people become incredibly intolerant of any kind of perceived slight, much in the manner of an honor culture. However, in a victimhood culture, it is being offended, taking offense, and being a victim that provides one with status.

Victimhood culture means that people are divided into classes, where victims are good and oppressors are bad. There is an eternal conflict with eternal grievances that can never fully be corrected or atoned for. People feel the need to constantly walk on eggshells and censor themselves. This leads to an overall emphasis on safety, as even words become “violence” – we need trigger warnings and safe spaces to protect us.

Victimhood culture is closely associated with safety culture. Safety culture is, above all else, debilitating. Those who choose a marginalized identity – and in the contemporary West, a marginalized identity is almost always a choice – become more fragile and more dependent on the broader society. At the same time, the powerful elements in society gain a stake in reinforcing this marginalized identity. The Great Society provides a case study in this dynamic.

Those who do not receive the so-called “benefits” of safety culture are frequently more prepared for the real world. Who would you rather hire? Someone who studied hard in a rigorous discipline for four years or someone who spent four years being coddled in what is basically a day care center for twentysomethings? With this in mind, it’s not too big of a leap to see that straight white men might actually have become “privileged” through the process of not having access to the collective hugbox in higher education.

The Role of Lawyers and Litigation

Bubble-Wrapped Americans: How the U.S. Became Obsessed with Physical and Emotional SafetyThere is a relationship with the litigious society in which we live with warning labels everywhere, often for hazards that would seem incredibly obvious to most observant people. In previous generations, even power tools didn’t come with warnings to roll your sleeves up or take off your watch. This information was either common sense or passed along in high school shop classes or on the job.

However, the American legal system has no penalty for frivolous lawsuits, which has led to an explosion in the number of lawsuits. There is a massive army of lawyers in the United States (which has a surplus of some 40 percent) whose profession revolves around finding aggrieved parties who weren’t properly “warned” – or indeed to be able to help write the warning labels themselves. These labels do not even exist for actual safety. The same type of person who is going to do the thing being warned against is likely the same type of person who doesn’t read warnings. The labels are simply there as a form of “CYA” for the firms who make them.

That said, to a certain degree, the “litigious society” is a myth. The oft-cited McDonald’s coffee burn is actually more reasonable than people are aware: The elderly woman in question who was burned simply wanted McDonald’s – who kept their coffee extra hot to prevent people from taking part of their “free refills” policy – to pay for her skin graft resulting from the burn. When McDonald’s refused to settle this out of court and the case went to trial, they were rewarded for their efforts at stonewalling with punitive damages.

So the main example of frivolous lawsuits is a big strawman. But to be clear – frivolous lawsuits are real. One great example of an actually frivolous lawsuit was the man who sued his dry cleaner for $67 million because they delivered his pants to the wrong person. There was no actual damage here and it’s difficult to express just how ridiculous the dollar figure claimed was. This case was thrown out of court, as most of these types of cases are. Still, litigants pursue them either to get media attention or to harass the defendant or both, a phenomenon known as “lawfare.” And these cases clog up genuine claims in the courts.

Civil trials are long and drawn-out things. And with 40 million of them in the United States every year and over a million lawyers, it’s unsurprising that the system has become clogged with lawsuits, many of which are either totally frivolous (remember – there’s no penalty for filing a frivolous lawsuit in America) or just the type of thing that should be either settled or handled through binding arbitration.

While the litigious society exists in parallel to the “safe spaces” of college campuses, it is worth noting because it is part of the larger bubble wrapping of the American landscape. The same kids who were raised with helicopter parents and a general sense that they had a “right” to never be offended were likewise raised in an environment where people could be sued for anything or, at the very least, this was the public perception. It is just another factor of risk aversion in American life.

There are other consequences of having too many lawyers around and having them congregate within our political class: Words are chosen to obfuscate and laws proliferate, as legislation becomes a sort of “jobs program” for lawyers. The more laws we have, the less free we are and the less social trust we have. As laws, regulations, and agencies take the place of civil society, the state grows at the expense of everything else and the less trust we have in our society.

Overreacting to the Wuhan Coronavirus

Bubble-Wrapped Americans: How the U.S. Became Obsessed with Physical and Emotional SafetyIn 2020, the Wuhan Coronavirus broke out of China and spread all around the world. The world had not seen a deadly, contagious virus with such scope since the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 to 1920. At first, the response was denial and apathy. However, this quickly gave way to what could be considered a massive overreaction: Shutting everything down.

There was a certain logic to this: If people gathering together were what was spreading the virus, then simply keep people apart until the whole thing blows over. However, this is also potentially a huge overreaction. It is a medical solution in the driver’s seat without any nod to the economic, social or military consequences that flow from it. Even if one agrees that medical solutions are to be the primary driver, it does not follow that they are the only driver.

Because of the lopsided and often hysterical reaction, many of the proposed solutions don’t even make sense: For example, telling everyone they can go to the supermarket while prohibiting them from going to small offices, or shutting down the border between the United States and Canada – two countries with highly infected populations and a sprawling border that is largely unpatrolled.

A brief disclaimer: None of us are epidemiologists or virologists. And we defer to their superior knowledge on this subject.

However, during the Spanish flu pandemic, life did not shut down quite so completely as it has during the Coronavirus pandemic. The methods used during the Spanish flu were isolation of the sick, mask wearing in public, and cancellation of large events. In places where these were practiced rigorously, there was a significant decline in the number of infections and death. St. Louis in particular is known as an exemplar of what to do during an easily transmissible epidemic.

“The economy” has been cited as a reason the total shutdown of life during the Coronavirus pandemic was a poor idea. This might sound frivolous, but the mass unemployment not only leads to destitution for those when the economy is so paralyzed that there are no other jobs forthcoming. It also leads to a spike in the suicide rate. There is a certain calculus that must be done – how much unemployment is worth how much death from Wuhan Coronavirus?

The reaction to this virus is noteworthy, because it is the first major pandemic of this new, insulated and coddled age. Rather than reasonable measures to mitigate death, the choice made was to do anything and everything possible to prevent death entirely. Not only might this be an unwise decision, it might be a fool’s errand: The virus seems to be much more contagious than was previously thought, as well as much less lethal.

More than one reasonable person has asked what would happen if we all just went about our lives making reasonable precautions, such as hand washing, mask wearing, social distancing, and the cancellation of large events like sports and concerts. This is effectively what Sweden has done and it appears to work, especially when contrasted with their neighbors in Finland who have done basically the same as America. How much sense does it make to have the entire community converge upon its grocery stores while not allowing anyone to go into an office, ever? Compare this with what has passed for reasonable reaction: Closing down every school, every dine-in restaurant, and the government dictating which businesses are essential and which aren’t.

A big motivator of this is a compulsion to not lose a single life to the Wuhan Coronavirus, which is a totally unreasonable goal. People are going to die. The question isn’t “how tightly do we have to lock the country down to ensure no one dies,” but rather “what are reasonable measures we can take to balance public safety against personal choice and social cohesion?”

The splintering and division of America in practice has meant that the establishment conservative media was largely in denial over the virus for weeks. It is not a liberal smear to say that the amount of denialism from establishment conservative media, pundits, think tanks, bureaucrats and elected officials has in practice meant that America responded much more slowly and conservatively than it might have with a more unified America body politic.

At the beginning of spring 2020, the virus seemed poised to devastate the American South, which largely stuck with the early conservative media denialism, eschewing social distancing, shuttering of certain public places and mask wearing. Again, a more united body politic and the media and trust in the media that goes along with that might have prevented a lot of illness and death.

Imagine the impact of Walter Cronkite or Edward Murrow going on television and telling the American public to mask up and maintain distance versus the impact of Rachel Maddow and Tucker Carlson doing it.

What Is Vindictive Protectiveness?

“Vindictive protectiveness” was a term coined by Haidt and Lukianoff to describe the environment on America’s college campuses with regard to speech codes and similar. However, it can refer more broadly to the cultural atmosphere in the United States and the West today. From the college campus to the corporate boardroom to the office, Americans have to watch what they say and maybe even what they think lest they fall afoul of extra-legal speech and thought codes.

Perhaps worst of all, an entire generation is being raised to see this not only as normal, but as beneficial. This means that as this generation comes of age and grows into leadership positions, that there is a significant chance that these codes will be enforced more rigorously, not less. And while there may be ebbs and flows (political correctness went into hibernation for pretty much the entire administration of George W. Bush – though to be fair, there was an imperfect replacement in the form of post-9/11 jingoism), the current outrage factory is much more concerning than the one that sort of just hung around in the background in the 1990s.

Put plainly: the next wave will be worse. We may not have Maoist-style Red Guards in America quite yet, but we’re not far off and the emphasis should be on “yet.”

Bubble-Wrapped Americans: How the U.S. Became Obsessed with Physical and Emotional Safety originally appeared in the Resistance Library at