Saturday, May 23, 2020

Did Jack Dorsey Just Issue A 'Mea Culpa' To All Twitter-Banned "Conspiracy"-Peddlers?

Did Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey just, sheepishly, issue a 'mea culpa' to all those innocent (mostly conservative) voices he has silenced in the last few years who dared to question the "Russia, Russia, Russia" narrative, the "Biden did nothing wrong" stories, the "Comey is an American hero" facts, and,


The Fight over Alternative Education


Articles in college alumni magazines, even in the Ivy League, are usually puff pieces about academic programs and professors. They are designed to make graduates feel so good about their alma mater and its intellectual achievements that they will write out yet another donation check. Seldom do the articles circulate much outside of the closed circle of alums. Not so with a 1,007-word piece in the May – June 2020 issue of the Harvard Magazine entitled “The Risks of Homeschooling” in which Harvard Law School professor Elizabeth Bartholet recommended a “presumptive ban” against parents’ educating their children at home (as between three and four percent of US parents currently do). That is, unless these parents can prove to educational authorities “that their case is justified.”

Bartholet had already expressed this view in an extensively footnoted 80-page scholarly article for the Arizona Law Review entitled “Homeschooling: Parent Right Absolutism vs. Child Rights to Education & Protection” published earlier in 2020. There, she wrote:

A very large proportion of homeschooling parents are ideologically committed to isolating their children from the majority culture and indoctrinating them in views and values that are in serious conflict with that culture. Some believe that women should be subservient to men; others believe that race stamps some people as inferior to others. Many don’t believe in the scientific method, looking to the Bible instead as their source for understanding the world.

To shore up her position, Bartholet recited a litany of horror stories that sound more like failures of social service bureaucracy than failures of homeschooling per se: Author Tara Westover, whose 2018 bestseller, Educated, recounted that her breakaway-Mormon survivalist father in Idaho had taught her to read but little else; and seven-year-old Adrian Jones, starved, tortured, and killed by his father and stepmother in Kansas in 2015, then fed to pigs. (Both adults, who claimed to be homeschooling the boy, are serving life sentences for murder.) Armed with anecdotes like these, Bartholet called for a “new legal regime” of “positive rights” that would protect “child rights to an education allowing them to exercise autonomy rights in their future lives, including rights to make meaningful career and lifestyle choices.”

In both articles, Bartholet trained her sights specifically on Christianity, asserting that conservative Christian beliefs lay behind the decisions of “up to 90 percent” of homeschooling parents to “seek to remove their children from mainstream culture.” Indeed, her Arizona Law Review article and its footnotes employ the words “Bible” and “Christian” a total of 18 times, all negatively (along with a footnote or two excoriating Hasidic Jewish yeshivas and their near-exclusive focus on Talmudic studies). In her Arizona Law Review article Bartholet proposed that homeschooling parents who manage to overcome all the administrative hurdles she demands be further required to submit their curricula to state authorities for advance approval and agree to twice-yearly government visits to their home. The Harvard Magazine illustration alone seems designed to confirm the worst fears of aggressively secularized Harvard graduates (including, probably, many of Bartholet’s Harvard Law colleagues) while inflaming homeschooling parents: children frolicking and jumping rope outdoors while a sad little girl is imprisoned inside a house made out of books titled “Reading,” “Writing,” “Arithmetic,” and “Bible.”

(The illustration in the print edition of the Harvard Magazine misspells the title on the spine of the third book as “Arithmatic.” The magazine quickly corrected the mistake in its online edition, but the lucky Harvard grads who received the print magazine might well own their own version of the famously mangled 1918 “upside-down airplane” US postage stamp that has sold at auction for close to $1 million.)

So pervasive was the negative reaction to the Harvard Magazine interview with Bartholet that the magazine shut down its comments section after only nine comments, all of which were scathing and at least one of which was left by a self-proclaimed atheist who had homeschooled her children for eight years. The law school had organized a closed-to-the-public, invitation-only conference scheduled for June 18th – 19th to discuss the “problems, politics, and prospects for reform” of homeschooling, but this was postponed until at least 2021 following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The conference’s sponsors were to have been Bartholet and James G. Dwyer, a professor at the William and Mary Law School known for his acerbic critiques of parental rights in education. The planned list of speakers included other academics generally critical of homeschooling, plus several representatives of the Coalition for Responsible Home Education, a nonprofit dedicated to homeschooling “reform” whose website consists largely of narratives of the unhappy experiences of homeschool graduates.

But Bartholet’s polemic is by no means simply directed at homeschooling all by itself. It is part of a larger—and relatively recent—specific animus among progressive academics and politicians against a range of alternatives to conventional public schooling: religious and other private schools, and even charter schools, which are government-funded but independent in curricula, governance, and teacher hiring (43 states plus the District of Columbia allow for these publicly funded but privately operated institutions). Charter schools enroll about three million children nationwide, most of whom live in failing urban public-school districts where charters seem to promise stricter discipline and more focused academic programs. Throughout the 1990s and the 2010s, they had been endorsed by Democratic politicians, including former California governor Jerry Brown and Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

In 2019, however, left-leaning Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren both vowed to abolish charter schools if elected, and this position has also been adopted by self-proclaimed moderate and presumptive nominee Joe Biden, who served as Obama’s vice president. In 1997, when Biden was a Delaware senator, he delivered a speech in which he not only threw his support behind charters but also endorsed “voucher” programs through which governments help to pay for underprivileged children to be taught at Catholic parochial and other private schools. “Is it not possible,” he asked from the floor of the Senate, “that giving poor kids a way out will force the public schools to improve and result in more people coming back?”

But by December 2019, Biden was pledging that not only voucher programs but also charter schools themselves (both of which are promoted by GOP President Trump’s education secretary, Betsy DeVos) would “be gone” if he were elected. Perhaps he was merely securing the endorsement of public school teachers’ unions—which he duly received—but the turnabout was dramatic nonetheless. An equally dramatic reversal occurred in Jerry Brown’s California, where 10 percent of school-age children attend some 1,300 charters. In the fall of 2019, the California legislature passed—and Brown’s Democratic successor Gov. Gavin Newsom signed—a law that gives public school districts vastly increased power to decide whether to approve new charter schools or renew the charters of existing schools. Furthermore, all teachers hired by charter schools, not just those teaching such “core” subjects as math and language arts, will have to be state-accredited—that is, they will have to go through the state education-school regime: no more music teachers whose only qualification is a degree from Julliard. The legislation was supported by teachers’ unions but also by the California Charter Schools Association, which viewed the new law as a compromise in the face of a possible ban on charter schools altogether.

In her Arizona Law Review article, the eye Bartholet cast upon public-school alternatives was almost as cold as that she cast upon homeschoolers who eschew every form of organized schooling:

Some private schools pose problems of the same nature as homeschooling. Religious and other groups with views and values far outside the mainstream operate private schools with very little regulation ensuring that children receive adequate educations or exposure to alternative perspectives. Policymakers should impose greater restrictions on private schools for many of the same reasons that they should restrict homeschooling. Moreover, it would be deeply unfair to allow those who can afford private schools to isolate their children from public values in private schools reflecting the parents’ values, while denying this possibility to those unable to afford such schools.

“Views and values far outside the mainstream,” “exposure to alternative perspectives,” “isolate their children,” and “schools reflecting their parents’ values” are the operative terms here. Underlying them seems to be the assumption that the main purpose of education isn’t to teach young people reading, writing, and arithmetic but to instill—or at least “expose” them to—certain “views,” “values,” and “perspectives.” It is equally important that those “views and values” be “mainstream”—which seem to be the fashionable preoccupations of the liberal professoriate: feminism, LGBTQ issues, global warming, racial oppression, and “diversity” of every variety except the ideological kind.

It is worth noting, for example, that several major public school districts—in Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C., among other cities—either actively encouraged or promised leniency to students who skipped classes on September 20th, 2019, to join a “global strike” demanding government action on “climate change.” Astonishingly, some 3,500 public schools peremptorily adopted the New York Times’s controversial but Pulitzer Prize-winning “1619 Project” magazine special into their curricula, even though its historical accuracy was vehemently contested by many academic historians. Are we to assume that this is what is meant by the “mainstream” in the world of public education?

Nor is Bartholet alone. The academics scheduled to deliver papers at the postponed conference all teach at prestigious institutions, and a survey of their writings indicates that what they most fear is that children will be taught things that are ideologically wrong. James Dwyer, the conference’s co-sponsor, wrote in a 2016 scholarly article: “Perhaps one day feminists will take a serious interest in the subordinating indoctrination to which girls are subjected in many religious schools and home schools.” Conference participant Michael A. Rebell, a lawyer with joint appointments at Columbia Law School and Columbia Teachers College, wrote in his 2018 book, Flunking Democracy: Schools, Courts, and Civic Participation, that many parents who send their children to alternative schools believe that “exposing their children to ideas such as secularism, atheism, feminism, and value relativism is inconsistent with the values they espouse and undermines their ability to inculcate in their children their beliefs in the sacred, absolute truth of the Bible.”

In a 2005 essay entitled “Why Homeschooling Should be Regulated,” Stanford political science professor Rob Reich wrote: “With little or no exposure to competing ideas or interaction with people whose convictions are different from their parents’, children who are home schooled can be raised in an all-encompassing or total environment that fails to develop their capacity to think for themselves. To put this in language commonly used by political theorists, the capacity of children to ‘exit’ their parents’ way of life is undermined and they run the risk of becoming ‘ethically servile.’” And in a 2010 article entitled “Parent As (Mere) Educational Trustee: Whose Education Is It Anyway?,” Georgetown law professor Jeffrey Shulman wrote: “[T]he parent’s right to educate his or her children is strictly circumscribed by the parent’s duty to ensure that children learn habits of critical reasoning and reflection… [C]ourts should look with skepticism at any educational program—whether imposed by the parent or by the state—that, by restricting the spectrum of available knowledge, fails to prepare the child for obligations beyond those of familial obedience.”

The notion that parents and the schools they choose for their offspring are obligated to provide an “exit” strategy from the principles that the parents and schools hold most dear, and to expose them to ideas that they find morally or philosophically repugnant, may seem surprising to people who believe that the function of schools is actually to teach the multiplication tables and how to spell. Or that learning how to research and write a coherent essay ought to supply enough training in “critical reasoning and reflection” without religiously conservative parents or the schools they choose being required to rehearse the arguments in favor of unrestricted abortion, letting biological males use women’s bathrooms, the “1619 Project,” or why belief in God may be bunk.

However, at least some advocates of content-based regulation for alternative schooling seem far more accommodating toward religious and other kinds of conservatives in one-to-one conversation than they appear in their scholarship. While the Harvard Law School did not respond to my request for an interview with Elizabeth Bartholet (unlike other Harvard Law faculty members, she has no office email address listed online for direct contact), and James Dwyer refused to grant an interview unless I read a book he had written that was, practically speaking, unavailable during the coronavirus pandemic, Stanford’s Rob Reich told me over the phone that he was simply distinguishing between the views, religious and otherwise, that parents are entitled to convey to their children as parents and the accurate information that parents as teachers should be required to convey when covering an academic subject.

For example, evangelical parents may believe that abortion is morally wrong, Reich said, but they should be obliged to explain the current legal status of abortion and that people of differing views on abortion are all equal citizens. “They may believe that the Bible instructs different roles for men and women,” Reich said. “They can teach what they believe is women’s appropriate role, but they can’t then say that there’s no need to teach girls high school-level science.” Although an advocate for education regulation, Reich seems to take a minimalist approach: occasional standardized testing in core subjects in order to ensure that homeschoolers are learning something substantive and aren’t simply being kept at home. He expressed concern that I might want to “tie” him to Elizabeth Bartholet’s “mast” of presumptive condemnation.

The theory that education by its very nature has an ideological component—facilitating children in escaping from their parents’ culture in the name of attaining personal autonomy—goes hand-in-hand with another goal of the anti-alternative education crowd: establishing a “fundamental” constitutional right of children to an education that would grant to federal courts the power to supervise school funding and curricula. Such a right is not specifically enumerated in the US Constitution (although nearly all state constitutions enshrine a governmental duty to provide adequate schooling), and the US Supreme Court has yet to recognize it, despite nearly 50 years of litigation by activist lawyers. The high court has only rarely recognized non-enumerated rights under a general theory of “substantive due process” said to be enshrined in the 14th Amendment; one example is the court’s 2015 decision in Obergefell vs. Hodges declaring a fundamental right to same-sex marriage “implicit in the context of ordered liberty” that the 14th Amendment’s due process clause presumably protects.

Despite the Supreme Court’s half-century of reluctance to extend this concept to education, various justices have issued enough statements in their education opinions over the years—typically involving claims of unequal racial or ethnic treatment, a violation of the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause, to provide intellectual gruel for those who argue that the purpose of education relates to preserving “ordered liberty” and thus consists of something more than the acquisition of substantive learning. In Brown vs. Board of Education, the landmark 1954 decision striking down racially segregated school systems as denying equal protection of the law to African-Americans, the Supreme Court declared that education “is the very foundation of good citizenship… [I]t is a principal instrument in awakening the child to cultural values, in preparing him for later professional training, and in helping him to adjust normally to his environment.” In Plyler vs. Doe, a 1982 decision again invoking the equal protection clause to rule that public schools could not exclude the children of illegal immigrants, the Supreme Court said: “By denying these children a basic education, we deny them the ability to live within the structure of our civic institutions, and foreclose any realistic possibility that they will contribute in even the smallest way to the progress of our Nation.”

Lawyers and law professors have seized upon these dicta about preparation for citizenship to try one more time to convince the federal courts (and ultimately the Supreme Court) that establishing a “fundamental right” to an education is the most effective way to secure that goal, through judicial oversight of the educational process. And in fact, one federal appellate court, the Cincinnati-based Sixth US Circuit Court of Appeals that encompasses several Midwestern states, ruled exactly that in a 2 – 1 decision, Gary B. vs. Whitmer, on April 23rd, establishing a right to a “basic minimum education, meaning one that provides a chance at foundational literacy” so as to be able to participate in the democratic process. The case involved alleged severe deficiencies in the public-school system in notoriously depopulated and dysfunctional Detroit: crumbling school buildings, malfunctioning heating and cooling systems that exposed children to extremes of heat and cold, vermin-infested classrooms, filthy bathrooms, and such unattractive conditions for teachers that chronic teacher vacancies led to student-overcrowding and miserable results on standardized tests. At one Detroit elementary school only 4.2 percent of third-graders allegedly scored “proficient or above” in English, compared with 46.0 percent overall in the state of Michigan. In one Detroit ninth-grade classroom students allegedly struggled to read at the third-grade level. US Circuit Judge Eric L Clay, author of the majority opinion in Gary B., had no trouble aligning those alleged deficiencies with a finding that a right to a basic minimum education is indeed “implicit in the concept of ordered liberty.” That right, Clay wrote, “is fundamental because it is necessary for even the most limited participation in our country’s democracy.”

The Sixth Circuit’s expansive decision in Gary B. would seem to be inevitably headed to the Supreme Court—except that Michigan’s Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, and Democratic attorney general, Dana Nessel, are both liberal and so unlikely to appeal a ruling, the practical effect of which is likely to force massive state spending to try to repair Detroit’s broken public school system. Furthermore, the ruling has given new impetus to a 1918 federal lawsuit, Cook vs. Raimondo, challenging alleged deficiencies in the public school system throughout the state of Rhode Island. The lead lawyer on that case is Michael Rebell of Columbia, one of Elizabeth Bartholet’s handpicked conference panelists. The Cook suit, which is still in its procedurally preliminary stages, takes Gary B. a step further to try to secure a ruling that a “fundamental” right to an education under the US Constitution extends well beyond minimum literacy and focuses specifically on Rhode Island’s alleged failure to provide enough adequate grounding in civics education to prepare young people “to function productively as civic participants capable of voting, serving on a jury, understanding economic, social, and political systems sufficiently to make informed choices, and to participate effectively in civic activities,” according to the plaintiffs’ complaint. In a phone interview, Rebell made it clear that the ultimate aim of the Cook suit is to set nationwide standards for adequate training in those components of democratic participation. “There’s been a marked decline in the teaching of civics in American public schools,” he said.

Rebell’s observations are certainly supported by the data. Results released in April from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) civics assessment indicated that less than one-fourth of US eighth-graders in 2018 demonstrated proficiency or more in civics and American history. A 2017 Annenberg Public Policy survey found that only 26 percent of Americans can name the three branches of government and 37 percent can’t name a single right protected by the First Amendment. But Rebell’s notion of what constitutes adequate civics education goes well beyond imparting such textbook information such as how a bill becomes a law or the contents of the Constitution. “Civics knowledge means field trips to legislatures, it means learning democratic values, it means having civil conversations with people having very different views from yours,” he said. “Kids have a right to more than what they’re getting now.”

This experiential aspect of civics education promoted by Rebell—hinging as much on exposure to values (the “very different views” of other people) as on substantive learning—segues nicely with Elizabeth Bartholet’s insistence in her Arizona Law Review article that a “new legal regime” must be put into place to ensure an education that furthers “child rights.” Indeed, Bartholet seems to recognize that such a “new legal regime” might be unpopular with the millions of US voters who choose alternative forms of education for their children, so she calls on the courts to act instead by reinterpreting federal and state constitutions: “Constitutional doctrine should recognize that children have enforceable rights to an appropriate education and to protection against maltreatment. This would mean that legislatures could be required to enact legislation protecting those rights.”

There is an obvious irony here: The two legal cases on which those who pin their hopes for stringently regulating private education both deal with alleged gross inadequacies in public school education. And those inadequacies are even better documented than the failings of some charter schools or the fact that some homeschooling parents belong to eccentric religious sects. The most recent NAEP testing results, for example, indicate that only 37 percent of America’s children rate as proficient or higher in reading and 25 percent as proficient or higher in mathematics—the two most basic educational skills—by the time they reach 12th grade. (This may be the reason why polls show that black and Hispanic Democrats, who often live in the worst-performing public school districts, have not been enthusiastic supporters of the anti-charter school turn among white Democratic politicians; a 2019 New York Times article reported a sharp pro- and con-divide on charters between minority and white Democrats.) Nonetheless, in almost all the rhetoric against homeschooling or religious schooling or charter schooling there is a romanticizing of public schools as versions of Plato’s Academy for youngsters. “There’s a tendency of critics to idealize that which they wish to defend,” said Stanford’s Rob Reich.

Most troubling, though, is the apparent desire of the anti-alternative education faction to shove all children in America into a monolithic system of public schooling, or at the very least, to force those who teach them to adopt a monolithic public school model for education. That model would be replete with whatever pedagogic fads—“everyday” math, “whole word” reading—may be responsible for American children’s generally poor academic performance these days. Worse, it would include a range of secular ideologies to which children are required to be “exposed” that claim to be “mainstream” but are often as insular, as hostile to opposing viewpoints, and as “totalizing” (to use one of Reich’s words) as those of the most fanatical Christians. “I’m not particularly religious, but the anti-religious bias is so thick you can cut it with a knife,” said New York University law professor Richard A. Epstein, an outspoken critic of the “positive rights” jurisprudence that marked both Bartholet’s article and the Gary B. decision. “What they want to do is give the state complete monopoly powers over education.”


Charlotte Allen has a Ph.D. in medieval studies from the Catholic University of America. She has written frequently for the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and First Things. You can follow her on Twitter @MeanCharlotte.

Photo by Johnny McClung on Unsplash.

The post The Fight over Alternative Education appeared first on Quillette.


The Path To Monetary Collapse

Few mainstream commentators understand the seriousness of the economic and monetary situation, ranging from a V-shaped rapid return to normality towards a more prolonged recovery phase.


Friday, May 22, 2020

What critical thinking? Wayback Machine is now complicit in Big Tech censorship

By , former editor of the technology and innovation magazine maize and editor of culture magazine BOZO. He has written for numerous publications around the world focussing on technology, belief systems, and culture.


Wayback Machine Latest Victim of Big Tech Consolidation and Censorship



In what is turning out to be something of a latter-day dot com bust, many small to medium-sized tech startups are teetering on the edge of oblivion as the deliberate economic shutdown eats away at their capitalization and opens the door for the biggest fish in the tech space and others to pick the ripest fruit from the tech start up tree.

As opposed to the original, this start up bust is accompanied by a very precise view of market opportunities for interested buyers and investors, brought on by an equally deliberate reshaping of workplace conditions and societal interactions which are driving companies like Microsoft to “aggregate capabilities” in “cloud computing, collaboration, access management, and other business continuity tools that saw a surge in demand during regional lockdowns.”

The ride-share behemoth, Uber, for example, is reportedly in talks to acquire Grubhub and expand its food-delivery operations, while Microsoft just completed its purchase of robotic automation company, Softomotive. One global research and advisory firm that focuses on IT and finance has even put out a guide “on how tech startups can best prepare for being acquired by a larger company,” revealing that just 13 companies accounted for a full 60 percent of the $150 billion raised by tech startups between March and April.

Signs that yet another massive wave of consolidation in the technology sector is on the horizon and is already raising concerns throughout the industry, but the fact that it is occurring in tandem with a larger push by outfits like Twitter, Facebook and other huge tech players to stifle freedom of online expression and association should make us pay closer attention to the dynamics at play.


Censorship creep

Under the guise of facilitating conversation, Twitter unveiled changes to the reply feature that ostensibly gives users more control, but in reality, it broadens the ability to censor content. The new format, still in testing mode, will allow users to select who can and cannot reply to their tweets. This, of course, presents a serious problem from the vantage point of free flowing interaction and gives even more power to the most popular accounts to stifle undesirable feedback, leaving their viewpoints publicly unchallenged.

Another seemingly innocuous development in the last few days was the announcement made by popular podcaster Joe Rogan on his move to Spotify. The comedian and UFC commentator’s immensely popular podcast has been freely available on YouTube and other platforms since its inception, but his multi-million-dollar exclusive licensing deal with the music platform will further cloister content behind a single outfit and likely diminish its reach and propagation.

Perhaps the most concerning, however, are the changes taking place at one of the most important research tools on the Internet and, up to now, a venerable tool for online transparency: The Wayback Machine.


Misplaced century

In the campy 1970s futuristic movie “Rollerball,” starring a young James Caan as a superstar athlete at the twilight of his celebrated career, there is a curious scene in which his character, Jonathan E, visits an archive where the entire knowledge base of humanity is stored. The man in charge of the quantum computer-like machine mentions, in passing, that due to some unknown glitch, the records containing the whole of the thirteenth century have been lost.

Such a predicament is, no doubt, much closer to becoming a real possibility as more and more of humanity’s knowledge is accumulated in massive digital repositories. The danger is not only in the outright loss of stored data as a result of technical malfunctions but also in the greater ability to execute historical revisionism and misrepresenting facts to future generations. Wikipedia – a widely consulted online encyclopedia – is already guilty of this. But, now the Wayback Internet archive is trending down this slippery slope with its recently implemented labeling of snapshot results as potential disinformation.

As a former editor, Elliot Leavy, warns in an article addressing the changes at the Wayback Machine site, “if we continue to censor the past, attaching intent to some but not to others, we will be unable to evaluate anything at all.” Indeed, the new measures instituted at the behest of MIT’s Technology Review over worries of COVID-19 hoaxes do not bode well for the survival of historical accuracy and a discerning populace.

The promise of the internet as an “information superhighway” modeled around democratized access to information is quickly eroding before our very eyes, as the measures are taken to curb the COVID-19 pandemic are being used to restrict unfettered knowledge. Together with the swift consolidation of tech companies that own the means to distribute and create the platforms we are obliged to use, we might soon find ourselves feeling like Jonathan E did when he realized that his once greatest supporters and benefactors were only looking to push him out the door and find a more pliable and less curious superstar.

Feature photo | The homepage of Internet Archive is displayed on a PC. Sharaf Maksumov | Shuttershock

Raul Diego is a MintPress News Staff Writer, independent photojournalist, researcher, writer and documentary filmmaker.

The post Wayback Machine Latest Victim of Big Tech Consolidation and Censorship appeared first on MintPress News.


Central Banks Are Buying $2.4 Billion In Assets Every Hour As Their Balance Sheets Eclipse $20 Trillion

Central Banks Are Buying $2.4 Billion In Assets Every Hour As Their Balance Sheets Eclipse $20 Trillion Tyler Durden Fri, 05/22/2020 - 14:40

As Deutsche Bank's Peter Sidorov writes, "the global policy response to the rapidly unfolding coronavirus crisis has been substantial, in many ways unprecedented."

Just how unprecedented? One number highlighted by BofA's Michael Hartnett in his latest Flow Show report has the answer: in the past 8 weeks, central banks have been buying $2.4 billion per hour of financial assets.

Here is another: as Deutsche Bank calculates, the combined G-10 central bank balance sheet is now above $20 trillion, catching up to its trendline since the financial crisis after stagnating around $16 trillion for the past two years...

... with the response to the coronavirus already double that observed after the global financial crisis.

Some more details: central banks have undertaken or announced $9trn of measures since the start of the Covid crisis...

... with a $4.5trn increase in G10 central bank balance sheets since the end of February, bringing their total size to over $20trn.

As central banks continue to provide further support and with additional fiscal stimulus expected, this figure will likely move towards $20tn later this year, even if some of the announced measures are implemented in 2021 and beyond.

According to DB, the US has responded the most aggressively to date, with the amount of QE purchases implemented and new credit facilities announced accounting for around 55% of all measures across the G20 and 60% of the $4.5trn increase in G10 central bank balance sheets. This share will likely gradually ease over time as the Fed's aggressive pace of QE is easing while intervention in other countries, such as the newly discounted TLTRO3 in the euro area, are yet to come online. Relative to the size of the economy, the Fed and BoC have seen the largest increase in their balance sheets since the Covid shock — with a 12-13pp of GDP increases since the end of February, compared to rises of 6-7pp across the euro area, Japan and the UK.

When it comes to policy rates, across the DM universe rates were already cut towards the zero bound by the end of March and – with the exception of a 25bp Norges cut to 0.00% two weeks ago – have been unchanged since. The conversation has now moved onto whether more countries will join the Eurozone, Japan and Switzerland in negative-rates territory. Across EM, further room for rates easing remains in many countries, although the question of how low is too low is starting to come into view in some countries.

Finally, while all major countries have cut rates over the policy cycle, the non-standard measures that have been  introduced vary widely across countries. As Sidorov notes, on asset purchases, most G10 economies and a few EM countries are now undertaking sovereign QE, although Australia has been the only country so far to join Japan in pursuing yield curve control. The introduction of purchases of local government and corporate debt and other assets has been more varied even among the DM economies, with the Fed seeing the broadest range of new measures, with its array of new credit-oriented facilities. On the banking side, macro-prudential easing and the expansion liquidity operations have been a global feature but the use of targeted or discounted term funding varies considerably across countries.

Below is a handy summary of non-rates monetary policy measures undertaken in the past two months:


Thursday, May 21, 2020

New Survey Shows 47% Increase In Productivity: 3 Things You Must Do When Working From Home

Without using spyware or capturing keystrokes, a California-based company has tracked a 47% increase in worker productivity.


Poll: 40% of families more likely to continue home-schooling their kids after lockdown ends



While advocates of big government may be rejoicing at the power flexed by Democratic governors, in particular, during the coronavirus crisis, one unanticipated consequence of it all could be millions of families choosing home schooling over the public option in the fall.

A poll of registered voters conducted by RealClear Opinion Research last month during the heart of the COVID shutdown found that 40.8 percent of families are more likely to pursue home schooling or virtual schooling after restrictions are lifted.

Further, 64 percent support school choice.

A RealClear Opinion Research survey of 2,122 registered voters shows that support for educational choice is strong.

— RealClearEducation (@RealClearEd) May 19, 2020

The poll of 2,122 registered voters included 626 parents who participated in the question regarding home schooling.

Of those parents surveyed, the breakdown was 45.7 percent Democrats and 42.3 percent Republicans, so there was no conservative slant in the sample set.

Among the respondents, minorities more strongly favored home schooling. For whites, 36.3 percent were more likely to choose home schooling in the fall, compared with 50.4 percent of African-Americans, 38.3 percent of Hispanics and 53.8 percent of Asians.

“Every single family with kids in school has been incredibly disrupted by the lockdowns," John Schilling, president of the American Federation of Children, said in a statement.

"With 55 million students no longer in their normal educational setting, families are clearly considering new options and many are seeing the benefits of homeschooling and virtual schooling," he said.

Multiple home-school advocates recently told The Western Journal that the forced shutdown of nearly the entire U.S. public school system has created a unique opportunity for parents to weigh the benefits of joining the millions of American students already doing their learning at home.

“The No. 1 hardest decision to make has been made for 55 million children,” Ray Moore, a longtime home-schooling advocate and founding board member of Public School Exit, said regarding parents making the switch.

“That’s always the barrier that’s hardest for us to break, but now [the kids are] home,” he said.

“This is a ‘kairos moment,’ a once in 100 year moment," Moore told The Western Journal in an email.

According to the National Home Education Research Institute, prior to the COVID shutdown of schools nationwide, about 2.5 million Americans were being home-schooled, making up just over 4 percent of the nation’s 57 million K-12 students.

The total has more than doubled from the 1.7 percent learning at home in 1999, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Moore and his fellow leaders at Public School Exit are hopeful that millions more parents will decide to continue home schooling when the fall rolls around.

Alex Newman, the group’s spokesman, said one of the top reasons families should make the move is the poor academic outcomes of public education.

He argued the government-run system “is deliberately dumbing down America’s children” and is getting worse every year.

Newman pointed to the latest data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress showing that over two-thirds of eighth-graders haven’t reached proficiency in any subject, including reading, writing, history and math.

Jessica Parnell, president of the Bridgeway Homeschool Academy in eastern Pennsylvania, reported her organization has seen an increase in home-schooling inquiries.

Parnell, herself a home-schooling parent, said many parents like her think, “I want to make sure that I’m infusing my family values and my faith values in my kids, and so home schooling becomes a fantastic way to do that.”

"As more families navigate school at home, we are seeing more and more turn to homeschooling as the better option as it affords a much more individualized approach than what classroom models can provide," she wrote in an email to The Western Journal.

"We anticipate that many will make the decision to continue in the fall as they see the benefits of tailoring curriculum to their student’s specific strengths and needs."

Moore, 76, said he is gratified to see how the home-schooling movement has matured in the 40-plus years since he and his wife decided to home-school their kids.

“The bonding and the emotional stability that a family gives children is intensified or strengthened through home schooling,” he said.

The public school system, writ large, has been a means the left has used to indoctrinate children into its statist, politically correct ideology for decades.

Maybe one of the best silver linings coming out of this whole pandemic will be millions of kids freed from the left's manipulation and now able to develop, with greater input from their parents, their God-given talents to the best of their abilities.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

The post Poll: 40% of families more likely to continue home-schooling their kids after lockdown ends appeared first on WND.


The Full Fauci Timeline: Sorting Fact From Fiction

The Full Fauci Timeline: Sorting Fact From Fiction Tyler Durden Thu, 05/21/2020 - 05:30

Authored by Kelli Ballard via,

Anthony Fauci’s name has become dinner-table familiar as people discuss the doctor’s warnings, his comments, and President Donald Trump’s responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. As usual, a firm line has been drawn between the left and right sides of the aisle: Some blame the president for all the world’s problems and declare Fauci the hero in this crisis; on the flip side, the doctor is the villain and the president has been misled and misinformed.

In truth, the whole Coronavirus fiasco has been a pile of convoluted, wishy-washy, contradictory information since the beginning. The blame game won’t fix anything, but perhaps stepping back to examine a timeline of facts and figures may bring clarity to the epic snarl of today’s social-distancing America.

Who Is Dr. Fauci?

Believe it or not, Fauci was once the captain of his high school’s basketball team in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. In 1962, he graduated from the College of the Holy Cross with a Bachelor of Arts in Classics. In 1966, he finished first in his class at Cornell University Medical College with a Doctor of Medicine. After completing his residency in internal medicine, he joined the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 1968, becoming a clinical associate in the Laboratory of Clinical Investigation at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). In 1974, he became the head of the Clinical Physiology Section and, by 1980, the chief of the Laboratory of Immunoregulation.

Fauci is no stranger to controversy surrounding his findings and methods. In the 1980s, he was one of the leading researchers during the AIDS epidemic. Protesters from the LGBTQ community believed he was ignoring them. A leading activist, playwright Larry Kramer, called him an “incompetent idiot” and a “pill-pushing tool,” although he has since changed his opinion. In 1984, Fauci became the director of NIAID and currently advises the president on the COVID-19 pandemic.

At 79, the doctor has advised six presidents on everything from HIV to biodefense drugs. Now, however, his credibility is coming into question as his contradictory statements and advice have confused the American people who want nothing more than to get back to the business of life.

The Fauci Timeline

Without going into conspiracy theories, this is a factual timeline of COVID-19 incidents, Fauci’s relevant comments, and the actions and statements of Trump and other members of his administration. As Liberty Nation’s Leesa K. Donner opined:

“As we take stock of where we are and how we got here, one name repeatedly pops up as a culpable character in this unholy mess: Dr. Anthony Fauci. There are more than a few people with an incipient suspicion that Fauci may have taken the president – and this country – for a ride. Thus, it’s worth asking if we the people have succumbed to the Great Fauci Fake-Out by shutting down America for something akin to the seasonal flu?”

First, Fauci seemed to predict this pandemic, or at least something similar, just after Trump took office:

Jan. 12, 2017: “And if there’s one message that I want to leave with you today based on my experience, and you’ll see that in a moment, is that there is no question that there will be a challenge to the coming administration in the arena of infectious diseases, both chronic infectious diseases, in the sense of already ongoing disease, and we have certainly a large burden of that, but also there will be a surprise outbreak.” [emphasis added]

Conspiracy theory? History repeating itself? The knowledge gained by the doctor? The timeline may give some insight.

It all begins with what is not so affectionately called the China Cover-up.

Dec. 16, 2019: The first Coronavirus patient was seen at Wuhan Central Hospital, according to Dr. Ai Fen.

Dec. 31: More than two dozen cases of Coronavirus were confirmed by Wuhan health authorities. Local wet markets were closed, and China informed the World Health Organization (WHO) about the “pneumonia” but said it had “found no obvious person-to-person transmission, and no medical personnel have been infected.” By this time, however, several health care workers had reportedly been infected. Also, Taiwan sent WHO an alert, claiming it was possible for the disease to transfer from human to human.

Jan. 1, 2020The New York Times used cellphone data to discover that 175,000 people left Wuhan (seven million more over the next few weeks).

Jan. 6: Dr. Fauci begins interviews to discuss the Coronavirus outbreak.

Jan. 20: China’s President Xi Jinping issued the first public statement about the virus, saying it “must be taken seriously.”

Jan. 20: Fauci announced a Coronavirus vaccine was already being worked on by the National Institutes of Health.

Jan 21: In an interview, Greg Kelly of Newsmax asked Fauci how serious the virus was. The doctor urged everyone to take the precautions that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) put out, “but this is not a major threat for the people in the United States, and this is not something that the citizens of the United States right now should be worried about.”

Jan. 23: WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus voted against declaring the outbreak a public health emergency on an international level; he was the deciding vote. Wuhan lockdown went into effect, but by this time an estimated five million people had already traveled through and left the city for other parts of the country and world.

Jan. 28: A Health and Human Services (HHS) press briefing included Fauci, Director of the CDC Robert Redfield, Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases Dr. Nancy Messonnier, and Secretary of HHS Alex Azar. Azar warned that “Americans should know that this is a potentially very serious public health threat.”

Jan. 30: The Trump administration had a conference call with state governors, Fauci, Azar, and Redfield, among others, and produced an action plan for the outbreak.

Jan. 31: Trump imposed travel restrictions to and from China.

Feb. 8: Fauci said the risk of contracting the virus is “minuscule.”

Feb. 17: Fauci told USA Today that wearing a mask is for the infected to protect others. “Now, in the United States, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to wear a mask.”

Feb. 20:  WHO reported 77,000 COVID-19 cases worldwide.

Feb. 24: The Trump administration requested $2.5 billion from Congress to fight the Coronavirus. On the same day, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) toured San Francisco’s Chinatown, telling residents to support the neighborhood. “That’s what we’re trying to do today is to say everything is fine here,” she said. “Come because precautions have been taken. The city is on top of the situation.”

Feb. 29: The first Coronavirus death was reported in Seattle, WA.

Feb. 29: WHO said that it “continues to advise against the application of travel restrictions to countries experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks.”

Feb. 29: Fauci talks to the Today Show about “community spread” but “right now, at this moment, there is no need to change anything you’re doing on a day-to-day basis.”

March 9: Fauci tells reporters that young, healthy people can go on a cruise if they’d like. “If you are a healthy young person, there is no reason if you want to go on a cruise ship, go on a cruise ship.”

March 26: In an article for The New England Journal of Medicine, Fauci said, “… the overall clinical consequences of COVID-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968) rather than a disease similar to SARS or MERS, which have had case fatality rates of 9 to 10% and 36%, respectively.”

April 28: Fauci said he is hopeful that a vaccine will be developed by the winter.

April 30: Fauci said he is “almost certain” the virus will return in the winter, yet he is optimistic for a vaccine.

May 12: Fauci now says the likelihood of developing a treatment or vaccine by the fall is “a bridge too far.”

To be fair, the doctor did warn on several occasions that things could change if we reached “community spreading.” But, looking over the progress of Coronavirus in the United States and the responses of experts, is it any wonder that the American people are bewildered?

*  *  *

As "Summer Sausage" summed up  so succinctly:

Fauci 2005: Hydroxycholoroquine is found to substantially reduce the corona virus load

Fauci 2020: Generic hydroxcholoroquine does nothing to reduce the corona virus load even though 50% fewer people taking it at NYU-Langone went to ICU. But expensive Remdisivir is amazing. Instead of 12 people dying, only 9 died!

*  *  *

Be sure to check LN’s China-WHO timeline for more facts.


Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Written order shows state falsely claiming 'isolation camps' are 'voluntary'


(U.S. Army Photo by Capt. Leyda Ocasio-Kanzler)

A Washington state lawmaker is alerting citizens to "isolation camps" set up in his state and others to house people who become infected with COVID-19, warning that contrary to the conventional narrative, they are not voluntary.

State Republican Rep. Matt Shea of the Spokane area in eastern Washington, explained in a video interview with The New American magazine that the camps are part of Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee's policy of contract tracing, which has been implemented by many states.

He explained that the tracers visit people who may have been infected and advise them they can isolate at a center to protect other members of their household.

While the infected person may be asked to volunteer, the government makes it clear that people can be forcibly quarantined, Shea pointed out.

He read a line from a form that local health officers are to present to someone who is infected.

It says: "If you do not comply with this request for voluntary quarantine I may/will sign a detention order, enforced by the police, to ensure your compliance."

Shea said the centers are being set up at county fairgrounds, and he is hearing of it happening in other states.

He noted that another element of the contact tracing in Washington state was Inslee's order that restaurants log the names and contact information of anyone who sits down to eat. Fierce opposition to the policy led to the governor withdrawing the measure.

Shea said that media, acknowledging there are isolation camps, have called the claim that they are not voluntary a "conspiracy theory."

Facebook, in fact, has been censoring posts he said, insisting it is voluntary.

But it's not voluntary, he pointed out, when you have a "detention order, enforced by police" to ensure compliance.

The Washingon State Department of Health issued a statement May 15 "on misinformation circulating about quarantine orders and facilities in Washington state."

The state insisted actions regarding isolation and quarantine "are voluntary and confidential, despite the misinformation being spread by some."

But later in the statement, the health department says "local health officers" have the authority to "involuntary isolate or quarantine an individual."

"Each local health jurisdiction in Washington has plans and processes in place should involuntary isolation or quarantine be needed," the statement says.

See the interview with Matt Shea:

Ventura Highway

WND reported earlier this month the health director for California's Ventura County declared at a news conference that he had mobilized teams who were prepared to remove people infected with the coronavirus from their homes.

Dr. Robert Levin, who was announcing the launch of a pilot program called Community Contact Tracing, was forced to clarify his remarks after many country residents understood him to be saying that people could be forcibly removed from the homes.

The county's public information officer, Ashley Bautista, told WND she had been dealing with the reponses of confused and angry citizens.

"So people were feeling like Dr. Levin was saying that the county is going to rip people out of their houses, and that's just not the case," she said.

However, she acknowledged that "legally speaking, a public health officer has the authority to do that."

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, every state, the District of Columbia and most territories have laws authorizing quarantine and isolation, usually through the state’s health authority.


The post Written order shows state falsely claiming 'isolation camps' are 'voluntary' appeared first on WND.


Unprecedented: Obama bureaucrat brags about blocking HCQ drug


How could a cheap, effective drug, FDA-approved and in use worldwide since 1955, suddenly be restricted for outpatient use by American physicians? On March 28, 2020, as physicians worldwide were seeing striking success using hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19, the FDA erected bureaucratic barriers.

Rick Bright, Ph.D., is an FDA bureaucrat, vaccine researcher and was appointed by President Obama on Nov. 15, 2016, to head BARDA (Biomedical Advance Research and Development Authority, a sub-agency of the FDA). In an unprecedented move, Bright expanded his power and claimed credit for being the person imposing his will on all of us.

In an appalling admission, Bright said: "Specifically, and contrary to misguided directives, I limited the broad use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, promoted by the administration as a panacea, but which clearly lack scientific merit." Meanwhile, he promoted both remdesivir, a never-approved experimental antiviral in development by Gilead Sciences, and a vaccine for COVID-19. Early effective use of the older, safe and available hydroxychloroquine, whose patents had expired decades ago, would decrease demand for these new products.

Rick Bright's dictatorial decree limits the use of chloroquine (CQ) and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) from the National Strategic Stockpile in COVID-19 to hospitalized patients only. States are using Bright's fiat to impose broad restrictions limiting the drugs' availability for physicians to use for outpatients to help them recover without hospitalization.

In other countries, early use in outpatients is changing the life-and-death equation by reducing severity and spread of illness, greatly reducing the need for hospitalization and ventilators and markedly reducing deaths.

By his own admission, Rick Bright, who is not a physician, knowingly and unilaterally countermanded Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, Adm. Giroir in charge of Public Health Service and the president of the United States, who had directed BARDA to establish a Nationwide Expanded Access Investigational New Drug ("IND") protocol for chloroquine, which would provide significantly greater outpatient access for the drug than would an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Unlike an EUA, a Nationwide Expanded Access IND protocol would make the drug available for the treatment of COVID-19 outside a hospital setting at physicians' medical discretion based on patients' needs.

How does one non-physician bureaucrat have such power with impunity? How can one person brag about blocking physicians' attempt to reduce hospitalization and deaths during a national emergency?

It is a falsehood to say that the administration promoted HCQ as a "panacea" or that this medicine "clearly lacks scientific merit." Both statements are contradicted by video recordings of presidential briefings, by NIH/CDC studies going back 15 years, and by U.S. and worldwide clinical outcomes studies in COVID-19.

It is unprecedented to restrict physicians from prescribing FDA-approved drugs for a newly discovered use – "off-label." This is contrary to FDA regulations in place since World War II.

Basic science studies published in 2005 from our own CDC and NIH showed clearly that CQ and HCQ work early in SARS-CoV to block viral entry and multiplication, and suggested that they would not work as well in late-stage disease when the viral load had become huge. When SARS-CoV-1 waned and disappeared by late 2003, the drugs were not submitted for FDA-approval for this coronavirus.

In 2019, when Chinese doctors recognized the deadly impact of SARS-CoV-2, they began trying known and available anti-viral medicines, especially CQ and HCQ, based on 15-year-old studies. They shared information with South Korea, India, Turkey, Iran and several other countries, which also began quickly and successfully using CQ and HCQ, alone or with azithromycin. Later, Brazil, Israel, Costa Rica, Australia and others followed, with good results.

Based on these initial clinical reports, President Trump said, at an early press briefing, that CQ and HCQ "offered hope."

More studies have replicated these findings. HCQ given within the first week of symptoms, especially with zinc, can prevent the virus from entering your body's cells and taking over, much like people use locks and alarms to stop burglaries. Waiting until you are in the ICU is like installing home locks and alarm system after burglars have invaded, vandalized your home and stolen all your valuables. The drugs cannot reliably undo the damage from the exaggerated immune response, or cytokine storm, triggered by COVID-19.

Examples from the world data on May 18, 2020, which is updated daily, show how Third World countries are faring far better than the U.S., where entrenched bureaucrats, governors, and medical and pharmacy boards are interfering with physicians' medical decisions.

Instead of orchestrating a war on HCQ, the media should be asking key questions, such as:

  • How does ONE person, by his own admission, block directives from his superiors to expand availability of HCQ for outpatients and nursing home patients in the U.S.?
  • What is the cost in lives and economic damage resulting from one person's decision to restrict physicians' independent medical decision-making?
  • How many nursing home deaths could have been prevented if physicians had been allowed early access to HCQ?
  • Why are U.S. doctors and nurses prevented from using HCQ prophylactically when workers in China, South Korea, India, Brazil, Argentina, Israel, Australia, Turkey, France and other countries can be protected?
  • Why does the U.S., with its a much more sophisticated medical infrastructure, have a much higher mortality rate than poor countries?

Bright's disastrous bureaucratic decision may well be remembered as one of the worst preventable medical tragedies in our time. Never again should one government employee be allowed unrestrained power without oversight, and be allowed to make a sweeping order interfering with the prescribing authority of front-line physicians trying to save lives.


The post Unprecedented: Obama bureaucrat brags about blocking HCQ drug appeared first on WND.


Colleges try to block Congress from accessing documents detailing China ties



(THE COLLEGE FIX) -- Attorneys for universities under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education are trying to block Congress from obtaining records that detail the schools’ ties with China, according to a May 19 letter exclusively obtained by The College Fix.

The letter, written by the Education Department’s General Counsel Reed Rubinstein, tells lawmakers who requested the documents that the universities’ lawyers “claimed Freedom of Information Act exemptions and legal privileges to block record production to Congress.”

Rubinstein wrote that some schools may be overly aggressive in marking some documents “confidential” or “privileged.”

Read the full story ›

The post Colleges try to block Congress from accessing documents detailing China ties appeared first on WND.


'Plandemic' Documentary

Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Mercola, unless otherwise noted. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked.


Tuesday, May 19, 2020

"This Was Some Shady Stuff": Treasury Department Spied On Flynn, Manafort And Trump Family

"This Was Some Shady Stuff": Treasury Department Spied On Flynn, Manafort And Trump Family Tyler Durden Tue, 05/19/2020 - 18:25

The US Treasury Department was regularly spying on Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, Paul Manafort Jr., senior staffers on the 2016 Trump campaign, members of the Trump family, and congressional lawmakers, according to The Tennessee Star's Neil W. McCabe.

"I started seeing things that were not correct, so I did my own little investigation, because I wanted to make sure what I was seeing was correct," a former senior Treasury Department official and veteran of the intelligence community told McCabe. "You never want to draw attention to something if there is not anything there," she added.

The whistleblower said she only saw metadata, that is names and dates when the general’s financial records were accessed. “I never saw what they saw.”

By March 2016, the whistleblower said she and a colleague, who was detailed to Treasury from the intelligence community, became convinced that the surveillance of Flynn was not tied to legitimate criminal or national security concerns, but was straight-up political surveillance among other illegal activity occurring at Treasury.

“When I showed it to her, what she said, ‘Oh, sh%t!’ and I knew right then and there that I was right – this was some shady stuff,” the whistleblower said.

“It wasn’t just him,” the whistleblower said. “They were targeting other U.S. citizens, as well.” -The Tennessee Star

"Another thing they would do is take targeted names from a certain database – I cannot name, but you can guess – and they were going over to an unclassified database and they were running those names in the unclassified database," she added.

The scheme allowed the perpetrators to circumvent classified avenues to surveil Americans. Once enough information had been gathered against a target, they would use a different type of search.

In March 2017, the whistleblower filed a complaint with Acting Treasury Inspector General Richard K. Delmar, who never followed up on the matter despite acknowledging receipt of the compaint. Prior to that, she filed an August 2016 notification which was rejected as it didn't meet the requirements of a formal complaint.

In May 2017, she filed another complaint with the Office of Special Counsel.

This surveillance program was run out of Treasury’s Office of Intelligence Analysis, which was then under the leadership of S. Leslie Ireland. Ireland came to OIA in 2010 after a long tenure at the Central Intelligence Agency and a one-year stint as Obama’s daily in-person intelligence briefer.

The whistleblower said Treasury should never have been part of the unmasking of Flynn, because its surveillance operation was off-the-books. That is to say, the Justice Department never gave the required approval to the Treasury program, and so there were no guidelines, approvals nor reports that would be associated with a DOJ-sanctioned domestic surveillance operation. -The Tennessee Star

"Accessing this information without approved and signed attorney general guidelines would violate U.S. persons constitutional rights and civil liberties," said the whistleblower, adding "IC agencies have to adhere to Executive Order 12333, or as it is known in the community: E.O. 12-Triple-Three. Just because OIA does not have signed guidelines does not give them the power or right to operate as they want, if you want information on a U.S. person then work with the FBI on a Title III, if it is a U.S. person involved with a foreign entity then follow the correct process for a FISA, but without signed AG guidelines you cannot even get started."


The Smoking Gun Proving SARS-CoV-2 Is an Engineered Virus

Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Mercola, unless otherwise noted. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked.


Monday, May 18, 2020

Hydroxychloroquine: A Cardiologist's View

THIS IS WRONG. — Louis E. Grenzer, M.D.


"Bumper Tables" For Socially-Distant Dining Appear In Maryland

"Bumper Tables" For Socially-Distant Dining Appear In Maryland Tyler Durden Mon, 05/18/2020 - 21:05

Vistors are headed back to Ocean City, Maryland's beach and boardwalk after Gov. Larry Hogan relaxes the stay-at-home order. At one restaurant over the weekend, a post-corona world was recognized with what is being called a socially distant dining experience, reported The Baltimore Sun.

Shaped like a giant donut with an outer perimeter lined with an inner tube, the socially distant tables were custom made for Fish Tales waterfront restaurant. The restaurant posted a Facebook Live video of employees unloading the new tables from a large box truck. 

"It's like a bumper boat, but it's a table," Fish Tales owner Shawn Harmon told Delmarva Daily Times, referring to the design of the table, which was created by a Baltimore-based design firm. 

A customer stands in the center of the table surrounded by a rubber barrier that keeps patrons about six-feet apart. The tables have wheels and allow patrons to move around the restaurant. 

Several months of lockdowns have led to restaurants and bars shuttering operations across Maryland -- except for carryout and delivery service. The state inched into phase one of its Roadmap to Recovery, dining in could become a reality later this year, that is if a second virus wave doesn't materialize

Fish Tales is providing curbside and carryout service at the moment, with preparations to reopen its restaurant and bar when restrictions are lifted. 

This restaurant in Maryland intends to use bumper tables to keep customers six feet apart once it begins to take seated diners.

— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 18, 2020

Erin Cermak, the owner of Revolution, the firm responsible for designing and producing the tables, said: "we're an event company, and events have taken a hard hit, so we've been trying to figure out a way that events and things can still happen." 

She said they've gotten an "incredible reaction" so far and are in discussions with other restaurants. 

Hogan made the announcement last week to relax stay-at-home orders and reopen the state. Though reopening the state will not return Maryland nor any other part of the country back to 2019 growth levels. Businesses and households have been finally damaged because of lockdowns. 

Current US reopening timeline 

At least a quarter of restaurants in the US are expected to fail. Many that remain open will have to develop creative technologies with social distancing in mind to attract patrons. 

We noted last week, McDonald's opened a prototype restaurant outfitted with a new social distancing layout. The move is to test new safety measures for guests and employees that will limit the spread of the virus once lockdowns are relaxed. 

The restaurant industry will be severely impacted and might not return to 2019 activity levels for years.