Saturday, May 30, 2020

Lab escape theory of SARS-CoV-2 origin gaining scientific support

“We can’t exclude the possibility that this came from a laboratory experiment rather than from an animal” – Prof Nikolai Petrovsky The possibility that SARS-CoV-2 is a human-manipulated virus that escaped from a lab has been flagged up by a whole series of scientists, such as Prof Richard Eb


Nothing Is Certain But Death, Taxes, And Police Infiltration Of US Protests


A video has been circulating of a white man casually smashing the windows of a Minneapolis shop with a hammer during protests against the police murder of George Floyd. The man is clearly trying to hide his identity by wearing a gas mask, carrying a large umbrella, and wearing full-length black clothing.

Protesters can be seen intervening to stop his destructive behavior in the video.

“Are you a fucking cop?” one asks.

An officer with the Saint Paul Police Department has been publicly named by someone identified as the officer’s ex-wife, who said his voice, walk and gas mask made her “90% sure” it was him. The Saint Paul Police Department has denied this.

Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t, but it is a very safe bet that it’s a law enforcement officer of some kind. Disruptive police infiltration of protest movements is a historical constant in America, after all. It is the norm, not the exception.

Protests have spread throughout the United States since that video’s emergence. Journalist Max Blumenthal has uploaded a very interesting video of an encounter he had with an undercover cop posing as a protester in Washington, DC.

Look what I found outside #dcprotest. An obvious cop dressed like a protester getting out of an unmarked car and telling me he's a CNN reporter. Beware of the lying provocateurs out here!

 — @MaxBlumenthal

Blumenthal began following a man he reports he’d spotted coming out of an unmarked vehicle in an area that had been completely sealed off by marked police cars, meaning the police were restricting who came and went from that area. Blumenthal began questioning the man, asking him if he’d been to the protests and if he was a cop. The man said he’d been to the protests but denied he was a cop, saying that he worked with CNN.

Blumenthal then went to the unmarked vehicle the man had come from, where two more men were seated. He asked them if they were cops, which they denied, then asked if they were with CNN, which they also denied, saying they were “just hanging out”. Blumenthal informed them that he’d just caught the fake protester in a lie, at which point they rolled up the car window.

Local outlet KHOU 11 News was told by the Houston police department that protests over George Floyd’s murder would be attended by both “uniformed officers and plain-clothed officers”. This admission cannot be found in KHOU’s reporting any longer, but it has been screenshotted and still shows up on Google searches as of this writing.

In New York, protesters have conclusively worked out that cops posing as demonstrators are currently wearing white armbands to identify each other. Ways of identifying plain-clothes cops are being circulated by protesters on social media.

None of these people are paranoid or irrational. For generations it has been a well-established fact that police will reliably infiltrate protests and political movements, and it remains so to this day.

be careful they puttin undercover cops in the Houston protests

 — @rockonaoki

From J Edgar Hoover’s illicit COINTELPRO infiltration campaign to “expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise Neutralize” dissident political movements, all the way up to infiltration and espionage targeting Black Lives Matter and Occupy protesters, police infiltration of American protests has been as certain as death and taxes.

A 2012 Truthdig article by Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers titled “Infiltration of Political Movements Is the Norm in America” goes into this time-honored tradition at some length. Here’s an excerpt [bold font mine]:

How many agents or infiltrators can we expect to see inside a movement? One of the most notorious “police riots” was at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Independent journalist Yasha Levine writes: “During the 1968 protests of the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, which drew about 10,000 protesters and was brutally crushed by the police, 1 out of 6 protesters was a federal undercover agent. That’s right, 1/6th of the total protesting population was made up of spooks drawn from various federal agencies. That’s roughly 1,600 people! The stat came from an Army document obtained by CBS News in 1978, a full decade after the protest took place. According to CBS, the infiltrators were not passive observers, monitoring and relaying information to central command, but were involved in violent confrontations with the police.”
Peter Camejo, who ran as a Socialist Workers Party candidate for president in 1976, as a Green Party candidate for governor of California in 2003 and as Ralph Nader’s vice presidential running mate in 2004, often told of infiltration in his mid-’70s presidential campaign. After campaign offices were burglarized, Camejo was able to get the FBI into court by suing it over COINTELPRO activities. The judge asked the FBI special agent in charge how many FBI agents had worked in Camejo’s presidential campaign; the answer was 66. Camejo estimated he had a campaign staff of 400 across the country. Once again that would be an infiltration rate of about one in six. Camejo discovered that among the agents was his campaign co-chair. He also discovered eavesdropping equipment in a campaign office and documents showing the FBI had followed him since he was an 18-year-old student activist.

One in six. That’s a whole lot.

Big FYI: For years, NYPD have had undercover cops deployed based on a color of the day model. Today it's white, tomorrow could be green. Not always an armband.

 — @britrican

This is important for all of us to be aware of, not just the people attending these protests. Any time we are told a protester threw this or rioters set fire that, we must take this information with a very large grain of salt, because we usually won’t be able to know it wasn’t an undercover cop acting as an agent provocateur to shape a narrative and justify more use of force to disperse the crowd. The idiot with the umbrella did it in a very ham-fisted and obvious way, and we can expect other police infiltrators to be more clever about it as well.

This is not to say none of the anger we’ve seen exhibited at these protests is real and grassroots; people have a lot to be angry about, and surely much of the destruction we’re seeing is the organic result of way too many people being pushed way too far by a cruel and abusive system. It’s just to say that we should all be as skeptical as we would be when dealing with any other narratives we know powerful factions have a vested interest in manipulating, and not treat any claim about protester behavior as a certain fact.

The powerful few are afraid of the many. Always have been, always will be. And there’s nothing they and their goon squad won’t do to try and rein in any group which poses a threat to their power if they can get away with it.


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A Bolt in the Dark


The scene is of the world falling apart:

It is the late spring of 1942. We are in the city of Turin in the north-west of Italy, near the border of Nazi-occupied France. Mussolini’s Blackshirts march through the streets. Every few days the anxiety and senselessness of the moment is cracked by the whine of British bombers, who have made their way from the Allied invasion of North Africa. On occasion, they fly over the city, releasing their cargo as families scramble to their basements, despite the risk of being trapped beneath the rubble of their precarious homes—the fate of so many.

Amid this chaos, along one ordinary street within a quite common home, there is a young Jewish-Italian woman at work. She is tall, probably 30, with dark hair and hawkish features. She is toiling away at her bedroom desk, her eyes fixed on the task before her. She is holding make-shift micro-scalpels that she has ground from sewing needles. To her left, there is a powerful Zeiss microscope and a syringe filled with a dark-silver fluid. To her right, there is what appears to be an incubator, also make-shift, fashioned from bent pieces of wood that is being warmed by a small, portable oven. Inside the incubator lie over a dozen fertilized chick eggs.

Perched over her nest, scalpel in hand, Rita Levi-Montalcini delicately rotates her wrist, carving a small window into one of the eggs. Peering inside, she sees the growing embryo—she estimates it is on its eighth day of development. With imperial attention, RLM uses her scalpel to sever a wing bud of the growing chick, carefully avoiding the entanglement of arteries coiled below the embryo’s translucent skin. RLM then re-covers the little window with the bit of eggshell she had removed and a piece of tape and then tenderly places the egg back into the incubator.

Rita Levi-Montalcini was trying to solve a problem.

Look down at your hands for a moment. Move your fingers slowly and deliberately. Your decision to move your fingers begins on the outermost crust of your brain (cortex). That signal is then sent down through one long nerve (upper motor neuron) until it reaches about halfway down your spinal cord, where that first nerve activates a second long nerve (lower motor neuron) that sends its signal from your spine out through your arm and into your fingers. In other words, just two nerves connect the top of your head to the tips of your fingers. Even more incredibly, your nerves were not initially connected to their correct locations. During your development the nerves grew out from the spine through your body until they reached their correct target. How did your body do this? How did your brain and the spine send their nerves through your body, bringing your limbs under the brain’s command?

A chick that has had its limb transplanted.

To answer this question RLM constructed her “Robinson Crusoe” laboratory in her bedroom. Here, she would destroy a bit of a growing chick’s periphery (a leg or a wing bud) and then allow the chick to grow for several more days. Then, she would cease the development of the chick by injecting it with a dark-silver solution that would fossilize its growing nerves at a single moment of their growth. Gazing at their silvered nervous systems below her microscope, RLM would then compare the development of nerves on the side of the spine with and without the destroyed limb. RLM found that when she destroyed a wing bud, the nerves that would normally innervate that limb withered and died. She also found that if she added a bit of tissue, sewing the severed limb bud to the embryo’s opposite side, the corresponding section of spinal cord—now projecting its nerves towards two limbs—would balloon. Rita Levi-Montalcini theorized that the limbs were releasing plumes of a life-giving chemical that caused the nerves to grow, what she called a “trophic factor.” When the limb was destroyed, so too was the trophic factor, causing the nerves to atrophy. When a second limb was added, additional factor was produced, causing excess growth.

All of this she did with the buzz of planes overhead and the sound of soldiers in the streets.

Consider this story again for a just a moment, not as a movie or some epic from history but actually as something you would do. Imagine the world is falling apart around you. Outside your window there is only chaos. In RLM’s case, the scientists of her own country declared her race to be biologically distinct from the main population. Airplanes begin to drop bombs on your city. And yet, you decide to spend your time dissecting chick embryos so you can explore some esoteric neuro-embryological problem about the effect of peripheral limb tissue on the central nerve growth. And you have no idea if you will make a breakthrough or survive to report it if you do. Can we even sympathize with a person like this? What can Rita Levi-Montalcini possibly be made of? She appears to have stridden across the stage of history and done the impossible.

When the war finally came to an end, RLM was able to prove the existence of her theorized “trophic factor.” She left Italy and moved to the United States, to Washington University in St. Louis. There, she and her biochemist collaborator Stanley Cohen conducted a series of experiments that allowed them to isolate RLM’s mysterious factor in powerful concentration. They called it Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), the first of a broad class of growth factors the body uses to organize during its development. They would win the Nobel Prize in 1986 for their discovery.

I want to insist that, though Rita Levi-Montalcini’s discovery belongs in the annals of history as one of the greatest stories of scientific discovery of all time, her own reflections of her life and work reveal something common about what we are capable of in the midst of crisis.

The first aspect of RLM’s reflection (all from her 1988 autobiography, In Praise of Imperfection) addresses an obvious issue: None of us are sitting on Nobel Prize-winning ideas that we are waiting to hatch with a few months of downtime. Neither was RLM. After RLM was banned from working in the Italian universities in the fall of 1938, she tried to continue her research by traveling to Belgium and then later by working secretly as a doctor in Italy. But the threat of being exposed to the Fascists became too great, and she resigned herself to functional house arrest. There she “took refuge in reading and cultivating relationships with the many friends who scorned the danger of being accused of pietism.” RLM did not know what else to do.

For eight whole months RLM resigned herself in defeat. Then a very ordinary experience wrenched her from her stupor. A friend asked RLM what new projects she was working on. She had no response—nothing. Annoyed, her friend told to her to call Santiago Ramón y Cajal to mind, the 19th century Spanish neuroscientist whose fundamental work was done in poverty and isolation. “One doesn’t lose hope in the face of difficulties,” he said. Take up your work. Uncertain but inspired, RLM decided to take a step into the dark.

According to RLM, “the pleasure I was already savoring in anticipation [of my research] was enhanced by the prospect of carrying out the project under the conditions contingent on the prohibitive racial laws (italics mine).” In other words, RLM’s conception of persecution and tragedy was inverted, like a Necker cube, to see her social isolation as opportunity. For RLM, the atmospherics of fascism would no longer choke her work; instead, the very laws mandating her to stop her work would fuel it. It was as though she glimpsed herself in history, grasping what it would mean for her to conduct her work amid the decay of an intellectual and cultural holocaust.

Perhaps such a grand sense of one’s own historical importance is what we would expect from such an epic story. It affirms our common sense of what it must be like to be a genius. Only the real übermensch could create their own agency from the broken shards of their life.

But it would be a mistake to think RLM generally had a vivid sense of purpose. In fact, RLM’s work grew slowly and circuitously. Like the embryonic nerves she studied, RLM’s development as a scientist was proximal: It was guided not towards some ultimate target—she did not know the terminal discovery of her experiments (or if they would yield any discovery at all). Instead, like the growing nerves, she oriented herself towards the nearest source of sustenance, whatever experiment she could use to spend her time meaningfully and deliberately.

Indeed, after deciding she would take up a research project, she still did not even know what she would study. Before the war, RLM had been a young neuroscientist with a blossoming career. But now, she did not have the materials nor the expertise to conduct her experiments alone. So she did something simple. She did not create a new, unprecedented experiment. Instead, she copied another scientist’s experiment, part for part, as a way of checking his conclusions and filling her time.

In other words, RLM’s motivation and decision to start working again preceded her idea for the project itself. She did not know what she would do; she simply made the decision that she would do something. And when she did make the decision to begin a project, she did not begin thinking “outside-the-box.” She was not attempting to do something innovative. Instead, RLM approached how she would fill her time from within her box. She simply started a project she knew she could accomplish. The fact that she studied development was not an accident—eggs were one of the only available sources of food. And indeed, she and her family even used many of her used experimental eggs for sustenance.

Her experience of daily living was also far calmer than in those riveting moments thinking of Cajal after the conversation with her friend. Again in her autobiography, she reflects that her ability to devote herself to “solving this small neuro-embryological problem while German armies were advancing throughout Europe… lies in the desperate and partially unconscious desire of human beings to ignore what is happening in situations where full awareness might lead one to self-destruction.” Perhaps in a moment of fire and waste, when everything is outside your control, the most natural thing is to find a lacuna of quiet, sense, and control.

Here, we do not see the immortal genius. We see someone terrified, someone who does not know what the next day and week will bring.

And yet, in this quiet that she created for herself, RLM was able to stir herself steadily towards a long-term project of deliberate work. Contrary to what appears like an effortless hypothesis that RLM conjured after a graceful experiment, RLM constructed her “neurotrophic hypothesis” not all at once but in fragments over the course of many years. From her Robinson Crusoe laboratory, she was able to make her preliminary conclusions only after months of uninterrupted, ceaseless work.

The primacy of enduring work has been known by historians of great innovators and scientists for many decades. Indeed, the creative process is not solely about novelty and utility. It is also about duration and deliberation. Consider the apocryphal but pervasive stories of the creative genius who is effortlessly struck by a moment of rapturous insight: Archimedes, Newton, Franklin, Darwin, Einstein. I am not suggesting people do not have moments of insight, of course. Instead, I am suggesting that insight is but the punctuation of long periods of thinking and work. To borrow the historical psychologist Howard Gruber’s striking metaphor, moments of insight are akin to the white crest of a wave while the daily trench of work is akin to the greater body of water: The crest of insight is the wave’s most beautiful element, but it is only possible because of a much longer, deeper structure of thought and work that sustains and stabilizes it.

A second metaphor may be helpful for considering the relationship between insight, work, and creativity. Consider the kiln. The burning heat of the kiln (the insight) hardens brick (knowledge), making it durable, and imbues it with a color and meaning. But no building can be constructed in a blaze. The whole laborious process of constructing an edifice of knowledge, scolded by insight, is more properly considered the creative enterprise.

Rita Levi-Montalcini

This point is sharpened by contrasting pervasive motifs of creativity with the view embodied by Rita Levi-Montalcini. Modern motifs of creativity, which draw from our apocryphal stories, are of spontaneity, effortlessness, blossoming association, unlimited connectivity, and frictionless ideation. In this view, creativity is characterized by flashing lightbulbs, bursting Eurekas!, and the euphoria of manic genius. The view embodied by Rita Levi-Montalcini is of almost monkish commitment to one’s craft, of the austerity of daily practice, and of the long and strenuous process of engraving character. Rita Levi-Montalcini’s work resembles the wave and the kiln.

Perhaps the story of Rita Levi-Montalcini still sounds unrelatable. Perhaps she still seems to exist on another plane of existence that doesn’t include everyday people. However unlikely her story is, we can learn from the challenges she faced and the solutions to which she resolved herself.

The chaos of any moment, especially of a moment that requires one to spend a great deal of time alone, is an opportunity to engage with this deliberative way of living. On occasion, like RLM, we may become aware of ourselves and what it means for us to carry out our work in the midst of ensuing crisis. But in the daily trenches of life, while the world outside one’s window spirals, we have the choice to create our own lacunas of quiet, sense, and control, where we can strive to direct our energy toward long-term, meaningful projects that enliven not only ourselves but the world to which we will eventually return.


Erik Sheagren is a graduate student studying Cognitive Science in Education at Columbia University’s Teachers College.

This story will be part of a longer chronicle entitled “Improvising Education” that will be published by Routledge/Taylor & Francis in 2021.

The post A Bolt in the Dark appeared first on Quillette.


Friday, May 29, 2020

Ominous Convergence


Clusterfuck Nation
For your reading pleasure Mondays and Fridays

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And so, with the unjust killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the quest for cosmic justice resumes — that is, the justice that settles all the scores of racial grievance for all time, which, of course, is unlikely to be satisfied by any means. Mr. Floyd was killed by police officer Derek Chauvin who knelt on Mr. Floyd’s neck for eight minutes with the full force of his weight while three other officers stupidly stood by watching and failed to intervene until Mr. Floyd was dead.

This time, there was no ambiguity in the killing, unlike the 2014 shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, that sparked a season of riots. Video from a bystander’s phone shows Officer Chauvin stupidly killing Mr. Floyd. The four policemen have reportedly been fired (NBC News), but no one has been charged yet. Two days of protests and nighttime riots have commenced in that city and are now spreading to cities around the country. With Memorial Day in the rearview mirror, you might say, as the old song goes, that summer’s here and the time is right for fighting in the streets.

It appears that the Progressive Left is all for letting it rip. Their chief signaling device, The New York Times, ran this headline today: “National Guard Called as Minneapolis Erupts in Solidarity for George Floyd.”

That sounds to me a bit like a stamp-of-approval for a lawlessly violent response to an act of official stupidity. Is The Times in solidarity with the mayhem? Which raises some questions: how much rioting, looting, and arson will be enough to satisfy that sense of solidarity in the quest for justice? Three nights? Three weeks? Three months? Will it cease if and when Officer Chauvin is charged with murder or manslaughter? How much rioting, looting, and arson will the authorities in other cities allow to rip before they move to forcefully stop it? Does all this disorder amplify itself in a feedback loop as it plays out?

Those would be tough questions in ordinary times, but we’re in an extraordinary convergence of crises that includes an unresolved Covid-19 pandemic, an unprecedented economic collapse, and the furious after-effects of a failed political coup that steeped the nation in delusion, institutional breakdown, and factional enmity. Black America is not the only group in the land that has an axe to grind.

For instance, with over 30-million suddenly unemployed, facing bankruptcy one way or another, maybe even eviction and hunger, and tens of thousands of small businesses failing, what will be the public mood if the stock markets keep shooting up and up and up, as they’ve been doing for a month? Those rising share values, which enrich a tiny percentage of the public, are a direct result of the Federal Reserve inflating the national debt by “printing” money-from-thin-air. It comes in the form of bonds, the interest on which ultimately has to be paid by taxpayers. Many will not fail to notice that it smells like a scam. Will the economically floundering public revolt against it? Will they take to the streets and start burning down things other than police stations and AutoZones?

Could all that intersect with black street violence in cities across the land? A hint was suggested in cable TV video of rioters on the streets in Minneapolis hoisting a sign that said “kill all white people!” The Progressive Left has indulged and excused sentiments like that for years. (Remember New York Times editorial board hire, Sarah Jeong, tweeting “#CancelWhitePeople” and “dumbass fucking white people”?) What if those maledictions are acted out? Does the Left, including the Democratic Party, want to ignite a race war in America on top of a second great depression in a plague year?

Once cycles of violence are set in motion, they are very difficult to stop. The animosities between different groups in the USA are not so different in character from what’s been seen in other places around the world in recent times: the strife in Northern Ireland, the breakup of Yugoslavia, the civil war in Lebanon, the factional fighting in Libya, Syria, Iraq. All of them grew out of quests for cosmic justice, and all of those conflicts produced lasting damage to the societies they inflamed.

Donald Trump may appear poorly suited to presiding over such a national crackup. Many will accuse him of instigating it. Whatever he does is liable to be construed as wrong by half the nation, whether he acts decisively to put down actual insurrection, or dithers inconclusively while cities burn. His Democratic rival, Joe Biden, appears even less credibly capable of managing a crisis. He is, in fact, a Potemkin candidate for president, a stalking horse for forces and persons mysteriously awaiting emergence in Milwaukee around mid-August. It looks like some people will have to start deciding some things.

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Just Published ! ! !


Attention Movie Producers!
JHK’s screenplay in hard-copy edition

Click to order!

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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The post Ominous Convergence appeared first on Kunstler.


gallery US Has Killed More Than 20 Million People in 37 “Victim Nations” Since World War II

This carefully researched article by James A. Lucas  documents the more than 20 million lives lost resulting from US led wars, military coups and intelligence ops carried out in the wake of what is euphemistically called the “post-war era” (1945- ).


Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows: Section 1.  Policy.  Free speech is the bedrock of American democracy.


Internet Suspects Cops Provoking Riots as Shadowy Man in Black Caught Smashing Up Autozone

Minneapolis, MN — Dozens of businesses and other buildings in Minneapolis, near the police department’s third precinct, were hit hard with vandalism this week, with some of them being completely burned to the ground. There was undoubtedly some organic intent behind this destruction.


Netflix docuseries softpedals Clinton ties to Jeffrey Epstein

Netflix’s Democratic ties run deep, from its litany of left-leaning content to its highest profile board member, former Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice. That doesn’t count the streaming platform’s megadeal with Barack and Michelle Obama.


READ: President Trump's Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship



After widespread complaints about what many see as partisan censorship tactics deployed by Facebook, Twitter, Google, President Trump today signed the following executive order: Read the order on the White House site here. By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is […]


The Tests: The Achilles Heel of the COVID-19 House of Cards


Looking for more truth and getting closer to the truth is the best antidote to fear.

Global Research, May 28, 2020

“The tool is not the problem, it’s what we do with it.”

– Tests which are not reliable!
–  False negatives (real patients not detected).
– False positives (patients who are not positive)
– Tests that detect fragments of the virus and not the virus itself!
– Tests that don’t quantify the viral load, the most important thing…
– Test kits infected with the virus itself: you could catch it by getting tested!

So, you’ve been tested? Negative? Positive?

Maybe you’re like most people, eager to find out if you’ve got it or better yet, prove that you’re immune to the VID thing.

With this article, I don’t want to add a layer of fear to the pandemic of panic spread by our dear media in recent months.

Nevertheless, even if some people don’t want to “know anything” and will do whatever they are told to do [1]:

E.g. Wear a mask everywhere all the time, stay away from your family and friends, don’t dare to go out or take public transport without your “armour and visor”, don’t dare to touch anything without wearing gloves stuck to the skin as a result of sweating…  Etc.

I think that looking for more truth and getting closer to the truth is the best antidote to fear.

So, these tests! what are they

Introduction: Diagnosing COVID-19 disease

People confuse the disease with the agent accused of causing it.

COVID-19 refers to the disease characterized by “airway involvement” with a wide variety of symptom patterns (see below).

It is caused by a virus, SARS-CoV-2, of the coronavirus family [2], SARS for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.

Another coronavirus of this type, SARS-CoV-1, had already occurred in 2003, less contagious but more dangerous (in terms of mortality).

FIRST, On the one hand, you have a disease marked by the existence of signs or symptoms [3]. [No be confused with the causative virus]

The diagnosis is clinical!

Major signs/symptoms :

1.  Cough
2.  Dyspnea (difficulty breathing)
3.  Chest pain
4. Anosmia (loss of sense of smell)
5. Dysgeusia (taste abnormality) with no other apparent cause.

Minor signs/symptoms :

1. Fever
2. Muscle aches and pains
3. Fatigue
4. Rhinitis (cold)
5.  Sore throat
6.  Headaches
7. Anorexia (loss of appetite and weight loss)
8. Acute confusion
9. Acute confusion
10. Sudden fall without apparent cause

As you can see, it’s a bit of everything and anything.

A little fever and a troubled sense of smell (which can be caused by a zinc deficiency) and hop, you’re clinically suspect of COVID-19.

SECOND, On the other hand, you are diagnosed as having the “causative virus”, SARS-CoV-2, linked to this clinical picture with possibly (severe forms) a severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) that can lead to hospitalization or even admission to the intensive care unit.

The main technique used around the world, in hospitals as well as by general practitioners and/or mobile screening centres, to detect the presence of the virus is called RT-PCR. This technique confirms the presence of SARS-CoV-2 (a fragment actually), not the disease!

Tests for the diagnosis of the presence of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus


For Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction, invented in 1985 by the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1993) Kary Mullis.

It is a machine capable of detecting the smallest amount of DNA or RNA (nucleic acids) present in the cell being studied. It detects and then amplifies the detected material, much like a photocopier-enhancer.

The material detected is RNA in the case of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

The primers specific to the genetic material of the virus under study, in this case SARS-CoV-2, are all that is needed to detect the slightest trace of it in the cells collected.

A few definitions before going any further:

–  The sensitivity of the test is the ease with which the test identifies the target.
–  The specificity of the test is the ability of the test to identify the target and not another one.

The ideal test is both highly sensitive (100%) and highly specific (100%).

Is RT-PCR highly sensitive and highly specific? It depends.

– False negatives: RT-PCR comes back negative for SARS-CoV-2 even though the patient is infected. The less sensitive the test is, the more false negatives will occur.
–  False positive: RT-PCR comes back positive for SARS-CoV-2 when the patient is NOT infected. The less specific the test is, the more false positives will occur.

Can you imagine the possible dramatic consequences of such errors, in terms of contagion, contamination, improper containment or epidemiological evaluation?

In the literature [4], the PCR technique is called “rapid, sensitive and reproducible”.

For the WHO, our health institutes, most of the media, everything is fine.

However, it’s not all that idyllic!

The first disappointment is that RT-PCR does not detect the virus, but a genetic trace (RNA) of the virus, which is not the same thing.

A positive RT-PCR test does not necessarily indicate the presence of a complete virus. It is the complete, intact virus that is the transmissible actor of COVID-19.

As the FDA [based on CDC] admits [5], the detection of viral RNA by RT-PCR does not necessarily indicate an active viral infection (with clinical syndrome)!

A second disappointment is that RT-PCR cannot quantify the viral load since it artificially amplifies (multiplies) the detected genetic material. It only says whether the virus is present or not, and again, only traces of the virus, not the whole virus.

Third disappointment, the technique is complex and has many limitations! Even more so in detecting RNA viruses as in the case of SARS-CoV-2.

“The interpretation of PCR results is difficult. Any PCR must be performed on a good quality sample and adapted to the indication. For some viral infections, a positive PCR is not synonymous with disease… The dialogue between the clinician and the microbiologist is essential for a good diagnosis. “(RMS, 2007, Vol 3).

In most cases, the cells studied come from the upper respiratory tract, and are collected using a long cotton swab inserted into the nasal cavity at a relatively deep level [6]. It is said that to be effective, the procedure must be painful for the person being tested.

If the cells contain the smallest nucleic fragment (RNA) of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, the theory is that it will be detected by RT-PCR. But not that the patient is necessarily sick with COVID-19!

In this article from the Swiss Medical Journal of 2005 [7], we read that :

“For some infections, PCR tests are considered as a reference method while for others, they are only an aid to diagnosis. Contact with the laboratory performing the analysis is important in order to interpret the PCR results correctly.”

For respiratory infections,

“Serology (blood test – see below) remains the definitive proof of an infection that has caused an immune response and is therefore still considered…as a reference test.”

For coronaviruses, culture is difficult and detection by RT-PCR is the technique of choice.

But many steps are required to prime and amplify the specific genetic material and it is a complex and very sophisticated process with many opportunities for misinterpretation or misrepresentation [8] :

Mishandling, miscalibrated or contaminated equipment (from the person being tested, the laboratory technician or the environment), misstorage or misdirection and the whole result can be compromised.

PCR tests can be falsified when the sample is contaminated with other strains, especially bacterial strains.

There is a significant risk of false negatives, as reported on the Alternative Well-Being website [9] :

1- The test is badly done

2- The virus is elsewhere (not in the site where the sample is taken)

3- The tests have not been approved

4- The virus is already mutating

There is an even higher risk of false positives, as pointed out by the independent journalist Pryska Ducoeurjoly [10], based on the Swiss Medical Journal (8 April 2020) and the French journal Prescrire [11].

2- Rapid antigenic test

A variant of PCR, the results of which may take 24 to 48 hours to be known, is a faster antigenic test (results in 15 minutes), certified by the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products in Belgium [12]. It allows the detection of antigens (viral proteins), again from a nasopharyngeal swab.

However, it is much less specific!

In one study, only 50% of patients confirmed positive by RT-PCR were detected by this antigenic test.

This test is not recommended by the WHO for the detection of COVID-19 disease.

That says it all.

Tests for confirmation of viral infection and its follow-up

1- Serological tests

These tests are based on a blood test followed by an analysis in a specialized laboratory.

We look for the presence of antibodies developed by the patient. This is used to find out whether the person has actually been in contact with SARS-CoV-2 (IgM) and whether they have become immune to it (IgG).

This is the test that many Belgians are eagerly awaiting and which will be reserved in priority for care personnel.

2- ELISA tests

These special serological tests (dozens of samples processed at one time) are carried out in university laboratories to monitor the evolution of antibodies over time and to assess the type and duration of immunity induced by SARS-CoV-2 infection.

What is the cost of these tests in Belgium?

1. For the molecular detection test (PCR), the RIZIV reimburses 46.81 EUR.
2. For the antigen detection test, the RIZIV reimburses 16.72 EUR.
3. For the antibody detection test (serological test), the RIZIV reimburses 9,60 EUR.

These amounts include all costs related to the test: sampling material, equipment, reagents, investment costs, quality monitoring, personnel costs, supervision, protective material, transport costs, etc.

There is no patient co-payment (no co-payment) [13].

Infected specimen collection kits!

As if that were not enough, we learn that batches of detection kits are infected with SARS-CoV-2!

Notably in the USA [14], Quebec [15], UK [16], Africa (Tanzania) [17]…

“As the new coronavirus began to spread across the country, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sent contaminated test kits to the states in early February, according to a federal investigation.”

“Thousands of swabs ordered by Quebec City to test for COVID-19 were found to be potentially contaminated... Fungal contamination was found on several swabs. According to Nicolas Vigneault, spokesperson for the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux, the swabs came from a shipment received from China.”

“One batch of coronavirus tests, out of the millions expected by the UK, has been contaminated by the virus itself. The British government had ordered batches of tests for coronavirus from a laboratory. But one of these was infected by … Covid-19 itself,” the Telegraph explains, without giving any explanation as to why this unfortunate contamination occurred. The delivery of these tests was immediately cancelled.”

“The Tanzanian President believes that the coronavirus epidemic is not yet on the scale of the official figures. According to him, the data on Covid-19 are being doctored by alarmist authorities, he denounced in his speech… He claims to have himself secretly tested a goat, a quail and a papaya, but to his astonishment the results were positive. He therefore questions the reliability of the tests. These positive results on animals and even plants are, for him, proof that people declared positive for the virus might not actually be carriers. This would mean that the real situation is not as alarming in Tanzania.”

That’s a lot of mistakes, all over the world, don’t you think?

Strange, the lack of coverage in major Western media.

It’s very serious though, and it calls into question the whole campaign of massive screening for this coronavirus.

The opinion of an international expert

John P. A. Ioannidis is not just anyone on the international medical scene.

“John P. A. Ioannidis is a professor of medicine and a researcher at Stanford University’s School of Medicine and School of Humanity and Science. Director of the Stanford Prevention Research Center, he is co-director, with Steven N. Ioannidis, of the Stanford Prevention Research Center. Goodman, the Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford. “[18].

He is one of the most recognized specialists in health epistemology.

He is adamant:

“As the coronavirus pandemic unfolds, we’re making decisions without reliable data.” [19]

It confirms that the PCR tests used in the COVID-19 crisis are not as reliable as that, despite the efforts of the media and our health institutes (Sciensano in Belgium) to make us believe so.

See his interview : Perspectives on the Pandemic | Dr. John Ioannidis Update: 4.17.20, at minute 27 for his comments on PCR testing in the context of COVID-19.

In summary

What a fiasco.

The diagnostic tests represented above all by RT-PCR, a gene amplification technique, are far from having the expected reliability, which is crucial in a crisis such as the one we are going through.

Even if positive, the RT-PCR test only reveals an RNA fragment of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, not the COVID-19 disease itself. In order to say that, we need a corresponding clinical picture! All other pathologies of the patient must be considered and if the patient dies, they must be taken into account before attributing death to COVID-19!

This is frightening when you imagine the possible unjustified consequences of decisions made on the basis of these tests!

– Confinement/quarantine
– Unprecedented freedom-destroying measures
–  Hospital and health centre upheavals
–  Serious diagnoses may be wrongly given to terrorized people who are actually in good health.
– Social distancing with heavy consequences on human relations
– Major economic and social impact, the real scope of which is currently unknown
–  Suspension of all social activities (schools, restaurants, leisure activities)
– Whole population tracking and policing projects

I think that in the face of so much self-sustained insanity, despite the widespread virus of fear, the best antidote is to stay calm.

Come to your senses.

Reassess the true extent of this disease (mortality below 3% [of positive cases] as of May 26, 2020- [20]).

The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus will have to take its rightful place among all other health problems, no more, no less.

And we, may we quickly live again without masks, without social distance and without  laws which threaten civil rights.

And learn from so many mistakes.


Dr. Pascal Sacré

Translation by Maya from the French original published by


[1] Wear a mask everywhere all the time, stay away from your family and friends, don’t dare to go out or take public transport without your armour and visor, don’t dare to touch anything without wearing gloves stuck to the skin by perspiration…

[2] Coronaviruses Coronaviruses (CoVs) are a large family of viruses that cause symptoms ranging from the common cold to more serious illnesses such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). World Health Organization (WHO).


[4] PCR en microbiologie : de l’amplification de l’ADN à l’interprétation du résultat, Revue Médicale Suisse, RMS 106, 2007, Vol 3

[5] FAQs on Testing for SARS-CoV-2 U.S. Food and Drug Administration FDA

[6] Tutoriel prélèvement nasopharyngé : Un geste technique, essentiel à la fiabilité du test COVID-19

 [7] Détection et quantification des acides nucléiques en infectiologie : utilité, certitudes et limites « Nous présentons ici une revue de l’utilité des techniques PCR pour identifier les pathogènes les plus courants ainsi que des commentaires permettant de guider l’interprétation de ces résultats dans un contexte clinique. », Revue Médicale Suisse, RMS 13, 2005, Vol 1

[8] The Inconsistences of Quantitative Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction in Diagnostics Microbiology Acta Scientific Microbiology Vol 1 Issue 2 February 2018

[9] 4 explications à l’échec des TESTS du Covid-19 , 9 avril 2020

[10] Tests du covid-19, attention aux faux positifs !, Pryska Ducoeurjoly  5 mai 2020

[11] Valeur prédictive des résultats des tests diagnostiques : l’exemple des tests covid-19 23 avril 2020

[12] COVID-19 : le dépistage Le test a été développé par le Laboratoire Hospitalier Universitaire de Bruxelles, le LHUB – ULB : un des cinq plus grands laboratoires hospitaliers universitaires en Europe, à la pointe en matière de biologie clinique.

[13] Remboursement des tests de détection du Coronavirus pendant la pandémie de Covid-19

[14] Les tests de dépistage fournis par les centres de contrôle aux USA étaient infectés par le Covid-19 

[15] Des milliers d’écouvillons importés de Chine par Québec sont inutilisables. D’autres provinces signalent des tests de dépistage contaminés. 22 avril 2020

[16] Coronavirus. Des tests de dépistage commandés par le Royaume-Uni contaminés par le Covid-19 

[17] Tanzanie, Coronavirus : le Président John Magufuli dénonce des « statistiques trafiquées et revues à la hausse » 4 mai 2020

[18] John P. A. Ioannidis

[19] Un fiasco en devenir? Alors que la pandémie de coronavirus s’installe, nous prenons des décisions sans données fiables Nous manquons de preuves fiables sur le nombre de personnes infectées par le SRAS-CoV-2 ou qui continuent de l’être.

[20] Le coronavirus (COVID-19) – Faits et chiffres, 26 mai 2020



The original source for this article is
Copyright © Dr. Pascal Sacré,, 2020

The original source of this article is Global Research
Copyright © Dr. Pascal Sacré, Global Research, 2020


Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Media's manipulative COVID body count



By Michael Schisler

The national liberal media is 100% guilty of trafficking in COVID-19 fear porn. What is fear porn you ask? It's the intentional act of imbedding disingenuous messages within real facts.

What we are witnessing is a resurrection of the Vietnam War era media practice of broadcasting body counts on a daily basis. But now it's being done with a few twists designed to drive a radical left-wing agenda. During the Vietnam War, the media broadcast daily body counts to terrorize the enemy. Today they broadcast daily body counts in order to terrorize Americans.

While the typical American seeks solid information concerning the safety of reopening our businesses and schools, the liberal media feed us unqualified raw body counts. They are fully aware that raw body counts with absolutely no qualifying information terrorizes the American populace, which is exactly why they are doing it. They see that trafficking in fear porn has worked.

They are also fully aware that CDC statistics reveal that 92.5% of all fatalities involving COVID-19 are in the age group 55 and older. And within that group of fatalities, some 90% suffered significant comorbidity, meaning they suffered other significant health issues that compromised their ability to fight COVID-19. This is the qualifying information that lets us understand what the body counts are really telling us. But the liberal media hide this information.

With this qualifying information, we see that the true threat to our nation's prime workforce stands at an astoundingly low .006%, according to CDC data extrapolated to estimate year end numbers for 2020. Add in older workers ages 56-65, and the threat rises to .01%. Make things twice as bad as they are now, and it rises to .02%.

These are not workforce numbers that are going to terrorize anyone. In fact, the 2020 year-end raw count for the nation's prime workforce, students and newborn through preschoolers combined is not even 10% of the body count numbers the left-wing media bombard us with daily. But the liberal media hide this qualifying information from us.

What the qualifying information also tells us is that we have elected politicians who are incapable of processing basic facts in a rational way. Case in point: The earliest data out of China (January 2020) revealed that the older population is disproportionately threatened by COVID-19, and all subsequent data from the CDC has shown exactly the same thing. In response to this data, some of our elected politicians crafted policies that actually exposed the elderly population to COVID-19 instead of shielding them from the disease. And now it comes out that one of them actually granted legal immunity to assisted-living facilities in his state before issuing his order for those facilities to house COVID-19-positive residents.

Why he did this is anyone's guess, and I'll leave it to others to speculate. But what is clear is that the liberal media's Vietnam War era practice of broadcasting daily body counts and terrorizing the American populace is also designed to obfuscate what very well may constitute criminal negligence on the part of certain elected officials.

Fortunately, most of America now sees through what the liberal media are doing. We see through the fear porn they are trafficking. More and more people are citing CDC data that show what the actual threats of COVID-19 are. And more and more Americans see the incompetence of elected officials that crafted policies to expose the older generations to COVID-19.

Fortunately, we have an election this fall where Americans can summarily reject these politicians. And in so doing, America will also reject COVID-19 fear porn and those who traffic it.

Michael Schisler is recently retired from a long career of analyzing, designing and constructing large-scale data systems for the energy sector. Data analysis and interpretation is one aspect of his accumulated knowledge that he has chosen to put to use in various subject matter projects such as this one.


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Fauci lied about AIDS, and now is lying about COVID-19


According to one expert, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director Robert Redfield are pulling a play out of their old HIV/AIDS playbook by exaggerating the seriousness of COVID-19.

In a new interview on my "Hidden Truth Show" podcast released today, Michael Fumento, author of "The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS" and former AIDS analyst for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, recounts how Fauci and Redfield were "spectacularly wrong" about the contagiousness of HIV. He also accuses them of lying about who was at risk of contracting the disease.

"We were told AIDS does not discriminate," Fumento said. "It was all fake. AIDS was always a disease of gay men, intravenous drug users and recipients of blood transfusions." According to Fumento, they lied to attract more attention to the disease. "They decided that to the extent it was seen as a disease of undesirables it would not get the kind of attention and money it deserved," he said.

Fumento sees Fauci and Redfield doing the same thing now with COVID-19, exaggerating its seriousness and its impact on groups other than the elderly and infirm. Fauci recently told Congress, despite all of the evidence that it does not seriously impact children, "We don't know everything about this virus, and we really better be very careful – particularly when it comes to children." The disease clearly is one that almost exclusively kills the elderly. According to one state's numbers (Pennsylvania), more people over the age of 95 have died from the disease than under the age of 60!

Fumento notes that public health officials, such as Fauci and Redfield, and the media have consistently overestimated the impact of diseases. He says they did it with Avian flu, SARS, Mad Cow disease, Zika virus and Ebola. "The more outrageous you are in your projections, the more you are rewarded," says Fumento. "They have learned this with each and every faux epidemic."

Fumento explains that progressives dominate the upper echelon of health care. For them, shutting everyone in to protect the elderly and infirm fits nicely with their "health care equity agenda." Individual liberty is not of great concern to them, nor is a capitalist economy.

Fumento is highly critical of Redfield. Under Redfield's direction, he claims, the CDC turned down test kits from the World Health Organization in favor of making their own, but then screwed them up through contamination, delaying testing in the U.S. by 30 days. The CDC has also been way off on its projections. Based upon the CDC's latest numbers, the actual COVID-19 death rate is only about a quarter percent (0.26%), making it only twice as deadly as the flu, not 10 times as the CDC and Fauci had been maintaining, according to Fumento.

My full interview with Michael Fumento can be seen here:


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The 'intelligence bombshell' that never went off



There has been considerable talk about the Jan. 5, 2017, White House gathering of conspirators hoping to unseat Donald Trump.

Two weeks later National Security Adviser Susan Rice memorialized the meeting in a memo to self that has forever turned the phrase "by the book" into a punch line.

There has been considerably less talk about the meeting or series of meeting in the White House Situation Room in early August 2016.

The primary source on these meetings is the Washington Post. The Post reported on them in a breathless, 8,000-word June 2017 article that today stands as a testament to the willing gullibility of the Post and the media in general.

As late as June 2017, the Post was still calling Russia's alleged election interference "the crime of the century, an unprecedented and largely successful destabilizing attack on American democracy."

The article opens melodramatically: "An envelope with extraordinary handling restrictions arrived at the White House. Sent by courier from the CIA, it carried 'eyes only' instructions that its contents be shown to just four people: President Barack Obama and three senior aides."

Inside the envelope, the team of Post reporters assures us, was an "intelligence bombshell." Allegedly "drawn from sourcing deep inside the Russian government," the report claimed that Vladimir Putin had "direct involvement" in a cyber campaign designed both to disrupt the 2016 election and to elect Donald Trump.

The report also claimed to have captured "specific instructions" on how Putin was to carry out this plot.

The report led to a series of meetings so sensitive the White House used the same protocols allegedly used during the planning sessions for the Osama bin Laden raid.

At first, the Post insists, only four senior security officials were allowed to attend: James Clapper, James Comey, Loretta Lynch and John Brennan, who seems to have all but dictated the article.

The Inspector General's Report lacked the clarity of the Post article, in part because Comey, when questioned, was evasive about any meetings at this time.

Comey told the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) he thought it important that "the president know the nature of the FBI's efforts," but insisted he did not provide "any specifics."

Well, hardly any specifics: Comey did implicate four individuals with, in his own words, "some association or connection to the Trump campaign."

Comey also acknowledged that Brennan, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and National Security Adviser Susan Rice were in attendance as well as Obama.

In short, Obama knew by early August 2016 that the FBI was investigating the Trump campaign's possible involvement in a collusion plot.

"Gradually, the circle widened to include Vice President Biden and others," the Post reports. One of those included seems to have been the FBI's notorious Peter Strzok.

Although Strzok told the OIG "he never attended any White House briefings about Crossfire Hurricane," he certainly gave his lover Lisa Page the impression he attended an early August 2016 meeting in the White House.

Late in the day on Aug. 5, texting with Page, he quoted an unnamed bigwig, likely Brennan, as saying, "The White House is running this." Curiously, the IG Report does not mention this text.

Strzok claimed to have pushed back not because of any perceived impropriety but because the White House was intruding on FBI turf.

The Post, however, doesn't mention Strzok. John Brennan was clearly the star of an article that also included an oversized photo of the surly former CIA director.

"The intelligence on Putin was extraordinary on multiple levels," the Post gushes, "including as a feat of espionage."

The intelligence Brennan shared that proved "far more worrisome" than even Trump-Russia collusion was "the prospect of a cyber-assault on voting systems before and on Election Day."

As the Post acknowledges, however, despite the Republicans' refusal to allow Homeland Security to take over the election, "there were no meltdowns in the United States' voting infrastructure on Nov. 8, no evidence of hacking-related fraud, crashing of electronic ballots or manipulation of vote counts."

There was also no collusion and still no proof that Russia hacked the DNC servers.

Four years later, unless Brennan's intelligence was some subset of the Christopher Steele's memos, it has not otherwise surfaced. No bombshell ever exploded.

A thing called "the internet" keeps articles like this permanently in play. One would think the Post would beg its readers forgiveness for misleading them so badly.

One way to atone would be for the Post to go back to its two-dozen sources and find out who attended those early August meetings and what they really talked about.

Jack Cashill's forthcoming book, "Unmasking Obama," is available for pre-order at Amazon.


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Undoing ban on race/sex-based preferences


[Editor's note: This story originally was published by the Daily Caller News Foundation.]

By Gail Heriot
Real Clear Politics

California’s deep-blue legislature has been itching to repeal Proposition 209 for years. Now, in the midst of a global pandemic, legislators are giving that effort priority over the state’s plainly more urgent concerns. Shame on them.

Adopted by voters in 1996, Proposition 209 amended California’s constitution to prohibit the state from engaging in preferential treatment based on race or sex. It was a rebuke to the identity politics obsessions of state and local governments. The rebuke was especially sharp toward public universities, where preoccupations with race and sex had grown to astonishing proportions.

Golden State voters understood what the diversity industry hoped they wouldn’t: Preferential treatment for some groups necessarily means discrimination against others. By approving Proposition 209 by a wide margin, they aimed to end the race and sex spoils system.

One argument against the initiative — originally made by President Bill Clinton — was that under Proposition 209, some California universities might have “nothing but Asian Americans” as students. The hyperbolic comment drew criticism at the time. Not only was it false, it was an all too obvious attempt to stoke racial resentment.

Despite Clinton’s demagoguery, many Asian Americans stayed on the controversy’s sidelines in 1996. Since then, however, two things have changed. First, eye-opening facts about admissions policies at prestigious universities have been leaking out from various sources, including from the lawsuit Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard University. Asian American voters now know just how much the deck is stacked against their children at universities not subject to Proposition 209. Second, the number of Asian American voters in California has increased substantially.

Consequently, Asian Americans’ days of staying on the sidelines are over. Asian American grassroots organizations took the lead in 2014 in nipping in the bud the California legislature’s first serious attempt to repeal Proposition 209. Last year, similar groups in Washington state spearheaded the defeat of a repeal effort of that state’s version of Proposition 209.

Not surprisingly, many of these same organizations are now gearing up to fight the repeal bill -- ACA-5. An online petition has already fetched over 26,000 signatures.

Organizing during the lockdown will be tough. Mass meetings, gathering petition signatures at the ballpark, and visits to legislators are out. Maybe that is why ACA-5’s supporters in the Assembly are currently doing all they can to ram the bill through quickly. But they have a tough row to hoe too. The measure needs a two-thirds majority in both houses. Even then, the battle will only have shifted. The legislature can’t by itself repeal Proposition 209. The matter must then go to the people for a vote, at taxpayer expense, in November.

The best reason for retaining Proposition 209 isn’t that repealing it will encounter opposition. It’s that the initiative has been good for Californians — of all races — and would have been even better if followed more faithfully. Opponents argued in 1996 that if the University of California system were required to apply the same admissions standards to all students regardless of race, under-represented minority students would suffer. The reality was the opposite: It enhanced their academic success.

Decades of well-meaning but misguided admissions policies had made it difficult for affirmative action’s so-called beneficiaries to excel. Placed on campuses where their level of academic preparation put them at a competitive disadvantage vis-à-vis other students, they tended to cluster toward the bottom of the class, a demoralizing position.

When Proposition 209 went into effect, it is true, the number of under-represented minority students at UC-Berkeley decreased significantly. But those students didn’t just disappear. Most were accepted at other campuses of the prestigious UC system — based on their own academic records rather than their skin color. On several UC campuses, their numbers increased. More important, their performance improved dramatically.

Data from UC-San Diego (one of the more elite UC campuses) illustrate what happened. In the year immediately prior to Proposition 209’s implementation, only one African American student in the entire freshman class was an honor student. Following implementation, a full 20% of African American freshmen were. That was higher than the rate for Asian Americans (16%) and extremely close to the rate for whites in the same year (22%). Even more impressive, the number of under-represented minority students in academic jeopardy collapsed.

As Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor Jr. show in their 2012 book, “Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It’s Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won’t Admit It,” in the years immediately following Proposition 209, it had three effects on under-represented minorities in the UC system. It increased (1) graduation rates, (2) GPAs, and (3) the number of science or engineering majors.

Call it a Triple Crown. Ordinarily these three goals would be difficult to achieve simultaneously, since they tend to work against each other. Grading curves are traditionally lower in science and engineering than in other departments, so the more science and engineering majors, often the lower the average GPA. Similarly, graduation rates tend to increase when weaker students (with lower GPAs) manage to make it to the end. Happily, “matching” students to the right institution made improvement possible on all three fronts. It’s as if Ford had invented a car that was more powerful, got better gas mileage, and cost less -- all at the same time.

California legislators want to throw all that away and bring back an ugly spoils system. Californians shouldn’t let them.

Gail Heriot is a law professor at the University of San Diego and a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. She co-chaired the Yes on Proposition 209 Campaign in 1996.

[Editor's note: This story originally was published by the Daily Caller News Foundation.]


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Document: Peter Strzok drafted – then approved – Trump-Russia probe


FBI agent Peter Strzok testifies before Congress July 12, 2018. (Wikimedia Commons)

An FBI document released last week didn't receive the attention it deserves, according to a former bureau agent who says it should be Exhibit A in a federal courtroom as evidence that the Obama administration's Trump-Russia probe was illegitimate.

"The prosecutor, U.S. Attorney John Durham, will rightly point out that the document that spawned three years of political misery fails to articulate a single justifiable reason for starting the 'Crossfire Hurricane' investigation, writes Kevin R. Brock, former assistant director of intelligence for the FBI, in a column in The Hill.

Brock, an FBI special agent for 24 years, also was principal deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center.

He explains how a document unable to present any justification for a probe could pass muster.

"Essentially, it is a document created by Peter Strzok, approved by Peter Strzok, and sent from Peter Strzok to Peter Strzok," he writes.

The reference is to the now infamous lead FBI investigator whose text messages with his paramour revealed his determination to ensure Trump did not win in 2016 and his "backup plan" should Plan A fail.

"Those of us who have speculated there was insufficient cause for beginning the investigation could not have imagined the actual opening document was this feeble. It is as if it were written by someone who had no experience as an FBI agent," Brock writes.

He points out that the bureau cannot begin an investigation without a document presenting a justifiable cause.

Calling the document a "train wreck," he argues it's "invalid on its face, because an agent cannot approve his or her own case."

That, he says, would "make a mockery of the oversight designed to protect Americans."

"Yet, for this document, Peter Strzok was pitcher, catcher, batter and umpire."

Another problem was that the Crossfire Hurricane case was opened as a Foreign Agent Registration Act, or FARA, investigation, which involves a criminal violation of law.

Such cases centering on a negligent or intentional failure to register with the U.S. government after being engaged by a foreign country for assistance are rarely investigated.

Further, Brock found "no attempt by Strzok to articulate any factors that address the elements of FARA."

"He couldn't, because there are none. Instead, there was a weak attempt to allege some kind of cooperation with Russians by unknown individuals affiliated with the Trump campaign, again, with no supporting facts listed."

The document, he says, "clearly establishes is that Crossfire Hurricane was an illicit, made-up investigation lacking a shred of justifying predication, sprung from the mind of someone who despised Donald Trump, and then blessed by inexperienced leadership at the highest levels who harbored their own now well-established biases."

"Instead, the nation was left with an investigation of a presidential campaign that had no legitimate predication; that spawned a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act intercept of a U.S. citizen that had no legitimate predication; that resulted in a confrontation with a new administration’s national security adviser that had no legitimate predication; and, finally, that led to an expensive special counsel investigation that had no legitimate predication," he writes.

Brock hopes "Exhibit A" will be displayed in a federal courtroom soon.

"The rule of law, upon which the FBI rests its very purpose and being, was callously discarded by weak leaders who sought higher loyalty to their personal agendas, egos, biases and politics," he writes.

"Accountability is demanded by the American people. Let’s pray we see some."


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A Different Presidential Candidate


Guest Post by John Stossel

A Different Presidential Candidate

We have a choice!

Next presidential election, we don’t have to decide between two big-spending candidates, neither of whom has expressed much interest in limited government.

Now, we have a third serious choice. This week, Dr. Jo Jorgensen, a psychology lecturer at Clemson University, won the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination.

OK, I won’t delude myself — a libertarian is unlikely to become president. But Jorgensen’s platform is a refreshing change.

She correctly points out that government “is too big, too bossy, too nosy, and way too intrusive.”

Of course, many candidates say that when running for office.

President Donald Trump said it, but once he was elected, he increased spending by half a trillion dollars, created a new military branch designed to protect U.S. interests in space, imposed tariffs and demanded more funds for “infrastructure” and “building a giant wall.”

Joe Biden wants to spend $532 billion more, increasing spending on things like education, climate and health care.

By contrast, Jorgensen says government should do less and spend less.

She’s right. The founders’ insistence on limited government is what made America prosperous.

Jorgensen noticed how our big and cumbersome government slowed our response to the coronavirus.

“We had about 60 American companies making testing kits and the FDA only approved two,” she said in the final Libertarian Party debate. “What the president should have done was use the Emergency Powers Act and say, ‘FDA, you only have to prove safety, not efficacy. Get these kits out there.'”

If some tests don’t work, the free market will weed that out, says Jorgensen. “If you are a large drug company, you don’t want to put out a drug or testing kit that doesn’t work — you’ll go bankrupt.”

Trump supported the latest multitrillion-dollar stimulus bill, saying, it “will deliver urgently needed relief to our nation’s families and workers.” Biden called for another stimulus — “a hell of a lot bigger.”

Jorgensen wouldn’t sign either bill. “Let the people keep their money,” she says. “Let them decide who should stay in business and who shouldn’t.”

She points out that government is not as good as individuals at deciding where money should go. “Government money usually goes to their friends and special interests and lobbyists.”

America’s most popular government program is probably Social Security. Created to help the minority of Americans who lived past age 65 at that time, it’s now an unsustainable handout to most older people. Social Security is going broke because people my age just keep living longer. Sorry. We won’t volunteer to die.

Jorgensen would save social security by offering everyone “an immediate opt-out,” something like the Cato Institute’s 6.2% solution, which would let individuals invest 6.2% of their payroll tax into a private retirement account.

While phasing the program out, she says seniors would be paid back what they’ve put in. “Sell those government assets, mineral rights, water rights, buildings downtown,” she says. “Give that money to seniors.”

Finally, Jorgensen would end “these needless wars that caused the injuries or deaths of hundreds of thousands of American soldiers… and the waste of trillions of tax dollars.” She’d “make America one giant Switzerland, armed and neutral… no American military personnel stationed in foreign countries. No foreign aid. No loan guarantees.”

This is not pacificism, she says, “I am proposing an American military force ready and able to defend the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii and all U.S. territories against foreign attackers.”

But like most libertarians, she doesn’t want America involved in foreign wars.

As the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate, Dr. Jorgensen will be on the ballot in most states. Voters will have a real choice this November.

Libertarian ideas are very different from those held by today’s Democrats and Republicans. Instead of lusting for more money and power, her party proposes a government that keeps the peace and, mostly, leaves people alone.

Sounds good to me.

John Stossel is author of “Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media.” For other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit