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Posts Tagged ‘coronavirus’

Coronavirus Being Used to Scare You Away From Using Cash | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on April 4, 2020

Being bound to computers for transactions kicks the door wide open to hardcore surveillance of personal activity and location data. Being eternally on the grid means relentless taxation and negative interest rates, which the Federal Reserve is already gearing up for.

None of this bothers the well-heeled boosters of a cashless society or their lackeys in the media. They want Americans reading about the threat of coronavirus cooties on their cash, which is absurd.

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/coronavirus-being-used-to-scare-you-away-from-using-cash/

by

Cash has been the target of the banking and financial elites for years. Now, the coronavirus pandemic is being used to frighten the masses into accepting a cashless society. That would mean the death of what’s left of our free society.

CBS NewsCNN, and other mainstream outlets are fearmongering again. Alarmism is nothing new in the media world, but this time, it’s not about triggering panic buying or even pushing a political agenda.

The war on cash is about imposing a new meta-narrative. As economist Joseph Salerno explains, the cashless society forces all payments to be made through the financial system. It doesn’t end with monopoly control over transactions, though.

Being bound to computers for transactions kicks the door wide open to hardcore surveillance of personal activity and location data. Being eternally on the grid means relentless taxation and negative interest rates, which the Federal Reserve is already gearing up for.

None of this bothers the well-heeled boosters of a cashless society or their lackeys in the media. They want Americans reading about the threat of coronavirus cooties on their cash, which is absurd.

Germs, of course, can loiter all over credit and debit cards, smartphones, ATMs, and every other cash alternative device. Too bad implanted microchip technology isn’t further along, the banksters must be thinking.

In another CNN article, readers are practically shamed for withdrawing cash to save during a crisis. Every sentence, every word, every letter of the article is nuts.

It begins by reassuring the reader that their bank account is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). There’s no mention of moral hazard from CNN. The fact that the federal government guarantees every bank account up to $250,000 encourages reckless financial and banking behavior. Not worth mentioning, CNN?

Prior to the end of World War II, there were $500, $1,000, and $10,000 bills in wide circulation. This cash was dissolved by the Federal Reserve in the name of fighting organized crime. This same argument is now being made against $50 and $100 bills by Harvard economics professor Kenneth Rogoff.

In the Wall Street Journal, Rogoff also wrote that a cashless society would offer such benefits as “greater flexibility for the Federal Reserve to stimulate the economy when necessary.”

He wrote those words in 2017. And these too:

“The Federal Reserve should be able to implement negative nominal interest rates vastly more effectively in the absence of large bills, which could prove quite important as a stimulative tool in the next financial crisis.”

Prophetic. And indeed, negative interest rates would require the assistance of outlawing cash, so that banking customers don’t cheat by simply drawing out on their accounts.

Pardon the pun, but it’s absolutely sick how COVID-19 is being used now as a launching pad for this cashless agenda. There’s nothing to fear about using cash during this time of social distancing.

Wash your hands after handling cash, but don’t give up your moolah. Preserve your health, your privacy, and your liberty.

Reprinted from The Advocates for Self-Government.

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Keeping It Unreal | The Medically Induced Police State

Posted by M. C. on April 3, 2020

The Coronavirus has been around for decades. Just look at the back of
your can of Lysol. It informs you that their product protects you from
“Human Coronavirus,” among other things. Many of us strongly suspect
that cases of simple Coronavirus have been lumped in with those
purporting to be COVID-19, the dastardly strain in question, which all
the best and brightest “experts” inform us could spread across the world
like wildfire.

https://donaldjeffries.wordpress.com/

 

I have long feared a police state. Not the figurative one we’ve been letting develop for years now. I mean a literal one. Where they can stop you for any reason and ask you for your “papers.” Where they can restrict your movements, and your associations. Where they can confine you to your homes.

Yesterday, this became an unfortunate reality for me and all other Virginians. Mayor Ralph “Blackface” Northam signed an Executive Order that essentially locks my state down. Police can stop any motorist and ask where they are going. If they aren’t going to a doctor or the store, they can be charged with a misdemeanor. For now. And those essential personnel who are still working have been given papers. Yes, “show me your papers” is finally here in the land of the free.

Over the course of just a few weeks, America and most of the world has been subjected to a power play that rivals anything that George Orwell could have dreamed up. Whole countries locked down. People quarantined who have no illness. People restricted to their houses. “Social distancing” mandating that people stay six feet apart from one another. The closing down of virtually all businesses. No more going to the movies, or restaurants, or casinos, or concerts. Professional sports leagues and even the NCAA’s lucrative March Madness basketball tournament have been cancelled. All schools have been closed indefinitely.

So, surely all these draconian, unprecedented moves indicate that something really dangerous is going on? Instead, the world has basically come to a standstill over a virus strain, which has not even conclusively been proven to exist, that has killed a fraction of what the common flu kills every year, in this country and around the world.

The Coronavirus has been around for decades. Just look at the back of your can of Lysol. It informs you that their product protects you from “Human Coronavirus,” among other things. Many of us strongly suspect that cases of simple Coronavirus have been lumped in with those purporting to be COVID-19, the dastardly strain in question, which all the best and brightest “experts” inform us could spread across the world like wildfire.

The primary source for all the fear porn which has been emanating from our putrid state-run media for weeks, came from United Kingdom epidemiologist Neil Ferguson, who issued a dire warning that 2.2 million could die from COVID-19 in the United States alone. Without quite the attention given his initial predictions by the hysterical media, Ferguson quietly acknowledged last week that his numbers were wrong. Very, very wrong. His weak admission that perhaps 20,000 could die was not very convincing. And a pair of Stanford professors of medicine followed that up by saying the predictions of fatalities “may be too high by orders of magnitude.”

Instead of responding reasonably to these indications that those who initiated the alarmist talk from our journalists and politicians were utterly wrong, our leaders have doubled down on the heavy-handed, unwarranted response. More states like mine have gone into lock down mode. It is akin to Martial Law, without any visible troops in the streets. Given the lack of opposition to this authoritarianism, they haven’t needed any. Without firing a shot, as the saying goes.

Citizen journalists have posted a myriad of videos on You Tube, which depict not the “overwhelmed” hospitals that are literally bursting at the seams with corpses, but instead largely empty facilities. Jason Goodman has been filming around hospitals in New York City, the alleged epicenter of the alleged epidemic, and it has to be seen to be believed. Idle ambulances everywhere. Disinterested EMT workers and hospital employees. Many, if not most of them not wearing masks. Police harassing him from filming on a public street. I have a friend who lives in New York City, and he just called me this morning to report how non-busy the biggest hospital in Brooklyn looked. Something very strange is going on here.

Meanwhile, Dr. Colleen Smith, a doctor who specializes in “medical simulation,” whatever that is, violated every HIPAA regulation imaginable when she filmed inside an ICU at New York City’s Elmhurst Hospital. Dr. Smith complained about a lack of equipment and resources, the same establishment mantra we’ve heard time and time again from establishment sources, which is invariably blamed on hapless Donald Trump. Her video was published by the New York Times. The same day she was filming inside, Elmhurst Hospital was videotaped outside by a citizen journalist. You guessed it- it resembled a ghost town.

As I’ve made clear to so many who are parroting the mainstream line, “people are dying!,” yes, people are dying. They do everyday. As Bob Dylan, also back in the news this week with a better late than never song about JFK assassination truth, once said, “he not busy being born is busy dying.” The question is, what are the people whose deaths the state-controlled media is fixated upon dying from? How many of these deaths are actually from underlying causes like diabetes or pneumonia, or less frightening strains of virus, like the regular flu or the generic Coronavirus?

There are many disquieting indications that the wild overreaction to this is a hoax, even if the virus is not. The photograph of ominous rows of coffins supposedly emanating out of Italy, which has been allegedly hit so hard by COVID-19, which was proven to be from another country, taken years earlier. The Italian reports indicating that 99% of the fatalities attributed to this virus came from “other pathologies.” The story in early February out of China, that the Chinese were including deaths from pneumonia along with the scary COVID-19 cases. It is no exaggeration to say that, considering the draconian response, those in charge have a tremendous vested interest in significantly increasing the numbers.

Both the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control were caught lying about the same thing in 2009; they falsely inflated the Swine Flu figures. Sharyl Attkisson lost her job with CBS for exposing the CDC. No investigative journalism is allowed in this country, outside of amateurs on the internet. The CDC and WHO are front and center here, along with our perpetually dishonest politicians and laughable, lapdog establishment press. They are the ones selling this narrative. Why would any intelligent person believe them?

I have been lied to my entire life by the most powerful authority figures. I worked for the Medical Industrial Complex for 44 years, until being fired two years ago for helping a handicapped co-worker. You read that right. That’s the chance you take in a “right to work” state. It gives them a right to fire you for no reason. Our healthcare system is hopelessly inefficient and just as corrupt as any other part of America 2.0. The medical profession itself is the third leading cause of death in this country. When you enter a hospital, you take your life in your hands. So excuse me for not trusting in all the white coats issuing their dire pronouncements.

In Virginia, our unofficial Martial Law is in effect until June 10. Just imagine how many businesses will never reopen after being closed for nearly three months. How many employees will be laid off, and be left to deal with the ever-increasing cost of living with their $1200 checks that constituted the trickle-down droppings from the $5.5 trillion dollar “stimulus” package, which Ron Paul called “a massive transfer of wealth from the middle class to the elite?” Picture the massive unemployment claims, somehow paid for by payroll taxes which are not going to be collected from all those unemployed workers who are no longer paying them.

And we still haven’t heard a peep of protest from anyone with a large public platform. Not a single corporate leader whose dedication to capitalism compels him to protest the literal shutdown of almost all commerce. There is a stunning uniformity of opinion on this massive overhaul of our society, which happened in the blink of an eye. Only naysayers like me, with the voices we have on the internet, are pointing out how shockingly wrong all of this is.

America, even as it existed in its watered-down, often embarrassing form a month ago, is forever gone. Once our leaders have demonstrated they can institute such authoritarian restrictions on the populace, with virtually no resistance, it is a certainty they will do it again. Expect to see the kind of ridiculous color-coded “terror threat” warnings we saw after 9/11. When the unquestioned authorities declare that we are at “code red” in terms of a new viral threat, America will just go back into lock down mode. Americans will be used to it.

Helping to sell this narrative has been an astonishing number of celebrities. This virus evidently is predisposed to attack famous people who have shown unswerving devotion to the Deep State. It was entirely predictable that the likes of Tom Hanks, Greta Thunberg, Prince Charles, and Chris Cuomo would test positive. For the Coronavirus, as it is worded in all the celebrity cases, not for COVID-19. This could be the lazy, unintentional intermingling of a generic term for the deadly strain that has stopped the world. Or it could be an admission that technically they are telling the truth- the tests can only determine whether one has Coronavirus, not any particular strain of it.

But there is a huge difference between the two terms; testing positive for the generic Coronavirus is no big deal. It could just be a common cold, or an indication someone is a carrier, with no symptoms at all. If everyone in past years had been frightened by fear porn into getting tested for any sniffle, who knows how many might have been positive? They have somehow convinced most of the public that this virus strain is potentially far more deadly than anything since the Bubonic Plague, despite numbers that remain a fraction of what we see every flu season. With even the most severe flu seasons, nothing has ever been closed or cancelled. Certainly there was never any kind of lock down.

This has all been sold to the public on the basis of protecting us. After all, our leaders care about us. They have only our best interests at heart. And what is more terrifying to anyone than the state of their health? None of us want to put our loved ones’ lives in danger. And so we become even more compliant than normal.

Benjamin Franklin wisely warned, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Considering the continuous fear porn coming from our leaders, few of us probably feel safe. And their totalitarian response to an invisible enemy should make all of us feel demonstrably less free.

 

 

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Preventing Liberty from Becoming a Coronavirus Fatality – The Future of Freedom Foundation

Posted by M. C. on April 1, 2020

Given the historical record of how previous emergencies spawned corrosive policies that continue to menace basic freedoms years or decades later, it is urgent to seek effective curbs on the growing abuses of power in the current crisis.

https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/preventing-liberty-from-becoming-a-coronavirus-fatality/

by

Public attitudes about the coronavirus outbreak increasingly exhibit features of a collective panic. That development creates the danger that government measures designed to deal with a very real public health problem may lead to enormous collateral damage both to the economy and the freedoms that Americans take for granted.

Given the historical record of how previous emergencies spawned corrosive policies that continue to menace basic freedoms years or decades later, it is urgent to seek effective curbs on the growing abuses of power in the current crisis. We must resist being stampeded into endorsing whatever policies self-interested officials insist are necessary.
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Governments at all levels have taken ever more extreme (even outrageous) actions in an effort to stem the outbreak. The governors of New York, California, and other states have issued orders closing most private businesses and requiring residents not engaged in “essential” activities to remain in their homes.  Nevada’s governor greatly restricted doctors from prescribing an anti-malaria drug that Trump administration experts suggested held promise for treating coronavirus, because in the governor’s opinion, such prescriptions might lead to hoarding.  U.S. Justice Department officials secretly asked Congress to give the executive branch the authority to seek orders from federal judges to detain indefinitely any individual during the current emergency or any future one.

Although appalling, such attempted eviscerations of constitutional liberties should not be surprising.  Governments invariably exploit crises to expand their powers—often to a dangerous degree. That certainly has been the track record in the United States throughout our history.  Worse, a significant residue of expanded powers always persists after the crisis recedes and life supposedly returns to normal.

Most, but not all, of the abuses and unhealthy expansions of power have occurred during wartime. World War I led to statutes and executive orders that still haunt us more than a century later.  For example, various administrations have used the Espionage Act of 1917 to punish whistleblowers and intimidate investigative journalists. Barack Obama’s administration even waged a campaign to harass and intimidate journalists who published leaked material. Officials conducted electronic surveillance of both New York Times reporter James Risen and Fox News correspondent James Rosen in an effort to identify their sources.  The government named Rosen as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in an espionage case brought against his source.  The administration asserted that it had the right to prosecute Risen, even though it chose not to take that step.

Later presidents used other laws passed during World War I in ways the legislators who enacted them never contemplated.  For example, in August 1971 Richard Nixon declared a national emergency under the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917 to impose import tariffs, close the gold window for international payments, and establish domestic wage and price controls.

World War II produced additional abuses and dangerous precedents. The most alarming example was President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s executive order putting Japanese Americans in “relocation centers” (concentration camps).  In an especially shameful ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the legality of his action.  That decision is not just a matter of academic or historical interest.  Later administrations developed contingency plans along the lines of FDR’s infamous executive order.  In the aftermath of the 9-11 terrorist attacks, suggestions surfaced that Muslim aliens (and even Muslim-American citizens) should be subjected to internment measures as part of the war on terror.

During the Korean War, President Harry Truman expanded the number and scope of executive orders, further enlarging the power of the presidency—a power surge that already had reached troubling levels under Woodrow Wilson and FDR.  Truman’s most flagrant initiative was his attempt to seize control of the nation’s steel mills as a wartime measure.  Fortunately, on that occasion the Supreme Court fulfilled its constitutional duty and struck down his dangerous executive power grab.

More recently, the policy responses to the 9-11 terrorist attacks included that 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), ostensibly to wage war against Al Qaida and its allies.  However, the AUMF became a veritable blank check for presidents to wage wars anytime, anywhere, for any reasons those presidents deemed appropriate.  Domestically, the response to 9-11 included the so-called Patriot Act and its legendary erosions of the 4th Amendment’s protections against unreasonable searches and seizures, as well as the weakening of other substantive and due process rights guaranteed in the Constitution.  That measure was a crucial building block in the growth of the current pervasive surveillance state.

Wars and other “national emergencies” produced an array of lesser, but still undesirable, expansions of governmental power and the narrowing of individual rights.  For example, the federal government’s response to the economic and financial dislocations of the Great Depression included Roosevelt’s executive order banning the private ownership of gold.  That annoying limitation continued until the mid-1970s.

The historical record also demonstrates that “temporary” measures enacted to deal with a specific crisis frequently prove to be anything but temporary.  One insidiously corrosive “temporary” change was the establishment of the withholding provision to the federal income tax during World War II.  That temporary measure is still with us, and the effect has been revolutionary.  Paying the tax in installments that show up as nothing more than an entry on an employee’s paycheck stub disguises the extent of the actual tax burden on that individual and reduces the emotional impact.

The fundamental lesson from these historical episodes is that Americans need to resist the casual expansion of arbitrary governmental power in response to the current coronavirus crisis.  New local and state governmental assaults on civil liberties came early and already are disturbingly plentiful. In early March, authorities around the United States ordered schools to close and ether prohibited large-scale public events or pressured the sponsors to take such action.  A growing number of jurisdictions soon went further. San Francisco ordered residents to “shelter in place,” barring them from engaging in any “nonessential” activity outside their own homes.  All of this occurred before California Governor Gavin Newsom and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo set a new, even more intrusive pattern by ordering statewide lockdowns.

Beyond the trampling of property rights and other crucial liberties, the coronavirus episode has led to worrisome erosions of the democratic political process.  Louisiana and Georgia were the first states to cancel primary elections, citing the danger of contagion among polling place crowds. Other states, including Ohio and Maryland, soon followed

Both the nature and scope of the expanding restrictions should alarm all defenders of liberty.  In mid-March, North Carolina went beyond shutting down individual enterprises or even types of businesses; authorities there placed most of the Outer Banks off limits to tourists and other outsiders.  Police established checkpoints to examine identifications and required special permits for access.  There is more than a small echo in that measure of the ubiquitous police or military checkpoints and “show your papers” demands that countries in the old Soviet bloc implemented, and various dictatorships around the world require today. It’s an ominous policy and image.

Sentiments in favor of comprehensive lockdowns to halt the spread of the virus reflect understandable emotions, but panic is always a poor basis for policy decisions.  The economic costs of such radical responses to the coronavirus outbreak are enormous, and the damage to basic liberties ultimately may prove even worse. Ugly, potentially dangerous precedents are being set left and right.  In virtually every case, officials imposed restrictions without any provisions for appeal—or even public comment. Worse, they did not seem to recognize any limits to their power with respect to a health crisis. The steps taken to date go far beyond the longstanding authority of local governments to impose quarantines on individuals or families diagnosed with certain highly contagious diseases.  Entire cities and states are now being put on similar lockdowns, even though the overwhelming majority of residents show no signs of coronavirus

Worries about expansive government diktats and precedents are especially warranted if the coronavirus outbreak is neither unique nor a crisis of short duration.  Originally, there was a pervasive assumption that the emergency would last only a few weeks, and then life in America (as well as other countries) would return to normal.  But in Trump’s March 16 press conference, both the president and his health policy advisers indicated that the outbreak might last until July or August.  Some experts in Britain fear that it could last until spring 2021.

That possibility creates some very serious concerns. There is no realistic way that a complex, inter-connected market economy can operate effectively for an extended period of time with a country—or even major portions of it–on lockdown.  A similar problem arises if the coronavirus does not prove to be a one-time visitor, but resembles influenza outbreaks that ebb and flow each year. In addition to the adverse economic consequences, forcibly cocooned populations will have every justification to become furious if arbitrary bureaucratic edicts repeatedly uproot their lives.

There is an imperative reason to monitor and curb some of policy precedents being set.  Future overcautious or egotistical public officials will be tempted to impose drastic measures even in response to lesser health or other emergencies.  Government orders closing private businesses fundamentally alter the relationship between individuals and the state in a dangerous fashion. Travel restrictions that confine people to their homes or bar them from specific areas are further cause for alarm.  Such restrictions always have been a hallmark of authoritarian political systems. Likewise, the postponement of elections is unsettling. Giving incumbent officials such authority creates an obvious potential for abuse—especially if the incumbents face the prospect of electoral defeat.  Perhaps worst of all is the possibility of the federal government being able to seek the indefinite detention of people based on nothing more than a Justice Department request and a compliant judge’s order.

Given the historical record of how previous emergencies spawned corrosive policies that continue to menace basic freedoms years or decades later, it is urgent to seek effective curbs on the growing abuses of power in the current crisis. We must resist being stampeded into endorsing whatever policies self-interested officials insist are necessary. Benjamin Franklin observed that “those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”  Americans must keep that wise admonition in mind during and after the coronavirus crisis.

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The Government Employee Who May Have Saved a Million American Lives, by Ron Unz – The Unz Review

Posted by M. C. on April 1, 2020

But then on Monday, March 16th a miracle occurred. With no prior warning or public discussion, Santa Clara County Public Health Officer Dr. Sarah Cody and her counterparts from five other SF Bay Area counties announced that they had issued a “Shelter in Place” order, their somewhat euphemistic term for a full regional lock-down.

https://www.unz.com/runz/the-government-employee-who-may-have-saved-a-million-american-lives/

Dr. Sarah Cody, Santa Clara County Health Officer

Dr. Sarah Cody. That’s the name of a local government employee probably unknown to almost everyone reading this. Yet I think there’s a good chance that a million or more Americans will owe her their lives. And therein lies a tale…

Last Tuesday President Donald Trump announced that he expected to lift most health restrictions recently imposed due to the Coronavirus epidemic and send the country back to work by Easter, a possibility that shocked and horrified nearly all mainstream health professionals.

No need to worry, I said. I predicted that the exponentially-growing Coronavirus death toll in his home city of New York would have reached such horrifying levels by Easter that his Wall Street friends would persuade him to “pivot” away from such a foolhardy proposal.

At the time I made that prediction, Coronavirus deaths in New York were running at around 50 per day, and they soon jumped to 140 per day, then reached 209 in a 24-hour period by Saturday. Wall Street Wizards are quite familiar with exponential growth, the fundamental basis of compound-interest, and presumably they began to notice what was happening outside their own windows. So on Saturday, Trump announced that rather than any relaxation, he was instead considering an unprecedented federal quarantine of the entire State of New York as well as adjoining parts of of New Jersey and Connecticut, though he later backed down under fierce pressure. Just five days had made all the difference in the world.

The unimaginable human disaster now facing our country has several obvious roots. Our oceans had protected our home front from any attack during the two world wars while modern medicine had rendered disease epidemics a fading memory for three generations. Our arrogant and incompetent national leadership simply could not comprehend the possibility that their missteps might actually kill hundreds of thousands or millions of Americans. Moreover, our mainstream media was equally oblivious, and even if they had sounded the alarm, they had hysterically cried wolf so many times about so many ridiculous things that nobody would have taken them seriously.

But an important contributing factor is surely the inability of most individuals to grasp the unusual dynamics of an exponentially-growing process. In such a situation, seemingly insignificant delays can have enormous consequences.

Let us consider a very simple example in which two similar cities each happen to have 1,000 Coronavirus infections, with a doubling-period of 3 days.

Suppose that the first city immediately implements a complete lock-down, thereby drastically reducing the spread of the disease, and then uses that window of opportunity to track down and temporarily quarantine all the infected. Assuming a 1% death rate, 10 total fatalities will result.

Now suppose the second city takes exactly the same approach, but merely delays implementing the policy for a single week. During that lost week, the number of infected will grow to 5,000, and the resulting five-fold increase in cases requiring hospitalization may overwhelm the local health care system, thereby increasing the death rate to 5%. The result is 250 fatalities. So the delay of a single week has increased the death toll by a factor of 25.

I live in Palo Alto, and every now and then I see a squirrel wander into the middle of a street, then remain frozen in fear as an approaching car bears down upon him. Almost invariably, the squirrel leaps away to the nearby pavement at the last moment, saving its life. But occasionally I have noticed the remains of a youthful squirrel who did not react in time.

For a month or two, our national government and its top health officials seemed similarly paralyzed with horror as they began to recognize the oncoming locomotive of a deadly disease rapidly approaching them. But during this crucial period, they did little or nothing and vast numbers of Americans may die as a consequence.

The Coronavirus is extremely contagious and once it has significantly established itself within a community, the only effective means of halting the rapid spread is through a full social lock-down. This approach had been especially necessary in America, given our woeful lack of adequate testing capabilities.

China completely locked down and quarantined the city of Wuhan at a point when only 300 detected infections and 17 deaths had occurred, thereby strictly confining all 11 million residents to their homes. Not long afterward, similar measures were applied to the 60 million residents of the surrounding province of Hubei, and later extended to include some 700 million Chinese across the country, a medical quarantine perhaps a thousand times larger than any such previous effort in human history.

These remarkable Chinese actions shocked and astonished many observers around the world, certainly including myself. But they succeeded brilliantly, and China seems to have almost entirely stamped out the deadly disease at the final cost of just a few thousand deaths. Millions perhaps even tens of millions of Chinese owe their lives to the decisiveness of their bold and courageous national leadership.

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For Autocrats, Coronavirus Is a Chance to Grab Even More Power

Posted by M. C. on March 31, 2020

As the new laws broaden state surveillance, allow governments to detain people indefinitely and infringe on freedoms of assembly and expression, they could also shape civic life, politics and economies for decades to come.

In the United States, the Justice Department asked Congress for sweeping new powers, including a plan to eliminate legal protections for asylum seekers and detain people indefinitely without trial.

New York, Kalifornia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Michigan, Utah, Louisiana…

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/for-autocrats-coronavirus-is-a-chance-to-grab-even-more-power/ar-BB11V0cS

Selam Gebrekidan

LONDON — In Hungary, the prime minister can now rule by decree. In Britain, ministers have what a critic called “eye-watering” power to detain people and close borders. Israel’s prime minister has shut down courts and begun an intrusive surveillance of citizens. Chile has sent the military to public squares once occupied by protesters. Bolivia has postponed elections.

As the coronavirus pandemic brings the world to a juddering halt and anxious citizens demand action, leaders across the globe are invoking executive powers and seizing virtually dictatorial authority with scant resistance.

Governments and rights groups agree that these extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. States need new powers to shut their borders, enforce quarantines and track infected people. Many of these actions are protected under international rules, constitutional lawyers say.

But critics say some governments are using the public health crisis as cover to seize new powers that have little to do with the outbreak and have few safeguards to ensure that the new powers will not be abused.

 

The laws are taking swift hold across a broad range of political systems — in authoritarian states like Jordan, faltering democracies like Hungary, and traditional democracies like Britain. And there are few sunset provisions to ensure that the powers will be rescinded once the threat passes.

“We could have a parallel epidemic of authoritarian and repressive measures following close if not on the heels of a health epidemic,” said Fionnuala Ni Aolain, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on counterterrorism and human rights.

As the new laws broaden state surveillance, allow governments to detain people indefinitely and infringe on freedoms of assembly and expression, they could also shape civic life, politics and economies for decades to come.

Slideshow by photo services

The pandemic is already redefining norms. Invasive surveillance systems in South Korea and Singapore, which would have invited censure under normal circumstances, have been praised for slowing infections. Governments that initially criticized China for putting millions of its citizens under lockdown have since followed suit.

Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has authorized his country’s internal security agency to track citizens using a secret trove of cellphone data developed for counterterrorism. By tracing people’s movements, the government can punish those who defy isolation orders with up to six months in prison. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Propaganda Of Terror And Fear: A Lesson From Recent History | Zero Hedge

Posted by M. C. on March 29, 2020

It is time for publics to get informed, think calmly and rationally, and to robustly scrutinize and challenge what their governments are doing. The dangers of failing to do this likely far surpass the immediate threat posed by the Coronavirus.

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/propaganda-terror-and-fear-lesson-recent-history

Authored by Dr Piers Robinson, Co-Director Organisation for Propaganda Studies,  via Off-Guardian.org,

The ongoing and unfolding reactions to the Coronavirus look set to have wide-ranging and long-lasting effect on politics, society and economics. The drive to close down all activities is extraordinary as are the measures being promoted to isolate people from each other.

The deep-rooted fear of contagious disease, hardwired into the collective consciousness by historical events such as the ‘Black/Bubonic Plague’ and maintained through popular culture (e.g. the Hollywood movies Outbreak and Contagion), means that people are without question highly susceptible to accepting extreme emergency measures whether or not such measures are rational or justified. The New York Times called for America to be put on a war footing in order to deal with Corona whilst former Army General Stanley McChrystal has been invoking his 9/11 experience in order to prescribe lessons for today’s leaders.

At the same time, political actors are fully aware that these conditions of fear and panic provide a critical opportunity that can be exploited in order to pursue political, economic and societal objectives. It is very likely, however, that the dangers posed by the potential exploitation of Corona for broader political, economic and societal objectives latter far outweigh the immediate threat to life and health from the virus. A lesson from recent history is instructive here.

9/11 AND THE GLOBAL ‘WAR ON TERROR’

The events of September 11 2001 represent a key moment in contemporary history. The destruction of three skyscrapers in New York after the impact of two airliners and an attack on the Pentagon, killing around 3000 civilians, shocked both American and global publics. The horror of seeing aircraft being flown into buildings, followed by the total destruction of three high rise buildings within a matter of seconds, and the spectre of a shadowy band of Islamic fundamentalists (Al Qaeda) having pulled off such devastating attacks, gripped the imagination of many in the Western world.

It was in this climate of paranoia and fear that extraordinary policies were implemented. The USA Patriot Act led to significant civil liberty restrictions whilst the mass surveillance of the digital environment became normalized.

In the United States torture was authorized in the name of preventing terrorism whilst the Guantanamo Bay facility in Cuba became a site in which accused individuals have been held without any adequate legal protection or due process.

Remarkably, the individual accused of leading the alleged 9/11 plot, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who ‘confessed’ to CIA interrogators after being ‘waterboarded’ 183 times, has recently received his trial date, set for January 11 2021 and 20 years after 9/11. Civil liberty restrictions, mass surveillance and torture were only a sub-strand of the major war-fighting-policy that was enabled by 9/11.

Presented at the time as America’s ‘New Pearl Harbour’, 9/11 provided the conditions for a series of major regime-change wars which persist until today.

Critically, these wars have not been primarily about combatting ‘Islamic fundamentalist terrorism’/Al Qaeda, but rather attacking ‘enemy’ states. Indeed, the evidence that the 9/11 event and the alleged threat of ‘Islamic fundamentalist’ was then exploited in order to pursue a geo-politically motivated set of regime-change wars which had little connection to the purported Al Qaeda threat is well established.

Former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, Wesley Clark, famously went public in 2006/7 stating that immediately after 9/11 he had been informed that the US was intending to attack seven countries within five years including Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Somalia, Sudan and Iran. Clark stated:

He [the Joint Staff officer] picked up a piece of paper, he said I just got this down from upstairs, from the Secretary of Defence’s office today, and he said this is a memo that describes how we are gonna take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and finishing off Iran.

Clark’s claims have recently been corroborated by retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson (chief of staff to Colin Powell and Iraq War planner) who stated that he had actually seen the same plans Clark was referring to many months prior to 9/11:

My first briefing in the Pentagon from an Air Force three-star general in February of 2001 I almost fell of my chair because their briefing included on the one hand the Air Force’s ability to take out 80 to 90% of the targets in North Korea in the first few hours of an aerial strike on that country to hey when we do Iraq we’re gonna do Syria and Lebanon and we’re going to do Iran and maybe Egypt … but this was more than that [just contingency planning] Wes Clark is right they had these plans they were going to go right through all these countries that they felt threatened Israel all through those countries that they felt threatened 25-30% of the world’s oil passing through the Strait of Hormuz.

Documentary evidence for these claims has come by way of the UK Chilcot Inquiry into the 2003 Iraq War. For example, a report quoted a British embassy cable, dated 15 September 2001, explained that ‘[t]he “regime-change hawks” in Washington are arguing that a coalition put together for one purpose [against international terrorism] could be used to clear up other problems in the region.’ Another document released by Chilcot shows British Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George Bush discussing phases one and two of the ‘war on terror’ and when to hit particular countries. Blair writes:

If toppling Saddam is a prime objective, it is far easier to do it with Syria and Iran in favour or acquiescing rather than hitting all three at once.

The regime-change wars that have flowed directly and indirectly from 9/11 continue to this day. War and conflict continues in Afghanistan and Iraq whilst the nine-year-long war in Syria has borne witness to extensive and illegal policies pursued by Western governments including the funding and arming of extremist groups coupled with support for groups actually aligned with Al Qaeda. Iran continues to be subjected to US hybrid warfare tactics including sanctions and covert operations whilst the threat of military action is very clear and present.

The human cost of these wars, built upon the ruthless exploitation of public fear of terrorism in order to pursue multiple ‘regime-change’ wars, has been huge. According to the Brown University ‘Costs of War Project’, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have killed a combined 480,000 to 507,000 civilians, coalition military members, and foreign fighters, with an untold number having been maimed and disfigured. IPPNW estimated that the first ten years of the ‘war on terror’ in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan killed 1.3 million people.

Since 2011, in Syria alone, over 400,000 people have died as a result of war. The numbers of people displaced as a result of these conflicts are also extremely high; wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Syria have wrought a combined 9.39 million refugees, 10.78 million internally displaced peoples, and 830,000 asylum seekers. In addition, there are persisting and very serious concerns with respect to the possible involvement of state actors with the event of 9/11.

Recent and critical developments regarding the events of 9/11 include the publication this week of the University of Alaska study of the WTC7 Collapse which confirms that the official US government investigation was wrong if not plain fraudulent. Other important developments include publication last year of the 9/11 Consensus Panel evidence and increasing scrutiny of the official narrative from mainstream academics.

Overall, the 9/11 global ‘war on terror’ is increasingly coming to be understood particularly across the world as, first and foremost, a remarkable propaganda campaign designed to enable violent conflict in the international system and with its effects and objectives being far wider and deeper than had been suggested by official narratives regarding the need to combat Al Qaeda.

CORONA VIRUS: A NEW 9/11?

The lesson of 9/11 is that major events can become what scholar Peter Dale Scott describes as deep events which are exploited by political actors in order to precipitate and manage major political, economic and social shifts. 9/11 became, in effect, the deep event that enabled 20 years of unfettered Western warfare abroad and severe civil liberty restrictions and extensive surveillance at home.

At the time of 9/11 many people in the West were terrified of terrorism. Public opposition to the invasion of Afghanistan (the first regime war to flow within months of 9/11) was almost impossible without being accused of being reckless in the ‘fight against terrorism’ or of being an ‘Al Qaeda’ sympathizer. Muslims throughout the West were widely despised. US President George Bush declared that ‘you are either with us or against us’. The parallels with what is happening today are obvious.

Is the Coronavirus a new 9/11, a new deep event? We cannot yet be sure, as of this writing. Perhaps the current strategy of suspending basic liberties will work to effectively eliminate all threats posed by the virus. Governments will then restore the civil liberties currently being suspended and all will fairly quickly return to the way things were before. Perhaps the economy will confidently weather the fallout from the ‘lockdowns’ and everything will return to business as usual.

And perhaps a sober ‘lessons learned’ review will lead to public health officials developing reasonable and balanced plans, such as developing sufficient capacity for rapid testing and tracing, which can be deployed the next time a sufficiently dangerous virus starts to spread thus avoiding terrifying publics and implementing draconian measures that inflict significant damage to the social and economic fabric of society.

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Can This Pandemic Usher in a New Era? – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on March 28, 2020

But Trump should go further, turn the tables, and seize this crisis to do what he was elected to do — impose a new foreign policy.

Isolate America, not from the world, but from the world’s wars.

The coronavirus is the enemy Saddam Hussein never was. And the ayatollahs never had tens of millions of Americans “sheltering in place.”

What the coronavirus crisis tells us is not that we should turn our backs on the world but that, in engaging with the world, we should put our own interests first, as every nation in the world is doing now.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/03/patrick-j-buchanan/can-this-pandemic-usher-in-a-new-era/

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To fight the coronavirus at home, France is removing all military forces from Iraq.

When NATO scaled back its war games in Europe because of the pandemic, Russia reciprocated. Moscow announced it would cancel its war games along NATO’s border.

Nations seem to be recognizing and responding to the grim new geostrategic reality of March 2020: The pandemic is the real enemy of us all, and while we fight it, each in his own national corner, we are in this together.

Never allow a serious crisis to go to waste, said Barack Obama’s chief of staff Rahm Emanuel during the financial crisis.

Emanuel was echoed this month by House Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn, who called the coronavirus crisis “a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.”

What Clyburn had in mind is what Democrats advanced as their alternative to the $2.2 trillion emergency bill. It was designed to force President Trump either to swallow it whole or to take responsibility for vetoing a critical transfusion of federal funds to keep the economy alive.

Among the items stuffed in the Democrats’ proposal:

A $15-an-hour minimum wage imposed on companies receiving funds. Blanket loan forgiveness of $10,000 for students. New tax credits for solar and wind energy. Full funding of Planned Parenthood. Federal dollars for fetal tissue research.

$300 million for PBS, which has been promoting the LBGT agenda to school kids. Mandating “diversity” on corporate boards as a condition of companies receiving funds. Election “reforms” to increase Democratic turnout. Insistence that airlines, to get a bailout, offset carbon emissions from jet engines. $35 million for the Kennedy Center.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and congressional Republicans ash-canned almost the leftist wish list.

But Trump should go further, turn the tables, and seize this crisis to do what he was elected to do — impose a new foreign policy.

Isolate America, not from the world, but from the world’s wars.

The New York Times and Washington Post editorialized Thursday for an easing of the economic sanctions we have imposed on Iran.

This would be a humanitarian gesture when Iran is suffering more than any country in the Middle East from the virus. More than that, it would be a statement that America is not at war with the Iranian people.

This unilateral gesture by Trump, asking nothing in return except negotiations, would put the onus for Iran’s isolation squarely with the ayatollah and his regime.

As for Vladimir Putin’s cancellation of war games in response to NATO’s cancellation, Trump could seize upon this as an opening to engage Russia as candidate Trump promised to do.

Does anyone believe Putin wants a war with NATO?

Should he do so, does anyone think Italy and Spain, two of the largest NATO allies, but both suffering greatly in the coronavirus crisis, would invoke Article V and declare war on Russia?

When Hitler was our foe, America created a wartime alliance with Stalin in the common cause of crushing the Axis powers. Liberals and leftists yet defend the Popular Front between the democracies and Stalin. If we could unite with Bolsheviks to defeat Nazis, surely we can join with Iran’s rulers to cope with and crush the coronavirus.

When, if ever, will there be a better time to make good on Trump’s campaign pledge to extricate America from the wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan?

Consider also the Korean Peninsula.

Kim Jong Un has been testing rockets again over the Sea of Japan.

Transfixed by the coronavirus crisis, however, the world is paying him no attention. We should make a final offer to Kim Jong Un to pull our U.S. forces from South Korea and lift sanctions for verifiable reductions and restraints on his nuclear arsenal.

We are ready for a deal. But If Pyongyang refuses to talk, we should tell him we are going home and are allowing South Korea and Japan to develop their own nuclear weapons. And let Kim deal with them.

The coronavirus pandemic is the greatest crisis since the Cuban missile confrontation of 1962. After that crisis, John F. Kennedy sought to use the world’s brush with Armageddon to establish a detente with the Soviet Union of the Communist dictator who had put the missiles in Cuba.

Following our Cold War victory, we have not done that. Instead, we plunged into wars that were none of our business to deal with imagined threats and advance utopian causes like establishing Jeffersonian democracy in lands where tribalism and dogmatism are rooted in the very soil.

The coronavirus is the enemy Saddam Hussein never was. And the ayatollahs never had tens of millions of Americans “sheltering in place.”

What the coronavirus crisis tells us is not that we should turn our backs on the world but that, in engaging with the world, we should put our own interests first, as every nation in the world is doing now.

Be seeing you

 

 

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How U.S. Foreign Policy Can Help Defeat Coronavirus | The National Interest

Posted by M. C. on March 27, 2020

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/skeptics/how-us-foreign-policy-can-help-defeat-coronavirus-137307

U.S. foreign policy can help defeat the novel coronavirus if our government is willing to foster positive international relations and abandon pointless conflicts that sap our strength.

by Bonnie Kristian

Sen. Tom Cotton’s statement on the novel coronavirus pandemic started with the standard encouragement we expect from public officials in times of crisis. “I have every confidence America will once again marshal the resolve, toughness, and genius of our people to overcome [this] serious threat to our health and well-being,” he said. But then the Arkansas senator continued, saying “we will hold accountable those who inflicted it on the world.” Shortly thereafter, responding to a tweet which interpreted the line to mean “China will pay for this,” Cotton simply wrote, “Correct.”

What sort of retaliation Cotton has in mind isn’t clear—though his reckless, military-first foreign policy record suggests troubling possibilities. But whatever Cotton’s agenda, a posture of international antagonism is exactly the wrong idea in a moment like this. U.S. foreign policy can help us face and overcome COVID-19 if our government is willing to engage in productive, realistic diplomacy instead of aggression and to stop wasting limited resources on useless overseas adventurism which fosters chaos abroad and does nothing for our security at home. Now is the time for cooperation and peace.

Voices across the political spectrum have urged an end to partisan blaming and shaming in our domestic coronavirus response, but Washington should stop trying to score political points over the crisis in foreign policy, too. Trump administration officials and congressional leaders who insist on adding criticism of China to every public comment on COVID-19 are not benefiting public health. A defensive and angry Beijing is less likely to share literally vital information with us and more likely to pump out anti-American propaganda. Escalating U.S.-Chinese tension is dangerous for ordinary people in both countries, even if it never reaches the point of military conflict.

“A lot of these emotional and punishment policies will over time come back to bite us,” Paul Haenle, who worked with China as a former National Security Council official in the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations, told Politico. “It is in the United States’ interests to prevent the epidemic from becoming a global pandemic,” Haenle argued in a recent essay. “Especially during this uncertain and challenging time for the bilateral relationship, it is vital that channels of communication stay wide open and that the United States puts its best foot forward.”

That’s certainly the case with China, but it’s also important where our European allies are concerned. Strong historic ties can fray or even break if good diplomatic relationships are not maintained under such duress. President Trump’s reported attempt—confirmed by Berlin—to buy exclusive access to a German company’s developing COVID-19 vaccine for American use only was a ghastly and unethical misstep. Germans are predictably furious that Trump would try to exclude them from vaccine access, particularly as the company in question intends to produce the vaccine “for the whole world, not for individual countries.” This is the kind of unforced error that can and must be avoided going forward.

Just as crucial as these diplomatic measures are re-prioritizing our use of limited resources. Nearly two decades of war in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa have been costly, counterproductive, and deadly for American troops and innocent local populations alike. It was unwise to continue fighting these endless wars before the novel coronavirus appeared. Now, this interventionist foreign policy is a “luxury” we cannot afford. Washington must exit these conflicts immediately and allow local political processes to negotiate sustainable resolutions that account for the unique cultural and religious factors in play. Wasting precious resources on needless wars in a time of pandemic is truly indefensible.

Fears about the effects of COVID-19 may prompt some in Washington to want to lash out at other nations, whether through rhetorical, economic, or military means. An emotional reaction in such a troubling time is understandable, yet it will only make matters worse. U.S. foreign policy can help defeat the novel coronavirus if our government is willing to foster positive international relations and abandon pointless conflicts that sap our strength.

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A Death Sentence, For Your Own Protection – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on March 27, 2020

Social science has established few correlations stronger than those linking high unemployment rates with higher rates of suicide, homicide, overdoses, alcoholism, and mental illness.

“Health officials” have always sought to monopolize testing within government (and government-certified hospital) ranks. And these impulses have caused the deaths of untold thousands.

In Italy, the government is using Coronavirus as an excuse to build ever-more expansive facial-recognition and social media databases and surveillance systems.  The Italian government now scours over Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts in search of curfew or quarantine violators.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/03/roger-roots/a-death-sentence-for-your-own-protection/

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Governments worldwide are censoring information about Coronavirus, obstructing testing, slowing cures, falsely imprisoning millions, destroying trillions of dollars of wealth, and killing untold thousands with dictatorial measures.

As these words are written, governors throughout America have issued orders (without resort to any statutes or legislation) shuttering thousands of businesses and terminating tens of millions of workers.  Some 70 million Americans are now imprisoned in their residences, needing government permission even to walk to a park.  The U.S. Justice Department is calling openly calling for indefinite detentions and a suspension of habeas corpus.

The United States is under the strictest level of martial law in history.  All borders are sealed.  Tanks and armored personnel carriers now roll through the streets of New York City, San Diego and other cities.

All of this is in response to COVID-19, the “Coronavirus,” a disease whose mortality statistics are almost certainly far below three percent for all who contract it.

The sheer folly and carnage of government overreaction to this threat will go down as unparalleled in American history.  Social science has established few correlations stronger than those linking high unemployment rates with higher rates of suicide , homicide, overdoses, alcoholism, and mental illness.  Studies have found that every 1 percent increase in unemployment likely increases violent crime by 14.3 per 100,000 residents, increases property crime by 1.8 percent and increases opioid death rates by 3.6 percent.  A 2015 study found that the unemployment associated with the economic crises of 2008 likely contributed to some 5,000 excess suicides in the following years.

Yet now, in 2020, the world’s governments are mandating astronomical unemployment and social isolation—in the name of preventing deaths.  These government responses to COVID-19 will almost certainly kill far more people than the dreaded disease itself. 

Perhaps saddest of all is that the U.S. government response has been something of a copy of draconian responses by the world’s most tyrannical dictators.

The COVID-19 outbreak is said to have started in the Wuhan Province of China, although this is contested in some circles.  The Chinese government’s reaction to Coronavirus was both Orwellian and totally ineffective.  Thousands died unnecessarily.

According to The Guardian, “China’s response to the outbreak included a month-long government cover-up in Wuhan . . .  that led to the rapid spread of the coronavirus.”  Chinese police punished and imprisoned doctors for “spreading rumours” about the virus.  The government denied for months that the virus was spread by human to human contact.  Officials suppressed reports of potential cases and turned people with symptoms away from hospitals.

When the Chinese government could no longer contain the “rumours,” it ordered the entire province of Wuhan locked down, in the middle of the night with an eight-hour gap before the order went into effect.  Thousands fled.

The government then ordered 50 million people quarantined.  It was the largest prison camp in history—a record that lasted only a month and a half before it was surpassed by regions of the United States.

When panic over the virus first hit American shores in January, officials at the FDA and CDC stymied private and academic development of diagnostic tests while pushing defective government tests.  The U.S. government stopped Seattle’s Dr. Helen Chu from testing for coronavirus because Chu’s lab “was not certified as a clinical laboratory under regulations established by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.”

Hundreds of Americans will likely die as a direct result of the CDC and FDA decrees in Seattle. It was not until March 17 that the FDA first gave emergency approval to any private company to distribute nongovernment COVID-19 tests to hospitals.  (The agency still prohibits distribution to private individuals.)

“Health officials” have always sought to monopolize testing within government (and government-certified hospital) ranks.  And these impulses have caused the deaths of untold thousands.  (AIDS and HIV ravaged the U.S. for three decades before the U.S. government finally permitted—in 2012—a private, at-home HIV test.  Prior to that, the stigma of that disease undoubtedly kept hundreds of thousands from getting tested at government-controlled clinics.  Thousands undoubtedly died as a result.)

The U.S. government has also banned production of nonapproved protective masks until manufacturers submit detailed applications to the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).  (Meanwhile government inspectors are grounded from travel to inspect the manufacturing facilities.)

The U.S. government (and state governments within the U.S.) followed the Chinese model of COVID-19 response to the letter.  Just as in China, American officials (1) enforced regulations which stalled and obstructed all efforts by private, local or academic medical experts to test or report on the virus, and then (2) overreacted to public concerns by implementing Orwellian measures to illustrate the government’s supposed control.

Today, Americans are being told they may not gather in groups larger than ten.  Many large families are, in fact, in violation of such decrees.  Chicago’s mayor has ordered citations and arrests for those who go outside for exercise.  On March 26, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that “nonessential” businesses which defy shutdown orders would have their water and utilities shut off.  (The designation of whether a business is essential or nonessential is known to change in seconds during press conferences or phone conversations.)

As I write these words, virtually every school, university, library, food court, gym and civic center has been closed by government decree (not laws, codes, or statutes, mind you).  And while politicians spoke in velvet tones about health and fresh air, they have shuttered every available national park and almost every campground.

As always, those within government, and prominent pro-government celebrities, are getting preferential treatment for testing and treatment.  And while governments are locking down millions of inhabitants, demanding government permission documents for all travel, and banning gatherings of more than a few people, these bans do not apply to government itself.  Cops and National Guard units now march through the streets by the score.

In Italy, the government is using Coronavirus as an excuse to build ever-more expansive facial-recognition and social media databases and surveillance systems.  The Italian government now scours over Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts in search of curfew or quarantine violators.

Stay tuned!

Be seeing you

 

 

 

 

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Russia and China Assist European Nations – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on March 26, 2020

US/NATO bombs Serbia, EU ignores it, Russia and China save it.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/03/yvonne-lorenzo/russia-and-china-assist-european-nations/

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Lew Rockwell recently in his powerful “War on China?” wrote that “People are understandably upset about the coronavirus epidemic, but if we’re not careful, an even greater danger lies ahead. Sinister forces in American political life are using the crisis to incite war with China and to stir up bad feelings towards the Chinese people. The Chinese people are in fact heroic. They are our friends, not our enemies. But the forces of evil want you to think otherwise.”

I don’t know if Washington would consider or China would be interested in providing medical protective gear and respirators to America, given recent statements by President Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo. But even if the Chinese government is “authoritarian,” certainly, as I and others have written recently, America too has an authoritarian bent as well.

As is documented both on China’s CGTN channel on YouTube, and on RT, both nations are helping, especially in the case of Serbia whose request for EU aid was refused. Today, as I write these words, is the anniversary of the NATO bombing campaign on Serbia. From the article:

“Twenty-one years ago, NATO, without obtaining permission to intervene from the United Nations, launched armed aggression against Serbia, thus crudely violating the UN Declaration, the Helsinki Accords, a number of other international conventions and its own act on the creation of NATO of 1949,” the statement runs. “It has been and will remain a crime against peace and humanity. The act of aggression, committed in alliance with the terrorist Kosovo Liberation Army, left an estimated 3,500-4,000 people dead and 12,500 others injured and caused tremendous economic damage. The use of depleted uranium rounds and other prohibited weapons was a long-term hazard to the people and the environment. NATO turned itself into an aggressive, interventionist alliance with an outspokenly expansionist policy targeting the East first and foremost.”

Therefore, I am not surprised that the EU refused Serbia’s request for assistance and China has been a major help, as these videos from CGTN show. This video posted on March 16th.

Serbia’s state of emergency: ‘China is the only country that can help’

This video also posted:

Serbian landmarks lit up red to salute China

“A number of landmarks in the Serbian capital were lit up in red on March 21 and 22 as a tribute to China. The local government used this gesture to thank the Chinese government for providing medical assistance and to pay tribute to the Chinese medical expert group.”

And this video was posted as well:

“Serbian president kisses Chinese national flag as support team arrives.”

“Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic greeted Chinese medics who arrived in Serbia on Saturday. He kissed the Chinese national flag in a show of gratitude for China’s timely support against the COVID-19 outbreak. Read the rest of this entry »

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