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The Guardian on Jan 15, 2023 published the most perfect piece of new normal nostalgia that ever was or could be: Coronavirus: ‘People aren’t taking this seriously’: experts say US Covid surge is big risk by Melody Schreiber.
This piece may be studied as a Platonic Form.
Nothing could more perfectly demonstrate the inability of the covid fear porn publishers to let go of the narrative.
If the author didn’t have her own website, I would have attributed the piece to an instance of ChatGPT trained on every Guardian and New York Times article from the past three years.
The writer employs every single discredited covid trope at least once.
I will list a few of the best, here. To cover them all I would have to quote the entire article and that would violate the Fair Use Doctrine.
Chalk up yet another legal victory for gun rights advocates: On Monday, the government of Tennessee officially admitted its attempt to outlaw the carry of guns by adults under 21 is unconstitutional, The Reload was first to report.
Lawyers for the state signed onto an "agreed order," which is a written agreement among parties to a lawsuit that becomes an order of the court upon the judge's approval. In part, Monday's agreed order reads:
“The Challenged Scheme regulating the possession and carrying of handguns that restricts individuals aged 18 years old to 20 years old from carrying handguns or obtaining permits to carry handguns on the basis of age alone violates the Second and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.
“Defendant and his officers, agents, employees, and all others acting under his direction and control, are permanently enjoined from implementing or enforcing the Challenged Scheme.”
The state now faces a 90-day deadline to begin processing enhanced carry permit applications submitted by Tennesseans under 21. The state will also have to shell out almost $47,250 to cover legal the plaintiffs' legal costs.
In 2021, Tennessee ended the requirement for most adults to have a permit to carry a handgun. However, it does issue what is not called an "enhanced handgun carry permit."
Days ago Facebook, which is now Meta, announced it is welcoming Ukraine's Azov Regiment to its platform. Azov had up until recently, and throughout the Russian invasion of Ukraine, been on Meta's of "dangerous organizations" list.
It was on this banned list because the militia's members regularly display Nazi symbols and signs on their uniforms and as part of the their media content. But now, pro-Azov content can be freely posted, and the group can create its own official accounts on Facebook and Instagram for the first time.
The Washington Post recently detailed that the change "will allow members of the Azov Regiment to create accounts on Facebook and Instagram and post content without fear of it being removed unless it breaks the company’s content rules." Additionally, "The move will also enable other users to explicitly praise and support the group’s work."
The company headed by Mark Zuckerberg still sought to emphasize that "Hate speech, hate symbols, calls for violence and any other content which violates our Community Standards are still banned, and we will remove this content if we find it."
Ukrainian officials have especially since the summer lobbied hard for Facebook/Meta's Oversight Board to loosen up its restrictions on Azov, saying it was 'unfair' and that it's keeping Ukrainian media organizations from sharing accurate information about the war in real-time.
The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Jan. 20 to make some COVID-era protections for renters permanent, less than two weeks before they were set to expire.
“Today was a huge victory,” recently-elected Councilmember Katy Yaroslavsky posted to Twitter after the vote.
“The Los Angeles City Council just unanimously adopted several common sense tenant protections that will protect thousands of Angelenos facing eviction, and help make our work around homelessness and reducing poverty that much easier.”
The council approved moratoriums for renters - including no-fault evictions and nonpayments - beginning at the height of the pandemic and were to expire Feb. 1.
The lockdowns of March 2020 shocked the American people and most public health agencies, not to mention infectious disease doctors.
The idea of school shutdowns, business closures, plus mandatory remote work and other restrictions have previously seemed inconceivable. It was especially remarkable to have such an “all-of-government” response to a virus that we already knew posed a threat mainly to the elderly and infirm.
Issues like public-health precedent, American legal tradition, and medical knowledge about dealing with respiratory viruses, not to mention natural immunity and collateral damage of lockdowns, were all thrown out the window.
Robert Kennedy, Jr.’s book The Real Anthony Fauci mentions a tabletop exercise called “Crimson Contagion” that ran from January through August, 2019. I had not previously heard of it and I found the mention remarkable, simply because it proves that not everyone was shocked by lockdowns.
They were not part of official planning documents of either the CDC or WHO but they were clearly in the plans of someone.
On the old comedy show “In Living Color” comic genius Jim Carrey did a routine that PERFECTLY depicts the Woke Culture that has since taken over large parts of the world.
30 years ago this was a joke.
Now people with this mentality are everywhere, especially in academia, government, and the mass news media.
The talented comedians always see it coming.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) told The Times of Israel that the US should sell F-35 fighter jets to Arab countries that have normalized with Israel under the Abraham Accords in exchange for investments that could benefit the Palestinians.
The Trump administration promised 50 F-35s to the UAE as its reward for normalizing with Israel. The deal was held up due to concerns in Congress about Israel losing its military edge in the region if the UAE acquires the jets, which have never been sold to a US Arab ally.
The Biden administration ultimately said it supports the F-35 sale, which is part of a major $23 billion arms deal that includes Reaper drones and munitions, but the sale still hasn’t been finalized.
As reported earlier by Cristina Laila – According to emails uncovered from the “Laptop from Hell,” Hunter Biden sent his business partner Devon Archer a very detailed email on Ukraine on April 13, 2014 – just one week before Joe Biden visited Ukraine to meet with then-Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.
It appears that Hunter Biden was emailing Devon Archer information he received from a briefing his father and Vice President Joe Biden held earlier. Or the information may have come directly from top-secret documents.
A possible visit by US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to Taiwan would likely prompt a military response from mainland China, but milder than the one that followed former speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit, observers said.
The US Defence Department is preparing for McCarthy to visit Taiwan this spring, Punchbowl News reported, in what would be the second trip to the island by a US House speaker in less than a year.
A meeting between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Group of 20 summit last November was intended to pave the way for improved relations between the two nations, but a possible McCarthy visit has stoked new concerns of another deterioration in relations.
Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team.
Two articles I read Monday are typical of polarized, indeed antithetical, views on the Russia-Ukraine War.
At the British Guardian, Simon Tisdall says this is Europe’s moment to step up and support Ukraine in a righteous war against Putin. He concludes, with passion:
Zelenskiy is right. Risk-averse Nato has been too slow and too cautious from the start. To outpace tyranny, Europe must fight – and fight to win. Our common future depends on it.
Putin, the tyrant, must be stopped in Ukraine, or Poland and Germany could be next. Fighting to win means that Ukraine must be given not only hundreds of Leopard 2 tanks but also combat jets. The combination of tanks, jets, and related ancillary equipment will enable Ukraine to drive Russian forces out of the country in a quasi-Blitzkrieg operation. Victory to the West!
Why not talks instead of tanks?
An Israeli group raising funds for Jewish extremists convicted in some of the country’s most notorious hate crimes is collecting tax-exempt donations from Americans, according to findings by The Associated Press and the Israeli investigative platform Shomrim.
The records in the case suggest that Israel’s far right is gaining a new foothold in the United States.
The amount of money raised through a U.S. nonprofit is not known. But the AP and Shomrim have documented the money trail from New Jersey to imprisoned Israeli radicals who include Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassin and people convicted in deadly attacks on Palestinians.
This overseas fundraising arrangement has made it easier for the Israeli group, Shlom Asiraich, to collect money from Americans, who can make their contributions through the U.S. nonprofit with a credit card and claim a tax deduction.
Many Israeli causes, from hospitals to universities to charities, raise money through U.S.-based arms. But having the strategy adopted by a group assisting Jewish radicals raises legal and moral questions.
It wasn’t an ordinary strike. It wasn’t about better pay, and it wasn’t about better working conditions. Rather, it was about preventing an overthrow of the system of government that could easily wipe out the industry that employs and sustains them.
Hundreds of high-tech workers, perhaps as many as a thousand, participated in Tuesday’s hour-long strike – from 11 A.M. to noon – in one of the main industry hubs in Tel Aviv, just outside the Defense Ministry headquarters. They came carrying Israeli flags and signs that read “No democracy, no high-tech” and “No freedom, no high-tech.”
In a piece of bizarre political theater, the US now officially recognizes a government in Venezuela that does not exist. Despite the termination of the government recognized by the US, State Department spokesman Ned Price assured a press briefing that "our approach has not changed." The US still considers the elected President illegitimate – an increasingly isolated position – and the assembly the unelected president led legitimate, though he no longer leads it, and they are no longer the assembly.
Since February of 2019, the US has recognized the never elected Juan Guaidó as the legitimate leader of Venezuela, creating an already bizarre situation in which there were parallel governments in Venezuela: one recognized within the country and one recognized outside the country.
But the US plan failed in its goal of removing Nicolás Maduro from power. And after four years, the opposition in Venezuela decided to abandon the plan and move on. At the end of December, 2022, Venezuela’s opposition lawmakers by an overwhelming preliminary vote of 72-23, removed Guaidó from power and pulled the plug on his interim government. On December 30, three of Venezuela’s four main opposition parties supported the proposal to remove Guaidó.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday appointed members to the select subcommittee on the weaponization of the federal government.
“The government has a responsibility to serve the American people, not go after them,” McCarthy said. “Unfortunately, throughout Democrats’ one-party rule in Washington we saw a dangerous pattern of the government being used to target political opponents while they neglected their most basic responsibilities.”
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday told reporters that George Santos will be removed from Congress if the House Ethics Committee determines the freshman Rep. broke the law.
George Santos flipped New York’s 3rd Congressional district red in November when he defeated Robert Zimmerman.
Last month Santos admitted he lied about his education, employment history and Jewish background in an interview with the New York Post.
“I am not a criminal,” Santos said during his exclusive interview. “This [controversy] will not deter me from having good legislative success. I will be effective. I will be good.”
A former Las Vegas Judge committed suicide a year after she resigned from her position after facing an ethics investigation.
Per the Clark County coroner’s office, Judge Melanie Andress-Tobiasson died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
According to Andress-Tobiasson, she resigned in an attempt to avoid a complicated ethics investigation that started when she attempted to rescue her daughter from being allegedly sex trafficked.
Andress-Tobiasson troubles began when her 16 year old daughter started to work at Top Knotch, a clothing store that Andress-Tobiasso believed was running a prostitution ring that would recruit teenage girls.
In an act she believed would protect her daughter, Andress-Tobiasso reached out to local law enforcement to warn them about the store owner at the time, but she claimed she received no action.
This led to to Abdress-Tobiasso to reach out to Federal investigators which resulted in the Nevada’s Judicial Discipline Commission to launch an investigation into Andress-Tobiasso for breaching judicial rules.
The Biden administration is a disgrace.
U.S. service members who got fired for refusing to comply with the Pentagon’s tyrannical COVID vaccine mandate are now being forced to pay back their signing bonuses.
One service member said he got a $7,000 bonus for signing up for six years – he was asked to pay back over $4,000 of that.
He said that he was able to cover the amount he owed by selling unused vacation days. According to the service member, many didn’t have this same recourse to pay what they owed.