A new peer reviewed study by Stanford researchers has found that mandatory lockdowns do not provide more benefits to stopping the spread of COVID-19 than voluntary measures such as social distancing.
The study compared countries that had imposed mandatory lockdowns, such as England, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and the U.S., to those that had relied on the public to follow voluntary measures, such as Sweden and South Korea.
The researchers subtracted “the sum of non-pharmaceutical intervention (NPI) effects and epidemic dynamics in countries that did not enact more restrictive non-pharmaceutical interventions (mrNPIs) from the sum of NPI effects and epidemic dynamics in countries that did.”
After analyzing the data, the researchers found “no clear, significant beneficial effect of [more restrictive measures] on case growth in any country.”
The authors added that they “do not question the role of all public health interventions,” but insisted that stay at home orders and business closures had no additional impacting on lowering the spread of the virus.
The study adds to the weight of evidence that clearly indicates lockdowns are totally pointless and only create further misery and death.
According to Professor Philip Thomas of Bristol University, the UK lockdown will end up costing 500,000 lives due to the health impact of the economic recession it will cause.
Untold numbers of people will also die from having their urgent treatments delayed as well as avoiding hospitals.
According to research published by Imperial College London and Johns Hopkins University, around 1.4 million people globally will also die from untreated TB infections.
Last September, Germany’s Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development, Gerd Muller, warned that lockdown measures throughout the globe will end up killing more people than the coronavirus itself.
Social media companies have now demonstrated their power to impact free speech, free press, free association, and to control the flow of information. These monopoly interests also seem to be aligned with both the national security state and one of our major political parties. The use of fear and authoritarian control of the flow of information is how fascists rose to power in Germany and Italy prior to WWII. It’s how communism spread in Russia and China. It’s how military dictators assumed and held power. This level of unaccountable power as a threat to democracy. We need to come together to preserve the right to free speech and association—to privacy—including the right to peacefully demonstrate and organize politically for people of all political persuasions. We need to do this even given current circumstances, and even though we may appear to be indirectly supporting Donald Trump.
What took place last Friday was nothing short of a modern version of “The Night of the Long Knives.” Twitter banned Trump, took down multiple Trump related pages, including his campaign page, and deleted the accounts of many of his most prominent allies. Google removed social media platform Parler from its App Store. Apple immediately followed. Prior to its removal, Parler was the most downloaded app in America. Many prominent Facebook groups such as the #WalkAway movement were also deleted. Reddit took down the largest Trump community on its page, and Discord followed suit on their platform. Shopify has removed hosting services for Trump’s online store. CNN requested that the major cable providers take Fox News off the air. Yahoo petitioned to de-platform conservative voices. A sitting US Senator, Josh Hawley, lost his book deal. Numerous democratic party groups demanded that Senator Hawley and Cruz resign from the Senate.
All of this happened in about twenty-four hours starting last Friday and impacted around half of the people of this country. Trump alone had 88 million followers on his Twitter feed—this is more votes than Joe Biden got in the last election. We need to figure out how to look beyond the hysteria following the breach of Congress on Wednesday, and see these actions as an unprecedented challenge to basic political freedoms including the free flow of information for a significant portion of the American people. Whether we agree with these people or not, their voices should not be silenced on social media. If these people are silenced politically, what is their alternative? “Liberals” used to believe in free speech and association and to understand that political speech needs to be protected—what happened?
In the months leading up to the election, we’ve seen stories suppressed on social media. Not only about Hunter Biden but about Covid-19 including any discussion of problems with testing, the mRNA vaccines, alternative treatments, the efficacy of lockdowns or mask wearing, including the origins of the virus. Twitter even banned an entire medical journal for publishing a study indicating Ivermectin was effective in treating this virus. We’ve seen Google demonetize popular websites that dissented from the current political and social orthodoxy. People and groups with huge on line presences built up over many years have awaken to find their content gone with no appeal or any way to regain access to this content. We’ve seen certain groups including entire online communities shut down. The bias behind these actions seems blatant and targeted to people who could be described as political enemies of these huge corporate monopolies, the national security state, and/or the democratic party. Wake up people! This is not what this country is supposed to stand for!
For the first time in American history a group of huge corporations are powerful and wealthy enough to control our voices by controlling the flow of information. This gives private corporations the ability to censor any information these monopolists deem ‘unacceptable’ or ‘not factual’, deleting content at their sole discretion. Dissent is no longer allowed, and if someone spreads information these huge corporations don’t approve of, they are banned.
We’ve seen the same censorship and demonization applied to anyone trying to poke holes in election data or attempting to explore and discuss problems with these voting machines, or issues related to the wholesale mailing of ballots to every registered voter. Despite the clear fact that many of these concerns are justified, including the need more secure and open election procedures A video of an expert hacking into voting machines in real time and changing results was even taken down. I favor banning all machines using proprietary data and requiring ballots marked by hand and counted in public. Even if you don’t believe election fraud occurred or occurs, millions of Americans do believe and their concerns are valid and will not go away.
This disease of political repression has spread to Congress. A new bill has suddenly appeared before the Congress to deal with “domestic terrorism.” This reminds me of the Patriot Act after 9/11 and I fear this bill will entrench the above trends. The bill will expand law enforcement power to surveil any American or group of Americans deemed a threat. If this bill seems reasonable and pragmatic, I urge you to recall our history of targeting native Americans, Japanese citizens, anti-war voices, and the way these anti-war voices and the people investigated by Joseph McCarthy were treated. These people were not provided with due process nor did the actions taken to suppress them comport with any concept of the Rule of Law or the Bill of Rights. Such a bill would represent an unnecessary expansion of government power to monitor, suppress, prosecute and interfere with the right of Americans to organize for political change. It’s true purpose is to intimidate, to frighten and to destroy anyone deemed a threat to the current structure of corporate and political power—which I contend is increasingly corrupt and dangerous to this country’s future.
Are you with these corrupt and anti-democratic authoritarians who have divided our country? It’s not easy to see through the haze and observe the degree to which economic and political power has been concentrated and how the wishes, and needs of the vast majority of Americans have been ignored. The means being used are the classic divide and conquer strategy and it is being deployed to conceal the fact that 85% of all Americans have no real political representation or power today.
We must oppose these efforts to use fear and revenge to stampede us into supporting unneeded legislation which will empower the national security state and encroach even further on the Bill of Rights in the name of entrenched corporate interests and concentrated economic and political power.
It was only a matter of time before the BFD caught the attention of media censors. Facebook has fired a warning shot over The BFD this week advising that the site’s page does not adhere to their community guidelines.
Is this really what we want? Private companies with financial interests setting free speech standards on virtually every outcome that you can think of? Health, politics, finance, sexuality, education and conservation, the list is endless.
The media monsters have turned on the conservatives who contributed to their empowerment. Four years ago President Donald Trump discovered their rabid appetite for destruction of the conservative voice; scientists with evidence that contradicts the financially lucrative climate change agenda and dissenters to the commonly held belief that lockdown stops the spread of COVID-19 are systematically closed down by social media censorship.
Censorship has replaced logic, analysis and debate introducing emotion as more valuable than fact. This is absolutely disastrous.
The power of the social media monsters: YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Google was a gift from the people, astronomically increasing the influence of a few social media elites with extraordinary power to drive the liberal narrative and unfairly shut down opposition.
“These are privately run companies that have aggressively leveraged network effects—the phenomenon by which the value of a user’s network engagement increases in tandem with the participation of other users—to create a communications oligopoly. As a result, crucial decisions about what can and cannot be said in the public sphere are now being made by small groups of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. In some cases, it really just comes down to the up-or-down vote of a single person.”
Of course, the tail is wagging the dog and social media defenders, in total agreement to shut down disruptive conservative voices, claim that privately run companies have every right to censor offending commentary. The majority no longer rules and democracy is a farce. In this digital age the most powerful rule and they are the liberal voices, the shareholders of social media companies.
Media moguls are politically progressive and this mindset is exemplified in liberal laws in California where, for example, shoplifting is legal up to the value of US$950. This law was the result of California prosecutors not wanting to be bothered by petty criminals.
Arbitrary censorship is neither moral nor fair and it is supported by news media also clamouring to close down the conservative voice. Douglas Murray gives an example of media enthusiasm to silence lockdown critics, demonstrating the inherent weakness and ridiculousness of carte blanche censorship.
“YouTube banned the UK’s TalkRadio from their platform, “terminating’ the channel’s ability to post because the broadcaster had “posted material that contradicted expert advice about the coronavirus pandemic.”
But has the WHO, the authority on COVID-19, acted consistently or fairly? Have they examined the myriad studies now available on COVID-19? Murray claims not.
“Throughout the Covid crisis the WHO has repeatedly been shown to be untrustworthy, under-informed and politicised to an extent which would shock anybody not previously aware of their existence. It was the WHO, for example, that said some while back that asymptomatic spread of the virus is very rare; other authorities, including the CDC and the UK government, have said that it is in fact responsible for a large number of infections. Back in the spring U.S. health authorities stated that masks don’t reduce transmission and should not be worn, something that would get a content creator removed from YouTube only weeks later.”
The facts of any matter are a moving target because science constantly updates and adds information, but open debate at least provides a platform to debate the issues and move forward with public involvement.
“We’ve come a long way since that night when Freddy dumped a bowl of mashed potatoes on Donald’s head because he was being such a brat.” (Donald Trump’s sister Maryanne at the White House in April 2017). Everyone laughed … except Donald who listened with his arms tightly crossed and a scowl on his face…“
By Roger Childs
As Donald Trump’s highly unusual, intensely interesting and very controversial presidency comes to an end, it is timely to reflect on the man who has millions of followers and millions of detractors. He was the candid candidate in late 2015 as a dozen Republicans, mainly experienced politicians, started competing to be the GOP presidential nominee for the 2016 election.
How did this man get to the start line and then amaze the U.S. and the World by winning the presidency?
Mary L. Trump is Donald Trump’s niece and Too Much and Never Enough is the inside story of a very wealthy but highly dysfunctional family, and the president it produced. Her feelings about her famous uncle is summed up in the book’s sub-title How my family created the world’s most dangerous man.
Fred Trump the money maker
Mary is the daughter of Fred and Mary Trump’s eldest son, the late Freddy Trump. Obviously her father’s story features, but the two main characters in her perceptive analysis of growing up as a Trump are Fred and Donald – the former built the Trump Real Estate Empire and the latter almost destroyed it.
Fred was the patriarch, a domineering individual with fixed views, who expected everyone to live up to his expectations and abide by his wishes, and if they didn’t they would be berated, humiliated, isolated and not supported. Fred knew how to make money and took advantage of any influential people who could help him, and tapped into subsidies that might be on offer to promote commercial and housing developments. He had an aversion to two things:
Frank assumed his eldest son would be the man to ultimately take over the company, but Freddy didn’t enjoy working for his father and after a few years pursued his interest in flying to become a pilot flying with TWA. His father didn’t approve so Freddy gave it up, but in the years that followed he became an alcoholic, was divorced and passed away in his forties.
The heir apparent — Donald J. Trump
So Fred subsequently put all his faith in second son Donald, who from his childhood was arrogant, self-centred, narcissistic and dishonest. For example he paid a friend to sit his university qualifying exam.
The book reveals what is now well-known that Donald was a disaster as a businessman:
making many poor and costly decisions
running up huge debts in the hundreds of millions of dollars
being bankrupted four times
using and underpaying undocumented workers
not always paying contractors for completed work.
Among his worst deals was to move into Atlantic City and build two casinos which struggled to make ends meet. And then he made the disastrous decision to commission the construction of a third called the Taj Mahal.
However, he was flamboyant, confident and popular, and was great copy for the media. Fred was happy to see the Trump name in the headlines and bank-rolled virtually all Donald’s deals — and frequently bailed him out.
Donald cultivated politicians, lawyers, bankers and anyone who would support his schemes and massage his ego. He built a reputation based on bravado and dishonesty and yet many people of influence bought into it. He often humiliated and neglected other members of the Trump clan and grudgingly attended regular family gatherings, mainly in deference to his successful father and ailing mother. Mary’s family was treated shamefully.
As the back cover puts it: She describes a nightmare of traumas, destructive relationships and a tragic combination of neglect and abuse.
As a family member and clinical psychologist Mary Trump was the ideal person to write this book which provides perceptive insights into how her family created the world’s most dangerous man. This is a fluent insider story which is often grim, but sometimes humorous, based on first-hand experience. At just 211 pages it is an absorbing, easy read.
It’s an important book which should be read by anyone who wants to understand the phenomenon that is Donald J. Trump.
My colleague from the philosophy department was becoming increasingly angry.
He was trying to be polite, but it was clear that he was raging inside. After a few minutes, he smiled a very strained smile and excused himself.
Our conversation was about California, or to be more specific, California governance. As readers can imagine, he was bullish on how the Democratic Party governs the state, California being perhaps the most one-party state in the USA. Every statewide election has gone to a Democrat in the last decade, and Democrats have a supermajority in the state legislature, which means that there is no meaningful Republican opposition and whatever the Democrats want, they get.
From Jared Taylor at unz.com: Joe Biden has the people who took over the Capitol on January 6 figured out. In just two days, he had them pegged for “a bunch of thugs, insurrectionists, white supremacists, and anti-Semites, and it’s not enough.” Not enough? He also said they were “domestic terrorists.” […]