“The Chinese Communist Party “is the biggest and most serious virus of all . . . The CCP represses and manipulates information to strengthen its hold on power. It is time to recognize the threat the Chinese Communist Party poses to all humanity.” — Chen Guangcheng, blind Chinese dissident, now a refugee in the US. (Asia news April 27, 2020)
Bloomberg News is said to censor articles that might anger China and expose Xi’s personal wealth. And the European Union just softened criticism of China in a report on disinformation about the pandemic… It looks as though free thought is more valued among China’s daring dissidents than in many corners of the West.
To paraphrase Leon Trotsky: You may not be interested in China, but China is interested in you. (Gatestone, 5/17/2020)
EU UNHAPPY WITH CHINA
The Western Balkan states, including Serbia, should publicly acknowledge the EU’s support in combating the Covid-19 pandemic, the EU demands in the final declaration at its Zagreb Western Balkan Summit last Wednesday. The summit had been preceded by harsh criticism of Chinese aid deliveries to Serbia, which have aroused strong resentment in Berlin and Brussels. EU Foreign Affairs Commissioner Josep Borrell accused Beijing of waging “a struggle for influence” with its “politics of generosity.” For years, Germany and the EU have been trying to counter the growing influence of other powers in the Southeastern European non-EU countries. This pertains to the Turkish, Russian and Chinese cultural and military policies and their economic activities. The EU dominance over the Western Balkan countries’ economy has only drained these countries of billions of euros and rendered their recovery impossible. This is why they are turning also to China. (German Foreign Policy 5/18/2020)
UK: Sunak warns of ‘severe recession’ and ‘more hardship’
Rishi Sunak (Britain’s Finance Minister) has forecast that Britain is facing a “severe recession, the likes of which we haven’t seen” and warned that it is “not obvious there will be an immediate bounceback.” Following a sharp rise in unemployment benefit claims, the chancellor told a Lords committee that there is “no doubt there will be more hardship to come.” (The Economist, 5/20/2020)
Member-states of the World Health Organization unanimously agreed to set up an independent inquiry into the covid-19 pandemic. The “impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation” will look at the WHO’s own role in the crisis. America, in particular, has been critical of the inter-governmental organization. Its boss, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the inquiry would start “at the earliest opportunity.”
OPPOSITION TO LOCKDOWNS GATHERS PACE
(Direct quote from The Economist) ” IN MORE THAN 30 of America’s 50 state capitals angry crowds have been gathering to protest against stay-at-home orders. Buoyed by tweets from President Donald Trump encouraging them to “liberate” their states, some even compare their elected officials to the Nazis. A few among them toting assault weapons are dressed incongruously in Hawaiian shirts. They might seem almost comical were it not for the fact that, in the fetid corners of the internet, such beachwear is recognized as the uniform of the extreme right.
“The spreading of conspiracy theories is central to the extreme right’s activities. Some claim the virus is a hoax. Others blame the Chinese, the Jews or even Bill Gates. Some claim that the federal government is using the virus as a pretext to confiscate weapons and enforce “medical martial law.” Extremists also spread more familiar conspiracy theories, decrying 5G networks and vaccinations, which help introduce the uninitiated to their ideology.
“A closer look at the far right’s beliefs helps explain why extremists have been energized by America’s new reality.
“The most familiar of these is white supremacy. Its adherents exploit the virus’s geographical origins to drum up racial antipathy towards Chinese people. Anti-semites have been accusing Jews of deliberately spreading plagues ever since the Black Death, and covid-19 gives them a chance to reuse the template. The supremacists thus use fears about “white genocide” to argue for closed borders and eventually a white ethno-state. “Open borders is the virus,” declares one protest sticker placed on road signs.” (The Economist, 5/20/2020)
DURBAN: CORRUPTION IN FOOD DISTRIBUTION
Hunger and starvation in Durban Allegations are flying thick and fast as some desperate eThekwini residents wait for the delivery of food parcels, one of the brutal consequences of government’s draconian and extended Covid-19 lockdown. (by Des Erasmus, 12 May 2020, Daily Maverick )
[ eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality is a metropolitan municipality created in 2000, that includes the city of Durban, South Africa and surrounding towns. eThekwini is one of the 11 districts of KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. The majority of its 3,442,361 people speak Zulu. It was formed from seven formerly independent local councils and tribal land. ]
Hunger — and more particularly the very real fear of starvation — has roused already elevated suspicions in some of the province’s rural areas, where peering through a curtain at midnight and seeing “food being delivered at that time” has led to allegations of theft and mismanagement of the parcels by councillors. What the lockdown has revealed is that it is ordinary citizens who are stepping up to place food on the plates of the province’s distressed. And allegations about councillors who milk the lockdown to ensure they are able to “buy support” for next year’s local government elections in order to keep their seats. But just how deep and real this problem is, is difficult to uncover. Even the South African Police Services couldn’t provide clarity.
Nevertheless, perceived or real, over the course of the weekend and into Monday, Daily Maverick received several calls from eThekwini residents accusing councillors of distributing food to friends and family. One such call involved the “peering through the window” scenario in Ward 94 of eThekwini Metro, which includes the areas of KwaMakhutha and Ensimbini, just west of the seaside suburb of Amanzimtoti. “The councillor was seen handing out food parcels at about midnight on Saturday to people who were her friends and family. One lady went to collect parcels and was turned away,” a resident, who asked not to be named for fear of repercussions, told Daily Maverick.
CONTROVERSY IN GERMANY OVER HUAWEI
In the wake of the most recent US devastating blow launched at Huawei, demands are again being raised in Berlin to exclude the Chinese company from setting up Germany’s 5G networks. Huawei should not have an opportunity in Germany, insists Norbert Röttgen, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the German Bundestag. The government’s current draft for a revised version of the IT security law, in principle, does not exclude the participation of Chinese companies but includes an ambiguous clause (“trustworthiness test”) that could be applied against them. While the discussion is continuing in Berlin, the Trump administration announced that, in the future, chip manufacturers anywhere in the world, using specialized US equipment must obtain a special US government license to supply Huawei. Experts estimate that should this directive be implemented – which would subjugate key sectors of the world’s economy to US control – nearly 90 percent of Huawei sales would be threatened. Subsequently, German companies would also suffer damages. (German Foreign Policy, 5/19/2020)
WIFE BEATING ADVICE FROM QATARI OFFICIAL
Dr. Ahmad Al-Farjabi, a shari’a expert from the Qatari Ministry of Religious Endowments, said in a May 6, 2020 interview on Al-Jazeera Network (Qatar) that Muslims are not the only people who beat their wives and that when a man suspects his wife might turn out to be rebellious, he should take the measures prescribed by the Quran, the third of which is beating his wife. Dr. Al-Farjabi added that even Western psychologists have said that wife-beating is “inevitable” for women who had been beaten while they were growing up and for women who have no respect for their husbands. He said that these kinds of women must be “subdued by muscles,” and that some kinds of women “may be reformed by beating.” Al-Farjabi also said that he has even heard from women at his lectures that it is preferable to beat one’s wife than to allow her to ruin the home and lose her children. (MEMRI 5/18/2020)
NUREMBERG CODE FORBIDS VACCINES WITHOUT CONSENT
The Nuremberg Code (1947) is a set of research ethics and principles for human experimentation created as a result of the Nuremberg trials at the end of the Second World War, when the notorious doctor’s experiments where supposed to have come to an end.
It established a set of guiding principles for the Right of the patient to be informed of their medical treatment options and to give their consent before any medical treatment could be performed.
It feels now more than ever that the mass experimentation on humanity is under way once more with enforced vaccines looking an inevitable thing for anyone that wants to do anything. But know your rights and be better prepared.
The Nuremberg Code is one of the most influential documents in the history of clinical research
Code 6 also states: The risks should never exceed the benefits. According to Article 6 of the Unesco 2005 statement on Bioethics and Human Rights.
Article 6, section 1: Any preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic medical interventions is only to be carried out with the prior, free and informed consent of the person concerned, based on adequate information. The consent should, where appropriate, be expressed and may be withdrawn by the person concerned at any time and for any reason WITHOUT DISADVANTAGE or prejudice. (caps mine)
Alan Dershowitz: State has right to ‘plunge a needle into your arm’
Contends Constitution grants government power to forcibly vaccinate individuals.
Harvard Law School emeritus professor Alan Dershowitz claimed in an interview that the government has a constitutional right under the 10th Amendment to forcibly vaccinate a citizen to curb the spread of a contagious disease. “Let me put it very clearly, you have no constitutional right to endanger the public and spread the disease, even if you disagree. You have no right not to be vaccinated, you have no right not to wear a mask, you have no right to open up your business,” he said. The interviewer, Jason Goodman, interjected, asking if the famed constitutional scholar was saying that if the government decides “you have to be vaccinated, we have to be vaccinated.” “Absolutely,” Dershowitz replied. “And if you refuse to be vaccinated, the state has the power to literally take you to a doctor’s office and plunge a needle into your arm.”
BEHIND THE SCENES OF FRANCO-GERMAN RECOVERY FUND
by Katya Adler, BBC Europe editor, 19 May 2020
After a shambolic, acrimonious display at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the EU’s main players are now on a mission to demonstrate that the European dream is not dead or dying. To prove that solidarity, common values and a unity of purpose are, in fact, the order of the day.
The German and French leaders were notably absent: the relationship between them tetchy – with France pushing for the EU’s richer countries (including Germany and excluding itself) to take on and share the coronavirus-related debt of the countries of the south. But what did we see on Monday? Hey presto: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron jointly proposing a recovery fund to help the weakest EU economies get out of a post-covid slump to the tune of €500bn ($545bn; £448bn). In EU political terms this is huge. Chancellor Merkel has conceded a lot. She openly agreed with the French that any money from this fund, allocated to a needy EU country should be a grant, not a loan. Importantly this means not increasing the debts of economies already weak before the pandemic and financially excruciating lockdown, such as those in southern but also central and eastern Europe. President Macron gave ground too. He’d wanted a huge fund of a trillion or more euros. But a trillion euros of grants was probably too much for Mrs. Merkel to swallow on behalf of fellow German taxpayers. The resulting compromise: win-win for the two leaders. They hope. . . . I’d say the battle over the EU recovery fund is only just beginning.
Crisis in Europe: von der Leyen’s audacious bid for new powers
Commission president must bridge bitter divides over EU plan to rebuild the economy
by Sam Fleming, Jim Brunsden and Michael Peel in Brussels
(Financial Times, 18 May 2020)
Ursula von der Leyen delivered a stark message to the EU’s commissioners on Thursday evening at their first in-person meeting for many weeks. She told her socially distanced colleagues that they had an opportunity to forge a viable reconstruction plan for a European economy ravaged by the coronavirus crisis. But they had precious little time at their disposal and only one shot to get it right. One important detail was tellingly absent from the commission president’s private presentation in a windowless room in Brussels’ Berlaymont building: the hugely divisive question of the size of the recovery fund which she will shortly propose.
Ms. von der Leyen is planning an audacious bid for new powers as she seeks to put her institution at the centre of efforts to revive the European economy, asking member states for unprecedented latitude to raise funds in the markets. But the former German defense minister faces the central test of her short presidency as she seeks to bridge bitter splits within the EU over the plan.
FRANCE: MACRON LOSES MAJORITY
Seven Members leave the La République en Marche group. The French President Macron’s party thus has 288 seats – one less than the majority.(May 19, 2020, Der Spiegel)
The party of French President Emmanuel Macron loses its majority in parliament. Seven MEPs from La République en Marche (LREM) left the group and joined the Ecologie Démocratie Solidarité (Ecology, Democracy, Solidarity) group that was founded on Tuesday.
Macron’s party LREM now has only 288 votes in the people’s representation. A majority require 289 seats. When Macron took office in 2017, LREM had 314 MPs. There’s Dissatisfaction with Macron’s business-friendly policies.
DANGER TO FUTURE FOOD SUPPLY
BEE POPULATIONS ARE IN DECLINE ALL OVER THE WORLD = To bee or not to bee: International Bee Day highlights plight of pollinators
90% of world’s wild flowering plant species depend, entirely, or at least partly, on animal pollination, along with over 75% of world’s food crops, 35% of agricultural land.
Bees have gotten a bad press — the truth is that they rarely sting. What they do do is sustainably pollinate a third of the plants needed for a stable, healthy, human diet. There is no alternative to bees and no logic to seeking an alternative.
In the US, beekeepers lost an estimated 40.7% of their managed honey bee colonies between April 2018 and April 2019, according to the most recent loss and management report issued by the Bee Informed Partnership: https://beeinformed.org/
<Main Article> https://www.timesofisrael.com/to-bee-or-not-to-bee-international-bee-day-highlights-plight-of-pollinators/
1927 BOMB REMAINS WORST SCHOOL ATTACK IN US HISTORY
May 18th, 1927, 45 people including 38 children were killed in Bath Township, during the deadliest school attack in U.S. History.
“He asked himself I don’t know why I lived.” said Wendy Marrison, granddaughter of a survivor. Wendy Marrison’s Grandpa, Dean was a student at Bath Consolidated School and was only 11 years old when it happened.
93 years ago, Andrew Keyhoe was a school board member at the time. Police say he hid nearly 500 pounds of dynamite throughout the school, something he planned for months.
“It was the last day before summer break and as the kids were going into school Mr. Keyhoe was there greeting him. He actually said to the kids this is your last day, my Grandpa thought that’s a nice greeting, later on, he realized that was a warning.” said Wendy Marrison.
At 8:45 A.M., hours before their summer vacation was set to begin.
The explosion happened.
“He was on the first floor and he got buried under all this rubble. He was the very last one to be pulled out. When they pulled him they couldn’t find a pulse, so in his words “I was put in the dead pile.” One of his neighbors saw his toe move and they all started yelling he’s alive he’s alive!” Marrison added.
Dean did survive the attack and went on to live a good life. He passed away in 2006 at the age of 92. Wendy wasn’t alive when it all happened, but she wants to make sure that people never forget.
“We need to honor the ones who survived and the ones who didn’t.” Marrison said. (WLNS 6, Bath Township, Lansing, Michigan)
Danish Bible that removed Israel ‘not antisemitic’ argues columnist The Danish Bible society took too many liberties with the translation but, Mosaic Magazine’s Philologos argued, was not antisemitic in its motives.
Far from being antisemitic, a new Christian Bible translation which omits or replaces the word “Israel” in many places within the text affirms the link between Israel and the Jewish people, a columnist for Mosaic Magazine has argued.
The translation, titled Bible 2020, released earlier this year by the Danish Bible Society, came under scrutiny toward the end of April when readers noted that numerous references to “Israel” had been replaced or removed. In some places the word had been replaced with “the Jews,” “the Jewish people,” or even “the people,” whereas in others the translation was made more universal, such as the re-rendering of Psalm 121:4 from “He who watches over Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps,” to “He who takes care of us will not fall asleep, no he is not sleeping.”
According to analysis by the Bible Society in Israel, the word “Israel” appears only twice in the Bible 2020 version of New Testament rather than the more than 60 times it appears in the Greek from which it was originally translated. The Old Testament has been less altered, but while the word appears 2,521 times in the Greek, it has been rendered as such 2,316 times in the Danish translation, a reduction of around 9%.
Defending their translation, the Danish Bible society said in a statement: “In The New Testament the word ‘Israel’ has been translated into ‘the Jewish people,’ ‘the Jews,’ or ‘the people’ because when the Greek text uses the word ‘Israel’ it is referring to a people with whom God has a special relationship – Jacob’s descendants. However, for the secular reader, who does not know the Bible well, ‘Israel’ could be referring only to a country. Therefore the word ‘Israel’ in the Greek text has been translated in other ways, so that the reader understands it is referring to the Jewish people.”
However, many were unconvinced.
The Jerusalem Post columnist Liat Collins wrote of the translation: “Instead of making sure that readers understand the connection between Israel, the Jews and the Land of Israel of the Bible, they preferred to make an artificial separation.
“Taking a charitable approach, it’s possible to say that the Danish Bible translators did not see their changes as a political act, more an act of political correctness – trying to include all. But clearly something was lost in translation, as is evident to someone who reads the Bible in the original Hebrew. As B’nai Brith International tweeted: “… this surreal revision causes confusion and worse: whitewashing of history, identity, and sacred scripture.””
TO THE POINT
- Dozens of companies around the world are working on vaccines. Experts say the world will need more than one, because demand will outstrip the production capacity of any single manufacturer. Official remarks: President Trump said he had been taking hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug that experts have warned could cause dangerous heart rhythm abnormalities in coronavirus patients, as a preventive measure. He said he had no symptoms of Covid-19. (NY Times).
- Aussies subservient to Chinese — AUSTRALIA lacks courage to appropriately deal with China in the wake of the Coronavirus “cover-up” warns Liberal Party senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells. Addressing parliament this week the NSW-based senator said it was critical for Australia to plan for reparations and to “decouple” from China. (Politico, 5/20/2020)
- It is understood that due to his own experience with the coronavirus, the British PM believes ending obesity will help Britain in its fight against Covid-19 – a battle that will require blood, toil, tears and sweat. And also, knowing Johnson, bicycles. (The Week, 5/15/2020) Boris Johnson is an impassioned fan of wartime prime minister Winston Churchill. But his own war, as it turns out, will not be waged against Nazis but against fat.
- “Even without laptops and swimming pools, and on a fraction of what government schools spend today, Americans were a surprisingly learned people in our first hundred years.” (“The Myth that Americans were poorly educated before mass government schooling,” Lawrence W. Reed, The Epoch Times, 5/14/2020).
- Headline in Lansing State Journal: “Mid-Michigan’s catastrophic flooding adds to state’s pandemic woes” (5/21/2020). Michigan is the third worst hit state from the coronavirus.
- CAR BUMPER STICKER: My car gets three weeks to the gallon!
There have been more articles warning about a “second” civil war.
By my calculations, it would be the third civil war. The Revolutionary War was also a civil war. As John Adams wrote, the country was divided three ways, those Loyal to the Crown, those rebelling and those who couldn’t spell Crown!
Not counting this as a civil war overlooks a reality in American history, which is still pertinent today, in the time of corona.
The country is divided.
A Canadian Member of Parliament summed it up quite well a few years ago. In explaining the difference between the US & Canada, he said, in Canada they have four different parties who all have a different approach to any problem. The Canadians discuss the problem until consensus is reached. In the US, the two parties take opposing positions and head for the barricades.
Perhaps it’s something in the DNA of Americans. Or something in our breakfast cereals.
The fact is that we are divided again – on a virus of all things! There are those who believe everything the government tells us; and those who reject everything.
In this sense, it resembles the first civil war (1775-83). Then, on the one side you had people who were against authority and on the other those who upheld authority.
Then as now.
It would be ridiculous to have a civil war over a virus, but it’s just one more issue that continues to divide the country.
As Abraham Lincoln said prior to the War Between the States, “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” He was quoting from Mark 3:25.