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Saturday, May 30, 2020

Battle Hymn of the Gesundheitsfuhrers: Sickness Is the Health of the State! - By David Stockman (Text only - Coronavirus Con-Mongering? - CL)


A hundred years ago in response to the horror of WWI, the great Randolph Bourne famously pronounced the truth that “War is the Health of the State.” Said Bourne,
War is the health of the State.
It automatically sets in motion throughout society those irresistible forces for uniformity, for passionate cooperation with the Government in coercing into obedience the minority groups and individuals which lack the larger herd sense. The machinery of government sets and enforces the drastic penalties, the minorities are either intimidated into silence or brought slowly around by a subtle process of persuasion which may seem to them to really converting them……
Other values such artistic creation, knowledge, reason, beauty, the enhancement of life, are instantly and almost unanimously sacrificed and the significant classes who have constituted themselves the amateur agents of the State are engaged not only in sacrificing these values for themselves but in coercing all other persons into sacrificing them.

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In a nation at war, every citizen identifies himself with the whole, and feels immensely strengthened in that identification. The purpose and desire of the collective community live in each person who throws himself whole-heartedly into the cause of war. The impeding distinction between society and the individual is almost blotted out.
A century later it appears that Randolph Bourne needs an update: Apparently, Sickness is the Health of the State, as well.
During the past 10 weeks, state control of economic and social life in America has erupted like never before. The stay-at-home and lockdown orders decreed by mayors and governors intrude into every nook and cranny of daily life, essentially subjecting tens of millions of Americans to house arrest and/or entombment in six-foot cylinders of social control.
The historic quasi-regimentation and suppression of dissent that occurred domestically during both world wars, for instance, pales by comparison.
The pretext, of course, has been that the coronavirus presents a dire threat to the very life and limb of the American public, and that exigent and invasive controls on individual action and daily commerce are necessary to stop its spread.
But that’s a gargantuan lie. The risk of death to an average healthy person under 60 years of age is no greater than that entailed in commuting 50 miles per day by car to work and back.
And besides, once a highly contagious virus gets loose among the general population – which the coronavirus had done long before Lockdown Nation was launched on March 13 – its spread cannot be stopped, anyway.

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In fact, it shouldn’t be stopped. When the virus is already out the barn-door and is relatively benign among 95% of the population which contracts it, the right course of action is to let freedom reign. That is, enable its natural spread among the healthy population and thereby foster the herd immunities that the human organism and social community have been deploying to combat such diseases for millennia.
Stated differently, the very high threshold of across-the-board threat to the health and life of the citizenry that would be required to suspend their liberties and pursuit of economic livelihood has not been remotely reached by the Covid. So what has and is still happening in Lockdown Nation is a case of grotesque and malign disproportion.
That’s evident enough in any random sample of the social controls and “nonessential business lockdowns” that have been hastily stood up coast to coast. But these excerpts from the lawsuit of an Illinois businessman capture the intrusive absurdity being foisted on the public as well as any:
I won’t get COVID if I get an abortion but I will get COVID if I get a colonoscopy.
Selling pot is essential but selling goods and services at a family- owned business is not. Pot wasn’t even legal and pot dispensaries didn’t even exist in this state until five months ago and, in that five months, they have become essential but a family-owned business in existence for five generations is not.
A family of six can pile in their car and drive to Carlyle Lake without contracting COVID but, if they all get in the same boat, they will.

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We are told that kids rarely contract the virus and sunlight kills it, but summer youth programs, sports programs are canceled.
Four people can drive to the golf course and not get COVID but, if they play in a foursome, they will.
If I go to Walmart, I won’t get COVID but, if I go to church, I will.
Murderers are released from custody while small business owners are threatened with arrest if they have the audacity to attempt to feed their families.
These are just a few examples of rules, regulations and consequences that are arbitrary, capricious and completely devoid of anything even remotely approaching common sense. But this kind of arbitrary state invasion of economic and personal life is what happens when officialdom and politicians are green-lighted by an overpowering Big Lie.
In the case of Illinois, the state has its own bully-boy, Donald Trump wanna-be master of the universe in the state house. Governor J. B. Pritzker is the entitled scion of a brass knuckled family of Chicago business speculators who is used to getting his way, and has decided that it is his job to quash the coronavirus – the rights of the state’s citizens and needs of the economy be damned.
But it is worth noting that the WITH Covid mortality rate in Illinois as of May 27 was just 40 per 100,000, which is only slightly above the US average and far below the level in hard hit states, where the apparent mortality rates are far higher.
It’s also about the same as Sweden, which hasn’t closed its schools, businesses and places of social congregation; and it is well above a variety of other US states and countries including Japan and South Korea, which have not employed anything remotely resembling the sweeping Lockdowns imposed by the state of Illinois:

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WITH Covid Mortality Rates Per 100,000 (as of May 28)
  • New York: 153;
  • New Jersey: 128;
  • Connecticut: 107;
  • Massachusetts: 95;
  • Rhode Island: 64;
  • Sweden: 42;
  • Illinois: 40;
  • Georgia: 18;
  • Florida: 11;
  • Germany: 10;
  • Texas: 6;
  • Switzerland: 4;
  • Russia: 3;
  • Belarus: 2;
  • Japan: 0.7;
  • South Korea: 0.5

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Indeed, the sweeping range of mortality rates among these jurisdictions tell you that intrusive lockdowns designed to stop the virus’ spread don’t have much to do at all with actual outcomes. Public health measures in Georgia, Florida, Texas, Japan, Belarus and South Korea, for example, were not a fraction as intrusive and comprehensive as those in the state of Illinois.
Even then, fully 50% of the WITH Covid deaths in Illinois have been in nursing and other long-term care facilities – places outside the reach of the general public lockdowns, anyway.
So if you set aside the long-term care deaths, the general population mortality rate in Illinois is actually about 20 Covid deaths per 100,000. That’s only slightly higher than the year-in and year-out suicide rate of 15 per 100,000 and not even 3% of Illinois’ annual mortality rate from all causes of about 875 per 100,000.
So you have the worst of both worlds: The Illinois lockdowns do not account for its moderate mortality rates because if plenary lockdowns were efficacious, the mortality figures for New York and New Jersey would be drastically lower.
At the same time, destroying an economy and personal liberties and livelihoods on account of a 3% share of the state’s normal mortality rate gives the idea of overkill and disproportion an altogether new meaning.
To take another example, the WITH Covid mortality rate of 15.7 per 100,000 in Virginia is only a tad above its annual suicide rate of 13.9 per 100,000.
But that hasn’t stopped its power-grabbing governor, Ralph Northam, from imposing a sweeping lockdown on the state’s residents, including an edict that after Friday all Virginians over 10 years of age will wear the Mask pretty much everywhere. As one acerbic critic rightly noted,
Or else! Gesundheitsfuhrers – health police – will do the enforcing, handing out misdemeanor fines and presumably Hut! Hut! Huts! to the non-compliant.
Needless to say, even as the state balloons with its puffed up health police, the private sector has literally imploded. With today’s weekly report on initial unemployment claims, we have now reached a milestone which was not attained even during the darkest moments of the Great Depression.
To wit, during the past ten weeks 40.7 million workers have filed for state unemployment benefits, a figure which is nine times greater than the worst 10 months of the Great Recession; and when you add in the 4.5 million workers newly eligible under PUA (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance), the total is close to 45 million.
The total employed work force on the eve of Lockdown Nation in February 2020, however, was just 158.7 million.
So, actually, 28.3% of employed workers in what was alleged to be the Greatest Economy Ever have now received pink slips, and in a ten-week flash of the eye.

Still, this needless calamity gets us to another avenue by which sickness have become the Health of the State.
After the Donald’s camarilla of malpracticing doctors green-lighted the Governors and Mayors to lockdown their economies in Mid-March and conducted daily coronavirus task force briefings which became the fodder for the MSM to generate hysteria among the general public, the Washington politicians experienced their own version of fear contagion. That is, they passed sight unseen a $3 trillion Everything Bailout which has literally eviscerated the public finances of the nation.
Consequently, and unlike even the worst period of the Great Recession, lockdown starved US Treasury receipts of $3 trillion in FY 2020 will amount to only 40% of Bailout bloated outlays, which will exceed $7 trillion. That’s not even worthy of banana republic style finance.

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Needless to say, the Covid-fighters on Capitol Hill held no hearings, took no expert testimony, had the benefit of no professional analysis or even a cursory reading of the bills.
So they apparently didn’t bother to find out, for instance, that there were 71 million American workers last year whose paychecks averaged less than the new combined Federal/state benefit of $1,000 per week; and that there were 17 million workers in the hospitality and leisure sector as of February 2020, who averaged less than 25 hours per week on the clock and got paychecks of less than $350.
So now the state’s Virus Patrols are confronted with a new variety of ailment that may be afflicting millions of workers. To wit, the discovery that it pays big time to get furloughed.
As one widely circulated commentary on the social media put it: Thank Heavens for the Covid!
Before COVID I was miserable.
I had a job working $14.75/hr and hated waking up most days. I’ve since been laid off (obviously) but am one of those who is making much more by NOT working.
I used to make $550-600 per week depending on my hours but since COVID began, I’m clearing just over $1000/week. My gf is in the same situation and she’s also clearing just over $1000.
Today we plan to do some hiking since it’s going to be so nice out and I’ll be using my new grill to cook up some steak tonight. The gf is kind of a wine snob so she likes to splurge on really nice reds (which I’ll definitely be having later as well).
I really don’t understand people who say they’re more stressed or are fighting with their gf/wife more than before. It makes absolutely no sense to me. These have been the best 2 months I’ve had in a while. I can’t imagine going back to my old life and way of doing things. NOT HAPPENING!
The only thing that isn’t ideal right now is not being able to travel normally but I only vacationed once or twice a year before due to work/money issues. Now I’m able to save $800-1000/month with COVID stimulus and bonus so we’ll definitely be taking a nice vacation at some point this summer.
So the question recurs: Why the Lockdowns?
House arrest and the 6-foot cylinder of social control that have been stood up to thwart the spread of the virus are inherently unmatched to the task, which is illicit in the first place. But they will inherently clobber the economy and the livelihoods of millions – notwithstanding a lot of brave talk about the “new normal”.
As the Wall Street Journal detailed in a story about the travails of the restaurant industry, the so-called reopening will only be a short bridge to oblivion for large segments of the industry:
Across the U.S., dining rooms are reopening and some customers are returning, industry data shows. But restaurants say they expect months of sales losses ahead due to capacity constraints imposed to contain the new coronavirus. They are also buying plexiglass walls to separate tables, hiring cleaning staff and turning fewer tables to give booths deeper scrub downs between customers, expenses that draw on a shallower pool of revenue.
Of the 30 states that have allowed restaurants statewide to resume serving customers indoors, 15 have limited capacity to 25% or 50%, according to market-research firm Gordon Haskett. The rest are mandating social distancing that have the effect of reducing capacity, or have yet to release guidance. Restaurant executives expect the limits to last at least through the summer.
Independent restaurants face even greater challenges than sit-down chains because they tend to have less room to cordon off customers and fewer seats to remove. A survey of 250 Colorado restaurant operators earlier this month found that nearly half expected to permanently close in less than three months at the 50% capacity cap that the state set on Wednesday. A study of 483 New York City venues found that 61% couldn’t make it with occupancy limits below 70%.
For a typical 75-seat sit-down restaurant in New York, an occupancy cap of 50% would allow for just 20 diners after accounting for employees, said James Mallios, a New York City restaurateur and attorney.
He said the number drops to around five diners at a 25% capacity limit. New York City hasn’t yet eased stay-at-home orders or set final capacity guidelines for restaurants.
Then again, there are 275 million Americans 64 years and under who face virtually no risk of death or serious illness. As of May 16, the CDC’s own data show that the WITH-Covid mortality rate for this massive share of the population was just 4.9 per 100,000 – about in line with the annual toll of traffic and other accidents.
By contrasts, the serious illnesses and deaths are occurring mainly where the Lockdowns aren’t. Persons 65 and older account for 16% of the population but 81% of the WITH-Covid deaths; and 32% of deaths have been among those 85 and older, which account for just 2.0% of the population – most of whom are in long-term care homes, and do not frequent restaurants.
The reason for high mortality and low public socializing, of course, is that the 22,543 persons 85 and older who died WITH Covid were pretty sick already. To wit, among them were –
  • 8,267 cases of influenza and pneumonia;
  • 11,250 cases of chronic lower respiratory and other pulmonary illnesses;
  • 4,075 cases of high blood pressure;
  • 4,000 cases of cardiac arrest and arterial arrhythmia;
  • 5,800 cases of other circulatory diseases;
  • 1,870 cases of diabetes and obesity;
  • 3,650 cases of dementia;
  • 1,700 cases of sepis and cancer;
  • 1,025 cases of Alzheimer;
  • 1,175 cases of renal failure; and
  • 8,000 cases of other serious ailments including accidents and poisonings.
In all, the deceased over the age of 84 years had 50,800 of cases of classifiable diseases, most of them life-threatening. That’s an average of 2.25 each.
Needless to day, sickness is a condition of life – especially of advanced age; and it needs to be fought with medical care and personal health practices, not society-wide social engineering.
But when it becomes the Health of the State, as during the current Covid Hysteria, it is now apparent that the State becomes a greater mortal threat to liberty and prosperity than even during times of military war.
And we are quite sure that Randolph Bourne would heartily agree.
Reprinted with permission from David Stockman’s Contra Corner.
Former Congressman David A. Stockman was Reagan's OMB director, which he wrote about in his best-selling book, The Triumph of Politics. His latest books are The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America and Peak Trump: The Undrainable Swamp And The Fantasy Of MAGA. He's the editor and publisher of the new David Stockman's Contra Corner. He was an original partner in the Blackstone Group, and reads LRC the first thing every morning.
Copyright © David Stockman

Coronavirus Propaganda Mimics War Propaganda - By Jeff Deist (Propaganda kills, but it also works.)


In the period leading up to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Bush administration and its media accomplices waged a relentless propaganda campaign to win political support for what turned out to be one of the most disastrous foreign policy mistakes in American history.
Nearly two decades later, with perhaps a million dead Iraqis and thousands of dead American soldiers, we are still paying for that mistake.
Vice President Dick Cheney, Attorney General John Ashcroft, Assistant Attorney General John Yoo, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, were key players behind the propaganda—which we can define as purposeful use of information and misinformation to manipulate public opinion in favor of state action. Iraq and its president Saddam Hussein were the ostensible focus, but their greater goal was to make the case for a broader and open-ended “War on Terror.”  

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So they created a narrative using a mélange of half-truths, faintly plausible fabrications, and outright lies:
  • Iraq and the nefarious Saddam Hussein were “behind,” i.e., backing, the Saudi terrorists responsible for 9-11 attacks on the US;
  • Hussein and his government were stockpiling yellowcake uranium in an effort to develop nuclear capability;
  • Hussein was connected with al-Qaeda
  • Iran was lurking in the background as a state sponsor of terrorism, coordinating and facilitating attacks against the US in coordination with Hamas;
  • Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, and other terror groups were working against the US across the Middle East in some kind of murky but coordinated effort;
  • We have to “fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here”;
  • The Iraqis would welcome our troops as liberators.
And so forth.
But the propaganda “worked” in the most meaningful sense: Congress voted nearly 3–1 in favor of military action against Iraq, and Gallup showed 72 percent of Americans supporting the invasion as it commenced in 2003. Media outlets across the spectrum such as the Washington Post cheered the warNational Review dutifully did its part, labeling Pat Buchanan, Ron Paul, Justin Raimondo, Lew Rockwell, and other outspoken opponents of the invasion as “unpatriotic conservatives.”

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Tragically, the American people never placed the burden of proof squarely with the war cheerleaders to justify their absolutely crazed effort to remake the Middle East. In hindsight, this is obvious, but at the time propaganda did its job. Disinformation is part and parcel of the fog of war.
What will hindsight make clear about our reaction to COVID-19 propaganda? Will we regret shutting down the economy as much as we ought to regret invading Iraq?
The cast of characters is different, of course: Trump, desperately seeking “wartime president” status; Dr. Anthony Fauci; epidemiologist Neil Ferguson; state governors such as Cuomo, Whitmer, and Newsom; and a host of media acolytes just itching to force a new normal down our throats. Like the Iraq War architects, they use COVID-19 as justification to advance a preexisting agenda, namely, greater state control over our lives and our economy. Yet because too many Americans remain stubbornly attached to the old normal, a propaganda campaign is required.
So we are faced with a blizzard of new “facts” almost every day, most of which turn out to be only mildly true, extremely dubious, or plainly false:
  • The virus aerosolizes and floats around, so we all need to be six feet apart (But why not twenty feet? Why not one mile?);
  • The virus lives on surfaces everywhere, for days;
  • Asymptomatic people can spread it unknowingly;
  • Antibodies may or may not develop naturally;
  • People may become infected more than once;
  • Young healthy people are at great risk not only themselves, but also pose a risk to their elderly family members;
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  • Thin, permeable paper masks somehow prevent microscopic viral spores from being inhaled or exhaled toward others;
  • People are safer inside;
  • The rate of new infected “cases” in the first few weeks of the virus reaching America would continue or even grow exponentially;
  • Social distancing and quarantines do indeed “save” lives;
  • Testing is key (But what if an individual visits a crowded grocery an hour after testing negative?);
  • A second wave of infections is nigh; and
  • Our personal and work lives cannot continue without a vaccine, which, by the way, may be two years away.

Again, much of this is not true and not even intended to be true—but rather to influence public behavior and opinions. And again, the overwhelming burden of proof should lie squarely with those advocating a lockdown of society, who would risk a modern Great Depression in response to a simple virus.
How much damage will the lockdown cause? Economics aside, the sheer toll of this self-inflicted wound will be a matter for historians to document. That toll includes all the things Americans would have done without the shutdown in their personal and professional lives, representing a diminution of life itself. Can that be measured, or distilled into numerical terms? Probably not, but this group of researchers and academics argues that we have already suffered more than one million “lost years of life” due to the ravages of unemployment, missed healthcare, and general malaise.

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By the same token, how do we measure the blood and treasure lost in Iraq? How much PTSD will soldiers suffer? How many billions of dollars in future VA medical care will be required? How many children will grow up without fathers? And how many millions of lives are forever shattered in that cobbled-together political artifice in the Middle East?
Propaganda kills, but it also works. Politicians of all stripes will benefit from the coronavirus; the American people will suffer. Perversely, one of the worst COVID propagandists—the aforementioned  Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York—yesterday rang the bell as the New York Stock Exchange reopened to floor trading. He now admits that the models were wrong and that his lockdown did nothing to prevent the Empire State from suffering the highest per capita deaths from COVID. Like the architects of the Iraq War, he belongs on a criminal docket. But thanks to propaganda, he is hailed as presidential.
Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.
Jeff Deist [send him mail] is president of the Mises Institute, a tax attorney, and a former staffer for Ron Paul.


The Pandemic Pattern—How the Illusion Is Built - By Jon Rappoport (Coronavirus Propaganda Machine - CL)

This article is based on my study and investigation of so-called epidemics over the past 30 years.
In the case of COVID-19, I’ve written at least one piece covering, in detail, each main element of the illusion. Here, I’m laying out the pattern. It is the same for each fake epidemic.
ONE: A structure is in place to promote and launch the IDEA of an epidemic. World Health Organization, CDC, influential public health officials attached to governments around the world, etc.
TWO: There is a purported incident. An outbreak. The most obvious cause is intentionally overlooked. For example, horrendous air pollution, or the grotesque feces and urine pollution on a giant commercial pig factory-farm. Instead, the world is told a new virus has been found. Local researchers, if any, are augmented by researchers from CDC, WHO.
THREE: There is no air-tight chain of evidence explaining exactly how the purported new virus was discovered. From details released, there is no proof of discovery by convincing methods, no proper unified study of MANY supposed epidemic patients.

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FOUR: But WHO/CDC tells the world this is an epidemic in the making, caused by the new virus. The promotion and propaganda/media apparatus moves into high gear. Ominous pronouncements.
FIVE: Diagnostic tests for the unproven new virus are rolled out. They spit out false “proof” of “infection” like coins from a jackpot slot machine.
SIX: Thus, all case numbers and death numbers, which are based on the tests, are rendered meaningless. And…they were already meaningless, because the supposed new virus “being tested for” was never properly discovered in the first place.
SEVEN: Nevertheless, these tests (plus useless eyeball diagnosis) are used to build official reports on case numbers. For the duration of the “epidemic,” reports keep coming, and escalating numbers are trumpeted. Within the basically meaningless structure of these reports, there is fiddling with totals, to make them even more impressive and frightening.
EIGHT: Real people are really getting sick and dying, but for the most part, they are people who are dying from traditional and long-standing conditions—flu-like illness, pneumonia, other lung infections, etc. These people are “re-packaged” under the new epidemic label—Swine Flu, COVID, etc. The official description of the “new epidemic disease”—the clinical symptoms—is sufficiently general to easily allow this re-packaging.
NINE: If there is new illness, it can be explained by causes having nothing to do with the purported new virus. For example, a toxic vaccine campaign. A highly destructive drug. Highly toxic pesticides.
TEN: Over time, the definition of the epidemic is arbitrarily widened to include more symptoms and clinical features, in order to inflate case numbers.
ELEVEN: Control of information about the “epidemic” is hardened at the top. The talking heads, from the press and public health agencies, know as much about actual science as rabbits know about drone strikes. But they are “in charge.” Dissident information is attacked and censored.
TWELVE: Medical drugs used to treat patients are toxic. If a vaccine is rolled out, it, too, is toxic. Illness and death resulting from these and other medical attacks are counted as “epidemic cases caused by the virus.”
THIRTEEN: ABOVE ALL OTHER ILLUSIONS, the main deception is: “the epidemic is one disease or syndrome caused by one germ.” This is sold with unceasing propaganda. Most people fall for it. They will even argue among themselves about which “it” is the single cause of the “it” disease. There is no “it” cause or disease.
FOURTEEN: The public is sold lie after lie about contagion and the “spread” of the “it.”
FIFTEEN: The public chants (as if no one has ever died before), “People are dying, it must be the virus.”
SIXTEEN: The virus fairy tale always functions as a cover story for government or corporate or medical crimes. It obscures and hides these crimes. For example, a large factory is spewing horrendous pollution into the ground and water of an area, and people are getting sick and dying? No, the cause is actually a new virus no one has ever seen before.
As I wrote at the outset of the COVID illusion, the only difference this time, in 2020, is the weight of the lies—because they led to the lockdowns and the economic devastation. This is West Nile, SARS, Swine Flu, Zika, writ large.
Needless to say, the persons and groups responsible for launching these illusion-operations must hide their crimes.
The criminals have their weapons, of course. Among their most powerful: control of the press, and arcane technical language which pretends to relevance. This language is so dense, the uninitiated stand no chance of penetrating it.
For instance, researchers can babble for hours about their vaunted diagnostic test, the PCR. However, the simple truth is, a crucial piece of the test has never been vetted. The test has never been tested in the real world outside the lab.
I have written about this extensively. Using a little guideline called SCIENCE, you would “test the test” by lining up, say, a thousand patients, some healthy, some sick from a supposed virus. Any virus. Tissue samples would be taken from each patient.

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PCR mavens would run these samples through their equipment, reporting which patients show what they call high “viral load.”
This means: these particular patients have millions and millions of virus actively replicating in their bodies, and they will be unmistakably and visibly sick.
The PCR princes would then announce, “Patients 3,45,65,76,132…are all definitely sick.”
Now we un-blind the study and see what’s what and who’s who. Are these designated patients ill or are they running marathons? That’s called simple scientific method. Not technical gobbledygook.
This chunk of research has never been done. It never will be done. It’s too real. Too naked. Proponents of the PCR would have too much to lose, if their assessments of who are healthy and who are sick turned out to be absurdly wrong, and their arcane technical rhetoric about the PCR ended up being useless gibberish.
I include this illustration to indicate there are, indeed, ways of exposing professional liars, if you change the venue on them, if you use common sense, if you stand outside their self-appointed temples of mystical horseshit and observe what their lies look like when you boil them down to human terms…
Reprinted with permission from Jon Rappoport’s blog.
Jon Rappoport runs No More Fake News. The author of an explosive collection, The Matrix Revealed, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe.
Copyright © Jon Rappoport
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