Before you begin...
10 years ago if I mentioned the name ‘Anonymous’ you probably wouldn’t know who I was referring to. Now, they are all over mainstream news, have the attention of millions and are playing a major role in exposing the truth about our world.
Anonymous is changing the world in a different way than many might first think of. The Anonymous collective is doing their part in a non violent approach. They know and see that what is taking place in the world is not something we are going to stand for and they are doing what they can to transform the situation. This makes you wonder whether or not this is a perfect piece to the puzzle.
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As you will learn, Anonymous isn’t an organization or a group of people with a leader, it’s much different than that. Anonymous stands for something, it means something and ultimately it wants to hold those in power accountable for their actions.
Written by Matt Martin
Anonymous Is Not An Organization
Anonymous began on the website 4chan, specifically the /b/ discussion board, where anime fans gathered to post images and make snarky comments. To encourage irreverence, each user was given the screen name “anonymous.” A subculture of like-minded individuals with a strong sense of justice and a desire to wreak havoc eventually evolved from /b/. These are the people whom we refer to as Anonymous today.
Anonymous has no leader, which is why their symbol is a man without a head. There’s no legitimate code of conduct or infrastructure. People of different backgrounds and philosophies come and go as they please, in some cases only participating in a single cause and vanishing. Barret Brown, a journalist and former member, describes Anonymous as a series of relationships. Those who can consistently rally others to their cause are the ones with the most power, as are those who have proven themselves through hacking.
Anyone Can Join
If you wish to join Anonymous, there will be no gatekeepers to stop you. But if you’re really thinking of doing this, AnonInsiders recommends that you first consider joining activism groups that operate within the confines of the law instead. If you still want to continue your journey with Anonymous, the website lays out how to encrypt your computer for maximum privacy and how to contact them using an alias over encrypted Internet relay chats (IRCs). You will have to build relationships and earn trust over several years before becoming a serious hacker.
If you think the anons will be welcoming, well . . . you could be right and you could be wrong. Although Anonymous does have good and altruistic members, don’t forget that they accept anybody. Some people are willing to use others as patsies, while others are informants for the police. Naive members are sitting in jail because they trusted the wrong anons.
How Participation In Anonymous Works
Once you’ve built your online alias and made some friends in the secure IRC, the next step is to find a cause that you support. If, for instance, you wanted to take part in their operation against Scientology, you would find the IRC channel dedicated to that operation and pledge your support in the chat room.The software that Anonymous uses to launch their DDoS attacks is called a “low-orbit ion cannon” (LOIC).
This software allows your computer to deliver large-scale hits to any website. Anons vote on which targets to attack, and if you disagree with a target, you can withdraw your computer from the botnet, making the ion cannon weaker. Once the operation organizers give the signal, you enter a target URL, enter the number of hits you want to send (enough to overload the network), click a button, and fire away.
A Few Of The Have Hacking Skills
Because there is such a low barrier of entry, only a handful of anons are elite hackers—those with the skills necessary to exploit security flaws in systems. So why do they have so many members? It’s because they need every computer they can get to perform a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. This sort of attack works by sending an overload of information to a network, causing it to crash. In other words, it takes a website offline for a few hours. This is the same thing that happens when an otherwise small website receives a sudden surge in popularity. It can’t handle the increased traffic flow and crashes, making it unusable for administrators and visitors until the traffic returns to normal.
Essentially, it is a form of protest. It’s the modern-day equivalent of activists locking arms in front of a building so the employees can’t go to work that day. The truth is that Anonymous is as effective in taking down evil corporations as the Susan G. Komen foundation is in curing breast cancer, meaning that they mainly just raise awareness for themselves and the cause. If you’re willing to risk breaking the law over a protest, then godspeed.
Using The Ion Cannon Is Dangerous—For YouHandcuffed
It’s not illegal to claim affiliation with Anonymous, nor is it illegal to chat online, but if you use the LOIC, you could face serious jail time.
In 2008, Anonymous embarked on a series of pranks and protests against the Church of Scientology. This was the moment that Anonymous turned from a group of Internet trolls into political activists. They flooded Scientology headquarters with prank calls, sent them all-black faxes to deplete their ink, and even marched in physical protest, wearing Guy Fawkes masks to conceal their identities. Their main weapon was the LOIC, which they used to take down the Scientology website.
But what many novice anons didn’t realize was that ion cannon attacks were traceable. Many of them either didn’t know what they were doing was illegal or had been led to believe that they couldn’t be prosecuted because there were too many of them. Brian Thomas Mettenbrink, who was 18 when he used the LOIC, served a year in prison and had to pay $20,000 in compensation to the Church of Scientology.
5 The Pirates Of The Information Age
By 2009, Scientologists had stopped interacting with protesters and improved online security, rendering Anonymous powerless. A kind of civil war erupted within the group between those who wanted to remain politically active and those who just wanted to play pranks. Anonymous fell out of the public eye, and interest waned, resulting in a dip in membership. Anonymous moved off the IRC channels and back onto 4chan’s /b/ board.
But in September 2010, a sort of “anti-Anonymous” surfaced. Aiplex Software used Anonymous’s tactics to take down websites, but these were no activists. This Indian company worked on behalf of the record industry and the movie industry. They launched attacks to sink websites that provided copyrighted content, like The Pirate Bay.
Aiplex was a common enemy upon which the activists and pranksters of Anonymous could agree. United, they hopped back onto the IRC channels and aimed their ion cannons at Aiplex, the RIAA, the MPAA, and other websites associated with copyright protection. However, IRC network operators became aware that Anonymous was using their system to plan illegal activities and began shutting those channels down. Anons organized a group of servers to host their own independent IRC network, which they called AnonOps. In the end, copyright protection–related websites suffered 537.55 hours of downtime. Anons hacked the Copyright Alliance website and posted “Payback is a bitch” on their front page.
4 Zombie BotnetsComputers
In November 2010, WikiLeaks began to release 500,000 secret US diplomatic cables. Under threat of legal action, the US government coerced financial institutions, including PayPal, into cutting off service to WikiLeaks. Anonymous announced their support of WikiLeaks in a press release and waged war against PayPal and the other financial institutions.
Anonymous went after PayPal’s main site on December 8, but PayPal’s reinforced network withstood the ion cannon attack. There just weren’t enough Anonymous members to offer support. Two hackers who went by the code names “Civil” and “Snitch” brought a legion of computers under their control using a virus. These “zombie computers” formed an involuntary botnet that brought enough ion cannons to the table to take down PayPal’s main transaction site. PayPal estimated that the damage cost them $5.5 million. They gave the IP addresses of 1,000 attackers to the FBI, leading to the arrests of 14 individuals, each of whom pleaded guilty to misdemeanors.
The Hacker Wars
Thanks to zombie botnets, a legion of anons was no longer necessary to carry out a DDoS attack. A handful of Anonymous’s most skilled hackers splintered off to form an exclusive team. They called themselves LulzSec. Their leader went by the alias “Sabu.” He was considered the most skilled hacker in the Anonymous collective.
LulzSec had grown tired of activism and wanted to go back to the roots of Anonymous and 4chan, which was causing chaos for no reason other than to annoy people and laugh about it. They began by hacking Fox and leaking the personal information of over 73,000 The X Factor contestants. Then, they hacked PBS, posting a fake news story stating that Tupak and Biggie were still alive and living together in New Zealand. Later, they hacked a porn website and published the email addresses and passwords of 26,000 members. But like junkies seeking a stronger fix, these low-risk crimes no longer thrilled Sabu and his crew, so they began to tamper with the websites of the US Senate, the FBI, and the CIA.
LulzSec’s crimes against innocent Internet users outraged other online activists. Hacker groups with colorful names like TeaMp0isoN and Team Web Ninjas sought to identify the members of LulzSec and hand that information over to authorities. So too did a hacker vigilante known as “the Jester,” who claimed to be acting out of patriotism for the United States. Their investigations into Sabu pointed to Hector Xavier Monsegur, a 28-year-old high school dropout living in New York City.
Hector Monsegur was the unemployed foster father of two girls, his cousins. Their mother was in jail, and he was their sole provider. When the FBI secretly arrested him on June 7, 2011, Hector did everything he could to stay out of prison. He quickly agreed to become an FBI informant in addition to helping them build a case against his friends in LulzSec.
Under the FBI’s direction, Hector turned LulzSec into an aggressively criminal organization known as AntiSec, which participated in a massive crime spree with Anonymous. They publicized the social security numbers of border patrol officers, hacked into military defense contractor websites, and stole the credit card numbers of thousands of police officers.
In December 2011, AntiSec member Jeremy Hammond broke into the server for Stratfor, a Texas-based global intelligence company. He stole vast archives of confidential emails as well as 30,000 credit card numbers from their databases. Hector provided a server to store the data, but unbeknownst to Jeremy, it was an FBI server.
The FBI had far bigger fish to fry than the pranksters at LulzSec. Supposedly, Hector Monsegur had been setting up a deal to sell the Stratfor data to an FBI informant within Wikileaks as part of an FBI effort to frame Julian Assange. However, Jeremy Hammond may have realized that something was wrong. The hack was too easy, the credit card info was hardly protected, and Hector was now working on a deal instead of giving the info out for free. Jeremy released the Stratfor data to the public before Hector could finish the deal.
With Assange out of reach, the FBI took their frustrations out on Hammond. Several prominent LulzSec members were arrested and sentenced to prison. Jeremy was given the maximum sentence of 10 years and is currently serving time in prison. In court, Hector Monsegur was described as a model informant who helped the FBI in any way he could. He got off with a sentence of time served. Today, he walks free.
When news broke that the leader of LulzSec was an FBI informant, it shook Anonymous to the core. No one trusted anyone in the IRC. Anonymous became messy and disorganized. As the original elite hackers all retired or went to jail, new blood came in. This new generation gravitated to the causes of PC bullies and safe-space perimeter guards, and they put little forethought into their actions. Thus, Anonymous operations in recent years have been total disasters.
During the Ferguson protest, Anonymous believed they had uncovered the identity of the officer who shot Michael Brown. After Anonymous revealed the officer’s identity, exposing him and his family to death threats, Ferguson police revealed that Anonymous was wrong. Anonymous then identified a second officer as the shooter, but that turned out to be wrong, too.
In October 2015, Anonymous began an operation to reveal members of the Ku Klux Klan, but many of the people they “outed” were vocal racists who made no effort to hide their affiliations. Other people turned out not to be in the KKK at all, like cartoonist Ben Garrison. A racist once altered one of Garrison’s drawings to include an anti-Semitic message, and the current generation of Anonymous thought that was enough to link Garrison to the KKK.
In the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, Anonymous has declared war on ISIS. They claim to have shut down over 20,000 Twitter accounts belonging to ISIS recruiters, but more credible organizations have discovered many of those accounts didn’t actually belong to terrorists. Anonymous apologized and promised to do better.
World’s Ten Richest People See Wealth Increase By Half A Trillion Dollars Since Beginning of COVID
- The Facts:
A recent report by Oxfam is one of many to explain how the world's wealthiest people have seen their wealth grow substantially since the beginning of the pandemic, while most others have suffered greatly as a result of the pandemic.
- Reflect On:
Why is money always presented as a problem or a solution? Does humanity have the potential to move beyond such a system and thrive? Do we have solutions to our issues? Is the problem that many solutions threaten government/corporate greed/control?
Before you begin...
A recent report by Oxfam shows that “the world’s ten richest men have seen their combined wealth increase by half a trillion dollars since the pandemic began.” On the other hand, the majority of people have been ushered into “the worst jobs crisis in over 90 years with hundreds of millions of people now underemployed or out of work.” The report was titled “The Inequality Virus” and was published on the opening day of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) ‘Davos Agenda.’
The WEF has been both praised and criticized by many academics, politicians and journalists for their “Great Reset” initiative. An initiative that intends to rollout,and currently is rolling out, a number of large changes here on planet Earth as a response to various, according to them, crisis’ we face such as climate change, terrorism, and of course the covid pandemic. The criticism comes from the idea that ‘the powers that be’ are using, and have used global crises’ to put more money, power and control over the human race into hands of the very few, all under the guise of good will and necessity. Measures being proposed include many things like the implementation of 5G, digital ID’s, digital currency, universal income, the abolishment of privately owned property, mandatory vaccination, increased surveillance measures like tracking, facial recognition and much more. This comes along with a ‘ministry of truth’ that seems to be “fact-checking” information that pertains to these topics. The censorship of alternative media and scientists who share information that counters what we hear in the mainstream during this pandemic has been unprecedented.
The idea that these are some sort of ‘nefarious’ measures being taken is usually presented as a “conspiracy theory” within the mainstream media. Unfortunately, big media continues to fail at having appropriate conversations around controversial topics. Furthermore, these implementations continue to rollout against the will of many people. That in itself has many people quite disturbed and asking the question, do we really live in a democracy, or is an authoritarian oligarchy type of government operating under the guise of a democracy?
According to Oxfam,
The report shows that COVID-19 has the potential to increase economic inequality in almost every country at once, the first time this has happened since records began over a century ago. Rising inequality means it could take at least 14 times longer for the number of people living in poverty to return to pre-pandemic levels than it took for the fortunes of the top 1,000, mostly White male, billionaires to bounce back.
A new global survey of 295 economists from 79 countries, commissioned by Oxfam, reveals that 87 percent of respondents, including Jeffrey Sachs, Jayati Ghosh and Gabriel Zucman, expect an ‘increase’ or a ‘major increase’ in income inequality in their country as a result of the pandemic.
Oxfam’s report shows how the rigged economic system is enabling a super-rich elite to amass wealth in the middle of the worst recession since the Great Depression while billions of people are struggling to make ends meet. It reveals how the pandemic is deepening long-standing economic, racial and gender divides.
A lot of these issues come as a result of the measures taken to combat covid, which have come under fire by many scientists, academics, doctors and journalists. Again, information, evidence, data and opinions of these people has been completely silenced. Professor Anna-Mia Ekström and Professor Stefan Swartling Peterson, for example, have gone through the data from UNICEF and UNAIDS, and came to the conclusion that at least as many people have died as a result of the restrictions to fight covid as have died of covid. A group of doctors and scientists published an essay for the American Institute for Economic Research explaining and presenting the data as to why they believe lockdowns are not only harmful, but useless to combat COVID. These are two of many examples.
Lack of access to health care, economic implications and more have experts suggesting that lockdown measures will kill well over one hundred million people and push even more to the brink of starvation. According to Oxfam, the pandemic has ushered in the worst job crisis in over 90 years with hundreds of millions of people now underemployed or unemployed.
Billionaires fortunes rebounded as stock markets recovered despite continued recession in the real economy. Their total wealth hit $11.95 trillion in December 2020, equivalent to G20 governments’ total COVID-19 recovery spending. The road to recovery will be much longer for people who were already struggling pre-COVID-19. When the virus struck over half of workers in poor countries were living in poverty, and three-quarters of workers globally had no access to social protections like sick pay or unemployment benefits.
The report does mention the benefits of vaccines, and that the covid vaccines are not being fairly distributed. It speaks of the vaccine as a life saving intervention, but does not mention that fact that this is a virus with a 99.95 percent survival rate in people under the age of 70, and that other interventions like vitamin C, Zinc, Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin have shown great success and efficacy. Vaccine hesitancy, especially with regards to the covid vaccines, is on a sharp rise among people, doctors and scientists. Again, the mainstream doesn’t seem to do an adequate job of covering information like this. Big Tech fact checkers censor any type of information that doesn’t paint vaccines in a positive light, and all those who raise concerns, no matter how legitimate, seem to be labelled as “anti-vax conspiracy theorists” and are constantly ridiculed. It would be great if the mainstream actually brought these concerns to light and addressed them in a civil manner.
Early on in the pandemic a report from the Institute for Policy Studies found that, while tens of millions of Americans have lost their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic, America’s ultra-wealthy elite have seen their net worth surge by $282 billion in just 23 days. This is despite the fact that the economy is expected to contract by 40 percent this quarter. In turns they were correct.
The Institute for Policy Studies’ report shows something nothing short of a modern day oligarchy, where the super-rich have captured so much power and control, including controlling what laws are passed. These are the “decision-makers” of our world while we all are glued to to the T.V. see what they “command” next, not realizing that we the people have the most “power.” “Their” power comes from our compliance, and our compliance comes from their ability to shape our perception of this issue. The report discusses what it labels a new “wealth defense industry” – where “billionaires are paying millions to dodge billions in taxes,” with teams of accountants, lawyers, lobbyists and asset managers helping them conceal their vast fortunes in tax havens and so-called charitable trusts. The result has been crippled social programs and a decrease in living standards and even sustained drop in life expectancy – something rarely seen in history outside of major wars or famines.
The Takeaway: It can be frustrating observing the human experience knowing that we are nothing but infinite potentiality. The human race has huge potential and we have more than enough solutions and technological developments to start co-existing with mother Earth in a more harmonious way, one that provides abundance to all people. Many of these technologies and solutions “never see the light of day” (Dr. Brian O’Leary, NASA astronaut ex-Princeton physics professor). Why was electric car technology invented decades ago but not put into mass production? My point is, again, that solutions exist, that’s not the problem, the issue seems to be the prevention of solutions from making their way into the public due to corporate and government interests being threatened. Is this really the kind of world we want to live in? Despite all this, we continue to operate under the assumption that “this is the way it is” and the idea of a “utopian” society is unachievable.
This goes to shows that it’s not really the “solutions” that will change our world, it’s the consciousness that humanity operates from. It’s the consciousness behind these “solutions” that determine what direction humanity takes.
When it comes to mandating certain health measures, and other things, do we really want to live in a world where we give so much power to governments to the point where they can dictate our actions, and control our thoughts and perceptions regarding certain global events? Do we want to allow them to restrict access to certain rights and freedoms simply for non-compliance of certain measures, like getting vaccinated, for example? Should freedom of choice not always remain? Should governments and private institutions simply be making recommendations?
What about the “new normal”?
This is an important question at the moment, and we are seeing it in everything from alternative media to mainstream media. As we saw with Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, even politicians are warning their citizens that what you see happening now will be the ‘new normal’ to some extent. What do they mean by this? Should we want things to go back to how they were prior to this pandemic? Do we have a future of even more restrictions in sight?
From my perspective, I don’t want things to go back to ‘normal’. Why do I say this? Because I ask myself the question: was life prior to, and even during this pandemic, truly allowing humanity to thrive? Was it anywhere even close to what humanity is capable of? Or is it a society and world designed out of programming that has convinced us to accept basic survival as being how we should live… as normal?
This can be a question for everyone no matter where you live on this planet. Whether the weekly rat race is reality or whether having to worry about whether you will get your next meal is your reality, is this truly how we want to live and what humanity is capable of?
If not, then how can we shift the conversation to begin exploring how we might change the way we live in our society?
Read more here.
New Lancet Article Suggests 50-75% of “Positive” PCR Tests Are Not Infectious People
- The Facts:
A recent article published in The Lancet medical journal explains that PCR tests can be "positive" for up to five times longer than the time an infected person is actually infectious.
- Reflect On:
Why are certain viewpoints, opinions, studies, scientists and doctors being censored and/or ignored for presenting data that completely contradicts what we are receiving from government health authorities.
Before you begin...
PCR testing (polymerase chain reaction testing) has come under fire from numerous doctors, scientists, politicians and journalists since the beginning of this pandemic. Not everyone would know this if their only source of information was mainstream media however, as they’ve chosen not to cover the controversy surrounding it. This is not to say that PCR testing hasn’t been praised as a useful tool to determine a covid infection, but again, there are great causes for concern that aren’t really being addressed.
As far back as 2007, Gina Kolata published an article in the New York Times about how declaring pandemics based on PCR testing can end in a disaster. The article was titled Faith in Quick Test Leads to Epidemic That Wasn’t. In July, professor Carl Heneghan, director for the centre of evidence-based medicine at Oxford University, an outspoken critic of the current UK response to the pandemic, wrote a piece titled “How many Covid diagnoses are false positives?” He has argued that the proportion of positive tests that are false in the UK could also be as high as 50%.
The Deputy Medical Officer of Ontario, Canada, Dr. Barbara Yaffe recently stated that COVID-19 testing may yield at least 50 percent false positives. This means that people who test positive for COVID may not actually have it. Former scientific advisor at Pfizer, Dr. Mike Yeadon, argued that the proportion of positive tests that are false may actually be as high as 90%.
Furthermore, 22 researchers have put out a paper explaining why, according to them, it’s clear that the PCR test is not effective in identifying COVID-19 cases, and that as a result we may be seeing a significant amount of false positives. You can read more about that here.
These are simply a few of many examples from the recent past, and it’s concerning because lockdown measures and more are based on supposed positive “cases.”
Another concern recently raised comes from an article published in The Lancet medical journal titled “Clarifying the evidence of SARS-CoC-2 antigen rapid tests in public health responses to COVID-19.”
In it, the authors explain that most people infected with COVID are contagious for approximately one week, and that “specimens are generally not found to contain culture-positive (potentially contagious) virus beyond day 9 after the onset of symptoms, with most transmission occurring before day 5.” They go on to explain:
This timing fits with the observed patterns of virus transmission (usually 2 days before to 5 days after symptom onset), which led public health agencies to recommend a 10-day isolation period. The sort window of transmissibility contrasts with a median 22-33 days of PCR positivity (longer with severe infections and someone shorter among asymptomatic individuals). This suggests that 50-75% of the time an individual is PCR positive, they are likely to be post-infectious.
Once SARS-CoV-2 replication has been controlled by the immune system, RNA levels detectable by PCR on respiratory secretions fall to very low levels when individuals are much less likely to infect others. The remaining RNA copies can take weeks, or occasionally months, to clear, during which time PCR remains positive.
However, for public health measures, another approach is needed. Testing to help slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2 asks not whether someone has RNA in their nose from earlier infection, but whether they are infectious today. It is a net loss to the health, social, and economic wellbeing of communities if post-infectious individuals test positive and isolate for 10 days. In our view, current PCR testing is therefore not the appropriate gold standard for evaluating a SARS-CoV-2 public health test.
An article published in the British Medical Journal explains:
It’s also unclear to what extent people with no symptoms transmit SARS-CoV-2. The only test for live virus is viral culture. PCR and lateral flow tests do not distinguish live virus. No test of infection or infectiousness is currently available for routine use. As things stand, a person who tests positive with any kind of test may or may not have an active infection with live virus, and may or may not be infectious.
The relations between viral load, viral shedding, infection, infectiousness, and duration of infectiousness are not well understood. In a recent systematic review, no study was able to culture live virus from symptomatic participants after the ninth day of illness, despite persistently high viral loads in quantitative PCR diagnostic tests. However, cycle threshold (Ct) values from PCR tests are not direct measures of viral load and are subject to error.
Searching for people who are asymptomatic yet infectious is like searching for needles that appear and reappear transiently in haystacks, particularly when rates are falling. Mass testing risks the harmful diversion of scarce resources. A further concern is the use of inadequately evaluated tests as screening tools in healthy populations.
The UK’s testing strategy needs to be reset in line with the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies’ recommendation that “Prioritizing rapid testing of symptomatic people is likely to have a greater impact on identifying positive cases and reducing transmission than frequent testing of asymptomatic people in an outbreak area.”
The academics who published this paper are one of many explaining how another approach is needed, given the fact that PCR tests are the basis of lockdowns that might have already, and will kill more people than COVID itself, all for a virus with a 99.95% recovery rate for people under the age of 70. Many are in fact calling for the end of testing for asymptomatic people.
Michael Levitt, a medical professor at Stanford University and a Nobel Laureate for chemistry is one of many who has been emphasizing this:
“Getting tested right to avoid making more mistakes going forward [is crucial].” He writes, “very disturbing that PCR test can be positive for up to FIVE times longer than the time an infected person is actually infectious. Many implications.”
Rosamond A K Jones, a retired consultant paediatrician, and part of the Health Advisory & Recovery Team (HART) in Slough, UK, writes with regards to testing in UK schools:
If testing 5 million secondary school pupils twice a week, those 10 million tests would be expected to generate 30,000 false positives. These children would presumably all be sent home from school, with their 30 classmates, leading to almost a million children incorrectly out of school each week.
According to an article written by Robert Hagen MD, who recently retired from Lafayette Orthopaedic Clinic in Indiana:
By base rate fallacy/false positive paradox, if the specificity of a test is 95%, when used in a population with a 2% incidence of disease — such as healthy college students and staff — there will be 5 false positives for every 2 true positives. (The actual incidence of active COVID-19 in college age students is not known but estimated to be less than 0.6% by Indiana University/Fairbanks data. Even using a test with 99% specificity with a 1% population incidence generates 10 false positives for every 9 true positives.
Using the same test on patients with COVID-19 symptoms, because their incidence of disease is 50% or greater, the test does not have to be perfect. Even using a test with only 90% specificity, the number of false positives will be much less significant.
Another issue is with PCR testing is the cycle threshold. PCR seeks the genetic code of the virus from nose or throat swabs and amplifies it over 30–40 cycles, doubling each cycle, enabling even minuscule, potentially single, copies to be detected. I first learned about this when Elon Musk revealed he had completed four rounds of COVID-19 testing, tweeting that something “bogus” is going on because two of the tests came back false, and the other two came back positive.
He also mentioned he was “doing tests from several different labs, same time of day, administered by RN & am requesting N1 gene PCR cycle threshold. There is no official standard for PCR testing. Not sure people realize this.”
And therein lies the problem, something that the World Health Organization finally addressed recently. On January 13th the WHO published a memo regarding the problem of asymptomatic cases being discovered by PCR tests, and suggesting any asymptomatic positive tests be repeated. This followed up their previous memo, instructing labs around the world to use lower cycle thresholds (CT values) for PCR tests. The higher the cycle threshold the greater the chance for false positive rates.
Is this why case rates around the world have started to decline? It seems plausible since the same time cases dropped the WHO told labs to monitor the cycle thresholds which means false positives would reduce.
A Portuguese court has determined that the PCR tests used to detect COVID-19 are not able to prove an infection beyond a reasonable doubt, and thus determined that the detainment of four individuals was unlawful and illegal. In the Portuguese appeal hearing, Jaafar et al. (2020) was cited, explaining how a high CT is correlated with low viral loads.
“If someone is testing by PCR as positive when a threshold of 35 cycles or higher is used (as is the rule in most laboratories in Europe and the US), the probability that said person is infected is <3%, and the probability that said result is a false positive is 97%.” (source)
The court further noted that the cycle threshold used for the PCR tests currently being made in Portugal is unknown. You can read more about that story here.
“Cases” Are The Basis of Lockdowns
The information above is indeed telling, because PCR tests are being used to justify lockdown measures and yet there is a huge amount of controversy and inaccuracy with them.
Professor Anna-Mia Ekström and Professor Stefan Swartling Peterson have gone through the data from UNICEF and UNAIDS, and came to the conclusion that at least as many people have died as a result of the restrictions to fight covid as have died of covid.
A study published by four medical professors from Stanford University has failed to find evidence supporting the use of what they call “Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions” (NPIs) like lockdowns, social-distancing, business closures and stay at home orders. According to the study, these measures have not been sufficient and are not sufficient to stop the spread of COVID and therefore are not necessary to combat the spread of the virus.
A group of doctors and scientists published an essay for the American Institute for Economic Research explaining and presenting the data as to why they believe lockdowns are not only harmful, but useless to combat COVID. In the essay they present a multitude of studies supporting the same conclusions found in the Stanford study cited above. You can read that here.
Lockdown harms were pondered early on in the pandemic, a report published in the British Medical Journal titled Covid-19: “Staggering number” of extra deaths in community is not explained by covid-19″ has suggested that quarantine measures in the United Kingdom as a result of the new coronavirus may have already killed more UK seniors than the coronavirus has during the months of April and May .
Bhattacharya, MD, PhD wrote an article for The Hill titled “Facts, not fear, will stop the pandemic.” In it he points out a number of facts regarding the implications of lockdown measures, which also include that fact that:
Internationally, the lockdowns have placed 130 million people on the brink of starvation, 80 million children at risk for diphtheria, measles and polio, and 1.8 million patients at risk of death from tuberculosis. The lockdowns in developed countries have devastated the poor in poor countries. The World Economic Forum estimates that the lockdowns will cause an additional 150 million people to fall into extreme poverty, 125 times as many people as have died from COVID.
Is a Great Reset Really required? Or should we just go back to normal? Even if we weren’t in a lockdown, should we still be questioning how we feel about our “normal.” You can dive into a deeper discussion about that here.
The one thing that has many more people questioning their government with regards to COVID seems to be the fact that countless amounts of scientists, doctors, journalists and more are being heavily censored for sharing their information, data, research and opinions about COVID when they don’t fit within the accepted framework of mainstream culture.
For example, the Swedish government has said that it will strengthen laws on academic freedom after a leading Swedish academic announced that he was quitting his work on COVID-19 because of an onslaught of intimidating comments from people who disagreed or disliked his research findings. (source) This is one of many examples, you can see more here.
Dr. Kamran Abbasi, former (recent) executive editor of the prestigious British Medical Journal, editor of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, and a consultant editor for PLOS Medicine. He is editor of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine and JRSM Open recently published a piece in the BMJ, titled “Covid-19: politicisation, “corruption,” and suppression of science.” I reference this quite a bit in many of my articles so I apologize if you’ve come across it already.
Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. Covid-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health. Politicians and industry are responsible for this opportunistic embezzlement. So too are scientists and health experts. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency—a time when it is even more important to safeguard science. –
I say it in almost every article I write about COVID, should we not have the right to examine information openly and transparently and determine for ourselves what is and what isn’t? Why is it that someone like Dr. Anthony Fauci gets to make an appearance on television with instant virality anytime he desires, while other experts presenting opposing viewpoints are completely ignored? Can the mainstream media make the “consensus” or the majority seem like the minority and the minority seem like the majority?
How are we going to make sense of what is going on and make effective decisions about it all if we are not allowed to talk about certain ideas?
Texas & Mississippi Both Lift Mask Mandates & Some Business Restrictions
- The Facts:
Texas and Mississippi have both lifted many COVID-19 restrictions, including the removal of mandated face masks. Some restrictions will come off by March 10th, others starting tomorrow.
- Reflect On:
Regardless of what we think the causes are for why case numbers rise or drop, why are we seeing only a small handful of people given a chance to speak while other credible individuals are sidelined and ridiculed for having a different perspective?
Before you begin...
This will feel like good news to many, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has just lifted many of the Covid-19 restrictions in his state. Businesses will be allowed to operate at 100% capacity starting March 10th, and citizens will no longer be required to wear face masks.
The news was given during a speech to the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce on March 2nd, letting small businesses and community leaders know that a path towards rebuilding their livelihood is being paved.
NEW: Issuing an executive order to lift the mask mandate and open Texas to 100 percent. pic.twitter.com/P4UywmWeuN
— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) March 2, 2021
The governor also added these words with regards to still abiding by certain safety practices instilled since COVID began:
Today’s announcement doesn’t abandon safe practices that Texans have mastered over the past year. Instead, it’s a reminder that each person has a role to play in their own personal safety & the safety of others.
— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) March 2, 2021
Following Texas’ announcement, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves said he plans to end the state’s mask mandate and end all COVID related business restrictions as well. The Governor feels that improved case and hospitalization numbers are a sign that things are ready to return to normal.
Starting tomorrow, we are lifting all of our county mask mandates and businesses will be able to operate at full capacity without any state-imposed rules. Our hospitalizations and case numbers have plummeted, and the vaccine is being rapidly distributed. It is time!
— Tate Reeves (@tatereeves) March 2, 2021
Mississippi Governor Reeves feels his latest order “will be one of my last executive orders regarding Covid-19.” The new order replaced the current restrictions with much milder ones that are considered to now be recommendations starting on march 3. There will still be a rule limiting indoor arenas to 50-percent capacity, as well as restrictions on K-12 schools.
Governor Reeves does still remind people that maintaining proper social distancing and other basic safety guidelines is a good idea.
Are we about to see a wave of more states opening up? Might this spread to other countries around the world? We shall see. But the sort of openness and enthusiasm seen by the Governors of Texas and Mississippi is not shared by all, and other health officials feel now is not the time to consider easing restrictions.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky on Monday: “Now is not the time to relax the critical safeguards …”
Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) on Tuesday: “It is now time to open Texas 100%.”pic.twitter.com/OlOYhgOabN
— The Recount (@therecount) March 2, 2021
Both governor’s stand in stark contrast to that of President Joe Biden, who believes the idea of masks is crucial in stopping the spread of COVID-19. Biden also expects all Americans will remain obedient and in support of masks until at least 2022 and plans to have enough Covid-19 vaccines to vaccinate every citizen the around May of 2021.
Why Have Case Counts Dropped?
Answering this questions is very difficult, and this has been the issue with COVID since the start. If you take an honest look at multiple sources, you will see that no one can agree on why anything is happening the way it is. Further to that, open inquiry and proper scientific dialogue is not allowed nor happening. We’ve seen the greatest crisis in collective sense-making I can recall.
Are cases dropping because the WHO updated their instructions for medical professionals in determine what a ‘positive’ result from a PCR test is? A move that would inevitably remove thousands upon thousands of false positives?
Is it because of the lockdowns? Again, some believe they are effective, while other studies show a completely opposite perspective.
You will hear arguments stated assertively from many different camps, but the truth is, no one really knows all that firmly why cases dropped, and to some extent this is normal in a new and developing scientific story.
But all that aside, one thing we do know is that anyone who disagrees with the way COVID is being handled is not allowed to have a platform to speak. What does that tell us? You decide.
Click here to check out a recent podcast interview with Charles Eisenstein where we spoke about the current sensemaking crisis with COVID as well as how it’s affecting our everyday culture.
Click here for more of our COVID-19 coverage.
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