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Bill Browder vs. Vladimir Putin. Who’s Lying?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Bill Browder portrays himself as a businessman fighting against corruption in Russia. Vladimir Putin sees Browder as a criminal who has illegally taken $1.5 Billion out of Russia, and is charged in Russia with not even paying taxes on that money.

  • Reflect On:

    Can we now discern the truth based on the way in which each side is telling it's story? Can we pick up on the telltale signs?

In the recent summit between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, both Trump and Putin quashed the never-ending narrative that Russia interfered with the 2016 U.S. elections, based on what has become self-evident for most people who are paying attention: there are NO FACTS to back up these claims. Still, amidst the claims by the Mueller investigation that 12 Russian nationals were specifically involved in tampering with the U. S. elections, Putin had a proposal for the American president, which provides a good context for our discussion:

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We have an acting and existing agreement between the United States of America and the Russian Federation, an existing treaty that dates back to 1999: the mutual assistance on criminal cases.This treaty is in full effect, it works quite efficiently.

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We can offer that the appropriate commission headed by special attorney Mueller, he can use this treaty … and send a formal, an official request to us so that we would interrogate, hold a questioning of, these individuals who he believes are privy to some crimes. And our law enforcement are perfectly able to do this questioning and send the appropriate material to the United States.

Moreover, we can meet you halfway. We can make another step. We can actually permit special representatives of the United States — including the members of this very commission headed by Mr. Mueller — we can let them into the country and they will be present at this questioning.

But in this case, there is another condition. These kind of efforts should be mutual. Then we would expect the Americans would reciprocate and that they would question officials, including the officers of law enforcement and intelligence services of the United States, who we believe have something to do with illegal activities in Russia. We would have to request the presence of our law enforcement.

For instance, we can bring up Mr. Browder. Business associates of Mr. Browder have earned over $1.5 Billion in Russia. They have paid no taxes — neither in Russia or the United States. And yet the money escaped the country.

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They were transferred to the United States. They sent a huge amount of money — $400 million — as a contribution to the campaign of Hillary Clinton.

While that’s their personal choice — it might have been legal, the contribution itself — but the way the money was earned was illegal. So we have some reason to believe that some intelligence officers accompanied and guided these transactions, and we have an interest in questioning them.

That could be a first step and we can also extend it. Options abound, and they all can be found in an appropriate legal framework.

Bill Browder And The Magnitsky Act

Bill Browder is not shy to appear in public and voice his side of the story. In response to the claims by Putin at the press conference, Browder had this to say to CNBC:

“I did not [funnel money to Hillary Clinton]. I’m not a U.S. citizen, I don’t live in the United States, I’ve been living in Britain for 29 years, I make no campaign contributions. I should also point out that Vladimir Putin and his regime have accused me of serial killing, of being a CIA, MI6 agent, and about a thousand other things, so he’s kind of unhinged in these accusations.”

Bill Browder characterizes himself as a businessman fighting against corruption in Russia, with his lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in a Russian prison in 2009. This death lead to the Magnitsky Act, described here in Wikipedia:

Background. In 2009, Russian tax accountant Sergei Magnitsky died in a Moscow prison after investigating a $230 million fraud involving Russian tax officials.[2] Magnitsky was accused of committing the fraud himself and detained.[2] While in prison, Magnitsky developed gall stonespancreatitis and calculous cholecystitis and was refused medical treatment for months. After almost a year of imprisonment, he was beaten to death while in custody.[3][4][5] Bill Browder, a prominent American-born businessman and friend of Magnitsky, publicized the case and lobbied American officials to pass legislation sanctioning Russian individuals involved in corruption. Browder brought the case to Senators Benjamin Cardin and John McCain who proceeded to propose legislation.[6]

I was quite interested to follow the link to find out the basis for the assertion that Magnitsky ‘was beaten to death’ while in custody. After all, one would think that the bowels of a Russian prison would be the last place such information could actually be eyewitnessed and brought out into the public. It turns out, all one gets is Browder’s account of the story in this Atlantic article.

“…they put him in an ambulance and sent him to another prison that had medical facilities. But when he arrived there, instead of putting him in the emergency room, they put him in an isolation cell, chained him to a bed, and eight riot guards came in and beat him with rubber batons. That night he was found dead on the cell floor.”

The Atlantic article does a great job painting Bill Browder as a hero. Does it ever ask the question as to how Bill Browder knows his story of Magnitsky’s beating to be true? Just sayin’.

Magnitsky Act Becomes Law

Again, from Wikipedia:

In June 2012, the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs reported to the House a bill called the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012 (H.R. 4405).[7] The main intention of the law was to punish Russian officials who were thought to be responsible for the death of Sergei Magnitsky by prohibiting their entrance to the United States and their use of its banking system.[8] The legislation was taken up by a Senate panel the next week, sponsored by Senator Ben Cardin, and cited in a broader review of the mounting tensions in the international relationship.[9][10]

In November 2012, provisions of the Magnitsky bill were attached to a House bill (H.R. 6156) normalizing trade with Russia (i.e., repealing the Jackson–Vanik amendment) and Moldova.[11] On December 6, 2012, the U.S. Senate passed the House version of the law, 92-4.[8] The law was signed by President Barack Obama on December 14, 2012.[12][13][14][15][16] 

In 2016, Congress enacted the Global Magnitsky Act which allows the US Government to sanction foreign government officials implicated in human rights abuses anywhere in the world.[17]

So if you caught that last part, it means that the US Government can pressure other governments around the world to adopt this same Magnitsky Act, effectively enabling the US Government to sanction Russia by proxy through other nations. Here is Vladimir Putin, responding to a question about Canada agreeing to adopt the Magnitsky Act:

What do I think about what you have just said, about Canada joining or wanting to join, or about somebody else wanting to do it? These are all some very unconstructive political games over things, which are in essence not what they look like, to be treated in such a way or to fuss about so much. What lies underneath these events? Underneath are the criminal activities of an entire gang led by one particular man, I believe Browder is his name, who lived in the Russian Federation for ten years as a tourist and conducted activities, which were on the verge of being illegal, by buying Russian company stock without any right to do so, not being a Russian resident, and by moving tens and hundreds of millions of dollars out of the country and hence avoiding any taxes not only here but in the United States as well. According to open sources, I mean American open sources, please look up Ziff Brothers, the company Mr Browder was connected with, which has been sponsoring the Democratic Party and, substantially less, the Republican Party during recent years. I think the latest transfer, in the open sources I mean, was $1,200,000 for the Democratic Party. This is how they protect themselves. In Russia, Mr Browder was sentenced in his absence to 9 years in prison for his scam. However, no one is working on it. Our prosecution has already turned to the appropriate US agencies such as the Department of Justice and the Office of the Attorney General for certain information so we can work together on this. However, there is simply no response. This is just used to blow up more anti-Russian hysteria. Nobody wants to look into the matter, into what is actually beneath it. At the bottom of it, as usual, is crime, deception and theft.

The Magnitsky Act: Behind The Scenes (Documentary)

Fortunately, to help us sort all this out, there is Andrei Nekrasov’s film, The Magnitsky Act: Behind the Scenes. It is about ‘the filmmaker’s journey as he set out to expose Russian police for murdering Sergei Magnitsky, a whistleblower against corruption, and for stealing $230-million from companies that were owned by American-born billionaire, Bill Browder, the CEO of Hermitage Capital Management.’

I would be happy to show it below. But it has been removed from Youtube. Which actually should come as no surprise, if you know anything about attempts by Nekrasov to screen it in Europe, all of which were thwarted by a successful ban on all screenings. But who would have been able to pull this off? Bill Browder, who has access to and power over all mainstream media outlets in America and Europe. Why would Browder try to ban a film where the filmmaker, who had long been a critic of Putin and the Russian Duma, wanted to make Browder out to be a hero? The following excerpt from this Need To Know article explains it:

The film producer dug up facts that countered Browder’s claims that his companies were stolen by Russian police and were then used to steal $230 million in tax rebates from the Russian government, and that the police then beat Sergei Magnitsky to death.  Instead, the evidence pointed toward Browder having control over the companies when the tax fraud took place, indicating that he engineered the tax fraud.  In addition, the producer found evidence that Sergei Magnitsky was an accountant who worked for Browder for years, instead of a lawyer, as Browder claims, and that he died of a pre-existing heart condition while in prison, instead of being beaten to death by the police.

Nekrasov makes the case that Browder created a myth that Sergei Magnitsky was his lawyer and a whistleblower who was beaten to death by the police in gross violation of human rights, because the billionaire was trying to cover up the real crime wherein he used shell companies to fraudulently obtain a tax rebate while claiming that the companies had been stolen, and then he blamed the imaginary thieves for the tax fraud. Browder was convicted for tax fraud in a Russian court, in absentia, in 2013. Browder’s company had ties to HSBC and reaped billions during the privatization period in Russia in the 1990s, after the communist government underwent cosmetic surgery to look like it was now in favor of free markets and private ownership.

So a filmmaker–who was once a friend of Bill Browder, by the way–wanted to make a film criticizing Vladimir Putin and ends up, on the basis of the evidence he uncovers, reversing his position and finding Browder to be the bad guy. Suddenly his documentary film is banned across the whole Western world.

While I haven’t been able to find the documentary online (I’ve already witnessed it removed from two places), this short interview with the filmmaker should help you sort things out in your mind:

Discerning The Truth

I will say one thing about my impression of Vladamir Putin. Though he certainly looks capable of having done some treacherous things in his life, the man talks in a way that indicates he is not afraid of the truth, and he is not trying to steer people away from the truth or from any information that would help us to make up our own minds.

I don’t know about you all, but when I’m searching for the truth, I get a bit suspicious when powerful people decide that someone’s opinion on a matter like this should not be shown to me, that somehow powerful people like Bill Browder and the Deep State have decided to be the arbiters of the truth and that we’re not smart enough to watch a film and distinguish fact from fiction. As our discernment gets sharper during these tumultuous times, attempts to hide the truth, or even to hide what is considered a contrary opinion, will prove to backfire on those who would endeavor to continue controlling us.

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Vancouver Council Votes Against Mandatory Mask Mandate: They’re Not Required

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Vancouver, Canada will not have a required mask policy in civic facilities, and instead will simply recommend that people wear them.

  • Reflect On:

    Should governments recommend what they feel we should do and present the science instead of forcing certain measures on the population that many people and health professionals clearly disagree with?

What Happened: The city of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada will not mandate masks inside city buildings and will “strongly encourage” people to wear them instead. This is a bold move as many cities across the globe have mandatory mask measures in place.

The proposal by Counc. Sarah Kirby-Yung, which would have required masks inside city buildings, was opposed by more than a dozen speakers who pleaded with the city council to vote against it.

“Please consider our forefathers fought for our freedom, and if we release that choice, it’s the first step towards a dictatorship,” said one speaker according to City News. “Masks are used as weapons and they have certainly been used as weapons against me and others to silence and marginalize us and it’s not fair.”

According to Coun. Christine Boyle, public health experts encourage wearing masks, but a mandatory policy is not needed.

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Positive Association Found Amongst COVID Deaths & Flu Shot Rates Worldwide In Elderly

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A recently published paper has found a positive association between COVID-19 deaths and influenza vaccination rates in elderly people worldwide.

  • Reflect On:

    Why does vaccine hesitancy continue to grow worldwide? What's going on? What information/factors are contributing to this hesitancy?

What Happened: A recently published study in PeerJ  by Christian Wehenkel, a Professor at Universidad Juárez del Estado de Durango in Mexico, has found a positive association between COVID-19 deaths and influenza vaccination rates in elderly people worldwide.

According to the study, “The results showed a positive association between COVID-19 deaths and IVR (influenza vaccination rate) of people ≥65 years-old. There is a significant increase in COVID-19 deaths from eastern to western regions in the world. Further exploration is needed to explain these findings, and additional work on this line of research may lead to prevention of deaths associated with COVID-19.”

To determine this association, data sets from 39 countries with more than half a million people were analyzed.

The study was published on October 1st, and two weeks later a note from the publisher appeared atop the paper emphasizing that correlation does not equal causation, and that this paper “should not be taken to suggest that receiving the influenza vaccination results in an increased risk of death for an individual with COVID-19 as there may be confounding factors at play.”

The paper provides evidence from others which have recently been published that ponder if the flu shot could increase ones chance of contracting and dying from COVID-19.

For example, this study published in April of 2020, reported a negative correlation between influenza vaccination rates (IVRs) and COVID-19 related mortality and morbidity. Marín-Hernández, Schwartz & Nixon (2020) also showed epidemiological evidence of an association between higher influenza vaccine uptake by elderly people and lower percentage of COVID-19 deaths in Italy, which directly contradicts the author’s own findings and suggests that the flu shot may help prevent COVID-19 related deaths.

He goes on to mention another study:

In a study analyzing 92,664 clinically and molecularly confirmed COVID-19 cases in Brazil, Fink et al. (2020) reported that patients who received a recent flu vaccine experienced on average 17% lower odds of death. Moreover, Pawlowski et al. (2020) analyzed the immunization records of 137,037 individuals who tested positive in a SARS-CoV-2 PCR. They found that polio, Hemophilus influenzae type-B, measles-mumps-rubella, varicella, pneumococcal conjugate (PCV13), geriatric flu, and hepatitis A/hepatitis B (HepA-HepB) vaccines, which had been administered in the past 1, 2, and 5 years, were associated with decreased SARS-CoV-2 infection rates.

So, its important to mention that correlations between the flu vaccine have also found that it may decrease ones chance of deaths from COVID-19.

But are there studies that have shown an increased chance of death or contracting other respiratory viruses as a result of getting the flu shot? Yes.

That’s also discussed in the paper. For example, he mentions a paper published in 2018:

In a study with 6,120 subjects, Wolff (2020) reported that influenza vaccination was significantly associated with a higher risk of some other respiratory diseases, due to virus interference. In a specific examination of non-influenza viruses, the odds of coronavirus infection (but not the COVID-19 virus) in vaccinated individuals were significantly higher, when compared to unvaccinated individuals (odds ratio = 1.36).

The study above found the flu shot to increase the risk of other coronaviruses among those who had been vaccinated for influenza by 36 percent. The study was conducted prior to COVID-19, so it’s not included and only applies to pre-existing coronaviruses. The study also found an even higher chance of contracting human metapneumovirus amongst those who had received the flu shot.

Below are some more studies regarding the flu shot and viral infections that hint to the same idea.

  • 2018 CDC study (Rikin et al 2018) found that flu shots increase the risk of non-flu acute respiratory illnesses (ARIs), including coronavirus, in children.
  • A 2011 Australian study (Kelly et al 2011) found that flu shots doubled the risk for non-flu viral lung infections.
  • 2012 Hong Kong study (Cowling et al 2012) found that flu shots increase the risk for non-flu respiratory infections by 4.4 times.
  • 2017 study (Mawson et al 2017) found vaccinated children were 5.9 times more likely to suffer pneumonia than their unvaccinated peers.

Why This Is Important: We live in an age where vaccinations are heavily marketed. We’ve seen this with the flu shot time and time again and we are also living in an age where a push for more mandated vaccines seems to be growing.

Dr. Peter Doshi is an associate editor at The BMJ (British Medical Journal) and also an assistant professor of pharmaceutical health services research at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. He published a paper in The BMJ titled “Influenza: Marketing Vaccines By Marketing Disease.”  In it,  he points out that the CDC pledges “to base all public health decisions on the highest quality of scientific data, openly and objectively derived,” and how this isn’t the case when it comes to the flu vaccine and its marketing. He stresses that “the vaccine may be less beneficial and less safe than has been claimed, and that “the threat of influenza seems to be overstated.”

This is a touchy subject that dives into medical ethics and the connections that big pharmaceutical companies have with our federal health regulatory agencies and health associations. Vaccines are a multi billion dollar industry.

At a recent World Health Organization conference on vaccine safety, it was expressed that vaccine hesitancy is growing at quite a fast pace, especially among doctors who are now becoming hesitant to recommend certain vaccines on the schedule. You can read more about that and find links to the conference here.

We have to ask ourselves, why is this happening? Is it because people and professionals are becoming aware of certain information that warrants the freedom of choice? Should freedom of choice with regards to what we put in our body always remain? Are we really protecting the “herd” by taking these actions?

In a 2014 analysis in the Oregon Law Review by New York University (NYU) legal scholars Mary Holland and Chase E. Zachary (who also has a Princeton-conferred doctorate in chemistry), the authors show that 60 years of compulsory vaccine policies “have not attained herd immunity for any childhood disease.” It is time, they suggest, to cast aside coercion in favor of voluntary choice.

When it comes to the flu shot, I put more information and science as to why so many people seem to refuse it, in this article if interested.

The University of California is currently being sued for mandating the flu shot for all staff, faculty and students. A judge has prevented them from doing so as a result until a decision has been made. You can read more about that here.

In South Korea, 48 people have now died after receiving the flu shot this season causing a lot of controversy. You can read more about that here.

The Takeaway: There are many concerns with vaccines, and vaccine injury is one of them. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act has paid more than $4 billion to families of vaccine injured children. A 2010 HHS pilot study by the Federal Agency for Health Care Research (AHCR) found that 1 in every 39 vaccines causes injury, a shocking comparison to the claims from the CDC of 1 in every million.

Should these statistics alone warrant the freedom of choice? Should the government have the ability to force us into measures, or would it simply be better for them to present the science, make recommendations and urge people to follow them? When the citizenry is forced and coerced into certain actions, sometimes under the guise of good-will, there always seems to be a tremendous amount of uproar and people who disagree. Why are these people silenced? Why are they censored? Why are they ridiculed? Why don’t independent health organizations receive the same voice and reach that government and state “owned” or organizations do? What’s going on here? Do we really live in a free, open and transparent world or are we simply subjected to massive amounts of perception manipulation?

When it come to the flu shot there is plenty of information on both sides of the coin that point to its effectiveness, and on the other hand there is information that points to the complete opposite. When something is not 100 percent clear, freedom of choice in all places should always remain, in my opinion.

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Some South Korean Doctors & Politicians Call To Stop Flu Shots After 48 People Die

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The number of South Koreans who have died after getting flu shots has risen to 48, but health authorities in South Korea have found no link between the vaccine and the deaths.

  • Reflect On:

    Is the flu shot as safe as it's marketed to be?

What Happened: It’s that time of year and flu shot programs are rolling out across the globe. The number of South Koreans who have died after getting the flu shot has now risen to 48 and some South Korean doctors and politicians have called to stop flu shots as a result, according to Reuters. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) has decided not to stop the program, and that flu vaccines would continue to be given and will reduce the chance of having simultaneous epidemics in the era of COVID-19.

Health authorities in South Korea have explained that they’ve found no direct link between these deaths and the shots. KDCA Director Jeong Eun-kyung said, “After reviewing death cases so far, it is not the time to suspend a flu vaccination programme since vaccination is very crucial this year, considering…the COVID-19 outbreaks.”

According to Reuters, “Some initial autopsy results from the police and the National Forensic Service showed that 13 people died of cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and other disorders not caused by the vaccination.”

The South Korean government is hopeful to vaccinate approximately 30 million of the country’s 54 million people.

Concerns Some People Have With The Flu Shot: One concern many people seem to have is the worry of a severe adverse reaction.

Dr. Alvin Moss, MD and professor at the West Virginia University School of Medicine emphasizes in this video:

The flu vaccine happens to be the vaccine that causes the most injury in this country. The vaccine injury compensation program, 40 percent of all vaccinations in this country are flu shots, but 60 percent of all the compensations are for the flu vaccine. So a disproportionate number of  vaccine related injuries are the flu shot.

Moss is one of many who believe that the flu vaccine is not as effective as it’s been marketed to be. For example,  A study recently published in Global Advances In Health & Medicine titled “Ascorbate as Prophylaxis and Therapy for COVID-19—Update From Shanghai and U.S. Medical Institutions outlines the following:

Recently outlined A recent consensus statement from a group of renowned infectious disease clinicians observed that vaccine programs have proven ill-suited to the fast-changing viruses underlying these illnesses, with efficacy ranging from 19% to 54% in the past few years.

Dr. Peter Doshi is an associate editor at The BMJ (British Medical Journal)  published a paper in The BMJ titled “Influenza: Marketing Vaccines By Marketing Disease.”  In it,  he points out that the CDC pledges “to base all public health decisions on the highest quality of scientific data, openly and objectively derived,” and how this isn’t the case when it comes to the flu vaccine and its marketing. He stresses that “the vaccine may be less beneficial and less safe than has been claimed, and that “the threat of influenza seems to be overstated.”

These are just a few examples out of many claiming that the flu shot has not really been effective, opposing others that claim it is.  Mercury that’s still present in some flu shots also seems to be a concern.

The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act has paid more than $4 billion to families of vaccine injured children. A 2010 HHS pilot study by the Federal Agency for Health Care Research (AHCR) found that 1 in every 39 vaccines causes injury, a shocking comparison to the claims from the CDC of 1 in every million.

Professor Heidi Larson, a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project stated at a World Health Organization (WHO) conference that more doctors are starting to be hesitant when it comes to recommending vaccines.

The other thing that’s a trend, and an issue, is not just confidence in providers but confidence of health care providers, we have a very wobbly health professional frontline that is starting to question vaccines and the safety of vaccines. That’s a huge problem, because to this day any study I’ve seen… still, the most trusted person on any study I’ve seen globally is the health care provider…

This is no secret, and actions against mandates are being taken. The University of California was recently sued for making the flu shot mandatory. That trial will begin soon, and you can read more about it here, and find information regarding the claim that the flu shot can help in the times of COVID-19.

The Takeaway: We are living in an age of extreme censorship of information, no matter how credible or how much evidence is provided, information that goes against the grain always seems to receive a harsh backlash from mainstream media as well as social media outlets. Why is there a digital fact checker patrolling the internet? Should people not have the right to examine information openly and freely and determine for themselves what is and what isn’t?

As far as vaccines are concerned, despite the fact that there are many safety issues the scientific community  is bringing up, a push for vaccine mandates continues and the idea that we are protecting other people is usually the narrative that’s pushed hard. Vaccine skepticism is growing at a fast pace among people of all professions, and people aren’t stupid. There’s a reason why more and more people are starting to question what we’ve been told for years, and those reasons should be acknowledged and openly discussed amongst people on both sides of the coin.

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