“Active shooter at Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi.” That was the breaking news story on Thursday morning. It turned out that the shooter was no longer active, having been “neutralized” after wounding a member of the base security force. As it happens, I was in the middle of writing a piece—the article you are …
1953 – Mount Everest summit reached by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. Following numerous failed attempts by other climbers, Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay of Tibet surmounted Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world (29,035 feet [8,850 metres]), on this day in 1953.
These Russian claims have not yet been adjudicated by international law courts, the United Nations, or by any bilateral or multilateral treaty. Russia’s blanket claims of territorial sovereignty pose a direct challenge to ‘Law of the Sea’ conventions
Source: Russia’s Arctic Empire
That was in bad faith. Why should one be condemned in favor of another?
The President’s claim that postal votes are easily rigged is widely supported by historical precedent
Kit Knightly OffGuardian
It’s an artefact of the peculiar world in which we live that we are sometimes forced to agree with, fight alongside or even defend people with whom we would never wish to be associated.
Donald Trump is right at the top of that list. And his “feud” with twitter over tweets concerning postal votes is a perfect example.
To be clear, whatever the MAGA crowd and QAnons may wish to believe, Trump is NOT some kind of anti-establishment rebel.
Whatever small threat he posed to the status quo was stamped out shortly after the Deep State switched sides from Hillary to Trump sometime in October 2016.
From Syria to Russia to Wikileaks, most of the good parts of Trump’s “America first” or “isolationist” approach have fallen completely by the wayside. Either opposed by the Deep State to the point of total paralysis or shown to be nothing but talk in the first place.
Ever since he was elected, despite his rhetoric, Trump has been little more than a boorish Bush. Most of the time.
But sometimes, in small ways, he strikes a raw nerve with the establishment.
Like two days ago, when he tweeted out criticisms of the proposal to rely on postal votes for forthcoming elections:
Whether this was put into Trump’s mouth by his handlers to create the controversy, or whether it’s his genuine opinion, it is obviously something people are not supposed to agree with. Because twitter then took the unprecedented step of adding “fact-checking links” to his tweets.
Donald Trump is a crass, narcissistic bullshit merchant, but twitter has never done that to him before.
So why now? Why is twitter “fact-checking” Trump’s claim that postal ballots are easier to rig?
Well, it’s certainly not because he’s wrong. Because he’s actually right.
Postal ballots ARE much easier to rig than in-person voting. This is not just logically obvious, it is historically shown to be true through dozens of examples.
In 2002, a Labour councillor was convicted of voter fraud after acquiring 200 blank postal ballots, filling them in and adding them to the uncounted votes.
In 2005, when on-demand postal voting was first spreading around Britain, many councils expressed concerns that the system was vulnerable to fraud. These fears were repeated in 2010, when there was a surge in those using the system.
In 2014 the electoral commission warned that “ghost voters” could be created using mail-in ballots.
Also in 2014 Richard Mawrey QC, a UK deputy High Court judge in charge of hearing electoral fraud cases, warned that on-demand postal ballots were open to “systematic and widespread” voter fraud.
Mawrey repeated those concerns again in 2015, after former Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman was convicted of election fraud using postal votes.
In Decmeber 2019 Steve Baker MP wrote that:
There is widespread abuse of postal votes, this simply cannot go on
That same month, the BBC’s political editor accidentally revealed a serious potential corruption on the postal ballot front.
Now, all of these examples are from the UK but the same frailties exist in the United States.
In fact, just two years ago, a Republican candidate was found to have committed electoral fraud in North Carolina…using absentee postal ballots.
In 2007 Teresa James and Michael Slater of Project Vote authored a report titled “Vote By Mail Doesn’t Deliver” in which they found there was evidence that:
Vote by mail is more susceptible to corruption than voting at polling places.
Vote by mail is amenable to manipulation by election officials.
They cite multiple examples, including the Miami mayoral election of 1997 being overturned by the courts after a candidate was found to have committed widespread absentee ballot fraud.
As recently as March of this year, when Joe Biden repeatedly won primaries he was predicted to lose, there were reported irregularities in postal ballots in several states, including Wisconsin, New Jersey and Ohio.
So, if there are so many recent examples of fraud – and so many obvious potential vulnerabilities to the system – why is Twitter suddenly (incorrectly) fact-checking “The Donald”?
And not just Twitter, but all of the mainstream media as well. For example, CNN, the Washington Post and The New York times all have very long, very similar refutations of Trump’s anti-postal votes diatribe.
It’s interesting to note that the Wikipedia page for “Postal Voting” has already been edited to insert the same quote twice, from a New York Times article which came out today.
Their defences of the system are, frankly, sad.
The New York Times argues that, yes, postal vote rigging does happen (and even cites some of the examples I mentioned) but says doing it on a scale large enough to swing an election would be really hard, and someone would probably notice.
CNN’s is even worse. Collapsing from incompetence to unintentional hilarity, by using a report commissioned by George W. Bush in 2002 which found there was “virtually no evidence of any organized effort to skew federal elections.” (Eagled-eyed readers will note it says “virtually no evidence”, and not “no evidence”.)
Students of history will no doubt realise that this report from the Bush-era Justice Department was commissioned in direct response to allegations that the 2000 Presidential election was rigged (which it fairly obviously was).
So, apart from twitter fact-checking the POTUS for criticising postal votes, we also have all the mainstream media doing pretzel-like feats of mental and verbal gymnastics to try and refute him. Why?
Well, because postal ballots are a large part of the establishment’s agenda at the moment. They are one of the key ideas being pushed in the wake the Covid19 “crisis”.
Just three weeks ago, the New York Times had an article headlined:
We Should Never Have to Vote in Person Again
And that’s just the latest and most brazen example of the propaganda surge on this issue.
In February, well before he could use Covid19 as an excuse, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan was campaigning for more postal votes.
In March Poland’s lower house approved a bill to conduct this year’s Presidential election by post (which was later rejected by the upper house). Australia likewise “urged” postal votes in their local elections this year.
You could even see this whole “controversy” as part of the propaganda itself. Trump has such a lousy reputation that any thought he expresses is instantly discredited by association.
From now on anybody that doubts the postal ballot system can be said to be “agreeing with Trump”, whilst the hordes of potential voters whose only understanding of politics is “Orange Man Bad” will throw their weight behind postal ballots as if it were some kind of moral crusade. (Expect a hashtag like #ImGoingPostal in the next couple of days).
Here, in the UK, our elections are currently totally suspended. When they “lift the lockdown”, postal ballots will be pushed as a way of “saving democracy”. But that will be far from the truth.
Trump expressed it brashly, coarsely and with his trademark lack of nuance, but anybody paying attention should definitely be very wary of widespread postal voting. And worried by the large-scale media campaign to promote it.
By Richard Nordquist Updated October 11, 2018
On the eve of the First World War, an editorial in the Berlin Deutsche Tageszeitung argued that the German language, “coming direct from the hand of God,” should be imposed “on men of all colors and nationalities.” The alternative, the newspaper said, was unthinkable:
Should the English language be victorious and become the world language the culture of mankind will stand before a closed door and the death knell will sound for civilization. . . .
English, the bastard tongue of the canting island pirates, must be swept from the place it has usurped and forced back into the remotest corners of Britain until it has returned to its original elements of an insignificant pirate dialect.
(quoted by James William White in A Primer of the War for Americans. John C. Winston Company, 1914)
This sabre-rattling reference to English as “the bastard tongue” was hardly original. Three centuries earlier, the headmaster of St. Paul’s School in London, Alexander Gil, wrote that since the time of Chaucer the English language had been “defiled” and “corrupted” by the importation of Latin and French words:
[T]oday we are, for the most part, Englishmen not speaking English and not understood by English ears. Nor are we satisfied with having begotten this illegitimate progeny, nourished this monster, but we have exiled that which was legitimate–our birthright–pleasant in expression, and acknowledged by our forefathers. O cruel country!
(from Logonomia Anglica, 1619, quoted by Seth Lerer in Inventing English: A Portable History of the Language. Columbia University Press, 2007)
Not everyone agreed. Thomas De Quincey, for example, regarded such efforts to malign the English language as “the blindest of human follies”:
The peculiar, and without exaggeration we may say the providential, felicity of the English language has been made its capital reproach–that, whilst yet ductile and capable of new impressions, it received a fresh and large infusion of alien wealth. It is, say the imbecile, a “bastard” language, a “hybrid” language, and so forth. . . . It is time to have done with these follies. Let us open our eyes to our own advantages.
(“The English Language,” Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, April 1839)
In our own time, as suggested by the title of John McWhorter’s recently published linguistic history*, we’re more likely to boast about our “magnificent bastard tongue.” English has unashamedly borrowed words from more than 300 other languages, and (to shift metaphors) there’s no sign that it plans to close its lexical borders any time soon.
Over the years, the English language has borrowed a great number of French words and expressions. Some of this vocabulary has been so completely absorbed by English that speakers might not realize its origins. Other words and expressions have retained their “Frenchness”–a certain je ne sais quoi which speakers tend to be much more aware of (although this awareness does not usually extend to actually pronouncing the word in French).
English has borrowed many words from German. Some of those words have become a natural part of everyday English vocabulary (angst, kindergarten, sauerkraut), while others are primarily intellectual, literary, scientific (Waldsterben, Weltanschauung, Zeitgeist), or used in special areas, such as gestalt in psychology, or aufeis and loess in geology. Some of these German words are used in English because there is no true English equivalent: gemütlich, schadenfreude.
Just because our English language doesn’t come from Latin doesn’t mean all our words have a Germanic origin. Clearly, some words and expressions are Latin, like ad hoc. Others, e.g., habitat, circulate so freely that we’re not aware they’re Latin. Some came into English when Francophone Normans invaded Britain in 1066. Others, borrowed from Latin, have been modified.
Many Spanish loanwords have entered the English vocabulary. As noted, some of them were adopted into the Spanish language from elsewhere before they were passed on to English. Although most of them retain the spelling and even (more or less) the pronunciation of Spanish, they are all recognized as English words by at least one reference source.
By Brenda Goodman, MA / WebMD
May 27, 2020 — Something has been bothering Kimberly Prather, PhD: Everything she reads about COVID-19 points to a pathogen that travels through the air.
There’s how quickly it has spread around the world, studies showing how it spreads through restaurants (maybe by the air conditioning system?), how it attacked a church choir even though they were spread apart while they were singing, how it seems to spread like wildfire on planes and on cruise ships; all of this, she says, Prather should know. She studies aerosols — particles so tiny they float freely through the air, traveling feet or even miles. She runs a large, government-funded research center at the University of California San Diego to study how viruses and other things that come out of the ocean float through the air.
“A lot of the evidence has been pointing to aerosol transmission of respiratory viruses,” she says. Influenza can be passed through the air, as can the virus that causes SARS. “This particular virus, a lot of evidence is mounting.”
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Prather says she’s been alarmed not to see the CDC or WHO come out with a strong statement that people could catch COVID-19 by breathing it in.
“It’s just shocking to me, quite honestly, that this has not been factored in.”
And she believes masks can play a major role in stopping that transmission.
In an interview with America magazine on May 26, Anthony Fauci, MD, who leads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, referenced aerosol transmission in churches.
“When you sing, the amount of droplets and aerosol that come out is really, in some respects, scary,” Fauci said.
In a perspective article for the journal Science, Prather clearly lays out the evidence for aerosol transmission and explains what people need to do to protect themselves. It was quickly picked up on social media.
When a person coughs or sneezes, they generate large droplets laden with viral particles. Those droplets are heavy and fall to the ground or a nearby surface pretty quickly, within seconds. They are still somewhat wet and sticky when they land. That’s where the 6-foot rule comes in, she says. It’s based on studies of respiratory droplets conducted in the 1930s.
Science has become much more advanced since then. Prather and others have developed instruments that can “see” very tiny particles — the aerosols. Aerosols are measured in microns, or one one-millionth of a meter. A human red blood cell is about 5 microns in size. These particles are so small that the moisture from a cough or sneeze evaporates while they’re still in the air. They float on air currents. It takes them hours to settle.
Aerosols, she writes, “can accumulate, remain infectious in indoor air for hours, and be easily inhaled deeply into the lungs.”
Prather realizes this is a scary thing to be telling people. “I hesitate. I don’t want to freak people out.”
She also believes knowledge is power.
“I have to say something because this could actually protect people,” she says. What airborne transmission means, she says, is that 6 feet is not far enough to stand apart. It also means we should probably be wearing masks a lot more often.
“It’s very fixable. Masks aren’t that big of a deal,” she says. “To me, I look at this as a solution.”
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She points to the success Taiwan has had stopping the spread of the infection. Taiwan has only had a few hundred cases and only seven deaths, even though the country never implemented a national lockdown. Instead, they aggressively tested their citizens, quarantined people who tested positive for 2 weeks, and had everyone wear face masks.
“If you look at countries that just naturally wear masks when people feel sick … those countries did a lot better than those that did not,” Prather says.
She wears hers inside and outside, especially if she’s walking outdoors in a place where she can see other people. She tells people to imagine how far they can smell cigarette smoke or a barbecue. That’s how far aerosols can travel between you and another person.
The good news, she says, is that recent studies have shown that homemade cloth masks can be as effective at blocking the virus as surgical masks. There’s one big caveat, though. They have to fit to your face.
“If you look at all these people who are wearing bandanas, they’re just hanging down. That’s not good because aerosols will just flow right around,” she says. “Aerosols are really light. If you can feel a breeze, they will be in that breeze.”
That’s one reason why face shields — the plastic covering people are wearing over their faces — don’t work without a mask. Face shields block droplets, but aerosols can still find a way in.
Finally, even if your mask isn’t perfect, or perfectly worn, it may still do you a world of good. Prather says that’s because the dose of the virus you’re exposed to determines how sick you’ll get.
“Even if you only cut it back by 70%, the severity of the disease will be much less.”
- A new normal consists of more handwashing, social distancing, and shielding older people and people medically vulnerable to the disease.
- Nursing homes are ground zero for the COVID pandemic and require policies to immediately isolate residents with symptoms and reduce visitors.
- More robust healthcare systems are needed to prepare for a surge, so hospitals don’t become overwhelmed.
- Caring for people with chronic conditions will involve telemedicine and increased refills on prescriptions.
PRESIDENT of the African Development Bank (AFDB) Akinwunmi Adesina has maintained his innocence with regards to the various allegations
A former prosecutor for the defunct SPIP, Oluwatosin Ojaomo has petitioned the ICPC over allegations of Ibrahim and Tijani Tumsah on owning
Data analysis by Dataphyte has shown the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) paid over 8 billion as salary upfront in January 2020.