7 Signs Your Friend Or Family Member Has Fallen Victim To The Woke Mind Virus

7 Signs Your Friend Or Family Member Has Fallen Victim To The Woke Mind Virus

Authored by Brett Sinclair via TheFreeThoughtProject.com,

COVID is not the only virus sweeping the West, obsessively woke politics is running rampant with the most virulent variants emerging in newsrooms and colleges.

As an acquaintance of mine slowly succumbed, here’s what I observed.

There are certain traits that appear to be extremely common among people who are ‘woke’. Woke being now a common term for those among us who become righteously incensed with progressive social justice issues (typical of mainstream Western media imbibers or recent university graduates). Often, we can see this obsession manifesting in the form of aggressive protest activism – not just as a hobby, but at every social, private, and professional level of their lives. That is a ‘woke’ personality.

While there are well-known physical markers indicating a woke person (blue or purple hair, obesity, androgyny, wispy beards in men, annoying spectacles) I have for some time been a curious student of their habits and psychological mannerisms, which I have also noted, along with the physical traits, to have universal qualities.

I had until recently assumed that these universal personality traits were evidence of a condition existing in the person first (i.e smug over-confidence) which left them susceptible to ‘woke ideas’. But more and more anecdotal experience is teaching me that becoming woke, or contracting the ‘woke virus’, creates its own type of human psyche in the unsuspecting host, which is recognizable across many observable cases. It is my opinion that this psyche is the result of the mind-virus, and not necessarily a pre-existing quality. Thus, if true, this means wokeness itself reshapes the mind.

These qualities are:

  1. Smugness. An absolute, unwavering, and arrogantly condescending attitude toward all non-woke opinions. While a trait in itself, it is related to number 2.

  2. Lack of introspection. No trace of self-questioning or apparent inner monologue. No sense of fairness or understanding of relative opinion.

  3. Quickness to anger. Willingness to not only voice their opinion on any occasion, with anyone, even when outnumbered, but to do so angrily. A willingness to cut off any friend or family member who won’t comply with woke belief.

  4. Nihilist atheism. They will rant a lot about science, while at the same time ignoring science that doesn’t comply with their beliefs. They tend to assume you are dogmatically religious if you don’t agree with them. They will cling to a strongly negative nihilism believing that everything is ultimately hopeless, and that it is sardonic hubris to do or believe in anything (which ties into number 6).

  5. Dishonesty. They are willing to be openly dishonest to further their viral ideas. If they lose a point in an argument, they move on to a new point, never acknowledging or acquiescing that a point was lost. When all attack points are used, personal attacks begin. The past is a blank slate open to revision.

  6. Self-absorbed. This one took me a while to notice, but it seems a give-away idiosyncrasy that you are dealing with a woke-infection if the person has become abnormally self-centered, and in conversation, does not so much reciprocate, as talk about themselves, always positive or self-aggrandizing, often unrealistically. They may also insert self-pity, it seems to generally exacerbate a need for attention-seeking.

  7. Depression, low self-worth, anxiety. This one I also only noticed recently, it is likely the subconscious result of numbers 4 and 6 in particular. Any genuine personal questioning of the subject usually reveals deep worries and angst, and often mental health issues.

A recent experience with an acquaintance, a middle-aged woman who, through a new circle of friends, went from normal and apolitical to fully woke, permitted me to study changes (with a detached horror) as they occurred. Firstly, she began to exhibit extreme self-centeredness, as this new social peer group became important to her (I believe it was a ‘book club’). It began with her seemingly becoming incapable of talking about anything but herself. I had noticed that quality in other woke friends, and in many I could recall they were not previously like that, but this was the first adult person to transition slowly before my eyes, so I got out my clipboard and took notes.

She became somewhat manic, high-anxiety, more worrisome, and less healthy-seeming. Along with this came casual smug political remarks in polite conversation. It goes without saying there were constant, needy Facebook posts about woke politics, or herself, or the ideal combination: posts about herself woke-crusading. Now none of this was part of her personality previously, at all, despite woke politics being with us many years now. It began for her with a new circle of peers that she obviously wished to impress and is culminating currently in her friends and family seriously considering an intervention of psychological help, not because of the constant virtue-signaling, but for the other more self-destructive personality changes.

It reminds me of the science of psychopathy. I was very interested to learn in my youth, not just that psychopaths essentially have little or no emotional feeling, and certainly no empathy, but that they exist among us in high numbers. They don’t all become serial killers, but there are people you know who are psychopaths that you would never have guessed because they learn to mimic human behavior. Severe trauma in youth can appear to create psychopathy, so it can be an environmental condition.

I’m not saying woke people are psychos (though they both share the narcissism), I am saying psychological conditions can be created, and that the modern world, with its rampant materialist consumerism, dogmatic atheism and self-hating education system, is perhaps manufacturing a new human psyche, one both frail and fraught and in its own perverse way, merciless.

Watch as the virus spreads, watch and study and hope you have immunity.

Tyler Durden
Fri, 09/17/2021 – 20:20

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Visualizing What’s Made From A Barrel Of Oil

Visualizing What’s Made From A Barrel Of Oil

From the gasoline in our cars to the plastic in countless everyday items, crude oil is an essential raw material that shows up everywhere in our lives.

With around 18 million barrels of crude oil consumed every day just in America, Visual Capitalist’s Niccolo Conte notes that this commodity powers transport, utilities, and is a vital ingredient in many of the things we use on a daily basis.

This graphic visualizes how much crude oil is refined into various finished products, using a barrel of oil to represent the proportional breakdown.

Barrel of Oil to Functional Fuel and More

Crude oil is primarily refined into various types of fuels to power transport and vital utilities. More than 85% of crude oil is refined into fuels like gasoline, diesel, and hydrocarbon gas liquids (HGLs) like propane and butane.

Along with being fuels for transportation, heating, and cooking, HGLs are used as feedstock for the production of chemicals, plastics, and synthetic rubber, and as additives for motor gasoline production.

Source: Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers

Crude oil not only powers our vehicles, but it also helps pave the roads we drive on. About 4% of refined crude oil becomes asphalt, which is used to make concrete and different kinds of sealing and insulation products.

Although transportation and utility fuels dominate a large proportion of refined products, essential everyday materials like wax and plastic are also dependent on crude oil. With about 10% of refined products used to make plastics, cosmetics, and textiles, a barrel of crude oil can produce a variety of unexpected everyday products.

Personal care products like cosmetics and shampoo are made using petroleum products, as are medical supplies like IV bags and pharmaceuticals. Modern life would look very different without crude oil.

The Process of Refining Crude Oil

You might have noticed that while a barrel of oil contains 42 gallons, it ends up producing 45 gallons of refined products. This is because the majority of refined products have a lower density than crude oil, resulting in an increase in volume that is called processing gain.

Along with this, there are other inputs aside from crude oil that are used in the refining process. While crude oil is the primary input, fuel ethanol, hydrocarbon gas liquids, and other blending liquids are also used.

Source: EIA

The process of refining a 30,000-barrel batch of crude oil typically takes between 12-24 hours, with refineries operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Although the proportions of individual refined products can vary depending on market demand and other factors, the majority of crude oil will continue to become fuel for the world’s transport and utilities.

The Difficulty of Cutting Down on Crude Oil

From the burning of heavy fuels that tarnish icebergs found in Arctic waters to the mounds of plastic made with petrochemicals that end up in our rivers, each barrel of oil and its refined products impact our environment in many different ways.

But even as the world works to reduce its consumption of fossil fuels in order to reach climate goals, a world without crude oil seems unfathomable.

Skyrocketing sales of EVs still haven’t managed to curb petroleum consumption in places like Norway, California, and China, and the steady reopening of travel and the economy will only result in increased petroleum consumption.

Completely replacing the multi-faceted “black gold” that’s in a barrel of oil isn’t possible right now, but as electrification continues and we find alternatives to petrochemical materials, humanity might at least manage to reduce its dependence on burning fossil fuels.

Tyler Durden
Fri, 09/17/2021 – 20:00

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Almost Half Of Americans Disapprove Of Biden Vaccine Mandates, New Poll Finds

Almost Half Of Americans Disapprove Of Biden Vaccine Mandates, New Poll Finds

Authored by Steve Watson via Summit News,

Quinnipiac poll has found that almost half of Americans (48%) believe that Joe Biden’s vaccine mandates “go too far,” and that a slight majority are in opposition to it.

Quinnipiac noted that a “slight majority of Americans (51 – 48 percent) disapprove of President Biden’s plan to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for millions of Americans in the public and private sectors. Republicans disapprove 84 – 13 percent, independents disapprove 56 – 44 percent, and Democrats approve 89 – 10 percent.”

The survey found that 10 percent think the mandate does not go far enough, while 39 percent think it’s about right.

Obviously, however, this means that around half of Americans are fully on board with the mandates.

As we noted earlier this week, a OnePoll survey found that vaccinated Americans are far more likely to permanently sever relationships with friends over their opinion on the COVID-19 jab than those who haven’t been vaccinated.

America now faces that reckoning with Biden’s plan to impose federal vaccine mandates on every company that employs over 100 people.

As we previously reported, Police and firefighters are among the groups who are resisting, bringing lawsuits against the mandates.

There has also been significant resistance among military service members, who will be mandated to take the shots.

Republican attorneys general from 24 states, almost half the country, have threatened lawsuits against Biden if the mandate takes effect.

Earlier this week, Joe Biden’s Commerce Secretary claimed that “nobody is being forced” to get vaccinated, despite last week’s announcement that millions of Americans will be mandated to take the shot in order to go to work.

“We are not being forced,” Raimondo again claimed, stating “You can work from home, get tested on a weekly basis,” and adding “I think this is smart public policy and great leadership by the president.”

*  *  *

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Tyler Durden
Fri, 09/17/2021 – 19:40

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China’s War Against Crypto Is Officially Ramping Up (Again)

China’s War Against Crypto Is Officially Ramping Up (Again)

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: China’s war against crypto is officially ramping up.

The state has intensified its aggressive pursuit of crypto miners, some of whom have tried to “disguise themselves as data researchers and storage facilities to stay in business” according to a Bloomberg report.

In several Chinese provinces, inspections of companies have “intensified”, with an eye toward targeting illegal mining at places like colleges, research instiutions and data centers, according to the report. 

One reason China is taking such drastic steps is that there is concern over the country’s power supplies heading into the upcoming winter.

Crypto mining has already slowed in China, which was formerly the dominant mining country in the world. The country had a 46% share of the global hash rate as recently as April, Bloomberg notes. 

But as the country cracked down on crypto earlier this year, so did its global hash rate. Some miners wound up leaving the country while others took their chances in staying and trying to skirt the government’s regulation.

One miner in China told Bloomberg that his operations “remain intact” because he “regularly switches to new facilities to house his equipment” which is made up of “no more than 100 machines at one location”. 

Hebei province has asked companies for a self-compliance check to ensure they are not mining by September 30. 

China has said that crypto mining would “seriously affect economic and social development and directly threaten national security.” The statement says it would “disrupt” financial order.

Beginning in October, the government plans on implementing tools to monitor and follow computing activities to ensure that mining isn’t taking place.

Tyler Durden
Fri, 09/17/2021 – 19:20

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World Economic Forum Tells US Colleges To “Re-Educate The Racists Among Us”

World Economic Forum Tells US Colleges To “Re-Educate The Racists Among Us”

Authored by Ben Zeisloft via CampusReform.org,

The World Economic Forum published an article last week arguing that colleges “re-educate the racists among us” to end “racism on university campuses.”

“Fighting racism demands confrontation at all levels on college campuses by uprooting racist institutional designs inherent in campus-wide admissions systems, recruitment, scholarships, cultures, and histories,” researchers from KAIST-Korea Policy Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution wrote.

The World Economic Forum is an organization that advocates for cooperation among the world’s largest governments and corporations. It is also known for its “The Great Reset” series, a provocation to redesign the global economy following COVID-19 and the lockdown-induced global recession.

The article calls for using “data-driven methods” to measure racial “climates,” as well as “promoting anti-racist culture and policies” through projects such as Centers for Racial Justice.

Additionally, universities must “support affected minorities at various levels,” which — includes “educating people to eradicate their hate” through mandatory diversity training, according to the researchers.

Aiming to solve underrepresentation among faculty and the student body, the researchers also propose a “diversity barometer” that can “track such progress and hold university leadership accountable” through periodical reviews.

The World Economic Forum is not the first prominent international organization to weigh in on alleged systemic racism in the United States.

Earlier this year, Secretary of State Antony Blinken invited the United Nations to examine American police brutality.

“As the President has repeatedly made clear, great nations such as ours do not hide from our shortcomings; they acknowledge them openly and strive to improve with transparency,” Blinken wrote after the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights released a report about global police brutality against people of African descent.

Campus Reform reached out to the World Economic Forum for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.

Tyler Durden
Fri, 09/17/2021 – 19:00

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Obama Publicly Endorses Justin Trudeau Ahead Of Canada’s Upcoming Election

Obama Publicly Endorses Justin Trudeau Ahead Of Canada’s Upcoming Election

For all the hustle and bustle about interfering in foreign elections we have heard over the last 5 years, no one seemed to notice or care that Former President Barack Obama publicly endorsed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ahead of the country’s upcoming election.

Calling Trudeau his “friend”, Obama said that the Prime Minister has been an effective leader and strong voice for democratic values, and I’m proud of the work we did together.”

Obama wished him the “best in Canada’s upcoming election”.

It marks the second time that Obama has endorsed Trudeau: he also made a similar endorsement in 2019. 

“I was proud to work with Justin Trudeau as President,” Obama said in 2019. “He’s a hard-working, effective leader who takes on big issues like climate change. The world needs his progressive leadership now, and I hope our neighbors to the north support him for another term.”

Obama also publicly endorsed President of France Emmanuel Macron during his campaign against Marine Le Pen.

Obama said in 2017: “I’m not planning on getting involved in too many elections now that I don’t have to run for office again.”

Canada’s election is less than a week away.

Tyler Durden
Fri, 09/17/2021 – 18:40

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FDA Advisory Panel Votes Against Biden’s Proposed Broad COVID-19 Booster Shot Rollout


boosterdreamstime

The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) scientific advisory committee voted 16 to 2 against recommending booster shots for people who were inoculated with the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine more than eight months ago. The FDA is not obliged to follow the panel’s recommendations, but typically does so.

This is a big setback for President Joe Biden’s plan announced back in August to roll out COVID-19 booster shots for most Americans beginning next week. The panel did recommend authorizing a booster shot for recipients of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine who are 65 or older or are at high risk of severe cases of COVID-19.

The panelists opposed to a broader booster shot plan argued that most current evidence suggests that the vaccine remains effective at preventing severe cases of the illness. That’s great, but why not use booster shots to protect people against mild cases of the illness and prevent the spread of the virus to other people? Israeli researchers provided evidence to the panel that the rates of severe disease were around 10-fold lower among those who received a third Pfizer/BioNTech shot compared to those who did not.

With respect to the need for COVID-19 booster shots, back in May, Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel observed, “I think as a country we should rather be two months too early, than two months too late with outbreaks in several places.”

Let’s hope that the FDA advisers have not set us up for being two months too late.

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Doug Casey On The Next “Crisis” The Global Elite Have ‘Planned’

Doug Casey On The Next “Crisis” The Global Elite Have ‘Planned’

Authored by Doug Casey via InternationalMan.com,

International Man: Every year, the international ruling class—the most influential world leaders, CEOs of big corporations, top academics, and even celebrities—come together at Davos. They discuss topics that interest them and prescribe their preferred policies.

What’s your take on the Davos crowd and what they are doing?

Doug Casey: The Davos crowd has become the most visible element of the ruling class. Although, they overlap with lots of other groups who are pushing the same agenda—Bilderberg, CFR, and Bohemian Grove among them.

A couple of years ago, I wrote an article after I attended the Concordia, which is very similar, with exactly the same people. I don’t plan on going back. It was disturbing and depressing listening to soulless bigshots natter about the best way to rule the plebs.

These people are all part of what you might call the “World Deep State.” They all know each other. They go to the same conferences, and more often than not, they’ve attended the same universities, belong to the same social clubs, and have kids in the same schools.

But most importantly, they share the same worldview. They live in their own little silo, where the rest of 7.9 billion people in the world are outsiders. So it’s only natural that people in such a relatively close-knit—albeit informal—group conspire.

Adam Smith famously observed that whenever two men from the same occupation get together, they always conspire against the interests of the public. It’s a perfectly normal and natural thing.

But these people aren’t just merchants contriving to make a few extra shekels. These people are the top dogs in all of the world’s governments, NGOs, corporations, universities, and media organizations. They have contempt for the little people, whom they treat as either useful idiots or useless mouths. They’re interested in power more than anything else.

As they’ve recently shown in this COVID exercise, they pretty much control the world. They’re very dangerous; I despise them.

International Man: In 2019, well before the first case of COVID was reported, the World Economic Forum (WEF), which hosts the annual Davos conferences, held an event to discuss the possibility of a worldwide pandemic.

In fact, they ran a simulation exercise for how the scenario could play out and how governments, large corporations, and the media should handle the situation.

What do you make of this? Was it a coincidence?

Doug Casey: These people are quite bold. They believe—correctly—that 90% of the public will basically eat whatever they’re fed and accept whatever they’re told.

I have no doubt that these people have an informal understanding with each other as to how the world ought to reset to their benefit. It’s not a formal conspiracy, per se, just a natural consequence of what inevitably happens when people of the same class, worldview, and philosophy are in a position of power.

The problem is that worldwide conflagrations over the last century have gotten much more serious each time around. World War 1 was unbelievably nasty. World War 2 was even nastier. We dodged the bullet of a global thermonuclear war with the Soviet Union. But that doesn’t mean that World War 3 isn’t going to occur. It’ll just be different than it would have been 40 or 50 years ago.

So, based on the trend in motion, if World War 1 killed 20 million people and World War 2 killed 60 or 80 million people, anything could happen in whatever turns out to be World War 3. Maybe 500 million or a billion. Think big, like the people who put together the Deagel report.

As I’ve said before, this war will have little to do with obsolescent junk like Abrams tanks, F-35s, and Ford-class carriers. Those toys serve little purpose beyond bankrupting the US while enriching the Deep State. This will be primarily a cyber and biological war.

I’m just surprised that more people aren’t watching and referring to the movie V for Vendetta, which also revolves around a virus called the St. Mary’s virus. The world desperately needs a real V.

There are really a lot of parallels today. I wonder if the “little people” know that the elite have been planning or playing with the idea of a virus for years. Probably not—it’s hard to imagine anyone could be as evil as the Nazis, Soviets, or Chicoms because that was ancient history and human nature has obviously changed. A great virus to smite humanity has been the subject of lots of sci-fi novels and movies over the years. And now, as usual, life is imitating art.

Let’s fantasize for a moment. Perhaps the elite, who mostly masquerade as philanthropists, will rationalize their plan as a way to cleanse the gene pool, reducing the population by 80 or 90%. I have no doubt these people could justify a viral plague as a way to save Gaia from a human plague. Perhaps the vaccine will actually be the real vector, killing some after a time and sterilizing the rest. Perhaps it will serve as a catalyst for the vaccinated, the obedient 80%, to put the independent unvaccinated 20% in camps. Perhaps the current virus is just the first gambit, and after the Delta and Mu strains a genuinely serious Zeta variant will present itself.

Anything is possible. We’re living in a science-fiction world at this point.

Even if things just go along more or less as they are, there are lots of advantages to the COVID-19 virus from their point of view. The collapse of the economy, the Greater Depression, won’t be blamed on central banking, inflation, and the State. They’ll be sold as heroes in the fight against the virus. The depression will be blamed on COVID—a Deus ex machina device—as opposed to the real causes. It’s really quite perverse.

International Man: Earlier this year, the WEF started making a lot of noise about cyberattacks disrupting global supply chains.

Klaus Schwab, the WEF founder, has been calling for the internet to be vaccinated preemptively—presumably meaning more controls, regulations, and less freedom and privacy.

Are they foreshadowing the next real or manufactured crisis? How could it play out?

Doug Casey: There’s no question in my mind at this point that the US, and in fact many countries, are turning into genuine police states. It’s happening right before our eyes with Australia—the entire country is locked down. People, masked at all times, of course, can’t go more than a couple of miles from their homes without suffering draconian penalties. No one can enter Australia, and—this is really shocking—no one can leave. And it’s not even questioned. If it can happen in Australia, New Zealand, and in parts of Canada, it can happen anywhere.

Apparently, it’s starting to happen here in the US with Biden having laid down not-so-subtly veiled threats against people that don’t get vaccinated. It was ominous to hear the senile old scumbag say that he, and the righteous vaccinated, were starting to “lose patience” with Americans who think they control their own bodies.

I have no plans to get vaccinated. At best, the vaccine is unproven—and possibly, we won’t know how risky it is for several years. Which is why in the past, radical new therapies have always had to be tested for years. But that hasn’t happened in this case.

But the vaccine psychosis is just one aspect of this war. As much as the elite want to sell the January 6th event in Washington, DC as the equivalent of the Reichstag fire, I don’t think the average American buys it. Therefore, perhaps something real or imagined will transpire to allow them to designate a whole class of American citizens as domestic terrorists.

We now have genuinely crazy people in control of the apparatus of the state. They’re exactly the same psychological and philosophical profile as the Bolsheviks or the Jacobins. They’re not going to let go of power voluntarily. Anything is possible at this point; we’re still in the early days.

As we enter the trailing edge of the Greater Depression, there’s actually something much more serious to consider in looking at the world situation. Things are similar to 1914 or 1939. Who knows exactly what happens next?

International Man: The COVID hysteria worked out exceptionally well for power-hungry politicians around the world. The public has now accepted an unprecedented level of government control over their everyday lives.

If there is a so-called “cyber pandemic” as the elites are hinting at, what would the consequences be for personal freedom?

Doug Casey: As I said earlier, World War 3 won’t be about nuclear weapons or conventional armies, but biology and computers. The cyber war aspect will be huge because the entire world now runs on computers. In fact, the world is starting to run on artificial intelligence. I don’t doubt that robotics will come into its own soon.

As far as a cyber pandemic and closing down the Internet is concerned, I’d say that’s a near certainty. They definitely want to do that, because the fact of the matter is that you’re only as alive as you can communicate with others.

If you can’t get your thoughts or news of what’s going on out to other people, you might as well be sealed in a tomb. It makes sense that people who want to control other people want to cut down on popular means of communication. They’ll find excuses to keep what they consider to be unsound views off the internet. It’s already happened in regard to the so-called pandemic. Contrary views, no matter how well-reasoned and factual, even from renowned sources, are quashed. Dissent, or even discussion, isn’t tolerated. You’ll find that spread to all other areas of intellectual and political discourse.

We already can’t travel easily; domestic flights are inconvenient, and international flights are down about 85%. Vaccine passports are on the way. In many places, we can’t gather, even in small groups. And of course, the next big thing—the big thing—is a heavily controlled internet.

At that point, all you’ll have is what you’re told officially and what you can see in your own little local area. These people are all about quashing communication. It’s a great formula, critical, really, for control. They don’t want people organizing to challenge them.

In Biden’s recent speech, he several times made out the unvaxxed as a potential enemy—a domestic danger.

It’s no coincidence that the people who don’t want to take the jab correlate strongly with people with conventional right-wing views, Trump voters, and cultural conservatives. The battle lines are drawn. It’s really turned into a class and ideological war.

They’re playing the health card with this COVID nonsense. They’re playing the race card and domestic terror card. They’re succeeding in delegitimizing American values and history, as well as masculinity in general and white males in particular. Next will be a reemphasis on the Global Warming scam. You plebs won’t be allowed to do anything, and most will go along with it because they’ve been indoctrinated over several generations to believe it’s right. The elite are doing everything in their power to ramp up fear. Fear for your health, fear of domestic terror, fear of the non-compliant, and fear of the climate destroying the planet.

As I discussed previously, fear is the most powerful tool that governments have to control the people. That’s what governments are all about. They thrive on fear. Fear is the health of the State.

International Man: What can the average person do to protect themselves from these disturbing trends?

Doug Casey: In Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago, he talks about how, when they’re all together in the Gulag under the worst possible conditions, they said, “If we had only known, when they came to round us up as individuals… if we’d only grabbed a frying pan, or a pipe, or a rock and attacked these criminals…” But they were afraid. And they didn’t think that things could possibly be as bad as they turned out to be.

It’s understandable that they were hesitant to attack the state apparatchiks when going off to the Gulag, just as the Jews rarely attacked the Gestapo when they were rounding them up to take them off to camps.

You naturally might think, “These people can’t be that serious. These people can’t be that bad….” And you’d be wrong.

It takes a lot of physical courage to even think about these things.

Why didn’t any of the nomenklatura around Stalin simply kill him? They all knew the odds were good he was going to kill them eventually. You’d think that any of the rats around him would have cut his throat.

But everybody’s afraid to take physical action because we tend to be optimists. We tend to hope for the best, as we do right now. We hope that this will blow over, and maybe it will. But it boils down to what will you do, maybe five minutes from now, when you’re confronted one-on-one with an apparatchik from the State who gives you an order.

What will you do?

It’s too dangerous to take physical action against the guy because it may bring down the whole weight of the State organization on you.

So how do you resist? Well, unless you want to be a hero, the only thing I can think of is to have enough assets to insulate yourself from the bad guys or to move yourself physically to a different location.

We’re headed into a very rough patch in US history, especially for the next three or four years.

*  *  *

In the months and years ahead the financial, economic, and social conditions will be scary and unpleasant. And it will be very tough to navigate for most people. That’s precisely why NY Times bestselling author Doug Casey and his team just released this urgent report on how you to survive and thrive what comes next. Click here to download the free PDF now.

Tyler Durden
Fri, 09/17/2021 – 18:20

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/3zkhFap Tyler Durden

FDA Advisory Panel Votes Against Biden’s Proposed Broad COVID-19 Booster Shot Rollout


boosterdreamstime

The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) scientific advisory committee voted 16 to 2 against recommending booster shots for people who were inoculated with the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine more than eight months ago. The FDA is not obliged to follow the panel’s recommendations, but typically does so.

This is a big setback for President Joe Biden’s plan announced back in August to roll out COVID-19 booster shots for most Americans beginning next week. The panel did recommend authorizing a booster shot for recipients of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine who are 65 or older or are at high risk of severe cases of COVID-19.

The panelists opposed to a broader booster shot plan argued that most current evidence suggests that the vaccine remains effective at preventing severe cases of the illness. That’s great, but why not use booster shots to protect people against mild cases of the illness and prevent the spread of the virus to other people? Israeli researchers provided evidence to the panel that the rates of severe disease were around 10-fold lower among those who received a third Pfizer/BioNTech shot compared to those who did not.

With respect to the need for COVID-19 booster shots, back in May, Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel observed, “I think as a country we should rather be two months too early, than two months too late with outbreaks in several places.”

Let’s hope that the FDA advisers have not set us up for being two months too late.

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Terrible Supreme Court Decisions that Should be Added to the “Anticanon” of Constitutional Law—Part I


Constitution

Today is Constitution Day. It is an appropriate time to celebrate the accomplishments of American constitutional law. But it is also a good time to consider whether we have been too soft on some of its greatest failures. I suggest three such rulings cry out for far more condemnation than they have so far received: The Chinese Exclusion Case (1889), Euclid v. Amber Realty (1926), and Berman v. Parker (1954). These rulings are well-known to specialists in their respective fields (immigration and property law). All three have their critics. But they rarely get much attention in law school constitutional law classes, and most lawyers either assume they are right, or even remain largely unaware of them.

In this post, I cover the Chinese Exclusion Case. Euclid and Berman will be dealt with in future posts.

Most members of the legal profession are aware of the “canon” of great Supreme Court constitutional law decisions that virtually everyone supports, and considers to be major positive milestones in constitutional history. Brown v. Board of Education is probably the most famous example. If your theory of constitutional interpretation rejects one of these, it’s a serious strike against it.

On the other hand we also have rulings that are part of what has come to be known as the “anticanon” of constitutional law—decisions that are almost universally reviled, and seen as exemplars of grave errors we should not repeat. In the closest thing we have to a canonical article about the anticanon, Columbia law Professor Jamal Greene identifies Dred Scott v. Sandford, Plessy v. Ferguson, Lochner v. New York, and Korematsu v. United States as the most widely recognized “anticanonical” rulings. I think there are several others that are at least close to that level, such as Buck v. Bell (1927) (upholding mandatory sterilization of the mentally ill) and Pace v. Alabama (1883)(upholding laws banning interracial marriage and penalizing interracial “fornication” more than the intraracial kind).

What enables a decision to “achieve” anticanonical status? Greene suggests it is largely a matter of historical happenstance. Later generations of legal commentators found these cases useful examples of ideas and legal doctrines they wanted to stigmatize.  That is surely true to an extent. But I think there are also some more systematic patterns here.

If you look at the most prominent anti-canonical cases, it turns out they have a number of common characteristics. First, they feature (or at least are believed to be feature), terrible legal reasoning. But that by itself is far from enough. Lots of decisions are poorly reasoned. The second, and much more restrictive condition, is that they are believed to have had terrible real-world effects. Dred Scott, Lochner, Plessy, and Korematsu, all are seen as having had horrific consequences for large numbers of people: slaves, unskilled workers, racial minorities, and Japanese-Americans subject to detention in awful internment camps. I think this belief wrong in the case of Lochner. But there is no doubt it is widely held.

It isn’t just that these decisions are seen as having bad effects (lots of cases are like that). Rather, the effects in question are believed to have been on a very large scale, seriously harming many thousands of people —or even more.

Third, most—but not all—of the anticanonical decisions upheld government policies that promoted racial discrimination and oppression. That’s certainly true of three of the four cases on Greene’s list—Dred Scott, Plessy, and Korematsu. The same goes for Pace and to some extent even Buck v. Bell (blacks were far more likely to be subjected to forced sterilization than whites). If there is an original sin of American constitutional law, it is race-based oppression.

By these criteria, the Chinese Exclusion Case, Euclid, and Berman all richly deserve to be added to the list.

The Chinese Exclusion Case is the 1889 decision in which the Supreme Court first decided that the federal government had a general power to exclude immigrants, for virtually any reason it wanted. The Court’s legal reasoning was execrable. The Court did not try to link this power to anything in the text of the Constitution. Instead, they upheld it based on the idea that the power to exclude migrants is one that every sovereign nation must be assumed to have. In so doing, they completely ignored the many flaws in this “it’s gotta be in there somewhere” theory. I listed several of them here. They also ignored the insistence of leading Founding Fathers, such as James Madison  (the “father of the Constitution”) and Thomas Jefferson, that no such power was ever granted to the federal government. In his Report of 1800, addressing this very issue, Madison even specifically warned against the theory the 1889 Court adopted:

The reasoning here used, would not in any view, be conclusive; because there are powers exercised by most other governments, which, in the United States are withheld by the people, both from the general government and from the state governments. Of this sort are many of the powers prohibited by the Declarations of right prefixed to the Constitutions, or by the clauses in the Constitutions, in the nature of such Declarations. Nay, so far is the political system of the United States distinguishable from that of other countries, by the caution with which powers are delegated and defined, that in one very important case, even of commercial regulation and revenue, the power is absolutely locked up against the hands of both governments…

In other words, the fact that a given power is enjoyed by the governments of other nations is no reason to assume that the US federal government must have it. The whole point of the American experiment was to set up a new and better form of government, not merely imitate those that came before. What was the 1889 Court’s response to Madison’s argument and others like it? Crickets.

The effects of the Court’s decision were massive. In the short run, it upheld the deeply racist Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which—as the name implies—barred most would-be Chinese immigrants from entering the United States. As a result, many thousands of people were condemned to a lifetime of poverty and oppression. In the medium to long-term, the decision facilitated other exclusionary immigration legislation, much of it also motivated by racial and ethnic bigotry, such as the Immigration Act of 1924, which barred most European immigrants, in large part because of prejudice against Jews and southern and eastern Europeans.

The Chinese Exclusion Case also helped lay the foundation for the “plenary power” doctrine, which to this day exempts immigration restrictions from most of the individual-rights constraints that apply to virtually all other exercises of federal power. That has led to a pattern of constitutional double-standards in immigration law that, to this day, authorize a variety of injustices that courts would strike down as unconstitutional in virtually any other context.

When it comes to racism, the Chinese Exclusion Case is hard to beat. As already noted, the legislation it upheld was itself motivated by racism, and the ruling had the predictable effect of setting a precedent for future racist immigration restrictions. But it’s important to recognize that the racism here wasn’t limited to the law the court upheld. It was also explicitly present in the Court’s own reasoning. Justice Stephen Field’s opinion for the Court explicitly indicates that “[t]he differences of race added greatly to the difficulties of the situation” the Chinese Exclusion Act was intended to address, describes the Chinese as unassimilable people who threaten to “overrun” the country, and avows that the government must have the power to bar  “the presence of foreigners of a different race in this country, who will not assimilate with us.”

The embrace of racism here is much more explicit than anything in Plessy v. Ferguson, where the majority was careful to (disingenously) claim that the law in question was not intended to oppress African-Americans. It is, notable, however, that the Chinese Exclusion case was brought to us by most of the same justices who decided Plessy just seven years later, and embodies many of the same types of bigoted assumptions.

I would be happy to see The Chinese Exclusion Case completely overruled in a decision that adopts Jefferson and Madison’s position that there is no general federal power to restrict immigration. Such an outcome is, obviously, highly unlikely.

But there are a number of more moderate ways to get rid of this terrible precedent. The most obvious is to overrule the holding that the power to restrict immigration is a virtually unlimited, nontextual power, and instead lodge immigration restriction in Congress’ power to regulate foreign commerce (as advocated by a number of legal scholars).

In this scenario, Congress would still have broad power to restrict immigration. But that authority would be limited in the same ways as Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce (listed in the same phrase in the Constitution). The Supreme Court has enforced some structural limits on the latter.

More importantly, an immigration-restriction authority based on the Foreign Commerce Clause would be subject to the same individual-rights limitations as other exercises of federal power. That means no more judicial deference to immigration restrictions that discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, and other categories that would be prohibited in other contexts. It also means immigration detention and deportation would be constrained by the same constitutional due process rights that apply to other laws. No more toddlers being forced to “represent” themselves in deportation cases!

Even this more limited overruling of the Chinese Exclusion Case is highly unlikely to happen in the near future. But it is at least something  the Supreme Court should think about.

In the meantime, lawyers, legal academics, and others should consider why this awful ruling doesn’t get nearly as much opprobrium as it deserves. At the very least, we should give up the still-widespread assumption that it is obviously correct. And law professors should include it in their introductory constitutional law courses (which most currently don’t), and treat it as a highly consequential decision open to serious question.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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