COVID-19 Vaccine Passport Mandatory In Italy For All Private Sector Workers: Officials

COVID-19 Vaccine Passport Mandatory In Italy For All Private Sector Workers: Officials

Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times,

The Italian government on Thursday approved among the strictest COVID-19 rules in the world by mandating that all private and public sector employees get the vaccine and show proof of vaccination, a negative test, or a recent recovery from infection, officials said.

The rules will go into effect on Oct. 15, which would penalize any worker with a suspension from their job with no pay. However, the mandate stipulates that they cannot get terminated from their job, according to provisions of the measure.

The country’s Council of Ministers, during a Thursday evening meeting, voted to approve the rules, Minister of Health Roberto Speranza said after the government approved the mandate, reported Il Gazettino.

“We will also make the network of active pharmacies more widespread” that are “capable of administering swabs [and] rapid antigen tests in our country,” Speranza said, adding that the government decree will likely boost vaccination rates in Italy.

Individuals who go to work and cannot present a so-called “green pass,” a type of vaccine passport, will face a fine of between 600 and 1,500 euros ($705 to $1,175), according to the provisions.

The provisions also stipulate that private-sector employees who don’t have a green pass will not receive a salary starting Oct. 15, when the rule goes into effect.

While some European Union states have ordered their health workers to get vaccines, none have made the vaccine passports mandatory for all employees, making Italy the first to do so on the continent. Other countries like France have mandated vaccine passports to enter restaurants, gyms, some forms of travel, and other venues.

Over the past weekend, protests erupted in Italy over the green pass rule with reports saying that there were demonstrations in 120 cities.

Italy in March ordered health workers to get vaccinated or face suspension.

As of today, 728 doctors have been suspended, the doctors’ federation said on Thursday.

It was not immediately clear how many nurses or carers had refused to comply.

A similar measure in France came into force on Wednesday. Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Thursday that around 3,000 health workers had been suspended.

President Joe Biden, meanwhile, announced last week that he will direct the federal government to penalize private-sector employees and businesses to force workers to either submit to weekly COVID-19 testing or get the vaccine. The announcement drew significant criticism from Republican governors and attorneys general, who have threatened to file lawsuits against the administration.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich became the first state official to sue the Biden administration earlier this week, arguing that the government violates the Constitution by mandating that U.S. citizens get the vaccine while illegal immigrants don’t have to.

Tyler Durden
Fri, 09/17/2021 – 05:00

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EU Digital Policy Chief Vestager Says Eurozone Can’t Rely On A Few “Very Big” Chip Suppliers To Alleviate Global Shortage

EU Digital Policy Chief Vestager Says Eurozone Can’t Rely On A Few “Very Big” Chip Suppliers To Alleviate Global Shortage

The EU’s digital policy chief, Margrethe Vestager, has officially warned that countries should not be relying on just a “handful of very big” chip producers to help alleviate the global chip shortage. 

Instead, European leaders have called for more investment – something that the EU is actively considering – to help with the bottlenecked supply chain, according to The Irish Times

Vestager told Bloomberg TV that she thought the EU should be aiming for “a much more diversified supply chain”.

“It’s important that we focus on the global market… also European production is meant for a global market, because we get the right competitive pressure,” she said on Wednesday.

She continued: “We cannot just have it that we depend on very few, very big chip producers.”

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen joined the chorus of government officials addressing the issue and asking for “substantial investment” in the industry on Wednesday. She noted that a “European Chips Act” was forthcoming and that it would help further research, design, testing and production.

Eamonn Sinnott, general manager of Intel Ireland, responded by stating his company “has plans to invest billions of euros in new leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing capacity in Europe. Today’s announcement of an EU chip Act to foster a vibrant, cutting-edge and future-proof semiconductor ecosystem in Europe is a welcome step and aligned with our shared ambitions to reinvigorate the sector in the EU.”

Still, as we noted back in August, leading chipmakers continue to rake in big bucks. The top 10 players by market capitalization booked $276 million in net profit in April-June, an increase of about 60% on the year and their sixth straight quarter of gains. They are also pursuing major expansions, largely in logic chips. TSMC plans to make $100 billion in capital investments over three years, while Intel has announced plans for a new $20 billion plant in Arizona.

Meanwhile, the global semi shortage continues to sting all industries, but technology and automobiles are suffering from the most pronounced drawbacks. We noted about three weeks ago that VW and Toyota both had to cut output as a result of the chip drought. 

Global shortages of semiconductors could wind up cutting worldwide production of autos this year by about 7.1 million vehicles, Bloomberg predicted last month. 

IHS predicts that 2.1 million units could wind up being lost in the third quarter of 2021 alone. 

An IHS report stated: “The situation is still fraught with challenges. We are also seeing additional volatility due to Covid-19 lockdown measures in Malaysia where many back-end chip packaging and testing operations are performed.”

Tyler Durden
Fri, 09/17/2021 – 04:15

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Why Does No One Ever Talk About Sweden Anymore?

Why Does No One Ever Talk About Sweden Anymore?

Via ‘Unmasked” substack,

One of the most consistently repeated trends of COVID has been the premature declarations of victory from areas with a perceived level of “success” in “controlling” the pandemic.

It’s happened in countries all over the world — Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, Mongolia — just to name a few examples. They all have been praised for their ability to “control” the virus with masks and public health measures, only to then see cases invariably skyrocket.

Incompetent media reporting and dangerously ignorant “expert” pontifications have been an infuriatingly persistent aspect of COVID messaging, with their incoherent ravings becoming increasingly desperate as time wears on.

On the flip side to inaccurate praise, the incomprehensible inability of experts to get anything right is perhaps best exemplified by Sweden.

“Experts” and the media declared Sweden was the world’s cautionary tale, a dangerous outlier who shunned The New Science™ of masks and lockdowns and stuck to established public health principles and pre-pandemic planning.

Over much of 2020 and into 2021, Sweden was persistently criticized by the media and on Twitter arguments due to comparisons to their neighbors, a standard curiously not applicable to most other countries around the world. Yet as we’ve progressed further into 2021, those same media outlets have suddenly gone quiet as their chosen victors have flailed unsuccessfully against ever increasing outbreaks.

So let’s see what’s transpired recently which resulted in the deafening silence, and examine what that means for The Science™, shall we?

Context

To begin, we have to look at just how hyperbolic and inaccurate the media coverage of Sweden has been since the start of the pandemic.

Here’s Time from October 2020, with the headline providing an impressively succinct summary:

It’s a DISASTER. A DISASTER! It shouldn’t be a model for the rest of the world, they say.

The very first section of the article clearly exposes the heart of media incompetence:

The Swedish COVID-19 experiment of not implementing early and strong measures to safeguard the population has been hotly debated around the world, but at this point we can predict it is almost certain to result in a net failure in terms of death and suffering. As of Oct. 13, Sweden’s per capita death rate is 58.4 per 100,000 people, according to Johns Hopkins University data, 12th highest in the world (not including tiny Andorra and San Marino).

Got that? It is “almost certain to result in a net failure in terms of death and suffering.” The “12th highest” population adjusted death rate, they said.

How well did this age?

Not well! It did not age well.

Sweden now ranks 40th. Eleven months later, they went from 12th to 40th. Peru, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Paraguay, Belgium, Italy, Mexico, Croatia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Poland, Chile, Spain, Romania, Uruguay, Portugal, France, South Africa all rank ahead of Sweden. Nearly every one of them has tried masks and lockdowns and to this point it’s resulted in a “net failure” in terms of “death and suffering” compared to Sweden.

The article continued:

Despite this, Sweden’s Public Health Agency director Johan Carlson has claimed that “the Swedish situation remains favorable,” and that the country’s response has been “consistent and sustainable.”

Ah yes, the laughable assertion that Sweden’s response was “consistent and sustainable.”

Except, of course, that’s exactly what that graph above illustrates: an approach that was consistent and sustainable because it didn’t rely on indefinite mask mandates and business closures as methods to “control” COVID. As other countries saw their cumulative mortality rates skyrocket, Sweden dropped precipitously in the rankings due to their consistent, sustainable methods.

The article is unbelievably extensive, and looking back now, laughably pointless. The writer’s horror at Sweden’s acceptance that the pandemic would spread widely through the population leading to increased levels of natural immunity looks even more monumentally ignorant given the strength and durability of immunity conferred by previous infection.

And there were many, MANY others just like it. Check out the headline on this piece from World Politics Review:

Will There Be a Reckoning Over Sweden’s Disastrous ‘Herd Immunity’ Strategy?

Frida Ghitis Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020

A “reckoning!” “Disastrous!”

Business Insider was similarly and unsurprisingly hyperbolic:

Sweden’s renegade COVID-19 policy looks like a disaster — but the country is quietly determined to see it through despite the cost in lives

Sinéad Baker

Jul 25, 2020, 4:56 AM

Their “renegade” policy! The “cost in lives!”

The Telegraph headlined an article:

“Sweden has shown how not to tackle coronavirus, as it fights now to save face.”

There are dozens and dozens of similar pieces from all over the world.

So again allow me to remind you that Sweden ranks 40th in the world in mortality rate. I wonder if Insider described world mortality rate leader Peru’s lockdown and mask strategy as a “renegade” policy, with the government determined to mandate locking down and masking despite the “cost in lives.”

Of course not! It’s not about the actual results, it’s about following The Science™. Does it matter if The Science™ leads to more deaths? A higher “cost in lives?” Of course not! It only matters that the media approves or disapproves of what you decide to do.

Oh and by the way, here’s excess mortality in Sweden since 2017 according to EUROMOMO:

That’s right, there’s only been a few weeks since the initial wave last spring where Sweden’s seen a “substantial increase” above normal ranges, and they’ve been at or near baseline for almost all of 2021. I wonder how many people around the world are aware of that.

It’s the same story seen in Los Angeles County, where hilariously timed and completely useless vaccine passport policies were just announced. The overwhelming majority of people are so hopelessly gaslit by media propaganda that they still actually believe that masks and closures matter, despite reality directly contradicting their assumptions:

The media’s depiction of Sweden’s results is an excellent illustration of their desire not to inform, but to coerce. They’re not functioning as simply messengers of information but activists, thoroughly consumed by a desire to force others to conform to their opinions.

They refuse to present information that counters the endless dictatorial mandates, instead promoting unquestioning compliance. Listen to us, do what you’re told and wear a mask, or it’s your fault if you get COVID and die. Listen to us and do what you’re told, or you’ll be labeled an “anti” and shunned from the acceptable society that “journalism” polices.

So let’s look at how things are going of late in a few regions that complied with the expert and media mandated edicts.

Israel & Sweden

Standing in stark contrast to Sweden, Israel has been a media darling for doing exactly what they’re told by the groupthink mafia. They’ve vaccinated as aggressively and repeatedly as anywhere on earth, and they’ve had a seemingly endless series of mask mandates and fines for non-compliance.

As a result, The Wall Street Journal credited Israel’s commitment to mask wearing last fall with bringing cases down to low levels…only to see cases skyrocket higher immediately afterwards:

Then in early 2021, they were hailed as a successful example of “universal coverage and community infrastructure” due to their high vaccination rates, as Health Affairs explained:

Israel Owes Its COVID-19 Vaccination Success To A System of Universal Coverage And Community Infrastructure

And as this Reuters headline echoed in May:

Israel to end COVID-19 restrictions after vaccine success

So how is shining success story Israel doing compared to unmitigated disaster Sweden?

Oh no. Oh boy.

Sweden’s currently averaging about 90 cases per million. Israel’s averaging 1,218. That’s a lot worse! In fact, it’s 1,253% worse than Sweden.

Now, it’s very likely Sweden will see another increase over the fall and winter, just as they did last year, but uh…that’s kinda the point isn’t it? The increases happen in waves, regardless of supposed “mitigation” efforts. And again, Israel has been repeatedly and endlessly praised for their success. Sweden is a “disaster” and a “renegade.” Yet Israel’s recorded 13,279 cases per 100,000 since they started counting, the 11th highest rate in the world, while Sweden’s recorded 11,111 cases per 100,000.

But that doesn’t matter, because Israel’s done what they’re told, and Sweden hasn’t. There are no masks, no vaccine passports, no draconian business closures. They have a “consistent and sustainable” approach that’s led to…fewer confirmed infections than countries like Israel.

You might be wondering, well those are just cases, what about deaths? That’s what really matters, right?

Here’s the recent trends by that measure too:

Between July 10th and September 7th, Sweden has reported 56 total deaths. Israel reported 56 just on September 8th, with a significantly smaller population! Success!

Now to be fair, Israel has a lower cumulative mortality rate, although unfortunately they are rapidly catching up. Although while their recent death rate is significantly higher, Time will never criticize Israel as a “disaster,” because they did what they were told. And that’s all that matters.

Europe

But it’s not just Israel, there’s been an interesting shift in case rates among Sweden’s “neighbors” as well.

Here’s how cases have looked in Finland and Norway compared to Sweden since June 1, 2021:

Well hmm. That isn’t how that’s supposed to go, is it?

Again, to be fair, cumulative rates in the other two countries are lower than Sweden, but how is it possible for them to have similar or worse numbers during any length of time given the unmitigated, renegade disaster of Sweden’s policy?

Their recent mortality rates per 100k are nearly identical as well:

How could this happen?!

At this point it’s positively absurd to lend credence to the absurd media, expert and Twitter narrative that claims Sweden can only be compared to its neighbors. No other country on earth is being held to that standard. No one says that the U.S. can only be compared to Canada or Mexico; in fact many experts seriously claim that we should have followed the New Zealand strategy, a tiny isolated island country smaller than many metro areas in the United States. No one says that Germany can only be compared to France or Austria or The Netherlands. Or Spain with France and Portugal. Or South American countries to their neighbors. It’s just become a convenient shorthand excuse in a desperate attempt to confirm pre-existing biases.

Oh and speaking of Germany, here’s how deaths in Sweden and Germany look over the past 15 months:

Germany put on a “master class in science communication” according to CNBC, Sweden is a renegade disaster, and yet Germany’s done worse for the majority of the last year. I wonder if you surveyed Americans or Brits or anywhere else where the media is relentlessly dedicated to pseudoscience, if they would be able to identify which of the two countries had done worse over that time frame.

I don’t think it would go very well!

So to answer the question, why does no one talk about Sweden anymore? It’s because it’s no longer useful for the media to promote their agenda.

When Sweden’s numbers looked disproportionately bad, it was a valuable tool in the media playbook of masks, lockdowns and endless, condescending fear-mongering. “Look at what happens if you don’t do what we tell you, peasants.”

Now that Sweden has dropped to 40th in COVID mortality rate, and continued to report extremely low recent rates of both cases and deaths, they’re suddenly uninterested.

It’s a microcosm of the disastrous, indefinite mess we’re living through — experts incorrectly, hysterically screeched that masks and business closures and capacity limits were absolutely necessary to keep COVID “under control,” and the media immediately assumed their role as promoters of incompetent groupthink and professional scolds of any who disagreed.

Sweden went against the herd, thus they must be scorned and labeled by the arbiters of acceptable opinion.

There will never be a reckoning or acceptance of fault on the part of the media, because they are incapable of correcting their preconceptions and admitting that The Science™ was wrong. They placed their unquestioning faith in experts having a level of competence that they simply do not possess. And if there were any sanity or justice in the world, they would be held to account for their inaccuracy and the influence it’s had on COVID policy.

But of course, as we all know, sanity and the Age of Reason and Enlightenment ended with “15 Days to Slow the Spread,” 549 days ago.

*  *  *

Subscribe to ‘Unmasked’ here…

Tyler Durden
Fri, 09/17/2021 – 03:30

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Fire At UK-France Subsea Power Cable Could Trigger Winter Blackouts

Fire At UK-France Subsea Power Cable Could Trigger Winter Blackouts

A fire in a subsea cable has dramatically reduced power imports from France until March, U.K.’s National Grid Plc said, deepening the energy crisis that threatens winter blackouts for millions. 

The timing couldn’t be worse. Before the fire, the U.K. was already experiencing a five-year low in spare winter capacity. Compound this with gas shortages and the lack of renewable energy sources, sending power prices on a record-breaking run. The country may experience grid chaos in the coming months. 

“If we don’t start to remedy the situation, we are going to be facing blackouts this winter,” Catherine Newman, chief executive officer of Limejump Ltd., a unit of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, told Bloomberg on Thursday. “If things don’t start to reverse soon, we will see the industry getting turned off across the board.”

“If anything goes wrong, we might not have anything left in the back pocket,” said Tom Edwards, a consultant at Cornwall Insight Ltd., an adviser to the government and utilities. “If a nuke trips offline or something else big, that could cause issues because we might not have anything to replace it.”

Britain receives power via six subsea cables, and two of them are connected to France’s power grids of more than 56 nuclear power plants. 

The cable’s total capacity will be shut off until March 2022. The shortage is expected to exacerbate power price volatility when peak demand is seen in the winter months. 

“The outage is going to lift the potential for price volatility as long as its offline,” said Glenn Rickson, head of power analysis at S&P Global Platts. 

The compounding energy crunch is fueling concerns about inflation when the economy is still recovering from the pandemic. 

The subsea cable interruption doesn’t mean blackouts will be seen in the immediate future. Still, as power demand increases as temperatures turn cooler, demand will spike and strain the grid. 

The energy crunch has already forced two fertilizer plants in the country to shutter operations on Wednesday. C.F. Industries Holdings Inc halted its Billingham and Ince manufacturing facilities “due to high natural gas prices.

The broader issue is that economic impacts due to an unstable power grid could hinder economic development this winter. 

It’s only a matter of time before U.K. politicians take action to shield consumers from high energy prices. 

Tyler Durden
Fri, 09/17/2021 – 02:45

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The Major Beneficiary Of The Afghanistan Crisis

The Major Beneficiary Of The Afghanistan Crisis

Via Global Risk Insights,

Assertive Foreign Policy proves Costly 

It is clear that the post-Cold War order is shifting. The costly wars of Afghanistan and Iraq are calling into question the pre-eminence of the United States in international security affairs. Russia shows no fear to act outside its borders and China is in a good position to become the world’s largest economy. Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, eyes an opportunity to cement his grip on power by transforming Turkey into a key regional player in the emerging multipolar system.

The instability following the Arab Spring in 2011 provided Erdogan with a regional environment where he could tap into Turkish nationalist sentiments and shore up his domestic political standing. Following his intervention in northeastern Syria, Erdogan successfully negotiated an agreement with Russia on removing Kurdish fighters along the southern Turkish border. Similarly, in Libya, Ankara became a key mediator by facilitating a long-term peace settlement with Moscow. Turning to the issue of Cypriot energy resources, the Turkish backing of the UN-sanctioned Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli placed Ankara in a strong position to determine maritime boundary demarcation.

However, while securing geopolitical gains, Turkey’s assertive maneuvers have put it at risk of isolation. A regional group led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has also been competing for influence since the 2011 uprisings. With Turkey breaking off diplomatic relations with Egypt after Abdel Fattah el-Sisi removed Mohammed Morsi in 2013, Ankara and the Saudi-Emirati-led bloc have been locked in a rivalry. Tensions have since escalated following Turkey’s backing of Qatar in the Gulf dispute and its intervention in Libya. As for the West, Turkish involvement in the conflict in Syria led to a deterioration in relations with the US while the issue over Cyprus resulted in EU sanctions.

Afghanistan Crisis offers a New Strategic Opportunity for Erdogan

Despite the risk of isolation causing problems for Erdogan, the crisis in Afghanistan adds a new regional dynamic where Ankara may acquire leverage.

The decision to maintain Turkey’s diplomatic presence in Afghanistan enables Erdogan to address US security concerns. Following the NATO summit this year, the respective Turkish and US defense ministries held positive talks on securing Hamid Karzai International Airport following the US withdrawal. Erdogan’s initiative to discuss with the Taliban the future security of the airport represents a significant step towards mending Turkish-US relations. In holding such talks, Turkey is in a position to facilitate the objective of the Biden administration to ensure that the supply of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan remains.

Turkey’s continued commitment in Afghanistan also allows Ankara the chance to revive the important role it plays with the European Union. Ankara has been a key partner for Brussels in the management of irregular migration into Europe. Despite recent tensions, the risk of a refugee influx as a result of the Afghan crisis means that Brussels is under pressure to revisit its 2016 agreement on migration with Ankara. Taking full advantage of this, Erdogan warned the EU in a televised address that his country has ‘no duty, responsibility, or obligation to be Europe’s refugee house.’

In the Middle East, Iran’s influence puts Ankara in a good position to reduce tensions. Tehran made moves to step up its presence in Afghanistan prior to the NATO withdrawal in August. This comes amid the Gulf states’ efforts to alleviate tensions with the Islamic Republic. The Gulf Cooperation Council lifted the blockade on Qatar, which served to heal the rift in relations as a result of the UAE-Israel agreement. Since the Biden administration plans to restore the Iran nuclear deal, Saudi Arabia hopes that this soft stance will fuel positive relations with Washington. Meanwhile, Riyadh may have to look to Turkey to counter Iran in Afghanistan.  

Can Turkey Maintain Regional Influence without Causing Tensions? 

Turkey is facing the risk of isolation. Relations between Ankara and the regional bloc under Saudi Arabia and the UAE have struggled to advance positively since the Arab Spring. Although Erdogan’s assertive foreign policy in Libya and in Syria shored up his domestic political standing, it has alienated Riyadh and Abu Dhabi. Turkish unilateralism abroad has also led to a rift in its relationships with Washington and Brussels.

Nonetheless, the crisis in Afghanistan has forced a geopolitical recalculation that heightens Turkey’s strategic regional importance. The continuation of a Turkish diplomatic presence in Afghanistan means that it would be in EU and US interests to work with Ankara to stabilize the region. Despite the purchase of an S-400 missile system from Russia remaining a source of tension in US-Turkey relations, Washington may welcome Turkey’s stabilizing role in Afghanistan. Moreover, Turkish coordination of efforts on the crisis with Pakistan means that Ankara plays a key role in responding to Chinese influence in Central Asia. The EU, for its part, views the involvement of third countries, primarily Turkey, as key to regional security.

As for the Gulf states, the challenge Iran poses in Afghanistan means that Turkey is well-placed to improve its relationship with Saudi Arabia. Despite the risk of further isolation as a result of Turkish engagement with the Taliban, the current political environment in the region favors a reset. The end to the blockade on Qatar removes a key barrier to rebuilding Turkish-Saudi relations. Riyadh’s ally, Egypt, has also expressed a willingness to reach a compromise with Turkey over gas quotas in the Eastern Mediterranean. Lastly, in the summer, the UAE made moves to re-engage with Turkey after its economy took a hit as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The question is whether Erdogan can build on these efforts to normalize relations with the West and the Gulf. With the situation in Afghanistan deteriorating, the Turkish president is in a strong position to do so.

Tyler Durden
Fri, 09/17/2021 – 02:00

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The New Federalist Party: Biden Move Forward With The Greatest Federalization Push Since Adams

The New Federalist Party: Biden Move Forward With The Greatest Federalization Push Since Adams

Authored by Jonathan Turley,

President Joe Biden has long pledged to “build back better” but in the last few months it has become clear that his transformative plans go beyond mere infrastructure and extend to our very structure of government.

From abortions to elections to rents, Biden is seeking to federalize huge areas to displace state law.

Not since John Adams and his Federalist Party has the country faced such a fundamental challenge to our system of federalism.

Some of the claims made by Biden recently would make even Adams blush.

What is most striking about these claims is that Biden and his aides have indicated that they know they are operating outside of constitutional limits.

Take the recent controversy over the vaccine mandate. Biden and aides like chief of staff Ronald Klain claimed before the inauguration that he would impose national mandates in the pandemic, only to be told that a president lacks such authority over the states. Biden, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other Democratic leaders then denied that they would impose such mandates, often acknowledging the constitutional limits placed on presidents.

Then came last week, when Biden suddenly announced that he would impose a national vaccine mandate through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Klain admitted that the OSHA rule was a mere “workaround” of the constitutional limit imposed on the federal government. White House press secretary Jen Psaki preferred to call it a “pathway” after admitting “we do not have the power to inform each American you need to be vaccinated.” 

Whether a “workaround” or a “pathway,” the move would allow the federal government to dictate public health measures in every state – a claim that will face major federalism challenges in court.

Under this interpretation, OSHA could impose a federal mandate for any measure that impacts workers, including public health measures not directly linked to a given workplace or job. That may be more of a sticker shock for some on the federal bench, including some justices.

The move came on the same day Attorney General Merrick Garland announced an equally sweeping claim of federal jurisdiction over abortion rights in challenging the Texas law.

Garland announced that the federal government would appear in court not as an amicus (or friend of the court), as has been its practice in past cases. Instead, it will sue directly as a party in interest because the law is viewed as countermanding a constitutional right. Indeed, Garland claimed such authority in defense of any constitutional right that could be abridged by any state law.

In his remarks, Garland indicated that the government would claim federal preemption in whole or in part over the abortion area. That is another sweeping claim that could make many judges uneasy. The Supreme Court has always recognized state authority in this area. The question is where to draw the line. The filing will add a new basis for pro-life challenges based on federalization.

The filing against the Texas law followed a call from Biden for a “whole of government response” that was obviously directed at the Justice Department. It is not the first pressure exerted by the White House on agencies for such legal claims.

The Democratic Party has now emerged as the new Federalist Party and Biden is seeking to outdo John Adams in supplanting state authority.

Previously, Biden called for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to impose a nationwide moratorium on the eviction of renters. Biden admitted that his White House counsel and their preferred legal experts told him that the move was likely unconstitutional. Despite that overwhelming opinion, he listened to Professor Laurence Tribe at the urging of Pelosi. Despite the pledge to return to a respect for the “rule of law,” Biden openly suggested that they could use the litigation to get as much money out of the door as possible before being barred by the courts. They lost in court, as many of us predicted, but Biden wanted this small agency to effectively dictate rental payments across the country.

These moves follow new evidence that the Biden administration had concluded that a farm debt law was unconstitutional before putting it into the pandemic relief bill.

There has been little media attention to the impressive litany of losses of the Biden administration in court or the open pressure by the White House on these agencies. The media covered such pressure extensively during the Trump administration and legal experts objected that the Trump White House was attacking the independence of the Justice Department and other agencies.

In these measures, Biden is demanding dubious federal actions that are being promptly taken by his agency heads with poor outcomes for the executive branch.

The move on abortion is particularly reckless.

The Texas law is already being challenged so there is no need for a federal action. However, the White House wanted such a filing for political reasons and Garland relented. In so doing, he risked potentially damaging new precedent on federal jurisdiction in a lawsuit that is redundant and unnecessary.

Roughly 200 years ago, the Federalist Party faded from political dominance in the United States and, with it, his vision for a dominant federal government. The Democratic Party has now emerged as the new Federalist Party and Biden is seeking to outdo Adams in supplanting state authority. It is not an act of building back as much as breaking down a system designed to protect liberty by preventing the concentration of authority in our government.

The question now is whether this “workaround” the Constitution will actually work with the courts.

Tyler Durden
Thu, 09/16/2021 – 23:50

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Climate-Crusading Billionaires To Take Their Private Jets To Davos Again Next Year

Climate-Crusading Billionaires To Take Their Private Jets To Davos Again Next Year

There is light at the end of the covid tunnel, at least according to the Davos billionaire crowd who after two years of missing their favorite World Economic Forum conclave where they get to bash things like wealth inequality and climate change shortly after landing in their private jets, are set to return to the ritzy Swiss ski resort in 2022. The 2021 WEF edition was envisioned for August in Singapore, but a resurgence of the pandemic forced the organization to call off the event.

The in-person event is scheduled for Jan. 17-21 and designed “to address economic, environmental, political and social fault lines exacerbated by the pandemic,” the group said on Thursday. It is working with the Swiss government and health experts to establish the appropriate safety measures, however the mere fact that the meeting is already scheduled means that the world’s most important decisionmakers have already decided that Covid will not be a “thing” going into 2022.

The exclusive Alpine ski resort of Davos, in southeastern Switzerland, had hosted every annual event bar one since the first edition in 1971. It was held in New York in 2002 to show solidarity for the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attack. The annual meeting netted the Swiss economy around CHF80 million ($87 million) in 2020, with businesses and hotels taking in some CHF63 million in revenues, according to Swissinfo.ch.

“The pandemic has brought far-reaching changes. In a world full of uncertainty and tension, personal dialogue is more important than ever. Leaders have an obligation to work together and rebuild trust, increase global cooperation and work towards sustainable, bold solutions,” WEF founder Klaus Schwab stated.

As a reminder, Klaus Schwab is best known for recently officially coining the “Great Reset” term as a description of the current, fourth industrial revolution would “lead to a fusion of our physical, digital and biological identity,” which in his book he clarifies is implantable microchips that can read your thoughts.

Schwab has said that his book, ‘Shaping the Future of The Fourth Industrial Revolution’, was particularly popular in China, South Korea and Japan, with the South Korean military alone purchasing 16,000 copies.

In the book, Schwab explains with excitement how upcoming technology will allow authorities to “intrude into the hitherto private space of our minds, reading our thoughts and influencing our behavior.”

He goes on to predict that this will provide an incentive for law enforcement to implement Minority Report-style pre-crime programs.

“As capabilities in this area improve, the temptation for law enforcement agencies and courts to use techniques to determine the likelihood of criminal activity, assess guilt or even possibly retrieve memories directly from people’s brains will increase,” writes Schwab. “Even crossing a national border might one day involve a detailed brain scan to assess an individual’s security risk.”

Schwab also waxes lyrical about the transhumanist utopian dream shared by all elitists which will ultimately lead to the creation of human cyborgs.

“Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies will not stop at becoming part of the physical world around us—they will become part of us,” writes Schwab.

“Indeed, some of us already feel that our smartphones have become an extension of ourselves. Today’s external devices—from wearable computers to virtual reality headsets—will almost certainly become implantable in our bodies and brains.”

Schwab also openly endorses something the media still claims is solely a domain of discussion for conspiracy theorists, namely “active implantable microchips that break the skin barrier of our bodies.”

The globalist hails the arrival of “implanted devices (that) will likely also help to communicate thoughts normally expressed verbally through a ‘built-in’ smartphone, and potentially unexpressed thoughts or moods by reading brain waves and other signals.”

So in other words, the “fusion of our physical, digital and biological identity” relates to the transhumanist singularity and a future where people have their every movement tracked and every thought read by an implantable microchip.

Tyler Durden
Thu, 09/16/2021 – 23:30

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/3lxxiX5 Tyler Durden

Bin Laden’s Former Right-Hand Man Has Resurfaced. Does It Matter?

Bin Laden’s Former Right-Hand Man Has Resurfaced. Does It Matter?

Authored by Ken Silva via The Epoch Times,

A recently released video suggests that al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri may still be alive.

Some national security experts have downplayed that development due to Zawahiri’s apparent lack of charisma and leadership abilities; others have pointed out that al-Qaeda has flourished – even garnering U.S. support in some conflicts – over the past decade under Osama bin Laden’s former chief lieutenant.

Following bin Laden’s death in 2011, many celebrated the occasion as a win on two fronts: Not only did the United States bring bin Laden to justice, it also delivered al-Qaeda to the seemingly less effective Zawahiri.

A Rand Corporation analysis from Sept. 11, 2001, explains that line of thinking, positing that U.S. officials have made Zawahiri a low priority due to his ineptitude.

“The U.S. government has been relatively blasé about al-Qaeda since Zawahiri took over in 2011,” analysts Colin P. Clarke and Asfandyar Mir wrote for Rand in 2020.

“Some terrorism analysts even claim a living Zawahiri has done more harm to al-Qaeda than a dead one ever could.”

Similar sentiments were expressed following the Sept. 11 release of a video featuring Zawahiri—a video that disproves reports from 2020 that the al-Qaeda chief was dead.

“I bet you a large sum of money that Zawahiri’s outdated recording has been watched and engaged by more Jihadism watchers than by jihadis and sympathizers,” said journalist Hassan I. Hassan, who inaccurately reported Zawahiri’s death in November 2020.

“Takeaways from al-Qaeda’s al-Sahab release today: … Zawahiri is still deadly boring,” Middle East Institute senior fellow Charles Lister wrote.

“Beyond that, not much else of note—AQC remains peripheral to AQ globally.”

But despite Zawahiri’s seeming lack of charisma, others have argued that he has been an effective killer with the blood of thousands—including the victims of 9/11—on his hands. In their analysis for Rand in September 2020, Clarke and Mir also explained how the 70-year-old Egyptian helped al-Qaeda survive throughout the past decade, as the United States focused on other groups such as ISIS.

“Zawahiri, for example, is averse to state-building—a stance that shielded al-Qaeda and provided the group with relative respite as the Islamic State became a more immediate target of U.S. counterterrorism efforts,” they wrote.

“As U.S. strikes against the Islamic State intensified, the cohesion of al-Qaeda’s affiliates and its allies improved.”

Not only has Zawahiri’s relatively low profile helped al-Qaeda evade destruction, but the United States has even lent help to so-called moderate Zawahiri loyalists in Syria and Yemen.

In Syria, the Obama administration funneled arms starting in 2012 to al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra in support of the failed attempt to oust the country’s president, Bashar al-Assad.

That support prompted then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to ponder during a 2012 interview with a CBS News reporter: “We know al-Qaeda—Zawahiri—is supporting the opposition in Syria. Are we supporting al-Qaeda in Syria?”

A Somali security soldier points his weapon at a poster bearing a photo of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri during an anti-al-Shabab rally in Mogadishu, Somalia, on Feb. 23, 2014. (Abdifitah Hashi Nor/AFP via Getty Images)

A 2015 article in Foreign Affairs—the publication of the Council on Foreign Relations—made the case for why the United States should back al-Qaeda.

“The instability in the Middle East following the Arab revolutions and the meteoric rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) require that Washington rethink its policy toward al-Qaeda, particularly its targeting of Zawahiri,” the Foreign Affairs article “Accepting al-Qaeda” reads.

“Destabilizing al-Qaeda at this time may in fact work against U.S. efforts to defeat ISIS.”

However, AntiWar.com editorial director Scott Horton argues that support for Zawahiri loyalists is treasonous, and has contributed toward the continued instability in the region.

“Many of these same [Zawahiri loyalists] had helped the Sunni-based insurgency kill 4,000 out of the 4,500 U.S. troops who died in Iraq War II,” Horton wrote in his 2021 book “Enough Already: Time to End the War on Terrorism.”

Horton also dismissed the argument that al-Qaeda is preferable to ISIS.

“Tell that to the survivors of the thousands of American civilian and military victims murdered by these terrorists in the last 30 years,” he wrote.

Horton noted that U.S. support for al-Qaeda fighters continues to this day because the country is selling weapons to Saudi Arabia, which, in turn, is arming al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in the ongoing Yemeni civil war.

“In a very real sense, Presidents Obama and Trump [and now Biden] have again put the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, and special operations forces at war in the service of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri,” Horton wrote in “Enough Already.”

Officials are speculating where Zawahiri may be now.

George McMillan, a security contractor who worked on intelligence and surveillance issues in Afghanistan, told The Epoch Times that Zawahiri is likely hiding in western Pakistan—an assessment shared by many national security experts. McMillan explained that Pakistan’s intelligence agency, ISI, has long provided refuge to jihadists in an attempt to court them as allies against India.

“Zawahiri probably still plays a figurehead role in that,” McMillan said.

In recent weeks, Zawahiri may have slipped into Afghanistan in the wake of the United States’ withdrawal, according to former CIA Acting Director Michael Morrell.

“We think so, which means that the Taliban is harboring Zawahiri today,” Morrell said on Sept. 12 in response to a question on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“The Taliban is harboring al-Qaeda today. And I think that’s a very important point.”

Horton said he thinks it’s disingenuous that U.S. officials are lamenting the Taliban’s tolerance of al-Qaeda veterans when they still support Zawahiri loyalists in Yemen.

“I don’t [want to] hear about ‘safe havens’ [in Afghanistan] from people who back al-Qaeda terrorists in Yemen and Syria,” Horton told The Epoch Times in a July interview.

The FBI has had Zawahiri on its most-wanted list since he was indicted for his alleged role in the Aug. 7, 1998, bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya—offering up to $25 million for information that leads to the terrorist leader’s apprehension.

The FBI declined to comment when contacted by The Epoch Times about Zawahiri’s apparent reemergence.

Tyler Durden
Thu, 09/16/2021 – 23:10

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