Saturday, February 20, 2021

‘DEATH TO THE PATRIARCHY’: Madonna lashes out at shadowy cabal of men attempting to ‘cut off her life force’

Singer Madonna speaks to guests after receiving the Advocate for Change award during the 30th annual GLAAD awards ceremony in New York City, New York, US, May 4, 2019. ©  REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz


Pop icon Madonna has complained that a conniving cadre of scheming men has prevented her from reaching her full potential, but some believe that the obscenely wealthy and successful entertainer may be overreacting.

“The Patriarchy continues to try to crush my neck with their heavy boots, cut off my life force and take away my voice—Even those who call themselves artists..............You know who you are!!! DEATH TO THE PATRIARCHY! Now and Forever,” Madonna tweeted, including a photograph of herself wearing a glittering tiara. 

She didn’t appear to elaborate on what she meant by the message, nor is it clear what prompted the rant. Her tweets from the previous few days have been considerably less dramatic. On February 14, she posted a photograph of herself with the caption: “Im [sic] cute.”

The outburst triggered groans from social media users who pointed to her estimated $850 million net worth. 

“I'm an oppressed multimillionaire! Stop oppressing me men!” read one facetious reply

One commenter argued that “short of ruling a country,” Madonna has enjoyed a more privileged life than most will ever know. “In what way is this imaginary patriarchy stifling your voice and expression? How?” 

Madonna wasn’t without her supporters, however. A Twitter user who identified as a “woman of trans experience” expressed her solidarity with the singer and vowed to stand shoulder to shoulder with her against “the patriarchy.”

The celebrity entertainer is no stranger to social media controversy. In June 2019, she found herself in hot water after she expressed anger over a New York Times profile about herself, comparing the time she spent with the article’s author to being “raped.”


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The Thirty Tyrants

The deal that the American elite chose to make with China has a precedent in the history of Athens and Sparta


In Chapter 5 of The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli describes three options for how a conquering power might best treat those it has defeated in war. The first is to ruin them; the second is to rule directly; the third is to create “therein a state of the few which might keep it friendly to you.”

The example Machiavelli gives of the last is the friendly government Sparta established in Athens upon defeating it after 27 years of war in 404 BCE. For the upper caste of an Athenian elite already contemptuous of democracy, the city’s defeat in the Peloponnesian War confirmed that Sparta’s system was preferable. It was a high-spirited military aristocracy ruling over a permanent servant class, the helots, who were periodically slaughtered to condition them to accept their subhuman status. Athenian democracy by contrast gave too much power to the low-born. The pro-Sparta oligarchy used their patrons’ victory to undo the rights of citizens, and settle scores with their domestic rivals, exiling and executing them and confiscating their wealth.

The Athenian government disloyal to Athens’ laws and contemptuous of its traditions was known as the Thirty Tyrants, and understanding its role and function helps explain what is happening in America today.

For my last column I spoke with The New York Times’ Thomas Friedman about an article he wrote more than a decade ago, during the first year of Barack Obama’s presidency. His important piece documents the exact moment when the American elite decided that democracy wasn’t working for them. Blaming the Republican Party for preventing them from running roughshod over the American public, they migrated to the Democratic Party in the hopes of strengthening the relationships that were making them rich.

A trade consultant told Friedman: “The need to compete in a globalized world has forced the meritocracy, the multinational corporate manager, the Eastern financier and the technology entrepreneur to reconsider what the Republican Party has to offer. In principle, they have left the party, leaving behind not a pragmatic coalition but a group of ideological naysayers.

In the more than 10 years since Friedman’s column was published, the disenchanted elite that the Times columnist identified has further impoverished American workers while enriching themselves. The one-word motto they came to live by was globalism—that is, the freedom to structure commercial relationships and social enterprises without reference to the well-being of the particular society in which they happened to make their livings and raise their children.

Read more:

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Study blames Earth’s magnetic field flip for climate change, extinctions

Study suggests that one magnetic event caused everything from extinctions to art.

Enlarge / The massive trunk of a kauri tree can remain intact for tens of thousands of years.

The Earth's magnetic field helps protect life from energetic particles that would otherwise arrive from space. Mars now lacks a strong magnetic field, and the conditions on its surface are considered so damaging to life that any microbes that might inhabit the planet are thought to be safely beneath the surface. On Earth, the magnetic field ensures that life can flourish on the surface.

Except that's not always true. The Earth's magnetic field varies, with the poles moving and sometimes swapping places and the field sometimes weakening or effectively vanishing. Yet a look at these events has revealed nothing especially interesting—no obvious connections to extinctions, no major ecological upsets.

A paper published yesterday in Science provides an impressively precise dating for a past magnetic field flip by using rings of trees that have been dead for tens of thousands of years. And it shows the flip was associated with changes in climate. But the paper then goes on to attempt to tie the flip to everything from a minor extinction event to the explosion of cave art by our ancestors. In the end, the work is a mix of solid science, provocative hypothesizing, and unconstrained speculation.

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Founder of Black Lives Matter chapter in Lake County charged with felony stemming from Kenosha protests

 An activist who participated in protests following the August police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha was charged Friday with a felony for allegedly kicking in a door at the Kenosha Public Safety Building and saying he wanted to break an officer’s fingers.

Clyde McLemore, 62, of Zion, Illinois, was charged Friday with a felony count of attempted battery to a law enforcement officer and a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct. A warrant was issued for his arrest.

McLemore founded the Black Lives Matter chapter in Lake County, Illinois, and was active in many protests after Blake’s shooting. He told the Kenosha News on Friday that he had just learned of the charges.

"Kenosha County is refusing to charge the officer that shot Jacob Blake, but now they want to charge Clyde McLemore," he said.

Officers were trying to arrest Blake on an outstanding warrant on Aug. 23 when a pocketknife fell from his pocket. Blake picked it up and was going to a vehicle with two of his children inside when Kenosha Officer Rusten Sheskey shot him seven times. Blake has said he was prepared to surrender after putting the knife in the vehicle, but Sheskey said he feared Blake was going to stab him. Sheskey was not charged.

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Foxconn says it plans ‘to capture a substantial percentage’ of U.S. server market; details not disclosed

From The Journal

Adam Rogan

MOUNT PLEASANT — Questions continue to swirl as Foxconn remains nontransparent about what it is, and isn’t, producing in Mount Pleasant.

Now, according to a statement made to The Journal Times, Foxconn Technology Group plans “to capture a substantial percentage” of the U.S. server board market. A server board hosts some of the most important parts of any computing system, such as memory capacity and processor speed.

Although The Journal Times did ask, Foxconn Technology Group did not detail what “a substantial percentage” means, what types of server boards are to be made, how many server boards are being made, how many workers are being employed in that effort and for whom they are being produced.

“As a matter of policy and for reasons of commercial sensitivity, we do not comment on any aspect of our specific operations or work for existing or previous customers,” an email from Foxconn Technology Group said in response to a question asking if Foxconn was producing servers for Google in Mount Pleasant, as Bloomberg reported in November.

Read more:

Open Blog - Weekend

Yeah, baby!

Friday, February 19, 2021

Ted Cruz Heads to Sunny Cancun While Winter Storm Cripples Texas

Real-time talk with a sleeping person is possible -- and they can even understand it

A study participant sleeps in the lab as electrical signals from his brain and eyes are displayed on a computer monitor.

(CNN)People can say all sorts of strange things in their sleep, but a new study suggests that someone in the middle of a vivid dream can understand questions -- and even answer them.

Dreams have been widely studied, and experts are still trying to understand why we have them, how dream scenarios are created, and whether dreaming benefits brain function.
But remembered dreams are often full of forgotten details and distortions, so experts from Northwestern University wanted to speak to people as they dreamt in real time, to learn more about why dreams happen, and how they might be useful for mental function.
Scientists attempted to speak to people during lucid dreams. While lucid dreaming, people report that they are aware that they are dreaming, and often say they are able to direct or manipulate the dream's content to some degree.
    In separate experiments in the US, France, Germany and the Netherlands, scientists studied 36 people with varied experiences of lucid dreaming, establishing two-way communication between subjects and asking questions using sensory stimulation, including touching, beeping noises and flashing lights.

    "We presented questions to individuals in the midst of lucid dreams, and they were able to answer with eye movements or muscle contractions," Karen Konkoly, cognitive neuroscientist at Northwestern and one of the paper's authors, told CNN over email. 

    Read more:

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    2 arrested in Mount Pleasant for OWI, possession with intent to deliver THC

    From Fox6Now:

    Two people were taken into custody Wednesday night, Feb. 17 in Mount Pleasant for OWI and possession with intent to deliver THC. 

    According to Mount Pleasant police, around 8:40 p.m. officers came across a disabled vehicle stuck in a snowbank on STH 31 near Braun Road.

    Upon approaching the vehicle, officers observed open intoxicants and a strong odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle. The vehicle was occupied by two adults from Racine.

    Police say the driver was showing signs of impairment and was put through standardized field sobriety testing. The driver was subsequently arrested for operating a motor vehicle while impaired, this being his first offense.

    After a search of the vehicle, a little over one pound of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and approximately $2,300.00 was located.

    Both parties were transported to the Racine County Jail on the following charges:

    • The driver – Felony Probation and Parole warrant, possession of THC with the intent to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia, and OWI.
    • The passenger – Felony Probation and Parole warrant, and possession of THC with the intent to deliver.

    This incident is still under investigation by the Mount Pleasant Police Department.


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    'Glitch' let Milwaukee workers jump to the head of the line for COVID-19 vaccines, regardless of age or health

    From JSOnline:
    Daniel Bice
    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    How's this for a job perk for Milwaukee city workers?

    Using the city's website for scheduling appointments, Milwaukee employees were able to jump to the head of the line to get a COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of their age, health or job title. 

    It is not known how many public employees — or people claiming to be ones — took advantage of the benefit.

    But sources said workers in various city agencies were scheduling appointments at the Wisconsin Center through the online platform as recently as Wednesday. The Journal Sentinel was contacted by city workers who thought it was unethical for them to get preferential status. 

    This news comes the same week that Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett met with President Joe Biden to ask for more vaccines for Milwaukee residents. 

    "You have to be brain-dead not to realize there are greater needs in this community," said Ald. Mark Borkowski, a member of the Public Safety and Needs Committee. "Who would ever think this is OK? It's just ludicrous."

    Jeff Fleming, spokesman for the Health Department, chalked up the problem to a "software glitch," which he said was discovered late Wednesday and fixed. The online scheduling system is run by Fleming's oft-criticized agency.

    Fleming said the Health Department is making sure that no one gets a shot who is not eligible. It does not appear that applicants were even asked for proof they were city workers. 

    "The Milwaukee Health Department is reviewing the scheduled appointments, and, as erroneous appointments are identified, they are being removed," Fleming said. "It is not immediately clear how many people exploited the signup software glitch."

    Of course, they wouldn't be the first to do this. Bucks executive Alex Lasry, who announced this week that he's running for the U.S. Senate, got his coronavirus vaccine recently even though he's only 33

    Under the eligibility requirements, frontline health care workers, nursing home and assisted living residents, police and fire personnel, and people ages 65 and older can get the vaccines.

    The so-called glitch in the city's online signup system came to light at a time when Milwaukee officials were complaining about the need for more vaccines.

    Milwaukee County ranks among the lowest counties in the state, with just about 8% of residents having received at least one dose of vaccine. There were about 3% in Milwaukee who have received both doses.

    The numbers are even worse for Black and Latino residents. 

    In Milwaukee County, less than 8% of the doses administered to county residents have gone to Black residents, even though they make up about 27% of the county's population. Just over 5% of the vaccine has gone to the county's Hispanic residents, who make up about 16% of the county's population

    In an interview, Barrett said he learned Thursday morning of the problem with the online scheduling system. 

    "As it was presented to me, there was a problem, but the problem was solved," said the fifth-term Democratic mayor. 

    Barrett said he hopes to get to the bottom of what exactly happened, but he said he suspects it was human error. He described this as a minor problem that doesn't distract from his larger message.

    "We've said from the outset that we want to be working to make sure those who are the most vulnerable are receiving the vaccinations first," said Barrett, who met with Biden in Milwaukee this week to talk about increasing the city's vaccine supply. "That's going to continue to be our outlook."

    Read more for subscribers:

    Protests rock Spain for 3rd night in a row after rapper jailed for tweets insulting king & praising terrorist groups (VIDEOS)

     Rallies protesting the arrest of a rapper convicted of insulting the monarchy have continued across Spain for a third straight night. One woman reportedly lost an eye and more than 50 people were detained at demos a day earlier.

    Valencia saw some of the worst violence on Thursday, where demonstrators could be seen clashing with riot police in footage posted to social media, while a helicopter appeared to be monitoring the protests from above. 

    Multiple injuries were reported amid the clashes in the eastern Spanish city, while some protesters appeared to hurl stones and bottles at officers.

    Read and see more:

    German Study: Laboratory Accident Most Likely Cause Of Coronavirus Pandemic

    From ZeroHedge:

    Tyler Durden's Photo
    FRIDAY, FEB 19, 2021 - 3:30

    Authored by Swiss Policy Research (emphasis ours),

    Professor Dr. Roland Wiesendanger, a leading German expert in the field of nanotechnology and three-time winner of the prestigious European Research Council Advanced Grant, has completed a one-year, hundred-page study on the origin of the novel coronavirus. Professor Wiesendanger concludes that “both the number and quality of the circumstantial evidence point to a laboratory accident at the virological institute in the city of Wuhan as the cause of the current pandemic.”

    In the following, SPR provides an English translation of the official German press release of the University of Hamburg. The hundred-page German study by Prof. Wiesendanger can be found here.

    SPR would like to add the following information: The two most recent global pandemics were the 1977 ‘Russian flu’ and the 2009 ‘swine flu’. In both of these cases, modern genetic research indicates that a lab escape was the most likely origin of the pandemic virus (see here and here).

    Study on the origin of the coronavirus pandemic published

    Professor Dr. Roland Wiesendanger, University of Hamburg

    For more than a year, the coronavirus has been causing a worldwide crisis. In a study, nanoscientist Prof. Dr. Roland Wiesendanger has now shed light on the origin of the virus. He concludes that both the number and quality of the circumstantial evidence point to a laboratory accident at the virological institute in the city of Wuhan as the cause of the current pandemic.

    The study was conducted between January 2020 and December 2020. It is based on an interdisciplinary scientific approach and extensive research using a wide variety of information sources. These include scientific literature, articles in print and online media, and personal communication with international colleagues. It does not provide highly scientific evidence, but it does provide ample and serious circumstantial evidence:

    • Unlike previous coronavirus-related epidemics such as SARS and MERS, to date, well over a year after the outbreak of the current pandemic, no intermediate host animal has been identified that could have facilitated the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 pathogens from bats to humans. Therefore, the zoonotic theory as a possible explanation for the pandemic has no sound scientific basis.

    • The SARS-CoV-2 viruses are surprisingly good at coupling to human cell receptors and penetrating human cells. This is made possible by special cell receptor binding domains combined with a special (furin) cleavage site of the coronavirus zigzag protein. Both properties together were previously unknown in coronaviruses and indicate a non-natural origin of the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen.

    • Bats were not offered at the suspected fish market in the center of Wuhan city. However, the Wuhan City Virological Institute has one of the world’s largest collections of bat pathogens, which originated from distant caves in southern Chinese provinces. It is extremely unlikely that bats from this distance of nearly 2,000 km would have naturally made their way to Wuhan, only to cause a global pandemic in close proximity to this virological institute.

    • A research group at the Wuhan City Virological Institute has been genetically manipulating coronaviruses for many years with the goal of making them more contagious, dangerous and deadly to humans. This has been documented in the scientific literature by numerous publications.

    • Significant safety deficiencies existed at the Wuhan City Virological Institute even before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, which have been documented.

    • There are numerous direct references to a laboratory origin of the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen. For example, a young female scientist at the virology institute in Wuhan is believed to have been the first to become infected. There are also numerous indications that as early as October 2019, the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen spread from the virological institute to the city of Wuhan and beyond. Furthermore, there are indications that the virological institute was investigated by the Chinese authorities in the first half of October 2019.

    “The current coronavirus pandemic is not only dominating the current headlines, but will be with us for many years to come – not least because of the social and economic impact. For months, dealing with and managing the corona crisis has understandably been at the forefront of issues in politics and the media. However, the critical science-based examination of the question of the origin of the current pandemic is already of great importance today, because only on the basis of this knowledge can adequate precautions be taken to minimize the probability of similar pandemics occurring in the future,” says Prof. Dr. Roland Wiesendanger.

    The study was completed in January 2021 and initially distributed and discussed in scientific circles. The publication is now intended to stimulate a broad discussion, particularly with regard to the ethical aspects of so-called “gain-of-function” research, which makes pathogens more infectious, dangerous and deadly for humans. “This can no longer remain a matter for a small group of scientists, but must urgently become the subject of a public debate,” says the study’s author.

    Read the full hundred-page study in German on ResearchGate →


    Meanwhile... two weeks after World Health Organization wrapped up its junket to Wuhan, they're doubling down on the natural origin hypothesis and have added two species to the list of potential crossover hosts; ferret badgers and rabbits, which 'could have played a role' in the spread to humans. Of course, they'd need to find one in the wild that can carry SARS-Cov-2 and infect a human.

    According to the very conflicted Peter Daszak of the EcoHealth Alliance, who was on the WHO trip to Wuhan (and participated in coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology after the Obama administration cut US funding for it in 2015), the genetic experts who have been creating chimeric coronaviruses to better infect humans couldn't have possibly been the source.