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This is my longest post to date, but it is informative. You might need a cuppa and a snack.

At the weekend, I read a few articles on the mid-November raid on the CIA server farm in Frankfurt, Germany.

It sounds like something out of a blockbuster film, but when I saw two retired generals’ names in the mix, I began to pay closer attention.

First, my thanks to reader john cheshire who sent me the link to a Bill Still video on this topic from Saturday, November 28.

Unlike the usual Bill Still videos, this one is only seven minutes long and well worth watching, especially for the night-time footage of Ospreys flying over the server farm:

Still is reserving comment until more information comes out to authenticate everything.

Secondly, consider everything developing, although we do have the recently-pardoned General Michael Flynn’s word that the election was stolen. More on that later in this post.

Before proceeding, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) brought news of the raid on Friday, November 13:

On Sunday, November 29, Andrea Widburg wrote another considered article for American Thinker: ‘New reports about election manipulation read like a Tom Clancy novel’. They certainly do.

First of all, for those who want to know what the Kraken is in US military intelligence parlance, it is (emphases mine):

the nickname of the 305th military intelligence battalion; that The Kraken identified China, Iran, and Russia as being involved in using the Hammer & Scorecard system to manipulate American votes; that the servers used for this were in a CIA facility in Frankfurt; that special forces raided the facility; and that there were casualties

However, Kraken — especially as top lawyer Sidney Powell refers to it — also encompasses the US Department of Defense’s:

cyber warfare weapons (“Kraken”)

Widburg did a good job of summarising what allegedly happened:

On Friday, a retired top Air Force intelligence analyst stated with certainty during an interview that special forces had secured a CIA-run facility in Germany that had computers showing election manipulation. If this report is real, we are witnessing the biggest coup attempt, sabotage, and treason in American history. No matter what, though, because this report is out there and comes from serious people, it deserves serious investigation.

I have no idea whether this raid happened. Its having taken place, however, is consistent with my ruminations about Trump’s peculiarly-timed shake-up at the Pentagon: Firing defense secretary Mark Esper and replace him with Christopher Miller, a special forces man; moving special forces into their own command, rather than having them function as subsets of other military branches; and firing potentially disloyal members of the civilian Defense Policy Board. These actions indicated that Trump was clearing the decks for something big.

In this post, I’ll sum up the most recent reports about events in Germany, although without taking any stand as to their veracity because I can’t take a stand. I don’t know enough.

For several days, rumors have swirled that there was a “military” raid in Germany, either against Scytl (the Spanish company that processes American voting data in a facility in Frankfurt, Germany) or against a CIA station that is also located in Germany. On Friday, those rumors coalesced into an affirmative report about the CIA station in Germany.

Widburg then cited an article from Friday, November 27 from Dr Mike Adams, AKA Healthranger: ‘Situation Update — Nov. 27th — DoD vs. CIA firefight in Frankfurt as covert war against the deep state RAGES across the globe’.

Excerpts follow, emphases in the original. Mine are in purple:

At this very minute, a covert war is raging across the globe, pitting Trump’s DoD and DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) against black hat deep state factions running the CIA.

The good news is: Trump is winning.

As you know by now, the DoD launched a raid on a CIA-run server farm in Frankfurt, Germany, to secure servers that contain proof of CIA interference with the 2020 election (i.e. backdoor manipulations of election results via Dominion voting machines). But new information is now surfacing that indicates there was a firefight at the server farm facility, involving US Army Special Forces units, engaging with CIA-trained paramilitary units that were flown in from Afghanistan in an emergency effort to defend the facility.

One CIA officer was killed during the firefight, and he is now being reported across the mainstream media as being “killed in Somalia.” Five US Army soldiers were also killed, and they are being explained away as dying in a “helicopter crash” in Egypt.

Despite the deaths, the servers were successfully acquired by the DoD, and those servers were turned over to President Trump’s private intelligence group, which is now once again led by Gen. Michael Flynn, recently pardoned and now allowed to process top secret information, since his security clearance has been restored.

Enter the fearless Sidney Powell:

Sidney Powell is about to roll out expert witnesses in the Georgia and Michigan lawsuits. One of these witnesses has been handed details of the vote theft which were acquired through two means: 1) The “Kraken” cyberwarfare program run by the DoD, and 2) Information found in the servers which were acquired during the multiple raids. (There were also server farm raids in Bercelona and Toronto, we are told.)

One of these witnesses is Dr. Keshavarz-Nia, a well-known cybercrimes investigator, who has a long history of working with U.S. military counterintelligence, as well as the NSA and CIA.

He has now offered sworn statements to Sidney Powell, which can be viewed at this link.

Dr Adams shares a portion of Dr Keshavarz-Nia’s testimony:

I have previously discovered major exploitable vulnerabilities in DVS and ES&S that permit a nefarious operator to perform sensitive functions via its built-in covert backdoor. The backdoor enables an operator to access to perform system updates and testing via the Internet without detection. However, it can also be used to conduct illicit activities such as shifting votes, deleting votes, or adding votes in real-time… I conclude with high confidence that the election 2020 data were altered in all battleground states resulting in a hundreds of thousands of votes that were cast for President Trump to be transferred to Vice President Biden.

I really hope Mike Adams is correct:

And so the circle is complete: DoD forces deploy cyber warfare weapons (“Kraken”) as well as kinetic troops (Special Forces, under the US Army) to acquire physical servers, all the information derived from these operations is extracted by DIA forensic analysts, it is then handed over to various expert witnesses who are prepared to testify under oath, resulting in the courts nullifying the fraudulent vote manipulations in the swing states.

This is how Trump gets to 300+ electoral votes and secures his second term as President. If successful, these revelations will also utterly destroy the Democrat party and result in thousands of treasonous actors going to prison for their roles in this attempted cyber warfare election theft to overthrow the United States government.

Wow. You could not make this up.

Some of us are familiar with a retired US military officer who writes under the pseudonym of Turcopolier.

On November 15, two days after Louis Gohmert’s news of the raid emerged, Turcopolier posted an article by former long-time CIA analyst Larry Johnson, ‘Unraveling the Deep State Coup’. Excerpts follow, emphases mine.

I have been reading Larry Johnson since 2008. He has never been wrong.

Johnson explains why many of us doubted not Gohmert as much as the information he received:

When I saw this it did not make sense. Let me explain. I spent four years working at State Department’s Office of Counter Terrorism (now it is the Bureau of Counter Terrorism). I was one of two officers who dealt directly with the FBI in the investigation of the terrorist bombing of Pan Am 103. I learned through this experience that US law enforcement cannot operate in other countries without the permission of those countries.

I also spent 22 years scripting terrorism exercises for U.S. military special operations. My job was to replicate State Department and Embassy communications that would occur during a terrorist crisis. So, I have a lot of experience in working real world with US law enforcement, US military and our Embassies in sorting out the issues that arise when the United States wants to pursue a law enforcement or military operation in a foreign country.

The U.S. Army did not conduct a raid in Germany on either Sctyl or Dominion offices or servers. They are foreign nationals and we must operate in accordance with German law. Moreover, the U.S. Army does not have law enforcement powers with respect to such entities.

However, there is a group who can bypass these restrictions:

So what happened? I am reliably informed that a unit under the command of USEUCOM (i.e., United States European Command) did in fact conduct an operation to take control of computer servers. But these servers belong to the CIA, not Dominion or Sctyl. The U.S. military has full authority to do this because any CIA activity in the European theater is being conducted using military cover. In other words, CIA officers would be identified to the German government (and anyone else asking) as military employees or consultants.

Such an operation would have been carried out with U.S. law enforcement present to take custody of the evidence. That means that the evidence will be under the control of the Department of Justice through US Attorneys and can be used in court or other judicial proceedings.

This is not the first time that a military unit attached to EUCOM has compelled a CIA computer facility to hand over evidence. A dear friend of mine (a retired DEA officer) told me about an incident where he entered a CIA facility in Frankfurt backed up by the US Army to get info the CIA was withholding (this took place in the 1980s).

Johnson surmises that the CIA and FBI directors were unaware of the raid at the time:

I also have confirmed what Jim Hoft reported the other night–the CIA’s Gina Haspel was not informed in advance of this operation. Based on this fact, I think it is correct that action was taken in Germany on territory under U.S. control and that a CIA facility was targeted.

I also have learned that FBI Director Christopher Wray was excluded from this operation. Wray, more than Haspel, has been working aggressively to undermine and sabotage Donald Trump. This means that some other U.S. law enforcement agency (e.g., US Marshals, DEA, Secret Service, etc) had the lead in collecting the evidence.

But there’s more.

On Saturday, November 28, retired US Army Generals Michael Flynn and Thomas McInerney, an expert in cyber warfare, gave an interview to WorldViewWeekend.com on Brannon Howse’s show, World View Report. Mary Fanning also participated. She is the author of the book: THE HAMMER is the Key to the Coup “The Political Crime of the Century”: How Obama, Brennan, Clapper, and the CIA spied on President Trump, General Flynn … and everyone else.

Healthranger kindly provided a full transcript of the interview. Excerpts follow. I have divided the text into paragraphs for easier reading.

Healthranger provided a useful summary before going into the transcript:

  • HAMMER and various cyber weapons were previously used by the USA against other countries, now the weapons are being deployed against us. Obama is behind everything.
  • Creator of HAMMER and Scorecard is Den[n]is Montgomery, former CIA analyst.
  • Fox flipped against America, deep state coup coordinators recruited the entire U.S. media and Big Tech to defeat the Republic and overthrow the U.S. Constitution.
  • The Dec. 14th deadline doesn’t matter. President Trump should not leave office until all the facts surrounding election theft are analyzed, including vote count distributions “caused by fraudulent electronic manipulation of targeted voting machines.”
  • The fact that all 5 battleground states stopped counting at the same time, “Demonstrates prior coordination by election officials in five battleground states.” Then they used HAMMER and Scorecard, plus Dominion, to move Joe Biden into the lead. It is a “mathematical impossibility” the way the votes came in. An algorithm was used.
  • In PA, 1.8 million ballots mailed out to people. 2.5 million came back in. Someone had a printing press and was printing them out.
  • The 305th Battalion military intelligence is “Kraken.”
  • China, Iran, Russia were all involved in manipulating votes.
  • Confirmed that US Special Forces Command seized servers from the CIA server farm in Frankfurt.
  • Confirmed there were US soldiers killed during the raid on the CIA server farm in Frankfurt. (As we reported in yesterday’s Situation Update.)
  • Chris Miller is Secretary of Defense because of the 305th Battalion. Consider why…
  • Chris Krebs at CISA committed treason and is part of the coup.
  • What went down during the election is TREASON at the highest level, not just politics.
  • Trump can maintain control over the White House, under oath, until a full investigation is complete, and there are no artificial deadlines that can stop him.
  • The President took an oath that obliges him to defend the country against all enemies, foreign and domestic. This is why he cannot turn over the White House to political puppets (Biden) controlled by America’s enemies (China, Iran).
  • The big evidence from the seized servers is going to come out at SCOTUS, not before.
  • Once caught, mid-level treasonous actors will point fingers at Biden and Obama, saying they were ordered to carry out the treasonous acts.
  • Georgia’s runoff election is already stolen by the Democrats unless we stop the vote theft. It’s just a digital theft for them. This means the Senate will be lost to the Democrats unless this vote fraud infrastructure is exposed and defeated.
  • A lot of instability is coming if we allow the government to be seized by communists.
  • All this goes up to the very top, implicating Joe Biden, Adam Schiff, Barack Obama and others.
  • Trump knew all this was going to happen and had planned for it.

This was Gen Flynn’s first interview after President Trump pardoned him.

Brannon Howse invited him to speak first.

Flynn said:

… I would tell you what’s happening in this country should never happen, and we are going through, there’s no doubt in my mind, we’re going through a crucible of history.

If we don’t correct what it is that’s happening right now over the next couple of weeks, then I really hate to even think about what will happen in our country going forward into the latter part in December and certainly into the next month. I do not believe for a second that the country will accept Vice-President Biden as the next president, based on what we know to be probably the greatest fraud that our country has ever experienced in our history.

What we’re seeing, what I’m in right in the middle of it right now, and I will tell you that, first of all, the President has clear paths to victory. They have clear paths to victory, and they actually don’t require a lot of courtroom action. What they require is they require a lot of honesty out of elected officials and frankly, a lot of Americans who are coming forward and telling us their stories. The hundreds and hundreds of Americans around the country in different states, not just the swing states, but many, many other states that are coming forward with their stories and putting them down on affidavits as witnesses.

We had probably 10 or 12 affidavits come in from one particular state today, and because there’s been a number of threats to people, these particular Patriots, they sent their photos in with their affidavits and said, “Put mine up at the top of the list because I want people to know that I’m not going to be afraid of these people that are threatening our country and our way of life.”

I say all that and on one hand and the other hand as I just described, we have clear paths to victory for this President. Frankly, he’s going win Pennsylvania. He’s going to win Arizona. He’s going to win Georgia. He’s going to win Nevada. He’s going to win Michigan. The other one that he’s probably going to pull in is Wisconsin too, because there’s a discrepancy in Wisconsin of 130,000 … ballots that they just found, they just discovered. There’s a lot of things happening and it’s all, to me, it’s all positive.

I was asked today on a scale of 1 to 10, who will be the next President, and I said, 10 it’ll be Donald Trump. It’ll be president Trump. There’s no doubt in my mind that he won this election hands down in a landslide, probably somewhere between 350 and 400 electoral college votes.

What we have seen is over, and I know this, over the last probably two decades and probably longer, I can give you a little bit of a history lesson in that, but I won’t. But over the last couple of decades, what we have seen is a complete shift in how fast I believe that communist China in their long-term plan decided that to sort of move up their plans to become the global superpower, sole global superpower on the planet.

Their sort of plan was by about the middle of this century that we’re in right now, and I believe when during the last 2016 election, when they didn’t get the candidate that they needed and the kind of ideology that they saw America moving towards, they were not going to allow 2020 to happen, and so now what we have is this theft with mail in ballots.

The theft with this software, Smartmatic software and Dominion, these Dominion systems. These are systems that are not owned by this country. They’re owned by other — they were introduced into this country. How can we say as the United States of America, how can we say that we accept a system that is not made in this country and in many cases, the ballots aren’t even tallied in this country?

They weren’t in 2012, either. I remember reading that the Obama-Romney votes were counted in … Spain. Romney was ahead until the very end, when the votes flipped. I could not believe my eyes as I watched a major US network’s coverage.

Flynn continued:

We probably, in fact, we know we have evidence of previous elections where this happened as well, but we’re now focused on this one. I’m going to tell you, we’re not in this to lose. We are not in this to lose these battles, we’re in this to win these battles and I believe we’re going to. I believe we’re going to win, and I’m confident we are because we have the right people, we have the right plan and strategy, and it’s a little bit of direct and a little bit of indirect that we’re taking, and people are talking all the time to each other. I’m anxious and you probably hear it in my voice that I’m a little anxious because I just cannot believe the media and the censorship that is going on. Just look at what they do to the President of the United States of America. Look what Twitter is doing to the President of the United States of America. This is, it’s infuriating to me … It’s an abomination of the first amendment, our freedom of speech. Frankly, for the President of United States of America, the only means that he really has to be able to communicate is when he walks outside, or he goes in front of a group of people, or he walks outside and talks to the press, or he uses social media to communicate because the media is not going to allow him to get his message out there.

He cited the case of a retired military officer, now a state senator, who gave a closing speech at the hearing in Pennsylvania last Wednesday. Twitter removed the man’s account:

It was an extraordinary hearing with politicians from Pennsylvania centers on a panel, and the one Senator that ran the panel for the state of Pennsylvania, that listened to the hearing, listen to a bunch of witnesses, listen to Rudy, listened to Jenna Ellis, and others on their team. The individual that ran it was a retired Military Colonel, and he’s now a state senator in Pennsylvania, and he gave, at the very end of it, he gave a really good short summary speech, and it was heartwarming because it was sort of a mom and apple pie that, “Hey, we can’t allow this to happen in our country. We cannot portray ourselves to the world as a third world nation”. It was a really, really good closing speech, and what did Twitter do? Twitter took him offline immediately. They completely removed his Twitter account so people couldn’t follow this guy. It’s just outrageous, it’s outrageous. That’s a social media company that is a part of the public square. They are taken advantage of what they have been given, which is a real privilege and they’re abusing it. I could go on and on, I’m going to stop and just see if you have any questions on anything or you want to jump in on anything I said, but I, I’m upset, I am determined, I’m going to be resilient, and I believe that I reflect millions and millions of millions of people across this country who feel the exact same way that I do.

Howse asked Flynn about his use of the word ‘coup’ in his thank you speech to President Trump.

Flynn gave a long reply, the nub of which follows:

This COVID situation that we we’re having to deal with now. That’s the first phase if you will. That’s something that’s been going on for years. Now, we’re moving into something different. Not different in terms of it, this is still a coup in progress, but now it’s a little bit different and it’s actually — it’s sort of they upped their game when they lost in 2016. I think that there was a decision and I believe this, but there was some type of decision to say, “We’re not going to allow this to happen again”.

All you got to do is go back and listen to some of the comments this past summer from some of the senior people that are part of this, this democratic party, right? I mean, Hillary Clinton, I think it was back in July or certainly mid-summer timeframe where she said, no matter what Joe Biden should not concede. What are we talking about there? I mean, why would she say that in the middle of the summer, three, maybe four months before an election?

One of the things that I do know from my experience in the military and in different places around the world, is when your enemy tells you that they’re going to do something, you better pay attention to what they said, and you better have some plans, and you better have some ideas about how to deal with that if in fact that does come to fruition.

Well, in this case, we have opposing camps and in our opposing camps of our political parties, and we know that the political party on the left is really way, way over on the left. I have a hard time calling it or calling someone a Democrat or the democratic party. That’s a name only folks, because it’s really the democratic socialist party of America that has usurp to taken over that element, and they are a very loud voice. So, they sort of [do a] ‘Katy, bar the door’ assault on us, on our country and our way of life, and they’re doing anything they can right now to try to pretend like, okay, nothing to see here, and Joe is going to be our next president here.

Flynn said that Democrats are also filing affadavits about what they saw during the election:

People who have stood up and said, “I’m sick of it”. These are Democrats and Republicans. We just got another piece tonight in another part of the country from a Democrat, a woman who’s just absolutely sick and tired of what she saw, and she just wasn’t sure what to do, and she finally said, “I got to go forward, and I got to report this. I can’t live with myself”. That is what’s happening with people who are feeling in their heart that sense of patriotism to still say, “Look, I don’t want my country to turn into something else because that’s what these people want” … People want to live the life that they have with the liberties and freedoms that we have under this great constitutional republic that we have. That’s sort of where we are and that’s what I mean by that. This is an ongoing effort.

Flynn said that the media have been an essential element to the Democrats’ efforts:

The only way you can do that in a country our size, with all of the ways that we communicate is you got to basically get the media on your side. That’s taken some number of years, but I can’t stand here and tell you that that’s not the case because it is, everybody knows. Everybody knows the, “mainstream media”, which is a pretty robust group of organizations and that includes the tech companies, right? I say tech companies, the social media tech companies, everything from Facebook to Instagram, of course, Twitter I mentioned. All of these things, they are trying to control a narrative and tell the American people what they should know instead of allowing the American people information and letting each of us decide what’s important or not.

Brannon Howse asked if this was a form of information warfare.

Flynn replied, mentioning China:

It’s more than that but yes, it’s kind of the type of warfare.

In fact, if you study Chinese doctrine, Chinese doctrine has six phases. The first five phases all have to do with information. The last part of it would be if those failed or if you needed an additional “umph” so to speak, you go to the gates I say. That’s when you may see something kinetic. We’re in this sort of period of information warfare that it’s unprecedented.

I’m going to stand on my box here and say the President of the United States of America is being censored by US companies. Think about that, I’m at a loss sometimes when I talk about it and I talk about it a couple of times a day to different people in different groups, and I’m trying to say, “Okay, at a certain point in time, that has to stop being allowed”.

He brought up the woeful Thanksgiving Day press conference from November 26:

Look at the interview that he did yesterday, where we had, somebody is talking to the President of United States in his office there, and he had to counsel the person. “Don’t talk to them. Don’t talk to me like that. Don’t talk to the President of United States like that”. It’s like a bunch of school punks in a school yard. We can’t have that in this country. Debate and sharp questions but not totally, totally disrespect, to not just the President.

You may not like him and that’s fine, but he represents the Presidency of the United States of America. He represents our flag, our constitution, our country.

Everything that we’re experiencing right now actually is more than just an assault on President Trump. This is an assault on the American Republic, on this great country that we have and people around the country.

I know they’re fed up with it and they’re not going to put up with it. What they’re waiting to see is they’re waiting to see the outcome of their own elected officials in the states do their job. Just because CNN or Fox News or a governor or a secretary of state certify an election, if the state legislature has not certified the election then it’s not certified in a particular state. If there’s a challenge and there’s a legitimate legal challenge then they can’t sit there and certify it while there’s a legal challenge ongoing, it’s just not the way it works.

The media is not going to cover any of that for you. The big media, they’re just not going to cover it, and it’s sad because they’re trying to shove it down our throat, and the American public, they see right through it.

While Flynn gave Sidney Powell credit for ‘some really good filings’, he did not want to discuss her work.

However, he did include her in the group of lawyers working hard for Trump. He concluded:

With people like Sidney Powell, like Rudy Giuliani and his team, like people like Lin Wood, who’s fighting tooth and nail. Most people don’t even know, his case that he’s got going on in Georgia just got picked up by the 11th circuit, down in Georgia, and that’s a good sign, because that means that the one judge down there that thought he was going to dismiss his case, the 11th circuit pulled it out of him and brought it up to their level, to an appeals level because they saw that there was enough evidence. So, I believe we’re going to see some momentum changing here. There are already is an undercurrent of momentum shifting for the president, and I believe that at the end of the day, we’re going to find out that he won by a massive landslide, and he’ll be inaugurated this January.

Howse segued to the part of the interview with Gen McInerney.

Flynn said:

Great friend, and Tom, thank you for giving me the invite. God bless America. Thank you. Thank you.

Gen McInerney spoke:

Well, it is absolutely vital because this was the first time that I believe that General Flynn has been able to speak publicly and in such environment, and so I want to thank you for setting this up, and I know Mary talked to you and it’s very important what you have are doing tonight because it is a fast moving train, and that’s why I wanted you to do it because we are seeing the most unprecedented situation in the history of America.

This is the most dangerous situation since the Civil War of keeping this nation united, and why do I say that? The Civil War, it was just warfare, the day you and General Flynn talked about cyber warfare. Cyber warfare is hiddenYou don’t see it coming, it happens. All of a sudden, 138,000 votes or 150,000 votes, all of a sudden they show up, and because we’re looking at computers, we assume they’re all legitimate, but in this particular case, they are not legitimate, and because of what Sidney Powell has been doing with General Flynn’s lawyer and what she submitted in the state of Georgia and Michigan on a Wednesday night, the night before Thanksgiving, we got a document in that log, in those lawsuits from a doctor.

Navid Keshavarez-Nia, who is a 59-year-old resident of California, who spent 40 years almost in the DC metropolitan as a career intelligence community expert. I won’t go into his background very much, but because of this declaration that he made in which I am quoted and independently confirming he uses my name. Kurt Weeby, who was a former NSA official, a good friend of ours, and working with Mary and I, and Dennis Montgomery, a former CIA analyst who was really the creator, inventor of the Hammer and Scorecard capabilities, and that we broke, and we broke it on Sunday and Monday before the election saying that this was going to be an action that will happen, and what transpired did in fact transpire.

Mary was very instrumental in informing me of this information, and all of a sudden, two days before, two and a half days before the voting started on the 3rd of November, this was the 1st of November, I became involved in the Voting gate. My background is a military analyst, and for 16 and a half years I was on Fox News as a military analyst. I have been the number three man in the air staff in the Air Force, and so I had a great background, but what made this so easy for me, Brannon, is I run a cloud company, an edge cloud company. I am intimately familiar with this kind of technology and what it’s doing and live by it in my military days.

Everybody remembers when we attacked Tripoli in 1986. I was the commander and they launched from my bases in England. Now, I got that information from the British and other sources, but my whole life has been based on this, and what I’m seeing now is those technologies now are used against the American people. They are trying to seize control of this nation through technology and through cyber warfare. They have enlisted to include Fox News who flipped on us. They have enlisted the mainstream media and the First Amendment to try to get on their side and General Flynn talked about the censorship.

For instance, Twitter does and determines what president Trump can say. That is ridiculous. It must stop, but because of all these assets and they are using and misusing the constitution of the United States, they have put us in a position that our forefathers were not aware of cyber warfare, and so when they set out in the constitution, the process of our election and going through the electoral college, the voters meeting on 14 December, announcing who the president will be, and then going through in the 20th of November, the inauguration, that was not based upon cyber warfare, and so we have a time clock and I bring this up to our listeners.

We have a time clock, and we have to go through the legal system. This was not designed to operate in the cyber world, and so we had many judges turning down and not recognizing what has happened. That is the challenge that we are facing and what my point I wanted to get across tonight. It doesn’t matter if we have locked and sealed this decision process by the 14th of December, the president should not leave office until it is adequately heard.

We, the American people will demand that these facts be analyzed and looked at, and I’m going to cover some of those facts that have made it so compelling to me that there is no question about it. Let’s start with the vote count distribution in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona, Nevada, and Georgia are not based on normal system operation. They are caused by fraudulent electronic manipulation of the targeted voting machines. For instance, at 2:30 AM of the 4th of November, TV broadcast reported that Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Nevada and Georgia have decided to seize vote counting operations and will continue the following day. This unanimous decision to initially and intentionally stopped counting by all five battleground states is highly unusual.

As a matter of fact, it is unprecedented, and it demonstrates prior coordination by election officials in battleground states. Those five states that General Flynn mentioned, and because of this big flashing light to anybody that understands the voting process, it immediately flagged this. We start looking at each one of those states because they didn’t stop counting. All of a sudden in Michigan at four o’clock in the morning, 138,000 votes show up, all for, guess who: Biden. He was behind in all those States where they decided to cease voting, and that’s where they employed cyber warfare, the Hammer and Scorecard, the Dominion voting machines and the software in them. That’s where they put these applications on, like your iPhone and they got a smooth voting.

Now, when the numbers came, started coming back in those five states, they were different numbers. 138,000 in Michigan, 90,000 in Arizona, this is notional. The different one in Nevada and Georgia and Pennsylvania. The important point was they were exactly at the same percentage.

This is a mathematical impossibility that this could have happened, and it means that algorithm was used, and this algorithm was designed to stay within the bounds, and when the assembled numbers were put together, it wouldn’t be obvious that these numbers of votes were inserted. This is a huge flashing red light, and it’s important that people understand what this kind of data that we’re seeing.

Sidney pointed out in Georgia, that they’re 96,000 absentee votes that were disregarded in Fulton County, they had a water leak. Pennsylvania, the state of Pennsylvania mailed out 1.8 million votes to their citizens. The state did, these are not absentee ballots. These were balanced that had no chain of custody, lo and behold Brannon, 2.5 million came back.

If someone had to have a printing press and we’re cranking them out, that is just the pure sniff test. It doesn’t require a genius to understand if you mail out 1.8 and get 2.5 million ballots, something is wrong.

Now, Sidney and the president’s crew, I believe General Flynn, got the crack in the organization. The 305 military intelligence battalion working with them because in all of this, we have not seen any footprints of the DOJ or the FBI, nor the CIA on the friendly side.

Howse asked about the Kraken.

McInerney replied:

Sidney got the term Kraken. It was actually the nickname of the 305th military intelligence battalion, and that has been her source along with other sources that Mary and I know about, but we don’t want to talk about.

We’re getting the different sources that are relaying this, but the important thing is they identified, now get this, they identified China, Iran and Russia as being involved in this and manipulating the vote.

In addition, the US special forces command seized a server farm in Frankfurt, Germany, because they were sending this data from those six states through the internet to Spain and then into Frankfurt, Germany. Special operation forces seized those from that facility so they have those servers and they know all this data they are providing.

Howse asked if the raid went down ‘without incident’.

McInerney answered:

Well, I’ve heard it didn’t go down without incident, and I haven’t been able to verify it. I want to be careful in that. It’s just coming out, but I understand my initial report is that there were US soldiers killed in that operation.

Now, that was a CIA operation, and so that’s the very worrisome thing. Did that occur because of what Mary and I and Allen were notifying on the Sunday and the Monday in different networks that this was going to happen, that they were using Hammer and Scorecard, and so they decided to bounce it overseas, so the server farms and the Hammer and Scorecard we’re using in the continental United States, couldn’t be used? I don’t know that.

In any case, it makes it more vulnerable because when you start moving that kind of data overseas, other people look at it.

Howse asked for confirmation that the server farm was a CIA operation located in Germany.

McInerney responded:

That’s correct. Frankfurt, Germany.

We have all this information, General Flynn of course, people most realized, was the senior military intelligence officer in the US commands as a defense intelligence agency. He’s a career intelligence officer, knows this stuff, backwards and forwards.

From my experience in the cloud business, this was a trivial operation, relatively speaking, but the magnitude, because so many people, Brannon, were involved. So many people like General Flynn mentioned, the Democratic persons who saw this are coming forward, but what we are doing, we are competing with the Constitution and the 14th December date for the electoral college. Why? Because we have this information and we know that not only did we have the deep state and the executive that President Trump had to fight, we also had it in the legislature where you have Adam Schiff, Nancy Pelosi, Schumer, all of those people were involved in this.

They were involved in the Russian hoax. They were involved in this coup d’état, but we also had the judiciary, Judge Sullivan, who was General Flynn’s judge, outdid himself on this. You had the compromise there, and that’s why the 305th, the Krakens were targeted and selected, I believe, because the President could trust them. That’s why Chris Miller, who is now the acting secretary of defense and a former special operations hero

Howse asked:

What about his speech that’s gone viral of him directing all special operations forces to answer directly to him?

McInerney replied:

Well, that tells you something. It tells you that we had that tighten-up because there are people that are a part of this conspiracy. This is treason what we’re talking about. Some people may just think, “Oh, it’s just politics”. No … So, President Obama used it in 2012 to win, Biden used it to win Florida. The Democrats used it during the primary so Bernie Sanders would lose, and Biden would win. You know that’s politics, we’ve been cheating. No, it’s not politics, this is treason … We haven’t seen treason this magnitude ever in our history, and those politicians, those people like Chris Krebs, who was the head of the cyber warfare infrastructure security agency. He was until he was fired a couple of weeks ago by the President because this was a perfect election. He is guilty of treason. He had to be complicit, and people must understand that. You people that have done this are guilty of treason against the United States, and we are going to demand this President, insist this president not leave office until the American people have had a full disclosure of what’s going on.

Howse asked if Trump needed to fulfil the oath he took at his inauguration.

McInerney said that he must do so:

That is exactly what you heard me say, Brannon. The president has in his oath to the constitution to defend the country against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and we shouldn’t let a schedule that we know is so blatantly flawed that anybody can understand that with just the items I’ve given our listeners tonight. When you have hundreds of thousands of votes that were falsified, and we know they’re falsified. I believe those servers are going to show that, and I believe that he is going to show that. It’ll probably have to be done at the Supreme Court because you have judges like some of it in that that are going to try to protect themselves because the fingers are going to start pointing to everybody. “Well, I didn’t know this, I didn’t know that”, they’re going to use the Nuremberg trial. “Well, the fear told me to do this”. They’re going to say, “Well, President Obama knew what I was doing because he told me to do it”, or vice-president Biden. “Biden was the runner here. He told me to do it”. They’re going to point fingers. When you have people that are driving up in cars with carloads of ballots, some not even folded, and they’re driving them into these five or six battleground states, they’re going to talk. They don’t want to be involved in treason

Howse said that the intelligence community wanted him to be quiet:

In general, I received three phone calls from three different people, tied to the intelligence arena a couple of weeks ago, trying to tell me that I was going to be embarrassing myself. If I didn’t quit talking about this, that it was all conspiracy and fake, and it’s now being revealed that those I guess, were calls to try to get me to stop using our network, our platform, to inform the American people, because now we just are starting to figure out what a lot of these words like Kraken and other things mean. It is all coming out. There are those inside the intelligence arena that were trying to shut this down. Now, I think there’s some inside of the intelligence arena that are trying out to take the story and control it. Are they not?

McInerney replied:

Yes, and they are guilty of treason.

Mary Fanning spoke next, very much to the point:

I will tell you that bad actors, both foreign and domestic use these man in the middle proxies to cover their tracks. There was an attempt not just to steal the election, but to steal America. The founding fathers may not have known about cyber warfare, but they certainly recognized tyrannyPresident Trump cannot leave office. When we have China and Iran having access to our elections, we cannot let them steal America through their illegal acts of treason and act of war against this country.

McInerney said something interesting, not about Democrats — about whom we knew — but two people working for Trump — John Durham and Bill Barr:

Now we’ve got to know if John Durham, what is the status of John Durham and the attorney general? What is the status of their work? What have they done?

Mary Fanning brought up a rather recent quote from Joe Biden:

Well, there’s an abundance of evidence that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from President Trump on behalf of Joe Biden, with Joe Biden’s assistance, because Joe Biden said he had the greatest voter fraud group in history put together. We cannot let this stand. It will be the theft of America. The American people must stand up.

The interviews concluded with an interesting exchange between Fanning and Howse.

Fanning said that this ‘treasonous activity’ had gone on ‘far too long’:

This came directly out of the Obama administration when John Brennan and James Clapper illegally commandeered the foreign surveillance tool known as the Hammer.

Then Dennis Montgomery’s name, as well as Robert Mueller’s, entered the conversation.

Brannon Howse asked about the Hammer:

It was designed by Genesis Montgomery in 2003, to keep America safe, as you write. Commandeered by them about two weeks after Obama was sworn into office and put on servers. You write of the FBI honor … director … Mueller, correct?

Fanning replied:

That’s correct. According to Dennis Montgomery, Robert Mueller provided the computers for the Hammer.

Wow.

Early in Trump’s tenure, Dennis Montgomery appeared on a few programmes — few to none on the big networks — to warn about the depth of what goes on behind the scenes in intelligence. I always found him credible. However, his name was dragged through the mud by some commentators.

Howse said:

And of course, they tried to discredit Dennis Montgomery because you can see why now, but as we’ve discussed in past programs, you got two immunity deals after being interviewed and recorded. So apparently, he didn’t lie, or he’d be in jail. He kept it; he got his immunity deals kept some of his security clearances is not in jail, so that should tell us a lot to the people trying to smear the guy.

If you thought it couldn’t get any worse, Howse dropped this bombshell from his own shows and from Fanning’s book:

Not to mention Mary, as you report in your excellent report, the perfect storm, the Jafar family, the Gulftainer family, Doctor Jafar, as you guys report, used to be the head of Saddam Hussein’s nuclear program, making the nuclear beach ball as miniaturized nuclear device.

I think he was on the kill list during the war, and then his family and his business get a contract running Port Canaveral in Florida and in Wilmington, Delaware [Joe Biden’s hometown], cargo containers, and yet there is some kind of business deals back with the 100% Russian owned export of the Club K Cargo that has four cruise missile silos that pop up and can deliver cruise missiles, biological weapons, nuclear weapons, and it could easily be planted down here in the US as you have translated Russian Manuals for Pearl Harbor 2.0 into English, they call for a Russian strategy of doing just that.

As you know, live on our show a few years ago, Phil Haney, former Department of Homeland Security whistle blower, revealed right on this show, “Hey, Brannon, you want another piece of interesting information to go with that?” Look at Citgo owned by Venezuela, they’re in financial crisis with massive inflation. Guess who’s come in and bought up a big chunk of their company? Russia. Look at all their oil terminals, up and down the Eastern seaboard. Now, Russia can bring in through the oil terminals, the cargo terminals can bring in the Club K Cargo missile launching system into this relationship with Dr. Jafar and Gulftainer, have caused now to move them into the US and plop them down at all refiners up and down the East Coast is a Trojan horse, and that’s your perfect Pearl Harbor 2.0 that you’ve been warning about, and Phil Haney dropped that right on the news desk of our show live, and you happen to be watching that night.

So, there’s way more to this than just the election. We’re talking about them being inside the wire and a lot of these people, the Bidens, the Obamas, Hillary tied to some of these actors, correct?

Fanning replied in the affirmative:

Well, that’s correct. Beyond which the Jafars were put on the Pentagon’s blacklist meant that they were wanted for capture or [to] kill Dr. Jafar, and he’s the nuclear mastermind or Saddam Hussein. In order to take back our country, we must take back this election that Donald Trump won fair and square before they started cheating with foreign actors, Russia, China, Iran, that their hand is in here for the theft of this election. That’s why the American people must stand up, and that is … President Donald Trump must abide by his oath to protect this country. He cannot step down until this election is fairly, legally settled.

General McInerney had the final word:

Now this is going directly to those that want to seize this country because they’ve hacked my cell phone, and so everything I say on this particular open channel, they are coming. They mean business. They are deeply into this, and they now know that because of what you’ve done and what we’ve done tonight, that they are in even more trouble. We are coming against after you and the American people are going to come after you and this President won this election, and he was going to be the president for the next four years, but we’re after you. You will not seize this country because this would be the last re-election we ever had, and I’m in agreement with you and Mary, that Joe Biden should step down right now.

Well, there you have it.

The coup continues — with no let up in sight.

Good grief.

This is unbelievable.

Robert F Kennedy Jr went to Berlin late last week to speak at a rally for personal freedom in the city on Saturday, August 29, 2020:

The rally continued into the night with music:

For several years, Robert F Kennedy Jr has been concerned about the effect of modern vaccines on children and, as a result, founded Children’s Health Defense.

The day before the Berlin rally, he launched Children’s Health Defense Europe:

A press conference was held:

The press release says, in part:

On Friday August 28, 2020, Mr. Kennedy, chair of Children’s Health Defense, held a press conference and met with the leaders of the newly-formed Children’s Health Defense Europe Chapter. In attendance were Senta Depuydt and Tina Choy (board members of CHD Europe), RA Markus Haintz (Querdenken-731 Ulm), and Heiko Schöning (MD, Ärzte für Aufkärung). While in Berlin he will also meet with colleagues from all over Europe to discuss global challenges to health and human rights …

In photo [above], RFK, Jr. is with organizers Dr Heiko Schoening, M.D. and Attorneys Markus Haintz & Rolf Karpenstein in front of Brandenburg Gate where his uncle, President John F Kennedy, gave his famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech in 1963.

Kennedy gave an 18-minute speech at the launch:

He spends the first seven minutes discussing vaccines, then moves on to the current coronavirus situation in Western nations.

In those seven minutes, he says that Big Pharma is much larger and much more powerful than Big Oil. Big Pharma is also working with governments all over the world.

After that, he warns us about our compliance with government guidelines on coronavirus.

At 7:54, he says that when Herman Goering was interviewed at the Nuremberg Hearings, he said that the German government created a climate of fear to get people to obey. When pressed further on the nature of the German people, he replied, ‘It wasn’t just Germany’, explaining that any government can successfully create a climate of fear causing people to do all sorts of things they would not normally do.

Kennedy noted that, by contrast, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt told the American people in that era:

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

He says that present-day Western governments have created a climate of coronavirus fear, using ‘science’ as a weapon. He wants to see the details on ‘Bill Gates’s and Dr Fauci’s “science”‘.

He discusses 5G and Alexa. Those who own an Alexa are allowing spying on them and their households. He says that 5G isn’t there for the benefit of gamers, allowing seconds-long downloads of video games. Rather, it is there to enable phone networks, governments and the private sector to gather vast amounts of information on citizens.

With 5G, Western governments would be able to target individuals who are not obeying the system. They could freeze people’s bank accounts for making notionally unauthorised purchases. (This is already being done in China, with deleterious effects on private citizens. It’s called a ‘social credit score’. Some Chinese have lost not only access to their money but also their jobs and, in some cases, their university places. Their next of kin can be similarly affected: guilt by association.)

He says he does not know whether coronavirus is a ‘plandemic’, as many have said, but understands how one could draw that conclusion.

Therefore, with all of this in mind, we need to be careful about complying with government directives en masse. Kennedy says that it would be very easy for governments to take away our precious civil liberties. He said that his father, the late Attorney General Robert F Kennedy who was assassinated during his run for president, told him as a child:

People in authority will lie to you.

Interestingly, on the day of the rally in Berlin, news emerged that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) did an about-face on America’s coronavirus deaths, revising them downwards. They are not the sky-high totals we’ve been shown over the past several months:

The Gateway Pundit reported (emphasis mine):

The CDC silently updated their numbers this week to show that only 6% of all coronavirus deaths were related to the coronavirus aloneThe rest of the deaths pinned to the China coronavirus are attributed to individuals who had other serious issues going on.  Also, most of the deaths are related to very old Americans.

The article also said (emphasis in the original):

So get this straight – based on the recommendation of doctors Fauci and Birx the US shut down the entire economy based on 9,000 American deaths to the China coronavirus …

Earlier this year, after the WHO seeded panic:

Doctors Fauci and Birx were next to push ridiculous and highly exaggerated mortality rates related to the coronavirus:

** Dr. Tony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx used the Imperial College Model to persuade President Trump to lock down the ENTIRE US ECONOMY.
** The fraudulent model predicted 2.2 million American deaths from the coronavirus pandemic
** The authors of the Imperial College Model shared their findings with the White House Coronavirus task force in early March
** Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx then met with President Trump privately and urged him to shut down the US economy and destroy the record Trump economy based on this model

But the Imperial College model Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx pushed was garbage and they recommended the destruction of the US economy using this model.

Today we now have empirical evidence that the WHO, Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx were all wrong.  They were charlatans.  They lied.

Robert F Kennedy was right: authorities DO lie.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was also correct. His maxim about fear still holds true today.

Be careful out there with statistics. Question today’s ‘science’. Today’s technology is not there primarily for our benefit, either.

Today, Friday, July 24, 2020, face coverings became mandatory in shops in England.

Early in the pandemic, Dr Jenny Harries, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England, told Prime Minister Boris Johnson that masks were not necessary for the general population and could make people more vulnerable to COVID-19, because they would be adjusting them, thereby touching their faces, potentially spreading the virus. This video first appeared in March, if I remember rightly:

On Thursday, March 12, The Independent reported on what Dr Harries told BBC News (emphases mine):

Jenny Harries, deputy chief medical officer, said the masks could “actually trap the virus” and cause the person wearing it to breathe it in.

“For the average member of the public walking down a street, it is not a good idea” to wear a face mask in the hope of preventing infection, she added …

Asked about their effectiveness, Dr Harries told BBC News: “What tends to happen is people will have one mask. They won’t wear it all the time, they will take it off when they get home, they will put it down on a surface they haven’t cleaned.

“Or they will be out and they haven’t washed their hands, they will have a cup of coffee somewhere, they half hook it off, they wipe something over it.

“In fact, you can actually trap the virus in the mask and start breathing it in.”

Asked if people are putting themselves more at risk by wearing masks, Dr Harries added: “Because of these behavioural issues, people can adversely put themselves at more risk than less.”

However, she said those who are advised to wear one by healthcare workers should follow their guidance.

Sir Patrick Vallance, the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of the United Kingdom, gave testimony on COVID-19 last week. When asked about the apparent change on face covering advice, he said that, early on, it made no sense for people to wear masks during lockdown because no one was on the streets. He said that the advice had never changed: masks provided some benefit. Now that lockdown has been lifting, he explained, it makes sense for people to wear them.

Of course, earlier this year, there was also a worldwide mask shortage, so it could also be that officials discouraged the general public from buying them because medical staff needed them badly.

This happened not only in England, but also in other countries.

In the United States, Surgeon General Dr Jerome Adams did an about-face on masks early in April. Since then, they have been mandatory in some states:

President Trump said the advice from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) was only an advisory, yet the public wondered how such a change could have come about in so little time, only a matter of weeks:

The same change in advice occurred in Germany:

Yet, at that time, Good Morning Britain‘s long-time, trusted Dr Hilary Jones stated that masks were a no-no for the public, citing the same reasons as Dr Jenny Harries did. On April 28, Metro reported:

If there is one thing Hilary has been consistent on, it is that the general public do not need to wear a mask.

He has previously explained how the particles of coronavirus are so small, they can easily pass through the fibres of a mask or scarf, making them completely useless to the average person.

‘For healthy people who are doing their essential journey who are socially distancing, the use of masks is not effective,’ he recently told Piers Morgan.

‘Most masks have gaps in them to which the virus can drive a bus through. When you are inhaling in a mask the virus can come in.’

The GP added: ‘It can do harm if you do wear a mask, you adjust it, it gets itchy and moist – which means you are putting your hand to your face more often.

‘If the mask gets moist it traps the virus.’

A week later, Guido Fawkes reported that PPE items, including masks, were plentiful in Britain and available to medical as well as care home staff:

By the end of May, Good Morning Britain‘s Piers Morgan criticised London mayor Sadiq Khan for not mandating face coverings on the capital’s public transport. The policy at the time left the option open to passengers, putting more emphasis on social distancing.

In England, masks became mandatory on all public transport on June 15.

On June 6, some in the NHS criticised Health Secretary Matt Hancock for giving them only a week to get all hospital staff to wear masks. The Daily Mail reported that NHS England had been apprised of the new rules before Hancock made a public announcement:

The Department of Health and Social Care said NHS England had known Mr Hancock was going to make the announcement, adding that hospitals still had more than a week to prepare.

On Monday, July 20, in France, masks became mandatory in all indoor spaces as well as some outdoor venues. Fines start at €135. The original date was August 1, but that was brought forward.

This is what one French shopping mall looks like since the requirement came into force:

Some people have been wearing them in the street and inside commercial premises.

This is what one observer has noted, proving what Dr Harries said earlier this year:

Dr Rashid Buttar has posted several videos to YouTube on the dangers of healthy people wearing masks. This is a short but instructive clip from one of them:

On April 7, the BMJ featured an article which said that, while masks might make members of the public more comfortable psychologically, face coverings can also help to spread the virus.

Excerpts from statistician Karla Hemmings’s ‘Covid-19: What is the evidence for cloth masks?’ follow:

… the question of whether facemasks work is a question about whether they work in the real world, worn by real people, in real situations …

There is little doubt that masks works in controlled settings – they stop particulates penetrating the air [Leung 2020]. Facemasks also seem to prevent infection spreading when worn by people who are infected [Brainard 2020]. Yet, this doesn’t tell us if they will work in the real world …

Systematic review of facemasks vs no mask [Brainard 2020]

There are three RCTs identified in this review where people wore masks to try to prevent other people becoming infected (primary prevention). The authors of the review interpret the evidence from these three RCTs as a small non-significant effect on influenza like illness. But, this is an incorrect interpretation of the result (RR=0.95, 95% CI: 0.75 to 1.19) as this result is compatible with both benefit and harm. The evidence from these three trials should therefore be interpreted as uninformative (or consistent with either benefit or harm). There are observational studies in this review, but these do not allow us to answer the question of whether the masks provide protection as they will be subject to confounding. The largest of the three RCTs was a pragmatic cluster trial in pilgrims [Alfelali 2020]. This is a well conducted pragmatic cluster randomized trial with low risk of bias, but suffered from low compliance. This found OR 1.35, 95% CI 0.88-2.07 which although non-significant, is more suggestive of harm than benefit.

Conclusion: The largest and most pragmatic trial (which informs on how facemasks will perform in the real world) assessing the benefit of facemasks vs no mask is suggestive of more harm than benefit.

Evidence from trials comparing different sorts of facemasks
(This is not based on a systematic review, so there may be other evidence that I am unaware of) …

Conclusion: The evidence from pragmatic trials (people wearing masks in everyday settings) suggests wearing of facemasks both induces risk compensation behavior and increased virus spreading from poor mask quality.

England’s new rules on face coverings do not mandate actual masks. We can wear what we want, within reason.

I still believe all the advice from March and early April stated above.

Here — and no doubt elsewhere — this has been a political decision taken to get more people shopping and putting money into the economy and businesses.

On Tuesday, July 14, Matt Hancock made a statement in Parliament about mandatory face coverings, which included the following:

Local action is one way in which we can control the spread of the virus while minimising the economic and social costs. Another is to minimise the risk as we return more to normality. In recent weeks we have reopened retail and footfall is rising. We want to give people more confidence to shop safely and enhance protections for those who work in shops. Both of those can be done by the use of face coverings. Sadly, sales assistants, cashiers and security guards have suffered disproportionately in this crisis. The death rate of sales and retail assistants is 75% higher among men and 60% higher among women than in the general population. As we restore shopping, so we must keep our shopkeepers safe.

There is also evidence that face coverings increase confidence in people to shop. The British Retail Consortium has said that, together with other social distancing measures, face coverings can

“make shoppers feel even more confident about returning to the High Street.”

The chair of the Federation of Small Businesses has said:

“As mandatory face coverings are introduced, small firms know that they have a part to play in the nation’s recovery both physically and financially, and I’m sure this will welcomed by them.”

We have therefore come to the decision that face coverings should be mandatory in shops and supermarkets. Last month, we made face coverings mandatory on public transport and in NHS settings, and that has been successful in giving people more confidence to go on public transport and to a hospital setting when they need to, providing people with additional protection when they are not able to keep 2 metres from others, particularly people they do not normally come into contact with. Under the new rules, people who do not wear face coverings will face a fine of up to £100 in line with the sanction on public transport and, just as with public transport, children under 11 and those with certain disabilities will be exempt.

The liability for wearing a face covering lies with the individual. Should an individual without an exemption refuse to wear a face covering, a shop can refuse them entry and can call the police if people refuse to comply. The police have formal enforcement powers and can issue a fine. That is in line with how shops would normally manage their customers and enforcement is, of course, a last resort. We fully expect the public to comply with these rules, as they have done throughout the pandemic.

I want to give this message to everyone who has been making vital changes to their daily lives for the greater good. Wearing a face covering does not mean that we can ignore the other measures that have been so important in slowing the spread of this virus— washing our hands and following the rules on social distancing. Just as the British people have acted so selflessly throughout this pandemic, I have no doubt they will rise to this once more. As a nation, we have made huge strides in getting this virus, which has brought grief to so many, under control. We are not out of the woods yet, so let us all do our utmost to keep this virus cornered and enjoy our summer safely. I commend this statement to the House.

I agree that we need to stimulate the economy by shopping. I disagree that face coverings are the answer.

I also wonder about shop staff dying. I see the same smiling faces week after week in my local shops. I never heard anything on the BBC News about shopkeepers dying: it was front line medical staff and bus drivers.

This is purely a political decision. Purely political.

I had looked forward to visiting a garden centre. I now think I’ll shop online for the plant pots I’d planned to buy.

We have been told that our coronavirus lockdowns will not end until a vaccine has been successfully developed.

Meanwhile, in France, Professor Didier Raoult has been successfully using chloroquine, where suitable, on his COVID-19 patients at the IHU Méditerranée Infection facility, where he is the Director.

Professor Raoult is also a physician. A number of his fellow doctors oppose his use of an anti-malarial drug, which is cheap as chips, to treat this novel (new) coronavirus, said to have no known remedy, much less cure, at this time.

Raoult describes himself as a ‘renegade’ physician. Other doctors in France certainly agree. They doubt his claims. Now they want to suspend him from France’s national medical association, l’Ordre des Médecins (The Order of Physicians).

On Saturday, April 25, Geopolintel (French language, translated below) reported that the ANSM (French National Agency for Medicines and Health Products Safety), INSERM (French National Institute of Health and Medical Research) and the biopharmaceutical drug company Gilead are out to get Raoult.

The article is an open letter to Raoult’s critics:

The Covid-19 crisis shows the destructive ideology of your policies as well as that of the health institutions of our country.

Given the sums of money involved, it takes any and all costs to transfer the professor from Marseille for the generalized vaccination agreement between Macron and Bill Gates to be realized.

Censors, you have lost public opinion and you cannot regain it by threatening Professor Raoult with suspension by the Order of Physicians.

He makes fun of your stories of cash and corruption, unlike you, he treats and does not bear responsibility for death by organized shortage.

What displeases you in him is his indifference to lobbies and sirens of glory and as a professor, researcher and doctor; he cares while you polish your the seats of your trousers on the leather armchairs of the circles of initiates who have done nothing in their lives other than lying and earning dirty money.

There have been major pharmaceutical scandals in France in recent years, yet the establishment is going after Raoult, who has provided patient relief in an inexpensive prescription anti-malarial drug available at pharmacies. The medical establishment has accused the professor of employing ‘illegal medical research protocols’:

Regarding the “illegal clinical research protocols” which are attributed to Didier Raoult, what about the scandals of the Pick (Médiator), Depakin and other drugs approved in the so-called respect for randomized trial protocols?

As for his possible suspension by the Order of Physicians:

The Council of the Order of Physicians threatens Professor Raoult with immediate suspension of activity, because his clinical trials “do not comply with official procedures”, and he risks up to a year in prison and 15,000 euros in fines.

Yet, President Macron visited Raoult in Marseille recently to find out more about the doctor’s success with his COVID-19 patients. About this, the article says:

As a reminder, Professor Raoult presented Emmanuel Macron with the results of his work on 1,061 patients.

Almost 92% of patients cured in ten days,
Nearly 5% of patients cured “late”
Less than 5% of “patients with complications”.
Or 31 patients hospitalized for more than ten days,
10 transferred to intensive care,
and 5 deaths. On 1061: do your accounts and compare to the rest of France…

The abstract and summary table of the data in our article on the treatment of 1061 patients are online!
The abstract and the summary table of our paper on the treatment of 1061 patients are online! https: //t.co/mTWj6aGpTk https: //t.co … pic.twitter.com/PLdygNolxG
– Didier Raoult (@raoult_didier) April 10, 2020

These are the full results of Raoult’s study:

The article concludes:

The first reaction of the simple man that I am, in the delusional French context that I observe from afar, is this: Raoult heals while the profession flounders. It has no response, no treatment, adding the humiliation of the mandarins to the resentment of the rascals. In short, Raoult must be suspended. It is urgent: he risks treating even more people.

Now, it must be said that chloroquine doesn’t work on everyone. Nor does a similar drug, hydroxychloroquine, often combined with azithromycin (which contains zinc), in COVID-19 treatment. The latter is the treatment that President Trump has been championing for weeks.

Both should be used with caution and under medical supervision. They can harm patients with certain types of heart ailments. Never self-medicate!

As is true in France, the American medical establishment is eager to pour cold water on Trump’s claims.

On April 16, 2020, MedRxiv published an abstract of one such study: ‘Outcomes of hydroxychloroquine usage in United States veterans hospitalized with Covid-19’, which ends as follows:

CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we found no evidence that use of hydroxychloroquine, either with or without azithromycin, reduced the risk of mechanical ventilation in patients hospitalized with Covid-19. An association of increased overall mortality was identified in patients treated with hydroxychloroquine alone. These findings highlight the importance of awaiting the results of ongoing prospective, randomized, controlled studies before widespread adoption of these drugs.

Yet, nearly half of America’s 50 states are stockpiling the drug, as Axios reported on April 25 (emphases in the original):

At least 22 states and Washington, D.C., are building up stores of the anti-malarial drug President Trump previously touted as a possible solution for the novel coronavirus, AP reports.

Why it matters: The Food and Drug Administration advised doctors Friday against prescribing hydroxychloroquine or the related drug chloroquine to coronavirus patients as it appears to be causing some serious and potentially life-threatening side effects.

    • ‘The warning comes as doctors at a New York hospital published a report that heart rhythm abnormalities developed in most of 84 coronavirus patients treated with hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic azithromycin, a combo Trump has promoted,” AP notes.

What they’re saying: “While clinical trials are ongoing to determine the safety and effectiveness of these drugs for COVID-19, there are known side effects of these medications that should be considered,” FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said.

The state of play: Some health experts worry the public could misuse the drug if it is made more widely available.

The FDA has authorised use of hydroxychloroquine under the following conditions, summarised on page 4 of their guidelines:

The hydroxychloroquine sulfate may only be used to treat adult and adolescent patients who weigh 50 kg or more hospitalized with COVID-19 for whom a clinical trial is not available, or participation is not feasible.9

South Dakota is the first state to participate in a trial of the drug:

Kudos to their governor, Kristi Noem, who ignored calls for lockdown. South Dakotans rewarded her with a parade:

But I digress.

Health Feedback is a site that debunks current coronavirus remedies or possible cures. Another is Poynter. Both must be busy.

There has been much talk of using ventilators on ICU patients with COVID-19. However, in some cases, ventilators do not always work and, in some instances, have worsened patients’ outcomes.

On March 20, Cleveland Clinic published an explanation of the damage that COVID-19 can do to the lungs, leading to the need for intensive care and, likely, a ventilator. Excerpts follow (emphases mine):

Although many people with COVID-19 have no symptoms or only mild symptoms, a subset of patients develop severe respiratory illness and may need to be admitted for intensive care.

In a new video, lung pathologist Sanjay Mukhopadhyay, MD, lays out in detail how the lungs are affected in these severe cases. The 15-minute video walks through how COVID-19 causes a “dangerous and potentially fatal” condition known as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) while providing stark images that underscore the severity of the damage that condition can cause to your lungs.

As Dr. Mukhopadhyay explains, Chinese researchers have linked COVID-19 to ARDS. Their study examined risk factors for 191 confirmed coronavirus patients who died while being treated in two hospitals in Wuhan, China.

The researchers found 50 of the 54 patients who died had developed ARDS while only nine of the 137 survivors had ARDS

If you have ARDS, you’ll have symptoms like sudden breathlessness, rapid breathing, dizziness, rapid heart rate and excessive sweating.

But the four main things doctors will look for are:

    • If you have an acute condition, symptoms that started within one week of what they call a “known clinical insult,” or new or worsening symptoms.
    • If your shortness of breath isn’t explained by heart failure or fluid overload.
    • Having low oxygen levels in your blood (severe hypoxia).
    • Both lungs appearing white and opaque (versus black) on chest X-rays (called bilateral lung opacities on chest imaging) …

There might have been other articles like this circulating recently, ones that mention hypoxia.

Hypoxia has been mentioned often in online discourse and in some online articles, such as one from April 5, posted on Medium, ‘Covid-19 had us all fooled, but now we might have finally found its secret’, written by a non-medic whose Medium account has since been deleted.

That article has appeared all over various fora over the past few weeks.

It does sound really plausible, even though Poynter and Health Feedback have both debunked it, which I’ll get to below.

Not being a medic or have anyone in the family who is, I’m just going to throw these excerpts out there.

As such, I wonder if this is accurate, i.e. something that front line physicians will mention a year from now. Anyone with a medical background reading this should feel free to leave a comment below.

The author explains why ventilators don’t always work on COVID-19 patients. This is what caught my eye:

There is no ‘pneumonia’ nor ARDS. At least not the ARDS with established treatment protocols and procedures we’re familiar with. Ventilators are not only the wrong solution, but high pressure intubation can actually wind up causing more damage than without, not to mention complications from tracheal scarring and ulcers given the duration of intubation often required… They may still have a use in the immediate future for patients too far to bring back with this newfound knowledge, but moving forward a new treatment protocol needs to be established so we stop treating patients for the wrong disease.

Then the author quotes someone in the medical profession who published a paper that seems to have gone nowhere (see below). Unfortunately, there is no reference to what or whom he quotes, which is this:

The past 48 hours or so have seen a huge revelation: COVID-19 causes prolonged and progressive hypoxia (starving your body of oxygen) by binding to the heme groups in hemoglobin in your red blood cells. People are simply desaturating (losing o2 in their blood), and that’s what eventually leads to organ failures that kill them, not any form of ARDS or pneumonia. All the damage to the lungs you see in CT scans are from the release of oxidative iron from the hemes, this overwhelms the natural defenses against pulmonary oxidative stress and causes that nice, always-bilateral ground glass opacity in the lungs. Patients returning for re-hospitalization days or weeks after recovery suffering from apparent delayed post-hypoxic leukoencephalopathy strengthen the notion COVID-19 patients are suffering from hypoxia despite no signs of respiratory ‘tire out’ or fatigue.

I only found the Medium article last week, but I have many COVID-19 links bookmarked, including this one from April 10:

The article is behind a paywall, but you can read it here in its entirety. The doctors the Telegraph interviewed seem to be saying the same as the Medium author does: no ARDS, no pneumonia, therefore, no ventilator, which can do more harm than good:

British and American intensive care doctors at the front line of the coronavirus crisis are starting to question the aggressive use of ventilators for the treatment of patients.

In many cases they say the machines, which are highly invasive and require the patient to be rendered unconscious, are being used too early and may cause more harm than good. Instead they are finding that less invasive forms of oxygen treatment through face masks or nasal cannulas work better for patients, even those with very low blood oxygen readings.

Dr Ron Daniels, a consultant in critical care at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, on Thursday confirmed reports from US medics that he and other NHS doctors were revising their view of when ventilators should be used.

At the heart of the issue was the “bizarre” and “frankly baffling” phenomenon of Covid-19 patients presenting with catastrophically low blood oxygen levels but few other ill effects.

The Telegraph says that this new protocol goes against prior received wisdom on the unknown COVID-19. Prime Minister Boris Johnson had been in intensive care that week, released back to a general ward on the evening of Maundy Thursday, April 9:

The initial recommendations from doctors in China and Italy were to ventilate Covid patients early and aggressively, with the so-called “PEEP” pressure on the machines turned up high so their lungs did not contract when they exhaled.

The initial message was treat as if you were treating for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) with a high PEEP,” said Daniels. “But now we are becoming braver. We are tolerating much lower blood oxygen levels and using lower pressures. We are learning as we go along”.

The alternative to mechanical ventilation is oxygen treatment delivered via a mask or a nasal cannula or via a non-invasive high flow device. This is the sort of treatment the Prime Minister Boris Johnson is said to be receiving in an intensive care unit at St Thomas’s hospital London. His blood oxygen levels are not known.

Increasingly doctors in the UK, America and Europe are using these less invasive measures and holding back on the use of mechanical ventilation for as long as possible

Doctors in Italy and Germany wrote to the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine last week making a similar point. They urged other doctors to be “patient” with Covid patients, arguing for “gentle ventilation” wherever possible

It is not known why Covid-19 allows some patients to tolerate such low blood oxygen readings without air hunger or obvious confusion. One clue may be that patients are still able to exhale carbon dioxide – a toxin – through their lungs even if they are having difficulty absorbing oxygen.

“The patients in front of me are unlike any I’ve ever seen,” one American doctor working in a Brooklyn hospital told the specialist health publication STAT this week. “They looked a lot more like they had altitude sickness than pneumonia.”

Dr Daniels agreed that there were similarities with altitude sickness, itself a potentially fatal condition. “We’ve seen a lot of headache and dizziness”, he noted …

You might have heard of Drs Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi, whose two-part press briefing in California was removed last week from YouTube. The two went against the received wisdom of the WHO. I watched both videos when they came out at the beginning of April. In the second video, they warned against the aggressive use of ventilators when treating COVID-19.

Therefore, the Medium article might not be either wrong or fake news with regard to ventilators.

It has an explanation of what might be happening whereby blood gets starved of oxygen through COVID-19, and it is this which has proven to be controversial with physicians:

Your red blood cells carry oxygen from your lungs to all your organs and the rest of your body. Red blood cells can do this thanks to hemoglobin, which is a protein consisting of four “hemes”. Hemes have a special kind of iron ion, which is normally quite toxic in its free form, locked away in its center with a porphyrin acting as it’s ‘container’. In this way, the iron ion can be ‘caged’ and carried around safely by the hemoglobin, but used to bind to oxygen when it gets to your lungs.

When the red blood cell gets to the alveoli, or the little sacs in your lungs where all the gas exchange happens, that special little iron ion can flip between FE2+ and FE3+ states with electron exchange and bond to some oxygen, then it goes off on its little merry way to deliver o2 elsewhere.

Here’s where COVID-19 comes in. Its glycoproteins bond to the heme, and in doing so that special and toxic oxidative iron ion is “disassociated” (released). It’s basically let out of the cage and now freely roaming around on its own. This is bad for two reasons:

1) Without the iron ion, hemoglobin can no longer bind to oxygen. Once all the hemoglobin is impaired, the red blood cell is essentially turned into a Freightliner truck cab with no trailer and no ability to store its cargo. It is useless and just running around with COVID-19 virus attached to its porphyrin. All these useless trucks running around not delivering oxygen is what starts to lead to desaturation, or watching the patient’s spo2 levels drop. It is INCORRECT to assume traditional ARDS and in doing so, you’re treating the WRONG DISEASE. Think of it a lot like carbon monoxide poisoning, in which CO is bound to the hemoglobin, making it unable to carry oxygen. In those cases, ventilators aren’t treating the root cause; the patient’s lungs aren’t ‘tiring out’, they’re pumping just fine. The red blood cells just can’t carry o2, end of story. Only in this case, unlike CO poisoning in which eventually the CO can break off, the affected hemoglobin is permanently stripped of its ability to carry o2 because it has lost its iron ion. The body compensates for this lack of o2 carrying capacity and deliveries by having your kidneys release hormones like erythropoietin, which tell your bone marrow factories to ramp up production on new red blood cells with freshly made and fully functioning hemoglobin. This is the reason you find elevated hemoglobin and decreased blood oxygen saturation as one of the 3 primary indicators of whether the shit is about to hit the fan for a particular patient or not.

2) That little iron ion, along with millions of its friends released from other hemes, are now floating through your blood freely. As I mentioned before, this type of iron ion is highly reactive and causes oxidative damage. It turns out that this happens to a limited extent naturally in our bodies and we have cleanup & defense mechanisms to keep the balance. The lungs, in particular, have 3 primary defenses to maintain “iron homeostasis”, 2 of which are in the alveoli, those little sacs in your lungs we talked about earlier. The first of the two are little macrophages that roam around and scavenge up any free radicals like this oxidative iron. The second is a lining on the walls (called the epithelial surface) which has a thin layer of fluid packed with high levels of antioxidant molecules… things like ascorbic acid (AKA Vitamin C) among others. Well, this is usually good enough for naturally occurring rogue iron ions but with COVID-19 running rampant your body is now basically like a progressive state letting out all the prisoners out of the prisonsit’s just too much iron and it begins to overwhelm your lungs’ countermeasures, and thus begins the process of pulmonary oxidative stress. This leads to damage and inflammation, which leads to all that nasty stuff and damage you see in CT scans of COVID-19 patient lungs. Ever noticed how it’s always bilateral? (both lungs at the same time) Pneumonia rarely ever does that, but COVID-19 does… EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

Poynter says this is clearly wrong:

The claim that COVID-19 causes hypoxia because the causative virus binds to hemoglobin in red blood cells is unsupported. For starters, no scientific evidence demonstrates that SARS-CoV-2 can enter red blood cells. The claim that the virus binds to hemoglobin is founded on the conclusions of a single pre-print, which solely involves computational analysis, without experimental verification or peer-review. The mechanism proposed is also inconsistent with clinical evidence from COVID-19 patients.

Health Feedback posted their refutation on Wednesday, April 15. It is lengthy and thorough. Excerpts follow:

Scientists told Health Feedback that the claim was not supported by experimental and clinical evidence. “There is no direct biological evidence that SARS-CoV-2 proteins interact with hemoglobin. The claim is based on a single study performed purely in silico without proper wet lab validation,” explained Victor Tseng, pulmonologist and assistant professor of medicine at Emory University. Eva Nozik-Grayck, clinician-scientist and critical care specialist at the Children’s Hospital Colorado, stated that “without any experimental evidence, it is dangerous and misleading to make these claims.”

David Irwin, associate professor at the University of Colorado Denver, who studies hemoglobin and hypoxia, questioned the conclusions of the ChemRxiv pre-print that served as the basis for the claim. “The authors show no convincing data to suggest that the [viral] proteins of interest, such as Orf8, etc., actually bind heme other than in modeling theories. Most troubling is that there is no way that we know of to suggest that the virus accesses hemoglobin in red blood cells to attack the heme as described in the manuscript,” he said.

A Medium article authored by Matthew Amdahl, a clinician-scientist and hemoglobin researcher at the University of Pittsburgh, details the numerous problems with [Medium author] Gaiziunas’ hypothesis. Notably, he pointed out that SARS-CoV-2 is larger than the entire hemoglobin protein, but according to Gaiziunas’ hypothesis, would somehow manage to fit into “a space barely large enough for two-atom molecules like oxygen (O2)” in order to eject iron from hemoglobin and bind to porphyrin:

To put it charitably, this would be an entirely novel and seemingly impossible sort of chemistry, and there is absolutely no scientific evidence that supports such a possibility. It’s this seemingly impossible interaction that forms the foundation of the blog post’s entire argument, and so the remainder of the conclusions drawn by the blogger simply don’t carry any weight.

Furthermore, clinical evidence from COVID-19 patients contradict Gaiziunas’ hypothesis. Firstly, supposing that the virus did bind to hemoglobin and ejected iron from red blood cells, this would have produced a modified form of hemoglobin that has an altered ability to bind to oxygen, which can be detected by measuring the oxyhemoglobin dissociation constant

In summary, while scientists have not ruled out a potential link between changes in red blood cell physiology and hypoxia observed in COVID-19 patients, the mechanisms proposed by Gaiziunas are founded on little to no scientific evidence, are highly implausible given what we already know of hemoglobin and the virus, and are contradicted by clinical evidence in COVID-19 patients.

We might find out more about hypoxia in COVID-19 patients in a year’s time.

For now, I can’t help but wonder if this type of hypoxia explains why hospitals have been refusing more ventilators for COVID-19 patients.

In the meantime, returning to Prof Didier Raoult, it seems that renegades are never in vogue with the establishment.

More power to him for successfully trialling on his coronavirus patients an inexpensive, prescription anti-malarial that has been on the market for decades. Well done. Millions of us support him in his work.

Yesterday’s post was about the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a historic and happy occasion, to put it mildly.

However, while reunification has not been easy, the relationship between the western and eastern regions of Germany has been a historically uneasy one in some ways.

James Hawes, the author of The Shortest History of Germany, on sale in 20 different countries, wrote a short but information-packed article for UnHerd: ‘It wasn’t the Berlin Wall that divided Germany’. It is well worth reading. Even though I took World History in school, there is much here about Germany that I did not know.

A summary with excerpts follows. Emphases mine.

In the Middle Ages, as the Church was gaining adherents in the western half of what we know as Germany, the eastern half was comprised of pagan tribes. The river Elbe was the demarcation line between these two groups of people:

While early medieval western Europe was developing its unique signature, the power-sharing of international Church and national-state, the lands beyond the river Elbe were still populated by pagan, illiterate tribes. No real attempt was made to exert German control and settlement beyond that point until 1147; Cologne had already been a flourishing western European city for 1,200 years when the first German conqueror-farmers reached Berlin.

… East of the Elbe, the Germans never entirely supplanted the Slavs (some, the Sorbs, remain even in the truncated eastern Germany of today, just north of Dresden).

Hence the importance of subsequent Prussian rule and influence over the East:

The Germans of the east came to accept rule by a caste of warlords — the famous Prussian Junkers — and, later, the new Lutheran paradigm of a state which controlled its very own Church and against which there was hence no appeal.

Not for nothing did Friedrich Hayek see Prussia as the template for all modern totalitarian states, whether of the Left or of the Right. Max Weber constantly referred to a place he called Ostelbien, East Elbia, palpably different, for all its local variation, to ciselbian, western Germany.

Once suffrage was granted, voting patterns were very different between these two regions:

Of course, psychologists, philosophers and sociologists can all be wrong and often are. Electoral maps, however, do not lie. They show that ever since Germans have had votes, eastern Germans have voted very differently from western Germans.

Under the German Empire (1871-1918), the Prussian Conservatives — conservative in this context meaning supporters of royal and militarist rule under an agrarian Junker elite — depended almost completely on votes from the East, having scarcely any traction at all in the West.

The First World War changed nothing. In the first normal elections of the Weimar Republic, the extreme Prussian conservatives of the DNVP (officially anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic, violently antidemocratic, their members implicated in several high-profile political murders) were the second largest party nationally but — exactly as with the AfD today — that position was entirely dependent on votes from the East.

And when the deluge finally came in 1933 it was, again, only thanks to heavy votes in the East that Hitler got 43.9% nationally, enabling him (with support from the rump DNVP) to seize power by semi-constitutional means. If the whole country had voted like the Rhineland or Munich, he could only have attempted an armed coup, which the Army would have crushed.

Such patterns have continued to the present day, with nationalist and populist parties more popular in the east than the west.

Further disparity has resulted economically, from the western regions propping those up on the east:

well over €2 trillion has been pumped from Western taxpayers to the East. The so-called Reunification has dragged West Germany back into the role which Bismarck assigned it: to subsidise the economically moribund East because it is their patriotic duty.

Western German voters, rather sick of this, are more and more wary of keeping up this settlement, on top of their traditional role as paymasters of the stable Europe from which German industry benefits so greatly. Yet the Prussian myth of “reunification” has trumped economic reality, which goes to show something we in Britain should know all too well: that there is nothing worse for a country than to misunderstand its own history …

The founder of West Germany, Conrad Adenauer, knew his history. After the First World War he begged the French and British to help him split Prussia off from Germany. When he had to visit Berlin, he would always draw the curtains of his train compartment as he crossed the fatal River Elbe, muttering “Here we go, Asia again!” (“Schon wieder Asien!”) After the second war, though obliged in public to support re-unification, he told the British most secretly that he was determined it should never happen.

To top it all off, both sides of Germany also have a different opinion on the EU, a further source of friction, according to German journalist Sabine Beppler-Spahl in ‘After the Berlin Wall: whither democracy’:

Sabine Beppler-Spahl explains that the calls for reunification of Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall were as surprising as the fall of the Wall itself in 1989. The GDR was the German Democratic Republic — East Germany:

It is true that the first banners demanding reunification only appeared after the wall fell, and the GDR had all but collapsed. But that was because of the great dangers involved in demanding reunification in the GDR while it still existed. Hence the original protest slogan was ‘Wir sind das Volk’ (‘We are the people), which was directed at the GDR’s Stalinist government. But from mid-November onwards, it changed to ‘Wir sind ein Volk’ (‘We are one people’), which was directed at the establishment in the West. Soon calls for reunification became so powerful that they could no longer be ignored.

In calling for reunification, people were demanding rights that had been withheld for decades. These included an end to the command economy, with all its hardships, and above all, democracy. When the first free elections were held in March 1990, an impressive 93.4 per cent of the population in the old East took part – which remains the highest ever turnout in any free election in Germany. East Germans didn’t need to be convinced of the virtues of civil liberty and democracy. That’s because, as political scientist Robert Rohrschneider put it in 1999, they knew what it meant to live in an authoritarian system (1).

One of the most amazing aspects of 1989 was that, across Europe, few in power expected it. ‘Of course we said that we believed in reunification, because we knew that it would never happen’, said former UK prime minister Edward Heath in 1989. When reunification did appear on the popular agenda, it became apparent how large and diverse the opposition to it was. It included the most unlikely of allies, from prominent former East German civil-rights activists (2) and the West German SPD and Green Party, to many Western European heads of state.

The Greens were against reunification and wanted reform of the GDR instead:

Several former East German dissidents, like Bärbel Bohley, campaigned for reform of the GDR system. She and others identified with the environmentalist and anti-consumerist rhetoric of the West German Green Party, which was very successful during the 1980s. The Greens, like large sections of the West German Social Democrats and others, identified with Stalinism more than they liked to admit. They were turned off by the sight of so many people demanding democracy and an end to the command economy. So they became supporters of the status quo. ‘We were anti-nationalists’, explained former Green Party leader Ralf Fücks in 2015.

That should tell you something about why opponents to the Greens call them the ‘watermelon party’ — green on the outside, red on the inside.

That said, Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister at the time, also opposed reunification. So did France’s Socialist president, François Mitterand:

Outside of Germany, the speed and turn of events also prompted apprehension. On 28 November, [Chancellor Helmut] Kohl presented his ’10-point programme for the formation of a contractual community’ (effectively, a plan for German reunification). The then British prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, who had made no secret of her hostility to reunification, quickly demanded that any talk of a united Germany should be postponed for at least five to 10 years (3). French president François Mitterrand informed a group of journalists that he considered German reunification a ‘legal and political impossibility’. A reunited Germany ‘as an independent, uncontrolled power was unbearable for Europe’, he concluded.

The then-US president George HW Bush — Bush I — was Chancellor Kohl’s greatest ally:

With Western Europe’s most powerful states opposed to reunification, Kohl’s most reliable ally became US president George HW Bush. As journalist Elizabeth Pond wrote, the US played a decisive role in reversing the resistance of the British and French. There was, however, one condition placed on German reunification – it was to take place within the European Community.

Although reunification took place on October 3, 1990, it did not happen overnight. The terms of the controversial Maastricht Treaty, signed in 1992, were the only way France would agree to a formally reunified Germany:

The most far-reaching part of Maastricht – and the most contested within Germany itself – was the decision to create a monetary union, with a common currency, namely, the Euro. According to historians Andreas Rödder and Heinrich August Winkler, Kohl accepted that a reunified Germany would have to enter a monetary union in order to win support for reunification from France. It was a concession that came at a price for the French, too. It meant the French state was also to be bound to the fiscal rules and regulations of the EU. As French political scientist Anne-Marie Le Goannec explains in L’Allemagne Après la Guerre Froide, it was France’s admiration for the ‘German Model’ that helped Kohl push through the fiscal rules of the EU. Maastricht, however, was unpopular from the start. And in a referendum held in France in September 1992, only 50.8 per cent voted in favour of it.

Whereas the French public were consulted over Maastricht, the Germans had no say:

Maastricht was also unpopular in Germany. Unlike the French electorate, however, the German electorate was never consulted. The absence of any public vote was compounded by the weakness of the opposition SPD, which had never recovered from its position on reunification. It meant that Kohl’s government was given a free hand to reunify Germany as a part of the European Union.

Although most Germans approved of Maastricht when Kohl’s government ratified it, by the mid-1990s, sentiment had changed dramatically:

Admittedly, support for a united Europe had been high in the early 1990s, especially in the former GDR, where over 85 per cent were in favour, compared with 70 per cent in the former West. By 1996, however, support had dropped to 35 per cent in the east and 40 per cent in the west (4). Christopher J Andersen, a professor of political science at New York State University, attributes the sharp drop-off in enthusiasm for the EU to the job losses and economic problems that plagued the former East German economy (5).

In brief, reunification under EU rules brought about years of change that no one had expected:

It wasn’t just the abolition of the well-loved Deutsche Mark, pushed through by Kohl, which annoyed so many Germans. Other deeply unpopular policy measures, which would probably have been rejected by the electorate, if they’d ever been asked, included: the expansion of the EU; the free movement of cheap labour from impoverished eastern Europe (leading to wage depression); the German military intervention in the Yugoslav war; the handling of the Greek debt crisis; and the temporary loss of control over borders. Again and again the structures of the EU have allowed different German governments to ignore the opinions of the electorate and pursue unpopular policies.

This year, the East has shown that it sees reunification differently to the West and is reacting against the EU:

The Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party has led three successful election campaigns in the former East German states of Brandenburg and Saxony (in September 2019) and Thuringia (October 2019), using the slogan, ‘Vollende die Wende’ (‘complete reunification’). The slogan was widely criticised in the media. ‘People are told to go back on to the streets, like they did in 1989, and bring the system down’, said one journalist on a programme entitled How the AfD has appropriated reunification. Elsewhere, an open letter, written by a group of former GDR civil-rights activists, accused the AfD of ‘historical lies’. But the AfD can also point to several former dissidents who sympathise with it. And so the battle over the meaning of 1989, which is simultaneously about today’s politics, is set to continue.

No doubt some Germans living in the East would agree with another article from UnHerd, ’10 things I hate about Germany’, which discusses various economic and political policies from Angela Merkel. EU-loving Britons point to Germany as the be-all and end-all, the role model to which we must look up. Ultimately:

the Germans may be no worse than we are, but they’re certainly no better.

I could not agree more.

Germany is a great place to visit. The German people I’ve met have been courteous and friendly. The architecture is fabulous. Shopping is excellent.

However, no EU nation is a be-all and end-all — not under Brussels and the Maastricht system.

Were you around when the Berlin Wall fell on November 9, 1989?

I remember it. What an exciting time it was, too, even for those of us watching events unfold on television news.

This short video from Germany’s Federal Foreign Office explains its history from 1961 to 1989:

Professional photographer Tom Stoddart was fortunate to track down a brother and sister whose photo he took on November 9, 1989. Amazing:

Here is another Tom Stoddart image of the fall of the Wall:

The following video from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office features two British diplomats serving in Berlin at the time. One explains that they had diplomatic passports to allow them into the East, but, even then, the Stasi had their eyes on them the entire time. Families could not travel together from West Berlin to see other family members in East Berlin. Only one family member could go from West to East for visits. Of course, there was no traffic by East Berliners to the West, which explains the mix of anger and joy that people from East Berlin felt once the barrier came down:

I was unaware that people dug tunnels under the Wall in order to escape from East to West:

East-West passport control was risky, especially for those who had escaped:

This is an excellent ‘before and after’ photo, followed by one of Checkpoint Charlie:

Here is a photo of one of the many men who chipped away at the Wall:

Once it came down, yes, we thought the hankering for left-wing politics would end. Unfortunately, we were wrong:

This has implications for the UK’s upcoming general election on December 12:

And, if we look at Venezuela, Marxist politicians and their rich friends are thriving when everyone else is attempting to survive:

But I digress.

Now to conclude on the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany, which took place on October 3, 1990. It hasn’t been easy for either side to reunite economically. What was East Germany still suffers as the western half continues to attract new business investment. This brief report from a German business channel with English subtitles explains the situation:

However, at least personal freedom continues to flourish in a reunited Germany.

To mark that freedom, one upon which President Ronald Reagan insisted at the time, the American Embassy in Germany unveiled a statue in his honour last week. It is sad that people in Berlin did not want it accessible to the general public. Reagan was a huge influence in the fall of the Wall:

On a seasonal note, Germany’s Christmas markets are open, including those in Leipzig and Dresden, once again flourishing cities after decades of communist rule:

We should be grateful for the fall of the Berlin Wall 30 years ago.

May such a division and an oppressive political regime never be repeated. Pray that North Korea will be reunified with its southern neighbour.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be visiting our European neighbours this week before the G7 conference in Biarritz:

Reuters reports (emphases mine):

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will tell French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the Westminster parliament cannot stop Brexit and a new deal must be agreed if Britain is to avoid leaving the EU without one.

In his first trip abroad as leader, Johnson is due to meet his European counterparts ahead of a G7 summit on Aug. 24-26 in Biarritz, France.

He will say that Britain is leaving the European Union on Oct. 31, with or without a deal, and that the British parliament cannot block that, according to a Downing Street source.

Despite Parliament’s summer recess, Remain MPs have been in various discussions as to how to stop our leaving, deal or no deal, on October 31:

It is, however, unclear if lawmakers have the unity or power to use the British parliament to prevent a no-deal Brexit on Oct. 31 – likely to be the United Kingdom’s most significant move since World War Two.

Sky News reports that No. 10 says Brexit will be but a small part of Boris’s discussions with France and Germany:

… Number 10 said it expects there to be “very little discussion” of Brexit during the visit to Berlin on Wednesday and Paris on Thursday, with other topics to be the focus.

Discussions are expected to centre around the next G7 summit in Biarritz, France, next weekend, with trade, foreign policy, security and the environment set to be on the table.

Number 10 said Mr Johnson would discuss issues such as climate change with his fellow leaders, adding: “The EU are our closest neighbours and whatever happens we want a strong relationship after we leave.”

Thanks to Boris’s leadership thus far, the Conservative Party once again leads in the polls:

British voters believe that Boris would make the best PM:

Nevertheless, Labour MPs think they can overturn triggering of Article 50. Whether this can be done is of some debate:

The Speaker of the House, John Bercow, is supposed to be impartial, yet, he, too, is said to be plotting against No Deal:

Boris’s government tied up one loose end at the weekend:

This was something Theresa May was supposed to instruct Stephen Barclay (pictured) to do — but didn’t:

There were two significant leaks in the past few days.

One was Boris’s Brexit ‘script’, left behind in a London pub, allegedly by a civil servant. Tell me this was not deliberate:

The other was a copy of Operation Yellowhammer, which contains all the worst case scenarios in case of No Deal:

The Sunday Times made this look like news, but Yellowhammer first surfaced on Wednesday, March 20 in preparation for our original March 29 exit date.

That day, the Express reported:

Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay told Cabinet ministers in a letter the plan will be implemented on March 25 unless a new exit date is agreed. Operation Yellowhammer is the UK Treasury’s contingency plan for no deal exit from the bloc. The plan drafts what would happen for factors such as money, citizens, trade and customs.

According to the Daily Telegraph, if no date is set by Monday Operation Yellowhammer will be implemented.

In a letter to Cabinet ministers, Mr Barclay wrote: “Operation Yellowhammer command and control structures will be enacted fully on 25 March unless a new exit date has been agreed between the UK and the EU.”

The Guardian‘s story, also published that day, had more information:

With the country placed on a knife-edge by Theresa May’s latest Brexit crisis, the government is preparing for “any outcome” with a decision on Monday on whether to roll out the national Operation Yellowhammer contingencies for food, medicine and banking.

Some measures have already swung into place, including Operation Fennel’s traffic management in Kent.

The Europe minister, Alan Duncan, has also said the Foreign Office staff deployed to its Brexit “nerve centre” are working to help UK citizens in the EU in the event they get caught up in a Brexit mess.

The Department of Health was due to activate emergency supply chain operations, with instructions to medicines suppliers to book space on ferries to ensure they are not caught up in queues from next weekend in the event of no-deal.

They are just two of the 12 Operation Yellowhammer areas of risk the government has planned for in the event of a crash-out, according to a National Audit Office report [pdf]. It will decide next Monday if they should all become operational, enacting no-deal plans in 30 central government departments and 42 local councils, two devolved governments and in Northern Ireland.

Yellowhammer also had measures in place for Gibraltar. Fortunately, the government there was quick to point out that Yellowhammer as published is now out of date:

Interestingly, the week before, the island’s government reminded residents to prepare for a No Deal Brexit:

But I digress.

Meanwhile, back in the UK, Michael Gove, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, tweeted:

Sky News had more about Gove’s explanation:

Sebastian Payne of the Financial Times tweeted:

Boris is also displeased with Theresa May’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, who has been predicting all manner of Project Fear disasters if No Deal comes about on October 31:

However, Germany had an important leak of its own at the same time as Yellowhammer resurfaced in the UK:

Good. I was also heartened to see the view of Boris from Berlin:

Absolutely correct.

I wish Boris Johnson all the best in his meetings this week with our European partners.

Of course, the EU will do everything possible to keep the UK’s money coming in. It looks as if this will be until the end of the year.

As I write in the middle of the afternoon, this is the current status of Brexit with regard to an EU extension.

On Monday night, Yvette Cooper’s Bill No. 5 passed the House, preventing No Deal from the British side. PM Theresa May must now seek a further extension date with the EU to at least June 30, but probably longer:

Today’s parliamentary debates involved discussing an extension until June 30, possibly longer. Talks also continued between Conservatives and Labour to arrive at a way forward for Brexit conditions.

EU leaders meet on Wednesday, April 10, to discuss whether to grant the UK another Article 50 extension. Currently, the deadline is Friday, April 12, however, this is likely to be extended.

Meanwhile, MPs advocating a No Deal on Friday are being realistic. Germany already has proposals for No Deal deals with Britain in that event:

In any event, PM May went to Berlin and Paris to propose a new extension date with Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron, respectively.

This morning, France’s finance minister Bruno Le Maire did not think that there was any rationale for a further extension without solid justification. The Guardian reported that he said:

There is need for clarity on why the delay and how it will in the end facilitate an agreement.

I prefer an agreement. But Theresa May should give us the reasons why she wants the delay and these reasons must be credible.

EU ministers were meeting in Luxembourg today, where Brexit was on the agenda ahead of tomorrow’s summit. Germany’s Michael Roth, France’s Amelie de Montchalin and Ireland’s Simon Coveney all expressed their frustration and hoped that May had a decent justification for a further extension.

After the EU ministers met, they held a press conference. George Ciamba, the Romanian foreign affairs minister, said that No Deal was still a possibility. He said that May’s plan — the Withdrawal Agreement (a treaty) — was the only way forward in terms of exiting the EU. Michel Barnier, the UK’s chief negotiator from the EU, said that a long extension — e.g. until the end of the year — might be reliant on the addition of customs union membership to the Political Declaration accompanying the Withdrawal Agreement. UGH! He affirmed that the EU does not want No Deal.

He also said that the current Withdrawal Agreement was final — no further negotiations on the Irish border:

Just before lunchtime, PM May arrived in Berlin to meet with Chancellor Merkel.

While they greeted each other and posed for a photo op, Conservative MP Liam Fox, Britain’s international trade secretary issued a letter firmly stating his opposition to a customs union. He is entirely correct:

It is thought that French president Emmanuel Macron could say on Wednesday that the UK will not be granted an extension beyond December 31 and that three-monthly compliance checks on Britain’s progress might be obligatory.

More to follow tomorrow.

On Friday, March 29, 2019, Britain is — or was — supposed to leave the European Union.

That date has now been extended to April 12 and possibly further, should Parliament agree to participate in EU elections this summer.

It was not supposed to end like this. Brexit was supposed to happen by March 29, as Prime Minister Theresa May had pledged it would.

My personal suspicion is that Remainer MPs have been running down the clock for months so that the PM would be forced to go to Brussels to get an extension from the EU.

This week, anything could happen. It is doubtful a third vote on the PM’s deal — a softer Brexit — will pass. It is also unknown whether we will see a no deal exit, even though I’d be quite happy with that:

This week, we will see all sorts of Remainer MP amendments which Remainer Speaker of the House John Bercow will table for a vote.

It should be noted that the Leader of the Opposition, Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn, was in Brussels on Thursday, April 22, at the same time as Theresa May. Hmm. What will he be announcing this week?

What follows are possible routes Brexit negotiations could take.

Incidentally, I wrote this on Friday, March 22, based on available information at the time.

The reason for a possible Brexit delay

As you read the rest of this post, it is important to keep in mind the figures on this graphic from Jacob Rees-Mogg, Conservative MP for North East Somerset and member of the pro-Brexit European Research Group (ERG). The important item is the last one, visible only if you click on the image:

From that last item, you can see that the overwhelming majority of MPs are Remainers.

Extension dates

As it stands, the PM walked away from her discussion in Brussels with an immediate extension to Friday, April 12:

However, if she gets momentum with Parliament on a way forward, that could be extended to May 22:

This is a good summary:

There is also the possibility that, if Parliament decided to go down a route whereby the UK could get an even longer extension, then we would take part in EU elections. Personally, I hope this does not happen.

The following comments from a thread at PoliticalBetting.com explain more. MV3 — Meaningful Vote 3 — is the third vote MPs will have on Theresa May’s exit plan on Tuesday, March 26. HOC is House of Commons:

F: … the need for an enabling bill for the Euro elections is why the date is April 12th. It is a prerequesite for a longer extension. If MV3 fails then voting against a Euro elections bill means voting for No Deal.

B: I am so pleased we are on the same page Foxy

It has been a battle over the last few days and this morning especially, to explain the 12th April was selected by the EU as it is the last date before the campaign for the EU elections and we have to take part if we want an extension of any kind

It is up to the HOC, but I am truly dismayed at how journalists, media and politicians are not explaining this in detail, as it was one of the most important issues coming from the EU

Also:

P: But according to Wiki at least the repeal of the European Elections Act hasn’t been enacted yet. Therefore if we wish to hold elections we can presumably do so under the old act that is still legally current legislation. We just need to commit to do so as the law is still on the books. 

Political parties are preparing to take part in EU elections, as is top Leave campaigner, Nigel Farage, MEP and former UKIP leader:

Possible MV3 result

In order for MV3 to take place, PM May must amend her deal.

As she has not succeeded in getting her deal passed in the previous two Meaningful Votes, it is uncertain whether Tuesday’s vote, even with changes, will be any different — especially if MPs can vote freely and not follow a party line. That could spell bad news for Leavers:

Also:

Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn spent time in Brussels with Martin Selmayr, the Secretary-General of the EU commission. The Labour plan appears to entail joining a UK-EU customs union that would exclude other countries. Yet, Selmayr celebrated the European Economic Area Agreement (EEAA), which would also oblige the UK to follow EU rules, even if we were no longer formally in the EU. Selmayr conveniently leaves that out of his tweet:

A hiccup could result in one less vote for the PM’s deal because of the following:

In principle, should MV3 fail, May would go for a no deal exit on March 29:

However, the EU extension and further negotiations between the PM and Parliament could change that:

Confusion reigns

One thing of which we can be certain: May’s trip to Brussels has delayed Brexit.

The EU extension to Brexit was subject to unanimous approval of the 27 member nations. Given Matteo Salvini’s criticism of the EU, it seemed that Italy would vote against. Ditto Poland. But no:

The only real public comments came from France’s president, Emmanuel Macron:

At the end of last week, even May’s own cabinet members were in a state of confusion, although to be fair, they have been known for leaking:

May seems to be more conciliatory since her announcement on Wednesday night at No. 10, wherein she was critical of MPs for not moving Brexit along. On Thursday, after her day in Brussels:

All possibilities on the table

The chart below shows all the complex possibilities surrounding Brexit at the moment.

Click on the graphic and it will automatically open in a new tab. Then click on the image to enlarge the text:

Deal or no deal?

The border situation between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland is a primary sticking point in Brexit negotiations and parliamentary voting.

Currently, the border is open. With no deal, Remainers say it would be closed.

However, that might not be the case — even as far as the EU is concerned.

While former Conservative MP Michael Portillo threw cold water on no deal on Thursday:

On Friday, good news emerged from no less than Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel:

Leave supporters can but hope that Mrs May is able to get the UK out of the EU by April 12.

More to follow when significant developments occur.

Forbidden Bible Verses will appear tomorrow.

Pointman’s is a great site for socio-political commentary not only on the present but also the past.

On January 5, 2018, Pointman wrote about phony political parties, jaundiced voters and declining governments. Please take the time to read ‘The Misrepresentation of the People Act’ in full.

Excerpts follow, emphases mine.

Political party set-ups are essentially the same wherever one lives:

The actual names vary from country to country; Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Labour, Liberal or Labor. There are always a few tiddler or schism parties wandering aimlessly around the political edges going nowhere accompanied by nothing other than their own strident outrage at something or another, but the essential shape is two big mainline parties, or in some cases as in Germany, comfortable coalitions of such long-standing that they might as well be one party anyway.

As we know, one party is in power for a time, then the opposition party takes hold of the reins, then the cycle repeats. Sometimes this works. Sometimes it doesn’t:

When it works as it should, it’s a pragmatic recognition of the debilitating aspects of the same party being in power for too long, and also acts as a natural emetic to get rid of them. That hackneyed old saying about the corrupting effect of power is very true …

Where this paradigm breaks down is when the leaders of both the parties begin to treat the whole election process as a turn and turn about thing; okay, you’ve won power for a couple of administrations and then it’ll be our turn. We won’t rock the boat too hard for you other than giving you a jolly strict telling off when you make a public cockup of something. The unspoken but understood caveat on being an effectively quiescent opposition party is that the big players in it still get a decent share of the power and money floating around that’s commensurate with such tacit co-operation.

When the system doesn’t work, it is because both parties have too many commonly-shared interests:

The people running these parties, and being run themselves by big money interests in various shapes and forms, tend to share the same education, privileged background and über political world views of what used to be termed internationalism but has now mutated into a bastardised consensus of smug political globalisation, because that’s what’s really good for their super rich patrons.

For the low-information person, including a voter, a change of government looks stable and normal. However, that is not necessarily the case:

it’s inherently unstable since it lacks any feedback to correct the corruption such power in perpetuity will inevitably engender. It pushes the day of reckoning further ahead, but that day will arrive in the end.

As always, the basic cause allowing this situation to develop is electorates disinterested in politics who sleepwalk into this mess. For too many years they’ve listened to the vague promises of jam tomorrow from political con men whose only talent is stringing the mark along.

That has troubled me, personally, especially when I speak with Americans who invariably elect the same people for years and years on end. These are congress-critters and senators who are useless in serving their constituents, yet Americans keep re-electing them. It really bugs me a lot.

Now and then, someone new and fresh emerges on the scene who is elected, but they seldom seem to be around very long. But, no one cares, and the cycle of electing self-serving politicians continues:

There is a propriety Antipodean shortcut into this situation which involves electing a reasonably sane leader who’s very quickly stabbed in the back by one of his underlings who turns out to be incompetent but has the saving grace of being eminently corrupt. Anyway, this combination of lazy electorates and seemingly Alzheimer stricken populations who can’t quite connect promises made and promises not fulfilled, will eventually break down.

This definitely happened in the United States, and one man is doing his very best to rectify the situation. That said, there is still a lot of rot in both the Democrat (un-‘Democratic’) and Republican parties, to the extent that politically-aware voters have dubbed both the Uniparty. And, what follows is a highly accurate description of the end result that the Uniparty and, in other countries, long-term coalitions bring about:

It’s all about them, not you. The vested interests prosper at the expense of impoverishing the ordinary person, irrespective of their race, colour, creed or politics …

By this late stage, the bulk of electorates are totally jaundiced about any involvement in the political process and those actively engaged in it as foot soldiers are starting to suspect they’re not even a minor player in the game, but the football. They’re regarded by their betters as highly motivated, but easily manipulated drones busy at work producing honey for their masters.

By this time we’re heading into stage 4 cancer in the body politic, but the status quo of those deeply entrenched in power will start to defend itself by any and all means available, whether legal or not. Imagine getting the snouts of a hungry herd of swine out of a steaming swill-filled trough, and you’ve got a pretty good idea of the immensity of the task.

The next stage is to create a new — phony — third political party that sweeps into power:

As the new broom of the faux opposition party being elected isn’t working any more, it’s possible to invent a third party that’s making all the right reformist noises but is still a cat’s-paw of the current background interests.

Much of the time, these parties are unsuccessful.

Pointman says this happened in Greece …

It was a freshly minted party by the power mongers which just continued on in the same old way, but was quickly found out.

… and in France, with Emmanuel Macron in 2017:

with a hitherto unknown leader Fifi Macron mincing around in front of it and making all the right noises. A few months in, he promptly junked the modest tax reforms of the previous nominally left-wing administration which were a tad too expensive on his extremely rich backers who’d put him into power to do just that. At the same time, he started lumping more and more taxes on blue and white-collar workers.

Today, Emmanuel Macron is facing the prospect of a ninth weekend of demonstrations by overly taxed, low income French men and women: the yellow vest movement — les gilets jaunes:

Despite disparaging reports you might have heard about them, they’re painfully ordinary people struggling to survive in Macron’s France. There’s a lot of them and they’re composed of that most dangerous segment of any electorate, those pushed into a corner with no way out and not much to lose.

As I listen to French talk radio (RMC) every weekday, I have been following this movement with interest — and the way in which Les Grandes Gueules are covering them. For the first few weeks, the hosts and panellists were empathetic. Before Christmas, their opinions became more critical, which made for interesting discussions as some panellists are still on the side of les gilets jaunes. Fair enough, shops and restaurants lost a lot of trade in cities at the heart of the protests, but the media seemed to focus on the violence rather than the vast majority of peaceful protesters. This year, the media, including the two Grandes Gueules presenters, are shifting the narrative a bit towards the ‘we’ve all had enough of les gilets jaunes‘.

One thing that did not help the yellow jackets’ cause was the vehicular break-in at one of the French ministries last weekend. The other was a boxer who started punching policemen, also last weekend. He had no criminal record prior to that.

Once the weekend demonstrations became a regular fixture — about a month in — violent rabble-rousers started infiltrating the movement, which has attracted a few extremists from both the Left and the Right.

This ongoing violence gave the media carte blanche to negatively cover the movement as a whole. Lately, there has been less coverage of the ordinary gilet jaunes who gather to protest because they cannot make ends meet.

The media were rightly, in my opinion, taken to task for it today. Here is Michel Onfray, a philosopher, who tells them the media have been labelling les gilets jaunes racist, sexist, homophobic and everything else pejorative under the sun. And he accuses the two Grandes Gueules hosts of similar negative coverage — equally ‘staggering’ (sidérant). They did not like that at all:

This weekend, it will be interesting to see if the government — via the police — allows any protests to go ahead.

Pointman already sussed that on January 5, and referred to preventive arrests made near the end of 2018:

Riot cops or paramilitary thugs are deployed to brutally suppress public demonstrations against an administration that’s becoming a dictatorship in all but name. Not only are public demonstrations being physically attacked, but wholesale arrests and incarcerations start to become the norm. Behind the scenes, preventive arrests start to be made. With regard to the weekend after weekend protests in France, numbers like 1400 arrests made are bandied about by the Quisling media, but what’s not being disclosed is 1000 of these were preventive arrests. Arrest and imprisonment of people before any protest has even been made. When that begins, we’re on the slippery slope with occasional stops for doing things like arresting schoolchildren and treating them like POWs.

He reminds us of the situation in Venezuela:

If the government manages to put down what is in effect a rebellion, you end up with a dictatorship with a nice name like the Democratic People’s Republic of Whatever, as happened in Venezuela and with the usual dire results for the inhabitants.

The alternative is something akin to America’s Revolutionary War, which had a good outcome.

Pointman then discussed President Trump and the constant opposition he is facing:

A third and extremely rare outcome is a natural leader primarily in touch with the people rising to power. Even more rarely, if not uniquely, that person comes from the super-rich classes, who’re usually the power brokers and puppet masters behind the various thrones, and refuses to accommodate them. They will bring to bear every power at their command to destroy him, because he’s betrayed what should be his natural class, is re-energising swathes of the electorate to re-engage with politics and they’re rallying to the colours of someone who’s actually doing things for them.

That is exactly why Trump haters should rethink their position. President Trump has done and will do more to help America and her people than any president in living memory.

As far as Europe is concerned, Macron won’t last beyond one term (if that) and Merkel has seen the writing on the wall for her chancellorship:

The heart of power within the EU was Germany with France as the supporting act, but Fifi is finished and Merkel has become an electoral liability even for her own party. Like the stricken battleship Bismarck, she’s alone and steaming around in circles with no flotilla rushing to her aid. A few more torpedoes and she, like the EU, will be out of the game.

Eastern Europe, he says, is breaking away from Western Europe’s outlook on the world, recognising the sovereignty of the nation state rather than globalism.

Ultimately, voters everywhere in the West need to wake up, smell the coffee and become more engaged with what is going on. Are we being represented or, as Pointman posits, misrepresented? I think we know the answer.

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