A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).



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The Shadow War in Space “every day”: Russia, China use lasers, jammers, dangerous stunts

Long March-5B, China, Space Program. May 2020

China’s Long March-5B launch*

This should rattle the Wokeness Cage: Russia and China are actively testing the US defences in space on a daily basis. US assets are being harassed with lazers, radio jammers, cyber attacks and even other satellites with robotic grappling hook arms. The Russians even launched a satellite into an orbit so close to a US Security satellite that from the ground people couldn’t tell if it was being attacked, then, in something like a James Bond movie stunt, the Russian satellite launched a little target and shot it, “dangerously close”. That was in 2019. We can see now why Trump set up “Space Force”.

Last week the news came out that China’s space program was going nuclear, and the 1MW reactor would be 100 times larger than the one NASA plans to put on the moon by 2030.

Gen. David Thompson from Space Force estimates China may overtake the US in space by the end of the decade.

So by 2030 the US hopes to reduce CO2 by 50% and China hopes it will command space.

Meanwhile, China is a developing nation that doesn’t need to reduce CO2 emissions at all, and in the US, some schools for gifted and talents students are being closed “because they are racist and elitist“.

Hopefully, the thought of China weaponizing space might make people rethink climate change and education.

Space Force General: China and Russia attacking U.S. space assets ‘every day’

The Washington Post

“The threats are really growing and expanding every single day. And it’s really an evolution of activity that’s been happening for a long time,” [said] Gen. David Thompson, the Space Force’s first vice chief of space operations…

Both the Russians and the Chinese are working on satellites that can attack other satellites, he said. For some time now there have been reports that China was developing a satellite that could claw another satellite or grab one with a robotic arm or a grappling hook. The Chinese government has several reasons to want to disable U.S. satellites, which have been useful in revealing concentration camps built to intern Uyghur Muslims and new Chinese nuclear missile silo fields.

In 2019, Russia deployed a small satellite into an orbit so close to a U.S. “national security satellite” that the U.S. government didn’t know whether it was attacking or not, Thompson said. Then, the Russian satellite backed away and conducted a weapons test. It released a small target and then shot it with a projectile.“It maneuvered close, it maneuvered dangerously, it maneuvered threateningly so that they were coming close enough that there was a concern of collision,” he said. “So clearly, the Russians were sending us a message.”

China is far ahead

The Daily Mail:

Thompson said China is sending up new satellites twice as fast as the US is managing to, and that the budding superpower is working on a system of global satellites aimed at surveilling any part of the world.

‘They’re fielding operational systems at an incredible rate,’ he said.

In theory it could disrupt or even disable US satellites which revealed information about China’s nuclear operations and the existence of Uyghur Muslim concentration camps.

‘The Chinese are actually well ahead’ of their Russian counterparts, Thompson claimed.

But Russia blew up an old spy satellite of their own two weeks ago, leaving a trail of debris of 1,500 trackable pieces circling the Earth possibly causing havoc for spacecraft for years.

*The rocket ended up going out of control and crashed in the Indian Ocean. China being good global citizens, NOT.

10 out of 10 based on 7 ratings

Fauci appoints himself God of Science

The Real Anthony Fauci


Just like the climate debate, the crooks are the ones claiming they are “the science” even as they destroy it.

It’s a sacred shield to fend off questions they don’t want to answer.

Rand Paul claims Fauci is acting like the ‘all-high priest’ of science and it’s ‘dangerous’

The Daily Mail

‘It’s sort of a way of ending all debate because if you attack him or have any debate over any of his edicts or his mandates, you’re attacking science,’ Paul said on Tuesday.

‘But this is a very, very dangerous sort of idea. The idea that a government bureaucrat represents science and that he is now untouchable – that it is sort of like you are now contradicting the all high priest of science, if you say anything.’

Ted Cruz wants to know: did he or didn’t he fund Gain of Function research?

Sen. Ted Cruz brands Fauci ‘the most dangerous bureaucrat in the history of America’

The Daily Mail

[Ted] Cruz told Sean Hannity: ‘I’ve got to say, Dr. Fauci, I think, is the most dangerous bureaucrat in the history of the country. He talked about hurting science but I don’t think anyone has hurt science or hurt the credibility of doctors more than Dr. Fauci because throughout this pandemic, he has been dishonest, he’s been political, he’s been partisan.’

Referring to that interview, Cruz continued: ‘(Fauci) said, I represent science. I am science. I was laughing. It’s like Louis XIV, the sun king in France saying “I am the state.” It is this delusion of grandeur.’

There’s a five year jail term for lying to Congress.

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9.7 out of 10 based on 75 ratings

Not bad: Drug for Alcoholism may stop a third of Covid infections, some deaths too

Just another cheap, safe and long-used-drug for our Health Ministers to ignore

A new study looked at 944,000 US Veterans who had a Covid test sometime. Of those, 2,200 were alcoholics who were also prescribed disulfiram. We might expect alcoholics to crash and burn against Covid, but amongst them, strangely, infections were lower than in the non-alcoholics — 34% lower. And there were no deaths from Covid in the 188 either. Sadly the death rate in infected vets who caught Covid, but weren’t using disulfiram, was 3%.

It’s only a very odd observational study, not a randomized one. The mechanism isn’t known for sure, but there are suggestions the drug interferes with an enzyme the virus needs and may reduce hyperinflammation. Haven’t we heard that before?

Ivermectin appears to be better, but for people without access to it, at least there is the option to become an alcoholic. Thinking about the corruption at the FDA or the TGA will help. And if you are already an alcoholic, best get treatment now before they ban it.

It obviously needs a proper study. Bear in mind there were only 188 alcoholic veterans who caught Covid. But still, none of them died, and we’d expect 5 or 6 deaths in a group of 188 non-alcoholic vets.

Wonder what the drug might achieve in a non-alcoholic test group?

The message here is that we are living in a sea of antivirals, but our funding system, the bureaucracy, and our deep medical swamp are getting in the way.

Study: Drug used for alcoholism treatment may fight severe COVID-19

By HealthDay News

The investigators found that people taking disulfiram, known as Antabuse, for alcoholism had a lower risk of infection with COVID-19 and were less likely to die from the coronavirus…

Listen to the sweet naivete of a Professor:

“This is a great candidate for a repurposed drug. It could easily be made available worldwide if we can prove it has a positive effect on patients with COVID-19,” said Chris Sander, a professor of cell biology at Harvard Medical School.

They noted that disulfiram has been prescribed for more than 60 years as a treatment for alcoholism, and that it’s safe, inexpensive, familiar to physicians, and widely used in many countries.

And he thinks those are good selling points. If only this drug were $3,000 a dose, barely useful and fully patented.

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Tuesday Open Thread

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Omicron — Probably has been circulating and developing in Africa for months

The media headlines have been everywhere, but the truth is we know very little.

Like everyone here, I was surprised at the *universal* instant Omicron media coverage which went from 0 – 100 in two seconds or less. I’m going to skip (for the moment) the obvious political questions like “is this the midterm election variant” and consider the virus.

Coronavirus, Covid 19, image.

We know Omicron has many mutations. We don’t know what the combined effect of them is. Presumably the particular mutations, and lab tests of antibody binding suggest it may evade vaccine or even natural immunity. However, many of these mutations are new and unknown, so the in vivo, real effect is only something the patients and doctors might know. And the doctors are giving mixed reports in South Africa. It may turn out to be a more infectious but nicer variant. We’ll know in a few weeks.

It’s certainly spreading fast. Case numbers have increased six-fold from 300 cases to 1,800 in just two weeks. Test numbers are up but test positivity has also risen from 1% to 3.7%.

Symptoms have changed. Doctors say that they noticed a change in the presentation of cases around 10 days ago. The symptoms were suddenly different, and while Dr Angelique Coetzee, said it appeared to be mild, (which is very encouraging) she was referring to young patients, and is still concerned about older patients. The new symptom list includes headaches, extreme tiredness, body aches and pains, but not a loss of smell, or coughing.

But Rudo Mathivha, head of Soweto’s Baragwanath hospital said that young people in their 20s to 30s are coming in with moderate to severe disease, some needing ICU. That’s not good.

About 65% are not vaccinated. John Campbell interprets this to suggest that the unvaccinated are at higher risk, but if only a quarter of South Africans are double vaccinated, and the vaccines work, shouldn’t we see even more unvaccinated patients than that? Wouldn’t most of the young people be unvaccinated?

Omicron has already been circulating somewhere for more than a year

Looking at the evolutionary history of these mutations — the last and nearest branch was around May 2020. That means it’s likely that the Omicron variant has been silently spreading in a population that is rarely if ever tested or sequenced. That would explain why so many mutations seem to have “suddenly” appeared. Presumably if it was a variant that was very deadly, it would have come to our attention months ago, even in a remote African village, surely? Though if it has been circulating in Africa (and we don’t know that) it has probably been affecting a younger population, possibly one that’s fitter or leaner and which gets more sun (and Vitamin D). We don’t know the effect it has on the older, indoor, and more diabetic people of The West, and we don’t know much about the effect on people who are vaccinated, either. Assume that it has become more infectious recently, but collecting mutation for a long while.

It may be a blessing that this variant has evolved in a region that has low vaccination. It might be less deadly. But we don’t know that, yet. It’s possible that even a virus that is milder, but spreads much faster will ultimately cause higher mortality. (Think of SARS-2, compared to SARS-1). But the new variant might be good news. What we want, after all, is for it to evolve into a highly infectious mild disease.

The solution is still antivirals and borders (til we get antivirals)

The key to this is still antivirals. Because Ivermectin has so many mechanisms of action, many that apply to our own molecules (ACE2, TMPRSS2, Ribosomes, Importin) even if ivermectin didn’t bind to the new Omicron spike, it would still be very useful against the virus. So start right now. It should be offered to people at risk.

Given the risk of Antibody Dependent Enhancement (ADE) in vaccinated people, and the risk it might pose to unvaccinated seniors and the co-morbid, it makes sense to shut borders for a couple of weeks, just to get more information. Though possibly it’s already too late, since the virus has been found in so many places. And if reports that Dutch Authorities detected Covid cases in 61 out of 600 passengers from South Africa on Friday morning are true, and those passengers are also vaccinated, wow? Did they catch it on the flight? Update: Apparently only 13 of the 61 cases were the Omicron variant.

The value of a travel ban is the time it gives to test the antivirals in the lab, test the virus against the antibodies, test the virus against the tests! How many cases are we missing?

Of course, it makes no sense to tell everyone that vaccines are the solution to a variant that might be able to escape vaccines. Not coincidentally, Big Pharma is suddenly saying they can develop a new vaccine pronto, which is why they were so keen on using the experimental mRNA vaccines in the first place. But we still have no long term data and much better alternatives.


Omicron has probably been circulating for a long time

In order to collect so many mutations and to have been undetected for so long, it’s likely this branch of the virus was wandering through a population that rarely gets tested. Presumably, they are also rarely vaccinated. This may turn out to be a good thing.

The new Omicron branch is marked in red below.

Omicron, branch, evolution, chart.

Omicron has probably been roaming for a year undetected. The last branch, marked with a black arrow dates back to May 2020.

Either that, or Omicron is an artificial variant, planted from somewhere. Who knows? It’s theoretically possible for a malicious gene lab to take a sample, add some tweaks, and drop it anywhere. We need mass testing to find the missing links to be able to say whether this is absolutely a natural infection branch, and find where it has been hiding.

It’s spreading fast

OWID, Graph, Cases, South Africa. Omicron.

Cases have increased about six-fold in the last two weeks from around 300 to 1,800. Source: OWID

The current wave is tiny compared to the past three waves.
Obviously, for perspective:
OWID, South Africa has had three waves. Graph. OWID.

South Africa has had three waves.  Source: OWID,

Omicron has rapidly overtaken Delta in South Africa, but this was during a time when cases were very low, so the sample size for the mass Global Headlines is surprisingly and suspiciously small (the trend line is heavily dependent on just a few cases).

For perspective, when Delta surged and overtook in May 2021 there were 400-800 samples on the graph in South Africa, but the current total tally on Nextstrain used to generate this “prevalence” graph was only 6 cases. (Mouseover the graph on the source page to see case numbers.) Perhaps there are many more samples that haven’t been reported to the Nextstrain database?

Omicron South Africa, Cases, predominance. Nextstrain.

Obviously the trend of “rapid” growth is there, but the number of samples is small.  Source: Nextstrain

Omicron has a lot of mutations

Many of these also occur in other strains and have been studied (top half). But many are new (bottom half). We really have no idea what effect the latter have. It may be nothing, or everything.

Omicron, Delta, mutations. Nextstrain

Omicron contains man shared mutations (top), but also many new ones (lower half). Source: Nextstrain.

9.3 out of 10 based on 55 ratings

The Bill Gates Foundation is a $300 million dollar media Octopus

How much of the public narrative does Bill Gates buy for $300m?

The Media is the problem. Magnifying Glass.Buying national policy through backroom deals and party donations is so passe. For the Uber Rich it’s so much better to purchase the policy they prefer with glorious golden philanthropy. Be a hero, change the world, make money too.

Bill Gates runs his own branch of the Charity Industrial Complex. Other moguls buy a newspaper, but Gates buys influence one topic at a time.

Despite the reputation of funding the poor and downtrodden, somehow three hundred million dollars or more was gifted to the media. As if perchance the starving reporters of The Guardian needed it more say, than the malnourished of Chad?

Bill Gates has given $319 million to the media

Allan McLeod, Mintpress News

SEATTLE — Up until his recent messy divorce, Bill Gates enjoyed something of a free pass in corporate media. Generally presented as a kindly nerd who wants to save the world, the Microsoft co-founder was even unironically christened “Saint Bill” by The Guardian.

After sorting through over 30,000 individual grants, MintPress can reveal that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) has made over $300 million worth of donations to fund media projects.

Even though this is “in plain view” there’s a level of deceit. If the people think the media is telling the whole news and nothing but the news, they might even believe they willingly chose the policy.

These are just the top ten beneficiaries:

Others with $3.5 million or so are the deprived outlets like the BBC, CNN and The Daily Telegraph.

So at the same time as  Google and Facebook were threatening the funding model of newspapers, radio and TV, Bill was helping them cover the costs of writing more on topics he was interested in.

Cynics might wonder if $300 million really buys much at all these days, but remember how cheap it was for the CCP to buy the New York Times? The masthead of record for the United States effectively sold out the nation for a piddling $100,000 a month. That was all that Chinese Communists had had to pay to “earn” sanitized stories of China that were little more than advertising, while stories of human rights abuses of Uigher concentration camps were quietly deleted. Imagine the effect it could have had if the New York Times had gone in hard with real news. Yet the cost to subvert that for President Xi was practically nothing.

So imagine the effect on news rooms all over the West when a few million dollars here and there lands on cash strapped editors with noble strings attached. Gates wouldn’t have to tell them how to report a climate change story, or a gender narrative — it was part of a culture that would permeate the tea-room.

Gates funded the media, journalism, in so many ways

The Gates Foundation even spent some $38 million on associations for journalists too, like the International Centre for Journalists, and the International Womens Media Foundation. It funded groups like Education Writers Association, and the National Press Foundation. It funded a few universities that train journalists

For groups like these a million dollars buys a lot of mileage.

It’s an Octopus:

“Today, it is possible for an individual to train as a reporter thanks to a Gates Foundation grant, find work at a Gates-funded outlet, and to belong to a press association funded by Gates. This is especially true of journalists working in the fields of health, education and global development, the ones Gates himself is most active in and where scrutiny of the billionaire’s actions and motives are most necessary,” MacLeod writes.

An unaccountable, unelected Octopus:

While the Gates Foundation fosters an air of openness about itself, there is actually precious little public information about what happens to the money from each grant, save for a short, one- or two-sentence description written by the foundation itself on the website,” he continued.

And these figures are just the primary donations. There will be secondary rivers of money, where groups funded by Gates divert streams toward the media too.

Media Gates keepers

That the Gates Foundation is underwriting a significant chunk of our media ecosystem leads to serious problems with objectivity….

[Tim] Schwab’s research has found that this conflict of interests goes right to the very top: two New York Times columnists had been writing glowingly about the Gates Foundation for years without disclosing that they also work for a group — the Solutions Journalism Network — that, as shown above, has received over $7 million from the tech billionaire’s charity.

Let’s not forget  … the “MS” in MSNBC stands for Microsoft.

Read it all


9.9 out of 10 based on 68 ratings

Weekend Unthreaded Again

There is a lot to talk about.

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What would you say to Daniel Westerman, head of Australia’s AEMO?

 Rafe Champion is fishing for responses

Daniel Westerman, AEMO

Daniel Westerman, AEMO

In May this year Daniel Westerman replaced Audrey Zibelman as the CEO of the Australian Energy Market Operator. She was appointed in the Turnbull era after she was tipped as a possibility for Energy Secretary under President Hilary Clinton. In the event their loss was our gain.

Daniel Westerman is now the head man in the organization that runs the operation of our grid and prepares scenarios for decarbonization of the power sector.

What questions would you ask him if you were on the panel to interview the candidates for the position?

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8.8 out of 10 based on 34 ratings

Vaccine risk? Blood markers suggest an increased risk of heart attacks

Dr Aseem Malhotra is a consultant cardiologist and he’s calling for an end to mandatory vaccination while we investigate new results suggesting inflammatory blood markers are raised by the mRNA vaccines.

“We know now that heart attacks are an inflammatory condition.”

These same markers are used to estimate what the risk of a heart attack is. And the new higher markers hint that in this group of 500 patients, the 5 year risk of a heart attack has doubled, from 11% to 25%. They only followed these patients for 2.5 months, so the increased risk may well be temporary (apart from all the boosters, eh?).  

We’ll just have to wait for the five year results from Pfizer, sometime in 2082 or so.

Even if it’s temporary, Dr Malhotra points out that in the UK there have been 10,000 excess non-Covid deaths — many of which were due to heart attack and stroke. If the mRNA vaccines were increasing the risk of heart attacks, even temporarily, this would explain some of the excess deaths. Inflammation might be temporary, but death usually isn’t.

A few days after these ominous results came out, a whistleblower and researcher from a different group contacted Dr Aseem Malhotra to say that in imaging studies they have found inflammation in the coronary arteries after vaccination. But their group decided not to publish this yet because they are afraid of losing future grant money from the drug industry. The whistleblower was quite upset about this. Understandably.

How many other researchers and doctors are sitting on results too unpleasant to publish?


Malhotra also mentions that he’s heard from other medical workers that there has been an increase in heart attacks in the UK, and in younger people. Of course, it all needs a proper study, not just anecdotes and retrospective observations, or preprint abstracts. The increase in heart attacks could be lifestyle factors, it could be infections, or it could be due to people staying home and watching the telly during lockdowns.

Gundry: Blood markers suggest mRNA vaccines increase the risk of a heart attack

Dr Malhotra mentions results from the “Steven Gundry paper”. Gundry’s group has used a standard test to predict the risk of heart attacks in their patients for the last eight years. But they noticed that some of the blood markers they were looking for in the test were significantly higher after the second mRNA vaccination dose.

We conclude that the mRNA vacs dramatically increase inflammation on the endothelium and T cell infiltration of cardiac muscle and may account for the observations of increased thrombosis, cardiomyopathy, and other vascular events following vaccination.

The blood markers they use  in the PLUS Cardiac Test (GD Biosciences) include inflammatory molecules like Interleukin-16 (IL-16), as well as other like soluble Fas, and Hepatocyte Growth Factor (HGF). People at risk of cardiac arrest would typically get measured every 3 – 6 months.

Gundry’s group followed 566 people both before and after their second vaccination to see how the PULS score changed. Strikingly many of the markers doubled. Frustratingly, the paper is a preprint and only available as an abstract (it seems). They don’t have a control group (as far as I can tell). The journal has added an “expression of concern”. Ain’t that the way.  But it would be a shame to sit on results like these. Which is exactly what the other group Dr Malhotra talks about is doing, even though they have similar results.

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9.8 out of 10 based on 62 ratings

Weekend Unthreaded

10 out of 10 based on 9 ratings