Mask Mandates Did Nothing, War on Drugs Architect Served Cartel, Making Censored Journalism Accessible
Revealing News Articles
March 7, 2023
Explore below key excerpts of revealing news articles on evidence that mask mandates did nothing to stop the spread of COVID-19, Mexican drug war architect Genaro García Luna found to have been collaborating with the largest drug cartel in North America, dire warnings from the "Father of Virtual Reality" about the future of the web, and more.
Read also wonderfully inspiring articles on a virtual library making censored journalism accessible even in countries where access to information is tightly controlled, an alternative to the current practices regulating social media content, new technology designed to fix the racial bias in medical care, and more. You can also skip to this section now.
Each excerpt is taken verbatim from the major media website listed at the link provided. If any link fails, see this page. The most important sentences are highlighted. And don't miss the "What you can do" section below the summaries. By educating ourselves and spreading the word, we can and will build a brighter future.
Special note: Our very own PEERS board member Josh Mitteldorf recently wrote a thoughtful article that explores studies and analyses indicating a link between mRNA vaccines and substantial declines in fertility. New emails reveal how the Biden Administration pressured Facebook to control information that discouraged the administration’s COVID-19 vaccine policies. Read a nuanced article that explores why doctors may be completely unaware of COVID-19 vaccine concerns.
Quote of the week: If those in charge of our society - politicians, corporate executives, and owners of press and television - can dominate our ideas, they will be secure in their power. They will not need soldiers patrolling the streets. We will control ourselves. ~~ Howard Zinn
Video of the week: A healthy democratic society is one that supports the open flow of information, allows the public to speak freely, and engages in open dialogue across political differences. Watch former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard speak powerfully at a public hearing on how these vital qualities of democracy are being eroded by our very own government agencies, along with their Big Tech partners.
The Mask Mandates Did Nothing. Will Any Lessons Be Learned?
February 21, 2023, New York Times
The most rigorous and comprehensive analysis of scientific studies conducted on the efficacy of masks for reducing the spread of respiratory illnesses — including Covid-19 — was published late last month. Its conclusions, said Tom Jefferson, the Oxford epidemiologist who is its lead author, were unambiguous. “There is just no evidence that they” — masks — “make any difference,” he told the journalist Maryanne Demasi. “Full stop.” But, wait, hold on. What about N-95 masks, as opposed to lower-quality surgical or cloth masks? “Makes no difference — none of it,” said Jefferson. These observations don’t come from just anywhere. Jefferson and 11 colleagues conducted the study for Cochrane, a British nonprofit that is widely considered the gold standard for its reviews of health care data. The conclusions were based on 78 randomized controlled trials, six of them during the Covid pandemic, with a total of 610,872 participants in multiple countries. And they track what has been widely observed in the United States: States with mask mandates fared no better against Covid than those without. People may have good personal reasons to wear masks, and they may have the discipline to wear them consistently. Their choices are their own. But when it comes to the population-level benefits of masking, the verdict is in: Mask mandates were a bust. The mainstream experts and pundits who supported mandates were wrong.
Trial of Mexico’s Former Top Cop Neglected U.S. Role in War on Drugs
February 21, 2023, The Intercept
Genaro García Luna, Mexico’s former top law enforcement official known as the “architect” of the Mexican side of the drug war, was found guilty in New York federal court of collaborating with the Sinaloa cartel, the biggest organized crime group in North America. For years, García Luna was the U.S. government’s most trusted ally in the war on drugs. As public security secretary, he wielded incredible power, overseeing Mexico’s Federal Police, the prison network, and a vast intelligence-gathering infrastructure, while working with the Drug Enforcement Administration, FBI, CIA, and Department of Homeland Security in the fight against Mexican cartels. The case portrayed García Luna and his network of corrupt officials as a handful of bad apples, and what U.S. officials knew about García Luna’s illicit activities went mostly unexplored, despite the government’s role in providing funding, equipment, and training that has fueled drug-related violence. García Luna was found guilty of all five charges, including drug trafficking and continuing a criminal enterprise. Prosecutors alleged that he received around $274 million in bribes from the cartel from 2001 to 2012, first as head of the Federal Investigative Agency, the Mexican equivalent of the FBI, and then as secretary of public security. García Luna left public office in 2012 following a change in presidency and moved to Miami where he started a security consulting company and lived a lavish lifestyle.
Note: The War on Drugs has been described as a trillion dollar failure. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in intelligence agencies from reliable major media sources.
‘Extinction is on the table’: Jaron Lanier warns of tech’s existential threat to humanity
November 27, 2022, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Jaron Lanier, the eminent American computer scientist, composer and artist, is no stranger to skepticism around social media. The web is not a free market of information as originally envisioned. It is a gamed system being rampantly abused. [Lanier] helped create modern ideologies – Web 2.0 futurism, digital utopianism, among them. But Lanier is no longer a fan of how the digital utopia is coming along. He’s called it “digital Maoism” and accused tech giants like Facebook and Google of being “spy agencies”. In his latest thinking Lanier draws attention to Harvard psychologist BF Skinner’s theories of “operant conditioning”, or behavior controlled by its consequences, otherwise known as behavior modification. In Skinner’s studies, lab rats were subjected alternately to electric shocks and treats to achieve a change in response. On social media, he says, we experience something similar. Approval, disapproval or being ignored, such techniques can be manipulated online as part of what is euphemistically called “engagement” and the creation of addictive patterns for individuals and then – by proxy – eventually whole societies. “As we enter an era where nothing means anything because it’s all just about power, intermediation and influence, it’s very hard to put ideas out and very easy for them to come across not as intended,” he said. “I do believe that our survival depends on modifying the internet – to create a structure that is friendlier to human cognition and to the ways people really are.”
Note: This was written by Jaron Lanier, who is widely considered to be the “Father of Virtual Reality.” For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media manipulation from reliable sources.
How the Supreme Court could re-shape the internet as you know it
February 4, 2023, CNN News
Passed in 1996, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act sought to foster the growth of the early internet. Congress created a special form of legal immunity for websites so they could develop uninhibited by lawsuits that might suffocate the ecosystem. In the time since, companies ... have invoked Section 230 to nip user-content lawsuits in the bud, arguing, usually successfully, that they are not responsible for the content their users create. Democrats say the law has given websites a free pass to overlook hate speech and misinformation; Republicans say it lets them suppress right-wing viewpoints. The Supreme Court [is] reviewing Section 230; Congress and the White House have also proposed changes to the law. Understanding how the internet may work differently without Section 230 ... starts with one, simple concept: Shrinking the liability shield means exposing websites and internet users to more lawsuits. A Supreme Court ruling restricting immunity for recommendations could mean any decision to like, upvote, retweet or share content could be identified as a “recommendation” and trigger a viable lawsuit. One option would be to preemptively remove any and all content that anyone, anywhere could even remotely allege is objectionable ... reducing the range of allowed speech on social media. Another option would be to stop moderating content altogether, to avoid claims that a site knew or should have known that a piece of objectionable material was on its platform.
As crime-solving goes hi-tech, public defenders scramble to keep up
February 24, 2023, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Caleb Kenyon, a defense attorney in Florida, saw a geofence warrant was when a new client received an alarming email from Google in January 2020. Police were requesting personal data from the client, Zachary McCoy, and Kenyon had just seven days to stop Google from turning it over, the email said. The geofence warrant included a map and GPS coordinates, and instructed Google to provide identifying information for every user whose device was found within the radius of that location at a certain date and time. “It was so bizarre that I just didn’t even have a concept for what I was dealing with,” he said. Kenyon is not alone. As tech firms build ever more sophisticated means of surveilling people and their devices – technology that law enforcement is eager to take advantage of – the legal community is scrambling to keep up. The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) ... recently created the Fourth Amendment Center, named for the constitutional right against unreasonable searches. The center is one of the few resources available for helping attorneys better understand how new technology is being used against their clients. It can be years before the defense community catches wind of the newest surveillance tools. Unlike other search warrants, geofence warrants don’t require probable cause or a specific suspect in mind; they gather information on anyone within the vicinity of an alleged crime. Advocates argue this violates the fourth amendment.
Three Years Late, the Lancet Recognizes Natural Immunity
February 26, 2023, Wall Street Journal
The Lancet medical journal this month published a review of 65 studies that concluded prior infection with Covid—i.e., natural immunity—is at least as protective as two doses of mRNA vaccines. “Immunity acquired from a Covid infection is as protective as vaccination against severe illness and death, study finds,” NBC reported on Feb. 16. The study found that prior infection offered 78.6% protection against reinfection from the original Wuhan, Alpha or Delta variants at 40 weeks, which slipped to 36.1% against Omicron. Protection against severe illness remained around 90% across all variants after 40 weeks. These results exceed what other studies have found for two and even three mRNA doses. This comes after nearly three years of public-health officials’ dismissing the same hypothesis. But now that experts at the University of Washington have confirmed it in a leading—and left-leaning—journal, it’s fit to print. The Lancet study’s vindication of natural immunity fits a pandemic pattern: The public-health clerisy rejects an argument that ostensibly threatens its authority; eventually it’s forced to soften its position in the face of incontrovertible evidence; and yet not once does it acknowledge its opponents were right. The concept of natural immunity isn’t scientifically controversial, yet it was disparaged by public-health officials who associated it with opposition to lockdowns and the Great Barrington Declaration in autumn 2020.
The CDC’s Long-Covid Deception
February 19, 2023, Wall Street Journal
Consider a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that claims to find that nearly 36% of Covid cases among students, faculty and staff at George Washington University resulted in “long Covid.” The study suggests ... that the unvaccinated were at more than twice as high a risk of developing long Covid as those fully vaccinated who had gotten boosters. This sounds plausible. But drill down, and it becomes clear that the evidence is too thin to draw any conclusions. The study ... doesn’t include a control group. The finding that nearly 36% reported long Covid symptoms is meaningless without such a sample to determine how common such symptoms were among people who never had Covid. Long Covid in general isn’t well-defined, but the study defines it expansively to include problems common among college students—difficulty making decisions, fatigue, anxiety, sadness, trouble sleeping and the catch-all “other symptoms.” If a student reported at least one physical or psychological problem, he was classified as having long Covid. A CDC survey in January 2021 reported that 57% of respondents between 18 and 29 had experienced anxiety or depression within the previous seven days. A November 2021 study ... found that many people with persistent physical symptoms that are commonly ascribed to long Covid didn’t test positive for antibodies. A belief that one had Covid was more strongly associated with physical symptoms than a lab-confirmed infection.
The pandemic spawned a better model for family courts
February 24, 2023, The Hill
With the recent news that the Biden administration will end the COVID-19 public health emergencies this spring, it is time to take stock of the different policies and adaptations that came out of the lockdowns. Initially ... the lockdowns meant that courts were shut down in most states, creating long waits and lack of access to vital judicial proceedings. But the courts quickly pivoted. Despite initial technological challenges, the switch to remote family court hearings saved time and money, increased participation in court proceedings, improved legal representation for families living in rural areas, and created a more welcoming environment for children. This week, the American Enterprise Institute is releasing a report, authored by Maura Corrigan, former director of Michigan Health and Human Services, explaining what we can learn from how these courts operated and what practices we should use in the post-pandemic era. Major studies done on remote hearings found benefits to the practice, particularly in terms of participation. Parties to these hearings appreciated the end of “cattle call” docketing, which forced participants to wait (in person) until their case was called — a significant waste of time and resources for parties, attorneys, witnesses, the public and the judges. Under the new remote system, the times for these hearings were precise, wasting neither the time nor the resources of any parties to the case. There were also many anecdotal reports that children felt more comfortable in remote hearings.
Key Articles From Independent Media
As Public Trust Wanes, FDA Pledges to ‘Save Lives’ by Policing Online Content
February 22, 2023, Children's Health Defense
Since U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf began his second tenure as the agency’s head in February 2022, he has made combating “misinformation” one of his top priorities, arguing it is “a leading cause of preventable death in America now” — though “this cannot be proved,” he said. In an interview ... Califf, who also headed the FDA between 2016 and 2017, reiterated his pledge to “save lives” by policing online content. The FDA may be facing an uphill battle, as multiple factors are combining to foster public mistrust toward the agency. For instance, in January, Frank Yiannas, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for food policy and response, resigned over concerns about the FDA’s oversight structure. A 2022 study by The BMJ found that the FDA gets 65% of its funding for drug evaluation from industry user fees, while another 2022 study found that 95% of the members of an HHS committee that establishes dietary guidelines for Americans have one or more conflicts of interest with industry actors. Members of the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee have also been found to have conflicts of interest with the very pharmaceutical companies and vaccine manufacturers they are meant to be regulating. And while public health authorities in other countries have begun to come forward with admissions that the COVID-19 vaccines resulted in cases of myocarditis and death, no such admissions appear to be forthcoming from the FDA at this time.
The CDC Is Breaking Trust in Childhood Vaccination
July 5, 2022, Tablet
On June 18, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officially recommended Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for all children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years. While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the agency responsible for authorizing emergency use of vaccines, it’s the CDC that crafts subsequent messaging, makes specific recommendations, and prioritizes who can, should, or should not get vaccinated. In her briefing, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky strongly urged all parents of the nearly 20 million American children in this age group to vaccinate them as soon as possible. There remains ... no solid consensus among physicians about the importance of vaccinating healthy children against COVID-19. In a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) meeting on June 28, Pfizer Vice President for Viral Vaccines Kena Swanson even acknowledged that “there is no established correlate” between antibody levels and protection from disease. Approval for the COVID vaccines in infants and toddlers is based on two trials that used changes in antibody levels as an estimate of efficacy, but did not assess protection from severe disease, hospitalization, or multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), important outcomes that parents worry about. Additionally, neither trial met the 50% efficacy requirement established by the FDA for approval of adult COVID vaccines. More puzzling is the fact that ... the pediatric vaccines now being administered target an outdated variant.
Key Articles From Years Past
Lawmakers demand probe of sex offender Jeffrey Epstein's 'sweetheart deal'
January 5, 2019, NBC News
A top Republican senator [Sen. Ben Sasse, R.-Neb.] is demanding answers about why the U.S. Department of Justice cut a 'sweetheart deal' with politically connected sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein, 65, was being investigated by the federal government for allegedly sexually abusing dozens of teenage girls he paid for "massages" ... in the early 2000s. A 53-page indictment was prepared that could have put him behind bars for life. But Epstein, who was friends with the likes of Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and Prince Andrew, wound up pleading guilty in 2008 to state charges of soliciting a single underage victim after federal prosecutors agreed to shelve their case and not prosecute him or his enablers. [US Attorney Alexander] Acosta's office also agreed not to tell the victims about the nonprosecution agreement, an apparent violation of the Crime Victims Rights Act. Epstein wound up serving 13 months in the county jail and was allowed to leave during the day six days a week to go to work for much of his sentence. The letters from Sasse came after 15 Democratic members of Congress sent a letter last week to the DOJ demanding an investigation into Acosta's handling of the Epstein case. Sasse's letters, which were first reported by Axios, might carry more heft because he's chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on oversight, agency action, federal rights and federal courts.
Note: Read a great interview with Julie Brown, the intrepid reporter who broke the Epstein case. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein from reliable major media sources. Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this topic in the US.
This Minecraft library is making censored journalism accessible all over the world
March 18, 2020, The Verge
Minecraft has established itself as a cultural phenomenon for many reasons: it’s creative, collaborative, and sufficiently facile as to be considered accessible to almost anybody. These benefits ... form the perfect vehicle for Reporters Without Borders’ Uncensored Library, a virtual hub housing a collection of otherwise inaccessible journalism from all over the world, with specific sections devoted to Russia, Egypt, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and Vietnam. “In Egypt there’s no free information,” Reporters Without Borders media and public relations officer Kristin Bässe tells me. Mexico is the country where journalists are most at risk, she adds, with governmental and cartel interference often culminating in the death of those voices deemed dissident. “It’s a different form of censorship,” Bässe explains. “People don’t want to publish because they’re scared.” “In the Mexico room we built memorials to 12 Mexican journalists who have been murdered,” [said Blockworks managing director James] Delaney. Delaney tells me that the forms of censorship in Egypt are more blatant. “The articles you see in this room are actually banned,” he explains. “If you live in Egypt you’re unable to access them unless you come to our Minecraft server.” This is the case for the Russian, Vietnamese, and Saudi Arabian sections, too. “The content you find in these rooms is illegal, but we can see from the server logins that we’ve already had people from all five of these countries join and read up on this information,” he says.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
How to Fix Twitter—And All of Social Media
May 26, 2022, The Atlantic
Those debating the future of Twitter and other social-media platforms have largely fallen into two opposing camps. One supports individuals’ absolute freedom of speech; the other holds that speech must be modulated through content moderation, and by tweaking the ways in which information spreads. Both sides are peddling an equally dismal vision. My purpose here is to point out a logical third option. In this approach, a platform would require users to form groups through free association, and then to post only through those groups. This simple, powerful notion could help us escape the dilemma of supporting online speech. Platforms like Facebook and Reddit have similar structures—groups and subreddits—but those are for people who share notifications and invitations to view and post in certain places. The groups I’m talking about, sometimes called “mediators of individual data” or “data trusts,” are different: Members would share both good and bad consequences with one another, just like a group shares the benefits and responsibilities of a loan in microlending. This mechanism has emerged naturally ... on the software-development platform GitHub. Whatever its size, each group will be self-governing. Some will have a process in place for reviewing items before they are posted. Others will let members post as they see fit. It will be a repeat of the old story of people building societal institutions and dealing with unavoidable trade-offs, but people will be doing this on their own terms.
Note: This was written by Jaron Lanier, who is widely considered to be the “Father of Virtual Reality.” Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Can We Build Less Biased Medical Bots?
April 11, 2022, Reasons to be Cheerful
Avery Smith ... and LaToya, a podiatrist, tied the knot in 2008. A year and a half into their marriage ... she was diagnosed with Stage 2A Melanoma. A minor surgical procedure is usually enough to cure it. But the following 18 months were revealing for Smith; on December 9th, 2011, LaToya died. He was left scarred by the experience: “I learned about going through illness while being Black,” he says. Today, over a decade later, Smith is putting his skills as a software developer to work in an effort to end the racial bias and inequity in skin care that contributed to his wife’s death. In 2021, he launched Melalogic, a Baltimore-based startup that provides skin health resources to people with dark skin. A 2016 study shows that the five-year survival rate of Black people with skin cancer is 65 percent, compared to 92 percent for white people. The problem is rooted in racial inequities and biases in medical research and technology. In skin cancers, for instance, AI systems have been used to drastically improve diagnosis. However, these are mostly helpful to white people because diagnostic AI datasets are trained with images of white skin. Smith teamed up with dermatologist Dr. Adewole Adamson to conduct a research project, endorsed by the American Medical Association, on machine learning and health care disparities in dermatology. It was from the research’s findings that Smith conceived Melalogic, an app ... dedicated to providing Black people with skin health resources.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
"Literally a miracle": Violent rival gangs in South Africa call truce to help people during pandemic
April 18, 2020, CBS News
Warring gangs in South Africa are working together in an unprecedented truce to deliver much-needed food to people under lockdown. The country has seen a 75% decrease in violent crime since it imposed strict restrictions over the coronavirus pandemic, and normally dangerous streets in Cape Town now see sworn enemies meeting up to collect essential goods to distribute throughout hungry communities. "What we're seeing happen here is literally a miracle," Pastor Andie Steele-Smith said. Steel-Smith works with gang members in his community, many of whom are convicted killers. "They are the best distributors in the country," he said. "They are used to distributing other white powders, but still they are distributing things and then, they know everybody." Preston Jacobs, a member of the "Americans" gang, told CBS News' Debora Patta it "feels nice" to take on a new role and communicate with those in need. "Now I see there are nice people also, and people want to love what we're doing now," Jacobs said. Sansi Hassan of the "Clever Kids" gang expressed hope that this current ceasefire in gang violence could be permanent in the post-lockdown future. "If it can stay like this, then there will be no gang fight," he said. "And every gang will agree with us." Pastor Steel-Smith remains optimistic for his community. "I am proud of you guys," he said to two gang members working to distribute essential goods. "If I died today and went to heaven, I would die a happy man."
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
We're $9,000 in the red for the month.
Kindly support this important work. Donate here.
Finding Balance: WantToKnow.info Inspiration Center
WantToKnow.info believes it is important to balance disturbing cover-up information with inspirational writings which call us to be all that we can be and to work together for positive change. For an abundance of uplifting material, please visit our Inspiration Center.
See our exceptional archive of revealing news articles.
www.momentoflove.org - Every person in the world has a heart
www.personalgrowthcourses.net - Dynamic online courses powerfully expand your horizons
www.WantToKnow.info - Reliable, verifiable information on major cover-ups
www.weboflove.org - Strengthening the Web of Love that interconnects us all
Subscribe here to the WantToKnow.info email list (two messages a week)