It’s no use going back to yesterday: a news digest from the new normal

‘I could tell you my adventures—beginning from this morning,’ said Alice a little timidly: ‘but it’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.’ – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll.

Tid bits:

  • Hawke’s Bay DHB spent a whopping $900,000 on bribing (sorry, incentivising) people to get vaccinated with the covid jab, the Hastings Leader reported on 17 August. Waikato was next at $355,000. The Southern District Health Board spent nothing.
  • Leaked comments from JP Morgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon show he thinks there is a 50 per cent chance of a hard recession, or worse, in the near future. The largest hedge fund in the world, Blackrock, is also warning that decades of steady growth in the global economy is over. Highlighting the extraordinary economic conditions now prevailing, the UK energy regulator announced that a typical UK household gas and electricity bill will rise from £1971 to £3549 a year.
  • The UK Office of National Statistics published data on deaths by vaccination status between January 2021 and May 2022 that showed one in every 482 English people injected, died within a month of receiving a dose of the jab. New Zealand is, conveniently, not recording this data.
  • CDC Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) data now shows 1,385,401 reports of adverse events from all age groups following covid vaccines, including 30,347 deaths and 252,294 serious injuries between 14 December 2020 and 12 August 2022. These numbers only represent a small fraction of total injury and harm occurring, less than 10 per cent.
  • An Australian law firm has released a legal opinion casting doubt on the legality of the gag order preventing doctors from questioning, discussing or commenting about the covid injectable with patients or in public.
  • A comprehensive summary of covid vaccine evidence has been published by Australian pharmacist Dr Phillip Altman, discussing what the injections are, how they work and the evidence of harm they are causing.

Crackdown on independent media follows Fire & Fury propaganda film

Australian independent media reporter Avi Yemini of Rebel News was turned away at the border this week after publicly announcing he was coming to Wellington to report on Tuesday’s Freedom and Rights Coalition protest at Parliament headed up by controversial personality Brian Tamaki, in what looks like a political decision. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she was not involved. Yemini is challenging the decision in court.

Update: A leaked interpol letter has now confirmed the political motivations behind Yemini not being allowed in to New Zealand, despite media hit pieces aimed at character assisination. Read it here.

In the same week Chantelle Baker, who did multiple livestreams from the parliament protests in February and March, was kicked off Facebook, and the people behind Counterspin Media, Kelvyn Alps and Hannah Spierer, were arrested for distributing objectionable material under the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act 1993.

The timing of this crackdown on independent media came in the fortnight following Stuff Circuit’s propaganda film Fire and Fury, which took aim at both Counterspin and Chantelle Baker, along with Brian Tamaki and Voices for Freedom.

Mainstream commentators say it is conspiratorial thinking to conclude that the timing of these events is anything more than coincidental, but this view seems naive given the long history of governments capitalising on the social license that a propaganda drive can afford them.

However, the ‘documentary’ seems to have backfired badly with a large section of the population. Voices for Freedom’s signups grew by 400 per cent in the week following its release and the public responded with scepticism and incredulity. A number of articles critical of the film and it’s heavy bias have been published since its release including here, here, here and here.

The Free Speech Union has also criticised the underlining message of the film.

“Not only is this documentary confronting, frankly, it was an unpleasant hour as [Paula] Penfold essentially progresses a thesis that hatred, violence, and the death of democracy are inevitable if individuals like those named above get to keep saying their piece.

“It seems that in all the reporting on anger against the Government, or journalists and media, it has never occurred to Penfold and her team that the reason there is such anger is because people feel their voice is being taken away. The anger and frustration has not come out of being allowed to express themselves openly – it has come because they believe they no longer have this liberty,” said FSU spokesman Jonathan Ayling.

Propaganda expert Mark Crispin Miller recently noted that: “The Five Eyes countries – Canada, Britain, New Zealand, Australia – appear to have media systems that are easily as tightly controlled and mendacious, dishonest as those systems in those notorious totalitarian countries.”

Food for thought.

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Unvaccinated teachers in Queensland have their pay cut as “punishment”

Unvaccinated teachers in Queensland have been allowed back to work but are having their pay cut as a “punishment” for refusing to get the covid injection.

This shows both the advancement of medical fascism in the west, and is also an indication that a social credit system is beginning to creep into democracies. Non-conformity will be punished.

If you think this couldn’t happen in New Zealand, a government consultation document about pandemic ethics lays out a laundry list of coercive actions the government might take to manage future pandemic threats, which includes fining the unvaccinated and even removing an individual’s right to choose entirely.

Authorities are literally baking in fascist policies and calling them “ethical”. If this goes unchallenged we can expect to see more authoritarian health policies introduced going forward.

Consultation closes on 30 September, so have your say.

Health czars want to inject under-fives and mask kids from year 1 on the basis of misleading statistics

A team of public health professionals from Otago University with the ear of the Government, are urging the authorities to double down on covid policies.

They claim that New Zealand’s covid response has resulted in one of the lowest excess mortality rates in the world, but we’ll soon see why this isn’t the case.

This group, which consists of Dr Jennifer Summers, Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Lucy Telfar Barnard, Dr Julie Bennett, Dr Amanda Kvalsvig and Prof Michael Baker recommend:

  • Extending public messaging around covid to reinforce the rationale for their pandemic policies
  • Developing a robust action plan for schools
  • Extending eligibility for the second booster (fourth dose) for adults and booster (third dose) for children under 16
  • Consider injecting children under five years old – toddlers and babies
  • Explore bi-valent vaccines that target Omicron and the original Sars-CoV-2
  • Additional interventions to increase vaccine coverage (interventions that enhance the willingness of different populations to be vaccinated)
  • Reconsider its current position and develop a range of strategies to maximise mask wearing in schools from year 1 up, and mandates for indoor facilities and health care facilities

They have reached this rationale that New Zealand has one of the lowest rates of excess mortality in the world, but as Guy Hatchard has pointed out, statistical sleight of hand has been used to achieve this and then the media have uncritically reported it.

Excess mortality in six jurisdictions: Cumulative number of deaths from all causes compared to projections based on previous years, per million people*

“If you go vertically up from the date 1 July 2022 to the graph and then across to the Y access, as we are trained to do in school, you reach a figure—minus 250. If you think that means in the week ending 1st of July all-cause deaths were 250 below the long term average, you are being misled. The all-cause death rate for the most recent week of August is actually 246 ABOVE the long term average.

“Close inspection shows that the graph is a measure of the accumulating excess death rate for the entire pandemic, not the current death rate. In other words, the early death data before covid infection and vaccines is averaged with present data, which appears to lower the current death rate.

“The success claimed for New Zealand by the blog and the low death rate reported by MSM is actually due to the extreme lockdown measures of 2020 and the consequent zero flu rate. Since then, matters have consistently deteriorated, and now deaths are accelerating to unprecedented high levels.

“In 2020 there were virtually no covid infections and no vaccines. The closure of borders and lockdowns ensured there was no flu season. All-cause deaths were very low. For most of 2021, lockdowns continued, and covid cases were very low, and vaccines were rolled out. Deaths rose and peaked parallel to the vaccine uptake. In 2022 all-cause deaths have risen dramatically. Deaths because of covid form a very small percentage of the all-cause deaths,” Hatchard says.

He notes that Official New Zealand Ministry of Health figures from last week show that all cause deaths were 946 for the week, a record for New Zealand.

In July, The Looking Glass reported that excess deaths in New Zealand were linked to the booster shot, as shown by Waikato University economics professor John Gibson.

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UNESCO Screenshot

‘Pre-bunking’ – a new globally coordinated tool to ‘gaslight’ the public

UNESCO recently announced a new campaign to combat conspiracy theories, which includes something called pre-bunking.

“A new campaign helps you learn how to identify, debunk, react to and report on conspiracy theories to prevent their spread,” the website says.

Right on cue, a study was published in Science Advances, in which researchers from Cambridge University in collaboration with tech giant Google conducted experiments that involved placing short videos that ‘pre-bunk’ the content of a video at the beginning of it. The researchers claim that this may make people less susceptible to the misinformation it contains.

The study tested whether short videos covering five common logical fallacies and manipulation strategies, such as false dichotomies and emotional language, could improve people’s ability to recognise them and discern trustworthy from untrustworthy content. When their laboratory trials were replicated in the “real world” through a YouTube ad campaign, people’s ability to recognise some of these techniques increased by about 5 per cent on average.

The study uses language equating pre-bunking to “inoculation” against dangerous ideas, which Dr Jagadish Thaker, senior lecturer in Cultures, Languages and Linguistics at Auckland University, adopted in his comments about the study:

UNESCO Screenshot

“Exposure to such inoculation videos also helped boost confidence in spotting misinformation techniques. It helped people to judge the content better and be more careful about sharing it online. This inoculation was effective for everyone, indicating that such a campaign is likely to be effective despite differences such as age, gender, political beliefs, use of social media, numeracy skills, and others. It is an impressive finding.

“Moreover, it cost the researchers as little as $0.05 per view on YouTube, indicating that running such campaigns can be a cost-effective policy and easily implementable at scale.”

Greg Simons, a propaganda and crisis communications expert from Uppsala University in Sweden took a much dimmer view.

This comes across as a mixture of 1) gaslighting the public and 2) grooming the public like some kind of cult. The intended result seems to be an attempt to discredit any information or messengers that contradict the officially derived narrative so they cognitively dismiss it, and to instill a sense of blind obedience and conformity to the official narrative. It is done through binary representations of right and wrong, benevolent and nefarious.”

Google already has plans to roll out a “prebunking campaign” across several platforms in Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic to stifle disinformation relating to Ukrainian refugees and will work with fact-checkers, academics and disinformation experts.

So there you go. You decide. Would you be easily dissuaded by a pre-bunking video?

Stay curious …

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