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Iran Hits US Military Base In Iraq With Ballistic Missiles

It has just been confirmed that Iran has hit a US military base in Iraq with “tens of missiles.”

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Photo Credit: TMU

Aaron Nelson, The Mind Unleashed

UPDATE 15: 10:56pm EST – Iranian state TV has reported the Ukrainian airplane carrying 180 passengers and crew has crashed near Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport.

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UPDATE 14: 9:58pm EST – According to Military Timeszero US soldiers were killed in Iran missile strike tonight, however the Pentagon and U.S. Central Command have not provided a formal battle damage assessment.

It can end right now.

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UPDATE 13: 9:53pm EST – Trump tweets:

“All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning.”

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UPDATE 12: 9:42pm EST – Iran’s top foreign minister just took to Twitter with the following statement:

“Iran took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defense under Article 51 of UN Charter targeting base from which cowardly armed attack against our citizens & senior officials were launched.

We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression.”

UPDATE 11: 9:32pm EST – According to the Tehran bureau chief for NBC News, Iranian state media are claiming they “caught America off guard” and have killed over 30 soldiers.

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UPDATE 10: 9:19pm EST – According to a US defense official, Iran launched 15 missiles, of which 11 hit their targets and four failed in flight. Ten of the missiles hit the sprawling al-Assad Air Base in Iraq. US radar tracked the missiles in flight and personnel at the base were able to take cover before they hit. The defense official also said the US made no effort to intercept the missiles.

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UPDATE 9: 9:11pm EST – Iran has said that if there is no retaliation from the US military for these latest attacks then they will stop attacking, according to NBC’s Ali Arouzi. But if the US strikes back then their response “will be crushing and widespread.”

Iran has also warned that if there is retaliation they will launch their third wave to destroy Dubai and Haifa, according to Ali Arouzi of NBC.

Iraqi officials are reporting no known Iraqi casualties so far during the Iranian retaliation against US.

***

UPDATE 8: 9:05pm EST – No American casualties reported so far. Trump will NOT give an address tonight.

Canadian troops are temporarily’ pulling out of Iraq “for safety reasons.”

The IRGC has urged Washington to withdraw all of its troops from the region “in order to avoid further losses and not to allow the lives of their soldiers to be further threatened by the ever-growing hatred” of the US.

The FAA has issued emergency restriction for Persian Gulf airspace due to “potential for miscalculation or mis-identification.” All civilian flights over Iran, Iraq, the Persian Gulf, and the Gulf of Oman are banned “due to heightened military activities,” according to AP.

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UPDATE 7: 8:03pm EST – President Trump is preparing to address the nation from the oval office after consulting with his national security team. So far there has been no word on injuries and/or deaths.

The Iraqi PMF has announced the start of military operation “Overwhelming Response.”

UPDATE 6: 7:51pm EST – US Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived at the White House around 7:30pm EST, in addition to the Chairman of Joint Chiefs. Trump’s entire war cabinet is now at the White House.

The world awaits the US counter-response.

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UPDATE 5: 7:41pm EST – Fars News Agency is reporting that a US National Security Council meeting has begun. Meanwhile, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps has issued a statement urging the U.S. military to call back American soldiers from the region.

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UPDATE 4: 7:34pm EST – The Pentagon just released a full statement, confirming that more than a dozen missiles were fired from within Iran, and that at least two Iraqi military bases which were hosting US troops have been targeted.

Statement from Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Jonathan Hoffman

“At approximately 5:30 p.m. (EST) on January 7, Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against U.S. military and coalition forces in Iraq. It is clear that these missiles were launched from Iran and targeted at least two Iraqi military bases hosting U.S. military and coalition personnel at Al-Assad and Irbil.

We are working on initial battle damage assessments.

In recent days and in response to Iranian threats and actions, the Department of Defense has taken all appropriate measures to safeguard our personnel and partners. These bases have been on high alert due to indications that the Iranian regime planned to attack our forces and interests in the region.

As we evaluate the situation and our response, we will take all necessary measures to protect and defend U.S. personnel, partners, and allies in the region.

Due to the dynamic nature of the situation, we will continue to provide updates as they become available.”

More and more footage of the attack is appearing on social media:

US F-35s have been launched from bases in Turkey and the UAE.

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UPDATE 3: 7:30pm EST – Iran’s Revolutionary Guard is claiming that the Ain Al-Assad base in Iraq is “completely destroyed” after the missile attack.

UPDATE 2: 7:23pm EST – Iran says a second wave of missiles has been launched at US military bases in Iraq. And there are now reports of US jets “in the air” from Turkey.

UPDATE 1 7:15pm EST – Six US F-35s have taken off from the UAE. Iran has warned that they will attack any US aircraft launched from the UAE to attack Iran.

Earlier today it was reported by CNN’s Barbara Starr that nuclear-capable B-52s will be “available for operations against Iran if ordered.”

***

It has just been confirmed that Iran has hit a US military base in Iraq with “tens of missiles.”

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard says it is responsible for launching the missiles. The name of the ongoing retaliation is Operation Martyr Soleimani.

The drop in S&P futures is accelerating as more senior US military officials confirm that a US army base in Iraq is under ballistic missile attack.

An American military official is quoted as saying:

“Not only al-Assad, but all of our bases in Iraq have been targeted. The attacks used short-range cruise and ballistic missiles.”

BAaron Nelson | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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Julian Assange Is ‘Hearing Voices’ And At ‘High Risk Of Suicide,’ Psychiatrist Says

At a hearing for Julian Assange, a psychiatrist testified that the Wikileaks founder is experiencing strong hallucinations and is at a high risk of suicide.

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Photo Credit: TMU

(TMU) – At a recent extradition hearing for Julian Assange, a psychiatrist testified that the embattled Wikileaks founder is experiencing strong hallucinations and is at a high risk of suicide. Professor Michael Kopelman, an emeritus professor of neuropsychiatry at King’s College London, said that Assange has been hearing voices and has confessed to a priest that he was making preparations to kill himself. These preparations included drafting his will and writing a goodbye letter to his family and friends.

On Tuesday, at the Old Bailey courthouse in London, Professor Kopelman testified that he visited Assange over 20 times and has become concerned about his mental and physical health.

“He reported auditory hallucinations, which were voices either inside or outside his head, somatic hallucinations, funny bodily experiences, these have now disappeared. He also has a long history of musical hallucinations, which is maybe a separate phenomenon, that got worse when he was in prison,” Kopelman said.

The voices that Assange is hearing are saying things like “you are dust, you are dead, we are coming to get you”.

Kopelman said that the most severe hallucinations have begun to diminish, but Assange is still severely depressed and at a high risk of suicide. He also added that if Assange were extradited the risk would increase further.

“The risk of suicide arises out of clinical factors…but it is the imminence of extradition and or an actual extradition that would trigger the attempt, in my opinion,” Kopleman said.

Kopelman was cross-examined by James Lewis QC, who accused Assange of fabricating his mental illness to avoid extradition.

Kopelman disagreed with the assertion, and pointed out that Assange was reluctant to share details about his mental struggles with authorities, despite self-reporting in the past.

Professor Michael Kopelman, emeritus professor of neuropsychiatry at King’s College London, pictured outside the Old Bailey today where he  described how Julian Assange had been hearing voices in his head and was at ‘high risk’ of  suicide

Mr Assange was very reluctant to talk about his suicidal ideas and plans because he feared he would be put on constant watch or isolation,” Kopelman said.

He thinks as a leader he shouldn’t be showing weakness or psychiatric problems and he was concerned he would end up being further isolated on continuous watch and he didn’t want that,” he added.

Prison guards have previously confiscated a razor blade and two cords from his cell, and he has been kept under close watch the entire time he has been behind bars. Last month, his partner Stella Moris visited him for the first time since the coronavirus lockdowns began at the prison.

Assange is fighting extradition to the US, where he faces an 18-count indictment alleging a plot to hack computers and conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defence information. Pictured, some of his supporters outside the Old Bailey

Moris said that Assange is looking much thinner than he was the last time she saw him back in March. She says that the situation has been “incredibly stressful” and that he has been having some health problems, including a sprained ankle and a frozen shoulder. While the prison was taking virus precautions when Assange was having visitors, Moris says that they have done nothing to protect the prisoners during regular hours. Moris has also launched a crowd-funding campaign to help with legal costs for Assange as he fights extradition to the United States.

So far, the campaign has raised £138,445.

Assange is facing 18 charges under the U.S. Espionage Act from the 2010 release of 500,000 files that exposed US war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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Conspireality: Is It Time For A Serious Conversation?

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The Anatomy of Conspiracy Theories
Photo Credit: Getty

Madhava Setty, M, Guest Writer

Whether you believe in conspiracy theories or not, we can all agree that the use of the term has exploded in media and in conversation. The question is, why? Are we now using the term “Conspiracy Theory” more indiscriminately and on more platforms than previously? Are we, as a society, simply becoming unhinged and absurd? Are seemingly nonsensical stories, for some unknown reason, starting to resonate with people? Or are some conventional narratives getting challenged because some of these “alternative” explanations are in fact accurate, despite the fact that conventional sources refuse to acknowledge them as even potentially valid? Notice that the last two possibilities are different sides of the same coin. If you think “conspiracy theorists” are unhinged, it is highly likely that they are suspicious of your sanity as well. Both sides insist that they are right and that the other has been hoodwinked. Note that if you choose to not pick a side, you are, by default, allowing the conventional narrative to perpetuate. That is how convention works. 

Merriam-Webster defines the term conspiracy theory as “a theory that explains an event or situation as the result of a secret plan by usually powerful people or groups”. The key elements of this definition remain consistent across all authoritative lexicons: the group responsible for an event must be powerful and covert. However, if we refer to the Wikipedia definition as of 11/2018 a new element emerges: “A conspiracy theory is an explanation of an event or situation that invokes a conspiracy—generally one involving an illegal or harmful act supposedly carried out by government or other powerful actors—without credible evidence.”

When an explanation is labelled a “Conspiracy Theory,” by today’s definition, it has no evidence to support it. An explanation with no supporting evidence is a hypothesis, not a “theory.” “Conspiracy Theory,” as it is used today, is thus an oxymoron. These “Conspiracy Theories” we seem to hear about everyday should really be called “Conspiracy Hypotheses.” More concerning is that the “Conspiracy Theory” label identifies an explanation as inherently baseless. Given this linguistic construct, where is there room for a conspiracy that is in fact true?

There is also something troubling about using the term “credible” in the definition of conspiracy theory. Legally, evidence that is credible is that which a reasonable person would consider to be true in light of the surrounding circumstances. If evidence suggests an explanation that seems at the surface to be unreasonable, how does a reasonable person avoid automatically labelling the evidence not credible? If we are not careful, the credibility of the explanation and resultant conclusions would then determine the credibility of the evidence that supports it. Is this really so important? Perhaps you are quick to see that with this approach, our understanding of what is true and real can never evolve. If any evidence arose that radically disproved our understanding or eroded our faith in trusted institutions we would automatically discard it as “not credible” and remain entrenched in our accepted paradigm. “Credible” evidence cannot be a necessary requirement of a theory that challenges what is credible to begin with.

To better illustrate this; let us consider an old but very real “conspiracy theory.” About 400 years ago, European civilization was emerging from centuries of scientific and philosophical stagnation known as the dark ages. What more befitting a place for such a renaissance to occur than the center of the universe? You see, the idea that the Earth was one of eight planets revolving around a star that is orbiting the center of one of hundreds of billions of galaxies would have been absurd in Europe in the sixteenth century. Any sane person could see that the Sun and the Moon and every celestial body rises in the East and sets in the West. At that time, if someone went about proposing the idea that everything rises and falls because the Earth was spinning, they would have been laughed out of the tavern. Would that person be a conspiracy theorist? They are not proposing that “powerful actors are carrying out a harmful act,” they are merely suggesting an alternative explanation for what is observed. However, the implication of their suggestion seems to incriminate the authority on such matters as ignorant of the truth or, possibly, the perpetrators of a lie. The possibility of a conspiracy has now been introduced.

Now, let us say that this person claims to have proof of their absurd theory. Would you have taken the time to examine the evidence or would you have been more likely to dismiss them without further consideration? The very idea that they could be right would have been not just silly or heretical, but inconceivable to many, if not all. How could the evidence be credible if it implied something inconceivable? Dismissing their idea would have seemingly been the most logical and, therefore, the smartest thing to do.

When Galileo Galilei appeared in 1610 armed with a rudimentary “telescope,” few would peer into it. He claimed that the refractive properties of the pair of “lenses” would allow you to see things at great distances very clearly. With it one could see Jupiter and its moons revolving around the giant planet just as our moon revolves around Earth. How enchanting! The difficulty would arise when you put the telescope down: your feet would no longer be planted on the previously immovable center of creation. Would you have looked into his telescope? What would have been the harm in taking a peek? Certainly the fear of being proven more gullible than most would have been on your mind. What about the fear that he might be right?

Imagine what must have been going through Galileo’s mind after his monumental discovery. He saw irrefutably that the entire model of the universe had been completely misconceived. One just has to look. Most did not. I can only imagine how hard he must have tried to convince anyone to simply stop, look and listen to what he had discovered. At the time, Galileo was the Chair of Mathematics at the University of Padua and had previously held the same post at the University of Pisa. Despite his bonafides and reputation as a solid contributor to the Italian renaissance, his discovery would likely have died in obscurity if it weren’t for the support of an influential family, the Medicis, who offered Galileo a platform from which he could spread his theory. It was only through allying himself with political power that he was able to slowly generate interest in his heliocentric model of the solar system. His proposition eventually caught the attention of the Catholic church, who initially warned him to desist. Eventually, he was brought to trial in the Roman Inquisition 23 years after his discovery. At the age of 70, the intrepid mathematician and astronomer was allowed to return home if he agreed to recant his story. Instead Galileo chose to spend the rest of his years in prison because he believed that that would be the only way to get people to open their eyes.

Did it work? It did not. Galileo died incarcerated while Europe continued to slumber under stars that moved around them. By today’s standards, Galileo would have been labelled a Conspiracy Theorist from the day he announced his findings until he was proven right fifty years after his death. When the Principle of Gravitational Attraction eventually became widely accepted as true, the church had to retract their position because the motions of the stars and planets could not be explained under Newton’s laws. 

On the other hand, Galileo is credited with being the father of not only observational astronomy, but of the scientific method as well. The scientific method demands that one tests an explanation without bias towards an outcome. All data is considered before deductions are made. When all other explanations have been proven wrong, the only explanation remaining becomes a theory. The theory persists as long as all subsequent experiments continue to uphold it. This is how we ultimately know what we know and have an inkling of what we don’t. If I had to choose a posthumous title for myself, “The Father of the Scientific Method” is one I could die with. Galileo is credited with this honorific not only because he valued it more than his freedom, but because he had the discipline to regard evidence objectively despite how unimaginable the implications were. This is how a body of knowledge expands. By considering the validity of the evidence first, we then can accept what was previously un-imaginable; otherwise what we know tomorrow will be no different than what we know today.

All conspiracy theorists are not Galileos. Neither are all conspiracy theories true. However, can we be certain that all of them are false? At their very core, all conspiracy theories directly or indirectly point at a central authority acting covertly and simultaneously at the media for either missing it or looking the other way. This, of course, is unimaginable, as we all know the government can make mistakes but would never do anything intentionally harmful to its citizens and then hide it. Even if they did, somebody would come forward and the media would let us know about it. This is why such a deception could never occur. The idea that your lover could be in bed with your best friend is inconceivable. Evidence of such a thing would not be credible. Dismissing all conspiracy theories seems logical and therefore seems like the smartest thing to do. 

In “Sapiens”, Yuval Harari proposes an explanation for why our species, Sapiens, out fought, out thought and out survived all other H. species on the planet. He suggests that it was our unique ability to describe and communicate situations and events that had no basis in reality which set us apart. In other words, we could tell stories and they could not. By uniting under a common idea, story or even myth, thousands (and now thousands of millions) of Sapiens could come together with a shared purpose, identity or belief system to disband our cousins who were as individuals more sturdy and just as cunning but not nearly as good at cooperating as we were. This advantage, Harari proposes, has not only led our species to eventual supremacy over all others, but has also allowed us to form communities, governments and global alliances.

Siding with the majority has served us well–until it hasn’t. One only needs to revisit the history of Galileo and basic astronomy to understand this. In actuality, the first observant minds woke up to the fact that the Earth went around the sun and not the other way round nineteen centuries before Galileo did. The Greek mathematician, Aristarcus, is thought to be the first Western person to place the Sun in the middle of a “solar system” in 270 BC. A human being travelled to the moon just 360 years after Galileo “discovered” what Aristarcus had shown nearly two millennia before. How many centuries was this journey delayed because an alternative explanation in ancient Greece became a “conspiracy theory” against authority and convention?

This poses an intriguing question. Is there something hardwired in our behavioural patterns that push us towards conformist narratives and away from alternative ones at a precognitive level? Is it this tendency that gave rise to our enhanced ability to unite that keeps us in “group-think” more than we should be? How do we know we are looking at the world objectively and rejecting alternative belief systems from a purely rational basis? How does one know whether one is biased or not?

One way is to apply the scientific method. The scientific method demands that every possibility, no matter how outlandish, is tested for its veracity and dismissed only when it can be proven wrong. Without this objective pursuit of truth, misconceptions can persist indefinitely, just as the geocentric model of the universe did. Interestingly, Aristarcus was allowed to retain his theory because he lived at a time and place where philosophers, mathematicians and scientists were revered, protected and free to pursue their notions. The freedom ancient Greek society afforded its scientists only endured for a few centuries after Aristarcus lived. In Galileo’s day, the Roman Catholic church had been presiding over such things as facts for well over a thousand years. His incontrovertible proof was suppressed by the power that had the most to lose.

These days, establishing the facts of the matter may not be as easy as we presume. Conspiracy theorists claim to have proof just like the debunkers do. How do we know that the proof offered on either side is valid? Who has the time to apply the scientific method? It certainly seems safer to go with the conventional narrative because surely there are more rational minds in a larger group. Though it seems a reasonable approach, it may be in fact where we misstep. By deferring to others, we assume the majority will arrive at the truth eventually. The problem is that those in the majority who are trained to examine evidence objectively often must take a potentially career-ending risk to even investigate an alternative explanation. Why would an organization be willing to invest the resources to redirect their scientific staff to chase down and evaluate evidence that will likely endanger their reputation with the public without any upside? Thus, conventional narratives survive for another day, or in the case of an Earth-cantered universe, for a couple of thousand years.

Whether or not you are not a “conspiracy theorist” we can all agree that there is a possibility, however slight, that some conventional narratives could be wrong. How would we know? Is there a source that we can trust 100%? Must we rely on our own wits? A short inquiry into this question can be disquieting. Most of us must admit that our understanding of history, science and geopolitics are merely stories that we have been told by people, institutions or media that we trust explicitly or implicitly. Because most of us are not authorities on anything, it would be impossible to overturn any conventional narrative with an evidentiary argument. Challenging these paradigms is necessarily left to others. Generally speaking, there is no real reason to argue with convention if everything is seemingly unfolding acceptably. But what if you wanted to know for yourself ? Is there any way to ever really know the truth without having to have faith in someone or something else?

There may not be. However, it is also naive to believe that if someone, scientist or not, was in possession of evidence that challenged our deepest held beliefs that it would take root in the ethos on its own. Galileo enjoyed unsurpassed credibility as one of Italy’s foremost mathematicians. He also possessed irrefutable, verifiable and reproducible evidence for his revolutionary theory, yet the convention he was challenging did not crumble through his discoveries. History has shown us that it makes no difference how valid a point is; truth emerges only when someone is listening

So, rather than seeking to independently validate or refute what we are being told, it becomes more productive to ask a different question: How biased is our society by historical standards? How does our society regard alternative theories? Do we let them co-exist with convention as the ancient Greeks did? Do we collectively invest resources to investigate them openly? Or do we dismiss, attack and vilify them as was done in the papal states in Galileo’s time? Which kind of society is more likely to get it right? Which runs the greater risk of being hoodwinked in the long run? Which is more free?

About the Author

Although I am an Electrical Engineer and a practicing Anesthesiologist, I consider myself to be primarily an Epistemologist. In other words, I am most interested in how we, as individuals, know what we know. It doesn’t require much inquiry to see that most of us adopt narratives largely from what we have been told. Conscious Media, or the dissemination of information devoid of bias so that it may be considered openly and objectively is therefore vitally important to any society that is interested in the compassionate pursuit of truth. I offer my perspective as a physician and engineer in the hope that it potentiates Collective Spark’s mission to responsibly explore relevant topics and events in a manner that encourages curiosity and engagement.

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Huge Trove Of Epstein Flight Logs To Be Revealed, “Sparking Panic” Among Pedophile’s Wealthy Friends

All of the flight logs for Jeffrey Epstein’s private planes, including his “Lolita Express” jet, have been subpoenaed by the AG of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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Photo Credit: TMU

(TMU) – The flight logs for Jeffrey Epstein’s private planes, including his “Lolita Express” jet, have been subpoenaed by the attorney general of the U.S. Virgin Islands, in a move that is believed to have sparked a panicked response from the wealthy and elite figures who partied with the deceased pedophile and disgraced financier.

Virgin Islands Attorney General Denise George has demanded that detailed lists documenting every passenger to step on-board his aircraft be handed over, so that courts can shed further light on the crimes he carried out while residing in his opulent mansion in the U.S. territory.

The lists would encompass anyone who flew on his four helicopters and three planes spanning the years 1998 until August 2019, when Epstein allegedly ‘killed’ himself in a New York jail while facing a potential prison sentence of up to 45 years on charges of pedophilia and sex trafficking.

The subpoena is a part of a broader against Epstein’s estate filed by the Virgin Islands’ attorney general, which alleges 22 counts including human trafficking, aggravated rape, forced labour, prostitution, child abuse and neglect, reports The Mirror.

Attorney General George is also demanding that all “complaints or reports of potentially suspicious conduct” be handed over, along with the names and contact details of those who worked for the pilots or “interacted with or observed” Epstein and any passengers associated with him be handed over.

Previous logs from 2009 detailing the names of flights by pilot David Rodgers resulted in a bombshell in world media after prominent figures including Bill Clinton, Prince Andres, Kevin Spacey, Chris Tucker and Naomi Campbell had each been on board the so-called “Lolita Express” jet.

Pilot logs in 2009 show Naomi Campbell flew on Epstein’s jet (Image: Getty Images)

However, their mere presence on the jet does not suggest that they were aware of Epstein’s grave misconduct.

“The records that have been subpoenaed will make the ones Rodgers provided look like a Post-it note,” a source told the outlet. “There is panic among many of the rich and famous.”

According to attorneys for Epstein’s victims, the 2009 logs don’t include the voluminous records of flights by chief pilot Larry Visoski, who flew for Epstein for over 25 years.

The news comes as British socialite and alleged sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell, 58, continues to be held in a New York jail on charges that she assisted Epstein in grooming and sexually abusing young women and girls.

In July, U.S. prosecutors ordered the unsealing of over 80 documents, totalling hundreds of pages, that meticulously detailed Maxwell’s dealings with Epstein, her former boyfriend and associate.

The documents included flight logs from Epstein’s private jets, details about Maxwell’s sex life that lawyers had tried to prevent the release of, and the transcript of a seven-hour, 418-page deposition Maxwell had given which her attorneys describe as “extremely personal [and] confidential.”

Like her former partner Epstein, Maxwell is intensely well-connected with various members of political and business elites. Photographs have long circulated of Maxwell posing at social events with prominent figures drawn from political, cultural, and financial elites, yet those captured in photos with her deny any knowledge of her wrongdoing. Maxwell is known to have attended nearly every high society social gathering in New York City for a number of years.

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CDC Director: ‘Masks May Offer More Protection From COVID-19 Than The Vaccine’

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CDC Director: ‘Masks May Offer More Protection From COVID-19 Than The Vaccine’
Photo Credit: Collective Evolution

What Happened: Centres For Disease Control (CDC) Director Robert Redfield recently stated that wearing a mask may be “more guaranteed” to protect an individual from the coronavirus than a vaccine. This calls into question the efficacy of the vaccine, which is set to make its way into the public domain at the end of this year, or shortly after that. We thought we’d cover this story to bring up the efficacy of vaccines in general, and the growing vaccine hesitancy that now exists within a number of people, scientists and physicians across the world.

“I’m not gonna comment directly about the president, but I am going to comment as the CDC director that face masks, these face masks, are the most important powerful public health tool we have.” – Redfield

Not long ago, many scientists presented facts about vaccines and vaccine safety at the recent Global Health Vaccine Safety summit hosted by the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. At the conference, Professor Heidi Larson, a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project emphasized the issue of growing vaccine hesitancy.

The other thing that’s a trend, and an issue, is not just confidence in providers but confidence of health care providers, we have a very wobbly health professional frontline that is starting to question vaccines and the safety of vaccines. That’s a huge problem, because to this day any study I’ve seen… still, the most trusted person on any study I’ve seen globally is the health care provider…”

Redfield’s comments came after President Trump downplayed the effectiveness of wearing mask, and Trump also stated that Covid would probably go away without a vaccine, referring to the concept of ‘herd immunity’ as practiced in Sweden, but has also been quite outspoken about the fact that a vaccine may arrive by November.

When it comes to the COVID vaccine, multiple clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines have shown severe reactions within 10 days after taking the vaccine. You can read more about that here. The US government and Yale University also recently collaborated in a clinical trial to determine the best messaging to persuade Americans to take the COVID-19 vaccine. You can read more about that here.

Are Masks Effective?

Multiple studies have claimed to show definitively that mask-wearing effectively prevents transmission of the coronavirus, especially recent ones. This seems to be the general consensus and the information that’s come from our federal health regulatory agencies. There are also multiple studies calling the efficacy of masks into question. For example, a fairly recent study published in the New England Medical Journal  by a group of Harvard doctors outlines how it’s already known that masks provide little to zero benefit when it comes to protection a public setting. According to them,

We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.

You can read more about that story here and find other complimenting studies.

When it comes to masks, there are multiple studies on both sides of the coin.

Then we have many experts around the world calling into question everything from masks to lockdown. For example, The Physicians For Informed Consent (PIC) recently published a report titled “Physicians for Informed Consent (PIC) Compares COVID-19 to Previous Seasonal and Pandemic Flu Periods.” According to them, the infection/fatality rate of COVID-19 is 0.26%.

They are one of many who have emphasized this point.

More than 500 German doctors & scientists have signed on as representatives of an organization called the “Corona Extra-Parliamentary Inquiry Committee” to investigate what’s happening on our planet with regards to COVID-19, and also make similar points. You can read more about that story here.

Again, there are many examples from all over the world from various academics, doctors and scientists in the field.

This is why there is so much confusion surrounding this pandemic, because there is so much conflicting information that opposes what we are hearing from our health authorities. Furthermore, a lot of information that opposes the official narrative has been censored from social media platforms, also raising suspicion among the general public.

How Effective Are Vaccines?

Vaccines have been long claimed to be a miracle, and the most important health intervention for the sake of disease prevention of our time. But as mentioned above, vaccine hesitancy is growing, and it’s growing fast.

According to a study published in the journal EbioMedicine,

Over the past two decades several vaccine controversies have emerged in various countries, including France, inducing worries about severe adverse effects and eroding confidence in health authorities, experts, and science. These two dimensions are at the core of the vaccine hesitancy (VH) observed in the general population. These two dimensions are at the core of the vaccine hesitancy (VH) observed in the general population. VH is defined as delay in acceptance of vaccination, or refusal, or even acceptance with doubts about its safety and benefits, with all these behaviours and attitudes varying according to context, vaccine, and personal profile, despite the availability of vaccine services. VH presents a challenge to physicians who must address their patients’ concerns about vaccines..

In the United States, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) shows what vaccines have resulted in deaths, injury, permanent disabilities and hospitalizations. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury act has also paid out nearly $4 billion dollars to families of vaccine injured children.

According to a MedAlerts, the cumulative raw count of adverse events from measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines alone was: 93,929 adverse events, 1,810 disabilities, 6,902 hospitalizations, and 463 deaths. What is even more disturbing about these numbers is that VAERS is a voluntary and passive reporting system that has been found to only capture 1% of adverse events.

The measles vaccine has also been plagued with a lack of effectiveness, with constant measles outbreaks in heavily vaccinated population pointing towards a failing vaccine. You can read more about that in-depth and access more science on it here. In 2015, nearly 40% of measles cases analysed in the US were a result of the vaccine.

It’s not just the MMR vaccine that shows a lack of effectiveness. For example, a new study published in The Royal Society of Medicine is one of multiple studies over the years that has emerged questioning the efficacy of the HPV vaccine. The researchers conducted an appraisal of published phase 2 and 3 efficacy trials in relation to the prevention of cervical cancer and their analysis showed “the trials themselves generated significant uncertainties undermining claims of efficacy” in the data they used. The researchers emphasized that “it is still uncertain whether human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination prevents cervical cancer as trials were not designed to detect this outcome, which takes decades to develop.” The researchers point out that the trials used to test the vaccine may have “overestimated” the efficacy of the vaccine.

It’s one of multiple studies to call into question the efficacy and safety of the HPV vaccine. It’s also been responsible for multiple deaths and permanent disabilities.

Another point to make regarding vaccine injury is that data was collected from June 2006 through October 2009 on 715,000 patients, and 1.4 million doses (of 45 different vaccines) were given to 376,452 individuals. Of these doses, 35,570 possible reactions (2.6% of vaccinations) were identified. This is an average of 890 possible events, an average of 1.3 events per clinician, per month. This data was presented at the 2009 AMIA conference. This data comes 2010 HHS pilot study by the Federal Agency for Health Care Research (AHCR) that found that 1 in every 39 vaccines causes injury, a shocking comparison to the claims from the CDC of 1 in every million. You can access that report and read more about it here.

The Takeaway

Why is so much credible information about the safety concerns regarding vaccines never addressed by the mainstream media? Why do they never address and counter the concerns, and why instead do they constantly use ridicule and terms like “anti-vax conspiracy theorists?” Would more rigorous safety testing of our vaccines not be in the best interests of everybody? Who would ever oppose that and why?

This article (CDC Director: ‘Masks May Offer More Protection From COVID-19 Than The Vaccine’) was originally created for Collective Evolution and is published here under Creative Commons.

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