California Asks Utility for More Electricity Amid Shift to Green Energy

By Jack Phillips July 4, 2021 Updated: July 4, 2021 biggersmallerPrint

California state energy officials asked the top grid operator to contract for additional power capacity for July and August due to concerns it won’t meet the demand during the evening.

In a letter, the heads of the California Energy Commission and California Public Utilities Commission asked the California Independent System Operator (ISO) to provide more power supplies via its tariff-based authority to obtain more resources during the two months and possibly September if conditions don’t improve.

“California is using all available tools to increase electricity reliability this summer,” the letter said (pdf), citing “unprecedented heat events, which are occurring throughout the West in combination with drought conditions that reduce hydroelectric capacity.” The letter, without providing evidence, said the drought and heat events are caused by climate change.

The letter didn’t make any mention of solar power. However, the request to the California ISO to provide additional energy during the evening hours is telling because that’s when solar power production sharply drops off. The Epoch Times has reached out to the two California agencies for comment.

Due to drought conditions, hydroelectric capacity has been reduced by about 1,000 megawatts, the officials noted.

“Summer has barely begun and we have already had repeated extreme heat events creating dangerous conditions and shattering records across the country,” their statement read. “Climate change is here and with increasing intensity that presents a host of new challenges we must collectively meet head-on.”

Obtaining additional power capacity “is taken out of an abundance of caution to ensure electric reliability and preserve the public health and safety of all Californians,” the officials added in the letter.

It comes as California’s ISO, in a news release late last month, warned that rising temperature and drought conditions could lead to limited energy resources and called on customers to reduce their electricity usage. Otherwise, it added, rotating power outages will be implemented.

When power outages hammered the state last summer, questions were raised about California’s increasing dependence on renewable energy sources such as solar or hydroelectric power. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, has repeatedly said the state won’t renege on its commitment to using green energy, as a state law recently passed stipulated that the grid has to be 100 percent carbon-free by 2045.

California’s blackouts last year were the first in nearly 20 years since the energy crisis of 2001, which was blamed on power manipulation and mismanagement by corporations including Enron.

But Newsom admitted last year that California’s transition away from fossil fuel sources may have contributed to the blackouts.

“In the process of the transition, in the process of shutting down, understandably, the desire and need to shut down polluting gas plants … comes the need to have more insurance, comes the need to recognize that there have been—by definition, demonstrably, in the last few days and what we expect over the next few days—gaps in terms of that reliability,” Newsom said in mid-August of last year.

Still, the governor said at the time that California won’t back down from the energy transition.

High tension towers are seen in Redondo Beach, Calif., on Aug. 16, 2020. (Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images)
Categories: Uncategorized.

Below is a rush transcript of this American Thought Leaders episode from July 3, 2021. This transcript may not be in its final form and may be updated.

“We are exposing a huge fraction of the population to what is in effect a scientific experiment, except that it isn’t a scientific experiment because we are deliberately avoiding collecting data that would allow us to evaluate the impact,” says Dr. Bret Weinstein, an evolutionary biologist and co-host of the DarkHorse podcast.

In this deep-dive with Dr. Weinstein, we discuss COVID-19 vaccine safety, the efficacy of repurposed drugs, the Wuhan lab leak theory, and this new age of censorship. What scientific data and information is currently being denied to the public?

Dr. Weinstein: We are exposing a huge fraction of the population to what is in effect, a scientific experiment, except that it isn’t a scientific experiment because we are deliberately avoiding collecting data that would allow us to evaluate the impact. And I find that shocking.

Jan Jekielek: Bret Weinstein, such a pleasure to have you on American Thought Leaders.

Dr. Bret Weinstein: Thanks for having me.

Mr. Jekielek: Bret, I think what we have to talk about today is censorship, and actually kind of a myriad of forms and some things which seem like censorship, but I’m not even sure if that’s the right thing to call them, but it’s certainly heading in that direction. You’ve been demonetized on YouTube recently.

Your DarkHorse channel is in jeopardy from what I understand. One of your recent guests, Dr. Robert Malone, he seems to have been kicked off LinkedIn. I think he’s appealing and might come back. We don’t know. As we’re filming here, that’s the state of affairs. Hopefully they will change. What’s going on?

Dr. Weinstein: Well, what’s going on is something is attempting to retain control of the narrative. I think in some sense, it has been stung by being forced to backtrack on the lab-leak hypothesis and it is attempting to keep discussion within certain bounds on other topics.

Mr. Jekielek: That’s a… What is it?

Dr. Weinstein: We don’t know. And we can infer certain things from the pattern. We know that it is very interested in policing the discussion of evidence surrounding repurposed drugs and possible harms of the COVID-19 vaccines, but it’s hard to say how it works and what its objective is.

We can only tell that there are boundary lines and if one crosses them, one puts their livelihood in my case, and their ability to speak to an audience in jeopardy.

Mr. Jekielek: Well, so let’s kind of dig into it, okay? You mentioned two areas. One is repurposed drugs therapeutics for COVID, another one is of course, vaccine safety. So what are you seeing? Well, let’s pick one. Let’s go into the vaccine safety first.

Dr. Weinstein: Well, I’m not sure that there is even a way to do one without the other. The two appear to be the same story viewed from two different sides. And I think what people need to track is the fact that in order for the vaccines to be administered, they had to get an Emergency Use Authorization. And one of the requirements for the Emergency Use Authorization is that there’d be no safe and effective treatments available.

So if the repurposed drugs are as good as some people believe they are, then the vaccines would not be available at all. They would still be in testing. Add to that the fact that the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture these vaccines have been granted immunity from liability. And these two things in combination, I believe, have created a headlong rush to administering the vaccines to everyone irrespective of medical or epidemiological need.

Mr. Jekielek: And that’s of course, very interesting. So where does the censorship happen? How does the censorship play out?

Dr. Weinstein: Well, I’ve seen a piece of the censorship on YouTube. YouTube has in their community guidelines, a provision that actually forbids the discussion of ivermectin if the discussion involves the claim that it works. And the problem is that there is substantial evidence that it works. And works doesn’t mean one thing, it actually means two distinct things.

There is strong evidence that ivermectin works for the treatment of COVID, especially if it is given early in the course of disease. It is also apparently highly effective as a prophylactic. And these things are clearly visible in the recent meta-analysis that have been released that show a clear pattern.

So somehow on YouTube, the discussion of evidence that has been peer-reviewed and delivered within the scientific literature is forbidden because it contradicts the CDC’s view, which is that ivermectin does not work or that there is no evidence that it works.

Narration: Our team reached out to YouTube, but we did not immediately receive a response.

Mr. Jekielek: And that’s one drug in particular, but so I want to think about this from a little bit of a different angle just for a sec. The process of scientific discovery, there needs to be conflicting, dissenting views, hypotheses that are tested rigorously. You need to have that discussion. You don’t want to just pick one view and say, “This is the be-all and end-all,” especially when there’s a situation where I guess there’s just a lot of chaos happening.

Dr. Weinstein: Well, there are two kinds of scientific consensus. And I think we are seeing a kind of shell game that pretends that we are looking at one type when in fact we are looking at the other. A scientific consensus can emerge when something becomes clear over time.

So for example, plate tectonics was deeply controversial when it was first suggested. The idea that the continents might actually float around and move was considered very unlikely by most people. It is now well-accepted and there is a consensus surrounding it, but it is a consensus that took time to emerge.

In the case of COVID-19, what we are looking at are consensuses that emerge suddenly and are impervious to new evidence. That is a very unnatural and very unscientific process. Consensus in a chaotic complex system like this is unlikely because frankly, the noise that arises out of so many different inputs to the system inherently makes for a confusing dataset.

Mr. Jekielek: Something that you mentioned in one of your podcasts that I was watching is just that there’s certain… Actually, you’ve mentioned this a few times, but there’s certain types of data that seems to be very important in your view and some experts’ views that just simply isn’t being gathered. And I found that really fascinating. Can you kind of elaborate on this a little bit?

Dr. Weinstein: Yes. I learned this from Robert Malone, who is the inventor of mRNA vaccine technology, and he is also somebody who has been involved in a professional capacity inside the regulatory apparatus. And what he said is that at the point that the Emergency Use Authorizations for the vaccines were granted, there was the opportunity to require extra data to be collected to find out what the impact of these vaccines was on the people who received them.

And a choice was made not to collect the data, which I find quite alarming in light of the fact that the process of establishing the safety of these vaccines was necessarily truncated in order to bring them to the public so quickly.

Mr. Jekielek: Okay, well, so what are the ramifications of that?

Dr. Weinstein: Well, the ramifications of it are that we are exposing a huge fraction of the population to what is in effect, a scientific experiment, except that it isn’t a scientific experiment because we are deliberately avoiding collecting data that would allow us to evaluate the impact.

And I find that shocking. It is one thing to argue that we have no choice that COVID-19 is an emergency and we have to make shortcuts that we would not ordinarily consider. I accept that argument. I also accept that these vaccines appear to work at least in the short term.

But the right thing to do in order to make proper medically justified decisions and epidemiologically justified decisions is to collect the data on what happens after administration.

These are brand new technologies. They have many different ways in which they could fail, and it is our obligation, especially to the people who receive these vaccines, that we collect the data on what happened. And to not do so means that we are very likely to put people in danger in the future with no justification for it.

Mr. Jekielek: Do you think of this as a kind of censorship? This is one of those things I think it feels to me like a kind of censorship because we just can’t access a certain type of information which might prove to be quite valuable.

Dr. Weinstein: I don’t think of it as censorship exactly, but it functions in the same direction. And there are many different ways that one can adjust a scientific conclusion in favor of something that is not actually manifest in the phenomena in question or the data. And arranging not to collect certain data is one way to avoid certain conclusions.

Especially in the context of a liability waiver, one can imagine that the pharmaceutical industry might not be interested in having that data collected because if there is a signal of adverse events, then it could result in the vaccines no longer being administered. And although the vaccines are free to Americans, they are being paid for. And so there’s profit to be made.

Mr. Jekielek: So, for example, there are some adverse effects from these vaccines. These amazing mRNA new technology being deployed never been seen before, I guess, right? And we know that I think the CDC has said, yes, there’s some cases for example, of heart inflammation among the young people, right?

What strikes me is in these types of situations where there are these kinds of effects, people are told, “Nothing’s happening. That’s perfectly safe.” It creates a situation where you actually end up getting a whole bunch of conspiracy theories being created around what’s really happening because people can sense there’s something that’s not quite right, but they don’t know what. What are your thoughts here?

Dr. Weinstein: Well, first thing is I think it is necessary to say I’m enthusiastic about vaccines generally, and I am actually enthusiastic about these new vaccine platforms in principle. I’m alarmed at what I am seeing in the case of these vaccines that are being administered currently, and it has something to do with an avoidance of the patterns that seem to be emerging.

Now, I don’t know that we can say that these vaccines are having these effects. What we have are alarming signals of adverse events in the various data. We have good reason to think that the various data is a significant under-report of those adverse events.

And what we have to wonder is if the adverse events are showing up in close proximity to these vaccinations, is there another explanation? I have not heard one advanced.

And so in the absence of an alternative hypothesis, we would have to say it appears that something is going on. The myocarditis and pericarditis being obvious examples of things that have shown up conspicuously, but at the very least, we need to look at that data carefully and do a proper analysis. And the instinct seems to be the opposite.

Mr. Jekielek: Why? Why do you think that’s the case?

Dr. Weinstein: Well, again, I think the only way to evaluate these things properly is using scientific tools. And that is my home turf as it were. I would say we have to think in terms of hypothesis. And the problem for me is that the only hypothesis that I have heard of or thought of that explains our seeming biases is that what is driving is a desire to vaccinate as many people as possible. And the only reason to vaccinate as many people as possible seems to be that there is profit in it.

Mr. Jekielek: That’s a huge assertion I think because extensively, this is being done for the good of society.

Dr. Weinstein: Well, it isn’t a huge assertion. If one is to say, “Yes, this is what is taking place,” then that is beyond the evidence. But to say that no other hypothesis accounts for our biases I think is just simply a fact now. Anybody who believes they have a different hypothesis is welcome to advance it, but let’s take the most obvious example.

We are currently vaccinating people who have already had COVID-19. There is no medical justification for doing that. And if you look at the CDC website, they say that the reason to do it is that we do not know how long the immunity from the disease will last. If the vaccines appeared to be harmless, then that justification would still not fly because we don’t know anything about the long-term effects, but it could at least be understandable.

But in the context of a significant adverse events signal, it makes no sense. We could take the large fraction of the population that has COVID and not expose them to the risks of the vaccines, and if it became apparent that the vaccines were providing immunity as the immunity from the disease itself failed, we could administer them then. That would be a medically reasonable approach.

But that’s not what we’re doing. We’re vaccinating people who do not appear to get a benefit who seem to have an excess risk of adverse events cropping up in the aftermath, and they are not getting something special. The fact is what they effectively got from their encounter with COVID-19 is a broader immunity than they will get from the very narrowly focused vaccines that they are now being given.

So it is not as if the vaccines contain some novel information that will give them some new kind of immunity to variants or something like that. It could be that down the road, the vaccines would be altered to provide immunity to variants, but at the moment, they are effectively redundant with the natural immunity that comes from the disease.

Mr. Jekielek: I have to say, I’ve been wondering about that policy. And basically you’re saying that there is no medical justification that you’ve come across. And I know you’ve been searching.

Dr. Weinstein: I have looked. I will also say that because the chain seems to be from the CDC to the social media platforms which then deploy the CDC’s wisdom as their justification for their censorship policy, I don’t think we have to look farther than what the CDC itself says and what the CDC itself says does not add up.

There’s no reason to vaccinate people who’ve already had COVID-19 until we know that the immunity that comes from COVID-19 is failing. And there are reasons not to do it that begin with the adverse event signal in the various data.

Mr. Jekielek: So here’s another hypothesis I’ve heard, right? As you mentioned, there’s kind of nuance here and it’s maybe complicated to figure out who has what? When did they get the disease? I don’t know, right? So let’s make a very, very simple policy. Everyone gets vaccinated, right? And that will create the best social good.

I have no idea if this is what people are thinking, but this is one thing that’s been forwarded to me as an idea. It’s just too complicated to try to go into all the different nuance here.

Dr. Weinstein: I must say I’ve heard that as well, but I find it shocking because to the extent that the conditions that we are seeing show up in the various data are very serious and the number of deaths is very substantial, well beyond what the stopping condition for a regular vaccine under normal conditions would be.

Every time we vaccinate somebody who doesn’t need it in order to simplify our policy and they die, they are leaving a family bereft. They may be leaving a family struggling to figure out how to get by in the world. The harm done by a single death is so substantial that we cannot justify exposing people to that risk to simplify a policy.

What’s more, although there is ambiguity for many people on whether they have had COVID-19, part of that ambiguity is almost inexplicable. We’ve done a very poor job of coming up with definitive tests that would give you a good sense.

That said, there are many people who have an almost unambiguous case for having had COVID-19. People who tested positive and lost their taste and smell sense, those people had COVID-19. There is no reason at all to expose them to this extra danger and it is not substantially more complicated to say so.

Mr. Jekielek: You’ve called the mass vaccination of COVID-19 the biggest gain of function experiment ever. What does that mean?

Dr. Weinstein: Well, what we are doing is unusual. We are deploying a novel technology that contains the code for a very narrow antigen signal, and we are deploying it into an active pandemic. And because the vaccines are not perfectly effective at preventing breakthrough cases, they are effectively exerting a very strong kind of selection on the virus.

And there’s every reason to worry that this selection will drive the evolution of escape mutants. That is to say selection in favor of mutations that make the virus invisible to the aware immune system that has been alerted by the vaccines. And that could produce an ongoing pandemic where we might end the pandemic if we were to approach it differently.

Mr. Jekielek: So how is this different than in a typical situation where you would use traditional vaccines, for example?

Dr. Weinstein: Well, a traditional vaccine, you would deploy where there was a very low chance of contact and a long-lasting immunity. And what that means is that the majority of people who would encounter the pathogen would be immune by the time they did encounter it because the vaccine would have had time to fully develop the immunity and there would be negligible selection in favor of escape mutants.

In this case, what we have is two things. One, we have the incomplete effectiveness of the vaccines, which means that within people who have breakthrough cases, the immune system is exerting a selective pressure against variants that are easily seen and towards variants that-

Mr. Jekielek: Just to be clear, breakthrough cases are cases where someone is vaccinated and they still get the disease.

Dr. Weinstein: Correct.

Mr. Jekielek: Just for our viewers benefit. Yeah.

Dr. Weinstein: But the other thing that we have in addition to people within whom you would have the selection is we also have people who are in the process of developing immunity because they’ve been vaccinated and they’re perhaps between the two vaccinations or the immune system is simply taking time to learn the lesson of the protein that is being used to train it.

And those people, their incomplete immunity also constitutes an environment in which selection can cause the evolution of escape.

Mr. Jekielek: We have one example of, I’m going to go back to the censorship question that we’re facing. We have an example of something, a topic which was completely verboten for a long time, which is the idea that the virus could have escaped from the Wuhan lab. For better part of a year I think, it was just…

You were in that case basically to suggest it, even though there were some people out there who were like, “It’s a nutcase thing to say that it’s an a nutcase thing. How could you say that?” Right? A lot of us were thinking that sort of stuff and frankly, writing about it. There was huge censorship and huge pressure to not talk about it, but that’s somehow changed.

Dr. Weinstein: It did. Yeah. Your question is why?

Mr. Jekielek: Well, no. I mean, it’s interesting. I guess it offers hope on one side that the scenario that you’re describing could change. The other one is why?

Dr. Weinstein: Well, let’s start with the why question. So I should say my channel was very early on this topic. And it was quite clear to many of us starting with the tremendous coincidence of this virus having emerged first in Wuhan, where there is a biosafety level four labs studying these viruses and enhancing them.

But it was quite clear that there was at least a viable hypothesis that needed to be discussed. And as you point out, those of us who did discuss it were stigmatized and demonized and portrayed as everything from racist to reactionary when in fact, all we were doing was following the evidence.

The change in that story was, I have to say, completely mysterious. What we had was a moment in time in which an article written by Nicholas Wade emerged, and suddenly it became discussable. It was a very unnatural event because although the article was quite good and it did make a very strong case, it was not the first such article.

And so it was as if on the basis of no new evidence whatsoever, suddenly the case had been solved. And that I must say gave those of us who were paying attention to kind of whiplash.

There was then a headlong rush by all of those who had gotten the story wrong to explain themselves and their explanations made less than no sense. They seemed to center on the fact that because Donald Trump had been favorable to the idea that this might have emerged from a lab that that made it not true, which of course is such an illogical conclusion that it’s hard to imagine how anybody who considers themselves a journalist could for a moment have been misled.

At worst, if you thought everything that Donald Trump said was a lie, at worst, you would have to take it as no evidence either way.

But that’s not how people treated it. They treated it almost as if the truth was always the opposite of what he said. And in any case, when the story changed, I had the distinct sense that what had happened was those of us who had been dogged about revealing the evidence and discussing what it meant and pointing to the implications of it, the implications being that although there is no conclusive proof, there is good reason to think that this emerged from a lab, that that is actually the most likely explanation.

Eventually, I think we made it impossible to maintain the public lie that a laboratory origin was somehow obviously in conflict with the evidence. And we now know from Dr. Fauci’s emails that behind the scenes, the top people didn’t believe it either. They were just simply feeding the public a lie that they had their own reasons for wanting the public to believe.

But I think the answer to your question is simple. There comes a point at which you’re caught lying and your best move is to revise the story. And that’s what happened to them.

Mr. Jekielek: Does this provide some hope in trying to elucidate… Because basically, we’re talking about censorship here, but the censorship is around having a meaningful, educated discussion about what’s happened, these profound things that are happening in society around our health and so forth, right? So is there some hope here in your mind?

Dr. Weinstein: I do have hope, but it is contingent on the several different stories that surround COVID revealing to us just how corrupt our system has become. The lab leak behaved differently than a normal story.

In general, there are people who see what is taking place and they try to call public attention to the evidence. Whistleblowers of a kind. And in general, they are not successful. Sometimes we find out about them in retrospect when a story breaks because some catastrophe has happened and suddenly we discover that somebody was warning that it would.

In this case, the whistleblowers were largely a number of people who go by the acronym DRASTIC on Twitter. These are people with scientific skills and insight who did the analysis in public, unearthed evidence that was not known and put the story together. And that provides a template for how you can deal with such stories when the evidence is available.

The problem is the other legs of the stool involved in the COVID story are of a different type. And the apparatus that wishes to maintain control and hold us to the official narrative has ratcheted up its censorship game.

So I was able to talk about the lab leak hypothesis, and I did run into trouble periodically, but my channel was not jeopardized on YouTube as far as I know. This time around, we are facing substantial pressure to stand down and not talk about the evidence of the repurposed drugs that appear to be effective at preventing and treating COVID-19 and to not talk about the adverse event signal in the various data regarding the vaccines. That is going to make it harder for this story to emerge.

Now, I’m hopeful that it will, but people have to understand this set of stories where there is a narrative supported by the evidence and then there’s an official narrative that pretends to be supported by the evidence but has the weight of the tech sector, governmental officials, that is a symptom of a deeper problem.

It is a symptom of something that goes by the name of capture. Unfortunately, capture is too closely associated with the idea of regulatory capture, which is where that term shows up. What we are facing is something that is much broader than that term usually connotes.

Mr. Jekielek: Maybe just tell us what is regulatory capture? And then let’s expand from that.

Dr. Weinstein: Regulatory capture is when a company or an industry captures the apparatus that is supposed to regulate it in the public’s interest and begins turning that agency or whatever its structure might be so that it actually does the bidding of the company or the industry. And that is a fairly common phenomenon and people are aware of it.

It does not usually involve things like the tech sector doing the bidding of the pharmaceutical industry. It is not clear why that connection exists, but we can see that that connection exists because, well, consider the question of what would be ideal from the point of view of the vaccine manufacturers?

It would be ideal if it were recommended that all people get the vaccine irrespective of their age, irrespective of whether or not they were pregnant, irrespective of whether they had had COVID-19. Now, it happens-

Mr. Jekielek: Assuming ethics don’t play into this at all. That’s what you’re saying here. Right?

Dr. Weinstein: Well, I guess what I’m really saying is I don’t know how ethics interface with something like the fiduciary responsibility inside these corporations, and I’m not going to pretend to, but they do have a perverse incentive to deliver as many vaccine doses as possible.

That perverse incentive lines up with a medical conclusion that everybody should be vaccinated, and that medical conclusion is now the CDC recommendation mirrors exactly what would be in the interest of the pharmaceutical industry, and the tech sector, the social media platforms have now taken the CDC recommendations and encoded them as the basis for their censorship policy.

So that suggested capture has now worked its way down to the level of Facebook, and YouTube, and Twitter. And the danger that that poses is that we can’t have a conversation about the capture of the public health agencies, even when it is urgent that we do so.

Mr. Jekielek: Because our platforms of conversation won’t allow it essentially.

Dr. Weinstein: Yes. If you do it as a hypothetical, imagine that you don’t believe that capture has taken over the CDC, but that it could, in the case that we take CDC beliefs and recommendations, and we encode them as the basis for a censorship policy, then what we would see is the evidence does not match the recommendations of the CDC.

We would have to have a conversation that says, “Has the CDC been compromised? Is there evidence that it’s been compromised? Are there mechanisms we can see that would allow it to be compromised?” We would have to have that discussion.

But if that very discussion is shut down, because it is deemed to be medical misinformation, then there’s effective silence. And it appears to those who are only casually paying attention, that there isn’t the suggestion that the CDC has been captured, because nobody’s talking about it.

Mr. Jekielek: Well, but in this situation, you also would have a whole lot of people who I guess are rapidly losing faith in the system if the system can’t be somehow tested or held to account, or even assessed, I guess.

Dr. Weinstein: Well, unfortunately what you get is the worst of both worlds, because on the one hand, you don’t get the necessary conversation about whether the apparatus that’s supposed to keep us safe is still functioning in our interests. And that leaves those who detect that something is wrong to fantasize about what may be going on.

And so the understanding of how bad things are, what the nature of them is runs wild, because the only conversations in which the fact of a discrepancy between the evidence and the policy can be discussed are also conversations in which people are undisciplined and are allowing their imaginations to get the better of them.

Mr. Jekielek: I keep thinking about this because we’re in this time period over, I don’t know how many years it’s now, where you have lawmakers, you have significant portions of society advocating in general for censorship, for the good of society extensively. I’ve certainly heard that cited a lot.

It’s not something that I necessarily was expecting, but that’s where we are. And this whole kind of, I guess, reality or ethos intersects with this whole phenomenon somehow, right? I mean, that’s what I’m thinking, but I haven’t thought much further than that.

Dr. Weinstein: I must say I’m shocked by it, but I also know that I’ve been warned again and again, I’ve been warned about the burning of witches and the burning of books and big brother. And I know that history does not repeat itself, but that it rhymes, and this rhymes in a way that I think caught us off guard. But yes, we have people cheering for the very things that our forefathers understood were a threat to our ability to persevere in the world.

And I do feel like I’m not sure what our forefathers needed to say to us in order to alert us that this might happen. But the number of warnings is great. And the degree to which we are now seeing people who until very recently were apparently on board with the idea that free expression was a good idea. We now see those very people cheering for the sensors and aiding them. And it’s frightening.

Mr. Jekielek: And so here’s the question, how does this… There’s some portion of the population that seems to believe this is a good idea, and it’s not a tiny portion. How does that intersect with this type of censorship that we’re seeing exactly?

Dr. Weinstein: Well, I don’t think it works that way exactly. In fact, I think that our founders understood something quite counterintuitive. Everybody can imagine that lots of speech has no value, and some speech is destructive. And so it is an obvious thought that maybe we could improve the world by just simply eliminating the speech that is obviously beyond the pale.

And the problem is the speech that is obviously beyond the pale is not an easy category to operationalize. What you often have are cranks and heterodoxy that travel together. And the admixture is an unfortunate one. In general, there are 100 cranks for every really interesting heterodox idea, and they very often sound alike for reasons that probably aren’t worth going into.

But the point is it becomes a good bet for a lazy thinker to bet against all of the things on the fringe, because the things on the fringe so strongly tend to be wrong that if you bet against them, you’ll be right 99 times out of 100.

But if you bet against the fringe and you stop thinking about the fact that hanging out on that fringe will be the heterodox ideas that are the root of the next rung of progress. Then you will freeze progress and you won’t know what happened.

So our founders recognizing that there was no good way to surgically separate the bad ideas from the good ideas on the fringe said, “Well, we have to accept the cost of the bad ideas being protected.” That is the cost of having the good ideas that are in amongst them free to be voiced.

And it’s hard to exceed their formulation. We still don’t know how to separate heterodoxy from crank ideas. And we need the heterodoxy. The fact is every great idea starts with a minority of one. And if you’re not willing to surrender the advantage that comes from all of those next great ideas, then we’re stuck with having to deal with what’s on the fringe. And it’s not that the cost of it is zero.

Mr. Jekielek: Is this whole kind of scenario that we’re discussing here today with respect to health and expression somehow above the fact that we’re heading into this kind of stasis because of the way the collective thinking of society is changing, or somehow being guided to change?

Dr. Weinstein: I don’t know why it’s happening, but I can say this is happening across every industry that I’m aware of. it’s happening across every institution that I’m aware of. And frankly, it’s happening across every topic that is important for us to discuss. We are undoing all of the basic principles that allow us to think, that allow us to disagree with each other productively to discover what is true.

And the consequence for us is going to be catastrophic. I mean, really we are taking a system that, yes, is deeply flawed, but does improve over time. We are taking that most vibrant, productive, innovative system, and we are undoing it in pursuit of what appear to be utopian ideas that stand no chance of being true.

Mr. Jekielek: So this is actually quite interesting, because basically it’s like we’ve decided or, and again some portion of the population or the elite class or something has decided that the cost outweighs the benefit. Is that-

Dr. Weinstein: Well, I don’t think that’s exactly how it works. I think everybody sees their little quadrant, and they have their interests. And so I can imagine that inside the pharmaceutical, for example, it would be very frustrating that there are repurpose drugs that have a promising signal of utility.

There are people who are pursuing things that absolutely won’t work. And that whole discussion of alternatives is counterproductive to the mission of somebody who is involved in a career selling vaccines.

So they might target a small amount of speech and they might see it as just a simply normal part of competition in the same way that the people who make tide might seek to out-compete the people who make cheer.

The problem is that this isn’t tied versus cheer, right? These are different medical technologies with different levels of unknown attached to their use, and the consequences are harm to human beings. And frankly, none of this is safe.

The repurpose drugs are also not inherently safe to be used off label. But the question is where is the greater risk? And we can’t even have that conversation, because there are certain claims that are supported by substantial evidence, which we’re not even allowed to make publicly on these platforms.

Mr. Jekielek: From your vantage point right now, where do you see this going?

Dr. Weinstein: Well, I have a hope, and I have a fear. I hope that what is about to happen is that the clear evidence that we have a small cluster of repurposed out of patent drugs that appear to be effective, both as treatments for COVID-19, and in one case as a prophylactic to prevent COVID-19.

And the fact that there is an alarming signal in the various data with respect to adverse events, following the vaccines, I am hoping that enough of us have come forward to discuss these issues that we have done it in a way that is careful. And I’m not saying we have not made errors, I have made errors, but that we have dealt with them honorably.

And I’m hoping that that has become clear enough that there will be another pivot. And that just as it was with the laboratory leak, whatever it is that decides what the official narrative is going to be is going to have to retreat.

And when it does retreat, my hope is that people will put two and two together, and they will recognize that what has been revealed by the laboratory leak, by the suppression of information about repurposed drugs, and by the silencing of discussion of harms that appear to be arising from the vaccines, that the real implication is that something is deeply wrong with the systems that are supposed to be serving our interests, that there has been capture, that we need to find out how it works, and we need to stop it, because we absolutely have to have our government. We have to have our universities. We have to have our journalists working on the public’s behalf because without them we are lost.

Mr. Jekielek: So that’s your hope. What about the fear?

Dr. Weinstein: My fear is that each time we go through one of these, the antagonists to truth are learning. They’re evolving. And that what happened with the lab leak has alerted them to the danger of allowing people to sort through evidence in public, and that their level of tolerance for that is going to be driven through the floor, that they effectively will be motivated to pay a higher price in terms of the ridicule that arises when people censor in order to make sure that the discussions don’t happen.

And I think that that is what I am feeling on my channel. And I fear that it could work, that those of us who face this, some of us will choose not to bend, and we will be purged from these platforms. And once we are purged from these platforms and other people have been induced to self-censor, that the conversation simply won’t be taking place. And that means that the official narrative will function as received wisdom.

Mr. Jekielek: I know you have obviously a lot of people communicating with, what are people saying to you in response to hearing of this demonetization and some of these videos being removed, like the one that you did with Dr. Malone?

Dr. Weinstein: Well, I get two kinds of responses in this case. One is, there’s an overwhelming response where people are grateful to have somebody attempting to sort this out in a responsible way in public, and there is great enthusiasm and support and offers of help.

And then there’s another signal which I must say, I find troubling on so many different levels, where people effectively want to hold me and others involved in these discussions responsible for the possible harms that will arise if people are led to understand, for example, that there are adverse events that seem to be arising as a consequence of vaccination.

Mr. Jekielek: So I want to just jump back to this idea, again, it seems to be like people… I’m spit balling here, but it seems people need a kind of simple answer, right? That the simple answer is vaccinate everyone, so that will be socially good. I don’t know. This is troubling.

Dr. Weinstein: There are several things going on at once. First of all, the discussion is happening in the context of a large fraction of the population having been vaccinated. And I can certainly imagine that for any person who has been vaccinated, it would be just simply much easier to imagine that these things are so safe, that there’s no reason to think more about it than you would any other vaccine.

I also think people, because they’re not in a position to evaluate the biological realities here, are unaware that there’s uncertainty across the board with respect to what we’re doing, and that it is not obvious, even though I freely admit, it appears that these vaccines work in the short term, that does not mean that they are a net benefit in the longterm.

There are ways that these vaccines could go wrong, and indications that some of these things may be happening. There is the question of whether or not they will drive the evolution of escape mutants that will prolong the pandemic and kill more people.

Ultimately, there’s a question of the possibility of antibody dependent enhancement, which could result in people who have been vaccinated being more susceptible to a virus in the long-term that has occurred with the attempts to produce previous mRNA vaccines. And there’s the question about the long-term harms to people who have been vaccinated.

So what I and my wife, Heather Heying, have been saying on our podcast is that we actually have a series of complex systems. We have three levels. The immune system is a complex system embedded within a person, which is a complex system embedded within a society, which is a complex system.

And all three of these are in play with respect to the harms. That does not mean that ultimately we will see all these things play out, but it means that anybody who is saying that these vaccines are simply good. They are the route out of the pandemic. And therefore we must get everybody to get vaccinated because it is obviously a good idea for us to do that. That is not clear.

And those who proceed from the idea that it is clear seem to be motivated by a removal of the normal constraints that typically surround discussion. And they are fighting as if they’re dealing with an evil foe, but they are not dealing with an evil foe.

They are dealing with people who on the basis of the evidence, and on the basis of what we understand about this three layer complex system are alarmed at what we are doing. And at the very least, even if we are wrong, it is vitally important that we pay attention to what might be wrong here, so that we will find out whether or not we are doing harm, and, among other things, stop it if that’s what we’re doing.

Mr. Jekielek: Bret, any final thoughts before we finish up?

Dr. Weinstein: To understand where we are, people need to recognize that the conversation exists at two different levels. There is disagreement amongst those who have looked at the evidence of the efficaciousness of repurposed drugs against COVID-19, and of the adverse event signal with respect to the vaccines.

The fact that we don’t all agree on what it means is actually a good thing. It’s a sign of a healthy scientific discussion. This is complex phenomenon, and the data does not tell a single story. That story will emerge over time if we are allowed to have the discussion.

But no matter where you stand with respect to the implication of the evidence, none of it accounts for the policy that we are seeing handed down. And that is alarming.

It would be alarming under normal circumstances, but it is especially alarming in the context of immunity from liability and the Emergency Use Authorizations.

In effect, we are seeing medical policy that for whatever reason, perfectly matches what would be in the interests of pharmaceutical manufacturers and does not appear to match the medical interests of the public.

Now, I have the sense that five years ago, three years ago, if we had asked people whether or not they trust the pharmaceutical industry not to corrupt lawmakers and cause the production of policy that serves their interests, and is not in the interest of the public, most people would have recognized that there was some danger from these corporations having undue influence over government.

Somehow in the context of the pandemic, people have forgotten this, and they don’t realize that even the normal protections have been removed by the way that these products were produced. The fact that the vaccines require that there are no safe and effective drugs in existence, and that there is now debate over drugs that do exist, which some of us having looked at the evidence believe are efficacious, and others swear there is no evidence for it.

That is an interesting and conspicuous fact. And people ought to look at it in the context of effectively the safety having been taken off the gun. That’s what happens when you immunize a corporation from liability, is it becomes more gung-ho about its product because it doesn’t fear ending up in court.

Has that happened here? I think it’s likely, but at the very least, we certainly have to be able to have that conversation. And the fact that censorship is now on the table at the very same moment, and topics on which we are being censored are central to that question of how safe we are being made by those charged with ensuring that we are served by the medical policy of the government is certainly something that requires discussion.

So I hope that members of your audience will understand no matter where they fall out on these questions, no matter what they think is going on, it is obvious that there is a danger that arises from immunizing corporations from liability. And that that danger puts an extra onus on us to discuss whether or not something has gone wrong.

Mr. Jekielek: Well, Bret Weinstein, it’s such a pleasure to have you on.

Dr. Weinstein: Thanks for having me on. It was a very interesting discussion.

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Categories: Uncategorized.

Critical Race Theory Is the Racial Version of Marxism: Radio Host

Education or Indoctrination? Loudoun County, Virginia, Is the Latest Tinderbox

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Chris Stigall, a Philadelphia-based radio host, told The Epoch Times that critical race theory is the racial version of Marxism. (Courtesy of Chris Stigall)

Chris Stigall, a Philadelphia-based radio host, told The Epoch Times that critical race theory is the racial version of Marxism. (Courtesy of Chris Stigall) Censorship & Socialism

By William Huang July 3, 2021 Updated: July 3, 2021 biggersmallerPrint

A Philadelphia-based radio personality, Chris Stigall, told The Epoch Times that critical race theory (CRT) is not only showing up in our schools and military but also in other places—even in churches. He believes that CRT is the racial version of Marxism.

Stigall hosts two different radio shows each day and produces a daily podcast as well. According to his website, “Talkers Magazine” has listed him as one of the “100 Most Important Radio Hosts in America” since 2009.

For the past week, Stigall has produced multiple programs on one topic: CRT. He told The Epoch Times that by the time he was able to return to church and his children were able to return to school after the lockdowns last year, he felt as though something radical had hijacked these institutions.

“I got back to church, and we were immediately hit with a critical race theory sermon, which was not anything that had been in my church before. My kids started to get hit with this ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusiveness’ stuff that is code for this critical race theory.”

According to criticalrace.org, “critical race theory is an academic movement which seeks to link racism, race, and power … Critical race theorists argue that American social life, political structures, and economic systems are founded upon race, which (in their view) is a social construct.”

Stigall explained his understanding: CRT teaches white people that they are always guilty no matter how much they apologize. And it sends an even worse message to non-white people—that they are always disadvantaged, and there’s nothing they can do about it.

In his opinion, CRT is a “purposeful provocation … It pits people against one another, from day one, just by virtue of who they are.” And he believes that this is totally antithetical to everything that America has striven to achieve as individuals.

Because of CRT teachings in schools, Stigall decided to pull his youngest child out of the public school system. He said his youngest child is still quite impressionable, and he doesn’t want her to be steeped in this toxic ideology.

The radio host saw how his older children became so sincerely confused since the term “racist” was being thrown at them just because they are white. His biggest concern is that if the children are “fed a steady diet of ‘you are a bad person,’ how long do kids get that message before they do become really nasty, awful, hostile people?”

Stigall understands that Marxism divides people according to their economic status: the wealthy people are oppressive, and the poor people are oppressed. Similarly, CRT is the racial version of Marxism. “It’s a deconstruction. That oppressed, oppressor dynamic is exactly the same as Marxism. [CRT] is just a different angle of looking at it,” he said.

‘Sounding the Alarm’

Stigall mentioned that a Chinese lady gave a “beautiful testimony” on CRT during a recent Loudoun County School District (LCSD) board meeting. Stigall said he trusts those Chinese immigrants more than any Ivy League academic on this topic since they really lived under such repression. Therefore, they understand it better than anybody else. “They are the ones that are shouting the loudest and sounding the alarm the loudest because they have seen it, and they are warning the rest of us. Don’t let it happen here,” he commented on those Chinese immigrants.

The LCSD board meeting which Stigall referred to was held on June 8. The Chinese lady, Xi Van Fleet, said during  the meeting that CRT-related teaching is “the American version of Chinese cultural revolution.” She further emphasized that CRT is rooted in “cultural Marxism” and “it should have no place in our schools.”

The radio host further said it’s not enough to simply ban CRT from schools. Americans also need to go on the proactive and offensive by asserting that schools teach the greatness of this country, “we’re now going to insist our public schools teach the 1776 curriculum, not that 1619 curriculum.”

He warns that the theory is present in more than just our education system. It broke his heart that CRT is preached from the pulpit of his church. Stigall tells others to be on the lookout, “whether it’s our military, our police, our city council, our churches, and our schools. It seems to be infecting everywhere,” he said.

Stigall is not alone. More and more local parents and even school board members have stood up to oppose the teaching of CRT in schools. East Penn parents Maureen and Christopher Brophy filed a lawsuit against East Penn School District on June 14. According to the complaint, earlier this year, the Brophys requested that their children don’t have to take lessons relating to “systematic racism, white fragility, religion, white privilege, Black Lives Matter, and police brutality,” but the request was declined by the school district superintendent.

The Brophys’ attorney Catherine Smith told The Epoch Times in an email that she would not provide any further public comment since minor children are involved in this case.

Another recent example was the Pennsylvania Souderton Area School District board meeting on June 17, the school board president Ken Keith announced: “In Souderton, we are not following or teaching critical race theory in our schools, any more than we are following or teaching Marxism or Communism.” His speech was interrupted by a 30-second round of applause.

Moreover, Pennsylvania state Reps. Russ Diamond and Barbara Gleim recently introduced House Bill 1532, or the Teaching Racial and Universal Equality (TRUE) Act, which aims to ban the teaching of CRT ideology across the commonwealth. It had collected at least 28 sponsors by press time.

Categories: Uncategorized.

Xi Jinping Warns Foreign Powers Will Get Their ‘Heads Bashed’ If They Confront Beijing

Chinese leader Xi Jinping (C), standing with former leader Hu Jintao, attends the celebration marking the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, on July 1, 2021. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images) Chinese Regime

By Nicole Hao July 1, 2021 Updated: July 2, 2021 biggersmallerPrint

In a speech marking the centenary of the Chinese Communist Party’s founding, its leader CCP Xinjiang said that foreign forces would get their “heads bashed” if they attempted to bully China. He added that the regime would “smash” any attempts from self-ruled Taiwan to claim formal independence.

In his hour-long address from Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, Xi vowed to bind the CCP to all Chinese people, pledged to strengthen China’s military, and sang high praises of Marxism.

In the over 80-degree temperature outside, Xi was the only one who wore Mao Zedong-style grey tunic suit, while all the other male CCP leaders dressed in black suits with ties.

During Xi’s speech, the about 70,000 selected audience members who sat at the square all applauded at the same time, at the same speed, and without enthusiasm. After Xi’s speech, it rained, an unlucky omen in Chinese culture. During the whole process, the CCP senior leaders and the audience kept their poker faces, even while shaking hands.

Hu Jintao, the former CCP leader, and Wen Jiabao, the former premier, participated in the celebration, but their predecessors Jiang Zemin and Zhu Rongji didn’t show up, which is unusual in the CCP’s history.

“The purpose of the CCP’s celebration is just showing its force …  which is hiding its weakness in both domestic and diplomatic affairs,” Su Tzu-Yun, director of the Defense Strategy and Resources Division of the Institute for National Defense and Security Research in Taiwan, told The Epoch Times.

Su noted that the CCP regime is struggling economically, politically, with the Taiwan Strait issue, and in relations with other countries.

“The CCP regime tried to transfer Chinese people’s focuses from their dissatisfactions on the regime to foreign affairs by [targeting the West and Taiwan],” Su commented.

Epoch Times Photo
Chinese leader Xi Jinping (C), standing with former leader Hu Jintao, attends the celebration marking the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China on July 1, 2021. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Xi’s Speech

Xi, the CCP’s most powerful leader since the regime’s founder Mao Zedong, addressed his speech in a communist tone, in which he claimed that he represented all CCP members and even all Chinese people, on Thursday.

“The CCP is in solidarity with Chinese people, will live together and die together,” Xi said. “Any attempts to separate the CCP from Chinese people will absolutely fail. The over 95 million CCP members and the more than 1.4 billion Chinese people will never allow such a scenario to happen.”

Then Xi spoke as a representative of all Chinese people.

“Chinese people would never allow any foreign force to bully, oppress, or subjugate us [the CCP and China]. Anyone who dares try to do that will have their heads bashed bloody against the Great Wall of steel forged by over 1.4 billion Chinese people,” Xi said.

Xi claimed that unifying Taiwan is the CCP’s historical task. He then said: “All sons and daughters of China, including compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, must work together and move forward in solidarity, resolutely smashing any ‘Taiwan independence’ plots.”

Xi closed his address by wishing for the CCP to never be disintegrated.

Epoch Times Photo
Chinese women sing at a ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China on July 1, 2021. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

Commentary

Commentators didn’t express much concern about the threats Xi delivered, but all noticed that the facial expressions of Xi and other senior CCP leaders were dignified during the celebration.

“They should be happy to celebrate the party’s centennial … They were anxious and panicked,” Su Tzu-Yun said. “It’s a reflection of the difficult situation that CCP is facing.”

The U.S.-based political commentator Chen Pokong commented in his independent media channel on July 1: “Xi Jinping read his speech without any emotion on his face, which is like reading a condolence.”

Talking about Xi’s threats, Su said he didn’t worry that the Beijing regime would unify Taiwan by force in a short time, but still suggested: “Taiwan should strengthen our self-defense forces.”

Taiwanese Mainland Affairs Council stated on July 1 that the Taiwanese people rejected the CCP’s one-sided principles, and the core values of Taiwanese society are “democracy, freedom, human rights, and the rule of law.” The council urged Beijing to follow Taipei’s diplomatic suggestions, which are “peace, reciprocity, democracy, and dialogue.”

The Chinese regime claims the island as its own, despite the fact that Taiwan is a de facto independent country with its own military, democratically-elected government, and constitution.

Epoch Times Photo
Four members of Hong Kong League of Social Democrats are marching on streets to urge the Beijing regime to release all political prisoners in Hong Kong on July 1, 2021. (Song Bilong/The Epoch Times)

As the CCP celebrated its centennial, Hong Kong pro-democracy activists face increasing pressure of arrest and protested in the city. They urged the Beijing regime to release all the detained political prisoners and dissidents.

According to the U.S.-based organization Dui Hua Foundation, which is dedicated to collecting data on political prisoners in China, the CCP regime had detained 44,932 political prisoners as of March 31.

Luo Ya contributed to this report.

Categories: Uncategorized.

International Scientists Call for New Inquiry Into COVID-19 Origins

France, After Helping Construct the P4 Lab in Wuhan, Now Suffers From Pandemic

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A computer image created by Nexu Science Communication together with Trinity College in Dublin, shows a model structurally representative of a betacoronavirus which is the type of virus linked to COVID-19, better known as the coronavirus linked to the Wuhan outbreak, shared with Reuters on Feb. 18, 2020. (NEXU Science Communication/via Reuters)

A computer image created by Nexu Science Communication together with Trinity College in Dublin, shows a model structurally representative of a betacoronavirus which is the type of virus linked to COVID-19, better known as the coronavirus linked to the Wuhan outbreak, shared with Reuters on Feb. 18, 2020. (NEXU Science Communication/via Reuters) cover-up

Alternatives needed in case Chinese regime won’t cooperate, they say By Alex Wu July 1, 2021 Updated: July 1, 2021 biggersmallerPrint

A group of internationally renowned scientists has issued another open letter calling for a new, thorough inquiry into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic by an international investigative team. The letter also provided solutions to the possible scenario of the Chinese communist regime not cooperating with such an investigation.

On June 28, the Paris Group published the open letter with major French media Le Figaro. The group is made up of 31 leading scientists and doctors from countries around the world, including France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, New Zealand, India, Australia, the United States, Canada, and Japan.

The letter notes that COVID-19 has been raging around the world for more than a year, but the origin of the virus hasn’t been identified.

A report by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) team that visited Wuhan, China, a year after the outbreak to seek its origins—now shown to have included key members with a clear conflict of interest—was inconclusive and raised doubts globally, especially in Western countries.

“We believe that the joint study process that the WHO is currently calling for, in its current form, does not satisfy the conditions to be credible due to serious structural gaps,” the letter reads.

The letter also addresses the Chinese regime’s attempt to erase related data, pointing out: “The measures taken by the Chinese government to hide the origins, and stop Chinese experts from sharing certain essential information and detailed data clearly show that the current process, without significant changes, has no chance of putting a complete or credible inquiry in place for all possible scenarios.”

The letter states that it’s “particularly regrettable that no exhaustive inquiry on all the plausible origins has been undertaken, and that none is planned.”

“We ask for a new scientific inquiry into all the plausible origin hypothesis, which has unlimited access to all the pertinent files, samples, and staff in China, and elsewhere if necessary,” the scientists urge in the letter.

The direction of the investigation should include the possibility of the virus leaking from the laboratory, the letter suggests.

Chinese virologist Shi Zhengli
Chinese virologist Shi Zhengli is seen inside the P4 laboratory in Wuhan, China, on Feb. 23, 2017. (Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images)

If the Chinese regime won’t cooperate in such an investigation, the group has suggested launching an international investigation mission without China’s participation, led by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Group of Seven Industrial Countries (G-7), or other institutions.

“A well-organized and concerted effort, free of interference, drawing on all available sources of information and involving a large number of experts, may well end up providing unambiguous evidence supporting one particular hypothesis regarding the origins of the pandemic,” the letter reads.

The suggestion is based on the fact that sufficient data are available worldwide for such an inquiry, the scientists argue.

“A great number of very pertinent details can be collected without the participation of the Chinese authorities. Many governmental and individual scientists across the world have already gathered, and started to analyse, significant quantities of pertinent data,” the letter reads.Related CoverageFootage of Bats Kept in Wuhan Lab Fuels Scrutiny Over Its ResearchFrance, After Helping Construct the P4 Lab in Wuhan, Now Suffers From Pandemic

The letter further suggests that the inquiry would also need the cooperation of the United States and the European Union in sharing documents and data.

The letter comes at a time when more evidence is emerging, with the international community now turning focus to the virology lab in Wuhan that has been conducting gain-of-function research on coronaviruses in cooperation with the Chinese regime’s military.

This is the fourth open letter this year calling for a new independent and thorough inquiry into the origins of COVID-19. The Paris Group issued another two letters earlier this year. In March, the first letter stated that an inquiry into the role of major science journals in concealing information of the pandemic, such as The Lancet, is in order.

They issued a second open letter on April 7, condemning the WHO’s report. The letter received significant coverage in French newspapers.

Categories: Uncategorized.

‘Pretty Weird’: Facebook Now Sending Warnings to Users About Potentially ‘Extremist’ Friends

Live Q&A: US Corporations Controlled by China; Facebook Pressured on Trafficking Content

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A giant digital sign is seen at Facebook's corporate headquarters campus in Menlo Park, California, on October 23, 2019. (JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)

A giant digital sign is seen at Facebook’s corporate headquarters campus in Menlo Park, California, on October 23, 2019. (JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images) Media & Big Tech

By Jack Phillips July 1, 2021 Updated: July 1, 2021 biggersmallerPrint

Facebook users have recently reported being sent warning messages from the social media giant relating to “extremists” or “extremist content” in recent days.

“Are you concerned that someone you know is becoming an extremist?” one of the purported messages read. “We care about preventing extremism on Facebook. Others in your situation have received confidential support,” it adds before offering the button to “Get Support,” which ostensibly leads to another Facebook page about extremism.

Redstate editor Kira Davis, who said was sent a screenshot of the message from a friend, wrote: “Hey has anyone had this message pop up on their FB? My friend (who is not an ideologue but hosts lots of competing chatter) got this message twice. He’s very disturbed.

And others reported getting a warning that they may have been “exposed to harmful extremist content recently,” without elaborating. The message then alleges that “violent groups try to manipulate your anger and disappointment,” similarly offering a “Get Support” option.

“Facebook randomly sent me this notice about extremism when I clicked over to the app. Pretty weird… The Get Support button just goes to a short article asking people not to be hateful,” wrote another user on Twitter in a July 1 post.

A Facebook spokesperson confirmed to CNN on Thursday that the social media giant is currently running the warnings as a test.

“This test is part of our larger work to assess ways to provide resources and support to people on Facebook who may have engaged with or were exposed to extremist content, or may know someone who is at risk,” the spokesperson said.

Epoch Times reporters who accessed Facebook were not able to reproduce the warning messages or access the “Get Support” page. https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?creatorScreenName=jackphillips5&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1410639053796429831&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theepochtimes.com%2Fpretty-weird-facebook-starts-sending-extremist-content-warnings-to-users_3883194.html&sessionId=2cbf1dedb7abc8c481bc0207407d5e3b3146bd6f&siteScreenName=EpochTimes&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

The messages come after Democrat lawmakers have repeatedly targeted and pressured CEOs of Big Tech firms like Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Microsoft, essentially accusing them of allowing “extremism,” misinformation, and cyberbullying. Simultaneously, they’ve faced criticism from Republicans who accuse the company of censoring conservative voices.

Conservatives, including former President Donald Trump—who has been banned from the social media platform for two years—have argued for the revocation of Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act, which serves as a liability shield for online publishers.

But these warning messages are sure to trigger even more negative feedback against Facebook and its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, over fears that the company is attempting to stifle free speech. On Twitter, as screenshots of the warning messages were being shared en masse on Thursday, many users expressed concern over the direction Facebook is taking.

The Epoch Times has contacted Facebook for comment about the messages.

Categories: Uncategorized.

China Has Never Regarded US as Friend in Past 70 Years: Retired CCP Professor

Chinese leader Xi Jinping (front C) attends the fourth plenary session of the Chinese Communist Party's rubber-stamp legislature, the National People's Congress, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 13, 2018. (NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)

Chinese leader Xi Jinping (front C) attends the fourth plenary session of the Chinese Communist Party’s rubber-stamp legislature, the National People’s Congress, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 13, 2018. (NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images) US-China Relations

By Nicole Hao July 1, 2021 Updated: July 1, 2021 biggersmallerPrint

The Chinese Communist Party regards the United States as an enemy and utilizes American’s kindness to grab resources and develop itself, according to a veteran ideology professor for the party’s Central Party School.

“The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) teaches the people to hate the United States … has consistently, from 1949 to this day, promoted anti-American sentiment,” CCP insider and retired professor Cai Xia wrote in an article published by the Hoover Institution on June 29 (pdf). “The words I have been most familiar with since kindergarten and primary school are phrases such as ‘stop the American imperialist wolves,’” she said of her experience growing up in communist China.

Cai then gave an example of the result of the CCP’s anti-American education. “Once, I bought a toy pistol and gave it to a six-year-old boy. The boy played with it and blurted out: ‘Kill the Yankees.’”

Perceiving the United States as its enemy, the CCP regime uses any method it can to benefit from America.

Believing “there can never be too much deception in war,” Cai wrote, “the CCP took advantage of opportunities for economic and cultural exchanges to sneakily acquire economic, commercial, technological, political, and military intelligence. In particular, the theft of high-tech research results is not only carried out in foreign companies within China but also by Chinese students and scholars who go abroad and may be required to ‘cooperate’ with certain agencies to filch various information.”

However, although Americans have been cheated by the CCP for over 40 years, many U.S. elites “still regard the CCP regime as an authoritarian one,” Cai resigned.

She warned that they have not realized that “China has turned into a refined form of neo-totalitarianism.”

“Relying on unilateral good wishes and illusions, they adhered to engagement, which caused the policy to have a certain ‘appeasement’ effect in reality,” Cai said of the prevailing approach by the U.S. government.

She warned that the “totalitarian system” of the CCP’s rule is “the greatest threat to American security and world peace, and the CCP regime has no moral compass” because “the CCP utilizes everything to achieve its aims.”

“They think that as long as the purpose is achieved, any means can be used (the ends justify the means),” Cai wrote.

She urged Washington to see the CCP’s true face clearly, which can help the nation and its people to take the right actions to protect itself as well as the world.

At the same time, Cai believes that “the CCP may suddenly collapse” because the regime “has the ambition of a hungry dragon but inside, it is a paper tiger.” Anything can happen in a totalitarian regime, she said.

China
Chinese leader Xi Jinping (center) and lawmakers stand for the anthem during the closing session of the rubber-stamp legislature’s conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, on March 11, 2021. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

70 Years of Hatred, 40 Years of Deceit

Cai’s essay is titled “China-US Relations in the Eyes of the Chinese Communist Party.” She spends most of the 28 pages talking about U.S.-China relations from the Chinese perspective. As a professor who used to give communist ideological lessons to senior CCP officials, Cai concluded that the CCP had hated the United States for over 70 years and has deceived it for over 40 years.

From 1949—the year that the CCP seized control of the Chinese mainland—to 1969, the United States and China have had bad diplomatic relations, although both parties met for ambassador-level meetings over 100 times in Geneva, Switzerland, and Warsaw, Poland.

In China, the CCP’s education has taught people to think that the United States is the biggest enemy of the country and the Chinese people, Cai also warned of the regime’s propaganda efforts.

Things started to change when Beijing’s closest communist ally, the Soviet Union, started to challenge the CCP in 1958, when then-leader Mao Zedong and Soviet head Nikita Khrushchev couldn’t agree with each other on multiple issues. In March 1969, the Soviet Union and China clashed over a small islet on the Ussuri River—China called it Zhenbao Island and the Soviets called it Damansky Island—marking the start of worsening Soviet-China relations.

“Choosing the United States in the confrontation between the U.S. and the Soviet Union at that time helped the CCP to rely on the strength of the U.S. to reduce Soviet threats,” Cai wrote. On the diplomatic side, the CCP was actively building up relations with the United States throughout the 1960s, although it kept teaching its people that the United States was still the enemy.

On Jan. 1, 1979, the United States and China formally established diplomatic relations, and the U.S. helped China develop its economy with a hope that a “China under the CCP’s rule would become more liberal, even democratic, and a ‘responsible’ power in the world,” Cai wrote.

Ten years later, the CCP has killed its own people who asked for democracy and freedom in Beijing, resulting in the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Cai said then CCP leader Deng Xiaoping ordered the regime to “hide our capacity, to bide our time,” when dealing in foreign affairs. He tried to convince Washington that China’s market is huge and promised that the regime welcomed foreign companies to participate in this market.

This is the basic rule that the CCP regime had followed since then, Cai wrote. She gave an example of how the CCP has cheated Americans by selling this promise.

“It is precisely because the CCP has seen through the American capitalists’ strong desire for the Chinese market that it knew that big business would willingly pressure the U.S. government to make concessions. Therefore, the CCP couldn’t care less about criticisms of its human rights violations, and it has become increasingly repressive domestically,” Cai wrote.

However, these American enterprises and businessmen haven’t received the treatment they expected in China.

“[The CCP] will use enticing language to lure multinational companies into China. But then, these companies will soon find that they have fallen into a trap: they must transfer their technologies or face shutdown. After acquiring the foreign technology, China often figures out ways to force these companies to leave the Chinese market,” Cai wrote. “Elon Musk’s Tesla company is experiencing this situation now.”

At the same time, the CCP regime has kept up its brainwashing of the Chinese people, including CCP officials, to be loyal to the party and treat the United States as their enemy.

“After 1989, the CCP continued to strengthen its ‘crisis education’ within the party, emphasizing that if the CCP fell from power, as in the former communist party-states, tens of thousands of cadres could be incarcerated or killed, and most party members and cadres would face unemployment and difficulties in making a living,” Cai wrote.

CHINA-BEIJING SPRING-TIANANMEN-HUNGER STRIKER
Student hunger strikers from Beijing University relax as several hundred students start an unlimited hunger strike as the part of mass pro-democracy protest against the Chinese government at Tiananmen Square on May 14, 1989. (Catherine Henriette/AFP via Getty Images)

Threats & Ambitions

Cai said the CCP regime started to have the ambition to control the world in 2008, when “China hosted the Olympic Games” and the United States “fell into the subprime financial crisis.”

Since then, the CCP has tried to involve itself in global rule-making like at the World Trade Organization. It had also busied itself with building a modern military “aimed at the United States,” expanding its overseas propaganda activities, and penetrating overseas “media, finance, economy, technology, education, think tanks, museums, and other fields and institutions.”

Cai pointed out that the CCP has restricted foreign scholars entering China, preventing them from sharing their mentality of free thought in China. The regime controls communications between Chinese scholars and foreign officials. At the same time, “the CCP’s ‘long arm control’ has reached Chinese students and Chinese organizations across the U.S., and the party has even set up CCP branches in American universities [to steal the know-hows and influence the free world],” Cai wrote.

Cai pointed out that Chinese current leader Xi Jinping is the most aggressive one, whose target is clearly the United States.

The CCP regime amended its National Defense Law on Jan. 1. Cai pointed out that one item specifying, “The State’s military activities are to prevent and resist aggression, prevent armed subversion and division, and defend national sovereignty, unity, territorial integrity, security, and development interests,” has a special meaning behind it.

“These two key terms, ‘division’ and ‘development interests,’ have profound implications: one is for Taiwan; the other is a threatening signal for all countries, and most importantly the U.S., that China’s military will go to war with whoever prevents the CCP from unifying Taiwan and whoever affects China’s development interests,” Cai wrote.

Epoch Times Photo
Chinese troops march during a military parade in Tiananmen Square in Beijing on Oct. 1, 2019. (Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images)

Cai, 68, was raised in a military family and joined the army in 1969. After retiring from the military, Cai became a CCP official in 1978. In 1992, Cai started her life at Central Party School as a postgraduate student.

In 1997, Cai became a lecturer at Central Party School to teach CCP ideology and politics. In 2000, she received the Doctor of Laws degree from the school and became a professor. She retired in 2012.

In 2020, when COVID-19 spread in China, Cai was in the United States as a tourist, and couldn’t return to China as planned.

In June 2020, an audio recording of Cai criticizing Xi Jinping was leaked online. Two months later, the CCP regime announced it was revoking Cai’s party membership and stopping her retirement benefits. She has remained in America since.

Categories: Uncategorized.

CCP at 100 Years: A Century of Killing and Deceit

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Table of Contents: How the Specter of Communism Is Ruling Our World

Table of Contents: How the Specter of Communism Is Ruling Our World22 Share Now 3732TelegramFacebookTweetEmailTellMeWeRedditCopy Link

A convoy of People's Liberation Army tanks pass in front of Beijing's Tiananmen Square on Oct. 1, 1999, during a national day parade.   (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

A convoy of People’s Liberation Army tanks pass in front of Beijing’s Tiananmen Square on Oct. 1, 1999, during a national day parade. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images) Chinese Regime

By Nicole Hao June 30, 2021 Updated: June 30, 2021 biggersmallerPrint

News Analysis

Editor’s Note: Some of the accounts in this article contain graphic and disturbing details of torture and other forms of degrading treatment.

Founded in July 1921, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has wreaked death and destruction on the Chinese populace for a century.

Armed with the Marxist ideology of “struggle” as its guiding principle, the CCP has launched scores of movements targeting a long list of enemy groups: spies, landlords, intellectuals, disloyal officials, pro-democracy students, religious believers, and ethnic minorities.

With each campaign, the Party’s purported goal has been to create a “communist heaven on earth.” But time and again, the results have been the same: mass suffering and death. Meanwhile, a few elite CCP officials and their families have accumulated incredible power and wealth.

More than 70 years of Party rule have resulted in the killing of tens of millions of Chinese people and the dismantling of a 5,000-year-old civilization.

While China has advanced economically in recent decades, the CCP retains its nature as a Marxist-Leninist regime bent on solidifying its grip on China and the world. Millions of religious believers, ethnic minorities, and dissidents are still violently repressed today.

Below is a summary of some of the major atrocities committed by the CCP in its 100-year history.

Anti-Bolshevik League Incident

Less than a decade after the Party’s founding, Mao Zedong, then the head of a communist-controlled territory in southeast China’s Jiangxi Province, launched a political purge of his rivals known as the Anti-Bolshevik League Incident. Mao accused his rivals of working for the Anti-Bolshevik League, the intelligence agency of the Kuomintang, which was China’s ruling party at the time.

The result was that thousands of Red Army personnel and Party members were killed in the purge.

The one-year-long campaign that started in the summer of 1930 marked the first in a series of movements helmed by the paranoid leader that only grew bloodier and broader with time. The mass carnage lasted until Mao’s death in 1976.

While there’s no record showing exactly how many CCP members were killed during the campaign, Chinese historian Guo Hua wrote in a 1999 article that within a month, 4,400 of the 40,000 Red Army members had been killed, including dozens of military leaders. Within a few months, the CCP committee in southwestern Jiangxi had killed more than 1,000 of its non-military members.

At the end of the movement, the Jiangxi CCP committee reported that 80 to 90 percent of the CCP officials in the region had been accused of being spies and executed.

Family members of senior officials were also persecuted and killed, the report said. The torture methods inflicted on CCP members, according to Guo, included burning their skin, cutting off females’ breasts, and pushing bamboo sticks underneath their fingernails.

Epoch Times Photo
Mao attends a conference related to arts and literature in Yan’an in 1942. (Public domain)

Yan’an Rectification Movement

After becoming Party leader, Mao kickstarted the Yan’an Rectification Movement—the first ideological mass movement of the CCP—in 1942. From the CCP’s base in the secluded mountainous region of Yan’an in the northwestern Shaanxi Province, Mao and his loyalists employed the familiar tactic of accusing his rivals of being spies in order to purge senior officials and other Party members.

All told, about 10,000 CCP members were killed.

During the movement, people were tortured and forced to confess to being spies, wrote Wei Junyi in a 1998 book.

“Everyone became a spy in Yan’an, from middle-school students to primary school students,” Wei, who was then editor of state-run news agency Xinhua, wrote. “Twelve-year-olds, 11-year-olds, 10-year-olds, even a 6-year-old spy was discovered!”

The tragic fate of the family of Shi Bofu, a local painter, was recounted in Wei’s book. In 1942, CCP officials suddenly accused Shi of being a spy and detained him. That night, Shi’s wife, unable to cope with her husband’s likely death sentence, took her own life and that of her two young children. Hours later, officials found her and the children’s bodies and publicly proclaimed that Shi’s wife had a “deep hatred” toward the Party and the people, and thus deserved to die.

Epoch Times Photo
A Chinese landowner is executed by a communist soldier in Fukang, China. (Public Domain)

Land Reform

In October 1949, the CCP took control of China, and Mao became the regime’s first leader. Months later, in the regime’s first movement, named Land Reform, Mao mobilized the nation’s poorest peasants to violently seize the land and other assets of those deemed landlords—many of whom were just more-well-off peasants. Millions died.

Mao, in 1949, was accused of being a dictator and admitted to it.

“My dear sirs, you are right, that is just what we are,” he wrote, according to China File, a magazine published by the Center on U.S.–China Relations at Asia Society. According to Mao, communists in power should be dictatorial against “running dogs of imperialism,” “the landlord class and bureaucrat-bourgeoisie,” and “reactionaries and their accomplices,” who were associated with the opposition Kuomintang.

Of course, the communists decided who would qualify as a “running dog,” a “reactionary,” or even a “landlord.”

“Many of the victims were beaten to death and some shot, but in many cases, they were first tortured in order to make them reveal their assets—real or imagined,” according to historian Frank Dikötter, who has painstakingly chronicled Mao’s brutality.

The 2019 book “The Bloody Red Land” chronicles the story of Li Man, a surviving landlord from southwest China’s Chongqing. After the CCP came into power, officials claimed that Li’s family had stashed 1.5 metric tons of gold. But this wasn’t true, as the family had been bankrupted years earlier due to Li’s father’s drug addiction.

Having no gold to give to the CCP, Li was tortured to the brink of death.

“They took off my clothes, tied my hand and feet to a pole. They then tied a rope around my genitals and tied a stone to my feet,” Li recounted. He said that they then hung the rope on a tree. Immediately, “blood gushed out from my belly button,” Li said.

Li was ultimately saved by a CCP official who sent him to the home of a doctor of Chinese medicine. Even after suffering severe injuries to his internal organs and genitals, Li still counted himself as lucky. Another 10 people who were tortured at the same time as Li all died. Over the next few months, Li’s close relatives and extended family would be tortured to death, one after another.

As a result of the torture, Li—who was 22 years old at the time—lost his manhood. During the CCP’s subsequent movements, Li would be tortured several more times, costing him his eyesight.

Epoch Times Photo
A starving family, date unknown (Public domain)

Great Leap Forward

Mao launched the Great Leap Forward in 1958, a four-year campaign that sought to push the country to exponentially increase its steel production while collectivizing agriculture farming. The goal, as Mao’s slogan goes, was to “surpass Britain and catch up with America.”

Peasants were ordered to build backyard furnaces to make steel, leaving farmland in severe neglect. Moreover, overzealous local officials who were afraid of being branded as “laggards” set unrealistically high harvest quotas. As a result, peasants had nothing left to eat after turning over the bulk of their crops as taxes.

What ensued was the worst man-made disaster in history: the Great Famine, during which tens of millions died of starvation, from 1959 to 1961.

Starving peasants turned to wild animals, grass, bark, and even kaolinite, a clay mineral, for food. Extreme hunger also drove many to cannibalism.

There are recorded cases of people eating the corpses of strangers, friends, and family members, and parents killing their children for food—and vice-versa.

Jasper Becker, who wrote the Great Leap Forward account “Hungry Ghosts,” said that Chinese people were forced to engage—out of pure desperation—in selling human flesh on the market, and the swapping of children so they wouldn’t eat their own.

Across 13 provinces, there were a total of 3,000 to 5,000 recorded cases of cannibalism.

Becker notes the cannibalism in China in the late 1950s and early ’60s likely occurred “on a scale unprecedented in the history of the 20th century.”

Chinese historian Yu Xiguang in the 1980s found an archival photo from his hometown in Hunan Province. It purportedly showed a man named Liu Jiayuan standing beside his 1-year-old son’s head and bones. Liu eventually was executed for murder.

Yu later interviewed Liu’s surviving family members in the 2000s to verify the story. He wrote in a report: “Liu Jiayuan was extremely starved. He killed his son and cooked [the flesh into] a big meal. Before finishing his food, his family members found his crime and reported him to the police. He then was arrested and executed.”

As many as 45 million people died during the Great Leap Forward, according to historian Dikötter, author of “Mao’s Great Famine.”

Epoch Times Photo
Communist Party cadres hang a placard on the neck of a Chinese man during the Cultural Revolution in 1966. The words on the placard state the man’s name and accuse him of being a member of the “black class.” (Public Domain)

Cultural Revolution

After the catastrophic failure of the Great Leap Forward, Mao, feeling that he was losing his grip on power, launched the Cultural Revolution in 1966 in an attempt to use the Chinese populace to reassert control over the CCP and country. Creating a cult of personality, Mao aimed to “crush those persons in authority who are taking the capitalist road” and strengthen his own ideologies, according to an early directive.

Over 10 years of mandated chaos, millions were killed or driven to suicide in state-sanctioned violence, while zealous young ideologues, the infamous Red Guards, traveled about the country destroying and denigrating China’s traditions and heritage.

It was a whole-of-society endeavor, with the Party encouraging people from all walks of life to snitch on co-workers, neighbors, friends, and even family members who were “counter-revolutionaries”—anyone with politically incorrect thoughts or behaviors.

The victims, who included intellectuals, artists, CCP officials, and others deemed as “class enemies,” were subjected to ritual humiliation through “struggle sessions”—public meetings where the victims would be forced to admit their supposed crimes and endure physical and verbal abuse from the crowd, before they were detained, tortured, and sent to the countryside for forced labor.

Traditional Chinese culture and traditions were a direct target of Mao’s campaign to exterminate the “Four Olds”—old customs, old culture, old habits, and old ideas. As a result, countless cultural relics, temples, historical buildings, statues, and books were destroyed.

Zhang Zhixin, an elite CCP member who worked in the Liaoning provincial government, was among the victims of the campaign. According to an account reported by Chinese media after the Cultural Revolution, a colleague reported Zhang in 1968 after she commented to that co-worker that she couldn’t understand some of the CCP’s actions. The 38-year-old was then detained at a local Party cadre training center, where more than 30,000 staff members of the provincial government were being held.

While in detention, she refused to admit to doing anything wrong and stood by her political opinions. She was firmly loyal to the Party but disagreed with some of Mao’s policies. She was sent to prison.

There, Zhang suffered horrendously as officials tried to force her to give up her viewpoints. Prison guards would use iron wire to keep her mouth open and then push a dirty mop into it. They handcuffed her hands behind her back and hung a 40-pound block of iron from the chains. Provincial CCP officials even ripped out all of her hair, and guards would often arrange for male prisoners to gang-rape her.

Zhang attempted to commit suicide but failed, which caused prison officials to step up their control. Her husband was also forced to divorce her. By early 1975, Zhang had descended into madness. In April of that year, she was executed by firing squad. Before being shot, the prison guards cut her trachea to silence her. She died at the age of 45.

During Zhang’s detention, her husband and two young children were forced to renounce their relationship with her. Upon learning of her death, they didn’t even dare cry—for fear that they would be heard by neighbors who might report them for bearing resentment toward the Party.

The disastrous movement ended in October 1976, less than a month after Mao’s death.

The legacy of the Cultural Revolution goes far beyond the lives destroyed, according to Dikötter.

“It is not so much death which characterized the Cultural Revolution, it was trauma,” he told NPR in 2016.

“It was the way in which people were pitted against each other, were obliged to denounce family members, colleagues, friends. It was about loss, loss of trust, loss of friendship, loss of faith in other human beings, loss of predictability in social relationships. And that really is the mark that the Cultural Revolution left behind.”

Epoch Times Photo
A young orphaned Chinese girl sits in a crib at a foster care center in Beijing on April 2, 2014. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

One-Child Policy

In 1979, the regime launched the “one-child policy,” which allowed married couples to have only one child, in a campaign ostensibly aimed at boosting the standard of living by curbing population growth. The policy caused widespread forced abortions, forced sterilizations, and infanticide. According to Chinese Ministry of Health data cited by Chinese state media, 336 million fetuses were aborted from 1971 to 2013.

Xia Runying, a villager from Jiangxi Province who experienced forced sterilization, wrote in a public letter in 2013 that her family requested to postpone the surgery because of her poor health. The local official, however, said that they would do the surgery even if she had to be tied up with ropes.

She began to urinate blood and have headaches and stomachaches after the surgery. Later, she was forced to stop working.

The regime discontinued the one-child policy in 2013, allowing two children. On May 31, it announced that families could have three children.

Epoch Times Photo
A girl wounded during the clash between the army and students on June 4, 1989, near Tiananmen Square is carried out on a cart. (MANUEL CENETA/AFP/Getty Images)

Tiananmen Square Massacre

What started as a student gathering to mourn the death of reform-minded former Chinese leader Hu Yaobang in April 1989 morphed into the largest protests the regime had ever seen. University students who congregated at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square asked the CCP to control severe inflation, curb officials’ corruption, take responsibility for past faults, and support a free press and democratic ideas.

By May, students from across China and Beijing residents from all walks of life had joined the protest. Similar demonstrations cropped up all over the country.

CCP leaders didn’t agree to the students’ requests.

Instead, the regime ordered the army to quash the protest. On the evening of June 3, tanks rolled into the city and surrounded the square. Scores of unarmed protesters were killed or maimed after being crushed by tanks or shot by soldiers firing indiscriminately into the crowd. Thousands are estimated to have died.

Lily Zhang, who was head nurse at a Beijing hospital a 15-minute walk from the square, recounted to The Epoch Times the bloodshed from that night. She woke up to the sound of gunfire and rushed to the hospital on the morning of June 4 after hearing of the massacre.

She was horrified when she arrived at her hospital to find a “warzone-like” scene. Another nurse, sobbing, told her the pool of blood from injured protesters was “forming a river at the hospital.”

At Zhang’s hospital, at least 18 had died by the time they were carried into the facility.

The soldiers used “dum-dum” bullets, which would expand inside the victim’s body and inflict further damage, Zhang said. Many sustained grave wounds and were bleeding so profusely that it was “impossible to revive them.”

At the hospital gate, a critically injured reporter with the state-owned China Sports Daily told the two health workers who carried him that he “didn’t imagine that the Chinese Communist Party would really open fire.”

“Shooting down unarmed students and commoners—what kind of ruling party is this?” were his final words, Zhang recalled.

Then-Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, who ordered the bloody clampdown, was quoted in a British government cable as saying that “two hundred dead could bring 20 years of peace to China,” a month before the massacre in May 1989.

To this day, the regime has refused to disclose the number killed in the massacre or their names, and heavily suppresses information about the incident.

Epoch Times Photo
Two plainclothes police officers arrest a Falun Gong practitioner at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, on Dec. 31, 2000. (Minghui.org)

Persecution of Falun Gong

A decade later, the regime decided to carry out another bloody suppression.

On July 20, 1999, the authorities began a wide campaign targeting the estimated 70 million to 100 million practitioners of Falun Gong, a spiritual practice that includes meditative exercises and moral teachings centered around the values of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.

According to the Falun Dafa Information Center, a website for Falun Gong-related information, millions of practitioners have been fired from their jobs, expelled from school, jailed, tortured, or killed simply because they refused to give up their belief.

In 2019, an independent people’s tribunal in London confirmed that the regime had carried out forced organ harvesting “on a significant scale” and that imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners were “probably the principal source.”

He Lifang, a 45-year-old Falun Gong practitioner from Qingdao, a city in Shandong Province, died after being detained for two months. His relatives said there were incisions on his chest and back. His face looked as if he was in pain, and there were wounds all over his body, according to Minghui.org, a website that serves as a clearinghouse for accounts of the persecution of Falun Gong.

Epoch Times Photo
A perimeter fence is constructed around what is officially known as a vocational skills education center in Dabancheng, Xinjiang Province, China, on Sept. 4, 2018. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Suppression of Religious and Ethnic Minorities

To maintain its rule, the CCP regime transferred a large number of Han ethnic people to Tibet, Xinjiang, and Inner Mongolia, where ethnic groups live with their own cultures and languages. The regime forced local schools to use mandarin Chinese as the official language.

In 2008, Tibetans protested to express their anger at the regime’s control. The regime, in response, deployed the police. Hundreds of Tibetans were killed.

Since 2009, more than 150 Tibetans have self-immolated, hoping their deaths might stop the regime’s tight control in Tibet.

In Xinjiang, the regime authorities have been accused of committing genocide against Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities, including detaining a million people in secretive “political reeducation” camps.

Last year, the regime in Beijing set a new policy that mandated Mandarin Chinese-only teaching in some Inner Mongolia schools. When parents and students protested, they were threatened with arrest, detention, and job loss.

The regime also uses a surveillance system to monitor ethnic groups. Surveillance cameras were set up in Tibetan monasteries, and biometric data are collected in Xinjiang.

Eva Fu, Jack Phillips, Leo Timm, and Cathy He contributed to this report.

Categories: Uncategorized.

Georgia Secretary of State Seeking Election Takeover of Fulton County: ‘Enough Is Enough’

A Fulton County election worker removes absentee ballots for the U.S. Senate runoff elections from envelopes at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Ga., on Jan. 5, 2021. (Elijah Nouvelage)

A Fulton County election worker removes absentee ballots for the U.S. Senate runoff elections from envelopes at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Ga., on Jan. 5, 2021. (Elijah Nouvelage) Regional News

By Jack Phillips July 1, 2021 Updated: July 1, 2021 biggersmallerPrint

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said he is pursuing taking over Fulton County’s elections operations, claiming the Atlanta-area county has habitually failed to count votes.

“I think people are saying, enough is enough,” Raffensperger told Just the News on Wednesday, adding: “I’m tired of it, but so is everyone else who lives in the other 158 counties” in Georgia.

Raffensperger, a Republican who was frequently criticized by former President Donald Trump after the 2020 election, added that he will invoke Georgia’s recent election integrity law that allows Georgia’s Elections Board to take over elections operations in localities that have issues with counting ballots.

The law, SB 202, was passed and signed into law earlier this year. The Department of Justice last week announced it would be filing a civil rights lawsuit against the measure.

When asked during the podcast about whether he would recommend the Elections Board to take over Fulton County by using the law, “Yes is the answer to your question,” Raffensperger responded.

“With SB 202, habitually failing counties can—actually the state election board can come in and replace the election director and really take over the governance of that,” he added, noting that he sought the ouster of a top Fulton County elections official but the county declined to do so.

During the podcast interview, Raffensperger cited a report released by an elections monitor, Carter Jones, in June that detailed alleged irregularities at a Fulton County vote-counting center in November.

“What [Jones] said was it’s all this mismanagement,” the secretary of state said, adding that county “mismanagement” and “dysfunction” erodes the public’s trust in the election system and “really lends itself to conspiracy theories.”

“So it needs to be fixed. It’s our largest county,” he said.

The Epoch Times has contacted Fulton County for comment.

His announcement comes in the midst of an investigation into Fulton County election forms regarding ballots’ chain of custody that allegedly went missing.

Amid claims that Fulton County can’t “produce all ballot drop box transfer documents,” Raffensperger said in a June 14 statement that his office is investigating. “Other counties that failed to follow Georgia rules and regulations regarding drop boxes” are also being reviewed, he added.

A spokesperson for Fulton County at the time appeared to dismiss the reports, telling The Epoch Times that officials “followed procedures for the collection of absentee ballots from Fulton County drop boxes.”

“We maintain a large quantity of documents and researching our files from last year to produce the ballot transfer forms. We have been in communication with the Secretary of State’s office to update them of our progress on this matter,” the spokesperson said.

Categories: Uncategorized.

Slight Gas Tax Increase In California July 1st

Published Jun 30, 2021 11:59 am

Stock Photo Gas pump View Photo

Sacramento, CA — Thursday is the beginning of the new fiscal year for the state government, and it also brings a small increase to California’s gas tax.

Senate Bill 1, passed in 2017, increased both the gasoline tax and vehicle licensing fees. The extra revenue helps fund road projects in the state.

The initial gas tax increase was 12-cents, followed by a 5.6-cent increase in 2019 and a 3.2-cent increase in 2020.

SB1 allows the tax to increase with inflation, and the Board of Equalization reports that it will go up by another 0.6-cents on Thursday. The BOE notes that it will bring the state’s gas tax to 51.1-cents, which will continue to be the highest in the nation.

Written by BJ Hansen.

Categories: Uncategorized.