Category Archives: Totalitarianism

Supermarkets, Groceries Can Exclude Unvaccinated in Australian State

The Epoch Times, By Jack Phillips  December 10, 2021

Supermarkets in the Australian state of Queensland will have the option to exclude unvaccinated people from entering under new vaccine rules.

Starting on Dec. 17, anyone who enters a café, restaurant, bar, theater, museum, library, stadium, or similar venues will have to show proof they are fully vaccinated for COVID-19. The rules, however, are not mandatory for supermarkets and grocery stores, although Australian officials said every business—including supermarkets, groceries, and other essential businesses—has the option to impose a mandate.

Small Business Minister Di Farmer told news outlets this week that the mandate doesn’t encompass essential services like grocery stores, post offices, and pharmacies. But they can opt-in, Farmer remarked.

“The essential services are the things that really remained open during lockdown,” Farmer was quoted by 4BC Radio as saying. “There will also be a range of other businesses who may make the choice just to only have their vaccinated staff and patrons using their business.”

In elaborating on whether groceries and supermarkets can mandate vaccines for entry, Farmer said it is “available to every business.”

“Any business is able to make that decision, and a lot of them are actually thinking about that very seriously,” she said, without elaborating on what businesses are considering it. When Queensland rescinds its lockdown orders, Farmer added, “you will need to be protected and businesses all over Queensland will be making that decision.”

“If a person decides not to be vaccinated, then those are the things that they will take into consideration,” she said.

The Epoch Times has contacted the Queensland government for additional comment.

A spokesperson for Woolworths, one of the largest supermarket chains in Australia, told News Ltd. that it will not require vaccine passports.

“We have a critical role to play providing food and essentials to all Australians, and will not require customers to be vaccinated to shop in our stores,” the spokesperson said. “Our stores have remained open throughout the pandemic, with strong Covidsafe settings to uphold public health and ensure the continuity of essential supply to communities.”

As vaccine passports become increasingly more commonplace, concerns have been raised that these systems would create a two-tiered society of the vaccinated and unvaccinated, and they’ve also been flagged for their potential to discriminate against vaccine-hesitant groups within society. Some public health officials argued that such mandates are needed to drive up vaccination rates.

Some civil liberties groups have also expressed alarm over a bevy of COVID-19 rules and restrictions that have been imposed across Australia. For example, the Victoria’s Public Health and Wellbeing (Pandemic Management) Bill 2021 was passed earlier this week, which was branded by opposition lawmakers as the “most dangerous in Victoria’s history.”

The law would grant the ability to declare a pandemic to Victoria’s Premier and Health Minister’s office, who will have the power to enforce orders including lockdowns, mask-wearing, vaccination mandates, and quarantines. Previously, the government had to seek permission through Parliament to extend a state of emergency.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/

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The Case of Tennis Star Peng Shuai Reveals the Real Purpose of China’s Censorship

WIRED, 12/5/2021

“Even if I court disaster like an egg against stone or a moth to a flame, I will tell the truth about you and me.” So wrote Chinese doubles tennis star Peng Shuai. Her post lasted 30 minutes on Weibo before it was censored, and her name rendered unsearchable.

Though Peng had done the unheard of—accusing former vice premier Zhang Gaoli of forcing her into a sexual relationship—this is not China’s only high-profile story of sexual misconduct in recent years. The removal of Peng’s posts comes on the heels of the case earlier this year of scriptwriter Zhou Xiaoxuan, also known as Xianzi. Zhou’s own accusation, which originally went viral on social media in 2014, was against Zhu Jun, a news anchor for one of China’s main state-run channels and a household name. She took Zhu to court, asking 50,000 RMB (about $7,600 USD) in damages and a public apology for groping her in a dressing room during an interview. This past September, the judge ultimately decided that Zhou’s accusations had insufficient proof. Once again, Zhou took to social media, this time to criticize how the judiciary treated her legal team and detailing how she was barred from introducing evidence of the assault. Her social media accounts were subsequently shuttered.

Peng’s and Zhou’s experiences are connected by their efforts to share their sexual assault stories and the support both received. Their respective hashtags were not mere trends, but also catalysts for the formation of communities connected by anguishing experiences of sexual harassment. Discussion of Zhou’s case online attracted attention and encouraged women to speak up, share her story, and find solidarity with one another. (Zhou herself was encouraged to speak up back in 2014 after seeing a friend posting a story of sexual harassment.) Meanwhile, Peng’s disappearance spurred frantic shares of the post detailing what she had gone through. International stars, including Naomi Osaka, Serena Williams, and Steve Simon, the head of the Women’s Tennis Association, trended the hashtag #WhereisPengShuai.

 

After Peng’s and Zhou’s stories came to light, state censors aimed to erase any evidence of wrongdoing and preserve the reputations of the powerful men at the core of Chinese state and political culture. In Zhou’s case, censors went after friends and well-wishers; a 300-member WeChat group that had grown in the wake of her court case suddenly vanished. Peng Shuai’s post prompted takedowns of not only her name and Zhang Gaoli’s name, but also temporarily the terms “tennis” and “melon,” a Chinese slang term for snacking while watching controversial or dramatic events. Moreover, the speed of the takedowns in the days since Peng’s post was taken down encouraged self-censorship.

The reception of these stories and the treatment of those who supported them show that censorship in China is more sophisticated than merely suppressing content that violates policies and guidance.

 

Most critical analysis of Chinese social media censorship focuses on the increasing number of words, phrases, or topics censored or filtered. But the function of censorship is far broader than this piecemeal approach suggests, encompassing also the destruction of online spaces and communities. Censors don’t focus solely on keywords. Organizational capacity and the ability to assemble in virtual spaces are key factors in how the party assesses political risk, and in how law enforcement in general decide how to throttle activities by groups outside of mainstream politics.

When civic spaces are closed and groups deleted, individuals with few or no connections outside of social media have backlogs of resources and connections taken away. In the case of WeChat specifically—which users in China utilize for chats, payments, blog publishing, travel, and other digital record keeping—a suspension or ban cuts a user off from many everyday communication and life tools.

 

This is not about topics. This censorship is fundamentally about the dismantling of social resources. Content takedowns not only address the shorter-term problem of text or images that government actors want to remove, they also weaken activists’ ability to rebuild by isolating them and dampening their ability to create new resources. Censors can ensure that these groups stay silent. Conceptualizing censorship in a solely piecemeal way neglects the damage that destroying the foundations of organizing and civic society components can do.

Chinese censors have not operated using content- or keyword-only censorship for nearly a decade, finding early on that the social nature of social media was key to modernizing and maintaining China’s Great Firewall. Xi Jinping himself characterized cyberspace in a 2016 speech as a “spiritual garden” for information innovation and cybersecurity. He claimed that this conceptual garden has “a clear sky, and crisp air with a good ecology in cyberspace conforms to the people’s interests. A pestilent atmosphere with a deteriorating ecology in cyberspace, in turn, does not conform to the people’s interests.” Unsaid but key to his analogy was what, and who, would have to be pruned and removed.

Communist Party internal literature also acknowledges the power of digital social networks beyond banning specific keywords. In preliminary studies of community environments on Weibo that led to increased control over social influencers, researchers identified the environment as a new frontier in civic spaces. Party scholars wrote: “Because cyberspace has no systemic barriers or binding ideological constraints … different classes, areas, and types of media can exchange, integrate, or confront ideas, making the public opinion environment increasingly complex.”

Topic-based bans do remain an integral part of censorship, barring mention of historically taboo events like the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre and content published by banned media outlets like The New York Times, Washington Post, and BBC. However, after the rise of bloggers and social media influencers in the  late ’00s, the public opinion environment was also precisely targeted by campaigns meant to curtail influencer impact and the capacity of nongovernment thought leaders to build community. 

In theory, social media users with large followings were private citizens. However, the mid-2010s handed them a choice: They could serve and support the politics of Chinese authorities, or they could face discipline by law enforcement and the dismantling of their communities. In 2013, amidst a flurry of blogger crackdowns, novelist Hao Qun summarized the trend aptly: “They want to sever those relationships and make the relationship on Weibo atomized, just like relations in Chinese society, where everyone is just a solitary atom.”

By the time Peng appeared in a November 2021 video call with IOC chair Thomas Bach, the Weibo and WeChat environments had virtually purged discussions with offending keywords or references to an earlier, clumsier cover-up email sent to the Women’s Tennis Association.

In Zhou’s case, censors assessing organizational risk were likely concerned by the number of supporters, as well as their ability to mobilize actions in the physical world, including sending supplies to those holding vigils outside the courthouse where her case was evaluated. The collective characteristics of their support, too, was cause for concern.

 

Silencing organizers and victims of sexual assault is one of many tactics used to weaken the capacity to assemble cases and public opinion campaigns. The playbook of making communities taboo and isolating politically inconvenient views spans a wide breadth of groups, from feminists to Marxist labor organizers to citizen journalists who covered the handling of the 2020 Covid-19 outbreak in Wuhan.

Though Zhou has not received prison time or been arrested for her case, the monitoring of her activity itself is meant to put pressure on her to tone down or silence her calls for justice, and stop her story from spreading. The closure of her account likely sets an example for her supporters as to what is verboten in terms of discussion or commentary. In speaking about the aftermath, Zhou was determined in her appeal but visibly shaken by the takedowns of her posts. Though she said she would try to pursue the legal procedures to the end, she was stunned by the sudden and abrupt silencing of her accounts. “It felt like everything that I did was a crime,” she recounted in an interview with The Guardian. “This is a torturous feeling.”

Like Zhou, feminist activist Lü Pin was not left unscathed by the sudden shutdown of Feminist Voices, the organization she cofounded. The group’s closure demonstrates that Chinese censors may keep working in perpetuity while the communications tools of activists and people with stories against the grain, like Peng, have their online existence hang by a thread. “Because what the government does is to isolate us from one another,” the activist explains, “therefore, we must connect with each other, and moreover, we must create and spread the alternative knowledge of resistance. This is what feminism is good at, after all.”

Chinese censorship and platform maintenance is multifaceted and easy to replicate in part or whole. The subsequent impact of censorship can manifest in longer-term ways beyond the stifling of a specific topic at a certain point in time.

Peng Shuai’s censorship over Chinese social media continues, with topics based on her name and story still banned on Weibo and WeChat publishing platforms. Though the IOC feels confident that she is safe, the systemic changes of the acts of censorship continue to reverberate online, for her and for other individuals with #MeToo stories bursting at the seams.

As it turns out, remembering the politically inconvenient is a risky thing. To help others to remember is even more dangerous.

 

https://www.wired.com/story/peng-shuai-censorship-china/?utm_source=pocket-newtab

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Immunization Infrastructure Modernization Act of 2021

List of 80 Republicans Who Passed $400 Million Vax-Tracking Bill Advancing a ‘Computerized Database that Records Immunization Doses’: ‘Immunization Infrastructure Modernization Act of 2021’

80 House Republicans—including Reps. Dan Crenshaw (TX), Adam Kinzinger (IL), Kevin McCarthy (CA), Young Kim (CA)—voted in favor of a Democrat-sponsored bill that will upgrade an “Orwellian” federal vaccine database used to “track” unvaccinated Americans.

  • Eighty Republicans voted (see list below) with Democrats on Tuesday to pass H.R. 550, the ‘Immunization Infrastructure Modernization Act,’ which seeks to “improve immunization information data quality” of “all personal data elements recommended by the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC),” according to the bill.
  • H.R. 550 is sponsored by Rep. Ann M. Kuster (D-NH) and cosponsored by 10 other Democrats and four Republicans.
  • The bill seeks to improve “incomplete patient records” by creating a “computerized database that records immunization doses administered by any health care provider to persons within the geographic area covered by that database.”
  • This information will be accessible via “cloud storage.”
  • Financial grants authorized by the bill “will be used to assist public health departments in improving data quality” by “supporting activities to improve the scheduling and administration of vaccinations.”
  • H.R. 550 will promote vaccine record data collection by “developing and disseminating information related to the use and importance of immunization record data” to “health care providers and other relevant entities.”
  • H.R. 550 will also “authorize $400 million for the Secretary of Health and Human Services to improve and expand immunization information systems (IIS).”
  • This money will support “real-time immunization record data exchange and reporting to support rapid identification of immunization coverage gaps.”
  • Such a monumental task will require the “Secretary to develop and utilize contracts and cooperative agreements for technical assistance, training, and related implementation support.”
  • The bill still needs Senate approval before it can be signed into law.
  • Rep. Mary Miller (R-IL), one of the 130 Republicans to vote ‘no,’ told Breitbart that the legislation would enable the federal government to “track” unvaccinated Americans who “will be targeted and forced to comply with Biden’s crazy ‘global vaccination’ vision.”
  • “These systems are designed to allow for the sharing of crucial information and maintenance of records. Do we really trust the government to protect our medical records?” Miller asked. “The bill’s author even bragged in her press release that these systems will help the government remind patients when they are due for a recommended vaccine and identify areas with low vaccination rates to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines. This was clearly a legislative tool to enforce vaccine mandates and force their Orwellian rules onto those who do not comply.”
  • Rep. Dan Crenshaw, who voted ‘yes’ on the bill, posted a video on Instagram alleging legislators “crafted this bill to put safeguards in place, ensure ALL the data is anonymous and non-trackable.” But no section of the bill explains how this will be done. While part of one sentence in its more than 1,700-word text briefly mentions supporting the “maintenance” of “security standards to protect individually identifiable health information,” no section of the bill elaborates on any new “safeguards” for improving or ensuring “anonymity” for American citizens’ private vaccination status. The terms “safeguard,” “anonymous,” and “non-trackable” do not appear in the bill.

READ THE FULL BILL HERE. https://americanfaith.com/8-reasons-rep-dan-crenshaw-is-a-globalist-shill-a-warning-to-american-patriots/embed/#?secret=tj9gFP6MIa

PURPOSE & SUMMARY OF H.R. 550:

The Bill reads: “H.R. 550, the ‘Immunization Infrastructure Modernization Act of 2021,’ authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services (the Secretary) to conduct activities, including designating data and technology standards, developing public-private partnerships, and awarding grants or cooperative agreements to health departments, in order to expand, enhance, and improve immunization information systems (IIS).”

REPUBLICANS WHO VOTED TO PASS H.R. 550 (CLICK NAME FOR CONTACT INFORMATION):
BaconRepublicanNebraskaYEA
BairdRepublicanIndianaYEA
BanksRepublicanIndianaYEA
BarrRepublicanKentuckyYEA
BilirakisRepublicanFloridaYEA
BucshonRepublicanIndianaYEA
BurgessRepublicanTexasYEA
CarlRepublicanAlabamaYEA
Carter (GA)RepublicanGeorgiaYEA
Carter (TX)RepublicanTexasYEA
CheneyRepublicanWyomingYEA
ColeRepublicanOklahomaYEA
ComerRepublicanKentuckyYEA
CrenshawRepublicanTexasYEA
CurtisRepublicanUtahYEA
Davis, RodneyRepublicanIllinoisYEA
Diaz-BalartRepublicanFloridaYEA
DunnRepublicanFloridaYEA
FitzpatrickRepublicanPennsylvaniaYEA
FleischmannRepublicanTennesseeYEA
FortenberryRepublicanNebraskaYEA
GimenezRepublicanFloridaYEA
Gonzales, TonyRepublicanTexasYEA
Gonzalez (OH)RepublicanOhioYEA
Graves (MO)RepublicanMissouriYEA
GuthrieRepublicanKentuckyYEA
Herrera BeutlerRepublicanWashingtonYEA
HillRepublicanArkansasYEA
HinsonRepublicanIowaYEA
HudsonRepublicanNorth CarolinaYEA
HuizengaRepublicanMichiganYEA
Jacobs (NY)RepublicanNew YorkYEA
Johnson (OH)RepublicanOhioYEA
Joyce (OH)RepublicanOhioYEA
Joyce (PA)RepublicanPennsylvaniaYEA
KatkoRepublicanNew YorkYEA
KellerRepublicanPennsylvaniaYEA
Kim (CA)RepublicanCaliforniaYEA
KinzingerRepublicanIllinoisYEA
KustoffRepublicanTennesseeYEA
LaHoodRepublicanIllinoisYEA
LeskoRepublicanArizonaYEA
LetlowRepublicanLouisianaYEA
LongRepublicanMissouriYEA
LucasRepublicanOklahomaYEA
LuetkemeyerRepublicanMissouriYEA
McCarthyRepublicanCaliforniaYEA
McCaulRepublicanTexasYEA
McClainRepublicanMichiganYEA
McHenryRepublicanNorth CarolinaYEA
McKinleyRepublicanWest VirginiaYEA
MeijerRepublicanMichiganYEA
Miller-MeeksRepublicanIowaYEA
Moore (UT)RepublicanUtahYEA
Murphy (NC)RepublicanNorth CarolinaYEA
NewhouseRepublicanWashingtonYEA
OwensRepublicanUtahYEA
PalazzoRepublicanMississippiYEA
PalmerRepublicanAlabamaYEA
PenceRepublicanIndianaYEA
ReedRepublicanNew YorkYEA
ReschenthalerRepublicanPennsylvaniaYEA
Rodgers (WA)RepublicanWashingtonYEA
Rogers (AL)RepublicanAlabamaYEA
Rogers (KY)RepublicanKentuckyYEA
SalazarRepublicanFloridaYEA
SchweikertRepublicanArizonaYEA
Smith (NJ)RepublicanNew JerseyYEA
SmuckerRepublicanPennsylvaniaYEA
StauberRepublicanMinnesotaYEA
StewartRepublicanUtahYEA
Thompson (PA)RepublicanPennsylvaniaYEA
TurnerRepublicanOhioYEA
UptonRepublicanMichiganYEA
WagnerRepublicanMissouriYEA
WenstrupRepublicanOhioYEA
WestermanRepublicanArkansasYEA
Wilson (SC)RepublicanSouth CarolinaYEA
WomackRepublicanArkansasYEA
YoungRepublicanAlaskaYEA
BREITBART REPORTS:

Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) also voted “no” on the bill, citing “Democrats’ habitual pattern of reckless and wasteful spending” in an exclusive statement to Breitbart News. The congressman said the legislation only serves to expand the power of the federal government and trample individual rights.

“This legislation would unnecessarily appropriate millions of taxpayer funds intended to expand bureaucracy in Washington. A database solely created to record and collect confidential vaccination information of Americans explicitly encroaches upon individuals’ fundamental right to medical privacy,” Donalds said. “As a fiscal conservative, I cannot in good faith support legislation that contributes to the Democrats’ habitual pattern of reckless and wasteful spending and the intrusive heavy hand of government.”

Miller noted that the legislation paves the way for the government to give blue states millions in taxpayers funds to enforce vaccine mandates. According to the bill’s text, the government could award grants and cooperative agreements to health departments or other local governmental entities for agreeing to adopt the new data collection guidelines set by the CDC. Any agencies hoping to receive a grant must agree to comply with security standards to protect personal health information.

The government may also develop “public-private partnerships” to help with “technical assistance, training, and related implementation support.” When Breitbart News asked Miller if public-private partnerships could potentially obscure data collection activities from the public, she said the government cannot be trusted to be transparent.

“…The government has become so large, you cannot expect them to keep anything private anymore. There is hardly any congressional oversight into studies these agencies conduct,” she added.

Miller contended that the government has “no reason” to collect more vaccination data on Americans.

“As I’ve said many times before, the government is not your doctor. The federal government has no business inserting itself into private healthcare matters of Americans. There is no reason for them to collect this data, it is an affront to our liberties and health freedoms,” she said. “This kind of legislation is always passed because the government has its hands in everything nowadays, often at the expense of the freedoms and privacy of Americans. This bill would allow the government to collect, study, and share your private health data. There are endless ways the government could potentially use that information against you – purposefully and accidentally.”

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Paul Kingsnorth: why I changed sides in the vaccine wars

UnHerd 12/1/2021  by Freddie Sayers

https://unherd.com/thepost/paul-kingsnorth-why-i-changed-sides-in-the-vaccine-wars/?tl_inbound=1&tl_groups[0]=18743&tl_period_type=3&mc_cid=af947e1540&mc_eid=0ff3e7ea29

==== Here a comment from this piece. Great.

Galeti Tavas 20 hours ago

Yawn…. really not seem like it had much to add, another Liberal/Lefty mugged slowly by reality and beginning to see the cracks in his cosmology. He seemingly comes from some University Protest mindset, He says (paraphrase) ‘I never thought we would have to argue against authoritarianism and Tyranny’ when it is the Tyranny of the Left that has been the entire theme of society for decades –
His thesis that the Thesis/anti-thesis group are quasi neo-religious is same old twaddle all the intelligentsia drag out. No they are not – they are Fas* ists and Free in ideological struggle.

Freddy says, paraphrased, ‘Once the Antithesis group concedes it is about the efficacy of the virus they have already lost that argument as you are not going to win that one long term’. COME ON, that is the Issue. And you miss it entirely. The argument IS That the entire response is Wrong because this is all about using a sterilizing vaccine process to save the world, achieve ‘Zero Covid’, – and the Vax is NOT Sterilizing. It cannot stop covid as vaxed get covid, pass covid, die of covid – it is NOT a vaccine, it is a medical thing which reduces symptomatic illness, but does not solve the covid. THUS the entire ‘Thesis’ group are Lying. They are destroying the world, economy, freedom, decency, education, lives, for a LIE!!!!! The vax is a lie. (sure it is great for vulnerable, but not for universal use, Mandates) At the same time all medicines are forbidden to be discussed as they actually could work, but would destroy the militant Vax agenda.

The antithesis group will win that, because it is all about the efficacy of the vax – because all this is being done in its name – and its name is a LIE because it has no true efficacy, only Natural Immunity, or traditional whole, dead, virus vaccine could.

The Thesis group are causing a Totalitarian Response, one which is causing more harm and third world, and all world, death than just no response and common sense – destroying the global economy, destroying all – FOR A LIE.

Anyway, this whole interview misses all points other than stating the obvious – or what should have been obvious to anyone who were not sheep who drank the Liberal/left Kool-aid.

Watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lraR1R_Imi8 to see you guys are just having some intellectual Swiftian ‘Big end, Little end’ argument wile the world is descending into a New World Order as the WEF and the other suspects are using this plandemic (it is a true, but very minor, pandemic, but the response is a Plandemic) to cause ‘The Great Reset’.

I suggest the interviewee watch some George Gammon ‘White Board youtubes on the economic situation, maybe some Demartino-Booth, some Dalio (worlds biggest Hedge fund founder) some Jim Rogers (Soros old partner who ‘Broke the Bank of England’) maybe some Wealthion, and see what this is all about in reality – Economics, and thus global control. This is not about the masks and lockdown inconveniencing folk – it is about re-wiring the global system of money. It is to usher in CBDC, and Power, and creating ‘Super Monopolies’ If he does not understand CBDC he has no right to pontificate on this response and outcomes of it.

USA spent $11 Trillion on covid response! That is Twice what it brings in from Taxes a year! Biden is getting another $4 Trillion, QE is $120 Billion a month to keep interest Zero – which is destroying the middle class and workers as the Ultra Wealthy have grown their wealth by $12 Trillion!!!!

This guest has absolutely no idea. He is talking of who gets to sit where in the Titanic dining room, where the deck chairs need to face…..

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I'm serious… usually. (Martin Rossol)