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JW Insider

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JW Insider last won the day on May 27

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  1. Intriguing. Found this about it:
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    Breast Cancer: Graphic visualisation of tweets wins award Wellcome Image Awards: Irish academic team used 92,915 tweets with ‘#breastcancer’ A graphical interpretation of Twitter posts about breast cancer is among the 22 finalists in the 2017 Wellcome Image Awards. The graphic visualisation was created by an Irish academic team using the contents of 92,915 tweets containing the term #breastcancer which were sent over an eight-week period. Eric Clarke, Richard Arnett and Jane Burns of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland developed the work, which used methods that make complex data more accessible and understandable. The three were “very honoured” to be selected as one of the winners of the Wellcome Image Awards for 2017, Mr Clarke said. Dots in the graphic represent Twitter users, and larger connecting lines between them show how often a post was shared. The very large nodes show trending data, with one tweet having been retweeted thousands of times.
  2. In the known history of the world, this is the fastest any country has ever responded to a virus that might have had the potential to be a pandemic. The world has never learned about a new virus in a more timely fashion. Pompeo is about as trustworthy on world topics as he has ever been.
  3. I'm sure that there were other better places to discuss the timeline issue. But this article just caught my attention:
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    French hospital discovers Covid-19 case from December Man found to have had virus a month before government confirmed first cases A French hospital that retested old samples from pneumonia patients has discovered that it treated a man with the coronavirus as early as 27 December, nearly a month before the French government confirmed its first cases. Dr Yves Cohen, head of resuscitation at the Avicenne and Jean Verdier hospitals in the northern suburbs of Paris, told BFM TV that scientists had retested samples from 24 patients treated in December and January who tested negative for flu. “Of the 24, we had one who was positive for Covid-19 on 27 December,” he told the news channel on Sunday. ...
  4. I haven't taken the time to study the reports supposedly evidencing a laboratory outbreak in Wuhan. But I have read enough to know that there are literally hundreds of reports out there that overstate the evidence for all kinds of claims. I can also see that some sites just completely make things up. The virus has affected so many people personally that it would be great to have some really good information, and effective plans of action, in case this or something similar happens again. I'm sure there is already a lot of good data from many sources about how this crisis should have been handled differently. Some places obviously handled it better than others. But who knows how well this data will be used. Even data is a weaponized these days. So I'm not trying to fully agree or fully disagree with anyone in particular. Like most people I am suspicious of the possible weaponization of the virus. And naturally it was suspicious that it started in Wuhan which contains a P4 (BS4) lab, and the possibility of an escape from such a lab. Looking up a few things, I wanted to say just a bit about them so I could come back later and check the references and links when I get some more time. To start I read what @César Chávez wrote above. I looked up a phrase or two to see where some of the information could have come from.
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    China announced that Major General Chen Wei, China’s chief biochemical weapon defense expert, now stations in Wuhan to take over the Wuhan P4 Lab linked to China’s covert biological weapons program. Wuhan P4 Lab has drawn world attention since the outbreak of Wuhan novel coronavirus. Some wondered if the virus was ‘leaked’ from the lab, which is located at the epicenter. Zhengli Shi, a renowned researcher working at the P4 lab, co-authored a controversial paper in 2015 to create a new virus by combining a coronavirus found in Chinese horseshoe bats with another that causes human-like severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in mice. Other articles on that page were of the Steve Bannon propaganda variety. (Bannon has been attacking China regularly for years and even owns media outlets that are used specifically for this purpose.) I was already thinking about this when I scrolled down further and his picture pops up in one of the articles. By Bannon-like I refer to the idea that statements are made that just directly tie anything negative to the CCP without evidence of any kind. Like: Miles Guo: CCP ordered Guo Deyin to create Wuhan coronavirus Guo Deyin, a prominent Chinese scientist, is responsible for creating Wuhan coronavirus under the order of the Chinese Communist Party. These tend to be based on empty claims that might only be claimed by the person making it up, or sometimes just quote a "citizen" who evidently made it up, and provides zero evidence. The claim will often be outlandish, but with specifics so that it looks believable. After linking and quoting the nature.com article about the findings of Zheng-Li Shi, we immediately see (in the next line) the part about a potential scapegoat: It remains to be seen whether the Chinese government will find a low-level scapegoat for the “leak” of the virus. According to Miles Guo, the Wuhan coronavirus was created by the Chinese Communist Party and spread in Wuhan on purpose under the order of Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan. . . . I hope the wisdom of the people around the world can curb the spread of evilness coming from Pandora’s box, destroy the CCP as the embodiment of the devil and stop this virus from killing the Americans and people around the world. This was back in early February, and you can already see how this "citizen" (Miles Guo) with no evidence is creating a possible future story that will involve Zheng-Li Shi as a potential scapegoat, and how this will be discussed in terms of bringing down the CCP. It's really outrageous to say that the vice president of China wanted it spread in Wuhan to kill Americans. It reminds one of pre-CCP (1938) flooding of the Yangtze River by Chiang Kai-shek, killing his own people to slow down the Japanese invasion. (Thanks @James Thomas Rook Jr. for that one.) In the midst of all the reports, there are constant contradictions too, so it might take years to see who is lying on purpose, who is lying because of a strong bias, who is merely spreading lies that they mostly believe because of a strong bias, or who is spreading falsehoods because they just don't know any better. Even here,
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    which, although virulently anti-Chinese, makes some statements that admit a lot of exculpatory evidence which would defend the Chinese. The main point of the article is how the US can "take back the narrative" to keep China from ending up looking good over all this. I like to find hints like this because if a source hates to admit something "good" about China, but then provides evidence like that, this evidence must have seemed incontrovertible to the reporters at the time. It's like if Osama bin Laden said, "Well I hate America, but I have to admit, Chicago makes some good pizza." I think this would be evidence that he actually did like Chicago pizza. (These days you also have to be careful with sites that normally support the US governmental policy especially from within the US, because they will often contradict themselves from positions they took under Obama just because they don't like Trump. The same thing will happen of those who criticized Obama, but love the exact same same policies under Trump.) The article also confirms some of the problems with US handling of various viruses. This tends to balance out some of rhetoric about safety issues in Wuhan's P4 lab. And by the way, the US has about 13 of these P4 labs, and many more P3 labs. The Wuhan lab is about 10 miles from Wuhan, a city of 10 million or so. That reminded me that NYC is even closer to NJ. Here are some examples that the Defense One article admits are at least partially true, even if not directly related to the first outbreaks: In August 2019, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, a Level-4 Biosafety Laboratory capable of handling dangerous infectious diseases such as Ebola, was shut down when it failed to pass a safety inspection by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC. Several months later, the CDC released an unrelated report on teen vaping and severe respiratory infections, citing a total of 805 hospitalizations due to lung injuries and 12 deaths with a median age of 23. During that same month, the U.S. Department of Defense sent 280 of the top athletes in the U.S. Armed Services to China to participate in the Military World Games. Five athletes suffered from the same illness and were hospitalized at Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital. Allegedly, one of these patients, diagnosed with and treated for malaria, is supposed to be the “patient zero” of the COVID-19 outbreak, the epicenter of which appears to stem from the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market. ... The U.S. has not done itself any favors in the global competition over narratives. In the absence of a definitive patient zero for COVID-19, prominent political leaders, journalists, and media personalities have resorted to spreading conspiracy theories. They have framed the outbreak as “foreign” or “Chinese”, suggesting in some cases that it stemmed from a biological weapons lab in China. Such claims appear to be bolstered by conspiracy websites and unsubstantiated quotes. . . . However, there are obvious problems with any bioweapons-related conspiracies for COVID-19. Setting off a global pandemic that will cripple the world economy and lead to millions of fatalities is a really terrible strategy for any country. Even if bioweapons were attractive to some country, this highly-transmissible and nearly impossible to control virus would be a least-ideal candidate. The U.S. developed biological weapons during World War II but never used them due to their perceived liabilities on the battlefield—the fear that once a contagious disease was unleashed, it could not be controlled and could backfire. . . . Conspiracy theories about the source of disease outbreaks gain significant traction because of the dual-use nature of biodefense research. Disinformation campaigns exploit a very fine line that exists between a biodefense program and an offensive biological weapons program. Under biodefense programs, countries like the U.S. develop diagnostic tools, manufacture personal protective gear, stand up highly secure labs to contain dangerous pathogens, and produce vaccines and other medical countermeasures to protect people from the scourge of disease. All these same capabilities can be leveraged to support a covert offensive bioweapons program. Unfortunately, the location of U.S. biodefense programs at former sites of its past bioweapons program, e.g. Fort Detrick, help to fuel disinformation. . . . While the COVID-19 as bioweapon narrative is patently false, it offers a good reminder that a bioweapon attack can be disguised as a naturally occurring outbreak with a strong disinformation campaign to deceive the public. Anyway, I've already quoted too much and am only half-way through the article. It also admits just how unlikely it is that this got out of the Wuhan lab. People make a lot out of "bat woman" and even the prejudice against bats as evil-looking. But for those who study coronaviruses even in the USA, that's just where you look. Just like "swine flu" could be found in pigs. (Which reminds me that viruses have started in the US before, and one "patient zero" for other dangerous viruses have been traced to soldiers in USA-located army bases. I recall a few years ago what seemed like a scramble to find a "patient zero" for swine flu outside the United States, and they found a five year boy in Mexico from a town where 40 people or so got the flu, but all the others had a regular flu except for this boy. They made him famous, and I think they even put up a statue of him (although he was a healthy recovering survivor). But then someone pointed out (his mother) that a US corporation, Smithfield Foods, ran one of the largest pig farms in his village.
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    "Patient zero" of the Hantavirus turned out to be some United Nations forces in Korea in the 1950's.
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    One of the most interesting articles that is a bit conspiratorial but sounds reasonably balanced is here:
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    I was surprised to see there in that article that Dr. Fauci's organization had given $3,000,000 to the Wuhan lab for coronavirus research. I didn't believe it so I checked all the links and discovered that this had already been news I had missed:
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    But back to the "murder most foul" article, it discounts the "bat in the Wuhan market" theory just as strongly as the Defense One article discredits the "escape from a Wuhan lab" theory. Almost too incredible to believe, funding for the reckless germ war experiments in Wuhan have included more than $3 million from Dr. Anthony Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a division of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), with apparent collaboration, according to Boyle, from scientists at the universities of North Carolina, Wisconsin, Harvard and other institutions. In 2014, the Obama White House Office of Science and Technology Policy put a hold or “funding pause” on “gain of function” experimentation on dangerous viruses in U.S. labs due to “biosafety and biosecurity risks.” Yet experimentation apparently continued uninterrupted (with U.S. funding) in China at the Wuhan lab. Then in 2017, the Trump Administration reversed this “funding pause,” essentially allowing illegal germ warfare research to continue. Longtime anti-GMO activists at GM Watch in the UK recently published an article entitled “COVID-19 Could Be a Wake-Up Call for Biosafety.” The article explains how, below the public radar, secretive and reckless research on genetically engineering and weaponizing coronaviruses has been going on for decades: “Stuart Newman, professor of cell biology and anatomy at New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York, editor-in-chief of the journal Biological Theory, and co-author of Biotech Juggernaut, adds crucial historical context that shows exploring whether COVID-19 could have been genetically engineered should not be dismissed as a subject fit only for conspiracy theorists. “[Newman] points out that the genetic engineering of coronaviruses has been going on for a long time. According to Newman, ‘Even most biologists are not aware that virologists have been experimentally recombining and genetically modifying coronaviruses for more than a decade to study their mechanisms of pathogenicity.’ Indeed, Newman points to papers on engineering coronaviruses that go back a full 20 years.” Dr. Peter Breggin points out that in 2015, researchers from the U.S. and China's Wuhan Institute of Virology collaborated to transform an animal coronavirus into one that can attack humans. Breggin’s provocative essay includes a direct link to the original study which was published in the British journal, Nature. Recent investigative reporting, including an explosive April 14 Washington Post article by Josh Rogin, followed by more muted coverage by CBS News, CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek and others, have alerted millions of people to the fact that the official Chinese/Big Pharma/WHO/NIH “bat in the market” story about the origins of COVID-19 may no longer be credible. Lots more links and quotes. I also thought it was prudent to snag the articles on SARS, Swine Flu, MERS, etc, from Wikipedia, back in late February because these articles always get highly edited when political ideologies meet science and data. There is even a such thing as medical ideologies, too.
  5. As you say, it may be nothing more than a rumor. Anything asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence. So we can just wait for the evidence before concluding anything. Of course, it is also very important to various groups and political entities to make sure there is a CURRENT negative story about China available at all times. Most of these turn out to be nothing or untrue, but just having the story out there, no matter how short-lived, is important to skew opinion. So if this one is untrue, then it adds to a growing list of failed propaganda stories against China. The CCP enjoys overwhelming support from Chinese people of varying class and wealth within all parts of China, so that even a terrible scandal would probably not have much effect on its stability. Within China the President (Xi) has been given high ratings for many years. The Chinese view of their own economy, the reduction of poverty, "peace and security," ease of transportation, even their own "human rights" are important to them. If such a scandal turns out to be true, it would probably have to be leveraged from political and economic forces outside the country before it had enough of an effect inside China to bring down a popular political party.
  6. There is nothing in the Bible itself about that. There are a few traditions about Peter and Rome, but they are mostly from a couple hundred years after the events would have taken place. And these traditions are often contradictory. The Bible is much more consistent and was written almost completely in the same century when Peter lived. Some of those traditions had the Gospel writer Mark as his secretary, but the Bible does not speak of either of them in Rome. The closest is this verse: (1 Peter 5:13, 14) 13 She who is in Babylon, a chosen one like you, sends you her greetings, and so does Mark, my son. 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love.. . . Since Peter was married, the "she" here is often thought of as referring to his wife, and Babylon is sometimes thought of as a pseudonym for Rome. But we also know that there was still a thriving Jewish population in the actual area of Babylon, so a pseudonym for Rome is not a definite explanation here.
  7. No proof. But evidence for a tomb supposedly belonging to to the apostle Peter is very old, reaching back to the century after Peter lived. (Some archaeologists also believe they have found physical evidence for such a tomb.) There is no direct Biblical evidence that Peter was ever in Rome. But the early 'church' found it very important to control the location of the bones of martyrs. (There was an early superstition that touching or interacting somehow with the bones, grave or objects owned by martyrs could pass along some of the 'spirit' or miraculous power of that martyr.) The more famous the martyr, the more important it was for the 'church' to control the location of those bones and the tomb. So although the reasons for keeping or moving Peter's tomb to Rome might be very un-Biblical, it doesn't mean that it didn't happen.
  8. He probably got that from me 😎 since I often point that out each time someone makes too much of electric cars. I'm starting to come around, however, since my oldest son drives a hybrid electric/gas and it gets better than twice the gas mileage of my Honda CR-V. Also, there are now several countries where most of their electricity is now made available from various combinations of hydro, thermal, wind and/or solar -- not oil and gas.
  9. The Epoch Times is Falun Gong's media outlet. My opinion is that The Epoch Times is a media outlet that takes advantage of the stupidity and anti-Chinese racism of the West. It is therefore designed to appeal to Western racists and mostly American stupidity. As a financial maneuver, those tactics tap into a goldmine. Falun Gong's rabidly fascist political agenda is not hidden at all. The "movie" starts out: "This is just the essential nature of Chinese Communism. Chinese Communism is evil. Every person it harms is directly attributable to the Chinese Communist Party." I think that the world was extremely fortunate that this particular virus started out in China. China was extremely quick to detect it and give the proper warnings to officials and to the rest of the world. We have never seen such a quick response with so few mistakes for any other virus that has started either here or elsewhere. China made a few errors, and 3,000+ Chinese persons lost their lives, but the overall response was an excellent model for all other countries to follow. It put into operation a combination of testing, lock-down, recommendations, quarantines, notifications, equipping medical personnel, equipping medical research, and sharing the research with the world. The "movie" is full of too many flat-out lies and inconsistencies to even think about taking seriously. I wish I had time to discuss how so much of the anti-Chinese propaganda has already been completely debunked. However, I have a non-Covid health issue to take care of with one of my parents, and will likely be completely logged out of the forum for a couple of weeks. I'd love to get back to this when I'm back. But who knows? By then the U.S. will probably be talking some kind of war with China.
  10. Yikes. Just saw the Inside Edition clip. I don't know what a demon's eyes look like, but somehow that Kenneth Copeland seems to be able to portray the general idea in a convincing manner.
  11. I guess it is a very cunning, lingering virus.
  12. That would be nice. But these books on this particular topic are rather expensive, and it's not really one of my topics. My three adult children have all taken a stronger interest, two of them were biochemistry majors, and one went on to law school instead of sticking with chem/med. Another was a physics major and he's currently trying to do some extra COVID research on the side. They still have good access to books on the topic, but I don't have the same access nor the time for this particular topic. I'm glad people like you are pointing out some interesting resources. By the way, where was that map from? The one with the line from Hubei to Hong Kong?
  13. Thanks for pointing out this book. I just looked at the 150+ pages available here:
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    The cases included are presented as if complete, but appear to be selectively chosen for a Western audience. (The book appears to have been rushed to the publisher, as you can see from several typos, and inconsistent presentation of evidence, where historical cases can be considered unlikely based on lack of evidence just a paragraph or two before it is used a clear-cut example.) It's interesting that the book, though published in 2020, knows nothing of the COVID-19 coronavirus. I guess it was published very early in the year. It does have a section called: "Synthesis of SARS-like Coronavirus." The second book you referenced is previewed here:
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    I didn't look through this one very closely yet, but flipping through the pages I found it much more comprehensive, at least up to 2009, where it ends. I have found some very curious data on the COVID-19. And more on Swine and Bird flu. I am going to try to grab some content before the old versions of the Wikipedia pages change, for example, which usually happens. I found this, which I think will become important later:
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    It indicates that the family of the virus found in the Wuhan market, although named H1, is a "child" of H13 and H35, its ancestors. This is one of the reasons that many in China and Japan believe that "Trump" dropped this off in Wuhan. Background. The outbreak of COVID-19 started in mid-December 2019 in Wuhan, Central China. Up to February 18, 2020, SARS-CoV-2 has infected more than 70,000 people in China, and another 25 countries across five continents. In this study, we used 93 complete genomes of SARS-CoV-2 from the GISAID EpiFluTM database to decode the evolution and human-to-human transmissions of SARS-CoV-2 in the recent two months. Methods. Alignment of coding-regions was conducted haplotype analyses using DnaSP. Substitution sites were analyzed in codon. Evolutionary analysis of haplotypes used NETWORK. Population size changes were estimated using both DnaSP and Arlequin. Expansion date of population size was calculated based on the expansion parameter tau (τ) using the formula t=τ/2u. Findings. Eight coding-regions have 120 substitution sites, including 79 non-synonymous and 40 synonymous substitutions. Forty-two non-synonymous substitutions changed the biochemical property of amino acids. No evident combination was found. Fifty-eight haplotypes were classified as five groups, and 31 haplotypes were found in samples from both China and other countries, respectively. The rooted network suggested H13 and H35 to be ancestral haplotypes, and H1 (and its descendent haplotypes including all samples from the Hua Nan market) was derived H3 haplotype. Population size of SARS-CoV-2 were estimated to have a recent expansion on 6 January 2020, and an early expansion on 8 December 2019. Interpretation. Genomic variations of SARS-CoV-2 are still low in comparisons with published genomes of SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. Phyloepidemiologic analyses indicated the SARS-CoV-2 source at the Hua Nan market should be imported from other places. The crowded market boosted SARS-CoV-2 rapid circulations in the market and spread it to the whole city in early December 2019. Furthermore, phyloepidemiologic approaches have recovered specific direction of human-to-human transmissions, and the import sources of international infectious cases. Also, a well-written general article on the topic is found in the Atlantic: "Why the Coronavirus Has Been So Successful" [SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19]
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  14. I don't really know. My youngest son speaks and writes Chinese fairly well and has been writing to some friends in China. They are working under the assumption that some persons CAN get it again, but that it was extremely rare and probably based on getting a variant the second time. South Korea has also reported second infections. Japanese "experts" have been reporting on NHK (like a Japanese "BBC") that the United States already had 4 or 5 variants of the virus, during the time that China did not yet have a second variant. Of course, even though Japan "hates" China, and is politically allied with the US, many Japanese have accepted as a "given" that this is evidence that the United States was already carrying the "first" and up to four branches of the virus, while China started out with only 1 of the branches in Wuhan, Hubei. Therefore, their "experts" are saying it must have come from the United States. At any rate, if the United States is carrying more variants, then it's more likely to suffer second infections (on the variant theory). [I assume, but don't know enough about it, that if an infected "variant 2" coughs on an infected "variant 4" that this is one way that a "variant 5" might be produced.] It's not known how well the antibodies built up from one (survived) infection might help fight a second. Also, it's possible that before testing was widely available, that some who were counted among the infected, were actually coincidentally suffering from another type of flu during the "first" infection. Tentatively, these Chinese friends of his say that they have all been through weeks of self-quarantine, and several provinces are finally going back to work. But they know that the outbreaks could happen anytime, anywhere. Even if second infections were NOT possible, there are still over a billion Chinese people who never got it in the first place, and are just as susceptible as those who already got it earlier.
  15. Currency manipulation. But it's the kind of manipulation that keeps things calmer during a crisis when someone might otherwise hear about that little bank in Middle-of-nowhere, Kansas that failed, and which then triggers an infectious run on other banks.

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