About tinafriesen

I am a writer, artist, and musician. I create in the hope of making the world a more peaceful and safe place.

Senators overwhelmed by emails, calls pushing conspiracy theories about basic income legislation

The headline reads: Senators overwhelmed by emails, calls pushing conspiracy theories about basic income legislation

I’d like to take a closer look at this article, written for the government-funded CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) by a skillful journalist named John Paul Tasker.

First of all, to Tasker, why the attack on people who don’t want Universal Basic Income? Can we not all have our individual opinion?

To call thousands of people you have never met conspiracy theorists and then go to the further extreme of labeling them as mentally unstable (a reference in the article that compares letter writers to people who go through manic and schizophrenic episodes) is really not appropriate. An individual assessment is required by a psychiatrist or psychologist before such a life-altering diagnosis. Otherwise it could be considered slander. I might add that groups of people are not mentally unstable just because they disagree with, or do not fully comprehend, the actions the government is taking.

If the government wants to do a “study” it is because the matter is being seriously considered. Studies generally lead in a certain direction. And let’s remember the cost of these studies generally runs in the millions of dollars. So, if the government is not considering a basic income then scrap the study. But, as with the truckers protest, we can now expect the government to become obstinate. Because the protesters have to be wrong.

Some people got wind of this and didn’t like it and found their voice. It’s so much more convenient if nobody makes a fuss about what the government is doing, but unfortunately actions of the government affect us all. And fortunately we have a voice. Or so we have thought was the meaning of democracy—representative rule by the people. The idea of representing the people is falling out of fashion, however, and along with it democracy.

What is really scary for the government and the CBC is finding out that a “fringe minority” might be a bit more than a fringe. So, as a mechanism of defence it become necessary to find a way to discredit those who disagree. Make them look like de-ranged crazies. This is a particular skill of the CBC–character assassination. Read the sub-heading: “Red Chamber grappling with a flood of messages claiming basic income is a plot by a shadowy global elite.” How could anyone possibly think that our government or global elites are “plotting” anything?

Of course basic income is not a plot. It is a plan. Am I right about that?

And then we have a photo, in the article, of COVID-19 protesters, dated back to December 20, 2020 with a caption stating “One protester holds a sign referring to the ‘Great Rest’ conspiracy theory.” This refers to the book written in 2020 by Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, entitled, COVID-19: The Great Reset, in which he talks about COVID-19 presenting an “opportunity” for a global reset. We have heard from Premier Jason Kenney that every premier in Canada received the book. I don’t exactly see how this fact qualifies as a conspiracy theory. However it could validates some of the fears expressed.

The author seems to dig himself deeper and deeper into the mire and anther example is a reference to LifeSite news, a conservative, Catholic news site, which, according to the CBC must not be believed, but none-the-less states exactly what we can find on the World Economic Forum’s website: LifeSite, a social conservative, anti-abortion website, has published a post on the legislation, linking Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland with the WEF. The WEF website states at the end of a lengthy bio that Freeland is “a member of the Forum’s Board of Trustees.” Let’s just add that there are more sources for information besides the CBC.

I recently did an article on my discovery of the WEF as a result of hearing Prime Minister Trudeau’s half-brother Kyle Kemper tell that Klaus Schwab is proud to call Trudeau his protege. There is video footage to support this. It’s not a big leap from there to imagine that this group of global elites—for that is what they are—might want to influence governments world-wide. Especially when you hear Klaus Schwab brag about infiltrating governments with young leaders.

The Great Reset is described in Wikipedia and the book is available on Amazon.

And as to the assurance of Kim Pate, Ontario MP who introduced the bill, that there would “absolutely not” be any clawing back of existing EI or Pensions, well, it is difficult to be reassured when in BC we were told we would absolutely not have vaccine mandates.

OK, I know that some are taking this a step towards basic income further than might be warranted, but they are afraid. They are afraid because we have had some pretty scary things happen in Canada. Our freedoms have been trampled on. You might have your bank account frozen if you support those who disagree with the government. You might be given a court order that disallows you to speak against the government or its mandates. And if we were to become dependent on a basic income then the government might one day decide to withhold funds because of such a thing as not getting a vaccine. See: National Post: Unvaccinated workers who lose jobs ineligible for EI benefits, minister says.

Klaus Schwab is famously known for saying, “You will own nothing and be happy.” Who is he talking about? What is he implying? A socialist form of government, maybe? You may want to check out his father Eugen Wilhelm Schwab, and also Freeland’s maternal grandfather, Michael Chomiak both of whom have Nazi ties. The WEF is an essential part of the UN and it cannot be denied that the UN has already influenced our public education, our climate change policy and our aboriginal treaty rights for better or for worse. The latter is being tested in courts.

I want to add that we may indeed be near the point of requiring a “guaranteed livable basic income” due to astronomical rising inflation. But CERB has shown us that an income supplement can be a disincentive to work. It also puts more money into the hands of drug dealers and increases overdose fatalities.

We know that home ownership in parts of Canada is already out of reach for a dual income family. Meanwhile large corporations like Blackstone, with huge buying power, are snapping up homes at an unprecedented rate and turning them into rentals in North America. See here and here.

These people sending letters are not all “crazies.” Some are actually very well informed. It turns out that much of what is being expressed is based on facts that are significant, especially in light of recent events. They consider the government and some news organizations as not completely forthcoming with the truth, I might add.

I think there is a better way of addressing the issue than continuing to aggravate people. It is true that some have been “broken” by covid. A few are believing clear fallacies. The first step towards helping people is validating their fear. Do we want to help these people or further alienate them?

For the CBC to print an article like this is only going to fan the flames. I’m surprised they don’t see that, unless it is their intent. Their descriptive of the people who wrote the letters is not too far from the truth about the CBC as well, “They’re trapped in their own echo chamber and they start to believe that everything outside of it is corrupted.”

See the article below.

Senators overwhelmed by emails, calls pushing conspiracy theories about basic income legislation

Red Chamber grappling with a flood of messages claiming basic income is a plot by a shadowy global elite

John Paul Tasker · CBC News · Posted: Mar 31, 2022 1:19 PM ET | Last Updated: 7 hours ago

People participate in a demonstration in Montreal protesting measures implemented by the Quebec government to help stop the spread of COVID-19 on Dec. 20, 2020. One protester holds a sign referring to the ‘Great Reset’ conspiracy theory. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

Members of the Red Chamber have been hit by a wave of questionable correspondence from Canadians convinced that a pending Senate bill would take away their pensions and lead to some sort of totalitarian world government.

Tens of thousands of calls, emails and handwritten letters urging senators to oppose Bill S-233 have flooded into the Red Chamber. The emails — many of them based on outlandish conspiracy theories — have at times overloaded the Senate’s servers, bringing the normal workflow to a grinding halt.

Bill S-233 calls for the creation of a national “framework” to allow the federal government to begin studying a “guaranteed livable basic income” program in Canada.

If passed, the one-page bill, which was introduced by Ontario Sen. Kim Pate, would not establish a basic income program in Canada. It would simply compel the Department of Finance to study the concept and report its findings.

Under parliamentary rules, a senator cannot propose any new spending or tax increases through a Senate public bill like S-233. Moreover, bills of this sort — and non-government legislation more generally — rarely pass through both houses of Parliament into law. The federal Liberal government has also been cool to the idea of a basic income program.

Despite those facts, senators are grappling with a well-organized letter-writing campaign driven by people worried that the bill’s passage will somehow result in real harms, like an end to Old Age Security and Employment Insurance or the contributory Canada Pension Plan.

Some of the thousands of letter-writers also falsely claim that, if passed, the bill would limit future social welfare programs to people vaccinated against COVID-19, or that cigarette smokers will be barred from government assistance.

The bill would not make any changes to existing government programs and does not stipulate who would qualify if the government were to implement a basic income scheme.

Some of the concern about pensions and income support seems to stem from a tweet by Peter Taras, a former Ontario candidate for the People’s Party of Canada. He told his followers that, if Bill S-233 passes, “if you are not vaccinated you will not receive EI, CPP, OHS, Social Services or Pension that YOU PAID INTO.”

‘Fantastical and untrue’

That message has been retweeted more than 700 times.

Pate told CBC News that the tweet is “absolutely fantastical and untrue” and people like Taras are “spreading misinformation … that unnecessarily terrifies people by telling them their access to financial support and services upon which they rely would be terminated.”

She said it is “absolutely not” her intention to wind up any existing program.

Ontario Sen. Kim Pate in 2013. Pate said people have been spreading misinformation about her bill, S-233, which would prompt the government to study implementing a universal basic income program in Canada. (Colin Perkel/The Canadian Press)

“Bill S-233 would not claw back or reduce services or benefits meant to assist individuals with needs relating to their health, disability, retirement, etc.” she said.

“The bill proposes developing a framework for implementing guaranteed livable basic income, an income support program available to anyone living in poverty in Canada. In my humble opinion, it could form one component of a robust, responsive, and comprehensive economic, health and social safety net that includes housing, child care, education, pharma, dental and mental health care, as well as programs like pensions, disability supports and EI.”

Other letter-writers took an even darker view of Pate’s push to have the government study a basic income.

Alberta Sen. Paula Simons told CBC News she has personally received “thousands and thousands” of emails, letters and phone calls from people who say the bill is some sort of plot by nefarious actors to establish a “new world order” or a system of state surveillance.

Simons said she and other senators have had trouble navigating through their clogged inboxes. They’ve had to resort to other messaging platforms because their email accounts have become “functionally useless,” she said. The Alberta senator said her voicemail is always full because of the sheer volume of calls.

Fascists, Soros and cyborgs

Those contacting senators’ offices to oppose S-233 blame the purported conspiracy to destroy the Canadian way of life on a range of bad actors: fascists, socialists, the Masons, billionaires like Microsoft founder Bill Gates or investor George Soros, or World Economic Forum (WEF) head Klaus Schwab.

Others bizarrely maintain the legislation will lead to “transhumanism” — an alleged plot to turn people into cyborgs.

“This is CANADA . . . not North Korea, not Russia, you are employees of the people! NOT EMPLOYEES OF THE WEF OR THE WHO,” one correspondent told Simons in a recent email.

“Bill S-233 is just the beginning. We are losing our freedoms to a group of elites that want to depopulate and control mankind, enslave us to experimental transhumanism, and the removal of any Christian and Godly devotions,” said another.

“Nobody voted for Nazi Klaus Schwab. Nobody even knew he existed 2 years ago. He has NOTHING to do with Canada or any other country. Schwab holds a statue of Lenin in his office! This is NOT CANADA. We are NOT going BACK to NAZI GERMANY. Please see NUREMBERG CODE & TRIALS,” said one letter-writer, referring to the WEF founder who has been the subject of many conspiracy theories since the onset of COVID-19.

Alberta Independent Sen. Paula Simons gives an interview in a park in Victoria, B.C. on Nov. 30, 2021. (Mike McArthur/CBC)

On Tuesday, all senators got an email that claimed the adoption of a basic income program would lead to the forced sterilization of people of child-bearing age and the extermination of the elderly and the disabled.

Simons said an untold number of Canadians have been “manipulated and terrified” into believing “outrageous” conspiracy theories that are patently false.

“Since the trucker convoy ended we’ve been bombarded. There’s been just a really sudden, dramatic spike in letters and many of them are from people who are deep into a conspiracy theory spiral,” Simons said.

Politicians are used to getting messages and calls from people who are “unwell,” Simons said, but there’s something different about this campaign.

‘COVID has broken a lot of people’

She said the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting public health restrictions have wreaked havoc on mental health, priming people to believe claims circulating online.

“I really do think COVID has broken a lot of people. There is a real delusional paranoia that runs through some of this mail. They’re writing to me about how this is a eugenics plot, a Masonic plot and at some point you go, ‘OK, this is really upsetting that people are preying on people who are already vulnerable.’ This is a thing that happens when people go through manic or schizophrenic episodes.”

Beyond Taras, the failed People’s Party candidate, Simons said it’s not clear who’s behind the effort to convince people that S-233’s passage would have such sweeping consequences.

LifeSite, a social conservative, anti-abortion website, has published a post on the legislation, linking Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland with the WEF. That website also quoted former U.S. presidential candidate Ron Paul who has claimed that the WEF wants to introduce global socialism through a universal basic income.

Since the LifeSite post was published, Simons has heard from church and community groups that have sent in large batches of form letters.

The WEF, a non-governmental organization that hosts discussions between world and business leaders at an annual summit in Davos, Switzerland, does not dictate what will or will not become law in any country.

The ‘great reset’ lives on

But Amarnath Amarasingam, a professor at Queen’s University, and one of Canada’s leading researchers on conspiracy theories, said the WEF is at the centre of so many COVID-related conspiracies because, in 2020, some its leaders talked about a “great reset” after the health crisis — a chance to evaluate how the global economy is structured after grappling with such a devastating pandemic.

Amarasingam said some theorists see Davos as a place where evil elites “basically do their plotting and their criming.”

Protestors hold a banner reading “COVID-19 The Great Reset, Klaus Schwab” — referring to World Economic Forum chairman Schwab — during a demonstration against coronavirus-related restrictions in Amsterdam on May 2, 2021. (Peter Dejong/AP Photo)

“A lot of people think sinister elites manufactured the pandemic to bring about a ‘great reset,’ and make humans financially dependent on the government,” he said.

“There is a concern that the vaccines and a basic income are all woven into a grand plan to basically make us robots, cyborgs that will listen to anything these billionaire elites tell us to do. They think programs like a basic income will take away financial independence and that that’s part of a broader plot by evil-doers so that they can eventually have their way with us.”

Amarasingam said there’s nothing new about conspiracy theories but the pandemic has “pushed them into hyperdrive,” fuelling a movement of people willing to believe there’s a global movement to “enslave” humanity.

‘Closed ecosystems of thought’

A noted decline in people’s trust in government, the press, academics and experts and public health authorities has made the situation worse, he said, while the advent of alternative social media platforms like Telegram has made conspiratorial material readily available.

“These alternative platforms have seen insane growth. It’s created closed ecosystems of thought where people only trust what they hear from other people online. They’re trapped in their own echo chamber and they start to believe that everything outside of it is corrupted. There’s a growing proportion of people who just live in an alternative universe.”

Amarasingam said people in these online forums are largely unaware of how the government operates — or how a bill is passed through Parliament — and those knowledge gaps “are easily filled with fantasy.”

“It’s easy to see a sinister plot when you don’t actually understand how the government works. These people aren’t civics majors,” he said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John Paul Tasker

Parliamentary Bureau

J.P. Tasker is a senior writer in the CBC’s parliamentary bureau in Ottawa. He can be reached at john.tasker@cbc.ca.

Follow J.P. on Twitter

CBC’s Journalistic Standards and Practices|About CBC News

Report Typo or Error|Corrections and Clarifications

Minority Report

Your weekly guide to what you need to know about federal politics and the minority Liberal government. Get the latest news and sharp analysis delivered to your inbox every Sunday morning.

Can Anyone in Good Conscience Defend Further Vaccination?

As the government of Canada continues to be silent on the subject of ending federal vaccine mandates, one has to ask the question, is vaccination even warranted when the vaccine does not prevent infection against Omricon? To put it another way, we have an injection that is not a vaccine.

My family, living in Canada, are all vaccinated and we all got Omricon. Between us we also had adverse reactions after the vaccine including neurological issues, heart and breathing problems, bleeding, inflammation and melanoma.

Pfizer released documents this month confirming that they knew of adverse events in the three months following the introduction of the vaccine, including over 1000 deaths reported during that time. It is plausible that results for Moderna and Astra Zeneca are similar. That means there were potentially 3000 “reported” deaths attributable to vaccination in the first three months of the roll-out of vaccines. We do not know how many deaths went unreported, but given that only about 10% of adverse events are actually reported, we can be sure there were many more.

You can view Dr. John Campbell’s discussion of the Pfizer documents here. You can also view the original PDF (with redactions) prepared by Pfizer. Go to this section: Cumulative Analysis of Post-authorization Adverse Event Reports of PF-07302048 (BNT162B2) Received Through 28 Feb 21. For a complete list of adverse events reported see the Appendix.

This week I decided to do an informal survey of friends and see who among their family and acquaintances suffered after the vaccine. As far as I know, these were not reported on VAERS. This is what I came up with (edited for brevity and clarity):

1. Several people that work for me or with me have complained a lot about brain fog. To the point that they are having a hard time accomplishing their tasks.

2. My brother in-law had a heart issue after his 2nd dose.

3. Mandie’s story I know this gal and her family very well.

4. An 11 year old boy, very athletic, exercises for hockey and baseball, 2 days after his shot his neck muscle started spasming. It got so hard and kept spasming. He was screaming in pain. His mother called drs, they said call 911. The ambulance came, couldn’t take him until they had given him fentynal because the pain was so bad. They gave pain killers and muscle relaxers. It still took about 3 weeks for the muscle to go back to normal.

5. University student didn’t want to get thrown out of university so had her 2 shots. Has been bleeding and lots of pain twice a month for whole weeks. Now she has a cyst. Her doctor said “It wasn’t confirmed, but it was probably from the shot.”

6. Another young woman had bleeding so bad after one vaccine she didn’t go for her second one.

7. In our family I know of several that got covid after injections. In extended family and friends I am aware of only 2 cases (of adverse reactions). Both females. One got arthritis and was in excruciating pain, the other one developed heart issues and actually died as a result. She was in her 30s.

8. My physiotherapist died of heart issues and his brother died of heart issues as well.

9. Male, between 35-40 years, healthy, strong, eats well, had a heart attack.

10. Female, age 64, 2 shots of Moderna. After the first shot she instantly got a very sore firey red throat. I seen it!! She had bumps all over her tongue and white sores forming at the back of her throat. She swelled up so bad that she could barely swallow and was in so much pain.  She also had this reaction when she took the 2nd shot. To this day she has trouble swallowing food, drinks and especially pills. She’s been tired ever since she was vaccinated. She used to go out to walk with me. She was a very fast walker. Now she can’t walk fast as she has breathing issues. Since the vaccine her breathing has gotten worse. When she got her 2nd shot she landed in the hospital for 5 days with Double Pneumonia. She told me she is still experiencing leg, arm and hand cramps. Her legs feel like dead weight when she tries to sleep. Hands shake all the time now. Her heart also races which causes her to become very tired fast. Remember she was a woman who had more energy that I have!!! She said these shots made her face age badly. She will NOT be taking anymore shots.

11. Woman in 60’s cancer returned and she passed away.

12. Male, 40. No previous health issues except his back which he injured in a bad accident five or six years before he passed. Died with his lungs half full of blood. Autopsy came back inconclusive. Nothing in the tox screen. Had his first jab 6-8 weeks prior to passing in September of 2021, as required by his employer. Went to bed and didn’t wake up the next morning. Pathologist assistant said it wouldn’t be listed as adverse. We did some digging and found that pulmonary embolism can cause lungs to fill with blood. There was absolutely nothing wrong with him before the jab. 

13. 71 year old female nurse. Bells palsy within hours of first injection. No report made. Also tingling of ears and dizziness.

14. Male, 50 years old. Complete paralysis on one side of his body with convulsions within hours of first shot, mandated by employer. Not reported.

15. 39 year old athletic male. Came down with Covid and high fever after shot.

16. 40s female. Previous remission of cancer. Blood clots in heart- heart attack. Now cancer is back and very aggressive.

17.  A female from our church in late 40s, paralysis within hours of jab. Could not even speak.  Better now.

18. Female early 20s from church. Miscarriage. Not conclusive but suspected. (Note: It is virtually impossible to say the vaccine caused the injury. We can just look for patterns.)

19. Female from church early sixties rapid onset gastrointestinal issues.

20. Male college athlete. Cardiomyopathy. Died within days of second dose. Not reported.

21. Local physician. Male 60s. Death myocardial infarction.

22. Local surgeon, 50s. Tremors – cannot operate.

23. Male, approximately mid 30’s. Never ever sick- got sick after  jab.  He got sick while un-vaxxed family did not.

24. Our paralegal. Female 40s. Had two oral surgeries and both surgeons said they thought the vaccine she took had an effect on the poor healing process.

25. My aunt had tinnitus immediately after 1st dose, followed by vertigo 8 weeks later. Within 6 months of dose a minor stroke (did not take 2nd dose).

26. Female 72. Blood counts are off and doctor cannot find reason. He is attributing to the shot.

27. 88 year old female having hallucinations and now fungal infections.

28. I have a female friend who developed ovarian cancer in her 80s. Not a cancer that 80 year olds get. She was diagnosed in late December and died in early February. Very aggressive.

29. I have several friends that I strongly suspect died following the 1st dose. One a male in his 40s had CHF which was under control. Following 1st dose was hospitalized 3x for 1 week each with symptoms opposite of his CHF. Drastic weight loss with no explanation from his cardiologist. They couldn’t figure out what was going on. He was going back into the hospital the day that he was found deceased on his couch.

30. Female,  40+, university professor. Died of a heart attack 9 days after vaccination. She had a recent clean bill of health. 

31. Doctor reported he had 4 other ladies who similarly died over a 6 month period.

32. Doctor reported a patient who had a stroke and no underlying health issues so attributed it to recent vaccination.

I share the above to support the conclusion that VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reports) may indeed only represent about 10% of cases, since people, even doctors, don’t generally report reactions. It takes about 30 minutes to fill out a report and doctors and nurses do not have the time or get paid for taking the extra time. Medical staff has been discouraged from acknowledging vaccine injuries and saying anything to patients that might cause vaccine hesitancy. Think about this for a moment. Information about the harm caused by vaccines is deliberately being withheld from the public.

Here are the (abbreviated) reports from Dec 2020 to Feb 2021 that Pfizer knew about but didn’t release until March, 2022. After each data set is the following summary: Conclusion: This cumulative case review does not raise new safety issues. Surveillance will continue. I will only list “fatal” outcomes related to cases.

AESI – Adverse Event of Special Interest

Anaphylactic Reactions

2958 potentially relevant events; Relevant event outcome: fatal (9). There were four individuals in the anaphylaxis evaluation who died on the same day they were vaccinated.

(As a side note, an allergic reaction is a risk factor for many medications.)

Cardiovascular AESIs

Number of cases: 1403; Relevant onset: median <24 hours; Relevant event outcome: fatal (136)

Reported relevant PTs: Tachycardia (1098), Arrhythmia (102),
Myocardial infarction (89), Cardiac failure (80), Acute myocardial infarction (41), Cardiac failure acute (11), Cardiogenic shock and Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (7 each) and Coronary artery disease (6); 

COVID-19 AESIs

Number of relevant events: 3359; Relevant onset: median 5 days; Relevant event outcome: fatal (136) 

Dermatological AESIs

Number of relevant events: 20 

Haematological AESIs (clotting, hemmorrhaging)

Number of relevant events: 1080; Relevant onset: median = 1 day; Relevant event outcome: fatal (34) 

Most frequently reported relevant PTs (≥15 occurrences) include:
Epistaxis (127), Contusion (112), Vaccination site bruising (96), Vaccination site haemorrhage (51), Petechiae (50), Haemorrhage (42), Haematochezia (34), Thrombocytopenia (33), Vaccination site haematoma (32), Conjunctival haemorrhage and Vaginal haemorrhage (29 each), Haematoma, Haemoptysis and Menorrhagia (27 each), Haematemesis (25), Eye haemorrhage (23), Rectal haemorrhage (22), Immune thrombocytopenia (20), Blood urine present (19), Haematuria, Neutropenia and Purpura (16 each) Diarrhoea haemorrhagic (15); 

Hepatic AESIs (liver)

Number of relevant events: 94; median 3 days; Relevant event outcome: fatal (5)

Facial Paralysis

Number of relevant events: 453; Relevant onset: median 2 days 

Relevant event outcome: (none fatal)

Immune-Mediated/Autoimmune AESIs

Number of relevant events: 1077; Relevant onset: median <24 hours; Relevant event outcome: fatal (12)

Most frequently reported relevant PTs (>10 occurrences):
Hypersensitivity (596), Neuropathy peripheral (49), Pericarditis (32), Myocarditis (25), Dermatitis (24), Diabetes mellitus and Encephalitis (16 each), Psoriasis (14), Dermatitis Bullous (13), Autoimmune disorder and Raynaud’s phenomenon (11 each); 

Musculoskeletal AESIs (arthritis, polyneuropathy, chronic fatigue, rheumatoid arthritis)

Number of relevant events: 3640; Relevant onset: median 1 day; (none fatal)

Neurological AESIs (including demyelination) (Convulsions, Ataxia, Cataplexy; Encephalopathy, Fibromyalgia, Intracranial pressure increased, Meningitis, Meningitis aseptic, Narcolepsy)

Number of relevant events: 542; Relevant onset: median 1 day; Relevant events outcome: fatal (16) 

Most frequently reported relevant PTs (˃2 occurrences) included:
Seizure (204), Epilepsy (83), Generalised tonic-clonic seizure (33), Guillain-Barre syndrome (24), Fibromyalgia and Trigeminal neuralgia (17 each), Febrile convulsion, (15), Status epilepticus (12), Aura and Myelitis transverse (11 each), Multiple sclerosis relapse and Optic neuritis (10 each), Petit mal epilepsy and Tonic convulsion (9 each), Ataxia (8), Encephalopathy and Tonic clonic movements (7 each), Foaming at mouth (5), Multiple sclerosis, Narcolepsy and Partial seizures (4 each), Bad sensation, Demyelination, Meningitis, Postictal state, Seizure like phenomena and Tongue biting (3 each); 

Other AESIs  (Herpes viral infections) 

Number of relevant events: 8241 Pyrexia (7666), Herpes zoster (259), Inflammation (132), Oral herpes (80), Multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (18), Herpes virus infection (17), Herpes simplex (13), Ophthalmic herpes zoster (10), Herpes ophthalmic and Herpes zoster reactivation (6 each); Relevant onset: median 1 day; Relevant events outcome: fatal (96) 

 Renal AESIs (Acute Kidney Injury, Renal Failure)

Reported relevant PTs: Acute kidney injury (40) and Renal failure
(30); Relevant onset: median 4 days; Relevant event outcome: fatal (23) 

Respiratory AESIs

Reported relevant PTs: Respiratory failure (44), Hypoxia (42),
Respiratory disorder (36), Acute respiratory distress syndrome (10), Chronic respiratory syndrome (3), Severe acute respiratory syndrome (2); Relevant onset: median 1 day; Relevant events outcome: fatal (41) 

Thromboembolic Events

Number of relevant events: 168; median 4 days; Relevant event outcome: fatal (18)

Most frequently reported relevant PTs (>1 occurrence) included:
Pulmonary embolism (60), Thrombosis (39), Deep vein thrombosis (35), Thrombophlebitis superficial (6), Venous thrombosis limb (4), Embolism, Microembolism, Thrombophlebitis and Venous thrombosis (3 each) Blue toe syndrome (2); 

Stroke

Number of relevant events: 300; Relevant onset: median 2 days; Relevant event outcome: fatal and resolved/resolving (61 each) 

Vasculitic Events

Number of relevant events: 34; median 3 days; Relevant event outcome: fatal (1)

A Table of information would have made this much easier for me but it was redacted.

This is the short term data. We cannot tell if these vaccines are safe in the long term because this data does not exist. But we do know that adverse events have occurred and those who hesitate to take the vaccines are being put under unreasonable duress bordering on outright coercion. This is in violation of the standards of health care as presented by the Canadian Medical Protective Association.

On March 25, Stephen Ellis, a Conservative MP, pointed out that it is against medical ethics to pressure patients to take a medication, yet that is precisely what we are doing. This is a quote from the Canadian Medical Protective Association.

The consent must be voluntary. The patient must have the capacity to consent. The patient must have been properly informed.

Patients must always be free to consent or to refuse treatment and be free of any suggestion of duress or coercion. Consent obtained under any suggestion of compulsion either by the actions or words of the physician or others may be no consent at all and therefore may be successfully repudiated.

Canadian Medical Protective Association

Canadian Medical Protective Association Profile and History Founded in 1901, CMPA is a membership-based, not-for-profit organization that provides legal defense, liability protection, and risk-management education for physicians.

Is true love and happiness just the carrot dangled in front of us?

The possibility that we can find true love and happiness is the carrot dangled in front of us. It is the promise in every romantic comedy. We would be disappointed if it wasn’t. However, real life begs the question of whether we have placed our faith in fairytales. I know I have wondered this.

In my teens and early twenties I battled the fear that nobody would want to marry me. My three younger siblings were married and I found myself wallowing in longing and loneliness. Marriage and family seemed to be the missing element that would fill the void I felt. My mother was convinced it was the next thing I needed and I admit I listened to her. I even went so far as to visit a “boyfriend” in another province with whom I had a rather long long-distance relationship to let him know I was finally ready to settle down. Unfortunately I discovered he was now taken.

I watched an interview with a young woman who had every marriageable quality, namely beauty, youth, understanding, insight. She cleans houses for a living and lives frugally. Who wouldn’t want a woman like her for a wife? But like me, she expressed a fatalistic acceptance of never being married. It hit me that I know very many in their twenties and thirties like her. I wished I could open a match-making service to bring these people together.

I think what is missing is opportunity to meet a varied group of marriageable people in a setting where there is no pressure.

Someone told our college-aged group that we would marry out of our acquaintances and this jarred me. I realized that I held onto a fantasy that my prince would come riding into town one day. He was not already there, among my peers, waiting to be acknlowledged. I had tried to broaden my horizons. Nothing wrong with that. I remember a girlfriend and I went to a gathering of youth across the border, with no other intent than the hope that we might meet someone.

I wasn’t alone in my thinking. Two of my best friends also despaired of ever getting married. Like the girl I mentioned earlier, they had everything to recommend them for marriage but it was as though all hell was bent on keeping us from the alter. Recently I have begun to think there may actually be some truth to this. We cannot deny there are oppositional forces keeping people apart and preventing them from committing to another person.

Why should my girlfriend and I get married, a young man asked me. So you can have a family, was my response.

Family. Think about it. We come from a family, such as it was. We dream about the ideal, two-parent biological family. Nobody can deny it is what we need and want.

I think many people have given up on ever having either marriage or happiness. Not only is it disappointing to have neither love nor happiness, it is depressing and almost devastating to have to acknowledge that this was the elusive carrot and that we were virtually deceived and promised an ideal that would never happen.

But happiness is not tied to marriage. In fact, happiness is not dependent on our situation. It is a mindset. It is deciding to refuse to be unhappy and doing everything we know to do in order not to sink into despair. I’ve engaged in years of observation and study to find out why some people are happy and others are not. I’ve concluded happiness is not dependent on circumstances. People can be in an identically trying place and one will be happy while another will be on the brink of suicide. Each has arrived where they are as a result of a pattern of choices in how they respond to what life deals them.

Refusal to sink is a powerful weapon. It means you may go under water, but you will always rise again. It means you believe in your resilience. You get up as many times as you fall down.

It also means looking out for the things that make you buoyant and strong.

At the root of happiness is a personal integrity. You value your life.

It follows that if you value your own life, you will value the lives of others. And if you value the lives of others, you will live your life so as to make the world a better place. Integrity is being the same person on the outside as you are on the inside. It also means cleaning up the mess inside.

It means dealing with your anxious feelings, with your tendency to become easily annoyed, with your constant worrying, with your fearfulness, with your difficulty coping. It means facing the truth that the best thing you can do for yourself is to become a stronger, better adjusted person.

An interesting thing happened at the time in my life when I was afraid I would never get married. I increased my happiness level.

I had not wasted my time while I was waiting for my prince. I had worked at becoming marriageable. It struck me one day that I needed to become the person who would attract the kind of person I wanted to marry. Once I had this revelation an amazing thing happened. I began to have options. I also turned down unsuitable prospects because I valued myself and knew what I needed.

I was still unrealistic, however. I might not marry a “handsome prince.” Looking back I see that I had a sad pattern of always falling for a stereotype. Yes, the tall, dark, handsome type. I married a ginger.

As I thought about who I wanted in my life as a life partner, I decided that I wanted someone whom I would enjoy sitting across from me at the breakfast table for my remaining years.

Happiness has not come easy for me, but the pursuit has been rewarding. I think we find happiness in the pursuit because our eyes are opened.

Lately I have had more of a struggle maintaining a happy spirit. I awaken at night with dismal feelings, even feelings of doom. I don’t think it is possible to be truly happy unless your soul is at rest. This is where I believe the Christian faith shines. Not only does the example of Christ inspire, we are offered forgiveness. This is such a unique and profound concept. That we can start anew. That we can be restored in our relationship after having failed. That we can offer this hope to others.

A life of integrity is a life lived with the quiet assurance that we have done our part reasonably well. This is what helps us sleep at night. It is also a life that is not naive and can face with courage the evil and devastation in the world. Let’s be honest, there is evil and devastation. The longer we live, the more we see. This is the reason for my feelings of doom. It is the reality we live with. The only response I have found to lift me out of this place is prayer. Prayer is an aspect of virtually all religions. But prayer is only a placebo if the entity to which we are praying is a figment of our imagination. On the other hand, if we believe in a Creator of the universe, then it follows that this Creator and sustainer of life cares. Every day we have a new sunrise. Every day the birds are fed. Every day plants grow. This simple observation is enough to lift me out of despair every time because it is evidence that my Creator lives. My only reasonable response is awe and worship and gratitude.

When I awake with feelings of doom in the middle of the night, I begin to pray for the world. The beauty and the order I see in creation, the intricacies of the balance of nature, inspire me to pray for the same thing among human beings. In other words, I pray “Thy kingdom; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

I consider myself the most fortunate person on earth to have grasped this understanding. Prayer for me is not a placebo. It is a powerful coming into unity with the one who created me and sustains me. We have been done a serious disservice by being taught to put our faith in the theory of evolution. We have been told to believe in a “theory.” In fact the qualifier, “theory” has been mostly erased. In university we are stigmatized if we do not “believe” in evolution.

This is more critical than people realize. I propose that the real purpose of the introduction of the theory of evolution was actually an objection to belief in a Creator. However, looking at the laws of the universe will quickly dispel the theory. Seeing that there is no evidence of the “in-between” and “imperfect” stages of development disproves the theory. Yes, there are similarities between species that could point to giving rise to superior species and development from simplicity to complexity. But there are components that need to be in place simultaneously and so many components that evolution never attempts to explain. This proposition merely depends on our ignorance and inability and unwillingness to open our eyes and see and reason.

Why is this relevant to marriage and happiness? Every species propagates. Propagation is part of purpose. If we cannot propagate, we can support others who can. Do you see how evolutionary theory opposes propagation? It cannot have a worldview of blessing and sustenance by the Creator. It totally depends on personal effort. Well, we are doomed when we exclude a Greater Power.

This is why faith can be threatening. It truly engages a Higher Power. It is also why faith and religion have not only been maligned but have been distorted and destroyed from within and become unrecognizable as a source of goodness and strength. It is what the Bible refers to as damnable, the “holding of truth in unrighteousness.” The perfection we see in creation around us is meant to be mirrored in our lives. Yes, there is forgiveness offered when we fail, and we all fail. But we are called to a higher place. A place where rivers of living water flow out of our belly. A place of fruit-bearing. A place of hope and joy and peace.

You will see that this flies in the face of popular culture. This is because God has a real adversary and people can choose with which side to align themselves.

Whenever I pray for the whole world when I have a personal need, I feel the burden lift. But it is not a victory without a battle. There is a relationship we can have with our Creator that exceeds the beauty and fulfillment of a marriage. I have lived this for decades and I have found “joy unspeakable and full of glory.” It is the glory of God we are seeking, even more than marriage and happiness. When we experience the glory we will not be satisfied with anything less. We will have a “continual feast” and it will make us the kind of people in whose company others desire to be. It will also give us patience during the times of waiting. And much of life is waiting.

I am amazed at how confrontational these simple observations are today. We have moved so far from the simple understanding of believing in a life-giving God and living a life according to godly principles in the way we were intended to live. All of nature around us is an example of the beauty and simplicity of a life lived according to the original blueprint.

Truth Can Be Misrepresented Rather Easily

This past week our province, British Columbia, announced the dropping of mask mandates, as of Friday, March 11. Masks will still be required in medical facilities.

On Friday my husband suggested we go to a mall to see how people were responding to the lifting of mask mandates. About 65% of the people we saw were not wearing masks. I entered two business with staff who were not wearing masks. Most staff were still wearing masks.

Last year BC briefly dropped the mask mandate but then re-instated it to coincide with a surge in the Delta variant.

During the early months of the pandemic B.C.’s Public Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, held back on mandating and encouraging mask wearing. We found comfort in Bonnie Henry’s daily, almost motherly, encouragement and admonition at the beginning of the pandemic as we sat isolated in our homes. It was reassuring to learn she has a background working with pandemics. When her approach differed slightly from that of other provinces we concluded that she was looking at the bigger picture and was in particular concerned about the psychological impact of a pandemic. She knew how important it was for us to remain calm and hopeful. She knew the necessity of health officials being able to maintain the trust of the public. And she knew it was crucial for people to be a support to one another during these trying times.

So much has changed since then. 

Two specific decisions eroded my trust in Dr. Henry. Both exhibited a change in what were once her strongly held beliefs. The first was implementing mask mandates after repeatedly telling us for weeks that masks did not offer significant protection against covid-19. The second was bringing in vaccine passports after saying on May 25, 2021 that “there is no way that we will recommend inequities be increased by the use of things like vaccine passports for services with public access here in British Columbia.” I wrote a letter to her, asking for an explanation, and received no response.

Not everyone is happy with the lifting of mask mandates. This is how the World Socialist Web Site news media and other sites responded to her decision:

“Thursday’s announcement is just the latest in a crush of decisions by provinces from coast-to-coast over the past five weeks that effectively implement the far-right Freedom Convoy’s demand that all anti-COVID public health measures be rescinded and the potentially deadly virus be allowed to run rampant.” (Note “far-right” is an opinion and does not accurately describe the truckers. Note also that the government-funded Canadian Broadcasting Company recently retracted two articles, one with a false claim that the Freedom Convoy had Russian influence and the other claiming that hefty donations to the truckers GoFundMe came from foreign sources. Both false insinuations originated with our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and served as his justification for employing the Emergencies Act against the truckers protest.)

In Burnaby Now you can read a similar opinion article that voices the fear that Henry is not “following the science” by lifting mask mandates.

The trouble is that we don’t know where to find the truth about the science anymore. It may not be so far-fetched to think that our governments and health officials are actually following opinion polls and have been doing so for some time.

Another question I have concerns the science. Is the science being communicated faithfully? This week I read an article referencing five instances of wrong conclusions being reported in “the science.” What led me to the article was my own observation when I decided to look for scientific research and scholarly reporting on the efficacy of masks.

I first went to the Mayo Clinic website where I found a recommendation that a cloth mask have multiple layers and is tightfitting in order to prevent “droplets” from escaping. Initially we were told that the virus was spread by droplets but a few months later scientists informed us that the virus was in fact spread by aerosol particles. This changed the whole mask-wearing paradigm since evaporated respiratory particles can get through a porous surface. Note, if we want to inhale air, we will have to use a mask with a porous surface.

On the Mayo Clinic website I read, “Can face masks help slow the spread of the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)? Yes. Face masks combined with other preventive measures, such as getting vaccinated, frequent hand-washing and physical distancing, can help slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.”

My search for data on the protectiveness of masks alone against the spread of the coronavirus was unsuccessful. I found a lot of discussion on comparisons between masks. I found studies done in labs, but no assurance that lab results translated to effective protection by masks worn by the general public. In fact there was evidence to the contrary.

I went to the CDC website where I read, “Masking is a critical public health tool for preventing spread of COVID-19, and it is important to remember that any mask is better than no mask.

OK, that is like saying, “any condom is better than no condom.” Would you say a leaky condom is a “critical public health tool” in the prevention of transmissible disease? Because masks are “leaky.” There is scientific evidence for that. Hence the insistence on “layers” and “tight fitting.”

But how many layers of a “leaky” mask are enough? The Mayo Clinic website also says, “Don’t add layers if they make it hard to breathe.” So, added layers can make it hard to breathe and when a child says, “I can’t breathe,” we should listen. I have low blood pressure and a low oxygen level and sometimes I find I am just not getting enough air with a mask. But that is another issue.

The CDC advises us to “Wear the most protective mask you can that fits well and that you will wear consistently.” And it further states, “Wearing a well-fitted mask along with vaccination, self-testing, and physical distancing, helps protect you and others by reducing the chance of spreading COVID-19.”

Wherever we read of the effectiveness of masks, note that it is always mentioned in conjunction with other protective measures. That is because, masks, on their own, are not sufficient protection. It has never been proven that masks are effective to prevent infection. Every reference to masks has a qualifier such as “tightly fitting”or a comparison of the fabric or weave or construction (N95 KN95 medical masks). One of the most troubling pieces of guidance offered is for people with hearing disabilities to wear a “clear mask.” We’ve always been warned not to put plastic over our heads. This is the same, unless there are breathable parts of the mask where air can enter. But do they not get the point that it is not the hearing challenged person who needs to wear a clear mask? They need to lip read others and they cannot do this if other people are wearing masks.

The CDC website goes on to say, “Masks and respirators are effective at reducing transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, when worn consistently and correctly.” Medical staff have to be trained to put on their masks, and they have masks that are rated for higher protectiveness. Masks prevent droplets from escaping, so, in the case of surgery, I would want my surgeon to wear a high quality mask.

I looked at an article referenced on the CDC site entitled, An evidence review of face masks against COVID-19. The authors claim to have synthesized the relevant information and conclude that “The preponderance of evidence indicates that mask wearing reduces transmissibility per contact by reducing transmission of infected respiratory particles in both laboratory and clinical contexts.” Preponderance of evidence in a court of law means that there is a greater than 50% chance that the claim is true. Another research article referenced on the site states this result: A total of 3030 participants were randomly assigned to the recommendation to wear masks, and 2994 were assigned to control; 4862 completed the study. Infection with SARS-CoV-2 occurred in 42 participants recommended masks (1.8%) and 53 control participants (2.1%).

Another article listed on the CDC site concerning masks states, There is moderate certainty evidence that wearing a mask probably makes little or no difference to the outcome of laboratory-confirmed influenza compared to not wearing a mask (RR 0.91, 95% CI 0.66 to 1.26; 6 trials; 3005 participants). This is the “preponderous” evidence we have. It makes little or no difference. The “little” might tip us above the 50% threshold of evidence of truth.

Here is something more of interest I discovered. “While laboratory tests generally suggest that N95 masks are superior in performance to surgical masks, population studies in healthcare workers have not documented significant differences. This discrepancy may be due to the lack of proper fit when using N95s. Conversely, cloth masks generally perform poorly compared to N95 and surgical masks in laboratory tests. However, in part because of the global PPE shortage, cloth masks have become the most commonly used PPE by the general public. Despite their shortcomings, community-based research has demonstrated the efficacy of cloth masks in slowing down the spread of COVID-19.”

Do you want to hear about the community-based research on which mask wearing has been based? Here it is, from the same article:

As of July 2020, the CDC recommended that all Americans wear masks in public settings [20]. This recommendation was made, at least in part, due to a report from a hair salon in Missouri that demonstrated the efficacy of wearing masks [21]. In May 2020, two hairstylists in Springfield, Missouri received positive test results for SARS-CoV-2 and were exposed to 139 clients in total since the onset of their symptoms [21]. Both stylists, as well as all 139 clients, wore some kind of facial covering while in the salon, with the stylists wearing either a double-layered cotton face covering or a surgical mask. Despite their proximity to the infected stylists, for appointments ranging from 15 to 45 min in duration, it was found that none of the 139 clients developed COVID-19 symptoms within the two-week quarantine period. Furthermore, of the 67 clients tested, all results were negative. Interestingly, the type of face mask worn by the 139 clients varied, with only two clients wearing N95 masks, 46% wearing surgical masks and 47% wearing cloth masks [21]. Although anecdotal, this incident suggests that consistent and proper usage of facial coverings can help minimize symptomatic transmission of SARS-CoV-2 during close contact, as at a hair salon. In fact, it appears that COVID-19 transmission rates are generally lower in countries and regions where citizens are accustomed or required to adopt universal masking, such as many parts of Asia [22,23]. Simulations and mathematical models have also predicted that the adoption of universal masking would substantially curtail the spread of COVID-19 [24].

Yes, it is as a result of an anecdotal survey done by two hairstylists and because it “appears” that COVID-19 transmission rates are lower in regions like Asia…. This is the science behind mask wearing. Then, again, the article says, “Although there is a lack of published work evaluating the efficacy of universal masking by healthcare workers to prevent spread of SARS-CoV-2, the continuous use of masks by healthcare workers in clinical settings is widely supported.”

We wear masks because the continuous use of masks is “widely supported.”

It is important to take careful note of wording when you read anything. It is, after all, the truth we want, is it not? And, as I have discovered, truth can be misrepresented rather easily. There is sufficient evidence for that.

This is Worse Than Jail for Tamara Lich

Tamara Lich, who was imprisoned on a charge ‘to counsel to commit mischief’, has been released from prison on bail this week but her lawyer describes her bail conditions as worse than jail. Her bail conditions “would make Putin envious,” Keith Wilson states. “She is not allowed to criticize the government. She is not allowed to criticize or speak against covid-19 restrictions or do anything in support of the Freedom movement. She is not allowed to be on social media. She is not allowed to directly or indirectly communicate or support with anyone in those things.” Even Putin’s strongest critic can do more from his prison cell than she can, Willson says.

Watch here.

Watch the Western Standard interview of Tamara’s lawyer, Keith Wilson, who spent nineteen days on the ground in Ottawa during the protests, working on behalf of the truckers to free GoFundMe funds. Wilson is on contract with the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedom. He is also currently representing Brian Peckford in his challenge of the constitutionality of the government of Canada’s travel mandates. Brian Peckford helped draft the Canadian Constitution and Charter of Rights in 1982 so he is arguably the best living authority on the rights of Canadians as set out in our Constitution.

Tamara Lich’s lawyer describes her as the “average concerned, honest Canadian,” and adds that she was was never going to put anyone at risk, so her treatment is entirely unwarranted. When she set up the GoFundMe, Lich anticipated raising a few thousand dollars but ended up receiving an overwhelming show of support with the total donations exceeding ten million dollars. This was very nearly matched, later, on GiveSendGo, after GoFundMe was shut down under pressure from the government of Canada. Americans took note that they could be the next victims, as this article reveals. GoFundMe’s claimed to shut down the funding for the truckers because of “reports of violence and other unlawful activity,” yet these reports remain unsubstantiated. Meanwhile, as has been pointed out, actual violent protests in the U.S. were never in violation of GoFundMe policy. All of the targeted shutting down of accounts happens from one end of the political spectrum.

The level of misrepresentation of what happened in Ottawa is startling. For example it is a blatant lie that the RCMP contacted people before their bank accounts were frozen. People who donated as little as $20 to the truckers ended up discovering their accounts were frozen, meaning they couldn’t pay for their mortgage, their gas, their food, their daycare. It is incredulous that this happened in Canada and the whole world is shocked. Cory Morgan says it well in the interview, “The blanket punitive approach that this government has taken on this has been horrific.”

Wilson’s analysis of the past weeks is that the government of Canada, meaning the Prime Minister and his support team, just could not accept that a large number of Canadians disagreed with what the government has been doing and that Canadians are deeply troubled by government over-reach. Trudeau found this so threatening that he threw everything in his arsenal at the convoy, including invoking the Emergencies Act.

The donations to GoFundMe and GiveSendGo represented an undeniable opinion poll and were were evidence of the Canadian support behind what the truckers wanted–the removal of vaccine mandates and travel restrictions.

A literal witch hunt ensued, tracking down anyone remotely supportive of the Freedom Convoy. Gerald Butts, a former highly influential staff member of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, shared hacked donor information from GiveSendGo publicly on Twitter. There ought to be legal repercussions for that. Even the lawyer, Keith Wilson felt he might be victimized by the government. We are in a serious place when legal representation is threatened.

The announcement by Deputy Prime Minister, Chyristia Freeland, that the government would be going after donors to the Freedom Convoy meant the possible targeting of roughly 200,000 people with average donations around $35, according to Wilson. I am thinking that these donors each represent a lot of Canadians who did not donate. The Prime Minister really should take note. The donations to GoFundMe and GiveSendGo represented an undeniable opinion poll and were were evidence of the Canadian support behind what the truckers wanted–the removal of vaccine mandates and travel restrictions. The significance of this is not lost, even if the truckers never receive any of the money.

The interview of Tamara Lich’s lawyer, Keith Wilson, appears to have less than 2000 views on Youtube. I think every Canadian citizen owes it to themselves to watch this and become aware of the gravity of the situation in which we find ourselves and the direction we are headed as a country.

It was pressure from the banking sector that caused Trudeau to wake up and reconsider going forward with the Emergencies Act after he had already intimidated Liberal and NDP members of parliament into voting for invoking the act only two days earlier. They must feel like they have been played. Remember, too, that the Prime Minister slighted politicians by announcing his invoking of the act to the media before presenting it to parliament and he then enforced the act before any vote whatsoever.

When people began to withdraw their money from banks, the banking conglomerates, legitimately, began to become nervous. Yes, there were bank runs, and understandably so. Bankers saw they were losing the confidence of the public. In their case, and Trudeau’s, money talks.

The Emergencies Act still had to pass a vote in the senate but it never came to that. However, the senators’ debate on the matter began and we can be thankful for the thoughtful remarks. I encourage every Canadian to listen to a sampling of the speeches of the senators as part of their civic duty. Two particularly impressive speeches are the ones by Donald Neil Plett and Denise Batters.

Key to all of this, as Wilson says, is the “sort of narrative that the government created and is acting out on it, despite the evidence of what really happened on the ground.” Wilson believes we must have a public inquiry.

In the meantime, Lich’s bail conditions are going to be appealed to address her restrictions on travel and mobility, her right of association and her right to freedom of expression.

We are Still Reeling with Disbelief in Canada

At this date Tamara Lich, the convoy organizer who started the GoFundMe, is still in jail awaiting the verdict of her second bail hearing.

Does this sound like a woman who should be in prison?

Here is a link to a video she made when she realized she would likely be going to jail. Her charge is mischief and counseling to commit mischief. I have followed the convoy from the beginning and have not seen anything deserving of jail time.

Below is a February 18, 2022 article published in the Toronto Sun. It is one of the few examples we have of a simple reporting of events without the name calling, insinuations and speculated associations we are so weary of hearing about from our biased press sources. As I have said before, if journalists and news organizations simply presented the truckers as they were, without adding their own spin, then they would be accused of being on the side of the protesters and subjected to a similar fate. This is how our society works now. Bouncy castles pushed Trudeau over the edge in his witch hunt. One little fact that is omitted from the article is that Prime Minister Trudeau revealed his decision to instate the Emergencies Act to the press before he presented it to parliament. Yes, our democracy is taking a beating.

EDITORIAL: Canadian democracy is taking a beating

Author of the article: Postmedia News

Publishing date:Feb 18, 2022 

The actions of the Canadian Liberal government over the past few days have been troubling. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is slowly dismantling our democracy in real time.

Ever since the Emergencies Act was invoked by Trudeau a few days ago, we have witnessed a shock and awe campaign of extreme measures. This has taken people by surprise.

Legal experts, opposition politicians, the media, the public – they’ve hardly had time to fully grasp what’s happening let alone digest it enough to mount the opposition that’s needed.

As an example, it wasn’t until Thursday afternoon that both the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and Canadian Constitution Foundation announced they were commencing legal actions against the Trudeau government for what they describe as the PM’s unlawful implementation of the Act.

That was a full three days after Trudeau first announced he was taking the unprecedented step. Then, hours before the legal challenges were announced, Deputy PM Chrystia Freeland had already stated banks were seizing the accounts of people associated with the convoy — without any legal checks and balances and without court orders.

A justification for these financial measures, we now know, was the government’s reliance on a CBC “analysis” of the hacked information of who donated to the protest’s GiveSendGo account.

On Friday morning, the Speaker of the House of Commons made the decision to shut down Parliament for the day and tell MPs to keep away from government buildings, supposedly because of police action. This was supposed to be a day when opposition politicians were allowed to debate and critique the use of the Act.

Then, the Ottawa Police Service warned the media that they were to keep away while police arrested protesters, telling them it was better to wait until a formal press conference, after it all happened.

But why shouldn’t reporters observe?

The federal government has still not answered the fundamental question of why it needed to invoke the Emergencies Act, infringing on the rights of every citizen in Canada, to deal with a protest in Ottawa that should have been dealt with by a competent city council and police service, under existing laws.

Our democracy has been taking a beating. It’s been a dark period for Canada.

Canadian Truckers Didn’t Get What They Expected–Instead They Got So Much More

The two things truckers asked for, they didn’t get–vaccine mandates lifted and travel restrictions lifted. But they didn’t come away with nothing. Quite to the contrary. They came away with their eyes opened.

It can be very distressing when you expect one thing and get something entirely different.

Truckers drove to Ottawa in anticipation. You had a very real need. You knew who could address that need.

The problem is that only Prime Minster Trudeau could address the felt need of the truckers. There was no one else to go to, so you went directly to him, at great cost to yourselves.

The relationship between citizens and the government and our Prime Minister is not exactly a parent/child relationship but there are similarities. There is a similarity in that we have an authoritative presence in government and we, the people, experience a measure of dependency and susceptability to the whims of this authority.

In the case of the truckers, you wanted an audience with “dad.” But he turned his back on you. He did not even come out and say “No.” You had what you perceived to be a very reasonable request. Your “dad” verbally abused you, insulted you, belittled you and essentially trashed you before others. That is not a good feeling. It leaves you floundering with all kinds of internal dissonance.

The dissonance is there because what happened is very difficult to reconcile in your heart and mind and mostly this is due to the high regard you had for leadership. Your leaders have fallen from the pedestal on which you held them.

In the case of abuse, and that is clearly what happened here, there is the tendency of the victim to excuse the perpetrator. We want to hold onto our ideal. We need to hold onto our ideal. Because not to do so turns the world we imagined upside down.

We may even go so far as to deny reality in order to preserve the ideal.

Many Canadians have embraced a vision of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as a man of decency with respect for the ordinary citizens of Canada. We thought we held a precious place in his heart. Not only was he deaf to the voices of the truckers, but he slandered those who relied on his good judgment and had no where else to turn with their need.

Essentially, truckers, you felt like you were calling out your “parent.” Parents make mistakes. Some are ready to admit them and humbly ask for forgiveness. Some are not. Some will never apologize to their children. They see themselves in another protected category and this is very unfortunate because the necessary coming together cannot happen. A beautiful and trusting relationship cannot happen without being attentive to, and exploring, each other’s views.

I’m trying to unpack what happened because I find it uncomfortable and even distressing to be in a place of tension where actual experience suddenly does not match my long-held and cherished vision of Canada.

Truckers determined to have a peaceful protest. You did everything possible to convince Canada that you were going to remain peaceful. I truly cannot imagine a more peaceful truckers’ protest. One evidence of this was how you cared for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Ironically this monument symbolizes those for whom there was never resolve because they did not return from battle, either dead or alive, and their remains were never found.

Truckers showed kindness and fed the homeless. When people’s generosity towards you overflowed to the point where you had food left over, you donated to food banks. You showed yourselves to be generous and caring and fun-loving. You cleared sidewalks and picked up garbage left by others. Crime in the area dropped by 90%. But of course this was not how you were represented in the legacy media.

We rely on media for accurate documentation. Not only did the Prime Minister refuse to speak to you, relegating you to a class of citizens that he deemed too despicable to address, the media used talking points over and over again to try and smear your peaceful protest before the public. Both succeeded in maligning the protest to the degree that some neighbours felt justified in villainizing you as well. You suddenly found yourself experiencing a completely different world, one you never anticipated, one very unfamiliar to you, one where people were cruel and unjust and lied and turned others against those who never did them wrong.

The City of Ottawa, under the direction of the mayor, deployed a huge and unwarranted police presence. However, you welcomed the police because you had nothing to fear by their presence since you were following the law. You were respectful and friendly towards the officers who in turn treated you with dignity, more dignity than the Prime Minister demonstrated. The police were on the scene, daily, as witnesses, and can attest to your high character.

The media jumped on the visual of groups of police officers patrolling downtown Ottawa. They could turn this optic in their favor. Their goal, as we can see in hindsight, was to paint the most alarming picture possible of the protests and to incite a reaction. They attempted to create a story that would later justify the “crushing of an uprising.” 

Many of the truckers did not hold to a conspiracy theory before they came to Ottawa, but what they witnessed made it clear there was a conspiracy between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the media. They conspired to turn the truckers into villains in the eyes of the public. This they did.

Not everyone believed what they saw in print and came to Ottawa to find out what was going on for themselves. Others watched independent commentators online who were committed to documenting what was happening, of their own choice and at their own expense.

When the City of Ottawa asked you to stop honking horns, you stopped. Admittedly, you knew the horn honking would agitate some residents. Even peaceful protests cause disruptions. You were trying to get Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s attention. This was a means of making him aware of your presence, and making the community, and indeed the world, aware of the fact that you came to Ottawa with a purpose. You wanted to be heard.

Stop the vaccine mandates. Stop the ArriveCan app. Let Canadians be free, once again, to work in their chosen professions, and to travel.

From the beginning I have found it unconscionable that Canadians lost their jobs because they chose not to get the vaccine. If you cannot work, you cannot buy food and feed your family. Our government knows that if you cannot work, you cannot own a home. You lose your dignity and sense of purpose.

For some people it is impossible to get the vaccine, either for conscience sake or for medical reasons. Let’s not under value the significance of personal conviction and consent. Mandates remove the possibility of volition and consent by enforcing intolerable consequences.

Prime Minister Trudeau colluded with the press and it is becoming apparent that there was collusion with pharmaceutical companies who have a lot to gain from ongoing vaccination requirements, regardless of efficacy. It is unrealistic to expect 100% cooperation from the public. It is also totalitarian to have this kind of top-down legislation. The measures taken to force people into compliance are harsh and oppressive.

I am reminded of a little known historical tragedy that happened in Ukraine between 1932-1933 known as the Holodomor or “Great Famine.” Oppressive government mandates issued by Joseph Stalin limited travel and food production and distribution. Farmers were forced to give up their land under new government collectivization efforts. Peasants who resisted forfeiting their land were misrepresented as enemies of the public and violently suppressed by the government and cooperating neighbours during this period of Soviet Industrialization. As a result of the measures an estimated 7 million people in the Ukraine died unnecessarily of starvation.

As shocking as this account may be, it serves to remind us that government leaders are fallible. They are capable of making decisions that lack compassion and that disregard the rights of their citizens, namely the right to dignity and sustenance.

The cognitive dissonance felt by truckers began when they lost their jobs due to the vaccine mandate. This is true of health care workers as well. Peculiarly, these past “heroes” became targets of our government. At time when we lived in much greater fear of the dangers of covid-19, these people could not isolate and work from home, as the Prime Minister did. Daily they exposed themselves to risk and disease because of their commitment to providing care and delivering the goods on which Canadians depended.

The only thing that will resolve the dissonance is to stare, fearless and unflinching, directly at the brutal facts, without excuse or rationalization. This means moving away from denial. Experientially it is similar to feelings of grief after a great loss like a death. In stages of grief, people who move past denial find themselves angry. Anger is an acceptable response, not to be feared, but it must taper off. Anger depletes a person of energy and is typically followed by a season of depression. At this point it is helpful to find counsel or look for consolation in encouraging slogans, symbols or rituals. Finally we move into a place of acceptance, reluctant as we may be. I say acceptance, not in the sense of resignation, but rather facing the truth of how life is altered and summoning the courage to move forward.

We’ve now reached a fork in the road in Canada. Either we will rebuild our democracy, or the alternative will happen. We can only imagine what that might look like.

Admittedly, there is a part of us that wants to say, “It’s not as bad as I think.” But maybe it is. Maybe what you are thinking and feeling is exactly right. Our desperate longing for good in this world can get in our way. Our child-like innocence and blind trust can cause us to walk, unseeing, into a pit. As the saying goes, “It’s time to call a spade a spade.” Trust serves us well when others are trustworthy.

The trust of Canadians is tragically broken and that is the saddest outfall of the protest. But it was unavoidable and necessary for Canadians to come to this point of acknowledgement. Our government, its tactics, and its attitude towards the people has been exposed. We were living with a false perception of reality that may have been an illusion even in the more distant past. Things have deteriorated to the point that there is no longer any hiding.

I am hopeful that we can return to the Canada where there was trust in our government. Rebuilding trust will be a very long and arduous journey.

Yes, Canada is in a very fragile place. We must act with great care, going forward. The world is watching with expectation. Not all are cheering us on. Some are looking for a tragic end. Some are eyeing Canada calculatingly, hoping for opportunity.

Let’s not despair. All is not lost. Every day new voices are speaking up for dignity, truth, freedom and democracy.

Truckers have had their eyes opened. The images of force in downtown Ottawa as a result of the employment of the Emergencies Act will forever be burned in our memories as testimony to what we did not think could happen in Canada. Peaceful protest turned violent by our government.

There is another side of the coin we must consider as well.

Truckers, you were an imposing presence on Parliament Hill, virtually immovable, and definitely heard. Your peaceful protest attracted a lot of sympathy across Canada and this was undeniably threatening to our government.

Yes, you were a threat. A threat by your goodness and by your reasonableness. You represented justice. You represented fairness. You represented a sensibility understood by the common man. In the face of false accusations, in the face of loss of property, in the face of loss of freedom to work, you have this to hold onto. You did not violate your conscience.

You had no intention to overthrow the government but this was the charge cast against you, unrelentingly, by the Prime Minister and the press. The constant talk of weapons, the arrests that had noting to do with protesters, the defacing of monuments by vandals, which was attributed to truckers. You saw it all. You responded in a calm, respectful manner. You held the higher ground, and the Prime Minister knew it. Our representatives in government witnessed it as they went to work, and attested to the fact that they never felt more safe in downtown Ottawa, that is, until the day when the Emergencies Act was weaponized against innocent citizens.

In these times I turn to my faith for guidance and strength. Jesus knew what was in the heart of man. He was not under any illusions and he knows today. It was this knowledge that gave him courage, no matter the outcome.

We can have the same confidence and assurance when we are on the side of goodness. That does not mean that suffering is avoidable.

This battle for freedom to work, travel and live peacefully alongside our neighbours will continue around the world and it is truth and justice that will set us free. Let’s keep our eyes open and give thanks for every evidence of provision and each step forward in victory. Continue to sing “God keep our land, glorious and free….Oh Canada we stand on guard for thee” and to pray, “Thy kingdom come. They will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Hold the line.

Trudeau Taught The Truckers A Lesson They Will Never Forget

Trudeau may have revoked the Emergencies Act this week, under local and international pressure, but only after all the damage was done in his “crackdown” on truckers. Below is an article, in full, from this website, describing what the truckers face now: Nearly 40 Trucking Businesses Involved in Canada’s Freedom Convoy Protests Have Been Shut Down. The truckers have been vilified in the news in Canada and particularly by our Prime Minister. Prime Minister Trudeau has done everything he could to tarnish their name and to malign their motives. It is truly shameful. In Canada we feel we no longer have a democracy due to the draconian measures Trudeau has taken against the Freedom Convoy of truckers. Their big ask? To be able to work and freely cross the border. What did they get? Permanent shut-down. I have no words.

By Katabella Roberts

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) confirmed that it shut down nearly 40 businesses during its crackdown on Freedom Convoy protesters opposing COVID-19 mandates and restrictions.

In an email to Global News on Feb. 23, Dakota Brasier, a spokesperson for Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney, said the ministry had issued 12 seizure orders to Ontario-based large truck operators which suspended them from being allowed to operate within Canada.

The ministry also issued an order to seize all plates registered to them, Brasier said.

Outside of Ontario, the ministry also issued 27 seizure orders to out-of-province large truck operators, which stopped them from operating any commercial motor vehicles in Ontario, Brasier said.

The MTO would not reveal the name of the businesses that were issued with the seizure orders when asked to comment by Truck News.

“In an effort to preserve future police investigations into the illegal occupation in Ottawa, the ministry will not release the names of affected businesses at this time,” a ministry spokesperson told the publication when asked.

The Epoch Times has contacted an Ontario Ministry of Transportation spokesperson for comment.

The confirmation from MTO regarding businesses being shut down came just hours after Ontario Premier Doug Ford lifted the province’s state of emergency.

Ford declared the emergency on Feb. 11 to address the impact of the ongoing protests against COVID-19 mandates and restrictions by trucker conveys who arrived in Ottawa on Jan. 29.

However, Ford’s office said in a statement on Feb. 23 that the “emergency tools” provided to law enforcement would still remain in place for now, “as police continue to address ongoing activity on the ground.”

“We remain grateful to all front-line officers and first responders that contributed to peacefully resolving the situation in Ottawa, Windsor, and in other parts of the province,” the statement said.

Also on Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that he was revoking the use of the Emergencies Act, which he originally invoked on Feb. 14 to deal with the protests and blockades, stating that the situation is no longer an emergency.

Trudeau defended utilizing the act in the first place after he faced fierce criticism from opponents, including Canadian politician Mark Strahl, who claimed that the act had resulted in a single mom with a minimum wage job having her bank account frozen after donating $50 to the Freedom Convoy.

Invocation of the act granted the federal government powers to freeze protesters’ and supporters’ bank accounts without a court order.

GettyImages-1238211565-600x400 Nearly 40 Trucking Businesses Involved in Canada’s Freedom Convoy Protests Have Been Shut Down Business Featured Top Stories World [your]NEWS
Thousands gather around Parliament Hill in support of the Freedom Convoy truck protest in Ottawa on Feb. 5, 2022. (Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

Trudeau said invoking the act initially was “the responsible and necessary thing to do” and that there was evidence that individuals wanted to “undermine and even harm Canada’s democracy.”

However, prior to the Emergencies Act being invoked, Ambassador Bridge, the busiest Canada-U.S. border crossing which transports products between the two countries, had already reopened.

Meanwhile, blockades at the border crossings in B.C. and Alberta had also ended shortly after Feb. 14, and the biggest protest still ongoing was in Ottawa, yet the government insisted it was still necessary to use the act because there was an ongoing threat that new protests or blockades might pop up again.

After Trudeau’s announcement, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said that it was reaching out to financial institutions to unfreeze accounts.

“As of February 21, 2022, the RCMP has gone back to financial institutions with some updated information about certain entities whose status may have changed pertaining to the illegal protest activity,” RCMP said in a statement.

“This new information can be assessed alongside all other information to help inform decisions to unfreeze certain accounts.”

In total, RCMP had frozen at least 206 accounts due to support of the Freedom Convoy, totaling $7.8 million, according to Isabelle Jacques, assistant deputy minister of finance.

How Trudeau Turned Canadians Against Himself and Not the Truckers

Images of trucks rolling across Canada with crowds lining the highways, waving Canadian flags, were signs of hope a few weeks ago. These truckers, our essential workers, for months on end hauled loads, risking their lives, in the face of a pandemic when no vaccine was in sight.

I live in Surrey, BC which is sometimes referred to as “Little India” because of the large East Indian representation. For about a year we saw people on street corners with signs, “No Farmers, No Food.” They were supporting a protest in India. Trudeau even got behind them with his support.

On January 15 Prime Minister Trudeau passed a federal mandate requiring truckers to be vaccinated or forced to quarantine. About 10% of truckers in Canada are not vaccinated. Within a week the U.S. imposed a similar mandate, pulling an estimated 16,000 truckers off the road.

Shortages and delays were noticed almost immediately. But the real issue was that this happened as a result of men and women losing their livelihood due to a needless government mandate. Omicron is spreading without any regard for who is vaccinated and who is unvaccinated.

A convoy of truckers began to travel to Canada’s capital, Ottawa, at the end of January to speak with Prime Minister Trudeau. Trudeau has a history of not speaking to truckers and he didn’t entertain the thought of listening to the truckers for the entire three weeks they parked their rigs in downtown Ottawa. He had three weeks to make peace with his people.

This protest was of Trudeau’s making.

And then the Prime Minister of Canada made things exponentially worse by calling in what is equivalent to the National Guard, seizing private personal information, freezing bank accounts of protestors and their supporters, and arresting unarmed people who were peacefully exercising their democratic rights.

The lesson for Canadians is that you cannot, as an ordinary citizen, expect your prime minister to listen and you will be penalized for supporting a legal protest even if it is entirely within your civil rights. Authorities will look the other way while protestors are kneed in the back, trampled by officers on horseback, sprayed with rubber bullets and tear gas, butted with military rifles, and harrassed in their place of business for assisting protesters. I’ve watched too many videos to count that were posted by ordinary citizens and my heart is broken.

It does not cease to amaze me how a peaceful protest can be villainized by the press. But with millions of annual support by the Trudeau liberal government, I suppose the journalists had no other option, unless they wanted to face a fate similar to that of the truckers. Just last week a local radio personality, Kid Carson, found his position terminated. This is what happens if you step beyond the accepted narrative.

Gone are the days of freedom of thought and speech. Gone are the days of freedom of the press.

Gone are the days of freedom of peaceful protest. It is difficult to imagine a more peaceful protest than that of the truckers’ Freedom Convoy in Ottawa.

Trudeau has discredited himself on the world stage and lost the confidence of the Canadian people.

When You Learn the Truth

I have for some time ignored all conversations about a New World Order and The Great Reset, maybe because I thought I had more important things on my mind. Maybe because I thought people were obsessing over the same old global dominance theory I’ve heard for decades. I didn’t want to get involved in talk by a bunch of people getting their knickers in a knot.

Now, very recently, I’ve begun to think I had better give this a listen.

I was alerted by a Western Standard interview of Kyle Kemper. For those of you who don’t who Kyle Kemper is, he is the younger, half brother of the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau.

I am particular about my sources and when I heard the half brother of Trudeau say that Klaus Schwab was proud of his protege, Justin Trudeau, and proud of how he, Schwab, had infiltrated the Liberal government, I sat up and listened. I started to look into the matter. Here is what I found. For your interest, the January 27, 2022 Western Standard interview of Kemper can be found here.

Klaus Schwab, is famously known for the phrase, “You will own nothing and be happy.”  He has indeed written a book, published in July of 2020, early into the coronavirus pandemic, entitled Covid-19 and The Great Reset. In it he imagines possibilities presented by the pandemic—changes on a global scale. I have not yet finished reading the book but what stands out for me is the “opportunity” for global elites, banks and corporations to have a much greater role in government, globally.

A wikipedia search will inform you that Klaus Schwab is “a German engineer and economist best known as the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum.”

Klaus Schwab and Trudeau do indeed have a close relationship as is evident in this 2016 video clip. Schwab addresses Trudeau as he fantasizes about “a diverse world, characterized by plurality…it will be a young world, a digital world. Now who could represent such a world better than you, Prime Minister? We are very glad that at the beginning of this meeting you are talking to us, to represent a new, open Canada. I want to use this opportunity to thank our Canadian constituency which always has been a very loyal, and very much engaged, constituency, as a whole. But now, I think, with you… we can make sure that in the future we strengthen the cooperation even more with your country.”

I have observed how entities with money and global influence are gaining increasing leverage over our government. In the back of my mind I am thinking about how this might relate to the Canadian Truckers’ protest and Trudeau’s refusal to speak with the truckers.

A little bit about the World Economic Forum. This is from their website:

World Economic Forum Partners are leading global companies developing solutions to the world’s greatest challenges. They are the driving force behind the Forum’s programmes.

Our Partners engage in Forum Platforms to shape the future, accessing networks and experts to ensure strategic decision-making on the most pressing world issues. 

On the WEF website I found a Jan 24, 2019 article entitled: António Guterres: Read the UN Secretary-General’s Davos speech in full. Guterres states the following:

There is no way governments or intergovernmental organisations alone can deal with climate change, can deal with the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution or can deal with migration. We need more and more a multilateralism that also is able to incorporate the contribution of all these other sectors, and I think the World Economic Forum has an absolutely vital role to play.

On June 13, 2019, in New York, USA, The World Economic Forum and the United Nations signed a Strategic Partnership Framework. On the WEF website we read, “The UN-Forum Partnership was signed in a meeting held at United Nations headquarters between UN Secretary-General António Guterres and World Economic Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab.” Here is a further report

The UN-Forum Partnership was signed in a meeting held at United Nations headquarters between UN Secretary-General António Guterres and World Economic Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The partnership identifies six areas of focus – financing the 2030 Agenda, climate change, health, digital cooperation, gender equality and empowerment of women, education and skills – to strengthen and broaden their combined impact by building on existing and new collaborations.

Here is an article of interest: Who’s who at Davos Agenda Week. The meeting of the WEF was held in Davos, Switzerland in January 2021. The image of Klaus Schwab with Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China is quite compelling.

Speaking of corporate interests in government, I am wondering about the influence over the Canadian government of the Power Corporation of Canada which appears to have close ties to the People’s Republic of China.

I will leave you to do your own further investigation to satisfy your curiosity. In the meantime, I feel a little chagrined to be so far behind in my own information gathering just because I thought this was a “conspiracy theory.”