Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher, and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money, and spiritual engagement.
</figure>1. With the new, more infectious strains of Covid, you are increasingly likely to contract it at some point.
2. There are no known significant harmful effects of the vaccine, aside from causing a tendency to take selfies. On the other hand, there are several very serious known long-term harmful effects of Covid, including damage to the lungs, heart, and brain.
3. A week after taking both doses of the Pfizer vaccine, you are 95% protected. Even if you still get Covid, the data shows much less severe disease.
4. The stories about people who died from Covid after being vaccinated are people who got it before the vaccine took effect, or who died from other causes.
5. Life can only go back to normal when a sufficiently large proportion of people have been vaccinated.
Get vaccinated. For your own good, and for society’s good.
The Three Musketeers at the Kotel
Breaking news: In Shift, Vast Majority of New COVID Cases in Israel Under 39 (why because they are not vaccinated!)
New COVID mutations and low rate of inoculation among young people are contributing factors – with some Israelis from the age bracket getting seriously ill
Seventy-five percent of new COVID-19 cases in Israel are under the age of 39, a new report by Israel's Coronavirus Information Center published on Sunday shows.
Additionally, the report revealed that as much as 15 percent of patients in a serious condition are age 39 or younger, a figure which has steadily increased since December.
While the number of cases overall appears to be decreasing, including those in serious condition, the majority of new cases are increasingly among younger demographics. Of the new cases, 38 percent are age 19 or younger, which is the same as last month.
Thirty-seven percent are between the ages of 20-39, which is around eight percent higher than the month of January.
This change in the composition of patients can be attributed to a few factors. The spread of several new coronavirus variants from the U.K., South Africa, and Brazil among others is one such reason. While the government banned most inbound and outbound flights in January in an effort to curb the spread of the variants, it was only weeks after they had already begun to spread in Israel.
Another likely factor is the low number of young people getting vaccinated in Israel, which has seen about 3.8 million people receive at least one dose. While the vaccination campaign has been viewed as a great success both in Israel and internationally, there is concern that it has begun to lose steam, particularly among young people.
Young people, particularly those in the ages 20-39 demographic are getting vaccinated in much smaller numbers than older age groups. Whereas 65 percent of Israelis in their 40s have received at least one dose, nearly 80 percent in their 50s and 60s, and 90 percent or more in the 70s plus demographic, less than 50 percent of Israelis in their 30s, 40 percent in their twenties and only 30 percent of eligible teenagers have been vaccinated.
Doctors have concurred that the third wave of the virus was more aggressive than its predecessors. More patients became seriously ill, their symptoms were worse, and their condition deteriorated to the point of needing ventilators more quickly. Moreover, many were in their forties, fifties and sixties, and not all of them had underlying health conditions.
This was in part due to the mutations of the virus, with some physicians concluding that the British mutation caused younger people to fall into a serious condition.
Huxley's Warning: Totalitarianism in the 21st Century By T.R. Clancy
In the foreword to the 1946 edition of his novel, Brave New World, Aldous Huxley anticipated the continued emergence, perhaps in novel forms, of statist totalitarianism:
There is, of course, no reason why the new totalitarianisms should resemble the old. Government by clubs and firing squads, by artificial famine, mass imprisonment and mass deportation, is not merely inhumane (nobody cares much about that nowadays), it is demonstrably inefficient and in an age of advanced technology, inefficiency is the sin against the Holy Ghost. A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude. To make them love it is the task assigned, in present-day totalitarian states, to ministries of propaganda, news-paper editors and schoolteachers. But their methods are still crude and unscientific.
Because, in 1946, the world had yet to witness the horrors of Red China, North Korea, Cuba, and Cambodia, Huxley guessed wrong that artificial famines, mass imprisonment, and political executions would go out of fashion. Totalitarianism is impossible without brute violence. And, from our brave new world of 2021, where Big Tech’s promiscuous deployment of tools like Machine Learning Fairness and shadow banning prevent users’ exposure to wrongthink, his estimation of propaganda methods as “crude and unscientific” is badly out of date.
But how chilling is Huxley’s prescience about propaganda ministers, news editors, and schoolteachers training generations of serfs to willingly obey “political bosses and their army of managers”?
Just like the truism that “generals always fight the last war,” Huxley’s point that there’s “no reason why the new totalitarianisms should resemble the old” calls for both vigilance and imagination on our part; our next totalitarian enemy isn’t limited to patterns of twentieth-century Nazism or Soviet-style Communism.
For instance, the suffocating blanket of censorship and suppression of free speech, which seems to defy any constitutional remedy because it’s not directly traceable to government action, remains a problem without an obvious solution. Regardless, it’s an open secret that the corporate executives in media, Big Tech, and Hollywood managing this suppression are acting on behalf of a single political party -- a party that, due in large part to that interference and suppression now have near total control of the federal government. Townhall's Matt Vespa quotes even a liberal reporter, Michael Tracey, warning that the “absolute authoritarian lunacy” of Twitter’s decision to ban President Trump isn’t about “‘safety,’ it’s about purposely inflating a threat in order to assert political and cultural dominance.” Warns Tracey, “The new corporate authoritarian liberal-left monoculture is going to be absolutely ruthless -- and in 12 days it is merging with the state.” [My italics].
Glenn Greenwald, another committed progressive, also complains “that political censorship has 'contaminated virtually every mainstream centre-left political organization, academic institution and newsroom.'” In October, Greenwald, co-founder of The Intercept news site, resigned after they refused to publish his article about Joe Biden and Hunter’s shocking influence-peddling, unless Greenwald first removed “critical points against the Democratic candidate.”
In reality, standing alone with election fraud notwithstanding, last October’s lockstep decision by an entire news industry to suppress the starkly headline-worthy scandals around Hunter Biden’s laptop, along with all other negative stories about Joe Biden, accounts directly for 17% of Biden voters who would have abandoned him “had they known the facts about one or more of these news stories.” Because those lost votes “would have changed the outcome in all six of the swing states won by Joe Biden,” re-electing Trump, burying those stories was first-degree election interference.
Huxley foresaw this, too:
The greatest triumphs of propaganda have been accomplished, not by doing something, but by refraining from doing. Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth. By simply not mentioning certain subjects, by lowering what Mr. Churchill calls an "iron curtain" between the masses and such facts or arguments as the local political bosses regard as undesirable, totalitarian propagandists have influenced opinion much more effectively than they could have done by the most eloquent denunciations, the most compelling of logical rebuttals.
In 2020 alone, news outlets systematically misinformed, or kept uninformed, scores of millions of voters whose only news sources are either mainstream media or the occasional de-contextualized sound bite. Corporate news, in addition to disappearing the Hunter Biden story:
Misreported that opportunistic politicians imposing destructive, arbitrary lockdowns to stop the spread of the Wuhan virus were only “following the science,” while disregarding all scientific studies showing how lockdowns were ineffective, detrimental, and even deadly;
Misreported for months that Black Lives Matter/Antifa’s nightly demonstrations were “mostly peaceful,” while refusing to report on hundreds of BLM and Antifa-organized protests involving widespread arson, looting, and violence against police and innocent civilians;
Perpetuated the dangerous myth that black men are casually shot down by white police every day, while ignoring that “statistics “flatly debunk the false narratives about ‘racist white cops’ and the ‘hunt for unarmed black men’”;
Parroted the Democrat talking point that Trump’s allegations of election fraud were made “without any evidence,” while obstinately refusing to investigate well-documented evidence of pervasive election irregularities in battleground states.
But Fake News is only as powerful as its consumers are gullible. Knowing that, PJMedia’s Stephen Kruiser was able to predict in advance that a Biden win would be “the complete triumph of decades of public education indoctrination,” which is no longer education, anyway, but “more of a leftist catechism class.” Journalist William Haupt III reports that 12 years of Common Core “has resulted in 51 percent of our youth preferring socialism to democracy.” It’s also why “[t]wo thirds of the millennials believe America is a racist and sexist country and 40 percent agree America is ‘the most unequal society in the world.’” In fact, in 2011 Chuck Rogér traced this decline to the sixties, when teachers’ colleges began churning out “[s]ocial justice-indoctrinated teachers [who] instill resentment in ‘non-dominant’ (minority) children and guilt in ‘dominant’ (white) children. Judging by the abundance of guilt-ridden white Americans, the tactic is working its magic well.” At present a reported 3,500 classrooms across fifty states are incorporating the New York Times’ specious 1619 Project, which teaches that every accomplishment in America’s history came out of slavery. The purpose of this all this falsified history? Not education, but more generations of Americans “unable to discern fact from fiction.”
Now that progressives have complete control of Washington, they’ll escalate their lies -- of commission, and especially of omission -- to gain a tighter and more permanent grip. Still, Truth remains their real enemy. It explains social media’s current blitz of de-platforming conservatives, trying to drop an "iron curtain," just as Huxley predicted, to separate the people from undesirable facts.
Likewise, fidelity to truth is our best defense; that, and continuing to refuse their lies. That’s one positive action Solzhenitsyn was able to offer his comrades who felt powerless against the repressive Soviet system, “the most perceptible of its aspects” being lies: “Personal non-participation in lies. Though lies conceal everything, though lies embrace everything, but not with any help from me.”
T.R. Clancy looks at the world from Dearborn, Michigan. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
cats complain about loss of their privacy
The Serendipity Singers - "Beans In My Ears" 1964 STEREO
Daniel Horowitz: For the first time in our lives, free speech is about to be criminalized
We never thought this day would arrive in America
Our First Amendment freedoms give us the right to think what we like and say what we please. And if we the people are to govern ourselves, we must have these rights, even if they are misused by a minority." ~James Madison
POLL: Should the Right embrace Conservatism or Populism to win future elections?
We never thought this day would arrive in America. Last year, we learned that they can shout "COVID" as an emergency, and our life, liberty, and property disappear. They can shout "racism," and our inalienable right to self-defense disappears. The last thing we had was the freedom to criticize what is happening, even if there was nothing we can do about it. Now they can shout "right-wing terrorism" or "right-wing conspiracy" and say that freedom of speech no longer applies.
Leftists in this country claim that their violence is speech and our speech is violence. That is why they glorified riots last year that burned down numerous cities, caused thousands of injuries, cost billions of dollars, and elevated their cause as the most urgent grievance in need of redress. At the same time, they are pushing to criminalize not just the violent acts and actors at the Capitol on January 6, but any view or speech or assembly predicated on views that are held by those people. This is why they seem to be taking direct shots at the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech for Americans, even as they plan to grant amnesty to those whose entire presence in this country is illegal.
As everyone focuses on the corporate world violating the spirit of the First Amendment by excommunicating anyone with conservative views, watch carefully how the governmental actors are coming very close to violating the letter of the First Amendment with the force of the "law" behind it. Big tech might have a monopoly on the internet and communications, but government has a monopoly on violence, law, and the ability to restrain our liberty. If we don't wake up immediately, our speech and freedom to assemble will be not only censored, but criminalized.
It started on January 6, when Tom Edsall published a column in the New York Times noting, "A debate has broken out over whether the once-sacrosanct constitutional protection of the First Amendment has become a threat to democracy." This is a tried and tested tactic of the Left – to have their columnists float a radical idea as a "debate," while their governmental actors begin working on it in earnest.
Just take stock of what we are seeing out in the open. They are now arresting people all over the country for merely being in the Capitol, even if they didn't engage in violence, vandalism, or theft. Had this standard been applied to Black Lives Matter, there would literally have been millions of arrests. So no, this is not just about punishing those who acted violently. The FBI is placing signs all over the country asking people to report those who were at the Capitol, something that never happened even in the most deadly BLM/Antifa riots last year, or at Trump's inauguration four years ago in D.C.
They are militarizing D.C. with 20,000 troops, when the threat of violence against Trump's inaugural guests four years ago was exponentially greater. They are declaring emergencies in states as remote as New Mexico with no evidence of violence present. Garrett Soldano, a leader in the anti-lockdown movement in Michigan, claims the FBI paid him a two-hour visit because a local called the FBI and claimed he is a violent extremist.
If the FBI had done this when hundreds of cities were on fire for days on end with no control among local police departments, I would just feel they are being overly cautious. Given that BLM was promoted as the leader of our civic discourse and we are all being treated like terrorists, however, we should be very scared they are coming for the First Amendment, not for national security. Remember, the Justice Department seems to believe this was a planned attack. So the hundreds of thousands of Trump supporters who just came there to express their views had no idea that a few bad actors were planning this. The fact that they are hunting down anyone and everyone should scare us all.
Last week, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman said emphatically that the First Amendment doesn't apply to sentiments he disagrees with. "This idea that saying that Pennsylvania was 'rigged' or that we were 'trying to steal the election' — that's a lie. And you do not have the right, that is not protected speech."
Thus, from now on, Democrats can unilaterally change election law in middle of an election – up until and including abolishing Election Day in favor of mail-in ballots – and anyone who criticizes it or organizes a rally against it is subject to prosecution? These comments would be comical if they didn't coincide with actions taken by his party coming into power in Washington that look a lot like martial law.
In other words, if you watch the language the Left is using about our speech and the actions the Biden administration and the governors are taking, it's quite evident that Big Tech is not the only thing we have to worry about. If nothing changes, I predict that even if Parler is able to become completely independent in the private market, the government, which has the ultimate monopoly on power, will shut it down.
Last week, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, the same man who is prosecuting business owners and threatening them with labor camps for earning a living, said on a conference call with prosecutors that he is investigating those from his state who merely attended the rally.
Already in 2019, Richard Stengel, the Biden transition "team lead" for the U.S. Agency for Global Media, wrote in a Washington Post op-ed that the First Amendment needs curtailment. "All speech is not equal. And where truth cannot drive out lies, we must add new guardrails. I'm all for protecting 'thought that we hate,' but not speech that incites hate," wrote Stengal.
This is pretty bizarre coming from a side of politics that already controls 99% of all speech and big business that controls speech. What exactly are they afraid of? If anything, we are the ones who should be scared of their speech, given the monopoly they hold.
Well, George Washington already warned us about the motivations of those who clamp down on speech. "For if Men are to be precluded from offering their Sentiments on a matter, which may involve the most serious and alarming consequences, that can invite the consideration of Mankind, reason is of no use to us; the freedom of Speech may be taken away, and, dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep, to the Slaughter," said Washington in an address to the Continental Army on March 15, 1783.
The question facing patriots in the coming days is quite simply this: Will we allow that final domino to fall?
Targeting Jewish Student Leaders for Banishment and Shaming
In the campus war against Israel, the all too familiar refrain from student anti-Israel activists, many of whom form the loose coalition of groups and individuals spearheading the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, is that their quarrel is only with Israel and its government’s policies, not with Jews themselves. But that specious defense continues to fall away, revealing some caustic and base anti-Semitism and representing a seismic shift in the way that Jewish student leaders are now being indicted not just for supporting Israel, but merely for being Jewish.
One of the latest victims in this covert anti-Semitism and purge of student leaders based on their Jewish identity and Zionist leanings was Rose Ritch, Undergraduate Student Government Vice President at UCLA, who resigned her position this past August after a virulent social media pogrom against her Zionist identity forced her out of office. As anti-Israel activists on campus are wont to do, Ritch was repeatedly accused of being a racist, that her support of Israel—which activists regularly accuse of being a racist, apartheid regime—meant she was morally ineligible to be in student government.
“I have been accused by a group of students of being unsuitable as a student leader,” Ritch wrote in a letter explaining her decision to resign. “I have been told that my support for Israel has made me complicit in racism, and that, by association, I am racist . . . Students launched an aggressive social media campaign to ‘impeach [my] Zionist a**.’”
“An attack on my Zionist identity is an attack on my Jewish identity,” Ritch wrote. “The suggestion that my support for a Jewish homeland would make me unfit for office or would justify my impeachment plays into the oldest stereotypes of Jews, including accusations of dual loyalty and holding all Jews responsible for the actions of the Israeli government.”
In 2019 at McGill University, student Jordyn Wright, a member of the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) Legislative Council and its Board of Directors, was invited to participate in a Hillel Montreal-sponsored trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories called “Face-to-Face.” Even though Wright noted that the trip included travel to both Israel and the Palestinian territories “to meet with politicians, journalists, and locals from all sides to better understand a very nuanced geopolitical conflict . . . the SSMU Legislative Council voted to call for my resignation from my positions in student government.” In fact, Wright wrote, it was clear that she was being targeted specifically because she was Jewish, noting that “The SSMU president personally singled me out, and actively encouraged others to attack me,” even though another non-Jewish councilor was planning on taking the same trip.
Ironically, Wright noted, “SSMU passed the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, which includes that holding Jews accountable for the actions of the Israeli government or holding Israel to a double standard is antisemitic.” By “scrutinizing only me for participating in a trip to Israel, SSMU is engaging in this kind of antisemitism by assuming I have to be held accountable for what the Israeli government is doing,” Wright wrote, and even with all the pressure, she stressed, “I will not resign.”
This is not the first time McGill students have targeted Jewish students for special treatment. In 2017, three board members of the University’s Students’ Society were removed from their appointments after a vote at the Fall General Assembly due to what was reported to be their perceived “Jewish conflict of interest.” The ouster was led by a pro-BDS student group, Democratize McGill, which was campaigning against pro-Israel students in the wake of a ruling by the Judicial Board that, once and for all, rejected the BDS movement on the McGill campus, stating that it was violative of the SSMU’s constitution because it “violate[d] the rights of [Israeli] students to represent themselves” and discriminated on the basis of national origin.
In retaliation, and to eliminate any pro-Israel views on the board, Democratize McGill launched an effort to clear the board of BDS opponents, based on the cynical notion that these members harbored clear conflict of interests which arose from their purported biases, those conflicts of interests and biases stemming from the poisonous notion that because the students were Jewish or pro-Israel, or both, they could, therefore, never make informed or fair decisions as student leaders.
Blithely ignoring their own obvious biases and the lack of any balance or nuance in their personal views on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, the pro-BDS members nonetheless felt comfortable with suppressing pro-Israel voices and Jewish students on the board, asserting that they sought to remove these students because they “are all either fellows at the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee (CJPAC), an organization whose explicit mandate is to promote pro-Israel discourse in Canadian politics, or primary organizers for the anti-BDS initiative at McGill.” In other words, they were being disqualified for having views that differed from those student leaders seeking to purge them from SSMU. The Jewish board member and two other non-Jewish, pro-Israel board members were subsequently voted off the board.
An attempted purging of a pro-Israel student from student government, very similar to the inquisition that occurred at McGill, took place in February of 2015 at UCLA, when several councilmembers on the USAC Judicial Board, UCLA student government’s highest judicial body, grilled Rachel Beyda, then a second-year economics student, when she sought a seat on the board.
The focus on her candidacy was not her qualifications for the position (which no one seemed to doubt), but specifically the fact that she was Jewish and how her “affiliation with Jewish organizations at UCLA . . . might affect her ability to rule fairly on cases in which the Jewish community has a vested interest in the outcome, such as cases related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” as the student newspaper described it.
“Ruling fairly” in this case, of course, meant that she was likely not to support the increasingly virulent anti-Israel campaign on the UCLA campus, so she failed to pass the political litmus test that so-called progressive students, enthralled with their pursuit of social justice, see as their default position—namely, being pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel.
It was the same thinking that inspired a similarly discriminatory proposal the previous May by two members of UCLA’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) which attempted to bar Jewish candidates from filling council positions if they had taken trips to Israel subsidized by the Anti-Defamation League, American Jewish Committee, or other organizations, which, according to the sententious activists, “have openly campaigned against divestment from corporations that profit from Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights.”
Of course, there was no mention in this debate of trips paid for to send pro-Palestinian students to Israel or the territories on propaganda excursions designed to malign Israel and teach visitors an alternate, anti-Israel narrative. Once again, in addition to trying to stack the deck against the pro-Israel argument, this grotesque and inequitable proposal took as a given that anyone not committed to the Palestinian cause was by default not to be trusted, incapable of making unbiased decisions, morally compromised, and unjustified in even harboring pro-Israel opinions.
Progressive students have decided, in their own moral self-righteousness, that the Palestinian campaign for self-determination is such a sacred cause that anyone who questions it or speaks for the Israeli point of view is a moral retrograde. To even support Israel is to risk being deemed a racist, an imperialist, a tacit supporter of apartheid. And more than that: now, if you are Jewish —nowhere near or involved in the affairs of Palestinian Arabs and Israelis—if you have not publicly proclaimed your allegiance to the Palestinian cause and denounced the Israeli one, you can be deemed morally unworthy of serving as a student leader or even attending a particular university.
The student leaders who, in the context of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, now try to suppress all thought of which they disapprove have sacrificed one of the core values for which the university exists. In their zeal to be inclusive, and to recognize the needs and aspirations of victim groups, they pretend to foster inquiry but actually stifle and retard it.
And as this otherwise productive purpose for the university has devolved, and ideological opponents are silenced and suppressed, the first victim in the dilution of academic free speech and debate, unfortunately, has been the truth.
Richard L. Cravatts, Ph.D., a Freedom Center Journalism Fellow in Academic Free Speech and President Emeritus of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, is the author of Dispatches From the Campus War Against Israel and Jews.