National Situation Update- 9/19/2020

WEEKLY THREAT AND ALERT ROUNDUP

Night view of Hong Kong from Victoria Peak.  - ALLOW IMAGES

Borders with Canada and Mexico Remain Closed
USGOV Warns of Travel to Hong Kong


September 19, 2020

Between Sept 9-11, the following related Flash SMS
messages were sent to
AlertsUSA subscriber mobile devices:


9/18 – DHS: Ban on non-essential travel through shared border crossings with Canada and Mexico extended until October 21 due to COVID-19.


What You Need To Know


On Friday of this week, AlertsUSA subscribers were notified of an announcement by the Department of Homeland Security that in an ongoing effort to limit further spread of the coronavirus, the U.S. has reached agreements with the governments of Canada and Mexico to continue with limitations on all non-essential travel across borders until at least October 21st.. Initially implemented on March 21st, this is the 6th extension of the closure.

DHS has also announced that Customs and Border Protection will continue with the policy of no longer detaining illegal immigrants in their holding facilities and will immediately return these aliens to the country from which they entered. Where such a return is not possible, CBP will return these aliens to their country of origin.

Essential cross-border workers such as health care professionals, airline crews and truck drivers are still allowed to cross along the border.


U.S. Warns of Travel to Hong Kong


In related news, earlier in the week the U.S. State Department issued updated travel advisories for China and Hong Kong which reflect China’s implementation of a national security law over the island territory. Specifically, the new advisory for Hong Kong warns U.S. citizens to reconsider travel to the Special Administrative Region (SAR) due to the PRC government’s arbitrarily enforcement of local laws, including by carrying out arbitrary and wrongful detentions and through the use of exit bans on U.S. citizens and citizens of other countries without due process of law.

Similar to what has been detailed in the mainland China Travel Advisory for some time, the updated Hong Kong advisory warns that the PRC government uses arbitrary detention and exit bans to:

  • Compel individuals to participate in PRC government investigations.
  • Pressure family members to return to the PRC from abroad.
  • Influence PRC authorities to resolve civil disputes in favor
    of PRC citizens.
  • To gain bargaining leverage over foreign governments.

In most cases, U.S. citizens only become aware of an exit ban when they attempt to depart the PRC, and there is no reliable mechanism or legal process to find out how long the ban might continue, or to contest it in a court of law. Further, U.S. citizens traveling or residing in the PRC or Hong Kong may be detained without access to U.S. consular services or information about their alleged crime. U.S. citizens may also be subjected to prolonged interrogations and extended detention without due process of law.

If you or someone you know is considering travel to China or Hong Kong, AlertsUSA strongly recommends carefully reading the entirety of the travel advisories.


AlertsUSA continues to monitor the domestic and international threat environment around the clock and will immediately notify service subscribers, via SMS messages to their mobile devices, of new alerts, warnings and advisories or any developments which signal a change the overall threat picture for American citizens as events warrant.


Colorized scanning electron micrograph of an apoptotic cell (green) heavily infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus particles purple), isolated from a patient sample. Image captured at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. - ALLOW IMAGES

Coronavirus Update


As of the time of this reports’ preparation on Friday, there were more than 6,455,000 COVID-19 cases reported in the U.S., as well as 198,400 deaths attributed to the virus.

Despite the dramatic influence of politics on the pandemic response, as well as the botched effort of federal and state health authorities in testing and accurate case counting, the two-step and mixed messaging on use of masks, the highly flawed rule-making hampering the use of hydroxychloroquine in the early treatment of those infected with COVID-19 and so much more, AlertsUSA encourages readers to remain conscious of the need to be cautious, not only out of concern for your own well being, but also that of others. There actually is a virus, is still in circulation globally, it is still hospitalizing people globally, and it is still taking lives globally.



SITUATION REPORTS / OFFICIAL CASE NUMBERS


World Health Organization
Centers for Disease Control (U.S.)
Johns Hopkins CSSE (Interactive map updated multiple times daily)

OFFICIAL PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE RESOURCES


White House: Guidelines for Opening Up America Again
CDC: K-12 Schools: Readiness and Planning Tool
CDC: One-Stop Shop for COVID-19 Resources
Department of Homeland Security / Ready.Gov
World Health Organization

CDC: How to Protect Yourself
CDC: What to Do If You Are Sick

OFFICIAL CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION PAGES


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Food and Drug Administration
Public Health Agency of Canada
Infection Prevention and Control Canada
World Health Organization


AlertsUSA.com

SMS ALERTS FROM THIS WEEK
NOT DETAILED IN THIS NEWSLETTER ISSUE

9/13 – Agitated anti-police protest forming near downtown Lancaster (PA) City Police Bureau flwg shooting of armed black male. Caution urged. Live streams via email.

9/13 – Tropical Storm Sally: Hurricane warnings expanded to include Morgan City, LA to MS / AL state line. Forecast track shifting east of previous. More via email.

9/16 – Law enf across DC area preparing for large protests in the coming days and cont until elections. Caution urged if in or traveling to the region. More via email.

9/17 – AlertsUSA monitoring reports of active shooter situation, Fort Hood, TX. Base currently sheltering in place. Add’l details as warranted.

9/17 – All clear message given at Fort Hood. Malfunctioning alarm caused concerns about an active shooter on post.

9/18 – Tropical Storm Beta forms in the Gulf. Forecast to become a hurricane this weekend. Residents of TX & LA should be monitoring this system.


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In fact, they are our customers!



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Trump Admin COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan



The Dept. of Defense and the Dept. of Health and Human Services have released details on the Trump administration’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution strategy. Specifically, there are two documents, developed in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that include details on the vaccination program and strategic distribution overview, as well as an interim playbook for state, tribal, territorial, and local public health programs on how to plan and operationalize a vaccination response to COVID-19.


Download the Strategy for Distributing a COVID-19 Vaccine – PDF

Download the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Interim Playbook – PDF

Download the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Process Infographic – PDF


Operation Crossroads in 1946 at Bikini Atoll tested the effects of nuclear weapons on naval fleets and harbors. - ALLOW IMAGES



Why the Next Shooting War Could Go Nuclear


The evidence is easy to spot. China and Russia are deploying greater numbers of “ambiguous,” dual-use ground-launched ballistic missiles. At the same time, the United States’ pursuit of conventional hypersonic missiles of very high speed and accuracy might enable even these non-nuclear weapons to hold nuclear arsenals at risk.


~ READ MORE HERE ~


The Possible Limits of China-Russia Cooperation


Despite China’s planned participation in Russia’s annual Caucus 2020 exercises on September 21-26, Sino-Russian history is so replete with war, unequal treaties and racism, there seems little probability that their present military cooperation will succeed in developing into a military alliance.


~ READ MORE HERE ~


BLM Co-Founder and Pro-Communist
China Group Are Partnering Up


The Black Futures Lab, a venture of Black Lives Matter founder Alicia Garza, is sponsored by the Chinese Progressive Association, a partner of the People’s Republic of China in the U.S.


~ READ MORE HERE ~



Fleet and Marine Tracker Map as of Sept 14, 2020  - ALLOW IMAGES

USNI Fleet and Marine Tracker



These are the approximate positions of the U.S. Navy’s deployed carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups throughout the world as of Sept 14, 2020 based on Navy, public data provided by the U.S. Naval Institute, and open source reporting. In cases where a CSG or ARG is conducting disaggregated operations, the chart reflects the location of the capital ship.


An Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker leads a joint formation of F-16 Fighting Falcons during Astral Knight in Poland, Sept. 17, 2020. The joint, multinational exercise involves U.S. airmen and soldiers working with service members from Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Sweden.- ALLOW IMAGES

World News Roundup



AMERICAS


Minnesota man facing terrorism charges
Trump to block downloads of TikTok, WeChat on Sunday
Seven Chinese, including “Apt41” actors, charged with computer intrusion
The Air Force Just Tested “Robot Dogs” For Use In Base Security
US Military Working Dogs Should Be American-Born, Dem Senator Says
CDC Dir walks back testimony that masks work better than vaccines
Secretary of Defense: Beijing & Moscow have weaponized space
It Appears That Google Has A Black List Of Conservative Sites
Nearly two-thirds of US young adults unaware 6m Jews killed in the Holocaust
Who is Secretly Building the USAF’s New Fighter?

EUROPE


‘Very serious situation’ unfolding in Europe as virus cases rise dramatically
European cities announce new restrictions as COVID-19 cases soar
Biden says US trade deal hinges on UK ‘respect’ for Good Friday Agreement
Venus is a Russian planet, Roscosmos chief declares
Russia accuses U.S. of promoting revolution in Belarus, toughens stance
Belarus to close border with Poland and Lithuania – Lukashenko
Belarusian protesters are being tortured by police, human rights experts say
Britain’s PM Johnson has ‘every hope’ of avoiding no-deal Brexit
Germany: Coronavirus vaccine likely available by mid-2021

MIDDLE EAST / AFRICA


Al-Shabab growing more emboldened in targeting US troops
Al-Shabab militant jailed for attack on US base in Kenya
New US Army unit tools African militaries fighting terrorists in Mali
Saudi Arabia may have enough uranium for nuclear fuel and weapons
Stars’ paradise isle in Mozambique overrun by ISIS-linked insurgents
Trump hails new ‘dawn’ as Israel signs accords with Bahrain and UAE
Israeli jets strike Gaza after Palestinian rocket attack
Gaza violence flares after Israel signs deals with Gulf states
Rouhani: UAE, Bahrain will bear ‘consequences’ of Israel deals
US sanctions ‘ruining lives’, Iran tells United Nations court
Syria calls US a ‘rogue state’ over Trump’s kill al-Assad plan
As Lebanon misses deadline to form govt, France urges parties to keep trying
Former Turkish DM says Greece must evacuate from 9 Aegean islands
‘Confounding’: Covid may have already peaked in many African countries
Twelve million S. Africans ‘probably’ had coronavirus
‘All’ armed groups commit to ceasefire in DRC’s South Kivu
Uganda jail break: More than 200 prisoners escape Moroto facility

ASIA


PLA Friday drills not warning, but rehearsal for Taiwan takeover
China’s 3rd carrier under construction in Shanghai’s ‘warship factory’
Is DPRK about to unveil new weapons? Flurry of activity suggests big reveal.
Taiwan scrambles jets after China sends 18 plane show of force during US visit
New Zealand in recession as coronavirus lockdown hits economy
H.R. McMaster says Trump policy in Afghanistan partners with Taliban
Indian, China troops exchanged gunshots twice last week as tensions rose
Taiwan calls for global coalition against China’s aggression as US official flies in
AUS could join the US, Japan and India to create alliance named ‘The Quad’
Japan’s Yoshihide Suga elected PM, to announce ‘continuity’ cabinet
India pushes supplies to disputed China border ahead of winter
India’s coronavirus cases pass 5 million as hospitals scramble for oxygen
‘It’s getting worse by the day’: India’s Covid battle rages on



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Travel Security

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The U.S. Dept. of State Travel Website is the authoritative federal source for information on the security situation at travel destinations worldwide. With tensions rapidly increasing in most regions, readers planning international travel, even to such common destinations as Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean Islands, are strongly encouraged to do a little research on the security situation at your destination well prior to departure.

Active USGOV Travel Notices

Worldwide Caution


Active USGOV Travel Advisories

Alphabetical Country List

Dynamic Map


Other USGOV Travel Resources

Traveler’s Checklist

Smart Traveler Enrollment Prog (STEP)

Travelers with Special Considerations

Travel to High-Risk Areas

Faith-Based Travel Information

Information for Women Travelers

Cruise Ship Passengers

Students Abroad

Your Health Abroad

Driving and Road Safety Abroad


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The Department of State’s Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) provides a variety of resources to enhance the safety and security of the U.S. private sector businesses and organizations operating abroad.

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website is the authoritative federal source for information on current health issues related to specific destinations worldwide. These issues may arise from disease outbreaks, special events or gatherings, natural disasters, or other conditions that may affect travelers’ health.

Foreign Sources of Travel Guidance

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Global Affairs Canada


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Australia Dept. of Foreign Affairs


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UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office


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Digital Nomads will want to know about these two countries

British Petroleum announced this week that ALL 6,500 employees in its London office will be working from home within the next two years.

BP is even going to shut down the office entirely and sell the building. They’re not the only ones.

Right now, in fact, only 13% of London office workers are back at the office. And as we’ve been saying, many likely won’t return.

When you never have to go to the office anymore, why stay in expensive London? Or New York, or San Francisco for that matter?

A lot of people are already moving.

I’ve been driving across the northern United States for the past few days– Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. ‘Rural’ doesn’t even begin to capture the scene here. It’s gorgeous.

And it’s been remarkable to see how many people are moving to these areas from big cities (especially from California).

Even more, as we’ve been suggesting, a lot of folks will pick up and go farther afield, leaving their home countries altogether.

That’s one of the silver linings of COVID: the work-from-home revolution allows a lot of people to go anywhere, for any reason– perhaps to dodge the chaos, for better weather, a different lifestyle, tax savings, or all of the above.

Two places to consider are Spain and Portugal; both have very straightforward options for people who might want to live there (even just temporarily) to obtain legal residency.

In short, you’ll need to demonstrate that you have sufficient cash, liquid assets and/or monthly income so that you won’t become a burden to local welfare programs.

Portugal’s “D7” visa requirements, for example, are based on the current minimum wage.

So if you have an income or cash savings of at least €7,620 (the annual minimum wage in Portugal, roughly USD $9,000), you can receive a temporary residency permit that’s valid for 1 year.

If you bring your spouse, you’d need an additional 50% of that amount, plus 30% for each child.

So a family of four would need about $18,000.

(This is the bare minimum, and of course it’s always best to show more if possible when you submit your application.)

And to be clear, this is YOUR money. It’s not like you have to pay it to the government as a fee or anything. You keep it in your bank account, and spend it as you see fit. The Portuguese government just needs to know that you have (or earn) enough to support yourself.

Spain has a type of visa that is very similar to Portugal’s D7. It’s called “residencia no lucrativa” or “non-lucrative residency.”

Spain is more demanding when it comes to showing savings or income, but their requirements are not outrageous.

This required amount increases slightly each year, depending on the Spanish minimum wage.

As of 2020, they want to see that the primary applicant has €25,560, and an additional €6,390 for each additional family member.

So, a family of four would need to show a minimum €44,730 of savings to qualify for residency in Spain (or almost $50,000).

Spain and Portugal are just two drops in an ocean of options. Both are really nice (in fact, our own Sovereign Woman is currently in Portugal meeting with lawyers and real estate agents.)

Digital Nomads in particular may be drawn to Spain and Portugal– especially Lisbon and Barcelona. Those cities have vibrant entrepreneur communities, high quality local workers, excellent nonstop flight networks, great weather, and cheap living costs.

There are undoubtedly millions of people around the world who are thinking about their next steps right now.

Everyone’s life has changed. And a lot of people are starting to realize that they have much more control over their own lives– including the freedom to choose where to live– for the first time ever.

This ought to be a deliberate decision. There are countless places around the world to choose from. And you can decide for yourself what’s important… what matters to you… and start crafting exactly the life you want to live.


via: SovereignMan.com


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Microsoft warns of cyberattacks on political campaigns

Microsoft warns of ongoing cyberattacks from Russia, China and Iran targeting people and orgs with both the Trump and Biden campaigns. More info via email.

 

Supplemental Info:

 

New Cyberattacks Targeting U.S. Elections

 

September 10, 2020

 

In recent weeks, Microsoft has detected cyberattacks targeting people and organizations involved in the upcoming presidential election, including unsuccessful attacks on people associated with both the Trump and Biden campaigns, as detailed below. We have and will continue to defend our democracy against these attacks through notifications of such activity to impacted customers, security features in our products and services, and legal and technical disruptions. The activity we are announcing today makes clear that foreign activity groups have stepped up their efforts targeting the 2020 election as had been anticipated, and is consistent with what the U.S. government and others have reported. We also report here on attacks against other institutions and enterprises worldwide that reflect similar adversary activity.
We have observed that:

  • Strontium, operating from Russia, has attacked more than 200 organizations including political campaigns, advocacy groups, parties and political consultants

 

  • Zirconium, operating from China, has attacked high-profile individuals associated with the election, including people associated with the Joe Biden for President campaign and prominent leaders in the international affairs community

 

  • Phosphorus, operating from Iran, has continued to attack the personal accounts of people associated with the Donald J. Trump for President campaign

The majority of these attacks were detected and stopped by security tools built into our products. We have directly notified those who were targeted or compromised so they can take action to protect themselves. We are sharing more about the details of these attacks today, and where we’ve named impacted customers, we’re doing so with their support.


What we’ve seen is consistent with previous attack patterns that not only target candidates and campaign staffers but also those they consult on key issues. These activities highlight the need for people and organizations involved in the political process to take advantage of free and low-cost security tools to protect themselves as we get closer to election day. At Microsoft, for example, we offer AccountGuard threat monitoring, Microsoft 365 for Campaigns and Election Security Advisors to help secure campaigns and their volunteers. More broadly, these attacks underscore the continued importance of work underway at the United Nations to protect cyberspace and initiatives like the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace.


Strontium


Strontium is an activity group operating from Russia whose activities Microsoft has tracked and taken action to disrupt on several previous occasions. It was also identified in the Mueller report as the organization primary responsible for the attacks on the Democratic presidential campaign in 2016. Microsoft’s Threat Intelligence Center (MSTIC) has observed a series of attacks conducted by Strontium between September 2019 and today. Similar to what we observed in 2016, Strontium is launching campaigns to harvest people’s log-in credentials or compromise their accounts, presumably to aid in intelligence gathering or disruption operations. Many of Strontium’s targets in this campaign, which has affected more than 200 organizations in total, are directly or indirectly affiliated with the upcoming U.S. election as well as political and policy-related organizations in Europe. These targets include:

  • U.S.-based consultants serving Republicans and Democrats;
  • Think tanks such as The German Marshall Fund of the United States and advocacy organizations;
  • National and state party organizations in the U.S.; and
  • The European People’s Party and political parties in the UK.

Others that Strontium targeted recently include businesses in the entertainment, hospitality, manufacturing, financial services and physical security industries.


Microsoft has been monitoring these attacks and notifying targeted customers for several months, but only recently reached a point in our investigation where we can attribute the activity to Strontium with high confidence. MSTIC’s investigation revealed that Strontium has evolved its tactics since the 2016 election to include new reconnaissance tools and new techniques to obfuscate their operations. In 2016, the group primarily relied on spear phishing to capture people’s credentials. In recent months, it has engaged in brute force attacks and password spray, two tactics that have likely allowed them to automate aspects of their operations. Strontium also disguised these credential harvesting attacks in new ways, running them through more than 1,000 constantly rotating IP addresses, many associated with the Tor anonymizing service. Strontium even evolved its infrastructure over time, adding and removing about 20 IPs per day to further mask its activity.


We are also working with our customers to assist them in proactively hunting for these types of threats in their environments and have published additional detail and guidance on Strontium activity.


Zirconium


Zirconium, operating from China, has attempted to gain intelligence on organizations associated with the upcoming U.S. presidential election. We’ve detected thousands of attacks from Zirconium between March 2020 and September 2020 resulting in nearly 150 compromises. Its targets have included individuals in two categories.


First, the group is targeting people closely associated with U.S. presidential campaigns and candidates. For example, it appears to have indirectly and unsuccessfully targeted the Joe Biden for President campaign through non-campaign email accounts belonging to people affiliated with the campaign. The group has also targeted at least one prominent individual formerly associated with the Trump Administration.


Second, the group is targeting prominent individuals in the international affairs community, academics in international affairs from more than 15 universities, and accounts tied to 18 international affairs and policy organizations including the Atlantic Council and the Stimson Center.


Zirconium is using what are referred to as web bugs, or web beacons, tied to a domain they purchased and populated with content. The actor then sends the associated URL in either email text or an attachment to a targeted account. Although the domain itself may not have malicious content, the web bug allows Zirconium to check if a user attempted to access the site. For nation-state actors, this is a simple way to perform reconnaissance on targeted accounts to determine if the account is valid or the user is active.


Phosphorus


Phosphorus is an activity group operating from Iran that MSTIC has tracked extensively for several years. The actor has operated espionage campaigns targeting a wide variety of organizations traditionally tied to geopolitical, economic or human rights interests in the Middle East region. Microsoft has previously taken legal action against Phosphorus’ infrastructure and its efforts late last year to target a U.S. presidential campaign. Last month, as part of our ongoing efforts to disrupt Phosphorus activity, Microsoft was again given permission by a federal court in Washington D.C. to take control of 25 new internet domains used by the Phosphorus. Microsoft has since taken control of these domains. To date, we have used this method to take control of 155 Phosphorus domains.


Since our last disclosure, Phosphorus has attempted to access the personal or work accounts of individuals involved directly or indirectly with the U.S. presidential election. Between May and June 2020, Phosphorus unsuccessfully attempted to log into the accounts of administration officials and Donald J. Trump for President campaign staff.


Bolstering Cybersecurity


We disclose attacks like these because we believe it’s important the world knows about threats to democratic processes. It is critical that everyone involved in democratic processes around the world, both directly or indirectly, be aware of these threats and take steps to protect themselves in both their personal and professional capacities. We report on nation-state activity to our customers and more broadly when material to the public, regardless of the actor’s nation-state affiliation. We are taking extra steps to protect customers involved in elections, government and policymaking. We’ll continue to disclose additional significant activity in our efforts to defend democracy.


We also believe more federal funding is needed in the U.S. so states can better protect their election infrastructure. While the political organizations targeted in attacks from these actors are not those that maintain or operate voting systems, this increased activity related to the U.S. electoral process is concerning for the whole ecosystem. We continue to encourage state and local election authorities in the U.S. to harden their operations and prepare for potential attacks. But as election security experts have noted, additional funding is still needed, especially as resources are stretched to accommodate the shift in COVID-19-related voting. We encourage Congress to move forward with additional funding to the states and provide them with what they need to protect the vote and ultimately our democracy.

View the Original:

https://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2020/09/10/cyberattacks-us-elections-trump-biden/

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Al Qaeda releases pre-9/11 anniversary message

Al Qaeda’s Thabat News Agency rel pre-9/11 anniverary message celebrating the killing of US & FR soldiers in Somalia & Mali. Warns military forces still targeted. 

 

Supplemental Info:

 

Full Text

 

#Written_report


With the anniversary of the invasion of
“Manhattan” near, the Mojahedin are
achieving a record number of the
operations, and the American and the
French forces are on the target list


With the anniversary of the invasion of Manhattan near, the mujahideen are achieving a record number of operations during one week, and the American and French forces are on the target list”


This week, the Mujahideen achieved a record number of operations, as the Mujahideen carried out 94 operations in 8 jihadist battlefields (East Africa, Khorasan, the Indian continent, West Africa, al-sham, the Arabian Peninsula, Baluchistan, and Central Africa). More than 357 people were killed in these operations. more than 259 apostates were event, the Mujahideen managed to shoot down 3 aircraft in a week.


East Africa topped with 60 operations, then Khorasan followed with 22 operations, then the Indian conturent with 4 operations, then West Africa with 3 operations. then al-sham with 2 operations, then the Arabian Peninsula, Central Africa and Baluchistan with one operation each.


The most supreme operations of the mujahideen this week were in East Africa, where a booby-trapped vehicle struck an army convoy to occupy the American Crusader south of Somalia, 4 American soldiers were killed. 3 wounded, and 3 American armored vehicles were destroyed, in addition to the loss and injury of about 20 Somali special forces apostates, while the Crusader American government admitted wounded 4 high-ranking officer of the American army in the operation, concealing its losses as usual. in addition to dozens of operations against the crusaders’ apostates in Somalia and Kenya.


And to West Africa, where two soldiers were killed and a third wounded and an armored vehicle of the French Crusader army was destroyed by detonating a bomb planted by the Mujahideen in the Islamic state of Kidal in northern Mali.


And to Khorasan, more than 74 soldiers of the apostate Afghan army were killed in a truck bomb attack, followed by a massive attack by the Mujahideen on one of the apostate bases on Pakita province in eastem Afghanistan. The apostates acknowledged the operation and the losses, and this operation is the strongest operation of the Mujahideen in Khorasan since the beginning of this year.


These days are approaching the nineteenth anniversary of the blessed Manhattan invasion that set the cross back and changed the course of history. The mujahideen’s operations are still continuing, and the crusaders depletion is doubling, despite America’s claim to eliminate the mujahideen months after the blessed invasion.


Tuesday 20 Muharram 1442 | September 8, 2020 #Thabat_agency

 

 

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NY establishes traveler registration checkpoints at key entry points


NY Mayor de Blasio Announces COVID-19 *registration checkpoints* to Enforce New York State Quarantine Orders


August 5, 2020


NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced COVID-19 traveler registration checkpoints at key entry points into New York City to ensure compliance with New York State quarantine requirements and further the containment of COVID-19.


Travelers who have visited 35 designated states or territories with high COVID-19 transmission rates are required to complete the New York State Department of Health traveler form and quarantine for a period of 14 days upon entering New York City.

The DOF Sheriff’s Office, in coordination with other law enforcement agencies, will operate traveler registration checkpoints at major bridge and tunnel crossings into New York City. Starting Thursday, August 6, the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit will begin outreach at Penn Station to educate travelers about New York State home-quarantine orders. Travelers coming in from these states must complete travel health forms to support contact tracing efforts. The City is also partnering with transportation and tourism companies to direct travelers to complete health forms and educate them about quarantine requirements under state law. The City has also added digital signage at points of entry into the City to increase public awareness of New York State’s registration and quarantine mandates.


“New York City is holding the line against COVID-19, and New Yorkers have shown tremendous discipline,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We’re not going to let our hard work slip away and will continue to do everything we can to keep New Yorkers safe and healthy.”


“The DOF Sheriff’s Office in coordination with other law enforcement agencies will undertake traveler registration checkpoints at major bridge and tunnel crossings into New York City. As Sheriff, I understand the absolute serious nature of this pandemic as well as this decided course of action. The entire team will strive to ensure the deployment balances the critical public health and welfare needs of the residents of the city with the legal protections entitled to all people,” said Sheriff Joseph Fucito.


“The progress we’re seeing across New York City in reducing transmission of COVID-19 is a collective effort by New Yorkers. We’re focused on continuing and building on those efforts by encouraging those who travel to states with a high COVID positivity rate to follow state law and quarantine at home and only leave if its essential,” said NYC Test & Trace Corps Executive Director Dr. Ted Long. “This virus is one that affects all and we want to ensure that we continue on a path to keep all New Yorkers safe through awareness and necessary resources.”
NYC Test & Trace Corps is the City’s comprehensive effort to test, trace, and treat every case of COVID-19. Through a partnership with NYC Health + Hospitals, the Corps allows the City to immediately isolate and care for those who test positive for the virus, and then rapidly track, assess, and quarantine anyone they came into contact with who they may have infected.


Non-essential workers subject to the State’s travel quarantine must:

  • Stay at their residence or in a hotel room, leaving only for essential medical appointments or treatment or to obtain food and other essential goods when the delivery of food or other essential goods to their residence or hotel is not feasible;
  • Not invite or allow guests, other than caregivers, into their quarantined residence or hotel room; and
  • Self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and seek appropriate medical advice or testing if COVID-19 symptoms arise.

Essential workers subject to the State’s quarantine must:

  • Self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and self-quarantine and seek medical advice or testing if they show symptoms of COVID-19; and
  • Limit their activities involving contact with other persons for fourteen (14) days to the purposes that exempted them from the self-quarantine requirement to the extent possible.
  • If staying longer than 36 hours in New York state, seek diagnostic testing for COVID-19 as soon as possible upon arrival (within 24 hours).

Failure to quarantine is a violation of State law, and individuals who fail to quarantine are subject to a $10,000 fine. Individuals who refuse to fill out the New York State Department of Health travel form are subject to a $2,000 fine.


The travel advisory list as of August 5, 2020 includes:
Alaska
Alabama
Arkansas
Arizona
California
Florida
Georgia
Iowa
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maryland
Minnesota
Missouri
Mississippi
Montana
North Carolina
North Dakota
Nebraska
New Mexico
Nevada
Ohio
Oklahoma
Puerto Rico
Rhode Island
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Virginia
Washington
Wisconsin


Read Original:

https://www1.nyc.gov/office-of-the-mayor/news/574-20/mayor-de-blasio-covid-19-checkpoints-enforce-new-york-state-quarantine-orders


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Under this new law, cryptocurrency could become illegal

In early 1775, Benjamin Franklin and his European colleague, Charles Dumas, developed a secret method of communicating with each other.

Dumas had spent years gathering intelligence in Europe to assist the Americans in their revolt against Britain. But the two needed a secure way to pass information across the Atlantic.

So they developed a special cipher– a crude form of encryption where letters and words were substituted for numerals.

The decryption key changed with every letter; so, for example, in a letter from Franklin dated March 2, 1781, the word “MERCHANT” was written as “23. 3. 4. 13. 6. 14. 24. 18.”

At the same time, the physician James Jay (brother to the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Jay) developed an invisible ink so that revolutionary leaders could communicate in secret.

These encrypted communications became critical to the Revolution. And it’s safe to say there would probably not be a United States if they hadn’t developed a secure way to send information.

Ironically, politicians are trying to destroy modern methods of encryption.

Over the past few months while everyone has been in mandatory isolation, cowering in fear in their homes… and over the past few weeks while the Land of the Free has been consumed with rage. . .

. . . a few US Senators have once again proven that chilling political adage– ‘never let a good crisis go to waste.’

Exhibit A: Senate Bill 4051, the “Lawful Access to Encrypted Data Act”, which was quietly introduced last week when everyone’s attention was consumed elsewhere.

First thing’s first, like all freedom-killing bills, this one has a catchy name.

The Lawful Access to Encrypted Data Act is LEAD for short, as in “Move over China! The Land of the Free will LEAD the way in destroying the last remaining freedoms of its citizens.”

(In that way it seems more like ‘lead’, the highly toxic metal that poisons the brain and creates severe intellectual disability.)

At its core, the LEAD Act is an encryption killer. It aims to require technology companies to build ‘back doors’ into their products to ensure that the government can remotely access your data, your device, and your life.

This is nothing short of earth shattering.

Apple, for example, currently provides device encryption on its iPhones and iPads. And once you encrypt your device, only YOU can decrypt it. Apple can’t. Hackers can’t. And the government can’t.

So if your device is ever stolen (or confiscated), your data cannot be compromised.

Under the LEAD Act, this practice would become illegal. Apple would no longer be able to offer device encryption, and they’d have to provide a way for the federal government to remotely access your device, and all of its contents.

The same goes for your favorite chat applications.

WhatsApp, for example, is one of the most popular texting apps in the world. A few years ago, Facebook (which owns WhatsApp) began implementing end-to-end encryption for all WhatsApp data.

This means that any message you send someone via WhatsApp is immediately encrypted the moment it leaves your phone.

That messages arrives to the WhatsApp servers fully encrypted. So any hacker (or Facebook engineer) who intercepts the data will see nothing but a garbled mess.

And the message isn’t decrypted until it arrives to the intended recipient’s device. So the only people who can see the message in “clear text” are the two people participating in the conversation.

No one else can eavesdrop, or download the data.

But again, under the LEAD Act, this too would become illegal… and Facebook will be obligated to build in a ‘back door’ for the government to remotely access your conversations.

LEAD also requires developers of operating systems, like Microsoft Windows and Apple’s MacOS, to provide backdoor access to your computer.

It’s extraordinary to think of how far-reaching the effects of this legislation will go.

For example, do you use an online password manager like OnePassword or Lastpass?

They will also be required to give the government access to your data… which essentially would give the government access to EVERYTHING you do online.

Do you upload files and photos to iCloud? Yup. That too. Apple will be required to build a back door and give the government access to your data.

Any ‘zero knowledge’ encryption, whether it’s for storing files, sharing photos, texting friends, making video calls, sending encrypted emails, etc., will become illegal under this legislation.

And to be crystal clear about what that means, CRYPTOCURRENCY will effectively become illegal under the LEAD Act as well.

That’s right. Cryptocurrency relies on data encryption too.

Your ‘wallet’ is essentially a public key / private key combination. And in theory, only you are supposed to have access.

But that’s exactly what this legislation aims to prevent. The government wants backdoor access to everything.

Honestly this legislation would be hilarious if it weren’t actually true… because it shows how totally clueless these people really are.

The politicians are calling it ‘lawful access’, as if only the government would be able to use these back doors. Clearly these people understand nothing about cybersecurity.

There is no such thing as a ‘back door’ that only the government can access.

Once a technology company creates a way to remotely access a device, then that back door is available to ANYONE who can crack it.

It’s not like some hacker, or foreign intelligence agency, is going to probe the back door on your iPhone and say, “Oh, nevermind, this is only for the US government. I guess I’ll try to find another way in.”

If this law passes, not only will the government be able to access your devices, but hackers will have endless new treasures of data to steal… courtesy of the United States Senate.

It’s genius.


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via:  SovereignMan


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The one statue that remains untouched: Vladimir Lenin

Are you ready for this week’s absurdity? Here’s this week’s roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, risks to your prosperity… and on occasion, inspiring poetic justice.

 

 

 

NYC’s inspiring breakthrough in the science of contact tracing

 

“Contact tracing” is a tactic whereby public health officials attempt to track where you’ve been, and who you’ve been in contact with, in their efforts to contain a pandemic.

And we’ve seen a lot of contact tracing efforts lately.

New York City hired thousands of contact tracing specialists who are tasked with calling everyone who tests positive for Covid-19 and interviewing them to help identify who else they might have infected.

But now New York City’s Comrade Mayor Bill de Blasio has instructed his contract tracers to specifically NOT ask if an infected person attended a Black Lives Matter protest.

Seriously… what’s the point?

The entire idea of contact tracing is to find out who else might have been in close proximity. To deliberately NOT ask someone if they’ve been in close proximity of thousands of other people sort of defeats the purpose of the entire contract tracing program to begin with.

Naturally, New York City health officials have already said that any spike in Covid infections should be blamed on racism, and not mass gatherings of people.

And that’s what constitutes science in 2020.

This is another obvious sign of woke intersectionality.

Governments act like public health is their number one concern. They shut down the entire economy and refused to allow people to attend worship services, all to keep us safe from a strand of ribonucleic acid.

But in actuality they’re far more concerned with building political credibility with protestors, and they’re willing to completely make up science in order to do so.

 

Click here for the full story.

 

Protesters destroy statues of an ex-slave, abolitionist… leave Lenin untouched

 

A statue in San Francisco of Miguel Cervantes, author of Don Quixote, was defaced with the word “bastard” spray painted onto it by protesters.

What protesters may not know is that the Spanish author actually spent five years as a slave after being captured off the coast of Africa.

Outside of Wisconsin State Capitol the statue of Hans Christian Heg was also toppled.

Heg was an anti-slavery activist who joined a militia that fought slave traders. Then he joined the Union Army during the Civil War, and died in battle, fighting to end slavery.

Perhaps statues in general are sinful in the new social order.

Except for the statue of Vladimir Lenin in Seattle. His statue has remained untouched.

 

Click here to read about Cervantes and here for Heg.

 

UK court fines man for calling an Irish guy a leprechaun

 

A man who insulted his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend was charged with a racially motivated crime.

He used the “grossly offensive” term “leprechaun” to refer to his ex’s new boyfriend, who is Irish.

The court fined him £280… and I can only imagine the Holy Hell that the Twitter mob will unleash upon him.

 

 

Click here for the full story.

 

Duluth Minnesota to delete “Chief” from town titles

 

The town of Duluth Minnesota decided to remove the term “Chief” from town titles.

They will rename titles such as “Chief Administrative Officer” so that it won’t be offensive to Native Americans.

The police and fire chiefs are also apparently open to taking on new titles.

Mayor Emily Larson explained that the word chief “is language that is offensive to people who are indigenous and actually offensive to a lot of people, especially when there is other language available.”

Chief is actually an Old French word meaning principal, first, leader, or most important.

It is also related to chef, so that should also probably be deleted from the lexicon.

 

Click here to read the full story.

 

 

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

 

 

via:  SovereignMan


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More examples of the Twitter mob taking over

Every Friday we bring you some of the most ridiculous stories we found throughout the week that are threats to your liberty and prosperity.

This week we are focused on “cancel culture” also known as mob-rule. Here’s how it is killing any remaining freedom of thought and discussion in our society.

 

Mob punishes soccer player because of his wife’s Tweet

 

Until last Friday, Aleksander Katai played professional soccer for the Los Angeles Galaxy.

He was fired for something his wife tweeted.

She posted an image of NYPD police cruisers ramming protesters with their car, with the caption, “Ma pobij govna bre!” which is Serbian and translates to “Kill the shits!”

Now… that’s pretty messed up. And someone found the Tweet, translated it, reposted it… and then the mob unleashed holy hell.

But amazingly enough– the mob went after Aleksander Katai.

Hang on, wait a minute. It was Katai’s WIFE who wrote the Tweet. He had nothing to do with it. They weren’t even together at the time, he was off practicing with his team and had no idea what she was tweeting.

Yet according to this supposedly ultra-progressive mob, Aleksander Katai is responsible for his wife’s words and actions.

Doesn’t that sound blatantly misogynist and a direct contravention of the mob’s woke mentality?

You would think so. But there is no reason with this mob. And they went after Aleksander Katai with a terrible fury.

The team forced Katai to apologize and disavow his wife’s tweets, saying “This is a mistake from my family, and I take full responsibility. I will ensure that my family and I take the necessary actions to learn, understand, listen and understand the black community.”

But the mob was out for blood. So despite the fact that Katai didn’t even do anything, and he still apologized for his wife’s actions, he was still fired.

 

Click here to read the full story.

 

Students feel “unsafe” due to professor’s “gender critical” views

Kathleen Lowry was an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Alberta in Canada who taught a class on feminism entitled “Anthropology of Women.”

Prof. Lowry expressed her views to her students on Day 1 of the course that there are two biological sexes– male and female.

Despite being a self-avowed progressive feminist, Lowry’s views (which, by the way, are grounded in science) are totally out of touch with the mob.

Fellow professors tweeted things like “I condemn the position & beliefs of Dr. Kathleen Lowry…” as if Lowry were some sort of Holocaust denier.

And so she was fired because students felt “unsafe” in the classroom due to Lowry’s “gender critical” views.

 

Click here to read the full story.

 

Did there used to be a word for “people who menstruate”?

JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, asked for help on Twitter the other day.

She was trying to remember a word lost to the memory-hole of history.

Criticizing an article that used the term, “people who mensturate,” Rowling tweeted:

“‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

Naturally this made the mob completely lose its mind. “Women” is now a vile, nasty, offensive word, and everyone from the Harry Potter cast (like actors Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson), to Warner Brothers (which owns the rights to the franchise) denounced Rowling’s disgusting reference to an archaic, offensive word.

 

Click here to read the full article.

 

Southern band changes name, preemptively grovels for forgiveness

The mob has already caused some offenders to preemptively grovel for forgiveness.

For instance, the country band Lady Antebellum announced on Twitter– where all important announcements now occur– that it is changing the name of the band.

Antebellum refers to the pre-Civil War era in the southern United States.

No one had actually complained about the band name though, at least not yet. But Lady Antebellum saw the angry mob forming a mile away as confederate flags and statues came tumbling down.

So the band figured it would preemptively grovel for forgiveness.

The members said they named the band after the Antebellum style home they first took band photos in front of. But they now see that Antebellum’s association with the confederacy could be seen as offensive to some. And they are deeply sorry.

The big reveal on the new name: Lady A.

Which kind of makes me wonder, how much longer until “Lady” is also offensive, and the band changes its name to “Person Who Menstruates A” ?

 

Click here to read the full story.

 

Twitter suggests reading an article before sharing

Just to give you an idea of how well informed our new Twitter-mob rulers are, check out a new feature Twitter is testing.

Twitter support announced:

“Sharing an article can spark conversation, so you may want to read it before you Tweet it.

“To help promote informed discussion, we’re testing a new prompt on Android –– when you Retweet an article that you haven’t opened on Twitter, we may ask if you’d like to open it first.”

What a revolutionary idea.

 

Click here to see the Tweet.

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

 

via:  SovereignMan


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Some positive moments amid all the turmoil

Look, things aren’t feeling so bright and cheery in the US right now. And the sad truth is that there are some tough times ahead.

We usually bring you stories on Friday that are absurd or even infuriating.

I’m sure you’ve seen enough of that this week.

So we thought we’d share a few moments of character and integrity shown at protests across the US, which shined through all the tragedy.

There are bad apples on all sides– some bad apple protestors who loot and burn and destroy. And some bad apple cops who engage in terrible acts of violence.

But there are plenty of good apples on both sides too.

Protesters tackle man breaking up sidewalk for projectiles

Peaceful protesters sprang into action when they saw a man destroying a sidewalk.

The man was dressed in all black, like Antifa, and was apparently destroying the sidewalk to create projectiles to hurl at police and businesses.

But rather than let things escalate, peaceful protesters tackled the man, took his hammer, and handed him over to a group of police who were nearby.

In fact, the police were standing right there, with the man in clear view. And yet they did nothing to stop him.

Cops even almost arrested one of the peaceful protesters who handed the man over. But they let him go after someone explained the situation.

 

Click here to see the video.

Protesters hold line in front of business to stop looters

Undoubtedly there has been way too much violence, looting, and property destruction. Nothing takes away the moral high ground from a movement like seeing a bunch of guys walk out of an electronics store with big-screen TVs in hand.

And in the early days of these protests, the rage was palpable. Cars were torched, businesses were destroyed, and so much property was stolen.

But people are starting to take a stand against that type of chaos.

In Brooklyn, a group of protesters intervened a few days ago when looters and vandals approached a Target store.

The protestors formed a line in front of the store to stop the looters from smashing windows (and stealing store inventory).

 

Click here to see the video.

FBI asks for evidence of inciting violence. People send videos of cops instead.

Being an activist in the US, you have to have a sense of humor.

So when the FBI asked the public to send them video evidence of protestors inciting violence, they were inundated with videos of police officers being violent.

“The FBI is seeking information and digital media depicting individuals inciting violence during First Amendment protected peaceful demonstrations,” the FBI wrote on its Twitter account.

The FBI’s website said, “If you witness or have witnessed unlawful violent actions, we urge you to submit any information, photos, or videos that could be relevant to the case.”

People responded on Twitter with video of:

  • New York City Police ramming protesters with their vehicles,
  • Police appearing to aim a smoke grenade launcher at a little boy,
  • Police attacking, beating and throwing punches at clearly marked media with cameras,
  • Police spraying peaceful protesters with mace unprovoked,
  • Police/ National Guard firing pepper bullets at a woman filming from her front porch,
  • Police throwing an old man with a cane to the ground.

Click here to read the full story.

Michigan Sheriff leads protestors in peaceful march

This is starting to be a bigger trend: police are putting down their tear gas and riot shields, and joining the protestors to peacefully demonstrate for reform.

In one great example of humanity and leadership, Genesse County, Michigan’s sheriff Chris Swanson met a crowd of protestors, and actually took charge to compassionately lead their march through the city.

This is pretty extraordinary. Protests are typically leaderless, and mobs can take on a life of their own.

But Swanson took charge, telling the crowd “I want to make this a parade.” The cops put their weapons down, took their helmets off, and marched together with the protestors… which ensured that (a) the protestors’ voices were still loudly heard, (b) they could march without any threat of violence, and (c) everything remained safe and orderly.

 

Click here to read the full story.

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

via: sovereignman

 
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Masks vs. No-Masks: Is This The New Symbol of Tribalism?

Masks have become a symbol of which “side” you’re on in the coronavirus debate in the United States and for some folks, whether you choose to wear one or not says a lot about you.

If you don’t wear a mask, you’re seen as a callous brute who doesn’t care whether you spread your germs and kill grandma. If you do wear a mask, you’re seen as a quivering sheep, someone who has been willingly muted by the government.

Rationally, we know there’s a lot more to it than that, however, rational thinking is rarely at the forefront when tempers are flaring. Whether or not you choose to wear a mask is an incredibly visible sign that many will read as an alliance to one “side” or the other. It’s becoming almost tribal. It’s like the Bloods and the Crips of suburbia getting ready to throw down at Trader Joe’s.

The Mask Wearers

There are a lot of folks who come down on the side of wearing a mask. Why? Most of them say it’s to protect others from them in case they’re unwittingly carrying and spreading the virus. Asymptomatic COVID is a mystery. Scientists have said anywhere between 5% and 80% of carriers are asymptomatic, which really tells us nothing except, maybe you are, maybe you aren’t.

The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford University summed it up after assembling the data from 21 reports:

What did we learn (see the table for the analysis)

  • That between 5% and 80% of people testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 may be asymptomatic
  • That symptom-based screening will miss cases, perhaps a lot of them
  • That some  asymptomatic cases  will  become  symptomatic over the next week (sometimes known as “pre-symptomatics”)
  • That children and young adults can be asymptomatic

We also learnt that there  is not a single reliable study to determine the number of  asymptotics. It is likely we will only learn the true extent once population based antibody testing  is undertaken. (source)

So with that in mind, the case for mask-wearing does carry some weight.

However, it also depends on what kind of mask you’re wearing whether or not the protection is present. Everyone knows that N95 and N99 masks are nearly impossible to find and most want to leave those for healthcare workers anyway. The data regarding the cloth masks that most people are wearing doesn’t really support their use. But again, we don’t have very much data, so it’s not a definitive answer. The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy reports:

Limited, indirect evidence from lab studies suggests that homemade fabric masks may capture large respiratory droplets, but there is no evidence they impede the transmission of aerosols implicated in the spread of COVID-19, according to a paper published yesterday by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (source)

So while science does not dispute the wearing of cloth masks, science doesn’t back it up, either.

Those Who Won’t Wear Masks

On the other side of the debate we have those who refuse to wear masks. Some folks won’t do business in stores that require them. Others try to enter the establishments that require masks without adhering to the requests. Others just stay at home because they refuse to comply.

Why won’t they wear masks? Some of it goes back to the Surgeon General’s early recommendation that masks were not helpful in stopping the spread of the coronavirus. Many people chalked this up to an attempt to save the few high-quality masks that were available to healthcare workers while others took it as the Gospel. However, Surgeon General Adams seems to have walked this back and has since demonstrated on video how to make your own face mask.

There are a couple of other reasons, too. First, many feel based on the information above that the masks are not effective. If they don’t work, why should they go through the discomfort and for some, the difficulty breathing that mask-wearing brings?

Some see it as a symbol of weakness.

To some, wearing a mask means admitting a fear they may not have consciously confronted yet, said David Abrams, a clinical psychologist and professor of social and behavioral science at New York University’s School of Global Public Health.

Many view the mask as a walking symbol of vulnerability that tells others you’re scared about contracting the virus. So to compensate for that fear, and as a show of strength, they may reject the masks entirely, he said. (source)

For others, it’s a matter of liberty.  They feel that wearing a mask is a symbol of bowing down to tyranny or a symbol that the wearer has been silenced.

Even though wearing masks isn’t compulsory in much of the US, adhering to these rules may feel like, to some, a forfeiture of their freedoms.

People naturally rebel when they’re told what to do, even if the measures could protect them, said Steven Taylor, a clinical psychologist and author of “The Psychology of Pandemics.”

“People value their freedoms,” he said. “They may become distressed or indignant or morally outraged when people are trying to encroach on their freedoms.” (source)

That last reason shouldn’t come as a surprise. Our nation was built on refusing to be told what to do.

There has already been violence over masks

People have already expressed their displeasure on both sides of this debate…sometimes violently.

Unfortunately, retail workers are often the ones bearing the brunt of the anger when they’re simply trying to enforce the policies set forth by their employers. One of my daughters is a retail worker. She and her coworkers have been warned they’ll be fired on the spot if they haven’t followed the arbitrary guidelines of people standing on Xs and limiting the number of customers in the store. Officials from corporate headquarters have dropped in unbeknownst to employees to check that their measures are being enforced. She’s definitely not alone and the risk of violence is high. But she – like many others – is just happy to still have a job.

Earlier this month, I wrote about three violent incidents that occurred when people refused demands that they wear a mask in certain establishments:

A physical fight erupted at a gas station in Decatur, Illinois when a customer refused to don a mask to pay for his fuel. Sgt. Brian Earles with Decatur Police spoke to the press about the incident. It seems that a 59-year-old customer got into a verbal altercation with a 56-year-old cashier when he was trying to pay for gasoline without a mask, as is mandated by the state of Illinois. The customer allegedly shoved the cashier, who said he felt threatened, and the cashier responded by punching the customer in the face. The customer was arrested and charged with battery over the incident.

In Holly Michigan, a Dollar Tree customer refused to follow the posted store policy of wearing a mask. When a young female employee approached him and let him know of the policy he responded by saying, “Here, I will just use this as a mask,” and wiped his face on her sleeve. The customer continued to behave belligerently until he left. The entire incident was caught on store surveillance.

At a Family Dollar store in Flint, Michigan, the most violent response yet occurred when Calvin Munerlyn, a security guard for the store, was shot and killed after he refused to allow a customer’s daughter to come into the store without a mask. (source)

And the violence is not one-sided. In Johnstown, Pennsylvania, a fight broke out when someone coughed in a parking lot.

A 53-year-old man confronted a motorist who reportedly coughed without covering his mouth in a convenience store parking lot. The argument sparked a physical confrontation, and the coughing man opened fire. No one was injured. Both men were arrested for assault. (source)

More than one woman has been violently assaulted because she chose to wear a mask:

An Asian woman wearing a mask was attacked by two men and called “diseased” in a subway station in New York City’s Chinatown, according to the New York Police Department (NYPD). Four people were arrested in March in Hilton, New York, after they allegedly punched and taunted a woman for wearing a respirator mask in a store, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department. (source)

In Vermont, people are snitching on members of their communities to publicly shame them for not wearing masks. [Grammatical errors are quoted directly from the source]

Some of the messages read like field reports: “The sidewalks between price chopper and walmart had groups of people standing together no mask or social distances.”

Others like warnings: “I want to make you aware of the health crisis that is ongoing at the floating bridge in Brookfield. Since fish were stocked in the pond it’s become a daily gathering spot of dozens of covid ignoring people.”

Others are more inquisitive: “Picture below shows people at Roxie’s in Bomoseen VT around 5 pm. I am the only one wearing a mask. Can u ask the Governor at his Monday press conference what citizens should do if they witness these blatant violations of his mandatory mask order?” (source)

Peter Erb, a Hinesburg, Vermont resident believes these attempts at citizen enforcement are dangerous.

Erb said it’s also dangerous to have citizens enforcing the rules against each other — pointing to violent incidents in other states when citizens have attempted to enforce the rules. In Michigan, a security guard at a Family Dollar was shot and killed after he told a shopper to wear a mask. An order requiring people to wear masks in a city in Oklahoma was dialed back to a recommendation after a slew of threats of violence in the first hours the order was in place.

Erb said he worried the coronavirus compliance divide, played out nationally, could turn angry and politically partisan. He also pointed to a more personal experience.

“You know my wife got into a fairly contentious discussion in a grocery store when somebody wouldn’t back off, had no mask and just wouldn’t distance,” he said. “And, you know, that’s a fairly controlled situation, and, you know, in Hinesburg.” (source)

Erb isn’t wrong about this becoming a partisan topic, either.

Is this where the battle lines will be drawn?

This debate is somewhat, but not entirely, divided down partisan lines. It’s notable that you will rarely see President Trump or Vice President Pence wearing one.

Here are the demographics of mask-wearing:

Whether Americans are embracing the change may depend on their political party. While most other protective measures like social distancing get broad bipartisan support, Democrats are more likely than Republicans to say they’re wearing a mask when leaving home, 76% to 59%, according to a recent poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

The split is clear across several demographics that lean Democratic. People with college degrees are more likely than those without to wear masks when leaving home, 78% to 63%. African Americans are more likely than either white people or Hispanic Americans to say they’re wearing masks outside the home, 83% to 64% and 67%, respectively.

The notable exception is among older people, a group particularly vulnerable to serious illness from the virus. Some 79% of those age 60 and over were doing so compared with 63% of those younger. (source)

The issue now is that those with masks and those without masks are clearly members of a “team” or a “tribe.”  And a return to tribalism can be dangerous when paired with the many things that we’ve lost over the first half to 2020.  We’ve lost loved ones, we’ve lost jobs, we’ve lost businesses, we’ve lost our incomes, and many are on the verge of losing homes and cars.

It isn’t a stretch of the imagination to think that if violence were to erupt, people who feel the opposite way about masks could become targets of the outraged group. Outrage and the potential for civil unrest are things I’ve written about numerous times throughout this pandemic.

A person wearing or not wearing a mask is as clearly marked as somebody wearing a red bandana in the wrong neighborhood during a tense moment when people are butting heads during the mask debate. Is that really the hill you’re prepared to die on, metaphorically speaking?

What should you do?

I’m not here to tell you whether or not you should wear a mask when you leave the house. I strongly believe we should be responsible for our own health and therefore make these choices ourselves. At the same time, I support the right for businesses to choose whether or not to serve people who refuse to wear masks. If you, as a customer, feel strongly about not wearing a mask, you should vote with your wallet and go to stores that don’t require it. This is a purely libertarian point of view. It’s about personal responsibility and the free market.

Personally, I keep a mask tucked into my purse and wear it if the establishment I’m visiting has a policy requiring it. If I had to visit a hospital or a friend with a health vulnerability, I’d wear a mask out of caution and courtesy. I do choose which grocery store I shop at based on the mask policy (I go to the store that doesn’t have a mask policy) and I do not wear one unless it’s required.

However, from a preparedness point of view, there’s a different angle.

The gray angle.

If your goal is to blend in with the crowd and not be a person who draws the attention of others, then it’s good to check the local baseline and see what other people are doing. In areas where the majority is wearing a mask, the gray thing to do would be to wear one too.

If you are in an area where nobody is wearing a mask, the gray thing would be to go along with that group with a caveat. If you are extremely concerned about your health or the health of a loved one, forget about the crowd and do what you think is right. Just don’t try to force others to conform to what you think is right.

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

via:  theorganicprepper


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