Friday, January 21, 2022

Revealing secrets is prohibited

Sanhedrin (31a) The mishna teaches: And from where is it derived that when the judge leaves the courtroom, he should not say: I deemed you exempt and my colleagues deemed you liable, but what can I do, as my colleagues outnumbered me and consequently you were deemed liable? About this it is stated: “You shall not go as a talebearer among your people” (Leviticus 19:16), and it says: “One who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets, but one who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter” (Proverbs 11:13). The Sages taught in a baraita: From where is it derived that when the judge leaves he should not say: I deemed you exempt and my colleagues deemed you liable, but what can I do, as my colleagues outnumbered me and consequently you were deemed liable? The verse states: “You shall not go as a talebearer among your people” (Leviticus 19:16), and it says: “One who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets” (Proverbs 11:13)

The Gemara relates: There was a certain student, about whom a rumor emerged that he revealed a statement that was stated in the study hall and should have been kept secret, and the rumor emerged twenty-two years after the time the statement was revealed. Rav Ami removed him from the study hall as a punishment. Rav Ami said: This is a revealer of secrets and he cannot be trusted.

Rambam (Sanhedrin 22:7)אָסוּר לְאֶחָד מִן הַדַּיָּנִים כְּשֶׁיֵּצֵא מִבֵּית דִּין לוֹמַר אֲנִי הוּא הַמְזַכֶּה אוֹ הַמְחַיֵּב וַחֲבֵרַי חוֹלְקִין עָלַי אֲבָל מָה אֶעֱשֶׂה שֶׁהֵם רַבּוּ עָלַי וְאִם אָמַר כֵּן הֲרֵי הוּא בִּכְלַל הוֹלֵךְ רָכִיל מְגַלֶּה סוֹד. וּמַעֲשֶׂה בְּתַלְמִיד אֶחָד שֶׁהוֹצִיא דְּבָרִים שֶׁנֶּאֶמְרוּ בְּבֵית הַמִּדְרָשׁ לְאַחַר שְׁתַּיִם וְעֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה וְהוֹצִיאוּהוּ בֵּית דִּין מִבֵּית הַמִּדְרָשׁ וְהִכְרִיזוּ עָלָיו זֶה מְגַלֶּה סוֹד הוּא:

Chofetz Chaim, (Introduction to the Laws of the Prohibition of Lashon Hara and Rechilut, Opening Comments 1) One who bears tales against his friend transgresses a negative commandment, viz. (Vayikra 19:16): "Do not go talebearing among your people." What is talebearing? "Loading oneself" with words and going from one to another, saying: "This is what ploni [so and so] said about you"; "This and this is what I heard ploni did to you." Although what he says may be true, it destroys the world. And there is a sin much greater than this — lashon hara, which is included in this negative commandment. And that is speaking disparagingly of one's friend, even if what is said is true. But one who speaks falsely [about his friend] is referred to as a "motzi shem ra" [one who spreads an evil report].

We Found the One Group of Americans Who Are Most Likely to Spread Fake News

In newly published research, we found that it’s not conservatives in general who tend to promote false information, but rather a smaller subset of them who also share two psychological traits: low levels of conscientiousness and an appetite for chaos. Importantly, we found that several other factors we tested for — including support for former President Donald Trump — did not reliably predict an inclination to share misinformation.

Can LCCs be prevented from sharing falsities? One of the most common measures for combating misinformation is using accurate messaging or fact-checker interventions, which have been shown to reduce the sharing of misinformation. Unfortunately, in two studies, we found that fact-checking warnings were inadequate: LCCs continued to share fake news stories at a higher rate compared with liberals and high-conscientiousness conservatives, despite being told the news was inaccurate.

After a Year in Office, How Biden's Approval Rating Stacks Up Against Trump's

A year into his presidency, President Joe Biden is more popular than former President Donald Trump was after his first year, but not by much, with both presidents having similar ratings after their first year in office.

Biden's overwhelming election victory was viewed as a referendum on Trump's administration and some championed the win as a rejection of the former president. However, Biden's honeymoon phase with voters ended in the summer and problems with the economy and the ongoing pandemic has continued to drag down his approval rating.

A year after being inaugurated, Biden's average approval rating stands at just 42 percent, according to FiveThirtyEight. The president's rating is lower than the approval ratings nearly all of his predecessors had at this point in their presidencies in the last 70 years. The one exception is Trump, who had only a 39.5 percent approval rating a year into his presidency.

Austria approves vaccine mandate for adults

Austria’s parliament voted on Thursday to introduce a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for adults starting February 1, the first of its kind in Europe, The Associated Press reported.

The mandate has maximum potential fines of up to 3,600 euros ($4,000) for people who don't comply after a series of reminders.

'Catastrophe' in the IDF: Dairy cooking may be allowed again

For decades, the complexities of making absolutely certain that dairy and meat do not mix has led to a ban on dairy in all IDF kitchens. Over the last few weeks, however, the IDF has formulated a plan for repealing the ban on dairy, which was imposed by Rabbi Shlomo Goren during his tenure as Chief Rabbi of the IDF.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

First Ever Genetically Modified Pig-to-Human Kidney Transplant Successfully Completed

Specialists at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have, for the first time, successfully transplanted pig kidneys into a human patient.

The xenotransplantation was performed on September 30, 2021, at UAB Hospital. Today, the first peer-reviewed research was published in the American Journal of Transplantation.

Joe Rogan's Friends Assemble in D.C. to Do Something They Say Isn't an Anti-Vax Rally

In a bit of light comedy, at one point, the rally’s website also listed as a speaker someone they referred to only as “Rabbi Epstein.” The site used a photo of Mendel Epstein, the infamous Orthodox rabbi convicted in 2015 of masterminding a long-running operation in which he and his cronies kidnapped and tortured men to persuade them to give their wives gets, or Jewish divorce decrees. FitzGibbon did not respond to an email inquiring about whether Mendel Epstein was indeed speaking at the rally. By the following morning, however, Mendel’s photo had been quietly swapped out for one of Rabbi Zev Epstein, a known anti-vaccine activist and a far more likely candidate for someone who’d speak at this event.

Man accused by January 6 truthers of being FBI infiltrator denies claim in interview with House select committee

The Arizona man that some right-wing figures baselessly claim was part of secret FBI plot to orchestrate the January 6 insurrection told the House panel investigating the attack that he has no ties to the FBI or law enforcement, a committee aide told CNN.
While Epps' denial is unlikely to sway diehard conspiracy theorists, it carries some heft because it came in an interview with congressional investigators, where lying would be a federal crime.
Republican lawmakers and pro-Trump outlets have zeroed in on Epps to bolster their broader conspiracy theory that the FBI was responsible for the violence on January 6. Their claims about Epps have been panned by fact-checkers.

Two-thirds of COVID-19 jab reactions caused by placebo effect - study

More than two-thirds of the common side-effects people experience after a coronavirus shot can be attributed to a negative version of the placebo effect rather than the vaccine itself, new research indicates.

Scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston examined data from 12 clinical trials of COVID vaccines and found that the “nocebo effect” accounted for more than three-fourths (76%) of all common adverse reactions after the first dose and more than half (nearly 52%) after the second dose. A third of clinical trial participants who received no vaccine reported systemic adverse advents like headache and fatigue.

The findings, published in JAMA Network Open, suggest that a large proportion of milder side-effects, such as headaches, short-term fatigue and arm pain are not produced by the the vaccine itself, but by other factors thought to generate the nocebo response, such as anxiety.

Supreme Court rejects Trump’s bid to shield records from Jan. 6 committee

The Supreme Court’s order on Wednesday did not reach a final conclusion on this point but said Trump’s effort failed because his assertion of executive privilege would have failed even if he were still in office.

“The questions whether and in what circumstances a former President may obtain a court order preventing disclosure of privileged records from his tenure in office, in the face of a determination by the incumbent President to waive the privilege, are unprecedented and raise serious and substantial concerns,” the high court said.

“Because the Court of Appeals concluded that President Trump’s claims would have failed even if he were the incumbent, his status as a former President necessarily made no difference to the court’s decision,” the unsigned Supreme Court order added.

Supreme Court ruling is a bitter legal and personal blow to Trump

There is no doubt, however, that Trump will be apoplectic that his three Supreme Court nominees, Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, did not publicly dissent from denying his bid to keep his West Wing records secret. Trump has repeatedly slammed the Supreme Court for throwing out his false claims of election fraud, claiming he was a victim of a miscarriage of justice even though his delusional cases were also dismissed by multiple lower courts. Even before the election in 2020, the then-President had said it was important to quickly confirm Barrett so that she could be in place to vote on any election disputes.

Supreme Court clears the way for House to get Trump White House documents

The Supreme Court cleared the way Wednesday for the release of presidential records from the Trump White House to a congressional committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol.
The court's order means that more than 700 documents will be transferred to Congress that could shed light on the events leading up to the insurrection when hundreds of rioters converged on the Capitol attempting to stop certification of the 2020 presidential election results.
Only Justice Clarence Thomas said publicly that he would have granted former President Donald Trump's request to block the document handover from the National Archives to the House select committee. No other justices made an objection public.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Don Lemon SLAMS Unvaxxed As "Idiots," Laura Ingraham MOCKS Gen. Milley Over COVID Diagnosis

When the Delta variant dominated, vaccination and prior infection protected against Covid-19, but vaccination was safest, study finds

"Together, the totality of the evidence suggests really that both vaccination and having survived Covid each provide protection against subsequent reinfection, infection and hospitalization," said Dr. Eli Rosenberg, New York state deputy director for science. "Having Covid the first time carries with it significant risks, and becoming vaccinated and staying up-to-date with boosters really is the only safe choice for preventing COVID infection and severe disease."
"If a person who's had natural Covid then gets vaccinated, they have levels of antibody that are much, much higher than after the natural infection itself. And what we know about higher levels of antibody is: one, you usually get a longer duration of protection, and number two, the variety of antibodies that your immune system produces is more diverse. The notion is that you will be better protected against a diversity of variants," said Schaffner, who is a vaccine adviser to the CDC, but was not involved in the study.