⚾️ Play ball! The Major League Baseball lockout is over. Opening Day will happen on April 7.
💊 Dozens of families were given the chance to confront the owners of Purdue Pharma for their role in the opioid crisis on Thursday. Purdue is working towards a settlement for thousands of lawsuits in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
🤐 The Anonymous hacker group says it hacked a Russian federal agency and released documents related to media censorship. See below for more on censorship.
⛽️ Farmers are warning that gas prices could cause food shortages.
📺 Join Morning Invest live at 9 AM as we cover the latest on Ukraine, censorship and so much more. You can RSVP right here and start joining the chatroom.
Covid Update 😷:
United Airlines will let unvaccinated workers return to work.
*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 5:00am ET.
Markets: Markets jumped this morning on breaking news that Vladimir Putin signaled positive "shifts in talks with Ukraine." What that means we'll have to wait and see but for now the markets are moving up.
The U.S. inflation number is at 7.9%, a 40-year high. That means that everything you buy is 7.9% more expensive. We probably don’t need to tell you that.
The Biden Administration is saying that the Ukraine-Russia conflict is responsible for this, although we were warned that we could see an 8% inflation number before this conflict broke out. Basic economics tells you that if the government creates and releases money out of thin air, inflation results, but those market forces are not part of the conversation right now.
The Federal Reserve is set to increase interest rates next week, which may or may not make this all worse. There is no predicting when economic forces are perverted.
To help you with these higher prices, Democrats introduced a plan to tax oil and gas companies in order to provide quarterly stimulus checks to the American people. Don’t get excited about it though. Something like this will pass this Congress when pigs can talk. (See below for more about that!)
Pfizer was ordered by a court in Texas to release data from its Covid vaccine. The company begrudgingly did so, and the first round of data indicates that the vaccine may not be as “safe and effective” as the marketing would have us believe. We want to present it to you and allow you to draw your own conclusions.
The data we have now is from December 1, 2020 through February 28, 2021. In that three-month period, 1,123 people died from the vaccine, according to Pfizer. Additionally, Pfizer confirms 42,086 “adverse events,” meaning negative reactions to the vaccine. We cannot work out a percentage of adverse events to doses, however, because Pfizer redacted that number from its reporting.
This same vaccine by Pfizer was approved by the FDA six months after this data set in August of 2021. So, some questions:
Did the FDA have this data set at the time and consider 1,123 deaths and 42,086 an acceptable amount given the number of Covid deaths at the time?
Is this a normal amount of adverse events? We can’t compare since the sample size is redacted.
Why wasn’t this information in the public domain? We don’t know that either. It took a court order for it to be released.
Why hasn’t the media covered this? We don’t know that either but we suspect it has to do with the $1 billion in media advertising that the Department of Health and Human Services paid to major media outlets to advertise the vaccine to the American public. That is the only speculation we are comfortable with but now that this data is public, will the media ask more questions? Bueller? Bueller?
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We want to take the opportunity to talk about free speech and censoring access to information because it seems like we are on a dangerous precipice.
Media theorists mostly agree that defending free speech means defending speech you don’t like just as much as defending speech you do. If you believe John Milton, then the marketplace of ideas must be kept open because “in a free and open encounter,” truth will prevail.
But Milton never had to contend with the algorithm of big tech that decides what you see, read, hear and share.
DuckDuckGo, the search engine beloved by those who oppose Google’s ranked search results, now says that it will down-rank pro-Russia information. Facebook is doing the same and will now allow posts that call for violence on Russian leaders even though these are “forms of political expression that would normally violate [their] rules.”
In Australia, the government has sanctioned some citizens for expressing pro-Russian sentiment. This is a free country sanctioning people with ideas that the government does not like! And what are those ideas? That certain areas of Ukraine are pro-Russian.
If you believe in free speech, you should be bothered by this. Even if you only support pro-Ukraine speech and sentiment, you should want to know what is kept from you too.
Scientists in Denmark now have an algorithm to translate pig grunts. They recorded thousands of hours of pig sounds and were able to translate them into “expressible emotions.”
“We demonstrate that animal sounds provide great insight into their emotions. We also prove that an algorithm can be used to decode and understand the emotions of pigs, which is an important step towards improved animal welfare for livestock,” said the study’s author.
The algorithm can tell you if your pig is happy, hungry or stressed. Generally, shorter pig emotions were happier ones and higher frequency sounds were negative. Scientists are hoping that we use this information to treat pigs with more dignity. That’s all, folks!
News By The Numbers
5 months. That is the prison sentence for actor Jussie Smollett. He also has to pay the city of Chicago $130,000 to cover the costs of investigating his staged hate crime. He also got a 30-minute lecture from the judge about hypocrisy before being taken off by deputies.
250. That is how many residents had to flee volcano eruptions in Indonesia’s Mount Merapi this week.
2. That is how many states now outlaw declawing cats unless it is medically necessary. New York banned this practice in 2019 and Maryland voted for a ban on Thursday. Vets who do this could face a fine of $5,000.
30,000. That is how many people are expected to come to Sweetwater, Texas this weekend for the “World’s Largest Rattlesnake Roundup.” It is an event where people gather to milk, butcher and skin rattlesnakes. In Georgia, these events now celebrate the snakes rather than slaughter them, but in Texas, no such changes have been embraced. Obviously, animal activists condemn this.
Sharpay is trending because people are comparing this High School Musical character to Maddy Perez on Euphoria.
Today's Live Show
JOIN US TODAY AT 9AM EASTERN TIME
Join us on today's live morning show. President Biden is set to announce more sanctions against Russia as inflation hits a 40 year high in America. Today we're looking at the latest on the war in Ukraine as well as the growing censorship from big tech companies. Click here to RSVP and I'll see you at 9 AM Eastern.
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