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Sting’s concert in Oshawa was a grenade tossed at GM

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The man born Gordon Sumner used a day off from his musical, The Last Ship, on stage at the Princess of Wales Theatre, to pledge solidarity with GM workers in Oshawa, some 2,500 who will lose their jobs when the plant closes by the end of the year.

Unless GM has a serious rethink, reverses its pitiless decision to shuffle production to Mexico and repairs a shredded relationship with workers who’ve never been anything other than loyal to the manufacturer.

Sting, who comes by his social conscience honestly — decades of activism and philanthropy from Live Aid to Live 8 to disaster relief and Amnesty International concerts to the rainforest foundation he co-founded — took his act on the road Thursday, schlepping the large cast with him for a free concert in tandem with Unifor, the union representing workers staring unemployment in the face.

He opened with “Message in a Bottle,” playing acoustic guitar, and closed with “Every Breath You Take.”

But this was not merely an in-and-out symbolic gratis mini concert. It was a stirring covenant and a public relations grenade hurled at General Motors.

“We live in a time where people with influence rarely poke out their head,” said union head Jerry Dias.

“Today is about elevating the profile of the issue. Today is about saying to GM in the strongest terms that we’re not accepting your decision to close down the facility.”

Sting, who grew up in an industrial town in Northumberland, knows all about the ruin of cities that have been devastated by the disappearance of heavy industry. In his hometown of Wallsend, Tyne and Wear, a coal mine once thrived and the shipyard turned out the largest vessels ever to sail to seas.

There is no coal mining anymore and the shipyard was shuttered in 2007.

“I lived within spitting distance of the shipyard,” Sting told a media conference — after wryly introducing himself as Lionel Richie — hardly a trace of his Geordie accent left. “When I was a young kid, I thought that would be my destiny. Everyone worked in the shipyard. It was the last thing I wanted, actually. I did my level best to escape my town and I did. I got a scholarship to a school. Then I became a singer and made extravagant amounts of money and travelled the world, won Grammy Awards, all of that.”

Seventeen Grammys, but who’s counting? And Kennedy Center honours. And a CBE from the Queen, so not technically Sir Sting, a rung below knighthood.

Worth upwards of $400 million (U.S.), actually, from multiple endeavours, starting with new wave pop band the Police, through a solo career and diverse creative projects. A fortune which, Sting has insisted, he won’t be leaving behind in lazy-making trust funds for his six kids.

It was honouring hard work that led Sting to write the music and lyrics for The Last Ship. “The work was incredibly hard and dangerous but those men and women were incredibly proud of the work they did and the ships that were built there.”

GM workers, losing their jobs as production shifts to low-salaried employees in Mexico, can certainly relate. Just as The Last Ship, said Sting, uncannily parallels the harsh reality that Oshawa’s car workers will be facing.

“It’s basically financial jiggery-pokery,” Sting sneered. “They just want to pay workers less in another place. That’s not right.”

Average wage for workers at GM’s Mexico plant is $2 an hour; roughly $30 (Canadian) an hour in Oshawa. An economic impact study done for Unifor estimates closing the plant will have disastrous impacts on the city, cutting the economy by $5 billion next year, with radiating job losses of 14,000.

All this while the carmaker’s pre-tax earnings shot up 25 per cent — $3.2 billion (U.S.) — in the third quarter alone of 2018 (company figures).

“GM made a commitment to us in September of 2015,” said Dias, “verbally and in writing that they were not going to move the plant. So after announcing $8.1 billion (in earnings for 2018), my guess is it would not be difficult for them to live up their commitment.”

With the lights never dimmed in the Tributes Communities Centre for the noon-hour performance, Sting said he could see the anxiety in those in the audience, many of them second- and third-generation GM employees. “It’s very evident to us, performing on stage. We could see everyone’s face. I can see the worry on their faces, genuine concern about the future. It was very moving for us to see that close up. It’s not a game, this is real.”

Adding: “The story we’re telling on the stage every night at the Princess of Wales is this story. It’s a very human story. It’s a very common story.

“I hope you feel the resonance in this town. You’ve done the same thing. You have the dignity of your work, the pride of your work, who you are. You are what you do.” It’s a line spoken by one of the play’s characters, you are what you do. “You take that away, what are you?”

Before he became famous as a musician, Sting worked as school teacher, as a labourer digging ditches, as a bus conductor and milk deliveryman. There was very much a working man before to the rock star after. And so, he could offer support, participating in the shaming of GM, link arms with the union, but he can’t counsel those who will now have to reinvent themselves on the job market.

“I can’t advise. My life has had a pretty rarefied trajectory. I was very lucky to escape … But you can’t copy my life.

“That was my choice,” he explained about fleeing Wallsend, turning himself into an “exile,” albeit with homes in Wiltshire, Malibu, the Lake District, Tuscany, London and New York City.

His message to GM: “You have a duty to support the community that’s worked for you. It should be a mutual support system. It’s about loyalty. These workers have loyally given their lives to the company. It’s a two-way street.”

Dias claimed the union’s information campaign, its pushback, is proving effective, as GM sales in Canada dropped by 30 per cent in December and 15 per cent in January. “Canadians are punishing them. That’s the only thing they understand. Ultimately, GM can fix this. They can change their mind.”

It’s an uplifting thought. But GM appears immune to public shaming. Greed will likely prevail, a power greater than Sting’s celebrity.

“I’m just a rock singer.”

Rosie DiManno is a columnist based in Toronto covering sports and current affairs. Follow her on Twitter: @rdimanno



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These US entities partnered with the Wuhan Institute of Virology — time for a criminal investigation?

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(Natural News) The Wuhan Institute of Virology from which the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) is believed to have “escaped” has a number of questionable partnerships that are worth looking into in light of the pandemic.

Most of them are universities, including the University of Alabama, the University of North Texas, and Harvard University. There is also the EcoHealth Alliance, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the National Wildlife Federation.

While the relationships between these entities and the Wuhan Institute of Virology may be completely innocent, there is no way to really say for sure without a proper investigation. And this is exactly what Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is calling for, as is the nation of Australia.

Pompeo and the folks down under, along with millions of Americans, would really like to know the true origins of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19). An increasing number of people simply are not buying the narrative that the novel virus originated in bat soup at a Chinese wet market, and this even includes mainstream media outlets like Fox News.

The only way to really determine what was going on at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and who else might have been involved. is to open the place up for an international investigation. But communist China is against this, of course, accusing Australia of “petty tricks” and collusion with the United States.

“Overnight, I saw comments from the Chinese Foreign Ministry talking about a course of activity with respect to Australia who had the temerity to ask for investigation,” Pompeo is quoted as saying in response to China’s aggression against a proposed investigation.

“Who in the world wouldn’t want an investigation of how this happened to the world?” he added.

As the U.S. aims to get back on track economically speaking, Pompeo believes that now is the time to hold communist China, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and whoever else may have been involved accountable for unleashing this pandemic on the world.

“Not only American wealth, but the global economy’s devastation as a result of this virus,” Pompeo further stated. “There will be a time for this. We will get that timing right.”

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New U.S. analysis finds that lab in Wuhan, China was “most likely” origin of coronavirus release

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(Natural News) While American Leftists and most of the Democrat Party continue to serve as apologists for the Chinese Communist regime over its role in creating and then perpetuating the coronavirus pandemic, a new U.S. government analysis concludes that COVID-19 “most likely” escaped from a lab near Wuhan city.

The Washington Times reports that the analysis cataloged evidence linking the outbreak to the Wuhan lab and has found that other explanations for the origins of the virus are not as credible.

The paper reported:

The document, compiled from open sources and not a finished product, says there is no smoking gun to blame the virus on either the Wuhan Institute of Virology or the Wuhan branch of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, both located in the city where the first outbreaks were reported.

However, “there is circumstantial evidence to suggest such may be the case,” the paper says.

“All other possible places of the virus’ origin have been proven to be highly unlikely,” said the report, a copy of which was obtained by the Times.

ChiCom officials have claimed that the virus’ origin is unknown. However, Beijing initially stated that coronavirus came from animals at a “wet market” in Wuhan where exotic meats are butchered and sold in disgusting conditions.

Chinese officials claim that COVID-19 went from bats to animals sold in the market last year, then infected humans.

U.S. intelligence officials have increasingly dismissed that explanation, however, as attention has begun to focus on evidence suggesting that Chinese medical researchers were working with coronavirus in the country’s only Level 4 facility, which is in Wuhan.

U.S. Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said that intelligence agencies are investigating whether the virus escaped from a lab or was the result of a naturally occurring outbreak, but that analysts have ruled out reports that COVID-19 was manmade.

‘The most logical place to investigate the virus origin has been completely sealed off’

“At this point, it’s inconclusive, although the weight of evidence seems to indicate natural,” the general said on April 14, “but we don’t know for certain.”

The analysis said that the wet market explanation does not ring true because the first human diagnosis of coronavirus was made in someone who had no connection to the wet market in question. And according to Chinese reports, no bats were sold at that particular market.

At the same time, several questionable actions and a growing paper trail provide clues that the virus actually escaped from a lab, even as China begins to clamp down on those information streams.

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The biggest media lies about the coronavirus: Origins, treatments and vaccines

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(Natural News) If there is one thing that most everyone can agree on concerning the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it is the fact that there is no shortage of conflicting information out there about the nature of it. And the mainstream media is certainly doing its part to steer the narrative as part of a larger agenda, using plenty of misinformation along the way.

The following are among the most commonly parroted lies about the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) that aim to distort the facts and deceive you into believing falsehoods about this pandemic:

Media LIE: The virus is not man-made

From the very beginning of this thing, the official narrative was that the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) came from a Chinese wet market where bats and other “exotic” animals are sold as meat. But the world later learned that it actually more than likely “escaped” from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

The mainstream media and social media platforms went nuts trying to censor this information and even called it  “fake news.” But eventually it became undeniable that bat soup was not responsible for spreading the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) around Wuhan and eventually to the rest of the world – hence why we continue to call it the Wuhan coronavirus rather than just COVID-19.

We have even seen attempts by the media machine at making the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) a racial issue because there are supposedly more “people of color” coming down with it than people with fair skin, which further detracts attention away from the source of this virus.

Media LIE: Hydroxychloroquine is extremely dangerous and doesn’t work

The minute that President Donald Trump announced that hydroxychloroquine may be an effective, and very inexpensive, remedy for the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), the mainstream media immediately began decrying this claim as fake news, even though Anthony Fauci himself praised hydroxychloroquine back in 2013 under Barack Obama as being some type of “miracle cure” for SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome).

There have even been studies conducted that were designed to intentionally smear the drug as both ineffective and dangerous, though one in particular purposely left out zinc, which appears to be a critical co-factor in supporting the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine – in other words, politics as usual.

Media LIE: Only a vaccine can save us from coronavirus

Many politicians and public health officials are parroting the lie that the only way America can come out of lockdown and go back to “normal” is to get vaccinated with some future vaccine for the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) that does not even yet exist. A vaccine, we are repeatedly told, is the only thing, or perhaps some new “blockbuster” antiviral drug, that can cure the world of this scourge and make everything happy and wonderful once again.

Meanwhile, not a peep is being made about things like intravenous (IV) high-dose vitamin C, which is being successfully used in other countries to stem the tide of infections without the need for new drugs and vaccines.

By omission, nutrition is pointless

Speaking of natural approaches to overcoming the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) that are being systematically ignored by the mainstream media and most in politics, have you heard anyone mention the importance of nutrition in all of this? We did not think so, and this is intentional.

Regular readers of this site over the years should know by now that the single-most important thing you need to do to stay healthy besides exercising regularly is to feed your body the nutrition it needs to naturally ward off illnesses, including those associated with the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19).

Research compiled by the Lewin Group reveals that nutritional remedies such as calcium, vitamin D, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zeaxanthin, and more all play a critical role in fortifying the immune system, which, if properly nourished, should have little problem fending off disease.

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