I need to reach a wider audience!
I need to reach a wider audience!
"I suffer from a genetic defect that makes it impossible for me to see the Emperor's new clothes!" -- Michael Rivero
The US still contends with the consequences of invading Iraq 20 years ago
… there is [sic] not many who would come to the defense of this and think that this was a wise intervention that, again, I mean, I think mostly because there are two sides to the case.
One which is there was no justification for doing it all in the first place, or, which is one kind of critique and the other is that well, there was a justification, but only if you were capable of making sure that what came after was not worse than what happened before and the combination of the two makes this pretty flawed.
Jim Steinberg, Former US Deputy Secretary of State
Days after hosting CIA-bankrolled anti-Iran rabble-rousers in Paris last November, French President Emmanuel Macron quite animatedly labeled violent riots in Iran as a whimsical “revolution”.
"Diplomacy is talking with people you disagree with and trying to do something useful,” he said at the time, not knowing or not wanting to know that the real revolution was brewing at home.
For the past three months, anti-government protests have gripped France over Macron’s controversial move to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64, reminding many of the yellow vest movement, an unprecedented phenomenon in the history of global socio-economic movements.
In recent days, protests in France have gathered momentum, with millions of people taking to the streets across the country, demanding the ouster of Macron’s unpopular government.
Iran may be about to get hit. Three Strato-tankers just went airborne over Iraq. LIVE UPDATES BELOW . . .
-USAF KC135R 60-0365
-USAF KC135R 62-3533
-USAF KC135T 58-0069
Putting that much air refueling capability into action signifies a big air operation is about to take place. Something big is happening.
Kosovo will respect its international obligations and implement the measures agreed last week as part of a deal aimed at normalising relations with Serbia, Prime Minister Albin Kurti told lawmakers on Thursday.
Last Saturday, Pristina and Belgrade verbally agreed to implement a Western-backed plan on how to improve ties in the wake of a war in the late 1990s and decades of tense relations. Normalising relations is a condition both Balkan countries must meet to speed up their path to joining the European Union.
"If we want to be treated as a state and be recognised as such, I cannot avoid the obligations from the international treaties that we have agreed," Kurti told lawmakers as he explained the plan in parliament for the first time.
Palestinian prisoners suspended on Wednesday night a hunger strike that was planned to start today after the Israel Prison Services (IPS) conceded to their demands and stopped all punitive and arbitrary measures against them, the official news agency WAFA reported.
The Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs and the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society said in a brief statement that the prisoners decided to suspend the hunger strike after the IPS decided, following a long meeting with representatives of the prisoners, to cancel all punitive measures imposed against them called for by Israeli Minister Itamar Ben Gvir.
The prisoners have declared a mutiny against prisoner rules since February 4, following the implementation of repressive measures against them.
BP has pumped oil worth £15.4bn in Iraq since 2011 when it began production in the country for the first time in nearly four decades, new analysis shows.
The new information comes on the 20-year anniversary of the beginning of the invasion of Iraq, which was judged to be illegal by the UN. However, neither US president George W Bush nor British prime minister Tony Blair, the leaders who prosecuted the war, have been subjects of a criminal investigation.
The invasion began in March 2003 and unleashed a catastrophic humanitarian disaster with an estimated 655,000 Iraqis killed in the first three years of conflict, or 2.5% of the population.
It was widely denounced as a war for oil on the part of the US and UK: Iraq holds the world’s fifth largest proven oil reserves. Iraq had no connection to the September 11th terrorist attacks which had taken place 18 months before and initiated the so-called “War on Terror”.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged to increase the flow of water along the Tigris River to drought-stricken Iraq for one month following a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohamed Shia al-Sudani, Asharq Al-Awsat reported on Tuesday, 22 March.
Erdogan stated that he was aware of the “urgent need for water” in war-scarred Iraq and that “The issue of water will hopefully be resolved.”
“For one month, we have taken the decision to increase the volume of water flowing along the Tigris River,” Erdogan stated in a joint media appearance with Sudani.
We have been discussing a comprehensive effort by the Biden Administration to blacklist or censor citizens accused of “disinformation” or “misinformation.” This effort includes dozens of FBI agents and other agency employees who worked with social media companies to bar or suspend accounts. It also included grants to academic and third party organizations to create blacklists or pressure advertisers to withdrew support for conservative sites. Now, another such grant through the National Science Foundation has been identified, which gave millions to professors to develop a misinformation fact-checking tool called “Course Correct.” The tool will help fight “skepticism” and reinforce “trust” in what the government and the programmers define as true or reliable viewpoints.
The National Science Foundation reportedly awarded grants in 2021 and 2022 for more than $5.7 million for the development of Course Correct to allow media and government officials to target misinformation on topics such as U.S. elections and COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. In addition, a Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act-funded NSF grant supported the application of Course Correct to mental health issues.
The system would use machine learning and other means to identify social media posts pertaining to electoral skepticism and vaccine hesitancy, including flagging at-risk online communities for intervention. Sound familiar?
This is very similar to the effort on the other grants through offices like the State Department’s Global Engagement Center and the National Endowment for Democracy.
Nearly two million Ukrainians – mostly women, children and the elderly – are pouring out of their country, becoming refugees in surrounding European countries, mostly Poland. Some of these refugees are finding their way to Israel, but like many issues in that country, controversies have followed.
The first flights carrying Ukrainians eligible for immigration to Israel arrived Mar. 6, from Moldova, Poland and Romania. They were assisted logistically and financially by the Jewish Agency for Israel and the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.
The market’s in a highly unstable state right now. These violent swings show the inadequacy of the standard models that the Fed and other mainstream analysts use.
The Fed assumes so many things about markets that are simply false, like that markets are always efficient, for example. They’re not. Under volatile conditions like these they gap up and down — they don’t move in rational, predictable increments like the “efficient-market hypothesis” supposes.
The problem is that the Fed’s models are empirically false.
Studies have proven how faulty their models are. The Fed has the worst forecasting record in the world. It’s basically been wrong every year since 2009.
Equilibrium models like the Fed uses basically say the world runs like a clock and occasionally it gets knocked out of equilibrium. And all you have to do is tweak policy or manipulate some variable to push it back into equilibrium.
It’s like resetting a clock. That’s a shorthand way of describing what an equilibrium model is. They treat markets like they’re some kind of machine. It’s a 19th-century, mechanistic approach.
But traditional approaches that rely on static models bear little relationship to reality.
"I’m not defending TikTok as a company, I’m defending my entire generation," said 19-year-old Harvard freshman, Aidan Kohn-Murphy, who founded a group in 2020 called TikTok for Biden (now called Gen Z for Change, having been formally incorporated as a political nonprofit).
"If they went ahead with banning TikTok, it would feel like a slap in the face to a lot of young Americans," he added. "Democrats don’t understand the political consequences this would have."
As the Biden administration considers banning the Chinese-owned short-form video platform with some 150 million U.S. users, young progressive activists and the older Democratic strategists trying to reach them are worried that the officials making the decision — very few of whom likely regularly use TikTok — have no idea how central the platform is to the lives of many in a generation that is just coming of age politically.
Gen Z — the teens and 20-somethings born after 1996 — skew overwhelmingly liberal and Democratic. Their stronger-than-expected turnout in the 2022 midterms was partially credited with salvaging what otherwise might have been a disastrous election for the Democratic Party. -NBC News
Update(20:00ET): US forces occupying Syria's northeast are in a high state of alert, and there are reports of ongoing gunbattles with Iran-backed militias into the night hours. It's being widely acknowledged as the most serious fighting involving American forces there since 2019, with some of the latest rocket launches targeting Omar oil field, which has long been held by US and Kurdish forces.
"The conflict in northeast Syria escalated on Friday as Iran-backed militias launched a volley of rocket and drone attacks against coalition bases after American reprisals for a drone attack that killed a U.S. contractor and injured six other Americans," The New York Times reports late in the day Friday.
Defense attorneys in the Proud Boys seditious-conspiracy trial in Washington D.C. learned late March 22 that one of their own defense witnesses who was about to testify had worked as an FBI informant for at least 22 months.
They asked for an emergency hearing before U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly and filed a motion to compel the U.S. Department of Justice to disclose if the witness has been spying on the defense team.
Judge Kelly suspended the trial until March 24 and converted March 23 from a day of testimony into a motions hearing.
Zachary Rehl, one of five Proud Boys defendants, filed a motion on behalf of his co-defendants seeking a court order to compel prosecutors to disclose any recordings or reports made by confidential human sources (CHS)—informants—about the defendants and their attorneys.
Defense attorney Carmen Hernandez said the information given to the defense team on March 22 raises "serious and substantiated allegations of governmental misconduct surrounding the surreptitious invasion and interference of the defense team by the government through a confidential human source, at the government's behest."
The Rutherford Institute is pushing back against a modern-day form of highway robbery which empowers police to seize and keep private property (cash, jewelry, cars, homes and other valuables) they “suspect” may be connected to a crime.
Weighing in before the U.S. Supreme Court in Culley v. Marshall, Rutherford Institute attorneys are challenging the government’s use of delaying tactics in asset forfeiture proceedings which make it difficult for individuals innocent of any wrongdoing to timely recover their property—especially cars and cash—seized by police.
“Asset forfeiture is the government’s new, twisted form of guilt by association. Only it’s not the citizenry being accused of wrongdoing, just their money,” said constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of Battlefield America: The War on the American People. “What this adds up to is a paradigm in which Americans no longer have to be guilty to be stripped of their property, rights and liberties. All you have to be is in possession of something the government wants.”
On September 15, 2021, the U.S. announced a commitment “to a shared ambition to support Australia in acquiring nuclear-powered submarines for the Royal Australian Navy.”
This week that commitment matured to its next phase with a major summit of AUKUS (top officials from Australia, UK and the United States) and the announcement of the U.S. plan to provide Australia with nuclear-powered submarines.
According to a White House Fact Sheet, the arming of Australia with nuclear-powered submarines will take place in phases, beginning with Washington selling Australia three Virginia class submarines in the early 2030’s with the potential sale of two more. The next phase, to be completed a decade later, will see Australia using SSN-AUKUS nuclear-powered submarines jointly built by the UK and Australia and using advanced U.S. technology.
What the Warring Elites don't want us to realize is that a system of transparent competition in which no fiefdom is allowed to become dominant best serves the interests of society at large.
I've been writing about Warring Elites for a long time (since 2007). As I have often noted, historian Michael Grant identified profound political disunity in the ruling class as a key cause of the dissolution of the Roman Empire.
More recently, I've observed that Our Fragmentation Accelerates (December 20, 2019).
Eras of Warring Elites have two key dynamics. One is that the Elites' interests diverge from those of the society as a whole. In expansive eras, the many competing interests within the Elite class find common ground in supporting the status quo, and relegate their turf squabbles to the private club rooms. On the whole, the shared interests of the Elite class align with society at large.
Here is Technocracy: “one of the latest attempts by EU institutions to pull power away from member-states’ national governments.” Technocracy eschews nation-states and participation of ordinary citizens through traditional political processes. The “Chinafication of Europe” is well underway.
The total engineering of society must necessarily start with ubiquitous surveillance with data tracking, as in China. ⁃ TN Editor
A European Parliament vote for bloc-wide digital IDs is the latest step towards the “Chinafication of Europe”, an MEP has claimed.
Cristian Terhes, a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the Christian Democratic National Peasants’ Party, has described the European Union’s latest push for cross-border digital IDs as another move towards the “Chinafication” of the bloc.
Although bureaucrats in Brussels have insisted that the measure is in the interests of average citizens, the parliament’s vote to see digital IDs adopted appears to be one of the latest attempts by EU institutions to pull power away from member-states’ national governments.
While elites around the world – those in political power and in control of top financial institutions – are very much rallying around the plans to introduce central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), in Florida, the state's governor has a different take on where things should be headed.
In fact, radically different – Governor Ron DeSantis thinks CBDCs should be banned.
Addressing a press conference from behind a podium that had the words “Big Brother's Digital Dollar” attached to it, DeSantis repeated what critics of the CBDC push keep saying.
And that is, that the centralized form of digital money controlled by governments is basically a powerful surveillance tool, and that this, rather than any convenience it might offer, could be the key reason it is getting so much support from some high places.
But according to the Florida governor, who is rumored to be considering running for president, CBDCs are “all about surveilling Americans and controlling behavior of Americans.”
Food inflation hit its highest rate since 1977 last month, having risen to 18.2% in the year to Februaury 2023.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) saw this jump from 16.8% in January, with the increase driven by price movements such as the rise in cost of vegetables last month.
This saw select fruit and vegetables rationed in UK supermarkets, due to shortages caused by bad weather conditions in the South of Europe and Northern Africa and many growers having to cut back due to rising costs of heating greenhouses.
While this has since eased, the price movements resulted in an annual rate of 18% for vegetables in the year to February 2023, the highest rate since February 2009.
After Covid-19 and monkeypox, citizens will hardly fall for such propaganda horror reports…
Are we now all going to die from a killer fungus due to climate change? Alarm, alarm: Candida auris infection is “worrying ” and “fatal,” says the mainstream media in its headlines. ‘Climate change’ is said to be to blame for its “alarmingly rapid spread.” The WHO calls for the fungus to be given top priority.
Everyone knows about yeast, but now it’s being written up as a deadly threat: “Candida auris is a worldwide pathogenic yeast that can cause invasive candidiasis of the blood, heart, central nervous system, eyes, bones, and internal organs,” warned the World Health Organization (WHO) Late last year in a call to give top priority to the pathogen. Mortality from the disease, in which the fungus can attack internal organs, is between 29 and 53 percent. Transmission occurs via smear infections.
We are all now aware that the global banking system is extremely fragile. Driving bank failures is contracting credit, which in turn drives interest rates higher. Though it is not generally appreciated, central banks have failed to suppress them.
Some regional banks have failed in the US and the run on Credit Suisse’s deposits has forced the Swiss authorities into forcing a reluctant rescue by UBS. Undoubtedly, as the great credit unwind plays out, there will be more rescues to come.
In this, the earliest stages of a banking crisis, some questions are being answered. We can probably rule out bail-ins in favour of bail outs, and we can assume that nearly all banks will be rescued — they must be in order to prevent systemic contagion.
In this article I quantify the position of the global systemically important banks (the G-SIBs) and point out that the central banks which are meant to backstop them are themselves bankrupt — or rather they would be properly accounted for.
The Russian military has weighed in on the UK's plans to supply depleted uranium tank rounds to Ukrainian forces, which was announced by UK's junior Defense Minister Annabel Goldie in a Tuesday parliament briefing.
Lt. Gen. Igor Kirillov, the head of the radiation, chemical and biological defense troops of the Russian armed forces, told a press briefing Friday that the weaponry will cause irreparable harm to all Ukrainians, whether civilian or military.
"Despite the fact that the use of such ammunition [with depleted uranium] will cause irreparable harm to the health of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the civilian population, NATO countries, in particular the UK, express their readiness to supply this type of weapon to the Kiev regime," Kirillov said.
Russia says it is supporting efforts to recover forensic evidence from the underwater site of the Nord Stream sabotage blasts, which may provide clues as to the culprit behind it. Images of a new mystery object have emerged, with Moscow saying it is vitally important that it be carefully examined.
The Kremlin in a Friday briefing called the recovery and examination of the object "critically important" as it has been discovered lying next to one of the damaged Nord Stream pipelines.
Via Danish Ministry of Defense: Mystery object may contain clues related to sabotage attack.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said during a daily briefing: "It is critically important to determine what kind of object it is, whether it is related to this terrorist act - apparently it is - and to continue this investigation. And this investigation must be transparent."
The Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to present a less Orwellian exterior to the public took a big step forward this week, as it disbanded a key subcommittee linked to the Department’s ill-fated Disinformation Governance Board, announced last year and quickly “paused” amid public outcry.
Jen Easterly, head of the DHS’s cyber division — the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, or CISA — this week convened the agency’s influential Cybersecurity Advisory Committee (CSAC), which is made up of senior executives from organizations like Twitter, Amazon, and the Stanford Internet Observatory. The agency announced an expanded roster, adding 13 new members to CSAC, including chief cybersecurity officer for General Motors Kevin Tierney and Cathy Lanier, the chief security officer for the NFL. The full CSAC now contains 34 members.
However, amid the additions, CISA also shuffled responsibilities, making a key change. In particular, its “MDM” advisory subcommittee, for “Misinformation, Disinformation and Malinformation,” was scrapped.
Last summer, the Group of 7 (G7), a self-anointed forum of nations that view themselves as the most influential economies in the world, gathered at Schloss Elmau, near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, to hold their annual meeting. Their focus was punishing Russia through additional sanctions, further arming of Ukraine and the containment of China.
At the same time, China hosted, through video conference, a gathering of the BRICS economic forum. Comprised of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, this collection of nations relegated to the status of so-called developing economies focused on strengthening economic bonds, international economic development and how to address what they collectively deemed the counter-productive policies of the G7.
In early 2020, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov had predicted that, based upon purchasing power parity, or PPP, calculations projected by the International Monetary Fund, BRICS would overtake the G7 sometime later that year in terms of percentage of the global total.
Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) has introduced a bill that would make tax-free Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) available to all Americans.
Currently, most Americans cannot use HSAs due to the stringent rules that govern their use: only those who pay an abnormally high insurance deductible can take advantage of the pre-tax program. In practice, this means that 90 percent of Americans are not eligible for HSAs.
Roy’s bill, dubbed the Healthcare Freedom Act, would change the rules to make all Americans eligible for HSA accounts.
To do this, the bill would de-link eligibility for an HSA, renamed a “Health Freedom Account” by the legislation, from health insurance requirements.
Many patients who pay high-deductible policies—which have grown more popular among employers over the past two decades—never meet their annual deductible, meaning any money they paid on the policy was effectively wasted. Because of the increased prevalence of high-deductible health insurance policies, many Americans have had to rely on savings to cover their day-to-day medical expenses.
Additionally, the bill would increase the maximum annual contribution to HSAs from $3,650 to $12,000, or to $24,000 for a joint contribution.
Ray Epps’s new attorney, who is demanding on behalf of his client a public apology from Tucker Carlson under threat of a defamation lawsuit, is the director of a radical anti-Trump organization, a close associate of Media Matters Democrat attack dog David Brock and a former employee of Perkins Coie, the lawfare firm behind Russiagate and the Steele dossier.
Epps’s attorney, Michael Teter, sent a letter on Thursday to Carlson, demanding the Fox News host retract what Teter called “false and defamatory statements” that Epps was a J6 government plant.
Carlson and myriad media outlets have reported on Epps’s suspect actions connected to the J6 uprising, his dubious testimony to the J6 Inquisition and his connections to federal agents.
He’s woke. She’s woke. So are they, them, ey, ze, and xeir.
Know what I mean?
Of course, you do. The dominant flashpoint word in today’s political lexicon – woke is here, there, everywhere. From Whoopi’s lips to your ears. I say it all the time – way too much, according to my wife – but never once has anybody asked: what the heck are you talking about?
The word is becoming a problem for woke-noscenti because the more people know about the alphabet soup movement – DEI, CRT, ESG, QIA+, etc. – the less they like it. What to do? Deny, deflect, and demonize, of course. Seizing on a conservative writer’s halting efforts to define the term during an interview, they are arguing that woke is a made-up, meaningless slurbrandished by the right to oppress minorities. Seeking to shut down all discussion of their movement, Touré outlawed it as the new “n-word.”
The decision to transport a "significant" amount of toxic wastewater from the East Palestine, Ohio train derailment by rail to a wastewater treatment plant located east of Baltimore City, and eventually discharge it into the local water system, might spark outrage among residents.
Local media outlet WYPR obtained a letter from Contractor Clean Harbors of Baltimore Inc., which described itself as the "optimal wastewater treatment site to treat and discharge the wastewater collected from rainwater, collected water and stream water above and below the cleanup site of the Norfolk Southern Railroad derailment."
The Ranets E is a High Power Microwave (HPM) weapon system intended to produce electrically lethal damage or disruption and dysfunction in opposing airborne systems, be they aircraft or guided munitions in flight. The system was first disclosed by Rosoboronexport in 2001, but little technical detail has been disclosed since then. The weapon uses an X-band pulsed 500 MegaWatt HPM source, generating 10 to 20 nanosecond pulses at a 500 Hz PRF, and average output power of 2.5 to 5 kiloWatts. The antenna is large enough to provide a gain of 45 to 50 dB in the X-band, for a total weapon weight of 5 tonnes. The weapon has been described as a “radio-frequency cannon” and Russian sources credit it with a lethal range of 20 miles against the electronic guidance systems of PGMs and aircraft avionic systems.