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Thought for the day
"I have come to the conclusion that politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians." -- Charles de Gaulle, French general & president
Outgoing UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson pushed for a net zero carbon policy by 2050.
Let's discuss the costs.
Please consider Britain’s Net Zero Lesson for the U.S.
Households are likely to see the average bill for electricity and natural gas climb to £4,400 ($5,370) a year in the first half of 2023, according to a report this week from Cornwall Insight, a consulting firm. This is after the regulatory price cap shot up 54% to about £2,000 in April with another 40%-plus increase due in October and further increases after that.
Britain’s median income after direct taxes is £31,400. Skyrocketing fuel prices could push 10.5 million households, or one-third, into fuel poverty next year, says the End Fuel Poverty Coalition. Fuel poverty is when energy costs drag household disposable income below the government’s official poverty line.
That doesn’t include the energy costs households pay indirectly. Businesses, whose prices aren’t capped, have seen electricity costs rise in the past year between 45% and 122% depending on company size, and gas prices between 131% and 185%.
There are several reasons to be short crude oil currently – economic recession in the U.S. and looming recessions in Europe, ongoing lockdowns in China, the vested interest of the U.S. in keeping oil below US$75 per barrel of Brent, to name but three - but the prospect of an imminent new ‘nuclear deal’ between the West and Iran is not one of them.
It is true that the European Union (EU) last week tabled a ‘final text’ of a new iteration of the nuclear deal – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – to Washington and Tehran. However, it is equally true, as conveyed at length and exclusively to OilPrice.com last week by several senior political and oil industry sources close to proceedings, that there is virtually no chance of such a deal being done without a massive concession coming from Iran that it is impossible to see the current regime making.
“Nothing has changed in the past few months from when the U.S. decided that Iran was just trying to buy time for its nuclear weapons development program by continuing to submit new clauses to the text of the new version of the JCPOA agreement,” a senior energy source who worked closely with Iran’s Petroleum Ministry, told OilPrice.com.
“And Washington has told everyone else in the P5+1 group [the U.S., the U.K., France, China, and Russia ‘plus’ Germany] that it will not budge from its position on the IRGC, which is aimed – as Iran knows – at destroying the IRGC’s influence, and by extension Iran’s influence – in the world,” he said.
“As far as the U.S. is concerned, everything is now focused on ensuring that Iran does not get the three months it needs to finish the guidance systems it requires, with the help of Russia, to deliver weapons-grade nuclear material in the missiles it already has,” he added.
Wild weather across the western part of the US has sparked one of the worst monsoon seasons in Las Vegas in a decade, while California and parts of the Pacific Northwest brace for a heat dome that could push power grids to the max.
Late last week, intense thunderstorms flooded parts of southern Nevada, including Vegas. Videos on social media show floodwater pouring into at least one casino while parking garages were transformed into rivers. This comes two weeks after another storm wreaked havoc on Sin City.
Webmaster addition: There is water out west. The problem is that the infrastructure to get the water from where it is to where it is needed has been neglected and allowed to decay.
As concern about the climate, or at least virtue signaling about the climate, ramps higher each day, so does private jet use. Especially among celebrities.
Funny how that happens, right?
And now thanks to the Twitter accounts over at @CelebJets and @ElonJet, we are well aware when people like Kylie Jenner, Taylor Swift or Elon Musk take flight in their private jets. Such was the topic of a new Wall Street Journal report out over the weekend that looked at the backlash to private jet use.
The Twitter accounts make the world privy to each flight, even ones like the 17 minute flight Jenner took in July, resulting in her being branded a "climate criminal". Jokes about Taylor Swift's jet usage resulted in memes of her using her jet to go to Starbucks and her refridgerator.
“Taylor’s jet is loaned out regularly to other individuals. To attribute most or all of these trips to her is blatantly incorrect," Taylor Swift's spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal.
The owner of the Twitter accounts, 20 year old Jack Sweeney, says he is hoping the data being public will force private fliers "to be more efficient".
Nurses who witnessed “brutal” hospital COVID-19 treatment protocols kill patients paint a bleak picture of what is taking place in state and federally funded health care systems.
“They’re horrific, and they’re all in lockstep,” Staci Kay, a nurse practitioner with the North Carolina Physicians for Freedom who left the hospital system to start her own early treatment private practice, told The Epoch Times. “They will not consider protocols outside of what’s given to them by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and the NIH (National Institute of Health). And nobody is asking why.”
Fueled by cognitive dissonance amid an array of red flags, Kay said hospital staff is ignoring blatantly problematic treatments that performed poorly in clinical trials, such as remdesivir, and protocols such as keeping the patient isolated, just to adhere to the federal canon.
“I’ve seen people die with their family watching via iPad on Facetime,” Kay said. “It was brutal.”
As a former nurse in intensive care, Kay said she had seen her share of tragedy, but how she saw COVID patients being treated “had me waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat with chest pains.”
“I hated my job,” Kay said. “I hated going to work. I was stressed in a way I’ve never been before in my entire life.”
Keeping families isolated was especially difficult, she said, because people couldn’t come to say goodbye to their loved ones.
A high-profile attempt to recall progressive Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon failed on Monday, after organizers ruled that 200,000 signatures were invalid, as the Cuban-born Democrat slammed the petition as an 'attempted political power grab.'
In America's most populous county, which has seen rising crime rates and brazen smash-and-grab robberies and home invasions, Gascón has been faulted for criminal justice reforms that critics have said fueled lawlessness. The top prosecutor, though, dismisses these claims.
The failed attempt comes after San Francisco voters in June recalled another prominent California criminal justice reformer, District Attorney Chesa Boudin.
Alec Baldwin's lawyer says the FBI report that claims the actor pulled the trigger on the gun he used to accidentally shoot dead Halyna Hutchins, insisting again that the faulty weapon fired on its own.
The FBI report emerged last week and claims for the first time that Baldwin had to have pulled the trigger in order to fatally wound Hutchins, the 42-year-old cinematographer of his Western movie Rust.
Baldwin's attorney Luke Nikas insisted in an interview with FOX News on Monday night that this wasn't necessarily the case, and that the report had been 'misconstrued'.
A frustrated Alec Baldwin insisted he did not pull the trigger of the gun that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of his movie Rust, claiming again that the faulty gun fired on its own and that the 'only' question to ask is who put a live bullet in the stunt weapon.
Baldwin is awaiting a decision from prosecutors in New Mexico who must decide whether or not he should be criminally charged over the accident that occurred last October.
They are yet to make a ruling, and are now no doubt weighing a damning FBI report released last week that said the gun could not have possible gone off without Baldwin deliberately firing it.
Webmaster addition: Alec is correct that part of the blame for the accident rests with whoever allowed live ammo on the film set and whoever loaded the prop gun with live rounds. However, had Alec gone through gun safety training, he would have known that you ALWAYS WITHOUT FAIL verify the status of a firearm when you take control of it. Alec failed to do so. I am not a fan of Alec, but in this case I do not think he should be charged.
Israel’s policy toward Palestinians now is “eradication,” the regular slaughter of Palestinians so as to deter them from seeking rights, says retired Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, the former chief of staff to the late Secretary of State Colin Powell.
Asked on August 11 by Zain Raza of AcTVism Munich, a grassroots media network, what Israel’s goals are in Gaza and the West Bank, Wilkerson said:
I had a student at George Washington University who was in the IDF. He participated in Operation Cast Lead, you may remember, one of the first [attacks on Gaza, 2008-2009]. At a briefing of his battalion he was told that the object of that operation was to kill every Palestinian in sight, it didn’t matter who they were or what they were. They needed to teach the Palestinians in Gaza a lesson.
That was the standard operating procedure– that’s what they’ve been doing ever since. Every time you shoot a rocket at us, we will kill 1300 of you, men, women and children it doesn’t matter. And you will kill two or three of us. OK? We will live with those odds.
Despite criticism from human rights groups and Palestine advocates, the Sierra Club has scheduled an educational trip to Israel for next spring.
“This active adventure includes hiking in a variety of nature and wildlife reserves, as well as walking tours of places like the Old City of Jerusalem, Caesarea, and Jaffa. Expect to walk or hike three to five miles a day,” the organization’s website explains. “We utilize experienced local guides. We will stay in very comfortable hotels, including several nights in a kibbutz with beautiful outdoor areas for relaxation.”
The trip includes stops on Palestinian and Syrian land, but its description does not acknowledge that these areas are illegally occupied by Israel.
Earlier this year the Sierra Club briefly canceled the trips in response to activist pressure. Part of that pressure included a letter to the environmental organization from nine social justice groups–Adalah Justice Project, Adalah-NY: Campaign for the Boycott of Israel, Jewish Voice for Peace, NDN Collective, Palestinian Youth Movement-NYC, The Movement for Black Lives, US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, and Visualizing Palestine.
Huda, or Um Eyad, mother of the slain 18-year-old resistance fighter Ibrahim al-Nablusi, sits next to her only daughter, and Ibrahim’s only sister, Shahd al-Nabulsi, 23.
Shahd’s navy dress contrasts with her clean purple headscarf. A stain rests underneath her palms, on the left side of her gown. Slightly darker than the rest of her dress, it felt out of place.
Um Eyad catches my gaze. “That’s Ibrahim’s blood, the stain,” she said. Just the day before, on August 9, Um Eyad lost her third-born child, Ibrahim, who didn’t make it to his 19th birthday in October.
That afternoon, the Gharbiyyeh cemetery of Khallet al-Amoud in Nablus was three bodies heavier. Ibrahim al-Nabulsi, Hussein Taha, and Islam Subuh lay there in rest. The three were killed in an Israeli military operation in coordination with Israeli intelligence on August 9 in the Old City of Nablus, in the northern occupied West Bank.
President Trump’s former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani said he is a target of the criminal investigation in Georgia’s grand jury probe into Trump’s effort to ‘overturn the 2020 election.’
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to go through with a visit to Taiwan may have been a way to project strength to the Chinese. Aside from that, it’s difficult to see any tangible benefit from what amounted to a political stunt.
President Trump's former chief-of-staff Mick Mulvaney said during an Aug 11 interview with CNN that he never witnessed the "intentional destruction of important papers" during his 15-month stint in the White House.
"I never saw the intentional destruction of documents for the purpose of keeping anything from the National Archives or the public in the future," Mulvaney told host Brianna Keilar.
"We knew the rules, we taped them back together, and we made copies. As long as copies are preserved, you can pretty much do whatever you want to with the other document," he added.
The state medias of Russia and North Korea are reporting that leaders Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un have communicated mutual messages pledging deeper ties between the two nations, at a moment both find themselves heavily sanctioned by the United States and its allies.
The pledge came in the form of an exchange of official diplomatic notes in which Putin wished Kim "good health and success" - and spelled out a desire for closer cooperation, coming at a key moment where Moscow has been on the offensive in trying to strengthen strategic alliances with non-Western countries, notably China and India also among them, as the Ukraine invasion has blown past six months.
Putin's message to Kim further expressed hope that deepened Moscow-Pyongyang ties "would entirely conform with the interests of the peoples of the two countries," according to a translation.
Kim, responded by highlighting the special friendship has led to...
"The strategic and tactical cooperation, support, and solidarity between the two countries have put on a new high stage in the common front for frustrating the hostile forces’ military threat and provocation, and high-handed and arbitrary practices," Kim wrote, according to KCNA.
Without doubt, Kim's reference to "hostile forces" has Washington in mind as topping the list. Starting in March as the Ukraine war continued to intensify following the Putin-ordered Feb.24 invasion, Russia became the "world's most sanctioned country" - even surpassing Iran and North Korea.
Pyongyang, similar to China's government, has issued statements actively defending Russia's ability to respond militarily to threats to its national security interests.
A disturbing pattern has emerged when it comes to the messaging we’re seeing out of the White House in general and the Press Secretary in particular. They seem to believe that if you keep saying something that’s wrong over and over again, it will eventually either become true, or at least people will start to believe it.
That’s truly been the case with the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act” that just passed in the House on a party-line vote. ‘This bill will lower inflation.’ (No, it will probably increase inflation or possibly not affect it.) ‘The bill will reduce the deficit.’ (Nope. That’s not what the models show.) ‘This bill will raise GDP.’ (Care to try again?) And then there’s the latest claim that the massive army of new IRS agents, many of them heavily armed but not trained in firearms handling very well, will not result in more audits of working-class people and will only impact those making more than $400k. They’ve said it over and over again. But the Congressional Budget Office begs to differ. (Free Beacon)
A Congressional Budget Office report found that the Internal Revenue Service will collect billions of dollars from auditing low- and middle-income Americans under the White House-backed “Inflation Reduction Act,” contradicting Biden administration claims, according to Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee.
Fox News confirmed the report, finding the CBO informed congressional Republicans that, under the act, audits of taxpayers making under $400,000 will account for about $20 billion in additional revenue.
The news comes after high-ranking Biden administration officials, including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, assured Americans that the IRS would not increase audits of people earning under $400,000.
Webmaster addition: Seriously, don't you ever get tired of being lied to?
According to the latest data on Treasury International Capital flows, foreigners sold $231.5BN in US stocks in the past 12 months - the biggest trailing-twelve-month sales on record...
Foreigners have sold US stocks for 6 consecutive months (that is the 2nd longest stretch on record with only the non-stop selling in mid-2018/early-2019 was longer)...
Last week when the FBI raided Trump’s Florida home, Tucker Carlson was on vacation.
He came back on Monday night and boy did he have a lot to say.
In a monologue for the ages, Carlson absolutely blasted the FBI, the DOJ and the Biden administration for the weaponization of law enforcement in politics and so much more.
Here’s a partial transcript, via FOX News:
Nuclear secrets? If the Biden administration really believed that, if they really thought Donald Trump possessed documents that posed an imminent danger to American national security, then you have to wonder, why did they wait a year and a half to do anything about it?
Why did they wait till 90 days before a midterm election, an election that polls suggest they will lose? It doesn’t make, oh, wait, actually, it does make sense.
ROGER STONE RESPONDS TO MAR-A-LAGO RAID & FBI SEIZURE OF HIS PARDON DOCUMENTS; THE VIDEO YOUTUBE DOESN’T WANT YOU TO SEE
In 2008, William Burns, who is now Biden’s director of the CIA but was then ambassador to Russia, warned that "Ukrainian entry into NATO is the brightest of all redlines for the Russian elite (not just Putin)." He warned Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that "I have yet to find anyone who views Ukraine in NATO as anything other than a direct challenge to Russian interests." Short even of expansion into Ukraine, Burns called NATO expansion into Eastern Europe "premature at best, and needlessly provocative at worst." If it came to Ukraine, Burns warned, "There could be no doubt that Putin would fight back hard."
But Burns was not the first Russia expert to flash that warning sign to the White House. In 1990, as the Soviet Union broke apart like a jigsaw puzzle into separate countries, the US and NATO were at a crucial crossroads confronted with two future changing choices. They could put the pieces of the puzzle back together in one inclusive picture of an integrated world that draws no new lines across Europe, welcomes Russia in, transcended blocs and creates a comprehensive European security structure, or they could attach the newly loosed pieces to NATO, exclude and isolate Russia and push a swollen NATO right up against Russia’s borders.
The US and NATO passed up a historic opportunity for cooperation and chose the latter. A pantheon of Russia experts bemoaned the lost chance and warned urgently against it. President Clinton’s secretary of defense, Bill Perry, called it "tragic" because "we had the opportunity in the 1990s to build a long-lasting cooperative relationship with Russia."
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla announced Monday that he has tested positive for COVID-19 — and praised his company’s vaccines while announcing his diagnosis.
Five billion people would die in a modern nuclear war with the impact of a global famine -- triggered by sunlight-blocking soot in the atmosphere -- likely to far exceed the casualties caused by lethal blasts.
Scientists at Rutgers University mapped out the effects of six possible nuclear conflict scenarios. A full-scale war between the US and Russia, the worst possible case, would wipe out more than half of humanity, they said in the study published in the journal Nature Food.
The estimates were based on calculations of how much soot would enter the atmosphere from firestorms ignited by the detonation of nuclear weapons. Researchers used a climate forecasting tool supported by the National Center for Atmospheric Research, which allowed them to estimate productivity of major crops on a country-by-country basis.
Even a relatively small-scale conflict would have devastating consequences for global food production. A localized battle between India and Pakistan would see crop yields decline by an estimated 7% within five years, the study suggested, while a US-Russia war would see production fall by 90% within three to four years.
The Italian screen legend Gina Lollobrigida has said she is running in general elections next month because she is “fed up with quarrelling politicians”.
Lollobrigida, who turned 95 in July, is endeavouring to become a senator with the Sovereign and Popular Italy party (ISP), a new Eurosceptic, anti-Mario-Draghi political alliance that opposes sending arms to Ukraine and “warmongering Atlanticism”.
She told Corriere della Sera she was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, for his “way of doing things, for his non-violence” and that she was a “great friend” of India’s first female prime minister, Indira Gandhi. “I saw her every time she came to Rome. She was an extraordinary woman.”
Lollobrigida was among the most glamorous actors of Hollywood’s golden age, known for films including The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Solomon and Sheba. She said last month that she was “determined to stay creative”, and now wants to use some of that energy “for important things, especially for my country”.
Ukraine's grain exports are down 46% year on year at 2.65 million tonnes so far in the 2022/23 season, the agriculture ministry said on Monday.
Grain exports for the 2021/22 season ending June 30 rose 8.5% to 48.5 million tonnes, driven by strong shipments before Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.
Ukraine's grain exports have slumped since the start of the war because its Black Sea ports - a key route for shipments - were closed off, driving up global food prices and prompting fears of shortages in Africa and the Middle East.
At the end of July, three Black Sea ports were unblocked under the deal between Moscow and Kyiv, brokered by the United Nations and Turkey, which made it possible to send hundreds of thousands of tonnes of Ukrainian grain to buyers.
The ministry data showed that exports so far in 2022/23 included 1.75 million tonnes of corn, 658,000 tonnes of wheat and 226,000 tonnes of barley.
A Leeds University PhD candidate focused on healthcare and mother of two has been sentenced to 34 years in Saudi Arabian prison, the longest sentence ever given to a women's rights defender in the kingdom, researchers and activists say.
Salma al-Shehab was on holiday in Saudi Arabia in January 2021 and had planned to return to the United Kingdom when she was detained, according to the Freedom Initiative, a Washington-based human rights organisation.
'This is irrational, heartbreaking, and disastrous for the hundreds of women detained or to be detained in similar charges of supporting rights'
- Hala Dosari, Saudi Arabian activist and scholar
Al-Shehab was originally sentenced to six years in prison over tweets she posted calling for rights in the kingdom. But on an appeal last week, Saudi Arabia's Specialised Criminal Court increased the sentence to 34 years, along with a 34-year travel ban.
Webmaster addition: Depression is caused by resisting the urge to kick the shit out of someone who really deserves it!
Atlantic contributor Daniel Panneton has published an op-ed in which he claimed that the rosary is now a symbol of extremism.
You were instructed to stay at home to protect the healthcare system. But while you did so, hospitals essentially had a holiday, and this is backed up by official data. You were told the answer to everyone’s prayers was to get the Covid-19 injection. But now that you have done so, the healthcare system is on the brink of collapse.
Waiting times for ambulances are at an all-time high. The number of emergency calls due to people suffering cardiac arrest is at an all-time high. The number of people dying is at an all-time high, with hundreds of thousands of excess deaths occurring around the world every single week.
And official Government reports prove without a shadow of a doubt that it is all thanks to the Covid-19 vaccines.
Exhibit A: The Healthcare System is overwhelmed
Ambulances in England are taking almost an hour to reach patients who have had a suspected stroke or heart attack, more than three times the 18-minute maximum wait, the latest NHS data shows. When people call 999 they can no longer be confident that they will get the emergency care they need.
The following chart is taken from the UK Health Security Agency’s ‘Ambulance Syndromic Surveillance System – Week 30′ bulletin, and it shows the daily number of 999 calls requesting an ambulance due to suffering cardiac arrest in England vs the expected rate (black dotted line).
Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff was unable to explain what took the FBI so long to raid former President Donald Trump’s home in South Florida’s Mar-a-Lago Club if the documents Trump had in his possession were so sensitive, making the issue yet another one of the many questions surrounding this inexpiable police-state action.