Conservatives complain that they are losing the culture wars. And they are right. That won’t change until conservatives actually produce culture, which would be good for everyone. American culture would be enriched by art made by artists with diverse viewpoints and experiences.
Conservatives could start with independent and documentary films; they are increasingly influential but much less expensive than Hollywood movies. Yet, many, on both sides, don’t believe conservatives can make good films.
I disagree, and I am in a position to know. Along with my wife and business partner, Gina Cappo Pack, I have been producing documentaries for many years. Over 15 of our films have been nationally broadcast on PBS. All have won awards and garnered many favorable reviews. (A full list of our films along with clips can be found here.) So, I am a practitioner, a maker of culture, rather than a critic or expert.
In addition, I have run some major cultural institutions, including serving as president of the Claremont Institute, senior vice president for television programming at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and CEO of the United States Agency for Global Media, our government’s international broadcasters, including Voice of America. So, I also have the perspective of a media executive. Over the years, I have watched numerous conservative efforts to “take back the culture,” all pathetic failures.
Social media has been awash with videos of migrants storming the shores of Italy in recent days, and Italy’s nominally conservative government is being forced to respond.
Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, known for his hawkish stance on immigration during his tenure as interior minister in 2018, said on Wednesday that when 120 boats filled with migrants arrive on the shores of Italy at the same time, “it is not a spontaneous phenomenon, it is a declaration of war on Europe.”
The deputy prime minister of the right-wing government in Rome, who currently heads the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, referred to the fact that the boats with approximately 6,000 migrants docked on the island of Lampedusa in one day. He stressed that the problem was not exclusive to Lampedusa and that the situation threatened to “collapse Italian society as a whole.”
Webmaster addition: That could very well be the intention!
The EU needs to realize that when it points one investigatory finger at Chinese EV subsidies, three more point back at it.
Among the ironies behind the EU launching an investigation into Chinese EV subsidies is the fact that Europe’s own automakers also take advantage of China's low cost manufacturing base for vehicles.
Renault, for instance, markets its Dacia Spring as Europe's most affordable EV, according to Bloomberg, yet the vehicle is manufactured in China's Hubei province. It is priced at €20,800 ($22,300) in France, the report says.
Meanwhile Chinese company BYD is pushing its most affordable vehicle in Europe at a price of €38,000. Bloomberg lists several other models that price cheaper in China than in Europe here.
But that didn't stop Commission President Ursula von der Leyen from saying earlier this week that: “Global markets are now flooded with cheaper Chinese electric cars, and their price is kept artificially low by huge state subsidies."
"The economic data have been just surreally good. Even optimists are stunned, so why do polls show most Americans don't think the economy is doing well? There's a really profound and peculiar disconnect going on," huffedNew York Times opinion columnist Paul Krugman on CNN earlier this week.
For context, economic confidence among U.S. adults remains low (-30 on a scale of –100 to 100). 42% of Americans view economic conditions as poor, and 67% think they are worsening.
Krugman, the Nobel Prize winner who said bitcoin was overpriced when it cost $7, believes slight downticks in core CPI (Consumer Price Index) amount to victory over inflation.
Tell that to those still dealing with grocery prices up over 17% since 2021.
Back here in reality, Americans have been burdened by hefty price inflation for 31 months. Although the last three months' CPI increases have not been as dramatic as prior ones, the trend is still far above the Fed's inflation target of 2% (which, itself, is much too high – a topic for another time).
An alternative measure of the prices and goods important to everyday lives, the Everyday Price Index (EPI), produced by the American Institute for Economic Research, reached an all-time high this month.
There is also the looming commercial real estate crisis, a decrease in real annual earnings, and rising energy costs.
Regime apologists like Krugman are either so out of touch that they can’t understand the reality faced by the middle class, or they are intentionally gaslighting the public ahead of a Presidential election. Either way, people have grown tired of the lies and incompetence, and they are looking for alternatives. Fortunately, bitcoin provides a recourse.
One of the consistent mercies of the SARS-CoV-2 “covid-19 pandemic,” even at its most virulent initial stages, has been the paucity of serious disease in childrengenerally, and healthychildren, universally. Covid-19 always was and remains a very highly age– and comorbid risk-stratified disease that targets the extremely frail elderly—especially those in congregate care—and the otherwise middle-aged to elderly with multiple (for example, ≥ 6!), severe, chronic comorbidities.
For the vast preponderance of the world’s population, and workforce, i.e., the ~94 percent under age 70-years-old, we now know that the most aggressive early variants, such as the Wuhan, Alpha, and Delta strains, conferred a very modest infection fatality ratio (IFR; covid-19 deaths/total covid-19 infections) of 0.1 percent, or 1 per 1,000 infections. This seasonal influenza-like IFR for those < 70, overall, dropped precipitously further in the pediatric age range (0-19-years-old) to 0.0003 percent, or 1 in 333,333. Such unalarming IFRs among those < 70, especially children, for the early SARS-CoV-2 variants, have been reduced by at least 3-fold more (so 0.1 percent/3; 0.0003 percent/3!) since the advent of the Omicron wave in early 2022, and its perhaps even milder related subvariants, that are continuing to emerge through the present.
During 3+ years, including the period when the most virulent early SARS-CoV-2 strains were predominant, through the Omicron wave, and till now, not a singlepediatric death due to covid-19, has been recorded in Rhode Island. This contrasts starkly with the three HINI influenza (swine flu) pediatric pneumonia deaths that accrued in a single flu season, during the 2009-2010 swine flu pandemic, mirroring recent national US pediatric influenza death trends. Comparative US pediatric influenza vs. SARS-CoV-2 mortality data since 2009, underscore how both pandemic, and bad seasonal influenza outbreaks—with which we cope, appositely, minus hysteria—pose a greater mortality risk to children, than SARS-CoV-2.
Because Dr. Brownstein had been employing a nutritional and oxidative protocol for treating a variety of viral illnesses during flu seasons for over three decades he felt that although SARS-CoV-2 was a new virus, it was still part of the coronavirus family.
Dr. Brownstein felt that since up to one-third of all flu-like infections come from the coronavirus family, his protocol had a good chance of being successful. “For nearly 30 years, we have had good success treating viral illnesses, why should this be any different?” Dr. Brownstein asked.
Every year between 12,000 to 52,000 Americans die during flu season from influenza. “None of my partners or myself could recall any of our patients dying from the flu over the last 30 years, and none of us can recall the last time we had a patient hospitalized from the flu,” said Dr. Brownstein.
“Think about it—let's say 25,000 Americans die every year due to flu-like illnesses. Multiply that by 30 years and that is a lot of patients dying. I think we haven’t seen our patients dying because of the support we were providing to their immune systems,” he said.
One of the treatments Dr. Brownstein used for those with respiratory issues was a dilute solution of hydrogen peroxide and iodine—administered via nebulizer—every hour until they felt better.
“We’ve used this treatment for nearly three decades for lung problems. And the consistent theme I heard from people was after the second dose of that nebulizer solution they could breathe, and they felt like they were moving forward towards recovery,” said Dr. Brownstein.
Dr. Brownstein would call his COVID-19 patients daily until they were no longer at risk from the virus, and as treatments continued, reports were coming in that patients with even severe respiratory issues were feeling better.
Governor Grisham banned open and concealed carry under the guise of a “public health emergency.” The ban drew a surprisingly bipartisan backlash from both Republicans and Democrats.
The consensus from both sides of the aisle is that the government cannot suspend constitutional rights even for a so-called public health emergency.
Well, last month, Senate Democrats from the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions voted to strike down an amendment from the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act that would have prevented the President of the United States and the Department of Health and Human Services from declaring a public health emergency to push gun control.
The Braun Amendment, named for Senator Mike Braun, who introduced it, would protect gun owners from tyranny in the name of public health.
The $85 million is in the form of Foreign Military Financing, a State Department program that gives foreign governments money to purchase US arms. According to CNN, Egypt receives $1 billion in FMF annually, and $320 million of those funds is conditional and tied to human rights issues.
Some members of Congress want President Biden to withhold the full $320 million, but for now, the administration has only announced its intention to transfer $85 million. Of that amount, $55 million will be redirected to Taiwan, and $30 million will go to Lebanon.
The US State Department and Treasury announced on Thursday a large sanctions package targeting Moscow’s trade with some of Washington’s allies and partners. The aim of this new sanctions package, one of the largest yet, is to block off Russia’s access to money, financial channels and Western technology allegedly being used to bolster the Kremlin’s war effort.
Among those targeted are over 150 businesses and individuals from Russia to Turkey, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Georgia. Also in the crosshairs are the Russian energy sector, including Arctic liquified natural gas projects, mining, as well as factories repairing and manufacturing Moscow’s arms.
Washington penalized a recently established company in the UAE, for instance, which is said to be providing technology and engineering for Russia’s Arctic LNG 2 project. Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov has said that bilateral trade between the UAE and Russia grew to $9 billion last year, an increase of almost 70% during 2022.
James O’Brien, the head of the State Department’s Office of Sanctions Coordination, told the Associated Press that Foggy Bottom’s goal is to “restrict Russia’s defense capacity and the liquidity it has to pay for its war.”
The Economist report reads: “Curtailing aid to Ukraine will only prolong the war, Mr Zelensky argues. And it would create risks for the West in its own backyard. There is no way of predicting how the millions of Ukrainian refugees in European countries would react to their country being abandoned. Ukrainians have generally ‘behaved well’ and are ‘very grateful’ to those who sheltered them. They will not forget that generosity. But it would not be a ‘good story’ for Europe if it were to ‘drive these people into a corner.'”
Zelensky also said in the interview, published on September 10, that anyone who is not supporting Ukraine is with Russia. “If you are not with Ukraine, you are with Russia, and if you are not with Russia, you are with Ukraine. And if partners do not help us, it means they will help Russia to win. That is it,” he said.
We’ve just learned that the office of the prosecutor and the “security service” of Ukraine have published press releases claiming to have put a stop to the activities of the “vicious Russian propagandist Yurii Sheliazhenko.”
Yurii Sheliazhenko has been formally charged by the Ukrainian government with the crime of justifying Russian aggression. The evidence is this statement which explicitly condemns Russian aggression.
Next week, Yurii will face prosecution in Kyiv, and members of World BEYOND War will be there to deliver a petition — please sign it now! — asking that the prosecution be dropped. If you can get to Kyiv next week and support Yurii, please contact us.
Federal elections officials appeared to have finally closed the door on bogus allegations that Rep. Matt Gaetz was involved in sex trafficking.
Newsmax reported on Wednesday that the Federal Election Commission tossed out a complaint filed against Gaetz by Cris Dosev, a Republican who has twice challenged Gaetz for his Panhandle congressional seat.
Dosev claimed the Fort Walton Beach Republican wrongfully used campaign contributions to cover legal expenses related to a 2020 Justice Department investigation of the sex trafficking allegations.
Federal investigators ended the probe in February and declined to charge Gaetz because there was no evidence he had sex with a 17-year-old girl, as was alleged by an anonymous source. Gaetz repeatedly proclaimed his innocence.
The House returned to session this week after the summer recess and only has until the end of the month — two weeks — to pass the 12 funding bills necessary to avoid a government shutdown.
In lieu of a long-term spending bill, the White House has urged lawmakers to pass a continuing resolution, a stopgap measure which would maintain current funding levels until a larger agreement is reached. In addition to the money needed to keep the government running, President Joe Biden’s $25 billion supplemental spending request for Ukraine also hangs in the balance.
The House Freedom Caucus, the roughly 50-member bloc of Republicans, has voiced strong opposition to a stopgap measure. In August, the group released a list of demands that would be necessary for them to approve the spending bills on the table. Included in the group’s statement from last month — which required the support of 80 percent of its members — is a rejection of “any blank check for Ukraine in any supplemental appropriations bill.”
Meanwhile, the Biden administration and Senate Republican leadership have endorsed legislation that ties Ukraine-related assistance with increased disaster relief funding in an emergency spending package.
An American envoy and a Bahraini academic posed for the camera at a Washington hotel in October 2020, grinning ear to ear. They held a copy of an agreement between the U.S. State Department and the King Hamad Global Center for Peaceful Coexistence to combat antisemitism in Bahrain. Ellie Cohanim, then the U.S. assistant special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism, called it “a model for a society that actively espouses religious freedom, tolerance and diversity of peoples.”
Thousands of miles away, in Bahrain itself, Sheikh Zuhair Jasim Abbas was sitting in a solitary confinement cell. His family had not heard from him since July. They would not again for several more months. According to a UN panel, the Shi’a Muslim cleric was allegedly beaten, starved, sleep-deprived, chained, attacked with water hoses, forbidden from using the bathroom, threatened with execution, and prevented from practicing his religious rituals.
The Abraham Accords, the diplomatic agreements between Israel, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates, have been hailed as a victory for religious tolerance. The image of Muslims and Jews dancing together has convinced American policymakers from both parties that peace is breaking out across the Middle East. The Biden administration is reportedly offering the Saudi government a huge bribe — perhaps even a commitment to go to war on the kingdom’s behalf — to get Saudi Arabia into the Abraham Accords as well.
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman seems to sum up the Biden administration’s logic: that a Saudi-Israeli agreement would “open the way for peace between Israel and the whole Muslim world” and “dramatically reduce the Muslim-Jewish antipathy born over a century ago with the start of the Jewish-Palestinian conflict.”
But the Abraham Accords are attached to a social order that is deeply unequal, divided along ethnic and religious lines. While Israel allows foreign Muslims to visit Jerusalem, it rules over millions of Palestinians against their will. (That conflict is more about nationalism in the here and now than “Muslim-Jewish antipathy.”) And while some monarchies in the Persian Gulf are beginning to embrace foreigners of different religions, those same states — especially Bahrain — treat their native Shi’a Muslims as a potential fifth column.
The commander of US Air Forces in Europe and Africa told reporters Wednesday that the US is considering moving its drone base in Niger following the July 26 coup that ousted President Mohamed Bazoum.
“There are several locations I’ll say that we’re looking at, but nothing’s firmed up. We have talked to some countries about it,” said Gen. James Hecker, according to Defense One.
The US’s main drone base in Niger, known as Air Base 201, cost $110 million to build and $20 million – $30 million each year to maintain. According to The Intercept’s Nick Turse, who focuses on US military operations in Africa, Air Base 201 is “the linchpin of the US military’s archipelago of bases in North and West Africa and a key part of America’s wide-ranging intelligence, surveillance, and security efforts in the region.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with U.S. President Joe Biden during his trip to the United Nations General Assembly next week, a statement from the prime minister's office said on Thursday, without specifying the exact location of the meeting.
Netanyahu is scheduled to meet with German Chancellor Olaf Schulz, Turkish President Recep Erdogan, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, according to his office.
The statement also said Netanyahu would deliver an address to the General Assembly on Friday morning.
Webmaster addition: Place your bets on how many standing ovations Netanyahu gets from the trained seals in Congress!
“Working in lockstep with the Ukrainian government, our allies and partners, international financial institutions, and the private sector, she will drive the United States’ efforts to help rebuild the Ukrainian economy,” Biden said in a statement. “This includes mobilizing public and private investment, shaping donor priorities, and working to open export markets and businesses shut down by Russia’s brutal attacks and destruction.”
Pritzker, a native of Chicago with Ukrainian family roots, heir to her family’s Hyatt hotel fortune and a prolific fundraiser for Democratic party candidates, served as secretary of commerce during the Obama administration.
Webmaster addition: How about reconstruction aid for the US? Starting with the dilapidated and dangerous rail system!
Mali's ruling junta has cancelled festivities planned for the anniversary of the country's independence celebrated on September 22.
The announcement was made public Wednesday following a council of ministers.
Last year, Guinea's ruling military leader attended the military parade organized for the festivities of Mali’s 62nd independence anniversary.
During Wednesday's council of ministers, Mali’s military leader ordered the government to allocate the funds planned for this year's festivities to help victims of a series of recent attacks and their families.
The council also discussed the possible mobilisation of reservists.
Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in an interview with ABC News that he has “lots of regrets” over the way the US ended its 20-year of conflict in Afghanistan and “in the broader sense, the war was lost.”
“It didn't end the way I wanted it. That didn't end the way any of us wanted it,” Milley said. “Look, at -- when the enemy is occupying your capital ... that's a strategic setback, strategic failure. That's what I testified to in public. And there's no way you can describe that as a strategic success.”
"There is no doubt that America failed in Afghanistan; they didn't come here to leave without obtaining anything after twenty years. They had great goals, but the resistance of the Afghan people and the efforts of the Afghan people caused their defeat,” said Islamic Emirate spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid.
Some military analysts said the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan was irresponsible.
"When a powerful nation leaves a territory, there should be a strategy, they should follow the procedures, and they should consult the people. Not in the way that we saw at the beginning, where there was a power vacuum and no responsible administration after they left," said Mohammad Matin Mohammadkhail, a military analyst.
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell blamed Kosovo on Thursday for a failure to implement a deal with Serbia on normalising relations between the two former wartime foes.
Borrell spoke after talks in Brussels with Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on the plan, which was agreed earlier this year but soon stalled.
"It was not possible to bridge the difference today," Borrell said after the meeting.
He said Kurti "was not ready to move forward" with setting up an association of Serb-majority municipalities, which would give them more autonomy and to which Pristina committed during a 10-year-long EU-sponsored dialogue with Belgrade.
The UN special envoy for Sudan who was declared unwelcome by the country’s military rulers announced his resignation Wednesday in a final speech to the UN Security Council, warning that the conflict between Sudan’s two military leaders “could be morphing into a full-scale civil war.”
Volker Perthes, who had continued to work outside Sudan, said the fighting shows no sign of abating, with neither side appearing close to “a decisive military victory.” He also said the violence in Sudan’s western Darfur region “has worsened dramatically,” with the warring parties blatantly disregarding human rights and civilians being targeted based on their ethnicity.
Perthes warned of “the risk of a fragmentation of the country,” pointing to a myriad of compounding crisis, including Darfur, the cross-border mobilisation of tribes, fighting in the country’s South Kordofan and Blue Nile provinces between the Sudanese military and rebels and rising tensions in eastern Sudan.
Russia on Thursday said the United States was hypocritical to criticise President Vladimir Putin's summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un because Washington had sown chaos and sent weapons to allies across the world.
"The United States has no right to lecture us on how to live," Russia's ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, said in a statement.
For the United States and allies, the burgeoning friendship between Kim and Putin is a concern: Washington has accused North Korea of providing arms to Russia, but it is unclear whether any deliveries have been made.
The United States, Antonov said, had built up a coalition in Asia, expanded military drills near the Korean peninsula and was supplying billions of dollars of weapons to Ukraine.
"It is time for Washington to throw its economic sanctions into the rubbish dump," Antonov said. "Maintaining the unipolar dominance so beloved by American officials is no longer possible."
Palestinian citizens of Israel are poorer and less healthy than Jewish citizens, data from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) shows.
The report, released on Tuesday in the run-up to the Jewish new year Rosh Hashanah, found that while only 7.6 percent of Jewish Israelis felt poorer over the last year, the number for Palestinian citizens stood at 43 percent.
Another CBS report published earlier this year found that 53 percent of Palestinian households are likely to live in poverty compared to 18 percent of Jewish households.
In the job market, Palestinian men face serious challenges and only 50 percent have a job compared to 64 percent of their Jewish counterparts.
U.S. and Cuban officials made progress on a range of issues during high-level talks in Washington this week but were unable to narrow differences over the biggest disputes between the countries, Cuba’s vice foreign minister said on Thursday.
Cuba’s main concerns are that it remains on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism and the Biden administration’s continuation of Washington’s Cold War-era economic embargo against the Communist-ruled island.
In an interview with Reuters, Cuban Vice Foreign Minister Carlos Fernandez de Cossio said: “We believe that it is unreasonable for the United States to continue to carry out a policy with which it disagreed before coming into office, that they know is hurting the Cuban population as a whole."
He said progress was made in talks on migration issues and cooperation in law enforcement, health, science and technology. “We welcome them, but they're not the defining factor, the overriding issue,” De Cossio told Reuters.
ViAqua Therapeutics, an Israeli-based biotechnology startup, has secured $8.25 million in funding for its oral RNA-based shrimp vaccine
The vaccine targets white spot syndrome virus (WSSV), which leads to a 15% reduction in global shrimp production each year
ViAqua plans to administer its RNA-based product via coated feed; the RNA molecules can inhibit gene expression, silencing disease-affected genes
Shrimp lack an adaptive immune system, the type that “remembers” exposures to infectious agents, so it’s long been assumed that shrimp cannot be vaccinated; now it’s becoming clear that shrimp do have some defense against viruses, which is only beginning to be understood
The risks of tinkering with shrimp genetics, and using mRNA shots in pigs, cattle and other animals intended for food, are completely unknown
On the verge of a catastrophic US defeat as predicted by Col. Douglas MacGregor, it might have only been a matter of time before Ukraine would attempt to ratchet up the conflict and launch a major attack against Russia’s state-of-the-art naval base in the Crimea located at Sevastopol on the Black Sea.
The pre-dawn attack was a direct hit inside the base’s dry dock area and caused “severe damage’, perhaps beyond repair, to Russia’s most substantial naval assets including unknown fatalities. The attack deployed three UK-supplied Storm Shadow missile strikes along with unmanned drones as a Ukraine spokesman told Reuters ‘we confirm that a large landing vessel and submarine were hit; we do not comment on the means used for the strike.”
Under international rules of war, Russia has total justification to respond directly to the UK as purveyor of the weapons in what was clearly a deliberate military attack – which is, of course, exactly what the warmongering US neocons are hoping for.
The question remains why Ukraine would initiate such a blatantly suicidal attack sure to stir a major response from Russia; as if inviting a no-holds-barred nuclear retaliation, although, no doubt, finding a way to accuse Russia as the aggressor for escalating the conflict into a full fledged WW III.
That demented concept only makes sense if it can be within the realm of the believable that certified lunatics are in control of US, NATO and western foreign policy with a willingness to sacrifice its own country, its own population and rest of the world in order to forestall the 2024 election. Crazy….or maybe not.
The United States Supreme Court has temporarily halted an injunction that restricts the administration of President Joe Biden from collaborating with social media giants on the removal of false or misleading content.
Julian Assange is still imprisoned; journalism’s future is still in jeopardy.
Delegates from Australia’s parliament are headed to Washington to appeal to the U.S. Congress on behalf of the Wikileaks founder. While anyone who recognizes the injustice of Washington’s insistence on extradition of the jailed journalist and publisher, this effort by representatives of several parties may be too late. In any event, it is very late.
This Australian door did not open until the 2022 election of Anthony Albanese, who replaced Scott Morrison, the nation’s uncompromising Prime Minister.
For many years the campaign to gain justice for Assange was largely centered in London, with activists focusing their attention on a succession of legal appeals to the British court that could have freed Assange from prison and denied U.S.’s extradition order. Legal actions were buttressed by supporters who included vocal celebrity journalists appealing for justice on the grounds that this case was basically about a free press, and that the extradition, based on the U.S. 1917 Espionage Act, was inapplicable. Free speech advocates fear indictment of Assange by U.S. courts would set a dangerous precedent that would threaten the integrity of the entire profession.