“It is also a habit of tyrants to prefer the company of aliens to that of citizens at table and in society; citizens, they feel, are enemies, but aliens will offer no opposition.” -Aristotle

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We have previously discussed the increasingly aggressive role of the White House Counsel’s Office (WHCO) in defending President Joe Biden, including spreading disinformation about various investigations. WHCO spokesman Ian Sams has taken the lead in attacking critics and denying facts related to corruption and other allegations.

Now, the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) is blasting a memo in which the WHCO instructs reporters on how to cover the recent Hur report and allegations of the President’s diminished faculties.

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Sams is not a lawyer. He is a political operative who has worked extensively for Democratic candidates and the Democratic National Committee, including a stint with Hillary Clinton. He was recently accused by the former head of the WHCA (and my former student) Jon Decker of giving false statements concerning the Special Counsel’s report.

There have been previous controversies over instructions given to the media by the White House. While the media has often been accused of maintaining a largely unified front protecting the President, actual memos directing their responses insulted many in the media. That is just not how this is done. You have to maintain certain proprieties and appearances.

Indeed, when the President recently snapped at a reporter by saying “that is not the judgment of the press,” it seemed to say the quiet part out loud in the ability of the White House to dictate coverage.

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Democratic Socialist Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) encouraged Democrats to "vote uncommitted" in the Feb. 27 presidential primary due to the Biden administration's handling of the conflict in the Gaza strip.

An "uncommitted" vote is a form of protest designed to send a message.

"Right now, we feel completely neglected and just unseen by our government," Tlaib said in a video to Michigan residents filmed outside of a civic center in Dearborn. "If you want us to be louder, then come here and vote uncommitted."

On Wednesday, Tlaib was the only member of Congress to vote against a resolution condemning Hamas for its Oct. 7 attack on Israel. In her message, she said she wants voters to "support life" and "stand up for every single life killed in Gaza."

"It is important, as you all know, to not only march against the genocide, not only make sure that we’re calling our members of Congress and local electeds," said Tlaib, who in November accused Biden of supporting "genocide" in Gaza

Claire's Observations: I intently disagree with Tlaib's having voted against the resolution condemning Hamas for the October 7th attack on Israel.  This was slaughter, pure and simple, and no civilized group or nation has a right to slaughter the innocent.

Having said that, although I find Tlaib's campaign Quixotic in the extreme here, understanding the degree to which the US government has been compromised by Israel, and disagreeing with her on nearly every other stand she has taken during her tenure in Congress, I sincerely believe that she has got this one point right. By providing the bombs and bullets enabling Israeli genocide in Gaza, the US government is complicit in this genocide.   

And through our silence as citizens of this country,  we are also complicit in this genocide.

This is why, as an American who does care greatly about the future of this country, I cannot, and will not, be silent.  No principled country in the world can conflate "self defense" with" genocide", which is precisely the stance the Israeli government has taken here.  

Rahm Emanuel, a US Dementocrat  political "fixer" had the following wonderful turn of phrase:  "Never let a serious crisis go to waste".  Netanyahu has his own problems with his coming corruption trial, and is using this crisis to attempt to "bob and weave" out of his court troubles, even though he may well be courting World War III with his actions. 

But I am certain that he is happy, understanding his  place in Israeli history has already been permanently cemented,  as "The Butcher of Gaza", who turned his country into "The Assassination Nation" of the Middle East.

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During a recent appearance on MSNBC, a black activist lawyer suggested that crime in the United States could be completely eliminated if all crime was just legalized.

Yes, really.

The comments were made by Ben Crump, who specializes in civil rights cases and was the attorney for the families of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.

“We can get rid of all the crime in America overnight, just like that,” Crump told his fellow guests, one of whom was civil rights activist Al Sharpton.

“And people ask ‘how attorney Crump?’ – change the definition of crime.

“Of course!” responded another guest.

“If you get to define what conduct is gonna be made criminal, you can predict who the criminals are gonna be,” added Crump.

Another guest responded by saying that suggested all black people were criminals by their nature.

“They made the laws to criminalize our culture – black culture,” responded Crump.

Respondents on X asserted that Crump was essentially acknowledging someone he probably didn’t intend to.

Claire's Observations:  One of the respondents on X made the comment, "Criminal behaviour in America is just black culture?!?  Wow,I did not know that!!"  And I must honestly confess, neither did I. For Crump to have "gone there" in a public interview, is one hell of a smack in the face to any law abiding Black person in this country; but will any Black activist call him out on this statement?!?  I am watching/listening for this to happen, And I am hoping like heck, that it will.  But right now, I am not seeing/hearing any public challenges to these statements.

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In 2023, the world experienced another wave of science and technology (S&T) innovation, from the introduction of the first over-the-counter birth control pill in the U.S. to the stunning growth of ChatGPT and artificial intelligence.

This map, via Visual Capitalist's Niccolo Conte, explores the world’s top 50 science and technology hubs leading these innovations based on data from the Global Innovation Index 2023. Hubs were ranked by their combined share of international patent applications and scientific publications

East Asia Dominance in S&T

The world’s five most significant science and technology hubs are in East Asia.

The top-ranked Tokyo-Yokohama cluster made up just over 10% of all patent applications between 2018-2022.

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Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.) asked Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, whether the FDA is conducting active surveillance and if there are any specific health markers they’re studying that may signal trends requiring further inquiry.

“Every time we go through and do the safety surveillance, we start back, and it goes back to 2020. In some cases where we’re looking for certain things, we might use a different window, but indeed, we have to look from the beginning of the period of surveillance. I can turn it over to Dr. Jernigan because he can speak for CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] in that regard,” Dr. Marks said.

“So with regard to myocarditis, we certainly have been monitoring the issue with various different data systems. I think the most recent data really demonstrates that you’re about eight times less likely to get myocarditis if you’re vaccinated compared to those that are unvaccinated,” Dr. Daniel Jernigan, director of the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases at the CDC responded.

Rep. Malliotakis told Jernigan she wanted to know about “everything,” not just myocarditis.

Dr. Jerrigan asked her to repeat the question, and she asked again whether the FDA was conducting extended safety surveillance on early recipients of COVID-19 vaccines.

Most of the reports that we get of adverse events are in the few weeks following the vaccination,” Jernigan said. In terms of monitoring these over time, Jernigan said the agency has “vaccine effectiveness” systems in place at the CDC.

Neither Jernigan nor Marks referenced any active surveillance initiatives being undertaken by their agencies to monitor people who received the original COVID-19 vaccines for long-term health effects.

There is no system in place for long-term vaccine safety surveillance in this country,” Ms. Liz Willner, founder of OpenVAERS, told The Epoch Times.

Claire's Observations:  I would really love to know from where, precisely, Dr. Jernigan gets the data about people being 8 times less likely to suffer myocarditis, post-vaccination; this is very cold comfort to the families of people who died of myocarditis, post vaccination, or who were injured for life, post-vaccination.

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The Death Of Navalny

Cutting Through The Propaganda

News of Alexei Navalny's death in a Russian prison prompted a lot of dishonest and bad takes. Let's cut through the propaganda by highlighting some of the best and most informative takes on this news. Following that, we'll close with a brief hedged investing update. 

Did Putin Have Navalny Killed? 

Possibly, but given current information, Navalny's death seems similar to that of Gonzalo Lira: both regime opponents in ill health who likely received poor treatment in prison (though as Zero Hedge noted, Biden is making hay of Navalny's death while he said nothing about Lira's). As our friend Sergei Witte pointed out, Navalny's health had been weakened by a hunger strike.

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By: orraz
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By: orraz
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After the shock discovery of thousands of tons of illegal Ukraine rapeseed at a fuel, gas train and truck depot near the Ukraine border, Polish farmers vowed to step-up their actions against all food imports from outside the EU and increase pressure on Brussels and the Polish government to abandon the implementation of ‘Green Deal’ and outlaw uncontrolled mass food imports entering Poland.

NSZZ RI Solidarity on 9 February 2024, announced a 30-day farmers’ general strike, which was met with unprecedented support from the entire agricultural community and the public.

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The United States has become so utterly dependent upon an uninterrupted supply of affordable electricity that, as our grid becomes ever more fragile, American society has become fragile along with it.

Former CIA director James Woolsey testified before the U.S. Senate in 2015 that, if America’s electric grid were to go down for an extended period, such as one year, “there are essentially two estimates on how many people would die from hunger, from starvation, from lack of water, and from social disruption.

“One estimate is that within a year or so, two-thirds of the United States population would die,” Mr. Woolsey said. “The other estimate is that within a year or so, 90 percent of the U.S. population would die.”

Chris Keefer, president of Canadians for Nuclear Energy, concurred.

“The energy grid is a civilizational life support system, and without it, modern society collapses very quickly,” he said. 

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New York Governor Kathy Hochul attempted to reassure business owners in New York that they have nothing to fear after the state’s Attorney General fleeced $355 million from President Trump for running a business in the state.

Hochul told John Catsimatidis on “The Cats Roundtable” on WABC 770 AM where she was asked if other New York businesspeople should be worried that if “they can do that to the former president, they can do that to anybody.”

According to Hochul: “I think that this is really an extraordinary unusual circumstance that the law-abiding and rule-following New Yorkers who are business people have nothing to worry about because they’re very different than Donald Trump and his behavior.”

Good luck with that, Kathy. Trump was fined for taking out loans, paying them back on time and with interest. The banks said they would be happy to loan him money in the future and there were no victims in the made-up crime.

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The United States has said it will block another resolution that will soon be presented at the United Nations urging a ceasefire in Israel’s war on Gaza.

Algeria has proposed a new resolution be put to a vote on Tuesday at the UN Security Council (UNSC) that seeks an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” between Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian group that governs Gaza, while also demanding an “immediate and unconditional release of all hostages”.

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