Thought for the day

"There is no worse mistake in public leadership than to hold out false hopes soon to be swept away. The British people can face peril or misfortune with fortitude and buoyancy, but they bitterly resent being deceived or finding that those responsible for their affairs are themselves dwelling in a fool's paradise." -- Winston Churchill

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In an emergency press conference, the National Farmers Union (NFU) said the government needed to step in to assist farmers who are under severe strain.

The British farming industry is facing major issues across almost all sectors, with the price of animal feed and nitrogen fertiliser, and fuel skyrocketing. The union warned that yields of crops will likely slump to record lows this year with farmers also considering reducing the size of their herds.

Tags: ECONOMY, GREAT BRITAIN/ UK
Posted on: Dec 08 10:34

While questions remain over what was known and by whom about commingled FTX client funds being used to fill a vast and leaking bucket of a balance sheet at Alameda, it appears, based on a report from The New York Times (NYT), that the catalyst for this whole debacle could have been none other than the world's (second) greatest Democrat donor and (ineffective) altruist - Sam Bankman-Fried.

NYT reports that federal prosecutors are investigating whether FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried and his hedge fund orchestrated trades in a way that led to the collapse of two cryptocurrencies in May - TerraUSD and Luna.

Specifically, Manhattan prosecutors (US attorney for the Southern District of New York) are examining the possibility that Bankman-Fried steered the prices of two algorithmically-interlinked currencies to benefit entities he controlled, including FTX and Alameda Research.

According to two people with knowledge of the matter, NYT reports that the focus on possible market manipulation adds to the legal storm brewing around Mr. Bankman-Fried.

Tags: ECONOMY
Posted on: Dec 08 10:33

The Biden administration has unveiled a sanctions blacklist of two dozen companies and other entities accused of supporting Russia militarily, as well as who have violated sanctions on Iran. But perhaps most surprising is that among the 24 companies also includes entities charged with illicit activities related to Pakistan's nuclear weapons program

The US Commerce Department identified companies based in Latvia, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore and Switzerland, including Russia's AO Kraftway Corporation, considered among the country's largest IT companies. 

Fiber Optic Solutions in Latvia is named as well as Russian AO Scientific Research Center for Electronic Computing, LLC Fibersense, and Scientific Production Company Optolin, AO PKK Milandr; Milandr EK; Milandr ICC JSC; Milur IS; Microelectronic Production Complex (MPK) Milandr; and Ruselectronics JSC and Swiss based Milur SA, according to a press release.

Regarding the Iran-related sanctions, "The Commerce Department also added four trading and supply companies in Singapore for supplying or attempting to supply an Iranian electronics company, Pardazan System Namad Arman," which as Reuters recounts was initially subject of US Treasury sanctions in 2018 following the Trump administration's pullout of the Iran nuclear deal.

Tags: PAKISTAN/ INDIA, WHITE HOUSE, WMD
Posted on: Dec 08 10:32

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) held a panel on COVID-19 vaccines in Washington on Dec. 7, featuring experts including Dr. Robert Malone and Dr. Peter McCullough.

Experts discussed vaccine development, vaccine composition, data from insurance and adverse event systems, and other topics.

Here are four takeaways from the panel.

Tags: CONSUMER RIGHTS / PRODUCT REPORTS, SCIENCE/ HEALTH/ CLIMATE/ NATURE
Posted on: Dec 08 10:29

Our times of boom to bust are the perfect illustration of the credit cycle first presented in its fullness in the 1920s. Why then? Because this was the first decade after most countries created central banks. They caused some very odd behavior that made 19th-century-style economics seem to have less explanatory power.

That was when a few economists working in Vienna put together a model for understanding how business cycles work in a modern economy. Their names were Friedrich von Hayek and Ludwig von Mises. They drew on their theoretical knowledge based on the following inputs:

Richard Cantillon (1680–1734) observed that when governments inflate the money supply, the effects are unevenly distributed among economic sectors, affecting some more than others and in different ways.

Adam Smith (1723–1790) explained that a critical element of rising wealth is embedded in the division of labor, in which individuals specialize in tasks and cooperate across firms and those firms cooperate with each other.

Carl Menger (1840–1921) saw money as an organic market creation, not an invention of the state, which implies that it should be produced like any other good or service.

Knut Wicksell (1851–1926) demonstrated that interest rates function as a price mechanism to allocate investment decisions over time, which is why the yield curve exists. Manipulation of the interest rate disturbs the natural allocation of resources.

Eugen von Boehm-Bawerk (1851–1914) explained the structure of production as consisting of far more than just consumer and capital goods. Capital itself is heterogeneous in that investment decisions include a forecast of time expectations, and the interest rate is crucial to coordinating them.

You can put all those pieces together to come up with a mental model of a well-functioning economy as described by Jean-Baptiste Say (1767–1832) who saw the alignment of supply and demand as a law of economics, which is to say that a market economy is inherently stable.

Tags: ECONOMY
Posted on: Dec 08 10:28

The Western Journal has reported the two pastors have had enough and come up with a brilliant solution to counteract the Drag Queen Story Hour: ‘Push Back on Evil.’

Dale Partridge and Michael Foster’s idea is not to stand around cursing the darkness but to bring to light the lurid drag queen story hours that are becoming more prevalent.

Foster and Partridge’s alternative to the story hour featuring drag queens is to go to the library and provide a pastor’s story hour.

According to CBN, Partridge, who authored “Jesus and My Gender,” set up his first story hour at the library, which drew 15 to 20 children along with their parents. Partridge said, “I think the kids loved it, and a lot of the parents love it.”

Tags: CURRENT EVENTS, RELIGION/ATHEISM
Posted on: Dec 08 10:27

The UN General Assembly (UNGA) has voted on a resolution calling for Israel to get rid of all its nuclear weapons and place its nuclear sites under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Webmaster addition: Oh yeah; THAT'LL work!

Tags: ISRAEL, WMD
Posted on: Dec 08 10:24

NASA has a long track record of engineering feats that have helped humans explore the depths of space. One of the agency's next projects will help humans travel to new celestial bodies – but it may also one day help you do your laundry. 

"You know, I'm ready for it. I'm tired of doing my dishes and laundry," Jeff Cardenas, CEO of Apptronik, tells ZDNET. 

Austin-based robotics company Apptronik is working with NASA to create a 5-foot 8-inch, 160-pound, general-purpose humanoid robot named Apollo. The robot is being designed to assist with tasks in space, the commercial sector -- and, most interestingly, the home. 

Apollo will be equipped to carry out a range of tasks in different environments with the mission of shouldering burdens that humans simply don't need or want to do.

Tags: COMPUTERS/INTERNET
Posted on: Dec 08 10:24

There are three ways this attack works:

Prong No. 1: Pay out through PayPal: The first prong of the attack was the request for $699.99. While it's fairly unlikely that anyone who gets hit with this attack will click "Send Money," all it takes is one or two people doing that to make the entire attack worthwhile from the scammer's perspective. Don't pay enough attention, click the wrong button, and whoosh! Money gone.

Prong No. 2: Pay out by dialing the digits: The PayPal agent told me that the second prong of the attack that often also provides value to the scammers is the phone number they ask you to call.

Depending on the scammer, the number itself may be billable. It's called a "one-ring phone scam" and it works by spoofing numbers, possibly connecting you to an international number where you're charged merely for connecting to the number.

Prong No. 3: Pay out by giving away too much personal info: The big score, I was told by the PayPal agent, is actually the third prong of the attack. That's when somebody gets the email and calls the number they think is PayPal to prevent the payment.

Webmaster addition: I got one of these a week ago, but since PayPal canceled my account for my political views, I knew it had to be a scam.

Tags: COMPUTERS/INTERNET
Posted on: Dec 08 10:22

Cyber criminals are losing millions of dollars to other cyber criminals after themselves falling victim to scams on dark web forums. And the way they're publicly complaining about it could help uncover the secrets of the whole underground economy.  

Online scammers and fraudsters cost consumers and businesses billions every year, and it appears that even cyber criminals, aren't immune to falling victim to scams. 

According to analysis of underground marketplaces by cybersecurity researchers at Sophos, cyber criminals have lost at least $2.5 million to other dark web scammers during the last 12 months – and that's just on three prominent cybercrime forums, so the total figure is likely to be a lot higher. 

Tags: COMPUTERS/INTERNET
Posted on: Dec 08 10:18

Many groups and individuals have now experience the worst of the Cancel Culture Mob, that in different forms has deplatformed all sorts of people who might be critical of the Establishment in the UK. The arts are not exempt. The Jazz musician Gilad Atzmon was once cancelled at the Royal Northern College of Music, not because of what he was about to say, but because of who he was, in the eyes of the Cancel Culture Mob.

The latest victim of the Cancel Culture Mob in London is an concert of satirical songs, which was to be presented tonight (Thursday, 8 December) at a Keep Talking meeting at the Tea House Theatre in London. The importance of relaxing with the arts – in this case music – was going to be emphasised, as a means of keeping sane in an insane environment. But also, when we do mentally switch off, that is when sometimes the penny drops, and we start joining some more dots. December is usually a good month for this, as people review the year in their minds, linking together more distant brain cells.

Apparently, I have been giving a series of secret ‘Keep Talking’ Holocaust-denial talks, so secret that even I knew nothing of them. Another piece of Antifa enlightenment was that singing some satirical songs I had just written, followed by some other songs about deception and lying, would be a “nazi-singalong”.  Mine were mainly inspired by Clare Short’s book ‘An Honorable Deception’. Actually, I often had wet eyes in reading that book, because what she was describing was so close to what I had just experienced in being cancelled in the Management Committee of the Esperanto association. At all levels it’s the same story. I had essentially put into song what Clare Short had put into a book. I wonder whether she knows she’s a Nazi for describing life in Tony Blair’s cabinet! My songs were written for a wider purpose, because they would apply quite generally to groups subjected to infiltration and subversion from within.

Tags: CURRENT EVENTS
Posted on: Dec 08 10:15

Republican Senator Ted Cruz has weighed in on the revelations in Elon Musk’s ‘Twitter Files’ publication, urging that it is “evidence of corruption that goes to the highest level of government.”

Appearing on Fox News, Cruz asserted that the effort to crush the Hunter Biden laptop story went “to the highest level of the FBI. And it goes to the highest level of Big Tech.”

“We’ve known for a long time that big tech is censoring conservatives,” Cruz said, adding that “what Elon did here is he just laid naked all of the lies that the corporate media has told.”

“It’s clear during the 2020 election, over and over and over again, the Biden campaign and the DNC would reach out to their buddies at Twitter and say, hey we don’t like this, and their response is ‘handled,’ and they’d take it down, over and over and over again,” Cruz stated.

Tags: CORPORATE MEDIA, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION
Posted on: Dec 08 10:14

As if Philadelphia didn't have a big enough problem on its hands with its "zombie streets" in the Northeast lined with drug users a new drug is making its way out into the city. Philly Voice published a new piece this week detailing the veterinary sedative xylazine, also known as "tranq", which is now being "pervasive" in the drug scene and is mixed with fentanyl. 

It is responsible for "more complex overdoses and painful skin wounds," the report says. The drug is a "anesthetic and pain reliever" that "is used by vets to treat horses and cattle". The appeal of mixing it with Fentanyl is that it can extend the perception of a person's high. 

It has been found in 90% of dope samples that the city tested last year, the report says. Last year, it was found in 44% of Fentanyl overdose deaths in the city and was found in 34% of all overdose deaths. It marks a 39% increase from the year prior. 

Jennifer Shinefeld, a field epidemiologist for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, commented: "Xylazine was initially added into the drug supply because a heroin high lasts for 6-8 hours, but a fentanyl high lasts from 1-2 hours."

"The tranquilizer was being added to mimic a traditional heroin high, but also to allegedly prolong the effects."

Tags: CURRENT EVENTS, SCIENCE/ HEALTH/ CLIMATE/ NATURE
Posted on: Dec 08 10:13

There is no bigger heresy at this point in history than to suggest the US is not the main source of great evil in the world. There was a time, when the exact opposite was the case.

Today, however, As war rages in Ukraine and everyone in power in the West says they want peace but keep shoveling money and weapons into the conflict, the message is clear.

We want this war. We need this war and it doesn’t matter what the people want.

We will have this war.

But, here’s the big heresy, it’s not just the US that wants this war. Here’s another one is ‘The US’ as a global actor even exist anymore?

We are now digesting the most irresponsible escalation yet by “Ukraine,” a drone strike on a strategic airbase deep inside Russia attacking one leg of its nuclear triad — damaging strategic bombers capable of delivering nuclear warheads.

This is an explicit redline for Russia.

Tags: CURRENT EVENTS, DICTATORSHIP, ECONOMY, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION
Posted on: Dec 08 10:10

Among the significant changes Elon Musk is implementing at Twitter, not the least of which being exposing an underbelly of direction-taking from liberal leaders, he is also asking employees to work "hardcore" for what is being called Twitter 2.0.

It's a sharp pivot from the 4 hour work weeks some Twitter employees had admitted to in the weeks leading up to Musk's takeover of the company. As part of his new corporate culture, Musk even installed makeshift bedrooms in Twitter's headquarters - an efficient use of free space for employees who are truly dedicated, Musk likely thought.

Tags: CORPORATE MEDIA
Posted on: Dec 08 10:02

Oh, sweet irony, how you consistently amuse us...

Today's episode of 'consequences are best served cold' comes from Democratic Rep. Ritchie Torres of New York, who according the Daily Caller received $40,300 from Sam Bankman-Fried, ex-CEO of FTX, and his brother, Gabriel Bankman-Fried.

Now, Torres is calling for an investigation of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for "failing to properly regulate the crypto exchange." He has written a letter to the Government Accountability Office requesting the probe.

Tags: ECONOMY, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION
Posted on: Dec 08 10:02

Seriously, that Washington Post article about “Shark Week’s” lack of diversity was not written by ChatGPT (or at least it wasn’t advertised as being so: granted, who knows how stressed for time the poor WP reporter was, and who can blame him if he outsources thankless assignments like this to an AI robot to finish off for him?) But iSteve commenter ic1000 more or less reproduces in it ChatGPT with a slightly more elaborate prompt:

Tags: COMPUTERS/INTERNET
Posted on: Dec 08 09:59

I suppose that we should have known that this was inevitable.  After establishing a precedent during the pandemic, now the elite apparently intend to impose lockdowns for other reasons as well.

What I have detailed in this article is extremely alarming, and I hope that you will share it with everyone that you can.  Climate change lockdowns are here, and if people don’t respond very strongly to this it is likely that we will soon see similar measures implemented all over the western world.  The elite have always promised to do “whatever it takes” to fight climate change, and now we are finding out that they weren’t kidding.

Over in the UK, residents of Oxfordshire will now need a special permit to go from one “zone” of the city to another.  But even if you have the permit, you will still only be allowed to go from one zone to another “a maximum of 100 days per year”

Tags: CLIMATEGATE, DICTATORSHIP
Posted on: Dec 08 09:58

Turkey has set a deadline for the withdrawal of the US-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) from areas of northern Syria near the Turkish border, a Turkish source told Al Jazeera.

Both the US and Russia are trying to avert a Turkish invasion of northern Syria, and the source said Ankara has asked Washington and Moscow to press the SDF to withdraw. Turkey wants the SDF to leave the cities of Manbij, Tal Rifaat, and Kobane within two weeks, or it will launch a ground operation.

Turkey considers the SDF to be an affiliate of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), which Turkey, the US, and the EU have labeled as a terrorist organization. Ankara launched a series of airstrikes against the SDF at the end of November after blaming a bombing in Istanbul on the PKK.

Tags: SYRIA, TURKEY
Posted on: Dec 08 09:55

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said Tuesday that the US will increase its military presence in Australia in a buildup aimed at China.

In a joint press conference with Australia’s defense minister and foreign minister, Austin said that the US will increase its rotational forces in Australia. “That includes rotations of bomber task forces, fighters, and future rotations of US Navy and US Army capabilities,” Austin said.

Details on the rotational deployments aren’t clear, but they will likely focus on the Australian city of Darwin in the Northern Territory, where US Marines have been rotating through for years.

Australia’s ABC News reported in October that the US will be deploying six nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to Australia to a base just south of Darwin. The US is building facilities to house the bombers, which are expected to be completed by 2026.

Tags: AUSTRALIA, CHINA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
Posted on: Dec 08 09:55

If you thought that the collapse of FTX was something, just wait until the entire global financial system comes crashing down all around us.  Most people just assume that the system is being managed by rational people that behave in rational ways, but of course, countless investors assumed the same things about FTX.

Sadly, the global financial system has slowly but surely been transformed into the largest casino in the history of the world.  It is a colossal Ponzi scheme, and once in a while authorities give us a little peek into what is really going on behind the curtain.

For example, this week the Bank for International Settlements released a report that warned that 65 trillion dollars in “hidden” currency derivatives could potentially be a major threat to the stability of the entire system

There’s a hidden risk to the global financial system embedded in the $65 trillion of dollar debt being held by non-US institutions via currency derivatives, according to the Bank for International Settlements.

In a paper with the title “huge, missing and growing,” the BIS said a lack of information is making it harder for policy makers to anticipate the next financial crisis. In particular, they raised concern with the fact that the debt is going unrecorded on balance sheets because of accounting conventions on how to track derivative positions.

Last year, the total value of all goods and services produced in the entire world was just 96 trillion dollars.

Tags: ECONOMY
Posted on: Dec 08 09:54

The G20, which is a group of 19 nations that includes the United States, and the European Union, recently held its annual business meeting (B20) in Bali, Indonesia. At this meeting, they declared that a digital vaccine passport, standardized by the World Health Organization, will be part of international pandemic prevention and response moving forward.

The fact that the COVID shots do not prevent the spread of infection has now been established many times over. This alone proves that vaccine passports are not for the purpose of containing epidemics. An international vaccine passport is a gateway to complete totalitarian control because the entire control grid around a person gets tied together by it, according to Global Research. 

Ultimately, this means that when the next pandemic is declared, only those who have this digital health certificate will be allowed to move about freely and travel internationally. And, of course, only those who have been appropriately vaccinated will have a valid passport.

The global slave system is being rolled out right in front of us, and so many people are still too concerned about which puppet ascends the throne to notice.

Tags: CONSUMER RIGHTS / PRODUCT REPORTS, DICTATORSHIP, SCIENCE/ HEALTH/ CLIMATE/ NATURE
Posted on: Dec 08 09:54

The animosity between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been bitter. Agreement on anything — which would be a starting point for talks — is elusive. For the first time in several months, however, the two leaders have agreed on something. Unfortunately it takes them even farther away from talks than they are today.

They both seem to believe that the Minsk II agreement, a 2015 deal that many believed would be a way forward to peace in the region, is dead.  

At some point this horrifying war will end. And it will have to end with talks. Those talks will have to, at some point, settle the issue of the eastern lands caught in a decades-long tug of war. Zelensky has said that a precondition for talks is “restoration of [Ukraine’s] territorial integrity,” meaning the Donbas, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, and even Crimea. Russia has said that negotiations can only be held on the basis of existing geopolitical realities and maintains that any negotiated settlement must respect Russia’s annexation of these same regions. That is the principal roadblock to a settlement. A big one.

Tags: RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA
Posted on: Dec 08 09:51

My December 6 address to the European Conference on the Revival of Fascism

Center for Geostrategic Studies, Belgrade, December 6-8, 2022

My appreciation to those with the foresight to organize this conference.

I limit my remarks to definitional clarity. By “fascism” I assume we mean not merely economic corporation between government and private business, but the over-riding of citizens’ values and opinions by powerful groups in control of governing. We mean by fascism the ignoring and suppression of popular opinion.

Moreover, we mean the use of media as propaganda in order to implant falsehoods in the minds of the populations that make them easier to sway and control. Under a regime of fascism, official narratives are constructed, and any dissent, regardless of how factual, is dismissed as “misinformation.”

In these few words, I have described our current existence in the Western World.

Tags: DICTATORSHIP
Posted on: Dec 08 09:50

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has emailed The Grayzone a defense of the Azov Battalion and refused to condemn the Pentagon for honoring a veteran of the group who sports Nazi-inspired tattoos.

A November 9 email from the Anti-Defamation League to The Grayzone provided a twisted defense of Ukraine’s Azov Battalion. Despite its self-proclaimed “anti-hate” mission, the ADL  insisted in the email it “does not” consider Azov as the “far right group it once was.”

Webmaster addition: Trying to "sanitize" the Ukrainian image?

Tags: COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, ISRAEL, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA
Posted on: Dec 08 09:48

A Washington DC-area Anomaly 6 firm is marketing illegal spy tech that can scrape an individual’s most sensitive personal data by tracking their smartphone. The British Ministry of Defence and GCHQ are potential buyers.

Leaked documents reviewed by The Grayzone reveal how a smartphone tracking technology tramples over fundamental data protection tenets and international law, while violating the privacy of citizens across the world without their knowledge or consent. The clandestine tool can transform anyone into a potential person of interest to Western intelligence agencies, and thus a target for recruitment, surveillance, harassment, or worse.

It is likely most readers will be unfamiliar with Anomaly 6. Its spartan, single-page website is home to the company’s name, a generic email address, and general location – Fairfax, Virginia, not far from CIA headquarters –  but nothing about its services, personnel, or otherwise. By carving through layers of “anonymized” data, this little-known company unearths reams of sensitive information about any individual it chooses anywhere on Earth. 

Anomaly 6’s activities amount to a globe-spanning criminal dragnet, the reach of which could well extend further than even that of the CIA and NSA. As we shall see, its founders are extremely wary of media attention, not least because they fear the “legal basis” of their operations “is unlikely to stand-up to scrutiny” given past successful court actions against state spying agencies, such as GCHQ and the NSA. 

Tags: COMPUTERS/INTERNET, DICTATORSHIP
Posted on: Dec 08 09:48

US State Department spokesperson Ned Price on 6 December said the White House opposes Al Jazeera taking the murder of Palestinian-American reporter Shireen Abu Aqla to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

“We oppose it,” Price told reporters when pressed about the ICC probe. He went on to add Washington maintains its “longstanding objections to the ICC’s investigation into the Palestinian situation and the position the ICC should focus on its core mission, and that core mission of serving as a court of last resort and punishing and deterring atrocity crimes.”

Abu Aqla was shot dead by Israeli troops on 11 May as she was covering a raid in the Jenin refugee camp. At the time of her death, she was wearing full body armor with clearly visible press markings.

Washington has long opposed Palestinian-led efforts to take up Israeli human rights abuses with international bodies, including the UN and the ICC.

Webmaster addition: So Washington DC has issued Israel a license to kill Americans.

Tags: ASSASSINATION, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, ISRAEL, PALESTINE, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION
Posted on: Dec 08 09:45