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"It will give us, for a course of years, good government and then only end, due to the corruption of the people, in despotism, which will be the only form of government suitable for them." -- Benjamin Franklin on the Constitution Philadelphia, 1789.
Yet another newly discovered space rock will safely zip past Earth, this one on March 25, 2023. It’ll sweep by at about half the Earth-moon distance. Astronomers at the observatory of La Palma, in the Canary Islands, Spain, discovered the asteroid in late February, 2023. And amateur astronomers might get a glimpse of the asteroid as it speeds past. See the charts at the bottom of this post.
Closest approach to Earth is thought to occur at around 19:31 UTC (3:31 p.m. EDT) on March 25. But the exact time and other details might be updated as more observations come in.
The asteroid has been labeled 2023 DZ2. It’s part of the Apollo family of asteroids. Current estimates put 2023 DZ2’s size at about 210 feet (64 meters) in diameter.
Eurasia’s geo-economic integration took a great leap forward as a result of the Iranian–Saudi rapprochement, which unlocks the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) trade potential with Russia and China. Its wealthy members can now tap into two series of Iranian-transiting megaprojects in one fell swoop through this deal, with the North-South Transport Corridor (NSTC) connecting them to Russia while the China-Central Asia-West Asia Economic Corridor (CCAWAEC) will do the same vis-à-vis China.
The bloc’s de facto Saudi leader has been prioritizing a comprehensive economic reform policy known as “Vision 2030” that was introduced by Crown Prince and first-ever Prime Minister Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) upon his rise to power in 2015. It regrettably stumbled as a result of the disastrous Yemeni War that he’s been waging since that same year, but everything is now back on track and more promising than ever after securing $50 billion worth of investments from China last December.
The People’s Republic regards Vision 2030 as complementary to its Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) due to MBS’ focus on real-sector investments for preemptively diversifying the Saudi economy away from its presently disproportionate dependence on oil exports. His country’s location at the crossroads of Afro-Eurasia also makes investments there extremely attractive from the perspective of China’s logistical interests, hence its massive commitment to his comprehensive economic reform policy.
Without last week’s Beijing-brokered deal, China would have had to rely on maritime routes under the control of the powerful US Navy to facilitate the forthcoming explosion in bilateral real-sector trade, but now everything can be conducted much more securely via the Iranian-transiting CCAWAEC. Looking forward, there’s also a theoretical possibility of Chinese energy investments in Iran connecting the Gulf to Central Asia and thenceforth to the People’s Republic, thus fully securing its strategic interests.
The Sacramento Bee is walking back claims it previously made about Charlie Kirk, ultimately leading to Antifa riots.
RedState reports that the outlet posted false information about Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk. The piece claimed that Kirk had previously called for the lynching of transgender individuals. This got the Antifa base riled up significantly, but it turned out to be a completely false claim.
The article is believed to be partly responsible for the Antifa riots during a Charlie Kirk speech. RedState managing Editor Jennifer Van Laar reported on the address given by Kirk at the University of California, Davis. Two people were arrested for the actions that they took during that speech.
The last remaining members of an ethics and society team within Microsoft’s artificial intelligence (AI) department didn’t survive a recent round of mass layoffs, according to a report.
The change comes as Microsoft signs a “multi-year, multi-billion-dollar investment” deal with OpenAI, the startup behind AI-powered image and text generators like DALL-E and ChatGPT, and upgrades its Bing search engine and Edge internet browser to incorporate a “new, next-generation OpenAI large language model that is more powerful than ChatGPT.”
The team, as reported by tech news site Platformer, was tasked to make sure Microsoft’s ethical standards regarding AI were actually reflected in product designs. The team was also reportedly working to identify potential risks posed by integrating OpenAI’s technology into a range of Microsoft products.
The team was at its peak size of 30 members in 2020, according to the report. Following a reorganization in October 2022, however, only about seven people remained. Microsoft’s corporate vice president of AI, John Montgomery, told Platformer that there was great pressure from chief technology officer Kevin Scott and chief executive Satya Nadella, who wanted to get “the most recent OpenAI models” into customers’ hands as quickly as possible.
Microsoft still maintains its Office of Responsible AI, which focuses on creating company-wide rules and principles to guide AI development. But employees told Platformer that the ethics and society team was playing a key role in bridging the gap between principles and products.
The federal government has been using Americans’ income and gun purchases to conduct warrantless tracking and deny Second Amendment rights. Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) gave salary estimates to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as the reason to have people’s firearms purchases monitored.
Erich Pratt, senior vice president of Gun Owners of America (GOA), told The Epoch Times that the ATF’s activities “monitoring innocent people” is a serious problem. “Congress needs to rein in this rogue agency by either exercising oversight over it or abolishing the unconstitutional agency altogether,” said Pratt.
These revelations come from new documents, viewed by The Epoch Times which it received from its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit. The latest production from the FOIA has hundreds of pages—many redacted—showing ATF agents requesting warrantless surveillance by the FBI for lawful reasons such as low salaries, past firearm purchases, and sending “bizarre” messages.
The Epoch Times exclusively reported in January about the FBI’s secret monitoring service that tracks people by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) for gun purchases for mere “potential violations of law.”
The Chinese Foreign Ministry has confirmed in a statement on its website that President Xi Jinping's much anticipated state visit to Russia will be held from March 20-22, marking the first such in-person visit with President Putin since the Ukraine war started in February 2022.
The Kremlin at the same time confirmed of the trip that "An exchange of views is also planned in the context of deepening Russian-Chinese cooperation in the international arena," and that, "A number of important bilateral documents will be signed."
Russia has further said the two leaders will discuss "strategic cooperation" - following early last year's declaration of Beijing and Moscow's "no-limits partnership".
The new Friday Beijing statement also said the war in Ukraine will be top priority, also after acknowledging that a Xi-Zelensky phone call will happen related to the Moscow visit:
China’s Foreign Ministry said the visit will take place from Monday to Wednesday at the invitation of Putin and confirmed that the war in Ukraine would be a core part of the talks.
"China’s proposition boils down to one sentence, which is to urge peace and promote talks," foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said.
You know the old joke – “Predictions are hard… especially about the future.”
And it’s true, nobody has a crystal ball.
But it’s astonishing to see just how horribly wrong the people in charge can be in their predictions, especially about the very near future.
You probably remember Joe Biden famously insisted in the summer of 2021 that the Taliban was “highly unlikely” to take over Afghanistan.
Boy did he turn out to be wrong.
Only a few weeks later, the Taliban was in control of the entire country… and the world watched in utter astonishment as US military helicopters evacuated embassy personnel from Kabul in one of the most shameful episodes in modern American history.
Not to be outdone, it appears that the Federal Reserve has just had its own Afghanistan moment.
It was only Tuesday of last week that the Fed Chairman testified before a committee of concerned senators who thought the Fed may be tightening monetary policy (i.e. raising interest rates) too quickly.
This was a valid concern; rapid interest rate hikes DO create a LOT of risks. And one of those risks is that asset prices– especially bond prices– plummet in value.
This risk is particularly problematic for banks because they tend to invest their customer deposits in bonds.
Israel’s former spymaster has called for his country to explore whether a rapprochement with Iran is possible following a dramatic breakthrough in relations between Tehran and Riyadh last week.
Efraim Halevy, the former director of Israel’s Mossad spy agency, made the comments on Wednesday evening in an interview on CNN.
Describing the deals as “very startling”, Halevy urged Israeli leaders not to “prejudge” the deal but to find ways of working with the new development.
“[Israel should] understand what it is that brought the Iranians to their rapprochement with Saudi Arabia,” said Halevy.
Ben Shapiro presents the True Conservative™ case for opposing reparations.
Asking whitey to pay is fine with Shapiro due to their collective guilt over slavery but asking Asians to pay is just a step too far!
As Sweden looks to reorganize its embattled 1 trillion kronor ($90 billion) pension system following an embezzlement scandal, the office overseeing the process says it won't accept applications from asset managers that don't incorporate ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) into their strategies.
"Unlike in the current system, there will be a requirement that the manager systematically integrates sustainability aspects into its operations," said Erikl Fransson, executive director of the Swedish Fund Selection Agency, Bloomberg reports.
The move underscores the wildly divergent approaches different jurisdictions are taking as they figure out how big a role ESG should play in mainstream investing. In Europe, ESG is currently being hardwired into financial regulations. In the US, lawmakers just voted to block the pension industry from taking ESG risks into account.
The decision only affects pensions under the state’s control. Sweden’s private pensions market has made headlines after it emerged that Alecta, which oversees more than $100 billion in retirement savings, was the fourth-biggest shareholder of the now collapsed Silicon Valley Bank. -Bloomberg
Following this week’s release of GPT-4, OpenAI’s new multimodal model accepting image and text inputs rather than ChatGPT’s text-only prompts, people on social media have been marveling about the new engine’s results in performing a variety of tasks, such as creating a working website based on a simple sketch, outperforming humans in a variety of standardized tests or writing code.
But, as Statista's Felix Richter notes, as people are only beginning to understand the capabilities (and limitations) of artificial intelligence models such as ChatGPT and now GPT-4, there’s also growing concern over what the rapid advancements in AI could ultimately lead to.
“GPT-4 is exciting and scary,” New York Times columnist Kevin Roose wrote, adding that there two kinds of risks involved in AI systems: the good ones, i.e. the ones we anticipate, plan for and try to prevent and the bad ones, i.e. the ones we cannot anticipate.
“The more time I spend with AI systems like GPT-4,” Roose writes, “the less I’m convinced that we know half of what’s coming.”
According to Ipsos Global Advisor’s 2023 Predictions, many people seem to share Roose’s reservations with regard to artificial intelligence.
The US rejecting calls for a ceasefire in Ukraine ahead of the meeting of Chinese and Russian leaders again showed its ulterior motive of fueling the fire of conflict and using Ukraine as its pawn to geopolitically weaken Russia to the maximum level, Chinese experts said, who also pointed out the sharp contrast between Washington and Beijing, with the latter always seeking peace and dialogue on the matter.
China announced on Friday that President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to Russia from Monday to Wednesday.The visit is widely considered a journey that will advance peace as China has been long committed to promoting peace and dialogue over the Russia-Ukraine conflict. However, the Biden administration threw mud over the trip, expressing concerns over any proposals from China and claiming any framework offered by Beijing "would be one-sided and reflect only the Russian perspective."
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador recently upbraided the United States, calling out Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken by name, for hundreds of years of imperialism, colonialism and otherwise “meddling” in the affairs of other nations all over the globe. And contrary to the U.S.’s self-image as a promoter of democracy around the world, the United States itself is not a democracy, AMLO says, but rather an oligarchy.
Former President Donald Trump said Saturday he expects to be arrested on Tuesday based on “illegal leaks” from the Manhattan district attorney’s office, which is investigating Trump’s alleged role in hush money paid to Stormy Daniels.
The United States military is facing recruitment shortfalls with only the Marine Corps and the newly created Space Force meeting 2022 enlistment quotas, an issue that could undermine the Pentagon’s readiness to address the “pacing challenges” posed by the People’s Republic of China and Russia.
The U.S. Army in 2022 missed its recruiting goal by 15,000 active-duty soldiers, or 25 percent of its target, leaving the nation’s largest military force 7 percent smaller than it was two years ago.
The U.S. Navy came within several dozen of its 2022 enlistment goal but only after lowering its recruiting quota, increasing its oldest enlistment age from 39 to 41, and lowering other standards.
The U.S. Air Force met its 2022 recruiting goal but, according to Alex Wagner, assistant secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, in 2023 it anticipates it “will miss its recruiting goal for the first since 1999.”
Wagner was among the eight officials representing the individual military branches and the Department of Defense (DOD) to testify on March 15 before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee’s Personnel Subcommittee about issues confronting the military’s 2.1 million active-duty members, the DOD’s 700,000 civilian employees, and their families.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday said he expects to be arrested on Tuesday as prosecutors consider charges over a hush money payment to a porn star, and called on his supporters to protest.
A spokesperson for the Manhattan district attorney's office, which has been investigating a $130,000 payment to porn actor Stormy Daniels, declined to comment.
No U.S. president - while in office or afterward - has faced criminal charges. Trump is seeking the Republican nomination for the presidency in 2024. He has said he will continue campaigning even if he is charged with a crime.
"Illegal leaks from a corrupt & highly political Manhattan district attorney's office ... indicate that, with no crime being able to be proven ... the far & away leading Republican candidate & former president of the United States of America, will be arrested on Tuesday of next week," Trump wrote on Truth Social.
The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards — colonialism. We often hear that problems of immigration, drug-smuggling, and terrorism can’t be solved unless we can tackle the “root causes” in non-white nations. That assumes they can’t solve those causes themselves. Foreign aid has largely failed. Don’t “root cause” solutions imply colonialism?
Mexico will always be a vital interest to the United States. Any attempt to control immigration from Latin America, including Mexico itself, requires Mexican cooperation. American power is built on dominion over North America ever since the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Mexican nationalists sometimes muse about reversing the judgment of history through mass immigration or Reconquista.
Mexican criminals have preyed on Americans for a long time. In 1916, Pancho Villa murdered 18 Americans in Chihuahua. General “Black Jack” Pershing led a force 350 miles into Mexico in retaliation just before World War I, but never found Villa — who is celebrated by Mexican-American soccer fans today.
Imagine this. For years liberals have been telling us that President Donald Trump is guilty of horrible horrible crimes. So after many years, they seem about to indict him for a... MISDEMEANOR? And not only that a misdemeanor based on testimony by someone who admits that he is a liar. This possible indictment illustrates the absurdity of the liberal charges against President Trump. If he was truly guilty of all that they claim then why charge him on a laughably weak MISDEMEANOR which is doomed to be easily overturned on appeal?
Rumors have been swirling all day that President Trump’s arrest was on the horizon.
Trump is under criminal investigation by the politicized Manhattan District Attorney’s Office in connection to “hush money” payments to Stormy Daniels just before the 2016 presidential election. Recall that Stormy Daniels’ erstwhile lawyer, AKA “creepy porn lawyer” Michael Avenatti was sentenced to four years in prison for stealing from his porn star client “Stormy Daniels.”
Many believe Trump’s arrest is imminent, and some familiar with the case tell Revolver it could come as early as Monday. This outrageous possibility reflects the latest desperate attempt from the establishment to stop the Trump train in its tracks.
The illegitimate ruling class is using its influence to try to takedown a powerful advisory before a presidential election.
Famed lawyer Alan Dershowitz calls this move, “targeted injustice.”
As more and more candidates jump into the 2024 pool, President Trump is continuing to roll out one scorching hot policy statement after another – and he’s definitely hitting his stride.
In his latest policy statement, President Trump took direct aim at the real enemies of America: destructive political establishment hacks on both sides of the aisle who are destroying this country at every turn.
Here’s what President Trump said:
“There must also be a complete commitment to dismantling the entire globalist neo-con establishment that is perpetually dragging us into endless wars, pretending to be fight for freedom and democracy abroad while they turn us into third world country and a third world dictatorship right here at home.”
That message will definitely hit home with a lot of people; as fear of WW3 intensifies and confusion intensifies over why we’re sending Ukraine so much money, without demanding a “peace agreement.”
In 1969, then-Citibank CEO Walter Wriston tried to radically upend more than a hundred years of banking law by offering to buy the large insurance company, the Chubb Corporation. He did so by using a loophole in banking law that allowed banks to form a holding company and diversify into non-banking industries. Such a purchase would entangle banking and commerce in a manner traditionally prohibited by the rules establishing the national banking system in the 1860s, and reinforced by the Glass-Steagall Act in the 1930s. And it was utterly shocking to the political establishment, from bank regulators all the way up to President Richard Nixon.
Citibank’s move was part of a wave of big banks and conglomerates, which were an early type of private equity fund, trying to break this barrier, and use the special government guarantees for cheap credit as a competitive advantage over industrial firms in the real economy. Smaller banks were unhappy, as were many businesses, about what Wriston was doing. Still, the banks had an immensely powerful lobby. Yet over the course of the next two years, populist Banking Committee Chair Democrat Wright Patman, and his allies in business, at Federal regulatory agencies and in the Nixon administration, fought back.
Patman held hearings to expose the problems, hearings that today show what it means when core infrastructural platforms - in this case banks - could exploit their market position. A Pennsylvania entrepreneur testified about pressure put on him by banks to buy alternative services when he needed financing. An Indianapolis travel agent, Othmar Grueninger, talked about how bank-owned travel agencies were driving independent agencies out of business because of their unparalleled access to data about who traveled and who was creditworthy. “Any time I deposited checks from my customers,” he said, “I was providing the banks with the names of my best clients.”
The Trilateral Commission’s 50th anniversary marks the culmination of its self-proclaimed “New International Economic Order”. On March 12, the Trilateral Commission held its plenary meeting in New Delhi, India to discuss issues relating to globalization. Trilateral Commission co-founder Zbigniew Brzezinski’s “Technetronic Era” has apparently officially arrived.
Amid the new world alliances that are forming as India and China seek to normalize relations and as China just brokered a relationship between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the globalist narrative has opened a new, and possibly final, chapter. According to NikkeiAsia, one unnamed Trilateral Commission member addressed the plenary meeting and stated,
“Three decades of globalization — defined as integrated, free-market based and deflationary — has been replaced by what will be a multidecade period of globalization defined as fragmented, not-free-market-based but industrial-policy based and structurally inflationary. This year, 2023, is Year One of this new global order.”
It can take days to transfer money or make payments from your bank account, even as apps like Venmo, Cash App and Zelle make such transactions nearly instant. That’s because the federal government has no digital payments system for the entire banking system to utilize in real-time. But that’s about to change.
According to Forbes, The Federal Reserve plans to launch its own real-time payments system, called the FedNow Service (FedNow), this summer. Though FedNow is years behind tech-based private-sector competitors, it will be a game changer for transactions in the U.S. It will be the first—and only—digital instant-payments system that is both created and backed by the government. As a result, many banks will see it as a larger, safer system able to transfer money faster for consumers and businesses.