"Fear is a very foolish way to rule a nation, because fear is very tiring over time. No matter how tyrannical the
despot, no matter how great the imposed terror; there comes a time when the people simply lack the energy to be
afraid any longer, Fear vanishes from the population, and all that is left is blind uncompromising unquenchable
rage." -- Michael Rivero

Bidgear ad


The brutal spell of weather plaguing the Golden State continued Saturday as floodwaters surged over a levee and sent residents of an agricultural town stumbling.

Over 1,000 Californians were forced to evacuate Saturday morning after a levee failed and the small town of Pajaro was flooded by a torrential storm that drenched the Central Coast’s Monterey County.

Dramatic footage posted on social media showed early-morning rescues being carried out for residents who’d become trapped in their parked vehicle by rising floodwaters.

Posted on: Mar 13 07:39

Silicon Valley Bank was aptly named: It held the funds of hundreds of U.S. tech companies and was a crucial player in the valley’s economy. But on Friday, it became the second largest bank failure in U.S. history after a rapid run on its deposits. Some $175 billion in customer accounts were taken over by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which is now tasked with returning money to the bank’s customers.

But more than 85% of the bank’s deposits were uninsured, according to estimates in a recent regulatory filing. That’s because FDIC deposit insurance is meant for everyday bank customers and maxes out at $250,000. Many Silicon Valley startups had millions, or even hundreds of millions of dollars deposited at the bank—money they used to run their companies and pay employees. Right now, nobody’s sure how much of that cash is left.

The tech sector was already wading through a harsh macroeconomic climate, with layoffs abounding and stock prices sinking precipitously. Silicon Valley Bank’s downfall is likely to exacerbate those problems—and could threaten the wider economy. “It’s like a Lehman Brothers moment for Silicon Valley,” says one Silicon Valley startup founder whose company has millions of dollars tied up in SVB. “It feels like something that never should have happened, because it’s such a trustworthy entity.” The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are worried about losing customers over their ties to SVB.

Posted on: Mar 13 07:38

U.S. cryptocurrency firm Circle has $3.3 billion of its $40 billion of USD Coin reserves at the collapsed lender Silicon Valley Bank, the company said in a tweet on Friday.

The stablecoin company’s announcement comes after startup-focused SVB collapsed on Friday in the largest bank failure since the 2008 financial crisis, roiling global markets and stranding billions of dollars belonging to companies and investors.

Traders have been on guard this week for signs of contagion in the financial sector and beyond from troubles for SVB and crypto-focused Silvergate, which this week disclosed plans to wind down operations and voluntarily liquidate.

Posted on: Mar 13 07:36

While the Biden administration’s weakness and decline in military readiness concerning China goes unreported or under-reported in the United States, those nations most vulnerable to Chinese aggression and intimidation are aware of the rising risk of war.

When nations assess their national security status, they analyze all alliances and associations, including military, economic, etc. A critical aspect of that analysis will be the United States and its ability and willingness to fulfill its strategic security obligations. 

Fading US Security Guarantees in the Region

Today, those obligations, first and foremost, involve the threats that China and its de facto proxy, North Korea, pose to the region. Every national security advisor or minister of defense in the Asia-Pacific region that relies on U.S. security guarantees must ask themselves, “Are we as secure today as we were yesterday under American security guarantees?”

In other words, the governments in Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei, Canberra, and Manila all see the growing threat coming from China. These governments’ actions indicate that they’re all questioning their belief that the United States will be able to defend them. 

Unfortunately, most are increasingly unsure about America’s ability to defend them. In the Pentagon, however, the answer is definite, No, we will not be able to protect you.

Posted on: Mar 13 07:33

Americans’ already-negative opinions of Russia have soured further in the past year, dropping from 15% holding a favorable view to 9%. The current reading for Russia is the lowest Gallup has measured since it first asked about the “Soviet Union” in this format in 1989.

Webmaster addition:

"You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear,
You’ve got to be taught from year to year,
It’s got to be drummed in your dear little ear—
You’ve got to be carefully taught!

"You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a different shade—
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

"You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate—
You’ve got to be carefully taught!"

-- Rogers & Hammerstein, "South Pacific"

Posted on: Mar 13 07:31

Monkeys in modern-day Thai forests create stone artifacts uncannily similar to those crafted by early humans — challenging the established narrative of human cultural evolution. 

new study published on Friday in Science Advances suggests the possibility that a critical hallmark of human tool use happened by accident — potentially blurring the line between tool use by early humans and our primate relatives. 

Posted on: Mar 13 07:30

Banks across America are sitting on $620 billion of 'unrealized losses' - assets which have decreased in value but have not yet been sold - - the head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation warned.

News of the worrying shortfall came amid the closure of Silicon Valley Bank - the largest collapse since Washington Mutual in 2008. 

As the government scrambles to prevent contagion, the Federal Reserve announced on Sunday night that all depositors would get their money back.

Webmaster addition: The US economy, based on the private central bank, is a house of cards waiting for a breeze!

Posted on: Mar 13 07:29

“I’m very happy about the political decision to become a part of NATO,” says Lieutenant general Carl-Johan Edström, Chief of Joint Operations with the Swedish Armed Forces. On Thursday, he flew north together with the largest group of top NATO officers that ever has been at Norway’s land border with Russia.

“Now we can be a part of a huge NATO organization…at the moment with a war in Europe,” Edström says.

Visiting Stockholm this week, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the accession of Sweden and Finland “is a top priority, and we are making progress.”

The officers from different countries and command structures of NATO came directly to Kirkenes airport from the ongoing exercise Joint Viking currently taking place in the Troms region, further west in Northern Norway.

Posted on: Mar 13 07:27

"Two of the world’s most implacable enemies, Saudi Arabia and Iran, divided by religion, sign a China-brokered peace deal. And a cascade of businesses set to fail after the collapse of hipster bank SVB

Posted on: Mar 13 07:23

Last month’s shockwave of resignations among top Ukrainian officials, caused by numerous corruption scandals, ended as quickly as it began. At the start of February, it seemed that Defense Minister Alexei Reznikov would become the ultimate victim of the purge. His imminent departure was openly discussed in the Ukrainian parliament and hints were even dropped by the President’s office.

His possible resignation was also discussed in leading international media. However, just two weeks later, the threat hanging over Reznikov disappeared when the politician met with Western leaders and plainly stated that he had no intention of leaving office.

How did Reznikov avoid being culled, what role did the visit of US inspectors to Kiev play in the process, and what was the big corruption scandal in the Defense Ministry of Ukraine all about?

Posted on: Mar 13 07:23

Europe is in real trouble after the destruction of the Nord Stream pipeline and failed western sanctions on Russia. This week we saw our clearest indication yet that the Russia-China alliance just launched the great energy reset on the West after a series of massive trade escalations led to new records.

Posted on: Mar 13 07:17

Kiev has its hand in the unrest over the controversial foreign agents legislation in Georgia, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has claimed, urging Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to take care of his own country instead of fueling riots in Tbilisi. The PM made the remarks in an extensive interview with Georgia’s Imedi TV channel that aired on Sunday. 

Garibashvili strongly condemned the support expressed by Zelensky towards the protesters, accusing him of yet again trying to open a “second front” against Russia in Georgia. Earlier this week, Zelensky issued a video address to Georgians, stating that every Ukrainian wishes a “democratic” and “European success” to the country.

“An even greater escalation of hostilities is expected in Ukraine, and many external forces are interested in opening a ‘second front’ on Georgian soil. How else to explain that the President of Ukraine Zelensky, during the conflict in his country, finds time to appeal to several thousand participants of a destructive action in Georgia?” Garibashvili wondered, urging the Ukrainian leader to “[take] care of himself and his country” first.

Posted on: Mar 13 07:16

Before joining the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) as the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) in 2007, Joseph Gentile served as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at Lehman Brothers’ Global Investment Bank before the public collapse in 2008.

Gentile worked at Lehman as the CFO, directing the accounting and financial needs in the Fixed Income division before he left in 2007 — just one year before it became one of the biggest banks to declare bankruptcy during the 2008 financial crisis.

Since leaving Lehman, before the major collapse, he has been serving as CAO at SVB.

After being founded in 1983, SVB, the tech sector-focused bank, collapsed last week when panicked customers suddenly withdrew tens of billions of dollars after the bank announced a loss of approximately $1.8 billion from a sale of its investments in U.S. treasuries and mortgage-backed securities.

Ultimately, regulators shut Silicon Valley Bank down, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) took control of the bank and said they would protect insured deposits.

Webmaster addition: I am getting mixed signals here. Some articles make it look like all deposits will be covered (sadly by the taxpayers) but this article refers to "insured deposits" which are only insured up to $250,000!

Posted on: Mar 13 07:15

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has galvanized Ukrainian society in many unexpected ways, but perhaps one of the most remarkable is how it has advanced the rights of LGBTQ people.

On Tuesday, in a move that would have been nearly unthinkable a year ago, a Ukrainian lawmaker introduced legislation in the country’s parliament that would give partnership rights to same-sex couples. This legislation, along with a prohibition against anti-LGBTQ hate speech abruptly adopted in December, reflects a sharp rejection of Russia’s effort to weaponize homophobia in support of its invasion.

Webmaster addition: This war is turning into the Twilight Zone!

Posted on: Mar 13 07:14

Silicon Valley venture capitalists are screaming for a bail out in response to the recent sudden collapse of Silicon Valley Bank — the second-largest bank failure in history, behind the collapse of Washington Mutual at the height of the 2008 financial crisis.

Posted on: Mar 13 07:13

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Saturday that the implosion of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), the second largest bank failure in US history, created a deep crisis in the technology industry.

"I am closely monitoring the collapse of the American investment bank, Silicon Valley Bank, which has led to a major crisis in the high-tech world," tweeted the Prime Minister of Israel.

Netanyahu said that he's been in touch with senior Israeli tech figures following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank in the United States.

"If necessary, out of responsibility to Israeli high-tech companies and employees, we will take steps to assist the Israeli companies, whose center of activity is in Israel, to weather the cash-flow crisis that has been created for them due to the turmoil," he tweeted.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu said that the Israeli economy is strong and stable, adding "which finds expression in this crisis as well."Netanyahu, who is in Rome for an official visit, said he would discuss the extent of the crisis with his finance and economy ministers and the central bank governor once he returned home.

Posted on: Mar 13 07:08

The wait for the next “Lehman Brothers moment” is over.  On Friday, we witnessed the second-biggest bank failure in U.S. history.  The stunning collapse of Silicon Valley Bank is shaking the financial world to the core.

As of the end of last year, the bank had 175 billion dollars in deposits, and approximately 151 billion dollars of those deposits were uninsured.  In other words, a lot of wealthy individuals and large companies are in danger of being wiped out.  In particular, this is being described as an “extinction-level event” for tech startups, because thousands of them did their banking with SVB.  I cannot even begin to describe how cataclysmic this is going to be for the tech industry as a whole.

There is so much to cover, so let me try to take this one step at a time.

Posted on: Mar 13 07:07

Last year, military conscription became an issue in both Russia and Ukraine. However, the extent has been completely different in the two countries. While in Russia the mobilization was partial, lasting barely more than a month and affecting around 300,000 people, according to official figures – a significant part of whom already had military experience – a completely different picture has developed in Ukraine.

Kiev instituted a general conscription drive which has been in force for more than a year. The exact number of those taken to the armed forces during this time is not known for certain and the process has been accompanied by numerous scandals. 

Cases where law enforcement officers have applied force when handing out conscription notices and illegally delivered men to enlistment offices have given rise to public discontent. However, the Ukrainian authorities clearly have no intention of pausing enlistment because the situation remains critical at some sections of the front.

The Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) are losing their grip on fortified areas around Artyomovsk (Bakhmut), and taking huge numbers of casualties, according to the Guardian and other media outlets. Meanwhile, Kiev continues to issue mobilization summonses and is sending people without proper training.

Posted on: Mar 13 07:06

The fallout from the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank is beginning to spread around the world.

Startup founders in California’s Bay Area are panicking about access to money and paying employees. Fears of contagion have reached Canada, India and China. In the UK, SVB’s unit is set to be declared insolvent, has already ceased trading and is no longer taking new customers. On Saturday, the leaders of roughly 180 tech companies sent a letter calling on UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to intervene.

“The loss of deposits has the potential to cripple the sector and set the ecosystem back 20 years,” they said in the letter seen by Bloomberg. “Many businesses will be sent into involuntary liquidation overnight.”

This is just the beginning. SVB had branches in China, Denmark, Germany, India, Israel and Sweden, too. Founders are warning that the bank’s failure could wipe out startups around the world without government intervention. SVB’s joint venture in China, SPD Silicon Valley Bank Co., was seeking to calm local clients overnight by reminding them that operations have been independent and stable.

Posted on: Mar 13 07:04

It’s certainly no secret that the United States has been trying to foment yet another conflict in the immediate vicinity of its geopolitical adversaries. This is particularly true in regards to Russia and China, the only near-peer rivals capable of not only resisting, but also challenging Washington DC’s disastrous hegemony. It is precisely this that makes both superpowers prime targets for encirclement and destabilization, with the end goal being either their complete dismantlement or, at the very least, weakening to a point where they would be forced to accept US dominance without much (or any) opposition. To accomplish this, the belligerent thalassocracy has been using everything at its disposal, from false narratives disseminated by the massive mainstream propaganda machine to more “hard power” schemes such as weapons deliveries and (in)direct military involvement.

Most observers have always seen the connection between Russia and China or, more specifically, between their interests in Ukraine and Taiwan, respectively. These legitimate interests (primarily relating to, but not limited to security) have been targeted by the US and its numerous vassals. Both Moscow and Beijing are perfectly aware of this and are working towards building closer ties, especially on a strategic level, to counter escalating US aggression while maintaining their respective foreign policy frameworks, which aren’t always 100% convergent in every aspect. However, this does not impede their growing cooperation in any way, as can only be expected from truly sovereign nations. This is causing a tremendous amount of frustration in Washington DC, prompting it to mobilize its propaganda machine to try and tarnish the (Eur)Asian giants’ reputation.

Posted on: Mar 13 07:03

Friday’s announcement that Iran and Saudi Arabia had restored bilateral ties for the first time in seven years marks a major geopolitical development in the Persian Gulf.

As the region’s two main powerhouses, Tehran and Riyadh had found themselves supporting opposing sides in conflicts in both Syria and Yemen over the past decade, resulting in tensions that would culminate in the ending of diplomatic relations in January 2016, following the execution of Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Al-Nimr by Saudi Arabia; seen as the dominant Sunni power in the Islamic world, with Iran regarded as the Shia equivalent.

Thus, the restoring of diplomatic relations between both nations should lead to increased stability in a region beset by conflict over the past two decades.

Reaching beyond west Asia, Friday’s announcement also signifies the establishment of a new multipolar world order, with China having brokered the deal between both countries. With Saudi Arabia being a key US-ally and trading partner in the region, this may also indicate that should Washington now feel that Riyadh is moving into Beijing’s sphere of influence, it may vie for regime-change in Saudi Arabia in a bid to maintain hegemony in west Asia.

Indeed such an occurrence has a historical precedent.

Posted on: Mar 13 07:02

Ever so rarely, the human species can reach accord and agreement on some topic seemingly contentious and divergent.  Such occasions tend to be rarer than hen’s teeth, but the UN High Seas Treaty was one of them.  It took over two decades of agonising, stuttering negotiations to draft an agreement and went someway to suggest that the “common heritage of mankind”, a concept pioneered in the 1960s, has retained some force.

Debates about the sea have rarely lost their sting.  The Dutch legal scholar Hugo Grotius, in his 1609 work Mare Liberum (The Free Sea), laboured over such concepts as freedom of navigation and trade (commeandi commercandique libertas), terms that have come to mean as much assertions of power as affirmations of international legal relations.

The thrust of his argument was directed against the Portuguese claim of exclusive access to the East Indies, but along the way, statements abound about the nature of the sea itself, including its resources.  While land could be possessed and transformed by human labour and private use, the transient, ever-changing sea could not.  It is a view echoed in the work of John Locke, who called the ocean “that great and still remaining Common of Mankind”.

With empires and states tumbling over each other in those historical challenges posed by trade and navigation, thoughts turned to a relevant treaty that would govern the seas.  While there was a general acceptance by the end of the 18th century that states had sovereignty over their territorial sea to the limit of three miles, interest in codifying the laws on oceans was sufficient for the UN International Law Commission to begin work on the subject in 1949.

Posted on: Mar 13 07:01

Another video confirming the war crimes of Ukrainian Nazis was shared by Ukrainian military sources with celebrating messages.

The video confirms that a group of Ukrainian servicemen executed surrendering Russian soldiers who were laying with their faces down and hands behind their heads. Ukrainian Nazis took their weapons and shoot the disarmed Russian men.

Posted on: Mar 13 06:59

 The French Senate (upper house of parliament) on Saturday approved the government's proposed pension reform amid protests against it across the country since late January. The results of the vote were announced on the Twitter page of Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne.

"After hundreds of hours of debates, the Senate has passed the text of pension reform. This is a decisive step towards a reform that will secure the future of our pensions. We are fully prepared for a final decision to be made in the coming days," the prime minister said.

According to the official, 195 senators voted in favor of the reform, while 112 lawmakers were against it.

After the Senate approves the text, a joint committee of seven deputies of the National Assembly (lower house) and seven senators will have to agree on the final version of the reform bill. The committee is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, March 15. If parliamentarians then agree on a final text, it will be put to a vote on March 16, first in the Senate and then in the National Assembly. If both chambers vote in favor of the document, it will be finally approved.

Posted on: Mar 13 06:55

In the months before Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse, the bank’s lobbying groups fought a proposal requiring financial institutions to increase payments into the Deposit Insurance Fund that protects depositors from bank failures, according to federal records reviewed by The Lever.

As lawmakers now face calls to expand deposit insurance to stave off a wider bank run, the battle shows why that insurance has remained limited — and why any new initiative to require banks to pay for more such insurance could face obstacles in Washington. Put simply: Powerful banking interests and their allies in Congress have made clear they oppose measures that would force banks to pay higher premiums in order to fund depositors’ insurance.

On Sunday, federal regulators announced an emergency action that “fully protects all depositors” at the bank, and they pledged that “any losses to the Deposit Insurance Fund to support uninsured depositors will be recovered by a special assessment on banks.”

Posted on: Mar 13 06:54

If there is one person besides Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy whose career and public profile has seen the biggest upgrade over changes in U.S.-Ukraine policy since 2019, it would be Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman. A U.S. Army officer and National Security Council official assigned to Europe under President Donald Trump, Vindman became one of the principal witnesses in the impeachment inquiry that led to the first impeachment of Trump for allegations of conditioning U.S. aid on assistance from Zelenskyy in investigating the activities of then former VP Joe Biden and his son Hunter to Ukraine. Now that he is out of uniform and not needed at committee hearings, Vindman is no longer content with defending the “interagency consensus” of aiding Ukraine but according to Human Events is attempting to benefit from military contracts with the Ukrainian government. The low-key effort by the former Army officer, who has written numerous op-eds urging the United States to invest more in the defense and rebuilding of Ukraine, shows how steep the ramp has become from being a figure ennobled by the media for safeguarding national security to using one’s connections to benefit financially from that experience.

Posted on: Mar 13 06:53

At the 2023 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Donald Trump demonstrated, once again, why he remains leader of the Republican Party. He made it clear that he should not be displaced until long after his 2024 presidential primary victory.

Trump showed the rhetorical brilliance that vaulted him from political outsider to the heir to Ronald Reagan in an instant. At a time when too many Republican politicians stumble over each other for positions just to lurch back toward the middle and lose their mettle, Trump gave the base the red meat they needed to hear.

“And if you put me back in the White House, their reign is over. Their reign will be over, and they know it,” Trump said, referring to his globalist enemies.

“We’re not a free nation right now. We don’t have a free press. We don’t have a free anything. In 2016, I declared, ‘I am your voice.’ Today I add: I am your warrior, I am your justice, and for those who have been wronged and betrayed, I am your retribution!”.

Posted on: Mar 13 06:52

“Mr. Washington, can you quickly tell me what kind of airspace requires an ADS-B transponder?” said Senator Ted Budd in a March 1 hearing with Phillip Washington, Joe Biden’s pick to head the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). 

Not sure I can answer that question right now,” said Washington. Budd said the answer was a “pretty important part” but quickly moved on. 

“What are the six types of special-use airspace that protect this national security that appear on FAA charts?”

“Sorry senator,” Washington said. “I cannot answer that question.” Budd duly advanced another. 

“What are the operational limitations of a pilot flying under basic med?”

“Senator I’m not a pilot so . . .”

“Obviously you’d oversee the Federal Aviation Administration,” countered Budd, “so any idea what any of those restrictions are under basic med?”

“Well, some of the restrictions, I think, would be high blood pressure.” 

As Senator Budd explained, the restrictions had to do with the number of passengers per airplane, weight, altitude, and speed. So “it doesn’t have anything to do with blood pressure.” 

Posted on: Mar 13 06:51

The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), which courted Chinese start-ups, has caused widespread concern in China, where a string of founders and companies rushed to appease investors by saying their exposure was insignificant or nonexistent.

SVB, which worked with nearly half of all venture-backed tech and healthcare companies in the United States before it was taken over by the government, has a Chinese joint venture, which was set up in 2012 and targeted the country’s tech elite.

The SPD Silicon Valley Bank, which was owned 50-50 owned by SVB and local partner Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, said Saturday that its operations were “sound.”

Posted on: Mar 13 06:50