“Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom, socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.” -- Alexis de Tocqueville
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said he approved of software firm Intuit’s decision to reverse a ban on gun companies from accessing its payroll and payment processing services.
Prior to Aug. 1, 2023, Intuit had prohibited gun sellers and manufacturers from using the full features of its QuickBooks service, an accounting software. Firearm manufacturers were not allowed to access QuickBooks’ payroll services, while entities that sold guns were ineligible for QuickBooks’ payment processing services.
However, the company has now changed course.
“I welcome Intuit’s reversal of its policy that had forbidden gun manufacturers and sellers from using certain QuickBooks services,” Mr. Cruz said in a Sept. 25 letter (pdf) to the company. “Intuit’s recent decision to allow such businesses to use the company’s payroll and payment services—a change prompted by my staff’s oversight investigation—was long overdue.”
The “vast majority” of environmental projects most commonly used within the voluntary carbon market (VCM) to offset greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions seem to have “fundamental failings” and cannot be relied upon to tackle global warming, according to a joint investigation from the Guardian and non-profit climate watchdog Corporate Accountability.
The investigation analysed the top 50 emission offset projects, selected because they have sold the most carbon credits within the global VCM, and found that most of them exaggerate climate benefits and underestimate the potential harm caused by the project’s activity.
The most popular projects traded globally include forestry schemes, hydroelectric dams, solar and wind farms, waste disposal and greener household appliance schemes across 20 countries, most of which have developing economies. The data comes from Allied Offsets, the world’s biggest and most comprehensive emissions trading database, which aggregates information about projects traded within the VCM from their inception.
The American scientist James Lyons-Weilier has published on his IPAK (Institute for Pure and Applied Knowledge) website a very interesting study conducted by a university professor of economics from Michigan State University, Mark Skidmore, which analyzed the positive incidence of the use of Hydroxychloriquine against COVID-19 that may have prevented over 520,000 deaths in Western countries where was banned, and at least 420,000 in the US only.
The academic professor discovered that African countries, where it was already routinely used against malaria, noted an enormous benefit compared to those of the European Union and the USA where it was instead excluded from therapies authorized by health bodies after many disputes.
In Italy a legal challenge reached the Council of State, after the Regional Administrative Court of Lazio (TAR in Italian acronymous) had accepted the appeal of an association that opposed the government health protocol of “paracetamol and watchful waiting” highlighting the usefulness of HCQ and Vitamin D.
“There is no panacea, no single weapon that can change the balance of power on the battlefield,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. “They too will burn,” he added, referring to comments Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously made about Western armor.
However, the ruling raised eyebrows when Justice Engoron, a democrat who ran unopposed in the general election on Nov. 3, 2015, evaluated the worth of Trump’s prized Mar-a-Lago Club resort at a mere $18 million.
He cited a basic Palm Beach Assessor valuation that ranged from $18 million to $28 million between 2011 and 2021, failing to take into consideration the fair market value. This valuation is a far cry from Trump’s 1985 purchase price of $10 million, a meager $8 million less than what the judge declared it was worth today.
To put it in perspective, a 2-acre wooded lot at 1980 S. Ocean Blvd., just 5 minutes from Mar-a-Lago, is currently listed for an eye-popping $150 million. Mar-a-Lago, situated at 1100 S. Ocean Blvd., dwarfs this lot tenfold and operates as a commercial business with around 500 members as part of the golf club.
Also nearby: a 2.3-acre plot of land at 1063/1071 N. Ocean Blvd., on the market for a sky-high $200 million.
The Philippines is taking steps to retake Scarborough Shoal, a disputed chain of rocks and reefs in the South China Sea that has been effectively controlled by China since 2012.
“Since the new administration took office, we have already strategized how we can take control once again of Bajo de Masinloc (Scarborough Shoal), especially the lagoon,” Philippine Coast Guard Commodore Jay Tarriela said Tuesday, according to Bloomberg.
Tarriela’s comments came a day after he said the Philippine Coast Guard removed a “floating barrier” planted by China near Scarborough Shoal that Manila said impeded Philippine vessels. Tarriela said the order to remove the barrier came from President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
“We will continue to fund the government at present levels while maintaining our commitment to Ukraine’s security and humanitarian needs, while also ensuring those impacted by natural disasters across the country begin to get the resources they need,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said.
Ron Ridenour, an international journalist who has reported extensively on CIA murder operations, believes the United States is stepping up efforts to assassinate Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The proposition may seem absolutely ludicrous given the risk of triggering a nuclear world war. But bear in mind the long history of U.S. obsessive aggression towards Russia and the former Soviet Union. Bear in mind the CIA’s long history of murdering foreign enemies. And bear in mind the reckless, desperate gambit that the U.S. may be calculating to trigger internal turmoil in Russia and regime change.
After all, U.S. hegemonic ambitions as the sole global imperial power are at stake here, and Putin is probably viewed as the biggest obstacle for the U.S. to salvage its declining empire.
Ridenour points to a recent increase in Western mainstream media reports about Putin’s alleged ill-health and predictions of his death. Combined with the relentless vilification and demonization of the Russian leader in the Western media, there is a familiar modus operandi of the CIA to pave the way for eliminating foreign enemies.
Highly pertinent is the first-year anniversary of the blowing up of the Nord Stream pipelines under the Baltic Sea on September 26. Reliable reporting by Seymour Hersh imputes the Biden administration with ordering this sabotage, which amounts to a vast crime of state-sponsored terrorism. Incredibly, not one European state has properly investigated this crime against European-owned infrastructure.
Well, West Point had an good run, didn’t it? Once a beacon of prestige and elite training, this institution produced some of America’s most outstanding leaders. But times have changed. Today, West Point is just another woke joke, churning out young Marxists with contempt for the very nation they’re supposedly preparing to defend.
West Point has reached the point of no return, particularly after the exposure of their latest “woke” agenda. Believe it or not, but they’re now offering degrees in “Equity and Diversity.” And no, unfortunately, this isn’t a joke.
A Chicago man enjoying a slice of pizza was savagely beaten and robbed by two brutes in a brazen daylight attack caught on camera Monday — a day before the House Judiciary Committee visited town to hear testimony about how “soft-on-crime” policies have turned the Windy City into an “active warzone.”
The victim, an unidentified 33-year-old, was walking down a residential alleyway in Bucktown around 2:55 p.m. when two males ran up to him from behind and delivered a brutal sucker punch to his head.
Collapsing face-first into a chain-link fence, the victim cried out in surprise as his assailants began to rain blows down on him with their fists and their feet.
“What the f**k!” he could be heard yelling. “Get the f**k off me! Asshole!”
Only five days ago, the Mayor of Eagle Pass, Texas issued an emergency order due to a huge influx of illegal immigrants crossing into the US from Mexico, and only a few days after that the latest border numbers revealed record migrant crossings in 2023 (over 2.2 million so far). Despite the multitude of warnings since Joe Biden entered the White House, there has been no discernible effort on the part of the federal government to stop the tide.
In fact, more and more evidence suggests the Biden Administration is deliberately thwarting all efforts to secure the southern border while consistently lying about their intentions.
Case in point, Biden fought to end Title 42, which was the only legal recourse keeping abuse of the asylum option in check. Biden has filed a lawsuit asking courts to stop Texas efforts to fence off the Rio Grande with bright orange razor wire buoys, which have proven very effective. Biden and Democrats have tried to stop Texas Governor Greg Abbott from relocating migrants to blue leaning "sanctuary cities" (they've been given a taste of their own medicine and they don't like it). Biden has ordered border patrol agents to "process" illegal immigrants for asylum status, instead of using their energies to send them packing back across the border. And, Biden has ordered those same agents to open border fences against the wishes of state governments so that migrants can easily pass through.
A Ukrainian drone has dropped explosives on a power substation in Russia's Kursk Region, leaving seven settlements without power, Kursk Region Governor Roman Starovoit said on Tuesday, adding that no one was injured.
"In the morning, in the village of Snagost in the Korenevsky District, a Ukrainian drone dropped an explosive device on a power substation, cutting off power to seven settlements. None of the residents were injured. Emergency crews will begin restoring power supply as soon as the situation allows," Starovoit wrote on Telegram.
Ukraine has been sending drones into the Russian territory almost daily since it launched a counteroffensive in early June. The United Nations said in August, following a botched drone strike on Moscow, that it did not want to see any targeting of civilian infrastructure.
Russia has few options left except for a direct confrontation with the now fascist NATO bloc, Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev said on his Telegram channel.
"It seems that Russia is left with fewer and fewer choices but to engage in a direct ground conflict with NATO, which has turned into an openly fascist alliance similar to Hitler’s Axis, only bigger in size," he wrote.
Medvedev listed several events that make a direct clash between Russia and NATO more likely, namely deliveries of US-made Abrams tanks, promises to send longer-range ATACMS to Ukraine as well as ties between Canadian authorities and Nazis.
"We are ready [for the conflict], although the result will come at a far greater cost to mankind than in 1945," the politician concluded.
But here’s what they won’t tell you, as I’ve warned time after time: You’re being herded into what I call a “digital cattle pen” from which there’s no escape.
The fact is, governments always use money laundering, drug dealing and terrorism as excuses to keep tabs on honest citizens and deprive them of the ability to use money alternatives such as physical cash, gold and, these days, cryptocurrencies.
The real burden of the war on cash falls on honest citizens who are made vulnerable to wealth confiscation through negative interest rates, loss of privacy, account freezes and limits on cash withdrawals or transfers.
In reality, the so-called “cashless society” is just a Trojan horse for a system in which all financial wealth is electronic and represented digitally in the records of a small number of megabanks and asset managers.
Once that is achieved, it will be easy for state power to seize and freeze the wealth, or subject it to constant surveillance, taxation and other forms of digital confiscation like negative interest rates.
Ukraine is heading into another demographic spiral, with its fertility rate projected to sink to the lowest in the world amid its conflict with Russia, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.
According to the paper, Ukraine’s population is shrinking not only due to hostilities that have left tens of thousands dead but also because of a “baby bust,” a trend that started long before February 2022 when the conflict between Moscow and Kiev erupted.
The WSJ noted that the number of births in the first half of 2023 was 28% lower than during the same period before the conflict. “Ukrainian demographers are now forecasting [that the fertility rate] will become the lowest in the world,” the report says.
Ukraine’s fertility rate was already the lowest in Europe before 2022, with just 1.2 children born per woman. It needs to be around 2.1 for the country to maintain its population size.
At a time when mainstream economists and FOMC policymakers are betting the farm on a "soft landing" for the US economy, an unexpectedly hard signal was just issued by none other than the Fed itself: for the first time in over a decade, the US central bank announced it would cut about 300 people from its payroll this year, a rare reduction in headcount for an organization that has grown steadily since 2010 - after all, it takes if not a village (with its own police force), then certainly thousands of workers to come up with catastrophically wrong economic forecasts and to keep the money printer primed and ready to pump out a few trillion at a moment's notice.
A Fed spokesperson said the cuts are focused on the staff of the Fed's 12 regional reserve banks and mainly hit information technology jobs, including some no longer needed because of the spread of cloud-based computer software, and positions connected to the Fed's various systems for processing payments, which are being consolidated. The staff cuts represented a combination of attrition, including retirements, and layoffs.
Hong Kong increased its gold imports from Russia by more than five times year-on-year to $746 million in July, and by 1.5 times month-on-month, according to data from Hong Kong’s Census and Statistics Department analyzed by Sputnik.
The data also showed that since the beginning of 2023, Hong Kong has purchased $2.6 billion worth of gold, which is 12 times higher than last year's figure of $218 million.
At the same time, exports of Russian platinum to Hong Kong companies in July doubled year-on-year to $1.5 billion.
Americans are worried about a looming credit crunch. That’s a big problem for an economy that runs on credit cards.
One of the reasons for economic optimism you’ll hear bandied about out there in the mainstream is “the American consumer is strong” and consumer spending is “holding up” despite price inflation. But nobody seems to ask an important question: how have Americans been able to continue spending?
The answer is credit cards.
So, what’s going to happen when consumers finally max out the plastic?
We may be getting close to that point, and many people are worried that they aren’t going to be able to borrow the money they need to keep spending.
As prices skyrocketed last year, Americans blew through their savings to make ends meet. Aggregate savings peaked at $2.1 trillion in August 2021. As of June, the San Francisco Fed estimated that aggregate savings had dropped to $190 billion.
In other words, Americans ate away $1.9 trillion in savings in just two years.
Ukraine’s counteroffensive has given Russian forces plenty of experience to learn what works and what doesn’t when it comes to targeting NATO heavy tanks like the Abrams.
First, as far as strategy goes, the counteroffensive has shown that simply luring tanks into heavily mined territory can often be sufficient, with many Ukrainian armored thrusts foiled after running into minefields and dragon’s teeth defenses, and Kiev even reportedly pulling tanks like the Leopard 2 from the front and resorting to using infantry to advance on foot to avoid losing the armor.
Second, there’s the factor of Russia’s qualitative and quantitative superiority in artillery and airpower, with the latter enabling Russian forces to use Kamov Ka-52 and Mil Mi-28 attack helicopters to hunt for Ukrainian tanks with laser-guided missiles, and doing so at standoff ranges, often making it impossible for Ukraine’s air defenses to respond.
The third factor is Russia’s own armor, with upgraded T-72B, T-72B3M, T-80, and T-90M series tanks proving more than a match for Ukraine’s comparable Soviet-era armor and NATO MBTs, and Russia enjoying superiority in numbers, GPS jamming capabilities which frustrate enemy precision-guided munitions and combat drones, and superior range characteristics of its main guns on some models.
Fourth, there are the anti-armor capabilities of Russian infantry armed with man-portable anti-tank missile systems like the Kornet, designed specifically to target the latest generation of NATO’s main battle tanks, including the Abrams. Long before Ukraine’s counteroffensive began, Sputnik warned about the Kornets’ deadly effectiveness against Turkish Army Leopard 2A4s in Syria, US Army Abrams and Bradley infantry fighting vehicles in Iraq, and Israeli Merkava tanks in Lebanon. Western MBTs already deployed in Ukraine have now suffered a similar fate at the hands of Russian man-portable anti-tank systems, and Abrams will too, if they’re deployed close enough.
An Egyptian businessman accused of bribing New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez for legislative favors was arrested at New York's JFK International Tuesday morning.
The arrest, the 40-year-old's lawyer said, came after Wael Hana voluntarily flew to the city to face the federal charges - part of a sprawling, three-part indictment filed by the US attorney’s office.
In it, federal prosecutors allege the Egypt national was one of three New Jersey businessmen who collectively paid hundreds of thousands to Menendez, 69, over the course of several years, in the form of cash, gold, and even a Mercedes Benz.
The bribes, fed say, came in exchange for Menendez agreeing to use his power and influence to personally enrich Hana, and to benefit the Government of Egypt.
Hours after being cuffed in Queens, Hana pleaded not guilty to the allegations before a federal magistrate judge, who ordered him released on a $5million bond on the condition he surrender his travel documents.
Nikki Haley is the best placed Republican candidate to beat President Joe Biden in next year's election, according to a new DailyMail.com poll that shows her crushing him with independent voters.
The former South Carolina governor leads Biden by two points in a hypothetical match-up.
It is the latest sign of a candidate who has surged in the polls since her strong performance in the first Republican debate, when she took on her opponents over foreign policy, abortion and climate change.
She will be hoping for a repeat in the second debate on Wednesday night.
However, former President Donald Trump remains the clear frontrunner in the Republican primary race and is skipping the debate stage for the second time.
Several stores were looted in Center City Philadelphia Tuesday night: An Apple, Lululemon, a Footlocker and a Fine Wine & Good Spirits in Lawncrest Located in northeast Philly.
Looting in Philadelphia, screen image via WPVI-TV/YouTube, September 26, 2023.
Police believe the looters took advantage of an earlier protest over a judge dismissing charges on Tuesday in the deadly police shooting of knife-wielding man, Eddie Irizarry, that took place six months ago.
The United States has provided substantial financial assistance to Ukraine in its ongoing struggle against a brutal Russian invasion.
However, this aid extends beyond the provision of armaments. In a recent report, "60 Minutes" revealed that the U.S. has been purchasing seeds and fertilizer for Ukrainian farmers, as well as covering the salaries of all 57,000 first responders in the country. Additionally, the U.S. is subsidizing small businesses in Ukraine.
The report has sparked a range of reactions, including from Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who suggested that the U.S. should prioritize supporting farmers, small businesses, and first responders within its own borders. "Modest suggestion: Let’s support farmers, small businesses, and first responders in our own country instead," he tweeted.
Former President Donald Trump has pushed back against a Department of Justice (DOJ) request for a gag order in relation to his ongoing prosecution.
In a 25-page brief published by the Trump legal team, they condemned the DOJ's request, arguing for freedom of speech and the importance of transparency.
According to the brief, the prosecution's request to silence Trump comes at a time when his right to criticize the government is at its peak during a political campaign. The document states, "Above all else, the First Amendment means that the government cannot restrict expression based on its message, ideas, subject matter, or content."
The brief further asserts that the prosecution may not agree with Trump's valid criticisms, but neither the prosecution nor the court should act as a filter for what the public can hear.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is secretly pumping most organic produce in America with Bill Gates’ mRNA chemicals, according to a disturbing new report.
The Alliance for Natural Health (ANH-USA) claims the USDA and other organic certifiers are allowing toxic mRNA and genetically engineered (GE) vaccines to infiltrate organic food production.
In 2019 the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), an advisory committee of the USDA, decided to allow the use of mRNA vaccines produced through “excluded methods” or genetic modification in organic food production.
According to OrganicEye, an industry watchdog, USDA-certified organic producers all across America are using mRNA and GE vaccines in their livestock even though it goes against the principles of organic farming.