"There is a fourth function of money: as a means of social control."
- William Michael Cunningham Economist & Author

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A bipartisan group of lawmakers is once again trying to keep the government from performing an end run around the Fourth Amendment by buying people's personal data. This week, President Joe Biden indicated that he opposed the bill.

H.R. 4639, known as the Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act, "expands prohibited disclosures of stored electronic communications" to include purchases of data by law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

First introduced in 2021 by Sens. Ron Wyden (D–Ore.), Rand Paul (R–Ky.), Patrick Leahy (D–Vt.), and Mike Lee (R–Utah), the bill has been reintroduced in subsequent sessions. The current version was introduced in the House by Rep. Warren Davidson (R–Ohio) and in the Senate by Wyden and Paul.

On Wednesday, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D–N.Y.), ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee and one of the House bill's cosponsors, affirmed his support on the House floor. "That anyone should have Americans' private information is highly troubling to me," Nadler said. "But that our federal government can obtain it without a warrant should be troubling to all of us."

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Just four days ago, the Biden administration launched a new line of attack against former President Donald Trump and his campaign trail promise to hike tariffs if he is elected in November.

Those higher tariffs would be "inflation-feeding welfare for the rich" that would raise prices for consumers, according to an Axios summary of a White House memo. The shift in messaging, The New York Times reported, was an attempt at "recalibrating" Biden's economic message in the face of stubbornly high inflation and the persistent sense among voters that the economy is not doing well. In effect, this is an attempt to remind voters that Trump's economic plans include the deliberate goal of artificially inflating prices—because that's what tariffs do.

On Wednesday, President Joe Biden called for hiking tariffs.

During a visit to visit today the United Steelworkers union headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Biden said he would move to "triple the tariff rate on both steel imports and aluminum imports from China" if a new Commerce Department investigation finds that China is selling steel to America at what Biden called "unfair" low prices. Biden also reiterated his opposition to U.S. Steel's purchase by Japan-based Nippon Steel, saying that the American-based firm should remain "American-owned, American-operated."

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Drop a frog into boiling water, and it jumps right out. But put the frog in lukewarm water that is being heated gradually, the legend goes, and you can boil the unsuspecting creature.

We are now in boiling water. After years of tension with Iran, war looks to be on the horizon. Iranian-backed militias have been clashing with U.S.-led forces across the region for the past several months. This weekend, the U.S. military stepped in directly to defend Israel from a direct Iranian missile attack for the first time ever.

Many of the hawks calling for war today used to swear up and down that they weren't seeking war. We just want a little bit more pressure on Iran, politicians insisted, and certainly wouldn't call for a full-on invasion. Boil the water slowly.

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Amnesty: US-Backed Kurds in Syria Are Running Torture Prisons Responsible for ‘Mass Death’

The US is 'involved in most aspects of the detention system' that was set up in eastern Syria following the defeat of ISIS by Dave DeCamp April 17, 2024 at 12:37 pm ET Categories NewsTags Iraq, Syria

US-backed Kurdish authorities in northeast Syria are responsible for torture and “mass death” due to inhumane conditions at detention facilities that were set up after the defeat of ISIS, Amnesty International said in a new report on Wednesday.

Amnesty said that the US is “involved in most aspects of the detention system,” which holds more than 56,000 people, including 30,000 children, 14,500 women, and 11,500 men.

The Kurdish authorities, officially known as the Autonomous Authorities of the North and East Syria Region, include the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the US’s main partner in Syria. The majority of those in custody were detained in 2019 when ISIS lost the last significant piece of territory that it had.

Amnesty said many of the women are victims of human trafficking and forced marriage to ISIS members, and many detained boys and young men are victims of ISIS’s child recruitment. The report said other ISIS victims are being held in the facilities, including as many as hundreds of Yazidis.

Amnesty interviewed people who were held in the camps who detailed the torture they experienced, which included beatings, stress positions, and electric shocks. “I was given electric shocks. I was pregnant at the time. The [interrogator] knew, he told me: ‘I am going to force you to have a miscarriage’, and that’s what he did,” one woman said.

The Amnesty report detailed how the US has funded and supported the detention facilities. “The US-led coalition, with funding from the US Congress, has refurbished existing detention facilities, constructed new ones, and frequently visits them

Claire's Observations:  Your tax dollars at work; doesn't make you feel proud, folks, to know that some of your taxes went to torture a Syrian woman so badly that she lost her baby?!?    You Paid for that, friends; and this is "business as usual", in these places.

Let me share one of my heroes of World War II: the guy's name was Hans Schaarf, a German interrogator.  And the reason he is one of my heroes is, that he never, ever used torture to illicit information;  he only used kindness to get what he wanted, and he DID get what he wanted. He would frequently "sign prisoners out" for German cultural events, and just talk gently and lightly with them.   But his way of gently getting actionable intelligence worked.

After the war, his methods so impressed the US military, that he was invited to lecture on his methods of interrogation, and how and why they worked.  Ultimately, he relocated to Arizona, and became an acclaimed ceramicist.  Here is his bio:  you need to read it.https://psmag.com/social-justice/nazi-interrogator-revealed-value-kindness-84747

Internationally, when it comes to interrogation,  we sure as hell need more people like this guy, and singularly less people like Gina Haspel, who approved torture in US intelligence "dark sites." https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/trumps-new-cia-director-nominee-helped-cover-up-torture/


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President Joe Biden called on his administration to ratchet up pressure on the Chinese steel industry as he brings his economic competition pitch to Pittsburgh, the heart of the American steel industry, on Wednesday, part of a three-day campaign trail swing through battleground Pennsylvania.

“The bottom line is I want fair competition with China, not conflict,” Biden said in Pittsburgh on Wednesday. “And we’re in a stronger position to win the economic competition in the 21st century against China, or anywhere else, because we’re investing in America and American workers again.”

The domestic steel industry remains critical to building everything from cars to appliances, to roads and bridges, and Biden has made investment in American manufacturing a key plank of his economic policy – even as voters continue to give him low marks on his handling of the economy.

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A North Carolina high school student has been suspended for using the phrase 'illegal alien' in class. 

Christian McGhee, 16, was suspended for three days from Central Davidson High School, after using the term during a classroom discussion about word meanings. 

Christian questioned the term 'alien' in an assignment, asking if it referred to 'space aliens or illegal aliens without green cards,' as reported by the Carolina Journal.

His comment reportedly offended another student who physically threatened McGhee, leading to the involvement of school authorities.

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Former President Donald Trump could avoid an unprecedented arrest after a prominent legal expert found a loophole around New York Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan’s order.

Trump Began the defense of his hush money case on Monday. On the first day of the trial, the judge threatened to arrest the former president if he missed any trial day. The judge also declined to grant Trump’s request to miss a court appearance on May 17 to attend his son Baron’s graduation.

Former Harvard law professor and prominent defense attorney Alan Dershowitz told Fox Business on Monday that the judge’s threat was a form of election interference. Dershowitz urged Trump’s attorney to file a “mandamus right” to avoid the judge’s order.

“I would hope Trump’s lawyers bring a mandamus right now, at the very least, let Trump out of the courtroom, let him campaign,” Dershowitz told host Larry Kudlow. “If he makes a decision that he would like to waive the right to be there, there is nothing in the Constitution which gives the prosecution the right to keep him there. It is only a defendant’s right. If the defendant chooses to leave the court, whether to go to his son’s graduation from school which apparently the judge didn’t grant or campaign in Pennsylvania, he has the right to do that. That is a constitutional case that should be brought immediately.”

Fox News Legal analyst Greg Jarret agreed with Dershowitz adding that he is skeptical of the former president getting a fair trial.

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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) is convinced that House Speaker Mike Johnson’s (R-LA) days as speaker are numbered. Speaking to Breitbart News on Tuesday, Greene emphasized her will to see Johnson ousted from his position, saying that she is ready to force a vote for him to vacate his chair if he does not willingly drop the Speaker’s gavel.

According to the Georgia lawmaker, Johnson is out but he does not know it yet.

“The reality for Mike Johnson that he just is not accepting or refusing to accept, publicly at least, is whether it happens two weeks from now, two months from now, or in the next majority, he will not be Speaker. He just will not be,” she stated.

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Gordon Brown has urged world leaders to create a temporary form of global government to tackle the twin medical and economic crises caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The former Labour prime minister, who was at the centre of the international efforts to tackle the impact of the near-meltdown of the banks in 2008, said there was a need for a taskforce involving world leaders, health experts and the heads of the international organisations that would have executive powers to coordinate the response.

A virtual meeting of the G20 group of developed and developing countries, chaired by Saudi Arabia, will be held on Thursday, but Brown said it would have been preferable to have also included the UN security council.

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Global government is the endgame. We know that.

Total control of every aspect of life for every single person on the planet, that’s the goal.

That’s been apparent to anyone paying attention for years, if not decades, and any tiny portion of remaining doubt was removed when Covid was rolled-out and members of the establishment started outright saying it.

Covid marked an acceleration of the globalist agenda, a mad dash to the finish line that seems to have lost momentum short of victory, but the race is still going. The goal has not changed, even if the years since may have seen the agenda retreat slightly back into the shadows.

We know what they want conceptually, but what does that mean practically?

What does a potential “global government” actually look like?

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Government-sponsored agency the Global Disinformation Index is censoring journalism by causing publications to be starved of advertising if they publish anything deemed “harmful”, such as gender critical content. UnHerd‘s Freddie Sayers has written about the problem and his own experience of it. Here’s an excerpt.

“Our team re-reviewed the domain, the rating will not change as it continues to have anti-LGBTQI+ narratives… The site authors have been called out for being anti-trans. Kathleen Stock is acknowledged as a ‘prominent gender-critical’ feminist.”

This was part of an email sent to UnHerd at the start of January from an organisation called the Global Disinformation Index. It was its justification, handed down after a series of requests, for placing UnHerd on a so-called “dynamic exclusion list” of publications that supposedly promote “disinformation” and should therefore be boycotted by all advertisers.

It provided examples of the offending content: Kathleen Stock, whose columns are up for a National Press Award this week, Julie Bindel, a lifelong campaigner against violence against women, and Debbie Hayton, who is transgender. Apparently the GDI equates “gender-critical” beliefs, or maintaining that biological sex differences exist, with “disinformation” — despite the fact that those beliefs are specifically protected in British law and held by the majority of the population.

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The inside story of how House Speaker Mike Johnson was flip-flopped on Ukraine aid starts with his top policy adviser, a former lobbyist whose clients include a number of major companies who have issued corporate statements indicating some kind of interest in the war.

Johnson’s policy director, Dan Ziegler, was–until he joined the Speaker’s office as his top policy aide when Johnson won the Speakership last year–a lobbyist with the firm Williams & Jensen. He had previously worked for Johnson in other capacities, but left Johnson to become a lobbyist and accumulated a client list that included several top companies–some of which seem to have a financial interest in seeing Congress pass Ukraine aid. The lobbying firm for which he worked represents a number of top companies. Lobbying disclosures reveal Ziegler represented many of these companies, including several that have made corporate statements about the war in Ukraine or issued press statements or other public guidance saying it could affect their business operations.

What’s more, Ziegler also represented the highly controversial News Media Alliance, which was lobbying Congress when he worked for Williams & Jensen to push a dangerous proposal that would have severely hurt conservative media. That proposal, called the Journalism Competition & Preservation Act (JCPA), has died several times in Congress but has kept coming back to life thanks to lobbyist pressure.

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by Jonathan Cook 

Suddenly, western politicians from US President Joe Biden to British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak have become ardent champions of “restraint” – in a very last-minute scramble to avoid regional conflagration.

Iran launched a salvo of drones and missiles at Israel at the weekend in what amounted a largely symbolic show of strength. Many appear to have been shot down, either by Israel’s layers of US-funded interception systems or by US, British and Jordanian fighter jets. No one was killed.

It was the first direct attack by a state on Israel since Iraq fired Scud missiles during the Gulf war of 1991.

The United Nations Security Council was hurriedly pressed into session on Sunday, with Washington and its allies calling for a de-escalation of tensions that could all too easily lead to the outbreak of war across the Middle East and beyond.

“Neither the region nor the world can afford more war,” the UN’s secretary general, Antonio Guterres, told the meeting. “Now is the time to defuse and de-escalate.”

Israel, meanwhile, vowed to “exact the price” against Iran at a time of its choosing.

But the West’s abrupt conversion to “restraint” needs some explaining.

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The Justice Department has reportedly had discussions with the victims of former disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar and the final payout for victims is likely to be approximately $100 million, although the settlement has not been finalized. 

The agreement and the anticipated settlement sum were first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

The Justice Department concluded that when the young athletes voiced concerns about Nassar, the FBI did not respond appropriately. The top Justice Department watchdog said in a report published in July 2021 that the FBI’s Indianapolis field office committed “fundamental errors” and neglected to alert other FBI offices, state agencies, or local law enforcement.

On Wednesday, a spokesperson for the Justice Department stated that it “can’t confirm the WSJ’s reporting at this time.”

In response to the FBI’s inability to stop Nassar, over 100 women filed a collective lawsuit against the federal government, seeking more than $1 billion.

In 2018, young women and underage girls who claimed Nassar had sexually assaulted them received $500 million from his employer, Michigan State University. In 2021, victims also received a $380 million settlement from USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

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by Kyle Anzalone 


The UN aid agency for Palestinians (UNRWA) released a report showing that Gazans rounded up by the Israeli military have been subjected to severe abuses. UNRWA found some of its employees were subject to coercion and forced to make false statements about the organization’s alleged ties to Hamas. Tel Aviv used those confessions to persuade Washington and over a dozen other nations to cut funding for UNRWA. 

Published on Tuesday, the new report details how Israeli soldiers in Gaza have rounded up thousands of people throughout the months-long conflict. Those Palestinians have been moved into various detention centers across Israel and face inhumane conditions and brutal treatment by the military. 

“Ill-treatment…included being subjected to beatings while made to lie on a thin mattress on top of rubble for hours without food, water or access to a toilet, with their legs and hands bound with plastic ties,” UNRWA said. 

“Several detainees reported being forced into cages and attacked by dogs. Some released detainees, including a child, had dog bite wounds on their body,” the report continued. “Detainees were threatened with prolonged detention, injury, or the killing of family members if they did not provide the requested information.”

Claire's Observations:  Forgive me, but is this NOT the  self-same military which Netanyahu has characterised as "The most moral in the world"?!?!?

Prime Minister Netanyahu, a quick question, please;  when did torture, starvation,  and genocide become "moral"?!?  A great deal of the Western world apparently "missed your memo" on that, sorry, sir.


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Iran’s attack on Israel over the weekend was the grimmest proof yet that French President Emmanuel Macron’s diagnosis of the security challenges facing the European Union is correct, Bloomberg reported on April 16 in an article titled “Macron’s Push to Arm Europe Is Getting More Urgent — and More Dangerous.” The French leader’s problem, however, is that he has not yet achieved the support of French voters in the face of his hardline position to escalate a conflict with Russia by sending French troops to Ukraine. On the contrary, he has attracted the antipathy of some allies, both at home and abroad.

Oscillating between peacemaker and provocateur, Macron has shown that he wants to lead the bloc in the Ukraine issue. Only last week, his administration resumed telephone contact with Russia, which, according to Bloomberg, “because the detailed contents of the exchange weren’t made public, turned the overture into an awkward public-relations mess as both sides traded different accounts of the call.”

While Macron claims to want an end to the Ukrainian conflict, after meeting European leaders at the Palace of Versailles earlier this year, he famously refused to rule out the possibility of sending troops to the ground in Ukraine. However, instead of garnering support and dissuading Moscow from conducting any offensives, German and other European allies publicly discarded the idea and thus undermined any ambiguity that had been sown.

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On April 15, US Army Pacific (USARPAC) announced the arrival of one battery (or at least a part of it) to the Philippines where it participated in the Salaknib 24 military exercise. This specific “Typhon” system was sent on April 7 and it belongs to Battery C, 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, which is part of the Long Range Fires Battalion assigned to the 1st Multi-Domain Task Force (MDTF) at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State. Footage shows a single trailer-based containerized launcher towed by a HEMTT (Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck) being loaded on a USAF C-17A Globemaster III transport aircraft from the 62nd Airlift Wing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and then being unloaded in the Philippines. A “Typhon” battery consists of up to four launchers, a mobile command post and other auxiliary vehicles and equipment. The system also uses the Mk 70 Mod 1 launchers derived from the highly controversial Mk 41 VLS.

Namely, the Mk 41 vertical launch system (VLS) was one of the reasons why the INF Treaty fell apart, which recently led Russia to respond to the US escalation by testing its own previously banned intermediate-range missile. The Mk 41 can fire a plethora of weapons, be it for SAM, ABM or any other system. It’s also part of the “Aegis” air and missile defenses, including its land-based “Aegis Ashore” variant. It can be argued that its most disturbing feature is that it can also fire purely offensive missiles such as the infamous “Tomahawk”. The problem is that there’s no viable way to know what sort of missile is in the VLS and the US has repeatedly refused to allow on-site inspections of its alleged “missile shield” in Eastern Europe. This effectively forced Russia to create countermeasures, particularly in the form of its unrivaled hypersonic missiles. China has a similar problem with such VLS, particularly now that the missiles have been deployed on land.

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