"All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near. Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak."

– Sun Tzu, The Art of War

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The majority of Palestinians in Rafah live in an area that is roughly the size of Heathrow Airport. The city is cramped and unsanitary. It is surrounded on three sides by Israeli ground forces and on the fourth side by the 20 ft high Egyptian border wall. For all practical purposes, Rafah is a prison, the only difference being that, in a prison, the inmates are fed. In Rafah, no one is fed even though there are nearly 2,000 humanitarian trucks lined up beyond the Rafah Crossing waiting to deliver food to the starving population. The humanitarian convoy is being blocked by Israeli forces that are acting on orders from top military leaders. Ostensibly, Israel is depriving the Palestinians of food to create a strong incentive for them to flee the country when the Egyptian border is breached. When that happens, the western media will characterize the exodus as a “voluntary migration”, a designation that downplays the reality of ethnic cleansing.

On Thursday, Israel launched a surprise attack on Palestinians who had gathered at food trucks in Gaza City. According to numerous reports, more than 100 people were gunned down while trying to get desperately needed food. Here’s a short recap of what took place:

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There are all of these different explanations for censorship.

When this first started, with me, in 2017, they said that saying mean things on the internet would cause people to kill themselves. Seriously, that was the argument. You can look it up.

Then you got the “election meddling” and “Covid disinformation.” We always hear about “hate speech,” but frankly, that hasn’t ever really been the main driver of censorship. It is all of these other weird things, which are much more vague and confusing. This is partially because if the rules were “just don’t say nigger,” you wouldn’t really be able to censor all that much.

The current explanations for censorship allow wide swaths of speech to be censored without specific explanation.

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Under cover of fear for MPs’ safety, Labour leader Keir Starmer has helped the ruling Tories paint as villains anyone opposed to Israel’s slaughter of children

For the best part of a decade now, the British establishment has been weaponising antisemitism against critics of Israel, claiming as its biggest scalp the former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

He lost the 2019 general election – and stepped down as leader – amid a barrage of smears that he had indulged, if not stoked, antisemitism in the party’s wider ranks.

Corbyn is the only major British party leader to have prioritised the rights of Palestinians over Israel’s oppression of them. He was finally drummed out of the parliamentary party by his successor, Keir Starmer, in 2020 for pointing out that antisemitism in Labour had been “dramatically overstated for political reasons”.

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On the surface, it was funny.

Google’s “Gemini” AI was supposed to make images after users gave it a prompt. The images essentially purged whites from their own history and seemingly from all positive representation.

Did you know that all the popes were apparently non-white and some were female? There were no white men among the Founding Fathers, who were not really “Fathers” at all but proud women of color along with some American Indians. The Vikings were black too — but then again, pop culture has already moved in that direction. Perhaps AI is merely catching up. Users on X had great fun challenging others to “try to make Gemini make an image of a white man.” Some just could not do it.

None of this is surprising. When ChatGPT and other Large Language Models (LLMs) hit the business world, “civil rights leaders” immediately demanded that the models be changed to accommodate their ideology. Their media allies dutifully echoed and amplified the demands, with the New York Times memorably asking, “Who is making sure the AI machines aren’t racist?” Someone must, because if AI is fed pure data, it will generate “disparate impact,” which is unacceptable and arguably illegal.

Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY) called taming bias in AI the “civil rights issue of our time.” This is true on two levels. First, there must always be a “civil rights issue” to justify government intervention, redistribution of wealth, and media panic. Second, reality is typically seen to have a “racist” bias, and there must always be efforts by government to cripple emerging technologies lest people speak forbidden truths too openly. The Biden administration duly decreed that “irresponsible uses of AI can lead to and deepen discrimination, bias, and other abuses in justice, healthcare, and housing.” Thus, landlords, contractors, and other professions were banned from using AI algorithms to “exacerbate discrimination,” and the Department of Justice is training people to prosecute these new civil rights crimes.

Webmaster addition:  Computer scientists call this the GIGO law. Garbage in, garbage out!

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America’s Newspaper of Political Record—the UK’s Daily Mail—has posted a first-class op-ed by Donald Trump:

’Joe Biden created this illegal migrant invasion—and only I can stop it’: As BOTH 2024 frontrunners campaign at the border today, DONALD TRUMP gives Daily Mail his unflinching view of America’s No1 election issue. So where do YOU stand?, February 29, 2024.

Trump writes:

…do not be deceived. The abolition of America’s borders is Joe Biden’s policy. The mass-migration of millions of illegal aliens into the United States is Joe Biden’s plan. This is Joe Biden’s invasion.

When I left office, we handed Biden the most secure border in U.S. history…

When Joe Biden came into office, he willfully and deliberately obliterated every strong border policy I put into place and launched the largest border invasion in American history.

The extraordinary nation-breaking scale of this influx must not be forgotten: see James Fulford’s Illegal Border Crossing Numbers Worst EVER (See Chart) Which Is Why Biden Admin Released Numbers On Saturday.

Trump, not surprisingly, is fully alert to the political implications:

…do not be deceived. The abolition of America’s borders is Joe Biden’s policy. The mass-migration of millions of illegal aliens into the United States is Joe Biden’s plan…

The very first bill Biden sent to Congress was a bill to turn illegal aliens into voting citizens.

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I feel like I’m watching the film “Don’t Look Up”. We all know that the comet is headed straight toward us, but our society paralyzes itself with self-interest, corruption and politics until the avoidable inevitable happens.

Israel’s genocide is proceeding according to plan, and it looks like we won’t have to wait long for its accomplishment. In return for $10 billion, Egypt will accept the stampeding masses of desperate, starving and terrified Palestinians after a false flag atrocity that will be blamed on Hamas, including demolition of part of the razorwire-festooned border wall through which the mostly women and children will be driven, by bombs raining from the skies and relentless bullets from the muzzles of Israel’s valiant young soldiers, creating a path of corpses and pieces of corpses. 

Most of Gaza Strip Is Now a Wasteland. Children are Being Starved. Military Intervention and Israeli Embargo Are Necessary

Of course Egypt was lying about creating a camp for 60,000 refugees only. That particular camp will hold 100,000 or more, and a gulag of camps is being built to hold a total of perhaps up to 2 million. The fix is in.

Netanyahu and Biden will bathe in rivers of blood.

Will the world stop it from happening? I see no sign that it will. All of the reaction has been in the form of words. Words from the International Court of Justice. Words from the United Nations. Words from even the rest of us, marching in the streets, confronting Tony Blinken outside his home, and similar vocal utterances. Only the Palestinian resistance, Yemen, Hezbollah and the other resistance groups are taking real action.

When will it happen? How much time do we still have to make a difference? My guess is a few weeks at most, maybe a month. The Gaza Flotilla, which was only intended to deliver its humanitarian cargo to Egypt, to be trucked into Gaza, will probably arrive too late to be distribute its aid anywhere other than to the Palestinian population driven into the Egyptian Sinai, not the remnants in Gaza. 

Then what? A lot of hand wringing and condemnations. More words. Netanyahu will be triumphant even if he is reviled internationally. By his own people, he will be lauded for “doing what needed to be done” and to hell with the rest of the world, who are all antisemites, anyway. 

Will Biden be so reviled that he won’t run for a second term? I suspect that this has already been part of the script for weeks or months, perhaps longer. He will be tainted, so that his successor will not be. And who will that be? Hillary Clinton, of course

She and her Democrats will try to so handicap Trump, legally and otherwise, that she will win. But she underestimates the revulsion that the American public bears for her. I think she will fail again, unless Trump meets a violent end, and perhaps not even then. From there, I hesitate to predict the consequences. Or perhaps Biden won’t be tainted enough in the minds of the American public, thanks to the official Ministry of Information, AKA the obsequious corporate media. The result will be the same, in any case

Claire's Observations:  Such a scenario is desperately dark and grim, but appears, at this point, to be very real. 

Palestinians will be forced to live in Egypt, and a collective "memory wipe" will be instituted, preventing them from learning about their real history, and the fact that they indeed had a homeland, before the Nakba.  

Their hidden history will bubble and percolate through these camps, condemned as some sort of "mental derangement", for which they will be forcibly "deprogrammed". 

Al Sisi has already "caved" for a ginormous  IMF bribe, and doesn't want any trouble, so he will go along with Israel's "program" for the Palestinians without a whimper.

But what happens when Palestinians begin to relearn their own history, and what Israel did to them to establish their state, through the Balfour Declaration and beyond?!?  What happens then?!? 

 Will physical exile to Egypt be a turning point in Palestinian identity, which will shatter Israel's smug self-assurance as a country with a "raison d'etre", a reason to be?!??!?  

I don't know the answer to this; but where I an Egyptian or Israeli planner, this is a question which would keep me up at night.

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Amid an ongoing onslaught against the Gaza Strip by apartheid Israel, the Palestinian national football team was a Cinderella story at this year’s AFC Asian Cup, reaching the knockout stages, eventually falling only to hosts and eventual winners hosted in Qatar. But while the challenge on the football field was hard enough, the Palestinian football team has to deal with a unique challenge that no other national squad faces: that of an unrelenting attack on it from Israel. This attack has included jailing, torturing, shooting and killing top players, bombing Palestinian infrastructure, and restricting the movement of players in and out of the country.

This has led to a growing global movement calling for Israel to be banned from international sporting competitions as part of a wider campaign to implement Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). South Africa-based group Red Card Israel, for example, told MintPress that:

The action of suspending Israel from international sport creates a symbolic support against the unlawful occupation of Israel in the Palestinian territories and shows solidarity for the Palestinian people living under the apartheid regime.”

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A classified diplomatic cable obtained by The Grayzone reveals the role of a veteran CIA officer in violently overthrowing Haiti’s popular President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004. 

A spectacular jailbreak in Gonaïves, Haiti in August 2002 saw a bulldozer smash through the local prison walls, allowing armed supporters of Amiot “Cubain” Métayer, a gang leader jailed weeks earlier for harassing Haitian political figures, to overrun the facility. Métayer escaped, as did 158 other prisoners. Among them were perpetrators of the April 1994 Raboteau massacre, which left dozens of Haitians dead and displaced. The victims were supporters of popular anti-imperial President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Documents released to The Grayzone under FOIA – no doubt unintentionally – reveal that the jailbreak was part of a complex US intelligence operation, aimed at undermining Aristide’s presidency. At the heart of this operation was Janice L. Elmore, a CIA operative working under cover as a Department of State “Political Officer” in the Port-au-Prince US Embassy at the time.

The breakout set in motion a violent regime change campaign, which ultimately ousted Aristide from office on February 29 2004. After being deposed and flown to South Africa, Aristide claimed to have been “kidnapped” by US forces and directly accused Washington of orchestrating the plot. His nation quickly transformed into a despotic failed state, as ruthless paramilitaries ran roughshod over the population. US Marines and later UN troops were deployed to “keep the peace,” which, in practice, meant violently cracking down on not only armed anti-coup militants but also outraged demonstrators and civilians.

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Meanwhile in the Democrat hellhole of California…

Illegal aliens will get interest-free home mortgage loans under a new California bill.

Democrat assemblymember Joaquin Arambula (Fresno) recently introduced Assembly Bill 1840 to extend a first-time homebuyer loan program to illegal aliens.

If the bill becomes law, illegal aliens will be eligible for a new program that offers a loan worth 20% of the purchase price of the residential property. There are no monthly payments and no interest accrues on the loan. Rather, the loan is paid back when the borrower refinances or sells the property. The borrower will have to pay back the original loan plus a 20% increase in the value of the property.

“It’s that ambiguity for undocumented individuals, despite the fact that they’ve qualified under existing criteria, such as having a qualified mortgage,” California Democrat Joaquin Arambula said in an interview. “Underscores the pressing need for us to introduce legislation.”

Webmaster addition:  When was the last timer you got an interest-free mortgage with no monthly payments?!?

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Israeli protesters have stormed the Beit Hanoun Crossing, also known as the Erez Crossing, with the besieged Gaza Strip and demanded the prevention of entry of humanitarian aid into the besieged enclave, which is facing a worsening famine, according to Israeli media reports, Anadolu Agency reported.

The Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation Kan reported that a number of demonstrators against the entry of aid into Gaza stormed the Erez Crossing on Thursday and even crossed into the Strip, violating Israeli army instructions, resulting in their arrests.

Last month, Israeli extremists obstructed the delivery of humanitarian aid heading to Gaza at the Beit Hanoun and Kerem Shalom Crossings on several occasions, despite the two places being declared a closed military zone by the Israeli army.

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In a conversation in 2020 with Princeton Professor Emeritus, Richard Falk, he told me that historically, colonised nations that have won the legitimacy war have always won their freedom.

Palestine is unlikely to be the exception. The Gaza war, however, is confronting the world with an unprecedented challenge, specifically to governments’ relationship with international law, their obligations to international institutions, such as the United Nations, the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court and others.

“The government is not legitimate unless it is carried on with the consent of the governed,” English philosopher, John Locke, said in the 17th century. This is not a mere theory, and it will always be applicable.

Consent, however, does not always reflect itself in the form of transparent and democratic elections. Legitimacy and loyalty to governments can be expressed in other ways as well. Those who do not respect this maxim could easily find themselves embroiled in political upheavals and violent rebellions resulting from popular dissent.

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The far-left city of San Francisco will soon be voting on measures that could reverse liberal policies when it comes to crime, drug use, and homelessness, in what would mark a stunning rebuke of progressive policies in the Democratic stronghold.

As reported by Fox News, when Californians go to vote on Tuesday in the “Super Tuesday” primaries, San Francisco residents will be able to vote on several ballot measures including Proposition F and Proposition E.

Proposition F would mandate drug-test screening for all welfare recipients, and any drug addicts who are caught would have to undergo treatment if they want to continue receiving handouts. Proposition E would provide stronger surveillance tools to law enforcement while also reducing oversight on the police. Among other things, Proposition F would “loosen restrictions on car chases” and “ease reporting requirements in use-of-force cases and end a requirement that the Board of Supervisors approve the purchase of technology such as drones,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

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Conscious and Unconscionable: The Starving of Gaza

By Dr. Binoy Kampmark

Global Research, March 01, 2024

Region: Middle East & North Africa

Theme: Law and Justice

In-depth Report: PALESTINE


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The starvation regime continues unabated as Israel continues its campaign in the Gaza Strip. One of the six provisional measures ordered by the International Court Justice entailed taking “immediate and effective measures” to protect the Palestinian populace in the Gaza Strip from risk of genocide by ensuring the supply of humanitarian assistance and basic services.

In its case against Israel, South Africa argued, citing various grounds, that Israel’s purposeful denial of humanitarian aid to Palestinians could fall within the UN Genocide Convention as “deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.”

A month has elapsed since the ICJ order, after which Israel was meant to report back on compliance. But, as Amnesty International reports, Israel continues “to disregard its obligation as the occupying power to ensure the basic needs of Palestinians in Gaza are met.”

The organisation’s regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, Heba Morayef, gives a lashing summary of that conduct.

“Not only has Israel created one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, but it is also displaying callous indifference to the fate of Gaza’s population by creating conditions which the ICJ has said placed them at imminent risk of genocide.”  Israel, Morayef continues to state, had “woefully failed to provide for Gazans’ basic needs” and had “been blocking and impeding the passage of sufficient aid into the Gaza strip, in particular to the north which is virtually inaccessible, in a clear show of contempt for the ICJ ruling and in flagrant violation of its obligation to prevent genocide.”

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Qatari and Egyptian officials that Israeli officials will not engage in another round of talks until Hamas provides a full list of living Israeli hostages in Gaza. This news is a blow to President Joe Biden, who predicted a deal would be done as soon as next week.

On Friday, Axios reported, “Israel made it clear to Egypt and Qatar that it will not hold another round of talks until Hamas presents a list of the hostages who are alive.” Israeli officials said, “There is no point in starting another round of talks until we receive the lists of which of the hostages are alive and until Hamas gives its answer regarding the ‘ratio’ that defines how many prisoners will be released for each hostage.

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Biden Campaign Taking ‘Extraordinary Steps’ To Prevent Pro-Palestinian Protests at Events

The President was met with chants of “genocide Joe” at several events before the campaign hired a staffer to stifle the protesters by Kyle Anzalone March 1, 2024 at 4:22 pm ET Categories News

The Joe Biden reelection campaign has taken several severe steps to curtail pro-Palestinian supporters from interrupting his speeches. The campaign has gone as far as keeping rallies small, avoiding colleges, and not informing the public of the location of events.

Throughout most of January, the President was met with chants of “genocide Joe” at least a dozen times. Pro-Palestinian protesters label the president “genocide Joe” because of his unfettered support of Tel Aviv as Israeli forces commit a brutal slaughter in Gaza.

In response to the protests, the campaign hired Doug Landry to prevent further demonstrations. Landry has worked on planning logistics for past presidential campaigns.  According to NBC News, the President’s reelection team has taken “extraordinary steps” to thwart pro-Palestinian protests “by making [their events] smaller, withholding their precise locations from the media and the public until he arrives, and avoiding college campuses.”

“But the downside is that means he doesn’t reach as many voters,” a Biden ally said. “The point is to reach as many voters as you can, and those small events don’t.” Many of the president’s events have become “off the record” – meaning unpublished – stops that are with private businesses or residents.

Claire's Observations:  By not even giving peaceful protests against the US governmental position on Israel's genocide in Gaza some legitimacy and compassion, the President is demonstrating that he is deaf, dumb, and blind to Israeli atrocities here.

Coupled with his willing participation in this genocide, by providing the bombs and bullets with which the IDF is killing hundreds of innocent Palestinian women and children, makes him a war criminal of the most horrific kind, and puts him right up there in Bush/Cheney territory.

I cannot, and will not be silent as this is going on, because silence... is complicity.  Hence, I do support all those people who are peacefully protesting this issue, both here, and abroad.

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A report from Declassified UK peered into the records of Justice Jeremy Johnson, a judge overseeing Assange’s extradition case, and found that Johnson once worked for the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) and their Ministry of Defence, their nation’s version of the Deep State.  In Assange's extradition case in Britain after being charged with felonies under the Espionage Act by the United States, and one of the judges overseeing the case has a glaring conflict of interest.

A report from Declassified UK peered into the records of Justice Jeremy Johnson, a judge overseeing Assange’s extradition case, and found that Johnson once worked for the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) and their Ministry of Defence, their nation’s version of the Deep State.

While working as an attorney in 2007, Johnson represented the MI6 to protect the agency amidst inquires regarding the deaths of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed. At the time, Johnson was described as an attorney who “does an enormous amount of often sensitive work” for the British government. Johnson also worked for the Ministry of Defence to protect British military personnel who were accused of torturing and murdering Iraq prisoners back in 2004.

Johnson will be sitting with his superior judge, Dame Victoria Sharp, to oversee the Assange extradition case. Entertainer and social commentator Russell Brand commented on the news during a recent episode of his video podcast.

Claire's Observations:  Assange has the chances of an ice cube surviving in hell now, looking at the legal team which has been  thrown against him, to facilitate his extradition to the US.

Please remember:  absolutely NOTHING Wikileaks.com published, was ever proven wrong; it simply embarrassed those at the highest levels of the US government, and that is why the US elites are out for Assange's blood.

Should Assange be tried and convicted by an American court, you can kiss anything approximating real journalism coming from this country goodbye.

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Colorado Democrats Block Legislation Punishing Child Sex Traffickers - Suggest Criminals Are Also Victims

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by Tyler Durden

Friday, Mar 01, 2024 - 07:00 PM

While conservative states like Florida have passed legislation to institute the death penalty for criminals guilty of child sexual abuse and child trafficking, it's becoming more and more difficult in blue states to punish pedophiles at all.  No other issue so fully reflects the growing rift between the political left and everyone else in America today.  If we can't even agree that child sex abusers should face severe punishment, then how can we possibly agree on anything else?

Colorado Democrats have recently struck down House Bill 1092, a bill that would have instituted minimum sentencing for offenders convicted of selling or buying children for the purposes of exploitation.  The bill was heard in the House State, Civic, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, which is also known as the "kill committee." On Thursday, the panel lived up to its nickname, killing the bill on an 8-3 party-line vote.  The eight Democrats who voted to stop HB 1092 were State Reps. Andrew Boesenecker, Kyle Brown, Elisabeth Epps, Jennifer Lea Parenti, Naquetta Ricks, Manny Rutinel, Jenny Wilford, and Steven Woodrow.

50 witnesses crowded into the state Capitol hearing room to testify on the bill's passage, with 47 of them in favor of the legislation and only 3 people against.  Some of the witnesses were themselves survivors of abuse and trafficking.  Republicans who voted in favor of the bill noted that many child traffickers escape with light sentences or they are sometimes let back onto the streets within days of their arrest.

Claire's Observations:  I am having a double face palm moment, at velocity, upon reading this!!

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Study Finds Majority Of Patients With Long COVID Were Vaccinated

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by Tyler Durden

Friday, Mar 01, 2024 - 04:40 PM

Authored by Megan Redshaw via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

A recent study found that the majority of patients who suffered from long COVID during a time when vaccines and antiviral treatments were widely available were vaccinated.

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The observational study published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, researchers interviewed 390 people in Thailand who contracted COVID-19 during the “fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic” when the omicron variant was dominant. Patients were followed by phone from three months after their diagnosis for a year to monitor their physical condition, mental health, sleep disturbances, and quality of life.

Out of 390 people with COVID-19, 377 (97 percent) were vaccinated, 383 (98 percent) underwent antiviral treatment, and 330 (78 percent) developed long COVID syndrome. The most frequently reported symptoms were fatigue and cough. Other reported symptoms included depression, anxiety, and poor sleep quality. The study found that patients under age 60 with a cough as an initial symptom were more likely to develop the condition. In a subset of patients with long COVID, researchers found a notable correlation in females with headaches, dizziness, and brain fog.

Despite the extensive distribution of vaccines and antiviral therapies, the prevalence of long COVID remains high,” the authors of the paper wrote.

Although definitions of long COVID differ, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) broadly defines long COVID as “signs, symptoms, and conditions that continue to develop after acute COVID-19 infection” that can last for “weeks, months, or years.” The term “long COVID” also includes post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection, long-haul COVID, and post-acute COVID-19.

According to the World Health Organization, while most people with COVID-19 recover and return to normal health, some patients, including those with mild illness, have symptoms that persist for weeks or months after recovering from acute illness.

Nearly 7 percent of U.S. adults surveyed by the CDC in 2022 said they’ve experienced long COVID. 

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Long the stuff of science fiction, autonomous weapons systems, known as “killer robots,” are poised to become a reality, thanks to the rapid development of artificial intelligence.

In response, international organizations have been intensifying calls for limits or even outright bans on their use. The U.N General Assembly in November adopted the first-ever resolution on these weapons systems, which can select and attack targets without human intervention.

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Kuo’s investigation finds that just 1% of Vision Pro owners returned their headsets, which is fairly standard, and less frequent than lengthy essays on social media would have you believe. However, a good portion of these returns are because users don’t know how to operate Apple’s spatial computing headset. Apple’s products are renowned for their intuitive user interfaces, like the iPhone and Mac, but it seems the Vision Pro might be missing the mark in this respect.

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Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk.com,

Russia and Iran developed a way to avoid the US dollar routing system known as SWIFT, Trade between the nations is booming.

What is the SWIFT Banking System?

Investopedia explains: The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) system powers most international money and security transfers. SWIFT is a vast messaging network used by financial institutions to quickly, accurately, and securely send and receive information, such as money transfer instructions.

Most global transitions touch SWIFT in some way. The EU wanted to develop a way around SWIFT because the EU is sick (rightfully so) of the US setting sanction policy for the whole world.

Russia beat the China to secure SWIFT avoidance mechanism.

Russia’s Trade Routes to Iran

Eurointelligence discusses Russia’s Trade Routes to Iran

Business between the two most sanctioned countries in the world, Russia and Iran, is thriving. Iran’s exports to Russia have surpassed the $2bn mark last year according to Iran’s ambassador to Moscow. This is a considerable jump from the figures the previous years, and a 30% rise throughout the year, according to the Tehran Chamber of Commerce. The total value of bilateral trade between the two in volume reached $4.9bn in 2023 according to Iran’s official statistics. A Russian economic delegation with 170 representatives was in Tehran this week as the two countries held the 17th round of their joint economic commission. The two sides have pledged to increase trade tenfold over the coming years.

What facilitates their trade is their own banking solution, which the two countries set up last year to circumvent the dollar.

Claire's Observations:  When you throw two alleged enemies together, like Iran and Russia they will figure out how  to work together economically, despite another country's sanctions against them, which is precisely what has happened here.

The US government had better figure out how to make the US economy more competitive, and focus on quality products, or when the BRICS financial system comes into place, the US economy will be lost in the dust.

I am very upset at the current political system, which has seemed to unveil its candidates as "Two Grumpy Old Men", one with dementia, and the other with some anger management issues which concern me right now.  

Why the hell am I supposed to hold my nose, and vote "for the lesser of two evils"?!?  Which of them will actually contribute to a growing US economy and salvage a failing foreign policy, which seems to be best defined as endless wars?!? 

Right now, I am betting that a Trump Presidency will do this, if, in fact, elections are held in November, which is not a sure bet at all.  

I am hoping he has learned from his mistakes (like withdrawing the US from the JCPOA agreement with Iran.) And no, I don't believe this guy walks on water without touching the rocks.  But if he can learn from his mistakes, right now, he appears the far better candidate to move this country forward than Dementia Joe and his minions, ever could.


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 European consumer rights groups have accused Meta, the owner of Facebook and Instagram, of carrying out a “massive” and “illegal” operation of collecting data from hundreds of millions of users in the region.

The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), an umbrella body for 45 consumer groups, said eight of the groups were filing complaints with their respective national data protection authorities Thursday.

The groups claim that Meta (META) collects an unnecessary amount of information on its users — such as data used to infer their sexual orientation, emotional state or even their susceptibility to addiction — which they are unable to freely consent to.

The company’s practices, the groups argue, breach parts of the European Union’s signature data privacy law, the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR. 

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President Biden wants the G7 countries to develop a plan to eventually have Russia's frozen sovereign assets handed over Ukraine in order to support the war effort, Bloomberg has reported. Bloomberg's source have also said the US president has privately warned allies that Ukraine's collapse, and a Russian victory, would signify the international order is effectively destroyed for at least the next half-century.

"G-7 officials have been discussing options to use the $280 billion of immobilized Russian Central Bank assets, including using the money as collateral to raise debt or issuing guarantees against the frozen funds, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity," according to the report. Biden reportedly wants a firm plan proposed by the time of the Italy G7 summit in June. The US has been working behind the scenes to build consensus.

Via AP

The UK and Canada are reportedly on board, but not Germany and France. Earlier this week France firmly voiced its rejection of seizing the frozen Russian bank funds.

"We don’t think this legal basis is sufficient," French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said after the G7 finance ministers meeting in Brazil on Wednesday.

"This legal basis must be accepted not only by the European countries, not only by the G7 countries, but by all the member states of the world community, and I mean by all the member states of the G20. We should not add any kind of division among the G20 countries."

Opponents, including of course Russian officials themselves, have highlighted that such a act would be outright and brazen theft.

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov has warned in response, "We have ways to respond. We have also frozen sufficient volumes of financial assets and investments of foreign investors in our securities, all of which transfers we carry out for the owners of our securities."

Claire's Observations:  French Finance Minister Le Maire is absolutely correct in his assessment.  

And in looking at Secretary Yellen's face at this conference, she knows full well, that such a suggestion has absolutely "laid one big stinking egg" that no one in their right mind wants to touch, because the economic  blowback from Russia could be horrific.

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The best defense against ransomware is avoiding sites and downloads riddled with it, but you can take other protective measures, too. Modern antivirus software often restrict which apps can change files in folders commonly targeted by ransomware. Microsoft Defender, which is built into Windows, can do this too. (Microsoft changed the name from Windows Defender several years ago, but it’s the same program.) Some antivirus suites also run automatic backups, in case you need to restore your files.

The catch? Unlike third-party antivirus software, these extra safeguards are not turned on by default in Microsoft Defender. You have to enable them yourself.

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The reports out of China arrived just before Thanksgiving. A surge in respiratory infections among children in the northern part of the country triggered a sense of foreboding -- and Deja-vu. Meetings between the World Health Organization and Chinese officials quickly followed.

The WHO's conclusions brought some relief. The surge was caused by an "immunity gap" in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, wherein children had few defenses against influenza and other respiratory infections after years of quarantine.

This episode should be a wake-up call for the U.S. national security establishment. We remain reliant on other nations, including countries of concern, like China, for critical intelligence needed to defend against biological dangers -- whether naturally occurring, mistakenly released, or purposefully engineered. 

That needs to change. It starts with expanded investment in the technological infrastructure that can monitor for and detect dangerous pathogens that could devastate our nation and economy.

Since COVID-19, we've all become familiar with the risk posed by novel infectious diseases with pandemic potential. Just 30,000 base pairs of RNA -- roughly one one-hundred-thousandth as many as the human genome contains -- managed to shut down our planet.  

And, as we know from our experience with the last pandemic, time is essential to stopping the spread and minimizing danger to people. We need a strategy for the rapid identification and understanding of emerging threats, as well as timely countermeasures once a threat has been intercepted.

A sophisticated bio surveillance or "bio radar" network would include collection points where pathogens are most at risk of emerging or being identified as threats -- including airports, borders, conflict zones, labs, and farms. Once bio radar systems leveraging DNA sequencing have detected a threat, we can create a digital fingerprint of the suspect pathogen's genetic material and begin analyzing the level of risk and mitigation options. This creates true bio intelligence, or BIOINT.

Artificial intelligence tuned to biological information like this can quickly begin analyzing the data collected from bio radar systems. And by learning to "speak DNA" the way chatbots can speak English, AI has the potential to identify anomalies and quickly inform development of genomic-informed countermeasures.

Today, nodes in this bio radar network are already at work. We just need to connect the dots of this biosecurity infrastructure and expand its scale.

Claire's Observations:  This makes sense, but only if done in a very non-draconian, non-military manner, which doesn't scare or panic people, or leave them sealed in their homes, with no chance to obtain vital supplies, as China did during the pandemic.

 Should governments around the world choose to do this in a very dictatorial manner,   that is another brilliant reason for prepping in advance for this, or any other kind of disaster.  And unless you are prepping currently , you won't know how world governments will react to this kind of crisis until it is too late.

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Look at the fingers. You always have to look at the fingers

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Third-Party Candidates Will Swing The Election

Image removed.

by Tyler Durden

Friday, Mar 01, 2024 - 09:20 PM

Authored by James Rickards via DailyReckoning.com,

Although my focus is on markets rather than politics, it’s impossible to forecast markets without understanding what’s going on in the political realm. While there are important Senate and House races this year, all eyes are focused on the presidential race likely (as of now) to be between Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

A Trump vs. Biden (if he makes it) replay of the 2020 election could be close and is difficult to predict this far in advance. But we can say that the simple narrative of Trump vs. Biden does not come close to capturing the complexities of what’s ahead.

In the first place, Biden may not even be the Democratic nominee because of his obvious physical and mental disabilities. I’ll save the Biden story for another day. For now, let’s look at the other wild card affecting the 2024 election — the role of third parties.

Most observers disregard third-party candidates. They typically get 1–2% of the vote, don’t come close to winning individual states and have no impact on the final electoral results. That’s true, but there are some important historical exceptions.

To understand the potential impact of third parties and get a preview of what might happen this year, we need to look at three critical elections. In reverse chronological order, they are 1992, 1968 and 1912.

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A flicker of light and a buzz of sound may hold the key to combating Alzheimer’s disease—and a new study in mice offers insights into how this unconventional therapy might work in humans.

The noninvasive brain-stimulation technology features an audiovisual disco of rhythmic 40-hertz stimuli, designed to boost brain health by enhancing neural activity at the same “gamma” frequency.

Administered for an hour each day through an integrated headset or display panel, the at-home therapy has shown promise in early clinical testing. In people with various stages of Alzheimer’s, it has been associated with preserved brain volume, strengthened connectivity between neurons, improved mental functioning, and more restful sleep, among other benefits.

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