"Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes… known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.… No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare." -- James Madison
Volodymyr Zelensky has become something of a western folk hero in these last 8 months. Lionized by both the neoconservative right and much of the left, an eclectic chorus of western voices have heaped praise on the Ukrainian President:
“Volodymyr Zelenskyy embodies resilience” - Marguerite Ward in Business Insider.
“The Ukrainian leader’s refusal to back down is as inspiring as it is illuminating” - Tom McTague in The Atlantic.
It is easy to cheer on the “good guys” during a war and difficult to pierce the populist fervor with reasoned criticisms. Immoral behavior is only lightly scrutinized, if at all, as the urgency of “winning” takes precedence.
While it is not unreasonable to dismiss martial law and the disintegration of rival political parties as wartime necessities, wielding state power to squelch dissent is nothing new to the Zelensky regime.
Long before Russia’s invasion, many international human rights groups flagged abuses on the freedoms of speech, press, and association in Ukraine that were often pursued principally by President Zelensky.
As we continue to fund, arm, and cheer for this modern-day Churchill and bear the associated risks, it is important to understand who we are fighting for.
Five days after the Associated Press cited an anonymous 'senior US intelligence official' in a story that claimed a Russian missile killed two Polish civilians, one of the two reporters behind the story was fired.
Reporters James LaPorta (fired) and John Leichester (not fired) share the byline on the now-retracted report, which sparked an entire news cycle that included talk of invoking 'Article 5' - the mutual defense agreement between NATO members - and which would have obligated other members to engage in collective defense, aka WWIII.
As the day went on, President Biden popped out of a NATO / G7 briefing, and mumbled that "it's unlikely" the projectile was fired from Russia. NATO then chimed in, saying it was more likely that the missile was fired by Ukrainian forces in self-defense (or was it?).
AP later retracted the story, and issued the following correction which pinned blame on the anonymous intelligence official;
In earlier versions of a story published November 15, 2022, The Associated Press reported erroneously, based on information from a senior American intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity, that Russian missiles had crossed into Poland and killed two people. Subsequent reporting showed that the missiles were Russian-made and most likely fired by Ukraine in defense against a Russian attack.
Following Elon Musk’s decision to reinstate President Trump to Twitter, The Mayor Of London Sadiq Khan declared that it is time for “new regulations” to police online speech.
Khan, who seems to spend more time worrying about American politics than the safety of people living in London, issued a diatribe reacting to Musk turning Trump’s Twitter account back on.
He labeled Trump “a dangerous far right politician who has a history of inciting violence,” and proclaimed that “he must not be allowed to use social media,” before calling for more general regulation of “online speech.”
In the same sentence, Khan declared that “freedom of speech is vital, but it must be balanced.”
Webmaster addition: In order for speech to be balanced, ALL points of view must be allowed!
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced in a Monday statement that the power situation in Ukraine is so dire that it will potentially be "life-threatening" for millions of Ukrainians due to the recent devastating series of Russian air attacks on the national energy grid.
"Put simply – this winter will be about survival," Hans Kluge, regional director for Europe at the United Nations’ health body, said from the Ukrainian capital. "This winter will be life-threatening for millions of people in Ukraine," he added.
The attacks, the last major wave of which came this past Tuesday and continued intermittently into the weekend, are "already having knock-out effects on the health system and on the people’s health," Kluge described.
NATO countries and other global allies are now looking to shore up tiny Moldova's resources amid renewed fears of future Russian aggression and energy supply cuts against it.
Around 45 countries and international institutions have met in Paris to discuss assistance to the 'NATO-friendly' country, which is neither an EU nor a NATO member. The countries reportedly pledged millions of Euros in new aid to Moldova amid fears of destabilization due to the war in neighboring Ukraine.
Moldova's breakaway region of Transnistria is also seen as a potential flashpoint, and early in the invasion of Ukraine there was constant speculation that the Kremlin was eyeing an incursion into Moldova next. Currently Russia has what it calls "peacekeeping" troops in contested Transnistria.
A French diplomat told reporters following the Paris meeting of donor countries, "Moldova is directly impacted because it’s dependent on Russian energy supplies and is a country which has a part of its territory controlled by Russian soldiers so it’s especially vulnerable."
Additionally Al Jazeera noted that the country is "facing more difficulties with winter arriving and Moscow cutting natural gas supplies by about 40 percent, hurting its ability to supply enough electricity to its population."
Dr. Thomas Binder is a Swiss cardiologist with over 34 years of experience in treating respiratory infections. He received a doctorate in immunology and virology, specializing in internal medicine and cardiology, from the University of Zurich. Binder is an intelligent man who was deemed insane by the Swiss government for speaking out against COVID regulations.
Dr. Binder has been an outspoken critic of COVID restrictions since the beginning of the pandemic. On April 9, 2020, the cardiologist criticized the government’s response to COVID and provided his own analysis of the virus. He posted his thoughts on his private website, and the post received over 20,000 views.
Three days later, a day before Easter, 60 armed police officers and 20 members of the Kantonspolizei Aargau’s anti-terrorism unit forcibly removed Dr. Binder from his home. Authorities searched through the doctor’s online activity and could not find anything to use against him. However, an emergency room doctor who was working with the authorities arrived and diagnosed Dr. Binder with “corona insanity.” He was locked away in a mental asylum for questioning the COVID narrative.
Yet, he refuses to be silenced. He is now a member of the Doctors for COVID Ethics and the German Physicians and Scientists for Health, Freedom, and Democracy. I applaud him for still speaking against coronavirus mandates despite the government’s pitiful attempt to silence him.
A report by Breitbart states House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy will keep his ‘promise’ to bar certain representatives from participating in key committees.
Republican Kevin McCarthy of California stated on FNC’s “Sunday Morning Futures” this past week that he would keep his promise and bar certain representatives from committee assignments. He said Democrat Representatives Adam Schiff of California, Eric Swalwell also of California, and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota would be removed from committees if elected to serve as Speaker of the House.
Thousands of cars are stolen across the U.S. every year because owners leave their keys or fobs inside their vehicles, inviting theft.
In 2021, like in previous years, Honda has the undesirable reputation as the most-targeted car manufacturer. Interestingly, the Hondas most commonly stolen are far older than a lot of the other automobiles on this list. A 1997 Accord, for example, is the most commonly taken of that model, while the 2000 vintages of the Civic and the CR-V are seemingly the most vulnerable.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II has been available for less than three weeks, but it is already making waves. Breaking records, within ten days, the first-person military shooter video game earned more than $1 billion in revenue. Yet it has also been shrouded in controversy, not least because missions include assassinating an Iranian general clearly based on Qassem Soleimani, a statesman and military leader slain by the Trump administration in 2020, and a level where players must shoot “drug traffickers” attempting to cross the U.S./Mexico border.
The Call of Duty franchise is an entertainment juggernaut, having sold close to half a billion games since it was launched in 2003. Its publisher, Activision Blizzard, is a giant in the industry, behind titles games as the Guitar Hero, Warcraft, Starcraft, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, Crash Bandicoot and Candy Crush Saga series.
Yet a closer inspection of Activision Blizzard’s key staff and their connections to state power, as well as details gleaned from documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, reveal that Call of Duty is not a neutral first-person shooter, but a carefully constructed piece of military propaganda, designed to advance the interests of the U.S. national security state.
As subscribers by now are aware, I’m very upset about YouTube’s recent decision to censor a factually accurate video about “rigged election” comments produced for this site by Matt Orfalea. The company has given Matt a strike and labeled his/our work “misinformation,” an insult I’ve decided not to take lying down. I’m going to search for new ways to embarrass the company until they reverse their decision. As it happens, today offers an excellent opportunity.
CBS This Morning today came out with a story claiming they obtained a copy of Hunter Biden’s laptop, sent for an “independent forensic review,” and determined it “appears genuine.” This follows up confirmation from The New York Times back on March 16th, and more importantly, the exhaustive earlier work of Politico reporter Ben Schreckinger confirming key emails in his book, The Bidens.
Matt did an exceptional job back in March in the video above, compiling clips of people who went on air and with absolute certainty proclaimed the laptop “a lie,” “altered or fake,” “pure distractions,” and of course, “RUSSIAN DISINFORMATION.”
Whether or not you thought the actual content of the story was important, the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop affair was a crossroads moment in the history of modern censorship. YouTube played a major role in this event.
The New York Times has in an extremely rare moment (or perhaps more like unprecedented) conducted an in-depth visual investigation of a likely war crime against surrendered Russian troops conducted by Ukrainian forces. Multiple videos from different angles, including drone footage, emerged last week showing the incredibly disturbing scenes as Ukrainian forces were recapturing the village of Makiivka in the Luhansk region.
The videos show ten apparently unarmed Russian soldiers lying facedown on the ground, who early on are seen moving and in a position of surrender as at least four Ukrainian troops stand nearby outside of a house in a farmyard.
By the end of the footage, eleven Russians had been shot dead at close range, in what Russia says was a summary execution of people who at that point (based on their surrender) effectively become non-combatants based on accepted international laws of war.
After the initial market euphoria over China’s reopening from Covid lockdowns, reality is settling in. Reopening isn’t as easy as turning on a water tap. It takes months of preparation to increase hospital resources, put jabs in the arms of senior citizens and shift the public narrative about the pandemic.
In fact, instead of loosening, China’s restrictions on social activities have strengthened in recent weeks. That should argue for investors to curb their enthusiasm.
Qatar’s state firm QatarEnergy signed on Monday the longest-term contract in the history of the LNG industry in a deal to supply LNG to Chinese state energy giant Sinopec for 27 years.
QatarEnergy will supply China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) with 4 million tons per annum (MTPA) of LNG to China from the North Filed East (NFE) expansion project, just as global competition for LNG intensifies amid a European rush to secure non-Russian gas supply.
“This is the first long-term SPA from the NFE project to be announced, and marks the longest gas supply agreement in the history of the LNG industry,” said Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Qatar’s Minister of State for Energy Affairs and President and CEO of QatarEnergy.
It turns out that big tech companies may not be as committed to your privacy as their PR departments would have you believe - go figure.
The latest example of this reality appears to be Google, who was revealed last week by MarketWatch to have data-mining practices that employees say that they sometimes “don’t understand and can’t describe”.
The report cited a class action lawsuit alleging that Google "violated promises not to collect data of those using the browser without signing into their Google accounts". Documents recently became unsealed in the case, offering a look into how privacy is discussed internally at Google.
In the lawsuit, one unnamed employee seemed to make it clear that Google's privacy policies are opaque, stating: “I don’t have the faintest idea what Google has on me. The fact what we can’t explain what we have […] on users is probably our biggest challenge."
For those of us who have written about the Hunter Biden scandal and the family’s influence-peddling operation for years, it is routine to read media stories denying the facts or dismissing calls to investigate the foreign dealings. However, this weekend, the Associated Press made a whopper of a claim that there is no evidence even suggesting that President Joe Biden ever spoke to his son about his foreign dealings. I previously discussed how the Bidens have succeeded in a Houdini-like trick in making this elephant of a scandal disappear from the public stage. They did so by enlisting the media in the illusion. However, this level of audience participation in the trick truly defies belief.
The statement of the Associated Press at this stage of the scandal is breathtaking but telling: “Joe Biden has said he’s never spoken to his son about his foreign business, and nothing the Republicans have put forth suggests otherwise.”
For years, the media has continued to report President Biden’s repeated claim that “I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.” At the outset, the media only had to suspend any disbelief that the president could fly to China as Vice President with his son on Air Force 2 without discussing his planned business dealings on the trip.
The Federal Reserve has hiked 375bps in just six meetings this year. Mortgage rates have followed suit, skyrocketing from a low of 2.7% in February to 7.35% earlier this month. The aggressive tightening of monetary conditions has sparked an affordability crisis -- sidelining millions of potential homebuyers while existing home sales crash to the worst level since 2008.
Higher borrowing costs triggered a sharp drop in mortgage applications and home sales in the back half of the year. Deal flow is drying up for many real estate agents, resulting in financial duress that may worsen into early 2023.
In October, a shocking 37% of real estate agents struggled to pay office rent -- a 10% increase from the prior month, according to Yahoo, citing a new report via Redfin. The figure could worsen as the housing market rapidly cools via the Fed-induced demand side crunch.
Such rapid heating of the housing market during the pandemic era brought in an influx of new agents. The National Association of Realtors said membership hit an all-time high of 1.56 million in 2021 (pandemic boom year) -- up from 1.49 million the year before.
While we don't expect a similar 2008-09 housing crash, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas warned last week that home prices could plunge 20% next year due to affordability woes.
Authorities in Oregon say they’re looking into a report they published that falsely claims sky-high COVID-19 hospitalization rates among children.
“We are working with the company that completed the report, Rede Group, to look into that data question,” Jonathan Modie, a spokesman for the Oregon Health Authority, told The Epoch Times in an email on Nov. 19.
The report in question was produced by a firm called the Rede Group as a contractor to the health authority, as outlined in a Senate bill that was passed this year.
The bill says that the authority “shall study the state’s public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic” and prepare various reports, including one that includes “a broad review of the COVID-19 pandemic” and identification of areas in the public health response to the pandemic that need improvement.
The 725-page report includes multiple instances of misinformation, including the false claim that COVID-19 hospitalization rates among children were as high as 47.4 percent.
In a graph, the report depicts the hospitalization rates as above 30 percent for all childhood age groups, with the highest being 47.4 percent among children aged 12 to 17 as of June.
According to Oregon Health Authority (pdf), the hospitalization rate in 2021 among children aged 0 to 9 was just 0.9 percent and the hospitalization rate among those aged 10 to 19 was 0.6 percent. A report issued in July (pdf) looking at the first six months of 2021 had the percentages at 0.6 and 0.3, respectively.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, consumers socked away an unprecedented amount of cash thanks to government stimulus and a locked down economy. There was such a surplus that people were able to also pay down debt, buy new appliances, and take vacations once draconian lockdowns were lifted. And of course, businesses raised prices and hired more workers to meet the flood of demand.
Now that we're 'enjoying' inflation while wages have struggled to keep up, the question becomes - how long can consumers maintain this level of spending with their "excess" savings, which was estimated at $1.2 - $1.8 trillion heading into Q3 of this year?
Everstake, a Ukraine-based cryptocurrency firm, has been caught in the crosshairs of a controversial relationship involving Kyiv, Democrats, and the beleaguered FTX exchange that has captured the attention of Washington officials.
As part of efforts to generate more funds for the war effort, the Ukrainian government launched “Aid for Ukraine,” a website that accepted cryptocurrency donations that would be converted into fiat money and then deposited at the National Bank of Ukraine. The contributions would be used to purchase a wide range of essential items, from medical supplies to military clothing.
The Ministry of Digital Transformation partnered with FTX, Ukraine’s Kuna exchange, and Everstake to help facilitate crypto-denominated donations, which have totaled between $60 million and $100 million.
Because of former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried’s immense donations to Democrat lawmakers and the timing between the creation of the fund and President Joe Biden’s billions in financial and military assistance to Kyiv, there has been speculation of wrongdoing. Critics allege that Ukraine invested in FTX to funnel money to the Democratic Party.
Below is my column in The Hill on the appointment of a special counsel to investigate former President Donald Trump. All of the three main players - Trump, Attorney General Merrick Garland, and Special Counsel Jack Smith - will face immediate challenges in the legal arm’s race unfolding in Washington.
There seemed to be enough torpedoes in the water in Washington this week that you could walk across the Potomac without getting your feet wet. On Capitol Hill, the new House Republican majority announced a series of subpoena-ready investigations of President Biden and administration officials. At the Justice Department, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special counsel to investigate former President Trump for possible crimes ranging from the 2020 election to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot to the Mar-a-Lago documents controversy.
It was all reminiscent of the movie “The Lord of War,” in which a fictional arms dealer warns that “the problem with gunrunners going to war is that there is no shortage of ammunition.” The same appears true of rival government officials having no shortage of subpoenas.
In this atmosphere of politically and mutually assured destruction, there are some immediate threats for the three main combatants:
For all those wondering how it is possible that nobody, not a single regulator acted out on the countless red warning signs (with even CME CEO Terry Duffy issuing an explicit warning to Congress that SBF was a fraud months ago) amid the fawning and fellating media and the countless bribed politicians, we may have an answer: according to Bloomberg, long before Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX cryptocurrency empire imploded, "it already was on the radar of federal prosecutors in Manhattan."
According to Bloomberg sources "familiar with the investigation", the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, led by Damian Williams, spent several months working on a sweeping examination of crypto currency platforms with US and offshore arms and had started poking into FTX’s massive exchange operations.
The focus of the probe was on compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act which requires financial institutions take steps to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing, and which has been used by authorities to go after crypto platforms that allegedly falsely claimed that they don’t serve US customers. The Bahamas-based FTX, which operated one of the world’s largest international crypto exchanges as well as a separate and much more limited venue called FTX US that said it complies with the act.
The collapse of the crypto exchange FTX may prove to be a canary in the coal mine of the easy-money fueled crypto bubbles. FTX's collapse has exposed just how little due diligence is actually taking place among investors who are apparently willing to put large amounts of cash in whatever place looks like the hottest new thing and promises—without convincing evidence—big-time returns.
The "genius" in this case is Sam Bankman-Fried, a 30-year old MIT grad who ran FTX into the ground and had placed control of his clients' money in the hands in the small number of friends with virtually no real experience, knowledge, or scruples about how to responsibly manage funds. Financial record-keeping and reporting at the company was haphazard at best.
Silver demand is on pace to hit record levels in 2022, driven by new highs for physical investment, industrial demand, jewelry, and silverware production, according to the Silver Institute’s Interim Silver Market Review.
Global silver demand is projected to reach a new high of 1.21 billion ounces in 2022. That would be a 16% increase from 2021.
Institutional demand for silver has faced headwinds due to rising interest rates with Federal Reserve’s inflation fight. This has led to a decrease in silver ETF holdings. But demand for physical silver has been robust. Physical investment demand is on pace to jump by 18% to 329 million ounces this year. According to the Silver Institute, “Support has come from investor fears of high inflation, the Russia-Ukraine war, recessionary concerns, mistrust in government, and buying on price dips. The rise was boosted further by a (near-doubling) of Indian demand, a recovery from a slump last year, with investors often taking advantage of lower rupee prices.”
Official ruling class data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is showing that something is wrong. The United States masters’ data shows that there have been almost 350,000 excess deaths as of September 25, in 2022 alone.
The OEC is an intergovernmental organisation with 38 member countries founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade. And for some reason, they host a wealth of data on excess deaths throughout 2022. You can find that data for yourself here. –Daily Exposé
If you had to choose between living under an extremely oppressive world government or living through a nuclear war, which one would be your choice? Personally, I don’t like either of those two options, but in recent days western leaders have been trying to convince us that we will either have one or the other.
According to them, either we can submit to a “global order” that is dominated by the values and the agenda of the western elite or we can accept a multipolar world which will eventually lead to widespread chaos and nuclear war. Needless to say, western politicians are going to try very hard to get us to choose the former.
On Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron delivered a speech at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Bangkok even though France is not actually a member.
During that speech, Macron lamented the fact that rapidly deteriorating relations between the U.S. and China are tearing the world apart, and he boldly declared that what we really need is “a single world order”…
There are likely over one million victims worldwide and untold billions of dollars forever lost through the collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s digital asset empire, propped up by his once enormously popular FTX cryptocurrency exchange, which last week filed for bankruptcy in the United States.
When liquidity concerns issued by FTX’s competitor sparked a crypto bank run on the exchange earlier this month, the world discovered that many of these assets turned out to be nothing more than paper IOUs. FTX’s real balance sheet did not come anywhere close to matching the numbers on the screen. And given the panicked withdrawals, the “FTT” digital token through which Bankman-Fried’s empire maintained their claimed wealth, lost about 90 percent of its value in a day’s time. FTT was a token that Bankman-Fried and his cofounders created, encouraged customers to purchase, then manipulate its value to pitch future investors on.
We have since discovered that Sam Bankman-Fried was running a massive Ponzi scheme. But with the collapse of FTT, that Ponzi now has no chance of recovering. It is officially game over for Bankman-Fried and the massive fraudulent empire he built.
Most people are bewildered by what is a global energy crisis, with prices for oil, gas and coal simultaneously soaring and even forcing closure of major industrial plants such as chemicals or aluminum or steel. The Biden Administration and EU have insisted that all is because of Putin and Russia’s military actions in Ukraine. This is not the case. The energy crisis is a long-planned strategy of western corporate and political circles to dismantle industrial economies in the name of a dystopian Green Agenda. That has its roots in the period years well before February 2022, when Russia launched its military action in Ukraine.
Blackrock pushes ESG
In January, 2020 on the eve of the economically and socially devastating covid lockdowns, the CEO of the world’s largest investment fund, Larry Fink of Blackrock, issued a letter to Wall Street colleagues and corporate CEOs on the future of investment flows. In the document, modestly titled “A Fundamental Reshaping of Finance”, Fink, who manages the world’s largest investment fund with some $7 trillion then under management, announced a radical departure for corporate investment. Money would “go green.” In his closely-followed 2020 letter Fink declared, “In the near future – and sooner than most anticipate – there will be a significant re-allocation of capital…Climate risk is investment risk.” Further he stated, “Every government, company, and shareholder must confront climate change.”
In a separate letter to Blackrock investor clients, Fink delivered the new agenda for capital investing. He declared that Blackrock will exit certain high-carbon investments such as coal, the largest source of electricity for the USA and many other countries. He added that Blackrock would screen new investment in oil, gas and coal to determine their adherence to the UN Agenda 2030 “sustainability.”
Fink made clear the world’s largest fund would begin to disinvest in oil, gas and coal. “Over time,” Fink wrote, “companies and governments that do not respond to stakeholders and address sustainability risks will encounter growing skepticism from the markets, and in turn, a higher cost of capital.” He added that, “Climate change has become a defining factor in companies’ long-term prospects… we are on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance.”
Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday reaffirmed that an attack on Philippine vessels in the South China Sea would trigger a US response under the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty between the US and the Philippines. The warning to Beijing came as she was visiting Manila.
Harris’ warning came amid reports of a tense encounter between Chinese and Philippine vessels in the South China Sea. The Philippine Navy said a Chinese vessel blocked a Philippine naval boat on Sunday and forcibly seized what appeared to be Chinese rocket debris that the Philippine boat was towing.