I am a bit burned out and I need time to recuperate. Also, I have some other things I need to work on, including developing some other revenue…
"Are we at last brought to such an humiliating and debasing degradation that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defense? Where is the difference between having our arms under our own possesion and under our own direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?" -- Patrick Henry
Before the ink was even dry on President Biden and Speaker McCarthy's debt limit deal, senators were carving out ways to get around spending limits by passing 'emergency' bills to boost defense spending and the war in Ukraine.
Some House Republicans are balking at putting the nation further into debt to pay for a foreign war.
Defense spending became a front-and-center issue for GOP negotiators working with the White House.
Republicans wanted more, President Biden wanted less. They ultimately settled on Biden's request for fiscal year 2024 - $886 billion, a three percent increase that Senate hawks said amounted to a cut when factoring for inflation.
In fiscal year 2025, the cap would be $895 billion - a one percent increase from 2024.
When Sam Dogen retired at age 34 with a net worth of $3million he vowed never to return to his grueling job in investment banking.
As a pioneer of the FIRE - financial independence, retire early - movement, he had meticulously planned for 13 years to ensure he had a passive income of $80,000 a year in retirement.
But a decade later, Dogen, now 45, is being forced to join the ranks of the unretired.
Amid soaring inflation and rising costs, he needs to go back to work to be able to afford his kids' college tuition, which he has calculated could cost a whopping $1.5 million.
If farmers and ranchers don’t produce enough food, we don’t eat. So we should always be very thankful for our hard working farmers and ranchers. Unfortunately, farms and ranches all over the United States have been hit by a string of disasters in recent months, and as a result food production has taken a turn for the worse. So does that mean that we should expect that there will soon be shortages of certain items? Unfortunately, it appears that is likely to be the case. For example, it is being reported that approximately 90 percent of Georgia’s peach crop for this year has been destroyed…
The Russian fighters aligned against Moscow who launched a cross-border raid from Ukraine into the Belgorod region of Russia last week used at least four tactical vehicles originally given to Ukraine by the United States and Poland, U.S. officials said, raising questions about the unintended use of NATO-provided equipment and Kyiv’s commitments to secure materiel supplied by its supporters.
Three of the Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, also known as MRAPs, taken into Russia by the fighters were provided by the United States and the fourth was from Poland, according to people familiar with the U.S. intelligence finding, which has not previously been reported. Those people spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive issue.
It has been tough sledding at CNN for a long time as viewers flock to other networks for their news coverage, but now one of one of the biggest shakeups to ever hit the company has changed the game.
As ratings continue to fall, and in the aftermath of an unflattering piece about him in The Atlantic that said people at the network no longer had confidence in him, CNN CEO Chris Licht is said to be ceding his role as head of business operations, Puck News reported.
The role will be handled by David Leavy , who is the chief corporate affairs officer at Warner Bros. Discovery, the report said.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case against former President Donald Trump heated up again this week.
Bragg on Tuesday moved to oppose an attempt by Trump’s attorneys to move his hush-money case to federal court. Trump’s lawyers argued late last month that the case cannot be tried in a state court because the alleged violations took place while he was president, making them a federal matter.
In court documents filed Tuesday, prosecutors in Manhattan argued that the case should remain with the state court because the former president’s “alleged criminal conduct had no connection to his official duties and responsibilities as President, but instead arose from his unofficial actions relating to his private businesses and pre-election conduct.”
A Manhattan grand jury indicted Trump on 34 criminal charges of falsifying business records related to adult film star Stormy Daniels.
In an excellent display of how US foreign policy can be used as a means of pandering to domestic interest groups, the Biden administration has threatened to impose sanctions on Uganda as punishment for that regime's adoption of new laws criminalizing some types of homosexual behavior.
While it is abundantly clear that this move from the Ugandan state presents absolutely no threat to any vital US interest, the Biden administration apparently believes the situation requires immediate action by the US regime.
According to Axios, the Biden Administration's proposed actions
includ[e] whether the U.S. will continue to safely deliver services under the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and other forms of assistance and investments. ... Biden administration officials will also review Uganda's eligibility for the African Growth and Opportunity Act, which provides eligible sub-Saharan African countries with duty-free access to the U.S. market for hundreds of products.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is proposing a set of recommendations for “social listening surveillance systems” designed to address what it describes as a “health threat” posed by online “misinformation.”
The WHO’s Preparedness and Resilience for Emerging Threats (PRET) initiative claims “misinformation” has resulted in an “infodemic” that poses a threat — even in instances where the information is “accurate.”
PRET has raised eyebrows, at a time when the WHO’s member states are engaged in negotiations on two controversial instruments: the “pandemic treaty” and amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR).
The latest draft of the pandemic treaty contains language on how WHO member states would commit to “social listening.” Under article 18(b), WHO member states would commit to:
“Conduct regular community outreach, social listening, and periodic analysis and consultations with civil society organization and media outlets to identify the prevalence and profiles of misinformation, which contribute to design communications and messaging strategies for the public to counteract misinformation, disinformation and false news, thereby strengthening public trust and promoting adherence to public health and social measures.”
Salespeople promoting Bud Light for a Florida–based distributor have grown accustomed to car horns, middle fingers and jokes amid a weekslong boycott, but say they have struggled to ignore thousands of dollars in lost commission pay, two sales supervisors at the distributor told ABC News.
A typical salesperson at the distributor made roughly $2,000 less in May than he or she would have over each of the previous two years, suffering primarily from a decline in Bud Light sales that reached as much as 60% over the week ending on Memorial Day, the sales supervisors said.
"This has really, really killed a lot of the guys who are commission-based. That's who it's really hurting," one supervisor said. "There's nothing they could've done -- this was thrown in their faces."
Repeated COVID-19 vaccination weakens the immune system, potentially making people susceptible to life-threatening conditions such as cancer, according to a new study.
Multiple doses of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines lead to higher levels of antibodies called IgG4, which can provide a protective effect. But a growing body of evidence indicates that the “abnormally high levels” of the immunoglobulin subclass actually make the immune system more susceptible to the COVID-19 spike protein in the vaccines, researchers said in the paper.
They pointed to experiments performed on mice that found multiple boosters on top of the initial COVID-19 vaccination “significantly decreased” protection against both the Delta and Omicron virus variants and testing that found a spike in IgG4 levels after repeat Pfizer vaccination, suggesting immune exhaustion.
Studies have detected higher levels of IgG4 in people who died with COVID-19 when compared to those who recovered and linked the levels with another known determinant of COVID-19-related mortality, the researchers also noted.
A review of the literature also showed that vaccines against HIV, malaria, and pertussis also induce the production of IgG4.
It has always been astounding to me that people think for even a second that their government makes decisions to help the people—that has never been the case.
If a government’s decision helps anyone it is always an after effect…or an afterthought or a collateral unintended benefit.
The primary intent is for power, control, and money…to satisfy individual pursuits and goals of the global narcissistic/god-complex elite.
Anyone (which turns out to be most everyone) who supports this and thinks their government, or their nation, is operating in the people’s interest is signing their own death warrant.
While the IMF is currently gearing up to introduce its new global CBDC system called the UMU (also known as the Unicoin), The Bank for International Settlements has been busy with multiple projects designed to centralize all international banks and central banks into a single umbrella network that allows for quick cross-border transactions using digital currencies. In other words, a cashless society.
One such concept, called Project Icebreaker, dealt specifically with creating a SWIFT-like bottleneck system which would allow global banks to regulate and eventually homogenize all currencies into a single one world exchange model that would give them the power to cut out any nation or company that does not meet their ideological approval.
The latest idea from the BIS is Project Aurora, which may be even more disturbing than Icebreaker in its implications. Aurora is designed to use "machine learning" (AI) as a tool to monitor vast flows of financial transactions from all over the world in order to identify specifically flagged patterns. The BIS says that this is meant to discover criminal money laundering structures protected by "money mules." However, in order for the AI to sift through global transactions in real time, corporate banks and governments would have to create extensive streamlined access to accounts then open the doors wide for the AI to operate with impunity.
Freedom of speech means a lot to us at the OP. However, that’s been fading fast, as Daisy has documented, and as though speech restrictions aren’t bad enough, most of us have been lab rats for central planners’ behavioral experiments longer than we probably care to realize. And now there are Nudge Units.
Huge amounts of money have been poured into “nudge research,” determining the best ways to get populations to change their behaviors without passing laws or using force.
What are Nudge Units?
Let’s look at how these “Nudge Units” got started, what they’ve been used for most recently, and what they’re likely to focus on next.
The concept of “nudging” people into making better choices became popular with the book Nudge—Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness, authored by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, and published in 2008. Their book defines a nudge as:
. . .any aspect of the choice architecture that alters people’s behavior in a predictable way without forbidding any options or significantly changing their economic incentives. To count as a mere nudge, the intervention must be easy and cheap to avoid. Nudges are not mandates. Putting fruit at eye level counts as a nudge. Banning junk food does not. (p.6)
Isn’t it always?
With the start of World War III by the United States “declaring” war against Russia by its actions in Ukraine, we have entered a time when the end of time has become very possible. I am speaking of nuclear annihilation.
I look down at my great-uncle’s gold Elgin pocket watch from the 19th century. His name was John Patrick Whalen, an Irish immigrant to the U.S. who fled England’s colonialist created famine in Ireland. It tells me it is 5:15 PM on April 21, 2022, a date, coincidentally, with a history. No doubt John looked at his watch on this date in 1898 when the United States, after the USS Maine exploded from within in Havana harbor (a possible false flag attack), declared war on Spain in order to confiscate Spanish territories – Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines. One colonial power replaced another and then proceeded over the long decades to wage war and slaughter these island peoples. Imperialism never dies. It is timeless.
One hundred-and twenty-four years go by in a flash and it’s still the same old story. In 1898 the yellow press screamed Spanish devils and today it screams Russian devils. Then and now the press called for war. If the human race is still here in another 124 years, time and the corporate media will no doubt have told the same story – war and propaganda’s lies to an insouciant and ignorant population too hypnotized by propaganda to oppose them. This despite the apocalyptic sense that permeates our lives because of demonic technology and its use to transform humans into machines who can’t think clearly enough to perceive reality and realize the threat posed by that quintessential technological invention – nuclear weapons.
This is not uplifting, but it’s true. The nuclear weapons are primed and ready to fly. The U.S. insists on its first-strike right to launch them. It openly declares it is seeking the overthrow of the Russian government. Russia says it will use nuclear weapons only if its existence is threatened, which has become increasingly so because of U.S. provocations over a long time period and its current expanding arming of Ukraine’s government and its neo-Nazi forces.
Statistics provided by the US Department of Defense, in 2003, outlined that there were around 725 American military bases positioned that year overseas in 38 countries, including the presence of 100,000 American soldiers in Europe.
A decade later, by 2012 there was an increase to 750 US military bases in existence globally, including 1.4 million American troops on active duty, figures which are reported through to today. Other estimates suggest the Americans have owned, or maintain authority over, more than 1,000 military installations abroad. The network of bases is so expansive that even the Pentagon may not be sure of the exact number.
In Europe, some of the US military facilities currently in operation date to the Cold War era. Much has changed over the past generation, as many European states have joined the Washington-dominated NATO, an increasingly aggressive military association. NATO enlargement of course continues, despite the fact that membership leads inevitably to significant erosion of sovereignty and independence, especially for the smaller countries which have chosen to join NATO.
Most developing countries are experiencing famine.
The food crisis is engineered. Global debt is the driving force. The article below describes what is happening in Sri Lanka. The debt is owned by Western financial institutions.
The creditors are behind this process.
The policy mechanism described in this article affects ALL the countries of the Global South.
In late July 2022, Rockefeller Foundation (RF) president, Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, released a public letter detailing the organization’s plan to increase their resources and attention to addressing climate change. Shah noted that the RF had a hand in shaping “the American and global responses to the pandemic’s crises“ as they funded projects like the CommonPass, helping promote the concept of vaccine passports.
Established in 1913, the foundation used the Rockefeller family wealth to ostensibly promote “public health” by funding mass vaccination campaigns and the founding of public health authorities around the world. To continue their mission today, Shah says the RF must “directly confront climate change“.
“Climate change poses a singular threat to humanity,” Shah wrote. “We have decided The Rockefeller Foundation will take specific actions to transform how humanity farms and eats, powers its communities and homes, prevents and protects against disease, and lives and works. That is how we will make opportunity universal and sustainable.”
Shah says the foundation has taken steps in this direction already, including helping women get “green jobs”, investing in “regenerative agriculture”, and committing to divest its $6 billion endowment from fossil fuels. Shah said the foundation has “divested most of our endowment from the sector”.
Bankrupt OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma can shield its owners, members of the wealthy Sackler family, from opioid lawsuits in exchange for a $6 billion contribution to the company's broader bankruptcy settlement, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Tuesday.
The New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that U.S. bankruptcy law allows legal protections for non-bankrupt parties, like the Sacklers, in extraordinary circumstances.
In a majority opinion written by 2nd Circuit Judge Eunice Lee, the court ruled that the legal claims against Purdue were inextricably linked to claims against its owners, and allowing lawsuits to continue targeting the Sacklers would undermine Purdue's efforts to reach a bankruptcy settlement.
The root cause of our separation lies in the power which has been accumulated by a criminal ruling clique.
The classic form taken by this violent and thieving entity is the state, but it uses other guises.
When states expand they become empires. When an empire has expanded to embrace everything, everywhere, it has become a global tyranny.
Whatever name power gives to its physical structure – nation, union of nations or world order – this will always be a weapon wielded, from above, against the people.
The bigger and more powerful this weapon, the wider the control it can exert and the greater the damage it can inflict.
I wish we had better news. Governments around the world remain close to passing and enacting laws to drastically curtail the freedom of citizens to express their minds. And in the US, corporate advertisers, including Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, are punishing Twitter owner Elon Musk for protecting freedom of speech at Twitter.
We are fighting back. From June 22 - 23 in London, Matt Taibbi, Russell Brand, and free speech defenders from around the world will gather in London to launch a new free speech movement.
To be sure, our opponents are strong and united, while we are weak and divided. We have never met the free speech defenders we are meeting around the world. We only know each other through video, emails, and messages. We have never before solicited donations for free speech advocacy and have little money to pay for travel and accommodations for the people flying into London.
But we have something our opponents don’t, which is the love of freedom and a passion to protect and expand it. While the forces of self-censorship and censorship are powerful, large majorities of citizens everywhere in the world want the right to express their views freely and without risk of being censored or otherwise punished.
According to Dimon’s version of events, he lived a cloistered existence in a corner office on the 48th floor of 270 Park Avenue where even the executives who directly reported to him and worked only “a couple hundred feet” away from his office, never shared with Dimon the bank’s many years of internal investigations about Epstein’s massive cash withdrawals from his accounts at the bank, that sometimes averaged more than $20,000 to $40,000 a month, or its investigations of Epstein’s sex trafficking of underage girls. According to the lawsuits, Epstein had accounts at the bank from 1998 to 2013, at times amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars.
According to Dimon, even the former Director of the Division of Enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission, Stephen Cutler, who became General Counsel at JPMorgan Chase in February of 2007, worked in the office next door to Dimon and reported to Dimon, didn’t share his numerous objections with Dimon to keeping the Epstein accounts at the bank.
An email was introduced by opposing counsel during the deposition, showing that as far back as 2011, Cutler had written in an email referring to Epstein that “This is not an honorable person in any way. He should not be a client.” According to the deposition transcript, it was two executives who worked on the 48th floor with Dimon, Jes Staley and Mary Erdoes, who decided to retain Epstein as a client after his Florida indictment, arrest, jail term and after multiple internal investigations of his large cash withdrawals from his JPMorgan Chase accounts.
Artificial Intelligence is a misnomer for the (ab-)use of a family of computerized pattern recognition methods.
Well structured and labeled data is used to train the models to later have them recognize 'things' in unstructured data. Once the 'things' are found some additional algorithm can act on them.
I programmed some of these as backpropagation networks. They would, for example, 'learn' to 'read' pictures of the numbers 0 to 9 and to present the correct numerical output. To push the 'learning' into the right direction during the serial iterations that train the network one needs a reward function or reward equation. It tells the network if the results of an iteration are 'right' or 'wrong'. For 'reading' visual representations of numbers that is quite simple. One sets up a table with the visual representations and manually adds the numerical value one sees. After the algo has finished its guess a lookup in the table will tell if it were right or wrong. A 'reward' is given when the result was correct. The model will reiterate and 'learn' from there.
Once trained on numbers written in Courier typography the model is likely to also recognize numbers written upside down in Times New Roman even though they look different.
The reward function for reading 0 to 9 is simple. But the formulation of a reward function quickly evolves into a huge problem when one works, as I did, on multi-dimensional (simulated) real world management problems. The one described by the airforce colonel above is a good example for the potential mistakes. Presented with a huge amount of real world data and a reward function that is somewhat wrong or too limited a machine learning algorithm may later come up with results that are unforeseen, impossible to execute or prohibited.
More than $1.3 billion U.S. tax dollars were sent to Russia and China over the past five years (since 2017), according to a new analysis released today by Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and OpenTheBooks.com auditors. This amount likely doesn’t reflect the total amount because federal agencies do not follow the trail of tax dollars to their final destination.
Senator Ernst and Congressman Mike Gallagher (R-Wisc.) are leading the charge to create transparency and accountability for the taxpayer dollars that are being handed out in China and Russia. Today, they are introducing the Tracking Receipts to Adversarial Countries for Knowledge of Spending (TRACKS) Act that would require every penny from a government grant paid to any organization in China and Russia to be tracked and publicly disclosed.
Senator Ernst and OpenTheBooks determined more than $490 million from U.S. grants and contracts were paid to organizations in China over the past five years and another $870 million were paid to entities in Russia.
"Holding firms responsible to publicly report where and how they use their grants and contract awards can deputize private citizens and make them part of the solution. Radical transparency is revolutionizing U.S. public policy and is the information machine for democracy. Everyone has a stake in a more transparent, effective government."
Some of these projects in Russia and China funded by taxpayer dollars already tracked down include:
An Australian and Swedish investigation has found that among the hundreds of COVID-19 research papers that have been withdrawn, a retracted study linking the drug hydroxychloroquine to increased mortality was the most cited paper.
With 1,360 citations at the time of data extraction, researchers in the field were still referring to the paper “Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysis” long after it was retracted.
Authors of the analysis involving the University of Wollongong, Linköping University, and Western Sydney Local Health District wrote (pdf) that “most researchers who cite retracted research do not identify that the paper is retracted, even when submitting long after the paper has been withdrawn.”
The war from across the border has impacted citizens in the Belgorod region of Russia to the point that many towns and villages have been evacuated, with some looking like ghost towns--this after armed groups mounted multiple raids since the war's start--as well as increased shelling and rocket fire. Just two days ago the anti-Moscow "Russian Volunteer Corps" said they launched another attack out of Ukraine, after a bigger one nearly two weeks ago left multiple casualties and many saboteurs killed.
The New York Times wrote on Saturday that "Shebekino, a town of 40,000 six miles from the border, has effectively become a new part of the front line as Ukraine has intensified attacks inside Russia, including on residential areas near its own borders." This is all upending the lives of residents in the border region, akin to what already happened long ago on the Ukrainian side of the border. "The spate of assaults, most recently by militia groups aligned against Moscow, has sparked the largest military evacuation effort in Russia in decades," the report underscored. The past days have witnessed area residents move into temporary shelters, including the large Belgorod arena in the oblast capital.
The Bible has been pulled from the shelves of libraries in a school district in Utah after a parent claimed that it could be considered “pornographic.”