"Virtue gives birth to tranquility, tranquility to leisure, leisure to disorder, disorder to ruin… and similarly from ruin, order is born, from order virtue, from virtue, glory and good fortune." -- Niccolò Machiavelli

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Magdy al-Zaanen is often woken up at night by the cries of his two children.

Sleeping in a makeshift tent on the pavement of Gaza’s Deir al-Balah, they regularly get bitten by mosquitoes, leaving them in great pain. 

“My wife and I pretend to put medicine on the bites to trick them to go back to sleep,” says al-Zaanen. 

Mosquito bites are just one symptom of the growing environmental and health crisis that he and nearly two million internally displaced Palestinians in Gaza are facing since Israel began its war on the strip in October.  

Nearly eight months of relentless Israeli bombardment and siege has all but destroyed infrastructure, waste management facilities, and the Palestinian civil defence.

Claire's Observations;  you have to understand; the spread of opportunistic diseases, particularly among kids, is precisely the outcome Israel wishes to see here, as their destruction of both Gazan medical facilities and waste management facilities attests.

After all, you don't have to murder a kid with a bullet or bomb, if an opportunistic disease will do it for you!!!

And BTW, folks, this relentless bombing in Gaza, with US weapons,  is your tax dollars at work; doesn't it make you feel proud to be an American, right now?!?

Tags: COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, IRAN, ISRAEL, LEBANON, MIDDLE EAST, PALESTINE, TORTURE/ WAR CRIMES, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE, WMD
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A NYC court found former president Donald Trump guilty of 34 criminal counts and the Republicans immediately urged an appeal and donations to the campaign ramp up.

Many of Trump’s Republican allies responded to the guilty verdict with a resounding need for an appeal as fast as possible. Remarks from lawmakers included words like “travesty” and “injustice” to describe the sham trial in NYC.

House Speaker Mike Johnson called the verdict today a “shameful day in American history.” Meanwhile, “Democrats cheered as they convicted the leader of the opposing party on ridiculous charges. This was a purely political exercise, not a legal one.”

The House Majority Leader Steve Scalise issued a statement calling the decision in NYC a “banana republic” and Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Jim Jordan characterized the entire trial as a “kangaroo court,” claiming “the verdict is a travesty of justice.”

According to a former GOP presidential primary opponent, Vivek Ramaswamy, the guilty verdict in NYC “will backfire” on the Democrats and only further expose the ill intent to use lawfare as a way of winning elections.

However, many other Trump supporters viewed the verdict as a win.  Podcaster Jack Posobiec stated “Trump just won the election.”

Tags: POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION
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Alexander Smith was given the choice to resign or be dismissed

A contractor for the US Agency for International Development (USAID) was forced out of his job over a disagreement on a presentation he prepared on maternal and child mortality among Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, The Guardian reported on Thursday.

Alexander Smith worked for USAID as a senior advisor on gender, maternal health, child health, and nutrition. He was scheduled to present the paper on mortality at an internal USAID conference, and it was initially cleared. But it caught the attention of officials in the USAID’s Middle East department, who asked for redactions to be made.

Smith told The Guardian that the edits they requested involved removing a slide describing the applicable international law and removing any language that implied the recognition of a Palestinian state, including names of UN agencies that include the word “Palestine.”

USAID leadership ended up canceling the presentation altogether and claims it was outside of Smith’s area of responsibility, but he said his expertise on maternal and child health is relevant to all humanitarian crises. Two days after his presentation was canceled, Smith was told by his direct employer, the Highbury Defense Group, which has government contracts with USAID, that his contract would be terminated early.

Highbury said that Smith’s contract would be terminated over “personality differences” and that USAID was unhappy with him despite his years of performance on the job and years of positive reviews of his work. Smith was given the option to resign and wrote a scathing resignation letter.

“USAID has always prided itself on our programs supporting democracy, human rights, and rule of law. In Ukraine, we call for legal redress when people are victimized and name perpetrators of violence … We boldly state ‘Slava Ukraini’ in peppy promotional videos,” he wrote.

“When it comes to the Palestinians, however, we avoid saying anything about their right to statehood, the abuses they’re currently suffering, or which powers have been violating their basic rights to freedom, self-determination, livelihoods, and clean water,” he added.

The news of Smith’s resignation makes him the ninth US official to publicly step down over President Biden’s full-throated support for Israel’s slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza. Josh Paul, who resigned from the State Department in October, said dozens more have stepped down quietly and that he expects more resignations to come.

Claire's Observations:  The By-di-Byedenista's "Our way or the Highway" on Gaza, seems to be working remarkably well, in terms of throwing out, or causing to resign,  anyone in this Admin who has the least bit of difference of opinion with that of this administration on this issue.  

So, Congrats, folks, well done;  now that some of the best and brightest have been resigned, or forced out, the rest will probably be most compliant, post a mass-conscience-ectomy, courtesy of this Regime. 

Tags: CORPORATE MEDIA, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, IRAN, ISRAEL, LEBANON, MIDDLE EAST, PALESTINE, SCIENCE/ HEALTH/ CLIMATE/ NATURE, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE, WMD
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Surveying the latest transgressions against decency, morality, and humanity itself by artificial intelligence and its biological architects.

The dairy techno-cows of the future will emit pharmaceutical-grade insulin from their udders in a remarkable achievement for The Science™. RelatedAnti-Meat Propaganda Roundup: Drinking Milk Is ‘Unsettling’ and Racist

Via HealthDay News (emphasis added):

“There may be an unexpected fix for ongoing shortages of insulin: A brown bovine in Brazil recently made history as the first transgenic cow able to produce human insulin in her milk.

Mother Nature designed the mammary gland as a factory to make protein* really, really efficiently,’ explained study leader Matt Wheeler, a professor of animal sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. ‘We can take advantage of that system to produce a protein that can help hundreds of millions of people worldwide.’

His team, which included scientists from the University of São Paolo, described how they developed the insulin-making cow in a report published March 12 in Biotechnology Journal.”

*This is exactly how technocrats view all lifeforms, including humans: as “factories” to produce biologics for some pharmaceutical or industrial purpose — at least until AI figures out how to achieve the same production capacity without them. Then they become utterly useless.

The Public Health™ authorities, of course, could simply advise the serfs on their techno-fiefdom to not consume 500 grams of refined carbohydrates per day to solve the diabetes epidemic, but where’s the profit in that? Where’s the fun? Where’s the gleeful, satanic destruction of the planet’s genome in that?

Via Biotechnology Journal (emphasis added):

Using transgenic animals as bioreactors to produce proteins of pharmaceutical interest has been proposed as an efficient alternative to increase protein production while decreasing costs. The mammary gland is a tissue where posttranslational modifications are possible for large-scale recombinant protein production. The first step in this process is to produce transgenic animals containing a transgene that drives recombinant protein expression in a tissue-specific manner in the mammary gland. The vector constructed in this study was evaluated for gene expression of hINS by induction of transduced and nontransduced MAC-T cells cultured on polystyrene using lactogenic hormones. Mammary epithelial cells have been used as a model for mammary gland function studies and can produce milk proteins…

The combination of gene transfer mediated by lentivirus and SCNT methodologies used in this work successfully generated a transgenic calf that contains the gene to produce human proinsulin in milk.”


Claire's Observations:  Hey, "Frankenmilk"; what could POSSIBLY go wrong?!?

When science tinkers in this way with the building blocks of life, a lot could go wrong, and the consequences could  well be long in manifesting.

Tags: CURRENT EVENTS, SCIENCE/ HEALTH/ CLIMATE/ NATURE
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Authored by Pete McGinnis via RealClearPolicy,

In June 2023, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management proposed a rule that would require stricter financial assurance standards for oil companies operating in the Outer Continental Shelf. This costly rule became final on April 15, 2024, but in the 10 months since its initial proposal, BOEM did nothing to alleviate concerns for smaller companies that comprise of 76 percent of oil and gas operators in the Gulf. As a result, many of these companies could be forced out of business by extreme and unnecessary costs from this rule. The situation threatens an estimated 36,000 jobs, more than $570 million in federal government royalties, and $9.9 billion from our GDP.

Records obtained via the Freedom of Information Act show private meetings between Interior officials and representatives of the major oil companies as they cooperated on this rule. If you think that’s strange, you’re not alone. President Biden made clear in his campaign that he wanted to end oil and gas production on public lands. It’s baffling that Big Oil – among the administration’s most, if not the most, maligned businesses – would stand on the same side with environmental groups such as the Sierra Club who praised the rule. But needless government intervention makes strange bedfellows. Big Oil must think it won’t miss the small competitors the rule will drive from the market.

The conditions for obtaining an oil and gas lease include meeting obligations for decommissioning. Leaseholders must provide “financial assurance” that they can bear the costs to cap wells and restore the site. If the financial strength of the company is insufficient, costly surety bonds can be purchased to satisfy the requirements. However, a quiet omission is the larger threat for smaller operators.

Historically, joint and several liability protected these small businesses from the financial demands of surety bonds. Most small businesses operating in the OCS have assumed a lease started by a bigger oil company. Typically, a large company drills the well and harvests a large amount of oil (and profits), and then sells the lease. Under this system, all companies who have ever held the lease are liable for decommissioning. Accordingly, if any company who could be liable for decommissioning can prove capable of paying for decommissioning, no company is required to buy surety bonds.

The new rule is largely silent on joint and several liability, causing some uncertainty.

Tags: ECONOMY, ENERGY, GULF/OTHER OIL
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by Tyler Durden
 

Boston's 39-year-old Mayor, Michelle Wu, wants to follow in the footsteps of San Francisco, Philadelphia, Seattle, Denver, New York, and other liberal strongholds - where property crimes, including grand larceny and motor vehicle theft, have seen a sharp increase in recent years.

Boston's progressive Mayor Michelle Wu wants to decriminalize certain offenses

As the Daily Mail reports, Wu wants to make crimes including shoplifting and disorderly conduct off-limits to prosecution. She also wants to include certain categories of breaking and entering, wanton and malicious property destruction, larceny under $250, and trespassing as non-prosecutable crimes. She did toss in drug possession - which is fine as long as crimes like disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace are enforced.

Those who commit such wanton crimes would receive little more than a slap on the wrist.

The offenses are all on a 'do-not-prosecute' list that was created by former Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins.

Rollins, who later joined the Biden administration but resigned amid ethical violations, had advocated for the non-prosecution of more 'low-level' offenses. 

During her 2021 campaign, Wu was asked by left-wing nonprofit Progressive Massachusetts whether she supports Rollins' list, to which she responded "Yes." When asked if she supported closing the Boston Police gang database, she also said yes. She also supports firing any Boston PD employees involved in the January 6th protest in Washington DC

Claire's Observations:  So, "et tu,  Mayor Wu", when it comes to decriminalization?!?!? (Apologies to the memory Shakespeare on that!)

Forgive me, but where, please, are the statistics that show this process works successfully in any major city, like Boston?!?  Do they actually exist in real life, or are they still just a hopium/changium construct of the liberal mind-set?!?

And Mayor Wu, I understand that the reasons people become criminals can be many, and varied.  But let's talk about some bedrock, fundamental things which keep kids away from crime.

First, let's start with functional families, however those families shake out. 

Good parents are lovingly in control, and teach kids good moral values.  Sometimes, participation in spiritual communities which align with those family values, doesn't hurt.  

These are the people who will take the time, if possible, to meet their kids' teachers, and make sure they know that if the teachers want to talk to them, that they are more than open to communication.

I remember a Black army chaplain, with a lovely wife and two great sons, who were leaving our community on Oahu, because he had been re-assigned to another location.  And he mentioned that when he dropped his sons off on the first day in their new school, that he would make it a point to introduce himself to their teachers, so they would know how to find him, if there were any issues, and I thought to myself; " these kids are very lucky to have a father like that!!" In single parent households, we need parents like this also, and teachers who will make the time to meet them, if their work schedules are crazy.

Now, Mayor Wu, let's talk about education in Boston.  Yes, there has been a massive improvement in the quality of public education over the last 20 yearshttps://www.bostonpublicschools.org/domain/238, but how literate; numerate; and logical are those kids who do graduate from your public schools?

How ready are they to either go to college and graduate, or find a job?!?  And is the city working with local corporations, to "mentor" kids in what work, in the 21st century , will look like, and the skills they will need to be successfully functional in their jobs?!?

And Mayor Wu, these ideas "don't come from the mountain":  they are based on some very successful and very dear families we love, who have given us 3 wonderful grand-nephews, and one wonderful grand niece, who are just doing brilliantly in both school, and with  their social development.  

In 21st century America, THAT ... is saying something!! :-)

Tags: CORPORATE MEDIA, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, ECONOMY, EDUCATION
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As part of an innovative approach called “contingency management,” Coburn pees in a cup and gets paid for it — as long as the sample is clean of stimulants.

In the coming fiscal year, the state is expected to allocate $61 million to the experiment, which targets addiction to stimulants such as meth and cocaine. It is part of a broader Medi-Cal initiative called CalAIM, which provides social and behavioral health services, including addiction treatment, to some of the state’s sickest and most vulnerable patients.

Since April 2023, 19 counties have enrolled a total of about 2,700 patients, including Coburn, according to the state Department of Health Care Services.

Tags: CURRENT EVENTS
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Google has suffered the 'mother of all leaks' after 2,500 documents surfaced online that exposed how its algorithm decides what users see. 

The internal documents have suggested the system, which determines how pages rank in search results, has focused on the number of clicks a site receives rather than how reputable the source is.

This could push fake news sites or misleading stories to the top of a Google search, causing people to fall into the trap of receiving more poorly sourced information, according to SEO expert Rand Fishkin.

Google has previously denied using click-through rates (CTRs) to boost algorithm results and an analyst on the Google Search team said in a Reddit post that it's 'generally made up crap.'

Tags: COMPUTERS/INTERNET/AI, CORPORATE MEDIA
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Chinese coast guard ships fired water cannons and drove Philippine vessels away from a contested area of the South China Sea, a Philippine coast guard official said Tuesday, in the countries' latest encounter in waters near the Scarborough Shoal.

Philippine Coast Guard spokesman Commodore Jay Tarriela said in a statement posted on X that the incident occurred Monday morning when two Philippine maritime patrol vessels encountered four Chinese coast guard and six Chinese maritime militia vessels in the vicinity of the Scarborough Shoal.

The shoal, which the Philippines calls Bajo de Masinloc, is a triangular chain of reefs and rocks roughly 120 nautical miles west of the Philippine coast that has been blockaded and claimed by China since a 2012 standoff.

Tarriela said that one Chinese ship fired its water cannon at the Philippine ships about 12 nautical miles away from the shoal, hitting one. The other was struck by water cannons from two Chinese ships when it was around 1,000 yards from the shoal and suffered railing and canopy damage.

Tags: CHINA/TAIWAN, PACIFICA
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Research shows a fivefold increase in autism rates among children compliant with the CDC's vaccine schedule versus unvaccinated children.

This finding was published by Brian S. Hooker and Neil Z. Miller in 2021.

“The Control Group” study found something even more shocking.

The rate of autism was ten times higher in the vaccinated compared to the unvaccinated.

“They polled about 1800 unvaccinated children across the nation. Forty-six different states were represented. And when they did that, the rate of autism, the national average of autism, presumably for vaccinated children, was ten times higher than that of unvaccinated children,” explained Dr. Hooker.

Tags: CONSUMER RIGHTS / PRODUCT REPORTS, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION, SCIENCE/ HEALTH/ CLIMATE/ NATURE
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California is constitutionally and legally totally out of control. They have gone absolutely rogue in recent years. Laws have been passed in the Golden State that make it the most gun-restrictive state in the nation. This is the opposite of most states who have legalized open and concealed carry. The National Rifle Association has had it with this Marxist stance and are now fighting back legally.

The California Rifle and Pistol Association recently filed a lawsuit that targets a number of bills to be reversed that were signed into law last year. Chief among them is the Assault Weapons Ban. Just this past January, California banned any ‘assault-type weapon’ with an easily detachable magazine. On constitutional grounds, the NRA affiliate is challenging this law, not only because it will do nothing to stop violent criminals, but because it infringes our Second Amendment rights. This could go all the way to the Supreme Court.

Webmaster addition: 

 

Tags: POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION, RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS
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When Seth Lloyd first published his ideas about quantum time loops, he hadn’t considered all the consequences. For one thing, he hadn’t anticipated the countless emails he would get from would-be time travellers asking for his help. If he could have his time over again, he jokes, he “probably wouldn’t have done it”.

Sadly, Lloyd, a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, won’t be revisiting years gone by. Spoiler alert: no one will go back in time during the course of this article. But particles? That is another matter.

Theoretical routes to the past called time loops have long been hypothesised by physicists. But because they are plagued by impracticalities and paradoxes, they have been dismissed as impossible for just as long. But now Lloyd and other physicists have begun to show that in the quantum realm, these loops to the past are not only possible, but even experimentally feasible. In other words, we will soon effectively try to send a particle back in time.

If that succeeds, it raises the possibility of being able to dispatch, if not people, then at least messages in the form of quantum signals, back in time.

Webmaster addition: That's going to be inconvenient for the stock market and the lotteries!

Tags: SCIENCE/ HEALTH/ CLIMATE/ NATURE
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To supposedly stop people from exchanging non-consensual artificial intelligence (AI) images of a sexual nature, President Biden wants to probe everyone's smartphones as part of a sweeping surveillance effort.

press release from the White House explains the Biden regime's desire for the tech and financial industries to take charge in stopping the creation and spread of abusive sexual imagery created by AI robots.

According to Biden's handlers, "mobile operating system developers could enable technical protections to better protect content stored on digital devices and to prevent image sharing without consent."

The plan is to have mobile operating systems such as Android and iOS automatically scan and analyze people's private photos to determine which ones are sexual or non-consensual. Users would not have the ability to keep any of their images private from government spooks.

It might sound like a good thing until you recognize the privacy implications of such an arrangement. Do we the people really want to allow the government direct access to our photos?

Beyond the search and analysis framework, the Biden regime also wants mobile app stores like Apple's App Store and Google Play to "commit to instituting requirements for app developers to prevent the creation of non-consensual images."

Do we really want Biden looking at our photos?

If Biden gets his way, a full range of apps would be subject to government intrusion, including apps that allow users to edit and draw images and other art. Beyond that, the sky is the limit. 

"Once this technology of on-device monitoring becomes normalized, this level of scrutiny could extend beyond the initial intent, potentially leading to censorship of other types of content that the administration finds objectionable," warns Reclaim the Net's Ken Macon.

"The administration's call to action extends to various sectors, including AI developers, payment processors, financial institutions, cloud computing providers, search engines, and mobile app store gatekeepers like Apple and Google. By encouraging cooperation from these entities, the White House hopes to curb the creation, spread, and monetization of nonconsensual AI images."

Previously, the Biden regime was able to secure voluntary commitments from Amazon, Google, Meta (Facebook and Instagram), and Microsoft to implement safeguards on their respective AI systems. This is not enough, though, as the White House wants even more intrusion.

Privacy experts worry about the "mission creep" aspects of the plan, which essentially gives the government free rein to do as it wishes in the name of stopping "crime."

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Tags: COMPUTERS/INTERNET/AI, DICTATORSHIP, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION, WHITE HOUSE
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by Tyler Durden
 

The stablecoin sector is gaining momentum after a new Bloomberg report revealed that Russian commodities firms have adopted fiat-pegged digital currencies to execute cross-border transactions with Chinese counterparts. 

Russian commodities firms, trading anything from base metals to timber, have started using Tether Holdings Ltd.'s stablecoin to settle cross-border transactions with Chinese customers and suppliers. These settlements are being routed through Hong Kong. 

The appeal of stablecoins comes as the US Treasury Department has unleashed endless rounds of sanctions on Chinese and Russian companies for various reasons, ranging from a trade war between Washington and Beijing to a hot war in Eastern Europe. 

The increased utilization of stablecoins comes more than two years after Russia invaded Ukraine and highlights how Moscow has adapted to a changing economic environment where seven Russian banks were banned from the SWIFT messaging system. 

The lasting effect of Western sanctions on Russia's economy only makes stablecoins more useful, including for cross-border transactions. It also helps mitigate the risk of frozen overseas bank accounts—something the Russians found out after they invaded Ukraine. Even unsanctioned Russian companies have found stablecoins a safer alternative to the traditional Western banking system. 

"With stablecoins, the transfer may take just 5-15 seconds and cost a few cents, making such transactions pretty efficient when the sender already has an asset base in stablecoins," said Ivan Kozlov, co-founder of Resolve Labs. 

Kozlov continued, "In countries that are facing dollar liquidity issues and capital controls, cross-border settlements through cryptocurrencies and, specifically, dollar-linked stablecoins, are a relatively common practice, and not only in commodities." 

The growing adoption of stablecoins in Russia's global trade reveals that Western sanctions have failed to implode the Russian economy. There's even been news of the Russian Central Bank experimenting with crypto payments for international transactions. 

About a year ago, Rosbank, one of Russia's major banks, launched a facility that enabled importers to settle transactions using crypto. Since then, additional banks have started offering similar services. 

The stablecoin trend doesn't end with Russia. Venezuela's state-run oil company, PDVSA, has slowly moved oil sales to USDT after the US recently imposed sanctions on the country. 

Even as these developments show cryptocurrencies have use cases, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Neel Kashkari, stated in April, "[Bitcoin has] no actual utility in the economy, other than being a nice toy that some people enjoy owning and trading.

Claire's Observations;  One wonders just how" asleep at the switch"  Kashkari had to be, to make that last observation; I have rarely seen someone be so absolutely dead-wrong in a public statement, and demonstrates that the guy either has utterly no clue what is going on with trade between China and Russia, (or is utterly terrified because he does) and as to how it will improve their ability to trade effectively!!!!

Tags: CHINA/TAIWAN, CORPORATE MEDIA, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, ECONOMY, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA
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Ukraine can use Danish F-16 fighter jets to strike military targets in Russia, Danish Foreign Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen said, the Danish media AmagerLIV reported on May 30.

Ukraine cannot use these aircraft for "arbitrary attacks" on Russia, Rasmussen said.

Ukraine's Armed Forces can target Russian weapons depots.

Tags: EUROPE, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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Joe Biden's administration has had a field day with redefining English words to push his leftist ideas: "Sex" for example, no longer means whether one is male or female, it's whatever "gender" ideology has been brainwashed into a person.

Even Biden himself has gone over the edge, recently calling those to protested his election on Jan. 6, 2021, as "erectionists," although it's not known for sure if that was an ideological point or simply a brain misfiring.

Now his Department of Labor is insisting on calling women "menstruators."

Webmaster addition: War, open borders, an economy in crisis, and this is what Biden is working on?!?

Tags: CURRENT EVENTS, WHITE HOUSE
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Right before Election Day, Biden finally released the names of his ‘bundlers’: the big money fundraisers who backed his 2020 campaign. The David Horowitz Freedom Center’s investigative arm did some last minute sleuthing and found some interesting names on that list.

One of them was ‘Muhammad’ Tahir Javed: a Biden surrogate, Democratic National Committee deputy finance chair, and future Pakistani cabinet member.

Javed bragged that he had “raised over $2M for the Biden Harris transition team” and “recruited 30+ donors to the transition team and general campaign, four of whom were recognized along with myself… to have raised over $100,000 personally.” These donors would have likely come through Javed’s roles in various Islamic and Pakistani groups operating inside America.

Tags: PAKISTAN/ INDIA, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION, WHITE HOUSE
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Via Middle East Eye

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is close to becoming king as the health of his elderly father, King Salman, deteriorates; he was recently treated for a lung infection. While Mohammed bin Salman’s succession to the throne may seem inevitable and straightforward, he will face two challenging decisions: appointing a crown prince and designating a deputy crown prince.

When appointing a future crown prince, he theoretically needs to consult Saudi Arabia’s 1992 basic law of governance, which stipulates that rulers are drawn from the male descendants of Ibn Saud, with the “most upright among them” selected for the role. 

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, via AFP

But a 2017 amendment by King Salman notes that after the sons of Ibn Saud, there should be “no king and crown prince belonging to the same branch of the founder king’s descendants.”

In practice, as king, Mohammed bin Salman would have enough power to ignore the amendment and appoint one of his brothers as crown prince - but this would not be without consequences. He would appear even more ruthless in excluding other branches of the House of Saud

Such a move would further alienate the large pool of cousins belonging to important branches, such as al-Fahd and al-Sultan, neither of which has been humiliated like al-Nayef and Allahabad. So far, despite rumors about who Mohammed bin Salman may select as crown prince, the decision has been kept secret.  

It is also uncertain as to whether the future monarch would follow the path of King Abdullah, who created the role of deputy crown prince in 2014 (before dying the following year), fearing a power vacuum if he and his crown prince both died within a short period of time. But the post of deputy crown prince has been vacant since 2017, the year Mohammed bin Salman ascended to the role of crown prince.

Establishing power

King Salman never appointed a deputy crown prince, for two reasons. First, the young age of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who was in his early thirties in 2017, made it unlikely that he would die any time soon and require a deputy to step in.

Second, and more importantly, King Salman would have struggled to find a suitable deputy crown prince, as he and his son antagonized several branches of al-Saud lineage, namely Nayef and Abdullah.

Former Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef received the most humiliating blow when he was sidelined after decades of holding highly sensitive and important positions in the interior ministry and intelligence services. He was put under house arrest and has since disappeared from public life.

King Abdullah’s son Mutaib, the former chief of the Saudi Arabian National Guard, was equally humiliated when he was sacked from his military role; he has also disappeared from public life following allegations of corruption.

King Salman and his son have not endeared themselves to these two branches of the royal family and their descendants. The king could still have chosen a deputy crown prince from the other remaining important branches, but he didn’t.

Perhaps King Salman wanted his own son to have time to establish his power base without the patronage of older senior princes, most of whom had held senior positions in government as ministers or military commanders

Tags: CURRENT EVENTS, DICTATORSHIP, ECONOMY, HIDDEN HISTORY, SAUDI ARABIA
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by Tyler Durden

Since 1980, there have been 383 extreme weather or climate disasters where the damages reached at least $1 billion. In total, these disasters have cost more than $2.7 trillion.

Created in partnership with the National Public Utilities Council, this chart, via Visual Capitalist's Jenna Ross, shows how these disasters have been increasing with each passing decade.

A Growing Concern

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) tracks each disaster and estimates the cost based on factors like physical damages and time losses such as business interruption. They adjust all costs by the Consumer Price Index to account for inflation.

Both the number and cost of extreme weather disasters has grown over time. In fact, not even halfway through the 2020s the number of disasters is over 70% of those seen during the entire 2010s. 

Severe storms have been the most common, accounting for half of all billion-dollar disasters since 1980. In terms of costs, tropical cyclones have caused the lion’s share—more than 50% of the total. Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall in 2005, remains the most expensive single event with $199 billion in inflation-adjusted costs.

Electricity and Extreme Weather Disasters

With severe storms and other disasters rising, the electricity people rely on is significantly impacted. For instance, droughts have been associated with a decline in hydropower, which is an important source of U.S. renewable electricity generation

Disasters can also lead to significant costs for utility companies. Hawaii Electric faces $5 billion in potential damages claims for the 2023 wildfire, which is nearly eight times its insurance coverage. Lawsuits accuse the company of negligence in maintaining its infrastructure, such as failing to strengthen power poles to withstand high winds

Tags: CURRENT EVENTS
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The long-lost sarcophagus belonging to ancient Egypt's most powerful pharaoh has been found more than 3,000 years after his death.

Archaeologists re-examined a mysterious granite burial found under the floor of a religious center in east-central Egypt, finding it belonged to Ramesses II.

Dubbed Ramses the Great, his reign from 1279 to 1213BC saw colossal statues and buildings erected in what was marked as the last peak of Egypt's imperial power. 

The remains of a high priest were originally found in the sarcophagus, but that new discovery has suggested he removed the pharaoh's mummy and coffin to reuse the burial.

Tags: SCIENCE/ HEALTH/ CLIMATE/ NATURE
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