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"A decision based on knowledge produces less commotion than one based on emotion." -- Jim Tanner
On May 24, the National Priorities Project at the Institute for Policy Studies released a critical new analysis of the militarized budget in the United States, “The Warfare State: How Funding for Militarism Compromises our Welfare.”
The new report found that this past year, out of a $1.8 trillion federal discretionary budget, the U.S. spent a staggering $1.1 trillion – or 62% – of that budget on militarism and war.
Threats to cut spending for vital domestic programs have featured prominently in the debt ceiling debate in recent weeks, but spending on militarism has been almost entirely exempt from the discussion. Meanwhile, clawing back failed military, homeland security and law enforcement spending could instead fund programs and measures to address the true needs of American communities.
Former Disney CEO Bob Chapek's criticism of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for supporting the Parental Rights in Education bill has sparked a feud that continues today.
Chapek's comments accused DeSantis of promoting legislation that would "unfairly target gay, lesbian, nonbinary, and transgender kids and families." Since then, Disney's stock price has plummeted by 33.1% in just over 14 months. Disney shares opened at $89.44 and continued to fall on Wednesday ahead of DeSantis's formal entry into the 2024 presidential campaign.
In addition to the stock decline, Disney announced on Wednesday that it would lay off over 2,500 employees to save money. Meanwhile, Governor DeSantis was reelected in November 2022 by a margin of 19.4 percentage points.
Former White House strategist Steve Bannon is set to face trial on May 27, 2024, for allegedly defrauding donors who paid for constructing a wall at the southern border.
After being accused of diverting hundreds of thousands of dollars to his associates, Bannon surrendered himself to New York State authorities in September. Bannon pleaded not guilty to conspiracy, money laundering, and scheme to defraud. Brain Kolfage and Andrew Badolato, allegedly involved in the case, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in April 2022.
According to the indictment, Bannon raised over $25 million and promised donors that "100% of the funds raised… will be used in the execution of our mission and purpose." Bannon accused DA Bragg of using the charges to keep him from being involved in the Midterms. He claimed prosecutors "did the exact same thing in August 2020 to try to take me out of the election."
It is clear from the Durham report and the work of House Republican hearings that the current scandals in the Biden White House — and senior bureaucracies at the Justice Department, IRS and elsewhere — are much deeper and more cancerous than Watergate ever was.
It may be hard to remember, but Watergate came about due to a weird, dumb and fairly narrow set of criminal behaviors which mushroomed into 69 officials being indicted and 48 imprisoned.
I remember Watergate vividly, because I first ran for Congress in 1974 during the Watergate scandal.
A North Face advertisement featuring a drag queen in rainbow-themed outdoor sports gear has sparked backlash after going viral online. The popular outdoor apparel company has learned nothing from mounting customer boycotts against Bud Light and Target in recent weeks.
"Hi, it's me, Pattie Gonia, a real-life homosexual," drag queen and self-described environmentalist and community organizer Pattie Gonia said in The North Face ad, adding, "Today I'm here with the North Face. We are here to invite you to come out ... in nature with us!"
"We like to call this little tour, the Summer of Pride. This tour has everything: hiking, community, art, lesbians, lesbians making art. Last year we gay sashayed across the nation and celebrated pride," the drag queen continued.
Nearly half a million people are estimated to be killed by counterfeit medicines in sub-Saharan Africa every year, according to data from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Of these, 267,000 deaths are believed to be linked to falsified or substandard antimalarial medicines, while a further 169,271 are linked to falsified or substandard antibiotics for severe pneumonia in children.
Statista's Anna Fleck reports that, according to the 2023 report ‘Trafficking in Medical Products in the Sahel’, while it is difficult to gauge the overall quantities of medical products that are being trafficked, various studies indicate that the share of medical products that are falsified and substandard hits between the 19-50 percent mark. Between 2017 and 2021, at least 605 tons of different medical products were seized in West Africa during international operations in the region.
The trend away from the U.S. dollar in global trade and finance is accelerating rapidly as inflation persists, government debt levels explode, and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) roams the planet negotiating deals in other currencies.
A Chinese bank employee counts US dollar bills at a bank counter in Nantong in China's eastern Jiangsu province on Aug. 6, 2019. (STR/AFP via Getty Images)
The economic and political implications of the dollar’s possible loss of its prized status as global reserve currency are hard to overstate, according to experts.
In fact, such a development—if and when it occurs—could prove catastrophic to U.S. consumers as their spending power evaporates, economists are warning amid debt-ceiling negotiations that have sent tremors around the world.
Numerous analysts who spoke with The Epoch Times warned that the CCP and other U.S. adversaries were actively advancing the global effort to undermine the dollar.
If you live on planet Earth, you might have noticed that climate change activists have become increasingly annoying in recent years, splattering masterpieces with soup, halting football and tennis matches, shutting down highways and petrol stations and — in the case of the Tyre Extinguishers, who take their instructions from an anonymized website — claiming to have disabled more than 11,000 SUVs in 17 countries around the world.
I met up with Claude and his friends to witness a new development in climate activism. A small but significant wing of the green movement has crossed the Rubicon: It’s not just fossil fuel executives and politicians being targeted; for activists like Claude and those who support them, civilians are now fair game…
“We need to wake up,” said Margaret Klein Salamon, executive director of the U.S.-based Climate Emergency Fund (CEF), which has channeled millions of dollars to 95 “disruptive activism” groups since it was set up in 2019. “I think of the activists as shaking us, trying anything that they can think of and putting themselves at very significant risk …
Attitudes like Claude’s are reinforcing a long-held view among some law enforcement officials, academics and parts of the green movement that this escalation was inevitable. If activists who view the world in increasingly millenarian terms really are done trying to win the public’s approval, what’s to stop these slightly goofy stunts from turning into something more serious? Cases of arson and sabotage are breaking into the news more often. Could more extreme forms of violence be next?
The 2001 four-times Oscar winning movie A Beautiful Mind starred Russell Crowe as John Nash, the mathematician who revolutionized game theory by introducing the concept of the ‘Nash equilibrium’. It’s a great movie, well worth watching if you haven’t already.
Nash’s big breakthrough was to define the steady state of a game, by identifying the combination of choices from which no player can gain by unilaterally changing his choice. This is the Nash equilibrium. When all players know each other’s payoffs, the Nash equilibrium becomes the game’s logical endpoint (Figure 1).
Right now, the Democrats and Republicans are playing a game that our US Political Strategists have long warned poses a higher-than-usual risk of national debt default BCA Research - Shades Of Gridlock: Risk Of US Debt Default. The Democrats (Dems) must concede spending cuts for the Republicans (Reps) to lift the debt ceiling and prevent the US government from defaulting on its debt. This raises the questions: What is the game? What are the payoffs? And what is the Nash equilibrium?
New evidence suggests the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Food and Drug Administration may have violated the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act when they withheld knowledge about myocarditis safety signals from the public and from COVID-19 vaccine fact sheets.
New evidence suggesting public health officials knew early in 2021 that COVID-19 vaccines posed a heightened risk of myocarditis in young men — but withheld that information from the public — raises questions about whether federal health agencies violated any laws.
According to Dr. Meryl Nass, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) knew about the myocarditis safety signal in February 2021, but “hid it until they got the vaccine authorized for 12-15-year-olds in May 2021,” and then “kept pushing” the vaccine on the highest-risk groups.”
Nass said the new evidence suggests the CDC and FDA may have violated the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) when they withheld knowledge about myocarditis safety signals from the public and from fact sheets included with the COVID-19 vaccines.
Democrat New York City Mayor Eric Adams is arguing in court for the suspension of the city’s “Right to Shelter” requirement, citing the ongoing influx of illegal immigrants and asylum seekers in the city.
Following a 1984 court decision known as the “Callahan consent decree,” New York City has had to provide shelter for virtually all homeless people who apply. Adams has been seeking a suspension or modification of this “Right to Shelter” rule and on Tuesday his office formally requested (pdf) that a New York City judge pause the shelter rule.
The Adams administration has been feeling a strain on its shelter capacity as a result of a prolonged influx of illegal immigrants and asylum seekers. The Mayor’s office has estimated more than 65,000 illegal immigrants and asylum have arrived in New York City since last year and more than 44,000 continue to use city shelters. In total, New York City is currently supporting 93,000 individuals in its shelter program; a number that “far exceeds the City’s previous highest-ever-recorded population of 61,000 individuals.”
Adams is seeking to modify the shelter rule by adding a provision that states: “The obligations to provide shelter to both homeless adults and to adult families shall be stayed when the City of New York acting through the New York City Department of Homeless Services (‘DHS’) lacks the resources and capacity to establish and maintain sufficient shelter sites, staffing, and security to provide safe and appropriate shelter.”
Last Friday, members of the Arab League welcomed the Syrian regime back to the organization. Representatives from several Arab member states shook Syrian leader Assad’s hand and gave him, a “warm” reception according to several news outlets. Syria was suspended from the league in 2011, but on May 7 in Cairo the league agreed to reinstate the Assad regime.
This represents a reversal from years of isolation placed on the regime, and a break with US policy which remains staunchly opposed to Assad. Indeed, the League’s rapprochement with Assad should be seen as a repudiation of US policy, and especially as a sign of how Washington’s influence among Leage members—the most powerful of which are Saudi Arabia and Egypt—has waned.
Moreover, this is just the latest bad news for Washington’s influence in the region coming mere weeks after Iran and Saudi Arabia reestablished diplomatic relations.
In both cases, we find regimes that Washington had sought to isolate and sanction, but both states have instead been expanding their relations with other states in the region with the help of China. Meanwhile, both Beijing and Riyadh have increased their ties with Russia. These development help illustrate how growing US attempt to impose—or threaten to impose—hard line sanctions against a growing number of regimes has only accelerated a global movement away from the US dollar and away from Washington’s orbit.
Over 100 members of the US Congress and European Parliament signed a letter calling for Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber to be removed as the head of the upcoming COP28 climate conference, Reuters reported on 24 May.
COP28 will be hosted by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in December and will center around efforts to mobilize $100 billion of public and private climate finance for developing economies.
Jaber, who heads the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and serves as the UAE’s climate envoy, was designated in January to lead the talks.
In the public letter, lawmakers, including US Democratic senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, voiced “profound concern” that oil companies would be able to “exert undue influence” on the climate negotiations.
Despite urgent warnings from US and Western allies, Moscow is moving forward with plans to station tactical nuclear weapons in neighboring Belarus. The two longtime allies which form what they call a 'union state' signed a deal Thursday to formalize deployment of Russian nukes on Belarusian soil. All of this comes dangerously as Ukraine's cross-border sabotage attacks on Russian territory have clearly escalated.
Alarmingly for Ukraine and its NATO backers, Belarus' president Alexander Lukashenko said soon after the deal was signed that the transfer of non-strategic nuclear weapons from Russia to Belarus is already underway.
Bank of Russia Governor Elvira Nabiullina visited Tehran for talks with her Iranian counterpart, Mohammad-Reza Farzin, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. The talks focused on strengthening relations between commercial banks from the two heavily sanctioned countries as well as “increasing banking infrastructure cooperation,” Iranian central bank Governor Farzin said.
Nabiullina also participated in talks during the Asian Clearing Union meeting in Tehran, which Russia is attending as an observer along with officials from Belarus and Afghanistan. According to Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency, Iranian First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber discussed efforts with Nabiullina to eliminate the use of the dollar in transactions with Russia.
The US and South Korea on Thursday held massive live-fire drills near the demilitarized zone (DMZ) border in the latest provocation toward Pyongyang that will likely provoke North Korean missile tests.
According to the South Korean news agency Yonhap, the exercises are the US and South Korea’s largest-ever combined live-fire joint drills, and they were held just 25 kilometers south of the DMZ.
The exercises, dubbed the “Combined annihilation firepower drills,” are the first of five rounds of live-fire drills that will be held through mid-June and commemorate the 70th anniversary of the US-South Korean alliance.
Similar exercises have been held 11 times since 1977. According to AP, This year’s iteration involves 2,500 troops from both nations and 610 weapons systems, including fighter jets, attack helicopters, drones, tanks, and artillery.
In the Blindman’s Buff variation of tag, a child designated as “It” is tasked with tapping another child while wearing a blindfold. The sightless child knows the other children, all able to see, are there but is left to stumble around, using sounds and knowledge of the space they’re in as guides. Finally, that child does succeed, either by bumping into someone, peeking, or thanks to sheer dumb luck.
Think of us, the American public, as that blindfolded child when it comes to our government’s torture program that followed the 9/11 disaster and the launching of the ill-fated war on terror. We’ve been left to search in the dark for what so many of us sensed was there.
We’ve been groping for the facts surrounding the torture program created and implemented by the administration of President George W. Bush. For 20 years now, the hunt for its perpetrators, the places where they brutalized detainees, and the techniques they used has been underway. And for 20 years, attempts to keep that blindfold in place in the name of “national security” have helped sustain darkness over light.
Ukraine sent untrained recruits into the battle of Bakhmut to save its professional soldiers for an expected counteroffensive, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
The Journal spoke with men who were part of a small group that was sent into Bakhmut, which became known as the meat grinder, just a few days after being mobilized.
Out of 16 men in the group of draftees, 11 were either killed or captured. The Journal described them as “mostly poor men from villages in the northeastern Kharkiv region, many of them unemployed, doing odd jobs as handymen or shift work at factories in the regional capital.”
Some of the men had military training years or decades ago, but none had combat experience. A few of them threatened to refuse orders when they were told they were being sent to the frontlines on February 21, citing a lack of training, but they ultimately went.
One man, Vladyslav Yudin, told the Journal that he told a sergeant major that he had never fired or even held a gun before. “Bakhmut will teach you,” Yudin was told.
The US-led anti-ISIS coalition is building a new military base in Syria’s northern province of Raqqa, The New Arab reported, citing a source close to the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
The US backs the SDF and keeps about 900 troops in eastern Syria, allowing the US to control about one-third of Syria’s territory. The report said there are currently about 24 US-led military sites spread throughout eastern Syria.
While the US says it’s in Syria to fight ISIS, the presence is part of Washington’s economic war against Damascus, which includes crippling economic sanctions. ISIS also holds no significant territory, and the Syrian government and its allies would continue to fight the remnants of the terror group if the US withdrew.
A bipartisan group of senators sent a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Wednesday urging him to open an investigation into reports of systematic price gouging by defense contractors.
The letter, which included the signatures of Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), cites a CBS News “60 Minutes” report on major defense contractors overcharging the Pentagon on a wide range of equipment and weapons.
The senators expressed concern that defense contractors were securing profits of 40 percent, and sometimes as high as 4,000 percent.
“Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, and TransDigm are among the offenders,” the senators wrote, “dramatically overcharging the Department and U.S. taxpayers while reaping enormous profits, seeing their stock prices soar, and handing out massive executive compensation packages.”
s the Joe Biden administration continues its hurried push to foster an unlikely normalization deal between Riyadh and Tel Aviv, the White House is suggesting Israel make some concessions to the Saudis in the hopes of achieving an agreement, Times of Israel reported on Tuesday.
It remains unclear if the Israelis will be willing to take the recommended steps, particularly with respect to the security situation in Palestine. Likewise, it is unlikely Saudi Arabia is interested in joining the Abraham Accords which is a thinly veiled, American-led coalition against Iran. Riyadh recently restored full diplomatic relations with Tehran in an unprecedented, diplomatic feat brokered by Beijing.
According to an unsourced Channel 12 news report, cited by Times of Israel, the Biden administration and the Saudis want Tel Aviv to hold talks with the Palestinians. Washington is also said to be urging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to shelve his controversial judicial overhaul, which has caused political chaos and a social uproar in Israel.
Webmaster addition: I predict that Netanyahu will be "uncooperative."
The House’s new committee on China released 10 recommendations for ways that the US should increase support for Taiwan to prepare for a future war with China over the island. Members of the panel are looking to include their recommendations in the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
Some of the ideas were lessons the members of Congress said they learned from a recent war game they participated in that was conducted by the Center for a New American Security, a hawkish think tank funded by US arms makers and the Taiwanese government.
According to Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), the war game showed that the US would quickly run out of long-range missiles in a war with China over Taiwan. As a result, the first recommendation is for the US to make more long-range missiles.
Gallagher also said that the war game showed it would take the US and its allies time to craft economic sanctions to target China during a conflict. Because of that, the panel wants the US and its allies to plan economic measures ahead of time.
A short verbal exchange recently between a TV presenter and a low-profile politician and former lawmaker from a small country on the periphery of the European Union laid bare a long-standing problem of non-transparent lobbying in the highest EU institutions in Brussels.
A TV host on a popular Croatian talk show asked a guest how she copes with the growing European inflation of 13 percent since she has savings of 700-800,000 Euros in publicly available bank accounts.
This financial data was known to him because the Croatian anti-corruption institutions require that leading Croatian politicians must make their assets publicly available online every year, in order to prevent conflict of interest.
Croatian MP Marijana Petir, the guest on the show, was visibly rattled by the unexpected question.
She was not disturbed by inflation and the loss of around one hundred thousand Euros, but by the fact that this little-known information was presented in an extremely popular show watched by over half a million people, roughly a quarter of the Croatian adult population.
An under-the-radar Army missile defense mission in southern Turkey got a boost this month when a new operational headquarters that was seven years in the making finally came to fruition.
The so-called Ready Building, where soldiers are responsible for surveillance and early warning of tactical ballistic missile threats, also [services forces] operating at one of the Army’s more austere and secretive locations.
The ambassadors of Germany, Denmark and Sweden were summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry on May 25 and made aware of Russia’s dissatisfaction over these countries' refusal to provide Russia with the results of investigations into the Nord Stream sabotage, the ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
"On May 25, the ambassadors of Germany, Denmark and Sweden were summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry and strongly protested over the complete absence of the results of the alleged national investigations launched by the authorities of these countries into the sabotage of the Nord Streams in September 2022, as well as over their inability to ensure the transparency of the investigations," the ministry pointed out.
According to it, Moscow notes the lack of any motivation on the part of Germany, Denmark and Sweden in establishing the true circumstances of the sabotage. "On the contrary, by their actions, they are clearly dragging things out and trying to conceal the evidence and the true perpetrators of the crime, behind which, as we think, are well-known countries. Thus, it is no coincidence that 'leaks' about low credibility pop up in the media so as to muddy the waters," the diplomats said. They also pointed out that Moscow would continue to urge the authorities of those countries to carry out "an objective and all-encompassing probe into the sabotage," with Russia's participation.
During an explosive interview with former Trump adviser Steve Bannon last week, Christian actor Jim Caviezel accused the global Deep State of colluding with the mainstream media to cover up its complicity in child trafficking.
“Epstein Island isn’t the only island out there where they have… children,” he remarked on the War Room podcast last week. “I just started noticing that any time a story came out on trafficking – anything – it was gone the next day.”
The 54-year-old Caviezel is best known for his roles in The Passion of the Christ, The Count of Monte Cristo, and the CBS series Person of Interest. He also played St. Luke in Paul, Apostle of Christ. He will reprise his role as the Savior of Mankind in Mel Gibson’s upcoming 2024 blockbuster The Passion of the Christ: Resurrection.
During his many public appearances in recent years, Caviezel has never shied away from exposing political and cultural corruption. As a result, the corporate press has collectively labeled him a “right-wing conspiracy theorist.”
“After The Passion, I couldn’t get a job,” he explained to Bannon. “The studios wouldn’t hire me. But see, they’re all controlled by the central banks.”
Since the spring of 2021, well over 100 churches, most of them Catholic, have either been burned or vandalized across Canada. The attacks on the churches came shortly after the discovery of unmarked graves at now-closed residential schools once run by the Church in parts of Canada in the spring of last year.
In January, another historic Canadian church, St. Joseph Lutheran Church, located in Hay Lakes, Alberta, was diminished to ashes in what police said was an intentional act of arson on New Year’s Eve.
Last August, LifeSiteNews reported about the destruction by fire of one of the oldest standing Catholic churches in Alberta. Police said that the fire was a “suspicious” incident.
The fire saw the 113-year-old Catholic church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin in the remote northern Alberta town of Fort Chipewyan reduced to nothing but its burned-out foundation. The church was built by the Oblate missionaries in 1909.
US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland told an audience in Kiev on Thursday that Washington has been helping plan the Ukrainian ‘counteroffensive’ against Russia for almost half a year.
“Even as you plan for the counteroffensive, which we have been working on with you for some 4-5 months, we are already beginning our discussions with [the] Ukrainian government and with friends in Kiev – both on the civilian side and on the military side – about Ukraine’s long-term future,” Nuland told the Kiev Security Forum via video-link from the State Department.
She added that the attack will be “likely starting and moving concurrently” with events such as the NATO summit in Lithuania, scheduled for July 11.
There is a grave risk that in three weeks’ time US and NATO forces will attempt direct combat against Russia.
The operational plan is to strike from Romanian airspace in the south and the Baltic states in the north, in camouflage of the NATO exercise called “Air Defender 23”, and under cover of US F-16 fighter aircraft purportedly operated by Ukrainian pilots but fuelled, directed, and guarded by more than two hundred US and NATO aircraft, including the most advanced US air war fighter, the F-35.
“This [is] the largest deployment exercise since the foundation of NATO”, according to the cover story published by NATO headquarters. “ Commanded at US bases in Germany, ostensibly led by German officers, a Bundeswehr “fact sheet” claims “100 [US] Air National Guard aircraft from 35 different states will make the leap across the Atlantic to participate in Air Defender 2023. In addition to the world’s most modern jets, the F35, more than 20 different types of aircraft and Airmen from 24 nations will practice air warfare operations together over Germany, but also over eastern Europe on the NATO border. Among them Eurofighter, F18, F16, A10, [Saab] Gripen jets.”