"A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in." --  Greek proverb

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A couple in Montana claims that without a warrant, social workers took their teenage daughter, who wanted to transition to a boy.

As the couple, identified as Todd and Krista Kolstad, are mired in a lawsuit regarding the case, they sent a cease-and-desist letter on Monday to the state’s Lt. Gov. Kristen Juras asking that she stop making false statements and issue an apology, the Daily Montanan reported on Tuesday.

The couple’s attorney sent the letter the same day they filed a case in federal district court “alleging that social workers with the State of Montana’s Child Protective Services deceived a state court judge in order to seize the Kolstads’ 14-year-old child without a warrant, and, in the process, ignored their religious freedoms,” the article said.

The child was reportedly removed from her home in 2023 after threatening to commit suicide. The couple and the young teen had been “at odds” over the question of if the girl should be allowed to undergo a gender transition.

However, the couple said their religious beliefs do not allow transgenderism, while alleging that officials shoved their religious freedom aside:

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Many Americans do not plan to enjoy a summer vacation in President Joe Biden’s America, a Fox News poll found in May, underscoring the economy as the number one 2024 issue for voters.

The Fox News poll found:

  • Of the 55 percent who are not taking a summer vacation, 73 percent do not have enough money to do so.
  • Seventy-two percent said higher prices impact their summer plans.
  • Fifteen percent do not have time and must remain focused on the daily grind.

The last time a pollster asked Americans this question, in 2010, of those who were not going on vacation, only 51 percent cited a lack of cash, while 20 percent blamed a lack of time, Fox News reported.

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Stand-up comedian and actor Dave Chappelle drew cheers from his audience in Abu Dhabi on Thursday by reportedly calling the Israeli war on Hamas terrorists in Gaza a “genocide.”

The capital of the federation of seven sheikdoms that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on the Arabian Peninsula delivered the audience that cheered on Chappelle’s observations.

AP reports the full crowd at Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Arena cheered as DJ Trauma, who accompanied Chappelle on the trip, played the song “My Blood is Palestinian” by the Palestinian singer Mohammed Assaf.

About halfway through in a wide-ranging comedy set Chappelle, a Muslim, initially said he had been told by his friends either to discuss the war or not.

From the audience, a woman screamed: “Free Palestine!” The crowd cheered, according to the outlet.

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Media Matters, a nonprofit organization that smears conservatives, announced Thursday it laid off dozens of employees, including management and journalists, and appeared to cite its legal battle with Elon Musk as cause for the dismissals.

Musk’s X social media platform sued Media Matters in November over its efforts to link ad placements on the platform to neo-Nazi content, Breitbart News reported, a strategy the radical organization used to initiate boycotts against the income streams of conservative media companies.

The suit triggered Attorneys General Ken Paxton of Texas (R) and Andrew Bailey of Missouri (R) to investigate the nonprofit for potential illegal activity by allegedly “manipulating data on the site formerly known as Twitter,” the New York Post reported.

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Homeownership is becoming an increasingly expensive endeavor in the United States. The average cost of homeowners insurance has soared to $1,915 per year. This figure is based on a 40-year-old homeowner with good credit and $300,000 worth of coverage. However, the cost varies significantly across states.

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Described as "the 26 words that created the internet," Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act catches a lot of flak for a piece of legislation that is largely responsible for online platforms' willingness to host discussion forums. In its absence, social media companies and message boards would likely return to the previous era of either allowing anybody to say anything, or else taking legal responsibility for every insult and slur posted on their platforms. That would probably mean the end of online discourse as we know it—which may be what happens if proposed bipartisan legislation "sunsets" Section 230.

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Donald Trump is charged with 34 felonies in New York because he allegedly falsified business records to conceal "another crime." In the run-up to Trump's trial, which began last month and is expected to conclude next week, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg was cagey about exactly what that other crime was. His prosecutors suggested several possibilities without picking one in particular, and they are still hedging on this crucial point.

It looks like the case will go to the jury with that central question unresolved. That's fine, according to a ruling that Juan Merchan, the judge presiding over the case, made this week.

For a verdict to be valid, Trump's lawyers argued, the jury should have to settle on a specific legal theory. The prosecution disagreed. Under "the standard application of the law," lead prosecutor Matthew Colangelo argued, jurors can convict Trump as long as they unanimously agree that he falsified business records with "an intent to commit another crime or to aid or conceal the commission thereof." In Colangelo's view, jurors do not have to agree on what that underlying crime was. Merchan sided with the prosecution, adding new complications to a case that was already convoluted and confusing.

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The nation's political eyes this weekend will be affixed on a spectacle that rarely attracts significant attention: the Libertarian National Convention in Washington, D.C. But instead of coming to watch presidential candidates such as Lars Mapstead, Michael Rectenwald, Chase Oliver, and Mike ter Maat duke it out for the Libertarian Party (L.P.) nomination, journalists will be there primarily to see the presumptive nominee from the Republican Party: former President Donald Trump.

It's certainly unusual for small political parties to invite their most charismatic rivals to come try to steal their voters. (As Trump himself said in the Libertarian Party's press release announcing the speech, "If Libertarians join me and the Republican Party, where we have many Libertarian views, the election won't even be close….WE WILL WORK TOGETHER AND WIN!") The move was controversial among L.P. members and candidates alike.

"I don't think that's good for the party," Oliver says. "It makes it seem like we're the Republican J.V. team."

But the L.P. leadership faction that engineered the stunt, including National Chair Angela McArdle, counter that it has already reaped a nearly unprecedented amount of media attention, bolstering the finances of a party that for the past two years has been bleeding money and membership.  

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy had no legitimacy following the expiry of his five-year term and this would raise a legal obstacle if Russia and Ukraine were to hold peace talks.

With Ukraine under martial law in the third year of Russia's full-scale invasion, Zelenskiy has not faced elections despite the expiry of his five-year term this week - something he and Ukraine's allies deem the right decision in wartime.

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What a long, strange trip it’s been.

Five years and one month after first son Hunter Biden dropped off three damaged laptops at a repair shop in Wilmington, Del., and never returned to pick them up, a Delaware federal judge ruled that jurors at the 54-year-old’s upcoming trial on weapons charges can be shown damaging evidence about his illegal drug use taken from his hard drive, his iPhone and iPad and his own memoir.

As Hunter looked on in court — one day after attending a White House state dinner — US District Judge Maryellen Noreika in Wilmington ruled that the “laptop from hell” could not be barred out of hand based on his legal team’s claim it had been hacked and seeded with false information.

However, Noreika did rule that the first son’s attorneys can object to the introduction of specific pieces of information from the laptop as prosecutors — who say there is no evidence that the computer was ever compromised — seek to raise them during trial, which begins with jury selection June 3.

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VIDEO BELOW shows British MP Andrew Bridgen confirming on a radio show today: "We are actually at war with Russia now... They're not going to tell the people probably until July or August; maybe later."

"The whole thing's a pantomime in Parliament... It's not a race between the blue and the red team to see who crosses the finish line. This is a baton handover on all the big issues: Net Zero, Covid response, the WHO, the trans agenda."

Watch this.  3 minutes. 

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A recent trend of mega corporations rolling back prices and reintroducing deals has emerged. Whether this is potentially due to pressure from the White House ahead of elections or, as Goldman pointed out, "Consumer caution mounts as cracks in resilience theme emerge," there's growing evidence that working poor consumers are struggling in the era of failed Bidenomics.

About two weeks ago, after three years of 'McFlation' that sent the price of combo meals as high as $18, McDonald's weighed on new plans to reintroduce $5 combo meal deals. The report, initially from Bloomberg, specified the deal could include a McChicken or a McDouble, fries, and a drink. 

Elsewhere, Walmart, Target, and Aldi have lowered prices on thousands of everyday items, including staple foods. This comes in response to a spending slowdown among cash-strapped working-poor consumers who are drowning in insurmountable credit card debt and drained personal savings amid elevated inflation. 

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The US government has determined that at least five Israeli security units committed gross violations of human rights prior to the latest war with Hamas, but Washington has no plans to impose sanctions or restrict military aid to West Jerusalem.

Monday’s announcement marks the first time Washington leveled such accusations against Israeli troops. All of the allegations stem from incidents that occurred long before the Israel-Hamas war began last October. Most of the incidents occurred in the West Bank, and none involved the Gaza Strip.

All Israeli units remain eligible for American aid, despite a law prohibiting the US from providing weapons or other assistance to groups that are found to have committed human rights violations. The Biden administration remains in compliance with the so-called Leahy Law because Israel has taken action against most of the units accused of wrongdoing, State Department deputy spokesman Vedant Patel told reporters in Washington, without identifying the units by name.

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A judge on Friday denied Alec Baldwin’s motion to throw out the manslaughter case.

In January Alec Baldwin was indicted by a grand jury on charges of involuntary manslaughter in the fatal ‘Rust’ shooting.

If convicted, he faces up to 18 months in prison.

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Federal agents found out during the 2016 election that Joe Biden met with his son Hunter’s Chinese business partners during a trip to Beijing in 2013, but they kept it a secret.

According to Secret Service travel records obtained by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, Hunter Biden took 411 trips across 29 countries between 2009 and 2014 while his father was US Vice President. On several of these trips, Hunter Biden was hidden from public view or was already waiting in the car before Joe Biden departed the plane.

Notably, Hunter Biden traveled to Beijing with then-VP Joe Biden in 2013 to meet with Chinese banker Jonathan Li.

Hunter Biden received a $1.5 billion loan from the Bank of China 13 days after traveling on Air Force Two with his father back in 2013. The Secret Service has redacted documents related to that trip.

Joe Biden has repeatedly denied being involved in Hunter’s overseas business deals.

“I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings,” Biden previously said to reporters.

However, newly released documents reveal Hunter Biden connected Joe Biden to his Chinese business associates in a Beijing hotel after Joe Biden met with President Xi Jinping.

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Stephen A. Schwarzman, the formidable billionaire CEO of Blackstone, has declared his unflinching support and substantial financial backing for Donald Trump in the 2024 Presidential Election.

This monumental endorsement reinvigorates Trump’s campaign with not only a flush of funds but also a powerful endorsement from one of the most influential figures in the financial world.

Speaking to Axios, Schwarzman expressed his intention to channel funds not only towards Trump’s campaign but also to a slew of Republican Senate candidates, aiming to fortify GOP positions across the board.

This move is poised to unlock a significant network of Republican donors that Schwarzman has meticulously nurtured over the years, potentially repositioning Trump in the favorable light among skeptical business magnates.

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An estimated 10,000 to 25,000 supporters turned out on Thursday to see President Donald Trump rally in the Bronx, New York.

This was an amazing event that was packed with lines several blocks long to get in to see “The People’s President” Donald Trump.

One man was all-in for Trump and even wore a Trump New York State license plate around his neck.

He told a reporter,

“I’m voting for Daddy, not Biden. Joe Biden, stop taking a shower with children. Stop smelling little girls hair. We know what you did with your daughter, Ashley Biden. Don’t do that. That’s wrong. You got to be a good man like Daddy is. Big Daddy Trump, President Big Daddy Trump. I’m the only one with this. Nobody has this. I had this since 2016, and I love him, and I will vote all out for Daddy. Thank you.

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Thousands of Americans turned out in the South Bronx Thursday night to support former President Donald Trump and hear how he plans to reverse the perilous trends that have begun or worsened under the Biden administration.

Despite leading with the headline, "Trump bombs the Bronx," Axios acknowledged that the "sight of Trump speaking to several thousand people in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood in deep blue New York is a sign of the realignment happening between the two parties."

"Trump's GOP is becoming more working class and a little more multiracial," the publication noted. "Democrats are gaining with more well-educated voters in the suburbs."

Just weeks after suggesting black children in the Bronx "don't even know what the word 'computer' is," and calling a New York Supreme Court justice an "extremist" for following the law, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul concluded on CNN's "The Lead" Thursday that the constituents of this diverse crowd of working-class Americans were "clowns."

Webmaster addition: Remember how "deplorables" backfired?

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It might seem strange to read that Democrats are preparing to investigate a Supreme Court justice. The legislature’s authority over the top court, after all, is seriously limited. Justices’ lifetime appointments are designed precisely to shield them from the kinds of political pressures Congress or the president might bring to bear post-confirmation.

It might seem even stranger to see Justice Samuel Alito splashed across the top of Politico’s Playbook and the New York Times morning newsletters for the high crime and misdemeanor of flying a nerdy Revolutionary War flag.

But it is part of a deliberate strategy to try to try to combat virtually the only check remaining on the Democrat Party’s political power. While Congress and the White House cannot outright remove judges, they can bring real pressure to bear, cast national doubt on rulings, and reform the court even to the point of expanding it.

Webmaster addition: 

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The Biden administration faces mounting criticism after invoking executive privilege to prevent the release of audio recordings from President Joe Biden’s interview with special counsel Robert Hur. The move, condemned by congressional Republicans, has sparked accusations of obstruction and political maneuvering.

The House Committees on Oversight and Accountability and Judiciary had issued subpoenas for the records, including audio recordings, related to Hur’s investigation into Biden’s handling of classified documents. However, White House Counsel Ed Siskel, in a letter to House Republicans, argued against the release, stating, “Demanding such sensitive and constitutionally-protected law enforcement materials from the Executive Branch because you want to manipulate them for potential political gain is inappropriate.”

Attorney General Garland supported the administration’s stance, asserting that the audio fell within the scope of executive privilege. Garland emphasized the Justice Department’s efforts to provide information, including a transcript of the interview, but expressed concerns that releasing the audio could compromise future investigations.

The decision has drawn sharp rebuke from Republicans, with House Speaker Mike Johnson accusing Biden of blocking the release because he “doesn’t want voters to hear him struggling mentally during an election year.” House Oversight Chairman James Comer echoed these sentiments, describing the move as a “five-alarm fire at the White House” and affirming the committee’s determination to pursue contempt charges against Garland.

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This story begins back before the United States was the United States.

The original thirteen colonies printed their own currency, and it worked very well at empowering commerce and turning the young America into a powerful growing economy, free of the poverty and unemployment that even then crippled London. The public currency was operated as a public utility. But the bankers of Europe, long used to private banks issuing the public currencies as loans at interest, were horrified by the American approach and saw it as a threat to their deeply cherished religious belief that the gods intended for the bankers to have all the wealth of the world. So, the Bank of England lobbied King George III to impose the Currency Act on the colonies, which forbade the colonies to use their own money and required them to borrow their lawful tender from the Bank of England, at interest. This was the public currency as a private for-profit operation.

It took only a few years for this scheme to reduce the formerly prosperous and productive colonies down to the poverty and unemployment typical of London at the same time period, as depicted in the literature of Charles Dickens, among others.

While the state-run American schools teach that the revolution was about the Stamp act and the Tea tax, it was primarily the rage created by the enforced impoverishment of the Currency Act which fueled the rebellion. Why the Currency Act is not mentioned in the public schools will become apparent further on.

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Once upon a time, in 1913, a corrupt Congress and a corrupt President transferred the money creation authority vested in the government by the Constitution to a private central bank. It was going to be called the Third Bank of the United States. Such a fundamental change to the nation's economy should have required a Constitutional Amendment. But earlier that same year, there had been a huge fight to ratify another Amendment, the 16th Amendment authorizing the income tax, and there is good reason to suspect that the 16th Amendment actually failed ratification even though the payers of that income tax were told otherwise.


"I think if you were to go back and and try to find and review the ratification of the 16th amendment, which was the internal revenue, the income tax, I think if you went back and examined that carefully, you would find that a sufficient number of states never ratified that amendment." - U.S. District Court Judge James C. Fox, Sullivan Vs. United States, 2003.

Getting yet another Amendment ratified against such opposition, or worse, having to cheat one through, would be extremely difficult.

Then there was a problem with the proposed name, "Third Bank of the United States", as it reminded people of the predations of the First and Second Bank of the United States.


"Gentlemen! I too have been a close observer of the doings of the Bank of the United States. I have had men watching you for a long time, and am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I have determined to rout you out, and by the Eternal, (bringing his fist down on the table) I will rout you out!" -- Andrew Jackson, shortly before ending the charter of the Second Bank of the United States. From the original minutes of the Philadelphia committee of citizens sent to meet with President Jackson (February 1834), according to Andrew Jackson and the Bank of the United States (1928) by Stan V. Henkels

Shortly after President Jackson (the only American President to actually pay off the National Debt) ended the Second Bank of the United States, there was an attempted assassination.

But I digress.

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In the good old days, after George Washington and the boys won the war to free us from the bank of England's predatory and impoverishing practices, they set up a "revolutionary" economic system. The government created and issued all the public currency, spending it into circulation to purchase what the government needed, then after the currency circulated through society to fuel commerce, was taxed back to the government to balance the books.


Banks existed, of course. But they were kept off to one side, and use of the banks was optional for the people of the United States. It was possible to go through one's entire life without dealing with a bank if one chose to do so.

This system not only reserved the choice whether to use the bank to the people, but it was a stable system, because as debt increased, the people could voluntarily choose to stop borrowing from the bank! That was one of the most important freedoms won during the revolution; the freedom to say "no" to the banks!

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Back in 2008, in testimony before Congress in the wake of the crash of Wall Street's mortgage-backed securities scam, former Federal Reserve Chairman Allan Greenspan made the admission that his "ideology" had a flaw.

Greenspan and the members of Congress relied heavily on euphemisms like "ideology" and spoke in vague terms to obfuscate from the American people that there are fundamental flaws in the way the US Financial system works.

The first and largest flaw in the system is the Federal Reserve itself. Not actually a part of the government (the Federal Reserve is no more "Federal" than Federal Express), the Federal Reserve is a privately owned central bank which has been given the authority by the US Congress to create money, something which under any other circumstances would be called counterfeiting. Created by act of Congress in 1913 and signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson, the Federal Reserve now exercises the power to create money originally granted to the government itself under the Constitution. It might be argued that such a dramatic reassignment of constitutional powers should have required a Constitutional Amendment, but that is a discussion for another article. What is germane is that the Federal Reserve system is unstable because by design it creates more debt than it creates money with which to pay that debt. 

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The following article was first written in 1998. I am relinking it here not so much as to say "I told you so", but to point out that the long term economic future of the United States was obvious, or should have been obvious, to the people who are awarded lofty degrees and paid huge salaries to comprehend such things. Instead, the economists persisted in explaining away the visible signs of gathering troubles and earned their salaries by justifying why the policies that robbed the poor to give to the rich should continue unabated.

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By Bryant Harris and Leo Shane III



Soldiers with the Wichita Recruiting Company talk to visitors about joining the military at Hutchinson, Kansas on September 9, 2023. The soldiers hosted a booth at the Kansas State Fairgrounds to interact with the public and inform about enlistment opportunities and benefits. (Pfc. Aiden Griffitts/Army)

The House on Wednesday night advanced an $883.7 billion defense policy bill for fiscal 2025. It provides a 20% pay boost to junior enlisted troops while pushing back against the Defense Department’s shipbuilding and Air Force procurement plans.

The Armed Services Committee voted 57-1 to advance the Servicemember Quality of Life Improvement and National Defense Authorization Act to the House floor after considering more than 700 amendments during a roughly 12-hour markup. Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., cast the single vote against the legislation.

The bill adheres to the spending caps from last year’s debt ceiling deal, allowing a 1% increase over the $874.2 billion FY24 defense policy bill.

“This bill is also the product of hundreds of hours of oversight done by all members and staff over the past few months,” House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Ala., said ahead of the committee vote. “It is a good bill that will help revitalize the defense industrial base and build the ready, capable, and lethal fighting force we need to deter China and our other adversaries.”

The legislation would incrementally fund a second attack submarine for FY25 against the Pentagon’s wishes, block certain aircraft retirements and maintain restrictions on downsizing the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

The Navy, citing industrial base delays, only asked for one Virginia-class submarine for FY25 in a break from the two-per-year cadence. But the defense bill provides $1 billion toward funding for the second submarine and intends to provide additional funds for the vessel in future fiscal years.

Meanwhile, the bill would procure 58 F-35 fighter jets for FY25, 10 less than the Pentagon requested amid growing congressional frustration with manufacturer Lockheed Martin.

Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Ma., floated – then withdrew – an amendment that would have authorized the defense secretary to seize intellectual property from Lockheed Martin and open it up to competition, taking aim at the F-35′s software problems.

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