As I’ve often pointed out, the U.S. government uses broad definitions of white and/or Caucasian because in the early post-War era it was cool to be white and whites weren’t all that persnickety. Hence, North Africans and West Asians all the way past Calcutta were officially white/Caucasian, as were almost all Latin Americans who didn’t volunteer themselves as black.
But after the introduction of affirmative action in 1969, White Privilege rapidly diminished. In the 1970 Census, the often puzzling official federal system was introduced in which Latin Americans could identify as both white racially (Latin America being a White Supremacist culture) and Hispanic by ethnicity and thus qualify for affirmative action privileges. By the 1980 Census, South Asians wanting SBA minority development low interest loans and government contractor minority preferences had bailed out of the cursed white category in favor of uniting with former “Orientals” in the new Asian category.
Ever since, activists representing Middle Easterners have been trying to get the hell out of the disprivileged white category. In January 2017, the lame duck Obama Administration announced a new Middle Eastern and North African category. But the Trump Administration couldn’t see why that was a good idea and canceled the change. Now the Biden Administration is back at it:
Pakistan has sought support from Washington to unlock a stalled International Monetary Fund programme that would release $1.1 billion to its strained economy as the country rebuilds after last year's devastating floods, Dawn newspaper said on Thursday.
The IMF and Pakistan signed a $6 billion bailout in 2019, that was topped up with another $1.1 billion last year, but that came with conditions attached, aimed at reducing the budget deficit before the loan is released.
With interest rates already at 17%, inflation hitting 24.5% in December, and foreign reserves barely sufficient to cover three weeks of imports, the South Asian nation is in dire need of external financing.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar met a visiting U.S. Treasury delegation on Wednesday. He told them that Pakistan would honour its international commitments and was in the process of taking "very tough decisions" such as increasing natural gas and electricity prices, Dawn reported, citing sources.
"However, he pointed out, Pakistan required breathing space as the industry and agriculture had passed through most challenging times after the devastating floods," the report in the Pakistani English-language newspaper said.
Family members of the victims of the 2020 Beirut port blast have tried to break into the Justice Palace in the Lebanese capital as they protested against the lack of progress in the investigation over the explosion.
At least 218 people died on August 4, 2020, after hundreds of tonnes of ammonium nitrate detonated in the largest non-nuclear explosion recorded in history.
Malnutrition rates in Afghanistan are at record highs with half the country enduring severe hunger throughout the year, a spokesman for the World Food Program said Thursday.
The Taliban takeover in August 2021 drove millions into poverty and hunger after foreign aid stopped almost overnight. Sanctions on Taliban rulers, a halt on bank transfers and frozen billions in Afghanistan’s currency reserves restricted access to global institutions and the outside money that supported the country’s aid-dependent economy before the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO forces.
“Half of Afghanistan endures severe hunger throughout the year, regardless of the season, and malnutrition rates are at a record high for Afghanistan,” said Phillipe Kropf, a spokesman for the U.N. food agency in Kabul.
“There are seven million children (under the age of 5) and mothers who are malnourished, in a country with a population of 40 million.”
Israel has continued to step up its near-daily raids across the occupied West Bank, killing scores of Palestinians over the past year.
The spike in killings comes as part of intensified nightly raids by Israeli forces, particularly in the northern occupied cities of Jenin and Nablus, under the banner of crushing limited Palestinian armed resistance.
The event was held to validate the weapon system’s capability and sailors’ warfighting readiness.
“This exercise demonstrated our team’s ability to work together, coordinate across multiple departments, and ultimately execute safely and effectively,” USS America Operations Officer Cmdr. Avery Wilson stated.
“We demonstrated that through the hard work of our technicians and logistics support, our equipment is fully operational and our watch-standers in the Combat Information Center are trained and prepared for any threat.”
A group of left-wing politicians in Peru have submitted a motion of impeachment against President Dina Boluarte over her handling of nearly two months of protests following the removal of her predecessor Pedro Castillo.
Some 56 people have died amid violent confrontations between protesters and the security services.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday it was "meaningless" to hold a trilateral meeting with Sweden and Finland to discuss their NATO bids after protests this month in Stockholm.
Speaking at a news conference, Cavusoglu also said there is no offer to evaluate Sweden's and Finland's NATO membership seperately.
Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson has said his country wanted to restore NATO dialogue with Turkey after Ankara indefinitely postponed trilateral talks with Sweden and Finland over their membership.
Several sources of data emerged in 2021 pointing to a biopharmaceutical public health disaster with the COVID-19 vaccine campaign.
Pfizer recorded 1223 deaths occurring shortly after administration of their product within the first 90 days of use starting December 10, 2020. Pantazatos and Seligmann reported an excess in all-cause mortality from vaccine administration and US census data during 2021 between 146k and 187k, with a midpoint of 166k deaths.
By the end of December, 2021, the CDC VAERS system had reported ~8K with an under-reporting factor of 30, the casualty estimate from that source was 240k. In a recent paper published in BMC Infectious Diseases, Dr. Mark Skidmore used a valid representative survey to learn from population reporting. A total of 22% knew of someone who was seriously injured by the vaccine and the estimate based upon deaths attributed to the vaccine by respondents was 278K deaths.
We are aware that the just-reported decision to send Abrams tanks to Ukraine responds to Berlin’s coy insistence that “you go first.” Now Leopard tanks from Germany and other allies will also be sent. Trouble is that those few that make it into Ukraine will be late to the party.
What your advisers should have told you is that none of the newly promised weaponry will stop Russia from defeating what’s left of the Ukrainian army. If you have been told otherwise, replace your intelligence and military advisers with competent professionals – the sooner the better.
It has long been clear that you have not been adequately briefed on two issues of major importance: (1) the war in Ukraine, and (2) the strategic partnership between Russia and China. We chose this genre of “ALERT MEMORANDUM” because we want to prepare you for a major shock. Russia’s winter offensive is about to roll over the Ukrainian army. At that point, unwelcome choices will have to be made. Off-ramps must be sought – again, the sooner the better.
Covert training camps in the Jordanian desert are currently the site of British and American trainers developing young Lebanese men, loyal to the Christian warlord, Samir Geagea, according to chief editor of Al Mariah magazine, Fadi Abu Deya. In an interview given to Al Jadeed TV, Abu Deya claimed Geagea is sending fighters to Jordan for military training which is supported by the US and UK. Gegea’s media office has denied this allegation and has threatened to file a lawsuit against Abu Deya. The militia is allegedly tasked with attacks on Hezbollah, the Lebanese resistance group.
However, from a reliable source inside Lebanon, Israel’s Mossad are training fighters loyal to Geagea in his headquarters at Meraab, Baalbek, and Dahr Al Ahmar.
In May 2008, Geagea told the Lebanese media Al Akbar that he had 7,000 to 10,000 fighters ready to face off with Hezbollah, and was asking for US support. Lebanon continues to be one step away from a new civil war along sectarian lines.
German Leopards are sent to Kiev – so “Der Spiegel” (24.1.2023) – Chancellor Scholz has decided for more killing against all odds. Against the vast majority of the German people. Against the will of the vast majority of the people of the west. Against the vast majority of the people of the world.
Nobody wants war, only the war profiteers. And the mega-rich, megalo-psychopaths. The WEF-people, so to speak. The “controlleurs” par excellence. The elites chosen few, maybe extraterrestrials, who are privileged wanting to safe our planet, à la John Kerry – see his speech at the WEF Davos 2023:
And why do we, the People, allow the war profiteers and those megalo-psychopaths who want to control the world and its resources with the ill-begotten riches, anyway debt-based riches, money worth anything, only because we, The People, accept it – tolerate these megalos, warmongers, war maker and outright murderers?
In order to tyrannize us, the dark cult — the Death Cult, you may as well call them — has to cull us people down to an easily manageable size, do away with the useless eaters, so to speak (Harari-Schwab-speak), so the ever-diminishing non-renewable resources will last longer for their, the Death Cult’s, ever more luxury-vaganza.
That’s why they need war, have been living off wars – big wars, for more than the last century.
Those are the ones who call War Peace and Peace War.
Because for them war is peace of mind. They are never touched by war, yet war brings them ever and always more riches, ill-begotten resources. We know that. But they don’t care.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has just issued its 2023 Doomsday Clock statement, calling this “a time of unprecedented danger.” It has advanced the hands of the clock to 90 seconds to midnight, meaning that the world is closer to global catastrophe than ever before, mainly because the conflict in Ukraine has gravely increased the risk of nuclear war. This scientific assessment should wake up the world’s leaders to the urgent necessity of bringing the parties involved in the Ukraine war to the peace table.
So far, the debate about peace talks to resolve the conflict has revolved mostly around what Ukraine and Russia should be prepared to bring to the table in order to end the war and restore peace. However, given that this war is not just between Russia and Ukraine but is part of a “New Cold War” between Russia and the United States, it is not just Russia and Ukraine that must consider what they can bring to the table to end it. The United States must also consider what steps it can take to resolve its underlying conflict with Russia that led to this war in the first place.
The geopolitical crisis that set the stage for the war in Ukraine began with NATO’s broken promises not to expand into Eastern Europe, and was exacerbated by its declaration in 2008 that Ukraine would eventually join this primarily anti-Russian military alliance.
Then, in 2014, a U.S.-backed coup against Ukraine’s elected government caused the disintegration of Ukraine. Only 51% of Ukrainians surveyed told a Gallup poll that they recognized the legitimacy of the post-coup government, and large majorities in Crimea and in Donetsk and Luhansk provinces voted to secede from Ukraine. Crimea rejoined Russia, and the new Ukrainian government launched a civil war against the self-declared “People’s Republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk.
Israel’s defense minister signaled Friday that the military would stop its airstrikes if Palestinian militant groups halted rocket attacks, a day after the deadliest Israeli raid in decades raised the prospect of a major flare-up in fighting.
The limited exchange of fire between Gaza militants and the Israeli armed forces has so far followed a familiar pattern that allows both sides to respond without leading to a major escalation. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant’s instruction to the military to prepare for new strikes in the Gaza Strip “if necessary” also appeared to leave open the possibility that the violence would subside.
Midday prayers at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, often a catalyst for clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police, passed in relative calm, despite a heavy police presence. Still, residents of the holy city and the occupied West Bank remained on edge.
The bombardments followed an Israeli raid in the flashpoint Jenin refugee camp that turned into a gun battle, which killed at least nine people, including seven militants and a 61-year-old woman.
The West is in a race against time to get newly available tanks to Ukraine - or face Europe being engulfed in war against Russia, experts have warned.
As Moscow prepares to launch a spring offensive against Kyiv’s troops, Germany has finally agreed to its Leopard 2 tanks being sent.
Berlin’s decision to send 14 of the world’s most deadly tanks to Ukraine means other western countries can follow suit with their own Leopard 2s.
Germany, the tanks’ licence holder, held back its offer for months.
Leading Russia expert Bruce Jones said: “This is absolutely a pivotal strategic moment in the war as the West now faces a severe time compression. Germany has delayed the process for some time... when it most matters.”
The third-generation German-made tanks are used by countries such as Poland, which is now sending some of its stock. Spain also said it will provide Leopard 2s, as well as Finland and the Netherlands.
First lady Jill Biden coaxed President Joe Biden onstage Thursday evening at the White House during a Lunar New Year celebration to mark the conclusion of a dragon dance performance.
'Are you going to dance?' the president asked the first lady as the troupe ended their performance and there was an awkward pause.
'No, you're going to come up. ... Come on up Joe! No, you're not going to dance,' Dr. Biden replied, as the president teased he might do so. 'Believe me, you don't want to ruin the evening,' the first lady added.
Dr. Biden then invited the audience to a reception and expertly walked between her husband and reporters as they shouted questions about the documents debacle and whether he'd allow the FBI to search their Rehoboth Beach home.
The president touted that the White House was hosting the 'first Lunar New Year reception of this scale' during the Thursday evening affair and added that he had received California Rep. Judy Chu's blessing to hold the joyous event - in the aftermath of two mass shootings that took place in Asian-American communities.
'I spoke with Judy several days ago. I said, "Judy what should I do? Should I continue - should I be in California or should I still have this celebration?" And she felt very strongly,' the president said. 'She said we have to move forward. Her message was don't give into fear and sorrow. Don't do that. Stand in solidarity and the spirit of toughness, that's what this holiday is all about.'
Given the gargantuan level of gaslighting going on globally, it is difficult for us to judge whether the following is the most serious reframing of the entire COVID crisis yet or the most satisfyingly satirical take on the farcical narrative-managers op-eds we've ever read.
Project Veritas' James O'Keefe was physically assaulted after approaching Jordon Trishton Walker, Pfizer's Director of R&D, Strategic Operations, who had been caught on tape admitting to the fact that the company is exploring a way to "mutate" COVID via "Directed Evolution" in order to anticipate new strains for their Covid-19 vaccine.
When O'Keefe first approached him about his admission, Walker erupted in denial, exclaiming that "I was just lying to a person to impress them on a date." He then lunged for O'Keefe and his staff in what appeared to be an effort to take away the iPad that O'Keefe was holding.
The situation escalated when Walker urged the restaurant owner to call the police, but the restaurant owner asked O'Keefe to leave... which left Walker pressuring him to stay until the police arrived.
As Walker raged around the empty restaurant, he once again claimed: "I was on a third date with a man and like normal people you lie to impress a date..."
US dollar hegemony has long been a standard feature of the global financial and economic system. But developments in recent years and months (weeks, even) suggests there are more than a handful of countries who are looking to rely less on the US dollar. Instead countries who have long been at the mercy of the US dollar are looking to take their finances into their own hands…and gold is set to play a key role.
The U.S. and China are reportedly ‘taking steps to renew their engagement and cooperation … however, it is one step forward and 10 steps backwards.
The U.S. political dysfunction over raising the debt ceiling is the latest crack in rapidly disintegrating international cooperation.
China, one of the largest foreign holders of U.S. debt (China holds about US$870 billion in U.S. government debt), is weighing in on the issue by telling the U.S. to solve its own debt problems.
The comments came After U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called China a “barrier” to debt reform in Africa this week, Chinese officials in Zambia had a pointed response – get your own house in order. The Chinese Embassy in Zambia said on its website Tuesday “the biggest contribution that the U.S. can make to the debt issues outside the country is to act on responsible monetary policies, cope with its own debt problem, and stop sabotaging other sovereign countries’ active efforts to solve their debt issues” (Reuters, 01/23).
The U.S. and International Monetary Fund have put pressure on China to restructure debt owed by the world’s poorest countries.
The long-awaited winter energy crisis has finally hit…but it wasn’t in Europe after all. On Monday, almost the entirety of Pakistan was left without power when a misguided energy saving strategy by the government backfired. Runaway inflation, a severely weakened currency, and rapidly emptying foreign exchange reserves have left Pakistan on the brink of economic collapse. The country of 230 million people is plagued by overdue energy payments, and was seeking to cut costs by lowering energy use when the plan went off the rails, leaving people across the country without power or water for more than 12 hours.
First, while expressed in abstruse technical language, it shares a perspective with the most radical left-wing critiques of capitalism. Yellen goes 90 percent of the way to proclaiming, “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.”
Second, Yellen is not, of course, calling for a proletarian revolution. Rather, as Noam Chomsky has pointed out, “vulgar Marxist rhetoric is not untypical of internal documents in the government,” just “with values reversed.” In Yellen’s case, she is making the case for, as she writes, the positive “impact of heightened job insecurity.” A rise in worker insecurity in the mid-1990s meant everyone was too scared to ask for raises, which meant businesses wouldn’t need to hike prices, which meant even with the falling unemployment at the time, the Fed didn’t need to raise interest rates to slow the economy and throw people out of work.
Third, Yellen is not a monster. Indeed, from the perspective of regular Americans, she’s about as good as it gets at the summit of power. The problem, for those of us down here on the ground, is her overall worldview. She might personally want things to be nicer but is certain the science of economics places incredibly sharp limits on the possible, and all we can do is try to make small improvements within those limits.
The memo is titled “Job Insecurity, the Natural Rate of Unemployment, and the Phillips Curve.” Barker learned of it from references in the books “Maestro” by Bob Woodward and “Empathy Economics” by Owen Ullmann. Greenspan distributed the memo to the entire Federal Open Market Committee, or FOMC — the group that decides interest rates — and it worked. As Ullmann puts it, “Yellen rescued Greenspan from his tight spot.”
The U.N.'s nuclear watchdog on Thursday reported powerful explosions near Ukraine's Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station and renewed calls for a security zone around the plant.
A Russian official dismissed the comments by Rafael Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), saying they suggested Moscow could not uphold nuclear safety.
Russian forces seized the plant in early March, soon after invading neighbouring Ukraine. Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of firing around it near the front lines, prompting the IAEA to place experts at all of Ukraine's five nuclear stations.
Grossi, who visited Ukraine last week, said IAEA monitors routinely reported explosions near the plant.
"Yesterday, eight strong detonations were heard at around 10 a.m. local time, causing office windows at the plant to vibrate, and more were audible today," he said in a statement.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Wednesday pushed Republicans against taking military spending off the table as the party looks for ways to tackle government funding in talks on how to address the debt limit this year.
The federal government and U.S. taxpayers are effectively underwriting massive returns for Lockheed Martin shareholders, returns so impressive that the weapons firm’s CEO, James Taiclet, boasted about how the company handed $11 billion over to shareholders in 2022 via share repurchases and dividend payments, creating “significant value for our shareholders.”
Taiclet, speaking on a January 24 earnings call, said that Lockheed, the world’s largest weapons firm, was “ending the year with a total shareholder return of 40 percent.”
Lockheed may be a for-profit, publicly traded, company but those stock buybacks, dividends and appreciated stock value are largely underwritten by U.S. taxpayers. The company’s 2021 annual report acknowledged that, “…71% of our $67.0 billion in net sales were from the U.S. Government.”
Political media critics often accuse journalists of being “stenographers” for those in power when they are seen as regurgitating what a government official says in an article without offering any critical assessment of that official’s claim or providing a counter claim from someone of similar expertise.
But sometimes, media outlets take this practice to a whole other level and effectively serve as government public relations firms, as illustrated when CNN,NBC News, and Reuters published stories this week on a joint U.S.-Israel military drill in the Middle East.
All three articles made exactly the same four points. First, that this was a “massive” drill that came together quickly:
The base is still under construction but will eventually house 5,000 US Marines, likely by the end of 2024. According to The Wall Street Journal, the purpose of the base is to prepare for a potential war with China in the islands of the western Pacific Ocean.
David Berger, the commandant of the Marine Corps, said that US Marines would be the first to be deployed in the event of a war with China. “We don’t want to fight to get to the fight. We want to already be inside, so if there’s a conflict, the stand-in forces are already forward,” he said.
In comments made to EU lawmakers this week, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Grossi tried to raise the alarm about Iran’s civilian nuclear program, claiming that Iran could, if it so chose, fuel “several” nuclear weapons from its existing stockpile.
This accusation is a continuation of Grossi’s past suggestions, fueling immediate media frenzy about a proliferation threat, and showing a flagrant lack of understanding for the facts of a nuclear program, let alone the status of Iran’s stockpile.
Under the suspended JCPOA nuclear deal, Iran was to send excess uranium from its stockpile abroad to keep it from growing too large. With the US not in the deal, no one is taking that excess uranium, and the stockpile just keeps growing steadily, with some 70 kg of 60% purity uranium amassed at this point.
The important facts of the case, however, are more practical, and generally ignored in the press. The term “weapons-grade uranium” refers to uranium which could be used in an atomic weapon, and is of a minimum of 90% purity.
Iran’s highest level of enrichment, even years after JCPOA fell apart, is still only 60%, well short of weapons-grade. Iran has never even attempted to produce uranium more highly enriched than this, and its much-vaunted stockpile subsequently includes no weapons-grade uranium to fuel any weapons at all.
The IAEA is no doubt aware of all of this, but consistently presents the “highly enriched uranium” (HEU) of 60% as a problem. This both parrots US efforts to spin anything Iran does as a threat, and ignores the US role in the stockpile being so large in size in the first place. At the end of the day, 60% uranium is still no direct proliferation risk without substantial further processing, which Iran has neither attempted nor itself proven capable of.