The above photo might offend some people. They should go tell their mommy. Personally, I think it's funny. Anyone who can essentially say "fuck you" to the whole Western World ---which is led by the ever corrupted and extremely hypocritical United States-- in such a large way definitely gets some credit from me ...at least for the moment. There is an article and a video on the subject below. Don't get the wrong idea... I am no fan of Putin.
Speaking of Putin. "Story of Russia and Ukraine and the Cause of the War"
In my 16 years as an alternative economist and political writer I have spent around half that time warning that the ultimate outcome of the Federal Reserve’s stimulus model would be a stagflationary collapse. Not a deflationary collapse, or an inflationary collapse, but a stagflationary collapse. The reasons for this were very specific – mass debt creation was being countered with MORE debt creation while many central banks have been simultaneously devaluing their currencies through QE measures. On top of that, the US is in the unique position of relying on the world reserve status of the dollar and that status is diminishing.
It was only a matter of time before the to forces of deflation and inflation met in the middle to create stagflation. In my article “Infrastructure Bills Do Not Lead To Recovery, Only Increased Federal Control”, published in April of 2021, I stated that:
“Production of fiat money is not the same as real production within the economy… Trillions of dollars in public works programs might create more jobs, but it will also inflate prices as the dollar goes into decline. So, unless wages are adjusted constantly according to price increases, people will have jobs, but still won’t be able to afford a comfortable standard of living. This leads to stagflation, in which prices continue to rise while wages and consumption stagnate.
The explosion in retail demand for gold has made headlines, but retail investors aren’t the only ones steadily stockpiling the yellow metal.
Central banks around the world are stockpiling gold in a big way – and appear poised to do so even more.
According to a recent central bank survey conducted by the World Gold Council, gold remains a favorable reserve asset globally.
Central banks buy and hold gold for many of the same reasons that retail investors do.
They want to diversify their reserves and hold liquid assets that, ideally, retain purchasing power over time.
Last month’s leak of a Supreme Court draft ruling rendered the longstanding fears of abortion rights activists a veritable certainty: Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that established a federal right to abortion in the United States, is under dire and imminent threat.
While “safe haven” or “sanctuary” states and cities still offer refuge to interstate abortion seekers, access remains a patchwork, presenting financial and logistical hurdles that most deeply impact the marginalized. Under-resourced abortion funds, clinics and activist groups will be in for a struggle merely to hold onto existing gains; their driven organizers and staffers will face staggering challenges amid an influx of abortion refugees.
Yet many point to the potential of new alternatives — especially medication abortions, legal and otherwise — that may prove pivotal to sustaining access in a post-Roe world.
It’s 9 pm in Thessaloniki, Greece, and on the third floor of a beaten-up office block on the outskirts of town, a presentation is taking place. The lights are switched off, and the audience settles in across two sofas and a scattering of plastic stools.
“Yes, that’s good,” the presenter says. “Next slide please.”
The presenter is Elaine Harrold, an employee of the Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN) in Greece. She turns to the large dust sheet behind her. Propped up across two clothes rails, the sheet has a shaky projected image cast across its center.
Thursday’s 1/6 hearing was The Mike Pence Show: A detailed examination of the pressures brought to bear on the former vice president by Donald Trump and others, along with revelations that most everyone applying that pressure knew full well what they were doing was illegal. Bearing the day’s testimony in mind, I’d like you to watch for something over the coming weeks and months.
One of the big takeaways from the hearing is the fact that Pence is lucky to be walking around with his head still attached to his body. The name “Pence” did not appear anywhere in Trump’s prepared remarks for that day, but after a heated morning phone call that had Trump calling Pence all sorts of derogatory names, Trump voluntarily fed Pence’s name to the crowd multiple times in order to gin them up against him. At one point during the sacking of the Capitol, the insurrectionists were 40 feet away from Pence.
“We are the 140 million poor and low-wealth people, standing together to declare we won’t be silent anymore,” said Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chair of the campaign. “Poverty is a policy choice and we will hold our leaders accountable.”
Fellow campaign co-chair Bishop William Barber echoed that message in a speech at the Mass Poor People’s and Low-Wage Workers’ Assembly and Moral March on Washington, which drew thousands to the nation’s capital.
The Poor People's Campaign plans to hold a "generationally transformative and disruptive gathering of poor and low-wealth people, state leaders, faith communities, moral allies, unions, and partnering organizations" in the U.S. capital on Saturday, June 18.
The Mass Poor People's and Low-Wage Workers' Assembly and Moral March on Washington is scheduled to begin at 9:30 am local time. The campaign has put together an online FAQ page for participants.
Contrasting the planned event with a right-wing mob's attack on the U.S. Capitol last year, Bishop William Barber, the campaign's co-chair, said on Democracy Now! Friday that poor people and allies from across the country "are coming nonviolently to Washington, D.C."
Their key messages for those in power, Barber said, include: "We won't be silent or unseen anymore."
CEOs at America’s biggest low-wage employers now take home, on average, 670 times what their typical workers make.
But we don’t just get unfairness when a boss can grab more in a year than a worker could make in over six centuries. We get bungling and inefficient businesses.
Management science has been clear on this point for generations, ever since the days of the late Peter Drucker.
Management theorists credit Drucker, a refugee from Nazism in the 1930s, for laying down “the foundations of management as a scientific discipline.” Drucker’s classic 1946 study of General Motors established him as the nation’s foremost authority on corporate effectiveness.
That effectiveness, Drucker believed, had to rest on fairness.
Things change fast in societies dominated by the market economy. When a place is growing, it grows fast. When a place is decaying, it decays fast, too. It’s the same with professions of all sorts.
An average gallon of gas in the US now costs over $5, and the cost of food has risen dramatically as well. Plane tickets, as well as the fees charged by rental car agencies in much of the world, have doubled or tripled in price. The cost of housing — whether buying or renting — has risen at a far higher rate than anything. These are all regular stories in the news.
The impact of these more recent developments on the cost of traveling in particular seem to warrant a little revisit to the topic of the current state of the gig economy, for that classic little subset of the gig economy known as touring performers. It occurred to me how much things have changed at this point when I realized, without having consciously made any decisions, that my orientation towards booking the next tour had changed dramatically from what it was even just a few years ago.
As supporters of Julian Assange held a news conference Friday at the United Kingdom’s consulate in New York to demand freedom for the jailed WikiLeaks founder, a trio of leading leftist figures decried the British government’s approval of the ailing Australian’s extradition to the United States.
In a statement published ahead of Friday’s press conference, the three chairs of the Assange Defense Committee — linguist and political dissident Noam Chomsky, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker — blasted U.K. Home Secretary Priti Patel’s greenlighting of Assange’s transfer to the U.S. earlier in the day. Assange plans to appeal the decision.
The U.K. government on Friday formally approved the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States to face espionage charges, a decision that human rights groups condemned as a dire threat to journalism worldwide.
Assange, who has been detained in a high-security London prison since 2019, is expected to appeal the move by U.K. Home Secretary Priti Patel, whose office insisted that the publisher's extradition to the U.S. would not be "incompatible with his human rights, including his right to a fair trial and to freedom of expression."
But Amnesty International's Agnes Callamard, who previously worked as a United Nations human rights expert, disagreed with Patel's assessment, warning that "allowing Julian Assange to be extradited to the U.S. would put him at great risk and sends a chilling message to journalists the world over."
"If the extradition proceeds, Amnesty International is extremely concerned that Assange faces a high risk of prolonged solitary confinement, which would violate the prohibition on torture or other ill treatment," Callamard said in a statement. "Diplomatic assurances provided by the U.S. that Assange will not be kept in solitary confinement cannot be taken on face value given previous history."
The IRS, the Justice Department and Congressional Republicans and Democrats are all trying to put an end to syndicated conservation easements. But with lobbyists like Henry Waxman helping lead the resistance, the efforts have had little effect.
For the past six years, government officials have tried ever harder to kill a type of tax avoidance scheme that the Internal Revenue Service has branded “abusive” and among “the worst of the worst tax scams.” The IRS has pursued tens of thousands of audits and warned of hefty penalties facing anyone who exploits it. The Justice Department has targeted top promoters of what it calls “fraudulent” deals with criminal charges and civil lawsuits, yielding several guilty pleas and a civil settlement. In Congress, Democrats and Republicans have united to sponsor legislation to abolish the practice.
But the industry has fought back with a coterie of lobbyists, including a onetime member of Congress long viewed as a liberal lion, Henry Waxman. The battle shows how even on those rare occasions when both parties agree to take action, well-funded interests can frustrate a solution.
The federal government’s own data indicates that the COVID-19 vaccines U.S. service members are forced to receive are dangerous, medical experts explained as part of a Flag Day press conference hosted Tuesday by the medical freedom nonprofit Truth for Health Foundation.
The conference, which was live-streamed here on LifeSiteNews, addressed numerous aspects of the issue, starting with an overview of medical billing data from the Pentagon’s Defense Medical Epidemiology Database (DMED), first brought to light in January by attorney Thomas Renz, during a COVID vaccine hearing arranged by U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI)
“Keep in mind, these serious medical conditions are happening in a young, healthy population of very fit military people who are not at risk of dying of COVID and who typically don’t have these health problems,” said Truth for Health president and CEO Dr. Elizabeth Lee Vliet. “The CDC database and the DMED database shows heart attacks and myocardial infarctions in the young, healthy military groups are up over 269% in ten months. Pericarditis up 175%. Myocarditis inflammation of the heart muscle up 285%. Pulmonary embolism. Blood clots in the lungs up 467%. Blood clots to the brain. Cerebral infarction. Bell’s Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis Immunodeficiencies Cancers, miscarriage. All are up over 250%, and some are up more than 350%.”
“Why would the DOD knowingly continue to force these vaccine mandates in the face of such damage?” she asked.
Elizabeth Woodruff drained her retirement account and took on three jobs after she and her husband were sued for nearly $10,000 by the New York hospital where his infected leg was amputated.
Ariane Buck, a young father in Arizona who sells health insurance, couldn’t make an appointment with his doctor for a dangerous intestinal infection because the office said he had outstanding bills.
Allyson Ward and her husband loaded up credit cards, borrowed from relatives, and delayed repaying student loans after the premature birth of their twins left them with $80,000 in debt. Ward, a nurse practitioner, took on extra nursing shifts, working days and nights.
After Recode on Friday revealed an internal document from last year warns that "if we continue business as usual, Amazon will deplete the available labor supply in the U.S. network by 2024," critics of the online retail giant's labor practices renewed calls for improvement.
Journalist Jason Del Rey's reporting on the "looming labor crisis" comes as the company is under fire for battling its workers' organizing efforts, including the historic victory of the Amazon Labor Union at a Staten Island facility earlier this year.
"This is crazy. Amazon burns through workers so fast there might be none left soon," tweeted New York City organizer and writer Joshua Potash, adding that he "can't imagine how anyone defends a system that treats people like expendable parts like this."
While it is true that Zionism is a modern political ideology that has exploited religion to achieve specific colonial objectives in Palestine, prophecies continue to be a critical component of Israel's perception of itself, and of the state's relationship to other groups, especially Christian messianic groups in the United States and worldwide.
The subject of religious prophecies and their centrality to Israel's political thought was once more highlighted following remarks by former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, in a recent interview with the Hebrew-language newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth. Barak, perceived to be a 'progressive' politician, who was once the leader of Israel's Labor Party, expressed fears that Israel will "disintegrate" before the 80th anniversary of its 1948 establishment.
"Throughout the Jewish history, the Jews did not rule for more than eighty years, except in the two kingdoms of David and the Hasmonean dynasty and, in both periods, their disintegration began in the eighth decade," Barak said.
Since January 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed 412 bills and sent them to the Senate. Unfortunately, the Senate hasn't acted. "What?" you say, "don't the Democrats control both chambers of Congress?" Sure, by the barest of margins. Handcuffed by the filibuster, a Senate rule (not a federal law) requires 60 votes to pass legislation in what senators of yore called the "world's greatest deliberative body."
"Nonsense," says veteran Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.). The Democrats can hold public hearings, report bills to the Senate floor, and then make the Republicans filibuster. Let the GOP sweat a days-long filibuster of a bill establishing a $15 minimum wage. Imagine the national TV coverage with Democrats rebutting the cruel or lying orations by megamillionaire Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his minions.
As has been the practice for years, the Republican minority members in the Senate merely sent the majority leader an email threatening a filibuster ("extended debate" is the euphuism) and the majority leader placed the bills from the House in limbo.
The Federal Reserve's decision Wednesday to hike interest rates by 75 basis points—the largest increase since 1994—heightened fears among economists that the central bank's attempt to tame inflation risks plunging the U.S. economy into recession and inflicting more pain on vulnerable workers.
The Fed's move came on the heels of worse-than-expected federal data showing that inflation jumped 8.6% in May compared to a year earlier, prompting central bank officials to pursue more aggressive federal-funds rate increases, the Fed's blunt tool to rein in consumer prices.
But progressive economists have argued for months that interest rate hikes—which are aimed primarily at slowing demand—are the wrong medicine for inflation driven in large part by skyrocketing gas prices and supply-chain disruptions caused by the pandemic.
"Relying on the Fed to bring down prices is like treating someone's fever by putting them in a freezer," argued Robert Reich, the former head of the U.S. Department of Labor. "It doesn't treat the underlying disease, and could make things far worse."
Progressive advocacy groups across the United States on Monday welcomed a new legislative proposal that would cut Pentagon spending for the next fiscal year by $100 billion and reallocate it toward top threats facing the nation that "are not military in nature."
Public Citizen president Robert Weissman thanked Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Mark Pocan (D-Wis.)—co-chairs of the Defense Spending Reduction Caucus—for introducing the People Over Pentagon Act of 2022 to "advance our true national security interests."
"The Lee-Pocan bill disproves the claim that there's not money to feed the hungry, care for the sick, cut child poverty, or protect the planet," said Weissman, noting that "the Pentagon budget is racing toward $1 trillion annually, while free school lunch programs for 10 million children are set to expire in a few weeks."
Other backers of the bill also emphasized the significant need nationwide, in the third year of the Covid-19 pandemic and amid price gouging by major corporations across various industries.
SAN FRANCISCO -
Today, in a historic victory for farmworkers and the environment, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit sided with Center for Food Safety (CFS) and its represented farmworker and conservation clients by overturning the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) decision that the toxic pesticide glyphosate is safe for humans and imperiled wildlife. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto-Bayer's flagship Roundup weedkiller, the most widely used pesticide in the world.
The 54-page opinion held the Trump administration's 2020 interim registration of glyphosate to be unlawful because "EPA did not adequately consider whether glyphosate causes cancer and shirked its duties under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)." Represented by Center for Food Safety, the petitioners in the lawsuit included the Rural Coalition, Farmworker Association of Florida, Organización en California de Lideres Campesinas, and Beyond Pesticides. A consolidated case is led by Natural Resources Defense Council and includes Pesticide Action Network.
Marking 15 years since Israel began imposing its land, air, and sea blockade on Gaza, Oxfam International said Wednesday that the international community is complicit in Palestinians' ongoing suffering and demanded the United Nations and its member states "become the diplomatic power brokers needed to end this blockade now."
The international humanitarian group noted that governments have spent "an estimated $5.7 billion in Gaza just to help keep an incredibly resilient population afloat" as 2.1 million Palestinians face power cuts, undrinkable water, and restricted movement.
"The humanitarian relief effort has long become a permanent operation," said Oxfam International executive director Gabriela Bucher. "We are collectively forced into being de facto enablers of an open-air prison."
In a social media post, Oxfam campaign coordinator Fatima AbdulKarim bemoaned that humanitarian aid groups and their donors have been compelled to sustain a situation that has only prolonged and entrenched the suffering of people in Gaza.
New reporting from The Washington Post on Monday laid out the increasingly dire conditions across Afghanistan amid drought and in the wake of the Taliban takeover and disastrous U.S. withdrawal last year following nearly two decades of war.
"We were poor before the takeover. Now we have nothing," Ahmed Shah Jamshidi told journalist Susannah George, who reports that the 42-year-old Afghan borrows money from shopkeepers to buy potatoes and cooking oil so his wife can make his family a watery stew.
When the family has no food, "the children scream from the hunger at night," Jamshidi explained. "Sometimes all we have is donated stale bread and tea. And when we run out of tea, I just gather grass to boil with the water."
George's accounts from struggling families come as members of the former Afghan government, diaspora groups, and relatives of 9/11 victims call on U.S. President Joe Biden to help end the suffering after freezing $7 billion in the nation's central bank funds.
As international delegates left Germany Friday following the Bonn Climate Change Conference, climate campaigners called the talks, which lasted 10 days this month, an "utter failure" for neglecting to establish plans to support the Global South in adapting to the planetary crisis—months after developing countries demanded aid at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Scotland.
"It is unconscionable that developed countries continue to kick the issue of financing for loss and damage down the road—first COP26, now Bonn," said Jeni Miller, executive director of the Global Climate and Health Alliance, referring to the impacts of the climate crisis which developing nations have already suffered and demanding that the issue get badly-needed attention at upcoming talks.
"Such financing would enable countries to deal with the impacts on their people’s lives and livelihoods, homes and health systems, and must be a core component of the COP27 agenda," Miller added.
New scientific research published Wednesday shows the waters in the North Barents Sea are warming at a rate that is much more rapid than most climate models have predicted, with worrying implications about feedback loops for the larger Arctic region and far beyond.
Extending between the north coast of Norway and Russia in the eastern Arctic Ocean, the North Barents Sea has been warming at a rate nearly seven times that of the global average, the study shows. The researchers used temperature data over four decades to determine that the trends in the region—the "fastest warming place known on Earth"—should be seen as an "early warning" of what could happen elsewhere.
Published in Scientific Reports, the new findings offer further confirmation that feedback loops in the Arctic are taking hold but could be doing so at a faster rate than previously understood.
"The warming pattern is primarily consistent with reductions in sea ice cover and confirms the general spatial and temporal patterns represented by reanalyses," states the abstract of the study. "However, our findings suggest even a stronger rate of warming and [sea ice concentration (SIC) and sea
My ultimate, ongoing concern with the climate problem is primarily Arctic Ocean methane and the nearby CO2 and methane release from the neighboring permafrost areas. The northern permafrost areas are melting back at an accelerating rate and releasing as much CO2 as humans did with fossil fuels in the 1950’s. Add that to what we humans emit now. There are millions of square miles of it and it is loaded with the stuff. Micro organisms in the soils eat carbon and emit carbon dioxide. Added to that are many pockets of methane that have begun to explode out of the permafrost (ground) along Northern Siberia leaving very large craters. Notice the photo of one here.
More dangerous than the permafrost is the Arctic Ocean. Methane Hydrate floats around in parts of it like a slushy drink but that is only part of what lies beneath. There are very large swaths of frozen methane laced along the seabed of the Arctic Ocean with enough volume to kill the life on this planet twenty times over. The covering ice above is tapering back at an alarming rate and is practically non-existent during the Summer, the surrounding atmosphere is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world, warming ocean currents from Pacific and Atlantic flow into it while increasing exposure to the sun acts on the water there. Methane is at least 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas. There is the very real potential of a warming event occurring that will send enough methane out of the Arctic Ocean, over a period of just several days, sufficient in volume to kill off practically all life on this planet.
The Arctic is turning into a dream come true for doomsayers. It’s heating way too fast! Nostradamus is dancing in the street.
Record-smashing Arctic temperatures may brighten the outlook for those who thrive, actually enjoy, disaster scenarios, but the great majority of people only get off on disasters in a movie theater, not in the wide open spaces at the top of the world. Even Hollywood itself could never possibly capture the moment, the drama, the heightened level of deep concern of flabbergasted scientists, as temperatures in the Arctic skyrocket.
Indisputably, it’s all about cars, planes, trains, cows, heavy industry, and electric power plants emitting tons of CO2 into the upper atmosphere where it blankets heat. In that regard, there are limits to what works and what doesn’t for nature’s climate system to continue functioning so that humans can live and breathe and survive. Global warming anomalous temperatures, which are beyond the norm of thousands of years, just don’t cut it. It’s at the biggest disruption level in human history, and it’s downright ugly and outright scary.
The climate crisis continues to bite in the U.S. this week with nearly one-third of people in the country living under heat advisories and warnings on Tuesday as high temperatures were reported from the Gulf Coast to the Upper Midwest and across the Southeast.
More than 107 million people are being advised to stay indoors as possible to avoid record-setting heatwaves that have been reported across the country in recent days, moving eastward and expected to continue for at least the next two weeks.
The National Weather Service (NWS) posted a map showing the maximum temperature forecast for the next week, with South Texas and Georgia residents expected to face 102°F heat and temperatures reaching 105° in parts of South Carolina and Nebraska.
Scientist's Terrifying NEW Discoveries Under Antarctica's Ice
Valentín, the man next to us in line as we made our way across the international border, asked what we had been doing in Tijuana. We had been at the Workers Summit of the Americas, organized as an alternative to Biden’s Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles. Our summit was as a place where countries besieged by and barred from the US could participate and was held in cooperation with a kindred counter-summit in Los Angeles.
Valentín, who had been born in Mexico and spent most of his working life in the United States, had seen the border from both perspectives. He commented about Biden’s summit that although the US is rich in resources, industry, and agriculture, “it wants it all,” which pretty much sums up what imperialism is about.
Historical debt to Mexico
That border had not always been at Tijuana. As the immigrant rights movement reminds us, “we did not cross the border, the border crossed us.”
A failed Summit of the Americas convened by the United States administration of President Joe Biden further revealed the waning geopolitical authority of Washington and Wall Street.
This event held between June 7-10, was boycotted by many governmental leaders from Central and South America along with the Caribbean due to the deliberate exclusion by the Biden administration of the Republic of Cuba, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Nicaragua.
Even leaders in the region which have maintained close ties with the U.S. refused to attend. There was an immediate outcry from governmental and mass organizations demanding that those invited should not attend on principle.
The confab was the first of its kind held in the U.S. since 1994 when President Bill Clinton was in office. Obviously, the governments and civil society groupings realized that the aim of the meeting was to reassert Washington’s imperialist role throughout the entire Western Hemisphere.
Over the last two decades, the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation have enhanced their diplomatic and economic relations with Southern Hemispheric states and peoples. During this time period, the volume of trade and direct aid from Washington has declined significantly amid revolutionary upheavals throughout South America and the Caribbean which have been largely carried out through mass demonstrations, general strikes and left-wing oriented electoral campaigns.
Public health is about curative, rehabilitative, and especially preventative healthcare for everybody, no exclusions. Failed public health was on display during the Covid-19 pandemic. “The United States has the highest rate of COVID-19 deaths per capita” among 11 high-income countries, according to one infectious disease specialist.
Similarly, local authorities allowed dangerous levels of lead to persist in the drinking water of Flint, Michigan, and other cities. Lead damages the brain of young children and recently was shown to have contributed to lowered IQs in 170 million Americans who are now adults.
The constitutions of only a few governments speak of people’s right to health or healthcare. Without offering specifics, the U.S. Constitution mentions a duty to “promote the general welfare.” The Constitution provides for political freedoms, but concentrates on devices aimed at diffusing political power. Examples are checks and balances, federalism, and separation of powers.
David Barsamian: Let’s head into the most obvious nightmare of this moment, the war in Ukraine and its effects globally. But first a little background. Let’s start with President George H.W. Bush’s assurance to then-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev that NATO would not move “one inch to the east” — and that pledge has been verified. My question to you is, why didn’t Gorbachev get that in writing?
Noam Chomsky: He accepted a gentleman’s agreement, which is not that uncommon in diplomacy. Shake-of-the-hand. Furthermore, having it on paper would have made no difference whatsoever. Treaties that are on paper are torn up all the time. What matters is good faith. And in fact, H.W. Bush, the first Bush, did honor the agreement explicitly. He even moved toward instituting a partnership in peace, which would accommodate the countries of Eurasia. NATO wouldn’t be disbanded but would be marginalized. Countries like Tajikistan, for example, could join without formally being part of NATO. And Gorbachev approved of that. It would have been a step toward creating what he called a common European home with no military alliances.
The Department of Justice and Attorney General Merrick Garland must do their sworn duty and charge Donald Trump with the extremely serious crimes the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol has documented and alleges that the ex-president committed in order to subvert democracy. The DOJ, AG Garland and Biden administration must not make the same mistake that Pres. Gerald Ford did when he granted a full and unconditional pardon to Richard Nixon on Sept. 8, 1974, shortly after Tricky Dick resigned the presidency. Not prosecuting Trump for the heinous crimes he purportedly perpetrated will, in effect, be the same as Ford’s Proclamation 4311, which let Nixon get off Scott free for the crimes he committed as part of the Watergate Scandal and set a deplorable precedent of unaccountability.
The rich, powerful and famous must be held to account, the same as the rest of us. They must pay the consequences for their actions, just like ordinary people are expected to. There must not be a double standard for the high and mighty; NOBODY is above the law, not even a president or ex-president.
In my blog post of May 18, 2022, I raised the possibility that the $40 billion aid package that Congress quickly approved for Ukraine was going to be used, at least in part, to pay multimillion dollar bribes to Ukrainian officials. After all, why else would the members of Congress, as well as the Pentagon’s assets within the mainstream press, react so vociferously against the idea of having the Inspector General monitor how the money is being used? And what better way to ensure that Ukrainian officials remain on board for perpetual war than the payment of bribes to officials serving in what is perhaps the most corrupt regime on the planet?
For skeptics, I refer to an article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal whose title pretty much tells it all: “High-Ranking Afghan Officials Escaped to Luxury Homes Abroad.” The opening paragraph states, “Some senior Afghan officials and their families spent millions purchasing expensive homes in the U.S. and abroad in the final years of the war, which became luxurious landings when they escaped the escalating violence in Afghanistan.” The article then goes on to detail some of those “luxurious landings.”
Okay, yes, it is conceivable that those Afghan officials are all honest politicians and bureaucrats in an impoverished nation who became millionaires by dutifully saving portions of their government salaries.
The media would like to believe the Fed is doing everything in its power to fight inflation, but it’s not true.
Yes, the Fed raised rates by 50 basis points in May and, yes, the Fed is trying to sound as “hawkish” as possible. But these things are designed to dupe the public not to reduce inflation. Let me explain.
The current rate of inflation in the US is 8.6%, a 40-year high.
At its May meeting, the Fed raised its target Fed Funds Rate to 1%. Here’s the scoop:
“The Federal Reserve recently announced that it’s raising interest rates by half a percentage point, bumping the federal funds rate to a target range of 0.75-1.00%.” (The Spokesman-Review)
Got that? So the Fed’s rate is still a measly 1%. That’s what the media is trying to hide from you, and that’s why you might have to read 9 or 10 articles before you find a journalist who provides you with the actual rate.
Why are they hiding the rate?
Because the rate is 7.6% below the rate of inflation, so it doesn’t do a damn thing. It’s another public relations travesty dolled-up to look like serious monetary policy. But it’s a joke, and you can see it’s a joke.
Carl von Clausewitz, a prominent Prussian general described war as “merely the continuation of policy by other means.” This perfectly describes the political West’s relationship with the world. However, against Russia, it is unable to conduct what the late Donald Rumsfeld euphemistically called “kinetic force.” The phrase differentiates conventional warfare from “soft” force, limited to diplomacy, sanctions and cyber warfare. The latter is usually overlooked, despite often taking center stage in geopolitics.
The advent of the Digital Age gave rise to cyber warfare. While it was applied even during the 1990s, it became more prominent in the last 20 years. With nearly all organizations on the planet now being online, we got unprecedented access to information. However, this has its downsides, particularly in the form of hackers, who aren’t necessarily just “lone wolves” motivated by money (or ideology). The data on hackers is questionable at best. However, there’s publicly available information, especially that coming from state structures openly talking about the military usage of cyberspace.
The extradition order landed on Patel’s desk after the U.K. Supreme Court refused to hear Assange’s appeal against a High Court victory for the United States.
The U.S. had appealed a magistrate court’s decision in January last year not to extradite Assange because it would be oppressive to do so based on Assange’s health and the dire conditions of U.S. solitary confinement. The High Court decided in favor of the U.S. based solely on Washington’s conditional diplomatic “assurances” that it would treat Assange humanely.
Assange still has legal options left. He can appeal Patel’s decision to the High Court. He can also launch a “cross” appeal to the High Court. The court could deny both applications for appeal. Though he won in magistrate’s court on health grounds and the condition of U.S. prisons, the judge in that court ruled on every other point of law in Washington’s favor.
Reality has a way of catching up to us. Sometimes it comes via a sudden shock — Sputnik or Tet. Sometimes it creeps up incrementally — as in Ukraine with each thousand round Russian artillery barrage and the steady rise of the ruble now 25 percent higher than at the onset of the crisis.
Dim the lights, the party’s almost over. But that is not the end of the affair. Whatever the exact outcomes, there is no going back to the status quo ante — the world, especially Europe, has changed in fundamental respects. Moreover, it has changed in ways diametrically opposite to what was desired and anticipated.
The West has been inhabiting a fanciful world that could exist only in our imaginations. Many remain stranded in that self-deluded mirage. The more that we have invested in that fantasy world, the harder we find it to exit and to make the adjustment — intellectual, emotional, behavioral.
As his second trial began this week, a C.I.A. whistleblower languishes in a federal prison under inhumane conditions and almost nobody is paying attention.
Joshua Schulte, 33, is a former C.I.A. hacker, one of those computer geniuses whose job it is to work his way into the computer systems of our country’s enemies in support of some of the most highly-classified operations the C.I.A. carries out.
The government believes that Schulte was a malcontent who released to WikiLeaks in 2017 the equivalent of 2 billion pages of top secret C.I.A. data with code names like Brutal Kangaroo, AngerQuake and McNugget.
These programs, collectively known as Vault 7, were custom-made techniques used to compromise Wifi networks, hack into Skype, defeat anti-virus software and even hack into smart TVs and the guidance systems in cars. They were the C.I.A.’s modern-day crown jewels. One senior C.I.A. officer likened the revelations to “a modern-day Pearl Harbor.”
“Rejection of Russian energy resources means that Europe will become the region with the highest energy costs in the world. This will seriously undermine the competitiveness of European industry which is already losing the competition to companies in other parts of the world…. Our Western colleagues seem to have forgotten the elementary laws of economics, or simply prefer to ignore them.” Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation
On Tuesday, Russia announced a 40% reduction in the flow of natural gas to Germany through the Nord Stream pipeline. The announcement, that was made by Gazprom officials, sent tremors through the European gas market where prices quickly soared to new highs. In Germany—where prices have tripled in the last three months—the news was met with gasps of horror. With inflation already running at a 40-year high, this latest reduction in supply is certain to tip the German economy into recession or worse. All of Europe is now feeling the impact of Washington’s misguided sanctions on Russia. Here’s more from Oil Price website:
“Russia’s Gazprom said on Tuesday that it would limit natural gas supply via the Nord Stream pipeline to Germany by 40 percent compared to planned flows because of a delay in equipment repairs… The lower supply of gas via Nord Stream to the biggest European economy, Germany, sent Europe’s gas prices surging by double digits...
Russian gas deliveries to Europe… have already been down after Ukraine stopped last month flows from Russia to Europe at … one of the two transit points… thus supply was cut off for a third of the gas transiting Ukraine onto Europe.” (“Europe’s Gas Prices Surge 13% As Russia Reduces Nord Stream Flow“, Oil Price)
The American establishment believes that everyone on earth is as braindead as fat, vaxed, drug-addled, porn-addicted, negro-worshiping, homosexual Americans. They think they can just keep declaring themselves to be the center of morality in the universe, keep declaring that something is true simply because they said it.
Meanwhile, everyone in the world who isn’t a fat slob or a stupid slut is beginning to question these baseless and totally unfounded assertions.
Beijing, unlike the United States, is seeking peace in Ukraine, and it is up to the people to decide who is on “the right side of history,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Thursday, responding to Washington’s criticism of China’s stance on the conflict.
China has been heavily criticized by the US for its refusal to condemn the Russian offensive in Ukraine, as well as its cooperation with Moscow. On Wednesday, a US Department of State spokesperson accused Beijing of “still standing with Russia … echoing its propaganda … denying Russia’s atrocities in Ukraine” before saying that “nations that side with Vladimir Putin will inevitably find themselves on the wrong side of history.”
Remember: this is just hours after the Ukraine rained down missiles on residential buildings in Donetsk for no clear purpose beyond causing totally random destruction.
The government of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has authorised Russian troops, planes and ships to deploy to Nicaragua for purposes of training, law enforcement or emergency response.
In a decree published this week, and confirmed by Russia on Thursday, Ortega will allow Russian troops to carry out law enforcement duties, “humanitarian aid, rescue and search missions in emergencies or natural disasters”.
The Nicaraguan government also authorised the presence of small contingents of Russian troops for “exchange of experiences and training”.
Russia’s foreign ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, told the Russian news outlet Sputnik that the measure was “routine”.
“We are talking about a routine – twice a year – procedure for the adoption of a Nicaraguan law on the temporary admission of foreign military personnel to its territory in order to develop cooperation in various areas, including humanitarian and emergency responses, combatting organised crime and drug trafficking,” Zakharova said.
Nicaragua also said it will allow the presence of “forces naval and air vessels” of Venezuela, Honduras, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Mexico, El Salvador and the United States. The permission is valid for the second half of 2022, according to a report by the Russian state news agency Tass.
The Guardian has put out a smear piece on critics of the imperial Syria narrative that reads like propaganda made by seven year-olds without adult supervision.
The article was initially released under the headline “Russia-backed network of Syria conspiracy theorists identified,” which was then hastily edited to “Network of Syria conspiracy theorists identified,” because the article does not even make an attempt to argue that all of the so-called “conspiracy theorists” it smears are backed by the Russian government. It claims only that the Russian government has at times cited and amplified information about Syria which is inconvenient for the US empire, which, you know, duh. Obviously it’s going to do that.
Your first clue that you are reading brazen empire smut is the feature image The Guardian uses for the article: a cinematic shot of a member of the “White Helmets” heroically carrying a child in front of a destroyed building. The photo is credited to Sameer Al-Doumy, whose own website describes him as an anti-Assad activist since childhood. Even if you knew nothing about the Syrian conflict or the White Helmets narrative control operation, if you knew anything at all about propaganda and how it’s used you would still instantly recognize that photo for what it is.
British Home Secretary Priti Patel has authorized the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States to be tried under the Espionage Act in a case which seeks to set a legal precedent for the prosecution of any publisher or journalist, anywhere in the world, who reports inconvenient truths about the US empire.
Assange’s legal team will appeal the decision, reportedly with arguments that will include the fact that the CIA spied on him and plotted his assassination.
“It will likely be a few days before the (14-day appeal) deadline and the appeal will include new information that we weren’t able to bring before the courts previously. Information on how Julian lawyers were spied on, and how there were plots to kidnap and kill Julian from within the CIA,” Assange’s brother Gabriel Shipton told Reuters on Friday.
As Putin says, the British government is nothing but an American lackey
Paul Craig Roberts
The British are now ruled by their former colonial lackeys. An Indian who is the British Home Secretary has ruled, as he was ordered to do, the extradition of a foreign national who is not a citizen of the country extraditing him or a citizen of the country requesting his extradition. India, long an English colony, has some idea of British justice, but Priti Patel does not sufficiently appreciate the essence of British justice to be able to defend it. One can say that neither did the judges on the British courts who approved the extradition of Julian Assange to the US where Washington wants him for revenge. Britain, it seems, is no longer British, and America is no longer American.
Julian Assange has committed no crime in Britain, where he was held for years without charges in complete and total violation of habeas corpus for no other reason than Washington’s ability to control British “justice.” Assange has committed no crime in the US. He is a citizen of Australia. Yet he is being charged with treason against the US because as a journalist he did the same thing that Daniel Ellsberg and the New York Times did in 1971. He published leaked information that showed the US government knowingly committed and covered up war crimes and knowingly kept secret its deception of its gullible, trusting dumbshit allies who are without any doubt a pathetic bunch unable to act independently of Washington. Nothing happened to Ellsberg, because in those days the US Constitution and the First Amendment had more authority than embarrassed government officials–criminals actually who should be in prison. Today the corrupt, criminal government officials, backed up by their media whores, have far more authority than the US Constitution. Watching the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, NPR, the BBC lambast Julian Assange as a “Russian agent” made it clear that the freedom of the press was no longer a value of the Anglo-American press.
The mainstream worldview is self-evidently bullshit. If our media and education systems were telling us the truth about the world and our “democratic” systems actually worked, our society would be arranged to serve the interests of the many rather than an elite few.
You can tell the mainstream worldview is bullshit just by looking at its fruits. We’re killing our biosphere to serve an economic system that’s creating greater and greater inequality while wars rage and nuclear brinkmanship threatens to wipe us all out and corruption rules the earth.
The world is as it is because the way the majority of people in the most influential nations think, act and vote is being continuously manipulated by the powerful, for the powerful. The mainstream worldview is just a giant bundle of power-serving lies and manipulations.
‘Are We Ruled by Idiots?’
That’s what George Galloway asked CN Editor Joe Lauria on the Mother of All Talk Shows. His response examines the need for a change in imperial thinking.
Poor People’s March on Washington Saturday Demands “Moral Reset” on Poverty, Voting Rights, Climate
We speak with Bishop William Barber and Reverend Liz Theoharis, co-chairs of the Poor People’s Campaign, about plans for Saturday’s Moral March on Washington and to the Polls to demand the government address key issues facing poor and low-income communities. The march will bring together thousands of people from diverse backgrounds to speak out against the country’s rising poverty rates, voter suppression in low-income communities and more. “To have this level of poverty that’s untalked about too often … is actually morally indefensible, constitutionally inconsistent, politically insensitive and economically insane,” says Barber. Theoharis says the lack of universal healthcare in the U.S. is a major source of economic insecurity and has contributed to the COVID-19 death toll. She asks how a rich country “that spends more money on healthcare than any other nation with a comparable economy still has [these] kind of poor health outcomes.”
Chris Hedges speaks with historian Vijay Prashad on the rise of authoritarianism in the US and around the globe and what we must do to fight back.
Chris Hedges | How to Fight FASCISM
New Rule: Democracy Dies in Dumbness | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)
"Nothing captures what’s wrong with today’s “journalism” like the sad saga of what happened last week at The Washington Post."