News Articles | May 1, 2022

5G, Assange, authoritarianism, big oil, big pharma, capitalism, economy, foreign policy, fossil fuel, imperialism, inflation, Japan, labor, Medicare, population, Russia, taxes, Ukraine, War

Despite billions of dollars in federal rental assistance flowing to cities and states, the number of evictions sought by landlords is climbing back to pre-pandemic levels in cities across the country, as wage growth continues to lag behind inflation and millions of people struggle with the rising cost of basic necessities.

An estimated 35 percent of respondents to the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest Household Pulse Survey said they are either “very” or “somewhat” likely to leave their home in the next two months due to an eviction. Only about 11 percent said they applied for and received rental assistance through federally funded programs typically administered by states and cities, which are charged with distributing around $46.5 billion in aid to landlords and tenants. A larger Pulse survey found that nearly 25 percent of renter households are “slightly confident” or “not confident at all” in their ability to pay the next month’s rent. READ MORE

Despair and Disparity: The Uneven Burdens of COVID-19

Research published Thursday in the journal Science warns that runaway global warming driven by carbon dioxide emissions has put marine life at risk of the most catastrophic mass extinction since the “Great Dying” 250 million years ago, when 90% of all ocean species were wiped out.

Using models of varying emissions scenarios, Princeton University scientists Curtis Deutsch and Justin Penn found that the continued burning of fossil fuels and “business-as-usual global temperature increases” are likely to result, by 2300, in mass extinctions of marine systems “on par with past great extinctions.”

“With accelerating greenhouse gas emissions, species losses from warming and oxygen depletion alone become comparable to current direct human impacts within a century and culminate in a mass extinction rivaling those in Earth’s past,” the researchers write. “Polar species are at highest risk of extinction, but local biological richness declines more in the tropics.” READ MORE

"A shift to renewables is crucial to mending our broken global energy mix and offering hope to millions suffering climate impacts today," said António Guterres.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Saturday slammed the fossil fuel industry for trying to use Russia's war on Ukraine to boost polluters' profits at the expense of the global climate and all life on Earth.

"Fossil fuel interests are now cynically using the war in Ukraine to try to lock in a high carbon future," Guterres tweeted. "A shift to renewables is crucial to mending our broken global energy mix and offering hope to millions suffering climate impacts today."

Climate action advocates welcomed the U.N. chief's message—including American author and activist Bill McKibben, who said that Guterres "may understand this moment better than any other official on the planet. And this may be the most important tweet of the spring." READ MORE

"Big Oil is intentionally profiteering off the war in Ukraine," said one campaigner. "We need a Big Oil windfall profits tax."

Chevron and ExxonMobil announced Friday that their profits surged during the first quarter of 2022, prompting fresh calls for a windfall tax as the U.S.-based oil giants continue to exploit Russia's war on Ukraine to hike prices at the pump and lobby for more drilling.

"This is robbery," Jamie Henn, director of Fossil Free Media, said in response to the new profit figures. "Big Oil is intentionally profiteering off the war in Ukraine—a crisis they helped create by working with Putin for decades to expand Russian oil and gas production."

"We need a Big Oil windfall profits tax," Henn added.

The first three months of 2022 marked a banner quarter for Chevron and Exxon, which respectively saw their profits quadruple and double compared to the previous year even as the U.S. economy contracted. READ MORE

This morning, Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp, announced their quarterly profits. At a moment when consumers face historically high prices at the pump, Exxon doubled its profits to $5.5 billion. Chevron quadrupled its profits to $6.3 billion as compared to the same quarter in 2021.

In early April, Public Citizen, Friends of the Earth, and BailoutWatch reported that oil and gas companies have authorized spending a combined $45 billion for purchasing and retiring their own stock, directly enriching insiders and other shareholders.

In response to the windfall profits, Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, issued the following statement: 

“With prices rising at the pump, Exxon, Chevron and Big Oil profits are soaring so high they don’t know what to do with all the money, so they are going to waste it on stock buybacks.

“Consumers should not get punched in the face so that Big Oil can stuff its overflowing coffers. READ MORE

New data reveals a massive "transfer of wealth" from the working class, which is paying higher prices as consumers, to the investor class reaping the financial benefits.

As inflationary pressure drives up costs throughout the economy, a new analysis out Wednesday reveals that corporations are raking in record profits by jacking up prices at the grocery store, gas pump, and beyond—hurting consumers while rewarding investors.

The Guardian, which examined Securities and Exchange Commission filings for 100 U.S. companies, found that net profits increased by a median of 49% from the first quarter of 2020 to the first quarter of this year. Over the same time period, workers' wages grew by just 1.6%.

These corporations have boosted their profit margins over the past two years by charging more for food, fuel, housing, and other basics—using inflation as a pretext to raise prices, negating the modest wage gains that workers made during the coronavirus pandemic. All but 10 have engaged in stock buybacks or dividend bumps to enrich shareholders.

According to The Guardian, which also scrutinized earnings calls, "executives detailed how even as demand and profits rose post-vaccine, they passed on most or all inflationary costs to customers via price increases, and some took the opportunity to add more on top." READ MORE

Though corporate America would like us to believe otherwise, the retail prices of essential goods like food and energy are not set by simple supply and demand.

In large part, they’re determined by the corporate cartels that have vanquished their competitors — and Wall Street speculators who place bets on the future availability of commodities.

With price hikes for energy, gas, and food remaining stubbornly high, it’s time to do something about it. That’s why some experts now support a fix that was long considered taboo: limiting what corporations can charge for certain goods.

In other words, price controls.

Price controls tend to outrage many economists and business-friendly politicians. But curbing excess profits and making essentials more affordable would be politically smart — and effective. READ MORE

"These plans are designed to maximize profits for corporations, NOT to provide high-quality healthcare," said Social Security Works.

A government watchdog revealed Thursday that Medicare Advantage plans—which are offered by private companies but required to follow rules set by the government healthcare program—deny medically necessary care to tens of thousands of enrollees each year.

The revelation came in a report released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG), which examined a random sample of 250 prior authorization denials and 250 payment denials issued by 15 of the largest Medicare Advantage Organizations (MAOs) during the first week of June in 2019.

Government investigators found that 13% of the 12,273 prior authorization denials met Medicare coverage rules. "In other words," the report explains, "these services likely would have been approved for these beneficiaries under original Medicare (also known as Medicare fee-for-service)." READ MORE

A plurality of Americans under age 30 surveyed by Harvard Kennedy School's Institute of Politics support canceling all outstanding student loan debt.

Nearly nine in 10 young Americans want the government to address the student loan debt crisis, with a plurality—but overall minority—supporting full cancellation, according to the results of a national survey published Monday.

The survey, conducted by Harvard Kennedy School's Institute of Politics (IOP), found that 85% of respondents under age 30 "favor some form of government action on student loan debt."

However, "young Americans had no clear consensus on a path forward related to student loan debt," with 38% of overall respondents wanting all debt canceled, 27% agreeing that the government should assist with—but not cancel—repayment, 21% favoring cancellation for the neediest borrowers, and 13% supporting the status quo. READ MORE

"Under no circumstances should a Third World War be allowed to happen," said Russia's foreign minister.

Russia's top diplomat warned Monday that NATO countries are "pouring oil on the fire" in Ukraine and heightening the chances of a full-blown nuclear conflict by continuing to dump advanced weaponry into the war zone, comments that came after top U.S. officials vowed to provide Kyiv with another $700 million in military aid.

In an interview on Russian state television, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the possibility of nuclear war "should not be underestimated" and added that "under no circumstances should a Third World War be allowed to happen."

"The risk is serious, real," said Lavrov. "There can be no winners in a nuclear war."

Lavrov went on to argue that by heavily arming Ukraine as it combats Russia's illegal and deadly invasion, NATO members are, "in essence, going to war with Russia through a proxy."

Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine's foreign minister, replied that Lavrov's "talk of a 'real' danger of WWIII" is part of Moscow's effort to "scare the world off supporting Ukraine." READ MORE

The satirical video's release coincides with a new People's Vaccine Alliance campaign targeting Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson during their annual general meetings.

Noting that "pharmaceutical companies are making billions, while billions go unvaccinated," the advocacy group People's Vaccine Alliance on Wednesday published a parody video lampooning Big Pharma's greed and profiteering from a pandemic that's now claimed more than six million lives.

"Liquid gold, mate! We're making a thousand bucks' profit a second," the satirical Big Pharma executive—played by British artist Jolyon Rubinstein—gushes in a phone call, presumably with a colleague. "Omicron was a total money-spinner, but apparently the new variant is even more transmissible!"

In another call, he informs a potential buyer, "I'm afraid the price per dose has doubled... It's a demand thing."

"My hands are tied," he says before hanging up the phone and then exclaiming, "In golden handcuffs!" READ MORE

"Corporations are looting America," said former Labor Secretary Robert Reich.

In a year when many U.S corporations enjoyed record-breaking profits, some of the wealthiest companies in the nation paid little-to-no taxes according to a new analysis—or even accepted tax refunds—while working Americans continued paying their normal tax rates and faced rising prices for essentials.

That's according to a Center for American Progress (CAP) analysis released Tuesday that found 19 Fortune 100 companies paid effective tax rates in the single digits, if they paid anything at all.

The highest-earning Fortune 100 company, JPMorgan Chase, reported pre-tax earnings of $48.2 billion in 2021, but paid less than 6% in federal taxes despite an official corporate tax rate of 21%., which earned $35.1 billion in the U.S. in 2021, paid only 6.1% in federal taxes—all while its growth in profits over the past two years outpaced the wages the company paid its 1.1 million U.S. workers and while the company spent more than $4 million on union-busting to fend off organizing efforts at its warehouses. READ MORE

"Whether countrywide sanctions or blockade, U.S. policies have hurt civilian populations in targeted countries in what amounts to unjust collective punishment."

A coalition of two dozen organizations on Thursday urged President Joe Biden to overhaul U.S. policies regarding economic sanctions and blockades so that they no longer amount to "unjust collective punishment of civilian populations around the globe."

The demand, according to a letter to Biden—led by groups including Afghans for a Better Tomorrow, the National Iranian American Council, and Women Cross DMZ—is particularly urgent in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, which is compounding the civilian impact of the U.S. sanctions regime and which the U.S. president pledged to address on a global scale.

The letter calls "the swift and severe sanctions" imposed on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine a recent example of the U.S. using the economic measure as "a tool of first resort for U.S. foreign policy." The consequences of such policies have hit close to home, the letter adds, noting, "We have watched helplessly while our families and loved ones struggle under the weight of economic pressure in our countries of heritage." READ MORE

The document, said one advocate, "points to a vision of the internet that puts people first."

The United States, the European Union, and dozens of other countries on Thursday launched a global Declaration for the Future of the Internet vowing online protection of human rights, respect for net neutrality, and no government-imposed shutdowns that was applauded by progressive advocates for a more open and democratic web.

"Today, for the first time, like-minded countries from all over the world are setting out a shared vision for the future of the internet, to make sure that the values we hold true offline are also protected online, to make the internet a safe place and trusted space for everyone, and to ensure that the internet serves our individual freedom," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement.

"Because the future of the internet," she said, "is also the future of democracy, of humankind."

The unveiling of the three-page document came months after President Joe Biden's Summit for Democracy at which his administration was reportedly mulling the launch of an Alliance for the Future of the internet. It also comes amid swelling scrutiny over the power of big tech corporations and continued attacks to online access imposed by authoritarian regimes. READ MORE

Russia’s war on Ukraine both reflects and deepens a global split that should remind us of Karl Marx’s famous remark: “No social order ever disappears before all the productive forces, for which there is room in it, have been developed; and new higher relations of production never appear before the material conditions of their existence have matured in the womb of the old society.” The United Kingdom already lost its particular social order—its empire—while the United States is now losing its.

Despite differences, both of these social orders shared a mostly private form of capitalist relations of production (the organization of enterprises centered around private employers and employees). That social order has given way to a different, mostly public form of capitalist relations of production where state officials are major employers. The latter form of capitalism is developing most dramatically in China.

As defined by its core productive relation of employer/employee, capitalism is now developing its productive forces and its gross domestic product (GDP) growth faster in China’s public form of capitalism than in the United States’ private form of capitalism. READ MORE

The word “Iraq” was not uttered once during the three hour funeral of Madeleine Albright, who laid the groundwork for the US invasion of the country and helped set the stage for the current war in Ukraine.

It’s fitting that Joe Biden and Bill and Hillary Clinton should eulogize Madeleine Albright at the mammoth Episcopalian institution calling itself the “National Cathedral”. After all, just last year, Albright eulogized fellow war maker, “trailblazer” and fellow Episcopalian Colin Powell there for his “honesty, dignity, loyalty and an unshakable commitment to his calling and word.”

Albright, Biden and the Clintons covered for each other’s criminal war making – and ultimately, they all enabled and covered for Republican criminality as well. All showed they were capable of murderous deceits.

It sparked some measure of attention during the 2020 election, but it’s largely been forgotten that the current sitting president, who with great hypocrisy calls Vladimir Putin a war criminal, Joe Biden, won’t tell the truth about his Iraq war record – and he hasn’t for years. READ MORE

The Japanese government’s decision one year ago to dump radioactive water from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant storage tanks into the Pacific Ocean, starting in the spring of 2023, is facing increasing pressure to back off, especially in light of the facts that not only is it illegal but also morally reprehensible as well as a despicable disregard for the lifeblood of the ocean.

Meanwhile, in a startling maneuver indicative of desperation to convince citizens of its true worthiness, the Japanese government is using mind control tactics reminiscent of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (Chatto & Windus, 1932), which depicts harmful effects that the expansion and development of a capitalist ideology can impose on a society.

To wit: Japanese citizens are outraged over a new government policy of brainwashing children by distributing flyers to primary school students claiming TEPCO’s “diluted, nuclear-contaminated water is safe.” READ MORE


Above: May Day 1971 Protest

Fuck You, Motherfuckers


I first remember finding out about Judy Gumbo in 1971. A friend of mine at the high school for US military dependents in Frankfurt am Main, Germany subscribed to the DC underground newspaper Quicksilver Times. After he read each issue, he would pass them on to friends. In an issue published before the Mayday protests in 1971, an article quoted her regarding the Weather Underground bombing of the Capitol building: “I didn’t do it, but I dug it.” Being that I was thousands of miles away from an antiwar action I really wanted to be part of, I have to say I truly dug her statement. Plus, the picture of her and her cohorts was cool. The Yippie symbol and the Weather Underground logo painted on her face represented the revolution I was determined to join. In the male-dominated world of Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Stew Albert, Bill Ayers, Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver and the Berrigan brothers, women like Gumbo, Kathleen Cleaver, Angela Davis and Bernardine Dohrn were personalities whose commitment was worthy of imitation. The inspiration they provided went with me to the antiwar protests I attended in the days that followed—protests organized by German leftists and pacifists to coincide with the Mayday Actions against the war in Washington, DC and elsewhere around the United States. READ MORE

“Keep On Truckin’” was an iconic underground cartoon created in 1968 by comic master Robert Crumb.

Featuring various big-footed men strutting jauntily through life, the expression became widely popular as an expression of young people’s collective optimism. “You’re movin’ on down the line,” Crumb later explained. “It’s proletarian. It’s populist.”

But today the phrase has become ironic. Like too many other workers, America’s truck drivers themselves are no longer moving on down the line of fairness, justice, and opportunity.

What had been a skilled, middle-class, union job in the 1960s is now largely a skilled poverty-wage job. That’s all thanks to the industry’s relentless push for deregulation and de-unionization, which has decoupled drivers from upward mobility. READ MORE

By any calculation there are too many people in the world, far too many in fact (7.9 billion at the time of writing), probably double what the planet can comfortably support; over the last sixty years the population has increased dramatically (in 1950 it was just 2.5 billion), particularly in China and India, where over a billion have been added in both countries.

There are too many people huddled in polluted, noisy urban centers, many in developing nations often living in poor or degrading housing; too many people living on the fringes of society and there are too many people for the finite resources, the land, water, food, etc. The problem of food insecurity, however, has more to do with poverty, which is the result of social injustice and a dysfunctional socio-economic system, than with the number of mouths to feed or lack of foodstuff. READ MORE

Around the world, many countries are becoming less democratic. This backsliding on democracy and “creeping authoritarianism,” as the U.S. State Department puts it, is often supported by the same industries that are escalating climate change.

In my new book, “Global Burning: Rising Antidemocracy and the Climate Crisis,” I lay out connections between these industries and the politicians who are both stalling action on climate change and diminishing democracy.

It’s a dangerous shift, both for representative government and for the future climate.

Corporate capture of environmental politics

In democratic systems, elected leaders are expected to protect the public’s interests, including from exploitation by corporations. They do this primarily through policies designed to secure public goods, such as clean air and unpolluted water, or to protect human welfare, such as good working conditions and minimum wages. But in recent decades, this core democratic principle that prioritizes citizens over corporate profits has been aggressively undermined. READ MORE

It has become increasingly clear to the world that there is not one, but two, actually three, distinct levels of conflict embedded in what the world’s media and political leadership deceptively insist of calling the ‘Ukraine War.’ The first level was clearly initiated on February 24, 2022 when Russia launched an aggressive war against Ukraine imperiling its sovereign rights and territorial integrity. The second level was difficult to discern in the first weeks of the war, but became soon evident as the NATO countries led by the United States placed an increasing emphasis on lending escalating support to Ukraine’s adopted goals of achieving an unexpected military victory. This support took various forms including the steady supply of heavy weaponry, robust economic assistance, punitive sanctions, and a drumbeat of ‘official’ demonization of Russia and its leadership. In the beginning it seemed appropriate to lend support to Ukraine as the target of aggression, and hail the resistance effort led by President Volodymyr Zelensky, in defense of a relatively small country being overrun by its large neighbor. READ MORE


UKRAINE: The Real Zelensky

By Natylie Baldwin
The Grayzone

A comedic actor who rose to the country’s highest office in 2019, Volodymyr Zelensky was virtually unknown to the average American, except perhaps as a bit player in former U.S. President Donald Trump’s impeachment theater.

But when Russia attacked Ukraine on Feb. 24, Zelensky was suddenly transformed to an A-list celebrity in U.S. media. American news consumers were bombarded with images of a man who appeared overcome by the tragic events, possibly in over his head, but ultimately sympathetic.  It didn’t take long for that image to evolve into the khaki-clad, tireless hero governing over a scrappy little democracy and single-handedly staving off the barbarians of autocracy from the east.

But beyond that carefully crafted Western media image is something much more complicated and less flattering. Zelensky was elected by 73 percent of the vote on a promise to pursue peace while the rest of his platform was vague. On the eve of the invasion, however, his approval rating had sunk to 31 percent due to the pursuit of deeply unpopular policies. READ MORE

Article | Video

Curfew for Anniversary of Odessa Massacre That Sparked Rebellion

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

Authorities in the Ukrainian port city of Odessa have set a 24-hour curfew from May 1-3 to prevent protests commemorating the burning alive on May 2, 2014 of 48 people who had rejected the U.S.-backed coup in Kiev earlier that year.

The city, which is  “(under the control of Ukrainian troops) announced the introduction of a ‘curfew’ in the city from 22-00 on May 1 to 5-00 on May 3. For the duration of the ‘curfew’ Odessans are not allowed to leave their homes,” said the group Repression of the Left and Dissenters in Ukraine in a Telegram post. “Obviously, this decision of the authorities is due to the fact that May 2 is a very important date for the inhabitants of Odessa.”

On that day eight years ago hooligans and far-right groups deliberately set fire to a labor union building where protestors against the coup had taken refuge.  Police did not intervene. Video footage shows at least one police officer and others firing their guns into the building. The crowd is cheering as many of the people trapped inside jumped to their deaths. READ MORE

2014 saw two pivotal events that led to the current conflict in Ukraine.

The first, familiar to all, was the coup in Ukraine in which a democratically elected government was overthrown at the direction of the United States and with the assistance of neo-Nazi elements which Ukraine has long harbored.

Shortly thereafter the first shots in the present war were fired on the Russian-sympathetic Donbass region by the newly installed Ukrainian government. The shelling of the Donbass which claimed 14,000 lives has continued for 8 years, despite attempts at a cease-fire under the Minsk accords which Russia, France and Germany agreed upon but Ukraine backed by the US refused to implement. On February 24, 2022, Russia finally responded to the slaughter in Donbass and the threat of NATO on its doorstep.

Russia Turns to the East – China Provides an Alternative Economic Powerhouse.

The second pivotal event of 2014 was less noticed and in fact rarely mentioned in the Western mainstream media. In November of that year according to the IMF, China’s GDP surpassed that of the U.S. in purchasing power parity terms (PPP GDP). (This measure of GDP is calculated and published by the IMF, World Bank and even the CIA. Students of international relations like economics Nobel Laureate, Joseph Stiglitz, Graham Allison and many others consider this metric the best measure of a nation’s comparative economic power.) One person who took note and who often mentions China’s standing in the PPP-GDP ranking is none other than Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.


More than 1 million people have been evacuated from Ukraine into Russia since Feb. 24, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in remarks published early on Saturday.

The 1.02 million includes 120,000 foreigners and people evacuated from Russian-backed breakaway regions of Ukraine, the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People's republics, which Russia recognised as independent just before launching its invasion.

According to data from the United Nations, more than 5.4 million people have fled Ukraine since the start of the invasion. Moscow calls it a "special operation" to demilitarise and "denazify" its neighbour. Ukraine and the West say Russia launched an unprovoked war of aggression.

Lavrov, in comments to China's official Xinhua news agency published on the Russian foreign ministry's website, said 2.8 million people in Ukraine have asked to be evacuated into Russia. READ MORE

US Def. Secy. Lloyd Austin (3rd from right) chairing Ukraine Security Consultative Group meeting, Germany, April 26, 2022

For the Kremlin, most certainly, Austin’s remark would not have come as surprise. As recently as on Monday, President Vladimir Putin repeated at a meeting in the Kremlin that the US and its allies have sought to “split Russian society and destroy Russia from within.” Putin revisited the topic again on Wednesday pointing out that “the forces that have been historically pursuing a policy aimed at containing Russia just don’t need such an independent and large country, even enormously large, in their view. They believe that its very existence poses a threat to them.”

In fact, several perceptive Western observers had estimated that the Kremlin has effectively fallen into a trap laid by the US that is intended to bring down Putin’s regime. Come to think of it, that famous gaffe on 26 March wasn’t a gaffe after all, when President Biden, speaking in Warsaw, had blurted out the impromptu, unscripted remark: “For God’s sake, this man (Putin) cannot remain in power.”

All the same, Austin’s remark signifies that a dramatic change is taking place in the geopolitical situation, which could have positive or negative results. On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned the West that staying involved in the Russia-Ukraine war posed “serious” and “real” risks of a World War III and “we must not underestimate it.” 

To be sure, the conflict is slowly but steadily turning into a new phase. Foreign fighters and soldiers from NATO regular units are increasingly beefing up the depleted Ukrainian army’s front lines. READ MORE

The two most pressing issues of the day are Elon Musk’s plan to reinstate freedom of speech on Twitter and an impending war with Russia. Maybe these two issues can be tied together?

First, let’s take a trip down Memory Lane and remember how we got to the point where we are begging a billionaire to please just allow us to state our opinions in public.

The initial explanation of mass internet censorship was that people were saying mean things and that it was hurting the feelings of protected groups. In 2015, Chuck Johnson was the first person to be banned from Twitter for political reasons. That was followed shortly thereafter by the banning of MILO. Both were banned for allegedly hurting the feelings of black people. Daily Stormer was banned from everything in 2017, ostensibly for joking about a morbidly obese woman dying at the Charlottesville rally. Alex Jones was banned from YouTube and Facebook for allegedly hurting the feelings of Sandy Hook parents, and then banned from Twitter for allegedly hurting the feelings of a journalist who was working to get him banned from everything.


Human rights lawyer Steven Donziger walked free Monday after 993 days of detention stemming from his decades-long legal fight with Chevron, which deployed its vast resources in a campaign to destroy Donziger after he won a $9.5 billion settlement against the fossil fuel giant over its pollution of the Amazon rainforest.

“It’s over. Just left with release papers in hand,” Donziger wrote on Twitter. “Completely unjust that I spent even one day in this Kafkaesque situation. Not looking back. Onward.”

Donziger’s case has attracted global attention and outrage, with the United Nations high commissioner on human rights calling his prolonged detention a violation of international law. Lawmakers in the United States have also decried Donziger’s prosecution as an “unprecedented and unjust legal assault.”

“We are relieved that Steven Donziger will finally recover his freedom after almost 1,000 days of arbitrary detention, which included 45 days in prison and over 900 days under house arrest,” Daniel Joloy, senior policy advisor at Amnesty International, said in a statement Monday. “He should have never been detained for even one day, as it has been clear the whole process against him has been in retaliation for his human rights work that exposed corporate wrongdoings.” READ MORE

When scientists from the United States and Europe published a study two weeks ago, warning that climate change was on track to push more than half of the world’s species of cactus—a plant known for its extraordinary ability to survive heat and drought—into extinction by midcentury, Tierra Curry simply filed it among the quickly growing pile of similar reports.

“I have a whole folder, I call them apocalypse papers,” said Curry, a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity, a prominent U.S. environmental advocacy and research center. “We pass them around everyday, like, ‘Oh here’s another one.’”

Curry is part of a growing chorus of scientists worldwide calling for an immediate paradigm shift in the way humans travel, produce energy, grow their food and consume goods. Such a shift is not only necessary to tackle climate change, Curry said, but it’s also critical to mitigating the threat of mass extinction, as a rapidly increasing number of species of plants and animals face the threat of losing their natural habitats to inhospitable heat and the growing footprint of human industry and agriculture. READ MORE

I think we are now seeing the outlines of how the Fourth Branch of Government are planning to keep control over information, specifically public discussion on Big Tech platforms, even as Elon Musk moves to open the valves of information from the social media platform Twitter.

Previously the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) announced a new Dept of Homeland Security priority to combat disinformation {LINK} on technology platforms including social media.

Many eyebrows were raised as the announcement appeared to be an open admission that the U.S. government was going to control information by applying labels, that would align with allies in social media, who need a legal justification for censorship and content removal.

This CISA announcement was quickly followed by various government officials and agencies saying it was critical to combat Russian disinformation, as the events in Ukraine unfolded.  In essence, Ukraine was the justification for search engines like Google, DuckDuckGo, and social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to begin targeting information and content that did not align with the official U.S. government narrative.

Previously those same methods were deployed by the U.S. government, specifically the CDC and FDA, toward COVID-19 and the vaccination program. All of this background aligns with the previous visibility of a public-private partnership between the bureaucracy of government, the U.S. intelligence agencies and U.S. social media.  That partnership now forms the very cornerstone of the DHS/CISA effort to control what information exists in the public space.  It is highly important that people understand what is happening. READ MORE

A “Disinformation Governance Board” has just been created and is going to be run by the Department of Homeland Security. Their primary goal is going to be to “police” what is deemed to be “misinformation” or “disinformation.”

No clarification has been given as of yet as to what this policing will mean, but it has been pointed out that the creation of this new Disinformation Governance Board is going to have the full strength of the DHS behind it.

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said, “the goal is to bring the resources of (DHS) together to address this threat.”

Nina Jankowicz has been chosen to head up the new disinformation office as the executive director. READ MORE

Worldwide opposition to 5G deployment has been ongoing for years and this has limited, slowed and/or stopped deployment in some locations. Since 2017 doctors and scientists have asked for moratoriums on Earth and in space (see 1, 2) and the majority of scientists oppose deployment. Since 2018 there have been reports of people and animals experiencing symptoms and illnesses after it was activated (see 1, 2, 3, 4).

In 2019, telecom executives gave U.S. congressional testimony that they had NO scientific evidence that 5G is safe. Some researchers have claimed that 5G activation may be contributing to COVID-19 infections while others say it’s not. Nevertheless, in 2021, a federal court ruled in favor of organizations and petitioners that sued the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for NOT adequately protecting Americans from wireless radiation exposure (including 5G and 4G). Despite the ruling, the FCC (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8) as well as other government and state agencies and committees (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) continue to promote and fund the deployment and densification of both 5G and 4G infrastructure. Your neighborhood could be next! READ MORE

The European Union has put Elon Musk on notice – warning that he faces hefty fines or even a ban if he allows free speech on Twitter.

EU commissioner Thierry Breton told the Financial Times that Musk must follow rules on moderating illegal and harmful content online, since words have been elevated to ‘sticks & stones’ when it comes to the dangers of modern life.

“We welcome everyone. We are open but on our conditions. At least we know what to tell him: Elon, there are rules. You are welcome but these are our rules. It’s not your rules which will apply here,” said Breton.

Musk’s take-private deal for Twitter could transform the Tesla chief executive, who has used the platform to attack regulators and critics, into a social media baron, given that millions of people rely on the San Francisco-based platform for news.

He said on Monday that “free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy” and described Twitter as “the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated”. -FT

Breton’s comments come just days after Brussels signed a major piece of legislation targeting big tech for not doing enough to police content online, which runs counter to Musk’s plan to loosen Twitter’s content moderation policies to match his stated “free speech absolutist” ideology that could even see the return of former President Donald Trump to the platform (despite Trump’s insistence he won’t be back).

According to Breton, he’s simply offering Musk a “reality check” over plans for less stringent moderation, as a lack of compliance risks a ban in Europe. READ MORE

American opposition to expensive, unreliable, privacy invasive, and overall unsafe utility “Smart” Meters (electric, gas, and water) has been ongoing for years.  Despite all the problems associated with these meters, deployment has continued and most Americans already have them installed on their homes whether they are aware of this or not (see 123).

Opposition by Maine residents (see 12) recently led to more legal action. From Environmental Health Trust:

PUC Spurns Green Meter Solution:  Coalition Appeals to Law Court

For Immediate Release – 1/14/22 Contact: Scott Sells 207-749-3371

Environmental Health Trust is sharing this press release from the Maine Coalition to Stop Smart Meters.

In their brief December 21 “deliberation” on the fate of electromechanical or analog opt-out electric  meters, three Maine Public Utilities Commissioners were unanimous in their rejection of a previously  well-reasoned 2011 Commission Order establishing analogs as one of two opt-out choices for citizens  concerned over the many problems inherent with smart meters. The other original opt-out choice was a  digital smart meter without a radio transceiver. On January 13th the Maine Coalition to Stop Smart  Meters appealed the PUC decision to the Maine Supreme Judicial or Law Court. READ MORE

The "rules-based order" is at it again!

From Axios, "White House proposes plan to sell Russian yachts for Ukraine aid":

The White House unveiled a proposed legislative package on Thursday that would allow the federal government to sell assets seized from Russian oligarchs over the Kremlin's invasion of Ukraine and to use the proceeds for military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

Why it matters: The U.S. has already seized million of dollars in assets from wealthy Russians with close ties to President Vladimir Putin. It and other governments are hoping that financial pressure on those individuals will translate into political pressure on Putin, potentially curtailing his power.

- The proposal comes after the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to urge the Biden administration to liquidate the seized assets to help Ukraine.

This is just straightforward, unabashed, naked piracy.


As long-term readers of Wall Street On Parade know well, we have regularly warned that the failure of Congress to meaningfully reform Wall Street by restoring the Glass-Steagall Act poses a national security threat to our nation in times of crisis.

Instead of meaningful reform, Congress has stood by and watched the Fed bail out the global banks repeatedly since 2008 – either with direct loans or by keeping interest rates artificially low (“administered rates”) or through trillions of dollars in asset purchases from the banks (what the Fed prefers to call Quantitative Easing).

The Fed’s balance sheet has ballooned from less than $1 trillion before the financial crisis in 2008 to $9 trillion today as a result of its willingness to perpetually bail out Wall Street. American taxpayers are on the hook for 98 percent of the Fed’s balance sheet and thus have a critical interest in demanding both transparency and accountability from the Fed.

In the fall of 2019 there was no war in Ukraine, there was no pandemic. But for still undisclosed reasons, the Fed decided to funnel trillions of dollars in cumulative repo loans to the trading units of U.S. megabanks and their foreign counterparties. The Fed’s repo loans stretched from September 17, 2019 through July 2, 2020. The Fed has begun releasing the names of the banks and the amounts they had borrowed on a quarterly basis, following a two-year lag. There has been an unprecedented mainstream media news blackout of this information. READ MORE

Joe Biden agreed to pay son Hunter's legal fees for his deal with a Chinese government-controlled company, emails reveal.

The revelation ties the president even closer to Hunter's overseas business dealings – and makes his previous claims that he never discussed them with his son, even less plausible.

Joe was able to pay the bills after earning millions of dollars through his and his wife's companies after he left office as vice president.

Some of the wave of cash came from their book deals and speaking engagements.


Some of that difference can be accounted for with salaries earned by First Lady Jill Biden and other sums not required on his reports – but still leaves $5.2million earned by Joe's company and not listed on his transparency reports.

The 'missing millions' – combined with emails on Hunter's abandoned laptop suggesting Joe would have a 10% share in Hunter's blockbuster deal with the Chinese – raise a troubling question: did Joe Biden receive money from the foreign venture? READ MORE

The Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) has the right to make a partnering U.S. lab wipe all data arising from their collaborative work, a legal document reveals.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) of cooperation, signed between the Wuhan lab and the Galveston National Laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch, makes it obligatory for each of the two labs to delete “secret files” or materials upon the request of the other party.

“The party is entitled to ask the other to destroy and/or return the secret files, materials, and equipment without any backups,” states the MOU obtained by U.S. Right to Know, a nonprofit investigative research group focused on public health, through a freedom of information request.

The MOU focused on promoting research and training cooperation between the two labs. It was signed in 2017 and stays in effect through this October. But the confidentiality terms would remain binding even after the agreement’s five-year duration expires, the agreement states.

The document goes on to broadly define what materials are to be treated as “confidential,” opening the door to potentially all documents and data from any collaboration being subject to a deletion request.

“All cooperation and exchange documents, details and materials shall be treated as confidential info by the parties,” the MOU states. READ MORE

Today, if there is one issue in the United States that draws equal support from both the Republicans and the Democrats, it is the fact that China presents the most serious threat to the US global supremacy. Related to this is the other point of agreement i.e., developing a global coalition against China. The Trump administration’s Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, was on a mission throughout his tenure to build that coalition. The Biden administration, too, has devoted itself to the same task. Indeed, the level of deterioration we have seen in the US-China relations during the Biden era surpasses the trouble that the Trump administration caused. The same holds true about US geopolitics vis-à-vis Russia. The ongoing Russian military operation in Ukraine has allowed the US to cement its position vis-à-vis Europe.

One very useful way for the US to maintain its hegemony is through the sale of its weapons to its allies. Selling weapon systems is a multi-dimensional activity. On the one hand, the US makes billions of dollars by selling weapons. On the other hand, by selling its weapon systems to its allies, the US enhances these countries’ dependence on the US. All of this is achieved, first and foremost, by selling the China-Russia threat to the world. It is, therefore, not surprising to see that ever since the beginning of tensions between Russia and Ukraine – which began because of the US push to expand NATO to Eastern Europe to encircle Russia – the US military-industrial complex’s finances have jumped massively. READ MORE

Gravitas: How Mark Zuckerberg lost his fortune

1,343,386 views | Apr 29, 2022
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was once touted to become the world's richest man, he has now slipped to the 12th spot. Zuckerberg was the face of the social media revolution, he has now become the face of big tech's tyranny. Palki Sharma brings you the story of Zuckerberg's fall.

Peter Joseph on Abby Martin’s New Podcast DOSED

Creator of the ultra-viral Zeitgeist Trilogy and author of ‘The New Human Rights Movement’ Peter Joseph joins Abby on her brand new podcast.

Join DOSED with Abby Martin LIVE every week, only on Callin:

Listen & subscribe on Spotify:
or Apple Podcasts:

The Three Zeitgeist Films

In what appears to be yet another escalation in Silicon Valley’s redoubled efforts to quash dissident voices since the beginning of the Ukraine war, PayPal has just blocked the accounts of multiple alternative media voices who’ve been speaking critically against official US empire narratives. These include journalist and speaker Caleb Maupin, and Mnar Adley and Alan MacLeod of MintPress News.

Just the other day MintPress published an excellent article by MacLeod titled “An Intellectual No-Fly Zone: Online Censorship of Ukraine Dissent Is Becoming the New Norm” documenting the many ways skepticism of the US government’s version of events in this war is being suppressed by Silicon Valley megacorporations, including financial censorship via the demonetization of YouTube videos that don’t regurgitate the imperial line on Ukraine. READ MORE or LISTEN

Coal companies are declaring bankruptcy. State regulators are failing to hold them accountable. And residents are left to suffer the environmental fallout from abandoned mines.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by The Appalachian Voice.

The bankruptcy of Blackjewel, LLC and its affiliates was, on its own, a very momentous event in the coal industry. Once the sixth-largest coal producer in the nation, Blackjewel sent shockwaves through the industry and through coal communities from Virginia to Wyoming when it filed an early-morning emergency petition in July 2019, kicking off the bankruptcy process.

But as stunning as the Blackjewel bankruptcy was, more than two years later, the flaws it has exposed in the mine cleanup system may be even more important, according to a Sierra Club attorney.

Blackjewel is significant for itself,” attorney Peter Morgan says. ​It involved lots of permits. It affects lots of people. But its greatest significance is the way it illustrates how the [Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, or SMCRA] regulatory program is totally broken and unprepared to deal with the state of decline of the coal industry.

Blackjewel is not going to be an isolated incident. It is not an outlier, it is a bellwether.” READ MORE


Shocks to the System

None of these shocks can be postponed anymore. The Left’s war on America’s psyche is over….

Clusterfuck Nation
For your reading pleasure Mondays and Fridays

Support this blog by visiting Jim’s Patreon Page

And thanks to all my Patrons for your support

There is something about being detached from reality that makes it hard to go about your everyday business. In the quaint asylums of yore, it was understood that a few shocks to the system could bring lunatics out of a fugue state of derangement — a cold water plunge… an insulin hot-shot to induce convulsions… some electrodes placed artfully on select regions of the brain…. It looks like America is about to be treated to some shocks. Will they break the mass formation psychosis that styles itself unironically as “progressive politics?”

The first shock will be the painful recognition that Ukraine is not prevailing against Russia’s Operation Z, despite the combined efforts of the US news media and the Intel Community to put over that narrative. True, it took Russia more than a few days to overcome Ukraine’s NATO-fortified defenses, but now most of that has been neutralized, and we’re into the final weeks heading towards resolution — which will be a Ukraine that is unable to make any more trouble in that corner of the world.

That’s right, hard as it is to accept, Operation Z came down on Ukraine because it misbehaved badly, egged-on by delusional war-gamers in Washington, who could only pretend to support Ukraine once the real action started. No amount of chanting Putin-Putin-Putin availed to stop the grinding Russian advance. State’s Antony Blinken and DoD’s General Austin were in Kiev over the weekend on a face-saving mission. My guess: they tried to persuade Mr. Zelenskyy to throw in the towel. He may be too desperate and crazy to listen, but it’s truly game-over. The Russians will treat him with kid gloves, perhaps give him leave to settle in Miami and enjoy the American dream with the fortune he has squirreled away. There will be changes in the map. Ukraine will sink back into peaceful obscurity while the US and Europe have to struggle with the impoverishing blowback from wrecking the global trade settlement system.

The next shock will be the utterly predictable crash of global financial markets, which started last Friday and is looking to gain momentum this week. Watch it shove Ukraine clean off the media landing pages and the cable news chyrons. The Hang Seng and Shanghai exchanges closed today down respectively 3.7 and 5.1 percent. Pretty awesome. China unravels with its massive lockdowns, factory shutdowns, and shipping breakdowns. All because of more Covid, really? (I doubt it.) Europe’s markets are red all over this morning, surely fretting over the suicide pact with America to go “green” by energy starvation. The dirty secret is that nobody will be going “green” the way fantasists propose. Rather, we’ll be going medieval.

You can see our nauseating freefall in real time. A friend set forth to shop for a car last week. Her current ride is eight years old and has 110-K on the odo. At two dealerships, there was no inventory of new cars on the lots. The low-mileage used cars were actually priced higher than the new ones (which were not there), and all prices are generally higher than a sinking middle-class can possibly afford. Delivery of a new car could not be promised before September at the earliest, the sales rep said. I will tell you what this means: it means that the car industry’s business model is broken.

Similarly, a conversation I had Saturday with the farm-and-garden store owner in town; supplies of everything are off. Wholesale cost of everything is out-of-sight. He usually has a hundred chain saws in stock this time of year. This April, he’s only got ten. Anything electrical — no replacement parts. They’re short on fertilizer and vegetable seeds. Meanwhile, food processing plants all around the country are mysteriously blowing up and burning down. No supper for you, America!

Next shock to the system: Remember Covid-19? Do you have any idea how much homicidal fraud was committed in its name by the pharmaceutical industry and the public health agencies of the US government? Follow Edward Dowd’s Gettr feed to get a general idea. The former Black Rock investment manager has been collecting the actuarial tables from the life insurance industry. From country-to-country we are seeing a 40 percent increase in all-causes mortality for people in the prime of life. Wall Street has noticed, Mr. Dowd says.

The key to the issue is that fraud obviates the liability shield conferred on Pfizer, Moderna, et al., by the government’s emergency use authorization (EUA). Awaiting in parallel to all that is the criminal culpability of many hundreds, perhaps thousands, of government officials, hospital executives, and doctors who killed their patients while in thrall to the CDC. Dr. Naomi Wolf has engaged over two thousand researchers and hundreds of lawyers in gathering the hard evidence of these frauds. All of this will eventually flip the Covidian catatonics out of their trances (and their stupid masks).

Sometime in May, Hillary Clinton attorney Michael Sussmann will be the second RussiaGater to go on trial (following FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith last year). It looks like Special Counsel John Durham does not need to make a plea deal with Mr. Sussmann; Durham’s office already has enough evidence to move up the feeding chain to the bigger fish. Many still doubt that he will actually try. I do not. Indictments of rogue bureaucrats and political celebrities will conclude the seditious mindfuck that sent the country reeling into mass formation.

None of these shocks can be postponed anymore. The Left’s war on America’s psyche is over. America is going to get its mind right, even as we suffer hardship from years of epic mismanagement of our affairs. What remains is separating out the dupes from the perps.


Newscast - Monday, 5/2/22 | 1 Hour

Leave a Reply