News Articles | May 8, 2022

9/11, big pharma, Climate Change, labor, net neutrality, Russia, Ukraine, unions

Aregional director of the National Labor Relations Board filed a sweeping complaint Friday alleging that Starbucks violated federal law more than 200 times in its campaign to prevent employees in Buffalo, New York from forming a union.

The complaint accuses Starbucks of trampling on the National Labor Relations Act by singling out union organizers for discipline, surveillance, and termination; shuttering entire stores in the Buffalo area amid the union push; and threatening workers with inferior benefits if they voted to unionize. HuffPost published the NLRB complaint in full.

“Starbucks has been saying that no union-busting ever occurred in Buffalo. Today, the NLRB sets the record straight,” said Starbucks Workers United, which led the Buffalo unionization campaign that has since swept the nation. “The complaint confirms the extent and depravity of Starbucks’ conduct in Western New York for the better part of a year.” READ MORE

"If you can't fire your recently unionized warehouse staff for unionizing, then I guess you fire the warehouse managers for failing to stop the unionization instead."

More than half a dozen managers at Amazon's JFK8 fulfillment center in Staten Island were abruptly fired Thursday, a month after workers at the warehouse made history by overwhelmingly voting in favor of unionizing.

The company claimed the terminations were part of an "organizational change," but The New York Times reported that the fired managers and several workers believe Amazon took the action to penalize supervisors who failed to stop the unionization effort.

The managers were fired "outside the company's typical employee review cycle," the Times reported.

"Hard to interpret this as anything other than a message to other Amazon managers: don't let your workers unionize," tweeted Times reporter Kenneth Vogel.

Last month's vote at JFK8 has garnered national attention not only for being the first successful union drive at the company, but also for being organized by a former worker who was fired in 2020 after protesting what he said were lax policies regarding Covid-19 safety. READ MORE

It’s no secret that Republicans are exploiting culture wars and the pandemic to attack public schools via a so-called “parental rights” movement that represents only a small sliver of parents, and is funded, in part, by right-wing dark money. The uproar over education is not just a Trojan horse for school privatization or an effort to inflame the GOP base ahead of the midterm elections. This movement is the latest manifestation of the right’s longstanding effort to erase federal protections for Black, Brown and LGBTQ students by attacking bedrock civil rights laws, and even pushing to shutter the Department of Education.

In 1954, the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that segregating schools by race is unconstitutional. The ruling was a critical win for the growing civil rights movement. Southern white conservatives were enraged. Howard Smith, then the chairman of the House Rules Committee, released in 1956 the racist Southern Manifesto, which attacked Brown as an abuse of federal power. About one-fifth of Congress signed on, which each supporting member hailing from a former Confederate state. Civil rights advocates say Republicans are following the same “states’ rights” playbook today, and “states’ rights” still serves as a clear dog whistle for racism and bigotry. READ MORE

"No government," said the Vermont senator, "should be handing out corporate welfare to union busters."

Sen. Bernie Sanders on Friday reiterated his call for the Biden administration to prohibit all union-busting corporations from receiving federal contracts, citing the National Labor Relations Board's fresh complaints against Starbucks and Amazon over their attempts to crush worker organizing.

"This is what oligarchy and corporate greed are all about," Sanders, the chair of the Senate Budget Committee, tweeted Friday. "Two large and profitable corporations, owned by billionaires, spend millions to illegally deny their workers the right to organize. No corporation that breaks the law should get a federal contract."

In a sweeping complaint filed Friday, the NLRB alleged that Starbucks committed hundreds of labor law violations in its campaign to stop Buffalo-area employees from forming a union.

The NLRB also said Friday that it found merit in charges that Amazon forced Staten Island warehouse workers to attend anti-union "captive audience" meetings ahead of an election that the union ultimately won, a landmark victory for the U.S. labor movement.

As the New York Times reported, such anti-union meetings "are legal under current labor board precedent." READ MORE

"This is who Joe Manchin is," said one critic.

Sen. Joe Manchin voted against his own party's climate action proposal once again this week, joining the Republicans in their effort to reroute billions of dollars from a climate fund to develop weapons systems at the Pentagon.

The West Virginia right-wing Democrat was the only member of his party to vote for a motion filed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) to gut the Green Climate Authorization Act, a bill introduced last year by Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.).

That legislation would authorize $4 billion in 2022 and in 2023 for "a fund established under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to finance projects that address climate change," and would include financing for countries in the Global South to address the planetary emergency.

Cotton proposed redirecting $8 billion from the fund to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) at the Pentagon, which develops new weapons technologies. READ MORE

QUEZON CITY, Philippines -

Today, the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHR) issued the final report [1] of its multi-year investigation into 47 investor-owned corporations for human rights harms that result from their actions triggering climate change.[2]

Greenpeace Southeast Asia Executive Director Yeb Saño said in response:

“The findings of the Commission on Human Rights are a vindication for the millions of people whose fundamental rights are being impacted by the corporations behind the climate crisis. This report is historic and sets a solid legal basis for asserting that climate-destructive business activities by fossil fuel and cement companies contribute to human rights harms. The message is clear: these corporate behemoths cannot continue to transgress human rights and put profit before people and planet.

“The era where the fossil fuel industry and its backers can get away with and profit from their toxic practices is coming to an end. Impacted communities will continue to assert their rights, and demand justice. It’s time to reclaim your power. READ MORE

"Every Israeli settlement in the occupied Palestinian territories is a war crime. With every new announcement, Israel further consolidates its racially segregated apartheid regime."

Less than two days after Israel's highest court upheld orders for what anti-apartheid campaigners called the "ethnic cleansing" of eight Palestinian hamlets in the West Bank, Israeli authorities on Friday announced the advancement of nearly 4,000 new Jewish-only settlement homes in the illegally occupied territory.

Far-right Israeli Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked—who has advocated the genocidal extermination of Palestinians—tweeted that planning authorities would meet next week "in preparation for the construction of about 4,000 housing units" in 20 Jewish settler colonies.

Haaretz reports Israel's Civil Administration said 2,536 homes are expected to be approved by Defense Minister Benny Gantz in a meeting scheduled for next Thursday, while plans for 1,452 additional housing units are expected to be advanced.

Issa Amro, the Palestinian founder of the group Youth Against Settlements, told Al Jazeera that the expansion will bring "more Israeli settler violence towards Palestinians in the West Bank" and more "restrictions and apartheid policies" targeting his people. READ MORE

Palestinians are justifiably worried that the mandate granted to the United Nations Agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, might be coming to an end. UNRWA’s mission, which has been in effect since 1949, has done more than provide urgent aid and support to millions of refugees. It was also a political platform that protected and preserved the rights of several generations of Palestinians.

Though UNRWA was not established as a political or legal platform per se, the context of its mandate was largely political, since Palestinians became refugees as a result of military and political events – the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people by Israel and the latter’s refusal to respect the Right of Return for Palestinians as enshrined in UN resolution 194 (III) of December 11, 1948.

“UNRWA has a humanitarian and development mandate to provide assistance and protection to Palestine refugees pending a just and lasting solution to their plight,” the UN General Assembly Resolution 302 (IV) of December 8, 1949 read. Alas, neither a ‘lasting solution’ to the plight of the refugees, nor even a political horizon has been achieved. Instead of using this realization as a way to revisit the international community’s failure to bring justice to Palestine and to hold Israel and its US benefactors accountable, it is UNRWA and, by extension, the refugees that are being punished. READ MORE

"Bad training is instilling bad behavior," said one criminal justice reform advocate.

Hundreds of cops across the United States have been taught by individuals who espouse far-right extremist views, according to a new investigation that was published Friday to sound the alarm on a burgeoning and unregulated private training industry.

Reuters identified five law enforcement trainers who have been hired by police and sheriffs' departments nationwide despite their support for right-wing militia groups, including the Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, and Three Percenters; the QAnon conspiracy, which baselessly claims that Democrats and Hollywood stars belong to a cabal of Satanist pedophiles and cannibals; and former President Donald Trump's "Big Lie" that the 2020 election was stolen.

Some use bigoted instructional materials that promote racism, misogyny, and transphobia, and many endorse the constitutional sheriff philosophy, which maintains that county sheriffs should refuse to uphold any law they find unconstitutional.

"Adherents to the constitutional sheriff movement consider the federal government a grave threat to U.S. citizens," Reuters reported. "They argue that local law enforcement is a higher authority, with the power to countermand the decisions of legislatures, courts, and presidents." READ MORE

Despite the good development, said one advocate, "the effort to enact net neutrality rules nationwide must continue."

Associations representing the telecommunications industry on Wednesday dropped their legal fight to block California's "gold standard" net neutrality law following a string of losses in federal courts.

The stipulation of dismissal was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, bringing to an end a yearslong challenge from major companies including AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast to Senate Bill 822.

Passed in 2018 despite massive spending by the telecommunications industry, the state-level bill restored the Obama-era net neutrality protections repealed by the Republican-controlled Federal Communications Commission in 2017.

Evan Greer, director of Fight for the Future, called the development a "huge win for digital rights and the open web." READ MORE

I hate liberalism’s language of choice. I always have. Redolent of the marketplace, it reduces the most intimate aspects of existence, of women’s physical autonomy, to individualistic purchasing preferences. A sex life or a Subaru? A child or a cheeseburger? Life, death or liposuction? In that circumstance, capitalism’s only question is, Who pays and who profits? The state’s only question is, Who regulates and how much? If there is a sliver of benefit to the right’s ongoing and grotesque multi-front assault on women, it is the clarion it sounds to humanists to take the high ground and ditch the anodyne talk of “a woman’s right to choose” for the weightier, fundamental assertion of “a woman’s right to be.”

That requires that we look anew to history and the Constitution, which, Justice Alito is quite correct, does not include the word ‘abortion’ (or ‘space travel’ or ‘automobile’ or even ‘woman’) but does include ‘slavery’. READ MORE

It’s been a good year for labor organizing at Starbucks. On April 21, workers at the Starbucks flagship Reserve Roastery in Seattle voted to unionize. This is one of the more recent of roughly 250 Starbucks unionization campaigns nationwide since last summer. According to K-5 Seattle TV, Roastery workers “were the second group of flagship store employees to file a petition to join Starbucks Workers United. Employees at a roastery in New York City were the first.” Roasteries are elite Starbucks superstores, and only six exist worldwide. So clearly corporate Starbucks bigwigs are not thrilled that two of them unionized. READ MORE

There was a part of Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, that is perhaps the most unsettling to me. The protagonist, Offred, is walking past the notorious Wall in the Republic of Gilead. This Wall, once part of a prestigious university in Cambridge Massachusetts, is now being used as a place of public execution, where corpses are left hanging for days to send a message of compliance and terror to the citizens of this authoritarian, theocratic state. Defy “God’s law” and you will suffer the punishment for doing so.

When Atwood penned her famous book in 1985, she could not have imagined just how prescient it would be seen decades later. Then the Hulu series was produced. It differed in many significant ways from the book. The character of Offred, for instance, did not have the same agency or defiance as the one in the television series. She was a witness to the brutality of the Republic of Gilead, but she didn’t actively participate in resisting it as Elizabeth Moss’ portrayal did. Although the series was powerful, well written and well acted, the book presents us with a more universal experience of a person living under authoritarian cruelty. READ MORE

On 22 April 2022 (Earth Day), US President Biden issued an Executive Order to “Strengthen America’s Forests, Boost Wildfire Resilience, and Combat Global Deforestation” which purports to “expand his administration’s historic and bold efforts to tackle the climate crisis, make our nation more resilient to extreme weather and strengthen local economies.”

Unsurprisingly, however, this “historic and bold” action plan reveals a doubled down commitment to business-as-usual programs and policies that exacerbate the climate crisis and its damaging effects on forests and communities; increase threats from wildfires, and open the door to new, extreme and unproven technologies to be unleashed on wild forests–all in the service of timber, oil and gas, mining, biotechnology and other industries. READ MORE

The war in Ukraine intensifies. This looks like a protracted conflict with the potential for a larger global confrontation. Although stated aims and actions on both sides have evolved and will evolve, two clarifications show the dangers of oversimplified popular accounts of what is taking place.

There are two conflicting narratives about Ukraine. The first narrative – the idealistic, legal point of view that is repeated frequently by the West – is that Ukraine is a sovereign country that can independently choose its foreign policy. If it wishes to be closer to Europe, either joining the European Union or NATO, that is its choice. As a sovereign nation since 1991, Ukraine is free and independent.

The second narrative – aligned with Realpolitik – is that major powers have spheres of influence around their borders. While there are no legal bases for this position, it is customarily recognized that countries such as the United States, China and Russia cannot have hostile threats close to them. Major powers have stated this and acted on its assumptions throughout history. READ MORE

President Biden campaigned on a promise to help relieve student debt. Now, after over a year of punting on the issue, he says he’s finally thinking about doing it.

Student loan forgiveness would be a game-changer for so many people, myself included.

My student debt is a dark cloud that hangs over my head. It’s not that I don’t want to repay my student loans — it’s that I simply don’t know how to do that and survive. It feels impossible to do both.

There are millions of Americans who feel the same. All together, 45 million borrowers in this country owe a total of $1.7 trillion — a crisis that’s accelerated as wages have failed to keep up with the skyrocketing costs of college, housing, and health care.

Based on current statistics, 11 million student loan borrowers are in default, delinquency, or forbearance. Many of these will simply never be able to repay their debt.

For the first time in my adult life, I have a stable income coming in, which has helped my family feel a little more secure. But even now, more than half my salary goes to rent, and we still need money for food, bills, and other expenses. READ MORE

"We can't extend the child tax credit to combat child poverty," said the Vermont senator. "But somehow, we can provide a massive amount of corporate welfare to a handful of corporations."

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont blasted the warped priorities of the U.S. Senate on Wednesday as the Democratic-controlled chamber moved to advance legislation that he warned would provide a $53 billion "blank check" to the profitable microchip industry under the guise of promoting innovation, domestic manufacturing, and job creation.

"We have strange priorities here in the Senate," Sanders, the chair of the Senate Budget Committee, said in floor remarks. "We can't extend the child tax credit to combat child poverty. We can't deal with the crisis in child care. We can't provide dental care to seniors on Medicare. We can't deal with climate change."

"But somehow," the senator added, "we can provide a massive amount of corporate welfare to a handful of corporations."

Sanders' comments came as the Senate began holding votes on dozens of motions related to the COMPETES Act, which is currently in conference committee as the House and Senate reconcile their differences on the legislation before final passage. The motions are aimed at instructing the conferees' work on the bill. READ MORE

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders has invited Amazon founder and mega-billionaire Jeff Bezos to testify.

Sen. Bernie Sanders announced Monday that the Senate Budget Committee is planning to hold a hearing later this week to discuss ending federal contracts to corporations engaged in illegal anti-union practices.

The hearing—titled "Should Taxpayer Dollars Go to Companies that Violate Labor Laws?"—is scheduled for Thursday, May 5.

Sanders (I-Vt.), who chairs the committee, said the federal government awards more than $600 billion worth of contracts each year to companies employing more than four million contract workers.

"However, nearly 30% of the top 200 violators of workplace safety and wage theft are government contractors," according to a statement from the progressive lawmaker's office. "Between 2014 and 2019, federal contractors were required to pay nearly $225 million in back wages to workers for Service Contract Act violations."

The statement singles out Amazon, accusing the retail giant of becoming "the poster child for illegal anti-union behavior while raking in billions in federal contracts." READ MORE

"This is all the [Democrats] can deliver," said one critic. "War, policing, capital consolidation for warmongers, and more war."

While reproductive rights advocates across the U.S. Tuesday called on the Democratic Party to do everything in its power to codify abortion rights into federal law, President Joe Biden called on Congress to approve more military aid for Ukraine after visiting a Lockheed Martin facility to praise its supply of weaponry.

Biden headed to Troy, Alabama to visit the factory where 600 workers have the capacity to produce more than 2,000 Javelin anti-tank missiles per year, applauding the facility for helping to defend "freedom and democracy itself" in Ukraine.

The U.S. has sent more than 5,000 Javelin missiles to Ukraine since Russian forces invaded the country in February, according to the White House.

"The weapons built here—now in the hands of Ukrainian heroes—are making all the difference," the president said. READ MORE

Mark Esper claims in a new book that the former president asked: "Can't you just shoot them? Just shoot them in the legs or something?"

Former President Donald Trump suggested protesters in Washington, D.C. denouncing police brutality back in the spring of 2020 should be shot, according to former Defense Secretary Mark Esper.

The revelation scooped by Axios Monday comes in Esper's memoir—A Sacred Oath: Memoirs of a Secretary of Defense During Extraordinary Times—to be released May 10.

Referencing the protesters outside the White House the first week of June 2020, Trump asked: "Can't you just shoot them? Just shoot them in the legs or something?"

The moment inside the Oval Office was "surreal," writes Esper, who describes Trump as "red faced and complaining loudly about the protests under way in Washington, D.C."

Esper writes that he wanted to "figure out a way to walk Trump back without creating the mess I was trying to avoid." READ MORE

"The most dangerous thing about that shipping channel wasn't the activists—it was and continues to be fossil fuel executives' reckless plans to push us further towards climate chaos."

After two years in the court system, Greenpeace USA announced Tuesday that 22 activists who suspended themselves from a Texas bridge in a daring 2019 protest targeting key fossil fuel infrastructure reached an agreement that will allow them to be cleared of all federal charges.

The environmental group said the activists signed a deferred prosecution agreement under which the U.S. Attorney General's office will dismiss the case following a brief waiting period, pending payment of certain costs incurred by law enforcement.

"In Houston and around the world, Black, Brown, and Indigenous peoples are on the frontlines of the climate crisis," Greenpeace USA activist Rico Sisney, who participated in the protest, said in a statement.

"For too long, fossil fuel companies have poisoned communities to line the pockets of a handful of billionaires," he added. "They've gotten away with it in the same way that corporations and politicians get away with dehumanizing migrants, disabled, low-income, and other marginalized people all too often. Working together, we can ensure that the clean energy revolution will leave no one behind." READ MORE

"When over 80% of people in low-income countries still haven't received a single jab and deaths are still mounting, this is unconscionable: Pfizer has blood on its hands."

As major pharmaceutical executives and investors convened virtually on Thursday for their annual shareholder meetings, campaigners took to the streets in the U.S., the U.K., India, South Africa, and elsewhere to condemn major drug companies for hoarding technology and prioritizing profits over equitable distribution of coronavirus vaccines.

Outside Pfizer's U.K. headquarters, activists dropped mock sacks of money and positioned wheelbarrows full of fake cash near the building's entrance to denounce the New York-based company's opposition to tech transfer initiatives and other efforts to expand coronavirus vaccine production in developing nations, where billions have been denied access to the shots.

Pfizer has also faced backlash for obstructing African countries' attempts to study Paxlovid, the company's oral anti-viral treatment for Covid-19. READ MORE

In the last two weeks, the State Department has deployed an ambitious blackmailing persuasion program on countries located in the so-called “Western Hemisphere”, with the aim of limiting their trade and cooperation ties with Moscow and Beijing. The proximity models deployed in Latin America and the Caribbean offer a wide menu of alternatives that range from threats and sanctions to the offer of better conditions for exports, guarantees for the continuity of remittances or for the extended authorization of visas.

On April 7, the Russian Federation was suspended from the United Nations Human Rights Council, as a result of the denunciations made by Ukraine regarding war crimes. The measure was carried out without surveys or investigations on the ground.

On April 21, it was decided to suspend Russia’s seat as Permanent Observer of the Organization of American States (OAS). In the first vote, Argentina endorsed the suspension, while in the second round, it abstained. While these two votes were taking place, the State Department tried – unsuccessfully – to expel Moscow from the UN Security Council. READ MORE

“Pfizer Declassified”

The FDA was forced by a judge to release clinical data on the COVID vaccines back in January and so 55,000 pages of documents were just released.

The FDA had originally wanted to hide the data for 75 years and release it in 2096 because, of course, the FDA is basically engaged in a criminal conspiracy. The COVID vaccines should never have been approved. This was obvious from the very beginning when animal trials were skipped in the Trump Administration’s ill-fated “Operation Warp Speed.” And now it’s undeniably true. We have the clinical data, and it’s horrific.

Hiding out in one appendix is the clinical data for Pfizer’s vaccine — which lists 1,291 adverse side effects in alphabetical order. 


1p36 deletion syndrome; 2-Hydroxyglutaric aciduria; 5’nucleotidase increased; Acoustic neuritis;Acquired C1 inhibitor deficiency;Acquired epidermolysis bullosa;Acquired epileptic aphasia;Acute cutaneous lupus erythematosus;Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis;Acute encephalitis with refractory, repetitive partial seizures;Acute febrile neutrophilic dermatosis;Acute flaccid myelitis;Acute haemorrhagic leukoencephalitis;Acute haemorrhagic oedema of infancy; READ MORE

It’s beginning to look like some bad actors are deliberately taking steps to guarantee a coming global food crisis. Every measure that the Biden Administration strategists have been making to “control energy inflation” is damaging the supply or inflating the price of natural gas, oil and coal to the global economy. This is having a huge impact on fertilizer prices and food production. That began well before Ukraine. Now reports are circulating that Biden’s people have intervened to block the freight rail shipping of fertilizer at the most critical time for spring planting. By this autumn the effects will be explosive.

With the crucial time for USA spring planting at its critical phase, CF Industries of Deerfield, Illinois, the largest US supplier of nitrogen fertilizers as well as a vital diesel engine additive, issued a press release stating that, “On Friday, April 8, 2022, Union Pacific informed CF Industries without advance notice that it was mandating certain shippers to reduce the volume of private cars on its railroad effective immediately.”

Union Pacific is one of only four major rail companies that together carry some 80% of all US agriculture rail freight. The CF company CEO, Tony Will stated, “The timing of this action by Union Pacific could not come at a worse time for farmers. Not only will fertilizer be delayed by these shipping restrictions, but additional fertilizer needed to complete spring applications may be unable to reach farmers at all. By placing this arbitrary restriction on just a handful of shippers, Union Pacific is jeopardizing farmers’ harvests and increasing the cost of food for consumers.” CF has made urgent appeals to the Biden Administration for remedy, so far with no positive action. READ MORE

Article | Audio or Text

On Psychopathy, Power, Empire And Ego

I’ve been watching The John Wayne Gacy Tapes on Netflix, which features previously unheard recordings of the serial killer known as “The Killer Clown” who murdered at least 33 teenage boys and young men in the 1970s. I wasn’t able to finish it because I don’t have that kind of stomach, but what jumped out at me listening to him was the way he talked about how much he loved power and what an easy time he had manipulating his way up the ladders of political influence.

Really makes you think about how many psychopaths who are just a little bit more functional must be in politics today, on all levels. Psychopaths who are deeply messed up inside but not quite so messed up that they enjoy strangling teenage boys to death after raping and torturing them. Or if they are that messed up they’re clever enough to avoid getting caught. Or if they are that messed up and not clever enough to avoid getting caught, but their fetish for murder and suffering is satiated by something that’s considered politically acceptable in our society, like war. READ MORE or LISTEN

You can’t drain and impoverish the nation to feed an insatiable military machine unless you make its people afraid, even of phantoms.

Blinded by what Barbara Tuchman calls “the bellicose frivolity of senile empires,” we are marching ominously towards war with Russia.

How else might we explain Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s public declaration that the U.S. goal is to “weaken Russia” and Joe Biden’s request for another $33 billion in “emergency” military and economic aid (half of what Russia spent on its military in 2021) for Ukraine?

The same cabal of generals and politicians that drained the state of trillions of dollars in the debacles in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Somalia and learned nothing from the nightmare of Vietnam, revel in the illusion of their omnipotence. They have no interest in a diplomatic solution. There are billions in profits to be made in arms sales. There is political posturing to be done. There are generals itching to pull the trigger. Why have all these high-priced and technologically advanced weapons systems if you can’t use them? Why not show the world this time around that the U.S. still dominates the globe?

The masters of war require an enemy. When an enemy cannot be found, as George Orwell understood in Nineteen Eighty-Four, an enemy is manufactured. That enemy can become an ally overnight – we allied ourselves with Iran in the Middle East to fight the Taliban and later the Caliphate – before instantly reinstated Iran as the incarnation of evil. The enemy is not about logic or geopolitical necessity. It is about stoking the fear and hatred that fuels perpetual war. READ MORE

On April 19, the International Monetary Fund released its annual World Economic Outlook, which forecasted a severe slowdown in global growth along with soaring prices.

“For 2022, inflation is projected at 5.7 percent in advanced economies and 8.7 percent in emerging market and developing economies – 1.8 and 2.8 percentage points higher than projected in … January.”

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva offered a sobering reflection on the data:

“Inflation is reaching the highest levels seen in decades. Sharply higher prices for food and fertilizers put pressure on households worldwide – especially for the poorest. And we know that food crises can unleash social unrest.”

What is the root cause of this extraordinary wave of inflation? U.S. President Joe Biden blamed Russia’s war in Ukraine: “What people don’t know is that 70 percent of the increase in inflation was the consequence of [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s price hike because of the impact of oil prices.”

However, even The Wall Street Journal editorial board noted that “this isn’t Putin’s inflation.” READ MORE

Credit card balances up 3.0% from March 2019, but CPI inflation up 13%, LOL. Auto sales plunged, but auto loans jumped. You guessed it, ridiculous price increases.

Credit card balances ticked up 1.9% in March from February, not seasonally adjusted, to $1.036 billion, according to the Federal Reserve today. Compared to three years ago, March 2019, the last March before the pandemic, this was up by only 3.0%.

In other words, credit card balances are now just 3% higher than there were three years ago, after three years of inflation, including raging inflation for the past 12 months that increased the prices of nearly everything that consumers buy with their credit cards.

Over the three years, during which credit card balances rose a total of 3%, CPI inflation jumped by 13%. In other words, even credit card borrowing cannot keep up with this raging inflation, LOL, and that their credit card debts, the most onerously expensive debt, is growing more slowly than inflation over the longer term is for once a good thing for the American debt slaves: READ MORE

Newly released evidence suggests that Omar al-Bayoumi (left) was being paid by Saudi intelligence. Bayoumi met two of the 9/11 hijackers before the attack, as well as Anwar al-Awlaki (right), an imam with ties to Al Qaeda. UK Metropolitan Police via Kreindler LLP; FBI; Insider

Attorneys General from 20 conservative states are threatening legal action against the Department of Homeland Security’s newly formed Disinformation Governance Board, which they said will have a chilling effect on freedom of expression and described as “un-American.”

Virginia’s AG Jason Miyares and 19 other attorneys general sent a letter to Alejandro Mayorkas, the Homeland Security Secretary, demanding the dissolution of the Disinformation Governance Board.

We obtained a copy of the letter for you here.

“This is an unacceptable and downright alarming encroachment on every citizen’s right to express his or her opinions, engage in political debate, and disagree with the government,” the attorneys general wrote.

The Republicans are taking issue with the timing of the new board, as it comes after it was revealed that the White House was flagging posts on behalf of social media platforms. Additionally, it comes just after Tesla CEO Elon Musk, a self-described free speech absolutist, made a bid for Twitter.

“Suddenly, just as Elon Musk prepares to acquire Twitter with the stated purpose of correcting the platform’s censorship of free speech, you announce the creation of the Disinformation Governance Board. As the Biden Administration apparently loses a critical ally in its campaign to suppress speech it deems “problematic,” you have created a new government body to continue that work within the federal government,” the letter says. READ MORE

The Democratic Party is hoping to thwart an election rout by running against the expected Supreme Court decision on abortion. This is depressingly all that is left of its political capital.

The Democratic Party – which had 50 years to write Roe v Wade into law with Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama in full control of the White House and Congress at the inception of their presidencies – is banking its electoral strategy around the expected Supreme Court decision to lift the judicial prohibition on the ability of states to enact laws restricting or banning abortions.

I doubt it will work.

The Democratic Party’s hypocrisy and duplicity is the fertilizer for Christian fascism. Its exclusive focus on the culture wars and identity politics at the expense of economic, political, and social justice fueled a right-wing backlash and stoked the bigotry, racism, and sexism it sought to curtail. Its opting for image over substance, including its repeated failure to secure the right to abortion, left the Democrats distrusted and reviled.  READ MORE

They're Literally Coming After Me

14,719 views | Streamed live on May 5, 2022 | 1 Hour 13 Minutes

Moment Of Clarity with Lee Camp

Ukraine War Fuels NATO War Machine

BY ERIC DRAITSER - Counterpunch - 28 Minuites

Video: Dark Origins of Biden’s New ‘Ministry Of Truth’

DHS Disinformation Squad: “Do NOT Watch False Flag Weekly News!”

(With Cat McGuire) - 1 Hour 3 Minutes

Since the Department of Homeland Security has a new Disinformation Squad tasked with “countering false narratives,” meaning non-DHS-approved ones, I decided to save them some work by flagging my own video as follows:

The Department of Homeland Security Disinformation Squad warns that this video may elicit unapproved thoughts, illicit impulses, and inappropriate laughter. The final segment on the Hitler Wedding, in particular, has been rated “odious” by the ADL and should only be watched by mature individuals wearing an N95 mask carefully affixed over both eyes.

But why should I have to flag my own videos, when my hard-earned tax money is going to DHS censors who are supposed to be flagging them for me? I’m actually kind of miffed that the Disinfo Squad has not yet targeted my work. I know they’ve only been in existence for a few weeks, but still…haven’t they noticed that I’ve been challenging the official narrative of just about everything for almost 20 years? Don’t my videos deserve official DHS warning labels, not just my homemade ones? What am I doing wrong?


Sociopath Neocons Sacrifice Ukrainians and Global Poor

Katie Halper, Useful Idiots | 54 minutes

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