I need to reach a wider audience!
I need to reach a wider audience!
"'Congress shall make no law respecting an institution of religion.' -- The First Amendment to the Constitution
A Nativity scene (or a Menorah for that matter) is not a law, it is a decoration. And on that basis, even though I myself am an atheist, I do not have a problem with Nativity scenes on government property, other than they are a reminder that those are the people we are bombing to steal their oil.
I do draw the line at the Ten Commandments being on display on government buildings with its prohibitions against lying, theft, and killing, as that clearly is a case of false advertising!" -- Michael Rivero
National Assembly Speaker of the Republic of South Africa, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, said publicly in a recent statement before the supreme legislative body in Cape Town that the African National Congress (ANC) led government would continue to support the people of the Russian Federation.
This proclamation came amid a highly-publicized visit by People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping to Moscow where the strategic partnership between the two countries was further solidified.
The administration of President Joe Biden along with the entire ruling class of the United States are quite concerned about the three-day visit of President Xi to Russia where he held extensive discussions with his counterpart Vladimir Putin. Both China and Russia are principal adversaries of the U.S., the European Union and the entire North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) alliance.
Twenty years ago on this coming weekend, I was in Mongolia as the Deputy US Ambassador. After writing a Dissent Cable in early March 2003 on the pending US war on Iraq to my boss Secretary of State Colin Powell, I made the decision to resign from the US government as it was poised to invade, occupy and destroy the sovereign state of Iraq. I was one of three US diplomats who resigned – Brady Kiesling and John Brown resigned before me.
For months, the Bush administration attempted to get the US public to believe that Saddam Hussein was hiding weapons of mass destruction and therefore was a threat to the United States and the international community. Colin Powell’s February 5, 2003 briefing on weapons of mass destruction to the U.N. Security Council was a bust and the Bush administration was unable to get the necessary votes for the UN to authorize military operations in its name. Nor did millions of ordinary citizens around the world believe Bush and Powell’s justification for war and they were marching against the war in numbers never seen in the recorded history of our planet.
A notorious short-seller has taken aim at Jack Dorsey's payments company Block, releasing a report accusing the firm of misleading investors and embracing a criminal user base.
Hindenburg Research on Thursday disclosed its short position in Block and released findings from a two-year investigation, alleging the company 'misled investors on key metrics, and embraced predatory offerings and compliance worst-practices in order to fuel growth.'
Shares of Block plunged nearly 15 percent on the day, and Dorsey's net worth took a $562 million hit, dropping 11 percent to $4.4 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Iran-backed fighters fired three missiles at a US military base in northeast Syria today after President Biden launched a series of retaliatory air strikes in response to a deadly Iranian suicide drone attack that killed an American contractor.
The Iran-backed groups targeted the US base at the Al-Omar oil field in Syria's northeast with a missile attack at around 11am on Friday morning.
Two missiles fell in the oil field, without causing damage, while the third landed on a civilian house nearby, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. It was unclear whether the strikes had caused any casualties.
“All crises have involved debt that, in one fashion or another, has become dangerously out of scale in relation to the underlying means of payment.” John K. Galbraith (1908-2006), Canadian-born American economist, (in ‘A Short History of Financial Euphoria’ 1994).
“History shows that once an enormous debt has been incurred by a nation, there are only two ways to solve it: one is simply declare bankruptcy, the other is to inflate the currency and thus destroy the wealth of ordinary citizens.” Adam Smith (1723-1790), Scottish economist, father of modern economics, (in ‘The Wealth of Nations’, 1776).
“Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon in the sense that it is and can be produced only by a more rapid increase in the quantity of money than in output.” Milton Friedman (1912-2006), (in ‘The Counter-Revolution in Monetary Theory’, 1970).
In his iconic 1950s anti-war hit song ‘Where Have All the Flowers Gone?’, Pete Seeger posed the eternal question about war: ‘when will they ever learn?’ Of course, Seeger’s question was primarily directed at those individuals who choose to participate in the fighting. But it might equally have been directed at those in the ‘anti-war’ movement.
A few years later in 1963, Native Canadian Buffy Sainte-Marie penned the equally iconic ‘Universal Soldier’ to draw attention to ‘individual responsibility’ for war.
The question ‘Why war?’ has troubled human beings for millennia and individuals of conscience have long resisted it, sometimes paying a heavy price for doing so. And back in 1932, two of humanity’s giants – Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud – grappled with the question, exchanging letters on the subject.
What has just taken place in Moscow is nothing less than a new Yalta, which, incidentally, is in Crimea. But unlike the momentous meeting of US President Franklin Roosevelt, Soviet Leader Joseph Stalin, and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in USSR-run Crimea in 1945, this is the first time in arguably five centuries that no political leader from the west is setting the global agenda.
It’s Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin that are now running the multilateral, multipolar show. Western exceptionalists may deploy their crybaby routines as much as they want: nothing will change the spectacular optics, and the underlying substance of this developing world order, especially for the Global South.
What Xi and Putin are setting out to do was explained in detail before their summit, in two Op-Eds penned by the presidents themselves. Like a highly-synchronized Russian ballet, Putin’s vision was laid out in the People’s Daily in China, focusing on a “future-bound partnership,” while Xi’s was published in the Russian Gazette and the RIA Novosti website, focusing on a new chapter in cooperation and common development.
Tensions are dramatically escalating on the Korean Peninsula, after a series of missile tests from Pyongyang in 2022. The United States and South Korea have responded to these threats with military maneuvers of their own, raising the stakes even further. But this is a recipe for disaster: To avoid an all-out war on the Korean Peninsula, the United States must stop the muscle-flexing, commit to diplomacy instead, and adopt a peace-first strategy.
North Korea’s progress in weapons development should come as no surprise; in 2021, Kim Jong-un announced that North Korea would expand its nuclear weapon capabilities in order to deter what they perceive as hostility and aggression from the United States. This perception by Pyongyang is a direct result of the Biden administration’s continuation of decades of failed policies—consisting of isolation, sanctions, and military threats—all these dotted with occasional flurries of diplomacy. To have even a chance of halting the expansion of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and preventing a conflict that crosses the nuclear threshold, the United States must address the root cause of tensions: the unresolved Korean War.
In 1992 Dick Cheney, the US Secretary of Defense, issued a document which outlined that the main political and military aim of Washington is to prevent any rival power emerging in Europe, the former Soviet Union, and Asia. The ambition was to ensure America’s status as the global superpower.
The original paper, drafted in 1990 with the assistance of neo-conservatives like Paul Wolfowitz and Lewis “Scooter” Libby, stressed that the strategic goal of the US as the world’s “permanent unilateral superpower” consisted of assuming control over all of Eurasia (Europe and Asia), and to find a way “to integrate the ‘new democracies’ of the former Soviet bloc into the U.S.-led system”.
The powers-that-be in Washington believe the country holds “overwhelming conventional military superiority”, and that other states cannot directly threaten it (1). There is some truth to the latter claim. America is positioned between the world’s two biggest oceans – the Pacific and Atlantic – which over the past 200 years has given the Americans complete security from conventional armed attack by outside powers, unlike nations in mainland Europe and Asia. In addition the US has faced no threat of invasion during that time from its weaker neighbours, Mexico and Canada.
America’s vast coastlines, allowing entry to the Pacific and Atlantic, guaranteed the country access to some of the planet’s most lucrative trading areas. This assisted in American elites gaining their great wealth and power. Because of its location and large size, the US has moreover been free from the menace of naval blockades.
The present conflict between Russia and Ukraine is arguably the culmination of the foreign policy pursued by the United States of America since the ending of its ideological Cold War with the Soviet Union.
Undergirded by a resolute belief in ‘American Exceptionalism’ and steered by neoconservative ideologues working in concert with the interests of the Military Industry, successive administrations have waged a form of hybrid warfare against the Russian Federation, the successor state to the dismantled Soviet Union. This encompasses military, economic and informational dimensions.
However, this strategy has not led to the desired weakening of Russia and the surrender of its sovereignty; the goal being to reduce the Russian state to one that is solely dedicated to servicing the energy needs of the West. Instead, the policy, encapsulated in what is referred to as the ‘Wolfowitz Doctrine’, the post-Cold War resolve that no power be allowed to rise and be able to compete economically and militarily with the United States, has engineered a de facto alliance between resource-rich Russia and the rising global economic powerhouse of China.
The Russia-China alliance represents the ushering in of a new Eurasian world, the very thing that decades of Western global policy shaped by the geostrategic thesis of Halford Mackinder has sought to avoid.
Registered practical nurse and single mother Sarah Choujounian has been terminated from her position and faces regulatory investigation and discipline for the crime of upholding her oath to advocate on behalf of her patients.
Choujounian was working in long-term care when she began denouncing the unethical and dehumanizing ways COVID-19 lockdowns were harming the elderly that she was supporting.
Her regulator, The College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) has since launched an investigation against her which has now transpired into disciplinary action.
Those who have been following events in Ukraine will know of the bloodshed and destruction taking place in that country, especially if they go beyond mainstream media reports. This is not to excuse Russia’s brutal military actions, but it was a wholly avoidable conflict that was largely engineered in Washington by a clique of neoconservatives who have been responsible for igniting situations that have led to hundreds of thousands if not millions of deaths this century, from Libya, Syria and Iraq to Afghanistan and beyond, aside from the displacement of many more.
The NATO countries continue to ship arms and equipment to Ukraine, swelling the coffers of arms manufacturers like Raytheon. The UK has now decided to send weapons containing depleted uranium, provoking a firm response from Russia.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Russian Television and Radio (VGTRK) that the UK’s depleted uranium supply violates international law.
Now, with recent historical and unprecedented flooding, many farmers in California are reporting that they have “lost everything.”
And it is not over yet, as the rains continue, and record amounts of snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains still need to melt, which will flow into farmlands that are already devastated in California’s Central Valley. See: California snowmageddon: Now the second snowiest winter ever on record and still MUCH MORE TO COME!
The emphasis today is still on saving people’s lives as the rain and flooding continue, and nobody knows yet what the final damages will be to America’s richest farmlands and how that will impact food security in the United States, and the nation’s already fragile economy. Almost half of California’s agricultural products are exported to other countries.
Tulare County in Central California is the county that is suffering the most, and it is also the second largest county in the U.S. in terms of food production, producing over $8 BILLION annually, with sales of dairy products making up almost one fourth of those sales, followed by citrus and nuts. (Source.)
What's happening: Democrats are beginning to lash out at people who think crime is bad by insisting that having your car burglarized and riding the subway next to a fentanyl-smoking vagrant are "basic city life experiences."
Wait, seriously? Yes. John Hamasaki, a former San Francisco police commissioner and the failed Democratic Party-endorsed candidate for district attorney following the successful recall of Chesa Boudin, recently lashed out at a tech CEO who lamented that two of his colleagues will be "scarred forever" after having their laptops and passports stolen from their parked car.
"Is this what the suburbs do to you?" Hamasaki wrote on Twitter. "Shelter you from basic city life experiences so that when they happen you are broken to the core?"
Wow, that's deranged. Yes, it is. The same day Hamasaki posted his dumb tweet, a mob of teens took part in a massive brawl at a popular shopping mall—one of several "incidents of mob violence among school-age kids" resulting in "physical injuries" at the location. In other words, just another basic city life experience.
Hunter Biden had an FBI mole named “One-Eye” who tipped off his Chinese business partners that they were under investigation, according to an Israeli energy expert arrested in Cyprus last month on gunrunning charges.
The House Oversight Committee is investigating the explosive claims by Dr. Gal Luft, a former Israel Defense Forces lieutenant colonel with deep intelligence ties in Washington and Beijing, who says he was arrested to stop him from revealing what he knows about the Biden family and FBI corruption — details he told the Department of Justice in 2019, which he says it ignored.
Luft, 56, first made the claims on Feb. 18 on Twitter, after being detained at a Cyprus airport as he prepared to board a plane to Israel.
On Tuesday, a team from local CBS News affiliate WCCO took a ride on the city's public transportation to uncover what was taking place. According to WCCO, the team witnessed "open drug use" and "exchanges that looked like drug deals" across the network. Drug paraphernalia was also discovered around the vehicles and on station platforms.
After viewing the footage, Metro Transit's senior communications manager Drew Kerr said it was "hard to watch" and acknowledged that these were "very serious issues." He explained that the agency attempted to resolve the situation by increasing the police presence on trains and station platforms. "It's a hard environment to work in, and it's a hard environment for our customers to ride in and feel safe in. We acknowledge all of that; these are very serious issues."
Banks reduced their borrowings only slightly from two Federal Reserve backstop facilities in the most recent week, a sign that institutions are taking advantage of the central bank’s liquidity in the wake of turmoil.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) in a Thursday interview on The Hill’s Rising said he wouldn’t vaccinate his own children for COVID-19 out of concerns about the risk of heart inflammation.
Paul, a vocal critic of pandemic policies who frequently battled with former White House adviser Anthony Fauci during the Trump and Biden administrations, said the risk of myocarditis — heart inflammation — is greater than the manufacturers of vaccines have said. He also argued the vaccine carries an unnecessary risk for young people.
In a stunning, but not altogether surprising statement, America’s top Navy official declared that “fighting climate change” is a “top priority” for the U.S. Navy. Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro announced this last week not at the Pentagon or the U.S. Naval Academy, but at a conference in the Bahamas.
It is likely that Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin, meeting this week in Moscow to discuss closer military cooperation, shared a high five on hearing the Navy Secretary’s declaration.
Del Toro’s admission that strengthening America’s dwindling fleet of naval ships is no higher a priority than is “embracing climate-focused technologies” was not totally unexpected.
When there is fear in the air, banks start getting really tight with their money, and right now there is lots of fear in the air. A major credit contraction would be a nightmare scenario for the economy, and as you will see below, there is evidence that this is already starting to happen. Hopefully our leaders can find a way to calm things down, because we all remember what happened during the last financial crisis.
Banks decided to substantially tighten their lending standards and that really deepened the economic downturn. So our leaders should be doing what they can to support the stability of the system, but in so many cases they end up doing just the opposite.
The heirs to two of the most violent revolutions in modern history shook hands and took stock of their “comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era”, at a recent meeting in Moscow.
Many in the West have puzzled over this relationship between Chinese Communist Party chairman Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Some have imagined, for example, that Xi would be a neutral party in Putin’s war in Ukraine, or that he could even be a peacemaker.
But rather than imagining a troubling new partnership has emerged unpredictably after decades of peacetime globalization, we should look to a longer arc of history to understand Russia and China’s shared confrontation with the world.
The U.S. National Security Council spokesman has suggested the best way for Moscow's tankers to avoid the British depleted uranium munitions being sent to Ukraine would be to retreat back across the border.
A Challenger 2 main battle tank uses smoke during a demonstration at the Royal Tank Regiment Regimental Parade, on September 24, 2022 in Bulford, U.K.© Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images
London announced on Monday that it would send depleted uranium tank rounds—which are particularly effective in piercing enemy armor—along with the Challenger 2 main battle tanks being provided for Kyiv's use. The news touched off a furious reaction in Russia, where President Vladimir Putin falsely equated the munitions to nuclear weapons.
Violent demonstrations against pension reform in France led to the postponement Friday of King Charles III's trip to the country, highlighting the growing security and political problems faced by President Emmanuel Macron.
The choice of France for Charles' first foreign visit as sovereign had been intended to highlight warming Franco-British relations, but it has become a high-profile victim of the protests engulfing the country.
Macron asked the British government for the postponement, a UK government spokesperson said in a statement.
The decision was made "in order to be able to welcome His Majesty King Charles III in conditions which reflect our friendly relations", a statement from the French presidency said.
More than 1 million people demonstrated across France on Thursday against unpopular pension reforms, and violence erupted in some places as unions called for new nationwide strikes and protests next week, coinciding with King Charles III's planned visit to France.
The Interior Ministry said the march in Paris — marred by violence, as were numerous marches elsewhere — drew 119,000 people, which was a record for the capital during the pension protests. Polls say most French oppose President Emmanuel Macron's bill to increase the retirement age from 62 to 64, which he says is necessary to keep the system afloat.
Building on the strong turnout, unions swiftly called for new protests and strikes on Tuesday when the British king is scheduled to visit Bordeaux on the second day of his trip to France. The heavy wooden door of the elegant Bordeaux City Hall was set afire and quickly destroyed Thursday evening by a members of an unauthorized demonstration, the Sud Ouest newspaper said.
One day after posting what many saw as inciteful language on social media, former President Donald Trump took things to the next level, warning of “potential death & destruction” if he were to be charged with a crime.
It’s not clear WHICH crime he is referencing, as he is currently under investigation for many crimes, but it seems like the most likely case is the one being pursued by Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg for falsifying business documents that allegedly covered up hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels.
Last weekend, Trump predicted he would be arrested. However, that never materialized, and the DA’s office pushed back, saying that the former president had misled the public about a looming arraignment.