Thought for the day

"Man's natural and inevitable urge to deny mortality and achieve a heroic self image are the root causes of human evil." -- Ernest Becker, 1973

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The top Republican on the House Oversight Committee said that Twitter staff involved in suppressing the Hunter Biden laptop story ahead of the 2020 presidential elections will face Congress and testify about their actions.

Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, attends an event at the White House in Washington on April 18, 2022. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), the GOP ranking member on the Committee, made the remarks in a Friday appearance on Fox News after Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk dropped part one of the so-called “Twitter Files,” an expose of the inner workings of Twitter’s censorship machine.

Every employee at Twitter who was involved in suppressing the Hunter Biden laptop story will have an opportunity to come before Congress and explain their actions to the American people,” Comer told program host Sean Hannity.

Musk and independent journalist Matt Taibbi on Friday unveiled a series of internal Twitter communications that give insight into steps taken by staff at the social media platform around suppressing the New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story.

Republicans have long accused Twitter—and some media outlets—of suppressing the Hunter Biden laptop story, which included reporting that bolstered claims that the president lied when he said he had no involvement in his son’s overseas business dealings.

Posted on: Dec 05 06:41

Personal and political freedoms are inseparable from economic freedom.  To this end, economic freedom is contingent upon an economy that transacts using honest money that’s free from coercion.

Volumes have been written on America’s experience with money of varying veracity.  Here we’ll touch on a few key events.

Article I, Section 8, of the U.S. Constitution empowers Congress to coin money and regulate its value thereof.  Article I, Section 10, specifies that no state shall make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payments of debts.

The Federal Reserve Act of 1913, passed by the 63rd Congress and signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson on December 23, 1913, established the Federal Reserve System, the central bank of the United States.  The Federal Reserve Act also delegated the right to issue money from Congress to the Federal Reserve.

In this regard, the current U.S. dollar, a Federal Reserve Note, is illegal money.  It is issued by the Federal Reserve – not Congress – in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution.  Moreover, when states collect tax dollars that are devoid of gold or silver coin, they violate the Constitution.

Posted on: Dec 05 06:40

Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), the head of the House Armed Services Committee, said Saturday that the growing calls for more oversight of the billions of dollars the US is spending on Ukraine are “part of Russian propaganda.”

While the majority of Republicans strongly favor continuing to arm Ukraine, even the more hawkish GOP members have said they favor increased oversight for the aid. Smith said that the concern from Republicans for more transparency “makes me a little crazy.”

“Ukraine is spending the money really well; that’s why they’re winning,” Smith said at the Reagan National Defense Forum, according to Defense News. “Yes, we need oversight, but we don’t need that as an excuse to not fund what we’re doing.”

Last month, a small group of House Republicans opposed to arming Ukraine led by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) introduced a bill that would require an audit of the funds that the US has spent on the war so far. Greene said that if she needed to, she would reintroduce the legislation after the next Congress is sworn in this January.

Posted on: Dec 05 06:40

Five years ago today, Congress learned from sworn, horse’s-mouth testimony that there is no technical evidence that Russia (or anyone else) hacked the DNC emails showing how the DNC had stacked the deck against Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton’s rival for the Democratic nomination.

I can almost hear readers new to this website cry out in disbelief: "That cannot be. Official Washington and the media assured us that the Russians hacked those emails in order to help Trump win. And didn’t Obama throw out 35 Russian diplomats in reaction? And what about those 12 Russian intelligence agents indicted for hacking?" Were U.S. officials and media mistaken?

No, not mistaken. They were lying.

"But … but, does this mean Special Counsel Robert Mueller knew there was no concrete evidence of Russian hacking just six months into his 22-month investigation into Trump-Russia collusion?"

Posted on: Dec 05 06:39

The US Army has awarded Raytheon a $1.2 billion contract to produce an air defense system for Ukraine as part of US military aid for the country.

The contract is for six National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS), a system the US recently began providing Ukraine. The funds for the contract are coming from the fifth package from the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), which allows the US to purchase arms for Kyiv.

NASAMS typically take 24 months to produce, but the US Army said it will work to expedite the timeline. Either way, the systems will likely take at least about two years to deliver, demonstrating how the US is planning to support Ukraine against Russia in the long term.

Raytheon, the former employer of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, has benefited greatly from the US’s Ukraine policy. The company, and other US defense contractors, are getting contracts to make weapons for Ukraine, to replenish US military stockpiles, and for US allies in Europe.

Posted on: Dec 05 06:39

The Brevard County Sheriff's Office has released more details into the death of 23-year-old Deputy Austin Walsh who was accidentally shot and killed in an "off-duty incident."

The Sheriff's office said Deputy Walsh was shot and killed by his roommate, Andrew Lawson, who is also a Brevard County deputy. The shooting happened in Palm Bay early Saturday when the Palm Bay Police Department received a 911 call from Lawson who reportedly fatally shot Walsh. 

Posted on: Dec 05 06:37

Outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid on 2 December called on national authorities to refrain from cooperating with Benjamin Netanyahu’s incoming government.

Lapid sent several letters to mayors of cities in Israel, over concerns about changes in the national educational system, as Netanyahu’s coalition ally, the Religious Zionist Party, seeks to significantly alter educational curriculums in Israel and the occupied West Bank.

Israeli NGO Peace Now has warned that if the far-right Religious Zionist party gains control of the Civil Administration, it could trigger an eventual complete annexation of the occupied Palestinian territory.

Netanyahu reportedly agreed to grant the Religious Zionist Party, led by Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben Gvir, control of the Civil Administration in the West Bank.

Lapid added: “This is a direct and dangerous threat to the most fundamental values on which the State of Israel is based, as they are stated in the declaration of independence – fully equal societal rights, equality for women, equality for LGBTQ+ people, protection of minorities, freedom of religion and freedom of conscience.”

Posted on: Dec 05 06:35

A former stand-out agent at the Drug Enforcement Agency, José Irizarry, says the police force knows the drug war is unwinnable. In an interview with the Miami Herald, Irizarry claimed that a group of agents calling themselves “Team America” are using their power for profit. 

Previously known as a top officer at the DEA, Irizarry was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison last December for operating a money laundering and fraud scheme while serving as a special agent. In comments to the Associated Press last week, Irizarry accepted his guilt and claimed his criminal behavior was rampant at the federal agency. 

“We had free access to do whatever we wanted. We would generate money pick-ups in places we wanted to go. And once we got there it was about drinking and girls,” he said. “The drug war is a game. … It was a very fun game that we were playing.”

Posted on: Dec 05 06:35

According to a new poll, perhaps not surprisingly, many Americans across party lines would like the U.S. to have a less interventionist and meddlesome foreign policy. 

The results of a Morning Consult survey show that there continues to be substantial public support for scaling back U.S. military entanglements. Large blocs of Republicans and Democrats are in favor of less involvement in the affairs of other countries in general, and a plurality of Americans supports decreasing overseas deployments and reducing involvement in foreign conflicts. 

While there were slight fluctuations over the course of the three-month survey, there were more voters that said they wanted a decreased military presence and a reduced role in foreign wars than chose the status quo or a larger role. The disconnect between what this plurality of voters wants and what the government is doing in different parts of the world is as big as it has ever been.

Posted on: Dec 05 06:34

 Canadian Bishop Ronald Peter Fabbro of the Diocese of London, Ontario is once again urging the faithful to take the abortion-tainted COVID injections and wear masks in church buildings. 

“We have made incredible progress in our fight against COVID-19 (C-19), but we are now facing some imminent threats that will likely cause further spread of the virus and related health challenges for many,” Fabbro wrote in a November 24 letter to his flock.

“The vast majority of medical professionals emphasize the importance of getting the vaccine to fight C-19,” Fabbro continued. “These are readily available for almost all ages of children, youth, and adults.” 

The Canadian prelate advocated for getting “booster shots,” especially for people with pre-existing conditions who should be getting boosters “as often as they can.”

Posted on: Dec 05 06:32

After widespread public outrage, Canadian clothing retailer Simons axed its controversial pro-euthanasia advertisement campaign.

Quebec-based clothing company Simons removed its controversial advertisement campaign “All is Beauty” – the accompanying video featured the title “The Most Beautiful Exit” – after facing numerous accusations that the promotion glamorized assisted suicide.

The campaign, which initially launched in late October, sparked controversy on social media throughout November. As of December 1, the ads are no longer present on the company’s official website or YouTube page.

The ad campaign had featured the story of 37-year-old British Columbia woman Jennyfer Hatch, who on October 23 had opted to die by doctor-assisted suicide due to chronic pain she experienced from having Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

Posted on: Dec 05 06:32

Beijing has said it will not seek geopolitical self-interest in the Middle East, ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s expected trip to the China-Arab Summit next week in Saudi Arabia.

In an official document entitled Report on Sino-Arab Cooperation in a New Era, China’s foreign ministry stated the principles of China’s policies towards the region.

Posted on: Dec 05 06:26

 Russian troops are gaining ground in the vicinity of Artyomovsk on the Donetsk front, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov told journalists on Sunday.

"On the Donetsk front, Russian troops are successfully advancing in the vicinity of the town of Artyomovsk in the Donetsk People’s Republic," he said. According to the spokesman, the adversary’s manpower and equipment were eliminated.

Russia's Aerospace Forces shot down a Ukrainian Su-25 over the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Konashenkov told.

"Fighter aviation of the Russian Aerospace Forces shot down a Su-25 aircraft of Ukraine’s air force in the vicinity of the Krasnoarmeysk locality in the Donetsk People’s Republic," he said.

Posted on: Dec 05 06:26

Among the Nazis’ first actions after taking power was to dismantle the German trade unions and labour power. By March 1933 the first concentration camp was erected at Dachau, soon to be followed by others, where numerous communists, socialists and other undesirables were interned. The German masses were thereafter transformed largely into devoted followers of Hitler, subjected regularly to Nazi propaganda; much of the techniques of which Gauleiter of Berlin Joseph Goebbels had learnt in the 1920s from Edward Bernays, the influential American propaganda merchant.

The Third Reich’s destruction of the left, along with Hitler’s stated intention to preserve big business, was welcomed by corporate managers. Before Hitler had even come to power, his views had drawn approval abroad from leading industrialists; like the American tycoon Irénée du Pont, a proponent of racial superiority and until 1925 the president of chemical multinational DuPont; and Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, a fervent anti-Semite who in the early 1920s wrote ‘The International Jew: The World’s Problem’.

A number of business moguls in America were overtly anti-Semitic, and Hitler’s rants against the supposed Jewish problem met with their approval. Ford’s writings in fact seem to have influenced Hitler and other Nazis like Baldur von Schirach, future head of the Hitler Youth. At the Nuremberg trials in May 1946, von Schirach said he had read Ford’s above work “and became anti-Semitic. In those days this book made such a deep impression on my friends and myself, because we saw in Henry Ford the representative of success”.

Ford himself was providing funds to the Nazi Party since the 1920s, when it was a miniscule political organisation (1). Hitler kept a life-size portrait of Ford behind his desk in Munich, and in 1931 the Nazi leader told a Detroit news reporter, “I regard Henry Ford as my inspiration”. Each year Ford also sent money to Hitler personally on his birthday through Swiss or Swedish banks, between around 10,000 to 20,000 Reichsmarks annually. These payments to Hitler continued until 1944, more than two years after the German declaration of war on America. (2)

Posted on: Dec 05 06:24

Prescott Bush was a partner of Brown Brothers Harriman & Co and director of Union Banking Corporation which had close relations with German corporate interests including Thyssen Steel, a major company involved in the Third Reich’s weapons industry. 

“…[N]ew documents, declassified [in 2003], show that even after America had entered the war [December 8, 1941] and when there was already significant information about the Nazis’ plans and policies, he [Prescott Bush] worked for and profited from companies closely involved with the very German businesses that financed Hitler’s rise to power. It has also been suggested that the money he made from these dealings helped to establish the Bush family fortune and set up its political dynasty” (The Guardian, September 25, 2004)


Without US support to Nazi Germany, the Third Reich would not have been able to wage war on the Soviet Union. Germany’s oil production was insufficient to wage a major military campaign. Throughout the war, the Third Reich relied on regular shipments of crude oil  from US Standard Oil owned by the Rockefeller family.

The main producing countries in the early 1940s were: the United States (50% of global oil production), the Soviet Union, Venezuela, Iran, Indonesia, and Romania.

Without a steady supply of oil, Germany would not have been able to conduct Operation Barbarossa which was launched on June 22, 1941. The invasion of the Soviet Union was intent upon reaching and taking control of the oil resources of the Soviet Union in the Caucasus and Caspian sea regions: the oil of Baku.

Posted on: Dec 05 06:23

For the first time in military history, Russian Tu-95MS strategic bombers have landed at China's Hangzhou Air Base in the Zhejiang suburb. At the same time, Chinese Xian H-6 bombers were landing at a Russian airbase in Vladivostok.

This is a highly symbolic move: The Russian strategic bombers that landed at the PLA airfield also carry nuclear bombs. Russia has sent a message to the US and NATO that its nuclear umbrella will also cover China if necessary.

Before that, the Russian Aerospace Forces and the PLA Air Force conducted a joint patrol in the Asia-Pacific region, passing along the route over the Seas of Japan and East China.

It is obvious that the Russians and Chinese carried out a virtual bombing operation of Korea and Japan showing that they will not allow unilateral actions against North Korea.

The joint air squadron included six Russian Tu-95MS strategic bombers and two Chinese H-6 strategic bombers. In some areas, the group was accompanied by Su-30SM and Su-35S multi-role fighters of the Russian Aerospace Forces.

Posted on: Dec 05 06:23

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Saturday delivered a speech where he reaffirmed that the Pentagon’s top priority is countering China, which he accused of seeking to reshape the so-called “international order.”

“Now, the National Defense Strategy is clear-eyed about our main competitors. And that starts with the People’s Republic of China (PRC),” Austin said at the Reagan National Defense Forum.

Austin said that China is the “only country with both the will and, increasingly, the power to reshape its region and the international order to suit its authoritarian preferences.” He said the US “won’t let that happen” and that the Pentagon is “aligning our budget as never before to the China challenge.”

Posted on: Dec 05 06:20

In August, a lawsuit against the CIA, former CIA director Mike Pompeo, UC Global, and UC Global director David Morales was filed that alleged Americans who visited WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange when he was living in the Ecuador embassy had their privacy rights violated.

Attorney Richard Roth filed a complaint on behalf of two attorneys, Deborah Hrbek and Margaret Ratner-Kunstler, and two journalists, Charles Glass and John Goetz. They were spied upon by the CIA-backed operation when they met with Assange.

The lawsuit will be deliberated over in a United States court in the Southern District of New York. It was assigned to Judge John Koeltl.

Kevin Gosztola recently spoke with Richard about the status of the lawsuit and what happens next.

Posted on: Dec 05 06:19

 Ethiopia and Sudan reach a fresh agreement to peacefully resolve all outstanding disputes between the two neighbours.

The renewed agreement was reached after Ethiopia’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Demeke Mekonnen, and the Vice President of Sudan’s Transitional Sovereignty Council (TSC) of Sudan, Lt-Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo met in Khartoum.

The two officials held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) ministerial council meeting held in Sudan, the current chair of the regional bloc.

During the discussion, the two sides agreed to peacefully resolve a border dispute which engaged the two neighbours in armed clashes in recent years.

A long-running dispute over a contested fertile border region, al-Fashaqa, has fueled a surge in tensions between the two countries in recent years, alongside a diplomatic spat over Ethiopia’s construction of the multibillion-dollar mega-dam project.

Tension over al-Fashaqa, which lies within Sudan’s international boundaries but has been settled by Ethiopian farmers for decades, escalated in December 2020, after Sudan deployed its army and took control of the area.

Posted on: Dec 05 06:19

 Final defense legislation set to be unveiled next week could undo the Pentagon’s policy of kicking out troops for not taking the Covid vaccine, the Democratic chair of the House Armed Services Committee said Saturday.

Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) said a rollback of the policy is on the table for a compromise version of the National Defense Authorization Act, but hasn’t been decided yet.

Posted on: Dec 05 06:18

On 3 December, Turkiye’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced that the US and Russia have failed to keep their promises and clear the Syrian border from Kurdish militants. A key demand for Turkiye to halt plans of a ground invasion into Syria.

Speaking at the Mediterranean Dialogues forum in Rome, Mevlut Cavusoglu stated that Turkiye was seeking reconciliation with Syria’s government to facilitate the return of refugees, collaborate in fighting extremists, and end the conflict in Syria.

“The terrorists continue to stand there, attack us. For this reason, we need to continue our operation to clear the region of these armed groups because this terrorist organization has the purpose of dividing the country. This also affects Syria,” Cavusoglu said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to launch a ground invasion of northern Syria to establish a 30-kilometer-wide security zone at the Turkish-Syrian border following a bomb attack in Istanbul on 13 November. In response, the Turkish military has conducted a series of airstrikes on alleged militant sites in northern Syria and Iraq.

Posted on: Dec 05 06:17

Internal Twitter emails released on Friday by Elon Musk via journalist Matt Taibbi revealed that Twitter censored a tweet about the Hunter Biden laptop story by actor James Wood at the behest of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

The communications revealed that a political party was able to successfully suppress a private citizens’ speech on Twitter for posting content that could be politically damaging for the Democrat presidential nominee at the time of a presidential election.

The email posted by Taibbi showed that a Twitter employee emailed a co-worker with suspension requests, writing: “An additional report from DNC.” Listed were two tweets, including one by Woods.

Posted on: Dec 05 06:16

It’s the holiday season under President Joe Biden’s U.S. economy, and these days, that means hard times are ahead for tens of thousands of employed Americans.

Continuing a trend that seems to be hitting several Big Tech and related industries, online mega-retailer Amazon is expected to begin laying off a large contingent of its workers, to the tune of possibly 20,000 employees, in the coming months, according to ComputerWorld.

The outlet cited an anonymous source with reported knowledge of the incoming mass layoffs. Still, as it noted, the source’s info lines up with a November New York Times report that hinted the online shopping giant is set to make massive personnel changes, though, in that report, it was suggested that the number could be 10,000.

Posted on: Dec 05 06:16

Say whatever you will about Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, but at the very least, you couldn’t really question her commitment to actually “saving” the planet (whatever that means in 2022).

But that annoying teenager, with her sneering “how dare you,” seems to have melted away to reveal her true face, and it’s a face that looks astonishingly similar to that of any modern-day dictator like Xi JinpingVladimir Putin or Kim Jong Un.

To recount, right before Halloween this year, Thunberg had the entire London’s Royal Festival Hall singing her praises as she unveiled her new book “The Climate Book.”

Posted on: Dec 05 06:15

European Commission chief has urged the bloc to address "distortion" created by Washington’s multibillion-dollar plan to incentivize climate-friendly technologies in the United States amid the simmering energy crisis. 

Ursula von der Leyen made the remarks on Sunday, a day before the US-EU Trade and Technology Council ministerial meeting to be held at the University of Maryland, where the law is likely to figure on top of the agenda.

The EU must "take action to rebalance the playing field where the IRA (Inflation Reduction Act) or other measures create distortions," von der Leyen said.

The IRA legislation was passed this summer and has become a point of contention in Europe, with complaints that Washington is attempting to lure business investment away from the bloc with massive subsidies.

The act which is designed to accelerate the US transition to a low-carbon economy includes around $370 billion in subsidies for green energy. It also will see tax cuts for US-made electric cars and batteries.

Posted on: Dec 05 06:12