1438: Trips of Clump

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 51m
March 31st, 2022
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Executive Producers: Insta-Dame/Baronetess to Mary Brett, Sir Onymous of Dogpatch & Lower Slobbovia, Sir Benjamin Naidus, Count of San Francisco, Sir Ryan, Baron of Tampa Bay, Sir BigBroMario: Knight of the NASCAR’s and Nintendo’s, Dame G33ksquared, Daniel Abrams, Sir JPG, Scott Farley, Sir Russ of Hellgate, Simon Paliwoda, Austin B, Dwayne, Miles Vernon

Associate Executive Producers: Mike Schwab, Danny Booch, Ryan Sharon, Taylor Cos, Austin Constable, Carissa Mulahn, Rick Zahler

Cover Artist: Tante Neel

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Executive Producer Credits
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TODAY
Best of COVID EOS Mixes is dynamite!
Oscars Psyop
Will Smith Slap
This was a good one, so many angles
Oscars - no one care about maternity wards anymore, but about millionaire actors. Well done!
I am uniquely qualified
Show Business
Know Will
ex-interim wife had 'alopecia'
I am an alopeciaphobe
Alopecia
Just a technical term for hair loss
Black Woman's hair
Pinkett statement not wearing wigs
The Obvious
Will is 'one of those aggressive guys'
He has been cucked by his wife
Desperate to win her back
Lost his mind over it
Phizer
Alopecia bullcrap could be from radiation
Something else later
Ukraine
Sean Penn threat
Nothing on the show!
Oscars - no one care about maternity wards anymore, but about millionaire actors. Well done!
War is OVER
PR / Ratings
Puh leaze....
Yet... 1976 Streaker
This year, ABC took over broadcast rights from NBC and continues to broadcast them today.
Pfizer? Maybe
The Coven
Always looking for the Illuminati angle
Will was fine
Until Jada wasn't
She triggered his MK-Ultra key
He WAS acting - this was tough guy swagger Will Smith who through a very real movie slap
She showed who is in control of Hollywood
Like Megan over Harry
Oprah over Steadman
Tyler Perry was there with Denzel to reset Will
He didn't get kicked out
Made black men look very bad [angry black man syndrome]
Academy gets to reposition as 'important'
Oscars' dead segment sucked
Dianne Warren, Not Ghislane Maxwell at Oscars
Food Intelligence
Great Reset
Groningen legt lang douchen aan banden: vanaf komend weekend na 10 minuten minder waterdruk
In samenwerking met het Waterbedrijf Groningen grijpt het stadsbestuur nu dus naar een nieuw middel: Na 10 minuten douchen wordt automatisch de waterdruk sterk verminderd. Komende vrijdag om 17:00 uur wordt de maatregel uitgerold in de zuidelijke stadswijken, waar volgens data het langst wordt gedoucht. Snel daarna volgt de rest van de stad. De urgentie is namelijk hoog. Zolang wij massaal Russisch gas gebruiken dragen we immers bij aan de bloederige oorlog in Oekraïne. Meer Gronings gas winnen is, volgens betrokken partijen, ook geen optie vanwege de grote problemen die dat oplevert.
SWIFT to Russia NOT blocked - my experience
Summary:
Wire payment in USD bounced
Wire payment in CAD succeeded (to CAD account in Russian bank)
Details:
I am based in Canada. My corporation is registered in Ontario.
Our bank is RBC (Royal Bank of Canada)
(RBC is commercial - like FedEx. Nothing to do with Federal Government.)
Before RU invasion, we wired USD payments successfully without issue
Round 1:
March 7, experimented small payment of USD$600. Refused. Notified next day.
Round 2:
Russian contractor then opened a CAD account
March 18, wired CAD$750.
March 21, RBC called asking for details.
1) if for goods or service (payment is for a service BTW)
2) if RU company is in gas, oil or exploration
March 24, RBC called again. This time on behalf of another bank (TD - Toronto Dominion). Similar questions. Payment routing via other banks?
March 29, success!
Notes:
Banks must collect 6% income tax on wires before distribution
80% must be converted to Russian Roubles
Exchange rate is lousy
Banks won't give cash. Good luck finding any.
Payments in country are electronic now - just like everywhere else
Russian Oligarchs welcome in UAE
By Ben Bartenstein, Nicolas Parasie and Archana Narayanan
(Bloomberg) -- In Dubai’s swankiest neighborhoods, property
brokers say inquiries from Russians looking for villas and
apartments are skyrocketing. Among them: Roman Abramovich, the
tycoon who owns Chelsea Football Club.
While the Russian billionaire’s present whereabouts aren’t
publicly known, he has in recent weeks been house hunting on
Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah, a man-made, palm-shaped island dotted
with luxury residences, according to people familiar with the
matter.
The tycoon’s interest in the emirate is the latest sign of
how more and more Russians are flocking to the city state as
other favored jurisdictions increasingly sanction and shun some
of their compatriots.
BTC CBDC
The ECASH Act
How is the bill funded?
The ECASH Act establishes permanent, ongoing appropriations authority for spending undertaken in furtherance of E-Cash, with the specific amount to be determined by the Treasury Secretary on an ongoing basis.
This spending is not funded via taxes or the issuance of public debt.
Instead, the bill directs the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to establish a special, ring-fenced overdraft account for the Treasury, and to exempt that account from standard accounting rules, in order to grant the Treasury a similar degree of operational flexibility in developing its digital dollar program as the Federal Reserve enjoys with its research and operational budget.
Mandates & Boosters
California Covid bills on deck
California will be voting on several bills this week (?) which would enact the following:
1. The age of consent to vaccination shall be lowered to 12 years of age without requiring parental consent.
2. Covid vaccination shall be mandatory for all schools, public and private, regardless of FDA approval.
3. Anyone expressing anti-Covid opinions shall be subject to discipline by the medical board.
4. Police will enforce public health guidelines or lose their funding.
5. Schools will be required to create longterm Covid testing plan and report test results.
6. No individual or organization will be allowed to make public statements the government deems untrue by any means.
7. School personnel shall be authorized to disclose student health information to any third party without consent of the student.
8. An immunization tracking system shall be created to give government agents access to records of all persons.
9. Proof of vaccination shall be required of all independent contractors and government workers to work in California.
10. Medical boards shall be authorized to launch surprise inspections of doctors’ offices and search patient charts without patient consent.
This is tyrannical government overreach to an extreme. These laws CANNOT BE PASSED. The People’s Convoy just decided to pull up stakes and drive to California to protest this crap.
TYFYC,
Scott, MD
Test to Treat
Cancelling Russia
BLM LGBBTQQIAAPK+ Noodle Boy
Allie Jade Transitioning then and now BOTG
Hi Adam, from the Official Transgender Front Line reporter for the No agenda show.
Some information to provide some details of transgender medical practices from 10 years ago when I went through the whole situation in North Carolina.
First you had to go through therapy and phycological evaluation for an unspecified time, where your therapist evaluates you and works with you to conclude if you are suffering from GID (gender Identity Disorder) or have other issues or problems in your life or brain that is making you project a gender issue.
If they do find that you are suffering from GID and no other factors are present, they would require the patient to start living as the gender the person was going to transition to along with helping and providing details on how to conform / adopt to blend in and become a good member of society and the gender you were transitioning to.
It was also HIGHLY stressed, getting on hormones does not change all the years of male hormones and puberty, DOES NOT reverse hair growth, does not change body structure, does not change voice tone, does not magically make you a woman( this was highly stressed by the DR)
The information about the swimmer Lia Thomas not having advantage is a blatant lie, 10 years in and me as a SysAdmin, not working out still retain some strength and ability’s. They are a collage level athlete only transitioned a for a year or more, they have ALL of their abilities!
It does change, skin to softer, eyesight, and how your brain is towards attraction and emotion, body fat distribution and boobs.
After all those warnings they move to the next step.
After working with you and they find that you are not suffering from GID they would not provide the letter needed from the next step which is a Endocrinologist
Next
The Endocrinologist would then also stress what hormones can and cannot do to the human body and the medical risks you will be taking on. Then you would be required to comeback twice a year for follow up, which includes blood tests, and mental stability check.
It was seen as a medical issue with medical treatments, not a social movement.
Now they do not care about any of these details, my DR of 8 years retired and I had to find another, so I went to Planned Parenthood to get my regiment taken over. Come to find out now, all that is basically gone, you can answer a few questions from a VERY pro “congratulations you are transgender you are wonderful and perfect” Dr,
I asked further what all do they require to get hormones now, the answer was “they can do it all, and they do not require the letters and mental evaluations and therapy anymore”.
It seems no therapy and medical gatekeepers exist anymore, providing assistance to people who may not actually benefit from transition and have other underlying issues that are the solution. THAT’S why there is a boom in transgender people!
Sorry for length Adam, I tried breaking it up into points.
Oh and those 10 years all listening to No Agenda.
Thank you guys for having this podcast it has truly made my life livable!
ITM Local 704 Charlotte, NC
Allie Jade,
TikTok Challenges and Schools
I wonder if the Chinese government is creating these TikTok challenges to disrupt American schools or if students just do whatever the latest fad is. These are the three I'm aware of - I'm sure there's more
September 2021: Destroy school bathrooms
October 2021: Slap a Teacher
March 2022: Shoot other students with water beads using an airsoft gun
Supply Chains
Ukraine
Shops are re-opening in Kyev
Germany Refugees BOTG
Hi Adam,
Just listening to Sunday's show.
Some insights from Germany from afar:
- Renting your washing machine (!) has been a thing there for several years now.
- Never mind the housing shortage we've had in Germany since 2014/2015 when 1-2 million people entered Germany, an 80 million country. But don't mention the reasons for that shortage.
- Quite a few Ukrainians entering Germany are from Africa and Asia, I even have seen Indians saying they would be from Ukraine over in England. Many don't speak Ukrainian but happen to have a Ukrainian passport, something that no doubt can be received easier than ever in the fog of war. So, these "Ukrainians" are said to be college students or highly specialised workers per the media, but without being able to speak the language of their country? Many don't speak English too well either, a lingua franca that would be used at college.
- Germany's foreign minister is expecting eight million refugees coming to the EU from Ukraine (https://www.zdf.de/nachrichten/politik/baerbock-fluechtlinge-ukraine-krieg-russland-100.html) - and guess where many might go right away? Where you get the best benefits, aka Germany.The German minister of the interior has stated that all Ukrainians are welcome, they aren't even asked to properly identify themselves. They get support right away, ride the bus and train for free, get free health care and if they are in a car accident, the German insurance companies will pay for it all - as it can not be expected for them to pay for it, having escaped the war zone.
- The refugees are slightly weary to get vaccinated, which the German minister of health is taking as a chance to make them a vaccination offer. But many don't take him on it. This will be interesting once the mandatory vaccination laws have been passed that are debated with lots of emotions and little facts in parliament right now. They run the "full hospitals", "unvaccinated are holding us hostile" narrative again.
- Oh, and stores have severe flour and salad/cooking oil shortages. Many stores don't allow you to buy more than two bottles of oil. The weird thing is that lots of, say, olive oil comes from Spain, Greece and of course Italy.
This is all a mess, and the real victims on all sides are the citizens, not the potentates.
Remain vigilant,
- Roland
From the Telegram channel of Dmitry Medvedev....
"What else is there? Yes, of course, the departure of luxury segment sellers from our country. What to do now without the opportunity to buy bags and fur coats for several million rubles? This is an irreparable loss.
....
The world is waking up, and confidence in reserve currencies is fading like morning mist. Abandoning the dollar and the euro as the world's main reserves does not look like such a fantastic prospect. What kind of reserves are these if the obligations on them are frozen and actually defaulted by the will of insane politicians who are ready to bring their taxpayers' money to the altar of an unknown victory in the war "to the last Ukrainian"? Who needs them in this case? They do not even want to take them as payment for contracts for fuel supplies. The era of regional currencies is coming.
No matter how much anyone would like, they will have to negotiate a new financial world order. And then the decisive word will be for those countries that have a strong and advanced economy, healthy public finances, and a reliable monetary system. And by no means for those who endlessly increase their public debt, issuing into circulation new and new pieces of paper, not backed by national wealth, fictitious obligations for which the decrepit authorities can refuse to pay at any moment."
Hunter's Laptop
25th for Joe
Aphasia seven days after second dose of an mRNA-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccine
Case report
A 52yo male developed sudden-onset reading difficulty and aphasia 7d after the second dose of an mRNA-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. He had a previous history of myocardial infarction, arterial hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and nephrolithiasis. Blood pressure was slightly elevated on admission. Blood tests revealed mildly elevated D-dimer, pre-diabetes and hyperuricemia. Cerebral magnetic resonance imaging revealed an intracerebral bleeding (ICB) in the left temporal lobe. Aphasia resolved almost completely within a few days. Blood pressure values were normal throughout hospitalisation. Whether there was a causal relation between the ICB and the vaccination remains speculative but cannot be definitively excluded.
Conclusions
A second dose of a SARS-CoV-2 vaccination may be followed by ICB. Though the pathophysiology of ICB remains unexplained a causal relation between ICB and the vaccination cannot be excluded. Risk factors for ICB should be carefully monitored in patients undergoing SARS-CoV-2 vaccination.
Bat vs Lab
STORIES
Lloyd's of London CEO in hospital after bike accident
Thu, 31 Mar 2022 15:15
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BLOODY SECRET: Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos want us eating LAB MEAT grown from the fetal blood of unborn baby cows '' NaturalNews.com
Thu, 31 Mar 2022 15:13
(Natural News) How can all the problems of factory farming be solved in one fell swoop? Just kill off most of the humans and there won't be a need for breeding and feeding billions of cows, chickens, turkeys and pigs for slaughter. That's the ''bloody secret'' among the eugenicists who are funding the genetically modified ''cultured'' lab-grown meat made from fetal bovine serum, like the freaky scientists use in vaccines.
The cover story for this so-called revolutionary Franken-meat is, of course, climate change. Always blame the weather for anything that causes cancer and dementia. Even Hollywood's top stars are pushing the peons of America to eat lots of Franken-meat, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Ashton Kutcher and Robert Downey, Jr. (who wouldn't eat it themselves if their life depended on it).
Nothing about cultured lab meat is ''sustainable'' or ''clean'' since it's a grand experiment in human healthNo, there is NO science showing this lab-concocted cell meat is safe to consume '' not on a short term or long term basis. And no, climate change has not even been proven to be a fact, so eating fewer animals won't be staving off the melting of icebergs at the poles. The lab-meat-pimping-shills of Hollywood are always ''all in'' for anything that causes bad health, including lab-meat and clot shots.
Next they'll try to ban all automobile use on Sundays to save the world from climate change. Wait a second, they already are. We already know that most food that comes out of laboratories causes cancer, like GMOs, processed junk-science ''food stuff'' (think Beyond Meat here), Roundup Ready ''crop'' seeds, corn, sugar beets, canola (genetically modified rapeseed) and the list goes on.
Test tube meat? Animal abortion blood is used to make Franken-meat for all the clot-shot victims to eatAttention all semi-humans who have been repeatedly injected with FBS (fetal bovine serum) used to re-engineer your tissues (recombinant), you are now being instructed by the richest globalist eugenicists to eat lab-meat made from that same fetus blood extracted after the mother's slaughter.
This TEST TUBE MEAT will supposedly save planet earth from getting so hot that the beaches disappear and we're all living on boats, according to mainstream media, Bill ''End of Times'' Gates and Jeff ''Bozo'' Bezos.
What's for dinner? Freaky Franken lab meat with special sauce'... barbecued fetal bovine serumNot sure if your lab meat came from the blood of a cow, chicken, turkey or pig? Just fry up that genetically mutated meat in some canola oil (rapeseed) and lather it up with some FBS special sauce (bloody fetal bovine serum laced with artificial hormones), then slap it between two buns, and off you go. ''Would you care to super-size those cancer tumors, sir and ma'am?''
It's not ''slaughter-free meat'' if the people who eat it are being slaughtered, now is it? This new lab-concocted nightmare is extremely expensive. And how can it be marketed as ''slaughter-free'' when a slaughterhouse byproduct is what they're using to grow the stuff? Synthetic meat ''biologists'' aren't saving the planet, they're ruining it.
Buy organic meat if you must eat meat, and just cut back a little on your consumption habits. If you want to save the planet, don't give another dime to the ''climate change'' scam artists and the billionaires who push Franken-meat and clot shot vaccines.
Bookmark Censored.news for more updates about toxic food and medicine that causes cancer and dementia, but carry no warning labels, and are never exposed in mainstream media as such.
Sources for this article include:
NaturalNews.com
ChildrensHealthDefense.org
The ECASH Act
Thu, 31 Mar 2022 15:05
Digital Privacy / Public Money The ECASH Act The Bill Press Release | Fact Sheet FAQ Other Resources In the Media About On March 28, 2022, Rep. Stephen Lynch (MA-08), Chair of the House Committee on Financial Services' Task Force on Financial Technology, introduced H.R. 7231 - The Electronic Currency and Secure Hardware (ECASH) Act (full text here).The ECASH Act is co-sponsored by Rep.'s Jesºs G. ''Chuy'' Garc­a (IL-04), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), and Alma Adams (NC-12) of the Committee on Financial Services, and endorsed by Americans for Financial Reform, Demand Progress, the Action Center on Race and the Economy (ACRE), and Public Money Action.
The bill directs the Secretary of the Treasury to develop and pilot digital dollar technologies that replicate the privacy-respecting features of physical cash, in order to promote greater financial inclusion, maximize consumer protection and data privacy, and advance U.S. efforts to develop and regulate digital assets.
For a list of media coverage, click here.
return to top Frequently Asked Questions'ƒ1. What does the ECASH Act do?
'ƒ2. What is E-Cash?
'ƒ3. What is an E-Cash device?
'ƒ4. What is a bearer instument?
'ƒ5. Does E-Cash involve blockchain or distributed ledger technology?
'ƒ6. What distinguishes E-Cash from other forms of digital money?
'ƒ7. Why use E-Cash over other forms of digital money/payments?
'ƒ8. Why issue this via the Treasury and not the Federal Reserve?
'ƒ9. Is E-Cash really secure?
'ƒ10. E-Cash really private?
'ƒ11. Are there any limits to the use of E-Cash?
'ƒ12. Won't the widespread adoption of E-Cash lead to an outflow of deposits from the traditional banking system, thereby reducing the availability and increasing the cost of credit?
'ƒ13. How is the bill funded?
'ƒ14. Won't digitally minting E-Cash be inflationary?
'ƒ15. Doesn't this undermine Monetary Policy and threaten Federal Reserve independence?
return to top1. What does the ECASH Act do?The ECASH Act:
1. Directs the Secretary of the Treasury to develop and introduce a form of retail digital dollar called ''e-cash,'' which replicates the offline-capable, peer-to-peer, privacy-respecting, zero transaction-fee, and payable-to-bearer features of physical cash, and to coordinate their efforts with other agencies, including the Federal Reserve through an intergovernmental Digital Dollar Council led by the Treasury Secretary;2. Establishes an Electronic Currency Innovation Program within the U.S. Treasury to test and evaluate different forms of secure hardware-based e-cash devices that do not require internet access, third-party validation, or settlement on or via a common ledger, with a focus on widely available, interoperable architectures such as stored-value cards and cell phones;3. Establishes an independent Monetary Privacy Board to oversee and monitor the federal government's efforts to preserve monetary privacy and protect civil liberties in the development of digital dollar technologies and services, and directs the Treasury Secretary to, wherever possible, promote and prioritise open-source licensed software and hardware, and to make all technical information available for public review and comment; and4. Establishes a special-purpose, ring-fenced Treasury overdraft account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to cover any and all government expenses related to the development and piloting of E-Cash, and directs the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System to take appropriate liquidity-support measures to ensure that the introduction of e-cash does not reduce the ability of banks, credit unions, or community development financial institutions to extend credit and other financial services to underserved populations, as prescribed under the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 and related laws.return to FAQreturn to top2. What is E-Cash?The ECASH Act defines e-cash as a currency instrument that is:
1. Legal tender issued by the U.S. Treasury, and a general obligation of the United States, not included in calculations of public debt subject to limit under the debt ceiling;2. A bearer instrument distributed directly to, and able to be owned, held, and used directly by the general public via secured hardware devices, and capable of instantaneous, final, direct, peer-to-peer, offline transactions that do not involve or require subsequent or final settlement on or via a common or distributed ledger, or any other additional approval or validation by the United States Government or any other third-party payments processing intermediary;3. Interoperable with all existing financial institution and payment provider systems and generally accepted payments standards and network protocols, as well as other public payments programs, and any other digital dollar or public banking products;4. Designed and administered to replicate the anonymity and privacy-respecting features of physical cash to the greatest extent reasonably and practically possible, including being classified and regulated in a manner similar to physical currency, and thus not subject to third-party exemptions to a reasonable expectation of privacy as is the case for account-based monies;5. Designed and administered to promote equity and justice for historically marginalized communities and excluded populations, and to prioritize universal access and usability, particularly for individuals with disabilities, low-income individuals, and communities with limited access to the internet or telecommunications networks.Importantly, E-Cash is
not:
1. A CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency). Although E-Cash is a form of digital dollar, it is issued by the Treasury, not the Federal Reserve, and accordingly is not a CBDC.2. In competition with a CBDC. E-Cash is intended to complement and be developed in parallel to other forms of digital public finance, including CBDCs, FedAccounts, Postal Banking, and Public Banking.return to FAQreturn to top3. What is an E-Cash device?An E-Cash device is any piece of secured hardware issued and/or authorised by the government for the purpose of receiving, holding, and transferring e-cash balances.In contrast to ledger-based systems (including those that use a blockchain and/or distributed-ledger rather than a centralized ledge), which prevent double-spending by verifying unspent balances against a common record of all previous transactions, e-cash devices verify funds locally via a dedicated or trusted computing environment located on the device itself.
This allows it to facilitate both offline and genuine peer-to-peer transactions without generating transactional data or requiring the approval of third party intermediaries or network validator nodes.
There are a variety of potential forms such devices may take, which is why the ECASH Act directs the U.S. Treasury to experiment with multiple pilot designs simultaneously.
However, the most common forms, and thus most likely to be adopted initially, are a payments card and a secured chip environment on a cell phone.
For example, this is the offline-capable smart payments card that was
introduced in China in 2021 as part of its digital Yuan rollout, :
This is the Avant stored-value card, which was capable of anonymous, peer-to-peer payments using a custom-made card reader device. It was was issued by the Bank of Finland in 1992, making it (arguably) the world's first Central Bank Digital Currency.
return to FAQreturn to top
4. What is a bearer instrument?A bearer instrument represents a legal obligation to pay whoever has legitimate physical possession of the instrument.Many forms of monetary obligations have circulated as bearer instruments over the millennia, including paper notes, wooden tally sticks, and more recently, electronic value claims stored on secured hardware devices or recorded on open ledgers.
Bearer instruments are typically contrasted with account-based monies, where the right to payment is established via authentication of a person's identity by a third-party intermediary.
A distinct but related legal concept is that of ''currency.'' As monetary law expert and Cambridge Law Professor David Fox explains:
Currency is a special legal attribute which allows a recipient of money to take a fresh legal title which is good against the whole world.Money passes into currency in this way when it is received by a bona fide purchaser for valuable consideration. At this point the title of any previous owner of the money from whom it may have been stolen is extinguished.
It helps money to circulate readily in the economy in that it reduces the need for recipients to make detailed inquiries into the title of people who tender money in payment of debts or to buy goods.
return to FAQreturn to top5. Does E-Cash involve blockchain or distributed ledger technology?No. In contrast to most cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, E-Cash is a true bearer instrument. Consequently, E-Cash transactions do not involve or require settlement via a blockchain or distributed ledger.Instead, an E-Cash transaction works by transferring an e-cash balance, which is a unique digital representation of value issued and verified by the government, from one secure hardware device to another. The hardware devices themselves, as well as the security measures undertaken by government at the point of original issue, are responsible for preventing double-spending and counterfeiting.
For more information, see the secure hardware-related technical materials in the Other Resources section below.
return to FAQreturn to top6. What distinguishes E-Cash from other forms of digital money?E-Cash is the only form of digital currency that is simultaneously:
1. Denominated in U.S. dollars;2. Issued and guaranteed by the U.S. government;3. Available for retail use by the public;4. Not reliant on a common ledger or any third-party payments processing intermediary; and5. Capable of anonymous, offline, peer-to-peer payments.return to FAQreturn to top7. Why use E-Cash over other forms of digital money/payments?E-Cash is well-suited to individuals who:
1. Lack access to traditional banking/payments services;2. Value privacy and wish to avoid surveillance and/or data-mining;3. Are concerned about third-party censorship and/or discrimination;3. Lack reliable internet or digital network connectivity; and5. Are low-income and/or cannot afford high transaction, withdrawal, and exchange fees.On the other hand, E-Cash, like physical cash, does not pay interest, and offers less third-party protections than traditional bank accounts or payments app (chargebacks, loss and fraud-prevention, etc).
Consequently, even though most people will probably choose to keep some day-to-day spending money in the form of E-Cash, they are unlikely to invest all of their life savings into it.return to FAQreturn to top
8. Why issue this via the Treasury and not the Federal Reserve?The Treasury has historically been responsible for designing, issuing, and securing physical currency like coins (via the Mint) and notes (via the Bureau of Engraving and Printing), as well as hardware-secured forms of retail digital money, like pre-paid debit cards and stored value cards (via the Bureau of the Fiscal Service).Moreover, the Treasury has experience with administering large-scale retail payments programs, as well as coordinating inter-agency responses to systemically important financial technologies and industries. In addition, it possesses the the institutional expertise and political legitimacy to navigate a complex balancing act between privacy, security, law enforcement, and civil liberties interests.
Indeed, the Treasury was arguably the first agency to explore the possibility of issuing a hardware-secured, privacy-respecting form of E-Cash. As Law Professor Rohan Grey noted in his testimony to the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services' Task Force on Financial Technology Hearing on "Digitizing the Dollar: Investigating the Technological Infrastructure, Privacy, and Financial Inclusion Implications of Central Bank Digital Currencies" on June 21, 2021:
In 1995, the Electronic Money Task Force of the Treasury Department proposed the creation of a study commission into the creation of a Mint-issued digital currency card, as part of Vice President Gore's broader National Performance Review initiative to ''reinventgovernment'' in light of emerging internet and other digital technologies.In an October 1995 hearing before the House Banking Committee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy on the topic of ''The Future of Money,'' then-Director of the U.S. Mint, Philip Diehl, testified that the Mint's ''main interest in the evolution of payments system is ... focused on stored value cards as a potential substitute for coins and currency.''
Diel Further noted that: ''As sole provider of the nation's coinage, the Mint has an important role in our monetary system. As the use of stored value cards evolves, many consumers might be expected to replace coinage and currency transactions with 'e-cash' transactions, thus creating a new de facto form of currency...
It is [thus] appropriate to ask the question whether at some point in the future the requirements of market efficiency could accelerate the federal government's role in producing a stored value card that would augment the use of coinage in commercial transactions.
By contrast, the Federal Reserve has been researching and exploring the possibility of issuing a Central Bank Digital Currency, or "CBDC," for some time, and up until this point it has shown little interest, if not outright hostility, towards a CBDC model that is 1) capable of anonymous payments, 2) structured as a legal bearer instrument, 3) issued directly to the public, and 4) built on secure hardware.
For example, in January of 2022, the Federal Reserve released its long-awaited CBDC report, in which it noted that "the Federal Reserve Act does not authorize direct Federal Reserve accounts for individuals, and such accounts would represent a significant expansion of the Federal Reserve's role in the financial system and the economy."
Consequently, it recommended the adoption of an "intermediated model", whereby the "private sector [including commercial banks and regulated nonbank financial service providers] would offer accounts or digital wallets to facilitate the management of CBDC holdings and payments [and] operate in an open market for CBDC services."
In addition, the Federal Reserve noted that:Financial institutions in the United States are subject to robust rules that are designed to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism. A CBDC would need to be designed to comply with these rules.In practice, this would mean that a CBDC intermediary would need to verify the identity of a person accessing CBDC, just as banks and other financial institutions currently verify the identities of their customers.
[...] In this regard, a CBDC would differ materially from cash, which enables anonymous transactions."
Similarly, in February 2022, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Digital Currency Initiative released a Report on Phase 1 of their collaborative Project Hamilton, titled "A High Performance Payment Processing System Designed for Central Bank Digital Currencies," in which they noted thatOffline payments We have not yet explored the potential for payments using CBDC without an Internet connection. Our transaction format and data model requires interactive communication between the central bank and both transacting parties.One option is to operate a parallel system using trusted hardware requiring no connectivity with the central bank to conduct a transaction. Trusted hardware would be responsible for enforcing the authenticity of CBDC while outside central bank systems, andthus vulnerable to supply chain attacks or end-user tampering.
Moreover, the Federal Reserve by its own admission has limited institutional capacity to provide retail payments services directly, and lacks the institutional expertise or political legitimacy to make decisions regarding how to balance civil liberties and law enforcement/national security interests on behalf of the broader public.
Instead, the Federal Reserve System is staffed primarily by economists trained in statistically modelling, not privacy, national security, or law enforcement experts.
Although there is broad political support for "central bank independence" nowadays, such independence has always been historically centered around issues of monetary policy (ie interest rates), not defining the future of money for the entire nation over the objections and concerns of elected officials.
To the contrary, such questions are deeply political, and consequently are best to Congress and the political executive branch, ie the President and Treasury Secretary.
return to FAQreturn to top
9. Is E-Cash really secure?No technology is 100% safe. As with physical currency, there will always be some degree of counterfeiting and fraud risk associated with physical devices capable of being held and used locally by the end-user in offline situations.That said, secure hardware technologies have been around for decades, and there are many companies and research teams working on different models and approaches.
The ECASH Act directs the Treasury to make all software and hardware used in the development of E-Cash technology available under an appropriate open-source license.
Moreover, by hardwiring denominational (and potentially transactional) limits into the E-Cash devices themselves, policymakers will be able to reduce the possibility of individual hacks causing systemic vulnerabilities.
return to FAQreturn to top10. Is E-Cash really private?The struggle to preserve and defend privacy and individual liberties is ongoing, and cannot be won solely through technical means.That said, the ECASH Act represents a major step towards protecting transactional privacy during the transition to a digitally native fiat currency regime. It does so by:
1. Directing the Treasury Secretary to "preserv[e] the privacy, anonymity-respecting, and minimal transactional data-generating properties of physical currency instruments...to the greatest extent technically and practically possible" when implementing E-Cash, including by securing E-Cash devices "locally via cryptographic encryption and other appropriate technologies;"2. Requiring E-Cash devices be secured "locally via cryptographic encryption and other appropriate technologies," and prohibiting them from "contain[ing] or be[ing] subject to any surveillance, personal identification or transactional data-gathering, or censorship-enabling backdoor features;"3. Requiring that any E-Cash technology be "capable of instantaneous, final, direct, peer-to-peer, offline transactions using secured hardware devices that do not involve or require subsequent or final settlement on or via a common or distributed ledger, or any other additional approval or validation by the United States Government or any other third-party payments processing intermediary;"4. Requiring E-Cash be classified and regulated in a manner similar to physical currency for the purposes of anti-money laundering, know-your-customer, counter-terrorism, and transaction reporting laws, and thus not subject to third-party exemptions to a reasonable expectation of privacy;5. Prohibiting the U.S. government, as well as other counterparties or E-Cash distributors, from collecting, monitoring, or retaining data from E-Cash transactions unless explicitly authorized to do so under the ECASH Act, and prohibiting the acquisition, possession, or use of E-Cash from being being treated as prima facie or intrinsic evidence of criminal activity or intent; and6. Establishing an independent five-member Monetary Privacy Board, and directing the Board to review, evaluate, and periodically report on the extent to which the decisions and actions of the Treasury Secretary and other actors involved in the development of E-Cash are 3 consistent with their statutory responsibilities under the ECASH Act, and more broadly, a general commitment to preserving the privacy interests of individuals and actors that use e-cash and other forms of digital dollar technologies issued or administered by theUnited States government.return to FAQreturn to top11. Are there any limits to the use of E-Cash?E-Cash is primarily intended for use by individuals, and does not exempt any person or entity from financial reporting requirements or compliance with existing criminal and civil laws.Although the ECASH Act does not specifiy a specific per-device denominational or transactional cap, it is expected that such limits will ultimately be incorporated into the final E-Cash design following the pilot phase, similar to how physical currency has denominational caps today.
return to FAQreturn to top12. Won't the widespread adoption of E-Cash lead to an outflow of deposits from the traditional banking system, thereby reducing the availability and increasing the cost of credit?No. E-Cash is intended to fill the social role historically played by physical currency, which represents a relatively small fraction of overall monetary activity. Indeed, most people prefer to keep most of their money in a bank, where it earns interest and is protected from fraud, theft, or loss.
Consequently, it is unlikely that the introduction of E-Cash will result in a noticeable outflow of deposits from the traditional banking system.
However, in the event this were to occur, the bill directs the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System to "take appropriate measures to ensure that the implementation and adoption of e-cash does not disrupt or substantially impact the general availability or cost of liquidity" or the "exten[sion of] credit and other financial services to underserved populations," provided that such measures "in no way impair, restrict, or otherwise limit the ability of the public to access, hold, and use e-cash."
return to FAQreturn to top13. How is the bill funded?The ECASH Act establishes permanent, ongoing appropriations authority for spending undertaken in furtherance of E-Cash, with the specific amount to be determined by the Treasury Secretary on an ongoing basis. This spending is not funded via taxes or the issuance of public debt.
Instead, the bill directs the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to establish a special, ring-fenced overdraft account for the Treasury, and to exempt that account from standard accounting rules, in order to grant the Treasury a similar degree of operational flexibility in developing its digital dollar program as the Federal Reserve enjoys with its research and operational budget.
return to FAQreturn to top14. Won't digitally minting E-Cash be inflationary?No. Like physical currency, the issuance of E-Cash will adjust automatically based on consumer demand.Moreover, there is little difference in inflationary impact between money-financed and "debt"-financed public spending.
return to FAQreturn to top15. Doesn't this undermine Monetary Policy and threaten Federal Reserve independence?No. The Federal Reserve will continue to exercise full control over interest rates, liquidity management, and the size of its balance sheet following the introduction of Treasury-issued E-Cash, just as it does today with Treasury-issued coinage, and as it did for over 50 years during which Federal Reserve Notes and U.S. Notes were issued in parallel. Inteed,
return to FAQreturn to topOther ResourcesSecure Hardware-Based Digital Currency TechnologiesMihai Christodorescu et al. (2021), Towards a Two-Tier Hierarchical Infrastructure: An Offline Payment System for Central Bank Digital Currencies, Visa/Cornell UniversityTeddy Kyung Lee (2021), CBDC Wallets and the Security Requirements, Global Semiconductor AllianceWhispercash (2022), WhispercashWhispercash (2022), Offline CBDC: Product BrochureeCurrency Mint (2022), eCurrencyeCurrency Mint (2020), DSC3 - Digital Symmetric Core Currency CryptographyThomas Kudrycki (2020), Blockchain is the wrong technology choice for delivering Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)Mitch Cohen (2020), CBDC and Privacy ConcernsJonathan Dharmapalan & Rohan Grey (2017), The Macroeconomic Policy Implication of Digital Fiat CurrencyKelly Le & Mengyuan Ge (2021), China tests new phone-free DCEP e-RMB card for helping rural poorPingWest (2021), Hardware Wallets for China's Digital Yuan Sprung up During Spring Festival U.S. Treasury, Bureau of the Fiscal Service (2022), EagleCash Mark Orders-Woempner (2019), New EagleCash consolidates DoD's stored-value cardsAleksi Grym (2020), Lessons learned from the world's first CBDC, Bank of FinlandJohn Miedema et al (2020), Designing a CBDC for Universal Access, Bank of CanadaSarah Allen et al (2020), Design choices for Central Bank Digital Currency: Policy and technical considerations, Brookings Institutereturn to Other Resourcesreturn to topPrivacy, Cash, and Surveillance #MintTheCoin! - Interview with Former Mint Director Philip N. Diehl, Public Money Action (Oct. 8, 2021) (Transcript | Video)Rohan Grey, Testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services' Task Force on Financial Technology Regarding "Digitizing the Dollar: Investigating the Technological Infrastructure, Privacy, and Financial Inclusion Implications of Central Bank Digital Currencies" (July 15, 2021)Raºl Carrillo, Testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services' Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions Regarding ''Banking Innovation or Regulatory Evasion? Exploring Trends in Financial Institution Charters'' (April 15, 2021)Raºl Carrillo (2020), Banking on Surveillance: The Libra Black Paper, Demand Progress/Americans for Financial ReformJerry Brito (2019), The Case for Electronic Cash, CoinCenterJerry Brito (2020), Central banks are wrong to say that CBDCs must be built to comply with AML regulationsJerry Brito (2020), More on CBDCs, AML, and anonymity in electronic cashHamed Aleaziz (2022), ICE Conducted Sweeping Surveillance Of Money Transfers Sent To And From The US, A Senator Says, Buzzfeed NewsJay Stanley (2019), Say No to the ''Cashless Future'' '-- and to Cashless Stores, ACLUSherrod Brown (2020), Privacy Isn't a Right You Can Click Away, Wired return to Other Resourcesreturn to topIn the Media Peter Coy, Does the End of Cash Mean the End of Privacy?, New York Times (March 30, 2022) Elise Hansen, Democrats' Digital-Cash Bill Emphasizes Financial Privacy, Law360 (March 29, 2022) (paywalled) Robert D. Knight, House Committee Chair Proposes Privacy-Preserving Digital Currency, BeInCrypto (March 29, 2022) National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions, Legislation introduced proposing Treasury issue digital dollar (March 29, 2022) Jose Oramas, US Lawmakers Pass E-Cash Bill That Replicates Physical Money, Leaving Aside the FED, CryptoPotato (March 29, 2022) Joe Weisenthal, Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day, Bloomberg (March 29, 2022) The Hash, House 'ECASH' Bill Can Fast Track CBDC Adoption in US, Coindesk TV (March 29, 2022) Max Slater-Robins, US lawmakers want to trial a digital dollar, TechRadar Pro (March 29, 2022) Phil Rosen, Lawmakers have introduced a bill that would allow the US Treasury to create a digital dollar, Business Insider (March 29, 2022) Gary Guthrie, Legislators introduce E-cash as a way to digitize the American dollar, Consumer Affairs (March 29, 2022) Zach Marzouk, Democrats propose privacy-focused digital dollar, IT Pro (March 29, 2022) Mary Brenda, US House Committee Chair proposes a bill to create ''E-Cash'' digital dollar, Cryptopolitan, Cryptopolitan (March 29, 2022) Lynne Marek, Congress mulls a different digital dollar, Payments Dive (March 29, 2022) Liam Tung, Can digital dollars be as anonymous as cash? It's time to find out, say lawmakers, ZDNet (March 29, 2022) Sam Sutton, Lynch introduces plan for Treasury to issue digital cash, Politico Pro (March 28, 2022) Adi Robertson, A new bill would launch a large-scale test of digital dollars, The Verge (March 28, 2022) Pymnts, House Bill Calls for Creation of Crypto-Less, Privacy-First Dollar, PYMNTS (March 28, 2022) Jeff Benson, Congress Is Discussing a Digital Dollar Pilot. It's Not What You Think, Decrypt (March 28, 2022) Brooks Butler, Members of Congress Introduce "E-Cash" Bill, CryptoBriefing (March 28, 2022) Izabella Kaminska, The CBDC That's Not a CBDC, The Blind Spot (March 28, 2022) Gilad Edelman, The Future of Digital Cash Is Not on the Blockchain, Wired (March 28, 2022) Brendan Rearick, ECASH Bill Sets the Stage for a U.S. Central Bank Crypto, InvestorPlace (March 28, 2022) Paul Amery, US legislators want Treasury, not Fed to run digital dollar, New Money Review (March 28, 2022) Nikhilesh De, US Lawmakers Introduce 'ECASH' Bill in New Push to Create a Digital Dollar, CoinDesk (March 28, 2022) Alex Graf, Rep. Stephen Lynch introduces bill to create Treasury-issued digital currency, S&P Global Market Intelligence (March 28, 2022) William Saas & Max Seijo, The ECASH Act with Rohan Grey, Money on the Left (March 28, 2022) Izabella Kaminska, Will the US Treasury rescue the world from a CBDC panopticon?, The Blind Spot (March 28, 2022) Kollen Post, New bill tasks Treasury, not Fed, with digital dollar issuance, The Block (March 28, 2022) Andrew Singer, US e-cash: Bill proposes digital currency that replicates cash, bypasses the Fed, CoinTelegraph (March 28, 2022) Thomas Claburn, Dems propose privacy-respecting digital dollar, The Register (March 28, 2022) Andrew Ross Sorkin et al, Should Uncle Sam Mint Electronic Cash?, New York Times - Dealbook (March 28, 2022) return to In the Mediareturn to top
Greenpeace Seeks to Change Bitcoin Code - Bitcoin Magazine: Bitcoin News, Articles, Charts, and Guides
Thu, 31 Mar 2022 15:04
Several climate activist groups including Greenpeace and billionaire Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen are launching a campaign to advocate for Bitcoin moving away from Proof-of-Work, a consensus mechanism they argue consumes an unsustainable amount of energy, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.
The ''Change the Code, Not the Climate'' campaign will attempt to lobby institutions in the Bitcoin industry that pledge an environmental, social, and governance (ESG) agenda, buy ads in leading publications and appeal to communities allegedly suffering from bitcoin miners' noisy activities to try and convince investors that Bitcoin could use a different consensus protocol that is supposedly both better for the environment and enables a similar degree of security.
The argument, albeit flawed, is not new.
In January, a cohort of U.S. Representatives put the same suggestion forward in a Congressional hearing on bitcoin mining whereby they received two different but complementary responses as to why such a move away from PoW would defeat Bitcoin's purpose.
John Belizaire, CEO of Soluna Computing and a witness at the January hearing, told Bitcoin Magazine at the time that Bitcoin ''can't take the risk to shift'' to Proof-of-Stake (PoS), a consensus mechanism that ''may actually undermine what has given [Bitcoin] its strength and growth.'' Belizaire added that consensus mechanisms other than PoW ''reintroduce the centralized concept of trust.''
Bitcoin miner Bitfury CEO, the former acting comptroller of the currency and a witness at that hearing, Brian Brooks, explained in his statements then that not only it isn't fitting for policymakers to decide whether Bitcoin represents a ''good'' use of energy but also that the peer-to-peer monetary system can help the development of the renewable energy economy of the United States.
U.S. Representatives and climate activists still display plenty of misconceptions about Bitcoin and its energy use in their arguments. The House had scheduled the hearing after a cohort of national and international climate-related organizations sent Representatives a letter claiming proof of work (PoW) mining could be hazardous to the world's climate in the long run.
However, the letter based its arguments on controversial and faulty research, as highlighted by the Bitcoin Policy Institute (BPI) in a fact-checking note it published on January 13. BPI later published another fact sheet to curb possible misinformation being leveraged by the committee in its assessment of Bitcoin's power usage.
If the ''Change the Code, Not the Climate'' campaign bases itself on truthful research and factual arguments, it is unlikely to succeed. Castle Island Ventures Partner Nic Carter wrote last year that the opinions of those who don't understand Bitcoin should not be taken into consideration in the currency's energy consumption discussion.
Chris Bendiksen, a Bitcoin researcher at CoinShares and according to the Bloomberg report one of the world's leading experts on bitcoin mining, echoed Belizaire's comments and said that moving away from PoW would ''destroy the security of the protocol.''
Moreover, Greenpeace's move might stand in stark contrast to the group's own interests. Alex Gladstein, chief strategy officer at the Human Rights Foundation, tweeted Tuesday about the irony of the climate activist's move.
''Environmental activists face a high threat of frozen bank accounts and deplatforming,'' the tweet reads. ''Greenpeace has literally been targeted this way before and will need censorship-resistant fundraising tech again.''
On a different note, to ''Change the Code, Not the Climate'' requires making a formal code proposal to Bitcoin, not advocating with publication ads, noted the CTO and co-founder of Bitcoin security company Casa, Jameson Lopp, on Twitter.
''Dear @bruneski @chrislarsensf @Greenpeace, I am unable to find your Bitcoin Improvement Proposal submission, nor can I find any discussions initiated by you on the development mailing list,'' the tweet says. ''Please follow the process if you wish to be taken seriously.''
U.S. Congressman Warren Davidson equaled the campaign to an attempt to ban Bitcoin.
''If you don't see an attack on Proof-of-Work as an attack on #BTC, you understand neither,'' he tweeted. ''It's an attack on the fundamental architecture.''
Pro-Bitcoin U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis also shared her thoughts on the campaign.
''This is a disingenuous play for federal regulatory capture,'' she tweeted. ''Don't fall for it. Let 'em compete.''
The European Union has recently flirted with similar measures at the government level. The region's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) touted banning PoW cryptocurrencies altogether earlier this month over claims that the technology could allegedly hurt EU efforts to promote sustainable innovation. The provision, which was part of the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) legislation and sought to force changes on PoW cryptocurrency's mining mechanisms, was dropped and substituted by another section that added bitcoin mining to the EU sustainable finance taxonomy.
In the U.S., New York Assembly's Environmental Conservation Committee voted last week to advance legislation that would impose a ban on bitcoin mining, Bloomberg reported. However, it would still need to pass by the entire Assembly and State Senate and be signed by the Governor to become law, per the report.
According to the Bloomberg report, the campaign believes that about 50 key miners, bitcoin exchanges and core developers have the power to change Bitcoin's code. Similar coordination among key industry players '' including miners '' happened in 2017 to increase Bitcoin's block size, another foundational characteristic of Bitcoin, as transaction fees turned expensive as mainstream interest in Bitcoin skyrocketed. The failed attempt that took place nearly five years ago proved that miners and corporations albeit how powerful cannot force changes on the Bitcoin protocol without the support of nodes and end-users.
''I'd put the chance of Bitcoin ever moving to PoS at exactly 0%,'' Bendiksen said, per the report.
Abandoned rental cars and TSA lines out the door. What's going on at Austin's airport? - Austin MonitorAustin Monitor
Thu, 31 Mar 2022 15:04
Photo by Jason Beville. TSA screening lines were out the door Monday morning at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Jason Beville, a former Austin resident who took this photo, said it was "pretty stressful." He barely made it on his flight.
Tuesday, March 29, 2022 by
Nathan Bernier, KUTWhen Carmen Ortiz arrived at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) on Monday morning, two hours before departure as recommended, the line to get through security stretched down the Barbara Jordan terminal, outside the building and back down the entire length of the terminal.
''I've never had to wait in a security line outside the airport,'' Ortiz said. ''Everyone was showing up at the airport shocked.''
Before the sun had even risen, the wait for TSA screening had stretched to more than 90 minutes, over three times what the Transportation Security Administration considers ''normal.''
Even though the TSA says all its screening lanes were open, including three new lanes added late last year, screeners got slammed with more than 8,252 passengers before 8 a.m., about 1,600 more than normal.
The TSA says it recently brought in extra staff from other airports to help at AUS, but the agency is still struggling to hire enough employees in Austin, even with hiring bonuses of up to $2,000.
(Gabriel C. P(C)rez/KUT) A Delta Air Lines flight departs from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
Monday morning '' already one of the busiest times at the airport '' was made even more hectic yesterday by a rush of people traveling home from three major sporting events over the weekend: The Texas Relays track and field competition at UT Austin, the NASCAR race at Circuit of the Americas and the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club.
The line was so long that Southwest Airlines had already begun rebooking flights for some passengers who still had an hour before their flights boarded. Ortiz changed her departure to later in the morning.
''A lot of people from out of town were asking, 'Is this normal? Is this what the airport is like every time?''' she said on the phone while waiting for her rebooked flight.
It's not normal, but these types of early-morning jumbles are becoming increasingly common at AUS. Airlines are adding flights to and from Austin faster than any other midsized airport in the United States, officials say. That includes Monday afternoon's inaugural flight by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines from Austin to Amsterdam.
A $4 billion airport expansion launched last year to respond to the breakneck growth will take years to roll out.
The clearest indication that these types of bottlenecks will continue comes from airport officials themselves. They expect a record-breaking 20 million passengers this year in a facility built for 15 million.
Those unprecedented crowds are already stress-testing the airport's existing infrastructure in new ways. People trying to drop off their rental cars this morning arrived to a distressing surprise: Lanes leading to the airport's car rental facility were blocked by lines of abandoned rental vehicles.
(Kelly Nagel) Abandoned rental cars on the lanes leading to the airport's rental car facility Monday morning at 6:30 a.m.
''It was like an apocalypse,'' said Jeff Gluck, a sports reporter visiting from Denver for the NASCAR race. ''All the cars were on the road sitting empty.''
As Gluck lingered with his rental car wondering what to do, more people trying to return their vehicles arrived, boxing him in.
According to airport staff, it all started when one rental car stalled on the drop-off curb, stopping the return of vehicles. Staff told customers they could go catch their flights if they just left the keys in the car. That caused a chain reaction as more people facing the possibility of a missed flight saw others leaving their rental vehicles.
''People were honking their horns,'' Gluck said. ''Nobody could move their cars, so I just left my car with everybody else and was just like, 'I just hope they check it in eventually.'''
Gluck barely made his flight back home to Denver. When he touched down, he got an email saying his vehicle had been returned.
Passengers aren't the only ones feeling squeezed. Sometimes, airlines are forced to cope with the undersized airport infrastructure.
With 282 flights scheduled Monday, AUS warned airlines about a possible fuel shortage at the airport. So planes are being advised to ''tanker in'' jet fuel, meaning they should fly with more fuel loaded than they typically would.
The airport can store between one and three days' worth of fuel, depending on how busy it gets. An airport of a similar size would normally have a five- to seven-day supply of fuel, officials say.
Part of the airport's planned multibillion-dollar expansion includes building a new storage facility that could hold up to 6 million gallons of jet fuel. But the plan has faced opposition from nearby residents worried about sleeping fewer than 500 feet from the tank farm.
(Burns & McDonnell/city of Austin) This illustration of the jet fuel tank farm shows two 1.5 million-gallon storage tanks, but the site is being constructed to accommodate up to four such tanks.
City Council Member Vanessa Fuentes, whose district includes the airport, is asking her fellow Council members to force airport staff to choose a new location for the tank farm. Airport officials say the site near McCall Lane is the only one that fits with their long-term expansion plans.
With the airport increasingly strained under the weight of Austin's rapid economic growth, some travelers are still finding ways to navigate the crowds.
Kelly Nagel, a Ph.D. student at Penn State University who's originally from Waco, was among those left with little choice but to abandon their rental cars this morning.
But Nagel says she was able to skip past the ''shocking'' security line out the door by using TSA PreCheck, which offers a separate security line for passengers who undergo fingerprinting and a background check. TSA PreCheck usually costs $85 for five years. She got through in five minutes.
''We walked through and were like, 'That's the best $85 we've ever spent,''' Nagel said. ''We ended up getting really fortunate, but it was still bewildering.''
Posted In: Austin Do you like this story?There are so many important stories we don't get to write. As a nonprofit journalism source, every contributed dollar helps us provide you more coverage. Do your part by donating to the nonprofit that funds the Monitor.
Veep - Wikipedia
Thu, 31 Mar 2022 14:46
2012''2019 American comedy television series
Veep is an American political satire comedy television series that aired on HBO from April 22, 2012, to May 12, 2019.[3] The series was created by Armando Iannucci as an adaptation of his sitcom The Thick of It. The protagonist of Veep is Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), a fictional Vice President of the United States. The series follows Meyer and her team as they attempt to make their mark and leave a legacy but often instead become mired in day-to-day political games.
Veep received critical acclaim and won several major awards, including seven consecutive nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series, winning that award for its fourth, fifth, and sixth seasons. Its second, fourth, and sixth seasons won the Writers Guild of America Award for Television: Comedy Series, and its third season won the Television Critics Association Award for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy.
Louis-Dreyfus' performance won her six consecutive Primetime Emmy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, two Critics' Choice Television Awards, a Television Critics Association Award, and five consecutive Golden Globe nominations. For his portrayal of Selina's personal aide, Gary, Tony Hale received six consecutive Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, winning in 2013 and 2015. Other members of the cast who received Emmy nominations include Anna Chlumsky (six nominations), Gary Cole (one nomination), Matt Walsh (two nominations), Martin Mull (one nomination), Hugh Laurie (one nomination), and Peter MacNicol (one nomination).
Synopsis [ edit ] The series follows the personal life and political career of Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), Vice President and, later, President of the United States. Her party affiliation is never discussed, although it is hinted in the fourth season finale that it is Democratic. Formerly a United States Senator from Maryland, Meyer campaigns for her party's nomination in the 2012 presidential election and is initially the front-runner, but ultimately loses the nomination to Stuart Hughes. Meyer subsequently joins the Hughes ticket as his running mate and is elected Vice President. Her staff as Vice President, upon whom Meyer is almost totally reliant, includes chief of staff Amy Brookheimer (Anna Chlumsky); director of communications Mike McLintock (Matt Walsh); deputy director of communications Dan Egan (Reid Scott); body man Gary Walsh (Tony Hale); and personal secretary Sue Wilson (Sufe Bradshaw). Later additions to her team as president include White House Chief of Staff Ben Cafferty (Kevin Dunn) and political strategist Kent Davison (Gary Cole). Jonah Ryan (Timothy Simons), initially a White House liaison to the Vice President's office and later a New Hampshire congressman, also features prominently.
Meyer frequently finds herself relegated and ignored by Hughes, who is never depicted on-screen at the outset of the series. In the second season, Meyer comes to accrue some power and influence and, by the end of the season, is actively considering challenging Hughes for their party's nomination in the 2016 election. This becomes a moot point when Hughes abruptly resigns and Meyer begins her presidential campaign at the end of the third season. The fourth season finds her adjusting to her new role while continuing her presidential campaign, both of which are undermined by a series of scandals. The election results in a tie between Meyer and challenger Bill O'Brien (Brad Leland), leading to a contingent election in the House of Representatives during the fifth season to decide the next president after a recount in Nevada fails to alter the election's outcome. The House vote ends in a tie; meaning that when the Senate votes to elect the Vice President the winner will be the next president. The Senate vote also ends in a tie; Meyer's disgruntled Vice President Andrew Doyle (Phil Reeves), who did not run for a full term, casts the tiebreaking vote for O'Brien's running mate Laura Montez (Andrea Savage) instead of Meyer's running mate Tom James (Hugh Laurie), leading to Montez becoming president. The sixth season follows Meyer out of office for the first time in the series, as she attempts to ensure her legacy by authoring a memoir, setting up a foundation and attempting to establish a presidential library. At the end of the season, Meyer decides to run for president again. The seventh season sees Meyer attempting to run for president once again in the 2020 election, featuring her former political rivals Ryan and James as major competitors, in addition to introducing the young, likable, and progressive challenger Kemi Talbot (Toks Olagundoye).
The series also explores Meyer's personal life, such as her strained relationships with her daughter Catherine (Sarah Sutherland), ex-husband Andrew (David Pasquesi), and several significant others. The lives, careers, and relationships of the other characters are also explored, frequently intersecting with the series' principal narrative, satirizing the political activities and inner workings of the contemporary U.S. government.
Cast and characters [ edit ] Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer (n(C)e Eaton):[4] Born Selina Catherine Eaton, a former U.S. Senator from Maryland who, in the start of the series, is the titular Vice President, or "Veep", who has a strained relationship with the President. After the President declines to run for a second term, she begins campaigning for the presidency in Season 3. At the end of Season 3, she becomes President when he resigns for personal issues. Due to a complex manipulation of constitutional law, she loses the presidential race in Season 5. After trying to decide what her post-presidential legacy should be during Season 6, she decides to run for another term as President by Season 7. She is divorced with one daughter, but remains romantically entangled with her ex-husband during the first two seasons and the sixth. She seems to display little or no maternal instinct towards her daughter. Louis-Dreyfus has received widespread critical acclaim for her performance, winning a record-breaking six Primetime Emmy Awards[5] and three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and receiving five consecutive Golden Globe nominations.Anna Chlumsky as Amy Brookheimer:[6] the Vice President's Chief of Staff. She credits herself as the Vice President's "trouble-shooter, problem-solver, issue-mediator, doubt-remover, conscience-examiner, thought-thinker and all-round everything-doer". Amy is constantly sacrificing her own reputation to save Selina's political credibility. She is known to be uptight and overly dedicated to her career, unwilling to settle down and have children, much to the dismay of her family. She has romantic history with Dan, and may still have feelings for him. She has a few different boyfriends throughout the series, including a fundraiser for Selina and a Nevada politician. Amy becomes Selina's campaign manager during her presidential run, but resigns as a result of the brief appointment of an equivocating, yet omnipresent, old friend of Selina's to the campaign team. She rejoins the Meyer team when a tie in the general election leads to a statewide recount in Nevada. At the end of season 6 it is revealed that after a one-night stand with Dan, she is pregnant with his child. However, she gets an abortion in Season 7, mainly due to Dan's inability to settle down. In season 7, Amy leaves Selina's team to join Jonah's presidential campaign, becoming his campaign manager and encouraging his unorthodox demeanor and presentation of conspiracy theories as fact. Chlumsky previously portrayed a similar character, Liza Weld, in Iannucci's 2009 film, In the Loop. She received six consecutive Primetime Emmy Award nominations for her performance.Tony Hale as Gary Walsh:[7] Selina's personal aide and body man. A long-term associate and confidant of Selina, Gary is portrayed as incredibly loyal and devoted. Despite his menial job, Gary is actually a graduate of Cornell University, having majored in hotel management. In the fourth and fifth seasons, Gary is portrayed as having issues adapting to Selina's presidency, since he can no longer be as close to her as previously, due to lack of security clearance. When Selina fails to win reelection, he remains on as her personal aide. Hale describes Gary's loyalty to Selina stemming from the idea that the character "is one of those guys who never really had an identity. He attached himself to people to find who he was."[8] Hale received two Primetime Emmy Awards for his performance on the series, with four further nominations.Reid Scott as Dan Egan:[9] the Deputy Director of Communications in the Vice President's Office, Dan is a highly ambitious, cutthroat up-and-comer in D.C. who takes pride in his contacts and networking skills. He has dated the daughters of influential politicians to get ahead in his career. He often butts heads with Amy, whom he previously dated (and it is suggested he may still have feelings for her). He has a brief stint as Selina's campaign manager for her Presidential campaign but is fired from that position after having a nervous breakdown following several crises. He resumes his post in Communications but is fired as a scapegoat amid a data-theft scandal. After briefly working unsuccessfully as a lobbyist and as a CNN analyst, he returns to the campaign staff, as a senior campaign official. When Selina fails to win reelection, Dan goes to work as a lead anchor on CBS This Morning. In Season 7, he joins Selina's new reelection campaign.Timothy Simons as Jonah Ryan:[10] the White House liaison to Vice President Meyer's office, he constantly clashes with most members of the Veep's office, particularly Amy. It is shown that he is disliked by everyone he encounters, even foreign politicians. In the third season, he is temporarily fired from the White House for running a blog disclosing insider information, leading him to create his own news website, Ryantology. In season four, he works again as a liaison, this time between President Meyer and Vice President Doyle. He later works for the Meyer general election campaign, until a New Hampshire congressman dies. He is then drafted to run for that seat in order to secure Meyer's vote in the electoral college. He is elected and becomes a congressman, appointing Richard as his Chief of Staff; as he begins his congressional term, he is diagnosed with testicular cancer and undergoes treatment, entering remission by Season 6. In season 7, Jonah launches a presidential campaign to compete with Selina's for the nomination of their party; while initially a long-shot candidacy, Jonah begins to receive traction following his promotion of numerous conspiracy theories such as supporting the anti-vax movement and alleging that math was created by Muslims and should not be taught in schools, with Amy joining his campaign as his campaign manager. He ultimately becomes Vice President in the second Meyer administration. According to Matt Walsh, Jonah Ryan was originally envisioned by the show's writers as "just a fat, short, heavy smoker", but was changed to his current characterization after Simons auditioned for the role.[11]Matt Walsh as Mike McLintock:[12] the Vice President's Director of Communications. Mike has served as her Communications Director since her tenure as Senator from Maryland. His career dedication is often questionable, to the extent where he pretends to have a pet dog so he can escape from work commitments. The other characters in the show often mock his lack of ambition, suggesting that he's reached the peak of his career. He is often portrayed as lacking the skills required for the job. In the third season, he marries a reporter named Wendy Keegan. In Season 4, Mike becomes the White House Press Secretary. In Season 5, Mike and Wendy attempt to adopt a baby. They ultimately adopt a Chinese toddler, and also have twins via a surrogate. In Season 6, he is employed by Selina to write her biography A Woman First but causes a scandal soon after its publication whereby the true nature of the Meyer Administration was revealed due to him leaving the diary he used for research at the offices of The Washington Post. Walsh received two Primetime Emmy Award nominations for his performance.Sufe Bradshaw as Sue Wilson:[13] the Vice President's personal secretary. A direct and no-nonsense personality, Sue boasts she is the third most important person in the world, as she is the one who arranges for people to see Selina, the second most important person in the world. During a committee inquiry into Selina's office, the chairperson states that Sue "could organize the D-Day landings and still have time for Iwo Jima." Sue becomes the Chief of Scheduling for the White House in Season 4. She remains in that capacity when President Montez is inaugurated. Bradshaw based her character on that of a DMV employee, elaborating that, "DMV workers are strait-laced and go by the book, and they don't have much time because there's so much to do in a day."[14] (seasons 1''5; guest season 7)Kevin Dunn as Ben Cafferty:[15] the White House Chief of Staff, under both the unseen former President and President Meyer. Although he is depressed and a high-functioning alcoholic, he is often very insightful and is treated with respect and even fear throughout Washington. Ben shows little regard for his co-workers or his job, and appears to love his nine-cup coffee thermos more than anything else. Selina refers to him as a "burned-out loser", but he apparently considers her a close friend and resolves to help her become President. Though he was planning on leaving the White House imminently, he agrees to remain with the administration indefinitely. When Selina fails to win reelection, he joins Congressman Ryan's staff with Kent. (Seasons 3''7; recurring season 2)Gary Cole as Kent Davison:[16] the Senior Strategist to the President, under both the unseen former President Hughes and later President Meyer. He is a number-cruncher, and is often referred to as being cold and robotic. His obsession with polling statistics is shown to negatively influence the President's decision-making during several episodes in the second season. Kent is also focused on the public images of Selina and Catherine. It is implied that he and Sue are in some form of ersatz relationship. Although Selina initially dislikes him, she comes to appreciate his useful polling and statistical data, and he becomes a key part of her Presidential administration. When Selina fails to win reelection, he joins Congressman Ryan's staff with Ben. Cole received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for his performance. (seasons 4''7; recurring seasons 2''3)Sam Richardson as Richard Splett: an amiable, if not always completely competent, campaign aide who fills in for Gary during Selina's book tour, later becoming Amy's assistant on Selina's presidential campaign, and then briefly Jonah's personal assistant. Splett is cheerful and often the butt of jokes. In Season 5, Selina promotes Richard after discovering he has a doctorate in electoral law. As part of Richard's promotion, Jonah becomes his assistant. When Jonah is elected to Congress, Richard becomes his Chief of Staff. Richard makes many allusions to his blog, splettnet.net. After losing the presidency, Selina hires him to be her Chief of Staff for the Meyer Fund. During season 6, he becomes the sperm donor for Catherine and Marjorie's baby. Richard begins his own political career in season 7, after being asked to serve as mayor of his small hometown in Iowa. He quickly rises through the ranks, becoming Lieutenant Governor of Iowa after accidentally exposing a corruption scandal that causes the incumbent to resign, and Governor after Jonah accidentally infects the incumbent with a deadly strain of chickenpox. In the season 7 epilogue, Richard is revealed to become a successful two-term president. (seasons 4''7; recurring season 3)[17]Sarah Sutherland as Catherine Meyer: Selina's reserved, put-upon daughter. Catherine is often caught in the middle of Selina's issues, especially with her father. She is shown as generally unable to gain her mother's respect or attention. She tends to have highly liberal views concerning social justice. During the first four seasons, she is a film major at Vassar College. She briefly attracts attention for dating a Persian student. Later, she dates and becomes engaged to a lobbyist her mother dislikes. Selina initiates the demise of their relationship by declaring that they've broken up during an inquiry into her administration. Catherine goes along with the breakup to protect her mother's administration. She is seen in the fifth season filming a documentary based on the unprecedented Electoral-College tie that concludes Selina's presidential run, and she becomes romantically involved with her mother's lookalike bodyguard, Marjorie. In the season 6 finale, she gives birth to son Richard, conceived by artificial insemination, with Richard Splett as the donor. Catherine and Marjorie later marry in season 7, with Selina using their wedding in Norway as a diversion to escape Interpol and return to the United States, much to Catherine's chagrin. She ends her relationship with her mother permanently after Selina promises to end same-sex marriage in order to win the presidency, in which she ultimately is successful. (season 7; recurring seasons 2''6; guest season 1)Clea DuVall as Marjorie Palmiotti: Selina's bodyguard and lookalike. She resigns when she begins a relationship with Catherine. In the season 6 premiere, her relationship with Catherine has progressed rapidly, and they later marry in season 7. After Selina leaves office as president, Marjorie is hired to serve as Director of the Meyer Fund. (season 7; recurring seasons 5''6)Episodes [ edit ] Development [ edit ] Louis-Dreyfus with then-Vice President
Joe Biden at the White House
The Thick of It [ edit ] BBC series [ edit ] Before creating Veep, British satirist Armando Iannucci created the BBC satire comedy The Thick of It, set in a fictional department of the British government. The Thick of It was first broadcast in 2005 and won a number of awards. Iannucci directed a spin-off film, In the Loop, which was released in 2009 and nominated for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
ABC pilot [ edit ] A pilot for an American version of The Thick of It was produced as a candidate for the 2007''08 season on ABC. Also titled The Thick of It, it was developed for American audiences by writers Mitch Hurwitz and Richard Day and followed a low-level member of the United States Congress and his staff. Iannucci had a production credit on the show, but he was not otherwise involved. The pilot was produced by Sony Pictures Television and BBC Worldwide and directed by Christopher Guest.[18]
In the pilot, John Michael Higgins played newly-elected Congressman Albert Alger, and Oliver Platt played committee chairman Malcolm Tucker.[19] Rhea Seehorn portrayed Ollie Tadzio, an ambitious young speechwriter, and Michael McKean played Glen Glahm, "a former campaign operative who's now the Chief of Staff" for the congressman.[20]
ABC did not pick up the show for its fall 2007 schedule.[21] Iannucci distanced himself from the pilot, stating, "It was terrible...they took the idea and chucked out all the style. It was all conventionally shot and there was no improvisation or swearing. It didn't get picked up, thank God."[22]
HBO development of Veep [ edit ] After The Thick of It was dropped by ABC, several networks including HBO, Showtime and NBC expressed interest in adapting the show.[23] Iannucci re-entered talks with HBO (his initial preference) about adapting the series, with the result that a new pilot episode for a series situated in the office of the Vice President of the United States called Veep (a nickname derived from the position's initials "VP") was commissioned in late 2009.[22] Iannucci was given much more creative control over the production,[24] and co-wrote the pilot with British comedy writer Simon Blackwell, who also contributed to the British series The Thick of It.[25]
In April 2011, HBO announced that it had ordered Veep as a series,[25] and later announced in January 2012 that the series would premiere on April 22, 2012.[3]
Production [ edit ] Directors for Season 1 included Armando Iannucci, Tristram Shapeero and Chris Morris. Veep is executive produced by Iannucci, Christopher Godsick and Frank Rich. Co-executive producers are Simon Blackwell, Tony Roche, with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Stephanie Laing as producers. The series' first four seasons featured an entirely British writing staff, including Iannucci, Blackwell, Roche, Sean Gray, Will Smith, Roger Drew, Ian Martin, Andy Riley, Kevin Cecil, David Quantick, Georgia Pritchett and Jesse Armstrong, among others,[26][27] many of whom had previously worked with Iannucci on The Thick of It.
Series creator Armando Iannucci departed as showrunner following the fourth season's end of production. Iannucci stated that his continuing busy schedule, as well as the challenge of maintaining his family life while switching between Baltimore and London, would not allow him to "[dedicate] one hundred percent" as head of the show, and he had chosen to "fire" himself as a result. David Mandel took over as showrunner for future episodes, becoming Veep's first American writer. Mandel retained a small number of Ianucci's writing staff, as well as Chris Addison as director and supervising producer, whilst also bringing in his own staff, and American writers.[28][29][30]
Filming [ edit ] The pilot episode was filmed in February 2011 in Maryland,[32] and filming for the series began in October 2011 in Baltimore,[33] after several months of rehearsal designed to get the actors comfortable improvising with one another.[34] For its first season, Veep reportedly hired 978 local Maryland residents, generating $40 million for the state, according to the Maryland Film Office.[35][36] Season 2 production began shooting in November 2012, continuing to film in Baltimore and other areas of Maryland. Veep primarily filmed on a sound stage constructed from a Columbia, Maryland industrial warehouse, where replicas of places such as the Eisenhower Executive Office Building and West Wing were also built.[37][38][39] The show continued filming in Maryland for its third and fourth seasons, as a bill was approved by state lawmakers in April 2013 that increased tax credits for film and TV productions in the state.[36][40][41] Later filming locations included Annapolis and the Physical Sciences Complex in the University of Maryland, College Park campus.[42][43][44]
Principal photography moved from Baltimore to Los Angeles in the show's fifth season after being one of a few series to be awarded tax incentives from the California Film Commission, as part of an expanded $330 million California Film Tax Credit program signed by Governor Jerry Brown in 2014.[45][46][47] Filming took place for part of the show's fifth season in Washington, D.C., from February 25, 2016, to March 3, 2016. As a result of HBO's Community Impact program, a select number of local D.C. residents also worked on the production during the eight-day film shoot in the area.[48] Areas in D.C. where production was reportedly found filming include the Superior Court, the Spring Valley neighborhood (where Julia Louis-Dreyfus once lived), and Dupont Circle's Kramerbooks independent bookstore.[50][51] The seventh and final season wrapped filming in December 2018.[52]
Reception [ edit ] Season 1 [ edit ] The first season of Veep received generally positive reviews from television critics. Review aggregator site Metacritic gave the season a score of 72 out of 100 based on reviews from 30 critics.[53] The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 78% approval rating with an average rating of 7.22/10 based on 46 reviews. The site's consensus reads, "The jokes are funny and Julia Louis-Dreyfus is great in the lead, but Veep is still working to find its voice."[60] Hank Stuever of The Washington Post praised the series, writing, "Thanks to Louis-Dreyfus, and the show's remarkable knack for dialogue and timing, Veep is instantly engaging and outrageously fun."[61] Rob Brunner of Entertainment Weekly gave the season a positive review: "Charmingly goofy as ever, Louis-Dreyfus isn't quite believable as a Vice President '' even a sitcom VP whose lack of gravitas is the show's central joke. But she's still a joy to watch, especially when she shows off that famous gift for physical comedy."[62] Maureen Ryan of The Huffington Post gave the show a lukewarm review, writing, "Despite the clear talents of the assembled cast, Veep merely reinforces what most people already think and revisits territory many other politically-oriented movies and TV shows have thoroughly covered."[63] Brian Lowry of Variety gave the show a negative review and said a "show about an always-second office becomes second-tier TV."[64]
Season 2 [ edit ] The second season received acclaim from critics. It averaged a Metacritic score of 75 out of 100 based on reviews from 10 critics.[54] On Rotten Tomatoes, it received an 92% approval rating with an average score of 8.59/10 based on 24 reviews. The site's consensus reads, "In Veep ' s second season, the satire is sharper, the insights are deeper, the tone is more consistent, and the result is a comedy of unexpected heft."[65] David Hiltbrand of The Philadelphia Inquirer praised the series saying, "HBO's Veep is the sharpest Beltway satire the medium has ever seen, mostly because it focuses not on the power wielded by politicians, but on their desperate venality".[66] Bruce Miller of Sioux City Journal also praised the show, writing: "The show is smart'--smarter than most on network television'--and it has life."[67]
Season 3 [ edit ] The third season received acclaim from critics. It received a Metacritic score of 86 out of 100 based on 10 reviews.[55] It scored a 100% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 8.64/10 based on 26 reviews. The site's consensus reads, "Veep continues its winning streak with a mix of smart comedy, bright performances and a refreshing approach to D.C. politics."[68] Matt Roush of TV Guide praised the show, and in a joint review of Veep and Silicon Valley wrote: "[Silicon Valley is] paired with the third season of the savagely hilarious Veep; this combo promises to be HBO's most robust and certainly most entertaining comedy hour in years."[69] Brandon Nowalk of The A.V. Club wrote the show "has become the clearest heir to 30 Rock and Arrested Development, and specific bits throughout the season recall both series."[70] Tim Molloy of TheWrap praised the cast saying, "The show works because all of its actors seem so human, so likable, despite the words coming from their mouths."[71]
Season 4 [ edit ] The fourth season received acclaim from critics. It received a Metacritic score of 90 out of 100 based on 11 reviews.[56] As with the previous season, Veep scored a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 25 reviews, with an average rating of 9.12/10. The site's consensus reads, "Veep shows no signs of slowing down in its fourth season, thanks to sharp, funny, rapid-fire dialogue between POTUS and her hilariously incompetent staff."[72] Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "Veep enters its fourth season, firmly established as one of television's best comedies, and then immediately does what seems impossible'--it delivers its most thoroughly assured, hilarious and brilliantly written and acted episodes."[73] Ben Travers of Indiewire wrote, "Veep is incomparable in comedy" and that "the HBO comedy has crafted a style so unique the series itself is entirely its own beast."[74]
Season 5 [ edit ] The fifth season received acclaim from critics. It received a Metacritic score of 88 out of 100 based on 18 reviews.[57] The season scored a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 36 reviews, with an average rating of 8.66/10. The site's consensus reads, "Thanks to the spot-on comedic prowess of Julia Louis-Dreyfus and company Veep is back with as many laughs and expletive-filled absurdities as ever."[75] Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter wrote that "Veep doesn't just feel like it's firing on all cylinders, it feels invigorated and out to prove something",[76] while Kevin Sullivan of Entertainment Weekly wrote that "in the switch to new showrunner David Mandel, the state of Veep is strong".[77]
Season 6 [ edit ] The sixth season received critical acclaim. On Metacritic, it has a score of 88 out of 100 based on 15 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[58] It has a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 36 reviews with an average score of 8.17/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "A move from the White House hasn't dulled Veep ' s razor-sharp satirical edge, thanks to Julia Louis-Dreyfus and her castmates' deft comic chemistry."[78]
Season 7 [ edit ] The seventh season received critical acclaim. On Metacritic, it has a score of 87 out of 100 based on 20 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[59] It has a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 59 reviews with an average score of 8.94/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Brash and bonkers as ever, Veep bows out with an unapologetically absurd final season that solidifies its status as one of TV's greatest comedies."[79]
Awards and honors [ edit ] Through its seven seasons, Veep has received critical acclaim and won several major awards, including seventeen Primetime Emmy Awards, two Critics' Choice Television Awards, a Peabody Award, four Screen Actors Guild Awards, two Television Critics Association Awards, three Directors Guild of America Awards and three Writers Guild of America Awards.
Home media [ edit ] SeasonRelease datesBonus featuresRegion 1Region 2Region 4Region ARegion B1March 26, 2013June 3, 2013April 3, 2013March 26, 2013June 3, 2013"The Making of Veep", "Veep: Misspoke", "Veep: Obesity", deleted scenes and outtakes, 12 audio commentaries with cast and crew[80]2March 25, 2014June 2, 2014May 28, 2014March 25, 2014June 2, 2014Deleted scenes, 4 audio commentaries with cast and crew[81]3March 31, 2015March 30, 2015April 1, 2015March 31, 2015March 30, 2015Deleted scenes, 4 audio commentaries with cast and crew, "Governor's Visit"[82]4April 19, 2016April 18, 2016April 20, 2016April 19, 2016April 18, 2016Deleted scenes[83]5April 11, 2017April 10, 2017April 12, 2017April 11, 2017April 10, 2017Deleted scenes; audio commentaries[84]6September 12, 2017September 11, 2017September 13, 2017September 12, 2017September 11, 20177 audio commentaries[85]7January 14, 2020January 13, 2020January 15, 2020January 14, 2020January 13, 2020"Character Retrospectives", "Inside the Final Season", 8 audio commentaries[86]Notes [ edit ] ^ a b c This amount represents the total qualified expenditures for the California Film & Television Tax Credit and excludes other non-qualifying costs. 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Retrieved January 7, 2021 . External links [ edit ] Wikiquote has quotations related to: Veep Official website Veep at IMDb
A new bill would launch a large-scale test of digital dollars - The Verge
Thu, 31 Mar 2022 14:46
2A US lawmaker has proposed a large-scale trial of government-backed digital cash. The Electronic Currency and Secure Hardware (ECASH) Act, introduced by Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA), would direct the Secretary of the Treasury to publicly test an ''electronic version'' of the US dollar. While the bill's odds of passing likely remain low, it demonstrates governments' increasing interest in launching alternatives to cryptocurrency.
The ECASH Act would require the Secretary of the Treasury to establish a program called the Electronic Currency Innovation Program (ECIP). ECIP would oversee a series of pilot programs for what the bill dubs ''e-cash'': Treasury Department-issued legal tender that can be used without private intermediaries like banks or credit card companies. The Treasury would initiate the pilot within 90 days of the bill's passage and deploy e-cash to the public within four years.
The bill asks for ''general deployment'' of e-cash within four years
While ''digital dollars'' are often conflated with blockchain-based cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, the ECASH Act appears to discourage using that technology. E-cash is supposed to have ''minimal transactional data-generating properties'' '-- a tall order for cryptocurrency systems that publicly log transactions '-- and it's supposed to allow for peer-to-peer transfers that aren't validated through a ''common or distributed ledger.'' Transfers also couldn't require additional validation by a central government system or payment processing company, although they would need to work with existing institutions like banks. The idea is to mimic cash's high level of privacy, its ease of use, and its lack of fees or processing hurdles '-- but subtract the physical bills.
Lynch's bill, which is co-sponsored by Jesºs ''Chuy'' Garc­a (D-IL), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Alma Adams (D-NC), would require at least three early proof-of-concept tests that run within 180 days of passage. They'd be potentially conducted in partnership with universities or existing financial institutions, and they'd be designed to experiment with different technologies. At least one test would need to involve a physical card that can store the cash, while another would need to involve storing funds on a cellphone or SIM card. Those early tests would be followed by a limited public trial and ''general deployment'' within 48 months.
E-cash wouldn't replace a Federal Reserve plan for a digital dollar
Lynch's bill builds on widespread existing interest in a US ''digital dollar.'' The Federal Reserve released a preliminary report on digital currency earlier this year, suggesting it could benefit Americans who aren't served by the current banking system. More recently, the Biden administration included a central bank digital currency (CBDC) as an action item in its cryptocurrency executive order. Many governments outside the US were already exploring digital currencies. Among other initiatives, the European Commission plans to propose a ''digital euro'' in 2023, and China launched a ''digital yuan'' pilot program in January.
The bill specifies that e-cash is distinct from CBDCs and wouldn't supplant a potential Federal Reserve program. As CoinTelegraph lays out, there's no central or distributed ledger that keeps track of transactions. This preserves anonymity, but it also means users' digital cash would be lost if the device or card holding it goes missing. It would build on existing Treasury cash replacement systems like EagleCash, a digital money storage card for members of the military.
The goal is to ''complement and advance'' other Biden administration programs while getting a simple digital currency system in Americans' phones and wallets. ''Cash remains our strongest tool to promote financial inclusion while preserving privacy and security,'' said Rep. Garc­a in a statement. ''New digital tools should emulate it '-- not replace it.''
Biden Administration Proposes Repeal of Tax Preferences for Oil and Gas Industry | Weaver | Assurance, Tax & Advisory Firm
Thu, 31 Mar 2022 14:11
The Biden administration has proposed to repeal a number of tax provisions that encourage direct investment in oil and gas properties as a way to offset the costs of extending and expanding clean energy tax provisions. The administration has proposed to repeal 13 oil and gas tax incentives as well as several general tax provisions that affect oil and gas investors. The Biden administration issued the proposals as part of its recently released Green Book, which explains the administration's corporate and individual tax proposals for its fiscal year 2022 budget.
Most proposals will be effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2021.
Repeal Intangible Drilling Costs The Biden administration proposes to repeal the option to expense, rather than capitalize, intangible drilling costs (IDCs), which include expenditures made for drilling and preparing domestic wells for oil and natural gas production that cannot be recovered. The deduction of IDCs is one of the largest tax incentives for oil companies, as IDCs are estimated to be about 60-80 percent of the cost of a well.
Repeal Percentage Depletion for Oil and Gas Wells The administration also proposes to repeal the allowance to use the percentage depletion method to recover the capital costs of oil and natural gas wells. Oil and gas investors are currently allowed to use the greater of cost depletion or percentage depletion. Percentage depletion is computed without regard to the taxpayer's basis in the depletable property, allowing a company to continue to claim percentage depletion after all the expenditures incurred to acquire and develop the property have been recovered.
Eliminate Oil and Gas Exception to the Passive Loss Limitations The third major oil and gas tax proposals is to repeal the exception to passive loss limitation rules for oil and gas investors that hold the working interest in an entity that does not limit the taxpayer's liability with respect to the interest. This exception currently allows investors to use passive losses from working interests to offset wages and active income.
Subject Foreign ''Extraction Income'' to GILTI The international tax proposals in the Green Book include a proposal to repeal the exemption of foreign oil and gas extraction income from the U.S. global intangible low-taxed income (GILTI).
Tax Capital Gains at Ordinary Income Rates The Biden administration has also proposed to tax long-term capital gains and qualified dividend income at ordinary rates, rather than at lower capital gains rates, for individuals with an adjusted gross income of more than $1 million. The administration also proposed that the rate increase would apply to ''gains required to be recognized after the date of announcement,'' which is April 28, 2021, the date when President Biden introduced the American Families Plan.
Subject Pass-Through Income to the 3.8% NIIT or Self-Employment Tax The administration proposes to subject all pass-through business income of high-income taxpayers to either the 3.8 percent net investment income tax (NIIT) or self-employment tax. Taxpayers with adjusted gross income in excess of $400,000 would be subject to the NIIT on the gross income and gain from any trades or businesses that is not otherwise subject to employment taxes. Limited partners and LLC members who provide services and materially participate in their partnerships and LLCs, and S corporation owners who materially participate in the trade or business, would be subject to self-employment tax on their distributive shares of income above certain threshold amounts.
Tax Carried Interest as Ordinary Income and Subject it to Self-Employment Tax The administration would also tax a partner's share of carried interest income in an investment partnership as ordinary income. This would apply to partner's with taxable income from all sources of more than $400,000, and partners in such investment partnerships would also have to pay self-employment taxes on the income.
Proposed Repeal of 13 Oil and Gas Tax Incentives The Biden administration has proposed to repeal the following:
The enhanced oil recovery credit; The credit for oil and natural gas produced from marginal wells; Expensing of intangible drilling costs; The deduction of costs paid or incurred for any tertiary injectant used as part of tertiary recovery method; The exception to passive loss limitations provided to working interests in oil and natural gas properties; The use of percentage depletion with respect to oil and natural gas wells; The two-year amortization of independent producers' geological and geophysical expenditures; The expensing of exploration and development costs; The percentage depletion for hard mineral fossil fuels; Capital gains treatment for coal or lignite royalties; The exemption from the corporate income tax for fossil fuel publicly traded partnerships; The oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (OSTLF) excise tax exemption for crude oil derived from bitumen and kerogen-rich rock; and The amortization of Air Pollution Control Facilities. The repeal of any oil and gas tax incentives will likely be part of broader tax legislation that may take months to negotiate. Weaver will monitor these negotiations and report on developments as they arise. Please contact us with any questions about how these tax provisions may affect your business.
(C) 2021
Bird flu Wisconsin 2022: Crews dispose of flu-stricken chickens from Cold Spring Egg Farm in Jefferson County, Wisconsin - ABC7 Chicago
Thu, 31 Mar 2022 13:21
DES MOINES, Iowa -- A mass chicken disposal is underway at an egg farm in Jefferson County, Wisconsin.
Crews loaded wheelbarrows full of dead chickens into dump trucks to be taken off-site from the Cold Spring Egg Farm.
State and federal officials are trying to contain an outbreak of highly contagious bird flu on the farm.
RELATED: Bird flu: Nearly 12.6M chickens, turkeys in at least 8 states killed or will be destroyed soonNearly three-million chickens are being destroyed.
The dead birds are being taken to a field -- owned by the same farm -- eight miles away to be composted.
The state says composting is the most efficient and environmentally responsible method of disposal.
SEE ALSO | Bird flu confirmed in backyard flock in central Illinois; similar infections reported across USThe bird flu is of low risk to humans, but a high risk to the poultry industry.
A 2015 outbreak caused more than $650 billion in losses.
Austin Airport Warns It May Run Out Of Jet Fuel | ZeroHedge
Thu, 31 Mar 2022 12:50
We recently warned that Europe is about to be hit with an unprecedented shortage of diesel, as gas stations run dry of the vital liquid (according to the CEOs of the world's largest independent energy merchants), but little did we know that the first actual crisis would hit in America's own back yard and not just anywhere but the state synonymous with commodity extraction: on Monday, airport officials in Austin, Texas warned of an impending jet-fuel shortage amid a surge in travel to and from the state's capital city.
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, which is ranked No. 29 in the U.S. based on 2021 passenger traffic, issued a fuel-shortage alert on Monday and urged airlines to carry extra fuel or send in more supplies via tankers, said Sam Haynes, a spokesperson.
With 282 flights scheduled for today & 1,600 + more passengers flying out before 8 a.m. than we typically see, it's a busy day at AUS.While operations have returned to normal, we continue to ask passengers to arrive a minimum of 2 hours in advance now through early April. pic.twitter.com/5olg6JTaR0
'-- Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) (@AUStinAirport) March 28, 2022''The on-hand supply just isn't enough to keep up with demand,'' she said. ''This is all a result of the tremendous growth we've seen'' in the Austin area.
Haynes also said that the airport's two fuel-storage tanks haven't been expanded or augmented since it opened in 1999, and as a result, the Austin facility typically holds just one to two days of supply, less than half the five-to-seven days of fuel stockpiled by most airports of similar size, she said.
''We're aware of fuel quantity issues at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and we are working to mitigate potential operational issues by tankering fuel on some inbound flights,'' said Dan Landson, a spokesman for Southwest Airlines Inc., the airport's largest carrier by passenger load.
The silver lining is that so far, no flights have been canceled or diverted as a result of the fuel situation. Meanwhile, the demand for jet fuel is soaring with the airport seeing more than 8,000 passengers before 8 a.m. on both Sunday and Monday, which is about 25% above normal, as citizens of bicoastal liberal utopias just can't wait to get the hell out.
The crush of passengers was so dramatic that security lines stretched outside and onto sidewalks, and long waits meant many missed their flights, the Austin American-Statesman newspaper reported.
For now, the imminent fuel shortage hasn't translated into actual groundings: according to Bloonberg, American Airlines' flight schedule has not been affected by the shortage, a spokesperson said. The supply squeeze wasn't expected to impact Air France-KLM's inaugural non-stop flight to Amsterdam scheduled for Monday afternoon, Haynes said.
We expect that to change; we also expect that very soon many other airports around the country will suffer similar shortages as the US is hit with the worst supply chain crisis in modern history.
Leadership | World Government Summit
Thu, 31 Mar 2022 12:31
Governments that place the wellbeing of the people at the heart of their efforts to achieve progressive development and contribute to the journey of human advancement. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum established the World Government Summit in 2013 to serve as a global knowledge exchange program for governments. The Summit endeavours to usher thought leaders - policymakers, businesses and civil society - into the future by showcasing cutting-edge government innovation and service excellence.
Protests as Sri Lanka Runs out of Fuel, Food, Medicine
Thu, 31 Mar 2022 11:55
Anti-government protests have been ''widespread'' across Sri Lanka for the past month due to the island nation's worsening financial crisis, which has seen Sri Lankans go without sufficient food, fuel, and medicine for weeks, India's the Week magazine reported this week for its April 3 issue.
Protests against the administration of Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa took place on March 7 in Sri Lanka's administrative capital of Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte. The Week sent a reporter to the city to witness the protests and interview participants of the demonstrations.
Detailing the event, the magazine wrote:
[Dilanta] Weerasekara recently went to Sri Lanka's administrative capital, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, to take part in a protest against the Gotabaya Rajapaksa government. ''It took place on March 6 and 7. I went there both days,'' he said. ''It will at least show our problems to those who live in luxury bungalows.''
On March 7, people in the capital were seen holding placards saying, ''Enough of corruption'', ''Gotabaya go home'' and ''Why have you made us beggars?'' Udhitha Deshapriya, a civil engineer, said Sri Lankans had been suffering for a long time. ''There has to be a solution. I am here to register my protest,'' he said. Rajitha Gunasekara, a banker who lost his job recently, said the incumbent government should go. ''Do we actually need a government that makes us live like beggars?'' he asked.
Sky News also reported on March 29 that Sri Lanka's economic crisis ''has sparked protests across the country.''
''Since the beginning of March, the Sri Lankan rupee has fallen by almost 45% against the US dollar and its foreign exchange reserves have fallen to crisis levels,'' the British news outlet observed.
People queue to buy diesel at a Ceylon Petroleum Corporation fuel station in Colombo on March 29, 2022. (ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP via Getty)
Sri Lanka's financial woes center upon a shortage of foreign currency. The tropical island nation of Sri Lanka, located off the southernmost tip of the Indian subcontinent, has traditionally relied almost entirely upon its tourism sector and remittances by Sri Lankan laborers abroad to fuel its import-dependent economy. The Chinese coronavirus pandemic has all but decimated the amount of foreign currency entering Sri Lanka over the past two years and left Sri Lankan traders unable to pay for imports.
Sri Lanka's nearly total dependency on imports means the island has suffered from extreme levels of essential good shortages over the past month as the nation essentially ran out of foreign currency reserves.
''In February, essential food inflation rose by 25% and overall inflation is close to 18%, while people have been forced to queue for hours to buy fuel, amid rocketing prices,'' Sky News reported on Tuesday.
''Since the beginning of March, the Sri Lankan rupee has fallen by almost 45% against the US dollar and its foreign exchange reserves have fallen to crisis levels,'' according to the news site.
Federation of Sinhala Organization activists protest against rising living costs outside the Central Bank of Sri Lanka front office in Colombo on March 30, 2022. (ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP via Getty Images)
''People in many parts of the country had to wait in queues [on March 28] to purchase essential food items provided at concessionary prices by the Sathosa,'' the Sri Lankan news website News 1st reported on March 29. Sathosa is a Sri Lankan state-owned retail business.
''People in Chunnakam, Jaffna had been waiting in line for hours on Monday (28) to get the relevant essential items,'' according to the news outlet.
News 1st further revealed that Sri Lankans nationwide had their power supplies cut off for as long as seven hours at a time on March 29 due to the state's need to ration energy during its financial crisis.
Sri Lanka's fuel shortages, which made international headlines last week for allegedly causing some frustrated Sri Lankans to attack and even murder each other, continued on March 29 according to News 1st.
''People gathered at the Polwatta Stadium in Ambalangoda on Tuesday (29) morning to obtain gas,'' the news website relayed.
Sri Lanka's Peradeniya Teaching Hospital was forced to order a temporary suspension of all non-emergency surgeries from March 28 to March 29 to conserve its dwindling supply of medicines.
COVID.gov - Find COVID-19 guidance for your community
Thu, 31 Mar 2022 11:55
COVID-19 Community LevelCDC recommended steps you can take to protect yourself and others:
Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines. Get tested if you have symptoms. People with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask. Additional precautions may be needed for people at high risk for severe illness.
Why is the Community Level ?The Community Level is because the levels of COVID-19 hospitalizations, cases, and patients in hospital beds are . Learn more about COVID-19 Community Levels
Scoop: FEC fines DNC and Clinton for Trump dossier hoax | Washington Examiner
Thu, 31 Mar 2022 11:51
| March 30, 2022 11:27 AM
The Federal Election Commission has fined the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign for lying about the funding of the infamous, and discredited, Russian ''dossier'' used in a smear attempt against Donald Trump weeks before he shocked the world with his 2016 presidential victory.
The election agency said that Clinton and the DNC violated strict rules on describing expenditures of payments funneled to the opposition research firm Fusion GPS through their law firm.
A combined $1,024,407.97 was paid by the treasurers of the DNC and Clinton campaign to law firm Perkins Coie for Fusion GPS's information, and the party and campaign hid the reason, claiming it was for legal services, not opposition research.
Instead, the DNC's $849,407.97 and the Clinton campaign's $175,000 covered Fusion GPS's opposition research on the dossier, a basis for the so-called ''Russia hoax'' that dogged Trump's first term.
The memo said that the Clinton campaign and DNC argued that they were correct in describing their payment as for ''legal advice and services'' because it was Perkins Coie that hired Fusion GPS. But the agency said the law is clear and was violated.
It added that neither the campaign nor the party conceded to lying but won't contest the finding. ''Solely for the purpose of settling this matter expeditiously and to avoid further legal costs, respondent[s] does not concede, but will not further contest the commission's finding of probable cause to proceed'' with the probe, said the FEC.
The FEC, in a memo to the Coolidge Reagan Foundation, which filed its complaint over three years ago, said it fined Clinton's treasurer $8,000 and the DNC's treasurer $105,000.
The memo, shared with Secrets, is to be made public in a month.
Dan Backer, who brought the complaint on behalf of the foundation, which focuses on free speech and the First Amendment, told Secrets, ''This may well be the first time that Hillary Clinton '-- one of the most evidently corrupt politicians in American history '-- has actually been held legally accountable, and I'm proud to have forced the FEC to do their job for once. The Coolidge Reagan Foundation proved that with pluck and grit, Americans who stand with integrity can stand up to the Clinton machine and other corrupt political elites.''
Clinton has in the past defended her campaign's spending for the information and the work of her campaign lawyer, Marc Elias, with Fusion GPS, which compiled the dossier and hired former British spy Christopher Steele to dig further on Trump.
Trump has assailed the dossier as full of lies, and the FBI has called it fake, but only after the damage settled in on the president.
Republicans have continued to press for charges against Clinton.
Backer, with Washington's Chalmers & Adams law firm, held out hope for further action against the former first lady. He said, ''Hillary Clinton and her cronies willfully engaged in the greatest political fraud in history '-- destroying our nation's faith in the electoral process, and it's high time they were held accountable. I hope this is only the beginning.''
CAUGHT: NIH Deleted COVID Sequencing from Database, New FOIA Documents Reveal
Thu, 31 Mar 2022 11:47
Remember when COVID-19 was first discovered?
Dr. Fauci and others in the government kept trying to tell us that this was a natural disease.
They insisted time and time again that this was not a man-made virus or the result of a ''lab leak.''
Instead, they assured us that this was a natural virus from Wuhan, China.
Well, newly revealed emails and documents prove that COVID data, including the genetic sequencing, was DELETED off of their databases.
They have now been caught, thanks to a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request that requires the requested documents to be made public.
In other words, the NIH deleted the original sequencing of COVID-19 from their database.
So Empower Oversight, a non-partisan government watchdog, filed a FOIA request.
What came back is stunning.
Newly released emails are included.
You have to read and see it to believe it.
But first, we want to refresh your memory: remember when Dr. Fauci claimed that COVID-19 originated naturally?
Watch below:
Sen. Roger Marshall:"Will you commit today to release all records, fully unredacted, by the end of this week, so Congress and the American people can know the truth about NIH's role in the origins of COVID-19?"
Fauci: * proceeds to throw a fit * pic.twitter.com/AfjzEEFRfg
'-- TheBlaze (@theblaze) January 12, 2022
Mark Zuckerberg and Dr. Fauci worked together to suppress information on the origins of COVID-19. It's blatant dishonesty, and it was an abuse of Fauci's position. pic.twitter.com/uhcMFtcnUx
'-- Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) June 7, 2021
Today on Just The News AM with Sophie Mann: Judicial Watch's Tom Fitton discusses how his organization has uncovered HHS documents that lead him to believe Dr. Anthony Fauci was involved in covering up the origins of the COVID-19 virus. pic.twitter.com/mOCircNPl1
'-- John Solomon (@jsolomonReports) June 8, 2021
Well, now we know the truth.
Troves of data, specifically the genetic sequencing of COVID-19 were deleted from their databases.
Why?
If there's nothing to hide, then what's wrong with being transparent and open to the public?
Uncover DC has more details on what's going on:
An eye-opening 238 pages of just-released documents from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) disclose that in June 2020'--at the request of researchers at China's Wuhan University'--the NIH deleted information about COVID-19 genetic sequencing. The tranche of emails, obtained by the non-partisan group Empower Oversight following a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, reveal the frenzy of activity at the NIH following the deletions and show that an expert advised then NIH Director Francis Collins and Dr. Anthony Fauci that the coronavirus driving the global pandemic originated outside of the Wuhan food market as asserted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Requested last summer, the documents obtained by Empower Oversight highlight the circumstances surrounding the significant deletions by the NIH and are in stark contrast to the agency's ''best practices of scientific openness and collaboration.''
Introduction to the Deleted NIH Coronavirus SequencesThe deletions from the NIH's Sequence Read Archive (SRA) were first underscored in a June 22, 2021, published preprint by Jesse Bloom, a virologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Bloom had discovered that public access to the sequence had been removed. He contacted the NIH in June 2021 to discuss his findings, explaining in an email that the gene sequences may help understand how the pandemic began. As the NIH remained silent, Bloom's subsequent preprint that same month prompted several media reports and letters from U.S. Senators. The first paragraph of Bloom's research paper, titled ''Recovery of deleted deep sequencing data shed more light on the early Wuhan SARS-CoV-2 epidemic,'' states:
''The origin and early spread of SARS-CoV-2 remains shrouded in mystery. Here I identify a data set containing SARS-CoV-2 sequences from early in the Wuhan epidemic that has been deleted from the NIH's Sequence Read Archive. I recover the deleted files from the Google Cloud, and reconstruct partial sequences of 13 early epidemic viruses. Phylogenetic analysis of these sequences in the context of carefully annotated existing data suggests that the Huanan Seafood Market sequences that are the focus of the joint WHO-China report are not fully representative of the viruses in Wuhan early in the epidemic. Instead, the progenitor of known SARS-CoV-2 sequences likely contained three mutations relative to the market viruses that made it more similar to SARS-CoV-2's bat coronavirus relatives.''
On July 14, 2021, following Bloom's article, Empower Oversight filed a FOIA request with the NIH, seeking transparency about controversial deletions from the SRA ''within the next 20 days.'' With open, global cooperation as the intended goal, the agency operates the database as part of its participation in the International Nucleotide Sequence Database Collaboration (INSDC) to ''capture, organize, preserve and present nucleotide sequence data as part of the open scientific record.'' Echoing this objective, a statement released by INSDC on SARS-CoV-2 sequence data sharing during the pandemic reinforced the need for mutual effort and transparency. The group asserted, ''The global COVID-19 crisis has brought an urgent need for the rapid open sharing of data related to the outbreak.''
Undoubtedly, the global pandemic set the stage for the mandatory requirement of transparency. Frustrated, after four months and no response from the NIH to its FOIA request, on Nov. 17, 2021, Empower Oversight filed a lawsuit (with an amended complaint) against the agency to force its compliance with the FOIA and obtain the requested documents. Commenting on the 238-page batch of emails finally received, Empower Oversight notes that NIH's FOIA staff has made significant errors when searching for relevant records and reviewing records for FOIA exemptions, resulting in erroneously redacted content. Nonetheless, the documents shared by the NIH thus far contain crucial new information.
Folks, the government is supposed to avoid conflicts of interest or even avoid the perception of a conflict of interest.
The same is generally supposed to be true when it comes to cover-ups.
So why was the NIH caught red-handed deleting genetic sequencing in regards to COVID-19?
Shouldn't they have wanted the sequence to be public?
After all, if this truly was a natural disease, wouldn't you want as many scientists as possible to look at it to come up with a cure?
In a new study, I identify and recover a deleted set of #SARSCoV2 sequences that provide additional information about viruses from the early Wuhan outbreak: https://t.co/1zdeiOQ0vo (1/n)
'-- Bloom Lab (@jbloom_lab) June 22, 2021
National Institutes of Health deleted COVID info at Wuhan researcher's request, emails show https://t.co/zYlvNVH61XNIH directed reporters away from NY Times article to more "even-keeled" WaPo piece. pic.twitter.com/Rt7Acwepf7
'-- Paul D. Thacker (@thackerpd) March 29, 2022
More #FOIA requests reveal 239 more documents showing #NIH deleted sequences for #WIV. https://t.co/2K9ybPEvHL
'-- Dr. Lynn Fynn (Fan Account) (@fynn_fan) March 29, 2022
Right now, we have what appears to be hard evidence that there was a major cover-up.
So where is the media?
Where is the Democrat party?
Think about it: when it came to President Trump, all we had were anonymous sources without any proof.
Yet, despite the lack of proof and the fact that accusations against Trump only came from anonymous sources, the left engaged in endless witch hunts and impeachment attempts.
But now, we have actual evidence that a cover up may have taken place.
And all we hear is silence from the left.
Their silence is defeaning.
The Epoch Times confirms these stunning new emails:
National Institutes of Health (NIH) documents obtained by a nonprofit watchdog in a federal court suit reveal that the agency deleted CCP virus genetic sequencing information from the Wuhan Institute of Virology at the Chinese lab's request.
The Arlington, Virginia-based Empower Oversight Whistleblowers and Researchers (EO) obtained, as a result of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and lawsuit, more than 230 pages of documents dating from 2020 that include emails, memoranda, and other correspondence among and between the lab and multiple NIH officials.
The CCP virus, also known as the novel coronavirus, was first detected in China in late 2019, before it spread worldwide. Since the first death from the virus in the United States was reported in January 2020, an estimated 1 million Americans and 6 million globally have reportedly succumbed to the virus.
Controversy has raged in the United States over whether the virus originated in an animal-to-human transfer in a Wuhan-area wet market, as Chinese officials have insisted, or if it escaped from the Wuhan lab where research was being done on such viruses, some of which was being supported with NIH funds through the New York-based nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance.
Among the NIH officials prominently mentioned in the documents are then-NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins and National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, who actively participated in the discussions and decision-making described in the materials obtained by EO.
''On June 5, 2020, a Wuhan University researcher requested that NIH retract the researcher's submission of BioProject ID PRJNA637497 because of error. The Wuhan researcher explained 'I'm sorry for my wrong submitting,''' EO said in a statement on March 29.
''BioProject ID PRJNA637497 is also referred to as Submission ID SUB7554642. Three days later, on June 8th, the NIH declined the researcher's request, advising that it prefers to edit or replace, as opposed to delete, sequences submitted to the SRA,'' EO reported.
But then, on June 16, 2020, NIH officials reversed themselves and deleted the genetic sequencing data, as requested by the Wuhan researcher.
That researcher was quoted by EO as explaining to NIH: ''Recently, I found that it's hard to visit my submitted SRA data, and it would also be very difficult for me to update the data. I have submitted an updated version of this SRA data to another website, so I want to withdraw the old one at NCBI in order to avoid the data version issue.''
After some discussion about what would be deleted, the NIH concluded the discussion by reassuring the Wuhan researcher that it ''had withdrawn everything.''
The documents also indicate, according to EO, that after researcher Jesse Bloom, a virologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, ''alerted NIH about the deleted sequences, [Collins] and [Fauci] hosted a Sunday afternoon Zoom meeting. The invitation Collins sent out for the meeting asks invitees to read Bloom's [June 22, 2021] preprint paper closely and provide their 'advice on the interpretation and significance of' it.''
According to EO, the documents show that ''Professor Trevor Bedford of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center later sent the group an email stating that the deleted data seemed to support the idea that the pandemic began outside the Huanan market in Wuhan and that the matter must be analyzed properly.''
If the virus's spread began outside of the market, it would undermine the official Chinese government claim, and thus reinforce claims of experts in the United States and elsewhere that the pandemic likely escaped from the Wuhan lab.
The EO report also claims that NIH communications staff members were using off-the-record emails to advise ''reporters toward more favorable coverage concerning termination of public access to the sequences by The Washington Post, and away from coverage by The New York Times, whose 'tone' had been criticized in communications among NIH officials.''
In addition, EO said NIH claims to have retained copies of the deleted data ''for preservation purposes,'' although the federal agency has refused to conduct a transparent examination of it.
An NIH spokesperson told The Epoch Times in an email that the sequences in question were submitted in March 2020 by a researcher at a China-based institution for posting in SRA, which it said it managed by NIH's National Center for Biotechnology (NCBI).
If it weren't for whistleblowers and government watchdogs, we wouldn't even know about these deleted sequences.
Well, what other questionable behavior has gone on '' but hasn't been caught?
If our government leaders have been unwilling to be transparent with this issue, what other issues are they trying to hide from the public?
Public awareness and interest is the only way we can hold our leadership accountable!
Please share this article with your family and friends so they know the truth about the original sequencing of COVID-19!
Shanghai expands COVID lockdown as new daily cases surge by a third | Reuters
Thu, 31 Mar 2022 11:42
Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.comSHANGHAI, March 30 (Reuters) - Authorities began locking down some western areas of Shanghai two days ahead of schedule, as new COVID-19 cases in China's most populous city jumped by a third despite stringent measures already in place to try to stop the virus spreading.
Home to 26 million people, China's financial hub is in the third day of a lockdown officials are imposing by dividing the city roughly along the Huangpu River, splitting the historic centre west of the river from the eastern financial and industrial district of Pudong to allow for staggered mass tests.
While residents in the east have been locked down since Monday, those in the west were previously scheduled to start their four-day lockdown on Friday. read more
Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.comLocking down a major metropolis like Shanghai full-scale would result in a 4% reduction in the national real gross domestic product, economists at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Tsinghua University and other institutes estimated in mid-March.
On Wednesday Shanghai reported a record 5,656 asymptomatic COVID cases and 326 symptomatic cases for March 29, up from 4,381 new asymptomatic cases and 96 new cases with symptoms for the prior day. China reclassifies asymptomatic cases if and when they later develop symptoms. read more
Several residents living in western districts on Tuesday received notice from their housing committees that they would be stopped from leaving their compounds for the next seven days.
"We will resume normal life soon, but in the next period of time we ask everyone to adhere closely to pandemic control measures, do not gather, and reduce movements," said one housing committee notice seen by Reuters.
Meanwhile the city's southwestern district of Minhang, home to more than 2.5 million people, said it would suspend public bus services until April 5.
Shanghai authorities told a press conference on Wednesday that since the lockdown began on Monday they had conducted 9.1 million nucleic acid tests.
They also said they planned to disinfect places such as office buildings, construction sites, wet markets and schools in a month-long campaign.
An aerial view shows a bridge over the Huangpu river, amid traffic restrictions and a lockdown in the Pudong area to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Shanghai, China, March 29, 2022. Picture taken with a drone. REUTERS/Aly Song
Reuters Graphics'PUDONG PANDEMIC'
China's "dynamic clearance" approach means it aims to clear all cases, and all people who test positive are sent to central quarantine centres or hospitals. Close contacts and neighbours must quarantine at home.
Many across the city have taken to social media to vent their frustrations in lockdown, posting videos and images of crowded quarantine centres and also issuing calls for help with medical treatment and purchasing food. read more
Business life has also been seriously disrupted.
The lockdown has roiled auto production in the city and Chinese firms have halted a wave of planned domestic initial public offerings, filings show, as the current case surge has hampered due diligence and information gathering - affecting an estimated $9 billion-plus in fundraising. read more
Across mainland China, the daily numbers of new local infections in the past two weeks were much higher than those seen in the first two months this year, marking the biggest wave since the 2020 surge centred on Wuhan.
The eastern city of Xuzhou, which reported a total of less than 20 local infections in the past week, has imposed a three-day lockdown in most areas starting Wednesday.
The Xuzhou government said each household in those areas should only send one person to go out to shop for necessities every other day, while non-essential companies should either shut operations, have employees work from home, or operate in a closed-loop manner.
The National Health Commission (NHC) said on Wednesday China had built, or was in the process of constructing, 82 temporary hospitals across 46 cities. This is more than double the 33 temporary hospitals health authorities said the country had or was preparing eight days ago.
Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com Reporting by Brenda Goh and Roxanne Liu, additional reporting by David Stanway and the Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell and Raju Gopalakrishnan
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
India ready to bypass dollar in trade with Russia '-- RT Business News
Thu, 31 Mar 2022 11:34
A mechanism allowing the switch to domestic currencies is expected to be operational this week
A system allowing direct rupee-ruble payments in trade between Russia and India could be launched this week, the president of the Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO), A Sakthivel, told CNBC on Wednesday. The arrangement would allow India and Russia to carry out financial operations bypassing the US dollar. Russia is effectively blocked from using US currency due to Western sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine.
According to the official, the Indian government is working on a proposal to allow up to five nationalized Indian banks to be engaged in the rupee-ruble trade mechanism, and discussions between the central bank governor, the finance minister, and the banks on the matter have already been held. The arrangement would let Indian exporters continue doing business with Russia despite sanctions banning, among other things, international payment mechanisms in the country, such as SWIFT. It would also let India continue buying Russian energy exports and other goods.
According to Sakthivel, the Indian economy could profit from sanctions Russia is facing, as they give Indian exporters an opportunity to expand on the Russian market.
''Export to Russia is not much, only in agriculture and pharmacy products. Now that the whole of the West is banning Russia, there will be a lot of opportunities for Indian firms to enter Russia,'' he stated.
India's finance ministry and the Reserve Bank of India have not yet commented on the new trade arrangement.
Unlike the US and the EU, India has not criticized Russia over its military operation in Ukraine, and has abstained from condemning Moscow during the recent UN voting rounds. When asked whether India's continued commerce with Russia would draw Western ire, Sakthivel said his country had taken a ''neutral stand'' on the situation in Ukraine.
''The government will take into account all the factors. The government is playing it very carefully,'' he stressed.
India exported $3.3 billion worth of goods to Russia in 2021, mostly pharmaceutical products, tea, and coffee. In terms of imports, India bought $6.9 billion worth of Russian products, including arms and defense goods, mineral resources, fertilizers, metals, diamonds and other precious stones. India also imports Russian oil, with recent media reports stating that the country's major refiner, Indian Oil Corp, has stepped up purchases of Russian crude over the past month. India is also reportedly considering buying raw materials from Russia and Belarus for fertilizer production amid skyrocketing commodities' prices.
For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section
Pelosi Son's Associate Convicted of Fraud For Scam That Pelosi's Son Promoted in Ukraine - National File
Thu, 31 Mar 2022 11:24
Asa Saint Clair, the close associate of Nancy Pelosi's son Paul Pelosi Jr., has been convicted of wire fraud for his role in running a scam called the World Sports Alliance, which Paul Pelosi Jr. represented in the country of Ukraine. Saint Clair now faces 20 years in prison when he goes up for sentencing in July, giving him plenty of time to flip on his associates. The Campaign Show with Patrick Howley on Thursday discussed Asa Saint Clair's conviction.Damian Williams, a U.S. Attorney, stated, according to the Department of Justice: ''As a jury has now found, Asa Saint Clair used lies to defraud everyday people out of their hard-earned money by promising them guaranteed returns if they invested in a IGObit, a digital currency he claimed the World Sports Alliance was developing. Saint Clair touted the WSA as working closely with the UN to promote the values of sports and peace for a better world, while in reality promoting only the balance of his bank accounts.''
National File has been leading the way in reporting on the Pelosi family's Ukraine dealings. As National File reported in September: The criminal trial against Asa Saint Clair, a friend and business associate of Nancy Pelosi's son Paul Pelosi Jr., formally moved into the discovery phase in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on September 21. The wire fraud case centers on Saint Clair's dealings as head of the World Sports Alliance, which Paul Pelosi Jr. represented on a business trip to Ukraine. What will discovery turn up in this case? (READ: Pelosi's Son Tied To Fraud Ring That Tried To Sell Nancy's Solar Tax Credits For Millions'...Pelosi Jr. Associates Have Been Interviewed By The FBI). As Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman previously announced, ''As alleged, Asa Saint Clair used World Sports Alliance, a sham affiliate of the United Nations, as a vehicle to defraud lenders'' by offering them IGObit, a fake cryptocurrency. Records show that Paul Pelosi Jr. promoted IGObit.
As we reported: PELOSI JR. DOES BUSINESS IN UKRAINE WITH ACCUSED FRAUDSTER: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's son Paul Pelosi Jr. visited Ukraine in 2017 to meet with government officials in connection to a business initiative. Now, National File has learned from overseas that Pelosi Jr. was in Ukraine representing his business efforts with Asa Saint Clair, a close Pelosi friend and self-identified business associate who has been charged by the Department of Justice for wire fraud. Asa Saint Clair is under house arrest facing twenty years in prison.
Video evidence proves that Pelosi Jr. was in Ukraine representing his Corporate Governance Initiative (CGI) and promoting his endorsement from the World Sports Alliance, which shared leadership staff with Pelosi Jr.'s company CGI.
The World Sports Alliance was Asa Saint Clair's front group that is accused of running a criminal cryptocurrency scam known as ''IGObit'' as well as international mining operations including in the diamond-rich, wartorn Central African Republic.
WORLDWIDE SCAM
Paul Pelosi Jr. travelled to Kiev, Ukraine in July 2017 in his capacity as executive director of the Corporate Governance Initiative, a position that he accepted months earlier in February 2017. Pelosi Jr. said that he was in Ukraine to discuss a youth soccer partnership with the government, then led by former Ukraine president Petro Poroshenko.
The American Mirror, which flagged Pelosi Jr.'s appearance in 2017, preserved a clip of Pelosi Jr. on the Ukrainian station following the video's removal from YouTube. Pelosi Jr. let slip that he was working in Ukraine with a group called the ''World Sports Alliance.''
''Today we're here to talk about soccer,'' Paul Pelosi Jr. said in his television interview in Ukraine. ''We recently got an endorsement from the World Sports Alliance and we've spoken with the Ukraine government about collaboration for soccer for young people. Ukraine has a great history in soccer and we hope to share in that tradition going forward.''
The World Sports Alliance is a front group run by Paul Pelosi Jr.'s good friend Asa Saint Clair, who served as president of the Alliance. Asa Saint Clair now faces 20 years in prison for allegedly running a fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme through the World Sports Alliance. Records reveal that Pelosi Jr. and Asa Saint Clair were directly working with one another during the period of Saint Clair's alleged criminality.
Asa Saint Clair announced his endorsement of Paul Pelosi Jr.'s Corporate Governance Initiative several months before Pelosi Jr.'s Ukraine trip. A press release dated December 27, 2016 announced Saint Clair's endorsement of Pelosi Jr.'s company, stating:
''When asked how he became aware of the Corporate Governance Initiative, Mr. St. Clair went on to say ''Paul Pelosi Jr is a longtime associate, both business and personal, and when I saw him taking a stance on something my organization deems to be a corner stone of our prosperity, I reached out to him to learn more'...
'...Nevertheless, without the trust of the public itself, society will break down. That is what is going on in places our company is trying to affect change like Syria, Venezuela and even India tonight and is asymptomatic in the USA as well. Without the establishment of proper corporate governance while working with our member nations, our mission to support the World Sports Alliance IGO cannot even exists let alone succeed'...''
When contacted for comment, businessman and activist Paul Pelosi Jr said, ''It was in watching independent directors within TATA Starbucks resign for fear of retribution and then to observe others like Nusli Wadia be forced out of companies like Tata Chemicals even with positive performance evaluations and more than 50% of the independent vote. Not to mention the removal of Chairman Cyrus Mistry, from all evidence I've seen, was apparently coordinated by Director Nitin Nohira, Dean of Harvard Business School, who in my opinion, did not ensure a more thoughtful removal process such as proper corporate procedures for the removal of a director or chairman as set by the bylaws, or even attempt to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest and having a detailed successor plan in place. As I said before, it has even been suggested by others that Nitin Nohira's cooperation and support of the instant firing of Mistry may have been influenced by his personal relationship with Ratan Tata and his $50 million donation to Harvard Business School in 2010 coinciding with Nohiras' appointment. All that to say, this has caused me to take pause and question; is this truly proper corporate governance? I agree whole heartedly with Mr. St. Clair, in fact, I'm reminded of a recent conversation when he essentially said to me, ''Society exists in its current condition because we as a whole allow it. We are expected to do our part as citizens; to follow certain rules and act in a way that is morally and ethically correct. When there is a breakdown in corporate governance, by the same line of thinking, what is to stop thieves and vandals from targeting this corporation? Society as a mob could easily overrun any corporation and eventually put the corporation out of business by ignoring the implied Social Contract we have all currently agreed to be bound by and destroying and stealing the corporation's property, amongst other things.'' I am honored Mr. St. Clair has followed the same path I've taken in attempting to ensure companies around the world have a sounding board to assist them in making the right decisions in regards to protecting the rights of all stakeholders in their current and future ventures.'''
Corporate press release passage ends
Here is a screenshot of the press release, still preserved on prweb.com:
The links don't stop there. The citizen researcher who can be followed on Twitter at @defeattheelites provided assistance for this report. R. Rashaad LV Patrick, the official Global Communications Manager at the World Sports Alliance and member of Asa Saint Clair's team for the cryptocurrency project IGObit, served as the president of Paul Pelosi Jr.'s Corporate Governance Initiative, according to a deleted ''Our Team'' page on the CGI website:
Here is Archived evidence from the IGObit ''Team'' that R. Rashaad LV Patrick was on the IGObit team at the center of the criminal case against Asa Saint Clair.
Records show that Pelosi Jr. endorsed and promoted IGObit, which the Department of Justice calls ''The fraudulent bait with which to lure victim investors.'' An archive of the IGObit website from January 27, 2018 shows Paul Pelosi Jr. actively promoting IGOBit in his capacity as executive director of the Corporate Governance Initiative. At the time, IGObit was about to make its fraudulent Initial Coin Offering. Pelosi Jr. states that ''IGOBit is the absolute best offering I have ever seen.'' (Archived)
Now Asa Saint Clair is under house arrest and facing hard time. The Department of Justice, through the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York, announced charges against Asa Saint Clair on November 6, 2019, declaring:
''Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Peter C. Fitzhugh, Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations (''HSI''), today announced charges against ASA SAINT CLAIR for his participation in an investment scheme tied to a purported digital coin offering called IGOBIT. SAINT CLAIR allegedly participated in a scheme to defraud victims into providing loans tied to the launch of IGOBIT by World Sports Alliance, a purported intergovernmental organization focused on promoting international development through sports, and falsely promised investors guaranteed returns and an ownership interest in IGOBIT.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: ''As alleged, Asa Saint Clair used World Sports Alliance, a sham affiliate of the United Nations, as a vehicle to defraud lenders. Saint Clair allegedly defrauded investors in IGOBIT, a digital currency he claimed WSA was developing, but which turned out to be the fraudulent bait with which to lure victim investors. What's real is the felony charge Saint Clair now faces.''
Special Agent-in-Charge Fitzhugh said: ''Saint Claire allegedly touted his company as promoting the values of sports and peace for a better world, yet defrauded all those who invested in his sham company. As alleged, Saint Claire used the money he earned through deceit to fund a lavish lifestyle for him and his family. Through the HSI New York El Dorado Task Force and its strong partnerships, Saint Claire will face time for his actions, and it won't be in the luxury or comfort he has grown accustomed to.''
According to the allegations in the Indictment unsealed late yesterday in Manhattan federal court[1]and the previously filed Complaint:
From 2017 through September 2019, SAINT CLAIR solicited investors for the launch of IGOBIT through promised investment returns and representations about World Sports Alliance's development projects around the world. World Sports Alliance did not in fact participate in any international development projects and SAINT CLAIR did not dedicate investor funds to IGOBIT. Instead, SAINT CLAIR diverted those funds to other entities controlled by him and members of his family, as well as to pay his personal expenses, including dinners at Manhattan restaurants, airline tickets, and online shopping.
SAINT CLAIR, 47, of New York, New York, is charged with one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.
Mr. Berman praised the outstanding work of HSI on this investigation.
This case is being handled by the Office's Money Laundering and Transnational Criminal Enterprises Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kiersten A. Fletcher and Tara M. La Morte are in charge of the prosecution.''
DOJ passage ends
But the World Sports Alliance was not merely involved in cryptocurrency '-- it was principally interested in minerals around the world.
Wikileaks published documents directly implicating the World Sports Alliance in a global mining scheme.
''The World Sports Alliance (WSA): how the UN was indirectly implicated in a mining corruption scheme'...These documents show the schemes used by a fake international organisation supported by the UN and numerous states in order to corrupt local elites and steal the natural resources of impoverished states and their populations,'' Wikileaks wrote in an introduction to their recent document dump on the World Sports Alliance.
On Steemit, @deliberator listed ten documents dumped by Wikileaks, which pertain to the World Sports Alliance's (WSA) mining work in the Central African Republic (CAR):
''1 WSA-CAR agreement on biofertilisers (fertilizers)2 Electricity agreement between CAR State and WSA (energy rights)3 Framework convention between WSA and the Central African Republic Ministry for Foreign Affairs (mining rights)4 Framework convention between the World Sports Alliance and the Central African Republic (mining)5 WSA-CAR agreement on infrastructure constructions (framework for corporations to mine)6 CAR President permit for mining exploration (mining)7 Ministerial note on the WSA-CAR agreements8 WSA intermediation agreement (mining rights)9 2013 CAR Presidential Permit given to WSA 1 (mining rights)10 2013 CAR Presidential Permit given to WSA 2 (and again mining rights)''
According to @deliberator: ''From gold to diamonds and everything in between, this organisation has its sticky little fingers in all the pies, also they have nothing to do with sports, sure maybe they put the odd bit of grass down on the floor, and maybe some goal posts and call it a football pitch, they say they do anyway, I found zero evidence of that though, but I found plenty of evidence/factual in paper form showing they are corrupt, deceitful and damaging Africa and other places, by leaving behind their poisons, their toxins, their radiation and polluted water, with not a care in the world via bribing other government officials.''
The Today Show reported in 2019 on the ''mineral-rich'' Central African Republic's civil war, which has led to more than a million children facing risk of starvation.
So, now we know what Pelosi Jr. was representing when he was name-dropping the ''World Sports Alliance'' during his trip to meet with government officials in Ukraine in 2017.
But that wasn't Pelosi Jr.'s only business link to Ukraine, where his mother Nancy Pelosi appeared in a Happy Independence Day video for Ukraine in 2015. Nancy Pelosi led a congressional delegation to Ukraine in 2015 to discuss issues including ''energy security.''
NRGLAB, UKRAINE, AND RUSSIA
Journalist Patrick Howley recently broke the story of Pelosi Jr.'s Ukraine business ties, including the fact that Nancy Pelosi appeared in a promotional video for NRGLab, another Pelosi Jr. company that did business in Ukraine.
BOOM: Nancy Pelosi's son Paul Pelosi Jr. (who went to Ukraine in 2017) was a board member of Viscoil and executive at its related company NRGLab, which DID ENERGY Business in UKRAINE!
And Nancy Pelosi appeared in a promotional video for the company!https://t.co/wlndLhPqLe
'-- Patrick Howley (@HowleyReporter) October 3, 2019
Paul Pelosi Jr. previously held top positions with the energy-sector companies Viscoil Group and NRGLab, which did energy business in Ukraine.
Therefore, Pelosi Jr. was a board member of a company '-- Viscoil '-- registered to a Russian national based in Moscow.
On March 5, 2013, NRGLab New Technology posted two videos on Youtube. One video opened with a clip of Nancy Pelosi discussing energy-efficient technology, followed by a direct-to-camera statement from her son Paul Pelosi Jr., filmed in Washington, D.C. in 2010.
''My name's Paul Pelosi. Of course I'm on the board of Viscoil. And Viscoil is here today to talk about accelerating the future. It's about using cars in a more efficient manner. It's about utilizing natural resources, whether it be electricity, or gas, or fossil fuels in a more efficient way. And Viscoil is a part of that solution,'' Paul Pelosi Jr. said in the video.
''That's what Viscoil does. It utilizes technology to maximize the use of natural resources, like oil and other resources,'' Pelosi Jr. said.
''Paul Pelosi Jr. is a member of management team of Viscoil Group of Companies and NRGLab. Paul Pelosi Jr. is interested in developing clean energy that can replace gasoline and diesel as transportation fuel sources,'' read the description on the video.
Another video posted that same day confirmed that NRGLab was working in Ukraine.
''Walter Afanasieff, Brandon Stone, Mika Newton and other artists are actively involved in promoting the clean technology of Viscoil Group of Companies and NRGLab. For example, Mika Newton helped to secure the rights to build a plant for the production of SH-boxes in Ukraine,'' read the description of an NRGLab & Research Council video.
Mika Newton, who brokered NRGLab's deal in Ukraine, is a Ukrainian-born singer. Newton represented Ukraine in the 2011 Eurovision song contest:
A 2013 interview with NRGLab's lead technician Zeev Drori reported that NRGLab was funded by environmental businesswoman Ana Shell, who writes about Ukraine energy issues on her blog. In the interview, Drori discussed gas generation techniques in Ukraine.
''Currently, Ana Shell Fund also provide finances and support to groom talented artistes like Mika Newton, a Ukrainian singer who represented Ukraine in the Eurovision song contest in 2011,'' reported a 2013 interview with Ana Shell, referring to the singer who brokered the S-H box deal in Ukraine.
''In brief, SH-boxes are environmentally friendly generators which employs the use of poly-crystal technology to producing electricity from environmental heat. With the SH-boxes, electricity could be generated more efficiently and cleanly at a lower cost,'' the interview with Ana Shell notes.
NRGLab's website states that the company is based in Singapore and notes, ''The company's additional projects include a strategic partnership and investment from Viscoil Holdings to recycle waste materials into eco-friendly diesel fuel. NRGLab has obtained an exclusive license for the Viscoil Technology for the South East Asian region for all raw materials.''
Ana Shell has denied that Paul Pelosi Jr. was directly involved in the deal to sell SH-boxes in the region. A spokesperson for Speaker Pelosi confirmed that Paul Pelosi Jr. worked for the companies in question and said that the entity was later reconstituted and that Pelosi Jr. was not involved in the reconstituted entity, but provided no specifics. Viscoil has been re-constituted several times. Pelosi's spokesperson did not deny that Pelosi Jr. did business in Ukraine.
Neither Shell nor Speaker Pelosi's office have provided any documentation to show the dates or the extent of Pelosi Jr.'s well-documented involvement with both Viscoil and NRGLab. NRGLab still identified Pelosi Jr. on YouTube as an executive on the day it promoted its Ukraine deal.
Viscoil Holdings is currently suspended by the California Secretary of State. It was registered in 2009 to a manager named David Strawn in Escondido, California. As of 2010, it listed two managers: Strawn and an individual named Sergey Sorokin based in Moscow, Russia.
Strawn is business partners at Sand Hills Partners with John Ellis, cousin of Jeb and George W. Bush, according to SEC documents.
Pelosi Jr.'s ex-companion Karena Feng told National File that Pelosi Jr. conducts foreign business while identifying himself on the phone as ''Office of Nancy Pelosi.''
Paul Pelosi Jr. co-founded the company Natural Blue Resources, which the SEC charged with securities fraud in 2014. In 2017, Pelosi Jr., who has done marijuana business in Canada, became the chairman of the board of Freedom Leaf Inc., the Marijuana Legalization Company.
Evidence also shows Pelosi Jr. overseas working in the People's Republic of China. An email provided to National File shows Pelosi Jr. claiming that he planned to return to China in October 2016, following a previous trip there.
Why was Nancy Pelosi's son in Beijing, China being pleasantly welcomed?https://t.co/bflqkdu80F
'-- Patrick Howley (@HowleyReporter) November 21, 2019
Paul Pelosi Jr. wishing happy birthday to the People's Republic of Chinahttps://t.co/KD00bbtbkh
'-- Patrick Howley (@HowleyReporter) November 21, 2019
Developing'...
Paul Pelosi Jr.'s Russia Ties, charges of taking his ex's children, Bitcoin fraud, Blood Diamonds, and #UKRAINE.
Snopes says no ties to Ukraine. Yet'... #Viscoil's own promotionals say otherwise.
With @HowleyReporter FULL INTERVIEW HERE: https://t.co/4cgnFiBb7e@OANN pic.twitter.com/fa20ABaAIX
'-- Chanel Rion OAN (@ChanelRion) January 2, 2020
Patrick Howley @HowleyReporter Breaks the story of Paul Pelosi Jr. fraud investigation and Pelosi Jr. retaliating using child protection services to kidnap his ex's children On @OANN pic.twitter.com/eCWb7FKw2i
'-- Aaron (@AaronRay3355) January 1, 2020
In Kiev gaat het leven weer door: winkels openen en mensen durven de straat weer op | Oorlog Oekra¯ne | AD.nl
Thu, 31 Mar 2022 11:04
Privacy
Biden Administration to Lift Title 42 Border Policy, Officials Say - WSJ
Thu, 31 Mar 2022 10:45
Pandemic-era policy allowing migrants to be turned away at border will end May 23
Updated March 30, 2022 8:06 pm ETWASHINGTON'--The Biden administration plans to end its use of Title 42, a Trump-era pandemic border policy that allows the government to immediately turn away people who are arrested trying to enter the country illegally, as well as those who seek asylum at a border checkpoint, by the end of May, according to a draft of the order reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and officials familiar with the matter.
When Title 42 comes to an end, the government once more will need to detain every migrant it arrests before it can deport...
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WASHINGTON'--The Biden administration plans to end its use of Title 42, a Trump-era pandemic border policy that allows the government to immediately turn away people who are arrested trying to enter the country illegally, as well as those who seek asylum at a border checkpoint, by the end of May, according to a draft of the order reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and officials familiar with the matter.
When Title 42 comes to an end, the government once more will need to detain every migrant it arrests before it can deport them or release them to seek asylum.
Border officials have expressed concern that, without the rapid-turnback policy, they will quickly be overwhelmed by migrants, leading to dangerous overcrowding in border facilities and releases of people into the U.S. who would normally be jailed or deported.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says in its order, which the agency plans to issue later this week, that it is taking the step because ''there is no longer a serious danger'' that migrants would introduce or spread Covid-19 inside immigration-detention facilities.
The CDC is delaying the implementation of the order until May 23 to allow the Department of Homeland Security to prepare for what the government anticipates will be a sharp rise in crossings this spring.
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The order is pending at the White House's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and could become final as soon as Wednesday. The CDC faces a Wednesday deadline to decide whether to end the policy as part of the administration's periodic review, which it has conducted every 60 days.
President Biden, asked Wednesday at the White House about Title 42, said, ''We'll have a decision on that soon.''
Kate Bedingfield, the White House communications director, said at a press briefing Wednesday that the administration was ''planning for multiple contingencies and we have every expectation that when the CDC ultimately decides it's appropriate to lift Title 42, there will be an influx of people to the border. And so we are doing a lot of work to plan for that contingency.''
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Under Title 42, any migrant asking for humanitarian protection at the southern border could still be expelled back to Mexico or deported to another country without a consideration of their claims, though in practice Mexico limited how many people it was willing to take back.
In recent weeks, with the CDC's deadline looming, the administration came under pressure from many Democrats to end the policy and restore the asylum process at the border.
''Migrants have been cruelly expelled from our country under the guise of Title 42,'' said Rep. Juan Vargas, a California Democrat who represents a district along the U.S.-Mexico border. ''Title 42 was never about public health and safety'--it was implemented to deny due process to people seeking refuge and protection.''
Several high-profile moderate Democrats, however, broke with their party in recent days, calling on the administration to maintain the policy until they have a comprehensive plan to handle high numbers of migrants. They include both Democratic Arizona senators, Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema, along with two Texas members of Congress who represent border districts. Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) expressed concern Tuesday night in a statement.
Republicans have argued that the administration should keep the order indefinitely and that lifting it would make what they view as the Biden administration's mismanaged border policy even worse. ''Dropping Title 42 without other changes in border policies will produce a tsunami of migrants & drugs,'' Sen.
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John Cornyn (R., Texas) said
on Twitter.
The timeline by which the administration plans to wind down Title 42 coincides roughly with the implementation of a new border policy that is meant to speed up sharply the time it takes to deliver a migrant's asylum decision. White House officials had seen that policy, which asks asylum officers rather than immigration judges to hear claims, as a significant piece of their post-Title 42 border strategy, according to people familiar with their thinking.
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In preparation for the end of Title 42, the Border Patrol started vaccinating migrants it takes into custody this week, DHS confirmed on Monday.
The administration is planning for several scenarios in which daily border crossings climb to as many as 18,000 a day, officials told reporters on a Tuesday call. They are pre-emptively strengthening government contracts for transportation and medical care, the officials said, and adding more staff to handle increased arrivals.
The administration's hand was forced in part by an appeals court ruling earlier this month, which ruled that, though the government's use of Title 42 was legal, it also looked like a ''relic from an era with no vaccines, scarce testing, few therapeutics, and little certainty.''
President Donald Trump first announced the policy in March 2020 as the U.S. closed many government functions in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
He did so over the objections of officials at the CDC, who said the border policy didn't have any basis in public health, The Wall Street Journal previously reported. Stephen Miller, Mr. Trump's top immigration adviser, had attempted to implement a similar order using the same 1944 public health law in response to measles and flu outbreaks at the border before Covid-19 had been detected, but he was overruled, the Journal reported.
Over the ensuing two years, migrants have been expelled using the policy 1.7 million times, more than half of the total illegal crossings over the period.
The policy had unexpected consequences. Though it initially deterred migrants from crossing the border, because they would immediately be turned back, the policy also wiped away the normal arrest and deportation process, essentially eliminating consequences for crossing the border illegally. As a result, migrants'--primarily single adult men from Mexico'--tried crossing the border over and over in the hopes of getting into the country undetected.
'--Tarini Parti contributed to this article.
Write to Michelle Hackman at michelle.hackman+1@wsj.com
Groningen legt lang douchen aan banden: vanaf komend weekend na 10 minuten minder waterdruk
Wed, 30 Mar 2022 23:23
Foto van ANP/Koen SuykEuropa moet minder afhankelijk worden van gas. Want dat veroorzaakt bevings in Groningen en daar spekt Poetin de oorlogskas mee. Om particulier verbruik in te dammen wil de gemeente (dat krijg je met al die linkse en duurzame partijen) in samenwerking met Waterbedrijf Groningen de rem zetten op lang douchen.
Een gemiddeld Nederlands huishouden jaagt zo'n 1500 kubieke meter gas er per jaar doorheen, blijkt uit data van energievergelijken.nl. Daarvan wordt 75 procent opgestookt voor de verwarming van woningen en zo'n 20 procent gaat naar douchen. De snelle rekensom leert dat vijf minuten korter douchen jaarlijks zo'n 60 kuub gas per huishouden scheelt.
Besparing van 22 miljoen euro in StadIn de stad Groningen zijn dik 136.000 huishoudens. Doe dat keer 60 kuub en de besparing kan oplopen ruim 8.000.0000 kuub gas. Met de huidige gasprijs van 2,70 euro scheelt dat alleen in Stad al 22 miljoen euro aan gas. Of, omdat Poetin wil dat het Russische gas in roebels wordt gelapt, zo'n 2.153.848.320 roebels. Dat is serieus geld. Dat doet Poetin pijn. Zeker als dat breder wordt opgepakt.
Eerder spraken Partij van de Arbeid, Partij voor de Dieren, ChristenUnie en GroenLinks in de Groningse gemeenteraad al de wens uit aan dat Stad voorop moest lopen met realiseerbare plannen om de energieverslaving aan te pakken. De autoloze zondag moet daar een belangrijke belangrijke pijler in worden, net als het goedkoper maken van openbaar vervoer en meer inzetten deelfietsen en -scooters.
Minder lang douchen vanaf vrijdagIn samenwerking met het Waterbedrijf Groningen grijpt het stadsbestuur nu dus naar een nieuw middel: Na 10 minuten douchen wordt automatisch de waterdruk sterk verminderd. Komende vrijdag om 17:00 uur wordt de maatregel al uitgerold in de zuidelijke stadswijken, waar volgens de data het langst wordt gedoucht. Snel daarna volgt de rest van de stad. De urgentie is namelijk hoog. Zolang wij massaal Russisch gas gebruiken dragen we immers bij aan de bloederige oorlog in Oekra¯ne. Meer Gronings gas winnen is, volgens betrokken partijen, ook geen optie vanwege de grote problemen die dat oplevert.
Psst, hier meer afleiding:
Russian Foreign Ministry Releases Alleged "BioBiden" Timeline of US Bioresearch in Ukraine
Wed, 30 Mar 2022 14:27
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marija Zakharova has published a timeline of US-Ukraine bioresearch, which Gateway Pundit documents here for purposes of critical analysis.
Note: Bear in mind any information published by the Russian government in wartime must be viewed with extreme caution.
1991 '' the US launches the Nunn-Lugar programme for the former Soviet countries to control/eliminate Soviet weapons of mass destruction including bioweapons. The Pentagon's Defence Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) was named as the programme's main executor.
1993 '' the Ukraine-US Agreement on the Prevention of Proliferation of WMD is signed.
TRENDING: "You're Asking Me to Do What?" - Madison Cawthorn Talks about the 'DC elites' Having Orgies and Doing Cocaine (VIDEO)
2005 '' an additional protocol is signed to the agreement between the Ukrainian Health Ministry and the DTRA on the prevention of the proliferation of technologies, pathogens and know-how that can be used to develop bioweapons. This is the start of the transfer of the Ukrainian military biological potential into US specialists' hands.
2000s '' large US military-industrial companies are engaged in military biological activity in Ukraine.
2005-2014 '' Black & Veatch Special Projects, a DTRA contractor, builds and upgrades 8 biolabs in Ukraine instead of eliminating military biological infrastructure, as was originally claimed. One of the facilities, a biolab in Odessa, has been financed since 2011 for the study of ''pathogens that can be used in bioterrorism attacks.''
2007 '' US DoD employee Nathan Wolfe founded Global Viral Forecasting Institute (subsequently '' Global Viral), a biomedical company. The mission stated in the charter is non-commercial study of transborder infections, including in China.
2009 '' Rosemont Seneca Partners is established by former US Secretary of State John Kerry' stepson Christopher Heinz and incumbent US President Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden.
2014 '' anti-constitutional coup d'etat in Ukraine.
2014 '' Hunter Biden joins the Board of Directors of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company.
2014 '' Metabiota, a private commercial organisation specialising in the study of pandemic risks is detached from Global Viral. Neil Callahan and John DeLoche, employees of Hunter Biden's company Rosemont Seneca Partners are appointed to the board of Metabiota. Global Viral and Metabiota begin to get funding from the US Department of Defence.
2014 '' Metabiota shows interest in Ukraine and invites Hunter Biden to ''assert Ukraine's cultural & economic independence from Russia''.
2014 '' Metabiota and Burisma Holdings begin cooperation on an unnamed ''science project in Ukraine''.
2014 '' Metabiota, Global Viral and Black & Veatch Special Projects begin full-fledged cooperation within the US DoD programmes.
2014-2016 '' Implementation of Metabiota and US DoD contracts, including a $300,000 project in Ukraine.
2016 '' US citizen Ulana Nadia Suprun, a descendant of Ukrainian Nazis, is appointed Acting Health Minister of Ukraine. The US DoD and Ukraine's Health Ministry cooperation programme is greatly expanded.
2016 '' an outbreak of swine flu among Ukrainian Defence Ministry personnel guarding a biolab in Kharkov, Ukraine; 20 dead. The incident is hushed up.
2016 '' former US Assistant Secretary for Defence Andrew Weber is appointed head of Metabiota's global partnerships department.
2016 '' EcoHealth Alliance, a Global Viral founder Nathan Wolfe's structure, is engaged in the study of bat-transmitted coronaviruses at the research centre in a Wuhan laboratory, China.
2016 '' the DTRA and Ukraine's Health Ministry extend the contract after getting approval from the Ukrainian Defence Ministry.
2019 '' the COVID-19 mutated bat coronavirus pandemic begins with an outbreak in Wuhan.
February 24, 2022 '' launch of the Russian Army's ''special operation'' in Ukraine.
February 24-25, 2022 '' rapid elimination of strains in biolabs in Ukraine.
March 8, 2022 '' US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland openly acknowledges the existence of cooperation between the US and Ukraine in pathogens''.
Humilitainment: How To Control The Citizenry Through Reality TV Distractions | ZeroHedge
Wed, 30 Mar 2022 13:57
Authored by John W. Whitehead & Nisha Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,
''Big Brother does not watch us, by his choice. We watch him, by ours'.... When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience, and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; culture-death is a clear possibility.''
- Professor Neil Postman
Once again, the programming has changed.
Like clockwork, the wall-to-wall news coverage of the latest crisis has shifted gears.
We have gone from COVID-19 lockdowns to Trump-Biden election drama to the Russia-Ukraine crisis to the Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmation hearings to Will Smith's on-camera assault of comedian Chris Rock at the Academy Awards Ceremony.
The distractions, distortions, and political theater just keep coming.
The ongoing reality show that is life in the American police state feeds the citizenry's voracious appetite for titillating, soap opera drama.
Much like the fabricated universe in Peter Weir's 1998 film The Truman Show, in which a man's life is the basis for an elaborately staged television show aimed at selling products and procuring ratings, the political scene in the United States has devolved over the years into a carefully calibrated exercise in how to manipulate, polarize, propagandize and control a population.
This is the magic of the reality TV programming that passes for politics today: as long as we are distracted, entertained, occasionally outraged, always polarized but largely uninvolved and content to remain in the viewer's seat, we'll never manage to present a unified front against tyranny (or government corruption and ineptitude) in any form.
The more that is beamed at us, the more inclined we are to settle back in our comfy recliners and become passive viewers rather than active participants as unsettling, frightening events unfold.
We don't even have to change the channel when the subject matter becomes too monotonous. That's taken care of for us by the programmers (the corporate media).
''Living is easy with eyes closed,'' observed John Lennon, and that's exactly what reality TV that masquerades as American politics programs the citizenry to do: navigate the world with their eyes shut.
As long as we're viewers, we'll never be doers.
Studies suggest that the more reality TV people watch'--and I would posit that it's all reality TV, entertainment news included'--the more difficult it becomes to distinguish between what is real and what is carefully crafted farce.
''We the people'' are watching a lot of TV.
On average, Americans spend five hours a day watching television. By the time we reach age 65, we're watching more than 50 hours of television a week, and that number increases as we get older. And reality TV programming consistently captures the largest percentage of TV watchers every season by an almost 2-1 ratio.
This doesn't bode well for a citizenry able to sift through masterfully-produced propaganda in order to think critically about the issues of the day, whether it's fake news peddled by government agencies or foreign entities.
Those who watch reality shows tend to view what they see as the ''norm.'' Thus, those who watch shows characterized by lying, aggression and meanness not only come to see such behavior as acceptable and entertaining but also mimic the medium.
This holds true whether the reality programming is about the antics of celebrities in the White House, in the board room, or in the bedroom.
It's a phenomenon called ''humilitainment.''
A term coined by media scholars Brad Waite and Sara Booker, ''humilitainment'' refers to the tendency for viewers to take pleasure in someone else's humiliation, suffering and pain.
''Humilitainment'' largely explains not only why American TV watchers are so fixated on reality TV programming but how American citizens, largely insulated from what is really happening in the world around them by layers of technology, entertainment, and other distractions, are being programmed to accept the government's brutality, surveillance and dehumanizing treatment as things happening to other people.
The ramifications for the future of civic engagement, political discourse and self-government are incredibly depressing and demoralizing.
This explains how we keep getting saddled with leaders in government who are clueless about the Constitution and out-of-touch with the needs of the people they were appointed to represent.
This is also what happens when an entire nation'--bombarded by reality TV programming, government propaganda and entertainment news'--becomes systematically desensitized and acclimated to the trappings of a government that operates by fiat and speaks in a language of force.
Ultimately, the reality shows, the entertainment news, the surveillance society, the militarized police, and the political spectacles have one common objective: to keep us divided, distracted, imprisoned, and incapable of taking an active role in the business of self-government.
Look behind the political spectacles, the reality TV theatrics, the sleight-of-hand distractions and diversions, and the stomach-churning, nail-biting drama, and you will find there is a method to the madness.
We have become guinea pigs in a ruthlessly calculated, carefully orchestrated, chillingly cold-blooded experiment in how to control a population and advance a political agenda without much opposition from the citizenry.
This is mind-control in its most sinister form.
How do you change the way people think? You start by changing the words they use.
In totalitarian regimes where conformity and compliance are enforced at the end of a loaded gun, the government dictates what words can and cannot be used.
In countries where tyranny hides behind a benevolent mask and disguises itself as tolerance, the citizens censor themselves, policing their words and thoughts to conform to the dictates of the mass mind.
Even when the motives behind this rigidly calibrated reorientation of societal language appear well-intentioned'--discouraging racism, condemning violence, denouncing discrimination and hatred'--inevitably, the end result is the same: intolerance, indoctrination, infantilism, the chilling of free speech and the demonizing of viewpoints that run counter to the cultural elite.
As George Orwell recognized, ''In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.''
Orwell understood only too well the power of language to manipulate the masses.
In Orwell's 1984, Big Brother does away with all undesirable and unnecessary words and meanings, even going so far as to routinely rewrite history and punish ''thoughtcrimes.'' In this dystopian vision of the future, the Thought Police serve as the eyes and ears of Big Brother, while the Ministry of Peace deals with war and defense, the Ministry of Plenty deals with economic affairs (rationing and starvation), the Ministry of Love deals with law and order (torture and brainwashing), and the Ministry of Truth deals with news, entertainment, education and art (propaganda). The mottos of Oceania: WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, and IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.
Orwell's Big Brother relied on Newspeak to eliminate undesirable words, strip such words as remained of unorthodox meanings and make independent, non-government-approved thought altogether unnecessary.
Where we stand now is at the juncture of Oldspeak (where words have meanings, and ideas can be dangerous) and Newspeak (where only that which is ''safe'' and ''accepted'' by the majority is permitted).
Truth is often lost when we fail to distinguish between opinion and fact, and that is the danger we now face as a society. Anyone who relies exclusively on television/cable news hosts and political commentators for actual knowledge of the world is making a serious mistake.
Unfortunately, since Americans have by and large become non-readers, television has become their prime source of so-called ''news.'' This reliance on TV news has given rise to such popular news personalities who draw in vast audiences that virtually hang on their every word.
In our media age, these are the new powers-that-be.
Yet while these personalities often dispense the news like preachers used to dispense religion, with power and certainty, they are little more than conduits for propaganda and advertisements delivered in the guise of entertainment and news.
Given the preponderance of news-as-entertainment programming, it's no wonder that viewers have largely lost the ability to think critically and analytically and differentiate between truth and propaganda, especially when delivered by way of fake news criers and politicians.
While television news cannot'--and should not'--be completely avoided, the following suggestions will help you better understand the nature of TV news.
1. TV news is not what happened. Rather, it is what someone thinks is worth reporting. Although there are still some good TV journalists, the old art of investigative reporting has largely been lost. While viewers are often inclined to take what is reported by television ''news'' hosts at face value, it is your responsibility to judge and analyze what is reported.
2. TV news is entertainment. There is a reason why the programs you watch are called news ''shows.'' It's a signal that the so-called news is being delivered as a form of entertainment. ''In the case of most news shows,'' write Neil Postman and Steve Powers in their insightful book, How to Watch TV News (1992), ''the package includes attractive anchors, an exciting musical theme, comic relief, stories placed to hold the audience, the creation of the illusion of intimacy, and so on.''
Of course, the point of all this glitz and glamour is to keep you glued to the set so that a product can be sold to you. (Even the TV news hosts get in on the action by peddling their own products, everything from their latest books to mugs and bathrobes.) Although the news items spoon-fed to you may have some value, they are primarily a commodity to gather an audience, which will in turn be sold to advertisers.
3. Never underestimate the power of commercials, especially to news audiences. In an average household, the television set is on over seven hours a day. Most people, believing themselves to be in control of their media consumption, are not really bothered by this. But TV is a two-way attack: it not only delivers programming to your home, it also delivers you (the consumer) to a sponsor.
People who watch the news tend to be more attentive, educated and have more money to spend. They are, thus, a prime market for advertisers. And sponsors spend millions on well-produced commercials. Such commercials are often longer in length than most news stories and cost more to produce than the news stories themselves. Moreover, the content of many commercials, which often contradicts the messages of the news stories, cannot be ignored. Most commercials are aimed at prurient interests in advocating sex, overindulgence, drugs, etc., which has a demoralizing effect on viewers, especially children.
4. It is vitally important to learn about the economic and political interests of those who own the ''corporate'' media.
There are few independent news sources anymore. The major news outlets are owned by corporate empires.
5. Pay special attention to the language of newscasts. Because film footage and other visual imagery are so engaging on TV news shows, viewers are apt to allow language'--what the reporter is saying about the images'--to go unexamined. A TV news host's language frames the pictures, and, therefore, the meaning we derive from the picture is often determined by the host's commentary. TV by its very nature manipulates viewers. One must never forget that every television minute has been edited. The viewer does not see the actual event but the edited form of the event. For example, presenting a one- to two-minute segment from a two-hour political speech and having a TV talk show host critique may be disingenuous, but such edited footage is a regular staple on news shows. Add to that the fact that the reporters editing the film have a subjective view'--sometimes determined by their corporate bosses'--that enters in.
6. Reduce by at least one-half the amount of TV news you watch. TV news generally consists of ''bad'' news'--wars, torture, murders, scandals and so forth. It cannot possibly do you any harm to excuse yourself each week from much of the mayhem projected at you on the news. Do not form your concept of reality based on television. TV news, it must be remembered, does not reflect normal everyday life. Studies indicate that a heavy viewing of TV news makes people think the world is much more dangerous than it actually is.
7. One of the reasons many people are addicted to watching TV news is that they feel they must have an opinion on almost everything, which gives the illusion of participation in American life. But an ''opinion'' is all that we can gain from TV news because it only presents the most rudimentary and fragmented information on anything. Thus, on most issues we don't really know much about what is actually going on. And, of course, we are expected to take what the TV news host says on an issue as gospel truth. But isn't it better to think for yourself? Add to this that we need to realize that we often don't have enough information from the ''news'' source to form a true opinion. How can that be done? Study a broad variety of sources, carefully analyze issues in order to be better informed, and question everything.
The bottom line is simply this: Americans should beware of letting others'--whether they be television news hosts, political commentators or media corporations'--do their thinking for them.
As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People and in its fictional counterpart The Erik Blair Diaries, a populace that cannot think for themselves is a populace with its backs to the walls: mute in the face of elected officials who refuse to represent us, helpless in the face of police brutality, powerless in the face of militarized tactics and technology that treat us like enemy combatants on a battlefield, and naked in the face of government surveillance that sees and hears all.
It's time to change the channel, tune out the reality TV show, and push back against the real menace of the police state.
If not, if we continue to sit back and lose ourselves in political programming, we will remain a captive audience to a farce that grows more absurd by the minute.
Fed Finally Admits That COVID Stimulus Is Responsible For Hottest Inflation In A Generation | ZeroHedge
Wed, 30 Mar 2022 13:45
It looks like the analytical geniuses over at the San Francisco Fed have finally figured out something that Larry Summers anticipated nearly a year ago: When you pump trillions of dollars of stimulus spending into the economy, it causes inflation to overheat to the highest level in a generation.
Of course, Summers was aggressively poo-poo'd by policy nabobs at Treasury (not to mention the Eccles Building) when he first projected that inflation would likely exceed 5% by the end of 2021 thanks to the federal government's decision to hand out trillions of dollars in stimmies, benefits and PPP loans (combined with the Fed's 'emergency' policy posture that involved backstopping corporate debt and slamming interest rates back down to the zero-bound). While he has since been vindicated, at the time, Summers was nearly excommunicated by his fellow Democrats for having the audacity to suggest that the federal government shouldn't have ridden to the rescue of ordinary people during a once-in-a-century pandemic (or, at the very least, it maybe should have considered a more measured approach).
Now, months after Summers inflationary fears were vindicated, the Fed has finally summoned the courage to acknowledge that maybe the government's balls-to-the-wall COVID stimulus was responsible for stoking the voracious inflationary spiral that - contrary to Jerome Powell's assurances - has been anything but "transitory".
To wit, on Monday, a team of researchers with the SF Fed published a research report illustrating how the US fiscal-policy response is, more than likely, responsible for driving up price pressures.
According to the note, the team set out to answer a question that has plagued economists in recent months: why has inflation been so much more intense in the US than in many of its developed-nation peers?
After crunching the numbers, the team arrived at the following conclusion:
"Though many of the pandemic distortions are common to other countries, we show that U.S. inflation has risen more quickly and increasingly diverged from inflation in other OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries. In seeking an explanation, we turn to the combination of direct fiscal support introduced to counteract the economic devastation caused by the pandemic."
The team compared US inflation to a smattering of OECD countries, before determining that the difference between the US inflation rate and that of its OECD rivals - which had moved largely in lock-step during the years before the pandemic - was the boost to disposable incomes in the US, which were buttressed by the federal government's generous fiscal largess.
First, the team ruled out that the difference in the inflation readings wasn't due to a "measuring error", but to "direct fiscal transfers", which are higher in the US than abroad.
As the chart below shows, the data are pretty stark: "they show that throughout 2020 and 2021, US households experienced significantly higher increases in their disposable income relative to their OECD peers." Note how the peaks in US disposable income correspond to the passage of the CARES Act and the other COVID stimulus bills
That's not to say that the Fed believes the US should have held back (like Summers initially suggested). On the contrary, the team concluded (for reasons that weren't entirely fleshed out in their note) that "without these spending measures, the economy might have tipped into outright deflation and slower economic growth, the consequences of which would have been harder to manage."
Of course, relying on a counterfactual to prove one's argument is never ideal.
But maybe policymakers can take this admission to heart, and try to keep it in mind when the next once-in-a-generation crisis finally arrives.
Pfizer and BioNTech go to Hollywood with splashy Oscars sponsorship | Fierce Pharma
Tue, 29 Mar 2022 18:46
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Pfizer Announces Positive Top-Line Results for Phase 3 Trial of Etrasimod in Ulcerative Colitis Patients | Pfizer
Tue, 29 Mar 2022 16:09
- ELEVATE 12 study met primary and key secondary endpoints of improving clinical remission at week 12 -
- Safety profile consistent with previous Phase 2 studies -
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) today announced positive topline results from a Phase 3 study of etrasimod, an investigational, oral, once-a-day, selective sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) receptor modulator in development for the treatment of moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis (UC). In the study, etrasimod patients achieved statistically significant improvements in the primary endpoint of clinical remission at week 12 as compared with placebo. Statistically significant improvements were achieved in all key secondary endpoints in the trial as well. The safety profile was consistent with previous Phase 2 studies.
''These positive results demonstrate that etrasimod, if approved, could be a potential breakthrough option for patients with ulcerative colitis who aren't able to experience improvement on current therapies,'' said Michael Corbo, Chief Development Officer, Inflammation & Immunology, Pfizer Global Product Development. ''This outcome represents a continuation of our effort to develop new therapeutic approaches to treat immuno-inflammatory diseases and address the need for oral therapies for UC patients with inadequate response, loss of response, or intolerance to conventional or advanced therapies.''
The global phase 3 multi-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, also known as ELEVATE 12, enrolled 354 UC patients who had previously failed or were intolerant to at least one conventional, biologic, or JAK therapy. Participants received etrasimod 2mg once daily.
Full results from the study will be submitted for future scientific publication and presentation. These data along with results from ELEVATE 52 are expected to form the basis for planned future regulatory filings. Results from the ELEVATE 52 study will be available by the end of Q1. Additional information about the studies can be found at www.clinicaltrials.gov under the identifiers NCT03996369 and NCT03945188.
Etrasimod was developed by Arena Pharmaceuticals, which was recently acquired by Pfizer.
About Etrasimod
Etrasimod is an oral, once-a-day, selective sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) receptor modulator being investigated for a range of immuno-inflammatory diseases including ulcerative colitis, Crohn's Disease, atopic dermatitis, eosinophilic esophagitis, and alopecia areata.
In a Phase 2, randomized, placebo-controlled, dose-ranging study (OASIS) in moderate to severe UC patients, most patients who achieved clinical response, clinical remission, or endoscopic improvement at week 12 experienced sustained or improved effects up to week 46, with etrasimod 2 mg in the open-label extension. Etrasimod also demonstrated a favorable benefit/risk profile, consistent with safety findings reported in the double-blind portion of OASIS.
About Ulcerative Colitis
UC is a chronic and often debilitating inflammatory bowel disease1 that affects many people worldwide, including an estimated 3.8 million people in North America and Europe.2 Symptoms of UC can include chronic diarrhea with blood and mucus, abdominal pain and cramping, and weight loss.3,4 UC can have a significant effect on work, family and social activities.4
About Pfizer Inflammation & Immunology
At Pfizer Inflammation & Immunology, we strive to deliver breakthroughs that enable freedom from day-to-day suffering for people living with autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases, which can be debilitating, disfiguring and distressing, dramatically affecting what they can do. With a focus on immuno-inflammatory conditions in Rheumatology, Gastroenterology and Medical Dermatology, our current portfolio of approved medicines and investigational molecules spans multiple action and delivery mechanisms, from topicals to small molecules, biologics and biosimilars. The root cause of many immunological diseases is immuno-inflammation, which requires specifically designed agents. Our differentiated R&D approach resulted in one of the broadest pipelines in the industry, where we purposefully match molecules to diseases where we believe they can make the biggest difference. Building on our decades-long commitment and pioneering science, we continue to advance the standard of care for patients living with immuno-inflammatory diseases and are working hand-in-hand with patients, caregivers and the broader healthcare community on healthcare solutions for the many challenges of managing chronic inflammatory diseases, allowing patients to live their best lives.
Pfizer Inc.: Breakthroughs that Change Patients' Lives
At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety, and value in the discovery, development, and manufacture of health care products, including innovative medicines and vaccines. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments, and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world's premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments, and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 170 years, we have worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. We routinely post information that may be important to investors on our website at www.pfizer.com. In addition, to learn more, please visit us on www.pfizer.com and follow us on Twitter at @Pfizer and @Pfizer_News, LinkedIn, YouTube and like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Pfizer.
Disclosure Notice
The information contained in this release is as of March 23, 2022. Pfizer assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements contained in this release as the result of new information or future events or developments.
This release contains forward-looking information about etrasimod, including its potential benefits and planned regulatory filings, that involves substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Risks and uncertainties include, among other things, the uncertainties inherent in research and development, including the ability to meet anticipated clinical endpoints, commencement and/or completion dates for our clinical trials, regulatory submission dates, regulatory approval dates and/or launch dates, as well as the possibility of unfavorable new clinical data and further analyses of existing clinical data; the risk that clinical trial data are subject to differing interpretations and assessments by regulatory authorities; whether regulatory authorities will be satisfied with the design of and results from our clinical studies; whether and when drug applications may be filed in any jurisdictions for etrasimod; whether and when any such applications may be approved by regulatory authorities, which will depend on myriad factors, including making a determination as to whether the product's benefits outweigh its known risks and determination of the product's efficacy and, if approved, whether etrasimod will be commercially successful; decisions by regulatory authorities impacting labeling, manufacturing processes, safety and/or other matters that could affect the availability or commercial potential of etrasimod; the impact of COVID-19 on Pfizer's business, operations and financial results; and competitive developments.
A further description of risks and uncertainties can be found in Pfizer's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021 and in its subsequent reports on Form 10-Q, including in the sections thereof captioned ''Risk Factors'' and ''Forward-Looking Information and Factors That May Affect Future Results'', as well as in its subsequent reports on Form 8-K, all of which are filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and available at www.sec.gov and www.pfizer.com.
1 Crohn's and Colitis Foundation. What is Ulcerative Colitis. Available at: What is Ulcerative Colitis? | Crohn's & Colitis Foundation (crohnscolitisfoundation.org) Accessed March 18, 2022.
2 Seyedian, SS. A review of the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment methods of inflammatory bowel disease. J Med Life 2019 Apr-Jun; 12 (2): 113-122. Available at: A review of the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment methods of inflammatory bowel disease - PMC (nih.gov). Accessed March 22, 2022.
3 Hanauer SB. Inflammatory bowel disease. N Engl J Med. 1996;334(13):841-8. Available at: Inflammatory Bowel Disease | NEJM. Accessed March 18, 2022.
4 Irvine EJ. Quality of Life of Patients with Ulcerative Colitis: Past, Present, and Future. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. 2008;14(4):554-563. Available at: Quality of life of patients with ulcerative colitis: Past, present, and future | Inflammatory Bowel Diseases | Oxford Academic (openathens.net). Accessed March 18, 2022.
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VIDEO - 15 Biggest Oscars Controversies Over the Years '' SheKnows
Tue, 29 Mar 2022 15:56
Each year the Academy Awards brings its own set of drama '-- from nominations to what happens out there on the stage. There's no telling what this year's show will bring, but you can bet that the 2020 Oscars will have their own, unique brand of crazy, whether the hosts mix up envelopes again or the winners decide to go rogue in their speeches.
Related story Everyone is Buzzing About Prince Harry & Meghan Markle's Powerful Speech at The NAACP Image Awards This year, the Oscars nominations gave us major flashbacks to last year's controversial Green Book win: a film created by and heavily focused on white men, at a time when the Academy has already become notorious for lacking diversity (and seeming reluctant to do anything about it). With 1917, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and Joker dominating this year's hopefuls, viewers are dreading seeing a repeat of last year's disappointment when Green Book took the big win.
In particular, many are hoping that fan-favorite Parasite will win out for Best Picture '-- though early feedback from the Academy suggests that, by virtue of being foreign, the film is already at a disadvantage. While accepting his Golden Globe award earlier this year, director Bong Joon Ho made a joke about the Academy's aversion to his work: ''Once you overcome the one-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.''
So, there's plenty of potential for drama there '-- let's take a look back at other show-stopping moments from Oscars past.
2019: Green Book's Best Picture win
As we mentioned, America collectively groaned when Green Book was selected as 2019's Best Picture winner. Rolling Stone '-- among other outlets '-- compared the win to the Academy awarding Driving Miss Daisy the same prize in 1990, snubbing Spike Lee's beloved Do the Right Thing.
2018: Frances McDormand teaches us the words ''inclusion rider''
Frances McDormand won a Best Actress Oscar for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and she kicked off her acceptance speech by having all the female nominees in the room stand up: ''We all have stories to tell. Invite us into your offices and we'll tell you all about them,'' she told the crowd. She finished her speech with this: ''I have two words to leave with you tonight, ladies and gentlemen: inclusion rider.'' An inclusion rider is a clause in an actor's contract that requires a diverse cast and crew '-- and we seriously hope they've gotten more common since McDormand's speech.
2017: The infamous Best Picture envelope snafu
The Oscars were just about to wrap up with La La Land for Best Picture when everyone watching the show found out the wrong envelope had been delivered to presenters Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty. The real winner was Moonlight.
There was a mess of people on the stage; Jimmy Kimmel tried to save the day; and a PricewaterhouseCoopers accountant had to explain why he was tweeting instead of handing out the correct envelope. It's no surprise that accountants for the 2018 Academy Awards will have to check their cell phones at the door.
2017: Casey Affleck's sexual harassment allegations
Brie Larson wanted to present the Best Actor Oscar to anyone but Casey Affleck, but of course, he won. Larson has long been an advocate of sexual assault survivors, and the actor's sexual harassment allegations did not sit well with her.
After a brief hug, Larson didn't applaud and she made it clear post-Oscars that her lack of enthusiasm was intentional.
''I think that whatever it was that I did onstage kind of spoke for itself. I've said all that I need to say about that topic,'' Larson told Vanity Fair.
2016: Chris Rock shades #OscarsSoWhite with Stacey Dash
With a mostly-white nominated talent pool, #OscarsSoWhite took hold of the internet. Host Chris Rock thought it would be a great idea to mock Hollywood's great failure by bringing Fox News commentator Stacey Dash to the stage.
Dash was publicly ridiculed for saying the BET channel and Black History Month were completely unnecessary, so her presence at the Oscars was even more perplexing. Rock introduced her as the Oscars' ''new director of our minority outreach program.'' The audience fell completely silent from total confusion as the joke fell flat.
2014: John Travolta's infamous ''Adele Dazeem'' moment
John Travolta was supposed to introduce Idina Menzel before she sang ''Let It Go'' from the movie Frozen. Instead, he said, ''Please welcome the wickedly talented, one and only Adele Dazeem.''
From that moment on, only one meme mattered on social media.
2006: Crash is a controversial winner
Crash is considered the worst Best Picture winner of the last few decades. Brokeback Mountain was predicted to win, but it was the ensemble film that took home the big prize. Watch presenter Jack Nicholson mouth, ''Whoa,'' after he announced the winner.
2000: Angelina Jolie loves her brother a little too much
Controversy always seems to follow Angelina Jolie, and the 2000 Oscars were no different. She won for Best Supporting Actress for Girl, Interrupted, but it was her comments about her brother, James Haven, that got everyone all creeped out.
''I'm in shock and I'm so in love with my brother right now,'' she said in her acceptance speech. ''He just held me and said he loved me and I know he's so happy for me.''
On their own, Jolie's words may seem pretty innocuous. However, the controversy stems from the fact that Jolie's thanks for her brother's support came after the siblings had very publicly kissed on the lips on the Oscars red carpet, a thing which still had an air of taboo around it (as compared to our more open-minded approach these days) and what kissing a family member might seem to imply. While there's never, ever been a reason to suspect anything about Jolie and her brother, the timing of this very public show of affection (which came after a string of public, wild-child behavior) wasn't too redemptive for Jolie's public image.
1999: McCarthy-era director Elia Kazan receives an honorary Oscar
Moviegoers have loved Elia Kazan's films like A Streetcar Named Desire and On the Waterfront for decades, but the director had a lot of enemies in Hollywood. He gave the names of suspected Communists in the entertainment industry to the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
Even though his work stands the test of time, his honorary Oscar was met with mixed reactions at the 1999 Academy Awards. Warren Beatty and Meryl Streep stood up to applaud him while Nick Nolte and Ed Harris gave him the silent treatment. It's a pretty interesting reaction from Hollywood's elite.
1993: Politics at the Oscars
It seems funny now since politics and award shows go hand-in-hand, but in 1993, it was a big Oscars no-no. Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins used their presenter platform to speak out about the poor treatment of HIV-positive Haitians. Richard Gere criticized China's invasion of Tibet.
All three were banned for life from future ceremonies. That ban clearly wasn't enforced, because Sarandon won an Oscar in 1996 for Dead Man Walking and Robbins won for Mystic River in 2004.
1989: Rob Lowe sings with Snow WhiteImage: Getty ImagesThis opening number at the Oscars is a year the Academy would rather forget. Not only did the producers fail to realize Rob Lowe couldn't sing, but the 15-minute extravaganza was also an embarrassment to the entire entertainment industry.
The video is forever locked in a vault, never to see the light of day. Disney is making sure of that because the company sued the Academy for the unauthorized use of one of its beloved characters.
Eileen Bowman, who played Snow White during the doomed opener, described the experience to The Hollywood Reporter in 2013, ''The show itself looked like a gay bar mitzvah.''
1986: Cher protests through fashion
Cher wasn't very happy that her strong performance in the film Mask was not recognized by the Academy. She decided to protest in a very Cher way '-- through fashion.
Bob Mackie created an incredible headdress and skimpy black-beaded two-piece outfit for her Best Supporting Actor presenting duties. Onstage, she said, ''As you can see, I did receive my Academy booklet on how to dress like a serious actress.''
1974: Nudity at the Oscars
The 1970s were filled with interesting moments, but this one is probably best remembered for presenter David Niven's witty quip after a streaker hit the stage.
Photographer Robert Opel cut through a backstage curtain to make his nude entry while flashing a peace sign.
Niven then joked, ''Isn't it fascinating to think that probably the only laugh that man will ever get in his life is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings?''
There are still conspiracy theories to this day that it was a planned stunt by Oscars producer Jack Haley Jr., but no one has ever confirmed this story.
1973: Sacheen Littlefeather turns down Marlon Brando's Oscar for him
Marlon Brando won for The Godfather in 1973, but he didn't show up to the ceremony. He sent actor and Native American activist Sacheen Littlefeather in his place.
''He very regretfully cannot accept this very generous award,'' said Littlefeather in her speech. ''And the reasons for this being are the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry.''
Native Americans are still fighting for representation in the entertainment industry and the Academy no longer allows a proxy to accept the Oscar; presenters now accept the award on a winner's behalf.
1970: George C. Scott says no to his Oscar
George C. Scott was nominated for the film Patton, but the actor had no time for award shows.
''The ceremonies are a two-hour meat parade, a public display with contrived suspense for economic reasons,'' Scott said to the media in 1970.
Scott didn't attend the ceremony and instead chose to stay in New York and watch a hockey game at home. He did change his mind about award shows after he campaigned for a director nomination in 1972 for Rage, and he was seen at the show in 1982.
What will be this year's big controversy? Find out on Sunday, February 9 when the Academy Awards air on ABC beginning at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT.
A version of this article was originally published March 2018.
Why Will and Jada are the worst: Scientology kids school, more
Tue, 29 Mar 2022 15:50
Just when you thought you'd heard the most annoying thing about Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith's ''relational perfection'' '-- yeah, that's what they call it now '-- they go and outdo themselves.
The defiantly out-there couple, who have been married for 23 years and have two children together '-- son Jaden, 23, and daughter Willow, 20 '-- have admitted that Pinkett Smith had an affair with R&B singer August Alsina during a ''break'' from their marriage; that she's sexually attracted to women; and that they share an unorthodox parenting style (''We don't do punishment,'' Smith once bragged).
Hollywood's most dubiously enduring duo has been less forthcoming about their now-shuttered, allegedly secret Scientology school. In 2017, when former Scientologist Leah Remini claimed that Pinkett Smith was a ''long time'' down-low member, the couple denied any affiliations with the controversial religion. ''We've never been Scientologists, we've never been swingers,'' Smith said at the time.
Now, however, Smith has revealed that he and his wife are indeed in an open marriage.
R&B singer August Alsina, here with Jada Pinkett Smith in 2017, had an affair during a break from her marriage to Will Smith. A Hollywood actress close to the couple told The Post in 2020: ''Jada [previously] said she was mentoring him .'‰.'‰. ''You did not help him, you helped destroy him.'' Getty Images for BET''We have given each other trust and freedom, with the belief that everybody has to find their own way. And marriage for us can't be a prison,'' Smith, 53, told GQ this week.
'It's not like we haven't heard the stories rumbling around. It's just that we have never heard them confess or admit to anything.'
A Hollywood insider told The Post the new open-marriage revelations aren't surprisingHe even admitted that his wife's ''entanglement'' with Alsina made it seem like she was the adulterous one, but ''that was not, Smith delicately explained to me, in fact the case,'' the GQ writer noted.
''Jada never believed in conventional marriage '... Jada had family members that had an unconventional relationship. So she grew up in a way that was very different than how I grew up,'' Smith said.
And then Smith dropped what could be the most annoying celebrity slang since ''conscious uncoupling'' was made infamous by Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin: ''There were significant endless discussions about, what is relational perfection? What is the perfect way to interact as a couple? And for the large part of our relationship, monogamy was what we chose, not thinking of monogamy as the only relational perfection.''
He added that he's in the throes of his ''f '' '' k it 50s'' phase, teasing his forthcoming 432-page mega-memoir, ''Will,'' out Nov. 9. (His co-author, Mark Manson, wrote ''The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.'')
The Smith family, from left: Will, Jada, son, Jaden, son Trey (from a previous marriage), and daughter, Willow. ''We don't do punishment,'' Smith once said of his kids. Meanwhile, a former guest lecturer at the Smith offspring's school said: ''It wasn't a rigorous program. In the name of 'creativity,' they were just letting the kids do whatever they want.'' WireImageSmith also revealed his self-indulgent, arguably sexist fantasy about having ''a harem of girlfriends, including Halle Berry and Misty Copeland, and his work with celebrity intimacy counselor Michaela Boehm, which allowed him to ''realize that my thoughts were not sins and even acting on an impure thought didn't make me a piece of s '' '' t.''
A Hollywood insider told The Post that the new open-marriage revelations aren't surprising: ''It's not like we haven't heard the stories rumbling around. It's just that we have never heard them confess or admit to anything.''
They added: ''That's how their relationship has been for so long that you just get used to the way it functions. Also, it is a lot of pressure when people are watching you and you feel like you want to maintain this fa§ade of having this power-couple relationship. So, yes, I think that they want to maintain that fa§ade.''
Representatives for the Smiths did not respond to The Post's request for comment.
Another source close to the family told The Post that the couple was the happiest they've ever seen them at Pinkett Smith's 50th birthday party on Sept. 17.
''It was the best I've ever seen her '-- happiest I've ever seen her. All of her closest friends were there. It was old-school,'' the source said of the roller-skating party.
Will Smith's forthcoming memoir, ''Will,'' is out Nov. 9. It's teased contents are already generating buzz.''Will was smiling the whole night and happier than anything. Her and Will were blissful. I never saw them smiling so much. It was the happiest I've seen them in a long time. It was like, 'Wow, that's what 50 is.' ''
The couple's relationship has long been the subject of speculation.
In 2009, Pinkett Smith said: ''I've heard all the things '-- their marriage is not real, he's gay, she's gay, they swing .'‰.'‰. I'll tell you what, it's too hard to be in a pretend marriage.''
Recently, they became more open about sharing their unconventional views on Pinkett Smith's popular ''Red Table Talk'' series, which she hosts alongside her mom, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, and daughter, Willow.
Now in its fourth season, the show is billed as a multigenerational conversation that doesn't shy away from controversial topics, with Pinkett Smith and her family often injecting their own deeply personal feelings on life, love and marriage.
Jada and Will cuddle for the cameras at the 2019 premiere of ''Gemini Man'' in Los Angeles, California. Sipa USA via APIn the blockbuster 2020 episode, ''Jada and Will: Their First One-On-One Conversation,'' the couple finally admitted to Pinkett Smith's affair with Alsina, who joined the family on vacation in Hawaii in 2016, after initially denying the rumors.
Pinkett Smith said she didn't consider it a ''transgression'' because the couple had been on a break. ''I just wanted to feel good,'' she said. ''It had been so long since I felt good.''
The series has featured other no-holds-barred family talk.
In an episode titled ''Is Polyamory for You?,'' which aired earlier this year, Willow said she identified as polyamorous.
''I think the main foundation is the freedom to be able to create a relationship style that works for you and not just stepping into monogamy because that's what everyone around you says is the right thing to do,'' she said.
Willow Smith and Jaden Smith attend the ''Happier Than Ever: The Destination'' celebration, presented by Billie Eilish and Spotify, for the new album on July 29, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. Getty Images for SpotifyThe Smiths are actually highly dedicated parents, according to another source who was close to the couple years ago when their children were smaller. (Willow first generated ''polluted'' controversy in 2014 when she was 13 '-- and posed in bed with a shirtless 20-year-old male friend, actor Moises Arias.)
''They were amazing with their kids. Their kids always came first,'' the source said.
Both Willow and Jaden attended the Smiths' short-lived school, widely believed to be a center of Scientology, called the New Village Leadership Academy, which opened in 2008 before quietly shuttering five years later.
Love 'em or hate 'em: How Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith became one of the most headline-grabbing couples of their time '-- and brought August Alsina, Willow Smith and Jaden Smith along for the wild ride. AP/Getty Images/ NY Post composite''It wasn't a rigorous program,'' a former guest lecturer at the school told the Daily Beast. ''In the name of 'creativity,' they were just letting the kids do whatever they want.''
Around the time it closed, Jaden, who is gender fluid and a Louis Vuitton womenswear model, made waves when he tweeted: ''School Is The Tool To Brainwash The Youth.''
Despite ample criticism, Jada is proud of her unique parenting style. ''I'm not a conventional parent, which I take a lot pride in,'' she said in 2014. ''I don't just sit with Willow and go, 'Hey, this is what Mommy thinks.'''
Smith and Pinkett Smith met on the set of ''The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'' in 1994, when Jada auditioned to play Smith's girlfriend but was passed over for the role due to her diminutive stature (she's 5-feet tall and he's 6-foot-2).
Jada Pinkett and actor Will Smith attend the premiere of Denzel Washington's ''Devil in a Blue Dress'' on September 22, 1995 at the Academy Theatre in Beverly Hills, California. Ron Galella Collection via GettyAt the time, Smith was married to businesswoman, actress and fashion designer Sheree Zampino, now 53. The two married in 1992, and that same year they had a son, 28-year-old actor Trey Smith, before splitting in 1995.
''I knew [Jada] was the woman I was supposed to be with,'' Smith said on ''Red Table Talk,'' recalling the epiphany he had while at dinner with Zampino.
He wed Pinkett Smith on New Year's Eve 1997, which People called ''the most lavish and secretive celebrity wedding of the year.'' Jada glowed in a high-necked, champagne-colored, velvet Badgley Mischka gown. (She was three months pregnant with Jaden at the time.)
Still, she was nearly a runaway bride, and had zero interest in marriage at the time. ''I was so upset that I had to have a wedding. I was so pissed. I went crying down the freakin' aisle getting married,'' she said on ''Red Table Talk.''
That seemed to give way to a number of marital compromises, including when Smith persuaded Pinkett Smith to move into a 256-acre compound.
''Nothing good comes from spending your hard-earned money on a 'family home' that your wife doesn't want,'' Smith writes in his upcoming memoir, according to GQ.
''You are putting a down payment on discord and for years you will be paying off a mortgage of misery. Or, worse.''
Another marital low point came when Pinkett Smith turned 40.
''That's when I had a midlife crisis,'' she said on ''Red Table Talk.''
''Yeah, your 40th birthday was my low point,'' Smith replied.
He had planned a birthday bash in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he screened a documentary he had commissioned recounting Pinkett Smith's family history, including her lineage to slavery.
''She told me that the party was the most ridiculous display of my ego,'' Smith said on the show.
The two began fighting so loudly that then 10-year-old Willow came out crying, with her hands held over her ears, imploring them to stop, according to GQ.
''Our marriage wasn't working,'' Smith writes in his book. ''We could no longer pretend. We were both miserable and clearly something had to change.''
In 2013, Pinkett Smith led fans to believe that the couple shared an open marriage.
''I've always told Will, 'You can do whatever you want as long as you can look at yourself in the mirror and be OK,' '' she said on Huff Post Live.
''Because at the end of the day, Will is his own man. I'm here as his partner, but he is his own man. He has to decide who he wants to be and that's not for me to do for him. Or vice versa.''
Pinkett Smith later took to Facebook to clarify her comments: ''Here is how I will change my statement '... Will and I BOTH can do WHATEVER we want, because we TRUST each other to do so,'' she wrote. ''This does NOT mean we have an open relationship '... this means we have a GROWN one.''
On a 2020 episode of ''Red Table Talk,'' the couple revealed they had quietly separated in 2016 when Pinkett Smith became involved with Alsina, now 29, who had gone through a series of health issues, including being diagnosed with liver disease in 2017.
But a Hollywood actress close to the couple claimed that Pinkett Smith took advantage of the situation, telling The Post in 2020: ''Jada [previously] said she was mentoring him .'‰.'‰. what kind of mentoring was she giving him where he felt he gave his all to a relationship that has left him devastated and hurt?,'' the source said.
''You did not help him, you helped destroy him.''
Pinkett Smith chalked it up to being ''broken'' at the time and looking for fulfillment in others '-- but then said she began ''healing'' her relationship with Smith.
''We did everything we could to get away from each other, only to realize that's not possible,'' she said in 2018.
Around that time, Smith told TIDAL's Rap Radar podcast that the pair ''don't even say we're married anymore.'' Rather, they considered themselves ''life partners.''
''You get into that space where you realize you are literally with somebody for the rest of your life,'' he said. ''There's no deal breakers. There's nothing she could do '-- ever '-- nothing that would break our relationship. She has my support till death, and it feels so good to get to that space.''
(2) Fr(C)d(C)ric Leroy on Twitter: "'¼¸ðŸ' The #GlobalBurdenOfDisease (GBD) study is used globally in health policies. Very odd things are going on, incl. the assumption that every bite of red #meat is harmful (?!) In this letter to The Lancet 👇 we a
Tue, 29 Mar 2022 15:47
Fr(C)d(C)ric Leroy : '¼¸ðŸ' The #GlobalBurdenOfDisease (GBD) study is used globally in health policies. Very odd things are going on, incl.'... https://t.co/Hs5FCKFFaa
Fri Feb 25 23:43:24 +0000 2022
Leah Remini: Jada Pinkett Smith Is a Scientologist
Tue, 29 Mar 2022 15:42
One of the more eyebrow-raising passages in Troublemaker, Leah Remini's tell-all memoir about her escape from the clutches of Scientology, involves a trio of A-listers: Tom Cruise, Will Smith, and Jada Pinkett Smith.
Remini recalls a strange night at Cruise's lavish estate where she (then a Scientologist), along with the Smiths, were asked by Cruise to participate in a game of hide-and-seek. ''At first I thought he was joking,'' she wrote. ''But, no, he literally wanted to play hide-and-seek with a bunch of grown-ups in what was probably close to a 7,000-square-foot house on almost three full acres of secluded land.''
After realizing she was in Jimmy Choo heels, Remini wrote that she declined the offer'--which is apparently rare when dealing with a high-ranking Scientologist like Cruise'--only to have Cruise approach her, quip, ''Well, good. So you're 'It,' then,'' and tag her before bolting.
Well, according to Remini, there were three star Scientologists present that evening: herself, Cruise, and Pinkett Smith.
''I know Jada's in. I know Jada's in. She's been in Scientology a long time,'' Remini tells The Daily Beast. ''I never saw Will [Smith] there, but I saw Jada at the Celebrity Centre. They opened up a Scientology school, and have since closed it. But Jada, I had seen her at the Scientology Celebrity Centre all the time.'' (Pinkett Smith did not return multiple requests for comment.)
Remini is referring to the Scientology Celebrity Centre in Hollywood, California, where star-adherents regularly gather to do Xenu knows what. And the since-shuttered ''Scientology school'' she mentions is New Village Leadership Academy in the tony neighborhood of Calabasas, California, which was largely funded by the Smith family'--who subsequently hired much of the staff, many of whom, including the Director of Learning, were Scientologists. Though the Smiths insisted that their school was secular, it touted ''Study Technology'' as one of its teaching methodologies on its website, a heavily criticized practice devised by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Suri Cruise'--daughter of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes'--attended the school before it shut its doors in 2013. In addition to the school, Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, who are good friends of Cruise's, reportedly donated $20,000 to Scientology's literacy campaign HELP.
And while a former high-ranking Scientologist, Mike Rinder (who co-presents the A&E series with Remini), insisted to me a couple of years back that Will Smith was never a Scientologist, Remini claims that Pinkett Smith not only was a Scientologist, but still is.
''I had hoped that she had left [Scientology], but this was the tell-tale sign that she was still in,'' said Remini, nodding to the Cruise hide-and-seek anecdote she shared in her book. ''She was on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live a few weeks ago promoting her film [Girls Trip], and Andy [Cohen] said to her, 'Have you read Leah Remini's book?' and he was like, 'What was that whole thing about playing tag?' and she said, 'Oh, she lied.' He goes, 'Isn't that weird, to play tag?' and she goes, 'No, the kids were there.' That was untrue. Bullshit. There were no kids there. I was like, okay, alright, you're gonna do that? More power to ya.''
As far as Remini's book goes, the Church of Scientology called it ''revisionist history'' and, in their typical fashion, released a statement assassinating her character.
The Daily Beast's full interview with Leah Remini will run next week.
Azov (A30B) Downed MH17 '' Veterans Today | Military Foreign Affairs Policy Journal for Clandestine Services
Tue, 29 Mar 2022 15:31
En als je het mij vraagt is MH17 geen ongeluk geweest maar was het een belangrijke moment om Rusland in het kwade daglicht te zetten, mede dankzij Oekra¯ne (Azov/A30B) en Amerika. pic.twitter.com/epKefWTZZV
'-- RealPlagueDoctor (@RealPlagueDoct) March 29, 2022
'Ukrainian mafioso boss, Igor Kolomoysky is the main financer of Azov Nazis and St. Volodymyr Zelensky. In an extraordinary leaked 2014 video, he talks about the MH17 shootdown, calling it "a trifle", giving the game away about what happened.' https://t.co/qawnrFGj2V
'-- Greg Maybury (@gjmaybury) March 29, 2022
Pretty sure it was Azov Nazi's that shot down MH17
'-- It's a big club, and you ain't in it (@MattMSr) March 28, 2022
https://twitter.com/Emurph8/status/1508335258202222592?s=20&t=4VlW7pw2ObLshz7hyOj_TQ
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Russian Supply Chains Next in Line for Sanctions: Deputy US Treasury Secretary
Tue, 29 Mar 2022 15:30
Economist Adewale "Wally" Adeyemo answers questions during his Senate Finance Committee nomination hearing to be Deputy Secretary of the Treasury in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, in Washington, on Feb. 23, 2021. (Greg Nash/Pool via Reuters)
LONDON'--The United States and its allies plan new sanctions on more sectors of Russia's economy that are critical to sustaining its invasion of Ukraine, including supply chains, Deputy U.S. Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said on Tuesday.
Adeyemo, speaking in London on a European trip to consult with allies on strengthening and enforcing sanctions to punish Russia, said the broadening of those efforts was aimed at undermining ''the Kremlin's ability to operate its war machine.''
''In addition to sanctioning companies in sectors that enable the Kremlin's malign activities, we also plan to take actions to disrupt their critical supply chains,'' Adeyemo told an event at the think tank Chatham House.
''Our goal is to use an integrated approach that includes export controls which will bite over time and sanctions that will bite immediately,'' he said, adding they would also target alternative military suppliers used by Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his troops into Ukraine on what he calls a ''special military operation'' to demilitarize and ''denazify'' Ukraine.
Since the invasion began on Feb. 24, western allies have frozen Russia's central bank's foreign currency assets, banned key Russian banks and wealthy elites from hard currency transactions, and put restrictions on exports of advanced semiconductors and other technology.
The sanctions have stripped the Kremlin of resources and helped to cripple Russia's economy. Adeyemo said they would stay in place for as long as the invasion continued.
He attributed the success of the sanctions to a strong multilateral effort and the strength of an international economic and financial system built by democratic countries at the end of World War Two, which created institutions including the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the precursor to the World Trade Organization.
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Ukrainian President Zelensky in talks with Academy to make Oscars appearance - The Columbus Daily Times
Tue, 29 Mar 2022 14:20
Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been in talks with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to make a video appearance during Sunday's broadcast of the Academy Awards, The Post has learned.
Academy officials still are debating on whether Zelensky will indeed appear briefly on the show, sources said. It's also not clear if he would appear live or in a taped message. Sources said the debate centers on whether the Oscars should remain apolitical as the Russian invasion of Ukraine rages on.
The Academy declined to comment to The Post.
ABC, which is broadcasting the show, is said to be in favor of Zelensky, a former actor, making a statement. ABC did not return requests for comment.
Meanwhile, it's believed that Ukranian-born actress Mila Kunis, who raised $35 million with her husband, Ashton Kutcher, for the Ukranian refugees, will make a statement during the awards show.
Zelensky has been vocal about his gratitude for Kutcher and Kunis' efforts.
In recent days, the Academy has been tight-lipped on whether it will weigh in on the war. AFP via Getty ImagesOn Twitter Sunday, the leader shared a photo of himself in a Zoom meeting with the Hollywood couple.
''@aplusk & Mila Kunis were among the first to respond to our grief. They have already raised $35 million & are sending it to @flexport & @Airbnb to help refugees. Grateful for their support. Impressed by their determination. They inspire the world. #StandWithUkraine,'' he wrote.
In recent days, the Academy has been tight-lipped on whether it will weigh in on the war.
The show's executive producer, Will Packer, told reporters during a virtual press conference on Thursday: ''This is a really [momentous] time in humankind history, and we're very aware of that. And so you don't go into a show like this, I don't think, and not be aware of that and not find a way to respectfully acknowledge where we are and how fortunate we are to even be able to put on this show.''
Amy Schumer, Regina Hall, and Wanda Sykes will host this year's ceremony. ABC via Getty Images
How the Netherlands became a narco state - UnHerd
Tue, 29 Mar 2022 13:46
Amsterdam
A hit squad compared to a ''well-oiled murder machine''. A lawyer and journalist shot on the streets of Amsterdam. A blas(C) approach to killing the wrong person '-- there's even slang for every accidental victim: a vergismoord. Welcome to the Marengo trial, where 17 men stand accused of involvement in six murders, four attempted murders and preparing for six others between 2015 and 2017.
Fear hangs in the air around this court case, telling a tale of a country where the hydra of organised crime has so many heads that it is threatening the very rule of law. When the trial resumed this month, journalists were asked to sign agreements not to name judges or prosecutors, for fear of them being targeted. After reports that co-chief suspect Ridouan Taghi was planning a jailbreak, the streets around the fortified courtroom known as the Bunker are ringed with police cars and trained teams made up of police and soldiers.
The Marengo is only the latest in a series of organised crime trials to shake the Netherlands. This year, Dutch courts are also trying alleged criminal druglord Roger P., accused of turning shipping containers into an underworld prison, with its own gruesome ''torture chamber''. Meanwhile, a Marengo side-trial involves motorbike club Caloh Wagoh members charged with shooting dead five people, preparing three other murders and ''putting another seven people on the waiting list to be killed''.
''I call The Netherlands a 'narco-state 2.0','' says Jan Struijs, chairman of the Nederlandse PolitieBond police union. ''We aren't Mexico, with 14,000 dead bodies, but in our parallel economy, there is an attack on public order and unprecedented numbers of people with personal security '-- politicians, judges, prosecutors, police staff, journalists '-- because there is still a serious risk from organised crime. It is a huge problem, being tackled on every front, but we have a long way to go.''
Struijs first raised concerns that this small, well-connected trading nation has ''characteristics of a narco-state'' four years ago. At the time, there was a muted political response. But then the brother of the Marengo crown witness Nabil B was shot dead and the crown witness's original lawyer, Dirk Wiersum, was gunned down outside his house. Finally, last July, celebrated crime reporter Peter R de Vries, who had unconventionally agreed to act as Nabil B's representative, was shot in the head on a busy central Amsterdam street and died of his wounds.
Today, few would argue that increasingly violent crime has clawed its fingers deep into civil society. But as Lieselot Bisschop, criminologist at Erasmus School of Law in Rotterdam, points out, before you can combat the crime, it is important to understand who is involved and how. She and a team of researchers have been looking at the key drug runners' entry and exit point of Rotterdam port, where last year a Hit and Run Cargo team (HARC) confiscated a record 72,808 kilos of cocaine plus another record of 1,500 kilos of heroin. ''Whether it's a good thing that they are catching more, I don't know '-- is more going through anyway?'' says Prof Bisschop. ''The quantity aspect is always very challenging. It's a dark number, guesstimates.''
Meanwhile, the Netherlands is apparently a centre of synthetic drug manufacture, with regular busts of ''professional'' crystal meth and MDMA labs, especially in Noord Brabant. When international police decrypted millions of messages on devices criminals thought were secure '-- such as Sky and EncroChat, and the Dutch decoded Pretty Good Privacy software for Blackberry's in the Marengo case '-- they lit up a web of crime.
Experts agree the Netherlands's infrastructure is key for both legal and illegal trade. In their 2020 book, Nederland Drugsland, Dutch police academy professor Pieter Tops and journalist Jan Tromp explored how criminals exploit its efficient ports, good roads, and strong financial and digital infrastructure. ''The Netherlands has long been a trading country '-- not just the harbours but also our high-quality internet environment. We have huge numbers of bankers and our country is central in Europe in terms of all kinds of transport and transit,'' says Struijs. ''We have huge numbers of imports, which means a lot of drugs are mixed with legal trade, coming in containers of fruit or liquor. Organised crime takes advantage of the legal infrastructure.''
Corruption is another factor. As a nation, the Dutch are keen to make a deal '-- and regular businesses haven't always been too fussy about carrying out background checks, as various banking money laundering cases and high tax haven rankings show. The NVB Dutch banking association says an estimated '‚¬16 billion in illegally-earned cash washes around each year.
Personal corruption is also a problem in a port 40km long and with 180,000 employees, says Bisschop. ''Within Europe, it is definitely the gateway for any kind of trade and probably for cocaine. Over the years, the port has become more physically and digitally secure. We think this has contributed to more pressure on the people in the port. Basically, you need corruption to pull it off '-- both public and private, not just police and customs but also planners in container terminals. You need someone on the inside.''
So in court, says veteran crime reporter Saskia Belleman, there has been a spate of cases against allegedly corrupt customs staff, shipping and port employees, partly as a consequence of a Dutch gedoogcultuur of looking the other way. There are also concerns about so-called ''collectors'', often young men who trespass into the harbour and collect drugs.
Nobody knows if the Netherlands is worse than other European port countries in terms of international organised crime, but its soft drug culture is undoubtedly a weak spot. Although smoking cannabis and coffee shops selling the drug are tolerated, it is illegal to grow commercially. This means that cafes offer a legally tolerated channel for criminal activity, and a training ground for young criminals.
In the Netherlands, it's become increasingly common to read about the ethnic aspect of organised crime '-- the so-called ''Mocro Maffia'' Moroccan-origin mafia which inspired a true crime book and spin-off television series. But Peter Schouten, one of the new lawyers for the crown witness in the Marengo trial, says: ''It's not true that it's only people with another 'heritage'. Certain gangs have a kind of micro-organism, a gangland where there's a lot of the same culture, but there are other gangs arrested, and you read stories saying that the new kingpin is 'Bolle' Jos from Brabant.''
It's hard to measure organised crime, partly because victims don't always make reports, but ethnic minorities are overrepresented as crime suspects. Statistics Netherlands researcher Maarten Bloem says, though, that ''if you correct for age, education level, socio-economic category, there is not much difference between different ethnic origins''. He concludes: ''It's not so much about someone's colour but the situation in which they find themselves.''
It is unclear whether the segregated, Dutch grammar school system helps contribute to excluding certain groups, too: critics say it selects too young, hammers in socio-economic difference, and makes no account for innately-talented children who speak Dutch as an additional language.
Crime, after all, can be seen as a way out of poverty and an equal opportunities recruiter. So there's a widespread recognition that long-term crime prevention needs to offer other options, especially to young men in problem districts. There's a new drive targeting ''vulnerable'' areas in Utrecht, and projects such as working with the ''top 600'" criminals and their families in Amsterdam. Meanwhile, international efforts have been led by the mayors of Rotterdam and Belgian Antwerp '-- where a record 90 tonnes of smuggled cocaine was found last year. They have visited South American counterparts and lobbied governments to ramp up international efforts against organised crime, increase barriers in harbours, and confiscate criminal assets.
In Rotterdam, there are promising signs of public-private cooperation, with busts by the multi-agency HARC, a new Information Sharing Centre, a business integrity initiative, and a ''training container'' to coach harbour staff in combatting corruption. A long-awaited law banning civilians from the container area is in place to help apprehend those vital 'collectors' picking up drugs from containers, while Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb is also enforcing a '‚¬2,250 anti-nuisance penalty. The new Dutch coalition hopes to add to these initiatives. It will start investing specifically in combating crime that ''undermines'' public order from 2023, ratcheting up to a '‚¬100m yearly investment by 2025. In the meantime, the last budget put aside an extra '‚¬434m to increase annual budgets for police, judicial organisation and subversive crime prevention, though experts warn that money must not be used to add to the layers of bureaucracy.
Instead, some want a shift in public attitudes on drug taking: as the prosecutor said in the torture container trial, show users the ''abhorrent'' consequence of their habits rather than perpetuating the permissive, hippy culture of the Seventies. ''It's not done in the Netherlands to point in the direction of drug users,'' says Belleman. ''If you don't use drugs, there's no market. But people who use cocaine at the weekends don't make the connection between organised crime and their drug use '-- and if you tell them, they are really offended.''
Perhaps the biggest problem, however, lies in how to prosecute those alleged criminals who are caught. In the mega-Marengo trial, hearings are currently mired in details such as whether the co-chief suspect Sa¯d Razzouki left his reading glasses behind when he was extradited from Colombia in December, and whether due process was followed in his subpoena.
The accused in the trial deny the charges, and Schouten doesn't expect a verdict until 2023. ''This trial is under an enormous amount of pressure,'' he says. ''This is about the rule of law, the dyke against injustice, and we must continue to protect this. But there is a lot of fear.'' Even when the trial verdict is reached, until words turn to action, that fear is unlikely to go away.
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VIDEO - (20) Christopher F. Rufo 'š--¸ on Twitter: "SCOOP: Disney corporate president Karey Burke says, "as the mother [of] one transgender child and one pansexual child," she supports having "many, many, many LGBTQIA characters in our stories" and wants
Thu, 31 Mar 2022 15:01
Christopher F. Rufo 'š--¸ : SCOOP: Disney corporate president Karey Burke says, "as the mother [of] one transgender child and one pansexual chi'... https://t.co/Wa8N2Ug6il
Tue Mar 29 21:57:44 +0000 2022
A Mighty Wyn : @realchrisrufo What her kids really need is an adult for a parent, not a enabler.
Thu Mar 31 14:58:43 +0000 2022
harry ludwig : @realchrisrufo Umm
Thu Mar 31 14:55:21 +0000 2022
Sowshul ðŸ'' Media : @realchrisrufo hmmmm. Disney is a global company, so what does it nean exactly to be a "minority" relative to wha'... https://t.co/1YymZBrq5F
Thu Mar 31 14:54:56 +0000 2022
VIDEO - What Is Aphasia? All About Bruce Willis' Diagnosis | PEOPLE.com
Thu, 31 Mar 2022 14:58
Bruce Willis has been diagnosed with aphasia, a condition that "is impacting his cognitive abilities," his family shared on social media
Bruce Willis has been diagnosed with aphasia, the actor's family announced on social media Wednesday.
The Die Hard actor, 67, "has been experiencing some health issues," his daughter Rumer Willis shared in a statement from their family that she posted to Instagram.
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The aphasia "is impacting his cognitive abilities," the statement continued. As a result of his diagnosis, Willis "is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him," the family said.
RELATED: Demi Moore Celebrates Ex-Husband Bruce Willis' 67th Birthday: 'Thankful for Our Blended Family'
Aphasia "typically occurs suddenly after a stroke or a head injury," according to the Mayo Clinic, which states that the condition can also gradually occur "from a slow-growing brain tumor or a disease that causes progressive, permanent damage."
The family has not disclosed the cause of Willis' aphasia.
People with aphasia experience changes in their ability to communicate, the Mayo Clinic says, and they "may speak in short or incomplete sentences, speak in sentences that don't make sense, substitute one word for another or one sound for another, speak unrecognizable words, not understand other people's conversation or write sentences that don't make sense."
For more on Bruce Willis, listen below to our daily podcast on PEOPLE Every Day.
Aphasia can present differently in people depending on where they have experienced brain damage, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) states. Damage on the left side of the brain "may lead to language problems," while damage on the right side of the brain can cause poor attention or memory issues.
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Bruce Willis
| Credit: ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images
There are two broad types of aphasia: fluent and nonfluent, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD).
The most common type of fluent aphasia is Wernicke's aphasia, which can result in people saying "long, complete sentences that have no meaning, adding unnecessary words and even creating made-up words," NIDCD states.
The most common type of nonfluent aphasia is Broca's aphasia, which can make people "speak in short phrases that are produced with great effort" despite possibly being able to "understand speech and know what they want to say," per NIDCD.
RELATED VIDEO: Bruce Willis and Wife Emma Heming Are 'Proud Parents' as They Take Daughters on First Ski Trip
Aphasia typically affects middle-aged or older people, but even young children can experience the condition, according to NIDCD.
The National Aphasia Association reports that "over 2 million Americans are affected by aphasia."
People with aphasia can use speech-language therapy to improve their communication abilities. "Aphasia therapy aims to improve a person's ability to communicate by helping him or her to use remaining language abilities, restore language abilities as much as possible, and learn other ways of communicating," the NIDCD says.
Never miss a story '-- sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.
VIDEO - (1232) Just HOW Corrupt is D.C? Rep. Madison Cawthorn gives insider look - YouTube
Thu, 31 Mar 2022 14:44
VIDEO - (18) Christopher F. Rufo 'š--¸ on Twitter: "SCOOP: Disney's activism partner Nadine Smith of Equality Florida tells LGBTQ employees that @GovRonDeSantis and @ChristinaPushaw want to "erase you, "criminalize your existence," and "take your kids"'
Thu, 31 Mar 2022 14:41
Christopher F. Rufo 'š--¸ : SCOOP: Disney's activism partner Nadine Smith of Equality Florida tells LGBTQ employees that @GovRonDeSantis and'... https://t.co/5sR398EM9e
Tue Mar 29 22:50:38 +0000 2022
VIDEO - (16) Justin Hart on Twitter: "This is upsetting. The magic words we came to know and love are gone in the name of inclusion. ðŸ @WaltDisneyCo is showing its true colors." / Twitter
Thu, 31 Mar 2022 14:38
Justin Hart : This is upsetting.The magic words we came to know and love are gone in the name of inclusion. ðŸ @WaltDisneyCo is s'... https://t.co/xh3Q6ix7br
Wed Mar 30 00:16:25 +0000 2022
VIDEO - (16) Christopher F. Rufo 'š--¸ on Twitter: "SCOOP: Disney production coordinator Allen March says his team is committed to "exploring queer stories" and has created a "tracker" to make sure they are creating enough "gender nonconforming character
Thu, 31 Mar 2022 14:37
Christopher F. Rufo 'š--¸ : SCOOP: Disney production coordinator Allen March says his team is committed to "exploring queer stories" and has cr'... https://t.co/eOdQ4eQNoY
Tue Mar 29 22:30:13 +0000 2022
A Brexiteer 🎠🇬🇧 : @realchrisrufo "BOYCOTT Disney" absolute muppets
Thu Mar 31 14:33:21 +0000 2022
Chad A. Martin : @realchrisrufo #disturbing #BoycottDisney
Thu Mar 31 14:31:41 +0000 2022
VIDEO - (1232) Covid-19: Researcher blows the whistle on data integrity issues in Pfizer's vaccine trial - YouTube
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Wed, 30 Mar 2022 14:12
VIDEO - Top FDA official says fully vaccinated Americans may need more Covid shots this fall
Wed, 30 Mar 2022 13:46
Nathan Jacobs, of Boston gets his Covid Booster shot from Sassy Yogurtian at City Hall on December 9, 2021 in, in Boston, MA.
Stuart Cahill | MediaNews Group | Getty Images
People in the U.S. might need another Covid booster shot this fall as public health experts expect immunity from the vaccines to wane and transmission of the virus to increase during colder months, the Food and Drug Administration's top vaccine official said Tuesday.
Dr. Peter Marks, head of the FDA office responsible for vaccine safety, indicated the U.S. might need to offer fourth shots for people under 50-years-old in the fall. People who are now eligible for fourth shots would likely get a fifth shot if there's evidence that would be beneficial, Marks told reporters on a conference call.
Marks also said the U.S. could switch to a different vaccine that targets a specific Covid variant or a mix of several. The current vaccines were developed against the original virus that emerged in Wuhan, China in late 2019, and their effectiveness has declined over time as the virus mutates. Pfizer and Moderna are conducting clinical trials on shots that target both omicron and other circulating variants.
The FDA will hold an advisory committee meeting on April 6 to discuss the future of booster shots in the U.S. and whether the vaccines need an update to offer better protection against variants.
"It would not be surprising if there is a potential need for people to get an additional booster in the fall along with a more general booster campaign if that takes place," Marks said. "It may be that a decision is made that rather than the vaccines we currently have, which are called vaccines against the prototype virus, that we will move to a vaccine that is either against one of the variants or something else."
The FDA on Tuesday authorized a fourth dose of Pfizer and Moderna's original vaccine for people ages 50 and older. The drug regulator also authorized a second booster dose for younger people with compromised immune systems. People ages 12 and older with certain underlying medical conditions are eligible for Pfizer, and people age 18 and older with the same health problems are eligible for Moderna.
Marks said evidence from Israel suggests a fourth dose can reduce the risk of hospitalization and death in older adults. The more contagious omicron subvariant, BA.2, has caused new waves of infection in major European nations as well as in China. The subvariant is now dominant in the U.S. White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said earlier this month that BA.2 could cause infections to rise in the U.S., though he's not expecting another surge.
Marks said the FDA decided to offer a fourth dose to older adults and a fifth shot to certain individuals with compromised immune systems so they have the tools to protect their health if another wave occurs in the U.S.
Scientists and public health officials are divided over whether more boosters are needed right now. Israeli scientists found that a fourth dose significantly reduced mortality in people age 60 and over compared to people who received three shots. The study from Ben Gurion University and Clalit Health Services, Israel's largest health-care provider, has not undergone peer review.
However, another Israeli study of health-care workers ages 18 and older indicated that fourth dose did not boost immunity in younger adults, many of whom still got asymptomatic and mild breakthrough infections.
"A fourth vaccination of healthy young health-care workers may have only marginal benefits," Dr. Gili Regev-Yochay and a team of scientists from Sheba Medical Center and Israel's Ministry of Health who conducted the study wrote in a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine this month.
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VIDEO - (1229) Secret Service report shows growing incel terrorism threat against women - YouTube
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CBS Evening - anchor Debora Patta - russia ukraine peace talks (1min28sec).mp3
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    We're not like everybody else. We're gonna tell Russia to eat
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    pound salt. Adam curry, John C. Devorah. It's
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    Thursday, March 31 2022. This is your award winning keep our
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    nation media assassination episode 1438. This is no agenda.
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    Bringing bell bottoms back and broadcasting live from the heart
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    of the Texas Hill Country here. Number six in the morning,
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    everybody. I'm Adam curry
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    from Northern Silicon Valley where the hypocrites rain I'm
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    Jhansi Dvorak.
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    It's it's raining hypocrites.
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    It's, I can't do the rain and hypocrites.
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    Hallelujah. Really?
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    Why? It just this? Well, Chris Rock's a good example.
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    Oh, man, this is this is a media deconstructors dream.
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    Well, it's my I loved this.
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    This was perfect. It's so many. These things work so well, when
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    when so many different parties could potentially benefit from
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    the controversy.
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    You bet you should at least give a quick overview of what
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    happened.
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    Yes, I can give an overview. I also do have some thoughts on
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    the matter. Okay, so I hope so. Yes, of course. Of course. I now
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    I'm sure everybody by now has seen the clip of the slap that
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    went around the world the snap. Remember the last lap that went
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    around right around the world is this snap? This last lap lap was
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    share? Snap out of it.
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    But what happened to share?
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    Don't you remember share in the movie Moonstruck patch slap snap
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    out of it? I think that was this was also that was in the the 80s
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    was that it was another slap pill heard around the world. So
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    Chris Rock is presenting some piece of the Oscars. And does
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    the typical Hollywood thing. Hey, everybody, how you doing?
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    Hey, good to see you. Good to see you. Hey, Jada. That's Will
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    Smith's wife. Does see you getting ready for gi Jane to
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    can't wait for it. And there's a little bit of laughter. And then
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    Will Smith saunters up on the stage and slaps Chris Rock and
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    then goes back to his seat and yells keep my wife's name out
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    your fucking mouth. And he does that twice. And, and then he was
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    it was MF in mouth I think.
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    Oh, yes. Yes, yes, you're right. Um, no, I don't think it was MF
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    N. I think was just Effen. Which point I think the audience
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    thought that this was a gag that as I started out, I thought it
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    was a gag. And then you but when the minute the audio went out
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    away? Hmm, not so much a gag. And of course within seconds,
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    people knew that the Oscars were actually on television that
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    night.
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    Now, well.
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    It was weird because
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    as Chris cuz Will Smith thought it was funny. And then he saw
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    his wife wasn't laughing. So and we were earlier in the show. It
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    was believed that it was an Amy Schumer gag are one of the two
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    women comedians that were up there that made some comment
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    about the open marriage of Will Smith and his and his wife,
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    which is not an open marriage. If only one party's taking part,
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    well having an affair.
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    Should we look at the so we look at what's possibly going on here
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    I have a number of a number of things. And this again was so
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    good. And by the way, the most important thing is that no one
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    cares about maternity wards being bombed anymore.
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    Millionaire actors well done
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    slapping each other. Yeah, I'm not one.
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    I think I'm actually uniquely qualified for it to deconstruct
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    this for a number of reasons. One, I've been in show business
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    in Hollywood show business two I have met and work with Will
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    Smith, three, my ex interim wife had the alopecia. And I in fact
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    myself in an allo Petia phobe? So I'm well positioned. All you
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    would be yes, yes. Yes. Now, well, before
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    you before you do since you have the D history. I have a clip to
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    set this up. Okay. Just to show you where we're coming from
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    here. A couple of things. First of all, I want to mention that
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    most people who have alopecia at the level that she has it, don't
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    wear it on their sleeve, they wear a nice wig, a nice
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    expensive wig and you wouldn't know they had it. I
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    just got to say one thing about alopecia just so we know because
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    I know a lot about it. Alopecia is just a term for hair loss. It
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    is not a cause it's not an illness. You can't be a victim
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    of it. A man who is bald has severe alopecia. So it's not a
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    sickness or something. This is this is what what people don't
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    understand.
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    All right, well, let's play this clip though from 1991. Here is
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    Will Smith. Will Smith is on the Arsenio Hall Show. And he and
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    there is a bald bass player in the band. Kevin.
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    Yeah. Kevin. Kevin, the band leader.
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    I don't know this is the bass player. This was not Kevin
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    Kevin. Kevin Eubanks was not on the Arsenio Hall Show in 1991.
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    Okay, it doesn't matter.
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    It was a bass player. And he is pointing the finger and mocking
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    him for his bald head. And then, and then backing off and the guy
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    gets a little irked by it. Here we go.
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    You can't do that in this world. They got rules. They got rules
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    like he has a rule. The big player he got a rule you got to
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    watch his head Every Morning Joe Come on. You got to into the
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    characters and got hurt.
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    Yeah, so back in the day, he could make the joke and it
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    worked. Of course it was Matt. Oh,
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    come on. It was a joke. Come on. All right. Well, I wouldn't be
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    so annoying if it wasn't Will Smith who got upset by basically
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    this is less of a joke. In fact, it was fairly lame as everyone
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    you know, analyzes it, I thought was pretty lame, too. Oh, yeah.
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    Well, it was okay. But it was that was
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    it unfunny it was just not. It wasn't something that chairs at
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    someone's soul.
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    No far from it. Okay, so we've we've talked about what alopecia
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    is. We'll get to that in a second. Now, there's one thing
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    I've learned from doing over 70 episodes with Moe. You do not
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    ever Nobody. Nobody makes jokes about black women's hair. It is
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    the third rail. It is you just don't do it. There's no no
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    comments. No jokes. No nothing. It's a big big deal. Now about
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    Jada Pinkett with her alopecia. I mean, she could do and I'm
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    just going to touch the third rail, she could do exactly what
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    all black women do in entertainment, and she could
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    just continue to wear wigs. Now it's lots of people suffer from
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    this. Lots of women solve it in different ways. But she being a
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    Hollywood narcissist needed to bring all that attention to oh,
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    I have alopecia. Okay, you're a victim. Good. So now just the
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    obvious deconstruction, although I worked with him in the 80s.
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    And I saw no, absolutely no evidence of this. Will Smith
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    could just be one of those really aggressive guys. There
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    are men out there and I and you know, I know him. And you say
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    you even look at their wife in a way they don't like and all of a
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    sudden they change like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. You know
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    what I mean? OJ Simpson. Thank you. You know, well, I don't
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    want to not OJ Simpson. But Tiko Taurus from Bon Jovi when we
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    went to Moscow, I remember it was Jennifer's, his fiancee, his
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    wife, or his girlfriend, and yeah, we're on a big plane with
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    all these people. And so I'm chatting to her. And then we're
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    off the plane, I'm still chatting, he comes up to me and
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    he says, hey, yeah, you know, he's just he's kind of like
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    making fun. But as he's saying, and he's like, he's punching me
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    in the shoulder and it's starting to hurt. And I realize
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    Holy crap, this guy thinks I must lean on his woman. And it
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    was really scary, especially, you know, a drummer, like Tiko
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    Taurus is like, could beat me up in a heartbeat. So it's
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    possible. I heard Piers Morgan say that he did an interview
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    with Jada Pinkett Smith 10 years ago, and Will Smith came in,
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    just before the interview started and sat in the corner
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    and said, Don't upset my wife, you won't like me if you upset
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    my wife. That kind of sounds like one of those guys, which is
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    surprising. However, as you already alluded to, there's
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    clearly a lot of dysfunction going on in the Smith household
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    and certainly in their relationship. And what you
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    discuss there's when it's an open relationship, but it's not
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    and she's, in essence, cheating. Key is a cock. He is a cock and
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    he and what I saw possibly as one, one thing that happened
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    here, he's so desperate to win her back, and to make her not
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    hang out with her and have sex with her son's friends. He lost
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    his mind. He just lost his mind. And in the time, it happened, he
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    didn't even know what he had done. So that's the obvious I
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    think is possible, then, oh, boy, everybody's a
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    deconstructionist? Yes. It was sponsored by Pfizer, everybody
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    sponsored by Pfizer,
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    a standing ovation to the crew To bring magic to the screen
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    biontech and Pfizer are proud sponsors of the Oscars
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    this year back at the Dolby Theatre. And of course, someone
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    dug up and alopecia phase three trial from August last year.
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    That's it. It was a commercial for Pfizer. Hmm. What do you
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    think, John? Seems seems like that seems like a bit far
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    fetched to do the extra ad for the alopecia medication in phase
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    three trial, which, you know, out there, people have alopecia
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    from radiation from cancer treatment. But okay, so
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    everyone's like, Oh, this is clearly a Pfizer setup. Your
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    thoughts on that?
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    That's bullshit.
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    Thank you. Exactly. Now, what we did know we talked about it on
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    Sunday before. Before all this came down. We knew that
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    President Lenski of Ukraine was in negotiations with the the
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    Academy for to make an appearance. And we know this to
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    be true, because there's reporting everywhere in the
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    Hollywood press. They were apparently they were down to
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    negotiating if it would be live or would be something pre taped.
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    And we had Sean Penn threatened threatened the entire
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    establishment of Hollywood, from his perch in Poland, Ukraine,
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    saying if they don't let him talk, I'm smelting my Oscar.
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    Have we heard anyone call for the smelting yet? No,
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    I think we should. We should call him out. Where's the smell?
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    We want to watch
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    but this is this is key. And there was almost nothing about
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    Ukraine in the entire speech. They could have at least thrown
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    in. Think of the children of unborn children who were bombed
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    in the maternity ward. Come on. This was a setup for that he was
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    ready. No, absolutely nothing. So war is over. Maybe, you know,
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    was this a a new cycle reset. Now the next theory, oh, PR
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    ratings. This is not how ratings work. Of course, they got a bump
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    in the in the in the plus one plus two, which is Video on
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    Demand where people watch it after the actual live event. But
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    this is not a ratings booster for an annual show. But it did
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    completely completely reset. The new cycle blew everything off.
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    There was no COVID there was no war in Ukraine. There's no
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    inflation that all it is is was it really wasn't not real. How
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    did this so I started looking back in history. Has this ever
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    happened before? Has the new cycle been interrupted by
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    something on the Academy Awards? And yes, it turns out in 1976
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    there was a streaker who came out just before Elizabeth Taylor
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    came out to present an award. Do you remember?
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    And you? Yes, I actually I do. And you should note. It was the
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    70s off the wall.
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    Believe me, believe me. There's so much 70s In today's show.
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    This was interesting because if you look at the PR angle 1976
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    was the first year that ABC took over broadcast rights from NBC.
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    And of course they continue to broadcast them today. So could
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    that have been a setup to get people more interested in the
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    Academy Awards while possible? Could it have been a detractor
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    from something? Well, let's take a look. So I put in the search
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    engine 1976 Headlines newspaper headlines the first one that
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    pops up you ready for this? Flu Shot scare 11 deaths reported
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    city programming trouble nine states call a halt that was kind
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    of interesting to me. They they might have wanted to in 1976
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    detract from people dying. We've played this this series of clips
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    many times.
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    But yeah bogus, a completely bogus virus and a bogus vaccine.
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    So as it comes to the cycle repeating Pfizer again maybe
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    possible could be it certainly didn't hurt. This is what I like
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    so many people benefit. But I know exactly what happened here.
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    This was a show of power. I'm always looking for the