1477: Hunger Stones

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 7m
August 14th, 2022
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Executive Producers: Zach Simon, Justin Polgar, Robert Simpson, Certantee, Charles Hickman, Sir Largeman, Baron of Bali, Sir Unaffiliated of The Long Term, Sir Chris of the Catskills

Associate Executive Producers: Sir Dudechink, Adam Carter, Renay Cislo, Anne Dunev, Shylah Vasquez, Joshua Collett, Delcina Ramsey

Cover Artist: Sir Paul Couture


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Climate Change
Hunger stone - Wikipedia
In 1918, a hunger stone on the bed of the Elbe River, near Tetschen, became exposed during a period of low water coincident to the wartime famines of World War I.[3] Similar hunger stones in the river were uncovered again during a drought in 2018.[4]
Great Reset
German Greens minister wants to establish centers for neighbors to report each other for political incorrectness
World Economic Forum Wants To Use AI To Automatically Censor Speech On The Internet | The Daily Caller
The system works through “human-curated, multi-language, off-platform intelligence,” input provided from expert sources, to create “learning sets” for the AI machine. (RELATED: Here Are All The Times The Biden Administration Has Called For Tech Censorship)
“Supplementing this smarter automated detection with human expertise to review edge cases and identify false positives and negatives and then feeding those findings back into training sets will allow us to create AI with human intelligence baked in,” Goldberger stated.
In other words, trust and safety teams can help the AI with anomalous cases, allowing it to detect nuances in content that a purely automated system might otherwise miss or misinterpret, according to Goldberger.
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Prime Time Purge
The coming California megastorm | News | sfexaminer.com
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 16:47
California, where earthquakes, droughts and wildfires have shaped life for generations, also faces the growing threat of another kind of calamity, one whose fury would be felt across the entire state.
This one will come from the sky.
According to new research, it will very likely take shape one winter in the Pacific, near Hawaii. No one knows exactly when, but from the vast expanse of tropical air around the Equator, atmospheric currents will pluck out a long tendril of water vapor and funnel it toward the West Coast. This vapor plume will be enormous, hundreds of miles wide and more than 1,200 miles long, and seething with ferocious winds. It will be carrying so much water that if you converted it all to liquid, its flow would be about 26 times what the Mississippi River discharges into the Gulf of Mexico at any given moment.
When this torpedo of moisture reaches California, it will crash into the mountains and be forced upward. This will cool its payload of vapor and kick off weeks and waves of rain and snow.
The superstorm that Californians have long feared will have begun. In centuries past, great rains deluged the Pacific coast, and strong storms in recent decades have caused havoc and ruin. But, because of climate change, this one would be worse than any in living memory.
Drenching rain will pummel cities and towns. At times, the hills around Los Angeles could get nearly 2 inches of rain an hour. Heavy rain and snow in the Sierra Nevada will test dams in the Central Valley, one of the world's most productive farm belts.
While all this has been happening, another filament of moisture-laden air will have formed over the Pacific and hurtled toward California. Then another. And another.
After a month, nearly 16 inches of precipitation, on average, will have fallen across the state. Large swaths of mountainous areas will have gotten much more. Communities might be ravaged beyond resettling. None of the state's major industries, from tech and Hollywood to farming and oil, will be untouched.
The coming superstorm '-- really, a rapid procession of what scientists call atmospheric rivers '-- will be the ultimate test of the dams, levees and bypasses California has built to impound nature's might.
But in a state where scarcity of water has long been the central fact of existence, global warming is not only worsening droughts and wildfires. Because warmer air can hold more moisture, atmospheric rivers can carry bigger cargoes of precipitation. The infrastructure design standards, hazard maps and disaster response plans that protected California from flooding in the past might soon be out of date.
As humans burn fossil fuels and heat up the planet, we have already increased the chances each year that California will experience a monthlong, statewide megastorm of this severity to roughly 1 in 50, according to a new study published Friday. In the coming decades, if global average temperatures climb by another 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, or 1 degree Celsius '-- and current trends suggest they might '-- then the likelihood of such storms will go up further, to nearly 1 in 30.
At the same time, the risk of megastorms that are rarer but even stronger, with much fiercer downpours, will rise as well.
These are alarming possibilities. But geological evidence suggests the West has been struck by cataclysmic floods several times over the past millennium, and the new study provides the most advanced look yet at how this threat is evolving in the age of human-caused global warming.
''We got kind of lucky to avoid it in the 20th century,'' said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, who prepared the new study with Xingying Huang of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. ''I would be very surprised to avoid it occurring in the 21st.''
Wetter Wet Years
Donald G. Sullivan was lying in bed one night, early in his career as a scientist, when he realized his data might hold a startling secret.
For his master's research at the University of California, Berkeley, he had sampled the sediment beneath a remote Sierra lake and was hoping to study the history of vegetation in the area. But a lot of the pollen in his sediment cores didn't seem to be from nearby. How had it gotten there?
When he X-rayed the cores, he found layers where the sediment was denser. Maybe, he surmised, these layers were filled with sand and silt that had washed in during floods.
It was only late that night that he tried to estimate the ages of the layers. They lined up neatly with other records of West Coast megafloods.
''That's when it clicked,'' said Sullivan, who is now at the University of Denver.
His findings, from 1982, showed that major floods hadn't been exceptionally rare occurrences in the Sacramento Valley over the past eight centuries. They took place every 100 to 200 years. And in the decades since, advancements in modeling have helped scientists evaluate how quickly the risks are rising because of climate change.
For their new study, Huang and Swain replayed portions of the 20th and 21st centuries using 40 simulations of the global climate. Extreme weather events, by definition, don't occur very often. So by using computer models to create realistic alternate histories of the past, present and future climate, scientists can study a longer record of events than the real world offers.
Swain and Huang looked at all the monthlong California storms that took place during two time segments in the simulations, one in the recent past and the other in a future with high global warming. They then used a weather model to produce detailed play-by-plays of where and when the storms dump their water.
Those details matter. There are ''so many different factors'' that make an atmospheric river deadly or benign, Huang said.
Climate change might be affecting atmospheric rivers in other ways, too, said F. Martin Ralph of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego. How strong their winds are, for instance, or how long they last.
Scientists are also working to improve atmospheric river forecasts, which is no easy task as the West experiences increasingly sharp shifts from very dry conditions to very wet and back again.
''My scientific gut says there's change happening,'' Ralph said. ''And we just haven't quite pinned down how to detect it adequately.''
Katrina 2.0
How do you protect a place as vast as California from a colossal storm? Two ways, said David Peterson, a veteran engineer. Change where the water goes, or change where the people are. Ideally, both. But neither is easy.
Firebaugh is a quiet, mostly Hispanic city of 8,100 people, one of many small communities that power the Central Valley's prodigious agricultural economy. Firebaugh also sits right on the San Joaquin River.
For a sleepless stretch of early 2017, Ben Gallegos, Firebaugh's city manager, did little but watch the river rise and debate whether to evacuate half the town. Water was threatening homes, schools, churches and the wastewater treatment plant.
Luckily, the river stopped rising. Still, the experience led Gallegos to apply for tens of millions in funding for new and improved levees around Firebaugh.
Levees change where the water goes, giving rivers more room to swell before they inundate the land. Levee failures in New Orleans were what turned Katrina into an epochal catastrophe, and after that storm, California toughened levee standards in urbanized areas of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys.
But the plodding pace of work has set people on edge. At a recent public hearing in Stockton on flood risk, Elias stood up and highlighted some troubling math.
The Department of Water Resources says up to $30 billion in investment is needed over the next 30 years. Yet over the past 15 years, the state managed to spend only $3.5 billion.
''We have to find ways to get ahead of the curve,'' Elias said. ''We don't want to have a Katrina 2.0 play out right here in the heart of Stockton.''
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.
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McDonald's Is Reopening Some Restaurants in Kyiv and Western Ukraine
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 16:46
McDonald's is reopening some of its restaurants in western Ukraine and in the country's capital, Kyiv. The restaurant chain closed in Ukraine after Russia invaded the country almost six months ago. Ukraine's economy is expected to shrink by 35% this year, according to the International Monetary Fund. Loading Something is loading.
McDonald's is reopening some of its 109 restaurants in Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, and in western Ukraine in the next few months.
After Russia invaded Ukraine almost six months ago, the burger chain closed its restaurants in Russia after being in the country for over 30 years. McDonald's also closed its restaurants in Ukraine, but continued paying its 10,000-plus Ukrainian employees, the Associated Press reports.
According to AP, the restaurant didn't specify how many stores it would reopen, or when and where it would reopen them, but said it's going to start preparing and supplying stores, bringing back employees '' and establishing safety procedures since the war is still happening, mostly in the eastern part of the country.
"We've spoken extensively to our employees who have expressed a strong desire to return to work and see our restaurants in Ukraine reopen," corporate senior vice president of international operated markets, Paul Pomroy, told employees. "In recent months, the belief that this would support a small but important sense of normalcy has grown stronger."
The war in Ukraine has devastated the country's economy. Ukraine's economy is expected to shrink by 35% this year, according to the International Monetary Fund. Other western businesses have already reopened in Kyiv, including Nike and KFC, the news service reported.
In May, McDonald's announced it was selling its nearly 850 Russian restaurants to Alexander Govor, a Russian businessman who was already running 25 McDonald's restaurants in Siberia. The former McDonald's restaurants are reopening as Vkusno i tochka, or, "Tasty and that's it."
Kevin Ozan, CFO of McDonald's, said closing its restaurants in Russia has actually helped the overall business.
"The Russia business ... actually had an operating margin below our global average," Ozan told investors. "So, by taking them out now actually helped improve the operating margin."
Salman Rushdie is injured after being stabbed ahead of speech in New York | Daily Mail Online
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 16:45
New York State Police have identified the suspect in Friday's stabbing of novelist Salman Rushdie as a New Jersey man who, according to law enforcement sources, allegedly had 'sympathies toward the Iranian government.'
Rushdie, 75, whose novel 'The Satanic Verses' drew death threats from Iran's leader in the 1980s, remained in surgery Friday evening hours after being stabbed up to 15 times by a man who rushed the stage as the author was about to give a lecture in western New York.
Authorities confirmed that the attacker Hadi Matar, 24, of Fairview, New Jersey, was arrested at the scene and was awaiting arraignment. State police Maj. Eugene Staniszewski said the motive for the stabbing was unclear.
But law enforcement sources told The New York Post that an initial investigation suggests Matar is sympathetic to the Iranian regime and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard.
Rushdie, who has been the subject of death threats from the Iranian regime since the late 1980s, was attacked as he was being introduced to the stage for the CHQ 2022 event in Chautauqua, near Buffalo, on Friday morning.
Witnesses claim that Rushdie was stabbed 10 to 15 times, as Matar approached him from behind before rushing the stage. He is understood to have gained access to the grounds with a pass, police said.
Matar then managed to walk off the stage after the stabbing, before being restrained, as people rushed to assist Rushdie - who had been seated when he was assaulted. A doctor in the crowd helped administer CPR, before he was airlifted to hospital. He remained in surgery on Friday evening in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Event moderator Henry Reese, 73, a co-founder of an organization that offers residencies to writers facing persecution, was also attacked. Reese suffered a facial injury and was treated and released from a hospital, police said. He and Rushdie were due to discuss the United States as a refuge for writers and other artists in exile.
Rushdie's novel was viewed as blasphemous by many Muslims in the 1980s, and at least 45 people were killed in riots over the book, leading to it being banned in Iran, where the late leader Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a 1989 fatwa, calling for Rushdie's death.
The death threats and bounty led Rushdie to go into hiding under a British government protection program, until he emerged after nine years of seclusion and cautiously resumed more public appearances, maintaining his outspoken criticism of religious extremism overall. He has been in the United States since 2000.
Salman Rushdie, 75, was attacked by a Hadi Matar, pictured with Sheriff's deputies, who approached him from behind before stabbing him multiple times. The suspect was quickly pinned to the floor before being arrested
State Trooper James O'Callaghan said that the author remained in surgery for his injuries, and that they were unable to give an update on his condition
People rushed to assist the author after the attack, with the attacker being restrained by witnesses. The motive for the stabbing is currently unknown
Rushdie was airlifted to hospital after receiving medical assistance from those at the event near Buffalo, in Upstate New York
Medics rushed to the scene to take the author to hospital to treat his injuries. A Chautauqua Institution spokesperson, where the event was taking place, said: 'We are dealing with an emergency situation. I can share no further details at this time.'
The authors suspected attacker was pinned down by witnesses and security staff moments after the attack. Rushdie's son Zafar, 42, is aware of the incident
The attack occurred at the Chautauqua Institution, which hosts arts programs in a tranquil lakeside community 70 miles south of Buffalo.
Carl LeVan, an American University politics professor attending the event, told AFP he saw the suspect run onto the stage where Rushdie was seated and 'stabbed him repeatedly and viciously.'
LeVan, a Chautauqua regular, said the suspect 'was trying to stab him as many times as possible before he was subdued,' adding that he believed the man 'was trying to kill' Rushdie.
'There were gasps of horror and panic from the crowd,' the professor said.
LeVan said witnessing the event had left him 'shaken,' adding he considered Chautauqua a safe place of creative freedom.
'To know that this happened here, and to see it -- it was horrific,' he said. 'What I saw today was the essence of intolerance.'
British-born Booker Prize winning author Sir Salman Rushdie (pictured in 2019) got death threats and was issued a fatwah by Iran for his 1988 novel, the Satanic Verses. He has lived in the U.S. since 2000 and was today preparing to give a lecture about America being a haven for writers in exile
Another witness, John Stein, told ABC that the assailant 'started stabbing on the right side of the head, of the neck. And there was blood... erupting.'
Blood was spattered on the wall behind where Rushdie had been attacked, with some also seen on a chair that he had been sitting on.
Governor Kathy Hochul called the attack on Rushdie 'heartbreaking' before confirming that he is 'alive', during and unrelated press conference.
She added that he is 'getting the care he needs at a local hospital', and that a state police trooper 'stood up and saved his life' after the attack.
Hochul said that Rushdie had 'spent decades speaking truth to power'.
One witness told the New York Times that Rushdie had been stabbed 'multiple times' and was lying in a pool of his own blood.
Rita Landman offered her assistance after the incident, adding that he appeared to be alive and did not receive CPR.
Landman said: 'People were saying, 'He has a pulse, he has a pulse he has a pulse.'
Roger Warner of Cleveland, Ohio, was sitting on the front row when the attack took place, adding: 'He was covered with blood and there was blood running down onto the floor.
'I just saw blood all around his eyes and running down his cheek.'
Rushdie's London-based son Zafar, 42, is aware of the incident and his father has been seen being transported by air ambulance after the attack.
Thousands of people in the audience gasped at the sight of the attack and were then evacuated as his alleged attacker was taken into custody.
John Bulette, 85, who witnessed the attack said: 'There was a huge security lapse. That somebody could get that close without any intervention was frightening.'
An usher at the amphitheater claims that the security at the Institution was 'lax' and that no additional measures were in place for Mr Rushdie's visit.
Kyle Doershuk, 20, said: 'It's very open, it's very accessible, it's a very relaxed environment, in my opinion something like this was just waiting to happen.'
A Chautauqua Institution spokesperson added: 'We are dealing with an emergency situation. I can share no further details at this time.'
Rabbi Charles Savenor claims that the entire attack lasted around 20 seconds.
He said: 'This guy ran on to platform and started pounding on Mr. Rushdie. At first you're like, 'What's going on?'
And then it became abundantly clear in a few seconds that he was being beaten.'
A representative for the Iranian interests section at the embassy of Pakistan in Washington D.C. declined to comment on the attack.
The embassy diplomatically represents the government of Iran in the United States.
They told the New York Times 'we are not getting involved in this', before hanging up and refusing to give a name.
Senator George Borrello branded the attack as 'shocking' adding that there is 'no room' for 'beliefs that demand that you kill someone who disagrees with you'.
He added: 'This shocking attack on a celebrated and noted author, apparently prompted by fundamentalist extremism, has no place in America.'
New York State Police said in a statement: 'On August 12, 2022, at about 11 am, a male suspect ran up onto the stage and attacked Rushdie and an interviewer.
'Rushdie suffered an apparent stab wound to the neck and was transported by helicopter to an area hospital.
'His condition is not yet known. The interviewer suffered a minor head injury.
'A State Trooper assigned to the event immediately took the suspect into custody. The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office assisted at the scene.'
Rushdie was attacked on stage ahead of his speech in Chautauqua, near Buffalo, with witnesses claiming that he was 'punched and stabbed'
Blood was spattered on the wall behind where Rushdie had been attacked, with some also seen on a chair. New York State Police confirmed that Rushdie was stabbed in the neck
Medics attended to Rushdie after the attack, with witnesses saying a man 'punched and stabbed' the author as he was announced on stage
Booker Prize winner Salman Rushdie spent years in hiding after being issued 'spiritual' death threat by IranSir Salman Rushdie is a Booker Prize-winning author and novelist.
The 75-year-old was born in India, and his writing is often based around the themes of connections and migrations between Western and Eastern civilizations.
He won the Booker Prize in 1981 for his second novel, Midnight's Children. His writing has spawned 30 book-length studies, and over 700 articles on his writing.
Rushdie's writings have broadly been acclaimed to the genres of magical realism and historical fiction.
He has been living in the US since 2000, and he was named a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University in 2015.
He has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize five times, including for Midnight's Children, in 1983 for Shame, in 1988 for The Satanic Versus, in 1995 for The Moor's Last Sign, and in 2019 for Quichotte.
Rushdie, 75, is an Indian-born acclaimed author and novelist
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: 'Appalled that Sir Salman Rushdie has been stabbed while exercising a right we should never cease to defend.
'Right now my thoughts are with his loved ones. We are all hoping he is okay.'
Author Ian McEwan issued a statement about Rushdie, saying: ' This appalling attack on my dear friend Salman represents an assault on freedom of thought and speech.
'These are the freedoms that underpin all our rights and liberties.
'Salman has been an inspirational defender of persecuted writers and journalists across the world.
'He is a fiery and generous spirit, a man of immense talent and courage, and he will not be deterred.'
The author was knighted in 2007 in Britain 'for services to literature' by his friend, then Prime Minister Tony Blair.
His last piece of writing was about an assassination attempt, serializing a novella called The Seventh Wave on Sub Stack, which appeared to focus on spies and assassinations.
Rushdie has previously received death threats for his writing, with his book the Satanic Verses which supposedly insulted the Prophet Mohammed and The Koran.
He wrote the Satanic Verses, which resulted in a culture war being sparked in 1988 in Britain '' with protests taking place in the UK along with book burnings.
Pakistan banned the book, and he was issued a fatwa '' a death sentence - by Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini in February 1989.
Khomeini called for the death of Rushdie and his publishers, and also called for Muslims to point him out to those who could kill him if they could not themselves.
The fatwa, or 'spiritual opinion', followed a wave of book burnings in Britain and rioting across the Muslim world which led to the deaths of 60 people and hundreds being injured.
Rushdie was put under round-the-clock security from 1989 to 2002, at the expense of the British taxpayer, when a $3million bounty was put on his head.
He was forced to go into hiding for a decade with police protection, and previously said he received a 'sort of Valentines card' from Iran each year letting him know the country has not forgotten the vow to kill him.
In 2012, a semi-official Iranian religious foundation raised the bounty for Rushdie from $2.8 million to $3.3 million.
After the attack Rushdie, who moved to the US in 2000, was quickly surrounded by a small group of people who held up his legs, presumably to send more blood to his chest.
The author previously complained about having 'too much' security while attending other events.
He told reporters a the Prague Writer's Festival: 'To be here and to find a large security operation around me has actually felt a little embarrassing.
'I thought it was really unnecessary and kind of excessive and was certainly not arranged on my request.
'I spent a great deal of time before I came here saying that I really didn't want that.
'So I was very surprised to arrive here and discover a really quite substantial operation, because it felt like being in a time warp, that I had gone back in time several years.'
Rushdie is a former president of PEN America, with their current CEO Suzanne Nossel issuing a statement which said: 'PEN America is reeling from shock and horror at word of a brutal, premeditated attack on our former President and stalwart ally, Salman Rushdie, who was reportedly stabbed multiple times while on stage speaking at the Chautauqua Institute in upstate New York.
'We can think of no comparable incident of a public violent attack on a literary writer on American soil.
'Just hours before the attack, on Friday morning Salman had emailed me to help with placements for Ukrainian writers in need of safe refuge from the grave perils they face.
Police remain on the scene outside of the Chautauqua Institution after Rushdie was flown to hospital via air ambulance on Friday afternoon
Dozens of onlookers quickly rushed to the stage to try to apprehend the suspect, and help Rushdie after he was attacked in front of hundreds
He was urgently taken to hospital via air ambulance, with his current condition unknown. Rushdie was reportedly stabbed ten to fifteen times, suffering knife wounds in the neck
His agent, Andrew Wylie, said that the author was currently in surgery for his injuries, but did not have an update on his condition
The Seventh Wave: Rushdie's last published work focused on spies and assassinationsSalman Rushdie was serializing a novella called The Seventh Wave , on Sub Stack, which appeared to have a heavy focus on spies and organized killings.
His latest piece of writing referenced men in 'sodden balaclavas':
Episode 48
The four men in black wearing sodden balaclavas are out in the open, closing in. ANNA and FRANCIS are on the terrace of the house, holding guns.
FIRST MAN (shouting)
Come down, Anna, Nobody gonna hurt you. And the other individual we don't require.
ANNA (shouting back)
Hello, boys! Would you like a refreshing drink?
(They come closer.)
SECOND MAN (also shouting)
Don't you crack wise now, Anna. No, we do not need no fucking drink. Maybe you didn't notice it's wet out.
ANNA (still shouting)
We have towels. You need to dry your hair?
They are within range now. This is too easy. We can take them all.
I don't know, Anna. I can't do it.
Credit: Sub Stack
'Salman Rushdie has been targeted for his words for decades but has never flinched nor faltered. He has devoted tireless energy to assisting others who are vulnerable and menaced.
'While we do not know the origins or motives of this savage attack, all those around the world who have met words with violence or called for the same are culpable for legitimizing this an assault on a writer while he was engaged in his essential work of connecting to readers.
'Our thoughts and passions now lie with our dauntless Salman, wishing him a full and speedy recovery.
'We hope and believe fervently that his essential voice cannot and will not be silenced.'
Hitoshi Igarashi, who translated The Satanic Verses into Japanese for Rushdie, was stabbed to death on the campus where he taught literature.
Ettore Capriolo, the Italian translator of the book, was knifed in his apartment in Milan.
The novel's Norwegian publisher William Nygaard, was shot three times outside his home and left for dead in October 1993, but survived the attack.
In Turkey, the book's translator, Aziz Nesin, was the target of an arson attack on a hotel that killed 37.
Rushdie previously wrote a 655-page fatwa memoir, which was nominated for the UK's top non- fiction award, the Samuel Johnson prize.
During the fatwa he lived in permanent terror and at one point thought his ex-wife Clarissa Luard and their son Zafar, who was nine at the time, had been killed by assassins or kidnapped.
In 1998 Iran's reformist president relaxed the fatwa and said it had no intention of tracking Rushdie down and killing him.
Technically it still stands but is unlikely to be enforced.
The Index on Censorship, an organization promoting free expression, said money was raised to boost the reward for his killing as recently as 2016, underscoring that the fatwa for his death still stands.
He has has two children from his four marriages - his other son is called Milan - but has been linked with many other women including Indian model Riya Sen.
Prince Charles also reportedly refused to support the author during his fatwa because he thought the book was offensive to Muslims.
In an article for Vanity Fair magazine, Martin Amis claimed that the Prince's views caused a row at a dinner party after Rushdie was issued with the death sentence by Islamic clerics in 1989.
Amis claims that Charles told him that he would not offer support 'if someone insults someone else's deepest convictions'.
Amis remonstrated with him but all Charles did was 'take it on board', even though Rushdie is a British-Indian citizen.
Fellow author Stephen King also refused to let stores in America sell his books if they refused to carry The Satanic Verses.
Rushdie has spoken at the Chautauqua Institution before, which is based about 55 miles southwest of Buffalo in a rural corner of New York.
It is known for its summertime lecture series.
Rushdie has been married four times and had a string of high-profile romances that included Padma Lakshmi, Olivia Wide, and models decades younger than him.
He met his first wife, Clarissa Luard, at a pop concert in the UK in 1969, with the couple marrying in 1976 and having their son Zafar three years later.
Although they divorced in 1987, they remained close friends, and Rushdie reportedly stayed by her side when she died from breast cancer at age 50 in 1999.
Rushdie has been married four times, including to Elizabeth West Salman, pictured. The couple married in 1994 and two had a son, Milan, in 1999
Rushdie attributed his intellect and 'good looks' for his successful love life, which included dates with Oliva Wilde (left). The two were pictured together at the Washington Correspondents Dinner in 2008
Salman Rushdie (right) together with his fourth wife, model and Top Chef host Padma Lakshimi attending the Cannes Film Festival in 2004
By the time Luard passed, Rushdie had already been married twice. He tied the knot Pulitzer Prize finalist Marianne Wiggins, an American, in 1988 and then to editor Elizabeth West in 1997.
Rushdie was with Wiggins when he faced backlash over The Satanic Verses, with Rushdie saying that he heard criticisms that his 'Jewish wife' made him write it.
'At its most unpleasant it was levelled at me from the Islamic side that the Jews made me do it,' Rushdie said. 'They said my [second] wife was Jewish. She wasn't, she was American.'
Wiggins spent some time in hiding even after the couple divorced in 1993, and the following year, Rushdie married Elizabeth West, and the two had a son, Milan, in 1999.
Rushdie had previously said that he and West, an author and editor, began growing apart when he wanted to move to the US and she wanted to stay in the UK and have another child.
Following a miscarriage, the couple officially split in 2004. After the split from West, Rushdie immediately dove into the world of pop celebrities, marrying model turned Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi in 2004.
The two had met back in 1999 at a lavish New York City party thrown by media queen Tina Brown. Lakshmi alleges that the two had an affair during the party, and that Rushdie promised to be with her once his rocky marriage to West concludes.
Rushdie's 2001 novel, Fury, was dedicated to Lakshmi. At the time of the wedding, Lakshmi was 28, while Rushdie was 51.
While Rushdie's previous marriages lasted more than a decade, his union with Lakshmi only lasted three years, with the novelist bemoaning her in his memoir as a 'bad investment' who overly narcissistic and ambitious.
Lakshmi hit back at Rushdie in her own memoirs, calling him 'sexually needy' and insensitive to her endometriosis.
How Salman Rushdie lived under the shadow of a fatwa for 30 years: British author went into hiding when Iran's spiritual leader ordered he was killed for 'blasphemous' The Satanic Verses but he was living a 'normal life' in New York before his stabbing
He was first forced into hiding more than 30 years ago by Iran's theocratic dictatorship after the regime branded The Satanic Verses a work of blasphemy.
From ever-changing safe houses, constant armed guards and a new identity, to finally finding a new home in the US, British author Salman Rushdie has now been stabbed in the neck on stage in New York - the supposed beating heart of free speech and culture.
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, then Supreme Leader of the Islamic republic, issued a fatwa - or religious ruling - calling on all Muslims to murder the celebrated atheist author and anyone involved in the publication of The Satanic Verses on February 14, 1989.
Rushdie, now 75, was forced to live under the long shadow the fatwa cast until it was finally lifted by Iran's hardline regime in 1998.
But for nine years, the writer constantly between safe houses and was protected by round-the-clock armed guards. He even adopted an alias, Joseph Anton - a combination of the first names of two of his favourite writers, Conrad and Chekhov.
The fatwa also led to the murder of the book's Japanese translator Hitoshi Igarashi, the targeting of its translators and publishers in Turkey, Norway and Italy, and worldwide riots and book-burnings - while The Satanic Verses itself was banned in many countries.
Sir Salman Rushdie holding a copy of The Satanic Verses during a 1992 news conference in Arlington
Speaking about the controversy with the Mail, Sir Salman said: 'Being under the fatwa was a jail, but I think that one of the problems is that from the outside it looked glamorous, as I sometimes showed up in places in Jags with people jumping out to open the door and make sure you get in safely and so on. Looks of who the hell does he think he is? Well, from my side it felt like jail.
'There was this crude argument that I did it in some way for personal advantage, to make myself more famous or to make money. At its most unpleasant it was levelled at me from the Islamic side that the Jews made me do it. They said my [second] wife was Jewish. She wasn't, she was American.
'If I had simply wanted to trade on an insult to Islam I could have done it in a sentence rather than writing a 250,000-word novel, a work of fiction.'
Muslim activists beat a burning effigy of Salman Rushdie in New Delhi
'What you have to remember is that The Satanic Verses is not called Islam the Prophet, it is not called Mohammed, the country is not called Arabia - it all happens in the dream of somebody who is losing their mind.'
What still shocks him is that no radical Muslims in Britain who backed the call for his assassination were ever prosecuted.
'There were these occasions, like in Manchester, where Muslim leaders said to their congregation, 'Tell me who in this audience would be ready to kill Rushdie?' and everyone in the audience raised their hand. And the police thought this was OK.'
He says: 'Supposing I had been the Queen and an imam said to his congregation, 'Who would be ready to kill the Queen?' and everybody raised their hand. Would you think the police would not act?
'I only use the Queen as an example to dramatize this but it seems odd that when it is a novelist of foreign origin, therefore not completely British in some way, that it was allowed to happen with impunity.'
Rushdie remembers his split from his wife Marianne as being a particularly traumatic time. She claimed that the CIA was aware of Rushdie's whereabouts and so his cover was blown. When he realized that she was lying he decided to end the relationship.
'It was very shocking. There simply was a point at which I had to choose whether to be alone in the middle of this hurricane with nobody there for companionship or whether I somehow had to put up with this person in whom it was difficult to have faith.
'It was horrifying to be told by a policeman that they believed that your wife was lying to you. It is an experience most of us don't have. And then for her to say that it was the police who were to be blamed and that I shouldn't trust them sets a kind of mindf*** and I had to make my judgments.
'It became impossible for me to have faith in her veracity. So in the end I thought it was better to separate.'
In an interview three years ago, he said: ' Islam was not a thing. No one was thinking in that way. One of the things that has happened is that people in the West are more informed than they used to be'.
He ruefully added: 'I was 41 back then, now I am 71. Things are fine now. We live in a world where the subject changes very fast. And this is a very old subject. There are now many other things to be frightened about - and other people to kill'.
PolitiFact | Does the president have 'the ability to declassify anything at any time'?
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 16:43
The blockbuster article in the Washington Post saying President Donald Trump had "revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting" didn't just put the White House on the defensive. It also put Republican lawmakers in a tight spot.
One of the members of Congress who commented after the newspaper's revelations was Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho. According to CNN, he told reporters, "The minute the president speaks about it to someone, he has the ability to declassify anything at any time without any process."
Is that accurate? Independent experts said Risch is on target concerning the legal powers of the president. Some experts added, however, that the senator's formulation left out some context that is relevant for assessing Trump's alleged actions.
The president's classification and declassification powers are broad
Experts agreed that the president, as commander-in-chief, is ultimately responsible for classification and declassification. When someone lower in the chain of command handles classification and declassification duties -- which is usually how it's done -- it's because they have been delegated to do so by the president directly, or by an appointee chosen by the president.
The majority ruling in the 1988 Supreme Court case Department of Navy vs. Egan -- which addressed the legal recourse of a Navy employee who had been denied a security clearance -- addresses this line of authority.
"The President, after all, is the 'Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States'" according to Article II of the Constitution, the court's majority wrote. "His authority to classify and control access to information bearing on national security ... flows primarily from this constitutional investment of power in the President, and exists quite apart from any explicit congressional grant."
Steven Aftergood, director of the Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy, said that such authority gives the president the authority to "classify and declassify at will."
In fact, Robert F. Turner, associate director of the University of Virginia's Center for National Security Law, said that "if Congress were to enact a statute seeking to limit the president's authority to classify or declassify national security information, or to prohibit him from sharing certain kinds of information with Russia, it would raise serious separation of powers constitutional issues."
The official documents governing classification and declassification stem from executive orders. But even these executive orders aren't necessarily binding on the president. The president is not "obliged to follow any procedures other than those that he himself has prescribed," Aftergood said. "And he can change those."
Indeed, the controlling executive order has been rewritten by multiple presidents. The current version of the order was issued by President Barack Obama in 2009.
The national-security experts at the blog Lawfare wrote in the wake of the Post's revelation that the "infamous comment" by President Richard Nixon -- that "when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal" -- "is actually true about some things. Classified information is one of them. The nature of the system is that the president gets to disclose what he wants."
Two caveats
So Risch's comment holds water when it comes to the extent of the president's powers. But some experts said that Risch's formulation leaves out some notable aspects of the particular case involving Trump.
The first caveat: While Trump has the power to declassify information, he doesn't appear to have done that in this case, at least at the time the story broke.
"There's no question that the president has broad authority to declassify almost anything at any time without any process, but that's not what happened here," said Stephen I. Vladeck, professor at the University of Texas School of Law. "He did not, in fact, declassify the information he shared with the Russians, which is why the Washington Post did not publish that information."
Instead, Vladeck said, Trump "took it upon himself to authorize officials from a foreign government to receive classified national security information that was itself derived from a different foreign government's intelligence gathering. That's just not the same thing as what Sen. Risch described, and the law on this topic is far murkier."
Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Liberty & National Security Program at NYU's Brennan Center, agreed that Risch's point speaks to general presidential authority but not what happened in this particular case.
"Trump surely would not concede that the information in question is now 'unclassified' and available to anyone who files a FOIA request," she said. "The relevant question, therefore, is not whether the president can spontaneously declassify information, but whether the president is permitted to disclose sensitive national security information to anyone he wishes."
Turner noted, however, that this isn't necessarily a big distinction, since the president is ultimately the decider of what is classified and not. If his appointees disagree with his actions, "he can overrule their decisions," Turner said. "Within the Executive Branch the president is the boss."
The second caveat: Just because something is legal doesn't mean that it's a smart idea.
"The important caveat is that 'legal' and 'sensible' may be different things," said John Pike, the director of globalsecurity.org. "It may be legal, but it may fail to avoid the appearance of impropriety."
Setting aside ethics, doing what Trump is alleged to have done could have negative practical consequences for the United States. "It could wreck the underlying intelligence-sharing agreement and place the U.S. at a disadvantage," Aftergood said.
That said, the line between wise and unwise is a judgment call.
On the one hand, Turner agreed that alienating an ally by not following their orders "could have very serious consequences."
On the other hand, he said, it's not outlandish to argue that sharing closely held information with Russia could advance, rather than hurt, national interests.
Turner said it may be "in America's interest to cooperate with Russia in the struggle against ISIS, including sharing intelligence information that may help save Russian lives and seeking information that may save American lives and those of other potential victims of ISIS attacks. Obviously, in the process we will want to safeguard sources and methods that might weaken our ability to keep track of what President Putin is up to--as he is potentially a greater threat to our security than is ISIS. But the struggle against ISIS is an area where the United States and Russia have a shared interest."
In a statement to PolitiFact, Risch's office said that criticism of the wisdom of President Trump's action would be a personal opinion, but such sentiments would not speak to "the letter of the law."
"Sen. Risch can tell you that all former presidents of the United States spoke regularly with heads of states and discussed classified matter, if they determined it to be in the best interest of the American people," the statement said.
Our ruling
Risch said, "The minute the president speaks about it to someone, he has the ability to declassify anything at any time without any process."
We found broad agreement that a president, using powers granted by the Constitution, is able to declassify essentially anything. However, experts added that Risch's comment was not entirely on point for the particular situation involving Trump.
In this case, it appears Trump didn't actually use his declassification power before talking to the Russian officials, and just because Trump's actions were legal doesn't necessarily mean they were wise. These caveats add nuance to analyses of what Trump did.
The statement is accurate but needs clarification and additional information, so we rate it Mostly True.
It's Over: CDC Says People Exposed To COVID No Longer Need To Quarantine | ZeroHedge
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 16:43
By Chris Martenson of PeakProsperity
And, just like that, it was over.
This is HUGE news folks. In Bureaucrat speak, this is a near-complete cave-in to the actual facts:
No symptoms? No problem.Vaccinated or unvaccinated? Same guidance.Exposed? No need to even quarantine.Students exposed? They can stay in class, what the hell, right?If you managed to maintain your integrity through this awful period of time, congratulations! You are one of the rock stars of this story. You are a solid individual who has courage and stood firm and tall when it mattered most.
As for the people who didn't, some can be forgiven. But many cannot.
Those who could have and ''should'' have known better? The doctors who failed to utilize known and proven early treatments to save lives? The public health authorities that locked people down and forced masks onto children's faces without a shred of supporting science to back those decisions? Medical hospital administrators who took the monetary bait and forced patients onto toxic and deadly regimens of Remdesivir and ventilators (again, without any supporting evidence!). The NIH treatment panel that still '' to this day '' does not recommend vitamin D, or any of the other actual safe and effective early treatments?
Sorry, not sorry, those people need to suffer real and lasting public consequences. Some doctors should lose their licenses. Some bureaucrats need to lose their jobs while others need to go to trial.
I feel most acutely for those who got caught up and suffered terribly as a result. I feel truly awful for all the people prevented from being at a loved one's passing, or who ,as a condition of continued employment, were coerced into getting Covid jabs they neither wanted nor needed.
There are far too many tragic cases out there. Far too many young lives were lost and continue to be lost. I am angry that it happened and at the petty, ignorant bureaucrats who forced it to happen. ''Sudden Adult Death Syndrome'' is a thing now, and the attempts to normalize it by the press have left me thinking that those companies and journalists who engaged in this ought to be barred for life from ever being in the business again.
Here are a few out of many such candidates:
One prominent case of an avoidable tragedy was that of 17-year-old Sean Hartman:
Dan Hartman is sure that his hockey-loving son died from a COVID vaccination, but he's being told very little about what happened. The Ontario dad says he wants answers about the sudden death of 17-year-old Sean.
''I cannot grieve him properly without the truth. It's different if someone dies in a car accident or disease or suicide. This is none of them'--this is unknown,'' said Hartman in an interview on NTD's ''The Nation Speaks'' program aired on July 30.
According to the Beeton Athletic Association Cash Draw's tribute to Sean, he began playing hockey at age 5 and went on to play for the TNT Tornadoes in New Tecumseth, Ontario, for three years before returning to his hometown of Beeton in his major Bantam year.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ontario Minor Hockey Association implemented a policy that required players aged 12 and over to be vaccinated or risk not being able to play.
Hartman said that Sean decided to get the shot last August in order to continue playing, as hockey was his passion. In Ontario, there is no minimum age of consent under the Health Care Consent Act, which means youth of Sean's age can get vaccinated without parental consent.
''So, on August 25, he had the Pfizer vaccine. And on August 29, he went to the emergency [room]'--he had brown circles around his eyes, and a rash and he was vomiting,'' Hartman said.
''They sent him home with only Advil. The doctor didn't do two blood tests that he should have done. I've been told by another doctor that he should have done them. And on the morning of September 27, he was found dead on the floor beside his bed.''
(Source: Epoch Times)
There are thousands and thousands of similar and tragic cases. Too many.
All along the way, I have been saying the same thing as Drs. McCullough, Malone, Urso, Kory, Marik, Rose, and Steve Kirsch among many others; the Covid vaccines should never have been put into every possible person.
There should have been an age and risk stratification approach. Only some people should have gotten them, but never into healthy children. Never.
The demonization of even simple and entirely appropriate questioning was horrific and continues on to this day, as I outlined in a recent video on ''Fact Checkers'' wherein I covered a truly horrific New York Times article by Sheera Frenkel. In it, Ms. Frenkel went overboard on hyperbolic, emotionally-laden verbiage in a brazen attempt to mischaracterize any questioning by parents as being entirely due to misinformation, conspiracy theories, and a black-and-white stance as ''anti-vaxers.''
Well, if hesitant parents are anti-vaxers, then we have to say that those folks are in the vast majority (and rightly so) while it is Ms. Frenkel and the New York Times who are horribly out of alignment with the data.
Far from being fringe, the view that children do not need the Covid-19 jab, it turns out, represents either a significant minority (for older age cohorts) or indeed an overwhelming majority (for younger) of parents both within the U.S., the UK and elsewhere.
Are the 95% of U.S. parents who have declined to get their 0-5 year olds vaccinated for Covid-19 'anti-vax?' What about the 89% of UK parents who as of the end of July had declined vaccination for their 5-11 year olds?
Of course they aren't. They are simply recognising the reality that the extreme age discrimination of Covid makes vaccination unnecessary for the vast majority of otherwise healthy kids, as does infection-acquired immunity.
(Source '' The Demonization of Dissent)
How it ever came to be that ''the Left'' became the biggest cheerleaders of court-proven corrupt pharma companies is for the psychologists and social scientists to unravel. Maybe we could include some ethicists and prosecutors as well.
Early TreatmentsMore importantly and tellingly in this sad saga, early treatments should have been discovered and wisely used, as they were in many other countries.
The simple fact that the pair of charts displayed below weren't ever a healthy and vigorous topic of discussion speaks volumes about just how bad the corruption really was.
For more than a year, Uttar Pradesh has been kicking the ass of every western nation in dealing with Covid and they did it with simple, effective early treatment packages that looked like this:
The kit included:
IvermectinAzithromycin (Z-pac)DoxycyclineZincVitamins D & CIt's plain as day that this approach worked and worked very well, not just at keeping deaths down, but cases too. With fewer cases that were less serious, it's a pretty safe bet that they managed to keep long Covid down as well.
Dr. Pierre Kory recently penned an exquisitely good piece on exactly how Uttar Pradesh accomplished their astonishing feat. It all began with a leader who was unafraid to begin by rooting out corruption:
The Miracle Not-Heard Around The World: The Success of Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh (UP) is a state in the north of India with a population of 231 million people. It's the home of the Taj Mahal. If it were a country, it would be the sixth largest in the world.
In my view, the foundation of UP's historic achievement rests on the integrity of its Chief Minister (CM) Yogi Adityanath. He is a Hindu monk and known for his policy of zero tolerance against corruption. The importance of this quality cannot be overstated, especially given the last 2 years of unceasing corruptions of medical science and public health policy that continuously emerge each day.
Since taking office as CM over three and half years ago, he took action against 775 corrupt officials in UP from the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service. His leadership during COVID should serve as a historically inspiring example to politicians. They should take note of how honest, forthright policies designed with the singular goal of serving and protecting the public good can succeed in politics.
In March of 2020, Yogi Adityanath convened (and chaired throughout) a committee of 11 senior government officials tasked with managing different aspects like surveillance and contact tracing, testing and treatment, sanitization, containment, enforcement, doorstep delivery, issues of migrants, communication strategy etc.
Note that UP started out strong right from the beginning. Early on in the pandemic, in March 2020, taking the lead from India's national protocol, UP immediately adopted hydroxychloroquine for use in prevention of COVID for all its Health Care Workers as well as household contacts of all laboratory confirmed cases.
Recall that HCQ's promise in treatment had been known since the original SARS pandemic, a fact long ago highlighted by Anthony Fauci. Yet in COVID, when its threat to Pharma as an effective treatment became reality, Fauci essentially led the first Disinformation campaign against a repurposed drug in the pandemic. His campaign is described in RFK Jr's book, The Real Anthony Fauci in the deeply referenced first section of Chapter 1, called ''Killing Hydroxychloroquine.''
Then, in August 2020, UP broke from the Feds and switched their protocol to ivermectin after an ''experiment'' in UP's Agra, a city of 1.6 million inhabitants. The head of the state's Rapid Response Team units, Dr. Anshul Pareek, had decided to conduct a study of ivermectin as a preventive agent based on a report from a veterinarian (to be fair, it was also based on other promising clinical reports in humans).
UP immediately started administering ivermectin to close contacts of positive cases in the district and noticed profoundly positive results. Based on these observations, the state health authorities gave the green light to use off-label ivermectin not only in prevention'... but in treatment. This was their protocol for use of ivermectin:
Close contacts of COVID-19 patientsHealth care workersGeneral care of COVID-19 patientsNotice that UP's government did what my colleagues and I had been imploring since the pandemic began. Employ a risk/benefit decision-making analysis in an emergency. Like you do in war. Even if the view was that the clinical trials evidence for HCQ or IVM was ''insufficient,'' the evidence for harm was near nil, while the evidence for harm of widespread untreated COVID was obviously catastrophic.
Source '' Pierre Kory Substack
So, why didn't the western countries somehow manage to notice the incredible success of Uttar Pradesh? I say it's because they didn't want to. It was willful and malignant and evil. Fauci (as a placeholder for every corrupt and conflicted health professional) preferred the power, the money, and the fame that came from a long crisis. These conflicted people thought nothing of killing and harming more people preferring instead to keep the crisis in play as long as possible.
We suffered as long as we did, and so many people died, because our governments don't care about their own people. Because big media doesn't care about their fellow citizens. Because corporations, and especially pharma companies, don't care about people. They care more about money, control, and power than they do anything else.
That is my firm and blunt assessment. These people cannot be reformed. They are damaged goods. The institutions cannot be reformed, they must be dismantled and begun anew. The corporations cannot be salvaged, they must be disincorporated and their stock and bondholders made to suffer great losses so that next time capital asks a few more questions.
The Great Walk-BackSo why is the CDC walking back their ''guidance'' at this time? I don't know, but there aren't any new studies of which I am aware that would have decisively shifted the balance one way or the other.
Instead, I think it was the Danish government making it illegal to administer vaccines to minors (<18 years of age) after finally noticing that the risk-reward ratio was not favorable.
It's going to become very difficult for the CDC to maintain any integrity at all if some western health agencies begin to state the obvious while the CDC continues to advise that its own citizens sacrifice their children and selves to the Covid vaccine machine.
While that remains their advice '' stupidly '' it won't for long is my guess. Bureaucracies have to walk things back in stages.
And then there's an increasing number of countries openly noticing that their all-cause mortality numbers are far too high and they are beginning to investigate:
When approximately 4,000 too many people die in a three-week span, that's very uncomfortable and eventually, people notice. And, when they do, oh boy, look out!
Or, maybe it's simply that the CDC has read the latest polls and realized that the Democrats are going to lose their majorities and are trying to get in front of the investigations the Republicans are sure to launch as soon as they can?
Whatever the reason, it's too little and too late. The CDC has forever lost my trust and everybody who works there bears responsibility for what transpired, some more than others, of course.
ConclusionIt's over folks. Pack it up! The great Covid pandemic is over. As I predicted in December of 2021, Omicron was the end of Covid, it just took far too long, and far too many additional lives for that reality to sink in.
I predict it will be many more months before Canada, New Zealand and Australia finally awaken from their authoritarian nightmares, but that too will happen. Hopefully with extreme consequences for Trudeau, Morrison, Arden, Andrews, Ms. Freeland, and countless other bureaucratic minarets.
To help heal from this disaster, we need to be as welcoming as possible to those who finally wake up and want to be re-included as good-standing members of The Remnant. Of course, they will be on probation forever as a result, but welcome they will be.
More immediately, I call for a global apology to the vaccine injured and their loved ones who were horribly gaslit by the medical establishment. They deserve our support, and they shall get it.
And for everyone who stood strong, you are my lifelong friends and I salute each and every one of you!
New law allows people to use SNAP benefits for fast food in Illinois
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 16:42
A newly-signed law allows people to use SNAP benefits to buy fast food in Illinois.
The option comes as part of
'‹, which creates a Restaurant Meals Program as part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed HB 3343 into law last Friday.
Only a select number of recipients can use their monthly allowance to purchase meals from restaurants. The option is available to people over 60 years old, people with disabilities and homeless people who use food stamps.
Previously, SNAP recipients could only use benefits to purchase food at grocery stores or farmer's markets in Illinois.
Rep. Sonya Harper (IL-6th District) filed the bill, newly-turned-law, in February. It takes effect immediately and requires the Restaurant Meals Program to take effect at participating restaurants no later than January 1, 2020.
Coca-Cola's new flavor 'Dreamworld' supposedly tastes like dreams
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 16:41
Coca-Cola is concluding a yearlong effort to flavor the abstract with a new soda the company says tastes like dreams.
On Wednesday, Coca-Cola announced its new soft drink, Coca-Cola Dreamworld, a soda meant to capture "technicolor tastes and surrealism of the subconscious" by inviting drinkers to "dream with open eyes," the beverage giant said.
"This dream-inspired product brings to life the playfulness and brightness of dreams '-- with each sip, the line between fantasy and reality blurs and fans will be able to unlock new tastes, emotions, and adventures," a Coca-Cola spokesperson told NBC News.
Dreamworld arrives as the fourth and final addition to the Coca-Cola Creations roster this year, a series of limited-edition flavors that the company has been releasing since February, with the debut of Coca-Cola Starlight. Since then, the company has released Coca-Cola Byte and Marshmello's Limited Edition Coca-Cola, the company's first drink created in collaboration with an artist.
Since Dreamworld's flavor is based on a concept as opposed to a food, it is unclear from the labeling what the soda actually tastes like. And, it seems, that's exactly what Coca-Cola intends.
The soda is marketed toward "Gen Z's passion for the infinite potential of the mind," Alessandra Cascino, the creative and shopper program director at the Coca-Cola North America Operating Unit, said in the press release.
''Like the Coca-Cola Creations that came before it, Dreamworld plays with the unexpected and will no doubt provoke discovery and debate among consumers '... which we welcome,'' Cascino continued.
But Dreamworld's abstract flavor profile is not unprecedented in the Creations lineup. Though the flavor of the Marshmello co-created Coke beverage was described as a mix of strawberry and watermelon (both of which are flavors that are very real), Starlight's flavor was marketed as a taste of outer space, and Byte's flavor was reportedly gaming-inspired and described as "the first-ever Coca-Cola flavor born in the metaverse."
However, despite the conceptual descriptions for these sodas, many have attempted to pinpoint their exact flavors in terms of more traditional tastes. A writer for the Food Network said Starlight tasted like ''minty cotton candy sprinkled with vanilla," and a BuzzFeed writer described Byte as "a bit like a Cherry Coke but much lighter."
CNET writer Katie Teague received a can of Dreamworld, and she wrote: "It had a fruity candy smell '-- like Skittles mixed with Coca-Cola '-- but it definitely didn't taste the same way. I immediately got a citrus flavor from this soda, but I thought the overall flavor was similar to Marshmello's limited-edition Coke."
The Creations series is also known for its multimedia elements. For example, Starlight's release came with an augmented reality concert from Ava Max, and Byte's release was accompanied by a series of multiplayer mini games developed in Fortnite Creative. Similarly, Dreamworld is accompanied by an augmented reality music experience in partnership with Tomorrowland, as well as "an exclusive Dreamworld-inspired digital fashion collection for the metaverse."
Devin Peterson, a professor of food science and technology at the Ohio State University, said given that the scientific community has continued to discover connections between aroma and emotion, more flavors intended to elicit emotional reactions could be expected to emerge in the food industry.
"I think that in general, more authentic, more natural, more realistic flavors are certainly part of what I see as the future," Peterson said. "But, I think what I would also say is more creativity, or more diversity, in experiences is certainly part of what I think the consumer seeks. And in that regard, I see this being part of the trend."
Some, however, remain critical of Coca-Cola's shift into the surreal. Jaya Saxena, writing for Eater, said: "Coca-Cola is clearly not comfortable with being one of the most successful companies of all time. In capitalist parlance, if you are not growing, you're dying, which means there has to be 'innovation' and new products and a soda that tastes like dreams that no one asked for. There is no room to just be, to offer a product a lot of people like, and sustain a company on that."
"This innovation is not borne of actual creativity, but desperation," she continued.
Coca-Cola's "Dreamworld" flavor will be available in stores on Aug. 15.
Elliot Lewis
Elliot Lewis is an intern for NBC News.
WHO plans to rename monkeypox over stigmatization concerns - ABC News
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 16:41
The World Health Organization is holding an open forum to rename the disease monkeypox, after some critics raised concerns the name could be derogatory or have racist connotations
LONDON -- The World Health Organization says it's holding an open forum to rename the disease monkeypox, after some critics raised concerns the name could be derogatory or have racist connotations.
In a statement Friday, the U.N. health agency said it has also renamed two families, or clades, of the virus, using Roman numerals instead of geographic areas, to avoid stigmatization. The version of the disease formerly known as the Congo Basin will now be known as Clade one or I and the West Africa clade will be known as Clade two or II.
WHO said the decision was made following a meeting of scientists this week and in line with current best practices for naming diseases, which aims to ''avoid causing offense to any cultural, social, national, regional, professional, or ethnic groups, and minimize any negative impact on trade, travel, tourism or animal welfare.''
Numerous other diseases, including Japanese encephalitis, Marburg virus, Spanish influenza and Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome have been named after the geographic areas where they first arose or were identified. WHO has not publicly suggested changing any of those names.
Monkeypox was first named in 1958 when research monkeys in Denmark were observed to have a ''pox-like'' disease, although they are not thought to be the animal reservoir.
WHO said it was also opening a way for the public to suggest new names for monkeypox, but did not say when any new name would be announced.
To date, there have been more than 31,000 cases of monkeypox identified globally since May, with the majority of those beyond Africa. Monkeypox has been endemic in parts of central and west Africa for decades and was not known to trigger large outbreaks beyond the continent until May.
WHO declared the global spread of monkeypox to be an international emergency in July and the U.S. declared its own epidemic to be a national emergency earlier this month.
Outside of Africa, 98% of cases are in men who have sex with men. With only a limited global supply of vaccines, authorities are racing to stop monkeypox before it becomes entrenched as a new disease.
Part 1, Why Did the DOJ and FBI Execute the Raid on Trump - The Story Behind the Documents - The Last Refuge
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 16:40
The past 24 hours have provided a great deal of clarity on several issues. CTH will be outlining the entire story behind the raid on President Trump's home at Mar-a-Lago in Florida, including what documents the DOJ and FBI are determined to control. However, before getting into the specifics, it is important to remember the full context of the threat that only Donald J Trump represents.
When you understand what documents President Trump was/is holding, the desperation of the DC response will make sense.
First, we need to remind everyone where the documents originated. What was President Trump asking the Office of Director of National Intelligence, Dept of Justice and FBI to release for the past four years? What is contained within those documents?
This is Part 1 that explains the actions in the background of those documents. This is the activity outlined within the evidence contained in the documents.
Barack Obama and Eric Holder did not create a weaponized DOJ and FBI; the institutions were already weaponized by the Patriot Act. What Obama and Holder did was take the preexisting system and retool it, so the weapons of government only targeted one side of the political continuum.
This point is where many people understandably get confused.
In the era shortly after 9/11 the DC national security apparatus, instructed by Vice President Dick Cheney, was constructed to preserve continuity of government and simultaneously view all Americans as potential threats. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) were created specifically for this purpose.
After 9/11/01 the electronic surveillance system that was originally created to monitor threats from abroad was retooled to monitor threats inside our country. That is when all of our electronic 'metadata' came under federal surveillance.
That inflection point, and the process that followed, was exactly what Edward Snowden tried to point out.
What Barack Obama and Eric Holder did with that new construct was refine the internal targeting mechanisms so that only their political opposition became the target of this new national security system.
The problems we face now as a country are directly an outcome of two very distinct points that were merged by Barack Obama. (1) The post 9/11 monitoring of electronic communication of American citizens; and (2) Obama's team creating a fine-tuning knob that it focused on the politics of the targets. This is very important to understand as you dig deeper into this research outline.
Washington DC created the modern national security apparatus immediately and hurriedly after 9/11/01. The Department of Homeland Security came along in 2002, and within the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) was formed.
When President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder arrived a few years later, those newly formed institutions were viewed as opportunities to create a very specific national security apparatus that would focus almost exclusively against their political opposition.
The preexisting Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Dept of Justice (DOJ) were then repurposed to become two of the four pillars of the domestic national security apparatus: a domestic surveillance state. However, this new construct would have a targeting mechanism based on political ideology.
The DHS, ODNI, DOJ and FBI became the four pillars of this new institution. Atop these pillars is where you will find the Fourth Branch of Government.
We were not sleeping when this happened, we were wide awake. However, we were stunningly distracted by the economic collapse that was taking place in 2006 and 2007 when the engineers behind Obama started to assemble the design. By the time Obama took office in 2009, we sensed something profound was shifting, but we can only see exactly what shifted in the aftermath. The four pillars were put into place, and a new Fourth Branch of Government was quietly created.
As time passed, and the system operators became familiar with their new tools, technology allowed the tentacles of the system to reach out and touch us. That is when we first started to notice that something very disconcerting was happening. Those four pillars are the root of it, and if we take the time to understand how the Fourth Branch originated, questions about this current state of perpetual angst will start to make sense.
Grab a cup of your favorite beverage and take a walk with me as we outline how this was put together. You might find many of the questions about our current state of political affairs beginning to make a lot more sense.
Remember, it is not my intent to outline the entire history of how we got to this place where the intelligence community now acts as the superseding Fourth Branch of Government. Such an effort would be exhausting and likely take our discussion away from understanding the current dynamic.
History provided enough warnings from Dwight D. Eisenhower (military) to John F. Kennedy (CIA), to Richard Nixon (FBI), to all the modern versions of warnings and frustrations from HPSCI Devin Nunes and ODNI Ric Grenell.
None of those prior reference points are invalid, and all documented outlines of historic reference are likely true and accurate. However, a generational review is not useful, as the reference impacting us 'right now' gets lost.
Instead, we pick up the expansive and weaponized intelligence system as it manifests after 9/11/01, and my goal is to highlight how the modern version of the total intelligence apparatus has metastasized into a Fourth Branch of Government. It is this superseding branch that now touches and influences every facet of our life. We The People are under surveillance.
If we take the modern construct, originating at the speed of technological change, we can also see how the oversight or ''check/balance'' in our system of government became functionally obsolescent.
After many years of granular research about the intelligence apparatus inside our government, in the summer of 2020 I visited Washington DC to ask specific questions. My goal was to go where the influence agents within government actually operate, and to discover the people deep inside the institutions no one elected, and few people pay attention to.
It was during this process when I discovered how information is purposefully put into containment silos; essentially a formal process to block the flow of information between agencies and between the original branches. While frustrating to discover, the silo effect was important because understanding the communication between networks leads to our ability to reconcile conflict between what we perceive and what's actually taking place.
After days of research and meetings in DC during 2020; amid a town that was serendipitously shut down due to COVID-19; I found a letter slid under the door of my room in a nearly empty hotel with an introduction of sorts. The subsequent discussions were perhaps the most important. After many hours of specific questions and answers on specific examples, I realized why our nation is in this mess. That is when I discovered the fourth and superseding branch of government, the Intelligence Branch.
I am going to explain how the Intelligence Branch works: (1) to control every other branch of government; (2) how it functions as an entirely independent branch of government with no oversight; (3) how and why it was created to be independent from oversight; (4) what is the current mission of the IC Branch, and most importantly (5) who operates it.
The Intelligence Branch is an independent functioning branch of government, it is no longer a subsidiary set of agencies within the Executive Branch as most would think. To understand the Intelligence Branch, we need to drop the elementary school civics class lessons about three coequal branches of government and replace that outlook with the modern system that created itself.
The Intelligence Branch functions much like the State Dept, through a unique set of public-private partnerships that support it. Big Tech industry collaboration with intelligence operatives is part of that functioning, almost like an NGO. However, the process is much more important than most think. In this problematic perspective of a corrupt system of government, the process is the flaw '' not the outcome.
There are people making decisions inside this little known, unregulated and out-of-control branch of government that impact every facet of our lives.
None of the people operating deep inside the Intelligence Branch were elected; and our elected representative House members genuinely do not know how the system works. I assert this position affirmatively because I have talked to House and Senate staffers, including the chiefs of staff for multiple House & Senate committee seats. They are not malicious people; however, they are genuinely clueless of things that happen outside their silo. That is part of the purpose of me explaining it, with examples, in full detail with sunlight.
We begin'....In April of 2016, the FBI launched a counterintelligence operation against presidential candidate Donald Trump. The questioning about that operation is what New York Representative Elise Stefanik cites in March of 2017, approximately 11 months later ( First Two Minutes ).
Things to note:'... Notice how FBI Director James Comey just matter-of-factly explains no one outside the DOJ was informed about the FBI operation. Why? Because that's just the way things are done. His justification for unilateral operations was ''because of the sensitivity of the matter'', totally ignoring any constitutional or regulatory framework for oversight; because, well, quite simply, there isn't any. The intelligence apparatus inside the DOJ/FBI can, and does, operate based on their own independent determinations of authority.
'... Notice also how FBI Director Comey shares his perspective that informing the National Security Council (NSC) is the equivalent of notifying the White House. The FBI leadership expressly believe they bear no responsibility to brief the Chief Executive. As long as they tell some unknown, unelected, bureaucratic entity inside the NSC, their unwritten responsibility to inform the top of their institutional silo is complete. If the IC wants to carve out the Oval Office, they simply plant information inside the NSC and, from their perspective, their civic responsibility to follow checks-and-balances is complete. This is an intentional construct.
'... Notice how Comey obfuscates notification to the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), by avoiding the fact James Clapper was the DNI from outset of the counterintelligence operation throughout the remainder of Obama's term. When I get deeper into the process, we will understand how the Intelligence Branch has intentionally used the creation of the DNI position (established post 9/11/01) as a method to avoid oversight, not enhance it. Keeping an oblivious doofus like James Clapper in position held strategic value [Doofus Reminder HERE].
That video of James Comey being questioned by Elise Stefanik was the first example given to me by someone who knew the background of everything that was taking place preceding that March 20, 2017, hearing. That FBI reference point is a key to understand how the Intelligence Branch operates with unilateral authority above Congress (legislative branch), above the White House (executive branch), and even above the court system (judicial branch).
Also, watch this short video of James Clapper, because it is likely many readers have forgotten, and likely even more readers have never seen it. W atch closely how then White House national security adviser John Brennan is responding in that video. This is before Brennan became CIA Director, this is when Brennan was helping Barack Obama put the pillars into place. WATCH:
[Sidebar: Every time I post this video it gets scrubbed from YouTube (example), so save it if you ever want to see it again.]
The video of James Clapper highlights how the ODNI position (created with good national security intention) ended up becoming the fulcrum for modern weaponization, and is now an office manipulated by agencies with a vested interest in retaining power. The Intelligence Branch holds power over the ODNI through their influence and partnership with the body that authorizes the power within it, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI).
Factually, the modern intelligence apparatus uses checks and balances in their favor. The checks create silos of proprietary information, classified information, vaults of information that work around oversight issues. The silos, which include the exploitation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA Court, or FISC) are part of the problem.
Ironically, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence was created in the aftermath of 9/11/01 expressly to eliminate the silos of information which they felt led to a domestic terrorist attack that could have been prevented. The ODNI was created specifically upon the recommendation of the 9/11 commission.
The intent was to create a central hub of intelligence information, inside the Executive Branch, where the CIA, NSA, DoD, DoS, and DIA could deposit their unique intelligence products and a repository would be created so that domestic intelligence operations, like the DOJ and FBI could access them when needed to analyze threats to the U.S. This, they hoped, would ensure the obvious flags missed in the 9/11 attacks would not be missed again.
However, the creation of the DNI office also created an unconstitutional surveillance system of the American people. The DNI office became the tool to take massive amounts of data and use it to target specific Americans. Weaponizing the DNI office for political targeting is now the purpose of the DNI office as it exists.
The illegal and unlawful nature of the surveillance creates a need for careful protection amid the group who operate in the shadows of electronic information and domestic surveillance. You will see how it was critical to install a person uniquely skilled in being an idiot, James Clapper, into that willfully blind role while intelligence operatives worked around the office to assemble the Intelligence Branch of Government.
' The last federal budget that flowed through the traditional budgetary process was signed into law in September of 2007 for fiscal year 2008 by George W. Bush. Every budget since then has been a fragmented process of continuing resolutions and individual spending bills.
Why does this matter? Because many people think defunding the Intelligence Community is a solution; it is not'.... at least, not yet. Worse yet, the corrupt divisions deep inside the U.S. intelligence system can now fund themselves from multinational private sector partnerships (banks, corporations and foreign entities).
' When Democrats took over the House of Representatives in January 2007, they took office with a plan. Nancy Pelosi became Speaker, and Democrats controlled the Senate where Harry Reid was Majority Leader. Barack Obama was a junior senator from Illinois.
Pelosi and Reid intentionally did not advance a budget in 2008 (for fiscal year 2009) because their plan included installing Barack Obama (and all that came with him) with an open checkbook made even more lucrative by a worsening financial crisis and a process called baseline budgeting. Baseline budgeting means the prior fiscal year budget is accepted as the starting point for the next year budget. All previous expenditures are baked into the cake within baseline budgeting.
Massive bailouts preceded Obama's installation due to U.S. economic collapse, and massive bailouts continued after his installation. This is the 'never let a crisis go to waste' aspect. TARP (Troubled Asset Recovery Program), auto bailouts (GM), and the massive stimulus spending bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA, ie. those shovel ready jobs) were all part of the non-budget spending. The federal reserve assisted with Quantitative Easing (QE1 and QE2) as congress passed various Porkulous spending bills further spending and replacing the formal budget process.
Note: There has never been a budget passed in the normal/traditional process since September of 2007.
' While Obama's radical 'transformation' was triggered across a broad range of government institutions, simultaneously spending on the U.S. military was cut, but spending on the intelligence apparatus expanded. We were all distracted by Obamacare, and the Republican Party wanted to keep us that way. However, in the background there was a process of transformation taking place that included very specific action by Eric Holder and targeted effort toward the newest executive agency the ODNI.
The people behind Obama, those same people now behind Joe Biden, knew from years of strategic planning that 'radical transformation' would require control over specific elements inside the U.S. government. Eric Holder played a key role in his position as U.S. Attorney General in the DOJ.
AG Holder recruited ideologically aligned political operatives who were aware of the larger institutional objectives. One of those objectives was weaponizing the DOJ-National Security Division (DOJ-NSD) a division inside the DOJ that had no inspector general oversight. For most people the DOJ-NSD weaponization surfaced with a hindsight awakening of the DOJ-NSD targeting candidate Donald Trump many years later. However, by then the Holder crew had executed almost eight full years of background work.
' The second larger Obama/Holder objective was control over the FBI. Why was that important? Because the FBI does the domestic investigative work on anyone who needs or holds a security clearance. The removal of security clearances could be used as a filter to further build the internal ideological army they were assembling. Additionally, with new power in the ODNI created as a downstream consequence of the Patriot Act, new protocols for U.S. security clearances were easy to justify.
Carefully selecting fellow ideological travelers was facilitated by this filtration within the security clearance process. How does that issue later manifest? Just look around at how politicized every intelligence agency has become, specifically including the FBI.
' At the exact same time this new background security clearance process was ongoing, again everyone distracted by the fight over Obamacare, inside the Department of State (Secretary Hillary Clinton) a political alignment making room for the next phase was being assembled. Names like Samantha Power, Susan Rice and Hillary Clinton were familiar on television while Lisa Monaco worked as a legal liaison between the Obama White House and Clinton State Department.
Through the Dept of State (DoS) the intelligence apparatus began working on their first steps to align Big Tech with a larger domestic institutional objective. Those of you who remember the ''Arab Spring'', some say ''Islamist Spring'', will remember it was triggered by Barack Obama's speech in Cairo '' his first foreign trip. The State Department worked with grassroots organizers (mostly Muslim Brotherhood) in Egypt, Syria, Bahrain, Qatar and Libya. Obama leaned heavily on the organizational network of Turkish President Recep Erdogan for contacts and support.
Why does this aspect matter to us? Well, you might remember how much effort the Obama administration put into recruiting Facebook and Twitter as resources for the various mideast rebellions the White House and DoS supported. This was the point of modern merge between the U.S. intelligence community and Big Tech social media.
In many ways, the coordinated political outcomes in Libya and Egypt were the beta test for the coordinated domestic political outcomes we saw in the 2020 U.S. presidential election. The U.S. intelligence community working with social media platforms and political operatives.
Overlaying all of that background activity was also a new alignment of the Obama-era intelligence apparatus with ideological federal ''contractors''. Where does this contractor activity manifest? In the FISA Court opinion of Rosemary Collyer who cited the ''interagency memorandum of understanding'', or MOU.
Hopefully, you can see a small part of how tentacled the system to organize/weaponize the intelligence apparatus was. None of this was accidental, all of this was by design, and the United States Senate was responsible for intentionally allowing most of this to take place. The tools the government used to monitor threats were now being used to monitor every American. WE THE PEOPLE were now the threat the national security system was monitoring.
That's the 30,000/ft level backdrop history of what was happening as the modern IC was created. Next, we will go into how all these various intelligence networks began working in unison and how they currently control all of the other DC institutions under them; including how they can carve out the President from knowing their activity.
'... When Barack Obama was installed in January 2009, the Democrats held a 60-seat majority in the U.S. Senate. As the people behind the Obama installation began executing their longer-term plan, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence was a tool to create the Intelligence Branch; it was not an unintentional series of events.
When Obama was installed, Dianne Feinstein was the Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), and Democrat operative Dan Jones was her lead staffer. Feinstein was completely controlled by those around her including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The CIA was in the process of turning over personnel following the Bush era, and as a result of a massive multi-year narrative of diminished credibility (Iraq WMD), a deep purge was underway. Obama/Holder were in the process of shifting intelligence alignment and the intensely political Democrat Leader Harry Reid was a key participant.
THE TRAP '' Many people say that Congress is the solution to eliminating the Fourth and superseding Branch of Government, the Intelligence Branch. This is an exercise in futility because the Legislative Branch, specifically the SSCI, facilitated the creation of the Intelligence Branch. The SSCI cannot put the genie they created back in the bottle without admitting they too are corrupt; and the background story of their corruption is way too intense to be exposed now.
Every member of the SSCI is compromised in some controlling manner. Those Senators who disliked the control over them; specifically disliked because the risk of sunlight was tenuous and, well, possible; have either left completely or stepped down from the committee. None of the SSCI members past or present would ever contemplate saying openly what their tenure involved.
[Note: You might remember when Vice Chairman Mark Warner's text messages surfaced, there was a controlled Republican SSCI member who came to his defense in February of 2018. It was not accidental that exact Senator later became the chair of the SSCI himself. That Republican Senator is Marco Rubio, now vice-chair since the Senate re-flipped back to the optics of Democrat control in 2021.]
All of President Obama's 2009 intelligence appointments required confirmation from the Senate. The nominees had to first pass through the Democrat controlled SSCI, and then to a full Senate vote where Democrats held a 60-vote majority. Essentially, Obama got everyone he wanted in place easily. Rahm Emmanuel was Obama's Chief of Staff, and Valerie Jarrett was Senior Advisor.
Tim Geithner was Treasury Secretary in 2010 when the joint DOJ/FBI and IRS operation to target the Tea Party took place after the midterm ''shellacking'' caused by the Obamacare backlash. Mitch McConnell was Minority Leader in the Senate but supported the targeting of the Tea Party as his Senate colleagues were getting primaried by an angry and effective grassroots campaign. McConnell's friend, Senator Bob Bennett, getting beaten in Utah was the final straw.
Dirty Harry and Mitch McConnell saw the TEA Party through the same prism. The TEA Party took Kennedy's seat in Massachusetts (Scott Brown); Sharon Angle was about to take out Harry Reid in Nevada; Arlen Spector was taken down in Pennsylvania; Senator Robert Byrd died; Senator Lisa Murkowski lost her primary to Joe Miller in Alaska; McConnell's nominee Mike Castle lost to Christine O'Donnell in Delaware; Rand Paul won in Kentucky. This is the background. The peasants were revolting'.... and visibly angry Mitch McConnell desperately made a deal with the devil to protect himself.
In many ways, the TEA Party movement was/is very similar to the MAGA movement. The difference in 2010 was the absence of a head of the movement, in 2015 Donald Trump became that head figure who benefited from the TEA Party energy. Trump came into office in 2017 with the same congressional opposition as the successful TEA Party candidates in 2011.
Republicans took control of the Senate following the 2014 mid-terms. Republicans took control of the SSCI in January 2015. Senator Richard Burr became chairman of the SSCI, and Dianne Feinstein shifted to Vice-Chair. Dirty Harry Reid left the Senate, and Mitch McConnell took power again.
Republicans were in control of the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2015 when the Intelligence Branch operation against candidate Donald Trump was underway. [Feinstein's staffer, Dan Jones, left the SSCI so he could act as a liaison and political operative between private-sector efforts (Fusion GPS, Chris Steele) and the SSCI.] The SSCI was a participant in that Fusion GPS/Chris Steele operation, and as a direct consequence Republicans were inherently tied to the problem with President Trump taking office in January of 2017. Indiana Republican Senator Dan Coats was a member of the SSCI.
Bottom line'.... When it came to the intelligence system targeting Donald Trump during the 2015/2016 primary, the GOP was just as much at risk as their Democrat counterparts.
When Trump unexpectedly won the 2016 election, the SSCI was shocked more than most. They knew countermeasures would need to be deployed to protect themselves from any exposure of their prior intelligence conduct. Immediately Senator Dianne Feinstein stepped down from the SSCI, and Senator Mark Warner was elevated to Vice Chairman.
Indiana's own Mike Pence, now Vice President, recommended fellow Hoosier, SSCI Senator Dan Coats, to become President Trump's Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). [Apply hindsight here]
' To give an idea of the Intelligence Branch power dynamic, remind yourself how House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), Chairman Devin Nunes, tried to get access to the DOJ/FBI records of the FISA application used against the Trump campaign via Carter Page.
Remember, Devin Nunes only saw a portion of the FISA trail from his review of a Presidential Daily Brief (PDB) previously given to President Obama. Chairman Nunes had to review the PDB at the White House SCIF due to compartmented intelligence, another example of the silo benefit.
Remember the massive stonewalling and blocking of the DOJ/FBI toward Nunes? Remember the back-and-forth battle over declassification surrounding the Nunes memo?
Remember, after Nunes went directly to House Speaker Paul Ryan for help (didn't get any), the DOJ only permitted two members from each party within the HPSCI to review the documents, and only at the DOJ offices of main justice?
Contrast that amount of House Intel Committee railroading by intelligence operatives in the DOJ, DOJ-NSD and FBI, with the simple request by Senate Intelligence Vice Chairman Mark Warner asking to see the Carter Page FISA application and immediately a copy being delivered to him on March 17th 2017.
Can you see which intelligence committee is aligned with the deepest part of the deep state?
Oh, how quickly we forget:
The contrast of ideological alignment between the House, Senate and Intelligence Branch is crystal clear when viewed through the prism of cooperation. You can see which legislative committee holds the power and support of the Intelligence Branch. The Senate Intel Committee facilitates the corrupt existence of the IC Branch, so the IC Branch only cooperates with the Senate Intel Committee. It really is that simple.
' The Intelligence Branch carefully selects its own members by controlling how security clearances are investigated and allowed (FBI). The Intelligence Branch also uses compartmentalization of intelligence as a way to keep each agency, and each downstream branch of government (executive, legislative and judicial), at arm's length as a method to stop anyone from seeing the larger picture of their activity. I call this the ''silo effect'', and it is done by design.
I have looked at stunned faces when I presented declassified silo product from one agency to the silo customers of another. You would be astonished at what they don't know because it is not in their 'silo'.
Through the advice and consent rules, the Intelligence Branch uses the SSCI to keep out people they consider dangerous to their ongoing operations. Any appointee to the intelligence community must first pass through the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, before they get a full Senate vote. If the SSCI rejects the candidate, they simply refuse to take up the nomination. The president is then blocked from that appointment. This is what happened with President Trump over and over again.
' Additionally, the Intelligence Branch protects itself, and its facilitating allies through the formal classification process. The Intelligence Branch gets to decide unilaterally what information will be released and what information will be kept secret. There is no entity outside the Intelligence Branch, and yes that includes the President of the United States, who can supersede the classification authority of the Intelligence Branch. {Go Deep} and {Go Deep} This is something 99.9% of the people on our side get totally and frustratingly wrong.
No one can declassify, or make public, anything the Intelligence Branch will not agree to. Doubt this? Ask Ric Grenell, John Ratcliffe, or even President Trump himself.
' The classification process is determined inside the Intelligence Branch, all by themselves. They get to choose what rank of classification exists on any work product they create; and they get to decide what the classification status is of any work product that is created by anyone else. The Intelligence Branch has full control over what is considered classified information and what is not. The Intelligence Branch defines what is a ''national security interest'' and what is not. A great technique for hiding fingerprints of corrupt and illegal activity.
[For familiar reference see the redactions to Lisa Page and Peter Strzok text messages. The Intelligence Branch does all redactions.]
' Similarly, the declassification process is a request by an agency, even a traditionally superior agency like the President of the United States, to the Intelligence Branch asking for them to release the information. The Intelligence Branch again holds full unilateral control.
If the head of the CIA refuses to comply with the declassification instruction of the President, what can the president do except fire him/her? {Again, GO DEEP} How does the President replace the non-compliant cabinet member? They have to go through the SSCI confirmation. See the problem?
Yes, there are ways to break up the Intelligence Branch, but they do not start with any congressional effort. As you can see above, the process is the flaw '' not the solution. Most conservative pundits have their emphasis on the wrong syllable. Their cornerstone is false.
For their own self-preservation, the Intelligence Branch has been interfering in our elections for years. The way to tear this apart begins with STATE LEVEL election reform that blocks the Legislative Branch from coordinating with the Intelligence Branch.
The extreme federalism approach is critical and also explains why Joe Biden has instructed Attorney General Merrick Garland to use the full power of the DOJ to stop state level election reform efforts. The worry of successful state level election control is also why the Intelligence Branch now needs to support the federal takeover of elections.
Our elections have been usurped by the Intelligence Branch. Start with honest elections and we will see just how much Democrat AND Republican corruption is dependent on manipulated election results. Start at the state level. Start there'.... everything else is downstream.
'... COLLAPSED OVERSIGHT '' The modern system to 'check' the Executive Branch was the creation of the legislative ''Gang of Eight,'' a legislative oversight mechanism intended to provide a bridge of oversight between the authority of the intelligence community within the Executive Branch.
The Go8 construct was designed to allow the President authority to carry out intelligence operations and provide the most sensitive notifications to a select group within Congress.
The Go8 oversight is directed to the position, not the person, and consists of: (1) The Speaker of the House; (2) The Minority Leader of the House; (3) The Chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, HPSCI; (4) The Ranking Member (minority) of the HPSCI; (5) The Leader of the Senate; (6) The Minority Leader of the Senate; (7) The Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, SSCI; and finally (8) the Vice-Chair of the SSCI.
Example: When the Chief Executive (the President) initiates an intelligence operation on behalf of the United States, the President triggers a ''finding memo.'' In essence, the instruction to the intel agency or agencies to authorize a covert operation. When that process takes place, the Go8 are the first people notified. Depending on the sensitivity of the operation, sometimes the G08 are notified immediately after the operation is conducted. The notification can be a phone call or an in-person briefing.
Because of the sensitivity of their intelligence information, the Gang of Eight hold security clearances that permit them to receive and review all intelligence operations. The intelligence community are also responsible for briefing the Go8 with the same information they use to brief the President.
~ 2021 Gang of Eight ~The Go8 design is intended to put intelligence oversight upon both political parties in Congress; it is designed that way by informing the minority leaders of both the House and Senate as well as the ranking minority members of the SSCI and HPSCI. Under the concept, the President cannot conduct an intelligence operation; and the intelligence community cannot carry out intelligence gathering operations without the majority and minority parties knowing about it.
The modern design of this oversight system was done to keep rogue and/or corrupt intelligence operations from happening. However, as we shared in the preview to this entire discussion, the process was usurped during the Obama era. {GO DEEP}
Former FBI Director James Comey openly admitted to Congress on March 20, 2017, that the FBI, FBI Counterintelligence Division, DOJ and DOJ-National Security Division, together with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and the CIA, had been conducting independent investigations of Donald Trump for over a year without informing the Go8. Comey justified the lack of informing Go8 oversight by saying, ''because of the sensitivity of the matter.''
Stupidly, Congress never pressed James Comey on that issue. The arrogance was astounding, and the acceptance by Congress was infuriating. However, that specific example highlighted just how politically corrupt the system had become. In essence, Team Obama usurped the entire design of congressional oversight'.... and Congress just brushed it off.
Keep in mind, Comey did not say the White House was unaware; in fact he said exactly the opposite, he said, ''The White House was informed through the National Security Council,'' (the NSC). The unavoidable implication and James Comey admission that everyone just brushed aside, was that President Obama's National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, was informed of the intelligence operation(s) against Donald Trump. After all, the NSC reports to the National Security Advisor.
Does the January 20, 2017, Susan Rice memo look different now?
Again, no one saw the immediate issue. What Comey just described on that March Day in 2017 was the usurpation of the entire reason the Gang of Eight exists; to eliminate the potential for political weaponization of the Intelligence Community by the executive branch. The G08 notifications to the majority and minority are specifically designed to make sure what James Comey admitted to doing was never supposed to happen.
Team Obama carried out a political operation using the intelligence community and the checks-and-balances in the system were intentionally usurped. This is an indisputable fact.
Worse still, the entire legislative branch of Congress, which then specifically included the Republicans that now controlled the House and Senate, did nothing. They just ignored what was admitted. The usurpation was willfully ignored.
The mechanism of the G08 was bypassed without a twitch of condemnation or investigation'.... because the common enemy was Donald Trump.
This example highlights the collapse of the system. Obama, the Executive Branch, collapsed the system by usurping the process; in essence the process became the bigger issue, and the lack of immediate Legislative Branch reaction became evidence of open acceptance. The outcomes of the usurpation played out over the next four years, Donald J. Trump was kneecapped and lost his presidency because of it. However, the bigger issue of the collapse still exists.
The downstream consequence of the Legislative Branch accepting the Executive Branch usurpation meant both intelligence committees were compromised. Additionally, the leadership of both the House and Senate were complicit. Think about this carefully. The Legislative Branch allowance of the intelligence usurpation meant the Legislative Branch was now subservient to the Intelligence Branch.
That's where we are.
Right now.
That's where we are.
Term-3 Obama is now back in the White House with Joe Biden.
NOTE: Former Obama National Security aide and counsel to the President, Lisa Monaco, is in her current position as Deputy Attorney General, specifically to make sure all of these revelations do not become a legal risk to Barack Obama and the people who created them. The SSCI confirmed Monaco for this purpose because the Senate is just as much at risk.
Term-1 and Term-2 Obama usurped the 'check and balance' within the system and weaponized the intelligence apparatus. During Trump's term that weaponization was covered up by a compliant congress, complicit senate intelligence committee, and not a single member of the oversight called it out. Now, Term-3 Obama steps back in to continue the cover up and continue the weaponization.
Hopefully, you can now see the scale of the problem that surrounds us with specific citation for what has taken place. What I just explained to you above is not conspiracy theory, it is admitted fact that anyone can look upon. Yet'....
Have you seen this mentioned anywhere? Have you seen this called out by anyone in Congress? Have you seen anyone in media (ally or adversary) call this out? Have you seen any member of the Judicial Branch stand up and say wait, what is taking place is not okay? Have you seen a single candidate for elected office point this out? Have you seen anyone advising a candidate to point this out?
This is our current status. It is not deniable. The truth exists regardless of our comfort.
Not a single person in power will say openly what has taken place. They are scared of the Fourth Branch. The evidence of what has taken place is right there in front of our face. The words, actions and activities of those who participated in this process are not deniable, in fact most of it is on record.
There are only two members of the Gang of Eight who have existed in place from January 2007 (the real beginning of Obama's term, two years before he took office when the Congress flipped). Only two members of the G08 have been consistently in place from January of 2007 to right now, today. All the others came and went, but two members of the Gang of Eight have been part of that failed and collapsed oversight throughout the past 15 years, Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell.
'... TECHNOLOGY '' On a global scale '' the modern intelligence gathering networks are now dependent on data collection to execute their intelligence missions. In the digital age nations have been executing various methods to gather that data. Digital surveillance has replaced other methods of interception. Those surveillance efforts have resulted in a coalescing of regional data networks based on historic multi-national relationships.
We have a recent frame of reference for the ''U.S. data collection network'' within the NSA. Through the allied process the Five Eyes nations all rely on the NSA surveillance database (U.K, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and U.S.) The NSA database provides the digital baseline for intelligence operations in defense of our allies. The portals into the NSA database are essentially an assembly of allies in like-minded ideological connection to the United States.
Unfortunately, there have been some revelations about the NSA database being used to monitor our allies, like in the example of Germany and surveillance on Angela Merkel's phone. As long as ''the good guys'' are operating honorably, allies of the United States can feel confident about having protection from the NSA surveillance of global digital data. We warn our friends if we detect something dangerous etc.
The U.S. has nodes on communication pipelines to intercept and extract data. We have also launched hundreds, perhaps thousands, of satellites to conduct surveillance and gather up data. All of this data is fed into the NSA database where it is monitored (presumably) as a national security mechanism, and in defense of our allies.
However, what about data collection or data networks that are outside the NSA database? What do our enemies do? The NSA database is just one intelligence operation of digital surveillance amid the entire world, and we do not allow access by adversaries we are monitoring. So what do they do? What do our allies do who might not trust the United States due to past inconsistencies, ie. the Middle East?
The answers to those questions highlight other data collection networks. So, a brief review of the major players is needed.
'... CHINA '' China operates their own database. They, like the NSA, scoop up data for their system. Like us, China launches satellites and deploys other electronic data collection methods to download into their database. This is why the issues of electronic devices manufactured in China becomes problematic. Part of the Chinese data collection system involves the use of spyware, hacking and extraction.
Issues with Chinese communication company Huawei take on an added dimension when you consider the goal of the Chinese government to conduct surveillance and assemble a network of data to compete with the United States via the NSA. Other Chinese methods of surveillance and data-collection are less subversive, as in the examples of TicTok and WeChat. These are Chinese social media companies that are scraping data just like the NSA scrapes data from Facebook, Twitter and other Silicon Valley tech companies. [ Remember, the Intelligence Branch is a public-private partnership. ]
'... RUSSIA '' It is very likely that Russia operates their own database. We know Russia launches satellites, just like China and the USA, for the same purposes. Russia is also very proficient at hacking into other databases and extracting information to store and utilize in their own network. The difference between the U.S., China and Russia is likely that Russia spends more time on the hacking aspect because they do not generate actual technology systems as rapidly as the U.S. and China.
The most recent database creation is an outcome of an ally having to take action because they cannot rely on the ideology of the United States remaining consistent, as the administrations ping-pong based on ideology.
'... SAUDI ARABIA '' Yes, in 2016 we discovered that Saudi Arabia was now operating their own intelligence data-gathering operation. It would make sense, given the nature of the Middle East and the constant fluctuations in political support from the United States. It is a lesson the allied Arab community and Gulf Cooperation Council learned quickly when President Obama went to Cairo in 2009 and launched the Islamist Spring (Arab Spring) upon them.
I have no doubt the creation of the Saudi intelligence network was specifically because the Obama administration started supporting radical Islamists within the Muslim Brotherhood and threw fuel on the fires of extremism all over the Arab world.
Think about it., What would you do if you were Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Kuwait, the UAE, Jordan, Oman or Yemen and you knew the United States could just trigger an internal uprising of al-Qaeda, ISIS and the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood to seek your destruction?
Without a doubt, those urgent lessons from 2009, 2010, 2011 triggered the formation of the Arab Intelligence Network as a network to defend itself with consistency. They assembled the network and activated it in 2017 as pictured above.
'... Israel '' Along a similar outlook to the Arab network, no doubt Israel operates an independent data collection system as a method of protecting itself from ever-changing U.S. politics amid a region that is extremely hostile to its very existence. Like the others, Israel launches proprietary satellites, and we can be sure they use covert methods to gather electronic data just like the U.S. and China.
As we have recently seen in the Pegasus story, Israel creates spyware programs that are able to track and monitor cell phone communications of targets. The spyware would not work unless Israel had access to some network where the phone meta-data was actually stored. So yeah, it makes sense for Israel to operate an independent intelligence database.
'... Summary: As we understand the United States Intelligence Branch of government as the superseding entity that controls the internal politics of our nation, we also must consider that multiple nations have the same issue. There are major intelligence networks around the world beside the NSA ''Five-Eyes'' database. China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Israel all operate proprietary databases deploying the same tools and techniques for assembly.
The geopolitical conflict that has always existed has now shifted into a digital battle-space. The Intelligence Agencies from these regions are now operating as the backbone of the government that uses them, and has become dependent on them. [<- Reread that].
Once you accept the digital-era intelligence apparatus of China, Russia, Saudi-Arabia, The United States and Israel, are now the primary national security mechanisms for stabilization of government; then you accept the importance of those intelligence operations.
Once you understand how foundational those modern intelligence operations have become for the stability and continuity of those governments'...'... then you begin to understand just how the United States intelligence community became more important than the government that created it.
From that point it is then critical to understand that domestic intelligence operations are underway to monitor the electronic communication of American citizens inside our own country. YOU are under surveillance. The parents who confront school boards are under surveillance. The political operatives inside the FBI are monitoring everyone who comes onto the radar, that is why the National School Boards Association asked the White House, then the DOJ, to have the FBI start targeting parents. Are things making sense now?
'... Public Private Partnership '' The modern Fourth Branch of Government is only possible because of a Public-Private partnership with the intelligence apparatus. You do not have to take my word for it, the partnership is so brazened they have made public admissions.
The biggest names in Big Tech announced in June their partnership with the Five Eyes intelligence network, ultimately controlled by the NSA, to: (1) monitor all activity in their platforms; (2) identify extremist content; (3) look for expressions of Domestic Violent Extremism (DVE); and then, (4) put the content details into a database where the Five Eyes intelligence agencies (U.K., U.S., Australia, Canada, New Zealand) can access it.
Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft are all partnering with the intelligence apparatus. It might be difficult to fathom how openly they admit this, but they do. Look at this sentence in the press release (emphasis mine):
['...] ''The Group will use lists from intelligence-sharing group Five Eyes adding URLs and PDFs from more groups, including the Proud Boys, the Three Percenters and neo-Nazis.''
Think about that sentence structure very carefully. They are ''adding to'' the preexisting list'.... admitting the group (aka Big Tech) already have access to the the intelligence-sharing database'... and also admitting there is a preexisting list created by the Five Eyes consortium.
Obviously, who and what is defined as ''extremist content'' will be determined by the Big Tech insiders themselves. This provides a gateway, another plausible deniability aspect, to cover the Intelligence Branch from any oversight.
When the Intelligence Branch within government wants to conduct surveillance and monitor American citizens, they run up against problems due to the Constitution of the United States. They get around those legal limitations by sub-contracting the intelligence gathering, the actual data mining, and allowing outside parties (contractors) to have access to the central database.
The government cannot conduct electronic searches (4th amendment issue) without a warrant; however, private individuals can search and report back as long as they have access. What is being admitted is exactly that preexisting partnership. The difference is that Big Tech will flag the content from within their platforms, and now a secondary database filled with the extracted information will be provided openly for the Intelligence Branch to exploit.
The volume of metadata captured by the NSA has always been a problem because of the filters needed to make the targeting useful. There is a lot of noise in collecting all data that makes the parts you really want to identify more difficult to capture. This new admission puts a new massive filtration system in the metadata that circumvents any privacy protections for individuals.
Previously, the Intelligence Branch worked around the constitutional and unlawful search issue by using resources that were not in the United States. A domestic U.S. agency, working on behalf of the U.S. government, cannot listen on your calls without a warrant. However, if the U.S. agency sub-contracts to say a Canadian group, or foreign ally, the privacy invasion is no longer legally restricted by U.S. law.
What was announced in June 2021 is an alarming admission of a prior relationship along with open intent to define their domestic political opposition as extremists.
July 26 (Reuters) '' A counterterrorism organization formed by some of the biggest U.S. tech companies including Facebook (FB.O) and Microsoft (MSFT.O) is significantly expanding the types of extremist content shared between firms in a key database, aiming to crack down on material from white supremacists and far-right militias, the group told Reuters.
Until now, the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism's (GIFCT) database has focused on videos and images from terrorist groups on a United Nations list and so has largely consisted of content from Islamist extremist organizations such as Islamic State, al Qaeda and the Taliban.
Over the next few months, the group will add attacker manifestos '' often shared by sympathizers after white supremacist violence '' and other publications and links flagged by U.N. initiative Tech Against Terrorism. It will use lists from intelligence-sharing group Five Eyes, adding URLs and PDFs from more groups, including the Proud Boys, the Three Percenters and neo-Nazis.
The firms, which include Twitter (TWTR.N) and Alphabet Inc's (GOOGL.O) YouTube, share ''hashes,'' unique numerical representations of original pieces of content that have been removed from their services. Other platforms use these to identify the same content on their own sites in order to review or remove it. (read more)
The influence of the Intelligence Branch now reaches into our lives, our personal lives.
In the decades before 9/11/01 the intelligence apparatus intersected with government, influenced government, and undoubtedly controlled many institutions with it. The legislative oversight function was weak and growing weaker, but it still existed and could have been used to keep the IC in check. However, after the events of 9/11/01, the short-sighted legislative reactions opened the door to allow the surveillance state to weaponize against domestic enemies.
After the Patriot Act was triggered, not coincidentally only six weeks after 9/11, a slow and dangerous fuse was lit that ends with the intelligence apparatus being granted a massive amount of power. Simultaneously the mission of the intelligence community now encompassed monitoring domestic threats as defined by the people who operate the surveillance system.
The problem with assembled power is always what happens when a Machiavellian network takes control over that power and begins the process to weaponize the tools for their own malicious benefit. That is exactly what the network of President Barack Obama did.
The Obama network took pre-assembled intelligence weapons (we should never have allowed to be created) and turned those weapons into political tools for his radical and fundamental change. The target was the essential fabric of our nation.
Ultimately, this corrupt political process gave power to create the Fourth Branch of Government, the Intelligence Branch. From that perspective the fundamental change was successful.
This is the scale of corrupt political compromise on both sides of the DC dynamic that we are up against. Preserving this system is also what removing Donald Trump is all about'.... The targeting of President Trump in order to preserve the system, the system that was weaponized during the Obama administration, is what the actions of the DOJ and FBI were all about.
What would powerful people in DC do to stop the American people from finding this out?
In Part II we will outline the evidence that President Trump declassified, asked to be released, waited patiently and then eventually held as an insurance policy against the threats and promises of people who held office during and after his administration, through today. Then hopefully people will grasp why the Deep State system is so desperate.
Posted in Activist Judges,
Big Government,
Big Stupid Government,
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Donald Trump,
Election 2022,
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This Gates-Backed Startup Builds Modular Homes Out of Energy-Efficient Panels
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 16:40
As you might have heard, we're in the midst of a housing crisis, not only in the US but in many parts of the world. It's been going on since before the pandemic, but Covid-19 and its lockdowns, supply chain disruptions, and labor shortages have made the problem worse.
Companies specializing in cutting-edge construction techniques are aiming to make a difference by churning out high-quality homes at a lower cost than traditional industry standards. Among these are 3D printed homes, ''foldable'' homes, and homes that ship in kits then are assembled like Ikea furniture.
Now a new player is joining the list, and it just got a serious financial boost. Vantem Global has already helped construct a total of over three million square feet of living space in six different countries, and earlier this month closed a Series A funding round co-led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures (Breakthrough was founded by Bill Gates in 2015 to invest in sustainable energy and emissions-reduction technologies).
Vantem's energy-efficient prefabricated homes are made of structural panels. The panels were designed as a replacement for brick and cement, which are expensive, difficult to make, and heavy on emissions. Each panel consists of an insulating layer sandwiched by tiles made of a cement-like material. Since the panels are more similar to cement than wood or plastic are, they're more likely to be positively perceived by customers who are used to cement (as many in Latin America are, where Vantem has thus far focused most of its construction).
Inside one of Vantem's factories. Image Credit: Vantem GlobalThe panels aren't just used for exterior walls, they're for interior walls and roofs too. Production of the panels is highly automated, and they're shipped to building sites pre-cut and ready for installation. They're highly modular and can be used for multi-story buildings, commercial spaces, or single-family homes'--and in fact have already been used for a hotel in Uruguay, high-end housing, and low-cost housing, among other projects.
Vantem says the panels are safe for use in high seismic zones and areas with hurricane-level winds, and that the insulation they provide is up to five times better than traditional building materials; that makes for higher energy efficiency since there's less leakage of heating and cooling. They're also resistant to fire, water, and insects.
Vantem's system has been used on buildings in Uruguay, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, and the Caribbean. The company plans to use its Series A funds to expand its operations in the US, namely by building 15 factories to produce its panels. Facilities are planned for Arizona, California, Texas, and North and South Dakota in 2023, with additional sites to be determined and built by the end of the decade. Each Vantem factory will reportedly be able to churn out materials for more than a million square feet of housing a year.
''Construction in this sector has seen the least amount of innovation and productivity gains and is one of the greatest direct and indirect sources of carbon emissions,'' said Vantem CEO Chris Anderson in a press release. ''At the same time, affordable housing is a global need that must be addressed, but if we build with traditional methods, we will solve one problem only to worsen another. At Vantem, we are committed to addressing both challenges on a global scale.'' One project Vantem has in the works entails building 3,000 units of affordable housing in Uruguay.
Vantem isn't the first company to try putting a hip new spin on prefab and modular homes. Las Vegas-based Boxabl ships pre-fabricated ''foldable'' houses in a 20-foot-wide load, and once delivered the homes can be up and running in as little as a day. Similarly, Seattle-based Green Canopy NODE homes come in flat-pack kits that fit in standard shipping containers, and they don't require specialists to assemble.
A 2019 McKinsey report on modular construction says the technique is seeing a comeback, largely thanks to technological improvements; digital tools have facilitated the design of modules and helped optimize delivery logistics. In addition, consumer perception of prefab housing is improving as its designs take on a sleek, modern character. Most importantly, modular construction assisted by digital technologies can make home building up to 50 percent faster, at a cost that's comparable to or lower than traditional building costs.
According to Anderson, Vantem's technique makes the building process 50 percent faster than traditional construction methods and around 20 percent less expensive. Adding solar panels makes the buildings net zero (though they don't come standard as part of the building; their integration will be up to individual homeowners or developers).
Though there are no Vantem homes in the US yet, there could soon be many, with construction of its first domestic factories slated to start next year. With the ongoing shortage would-be homebuyers are experiencing'--particularly first-time homebuyers'--it won't be surprising if Vantem quickly has people lining up to put down a deposit.
Image Credit: Vantem Global
South Korea's 'Netflix effect': Why Western women are heading there in search of love | CNN Travel
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 16:39
(CNN) '-- There was something puzzling about the young Western women staying at the youth hostels in Seoul, thought researcher Min Joo Lee.
Unlike their Asian counterparts, who she saw squeezing in as many sights and shops as possible during their stays in the South Korean capital, these women -- mostly in their early 20s -- seemed uninterested in the usual tourist trails.
Instead, for most of their days they would remain inside their hostel, sleeping or watching Korean TV shows -- venturing out only after dark.
They had come to the attention of Lee, who researches Korea's gender and race politics as a postdoctoral fellow at Indiana University Bloomington, because she was in town to find out what influence the rising international profile of Korean pop culture was having on tourism.
After visiting eight hostels and interviewing 123 women, mostly from North America and Europe, Lee came to the conclusion that many had been drawn to the country by what she calls "the Netflix effect."
Hit Korean television shows like "Crash Landing on You" and "Goblin," were selling more than men with beautiful faces and chiseled bodies like their stars Hyun Bin and Gong Yoo. They were offering a glimpse into a world where men were romantic and patient, an antithesis to what the women saw as the sex-obsessed dating culture of their home countries.
South Korean actor Gong Yoo on October 30, 2019 in Seoul.
Han Myung-Gu/WireImage/Getty Images
The appeal of Korean men
The women Lee interviewed were fascinated with Korean men who were portrayed on TV as being in touch with their emotions and willing to embrace their "effeminate sides," Lee said.
They considered Korean men cultured and romantic while complaining that men in their home countries often neglected their appearances and had one-track minds.
Grace Thornton, a 25-year-old gardener from the United Kingdom, traveled to Seoul in 2021 after watching K-drama "Crash Landing on You" on Netflix.
She was struck by how men in the show did not jeer at or catcall women on the street, as happens in her home country.
In her eyes, Korean men are "gentlemen, polite, charming, romantic, fairytale-like, chivalrous, respectful." She said it also helps that Korean men dress well and groom themselves.
"(English men in comparison) are half drunk, holding a beer, holding a dead fish," she said -- a reference to what she said was the prevalence of fishing pictures in British male dating app profiles.
And the appeal is not entirely about the men.
As Thornton puts it: "In England, I'm very common looking and sound the same as everyone else. In Korea, I'm different, exciting and foreign. People pay attention to me. I felt special."
'International couples' and professional boyfriends
The popularity of Korean television shows with global audiences has coincided with a steady increase in the number of women tourists to South Korea.
In 2005, 2.3 million women visited the country -- compared to 2.9 million men, according to government data. By 2019 -- the last year before the coronavirus played havoc with tourism -- nearly 10 million women visited the country, compared to just 6.7 million men.
At the same time, there has been an explosion in social media content centered on couples featuring Korean men with women from abroad.
On YouTube, the hashtag "#Gukjecouple" ("#international couple") has become a genre covering 2,500 channels and 34,000 videos, the most popular of which feature a Korean man with an American or European partner. Sometimes these videos feature couples pranking each other, playing on cultural differences, and sometimes they simply portray the couples going about their everyday lives.
Among the proponents of the genre is Heo Jin-woo, a Korean YouTuber based in Seoul who once ran a channel devoted to videos in which he pretends to be the viewer's boyfriend.
The videos featured him acting as if he were on a video call with a lover, asking viewers how their day went or inviting them to dinner at the new Italian restaurant in town. He would speak in sleepy, soft tones with a slight Korean accent and pepper his speech with occasional Korean phrases.
According to Heo, the channel amassed 14,000 followers, mostly foreign women in their 20s who were interested in Korean culture, but he shut it down after meeting his girlfriend Harriet, who is from the UK.
The 'Jin and Hattie' show.
From Jin and Hattie
Instead, the pair have created an "international couple" channel titled "Jin and Hattie."
It mainly consists of videos in which they "prank" each other based on misunderstandings and differences in their cultures.
One video, titled "Making my Korean boyfriend jealous prank," features Harriet wearing short dresses in front of Heo, who asks her to dress more modestly.
"Don't forget to wear your couple ring," he says before Harriet lets him in on the joke and they embrace. The comments beneath the video -- mostly from English speaking female fans -- praise how respectful Heo is to his now wife.
Since its launch in February 2020, the channel has gained 70,000 subscribers each month, according to analysis service Socialblade, and now has 1.7 million subscribers. Though the couple says the channel was never meant to be a business, their channels on various platforms have more than 3.5 million subscribers combined.
Money spinner
Hugh Gwon, a consultant specializing in YouTube channel management, is one of the original creators of "international couple" content.
He said creators of couples channels who have more than a million subscribers can earn between 30 to 50 million won ($23,000 to $38,000) for each sponsored video.
But the genre's worth goes beyond the dollar signs -- it is also about helping couples adjust to cultural differences.
Gwon and his Australian wife Nichola run a blog called "My Korean Husband" that discusses intercultural marriage and reflects how attitudes to such relationships are changing.
Nichola says the image of Korean men has transformed since she met her husband 10 years ago in Sydney.
Back then, she grew used to hearing prejudiced comments such as peers saying that her husband was good-looking "for an Asian."
When she googled "Korean husband" after their engagement, most results were horror stories of Southeast Asian migrant wives married to abusive Korean men. Today, the search yields pictures of Korean celebrities and her blog, along with a Quora link to an anonymous user asking how one can find a Korean husband.
She says the best "international couple" channels promote cultural understanding, but warns some are only selling looks and fantasies.
The reality she says, is that women who are serious about settling down with a Korean husband should recognize there will be cultural differences to adjust to, such as living in a society known for long work hours and patriarchal gender norms.
"(At first) you're going to the Han River on picnics, and it's all wonderful and you feel like you're in a K-drama but then what's the reality of actually having a family in Korea?" she said.
'A temporary pleasure'
Unfortunately, some women find after their arrival that the men they encounter are not as perfect as the ones portrayed on their screens.
Mina, a 20-year-old student from Morocco, said K-pop and Korean TV shows influenced her decision to come to the southern city of Busan in 2021.
The men she saw on TV were depicted as "respectful, good looking, rich men who are protective of you," she said.
But during her nights out, she was groped in a bar and propositioned for sex from strangers on the street. She felt some Korean men tended to believe that foreign women are more open to casual sex than local women.
"We are temporary pleasure," she said, adding, "Men are men, humans are alike everywhere."
Since then she has lost her enjoyment of Korean TV shows and no longer wants to date Korean men.
Quandra Moore, a 27-year-old English teacher from Washington, came to Seoul in 2017 and searched for a partner through dating apps and in nightclubs. But she too was disappointed.
She encountered racist attitudes -- being rejected by one who told her to "go back to Africa" -- and found many men seemed interested only in sex.
In her experience, Korean men treated foreign women differently. "Why can't we go to dinner first? It's so crass. They know Korean women won't tolerate it," she said.
It's a point that Lee, the researcher, echoed, saying that some men felt they could treat foreign women badly with impunity because, as foreigners, they were limited to smaller social circles.
Still, such is the draw that even those who have bad experiences are not always put off.
Some women who flew home disappointed told Lee they felt it was their own fault they had not found their ideal man and would come back and try harder next time.
"They clearly see that not all Korean men are (perfect), but they just need an alternative to the disappointing dating market back in their home countries," she said.
"They can't really let go of it because they hope that the ideal dating relationships exist somewhere in the world," she said.
A timeline of Anne Heche's car crash: How star's fiery crash landed her in critical condition | Fox News
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 16:38
NEW You can now listen to Fox News articles!
"Six Days Seven Nights" star Anne Heche crashed a vehicle two times Friday in a matter of minutes, causing a fire at a Mar Vista, California, home after the second accident.
The fire reportedly engulfed the house in flames, and Heche was transported to a Los Angeles hospital immediately by an ambulance, according to emergency responders.
Fortunately, her ex-boyfriend Thomas Jane confirmed that the actress was reportedly in "stable" condition and is "expected to pull through," according to the Daily Mail.
Read on for details of how Heche survived a dramatic and fiery car crash.
Anne Heche's first car crash Heche, 53, was driving a blue Mini Cooper when she first crashed into a garage of an apartment complex in Los Angeles.
Actress Anne Heche was reportedly involved in a car accident in Los Angeles on Friday. (Getty/Backgrid)
The first crash happened around 11:00 am, she apparently fled the scene and proceeded to drive on the same block before slamming her car into a different home, according to the Daily Mail.
Brian Humphrey, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Fire Department, told Fox News Digital the person involved in the accident was transferred to a hospital and is in critical condition. (FOX 11)
Witnesses told TMZ people tried to help the actress out of her car before she fled.
Anne Heche's second car crash Minutes after her first accident, Heche then crashed into a nearby home in Mar Vista and ignited a fire, according to FOX 11.
The fire reportedly engulfed the house, and Heche was rushed to a Los Angeles hospital by ambulance.
Anne Heche's car crash ignited a massive fire The Los Angeles Fire Department shared a statement saying the vehicle had a single occupant when it rammed into a two-story home built in 1952.
"Fifty-nine firefighters took 65 minutes to access, confine and fully extinguish the stubborn flames within the heavily damaged structure and rescued one female adult found within the vehicle who has been taken to an area hospital by LAFD Paramedics in critical condition," the statement said.
Brian Humphrey, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Fire Department, told Fox News Digital the person involved in the accidents was transferred to a hospital in critical condition.
A resident was present at the time of the accident at the home and escaped injury. Heche, however, sustained burn injuries and was "conscious and breathing" when she was placed on a stretcher.
Anne Heche was transported to the hospital following crash Helicopter footage captured the fire department extinguishing the blaze and loading Heche into an ambulance to be transferred for further care.
Per the video footage, Heche was seen being wheeled out in a white sheet. Burn victims are often wrapped in a sterile sheet and sometimes sterile water is applied to the sheet to cool the burns.
The video footage then shows Heche abruptly sitting up as firefighters are seen rushing her to an ambulance.
Doctors were unable to run tests to determine if Heche was under the influence while operating her vehicle due to her condition, according to TMZ.
No other injuries were reported, and the cause of the crash is under investigation, according to FOX 11.
A rep for Heche did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital's request for comment.
Per TMZ, Heche is intubated at a hospital.
Anne Heche's former partners pay tribute Despite their split, Heche's ex-boyfriend Thomas Jane paid an emotional tribute to the actress.
Anne Heche's ex-boyfriend Thomas Jane offered his "thoughts and prayers" to the actress following the car crash and noted she is "one of the true talents of her generation." (Getty Images)
"While Anne and I are no longer an item, today's tragic news was devastating to me and to all who love her," Jane told the media outlet.
"My heart goes out to Anne and her two sons. As of right now, Anne is stable and expected to pull through. My thoughts and prayers are with Anne, one of the true talents of her generation. Thank God no one else was hurt."
Heche's other ex-partner of more than 10 years, James Tupper, also paid tribute to the injured actress.
Tupper took to Instagram Friday night to share a photo of Heche and their son, Atlas, together with the caption, "Thoughts and prayers for this lovely woman, actress and mother tonight anneheche. We love you."
Fox News' Janelle Ash contributed to this report.
Stephanie Giang-Paunon is an Entertainment Writer for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to stephanie.giang@fox.com and on Twitter: @SGiangPaunon.
Monkeypox Confirmed In Pet Dog For First Time | IFLScience
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 16:37
"We hypothesize a real canine disease," say doctors.clockAug 12 2022, 14:42 UTC
The infected dog is a 4-year-old Italian greyhound. Image Credit: Matjaz Preseren/Shutterstock.com
The spread of the monkeypox virus has been surprising to experts ever its unprecedented explosion across Europe and the US back in May. Now, a case report in The Lancet has changed the picture once again. For the first time, a case has been confirmed in a pet dog '' and it was most likely caught from the owners.
Previously, it wasn't known whether pets like cats and dogs are at risk of contracting the monkeypox virus. As the name suggests, it's a zoonotic virus, so it's known to spread from animals to people '' but there were no known cases of it going in the other direction.
It was always a possibility, however. The working assumption is that any mammal can potentially contract and spread the virus '' which is why the CDC issued recommendations back in June that people with monkeypox should avoid contact with pets until fully recovered.
The Lancet reports that the two human patients had indeed been careful to isolate their dog from other pets and humans as soon as their own symptoms came on '' but they continued letting the pet sleep in their bed. Two weeks later, the four-year-old greyhound developed the tell-tale lesions of the virus across its belly and anus, and a PCR test confirmed the presence of monkeypox.
DNA analysis of the monkeypox virus strains found in the dog and one of its humans showed 100 percent sequence homology '' meaning they were almost certainly related to each other '' and both were examples of the hMPXV-1 clade, lineage B.1. That's the subtype which has been spreading across Europe and the US since April, and in Paris, where the dog and owners live, has infected close to 2,000 people.
''To the best of our knowledge, the kinetics of symptom onset in both patients and, subsequently, in their dog suggest human-to-dog transmission of monkeypox virus,'' notes the case report.
''Given the dog's skin and mucosal lesions as well as the positive monkeypox virus PCR results from anal and oral swabs, we hypothesize a real canine disease, not a simple carriage of the virus by close contact with humans or airborne transmission.''
In other words, the possibility of monkeypox in pets needs to be treated as a potentially serious disease, and the authors reiterate the importance of isolating animals from monkeypox-infected people.
''Infected people should not take care of exposed pets,'' advises the CDC. ''The person with monkeypox should avoid close contact with the exposed animal, and when possible, ask another household member to care for the animal until the person with monkeypox is fully recovered.''
''If you have monkeypox and must care for your healthy pets during home isolation, wash your hands, or use an alcohol-based hand rub, before and after caring for them,'' they add. ''It is also important to cover any skin rash to the best extent possible (i.e. long sleeves, long pants), and wear gloves and a well-fitting mask or respirator while providing care for your animals.''
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Hal Turner Radio Show - US Industry Starting to Buckle From Electric Costs
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 16:37
Soaring natural gas and electricity prices are starting to hit US industry, and plants are being forced to shut down because of it, sending thousands of workers into unemployment.
At the second-largest aluminum mill in America, accounting for 20% of US supply, about 600 workers are now losing their jobs because the plant can't afford an electricity tab that's tripled in a matter of months.
Century Aluminum Co. says it'll idle the Hawesville, Kentucky, mill for as long as a year, taking out the biggest of its three US sites.
A shutdown like this can take a month as workers carefully swirl the molten metal into storage so it doesn't solidify in pipes and vessels and turn the entire facility into a useless brick.
Restarting takes another six to nine months. For this reason, owners don't halt operations unless they've exhausted all other options.
At least two steel mills have also begun suspending some operations to cut energy costs, according to one industry executive, who asked not to be identified because the information isn't public.
In May, a group of factories across the US Midwest warned federal energy regulators that some were on the verge of closing for the summer or longer because of what they described as ''unjust and unreasonable'' electricity costs. They asked to be wholly absolved of some power fees'--a request that, if granted, would be unprecedented.
By the beginning of June, natural gas prices had tripled what they were a year earlier, threatening households and businesses alike with some of the biggest utility bills they've ever seen.
This summer, electricity rates for industrial customers are set to hit their highest levels ever, based on US government forecasts. Because US plants and factories depend on both electricity and gas, this could very well be the moment the rug's pulled out from under American industry.
None of this had to be, and none of it HAS to be.
Absolutely every aspect of the rate increases is directly tied to what the United States federal government is doing over the Russia-Ukraine situation.
They have imposed strangling economic sanctions upon Russia, demanding Russia halt its Special Military Operation into Ukraine. These economic sanctions are then applied to all our allies and trade partners worldwide, who are, themselves, told by the US that THEY cannot trade with Russia.
This means that all the countries of the world who used to purchase natural gas and oil from Russia, are forced to find other sources or face being barred from US markets.
The only other sources for oil and natural gas are the countries that have traditionally supplied them: mostly in the Middle East.
Well, with so many new buyers trying to grab oil and gas from the Middle East, the prices have utterly skyrocketed. . . supply and demand.
As the cost of energy has risen, the cost of everything else had to rise as well. Now, those costs have gotten so out of hand, that entire industries are being forced to shut down, which puts people out of work.
ALL OF THIS is because the US federal government won't mind its own business regarding Ukraine.
If we mind our own business, everything goes back to cheap, the way it was.
All of this economic harm is happening because the US Democratic Party refuses to mind its own business, and is thus causing havoc in all our lives.
It is time to remove those people from power at all levels of state and federal government. If the people of the United States do not take action to remove this destructive government, our entire society and way of life will collapse.
You can either take action now, or wait until YOU have to choose between heating your house this winter, or feeding your family. THAT is the choice that's coming because of what Democrats have done.
School District Requires Staff Lie To Parents Over Child's 'Gender Identity'
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 16:35
Maryland's Montgomery County Public Schools issued guidance for its staff on how to deal with gender identity. The ideological guidance reportedly requires staff to lie to ''unsupportive parents'' about their child's gender identity and encourages staff to contact the welfare office in cases where parents are unsupportive of their child's transition, according to Parents Defending Education.
''Gender Identity in Montgomery County Public Schools'' was created in September 2021. The guidance is centered around gender affirming ideology with one of the explicit goals to ''Support students so they may participate in school life consistent with their asserted gender identity, including students who identify as transgender or gender nonconforming.''
Under the ''Communication with Families'' section, staff must ask for their student's permission to disclose their medical information to their parents. By disclosing information to their parents, the document states that that might be against the ''Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).'' Ironic.
Staffer are also directed to assess a student's ''level of support'' they receive at home before talking to their parents about their child transitioning. In cases where parents are unsupportive, they are advised to contact Student Welfare and Compliance (SWC) to develop a reeducation plan that ''works toward inclusion.''
(READ MORE: Wokeism: Coming to an American School Near You, How ''Anti-Racist'' Curriculum is Racism)
Contacting SWC will help to develop a ''student-led plan that works toward inclusion of the family, if possible, taking safety concerns into consideration, as well as student privacy, and recognizing that providing support for a student is critical, even when the family is nonsupportive.''
Where families are unsupportive, the staff is directed to refer to students by the pronouns that correspond to their biological sex, so that parents do not become aware that their child is transitioning.
The guidance also take blurs any boundaries between male and female restrooms and locker rooms, granting students access to use either according to their gender identity. It also asserts that in the event of overnight trips, transgender students have a right to sleep in rooms consistent with their gender and ''other students'--as well as their parents'--do not have a right to know the gender identity or biological sex of a transgender peer in such circumstances.''
''School staff are already mandatory reporters if they believe a child is in danger'--this is the weaponization of gender ideology and has nothing to do with actual concern for students' well being,'' Parents Defending Education Director of Outreach Wrika Sanzi told Breitbart News.
The guidance comes at the heels of the Biden administration's new Title IX policies that would undo President Trump's male-female distinction in order include transgender ideology, Breitbart reports.
Sen. Warren wants to expand IRS powers beyond the Inflation Reduction Act to prepare tax returns | Fox Business
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 16:35
Tucked into the tax and spending bill that passed the Senate this weekend was a $15 million provision to study allowing the IRS to prepare taxes.
The provision comes after Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and other Democrats have pushed legislation for adding tax filing to the agency's purview.
The Inflation Reduction Act, which passed the House Friday after clearing the Senate '-- the vote was 50-50 with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie '-- appropriates almost $80 billion to the tax agency. That would enable the IRS to hire its desired 87,000 agents over the next decade to increase tax enforcement.
A small part of the funding includes $15 million dedicated to fund a task force to study the cost and feasibility of creating a free direct e-file program, which has been a controversial idea.
Warren wasn't planning to wait for a task force study and already filed a bill to develop a free, online tax preparation and filing service that allows all taxpayers to prepare and file their taxes directly with the federal government instead of through private tax preparers.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks during a news conference about the extension of eviction protections in the next coronavirus bill at the U.S. Capitol July 22, 2020. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images / Getty Images)
The Warren proposal would move more quickly to allow filers with simple tax situations to choose a "return-free option" that provides a pre-prepared tax return with an income tax liability or refund amount already calculated. Proponents also say it would reduce tax fraud by getting third-party income information to the IRS earlier in the tax season.
Warren's bill has 22 Senate Democrat co-sponsors. Representatives Brad Sherman and Katie Porter, both California Democrats, are the lead sponsors of the House version.
"The average American spends 13 hours and $240 every year to file their taxes '-- that's too much time and too much money," Warren said in July, before Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., announced his agreement on the reconciliation package.
"Congress should pass my Tax Filing Simplification Act, and the IRS itself can and should adopt my plan to simplify the tax filing process for millions of Americans and lower their costs," Warren said.
However, the concept of "return-free filing," or allowing the IRS to control the tax filing for mostly low-income individuals has critics on both sides of the political spectrum.
For one, it presents a clear conflict of interest, said Grover Norquist, president of the conservative Americans for Tax Reform.
"The IRS is the prosecutor and the judge under this system. All the incentives are wrong," Norquist told FOX Business.
Grover Norquist, founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform (Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images)
On the left, a 2020 report from the Progressive Policy Institute argued this system could prevent some low earners from getting the Earned Income Tax Credit.
"The IRS does not have the necessary information in its databases to accurately determine a low-income taxpayer's eligibility for EITC and/or correctly calculate the amount of credit due to the taxpayer '-- indeed, far from it," the Progressive Policy Institute report says. "The EITC is based on a stew of residency, family relationship and income limits with complex tiebreaker rules."
Moreover, the IRS has demonstrated numerous problems handling the responsibilities it already has, Norquist contends.
"This is an agency that thoroughly needs reform, and that's no time to give it more responsibilities," Norquist said. "They would say they just need more money. No more money until it reforms."
Norquist added this system did not work when it was attempted in Britain.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, the internal watchdog of the IRS, reported in 2016 that IRS staff lost 1,000 laptops with sensitive taxpayer information. In 2015, hackers gained access to the data of about 330,000 taxpayers.
In June, the Taxpayer Advocate Service, a watchdog agency within the IRS, found the agency had more than 21.3 million unprocessed taxpayer returns.
The legislation looks to expand a program that was first put in place for the stimulus checks to respond to COVID-19 in 2020. The checks went out to anyone who filed a tax return. For those not required to file a tax return, the IRS issued a regulation to establish "simplified filing" for those that earned too little to file.
A household could provide basic information such as names, and the IRS would do the rest. In 2021, the IRS used this to get information for the Child Tax Credit.
The legislation would make this available to all tax filers.
"American taxpayers spend too much time and money preparing their tax returns. It doesn't have to be this way," said a statement from Sherman, one of the lead House co-sponsors, who is also a certified public accountant and co-chairman for the House Bipartisan CPA Caucus.
"The Tax Filing Simplification Act represents a commonsense solution to a problem that's burdened taxpayers for too long '-- simplifying the tax filing process with fewer costs and complications."
IRS headquarters in Washington, D.C. (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)
The IRS also has a Free File system that outsources to private tax preparers to provide free services. However, a Government Accountability Office report in April determined that only about 3% of Americans filing tax returns use the system, while 70% of filers qualify.
Warren blamed the time and costs of tax preparation on large corporations for "sabotaging the Free File program to rake in large profits."
Proponents of the legislation say if it is enacted it would make it easier for people who qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit and also make tax preparation less expensive.
However, a PriceWaterhouseCoopers study from December 2021 determined the compliance costs for individual payers under current rules dropped 40% since 2005.
"Because a significant portion of the population has self-employment income and a greater number use above-the-line deductions, the pool of taxpayers eligible to use a return-free system may be limited without a substantial expansion of information reporting," the PriceWaterhouseCoopers study says.
"Such an expansion would include significant new costs, not only in terms of administrative burden on taxpayers, tax administrators and third parties, but also burdens with respect to taxpayer privacy."
California governor announces aggressive $8 billion plan to boost water supply - CBS News
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 16:31
Drought reveals remains at Lake Mead
Drought reveals long-lost remains at Lake Mead 02:56 California Gov. Gavin Newsom this week announced an aggressive new plan to tackle the state's water shortage. The $8 billion strategy, detailed in a 16-page document, aims to reinforce California's dwindling water supply.
As the burdens of global warming and historic drought conditions show no sign of slowing down, Newsom is looking to expand the state's water supply.
"The science and the data leads us to now understand that we will lose 10% of our water supply by 2040," Newson said Thursday during a visit to a desalination plant. "As a consequence of that deeper understanding, we have a renewed sense of urgency to address this issue head on."
Dead quaking Aspen trees stand near a shoreline expanded by the very low water level at Grant Lake, California. David McNew / Getty Images The new plan, titled "California's Water Supply Strategy, Adapting to a Hotter, Drier Future," highlights methods to boost water levels and make up for water loss caused by climate change. The four main goals outlined are to create storage for four million acre-feet of storm water, recycle and reuse 800,000 acre-feet of wastewater per year by 2030, employ more efficient water conservation techniques to free up 500,000 acre-feet of water, and desalinate more sea water.
"What we are focusing on is creating more supply," Newsom said. "What we're focused on is creating more water. How can we take existing resources and be more resourceful in terms of advancing policies, and direct our energies to create more water, to capture more water?"
In his news conference, Newsom also emphasized his frustration with the bureaucratic process, which often slows down the implementation of climate plans like this one.
"The time to get these damn projects is ridiculous, it's absurd, it's reasonably comedic," Newsom said.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks to reporters about new water plan to adapt to hotter, drier conditions caused by climate change. Aug. 11, 2022. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images While the plan outline gives people a basic understanding of the methods the state would employ to increase water supply, critics like the nonprofit environmental advocacy group Food & Water Watch said the plan never discusses how the state's biggest water usage offenders could cut down.
"The plan makes no mention of curbing the most intensive water users of the state '' Big Ag and Big Oil," the Food & Water Watch wrote in a statement.
Research by the organization alleges that California "could save as much as 82 million cubic meters of water every year by switching from fossil fuels to renewables like solar and wind power."
The group added that Newsom's plan relies heavily on controversial projects like desalination '' a process Food & Water Watch argues utilizes fossil fuels, puts marine life in danger and creates toxic brine that is difficult to dispose of.
"Frontline communities can't afford desalination and neither can the environment," Food & Water Watch California Organizing Manager Toms Rebecchi said in a statement. "And time after time Californians have fought against these boondoggle projects and won. It's time Newsom treated water like a human right, not a commodity to be traded for corporate profit."
Newsom Thursday said that he will work aggressively, "not waiting for the voters," to get this plan implemented.
"I'm enthusiastic about this plan," the governor said. "I'm enthusiastic about the innovation that we are advancing in this plan, but more importantly, the deeper sense of urgency, a mindset of intentionality, a focus on real goals and real deliverables, with timeframes and resources attached to those timeframes."
More In: Climate Change California Water Conservation Drought Thanks for reading CBS NEWS.
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Nursing Reports From The Front Lines Of The COVID Vaccine Crisis
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 16:09
I recently posted a deeply referenced compilation of evidence detailing the historic humanitarian catastrophe that has slowly unfolded within most advanced health economies across the world. Caused by a global mass vaccination campaign led by the Pharma masters of BMGF/WHO/CDC that illogically (but profitably) targeted a rapidly mutating coronavirus. They did it with what turned out to be the most toxic protein used therapeutically in the history of medicine. In vials mixed with lipid nano-particles, polyethylene glycol and who knows what else.
I cited studies and reports showing massive increases in cardiovascular deaths and neurologic (and other) disabilities amongst working age adults , beginning in 2021 only. A disturbing signal screaming from the original clinical trials data , VAERS data , life insurance data , disability data , reports of cardiac arrests of professional athletes , rises in ambulance calls for cardiac arrests in pre-heart attack age young people , and the massive increases in illnesses and data manipulations in Department of Defense databases.
As these events become more and more recognized by the average citizen (and occasional journalist), a new pathetic ''Disinformation Campaign'' was launched in response trying to blame all the young people dying as simply a need for increased awareness of the rare condition called Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS), rather than examples of the legions dying from the vaccines. The fact checkers also came out in support of this narrative, branding anyone who thinks the vaccines are the cause of SADS as a conspiracy theorist . Like this self-appointed social media watchdog . Mentions of SADS are popping up from many countries.. all in the last few weeks. Here , here , here , here and .. oh whatever. T his article even listed a dozen such publicized deaths in the past few weeks from all over the world..but blamed them all on SADS. You get it. What is nauseating is the tone of purported good intention within these articles, informing folks that if you are related to someone young who died suddenly you should go see a cardiologist to make sure you don't have an abnormal EKG. After it turns out normal, they will assuredly tell you to get vaccinated, an absurdity atop a mountain of absurdities caused by our bio-medical-media industrial complex over the past 2+ years.
Ugh, lets move on. In this post, I will move away from numbers and data and studies to give a more qualitative view of how the vaccines' impacts are manifesting in the ''belly of the beast,'' (i.e. on the inside of a major academic medical center).
I want to first share a comment made in response to another recent post of mine , by my new partner in our COVID/Long Haul/Vax Injury specialty tele-health practice . Scott Marsland is both a COVID-expert and a Nurse Practitioner Extraordinaire (you should see the reviews he gets by his patients - they are over-the-top). Anyway, Scott wrote:
The most profound reflection of this last week came from a patient who is a physician and therapist. She was hospitalized recently for non-COVID reasons and observed: ''I think many of the physicians are exhibiting dissociation. It takes an enormous amount of energy to maintain their narrative and hold off the reality hitting them in the face every day.'' I thought of this reading the recent piece you referenced from The Annals of Emergency Medicine.
Wikipedia:''The major characteristic of all dissociative phenomena involves a detachment from reality, rather than a loss of reality as in psychosis. Research has suggested that dissociation is inversely related to mindfulness, which is a potential treatment.''
TY PK for this dose of mindfulness.
I thought his comment was the perfect introduction to this post, where I will share disturbing ''insider info,'' compiled largely from recent correspondences with a senior ICU and ER Nurse, both via email and phone. Although she is not working full-time in ICU's or ER's anymore, she still does shifts on occasion, particularly night shifts. Night shifts, although brutal, are WAY more fun and relaxed than day shifts. That is, most of the time, unless you get slammed due to less staff being around. Although the worst shifts of my career were night ones, thankfully they were rare.
What is great about night shifts is the camaraderie and closeness that develops among staff that choose to primarily work nights. The pool of such folks is small, and they choose night shifts for various but often similar reasons (preference, child care responsibilities, other jobs, hatred of day shifts etc). The general atmosphere is more ''intimate,'' as you end up having conversations, longer and deeper than you would or could in the middle of a hospital day. This is because at night there are no families around, no administrators, most patients are sleeping (sort of), no masses of swirling ancillary specialists like dietitians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, physician sub-specialists, transporters, social workers, food service workers, maintenance folks etc.
Anyway, this was the first email I received from her (editorial note: I wrote out or translated all her abbreviations but made no other edits to substance - I had to do it as her writing style clearly reflected someone who has been writing myriad nursing notes her whole career :).
On May 12, 2022, at 7:47 PM, L. <XXXX> wrote :
I wish I could have you as my doc. Nurse of 20 yrs + ICU - cardiac, neuroICU/ neurosurgical ICU mostly, and ED at Level 1. Vax injured from 2 Pfizer doses mandated by my major University hospital system. Clotting issues, open bleeding, spontaneous with no ability to stop, weeping down arms and legs. Severe leg clot post-surgery in March. Had to get D-Dimer ordered by force at little ED I was in, and use my own portable doppler I brought in from work, b/c they had no Ultrasound techs or equipment access - TPA (clot buster med) finally. Cervical lymph nodes enlarged since vax especially, for over 1.5 yrs. Cannot biopsy at least one as it sits on my Left carotid, now wrapped around it, . Got Covid originally while working ED in March 2020. "N antibody" still high as of Nov 2021. Hit neuro, never respiratory. Had same issues with H1N1 vaccine which was also mandated and then I got Guillain Barre Syndrome and neurological weakness - out of work 5 months. Will not get any boosters or vaccines this year, but have no exemption as all docs took to the ''deer in headlight'' look and said nothing. I will lose my career this winter if I refuse. Functional med/family practitioner - she has a long wait list and I have no idea how she sits with this data on vaccine injured. My VAERS report - it was deleted. Pharmacist never entered as required so I did. It has vanished. My batch numbers - significant for bad neurologic responses, clotting. I lost my Hematologist-Oncologist doctor to vaccine injury - he is out and never to practice again - in his early 40s. He was a "true believer" and in denial until it was him who was the injured patient. Our cancer hospital - know most of the case managers and many doctors since they were residents. They now have case loads in the 1000s rather than 250-400 over any given quarter. Not enough bed or infusion space for the cancer patients as outpatients. Radiation treatment backlog. All at a huge cancer hospital monstrosity itself. All kinds - brain, lymph, stomach, pancreas, blood, AND EYE CANCERS - orbital especially in younger people recently vaxxed. Microvascular ischemia on rise in vaxxed younger people. Strokes way up in no-risk, no co-morbidities, young to younger-ish. Ask me anything. I'll tell you inside scoop from the floors and suites. This has to stop. They need to admit the fraud and crime and STOP. The liability must be lifted, mandates ended. They KNOW NOW and many KNEW THEN. Don't know if you'll even read this, but I follow all of you on substack and Twitter - those not banned yet! - and read ALL the data. I've been a lab rat myself from an issue from a car accident yrs back - I know the process. So much fraud. Keep going. Never give up. Never, never, never give up. Thank you for all you do, hope that you inspire and the confirmation of that little voice in me, that said NO way back, everything was off. I did not have an option or data then. I have data now, and it will keep coming. The option is NO.
Follow up:
Lost 4 practitioners to serious side effects of "strongly encouraged" boosters. 2 hospitalized, one in MICU. The irony is, for most staff, completely lost ....All in early 30s to mid 40s. They had no need for boosters while BEING OUTSIDE ALL WEEKEND even if they truly believed in efficacy of them. All had Covid previous, N antibodies fully measurable. One female, one male, both inpatient. Female still nursing newborn.
On Fri, May 13, 2022 at 11:27 AM Pierre Kory <> wrote:
I am stunned by your email. Stunned. We know it's bad, like real bad but this is the worst inside look I have heard yet. I am on the outside and don't talk to most former colleagues so don't have a feel. We should talk. Would you be interviewed on a VSRF (Kirsch's organization) webinar? I assume not, but who knows, maybe anonymously like with altered voice and blurry screen? This needs to get out. Send me contact.. and name? First name is fine.. Thanks for this - Pierre
She wrote again before we talked, it was this email below that prompted me to ask her number so we could discuss in more depth:
It's the inside folks who talk to each other, and you have to speak another language depending on who's listening. That has been a skill set unto itself. It's texting, the phone calls from area to area with back stories on patient issues. I was getting texts from my old stat team covering cardiac catheterization lab - the clots. The clots stunned everyone...it continues. My cardiac units - where I spent the bulk of my nursing years - lung and heart transplant included - have so many anomalies presented with patients that never existed before. Re-writing the script for each new problem never encountered. The constant codes (cardiac arrests). Can't keep up.
Lost quite a few coworkers to either VAX injury itself - took them out of the work force, OR they resigned/accepted firing or retired once mandates were settled. It's the phone calls I have with my cohorts in the other areas of the system. The real story is in those conversations. The doctors now admitting to injury is growing, but they can't tell their patients why they are no longer practicing. Losing specialists is big problem not easily solved.
The signaling coming from management MD/PhD administrators has not been towards what winter will bring, but is focused on congratulating everyone on clinical excellence during the last 2 yrs. I think there is great trepidation in their approach because they see the data, they know the inside info on injury, disability/death of faculty and staff not from Covid itself, but the forced vax. We lost only a few to original Covid, with underlying co-morbidities that made outcomes a given in many cases.
I can't come on a public show, but I can share info. My name is Linda (not her real name). In my current position, I read many charts and see in depth info - so much boosting and reboosting and not following other protocols - it's a given now that the explosions in diagnosis of the cancers and cardiac issues especially come from these decisions. In some cases, the first thing you see on a chart is huge letters stating VAXXED alongside the pt's diagnosis, treatments thus far, which is usually at odds with normal disease course, age and projected outcome, etc. They're pushing the vax status, in bright letters, to the top of the list so it can be considered - not for every patient, but the "challenging cases" ... That may be for research purposes.
I will explain the above - what Linda is saying is that practitioners are starting to call out the patient's vaccination status more clearly on the first screen of the medical record in those cases where they know or suspect the vaccine is related to the patients's new ''mysterious'' or ''complex'' problem. Let's be clear though, the doctor's don't necessarily or explicitly include vaccines as a possible cause in their reasoning/impression/plan section of the patient note. But it seems the nurses and junior docs are now calling it out in some small/large way. Disassociation breaking, ever so slowly?
It makes me just stop, and by end of the week, take into account cases of say, ocular orbital cancer in 20-somethings. Have had 6 in last 2 weeks with no Family History or other indicators. Out of the blue, some with brain mets now. All vaxxed unwillingly, all had Covid and recovered fine prior to employer forced vax. The employers, the areas the patients reside in....nothing in common other than the previous. The actuaries are correct. Excess mortality, let along whatever-life-left disability. Stunning numbers.
I ended up talking to Linda.. about lots of things. She is clearly a fellow spirit, highly experienced in ICU and Emergency medicine, and she told me even more disturbing developments, like the fact that on some night shifts, nurse teams are seeing more cardiac arrests in a single shift than ever before and in unprecedented younger age patients. On some shifts, they have had so many that the ''crash carts'' are rolled straight from one arrest to another because Pharmacy, especially on night shifts, are not able to re-stock fast enough. This situation has happened maybe once in my whole career'... when two arrests happened on the same floor or unit within a short time period.
She also told me that night nurses are more openly discussing the vaccine as the cause of what they are seeing (much more than during day shifts apparently). However, they do this largely in text, and they use ''code''. Their code word for a vaccination injury or cause is '' that issue ,'' i.e. in reference to a 22 year old who suddenly arrested on the hospital ward, ''he is having that issue. " Note these are nurses.. not the docs.. but some of the docs are talking to her, like the one above who performed 6 enucleations (eyeball removals) this year already in young people (very rare to have to do this, especially in this age group). She also told me about how her interventional cardiologist nurse friends related that some patients are coming in with massive heart attacks, and during the angiogram the interventional cardiologists are seeing such extensive thrombi filling the entire artery ( as documented by some embalmers ), that they say ''I can't stent or remove this, this guy needs surgery, like now.''
In that conversation with Linda, I was also finally able to confirm a fraud that I had suspected was occurring within U.S hospitals regarding the accuracy (or willful inaccuracy) of the vaccination status listed in the medical record of a patient newly admitted to the hospital. It has long been my strong belief that this fraud drove the U.S data used to support some of the last remaining false narratives (i.e narratives #6 and $7 below) . Note these ever-shifting narratives were all directed at combatting vaccine hesitancy , which as some of you may know, was the primary military objective of the vaccinators.
BMGF/WHO/NIH et al. had clearly identified vaccine hesitancy as the main enemy in the battle plans they drew up and distributed after their viral pandemic simulation exercises over the past decade. In this prominent medical journal publication on addressing viral pandemics, they state ''the World Health Organization has listed vaccine hesitancy among the greatest threats to global health, calling for research to identify the factors associated with this phenomenon.'' Vaccine hesitancy is why the HHS gave $1 Billion to U.S media to support a relentlessly positive public relations campaign supporting the uptake of vaccines.
Now let's get back to this fraud. First, note that during all of 2021, (well, up until late November when I was let go from my last pandemic ICU job on a completely fabricated accusation), I had only taken care of one ICU patient that was officially documented in their medical record as ''fully vaccinated.'' I knew that it could simply not be true that only one patient that I took care of the entire year was fully vaccinated. I knew this was false based on data from countries that more transparently (mistakenly?) reported vaccination status and hospital outcomes. In multiple reports starting in February 2021, the majority of hospitalizations and deaths (even when adjusted to rates per 100,000) had long been the vaccinated.
One of the more ridiculous attempts to cover this fraud up in the U.S was a media narrative launched in June/July of 2021, created from statements by Fauci and Walensky, that 99% of patients in hospital and dying were the unvaccinated . They literally did this with a straight face, knowing that they were including in their numerator all the deaths that occurred prior to the start of the vaccination campaign . Yup, if you died in 2020, you were reported as dying in an unvaccinated status. Not subtle. But that was not the only lie. We must never forget the famous slip by the NY times.. when they suddenly and surprisingly called out the CDC for ''withholding large amounts of COVID data'' throughout the pandemic. Umm.. their actual job is to collect and disseminate data. Not subtle. Even crazier is that at the time of that narrative launch, during a lecture, a CDC slide deck mistakenly showed a slide which revealed that 26% of patients in U.S hospitals were vaccinated. But this number was falsely and fraudulently lower than the actual number. By a long shot.
Here is how I think they falsely suppressed the real rate of vaccinated patients entering U.S hospitals and dying:
In the most popular electronic medical record system in the U.S (EPIC), on the sidebar of every page in the chart are the name, demographics, room number, provider team, and COVID vaccination status of the patient. What I found weird from the outset was that, in EPIC, there were only two categories under the COVID-19 vaccine status section, ''Vaccinated'' or ''Unknown.'' There was no ''Unvaccinated'' status. Also realize that ''Unknown'' was interpreted by all providers and official data as akin to being ''Unvaccinated''. Everyone I took care of in the ICU in 2021, except one, had an ''Unknown'' vaccination status. How could that be? How come only one ICU patient of mine in the entire year was reported as being ''fully vaccinated?'' Even if the vaccines worked really well (which I knew they didn't), something was off, like really off.
There was only one hypothesis I could come up with to reconcile these observations. I suspected that during the admission process to the hospital, there must have been some sort of barrier to deeming someone ''vaccinated.'' I hypothesized that in order to be documented as vaccinated on admission, you had to have received the vaccine from a primary care physician's clinic who worked for that same hospital system in a system office, and that they had already documented in the electronic medical record. If you got a vaccine from anywhere else outside that hospital system's clinic, you were assigned an ''Unknown'', i.e. ''Unvaccinated'' status in the electronic medical record.
And lo and behold, Linda confirmed this was the case in one major health system she worked at. What I found most striking is that she worked in two different hospital systems, in one (the smaller one) it was very easy to document a patient in the record as vaccinated. The admitting nurse could accept any documentation, from a Walgreen's card to even a verbal report from the patient or family and they could put it in the record on admission and the patient would show up as ''vaccinated'' on the main screen sidebar.
In the other, larger, major (and I mean major) health system she worked in, if the patient received the vaccine from anywhere but an employed provider's clinic within the health system (even if the patient had a vaccine card on them), she was forced to put it in an ''open field'' buried on page 2 of the initial nursing assessment where nobody, and certainly no physician looked for it. All these patients were automatically documented on the main screen as ''Unknown'', i.e ''Unvaccinated'', even if the dates of each shot were entered into that nursing note field.
This process is what led the vast majority of U.S doctors to become convinced that the only people dying in hospitals were the unvaccinated. Which made perfect sense, I mean, the vaccinators did not want anyone to know the vaccines were not preventing hospital or death, so it would be helpful to their mission if they could make everyone think that all hospital patients were unvaccinated. This way, all the health care workers would get vaccinated out of fear of dying and would also aggressively insist that all their patients and family members get vaccinated. Which is what happened. It is also why a large percentage of the population (at least the ones I meet at lectures, conferences, and symposia) no longer want to see a ''system doctor'' or go to a ''system hospital,'' no matter how grand their brand/reputation once was. Fun fact: a long-time donor of large annual gifts to the Mayo clinic.. decided to direct their donation to the FLCCC this year because they felt the Mayo Clinic had departed from their founding principles and mission. Go FLCCC.
The system docs behaved this way because they saw with their own eyes , ''the (false) reality'' of what would happen if you were unvaccinated. This, combined with the medical journal propaganda publishing only favorable and selective analyses of vaccine efficacy and safety drove nearly all the nation's doctors to go completely mad.
Their fervor to vaccinate everyone and everything, even in patients who just recovered from COVID, was something to behold. I saw overt hectoring, harassment and even rage. Twitter was one of the most terrifying places to watch doctors arrogantly propagate the need to be vaccinated.. even for folks who had (often hard-earned) natural immunity. I almost feel bad for some of those docs as history will not judge them kindly. Forgive them for they know not what they do. They were literally screaming across Social Media, Media, and Medical Journal editorials, that you will be OK if you just get vaccinated . The high profile docs were the worst, except I have little sympathy for them as some/many/most were likely complicit in the deception rather than just fooled like the rest. Folks like Eric Topol, Peter Hotez, Alastair McAlpine, Tom Friedan (who I used to deeply admire as NYC Health Department Commissioner), Eric Feigl-Ding-(bat), Jeremy Faust (probably the biggest ignoramus on Twitter, having taken an early lead in that competition since the pandemic broke in 2020), and Monica Gandhi. Leana Wen deserves particular ire as she is the most active prostitute for the Pharma-captured federal health agencies on mass media. A media darling as it were.
Then you started to see doctor walk-outs protesting the unvaccinated , increasing numbers of doctors publicly stating they would start refusing to see unvaccinated patients , heck, the Pharma controlled outlet called Medscape even got an ethicist to argue that it was OK to refuse to treat the unvaccinated. Yup. Crazy town. Clown World. One of my patients who is a hospital pharmacist even told me that at her hospital, the hospitalists were vaccinating patients admitted for COVID ..as they were being discharged from the hospital. That's right, as the patients were being discharged after having recovered from COVID, they were recommending and administering vaccines for the same illness. I even heard of one case where a team of clinicians decided to vaccinate a severely ill COVID patient in the ICU.
I also witnessed aggressive attacks in one of the nation's largest medical-centers staff physician email forum. Doctors ''screaming'' that everything would be fine if everyone just got the damn vaccine. Deriding anyone bringing forth arguments about untested safety, suspicious efficacy data, and concerns about mandates violating patient autonomy and medical ethics. Anyone who brought forth ''adverse data'' towards the vaccines were treated with dismissal and a retaliatory posting of selectively favorable data with the imprimatur of the Pharma captured agencies and Pharma captured journals. I will never forget this time in the history of medicine. Ever.
Some other ''insights'' into the medical system I haver come across, from another ER nurse:
I have no research to offer but first hand experience from working as an RN in an ER. Ringing in ears and hallucinations have followed vaccinations in 3 of my patients. Family members at a loss. I mention the vaccine but most don't even hear it'...'..... The gentleman with the ringing in the ears(just had his 4th booster the day before) I suggested he didn't get any more boosters as ringing in the ears is an adverse reaction to the vaccine. His wife looked at me and yelled ''his doctor told him he won't survive the anti-virals for COViD'' I was speechless. The patient continued on and told me about his experience with the vaccines 1st shot-he had a seizure, doctor recommended 2nd shot. After 2nd shot he was very sick, doctor recommended 3rd shot and he was hospitalized 4th shot ringing in ears, abdominal bloating and months away from dialysis. Wife added that she also had seizure after first vaccine and she had that attitude that it was no big deal. I have said this before, it's criminal what is happening. I have cried on my way home from shifts, I tell whoever will listen. The information I have collected over the last 7 months (time of vaccine/booster in relation to chief complaint) is jaw dropping. I took a break from working for the summer but continue to keep in touch with the nurses'...'... My friend told me about an 80yr old man, 4 strokes in the last year and they all line up with his 4 shots but the doctors response is ''he's 80, he's going to have strokes'' Has anyone come across research in regards to GI bleeds and low hgb? I have a lot of this patients, GI bleeds out of the blue'...'....and they are young! I had 28yr old black obese young woman'.....new diagnosis of enlarged heart and CHF. Vaccine was roughly 1 month prior to ER admit and I suggested no more vaccines for COViD and her response was ''my doctor told me this happened because I got the vaccine and a tattoo on the same day'' 60ish lady'...'....just got over COViD (after have 3 COViD vaccines) and she told me she was going in for second booster next week!!!!!! Kids are having random seizures and are put on anti-seizure medication for 2 years'...when I ask parents what caused the seizure, the neurologist has no idea. All these children vaccinated for COViD-100%. NO ONE CONNECTS THE DOTS. The screenshot below is of 3 days I worked and I'm in the ER for 12 hours and don't see all admits. I'm also super busy so it's hard to check status of all admit patients'...'...of course this is very limited information but a lot of the patients have some issue 2-3 months post vaccine/booster. I'm still shocked we don't have a ''vaccine team'' monitoring all the patients as they come into the ER but no one cares. Not the ER medical director, not the doctors, not the COViD response team'.....no one. Nurses see it and they are talking but many are fearful of getting fired. Thank you for all that you are doing! Although I can't read all the emails, I am just happy to know that there are others out there that are in the same boat as I am. I'm disgusted with the AMA and AAP. I don't trust a thing they say. I don't trust them with my four children as they have not protected our children over the past 2 years. Thank you!
And another:
May 26 05:28PM -0400 Katie (not her real name), Thank you for sharing your story! This is what I live every day and I tell my husband how hard it is to see so much damage. I have had more patients diagnosed with aggressive cancers than I have seen in the last two decades.
'...I've been so especially concerned about the clotting effects with Total joints treated with Tranexamic Acid. I've been keeping track of my patients (that I would consider) have had mild/moderate vax injury. i.e. - reactivation of latent viruses, (oral herpes (not just one or two lesions, but their whole mouth broke out - something that had never happened before) shingles - affecting their eyes, that took more treatment than normal) - Histoplasmosis; *blood clots/Cardiac problems - Stroke from new onset Atrial fib in a patient on blood thinners within 12 hr post injection, Atrial fibrillation in a healthy, athletic 34 yr old male, new onset hypertension without prior history; * Persistent cough, months of diarrhea, migraine, neuropathy of upper extremity to the extent she could not write/type - all extensively checked out without cause. But, all within a few days/weeks/couple months of injection. All my practitioners are still advocating the Vax!!! What do you think we should do??? I've got to get the guts to gently visit with our Chief of Staff. CRNA, Colorado
Last one, from a colleague:
Just had dinner with my friend, a colleague friend of his here, Dr XXX renowned YY Physician . PRO Vaccine. Was adamant all physicians should get the vaccine and should not be able to practice without it. Was a trailblazer for the vaccine here. He got boosted around Christmas time, had a stroke less than a week after, lost his eyesight in one eye, lost his practice, cannot be a doctor any longer, and said undoubtedly it was from the Pfizer vaccine and encouraged all of his doctor friends to max out their disability insurance to protect themselves. I know not surprising to you, but this guy was so pro vaccine and clearly admits his stroke and his loss of eyesight from the vaccine!!
And then there is this doozy - another nurse sent me a case history below of an elderly woman whose blood thinner was highly ''supra-therapeutic'' (i.e. very thin blood at risk of major bleeding), yet she had a massive stroke caused by a blood clot . This simply does not happen.
El Fin.
I just want to say how much I appreciate all the subscribers to my substack, and especially the paid ones! Your support is so greatly appreciated.
P.S I have recently entered private practice and opened a tele-health clinic providing care not only in the prevention and treatment of acute COVID, but with a specialized focus on the study and treatment of both Long-Haul and Post-Vaccination injury syndromes. If anyone needs our help, feel free to visit our website at www.drpierrekory.com.
P.S.S I am getting professional help (hah!) to write a book about what I have personally witnessed and learned during Pharma's Historic Disinformation war on ivermectin. Pre-order here for:
The Dragnet in Lombardy, Italy: Patient Zero of Lockdowns
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 15:06
An infection, even one as lethal as cancer, often begins with a single wound. Through this wound the pathogen enters the body by way of a single cell, where it pathologically replicates and corrupts those around it until eventually it consumes the entire host.
As goes infection, so goes totalitarianism. And in 2020, totalitarianism found its wound in the free world by way of Lombardy, Italy. More specifically, by way of one Health Minister Roberto Speranza, on whose order 50,000 Lombardy residents were placed under lockdown on February 21, 2020, the first lockdown in the modern western world. Within weeks, lockdown had spread to cities across Italy, until the entire nation was placed on lockdown on March 9. By April 2020, more than half the world's population'--some 3.9 billion people'--had been placed under lockdown.
These lockdowns were unprecedented in the western world and weren't part of any democratic country's pandemic plan prior to Xi Jinping's lockdown of Wuhan, China. They failed to meaningfully slow the spread of the coronavirus and killed tens of thousands of young people in every country in which they were tried, including Italy.
Worse yet, officials who led the response to Covid in several major countries have testified that Italy's adoption of China's lockdown policy was one of the most important events leading to their own imposition of lockdowns. As White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Deborah Birx wrote in her bizarrely self-incriminating book :
[W]e worked simultaneously to develop the flatten-the-curve guidance I hoped to present to the vice president at week's end. Getting buy-in on the simple mitigation measures every American could take was just the first step leading to longer and more aggressive interventions. We had to make these palatable to the administration by avoiding the obvious appearance of a full Italian lockdown. At the same time, we needed the measures to be effective at slowing the spread, which meant matching as closely as possible what Italy had done '--a tall order.
Likewise, in the words of Imperial College Professor Neil Ferguson, architect of the wildly-inaccurate Covid models that instigated lockdowns across the free world:
It's a communist one party state, we said. We couldn't get away with it in Europe, we thought'... And then Italy did it. And we realised we could .
Ferguson's assessment is doubly ironic, because it was a study led in part by Ferguson and his team at Imperial College that portended to show Speranza's lockdown of the town of Vo', Italy, on February 22, 2020, had been effective that led to the lockdown of all of Italy on March 9. His study's conclusion was, of course, bunk'--we now have proof that the rate of Covid infection was in decline well before lockdowns began in any democratic country, including those in Lombardy and Vo', Italy. Ferguson justified the lockdown of the United Kingdom based on the lockdown of Italy, which had in turn been justified with a false study led in part by Ferguson himself.
Thus, it's of paramount importance that we understand what led to Speranza's decision to order those initial lockdowns in Lombardy and Vo', Italy.
In October 2020, Speranza published a book titled Why We Will Heal: From the Hardest Days to a New Idea of Health . Shortly after being published, the book was hastily pulled from stores . The stated reason was that Italy was experiencing a second wave of Covid, but upon scanning the book it's abundantly clear that Speranza, who'd signed the first lockdown orders in the western world, betrays an embarrassing lack of concern about Covid itself and a much greater concern for how the response could be used to implement far-left political reforms across Italy. As he states in one telling passage:
I am convinced that we have a unique opportunity to entrench a new idea of '‹'‹the left'... I believe that, after so many years going against the wind, there is a possibility of reconstructing a cultural hegemony on a new basis.
Likewise, Speranza says that a primary lesson of Covid is that the WHO must be strengthened, and he requested that the United States be prevented from leaving the WHO.
In mid-July I wrote a letter to Jens Spahn, the German Health Minister and President of the Council of Health Ministers, and to Stella Kyriakides, asking for an initiative at European level to prevent the United States from leaving WHO, currently scheduled for July 2, 2021. L: WHO is fundamental: it must be defended, improved, strengthened, reformed starting from the principles of transparency and autonomy.
By contrast, throughout the 229-page book, Speranza never once expresses any criticism of China, going only so far as to acknowledge China has ''a very different cultural, political and institutional model,'' while advocating closer ties with China.
China is a great protagonist of the time we live in and I am convinced that an important political space is opening up for Europe, as a hinge between the new Asian power and the United States.
Speranza is a leader in Italy's newly-formed political party Article One, founded by former Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema , the first known former member of a Communist Party to become prime minister of a NATO country. D'Alema now served as honorary president of the Silk Road Cities Alliance, a Chinese state organization.
Speranza makes clear that he was well aware, at the time he ordered the free world's first lockdown in Lombardy, Italy, that he was copying a policy only China had done, and that it would be a restriction of citizens' fundamental constitutional rights.
The progression of infections in the Lodi area and also in Veneto requires us to ''close'' areas that are not small, necessarily preventing over 50,000 people from entering and leaving the confines of their area of residence. This is a measure with worrying implications for the economic and social fabric, but also with a terrible symbolic impact. Restricting citizens' freedom of movement, sending the army to check that closures are respected. Could the protection of the right to health, recognized by Article 32 of the Constitution, lead us to restrict other fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution? And then, will this type of intervention really work, to stop the contagion? No other Western country has yet experienced this virus and the management strategies it requires. The only precedent we can look to is China, with a very different cultural, political and institutional model from ours. In Italy, everyone has been saying for weeks, it would be impossible to do what China has done. But what if it were necessary?
Prior to ordering the western world's first lockdowns, Speranza played a role in Italy as an early Covid alarmist similar to that played in the United States by Deputy National Security Advisor Matt Pottinger '--the Mandarin-fluent intelligence operative who, beginning in January 2020, unilaterally ratcheted up alarm in the White House, advocated sweeping mandates based on his own sources in China, and appointed Deborah Birx to orchestrate lockdowns across the United States.
Like Pottinger, who organized the first White House meetings on the coronavirus in mid-January 2020, Speranza organized Italy's first coronavirus task force meetings around that same time'--prior to there being any confirmed cases in the western world. Like Pottinger's meetings, Speranza's coronavirus meetings were held on a daily basis. And, like Pottinger, Speranza says that he'd been inspired to do so by the response he saw in China.
Giovanna Botteri keeps the Italian public informed. His updates from Beijing are frequent and punctual. Tens of seconds of news coverage, which however convey a surreal situation. Hospitals stormed, new temporary health facilities organized in a few weeks, temperature checks in every corner of the country. And then the lockdown and quarantine: huge cities, with millions of inhabitants, closed with a total block of activities and a ban on leaving the house. I look at those images and I think that in the West it would not be possible to manage a crisis in this way. But we can't just hope it won't be necessary'...
And it is with this idea that on January 12 I set up for the first time the task force for the Coronavirus. I immediately consult the main Italian scientists, aware of the privilege of being able to do so. Research, mathematics, for me, are a fundamental part of the strength of humanity. As a staunch rationalist, I have a true faith in science'... The task force will meet, in my presence, every day at 9 am, sometimes earlier, without exception, until the Technical Scientific Committee (CTS) becomes operational.
Like Pottinger, at the end of January 2020, Speranza began ratcheting up alarm about the coronavirus in Italy's highest halls of political power.
On 29 January, for the first time, I tell the Parliament that the country must be united in this game. There is no longer a majority or opposition. There are the Italians, there is a huge problem that threatens them and there are the institutions that have to defend their citizens. At the end of my report to Parliament, I take the phone and personally call the three leaders of the opposition: Silvio Berlusconi, Giorgia Meloni and Matteo Salvini.
Around that same time, Speranza also began ratcheting up alarm within the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
Even if the ECDC considers the risk of the spread of the virus in Europe to be low, after some informal and personal solicitations to European Commissioner Stella Kyriakides and the Minister of Health of Croatia'--who holds the rotating presidency of the EU'-- I decide to formally request, in the name of the Italian government, the convening of the European Council of all health ministers'...
But my feeling is that our cohesion is defective, that the level of alert on the virus is too low and the functioning mechanisms of common institutions are too weak to be activated effectively in an emergency. In these hours an urgent meeting of the ministers of health is needed.
The next day, January 30, 2020, Prime Minister Conte announced Italy's first two confirmed Covid cases and immediately declared a state of emergency , ''allowing the government to cut through red tape quickly if needed.''
When Speranza ordered the lockdown of Lombardy, he conveyed in a press conference that he knew he was taking an action of consequence not only for Italy, but for the entire world.
It seems to me a fairly clear fact, the measures implemented by Italy are at the highest level in Europe, but probably also globally.
This aligns with an anonymous stock tip posted on January 30, 2020, the same day Italy's first cases were confirmed, from someone who said they had friends and family at the CDC and WHO and that the WHO was planning to begin recreating China's response across the western world, first by locking down Italian cities.
[T]he WHO is already talking about how 'problematic' modeling the Chinese response in Western countries is going to be, and the first country they want to try it out in is Italy. If it begins a large outbreak in a major Italian city they want to work through the Italian authorities and world health organizations to begin locking down Italian cities in a vain attempt to slow down the spread at least until they can develop and distribute vaccines, which btw is where you need to start investing.
Despite the fact that lockdowns had no precedent in the western world, this tip proved to be a near-perfect foretelling of subsequent events.
Indeed, Speranza's coronavirus task force had already commissioned a study on possible scenarios for the progression of Covid. This study, using China's data, was provided to Italy's Technical-Scientific Committee on the coronavirus on February 12, 2020, having been led by Stefano Merler at the Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK).
The FBK and Merler were cited positively by Bill Gates, second-largest funder of the WHO, at the World Economic Forum in 2017 after Merler and FBK worked with Gates on the response to Ebola. The fact that Merler's study even existed was kept confidential and not publicly disclosed until months later. For this reason, it was dubbed the ''secret study'' by Italy's opposition parties.
Merler's ''secret study'' has never been publicly released, but Merler published two additional journal articles in 2020 with several Chinese co-authors and funding from the Chinese government, each purporting to show the effectiveness of lockdowns and non-pharmaceutical interventions against the coronavirus in China. The first of Merler's journal articles with Chinese co-authors, funded in part by the Chinese government, appeared in April 2020 and claimed to show that ''social distancing alone, as implemented in China during the outbreak, is sufficient to control COVID-19,'' based on data provided by China from Wuhan. The second of Merler's journal articles with Chinese co-authors, funded in part by the Chinese government, appeared in July 2020 and claimed to show that NPIs had been effective in controlling the spread of the coronavirus in Chinese cities outside Wuhan, again based on data provided by China.
A reasonable person would likely recognize that the inputs from China on which Merler based the conclusions in his journal articles, coming from a totalitarian regime with a well-known history of fabrication, were lies .
Whether motivated by directed reasoning, funding, or something worse, Stefano Merler, the lead author of the unreleased ''secret study'' based on China's data which led to the free world's first lockdown in Lombardy, Italy, was effectively running a propaganda laundering operation on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party throughout 2020.
Though Merler's secret study has never been publicly released, it was later shared privately with la Repubblica, Italy's center-left newspaper of record. La Repubblica wrote one article about the study, but in my life I've never seen a mainstream article so thoroughly memory holed. Not only does the original link to the article not work, but the web archives don't work either, and the article doesn't appear on Google. Fortunately, one website copied the article's text .
Covid must really be some virus, seeing as it prevented Italy's newspaper of record from upholding basic standards of online record retention for the one article they wrote on a key government study shared with them privately. Of course, this is in keeping with a pattern of secrecy and outright dishonesty that we've seen from governments across the western world since the coronavirus appeared.
In fact, in parallel with Merler's secret study, there was also a more detailed ''secret plan,'' specifically titled the '' Operational Plan of Preparation and Response to Different Scenarios of Possible Development of a 2019-nCov Epidemic, '' no details of which have ever been released. In December 2020, the opposition party went to court to compel release of the secret Operational Plan, but Speranza still refused to release it on the grounds that it was not a ''formally approved pandemic plan.''
Speranza's refusal to release the secret Operational Plan is interesting, because in early 2020 the government of Germany likewise commissioned a confidential operational plan , later obtained through a series of whistleblower leaks and FOIA requests , ''based on the scientific findings of expert teams from the University of Bonn/University of Nottingham Ningbo China,'' at least one of whom had no background in infectious disease or epidemiology, containing a ''catalog of measures'' to be implemented by Germany's CDC. It outlined, in line-item detail, the steps to implement lockdowns, mass testing, and quarantine facilities, among other draconian measures. The paper specifically suggested ''appeals to the public spirit'' including the slogan ''together apart.'' Of the 210 pages of FOIAed emails leading up to the publication of the German operational plan, 118 were blacked out entirely. The emails contain frequent discussion of China, but nearly all these references are redacted. The stated reason: ''May have adverse effects on international relations.''
Of course, because Mr. Speranza has decided that it is not in the interest of the Italian people to know the contents of Italy's secret Operational Plan, we have no way of knowing whether it resembles Germany's secret operational plan based on the findings of China lobbyists containing specific line-item instructions on implementing lockdowns, mass testing, quarantine facilities, and appeals to the public spirit.
Key findings:
Neil Ferguson justified the lockdown of the United Kingdom based on the lockdown of Italy, which had in turn been justified with a false study led in part by Ferguson himself claiming to show that the lockdown of the town of Vo', Italy was successful.
Prior to ordering the free world's first lockdown in Lombardy, and prior to any Covid cases being confirmed, Roberto Speranza played a role in Italy as an early Covid alarmist similar to that played in the White House by Matt Pottinger, calling Italy's first daily meetings on the coronavirus and ratcheting up alarm in Parliament and the ECDC.
Speranza was well aware, at the time he ordered the free world's first lockdown in Lombardy, that he was copying a policy only China had ever done and that it would restrict his citizens' fundamental rights.
Throughout his book, which was hastily pulled from stores, Speranza never once criticizes China, while he expresses a strong desire for the response to Covid to bring about far-left reforms across Italy and a strengthening of the WHO.
Speranza's committee commissioned a secret study on possible Covid scenarios which was produced by Stefano Merler at FBK, an organization with ties to the Gates Foundation, the WHO's second-largest funder. This secret study led to the lockdown of Lombardy.
Stefano Merler, lead author of the secret study commissioned by Speranza'a committee, was effectively running a propaganda laundering operation for the CCP throughout 2020, publishing multiple articles with several Chinese co-authors and funding from the Chinese government purporting to show lockdowns and NPIs in China succeeded in controlling the virus, using inputs that a reasonable person would likely recognize as lies.
In parallel with the secret study produced by Merler, there was also a more detailed secret Operational Plan which Speranza refused to produce even when formally requested in court.
Speranza comes across as a far more charismatic person in his book than the eerily totalitarian Deborah Birx in her weird confession of a memoir . He often crosses party lines, fondly recalling his first meeting with former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi:
After exchanging some pleasantries, the former Prime Minister concluded with a smile: ''You have such a clean face, like a good boy, but what are you doing with these Communists? Come with us!''
Speranza expresses an earnest desire for far-left policy reforms, and in multiple places he expresses fond memories working as a young International Socialist:
My first real political commitment, in the Youth Left, was largely dedicated to European and international politics. It makes me smile that today Enzo Amendola is sitting with me in the Council of Ministers as Minister for European Affairs. He is a few years older than me and we have worked together for years on international issues, he as head of the International Young Socialists, I in Italy in the youth Left, up to becoming national president, but always with a mind to what was happening in the world'...
I was part of the Socialist International and in that trip I really breathed, in the most popular and human way, the concept of international solidarity. The one from below, that of the boys of my generation, with little budget and a lot of faith in the world. From this point of view I believe I belong to one privileged generation, which was already a European community: boys with enormous backpacks on their shoulders who met, anywhere on the continent, and recognized each other.
It's possible that Speranza gradually got tangled up in a network of Chinese-style totalitarianism out of an overabundance of zeal and affinity for the traditional, egalitarian propaganda of socialism. This was more common in the Soviet era when the dystopian realities of communism were less well known, but all you have to do is talk to a young person in a liberal city bar to know that the original propaganda of communism still goes a long way on the far left.
Speranza concludes his book with an Epilogue that Karl Marx himself would be proud of, and which I've reproduced in full below. As a reminder, this is supposed to be a book about a response to a pandemic. I'll let it speak for itself.
In the course of these pages I have repeatedly used two terms that are essential to me such as ''equality'' and ''rights.'' And they served to chart the course in the storm, like the stars for sailors. Hard times are not those in which values and principles have to be left aside. They are the ones you need.
We have seen how politics is daily management, daily choices, daily effort. But it is also an exciting personal and collective story and a leap towards the future. For this reason I believe that another duty we have towards ourselves and towards the country, another way not to waste the hard lessons of these months and to better face the challenges that await us, is to embrace a political wind that has been needed for a long time.
I am convinced that we have a unique opportunity to entrench a new idea of the left, based on a commitment that today everyone recognizes is needed: to defend and relaunch fundamental public goods, starting from the protection of health, the value of education and the defense of the environment. We have experienced unbridled individualism, we have undergone its economic and social translation: neoliberalism as well so unbridled. We believed in the propaganda that a world organized according to these principles would produce wealth and well-being for all. For over thirty years this ideology has been hegemonic in the conscience of the Western world: it has not only oriented the right, but has also significantly influenced the left, changing it little by little.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the ''end of history,'' all over the world the big parties of the left have had to accelerate the path they were taking, to update their vision of society. It was a just and necessary development: the world is changing and politics must include the new times. In the post-Cold War period, the goal was to definitively free the progressive and democratic camp from the anti-democratic and illiberal impulses that had characterized real socialism. In truth, the social democracies in Europe, and then the Italian Communist Party itself, had already for years made a pragmatic path of breaking with the Soviet experience.
The ideological revision was legitimate. Leaving the field open to a model of civil and political coexistence determined by the market without rules, on the other hand, was a mistake. Individualism has weakened social networks and fragmented representation. It was thought that the state was no longer needed, that it should be reduced to a minimum. That all his interference was a nuisance because ­society and the economy were able to regulate themselves. They just had to be left ''free.''
And so the season of extracting resources began at the expense of social equity. The season of cuts in public spending, of the deconstruction of the two great pillars of welfare: health and education. With very rare exceptions, not only in Italy, the national health services have become weaker and less capable there to respond to people's needs. And within the downsizing of the welfare state, inequalities have exploded. The rich always get more healthy and poor always get more sick.
We have seen the risks taken when a health, economic and social system weakened by decades of wrong choices found itself facing a real emergency.
The months of Covid, however, have accelerated a rethinking process of which some first signs were already visible. We have rediscovered how important fundamental public goods are, starting with the protection of health. For the first time, after many years, the left is not going against the wind. We have been in the long phase in which history seemed to go in the direction of neoliberal individualism, and in our going against the wind, looking for the route, fighting against solutions that were a bit messy and that had little to do with values of the left, in ­Italy we have experienced a painful split in the main center-left party. Today things are changing and an idea of the left can be reaffirmed starting from fundamental public goods and a new role of the state.
During the crisis, people have realized that there is a need for someone to protect and defend their life, their personal safety. Who can guarantee these rights to every citizen? Who can offer the certainty that the protection of the right to health does not depend on the economic and social conditions of each person at a given moment of his or her existence?
The market cannot do it alone. In the face of a ­life that is put at risk, its rules are not enough, nor is individual initiative enough. Insurance is not enough against a virus that kills, nor is a credit card. It is illusory, we have seen it, to think of saving oneself. There is need for a superordinate protection of fundamental rights, which only public institutions can guarantee. We need a great National Health Service, rooted and organized, capable of taking care of everyone and leaving no one behind. To stop the virus, and to re-establish conditions in which nothing that has happened to us can be repeated, it is essential to cure everyone. And doing it isn't just convenient: it's right.
People have understood this. And this awareness has cleared up a very fertile political ground for the left. As long as it puts the defense of fundamental public goods and work at the center of its agenda. As long as it stops imitating the right and its policies and archives, the season of subordination to neoliberalism.
I believe that, after so many years against the wind, there is a new possibility of reconstructing a cultural hegemony on a new basis. Many trends that we see affirming are going in the same direction, from the beautiful environmentalist events inspired by the young Greta to the spontaneous Italian squares of the ''Sardinians.'' They are shouting the same thing at us: there are fundamental public goods that must be defended and protected. And one can no longer stand by and watch. It is time for a new great collective effort.
Covid has changed everything, it has deeply affected individual lives and social coexistence. It is not possible that everything changes and the political forces remain as they are. We need to question ourselves. With courage. I and the women and men who shared the Article One experience with me are available to do so immediately. The right is very strong. It cannot be underestimated. It has an extraordinary ability to interpret a feeling of anxiety and insecurity widespread in our society, especially in the weaker segments, where there are fewer certainties and more fears. The response from the right speaks easy and direct language. It identifies in the different, in the other (perhaps with a darker skin color), a responsible enemy and raises the flag of national identity as a wall, a fence, with the illusion of leaving danger out.
We must cultivate a new great field that starts from the defense of the values of our Constitution, of work and of fundamental public goods. This political area, beyond the acronyms existing today, which all seem quite obsolete to me, must try to hold together the forces that support our government today. Now it may seem like a utopia, but I believe that the road is already marked and it is the right one. A new dichotomy will ensue. It is necessary, on this basis, to reestablish the democratic and progressive field. This too is a demanding and fascinating challenge.
Workers of the world, unite.
Michael P Senger is an attorney and author of Snake Oil: How Xi Jinping Shut Down the World. Want to support my work? Get the book . Already got the book? Leave a quick review .
Bloomberg: Everywhere you look, Putin wins in all energy markets
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 14:49
Russian oil production volumes grow, prices are stable, OPEC countries support Russia. It appears that Russia is taking advantage of many things. At the same time, the Europeans will soon have to experience new prices on energy as winter is coming soon.
President Vladimir Putin is winning the struggle on energy markets, no matter what indicators one may analyze, Bloomberg said. Russia earns hundreds of millions of dollars every day, and this fact boggles the minds of both US and European press.
New sanctions against Russian oil will come into force in November. European governments will face a difficult choice, the agency notes.
This is solely their choice. As long as EU countries have imposed an embargo on oil imports from Russia (restrictions apply to maritime transport), they should understand what they are doing.
However, the authors of the Bloomberg article are not so much interested in how much EU citizens will have to pay for electricity '-- the question of how much Russia earns from energy supplies is given first priority attention.
In particular, the article notes that the volume of Russian oil production reached almost 10.8 million barrels per day. This is quite a bit short of January's 11 million barrels.
Russia has found new buyers for its oil. Instead of Europe, Russia now sells oil to India, Turkey and a number of states in the Middle East.
Saudi Arabia has significantly increased the volume of oil products purchased in Russia (primarily fuel oil).
Not all European countries refuse to import Russian oil. Italy, for example, is ramping up its volumes, trying to stock up before the embargo comes into effect.
Not that long ago, Russia had to sell oil at a discount in order to attract new buyers. Nowadays, prices have leveled off, and new traders have been found who are willing to buy Russian oil.
Another indicator is political. Western countries expected OPEC to sever relations with Russia. Afterwards, OPEC should have increased oil supplies, as the European Union and the United States would like to.
However, after US President Joseph Biden's visit to Saudi Arabia, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak arrived there too. A few days after his trip, OPEC+ members announced a "miniscule'' (as Bloomberg noted) increase in oil production.
Publicly, European politicians continue to call for firmness and unity, but they are well aware of the problems that threaten their countries after they refused from buying energy resources from Russia.
It is only the Hungarian government that makes it absolutely clear: Hungary will not be able to live without Russian fuel supplies. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban was dubbed "Putin's Trojan horse" for his stance on the matter.
Residents of Hungary's neighboring states travel to Hungary to visit local gas stations, because gasoline is much cheaper in Hangary than in their countries. The Hungarian government was even forced to impose restrictions at this point.
Terry Cook | Coast to Coast AM
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 14:45
Biography:Terry L. Cook is a fundamentalist Christian intelligence analyst and a retired Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff/criminal investigator. He also is a former State of California Deputy Real Estate Commissioner/fraud investigator, a Vietnam-War veteran and a former California National Guard Officer (in anti-communist intelligence). He holds A.A., A.S., B.A., and B.S. degrees. He also holds California State teaching credentials in a variety of subjects and has completed some postgraduate study in theology. Terry is licensed by the FAA as an Airline Transport Jet Pilot (ATP commercial jet) and flight instructor with 3000 hours total flight-time as well.
For the past 25 years, Mr. Cook, an ordained Christian minister of the gospel, has been investigating current geopolitical events as they relate to the fulfillment of ''last-days'' or ''end-times'' Bible prophecies, with an emphasis on New-World-Order geopolitics, biometric identification technology and biochip transponder ID implants regarding the Mark-of-the-Beast (666). He has authored numerous books and produced several educational videos during that time.
His first book, The Mark Of The New World Order, originally published in 1994, has been twice republished since then. Terry is accepted widely as an authority in this field and is much in demand as a speaker in churches and other lecture forums nationwide, including appearances and interviews on television and radio internationally. In fact, Terry recently appeared on the prestigious H2 History-Channel's 2012 six-part international TV special titled, Countdown-To-Apocalypse, The Four Horsemen show aired in November 2012.
Website(s):Book(s):Past Shows:Biometrics & The End TimesSunday - December 8 2013John B. Wells was joined by researcher of ancient mythology and paranormal phenomena, Tom Horn, and retired intelligence analyst, Terry Cook, for a discussion on biometric identification technology and how it connects to the New World Order and the End Times.More >>
Crisis op crisis: de Rijn dreigt droog te vallen (en dat gaan we merken) | RTL Nieuws
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 14:08
40 centimeter 12 augustus 2022 15:44 Aangepast: 12 augustus 2022 16:52
Een binnenvaartschip in de Rijn bij D¼sseldorf. Beeld (C) ANP / Imago Stock & People GmbH / Jochen Tack Het water in de Rijn zal dit weekend naar verwachting zo ver zakken, dat scheepvaart niet meer mogelijk is. De rivier is de belangrijkste transportroute van onze oosterburen en dat gaan wij ook merken. Hoe? Dat en de antwoorden op nog vier vragen lees je hieronder.
Dit weekend is het zover, volgens het Duitse agentschap voor de binnenvaart. Dan daalt de waterstand bij Pegel Kaub tot 40 centimeter. Dit is het krapste stuk van de Rijn, tussen de steden Mainz en Koblenz.
Tussen de Duitse steden Mainz en Koblenz is de Rijn op z'n smalst. (C) RTL Z
Als het water hier onder de 40 centimeter komt, wordt het voor schippers kritiek om nog te varen over de Rijn. De laagst gemeten stand ooit is 25 centimeter, dat was op 22 oktober 2018.
Bij zulke lage waterstanden is het niet meer rendabel om nog goederen over water te transporteren, omdat er maar zo weinig vervoerd kan worden (anders ligt het schip te diep). Een andere reden om niet meer te varen is het risico dat schepen vast komen te liggen, met een algehele stremming tot gevolg.
1. Hoe belangrijk is de Rijn voor de economie (ook de Nederlandse)?De Rijn is niet alleen de belangrijkste rivier voor de Duitse economie, maar voor heel Europa. De helft van al het Duitse brandstofvervoer gaat via de rivier, die in de Alpen ontspringt en in Noordzee uitmondt.
Lees ook: N"g een reden voor hogere prijzen: de lage waterstand
Naast brandstoffen wordt via de Rijn ongeveer 30 procent van alle kolen, ijzererts en gas in het land vervoerd. Dat wordt voor een groot deel aangevoerd vanuit de Rotterdamse haven. Daar wordt vooral geld verdiend dankzij de doorvoer van goederen via de Waal - een tak van de Rijn - naar Duitsland, vertelt Albert Jan Swart. Hij volgt de transport en industrie voor ABN Amro.
"Als de Rijn voor langere tijd droogvalt, dan merkt ook de Rotterdamse haven de gevolgen."
2. Welke bedrijven hebben er al last van?Grote bedrijven zoals staalfabrikant Thyssen-Krupp, chemiereus BASF en energiereus Uniper krijgen hun grondstoffen aangeleverd via het water. Het houdt niet op bij de staal- en chemische industrie, vertelt Swart. "Beide branches zijn weer belangrijk voor de Duitse auto-industrie die heel belangrijk is voor de Duitse economie."
De Rijn in de buurt van Kaub. Op het eiland kasteel Pfalzgrafenstein, waar in de Middeleeuuwen tol werd geheven. (C) ANP / Associated Press / Thomas Frey
Als het lage water lang aanhoudt, zou de industrie zelfs stil kunnen komen te liggen. "Als dit nog erger wordt en nog langer duurt, dan is er beduidend minder staal beschikbaar en verf en lak voor auto's", zegt Swart.
3. En waarom is het dit jaar extra nijpend?Dat komt door de Russische inval in Oekra¯ne en de daaropvolgende sancties van de EU. Die zijn aanleiding voor Rusland om de gasleveringen aan het westen fors terug te schroeven. Door het tekort aan aardgas wordt er meer energie opgewekt uit kolen, en die moeten worden aangevoerd over het water. Dat wordt bemoeilijkt door de lage waterstand.
In 2018 zorgde de lage waterstand van de Rijn voor een schadepost van zo'n 5 miljard euro. Dat zou dit jaar nog wel eens erger kunnen worden, denkt Swart. "Je hebt niet alleen de schade in de industrie, maar ook de energiecrisis."
In onderstaande video leggen we uit hoe de droogte de energiecrisis verergert:
4. Wat gaan consumenten ervan merken?Het kolentekort zorgt ervoor dat de elektriciteitsprijzen nog verder omhoog gaan. Want doordat er te weinig kolen richting Duitsland gaan, kan daar minder stroom worden opgewekt dan nodig is.
Gedreven door de hoge elektriciteitsprijs zullen Duitse energiebedrijven in omliggende landen proberen stroom in te kopen. En dat zorgt mogelijk weer voor hogere prijzen in die landen, waaronder Nederland, verwacht Swart.
Ook andere zaken zullen duurder worden. Er kan minder vracht mee in een schip en dus moet er vaker op en neer gevaren worden dan normaal om dezelfde hoeveelheid vracht te vervoeren.
Lees ook: Wel een officieel watertekort, maar nog genoeg drinkwater: zo zit dat
Voor schippers is dat goed nieuws, want er is meer vraag naar het huren van hun schepen en dus kunnen ze hogere tarieven vragen. Bedrijven die de vracht nodig hebben, betalen de rekening. Die schuiven ze vervolgens door naar hun klanten: de consument.
Dat geldt bijvoorbeeld voor bouwmaterialen. Want zand en grind, belangrijke grondstoffen voor de bouw, worden ook via water vervoerd.
Lees ook: Droog, droger, droogst: foto's van een waterloos Europa (ook vanuit de ruimte)
Het lage water zorgt ook voor stress bij aanbieders van cruises over de Duitse rivieren. Zij moeten flink schipperen om alternatieve vaarroutes te vinden, of zelfs een compleet ander schema.
"Op dit moment kan nog gereisd worden, maar als het nog een paar weken kurkdroog blijft dan wordt het een stuk lastiger. We kunnen alleen maar hopen dat er wat regen gaat vallen", zegt commercieel directeur Coby van Dongen van Intra De Jong tegen persbureau ANP.
5. Zijn er geen andere manieren?Een deel van de bevoorrading gaat al over het spoor, maar daar is de capaciteit heel beperkt. Om meer vracht over het spoor te vervoeren zou een deel van het passagiersvervoer stilgelegd moeten worden. "En dat is eigenlijk geen optie", vertelt Swart.
Over de weg dan? Dat is ook geen optie. Een groot binnenvaartschip vervoert ongeveer hetzelfde als 150 vrachtwagens en die zijn er niet. "Er is een tekort aan vrachtwagenchauffeurs door de krapte op de arbeidsmarkt en omdat Oekra¯ense chauffeurs naar hun land zijn om dat te verdedigen", vertelt Swart. Bovendien is er een tekort aan trucks, door de problemen in de auto-industrie van de laatste jaren.
Bekijk ook: gemiddeld meer regen (C)n vaker droogte, hoe kan dat?Altijd weten wat er speelt?Download de gratis RTL Nieuws-app en blijf op de hoogte.
Hunger stone - Wikipedia
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 13:54
Stone that is normally covered by a body of water but exposed during periods of drought
A hunger stone (German: Hungerstein) is a type of hydrological landmark common in Central Europe. Hunger stones serve as famine memorials and warnings and were erected in Germany and in ethnic German settlements throughout Europe in the 15th through 19th centuries.
These stones were embedded into a river during droughts to mark the water level as a warning to future generations that they will have to endure famine-related hardships if the water sinks to this level again. One famous example in the Elbe river in Děč­n, Czech Republic, has "Wenn du mich siehst, dann weine" (lit. "If you see me, weep") carved into it as a warning.[1]
Many of these stones, featuring carvings or other artwork, were erected following the hunger crisis of 1816''1817 caused by the eruptions of the Tambora volcano.[2]
In 1918, a hunger stone on the bed of the Elbe River, near Tetschen, became exposed during a period of low water coincident to the wartime famines of World War I.[3] Similar hunger stones in the river were uncovered again during a drought in 2018.[4]
RiverLocationNotesPictureElbeDěč­n (Tetschen)left riverbank, near the Tyrs bridge
50°46'²57'"N 14°12'²28'"E >> / >> 50.7825749°N 14.2078325°E >> / 50.7825749; 14.2078325 >> ( Hungerstein Decin )
The stone measures approximately 6 m" and is carved with different years of drought. The oldest readable carving is from 1616, with older carvings (1417 and 1473) having been wiped out by anchoring ships during the years. The stone also features the Czech sentence 'žNeplač holka, nenaÅ­kej, když je sucho, pole stÅ­kej'' (lit. "Girl, don't weep and moan, if it's dry, water the field"), probably added in 1938.[5] This hunger stone is one of the oldest hydrological landmarks in the Elbe river.ElbeTichlowitz near Děč­nStone with the number 1666 (Roman: MDCLXVI)ElbeTichlowitz near Děč­n 50°42'²20'"N 14°11'²50'"E >> / >> 50.705692°N 14.197161°E >> / 50.705692; 14.197161 >> ( Hungerstein Techlovice )
Stone with multiple years: 1892, 1903, 1904, 1911, 1928, 1963, 2015 etc.ElbeDoln­ Žleb, part of Děč­n 50°50'²57'"N 14°12'²58'"E >> / >> 50.849096°N 14.216029°E >> / 50.849096; 14.216029 >> ( Hungerstein Dolni Zleb )
Approximately ten stones with the years 1842, 1868, 1892, 1904, 2015[6]ElbeSchmilka, near the border crossing[7]ElbeProssen, beneath former train conductor's houseFive years between 1928 and 2015 are carved on a skewed stone plate[7]ElbeK¶nigstein, near the villageYear 1681ElbeK¶nigstein, left riverbank near the Biela river 50°55'²12'"N 14°04'²20'"E >> / >> 50.919913°N 14.072226°E >> / 50.919913; 14.072226 >> ( Hungerstein K¶nigstein )
Years 1952, 2003, 2015ElbeStadt Wehlen, district of P¶tzscha 50°56'²58'"N 14°01'²02'"E >> / >> 50.949355°N 14.017302°E >> / 50.949355; 14.017302 >> ( Hungerstein Wehlen )
Year 1868[7]ElbePirna, district Oberposta, right riverbankAccording to the city archives, a stone with the year 1115 existed but its location is no longer known. Near Oberposta there is a stone with more than fifteen years between 1707 and 2015 carved into itElbeDresden-Pillnitz, near the stairs of Pillnitz Castle's western sphinx 51°00'²30'"N 13°52'²09'"E >> / >> 51.008237°N 13.869039°E >> / 51.008237; 13.869039 >> ( Hungerstein Pillnitz )
Years: 1778, 1893, 1904, 2003, 2018.ElbeDresden-Laubegast 51°01'²24'"N 13°50'²29'"E >> / >> 51.023416°N 13.841373°E >> / 51.023416; 13.841373 >> ( Hungerstein Laubegast )
Years: 1893, 1899, 2003, 2015.ElbeDresden-Tolkewitz, near Tolkewitzer Street 73 51°02'²31'"N 13°49'²04'"E >> / >> 51.041975°N 13.817859°E >> / 51.041975; 13.817859 >> ( Hungerstein Tolkewitz )
Year: 2016.ElbeDresden-Blasewitz2 by 2 meter stone near kilometer 48.7 with years: 1930, 1943, 1947, 1950, 1963 etc.ElbeRadebeul-K¶tzschenbroda, near the steam ship port 51°06'²12'"N 13°37'²22'"E >> / >> 51.103230°N 13.622900°E >> / 51.103230; 13.622900 >> ( Hungerstein Radebeul-K¶tzschenbroda )
Year 1811[8]ElbeMeiŸenWas recorded by Johann Friedrich Usinus to have been spotted in 1746 bearing the carving of the year 1654[9]ElbeTorgau, on the right side near the destroyed bridgeCan be seen at a water level of 50 cm or lowerElbeSch¶nebeck (Elbe), near kilometer 311 on the right riverbankMeasuring 1,5 by 1,5 by 2 meters and weighing 10 tonsElbeSch¶nebeck (Elbe), museum of the city (formerly in the port)47 cm in size, year: 1904ElbeWesterh¼sen, part of Magdeburg 52°03'²25'"N 11°41'²10'"E >> / >> 52.056913°N 11.686170°E >> / 52.056913; 11.686170 >> ( Hungersteine bei Westerh¼sen, Magdeburg )
see Hungerstones near Westerh¼lsen [de] ElbeMagdeburg, Domfelsen 52°07'²22'"N 11°38'²12'"E >> / >> 52.12265°N 11.63668°E >> / 52.12265; 11.63668 >> ( Domfelsen, auch Hungerfelsen, Magdeburg )
Red sandstone formation near Domfelsen,also called Hungerfelsen (lit. "hunger cliff"); carved 2018 in AugustElbeBleckede, near the ferry portKilometer 550. Carved with the sentence: Geht dieser Stein unter, wird das Leben wieder bunter (lit. When this stone sinks, life will become more colorful again) [10]MoselleTraben-Trarbach-Litzig, left riversideM¼ndeseeAngerm¼nde , north of the villageRhineWorms-Rheind¼rkheim, near kilometer 449.4 on the left riverbankSeveral stones, years ranging from 1857 to 2009WeserNear Hajen, on the left riverbankRed sandstone that was smoothed by the riverWeserW¼rgassen3 m" hunger stone with the years 1800, 1840, 1842, 1847, 1850, 1857, 1858, 1859, 1865, 1874, 1876, 1881, 1911, 1922, 1934 and 1959[11]
The CDC Totally Reverses Course, Ends Apartheid Against 'Unvaccinated,' Drops Restrictions And Core Policies
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 13:49
''Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.''
'--Charles Mackay
I want to ask you all to do something. Go to Twitter, and punch in #unvaccinated.
It's trending on Twitter. I was moved and wanted to share some of them. Naturally, like you, I can't understand it when we are not being relentlessly bashed and beaten.
It feels to me like that is over. It feels to me like this is happening because the body count is simply too high, the guilty, genuinely, finally, at long last'-- afraid. Those of us who resisted the shots were severely abused, cast out, vilified, and fired. I think we will soon be discussing reparations and healing. And I will not back down on that and say nothing much happened. It most certainly did. It will heal those who were abusive to friends and family to say they see it now and that they're sorry. The healing process will take many years. Without a shadow of a doubt, we have been vindicated. And we must own that.
From this piece in The Defender by Megan Redshaw.
''New CDC COVID guidance ditches distinctions between vaccinated and unvaccinated
''The CDC on Thursday issued sweeping new recommendations as part of the agency's efforts to overhaul its COVID-19 guidance .
''This guidance acknowledges that the pandemic is not over, but also helps us move to a point where COVID-19 no longer severely disrupts our daily lives,'' the CDC's Greta Massetti said in a press release .
''Here are the biggest changes to the CDC's guidance:
Unvaccinated people now have the same guidance as vaccinated people.
Those who are exposed to the virus are no longer required to quarantine regardless of vaccination status.
Students may stay in class even if they've been exposed to COVID-19.
Six-foot social distancing is no longer recommended .
Contact tracing and routine surveillance testing of symptomatic people are no longer recommended in most settings.
The Unvaccinated Will Be Vindicated.
No, the unvaccinated are vindicated.
Amazon's Ring, MGM to launch show from viral doorbell videos
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 13:46
NEW YORK (AP) '-- Two Amazon-owned companies '-- Ring and Hollywood studio MGM '-- are teaming to create a TV show in the mold of ''America's Funniest Home Videos'' using viral footage from Ring's doorbell and smart-home cameras.
The half-hour show, called ''Ring Nation,'' will be hosted by actor and comedian Wanda Sykes and premier in syndication on Sept. 26, MGM said.
The studio noted audiences should expect to see the usual things that go viral '-- marriage proposals, neighbors saving neighbors and silly animals.
The series showcases Amazon's fusion of its various business arms, this time to highlight what MGM called "interesting moments from communities across the country.''
''You have one company that owns two juggernauts and (has) just figured out how to leverage one against the other,'' said Robert Passikoff, president of the brand research firm Brand Keys. He noted that unlike scripted movies or shows, a reality series using Ring footage will likely be cheaper to produce.
The show also presents a branding opportunity for the Seattle-based e-commerce and retail giant, which bought Ring in 2018 for $1 billion and has dealt with rounds of privacy concerns around Ring and its relationship with police departments across the country.
Last month, Amazon revealed it had provided Ring doorbell footage to law enforcement 11 times this year without the user's permission '-- all in response to emergency requests, according to the company.
MGM, which Amazon purchased for $8.5 billion, said in a statement Thursday that ''Ring Nation'' will offer audiences ''daily dose of life's unpredictable, heartwarming and hilarious viral videos'' shared by people from their cameras.
''Many of these have been previously shared online,'' Amazon spokesperson Nick Schweers said. ''Others were sent directly to the team." Ring Nation secures permissions for each video from the owner and anyone identifiable in the video, or from companies that hold the rights to the clips, he said.
Amazon's deal to purchase MGM was closed earlier this year, though the Federal Trade Commission has said it still retains discretion to challenge it. Big Fish Entertainment, a production company owned by MGM, will also be part of the partnership.
World Economic Forum Wants To Use AI To Automatically Censor Speech On The Internet | The Daily Caller
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 13:45
The World Economic Forum (WEF) proposed a new way of censoring online content that requires a small group of experts to train artificial intelligence on identifying ''misinformation'' and abusive content.
The WEF published an article Wednesday outlining a plan to overcome frequent instances of ''child abuse, extremism, disinformation, hate speech and fraud'' online, which the organization said cannot be handled by human ''trust and safety teams,'' according to ActiveFence Trusty & Safety Vice President Inbal Goldberger, who authored the article. Instead, the WEF proposed an AI-driven method of moderating online content, where subject matter experts provide training sets to the AI so it can learn to recognize and flag or restrict content that human moderators would deem dangerous.
''Supplementing this smarter automated detection with human expertise to review edge cases and identify false positives and negatives and then feeding those findings back into training sets will allow us to create AI with human intelligence baked in,'' Goldberger stated.
In other words, trust and safety teams can help the AI with anomalous cases, allowing it to detect nuances in content that a purely automated system might otherwise miss or misinterpret, according to Goldberger.
''A human moderator who is an expert in European white supremacy won't necessarily be able to recognize harmful content in India or misinformation narratives in Kenya,'' she explained. As time goes on and the AI practices with more learning sets, it begins to identify the kinds of content moderating teams would find offensive, reaching ''near-perfect detection'' at a massive scale,
Goldberger said the system would protect against ''increasingly advanced actors misusing platforms in unique ways.''
Trust and safety teams at online media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, bring a ''nuanced comprehension of disinformation campaigns'' that they apply to content moderation, said Goldberger.
That includes working with government organizations to filter content communicating a narrative about COVID-19, for example. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised Big Tech companies on what types of content to label as misinformation on their sites.
Social media companies have also targeted conservative content, including posts that negatively portray abortion and transgender activism, or contradict the mainstream understanding of climate change, by either labeling them as ''misinformation'' or blocking them entirely.
The WEF document did not specify how members of the AI training team would be decided, how they would be held accountable or whether countries could exercise controls over the AI.
Congress May Have Missed Its Chance To Break Up Big Tech https://t.co/303Eiwrida
'-- Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) August 9, 2022
Elite business executives who participate in WEF gatherings have a track record of proposals that expand corporate control over peoples' lives. At the latest WEF annual summit, in March, the head of the Chinese multinational technology company Alibaba Group boasted of a system for monitoring individual carbon footprints derived from eating, travel and similar behaviors.
''The future is built by us, by a powerful community such as you here in this room,'' WEF founder and chairman Klaus Schwab told an audience of more than 2,500 global business and political elites.
The WEF did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation's request for comment.
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Wokepox: The WHO Is Asking For The Public's Help In Re-Naming Monkeypox | ZeroHedge
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 13:42
Further proving that the World Health Organization is misguided at best, useless at worst, the agency is out asking "for the public's help" in...not combating monkeypox...but re-naming it.
At least we know the agency has its priorities in order...
The WHO was out this past week asking for new names for monkeypox "part of an ongoing effort to discourage harmful misconceptions associated with the current name," according to Bloomberg.
''WHO is holding an open consultation for a new disease name for monkeypox. Anyone wishing to propose new names can do so,'' the agency said in an actual statement that was drafted up by someone who could have been allocating their energy to actually fighting the virus.
We're calling on @WHO to act immediately to rename the ''monkeypox'' virus. We have a growing concern for the potentially stigmatizing effects that the messaging around the ''monkeypox'' virus can have on vulnerable communities. Read our letter: https://t.co/hC6L8o60TH pic.twitter.com/G8CQ9ueaMJ
'-- Commissioner Ashwin Vasan, MD, PhD (@NYCHealthCommr) July 26, 2022And the excellent use of resources doesn't stop there. The WHO has also set up an online portal for people to submit ideas. The renaming of the virus follows "demands from international scientists" and "public health officials" who have claimed that the current name encourages a harmful stigma.
The same web programmers that have set up the online naming portal have also apparently decided to leave the name "MONKEYPOX" scattered across the WHO's website:
And if you think the name is bad, wait until you actually get the virus.
The outbreak now stands at more than 31,000 cases since May, with the most coming from the U.S. The virus has been disproportionately spread by men who have sex with men, Bloomberg noted.
The virus was discovered in 1958 before "best practices" for naming diseases and viruses were adopted.
We'll open up the submitting just to get everyone started. How about the "Poo Flu"?
DOJ plans to retry Philip Esformes despite Trump commuting sentence
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 13:41
Philanthropist Philip Esformes attends the 15th annual Harold & Carole Pump Foundation gala at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on August 7, 2015 in Century City, California.
Tiffany Rose | Getty Images
A highly unusual move by the Justice Department to retry Florida nursing home owner Philip Esformes on health-care fraud criminal charges after then-President Donald Trump commuted his 20-year prison sentence is headed to an appeals court hearing as defense lawyers suggest prosecutors are motivated by anger at Trump.
"The situation is entirely unique because the actions of the prosecutors here are incredibly outrageous," said Joe Tacopina, a leading New York criminal defense attorney.
"There's no question in my mind that the [Justice Department's] flagrant disregard of President Trump's clemency order is motivated by acrimony towards him," said Tacopina.
Tacopina is not representing Esformes in the case. But he is assisting Esformes' new team from the Reed Smith law firm in preparing for the federal appeals court hearing next month in Miami.
He said prosecutors are engaged in an "obvious vendetta" against the former president for letting Esformes out of prison after a years-long criminal case.
"And if there's any question about that, what the prosecution is doing here against Mr. Esformes is unprecedented," Tacopina said. "He's clearly a political casualty of partisan games."
The Justice Department and a spokeswoman for the Miami U.S. Attorney's Office, which is prosecuting the case, did not respond to requests for comment on those claims.
At issue is the Justice Department's plan to retry Esformes on six criminal counts that jurors at his Florida federal court trial deadlocked on, even as they convicted him of 20 other crimes.
Tacopina and other advocates for Esformes say that effort is not legal, as it flies in the face of what they argue was Trump's clear intent to put an end to the case by commuting his sentence.
Trump did not respond to a request for comment.
Esformes' appeal action, which seeks to overturn his conviction and argues that his retrial is barred, also says the case should be tossed out altogether because of prosecutorial misconduct.
The defense team faces a potentially daunting challenge in winning its argument against a retrial on the grounds of Trump's clemency.
There is no federal statute that explicitly says prosecutors cannot retry a defendant on so-called hung counts when they have had their sentence commuted by the president for counts on which they were convicted.
Nor is there federal case law that provides guidance on that question, because Esformes' situation is apparently the first time the issue has arisen.
Presidential pardons, on the other hand, bar prosecutors from lodging federal charges against defendants for the same conduct that was the subject of their pardon.
Prosecutors, in a court brief replying to Esformes' appeal, wrote, "The President's commutation order does not impact any of the counts on which the jury failed to reach a verdict."
"By its plain terms, the President's commutation order is expressly limited to the counts of conviction."
In the same brief, prosecutors wrote, "If President Trump had intended to grant Esformes a pardon, or if the President had intended to grant Esformes clemency on the hung counts, he would have communicated as much in the clemency warrant."
"Indeed, on the same day President Trump commuted Esformes's prison sentence, he issued 15 pardons, each of which stated he was granting a 'full and unconditional pardon' to the recipient,'" they added.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump leaves Trump Tower to meet with New York Attorney General Letitia James for a civil investigation on August 10, 2022 in New York City.
James Devaney | GC Images | Getty Images
Esformes was one of the dozens of people to receive executive clemency, which included pardons and sentence commutations, from Trump in his last months of office after he lost a re-election bid to President Joe Biden. Before that flurry of clemency actions, Trump was notably stingy with them, even when compared to other one-term presidents.
The Justice Department, when it obtained an indictment of Esformes, said he was at the top of the largest health-care fraud scheme ever prosecuted by the department. The department said the scheme spanned two decades and involved an estimated $1.3 billion in losses as the result of fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medicaid, the federal health insurance programs that cover older and low-income Americans, respectively.
With the proceeds of those crimes, authorities said, Esformes bought a $360,000 Greubel Forsey watch, a $1.6 million Ferrari Aperta automobile and paid for female escorts, according to the indictment.
He also paid $300,000 in bribes to then-University of Pennsylvania's men's basketball coach, Jerome Allen, who helped get Esformes' son admitted to that Ivy League school's Wharton School of Business by falsely claiming he was a prized basketball recruit, prosecutors said.
Allen pleaded guilty in 2018 to a single count of money laundering, was sentenced to four years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a fine of more than $200,000.
Allen, who is currently an assistant coach on the NBA's Detroit Pistons, in 2020 was hit by the National Collegiate Athletic Association with a 15-year show-cause penalty '-- tied for the NCAA record '-- which in most cases effectively bars coaches from being hired by a college during that time period.
In 2019, Laura Janke, a former assistant women's soccer coach at the University of Southern California, pleaded guilty as part of a national college admissions scheme masterminded by the college preparation consultant William "Rick" Singer. That scheme was exposed by federal authorities earlier that year in "Operation Varsity Blues."
William "Rick" Singer leaves the federal courthouse after facing charges in a nationwide college admissions cheating scheme in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., March 12, 2019.
Bryan Snyder | Reuters
At her plea hearing, a prosecutor said that Esformes' daughter was among the four students that Janke assisted in obtaining admission to USC under bogus athletic qualifications. Esformes reportedly paid $400,000 over several years to a foundation controlled by Singer, which was used to launder money from clients and dole out bribes to get students admitted to college.
When Esformes was convicted in 2019 in the health-care fraud case, after a trial in which Allen was one of the witnesses for the prosecution, then-Deputy Special Agent in Charge Denise Stemen of the FBI's Miami Field Office, said, "Philip Esformes is a man driven by almost unbounded greed."
"Esformes cycled patients through his facilities in poor condition where they received inadequate or unnecessary treatment, then improperly billed Medicare and Medicaid," Stemen said.
"Taking his despicable conduct further, he bribed doctors and regulators to advance his criminal conduct."
When he sentenced Esformes to two decades in prison, Judge Robert Scola said that "the length and scope and breadth of the criminal conduct" of the defendant was "seemingly unmatched in our community, if not our country."
More than a year later, on Dec. 22, 2020, Trump commuted Esformes' prison term.
But Trump left intact the portion of the sentence that called for Esformes to serve three years of supervised release and pay $5.5 million in restitution for his crimes. Esformes also was left on the hook for an order to pay a $38 million forfeiture judgment.
In a statement detailing the commutation, Trump's then-press secretary Kayleigh McEnany noted that former U.S. Attorneys General Edwin Meese and Michael Mukasey supported the move.
She added that Esformes, "While in prison ... has been devoted to prayer and repentance and is in declining health."
A subsequent court filing by Esformes' lawyers said that Trump's Attorney General William Barr had personally approved the terms of the clemency.
McEnany in her statement also pointed out that Meese and Mukasey, along with two other former attorneys general, John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzalez, former FBI Director and federal judge Louis Freeh, and other former top Justice Department officials had filed a legal brief supporting the dismissal of Esformes' case.
That brief said prosecutors had violated rules barring them from using communications between defendants and their lawyers as evidence.
"The government in this case eviscerated the defendant's attorney-client privilege and work-product protection," the brief said. "Dismissal is the only remedy that can fix these pervasive violations."
Prosecutors in a reply brief in the appeals case said that the trial judge in Esformes' case "correctly denied" a motion to dismiss the charges and to disqualify the prosecution team.
"Esformes failed to establish the demonstrable prejudice necessary to warrant the extreme sanction of dismissal or disqualification," prosecutors wrote in that brief. "Indeed, given the court's suppression rulings, Esformes has failed to prove he suffered any articulable prejudice from the government's missteps."
Days after the commutation of Esformes' sentence, The New York Times published an article detailing the role of the Aleph Institute, a Jewish humanitarian non-profit group that supports prisoners' rights, in assisting his bid for clemency from Trump.
Esformes' father, Morris, is a rabbi.
The Times noted that the Esformes family for years donated to the movement of Hasidic Jews known as Chabad-Lubavitch, "to which [Trump's son-in-law Jared] Kushner has longstanding ties." Kushner was a senior White House advisor during Trump's presidency.
Charles Kushner and Jared Kushner attend an event at Lord & Taylor on March 28, 2012 in New York City.
Patrick McMullan | Patrick McMullan | Getty Images
A day after Trump commuted Esformes' sentence, Trump issued a pardon to Kushner's father Charles, a real-estate mogul who was sentenced to two years in prison in 2004 after pleading guilty to tax evasion, witness tampering and making unlawful campaign contributions.
Charles Kushner, in an effort to intimidate his own brother-in-law from acting as a witness against him, hired a prostitute to lure the other man into a sexual tryst. Charles Kushner then sent a secretly recorded videotape of that account to the man's wife, the sister of Charles.
In a 2006 press release, the Justice Department said Philip and his father Morris, along with a third man, had paid $15.4 million to settle federal and Florida civil health care fraud claims related to kickback and medically unnecessary treatments at Larkin Community Hospital, which they had owned.
And an August 2013 article in The Chicago Tribune reported that Philip and Morris Esformes agreed in principle to pay the U.S. government $5 million to settle claims that they "took kickbacks related to the sale" for $32 million of a pharmacy partially owned by Philip to the pharmaceutical giant Omnicare.
In April 2021, months after Philip Esformes was released from prison as the result of Trump's commutation, federal prosecutors in Miami told a judge they intended to re-try Esformes on the counts where jurors had failed to reach a verdict.
In August that same year, a judge set a $50 million release bond for Esformes, which was co-signed by his father and children.
The decision to retry Esformes outraged his legal team at the time, and still does more than a year later.
In an appeals court brief filed last year, Esformes' lawyers said, "the text and context of this grant of clemency reveal an intent to end the prosecution and incarceration of Esformes for the conduct at issue in this case."
Those attorneys also argued that a re-trial was barred under the double-jeopardy clause of the Constitution because the judge, when sentencing Esformes, had factored in conduct that was the basis for the major criminal count on which jurors deadlocked.
"Simply put, there can be no retrial of Philip Esformes," lawyers wrote in their appeals brief.
Tacopina, in an interview this week, said the alleged misconduct by prosecutors in using information against Esformes that was protected by attorney-client privilege, and which was "illegally obtained in violation of his Constitutional rights," underscores the unfairness of retrying him.
"It would be a gross miscarriage of justice to let these same prosecutors thumb their noses at the president's grant of clemency to retry Mr. Esformes on any part of their infected case," Tacopina said.
Asked why the public should feel sympathy for Esformes, given his conduct, Tacopina noted that, "Mr. Esformes always maintained his innocence."
"The president granted him clemency, and now, after a change in administration, the new Biden Justice Department wants to undo that," Tacopina said.
"The public should be very concerned when prosecutors '-- more interested in career advancement and political games '-- violate the law and pervert justice for those reasons," Tacopina said.
"Because that circumstance puts us all in jeopardy."
(4) Interesting As Fuck on Twitter: "Camera blocking glasses. https://t.co/PUF6kYEEC1" / Twitter
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 12:57
Interesting As Fuck : Camera blocking glasses. https://t.co/PUF6kYEEC1
Thu Aug 11 13:09:55 +0000 2022
Argentina rate hiked to 69.5% as inflation hits 20-year high - BBC News
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 12:50
By Peter HoskinsBusiness reporter
Image source, Getty ImagesArgentina's central bank has raised its main rate of interest to 69.5% as it tries to contain soaring inflation.
The bank put up its 28-day benchmark rate by 9.5% percentage points, its second hike in as many weeks.
It comes as new figures showed inflation in the country had hit a 20-year high of over 70%.
The numbers dashed hopes that price rises had peaked after the latest US data showed that inflation had eased.
"The rise in the policy rate will help reduce inflation expectations for the remainder of the year," the bank said in a statement.
The move came after the bank raised the rate by 8 percentage points two weeks ago and marks its eighth hike this year.
The country's inflation rate is forecast to top 90% by the end of the year.
Controlling soaring prices, tackling high debt levels and reining in government spending in South America's second largest economy are at the top of the agenda for Argentina's latest economy minister, Sergio Massa.
Mr Massa, who is the third person to hold the post since early last month, aims to calm inflation using a more conventional approach than his predecessors.
Along with raising interest rates, he has pledged to not call on the central bank to print more money this year to fund government spending.
In July, Mart­n Guzmn resigned as finance minister after being in the role for more than two and a half years. His successor Silvina Batakis lasted just a month in the post.
Earlier this year, Argentina avoided defaulting on a $44bn International Monetary Fund loan.
However, the impact of measures the government has to implement to meet the conditions of the deal is a major cause of concern for many in the country.
In recent weeks, protestors have taken to the streets of the capital Buenos Aires to demonstrate against President Alberto Fernndez' handling of the economy.
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Trudeau government to introduce national ''Digital Identity Program'' | True North
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 12:47
A report published last week on revamping the Government of Canada's digital infrastructure states that the next step to making services more convenient is to introduce a federal ''Digital Identity Program.''
Details of the program were scarce in the publication titled Canada's Digital Ambition 2022 which was signed off by President of the Treasury Board Mona Fortier and the Chief Information Officer of Canada, Catherine Luelo.
Citing the pandemic, the report outlines how a federal framework would also be integrated with provincial digital identities.
''The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for government services to be accessible and flexible in the digital age. The next step in making services more convenient to access is a federal Digital Identity Program, integrated with pre-existing provincial platforms,'' the report explained.
''Digital identity is the electronic equivalent of a recognized proof-of-identity document (for example, a driver's license or passport) and confirms that 'you are who you say you are' in a digital context.''
Steps currently underway to implement the program include ''developing a common and secure framework to digital identity'' and ''launching public consultations on a federally managed digital identity framework.''
When first appointed to the position by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Fortier's mandate letter for the Treasury Board included a specific directive to work ''towards a common and secure approach for a trusted digital identity platform to support seamless service delivery to Canadians across the country.''
As exclusively reported by True North in May, the Trudeau government revealed that it was working with airlines to require ''digital identity documents'' and biometric data like facial recognition as boarding requirements.
Currently, the Liberals are facing calls from the opposition to ditch the ArriveCAN application citing airport backlogs and privacy concerns.
Canada's privacy commissioner Philippe Dufresne was prompted to launch an investigation into the app to see whether it violated any laws or improperly collected the personal information of Canadians.
During a June House of Commons information and ethics committee, former privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien also told MPs that there is a potential for digital identity to be ''harmful to privacy'' if designed incorrectly.
''Digital ID, like all technologies, can be helpful and privacy protective or harmful to privacy depending on how it is designed. It is certainly conceivable that digital ID could enhance the verification process and the authentication process, allowing citizens to have access to services,'' responded Therrien.
''It is certainly possible that digital ID would lead to the data being available to many players or actors, corporate or governmental, that should not have access to all of this data, but it doesn't have to be designed that way.''
Journalist and Senior Research Fellow
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German Greens minister wants to establish centers for neighbors to report each other for political incorrectness
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 12:45
The government of the most populous federal state will spend '‚¬140,000 to establish each center
August 08, 2022
editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Vladim­r Plesn­k
Election posters of several parties stand in Chemnitz, Germany, Friday, Aug. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)Josefine Paul, the minister for children, youth, family, equality, refugees, and integration of North Rhine-Westphalia for the Greens, wants to push through a project that encourages Germans to report their fellow citizens, according to the German publication Focus.
Reports suggest that Paul intends to set up four reporting centers where people can anonymously report other people who are behaving politically incorrect through hotlines. For example, ''incidents hostile to homosexuals, migrants, Muslims, blacks, and Roma'' are to be reported, even those that are not criminal.
The government of the most populous federal state will spend '‚¬140,000 to establish each center. Paul, a former teacher, lives with Katja Meier, the Saxon justice minister and also a member of the Green Party.
''As I will continue to reject non-Christian gender language and gender ideology, it is already foreseeable that some zealous left-wing whistleblower will turn me in in East German Stasi-style. So be it,'' responded Dirk Kalweit, vice-chairman of the CDU Christian Democracy faction in the Landtag (State Diet).
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Amnesty further backtracks on Ukraine human rights report '-- RT Russia & Former Soviet Union
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 12:39
International experts will examine the documents that led to incredible pressure on the organization
Independent experts will review the bombshell Amnesty International report accusing the Ukrainian armed forces of violating humanitarian law, following a backlash from Kiev, in an effort to understand ''what went wrong'' with the preparation of the document.
In a statement released by its German section on Friday, the human rights watchdog said that the study of the document was ''initiated at the international level,'' and will examine the process by which the material was prepared and how the report was analyzed from the legal and political standpoints.
''We want to understand what exactly went wrong and why, in order to learn a lesson and improve our work in the field of human rights,'' the organization said.
Amnesty International noted that ''its findings were not conveyed with the delicacy and accuracy'' that are expected from the organization. It also stated that its International Secretariat did not react to criticism from the international community in the correct manner.
The report, the watchdog said, also ''did not pay due attention to Russian aggression in violation of international law,'' adding that Amnesty condemns Moscow's military campaign in Ukraine.
On August 4, Amnesty released a report that accused Kiev of ''a clear violation of international humanitarian law,'' saying it was putting civilian lives at risk by placing its military assets close to civilian infrastructure.
In 22 of the 29 schools visited by Amnesty between April and July, the human rights group said it found evidence of current or prior military activity. In five locations, they witnessed Ukrainian troops using hospitals as bases. The group also said it was ''not aware'' whether Ukraine tried to evacuate civilians from the areas in question.
Nonetheless, the watchdog noted that no Ukrainian troops were present in some areas where it found that Russian forces had allegedly delivered strikes on residential areas, concluding that Ukraine's unlawful military use of civilian sites does not ''in any way justify indiscriminate Russian attacks.''
Following backlash from Kiev, with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky slamming Amnesty for siding with ''terrorists,'' the organization issued an apology for its report, saying it ''deeply regrets the distress and anger that our press release on the Ukrainian military's fighting tactics has caused,'' while stating that ''we fully stand by our findings.''
Alleged Iranian murder plot complicates Biden's path to nuclear deal - POLITICO
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 12:35
The revelations have bolstered detractors of the nuclear deal, a bipartisan faction that says the Iranian government simply cannot be trusted and that any bargain with Tehran must cover its misdeeds beyond just its nuclear ambitions. The news also underscores the tricky nature of the U.S.-Iran relationship, which is adversarial and deadly '-- even when the two countries are negotiating sensitive issues.
''The [Biden] admin should walk away from nuke talks & prioritize Americans,'' Texas Rep. Mike McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, was quoted as saying on Twitter.
Alinejad echoed that sentiment, adding that the United States should further crack down on Iran by kicking out its diplomats in America, such as those serving at Iran's mission to the United Nations. Some critics of the regime also say the United States should deny a visa to Iran's president, Ebrahim Raisi, should he want to attend the U.N. General Assembly gathering in New York next month.
''Iran needs to be held more accountable, and, if the U.S. government denies that, they actually betray their own citizens,'' Alinejad told POLITICO.
Bolton, long an opponent of the nuclear deal, suggested that his position had been vindicated. ''Iran's nuclear weapons and terrorist activities are two sides of the same coin,'' Bolton said in a statement. ''No responsible U.S. government should think otherwise.''
For now, Biden is not indicating he will walk away from efforts to restore the nuclear agreement. The deal was struck under President Barack Obama in 2015 but President Donald Trump nixed U.S. participation in 2018, and Iran began violating its terms a year later. Reviving it would mean lifting an array of sanctions on Iran in exchange for severe restrictions on its nuclear program.
Biden continues to believe that ''diplomacy is the best path'' to ensuring ''Iran never acquires a nuclear weapon,'' a White House spokesperson said in a statement. ''At the same time, the Biden administration has not and will not waiver in protecting and defending all Americans against threats of violence and terrorism.''
A U.S. official familiar with the issue stressed that the Biden administration is well-aware that Iran presents challenges beyond the nuclear threat.
''We have been seeking a nuclear deal precisely because an unconstrained Iranian nuclear program would make all the other very serious problems we have with them '-- and we have many '-- far worse,'' the official said.
Although he's repeatedly dispatched a special envoy for the job of restoring the agreement '-- the talks have gone on for well over a year '-- Biden has not been overly enthusiastic or in a rush.
The U.S. president has said, for instance, that he will not lift a terrorism designation imposed by Trump on Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Iranian negotiators had earlier demanded that label be lifted as part of the deal's revival, but they appear to have backed off.
The discussions to restore the deal have been facilitated by European officials serving as go-betweens for Iranian and American negotiators. A so-called final draft of an agreement on the steps to revive the deal has been circulated. European officials hope to get agreement from all sides within days.
But the Iranians appear to have some hang-ups.
They want the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog, to end a probe into why traces of nuclear material were found at some Iranian sites. Iran denies anything improper. But Iran has not allowed the IAEA to have as much access as the agency wants, including by shutting down surveillance equipment. Western officials hope they can reach a separate deal that tackles such concerns.
Throughout the discussions to restore the deal, Iran has pushed ahead with its nuclear program, though Tehran has always insisted it is not planning to produce nuclear weapons. Washington, meanwhile, has ramped up some sanctions against Iran to increase the economic pressure on the regime to return to the deal. Iran's economy has been badly hit by the sanctions and the Covid-19 pandemic. Even if Iran returns to the nuclear deal, numerous U.S. sanctions would still remain on the country.
Iranian diplomats based at the United Nations did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Iranian officials typically deny targeting specific Americans and Iranian dissidents living abroad, though such allegations stretch back many years.
According to media reports, an Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson described as ''fiction'' the latest claims about the plot against Bolton.
Iran is alleged to have set its sights on a number of former Trump-era U.S. officials, including Bolton and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Tehran is believed to be driven in part by a desire to avenge Trump's killing of a top Iranian general, Qassem Soleimani, in January 2020.
According to the Justice Department, the Iranian operative it has charged in the case, identified as Revolutionary Guard member Shahram Poursafi, tried to hire people in the United States to kill Bolton for $300,000.
The alleged Iranian plot to kidnap Alinejad, whose criticisms of Iran's government often center on its oppression of women, was publicized last summer. Last month, a man alleged to be armed with an AK-47 and acting oddly near Alinejad's Brooklyn home was arrested amid concerns he was targeting the activist.
The attack against Rushdie, which took place in front of an audience, was especially chilling. Rushdie was quickly taken to a hospital, and his condition was not immediately clear.
In the late 1980s, Iran's clerical regime was infuriated by Rushdie's book ''The Satanic Verses,'' deeming its seeming portrayal of Islam as blasphemous. Iran's then-Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a religious edict that Rushdie must be killed, and the Iranian authorities offered bounties to any successful assassin.
For years, Rushdie lived largely out of sight and under strict security. In the late 1990s, Iran effectively indicated it would no longer enforce the decree, and Rushdie began making more public appearances.
But Iranian religious leaders have said it's not possible to rescind the edict, arguing that only Khomeini, who has died, could do so. Iran's current Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has said the decree stands. And various Iranian groups have continued to offer millions for Rushdie's head.
Biden aides argue that restoring the nuclear deal is an important way to at least temporarily ease concerns about a major security issue in the Middle East. But as the negotiations have dragged on, domestic opposition to returning to the agreement has intensified.
This is a growing concern for Biden administration officials because it's possible they will have to get approval from Congress for the agreement they reach with Iran on returning to the deal.
Republicans uniformly disliked the original deal and are warning against restoring it, saying it's too weak and that Iran can't be trusted. Some Democrats, including Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, opposed the original agreement and are likely to fight a return to the deal.
Should Iran and the United States find a way to restore the agreement, it could give Biden a national security win to point to ahead of midterm elections. But it will also give Republicans a new attack line against the president.
Planting distrust, not evidence: The right's latest effort to impugn the FBI - The Washington Post
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 04:04
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The first minutes after Donald Trump announced that his Florida estate had been searched by FBI agents went better than the former president could have imagined. His years-long effort to cast the bureau as inherently biased against him quickly prompted even Trump-skeptical Republicans to side with him against the devious ''deep state.'' The wagon-circling reportedly pleased Trump, whose team saw a new breath of unity with Trump as its focus.
That this reaction was based on claims of political bias within the FBI that have no basis in the available evidence was beside the point. The point was that the FBI became the opposition, just as Trump would have hoped.
But it turns out that this wasn't enough. Baseless assertions of impropriety and bias by the FBI have now been kicked up a notch with multiple figures on the right claiming '-- again without evidence, much less justification '-- that maybe the agents planted evidence as they combed through Mar-a-Lago. Because, it seems, any opponent of Trump's must be cast in the most nefarious terms possible.
The FBI searched former president Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club on Aug. 8 as part of an investigation into whether presidential documents were mishandled. (Video: Blair Guild/The Washington Post) Sign up for How To Read This Chart, a weekly data newsletter from Philip Bump
The insinuation was first made by Trump attorney Christina Bobb. Speaking to a right-wing streaming service, Bobb (herself a veteran of the right-wing network One America News) repeatedly tried to suggest that the FBI had acted inappropriately. She asked to see their warrant when she arrived at Mar-a-Lago on Monday morning; she claims they at first resisted. She hoped to observe the search; they prevented her from doing so.
Which she presented as perhaps suspicious.
''We'll see what they come up with. If they did, it will be interesting '-- especially since they precluded me from watching what they did,'' Bobb said. ''But at this point, I don't necessarily think that they would even go to the extent of trying to plant information. I think they just make stuff up.''
It is certainly true that law enforcement officers have in the past planted evidence on suspects. But the idea that they would do so in this context makes no sense. They took a dozen boxes of material; if agents at the scene wanted to inject something incriminating, there were plenty of opportunities to do so once they'd left Mar-a-Lago. After all, planting evidence at a crime scene would generally be done with the aim of convincing other officials not in on the scheme that it was there all along. If all the officials are in on it, there's no such need. And if all of the agents weren't in on the alleged nefariousness at Mar-a-Lago, the problem would be being spotted by other agents more than Trump's attorneys.
All of this runs the obvious risk of treating this insinuation as in any way credible. It is not, even in Bobb's vague formulation. There is literally no reason to think that the FBI wanted to add anything to the evidence that wasn't already present. Asserting that there is reason to think so requires that you believe (or want others to believe) that the bureau is inherently corrupt and out to get Trump, which is begging the question.
Anyway, it got worse. Another Trump attorney, Alina Habba, appeared on Fox News on Tuesday night with host Jesse Watters. Watters, whose track record of accuracy is not spotless, quickly elevated the idea that the FBI was up to something.
''What the FBI is probably doing is planting evidence, which is what they did during the Russia hoax,'' he said. ''We also have a hunch they doctored evidence to get the warrant '-- again, what they did during the Russia hoax.''
Watters's hunch should be considered as strongly correlated to demonstrated reality as I should be considered a contender for this year's Cy Young Award. Yes, an FBI official pleaded guilty to altering an email used in a warrant application, but he avoided jail time in part because a judge believed the claim that the information he added was accurate. The ''planting evidence'' statement is a reference to a complicated assertion made by special counsel John Durham that's never been substantiated. But each is a good example of how isolated, decontextualized claims targeting the FBI have propagated through the conservative bubble with the central aim of casting the bureau and not Trump as the dubious actor.
Habba, of course, agreed with Watters.
''Quite honestly, I'm concerned that they may have planted something,'' she said. ''At this point, who knows? I don't trust the government, and that's a very frightening thing as an American.''
This, of course, is how it works: Use unfounded allegations of wrongdoing against the government as a reason to distrust the government and use distrust of government as a reason to suggest that the government committed acts of wrongdoing. It's exactly how defenses of Trump's claims about election fraud worked. He insisted that fraud was going to occur and then that it had occurred. A lot of people believed him. That belief was then cited as a reason to address election fraud, which heightened the sense that something needed to be fixed.
On Wednesday morning, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), long an outspoken critic of the intelligence community and how the government wields power, echoed the baseless idea that the FBI might plant evidence.
''Do I know that the boxes of material they took from Mar-a-Lago, that they won't put things into those boxes to entrap him?'' Paul said. ''How do we know? '... How do we know they're going to be honest with us about what's actually in the boxes? How do we know that was in the box before it left the residence if the lawyers weren't allowed to see everything?''
After all, he added, the FBI had ''lost a great deal of trust'' '-- thanks in part to years of misrepresentations of the FBI's actions.
Skepticism of law enforcement is always warranted and always an important part of the American system. But there's a difference between informed skepticism and an effort to use eroded trust in law enforcement to further erode trust in law enforcement.
Consider where Paul's framing does and doesn't differ from that of Trump himself, who opined on his bespoke social media network Wednesday morning.
''Everyone was asked to leave the premises, they wanted to be left alone, without any witnesses to see what they were doing, taking or, hopefully not, 'planting,' '' Trump wrote. ''Why did they STRONGLY insist on having nobody watching them, everybody out?''
This isn't skepticism. This is Trump continuing a years-long pattern of disparaging the integrity of the FBI at every opportunity, solely to inoculate his supporters against occasions in which he was or might be the focus of the FBI's interest. For occasions, that is, like this one.
There is an added benefit to this line of argument. Should the FBI announce that it uncovered something incriminating among the documents, Trump et al have a prefabricated response: You put it there. The base inoculated once again.
Update: On Thursday, the New York Times reported that the FBI provided Trump and his attorneys with a manifest of what had been taken '-- further eroding the idea that anything might have been surreptitiously added to the seized material.
VIDEO - Experts: Megaflood is coming to Sacramento, Central Valley
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 16:32
Many Californians fear the "Big One," but it might not be what you think.It's not an earthquake. And it isn't the mega drought. It's actually the exact opposite.A megaflood.A new study by Science Advances shows climate change has already doubled the chances of a disastrous flood happening in California in the next four decades. And experts say it would be unlike anything anyone alive today has ever experienced.Daniel Swain, a climate scientist with UCLA and a researcher involved in the study, describes a megaflood as, "a very severe flood event across a broad region that has the potential to bring catastrophic impacts to society in the areas affected." He said a megaflood is similar to the 1,000-year flash flood events seen this summer in the St. Louis area and Kentucky, but across a much wider area, such as the entire state of California.These massive floods, which experts say would turn California's lowlands into a "vast inland sea," might have previously happened once in a lifetime in the state. But experts say climate change is increasing the likelihood of these catastrophic disasters, causing them to occur more like every 25 to 50 years.Climate change supercharges heavy rain events, making flash floods occur more regularly, as has been noted several times this summer in Eastern Kentucky, St. Louis, and even in California's Death Valley National Park.California is prone to these floods from atmospheric rivers naturally, and major floods from them have happened before -- but climate change is upping the ante, and millions of people could be impacted.The study said atmospheric rivers could become consecutive for weeks on end, like seen in this animation. Xingying Huang, one of the authors of the study, made this loop, which illustrates the water vapor transportation and potential precipitation accumulation at selected time slices during the 30-day scenario.The area with the most destruction would be the Central Valley of California, including Sacramento, Fresno and Bakersfield, the study's authors project. The Central Valley, roughly the size of Vermont and Massachusetts combined, produces a quarter of the nation's food supply, according to the US Geological Survey.A flood with the size to fill this valley has the potential to be the most expensive geophysical disaster to date, costing upwards of $1 trillion in losses and devastating the state's lowland areas, including Los Angeles and Orange counties, according to the study.That would be more 5 times the cost of Hurricane Katrina, the current costliest disaster in US history."Such a flood event in modern California would likely exceed the damages from a large magnitude earthquake by a considerable margin," the study showed.This study is the first phase of a three-part series studying the effects of a future megaflood event in California. The next two phases are expected to be released in two to three years."Ultimately, one of our goals is not just to understand these events scientifically, but it's also to help California prepare for them," Swain said. "It's a question of when rather than if (the megaflood) occurs."It's happened before. It will happen again, but worse, warns scientistsOver 150 years ago, a strong series of atmospheric rivers drenched the Golden State, causing one of the most exceptional floods in history following a dry spell that had left the West parched for decades.Communities were demolished in minutes.It was the winter of 1861-1862 and a historic megaflood transformed the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys into a "temporary but vast inland sea," according to the study. Some areas had up to 30 feet of water for weeks, obliterating infrastructure, farmland, and towns.Sacramento, the new state capital at the time, was under ten feet of debris-filled water for months.The catastrophe began in December 1861, when nearly 15 feet of snow fell in the Sierra Nevada. Repetitive atmospheric rivers dropped warm rain for 43 days thereafter, dumping water down the mountainous slopes and into the valleys.Four thousand people lost their lives, one-third of the state's property was destroyed, a quarter of California's cattle population drowned or starved, and one in eight homes were a complete loss by floodwaters.In addition, one-fourth of California's economy was obliterated, resulting in a state-wide bankruptcy.Swain warns a megaflood like this will happen again, but worse and more frequent. "We find that climate change has already increased the risk of a (1862) megaflood scenario in California, but that future climate warming will likely bring about even sharper risk increases," the study warns.Many of today's major cities with millions of residents are built directly on top of the ancient flood deposits, Swain added, putting far more people in harm's way.About 500,000 people lived in California in 1862. Now, the state's population is over 39 million."When this (flood) occurs again, the consequences would be wildly different than they were back in the 1860s," Swain said.Climate change increases the amount of rain the atmosphere can hold and causes more water in the air to fall as rain, which can lead to immediate flooding. Both are and will continue to occur in California.The new study shows a rapid increase in the likelihood of week-long, recurring strong-to-extreme atmospheric rivers during the cool season. An atmospheric river is a long, narrow region of heavy moisture in the atmosphere that can transport moisture thousands of miles, like a fire hose in the sky. They usually bring beneficial rainfall to drought-prone regions like California but could quickly become hazardous with a warming climate.Historically these winter atmospheric rivers dump feet of snow in the Sierra Nevada, but as climate warms, more of the snow will fall as rain. Instead of melting slowly over time, it all runs off, piles up, and floods immediately.With a neighbor like the Pacific Ocean, California has "an infinite reservoir of water vapor offshore," Swain added.California's mountainous terrain and wildfire risk make it especially vulnerable to flooding. Lingering burn scars from wildfires can create a steep, slick surface for water and debris to flow off. With wildfires becoming larger and burning more area thanks to climate change, more areas are susceptible to these debris flows.Although models show this megaflood is inevitable, experts say there are ways to mitigate excessive loss."I think the extent of (megaflood) losses can be significantly reduced by doing certain sorts of things to revamp our flood management and our water management systems and our disaster preparedness," Swain said.Huang, a project scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and a researcher involved in the study, said everyone can make a small effort in combating climate change."If we work together to decrease future emissions, we can also reduce the risk of extreme events," Huang said.| DATA BELOW | Sea level rise is a threat to all Californians, whether they live near the coast or not
Many Californians fear the "Big One," but it might not be what you think.
It's not an earthquake. And it isn't the mega drought. It's actually the exact opposite.
A megaflood.
A new study by Science Advances shows climate change has already doubled the chances of a disastrous flood happening in California in the next four decades. And experts say it would be unlike anything anyone alive today has ever experienced.
Daniel Swain, a climate scientist with UCLA and a researcher involved in the study, describes a megaflood as, "a very severe flood event across a broad region that has the potential to bring catastrophic impacts to society in the areas affected." He said a megaflood is similar to the 1,000-year flash flood events seen this summer in the St. Louis area and Kentucky, but across a much wider area, such as the entire state of California.
These massive floods, which experts say would turn California's lowlands into a "vast inland sea," might have previously happened once in a lifetime in the state. But experts say climate change is increasing the likelihood of these catastrophic disasters, causing them to occur more like every 25 to 50 years.
Climate change supercharges heavy rain events, making flash floods occur more regularly, as has been noted several times this summer in Eastern Kentucky, St. Louis, and even in California's Death Valley National Park.
California is prone to these floods from atmospheric rivers naturally, and major floods from them have happened before -- but climate change is upping the ante, and millions of people could be impacted.
The study said atmospheric rivers could become consecutive for weeks on end, like seen in this animation. Xingying Huang, one of the authors of the study, made this loop, which illustrates the water vapor transportation and potential precipitation accumulation at selected time slices during the 30-day scenario.
The area with the most destruction would be the Central Valley of California, including Sacramento, Fresno and Bakersfield, the study's authors project. The Central Valley, roughly the size of Vermont and Massachusetts combined, produces a quarter of the nation's food supply, according to the US Geological Survey.
A flood with the size to fill this valley has the potential to be the most expensive geophysical disaster to date, costing upwards of $1 trillion in losses and devastating the state's lowland areas, including Los Angeles and Orange counties, according to the study.
That would be more 5 times the cost of Hurricane Katrina, the current costliest disaster in US history.
"Such a flood event in modern California would likely exceed the damages from a large magnitude earthquake by a considerable margin," the study showed.
This study is the first phase of a three-part series studying the effects of a future megaflood event in California. The next two phases are expected to be released in two to three years.
"Ultimately, one of our goals is not just to understand these events scientifically, but it's also to help California prepare for them," Swain said. "It's a question of when rather than if (the megaflood) occurs."
It's happened before. It will happen again, but worse, warns scientistsOver 150 years ago, a strong series of atmospheric rivers drenched the Golden State, causing one of the most exceptional floods in history following a dry spell that had left the West parched for decades.
Communities were demolished in minutes.
Sacramento Public Library
This 1861 photograph shows flooding in Sacramento.It was the winter of 1861-1862 and a historic megaflood transformed the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys into a "temporary but vast inland sea," according to the study. Some areas had up to 30 feet of water for weeks, obliterating infrastructure, farmland, and towns.
Sacramento, the new state capital at the time, was under ten feet of debris-filled water for months.
The catastrophe began in December 1861, when nearly 15 feet of snow fell in the Sierra Nevada. Repetitive atmospheric rivers dropped warm rain for 43 days thereafter, dumping water down the mountainous slopes and into the valleys.
Four thousand people lost their lives, one-third of the state's property was destroyed, a quarter of California's cattle population drowned or starved, and one in eight homes were a complete loss by floodwaters.
In addition, one-fourth of California's economy was obliterated, resulting in a state-wide bankruptcy.
Swain warns a megaflood like this will happen again, but worse and more frequent.
Getty Images
Downtown Sacramento today, which was raised 10-15 feet after the historic floods."We find that climate change has already increased the risk of a (1862) megaflood scenario in California, but that future climate warming will likely bring about even sharper risk increases," the study warns.
Many of today's major cities with millions of residents are built directly on top of the ancient flood deposits, Swain added, putting far more people in harm's way.
About 500,000 people lived in California in 1862. Now, the state's population is over 39 million.
"When this (flood) occurs again, the consequences would be wildly different than they were back in the 1860s," Swain said.
Climate change increases the amount of rain the atmosphere can hold and causes more water in the air to fall as rain, which can lead to immediate flooding. Both are and will continue to occur in California.
The new study shows a rapid increase in the likelihood of week-long, recurring strong-to-extreme atmospheric rivers during the cool season. An atmospheric river is a long, narrow region of heavy moisture in the atmosphere that can transport moisture thousands of miles, like a fire hose in the sky. They usually bring beneficial rainfall to drought-prone regions like California but could quickly become hazardous with a warming climate.
Historically these winter atmospheric rivers dump feet of snow in the Sierra Nevada, but as climate warms, more of the snow will fall as rain. Instead of melting slowly over time, it all runs off, piles up, and floods immediately.
Citizens of the Planet
California's Central Valley, which produces one-fourth of the nation's food, will be ravaged by a megaflood.With a neighbor like the Pacific Ocean, California has "an infinite reservoir of water vapor offshore," Swain added.
California's mountainous terrain and wildfire risk make it especially vulnerable to flooding. Lingering burn scars from wildfires can create a steep, slick surface for water and debris to flow off. With wildfires becoming larger and burning more area thanks to climate change, more areas are susceptible to these debris flows.
Although models show this megaflood is inevitable, experts say there are ways to mitigate excessive loss.
"I think the extent of (megaflood) losses can be significantly reduced by doing certain sorts of things to revamp our flood management and our water management systems and our disaster preparedness," Swain said.
Huang, a project scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and a researcher involved in the study, said everyone can make a small effort in combating climate change.
"If we work together to decrease future emissions, we can also reduce the risk of extreme events," Huang said.
| DATA BELOW | Sea level rise is a threat to all Californians, whether they live near the coast or not
VIDEO - ABC guest suggests Americans angry over Trump raid are 'Neo-Nazis' because Merrick Garland is Jewish | The Post Millennial
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 16:14
ABC News chief investigative reporter Josh Margolin said during a talking head segment leading up to a press conference by Attorney General Merrick Garland that Americans' outrage over the unprecedented FBI raid of former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago home was anti-Semitic in nature, as Garland is Jewish.
Margolin said that there were "factions" of Americans that he called "far right, neo-Nazis, white supremacists," and "militia organizers calling for violence as they always have done against Jews."
"As soon as President Trump put out confirmation on Monday that the raid had been done and was underway, we immediately started seeing factions on the far right, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, militia organizers calling for violence as they always have done against Jews," he said. "The attorney general is Jewish."
He continued to say that threats of violence were made against the FBI, echoing deflective comments that were made by FBI Director Chris Wray earlier on Thursday, saying that threats have been made "against the FBI, federal law enforcement, against other perceived enemies, enemies they perceive to be enemies of President Trump.
"It was like clockwork, and then by the next morning, there was already a body of evidence online of this really ugly, terrible, violent rhetoric that had law enforcement incredibly concerned. You cannot believe for a second that the Attorney General and his senior staff at the justice department were at all blind to what was going to happen in the wake of this type of a search," he said.
Earlier in the segment, Margolin theorized that Garland was privy to anger directed toward federal agents, as he was involved in the investigation into the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.
"We've seen a really intensified environment online where people are calling for violence. It's really, really unsettling and experts and law enforcement are watching it very very closely.
"They are concerned where we're in a situation where there could be violent. Important to remember that Merrick Garland, the Attorney General is somebody who remembers the Oklahoma City attack, he helped lead the investigation of that attack and that attack was targeting law enforcement. Federal law enforcement. That's what the bomber, 27 years ago was aiming for. To go after federal law enforcement. A lot of other people were killed. This AG knows the reproductions of violent rhetoric targeting federal agents. It's serious out there," he said. "The country is clamoring for what was the backstory that led to this unprecedented FBI search this week."
Garland's comments at the press conference confirmed that he personally approved of the Mar-a-Lago raid. The raid was also green-lit by an Epstein connected, Obama-supporting judge, Bruce Reinhart.
VIDEO - Beto O'Rourke Rages at 'Motherf*cker' Laughing at His AR-15 Hyperbole
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 16:04
Beto O'Rourke, Mineral Wells Area NewsTexas gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke (D) called a campaign rally attendee a ''motherf*cker'' Wednesday after he laughed at O'Rourke's hyperbolic description of the AR-15 rifle.
The Daily Beast reports that O'Rourke was speaking in Mineral Wells, Texas, when he began referencing the AR-15 rifle that was used in the May 24 Uvalde mass shooting.
O'Rourke said that those killed in Uvalde were ''shot to death with a weapon originally designed for use in combat, legally purchased by an 18-year-old who did not try to obtain one when he was 16 or 17 but followed the law that's on the books, ladies and gentleman.''
He continued by saying those laws say that ''you can buy not one, you can buy two or more if you want to, AR-15s, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, and take that weapon that was originally designed for use on the battlefields in Vietnam to penetrate an enemy soldier's helmet at 500 feet and knock him down dead'...''
It was at this point, as O'Rourke spoke, that an audience member laughed out loud at O'Rourke's hyperbole regarding the AR-15.
O'Rourke responded by saying, ''It may be funny to you, motherf*cker, but it's not funny to me.''
"It may be funny to you motherf'--er, but it's not funny to me": Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke snapped at a man during a town hall on Wednesday who started laughing as O'Rourke discussed the gun used in the deadly Uvalde mass shooting. pic.twitter.com/sHCXh2mIpW
'-- CBS News (@CBSNews) August 11, 2022
A couple of points.
Number one, the Uvalde attacker allegedly did try to buy a gun before he was 18 years old.
On July 18 Breitbart News pointed out that the Uvalde report issued by the special Texas House panel indicated the attacker allegedly tried to get people to acquire guns for him when he was 17, but was unable to find anyone willing to do so.
Number two, the AR-15 was not designed for Vietnam combat. The gun used in Vietnam was the M-16, which is a rifle with a select-fire switch allowing soldiers to shoot the rifle in full-auto.
An AR-15 is a semiautomatic rifle, firing one round per trigger pull, while rifles used in the military have a select-fire switch allowing them to be fired in full-auto mode or in three-round bursts of full-auto.
HotAir notes:
The rifle we know now as the AR-15 was not designed for combat '-- not in Vietnam, nor anywhere else. The precursor AR-10 was designed initially as a potential new military rifle in the early 1950s, but ArmaLite lost out on the contract to Springfield. They got another chance in 1957 when the Pentagon wanted to reconsider the M14. They lost again, and Armalite sold the AR-10 and a new AR-15 designs to Colt in 1959. Colt redesigned it for general military use in 1960, well before the US began any sort of combat operations in Vietnam, but that ended rather shortly thereafter. By the time the US had any significant military commitment in Vietnam, the Pentagon had chosen the M16 and Colt shifted the AR-15 entirely to semi-automatic domestic sales, including significant use by law enforcement agencies.
On September 12, 2019, Breitbart News reported on O'Rourke explaining his gun control plans during a Democrat debate where he said, ''Hell yes, we're going to take your AR-15.''
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. Reach him at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.
VIDEO - Podcast: Whole Foods' John Mackey on socialism
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 16:01
"My concern is that I feel like socialists are taking over," Whole Foods CEO John Mackey tells me on today's show. "They're marching through the institutions. They're'...taking over education. It looks like they've taken over a lot of the corporations. It looks like they've taken over the military. And it's just continuing. You know, I'm a capitalist at heart, and I believe in liberty and capitalism. Those are my twin values. And I feel like, you know, with the way freedom of speech is today, the movement on gun control, a lot of the liberties that I've taken for granted most of my life, I think, are under threat."
If you're as old as I am (I just turned 59), you will remember how dreary food shopping was before Whole Foods exploded the concept since it came on the scene in 1978. When I was a kid, you were lucky to find two or three types of potatoes in the produce aisle, one type of eggplant, maybe a green bell pepper, and a sad jalapeno or two (jalapenos were almost always sold pickled and in cans). Even in big cities, you had to roam around all over town to find oddball spices that you can now pick up in 7-11s and gas station convenience stores.
At the end of August, Mackey, born in 1953, is retiring from Whole Foods. Throughout his career, John has developed and evangelized for what he calls "conscious capitalism," or businesses that seek to "create financial, intellectual, social, cultural, emotional, spiritual, physical, and ecological wealth for all of their stakeholders." That may sound a bit hippy-dippy to you, but John is one of the most hardcore capitalists I've ever met, yet also an incredibly spiritual and thoughtful guy who wants to help all of us live better, more interesting lives.
That comes through loud and clear in his epic 2005 debate with Nobel laureate Milton Freidman and former Cypress Semiconductor CEO T.J. Rodgers about rethinking the social responsibility of business. "I believe that the enlightened corporation should try to create value for all of its constituencies," wrote John. "From an investor's perspective, the purpose of the business is to maximize profits. But that's not the purpose for other stakeholders'--for customers, employees, suppliers, and the community. Each of those groups will define the purpose of the business in terms of its own needs and desires, and each perspective is valid and legitimate." In many profound ways, John's vision is now widely accepted, partly because he's speaking to a post-industrial world that is rich enough that more and more of us are starting to bump our snouts further up Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Even in the developing world, more and more of us are trying to figure out how we can flourish rather than just subsist.
I caught up with John at FreedomFest, the annual gathering in Las Vegas, and we talked about his time at Whole Foods, how his company did an exceptional job of staying open and serving people during COVID, what he thought about the government's response to the pandemic, and a whole lot more. We also, of course, talked about what he's going to do once he's retired.
In terms of business ventures, he's planning to open a series of wellness centers and cafes. Of greater interest to me, John said that he felt muzzled in his position as CEO of Whole Foods. For many reasons, he says he couldn't speak his mind on various issues, especially what he sees as a dangerous drift toward more and more control of everyday life, commerce, and speech. That all changes in September, he said, and we should expect him to be even more outspoken in his celebration of capitalism, which he considers the greatest anti-poverty program ever created, and many other issues.
Previous Reason interviews with John Mackey:
"Can 'Conscious Capitalism' Make Business a Heroic Enterprise? John Mackey Is Betting Yes: Podcast," August 14, 2018
"John Mackey's Merger Made in Heaven," July 1, 2018
"'They're More Conscious and More Awake than My Generation Was,'" March 31, 2018
"Whole Foods' John Mackey on Amazon Merger: 'A Meeting of the Souls,'" March 30, 2018
"Whole Foods' John Mackey on Veganism, Gary Johnson, and How Regulation Is Stunting Innovation," August 16, 2016
"Whole Foods' John Mackey: Why Intellectuals Hate Capitalism," August 12, 2015
"John Mackey on Whole Foods, Conscious Capitalism, and Life Beyond the Profit Motive," March 21, 2013
"Whole Foods CEO John Mackey on the Moral Case for Capitalism," August 10, 2012
"Whole Foods Health Care," December 15, 2009
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VIDEO - (20) RNC Research on Twitter: "NANCY PELOSI: "Mother Earth gets angry from time to time, and this legislation will help us address all of that." ðŸ¤-- https://t.co/o9U91SYuBK" / Twitter
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 15:57
RNC Research : NANCY PELOSI: "Mother Earth gets angry from time to time, and this legislation will help us address all of that."ðŸ¤-- https://t.co/o9U91SYuBK
Sat Aug 13 17:12:19 +0000 2022
VIDEO - Peter McCullough on monkeypox vaccine myocarditis
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 15:57
Vaxxed or UnVaxxed, It's Back To School; HHS Escalates MonkeyPox ; HighWire Premiers New Series, 'Rigged', with the Tragic Account of Maddie De Garay; ICAN Obtains New Insurance DataGuests: Stephanie & Patrick De Garay, Aaron Siri, Esq.
... Show More
VIDEO - Dr William Bay at AMA Conference in Sydney
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 15:52
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Thank You Doctor Bay. Thank you. It is so so so sad to see your colleagues running out of that conference. Seems the oath to do no harm means jack shit to them. They are gagging themselves more than aphra gagging them. Thank you Doctor Bay for holding true to your oath. Its absolute bullshit. We know what this about. But seems your colleagues want to continue with the game. Sad state of affairs indeedy. Well done you.
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VIDEO - (24) Christopher F. Rufo 'š--¸ on Twitter: "The Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh has been promoting "puberty blockers" for children who say "I'm not really sure if I feel comfortable in my body or what gender I truly identify with." https://t.co
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 15:40
Christopher F. Rufo 'š--¸ : The Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh has been promoting "puberty blockers" for children who say "I'm not really su'... https://t.co/fTsiPdyKij
Fri Aug 12 20:27:37 +0000 2022
chkipper : @realchrisrufo @SunshineDaisy07 So I guess the solution to all teens feeling uncomfortable in their bodies to just'... https://t.co/0XSjfYgoNL
Sun Aug 14 15:39:31 +0000 2022
Bob Wellington : @realchrisrufo @MattWalshBlog Walsh still promoting noted liar Rufo. You are a worthless person, Walsh.
Sun Aug 14 15:36:01 +0000 2022
Elvis Batman(C) : @realchrisrufo @carsonkrow THESE PEOPLE ARE SICK!!!TAKE THEIR LICENSES AWAY.
Sun Aug 14 15:21:44 +0000 2022
Janell Coffman : @realchrisrufo Wake up. Many European countries have now BANNED these practices after RESEARCH DATA showed how da'... https://t.co/rDRV035Jo5
Sun Aug 14 15:17:50 +0000 2022
router : @realchrisrufo Liberals are very vile evil people.
Sun Aug 14 15:14:29 +0000 2022
Eric Schwandt : @realchrisrufo Disgusting!!!
Sun Aug 14 15:10:05 +0000 2022
Cocobrook : @realchrisrufo @MattWalshBlog Money, money, money'...that's all they want.
Sun Aug 14 15:02:29 +0000 2022
howard baker : @realchrisrufo @carsonkrow Grow up first then decide your adult life without eugenics
Sun Aug 14 14:51:49 +0000 2022
Hope Floats : @realchrisrufo What?? OMG.
Sun Aug 14 14:46:23 +0000 2022
Godmode : @realchrisrufo 🤠What's going on??? 'Œ›¸
Sun Aug 14 14:38:04 +0000 2022
LadyH55 : @realchrisrufo This is mostly a mental problem. Maybe they should put these kids on a placebo + counselling to see'... https://t.co/xYmqjzzCgE
Sun Aug 14 14:15:05 +0000 2022
VIDEO - (20) Sikh For Truth on Twitter: ""The #WEF is the source of our digital identity bill. Parts of our digital identity bill were copied & pasted from WEF's #digitalidentity platform. The same bill or virtually identical bill has been rolled out
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 15:07
Sikh For Truth : "The #WEF is the source of our digital identity bill. Parts of our digital identity bill were copied & pasted from'... https://t.co/xAnOVngC3N
Fri Aug 12 15:46:56 +0000 2022
VIDEO - (23) أب٠عمّار on Twitter: "On how long Covid MANDATES should last Question: ''When you say long- term what do you mean by that? For how long?'' Susan Michie: ''I think, FOREVER'' https://t.co/p6Mh8eDDGY" / Twitter
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 15:03
أب٠عمّار : On how long Covid MANDATES should lastQuestion: ''When you say long- term what do you mean by that? For how long?'''... https://t.co/2PVHdi2iJo
Mon Jul 25 17:24:04 +0000 2022
VIDEO - UK Braces for Blackouts, Gas Cuts in January in Emergency Plan - Bloomberg
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 14:50
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VIDEO - (1462) City of Phoenix sued for homeless crisis - YouTube
Sun, 14 Aug 2022 13:21
VIDEO - The Washington Post: FBI searched Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence for classified nuclear documents - CNNPolitics
Fri, 12 Aug 2022 13:42
(CNN)The FBI sought to locate classified documents related to nuclear weapons, among other items, when agents searched former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, this week, people familiar with the investigation told The Washington Post.
The people did not offer additional details to the Post about "what type of information the agents were seeking" or whether any such documents were recovered, according to the paper.
The revelation adds key context to the Justice Department's extraordinary decision to search the home of a former president.
previously reported, the criminal investigation started with concerns about missing documents raised by the National Archives, which made a criminal referral to the Justice Department upon discovering highly sensitive documents among the materials retrieved from Mar-a-Lago in January. The 15 boxes contained some materials that were part of special access programs (SAP), a classification that includes protocols to significantly limit who would have access to the information, according to a source familiar with what the Archives discovered in the boxes. That led to FBI interviews with aides to grand jury subpoenas to this week's court-authorized search and seizure of documents.
Though Attorney General Merrick Garland has declined to share specific details about the search, he said Thursday that he "personally approved" the decision to seek a warrant for the search of Trump's Florida home.
"The department does not take such a decision lightly. Where possible, it is standard practice to seek less intrusive means as an alternative to a search and to narrowly scope any search that is undertaken," Garland said in a news conference.
The attorney general also said that the Justice Department had filed a request in court that the search warrant and property receipt from the search
be unsealed.
Trump said in a late-night post on his Truth Social platform Thursday that he would "not oppose the release of documents," adding, "I am going a step further by ENCOURAGING the immediate release of those documents."
CNN reported earlier Thursday that Trump and his legal team had not yet reached a decision on how to respond to the Justice Department's motion, according to a source familiar with their thinking.
Since the search, top congressional Republicans have rushed to Trump's defense, casting the move as politically motivated. The former President has denied all wrongdoing, claiming the investigation is intended to derail his potential bid to return to the White House.
In a pair of posts to Truth Social following Garland's statement, Trump continued to claim that his attorneys were "cooperating fully" and had developed "very good relationships" with federal investigators prior to Monday's search at Mar-a-Lago.
The search warrant had been authorized by a federal court, Garland said.
"It is a federal crime to remove classified documents wrongly. And so if you are filling out that affidavit and you have to list the crime, you can list that as the crime," said Elie Honig, a former federal and state prosecutor and a CNN senior legal analyst, following the search warrant.
This story has been updated with additional information Friday.
CNN's Tierney Sneed, Evan Perez, Hannah Rabinowitz and Zachary Cohen contributed to this report.


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Audio Clips

Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh promoting puberty blockers.mp3
A disastrous megaflood is coming to California.mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Rhiannon Ally - deadly beach umbrellas (1min52sec).mp3
Pelosi - Mother Earth gets angry from time to time.mp3
Malcolm Roberts - Senator for Queensland on Digital Identity Program WEF.mp3
Researcher Terry Cook in the 1990's on the New World order - Illuminati.mp3
UK Plans for Blackouts in January in Emergency Energy Plan.mp3
City of Phoenix sued for homeless crisis.mp3
CBS Mornings - anchor Catherine Herridge - john bolton murder for hire (1min44sec).mp3
CBS Mornings - anchor Nikki Battiste - salman rushdie stabbed (58sec).mp3
dogs and chips wtf 2 nts.mp3
dos and chips wtf One nts.mp3
Dust devil and heatwave UK ntd.mp3
Fauci effect.mp3
google sued in OZ.mp3
IRS DEADLY force ntd.mp3
ISO very nice.mp3
ISO what is next.mp3
JPK Africa one.mp3
JPK Africa two.mp3
JPK on putins price hike.mp3
JPK Uses raid word.mp3
Latvia and Estonia vs China ntd.mp3
Mad bomber no bomb story ntd.mp3
Phoenix homeless.mp3
Semi Auto ban re-instated FACTS ntd.mp3
State fair armed police.mp3
Trump npr analysis 1.mp3
Trump npr analysis 2.mp3
Trump npr analysis 3K.mp3
Trump npr analysis 4.mp3
UK Train strike npr.mp3
UKRAINE BSC special.mp3
UKRAINE drone wars.mp3
CDC lies 2 ntd.mp3
CDC lies ntd.mp3
Crypto regulation npr.mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Mona Abdi - shift in CDC guidelines (26sec).mp3
Moderna CEO says getting COVID boosters will be like buying a new iPhone every year.mp3
NBC Today - anchor Dr John Torres (1) sweeping updates CDC guidelines (59sec).mp3
NBC Today - anchor Dr John Torres (2) parents confused (26sec).mp3
NBC Today - anchor Dr John Torres (3) masking in schools (33sec).mp3
State psychologist and member of Communist Party Susan Michie on mandates.mp3
BBC Newshour on Polio in Waste water in the UK.mp3
CBS Mornings - anchor Elaine Quijano - polio detected in NY wastewater (1min30sec).mp3
Peter McCullough on monkeypox vaccine myocarditis.mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Ike Ejiochi - man tries to breach FBI field office (1min28sec).mp3
ABC News chief investigative reporter Josh Margolin Americans angry over Trump raid are Neo-Nazis because Merrick Garland is Jewish.mp3
CBS Mornings - anchor Debra Alfarone - trump search warrant unsealed (1min19sec).mp3
Mika on Morning Joe - They know the election WAS stolen LOL.mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Mona Abdi - ukraine war nuclear plant (25sec).mp3
Dr William Bay at AMA Conference in Sydney.mp3
NBC Today - anchor Joe Fryer - car drives into restaurant (21sec).mp3
Beto O'Rourke Calls Audience Member Motherfucker for Laughing at His AR-15 Hyperbole.mp3
Whole Foods John Mackey - I Feel Like Socialists Are Taking Over.mp3
  • 0:00
    Everybody's a Nazi.
  • 0:01
    Adam curry, John C. Dvorak. August 14 2022 This is your
  • 0:06
    award winning give nation media assassination episode 1477. This
  • 0:10
    is no agenda. unleaded level headed and broadcasting live
  • 0:16
    from the heart of the Texas hill country here in FEMA Region
  • 0:18
    number six in the morning, everybody. I'm Adam curry
  • 0:21
    from Northern Silicon Valley where we all want to see the
  • 0:24
    affidavit and Jesse Devorah.
  • 0:28
    Buzzkill. Really, that's all you can think of there in
  • 0:33
    California. Wow. David, David, man after day, this is the point
  • 0:37
    this is the problem. This is a problem with the M five M.
  • 0:42
    They're obfuscating the biggest news of the century.
  • 0:46
    Lead box to No,
  • 0:49
    no, no here at
  • 0:51
    home. A major shift in the CDC is COVID guidelines. The agency
  • 0:55
    says there's no longer need to quarantine after coming in close
  • 0:58
    contact with someone who's infected. Also, the agency says
  • 1:02
    Americans no longer need to keep six feet of social distancing.
  • 1:05
    Officials say that changes were announced in part because an
  • 1:08
    estimated 95% of Americans 16 and older have acquired some
  • 1:13
    form of immunity masks are still recommended in high transmission
  • 1:16
  • 1:17
    Yeah, well, they're kind of burying the lede, which is
  • 1:21
    there's no longer a difference, according to the CDC, between
  • 1:25
    vaccinated and unvaccinated people. Done, obviously. I know.
  • 1:31
    And of course you want there's a little
  • 1:33
    kicker there. There's a little kicker in there. Yeah.
  • 1:35
    You know, I'm not so sure. I mean, that's it. I did you read
  • 1:40
    this the CDC recommendation because it really is incredibly
  • 1:44
    clear. Well, here I have a couple of quick clips is just
  • 1:46
    short ones, and we'll be done with it because it's important.
  • 1:49
    Also this morning, the COVID pandemic appears to be entering
  • 1:52
    a new phase, a new phase announcement of sweeping updates
  • 1:56
    to its guidelines, on everything from quarantining to masking.
  • 2:01
    Joining us now to help break it all down in DC SENIOR MEDICAL
  • 2:04
    CORRESPONDENT Dr. John Torres. Always good to have you sir. And
  • 2:07
    good morning. So let's start with three recommendations for
  • 2:09
    quarantine if you're exposed and you test positive, what's what's
  • 2:13
    changed here
  • 2:14
    and what's prompted the change.
  • 2:16
    So one of the biggest things has changed is what happens if
  • 2:18
    you're exposed and you don't test positive because what
  • 2:20
    they're saying right now is before they divided in between
  • 2:22
    vaccinated and unvaccinated, you're unvaccinated had to go
  • 2:25
    into quarantine will they've dropped that they put everybody
  • 2:27
    on an equal basis and now they're saying if you're
  • 2:29
    exposed, don't have some of those then go ahead and wear a
  • 2:33
    mask out and about but you want to wear a high quality mask for
  • 2:36
    the 10 days tested day five if you test positive then obviously
  • 2:39
    you go ahead and go into isolation if you could test
  • 2:41
    negative continue to wear that well fitting high quality mask
  • 2:44
    for the next five days. But you don't have to quarantine anymore
  • 2:46
    vaccinated or unvaccinated.
  • 2:49
    I love this new high quality mask that I'm hearing about
  • 2:52
    everywhere. You know what happened to the n 95? That was
  • 2:57
    simple. Everyone got it? You need an n 95. Why is it now a
  • 3:01
    high quality mask? Is there a new mask on the market? Is there
  • 3:04
    a new icon I
  • 3:04
    know but it's so funny to watch, see people out and about
  • 3:08
    with high quality masks
  • 3:10
    in in the open air walking down the street by themselves wearing
  • 3:14
    one of those duck masks. Just like what's wrong with you? I
  • 3:19
    got two clips on this. CDC lies. This is on New Tang Dynasty.
  • 3:26
    The CDC is admitting it gave false information about
  • 3:30
    analyzing vaccine data and happened multiple times. But the
  • 3:33
    agency says it didn't do so on purpose. Here's that
  • 3:38
    team that analyzes reports submitted to the vaccine adverse
  • 3:41
    event reporting system also called veirs team is supposed to
  • 3:45
    study post vaccine heart inflammation related to vaccines
  • 3:49
    in July. Epic times submitted a Freedom of Information request
  • 3:53
    to the CDC for all reports from that team. The CDC then said
  • 3:57
    there weren't any from before October 2021. And that a
  • 4:00
    connection between myocarditis and mRNA COVID-19 vaccines was
  • 4:05
    not known at that time. That statement was false months
  • 4:08
    before October 2021. The CDC had already acknowledged a
  • 4:12
    connection between heart inflammation and COVID-19
  • 4:15
    vaccines. A spokeswoman Then said the team began analyzing
  • 4:19
    myocarditis in May 2021. She added that no CDC employees
  • 4:23
    intentionally provided false information, the CDC released
  • 4:28
    the report, then there's data mining, CDC said in January 2021
  • 4:32
    that it would perform a specific type of data mining analysis on
  • 4:36
    various reports called proportional reporting ratio, or
  • 4:39
    PRR. But when a nonprofit asked for the results, the CDC said
  • 4:43
    they didn't run any PRRS request for clarification. The head of
  • 4:47
    the various team told the epic times that they started
  • 4:50
    performing PRs in February 2021. The CDC is now seeing them both
  • 4:55
    the original response and the heads clarification were false.
  • 4:59
    They lie
  • 5:02
    I don't know why. But as a short short follow up to that clip.
  • 5:07
    They now say they started performing PRs more than a year
  • 5:10
    later in March of this year, and they stopped at the end of July.
  • 5:14
    The CDC hasn't released those reports either. spokeswoman said
  • 5:18
    they misinterpreted the question earlier.
  • 5:21
    Oh, listen to her. But what? Do you have any PR reports? yet?
  • 5:27
    No. Yeah, no. Yeah.
  • 5:29
    What? Not intentionally? I mean, what? Yeah, but here's the best.
  • 5:33
    This is exactly the problem. Everybody wants to affidavit,
  • 5:37
    which now gives me some reason to believe that might also have
  • 5:40
    been important to have this dumb raid, we'll get to that. Yeah.
  • 5:44
    Because hey, this is the only benefit. The only difference
  • 5:49
    between myself and a vaccinated person is that person can get
  • 5:52
    myocarditis. I mean, if that's the benefit you're looking for,
  • 5:56
    that is beautiful. Everything else is equal to more short
  • 6:00
    clips on this. Dr. John
  • 6:01
    has a lot of parents, a little kids, I think us included who
  • 6:03
    might be confused with all this stuff come in and feel like I
  • 6:06
    met her before, what would you say to the parents?
  • 6:08
    What I would say is, you know, look at these new guidelines,
  • 6:09
    because they have changed for a couple of reasons. Number one,
  • 6:12
    you know, we're two and a half years into the pandemic. And the
  • 6:14
    CDC is also saying 95% of us have some level of immunity
  • 6:18
    either from vaccines or prior infections. And so we're at that
  • 6:21
    stage now where we can pull back a little bit and for schools in
  • 6:23
    particular, they're saying that the rules aren't quite the same.
  • 6:26
    They were before.
  • 6:28
    Not quite that mean? Well, here it is. Yeah, I
  • 6:31
    was gonna ask you what is the CDC position now unmasking in
  • 6:34
    schools, a lot of kids started school this week. So what are
  • 6:37
    the schools supposed to do?
  • 6:38
    So right now what they're saying is children in school only have
  • 6:40
    to mask in certain situations? Number one, they're really
  • 6:42
    emphasizing community levels. If there's a high community level,
  • 6:45
    and it's a high risk activity, wrestling games, indoor concerts
  • 6:48
    that those types of things want to wear a mask also in no
  • 6:51
    way did he say wrestling games. What are these? So
  • 6:54
    if you're going to be wrestling
  • 6:57
    games level, it's a high risk activity, wrestling games and
  • 7:01
    Dorka who
  • 7:02
    comes up with that high risk activity? What can we come up
  • 7:05
    with wrestling games, huh? Well, that's weird,
  • 7:10
    despite of, despite the fact that his usage is skewed. Who is
  • 7:16
    going to go wrestling, which is one of the most strenuous sports
  • 7:20
    you can imagine? With a mascot? Oh, hello,
  • 7:24
    Jimmy. Superfly. Now different wrestling. I'm sorry.
  • 7:31
    Remember what that really attic? Of course. The reference is
  • 7:36
    beyond me. Yeah,
  • 7:37
    I guess you never watched wrestling. Back in the day. I
  • 7:40
    watch wrestling. You know, Superfly I remember Jimmy
  • 7:42
  • 7:43
    No, it was definitely back in the day where all the wrestlers
  • 7:47
    were local. We had our guy out here in before before the WWF
  • 7:52
    came along with the WWE II.